Damian “Dame Dolla” Lillard & The NBA’s Best Rappers


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It’s NBA Saturday night and Damian “Dame Dolla” Lillard will be performing on stage and this time I don’t mean the basketball court. Dame has had a passion for rap since his college days and coming into the NBA nothing has changed. The NBA & social media has given Lillard an even greater platform to display his musical talent. Dame used his social media to push a music movement named “4 Bar Friday” where Lillard pushed artists to send their best 4 bars and he would crown a winner every week. This movement allowed Dame to not only be seen as a ball player but gave him the chance to be seen as a music artist as well. Dame has put out 3 mixtapes with some great features that include Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, BJ The Chicago Kid and Jeremih. Check out some of Dame’s work down below as well as some of the NBA’s greatest rappers.

Another current player in the rap game is Iman Shumpert. Shump has played on his share of teams but most recently won a championship ring with LeBron James and the Cavs in 2016. Being drafted by the New York Knicks gave Iman an easy jump into the rap game as New York has great hip hop history and radio stations. Check out Shump spitting a freestyle on Funk Flex.

The first NBA player in the game was Shaquille O’neal and he didn’t disappoint. His career expanded when he joined the Los Angeles Lakers because Hollywood gave him the green light on just about anything. That anything included acting and rapping as Shaq put out movies in “Kazam” & “Blue Chips”. Scroll below to see one of Shaq’s music videos from the late 90’s.

Now you can’t have Shaq without Kobe, am I right? Yes I said Kobe… just like Shaq Hollywood allowed Kobe to put out a couple rap songs. A couple fun facts regarding Kobe’s music career: 1) Kobe was featured on a Brian McKnight song and 2) Kobe met his wife Vanessa on his music video shoot.

Allen Iverson really bridged the gap between the NBA & Hip Hop as not only his playing style was street but his wardrobe was as well. He’s one of the main reasons for the NBA dress code but he’s also one of the main reason the NBA & America’s culture changed in the 2000’s. Sports & music have the greatest impact on any culture and A.I. left his mark on both.

Metta World Peace, Ron Artest, Panda Friend whatever you want to call him the guys is a character! Metta coming from the Queensbridge New York projects he grew up in the mecca of Hip Hop. Just like all the players before him basketball has given him an opportunity to pursue music. After winning the championship with the Lakers, Artest dropped his song Champions.

The NBA & Hip Hop have always had a tight bond but that bond is only getting stronger with the help of Damian Lillard. Check out Dame Dolla’s music on all streaming platforms and make sure to watch him ball out all season long!

Can The 2020 NBA Dunk Contest Live Up To The Hype?


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Every year the NBA Dunk Contest has all the hype of past dunk contests to live up to whether they like it or not. Over time there’s been some amazing line ups of dunkers that despite the names and the in game dunks they could not meet expectations. At the end of the day the fans want to see a show and something they have never seen before. Check out below for the Top 5 dunk contests tonight’s event has to live up to!

The most recent contest that had everyone on their feet was a showdown between Zach Lavine of the Chicago Bulls & Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic. These two guys went at each other with creativity, insane athleticism and great knowledge of dunk contest history.

I mentioned Dunk contests are all about great dunks and creativity. In 2009 the event didn’t disappoint with the battle between Nate Robinson & Dwight Howard.  The match up was straight out of a comic book… literally. You had 6’10 Dwight Howard against 5’9 Nate Robinson but boy could Nate fly! The show got even better when Nate switched into his KryptoNate uniform and beat Superman!

The early 2000’s belonged to young gun Jason Richardson who came into the contest with ridiculous power, athleticism and creativity. J-Rich won back to back contests in 2002-2003 take a look up-top for some of his best dunks.

The year 2000 and a Toronto Raptor named Vince Carter changed the future of the Dunk Contest. Vince was only in his second year in the NBA and playing on a team that had only been around for 5 years but that night the NBA got flipped on it’s head. Vince put on a show people still talk about today and will live on forever.

This showdown started the hype you had not only two of the best dunkers in the world but two of the best players in the world in Michael Jordan & Dominique Wilkins. Everyone knows what Jordan is capable of but Dominique had power nobody had ever seen and that’s what made this contest amazing. Dunk for dunk these two went to war!

As you can see tonight’s contest has a lot to compete with but in a way that’s what we love about the NBA, everything about the league is a competition. We know we will see a show and something we have never seen before but if we have, it’ll pay homage to the history of the sport and the league.

Mascots Dunks, Tricks & Fails


Mascot’s are great entertainment for any sports team but basketball mascots have a ton of fun! Sunday night BYU’s mascot Cosmo The Cougar did one of the most epic dunks a mascot has ever done, a dunk from the three point line while being propelled in the air by a group of men! The three point line is a feat in itself but having the balance to be launched in the air all while traveling 20 feet 9 inches to dunk an alley oop is about as crazy as it sounds.

Cosmo’s dunk made me want to relive some of the best dunks, tricks and fails in mascot history and I’ve created a short list that will do just that.

The Nuggets mascot was trying to spit as much game as possible but this fan wasn’t impressed.

There’s one NBA player that’s got a love/hate relationship with mascots and that man is Robin Lopez. Lopez is a journeyman who’s interactions with mascots is probably better documented than his playing time but that’s okay because it’s hilarious! Here’s a compilation of Robin facing off with some of the leagues best!

Now we have one of the weirdest moments in mascot history and that’s when the Toronto Raptor decided to eat a cheerleader. Yes I said eat a cheerleader, check it out for yourself down below.

Most of these mascots were pretty smooth but that’s not always the case. Take a look at fails from all sports & all mascots alike.

Mascots will forever be a part of the game because they do what they’re intended to do which is entertain. They make us laugh, smile, and sometimes even do something that’s mind blowing! So from all of us we’d like to say thank you to whoever is in those costumes because we couldn’t get through a game without you!

NBA Trade Deadline 2020 Updated (5:00pm EST)


The NBA trade deadline is upon us. As all teams are actively looking at their roster and seeing what pieces they need to make a championship run, they better think fast as trades end Thursday at 3pm eastern.

UPDATED: The last blockbuster trade of the day included the Knicks Clippers and Wizards! The Clippers gain Marcus Morris and Isaiah Thomas (I.T. the Clippers will waive), the Wizards will receive Jerome Robinson who they wanted to draft and the Knicks get Moe Harkless plus a 2020 First Round Pick.

UPDATED: The Detroit Pistons are trading Andre Drummond to Cleveland in return for Brandon Knight, John Henson and a second round draft pick. Drummond looks just as confused as all of us… definitely could’ve got more from other teams.

UPDATED: According to Woj of ESPN the Golden State Warriors have traded D’Angelo Russell, Omari Spellman and Jacob Evans to Minnesota for Andrew Wiggins, a protected 2021 first round pick & and 2022 second round pick. This teams D-Lo up with his good friend Karl Anthony Towns which the two have had a great desire to play together. The warriors are stacking their picks to draft some talent or use the picks for more trade bait before the deadline ends!

The first big trade that has kicked off the deadline was a move involving James Harden’s favorite pick and roll threat Clint Capela. Tuesday night it was announced there was a huge 4 team, 12 players trade between the Rockets, Hawks, Nuggets & Timberwolves. The big pieces in the trade include the already mentioned Capela heading to Atlanta and Robert Convington going to Houston with Jordan Bell from Minnesota.

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Another trade that is in the works and yet to be fully completed involves 2015 Finals MVP Andre Iguodala. Dre was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies in the offseason but has yet to play a minute for the franchise. It’s reported that the Miami Heat have worked out a deal that will land him in Miami in a trade for Justise Winslow. Supposedly reported by Woj of ESPN that the OKC Thunder are in the mix which will also allow Miami to gain forward Danilo Gallinari. The trade isn’t final yet and it looks like there’s more pieces to the puzzle but Miami is definitely going all out at the deadline.

UPDATED: Miami has agreed to trade Justise Winslow, Dion Waiters and James Johnson to Memphis for Andre Iguodala, Solomon Hill and Jae Crowder. Miami is still trying to bring OKC in the picture for Gallinari but the clock is ticking!

I mentioned Atlanta earlier and I’m mentioning them again because they are trading Jabari Parker and Alex Len to the Sacramento Kings for Dewayne Dedmon and two second round draft picks sources tell Zach Lowe.

Late in the evening Wednesday night the Warriors & Sixers made a swap with Golden State trading Glenn Robinson III & Alec Burks in exchange for 3 second round picks.

The NBA Trade Deadline has now come and gone. It was fun while it lasted, some teams made good moves and others some head scratching ones. How’d your team do? Let me know in the comments!

2020 NBA All Star Dunk Contest


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NBAE/Getty Images

Everyone knows the NBA Dunk Contest is the show to watch during all star weekend and personally I can’t wait! The hype has died down in recent years but I’m hoping this year with the return of Aaron Gordon we will have another night to remember. The list of participants haven’t been officially confirmed but that doesn’t mean we can’t get excited with the contest being a week away. You’ll get a quick rundown and obviously some dope highlights of the confirmed dunk artists.

Lets start with the Orlando Magic’s Forward, Aaaron Gordon who according to a lot of people won the 2016 Dunk contest against Zach LaVine. Check out below to relive the epic battle between the two.

Next up we have a familiar face to the dunking game in Laker big man, Dwight Howard. Similar to Aaron Gordon, Dwight Howard battled against everyone’s favorite 5’9 guard in Nate Robinson.

Now my favorite dunker is next in line and that man is Derrick Jones Jr. Derrick, participated in the 2017 contest but didn’t get the crown. He’s back for revenge, and this guy can fly! Take a look at his acrobatic dunks from last season and maybe he will be your favorite too.

Lastly, we have the dark horse…. and i’m not saying this because they say white men can’t jump because with a 44 inch vertical Pat Connaughton can definitely get up. He may not be as known to the average basketball fan but on Saturday he’s looking to make a name for himself in the history books.

Get ready for a fun Saturday night and let me know who you think is going to win in the comments below!

Touring LA: The Kobe Murals


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As Los Angeles mourns the recent loss of Kobe Bryant, the city has gained some amazing Kobe inspired murals. Artists around the city have brought the mamba mentality to their creativity with their respected visions of Kobe & Gianna Bryant. One thing that Bryant’s death has given us, is a sense of community. We always knew how strong Lakers nation was but it’s amazing to see LA come together like this. In a generation where social media is king, going to these murals and talking with fans alike has made LA feel closer than ever before.

The following will be a guide to most of the Mamba pieces around LA, so you can experience the greatness for yourself. Luckily most of them are within a 5 mile radius so you can hit them all in a day like I did!

Kobe Signature & Gigi- VEM Exotic Rentals (11459 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604)

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Kobe Galaxy – Custom Auto Craft (100 N. La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA)

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#8 Kobe/ Kobe & Gigi (1255 South La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA)

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The Legend (7701 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA) Piece on N. Spaulding Ave Block

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Kobe & Gigi (7663 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA)

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Girl Dad (Pickford Market 4566 Pickford Street, Los Angeles, CA)

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Frobe (Shoe Palace 7725 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA)

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Champion Kobe (1318 S. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles CA)

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All of these murals are one of a kind, just like Kobe was. What I think is great is that it shows so many different sides of the Kobe we all knew. Remember to check out Staples Center ASAP as his memory is living on around LA Live in an unforgettable way. My recommendation is to either start their or end there. It will either fuel your fire to go on this journey or end it with a champion celebration. So get out there and pay your respects, it will be an experience you will never forget.

 

Kobe Bryant: Los Angeles Forever Hero


NBA Finals Game 7: Boston Celtics v Los Angeles Lakers

(Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

Los Angeles wasn’t ready for the joy, the heart, and the determination a 17 year old kid from Lower Merion High School was going to bring into their lives. The only person ready at the time…Kobe Bryant. While Lakers GM Jerry West believed in him, most people probably thought he should be in college studying. The funny thing is, Kobe was a student of the game and had been studying not only basketball but the NBA his entire life.

The son of former NBA player, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, Kobe had a love for the game that was unmatched from an early age. Bryant’s youngest years were during his fathers basketball career transitioning from the NBA to International ball. Even though the young Bryant was growing up in Italy that only fueled his love for the game as he would study NBA games his family would send to him from America.

Kid Kobe

Nobody knew that a kid growing up in Italy was going to take America by storm. As Kobe mentioned in his Showtime documentary “Kobe Bryant’s Muse”, he hated his new life back in Philadelphia. He ate his lunches alone, he was the outcast, but he let his game do the talking in the process. He used all his pent up anger, all the discomfort and turned it into greatness. Just one of the lessons Kobe would teach us in his lifetime.

After an amazing senior season where he would lead his team to a state championship and be awarded the Naismith National Player of the Year, Kobe would enter the NBA Draft. The Lakers would trade up for Bryant, and were ready to build a franchise on the back of a 17 year old kid who needed his parents to sign his first contract.

Rookie Kobe

The Lakers paired their young star with another superstar in the making Shaquille O’neal who had signed a monster contract in free agency. Kobe’s first couple of years weren’t as easy as he had hoped. One game that changed his career and helped create the Kobe we know today was a playoff game against the Utah Jazz. Kobe would air ball four shots in crucial moments late in the game, which the Lakers would lose the series to the Jazz. That moment would eat Kobe up as he would once again use adversity to fuel his fire and love for the game.

The fire lit by adversity, the pairing with Shaq, the hiring of coaching legend in Phil Jackson all led to an amazing dynasty that would bring the Lakers and Los Angeles three straight championships. It was a new era in Laker land, all led by a 21 year old star who dreamed of being a Laker his whole life.

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Shaq would later go to the Heat and there were many tough losing seasons that followed. Kobe stayed loyal to the Lakers and Los Angeles stayed loyal to him. He showed us that tough times don’t last, tough people do. He got us through the tough times and brought us two more championships with a new and improved team.

Even later in his career, he taught us to never give up. After tearing his achilles, he knew his team needed him so he stepped up and knocked down two free throws like only Kobe could. In his last game against Utah he did the unthinkable and dropped 60 points leading the Lakers to victory and giving us one last amazing moment to cherish.

Kobe’s work ethic was unmatched, his drive to win was insane, he was a hero and a villain. These characteristics would bring happiness to fans, get under the skin of his rivals and push his teammates to be better than they ever thought they could be. No matter what character he portrayed, he had the respect of everyone in the room.

Respect was very important to Kobe. The respect he had for the game, for his teammates, for his opponents, and for himself taught us that relationships are everything. While Michael Jordan’s career was ending as his was beginning, he soaked up as much as he could from the greatest of all time. Their game had so much in common, their drive was the same but they were two different beasts.

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Kobe was definitely the student, but soon he became the teacher. Not only was he showing the league what he was capable of, but he would show another teenager in LeBron James how to become great in a grown man’s league just like he once did. The entire basketball world, would pin Kobe & Lebron against each other for years but that only made their bond stronger. So strong that once Kobe would hang his Nike’s up for good, LeBron would join the Lakers and try to carry on the legacy that Kobe built but respecting his greatness in the process.

Kobe taught us life on and off the basketball court. He taught us to never give up, that hard work pays off, to motivate each other, to push ourselves beyond comfort, to love the process and to respect one another. As Los Angeles and the world continues to mourn the loss of our hero, we will celebrate him as we celebrated the buzzer beaters, the championships, and all of the moments that we loved. We will continue to live the way Kobe taught us to live, and pass it on to our future generations. We will get through this, we will stand up, walk to the free throw line and make two free throws for Kobe, for Gigi, for us.

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RIP Stuart Scott: The ESPN Legend Cooler Than The Other Side Of The Pillow


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In September of 1993 a young, University of North Carolina graduate, by the name of Stuart Scott appeared for the first time on ESPN. That day would be the start of an amazing 21 year career with ESPN, and would show the world the passion Stuart had for sports, people, and life.

A lot of us grew up watching Stuart Scott and his fun catch phrases such as, “Booyah” “holla at a playa when you see him in the street!”, “as cool as the other side of the pillow”. Sports are supposed to be fun and Scott definitely brought that to his reporting style. Just check him out down below analyzing a young Vince Carter’s amazing dunks!

In 2007 Stuart Scott was diagnosed with cancer. A cancer that would come back 3 times in 7 years. A cancer that Scott fought every day but continued to live his life to the fullest, still broadcasting for Sportscenter, Monday Night Football games and doing MMA workouts while still receiving treatments. Stuart didn’t let cancer hold him back and that’s why ESPN recently admired their colleague by presenting Scott at the 2014 ESPY’s with the Jimmy V Award. Scott gave an unbelievable and inspiring speech telling everyone, “When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.”

This morning ESPN paid tribute to their warrior with an amazing segment, showcasing the broadcaster, father, hard worker, and man Stuart Scott has fought so hard to be. He always stayed true to himself and today we thank him for that. Heaven has gained a fighter, thank you Stuart Scott.

Carmelo Anthony: “The New Yorker”


Video courtesy of Michael Kole https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnxp1kLynEGV0gK-iU0gnjA

This off-season Carmelo Anthony did the unexpected, he stayed. Melo had many offers on the table this off-season from many prestigious franchises such as the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, and Los Angeles Lakers but he chose to stay in the big apple. With Phil Jackson taking over as President and a very new coach in Derek Fisher, Carmelo Anthony felt comfortable enough to take the Knicks offer. I’d be comfortable too with a 5 year, $125 million dollar contract. This season will be interesting to see how it all works out but one thing is for sure and that is Carmelo Anthony is “The New Yorker” for the possible next 5 seasons!

Gerald Green’s Off The Backboard Alley-Oop Is Ridiculous!!!!


It’s well known that Gerald Green has crazy hops but I’m sure nobody expected this during tonight’s game against the Orlando Magic!! I just have to remind everyone that we have to thank Tracy McGrady for this as he was the first that I remember to ever do this dunk in a game even though it was the all star game in 2002. Check it out down below.