Kobe Bryant

“This season is all I have left to give. My heart can take the pounding, click my mind can handle the grind, but my body knows it’s time to say goodbye”

Kobe Bryant announced his retirement in poetic fashion on The Players’ Tribune on Sunday night.

First, a major shout out to The Players’ Tribune for recognizing fans’ desire for unfiltered content that goes beyond 40 characters.  In just over a year, The Players’ Tribune has become the go-to source for a first hand perspective straight from athletes, and props to TPT for taking that idea across all sports from NASCAR to the NCAA, expanding to video and incorporating big sponsors.  While the ESPNs of the world shut down innovation in content (pardon my residual Grantland saltiness), sites like The Players’ Tribune and Bleacher Report are thriving by creating the type of new content fans so clearly crave.  But I digress…

It’s fitting that Kobe would announce the end of his historic career on the TPT platform which launched weeks after its founder, Derek Jeter, ended his career with symbolic poetry, connecting on a walk off hit in his final home game at Yankee Stadium.  Since we’re 4 days removed from Kobe’s announcement, there are a million sites where you can find Kobe career retrospectives and season by season stats, so I’ll try to follow The Players’ Tribune’s lead and provide you with some lesser known, generally trivial, but hopefully more entertaining Kobe facts to drop at the water cooler during his farewell tour.

Kobe entered the league as part of what might have been the best rookie class of all time.  A number of NBA stars were taken ahead of him including Allen Iverson, Marcus Camby, STEPHON MARBURY, Ray Allen and Antoine Walker in addition to your typical draft busts like Vitaly Potapenko.  If Bears fans are still crying about passing on Chandler Jones for Shea McClellin, imagine Cavs fans looking back at Cleveland picking Vitaly Potapenko over Kobe.

In addition to the Black Mamba, Kobe is rumored to go by other nicknames like KB24 and Vino.  If you have ever referred to Kobe by these names, please announce yourself in the comments.

Kobe does have a line of shoes with Nike, but they have never become as iconic as Jordans, or as popular as Lebrons or KDs.  They’re pretty ugly, but they have always sold well in China.

Kobe’s consistent yet earned self indulgence would lead you to believe he suffers from only child syndrome, but in fact Kobe grew up with two older sisters – Shayna and Sharia.

Kobe took Brandy to his senior prom at Lower Merion High School in Pennsylvania.  He returned the favor by later playing a basketball star on her UPN show Moesha that really needs to go on Netflix.  Mo to the, E to the….

@kobebryant joined Twitter in January 2013, a full 3 years after everyone else, and immediately took it by storm.  Since Kobe never does anything half speed, his first tweet (below) set the tone for years of commentary on officiating, rehab, Pau Gasol’s defense, Dwight Howard’s leadership, anonymous sports reporting, women’s soccer and much more, and the Twittersphere is better for it.

With the exception of being the youngest player to score 30,000 points, the youngest winner of the Slam Dunk Contest when it was good, the youngest starting All Star, five time NBA champion, NBA MVP, Olympic gold medalist and general legend of the game, as Kobe tells Starbury, he’s really just a normal guy.  A normal, polarizing, hard working, immensely talented, outspoken, game changing guy whose presence will certainly be missed on the court next season.

And yes, he shops.

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Kobe Bryant and Nicki Minaj on the Cover of ESPN Magazine 

Nicki Minaj and Kobe Bryant will grace the cover of February’s ESPN the Magazine’s Music Issue. I must say, viagra the two iconic and often polarizing celebs look fabulous (with a capital FAB).

Kobe rocks a fitted white blazer over a T-Shirt and wax denim jeans. You know a business-swag look isn’t complete without some Nikes. Nicki Minaj’s John Galliano Wedge sandals gave me a heart attack…twice. The platinum selling rapper was reportedly upset that her forehead was altered in the photograph. Nicki, Nicki, Nicki…we’re not looking at all that. We are looking at those fierce shoes!

I am glad that Kobe is rocking out on the cover of ESPN, because he will not be doing so on the court anytime soon. The Black Mamba will remain sidelined for at least two more weeks. Although he was given a six week-long time table (which ends on Thursday) his lateral tibial plateau fracture has not completely healed. 

Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report has stated that he might be out for as long as a month. Womp. It looks like the Lake Show won’t be getting any standing ovations  because they are now tied for the second-worst record in the Western Conference. With 42.5 percent shooting and 5.7 turnovers per game, Bryant hasn’t been on his A game (or B game for that matter). To be honest, I am not sure what Kobe can do for this team, even after being cleared to play. Lakers fans can only fantasize about their glory days…while I fantasize about Nicki’s sandals. 

Lala Anthony visits ‘Good Morning America’ in Diane von Furstenberg

Instagram (lala)

The ever-so stylish Lala Anthony made an appearance on  ‘Good Morning America’ to promote her new book, ‘The Love Playbook: Rules for Love, Sex and Happiness’. As usual, Lala gave me so much life-life with her ensemble. She looked fabulous in a Diane von Furstenberg ‘Rhonda Fit and Flare dress.’ Lala is on fire right now. I must say…so is Carmelo.

On Friday night, Carmelo scored a franchise-high 62-point game against the Charlotte Bobcats. With the trade deadline soon approaching, Carmelo and the Knicks must determine whether he will stay with the team or opt out. The Knicks can offer him $129 million over the next five years. Other teams (including the LA Lakers, Chicago Bulls and Dallas Mavericks) can offer him a maximum $96 million over four years. The rumor mill is buzzing in Chicago that Carmelo actually might be considering the Windy City as one of his top picks. 

 

Lala recently told Andy Cohan of ‘Watch What Happens Live’ that Melo will stay with the Knicks. Keep your fingers crossed, Knicks fans!

JR Smith in Gucci 

Knicks guard JR Smith was recently spotted at Time Warner Studios in Manhattan– we he dressed to impress. Smith styled a sleek Gucci blazer over a button-down shirt and grey Acne sweatpants. Hmm, I wonder if anyone tried to untie his black Timberland boots.  

It’s a shame that JR’s defensive skill isn’t up to par with his fashion skills. He recently told the New York Post that defense is not his area of expertise. Okay…what else is new? When asked about Coach Mike Woodson’s defensive system, the benched player stated: “That’s really not my area of expertise. I’m more of a scoring-type player. I’ll leave that to those guys. Whatever they want to do, it’s OK with me. Just let me know,” (New York Post).

 

Miami Heat’s Karaoke Night

Instagram (kingjames)

The Miami Heat is one organization that works hard…and plays even harder. On Monday night, the 2013 champs took part in a karaoke, or ‘Battioke’ night. The fun-filled event was a benefit for The Battier Take Charge Foundation, which provides resources for under served youth.

upi.com (screenshot)

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem wore custom T-shirts that said ‘The Heatles’ (Heatles…Get it?) while performing Robin Thicke’s hit single, “Blurred Lines.”

Instagram (kingjames)

LeBron James also took to Instagram with photos of the Big Three performing a playful rendition of Jodeci’s “Come and Talk to Me.”  What can I say? The Heat has a little something, something to sing about. Their 113-101 win over the San Antonio Spurs was, indeed, a blowout.

“I loved the way we approached this game,” James said.”We had a great mindset and great focus defensively.” (Miami Herald) I  must point out that the Miami Heat is a cohesive unit…and it definitely shows on and off of the court. 

That’s it for now, Divas. You already know that I will be back next week to keep you fabulously posted!

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Anthony via djjdny Instagram

As the Bulls forward through a long six-game road trip maintaining the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference, mind all eyes and Chicago NBA buzz is currently centered around New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony.

Last week ‘Melo took the league by storm when he exploded for a career-high 62 point performance against the Bobcats. Honestly, purchase who scores 62 points in one game? That’s more than a point for every minute of playing time!

After Melo’s historic performance, the spotlight is again focused on the sharpshooter’s potential free agency this summer and rumor has it he’s got his sights set on Chicago.

Why would Anthony want to leave the Knicks you ask? Despite his recent extraordinary performance, the Knicks are crawling their way through a very weak Eastern Conference. For Melo to be seen as anything other than a dominate scorer he needs to win himself a title and from the looks of it he’s not going to get there with his crew in NY.

If the Bulls have learned anything from their foes in Miami, it’s that championships are won with more than one superstar. We’re all aware the Bulls’ front office intends on continuing to build their organization around the return of Derrick Rose, but why not include another powerhouse to take on some of the heavy lifting and guarantee another 25 points (at the least) a game?

Rumored Destinations:

  • Los Angeles Lakers: Anthony and Kobe Bryantare good friends. What would be better than winning a championship alongside your best bud? The Lakers are always a top destination for the big free agents, but what’s not to love about palm trees and beaches?

    Bulls Women’s White Burnout V-Neck Tee with Red Block Letters and Script by Sportiqe, Clark Street Sports: $34.99

  • Chicago Bulls: Maybe Anthony wants to play alongside Derrick Rose, loves deep dish Chicago style pizza or wants to live in a city that believes in alleys, but he is rumored to be leaning towards Chicago as his top possible destination.

How Could this Happen?

  • First things first, Melo would have to actually LEAVE the Knicks. After playing in Denver he fought hard to get himself to the Big Apple with the big contract. The Knicks can also offer him the most lucrative contract – we’re talking big money.

    How does Melo look as a Bull?

  • Chicago would potentially have enough cap space to be big spenders come free agency this summer. It means they would absolutely amnesty Carlos Boozer (which is inevitable at this point), drop Mike Dunleavy’s contract and no Nikola Mirotic (the Serbian player off in Europe who we’ve been waiting on for quite some time).
  • He’d have to be up for a pay cut. Under the collective bargaining agreement, the Knicks can offer Melo a maximum contract of $129 million over five years. Any other potential teams can offer Anthony a maximum of $96 million over four years.

Could Melo Fit in With the Bulls?

  • The pessimists say Anthony’s offensive play wouldn’t strategize well with Thibodeau’s defensive schemes. It could be another Carlos Boozer situation.
  • The difference between Carmelo Anthony and Carlos Boozer is that Melo isn’t soft on offense. He plays his position (small forward) to perfection offensively. His defense needs some work, but maybe Thibs could take him up a notch.
  • I have flashes of Rose on the pick and roll having Anthony, one of the hottest shooters in the NBA, as an option outside the arc. Who would opponents guard? Rose, Butler, Noah, or Melo? It could be beautiful basketball for our Bulls. Sign me up for season tickets!

Woman’s Intuition:

  • LaLa Anthony, Melo’s lovely lady, thinks her husband will re-sign with the Knicks. She recently said in an interview with Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live” that she knows, “that he wants to stay (in New York), and I support him wherever he wants to go.” She also threw in if she can live in Denver she can live anywhere with her hubby.
  • If anyone knows Anthony best it would probably be the woman he shares pillow talk with every night at home.

As we all sit under blankets in Chibera, summer seems like a lightyear away. What better way to get us through the chilly days than to get our gossip on about potential NBA superstars joining our Chicago Bulls? Don’t get your hopes up too much, rumors are only rumors until the deal is actually made.

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Lala’s Sleek 5th and Mercer Style 

Instagram (Lala)

Lala Anthony is one baller’s wife that understands the essence of ‘chic.’ The wife of New York Knicks star, hospital Carmelo Anthony rarely ever dresses without impressing. I have been obsessed with her recently launched clothing line, 5th and Mercer.

Lala and her partner/long time stylist Jason Bolden joined forces and created a chic–yet practical– collection. Celebs like Gabrielle Union have been seen in 5th and Mercer fabulousness. These figure-hugging pieces can be purchased on Shop Bop. 5th and Mercer pieces are great for a night on the town, or a day at the office. Long story short, Lala is consistently winning in the style department. ‘Winning’ is something that her husband is just not doing enough of.

On Monday, Carmelo and the Knicks suffered a devastating one-point loss to

rosterreport.com

the Washington Wizards.  From the aimless dribbling to the dysfunctional defense, the team’s rhythm is just off. I wouldn’t blame Knicks fans for keeping their eyes closed during games. Fortunately, they were able to beat the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday (107-101). It would have been a complete and utter shame if they lost to the NBA’s worst team . The Knickerbockers are going to need to get things together if they want to stand a chance against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday.

Andre Iguodala’s Pre-game Suit

Twitter (@goldenstsatewarriors)

Guess who’s back (back, back)? Andre Iguodala, who missed 12 games days due to a pulled hamstring, has returned, and he is slaying! He was seen sporting a perfectly tailored pre-game suit. On Tuesday night’s game, he did not disappoint–on or off the court. The Warriors’ defense struggled without him, but the team was able to snag a win on Tuesday Night’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans. They were unable to defeat the short-handed San Antonio Spurs (104-102), but Golden State’s on-court dynamic has improved significantly.

Iggy’s look is a slum dunk…even though he might have missed a potentially epic one on Tuesday night (Watch Here)! Nonetheless, Warriors coach Mark Jackson was happy that Iguodala was back in the starting lineup. “He’s a guy that makes life so much easier for everybody on the floor. His ability to make plays, his ability to read and react, we missed him. Glad to have him back. And then there was a carryover effect.” Jackson says (USA Today).

D. Rose in Adidas Sweatshirt

Twitter (@einial)

I am patiently awaiting the day when Derrick Rose will grace the United Center floor again. Considering that I’m a Chicagoan ‘til Chicago ends…I am taking his injury kind of personally. For now, I can only wait…and investigate his attire.

Here, he is rocking a hoodie from the adidas Derrick Rose Collection with the absolutely adorable Pooh Jr. (a.k.a future ladies man).

‘Struggling’ is an understatement when it comes to the Bulls’ condition. Since D.Rose has been out, the Bulls have won only three games. Overall, the Bulls have racked up less than 80 points per game and they are shooting a pitiful 42% from the floor (which, might I add, is the third worst in the league.)  They are dysfunctional, and they are in desperate need for shot creators and shot makers. D.Rose is under a lot of pressure (and ridicule). Recently, he was even been slammed by Chicago columnist, Dan Bernstein. Overall, there is sheer frustration and disappointment among Chicago fans.

Holiday Shopping with Harrison Barnes

Everyone (in their right mind) loves a good shopping spree. Who knew that a little retail therapy can also have a positive impact in someone’s life? Warriors forward, Harrison Barnes partnered with Adidas and took ten remarkable Bay Area youths for a well-deserved shopping spree. The kids won an essay/video contest in which they explained why they would like to spend an afternoon with the NBA player.

Barnes made sure that he had one-on-one time with each child giving them advice and helping them to pick out shoes and apparel in a San Francisco adidas store. The former Tar Heel  enjoyed seeing the joy and excitement on the children’s faces.

Nike’s Colorful Christmas Day Shoes

Lebron 11 (probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com)

Even athletes need a holiday pop of color! On Christmas day, star players will wear special editions of their signature sneakers. Lebron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant will ‘deck the halls’ in these vibrant sneakers on Christmas. These sneakers will also be available for purchase in limited quantities starting December 26th.

Kobe 8 System (probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com)

KD VI (probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com)

KD VI (probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com)

That’s all for now…but you already know that we have got so much ground to cover with Christmas around the corner. As always, Courtside Chic will keep you fabulously posted. Until next week, Divas!

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Kobe Bryant’s Fabulous Holiday Greeting Card

Instagram (LadyVB24)

The greatest accessory that anyone could ever own is a FAB family. The beautiful Bryant clan is spreading Holiday cheer in purple and gold. The gorgeous couple and their stunning daughters recently struck a pose for their annual holiday greeting cards.

Kobe looks dapper in purple suede (funny, stuff I never thought I’d ever utter those words).  Vanessa also looks enviable in her gold wrap gown. The mini-stylistas, viagra Natalia and Gianna look absolutely adoptable adorable in their purple and gold dresses.

Kobe was finally able to hit the court on Sunday after eights months of recovering from an Achilles Tendon injury sustained during last season’s first

Instagram (LadyVB24)

round of the playoffs. The Staples Center gave him an elaborate welcome after 8 months of inactivity. The Lakers, however, aren’t exactly raking in wins.

The Lake Show is 0-2 and scoring 21 points fewer per 100 possessions when Kobe is on the court than without him.  During Tuesday nights’ game against the Phoenix Suns, Bryant’s performance was–well–humble. Although he displayed a significant improvement, it is evident that the Black Mamba has not shown up yet. Right now, he’s more like the ‘Light-Gray Mamba.’ He scored 20 points with 6 for 11 shooting, 3 assists and 3 turnovers. The Lakers play the OKC Thunder on Friday. Let’s just hope they clean up their defense by then.

Justin Timberlake’s Game Day Gear

Ron Hoskins/Getty Images

Justin Timberlake was in Indianapolis to perform on Wednesday night as part of the 20/20 Experience World Tour. On Tuesday, JT ditched his ‘Suit and Tie’ for a sweatshirt and NBA cap. He was able to watch the Indiana Pacers put in work against the Miami Heat.

Indiana Pacers have continued to prove themselves to be worthy title contenders. After Tuesday’s impressive 90-84  win against Miami, Pacers’ forward Paul George was able to squeeze in a game of H-O-R-S-E with JT.

The sexy soul singer once had dreams of becoming an NBA player (no joke), and during their epic game of H-O-R-S-E Timberlake hit six straight 3-pointers. The Knicks AND the Lakers could use him.

sports.yahoo.com

I’m pretty sure that if he was not part owner of the Memphis Grizzlies, one of these teams would have recruited him instantly. We do not know who won that game of H-O-R-S-E, but Justin Timberlake has (once again) won my heart, and the Pacers are winning new found recognition!

Carmelo Anthony Talks New Shoe Designs

After ten years with the Jordan Brand, Anthony unveiled the new design for his signature sneaker, the Jordan Melo M10. The shoe exhibits a mix of style, comfort, and efficiency. The flight plate technology used  in this sneaker is perfect for any on-court action. The Melo M10 will be available for $165 (suggested retail) on January 4, 2014. These shoes are the perfect gift for sneaker buffs. They won’t be released in time for the holidays, but it is ALWAYS theprobasketballtalk.com right time for presents!

Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks in their win against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night. They almost blew a  big lead, but they were ultimately able to steal a ‘W’ for their record. They were up by as much as 23, but the determined Chicago Bulls do not take 20+ point leads sitting down.  The Bulls made it as difficult as possible, but New York ultimately took the win. The Knicks are now 6-15. And no. Rajon Rondo will not be a Knick anytime soon.

That’s it for now…but  not worries! I will continue to keep you fabulously posted with the League’s hottest stories. Until Next Week, Divas!

 

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HOOP SCOOP FINAL

Hottest Game: Los Angeles Lakers vs. The Los Angeles Clippers, healing Sunday 4/07 on ABC at 2:30pm.

Why? The L.A. Lakers better known as the “LakeShow” have always been the best known show in Los Angeles… that was until the Clippers drafted Blake Griffin, healing and acquired Chris Paul. Now, the Clippers have gone from being treated like a stepchild to the best show in L.A.

The once laugh at Clippers are sitting pretty in the fourth spot in the Western conference; while the Lakers are still fighting with the Utah Jazz for the eighth and final playoff spot. With eight games left before the playoffs start, the Lakers need every win they can get in order to finish with a better record than the Jazz, because if they tie (record wise) Utah holds the tiebreaker. The Lakers need this win, and the Clippers want to continue to prove themselves. This game is sure to be intense!

Hottest Story: The New York Knicks

Why? The Knicks who have been known for struggling in seasons past, and looked dead in the water just weeks ago when Tyson Chandler went down, have gotten hot at the right time. Carmelo Anthony is back in the lineup and the Knicks have ran off eight straight victories and have hit their stride. The Knicks haven’t won eight games in a row since the 1994-1995 season. With a handful of games remaining before the playoffs start it will be interesting to see if the Knicks can keep up this winning streak and hopefully survive the first round!

Hottest Gossip: Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant

Why? After almost two decades in the league, Kobe Bryant, star of the Los Angeles Lakers has been contemplating retiring when his contract with the Lakers expires after the 2014 season.

“I’ll talk to my family and stuff and really see if I want to continue to sacrifice as much as I’m sacrificing now. I’m putting my body through a lot to just try to get ready to play every single night. What I’m doing right now, its not easy. I’ll tell you, its taken a lot of commitment.” Bryant said in a recent interview. It would be hard to imagine the game without Kobe but 2014 isn’t here yet so we’ll see what happens with KB24!

Hottest Couple: Lamar Odem and Khloe Kardashian

 

Why? Eight years ago, Lamar Odom started the charity Cathy’s Kids which was set up to raise money for cancer research (in honor of his mother who passed away of cancer). Both Lamar and Khloe Kardashian advertise for the fund on their respective websites and have had fundraisers for the charity.

However, ESPN has discovered that in the eight years of its existence, exactly $0 has gone to any cancer entity. So, the question is where is all the money? Did it go to Lamar’s fashion line? Maybe Khloe has it. The records show that of the $2.2M raised, 60% went to finance two basketball teams for kids who travel around the country playing. Another $70K a year or so goes to Lamar’s best friend as a salary although it is not clear exactly what he does. Money is still being raised on both Lamar and Khloe’s websites. When asked about it, Lamar got upset and refused to answer questions. So, Khloe and Lamar are the hottest couple of week because they’re in hot water!

So there you have it…what’s hot this week in the NBA. Until next week sports divas!

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