Connect with us

NBA

Roland Lazenby’s ‘Showboat’ Biography On Kobe Bryant Is A Great Show And Tell All

Published

on

Rolandlazenbyauthorphotocscottcunningham

The greatest of all-time Michael Jordan wept as his Chicago Bulls won his first NBA Championship in 1991. With his father James by his side his championship baseball cap almost fell off as he sobbed into the gold basketball orb of the Larry O’Brien trophy.

He had made it.

A decade later the greatest to ever come close to the G.O.A.T. Kobe Bryant sat alone in the solitary tiled walls of a shower cubicle in the visitors locker of the First Union Centre in his hometown of Philadelphia. Dressed in a Los Angeles Lakers NBA Championship cap to match Mike’s and a gaudy leather baseball jacket with banner like patches over his purple and gold uniform. And with his head in his hand and his eyes cast down to the bottomless pit plug hole of the floor he cradled the same trophy in his arms to what the naked eye would look like almost a mere afterthought.

He had made it…but at what cost?!

Last year even outside of court circles all everybody was reading was the latest and greatest biography of the God like icon of basketball Michael Jordan. Seems as number 23 may never really put pen to lengthy paper unless for a Nike Air Jordan sneaker tie in book and also judging from his akward but amazing Hall of Fame speech this is the closest we will get to the greatest. Thanks to the man that wrote the book on the logo of the NBA Jerry West (before Mr. Clutch himself gave us his charmed and tortured life with ‘West By West’), Roland Lazenby.

Now after giving us ‘The Life’ of Michael Jordan that is currently being translated to Japanese audiences as we read, the only way Lazenby could follow Mike is with Kobe. And in a fall that has seen everything from this years ‘Gone Girl’, ‘The Girl On The Train’ movie adaptation, to ‘Born To Run’ rock and roll boss Bruce Springsteen finally giving us an autobiography climbing the bestsellers list your coffee table is about to get even bigger. Make it a double shot to keep and stay up.

The ‘Showboat’ sequel to the greatest is here.

The life of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant by Roland Lazenby follows where Michael Jordan left off. An in game portrait over a black sleeve and purple and gold iconic typography takes centre stage. But past the judging of a classic cover comes the depth of another 600 page pushing and turning opus that is almost big enough to keep your bedroom door from rattling this Winter. But you’ll want it on your bedside table next to your glass of water and alarm clock. Because you’ll be reading this one way past the magic hour and way through the night. All the way to your bus ride to work next day…that is if you wake up in time to make it.

Must Read:  The LeBron Series - The King takes his Throne again

You’re going to want to find this biography from the father of basketball books with the Saint Nick beard under your tree this Christmas. Becuase Lazenby delivers it all. From Kobe’s dad Joe ‘Jellybean’ Bryant’s playground like NBA playing beginnings in Philadelphia, to their move and Kobe’s raised days in Italy. All the way back to the school days of his high life in Lower Merion and of course his Los Angeles times with the Lakers. From his ups and downs. His purple and golds. His Shaq and Phil Jackson’s. His Pau Gasol’s and those damn injuries. All the way from those Utah Jazz airballs as a rookie to scoring an amazing, record 60 points against them in his farewell game this season gone. And of course the amazing 81 point game against the Toronto Raptors (sorry fellow Canadian’s of this site) and all the 82’s between.

It’s a storied career worthy of a book…and here it is no less, mere months later.

With the help of countless court contemporaries like backcourt brother Derek Fisher and writing ones like the legendary friend and confidant of this hip hoops generation Scoop Jackson, Roland gives us a behind the locker rooms and screens look at the legend. From sidebar stories and personal accounts that get to the heart and family of what matters most to this mans soul beyond basketball. There’s more than just inside knowledge here from this book longform genius who writes like a master storyteller with Sports Illustrated cover article worthy smarts. ‘Showboat’ is more than just for show. It’s a tell all that shows us there’s more to a man than the name on the back of his jersey…or even the one on the front.

Like the Black Mamba himself don’t pass on this one. Like Mike before him, if you think you know everything there is to know about Kobe Bryant then think and read again. And if ‘West’ by Jerry West is anything to judge. Perhaps Lazenby’s back-to-back books of basketball will inspire number 23 and 24 to write their own memoirs in reply. A purists can only pray and hope for this prose.

Either way we can’t wait for the day Roland coronates the King.

NBA

Millsap Mishap Could Keep Forward Behind 3 Months

Published

on

Usa Today 10318599.0

Poor Paul Millsap.

This campaign after becoming one of the biggest free agent pick ups of the offseason, one of the leagues leading Power Forwards has been put down on the medical report with an injury that could call him off sick for a quarter of a year.

The most reliable player over four periods has spent the bird share of his career helping his former Atlanta Hawks make it to the first round knockout stakes of the playoffs each year. But following the season where they didn’t make the cut of the second one, it was time for a change for the 32 year old number 4 who once looked to be the Utah Jazz, Karl Malone replacement Carlos Boozer didn’t turn out to be early in his career alongside former leading Point Guard Deron Williams.

And in the mile high city of Denver with a would be big-three of sophomore sensation Emmanuel Mudiay, dreaded defender Kenneth Faried and of course The Joker with the last laugh Nikola Jokic, these Nuggets in their new Nikes looked golden and finally past that baby blue Carmelo era (they may as well be as Anthony, now with the blue, white and orange of the Thunder isn’t even a Knick anymore (it’s ‘Old York’ now Knickerbockers)). But now like Ben Affleck looking at the ‘Justice League’ box office returns it’s time to ask the Nugs “why so serious” Batman as an injury to their versatile veteran forward of seasoned upon seasons of experience doesn’t exactly put a smile on their face.

Must Read:  Kobe Bryant: Dreams + Arts + Culture

The All-Star was averaging a helpful handful of exactly 16 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists before tearing the ligaments in his left wrist in a 127-109 loss to the Lakers who themselves recently lost all dunking son Larry Nance Jr. to a broken wrist, but are thankful to be having him return after they cut the turkey this thanksgiving. Millsap and the Nuggets are looking at second opinions from docs offering the same sort of speedy recovery that doesn’t sap their frontline. But if they concur with the original diagnosis, it’s three months in a suit and tie and not to mention cast for Paul who will return in late February after the All Star break he normally never takes off.

The man with the three year, 90 mill deal helped make this outside eight seed threat Denver the new gritty, grinding Memphis of the West. Now without him the older than Richard Jefferson roster is thinner than the air up there in Colorado.

Continue Reading

NBA

Somebody Stop The Mask Of Kyrie Irving

Published

on

USP NBA: BOSTON CELTICS AT BROOKLYN NETS S BKN BKN BOS USA NY

Smokin’!

Even that phrase delivered at a perfect Jim Carrey pitch can’t quite put into perspective just how hot Celtic Kyrie Irving is right now. Especially in the Boston green, Rip Hamilton face-mask.

Maybe those three little letters would do more justice for this league leader?

You know Menacing, Versatile, Phantom?

No?

How about M-V-P?

Kyrie joins Kobe, former Cleveland Cavalier teammate LeBron James and the man whose about to pass him the Maurice Poldoff torch, Russell Westbrook to be an absolute menace in the Phantom of the Opera face-mask, leaving other teams dead on basketballs biggest stage. He may have fractured and broken some bones in his face, but that won’t stop him as he fractures and breaks the backs and hearts of the faces of all the other franchises he faces off with night after excruciating night.

Those who used to say it must be the shoes (and have you seen his best in show sneaker designs complete with shamrocks like Starbucks on St Patrick’s Day this season heads? Those halloween pumpkin ones were the spice), are now saying it must be the mask.

Sure the plastic profile guard makes for some meme worthy Pinterest fan art appreciation but this guard has made a point at hating it…the sweat inducing mask that is, not the love. These kind of covers can blind you, but like the concussed legend of Celtic great Larry, letting it fly like a Bird above the baskets in the Boston Garden all the way to the rafters (as he saw too hoops like 80’s girls earrings and just aimed for the top one), Kyrie plays through all the pain and frustration. Taking it out on the ball (like opponents on Lakers rookie Lonzo) and the other teams hoops that to him seem bigger than those ones Bruno Mars sang about.

Must Read:  Exclusive Inside Peak of KOBE X

Take Dallas for example. Irving just masked all his pain by taking the Mavericks for 47 points, 3 rebounds and 6 assists in the last contest that took the Celtics to a sweet sixteen straight. After dropping two games following Gordon Hayward dropping out of the new season before the second quarter of his opening game one even played out, everyone was calling time on these new Celtics as soon as Gordon turned his ankle counter-clockwise. But now one of the best in the association Kyrie is showing LeBron and them he’s just as good as them or anyone alone like this man from down under always wanted to prove. This definition of clutch, who leaves everyone else in the fourth with straws has already shown on a championship scale against Curry of all hot guards that he can take the last shot that really matters. Now forget the Most Valuable Player award for a waning second or even the time his dynamic duo partner in pine Hayward comes back, Irving has the power to dribble drive all the way to the crown on his own.

And it’s going to take more than a mask to stop him.

Continue Reading

NBA

The Wind Brings The 2020 All-Star Game To Chicago

Published

on

IMG 20171111 201754

1973. And the first NBA All-Star Game to play in the Windy City of Chicago, Illinois features the last All-Star game in the last season of two lasting Los Angeles Lakers legends. One man who scored 100 points in just one game, Wilt Chamberlain. And one man who was and still remains the one and only logo of this National Basketball Association, Jerry West.

1988. And arguably the greatest All-Star Game of all-time and an even better, best ever All-Star weekend sees Michael Jordan become Michael Jordan. M.J. scored 40 in an 138-133 O.T. A.S.G. win for the East meeting the West. But a day before all that he and the Slam Dunk Contest became even more legendary. As mere moments after storied Boston Celtic great Larry Bird asked “whose coming in second place” before raising his finger in victory before the ABA coloured moneyball ripped through the twine (no Nick Young swag), Money took off from the free throw line like a good doctor for his above the rim J and jumped over everybody including Atlanta Hawk wing spreading, sky-soarer Dominique Wilkins.

Now more than 30 years later after next years All-Star Game in the purple and gold city of Los Angeles and the 2019 one in the redeemed city of Charlotte, the 2020 and 69th All Star Game will be played in Michael’s old town of Chi-city. In the same year as Tokyo, Japan will hold the next Olympic Games, the game of basketball will go back to it’s 90’s roots and an inspired iconic landmark of hoop heaven that didn’t really have the same spirit in the seventies, but really Jumpman took off in the golden era eighties. So much so that the old ’88 All Star Weekend t-shirt is a historical thrift store must find for more than it’s 80’s Tron like, cool, retro logo.

Must Read:  Joel Embiid...The Process Of Elimination

And with mid-February lovers big blockbuster basketball coming back to the city of wind like the river that runs through it, Chi-town needs this like out of towners need deep dish pizza. You only have to listen to the news or the Common album ‘Nobody’s Smiling’ (you know the legendary M.C. who used to wipe up Jordan’s sweat off the old Chicago Stadium hardwood has to perform at the mid-season classics halftime show) to know this classic city is marred by violence that burns through this second city like fire. The beloved Bulls have even become a “garbage team” to root for too, losing the big-three likes of last seasons Jimmy Butler, Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade (who may even be on a farewell All Star tour once his hometown All Star weekend comes crossed off the calendar and everyone is united in the airlines center).

Now this team who relies on sophomore stud Denzel like Oscar hopeful movies will hopefully be back by the next few valentines. As the heart of the city in twenty twenty will want to see something as visionary as Sinatra’s kind of towns history.

That’s just the Chicago way.

Continue Reading

Buzzing