YouTube Clip of the Day: Kobe Bryant Live Rap Performance with Tyra Banks

 

Obviously listening to his own beats.

Because he has evolved into quite a refined gentleman, most people forget that in his younger years Kobe Bryant was, well, just a kid. He was young, cocky, and not afraid to showcase all of his talents. And I mean all of them…

Kobe’s 2001 single “K.O.B.E.” featuring none other than Miss Tyra Banks (who has a few YouTube gems herself) took the country by storm. And of course the country I’m referring to is Tajikistan, where it went platinum…last year.

Needless to say Kobe retired rather abruptly from the rap game. That is one area where I’m afraid Shaq will always have the edge. Although, I’m pretty sure Shaq was never introduced by Ahmad Rashad and the Ying Yang Twins. So he’s got that going for him…

Baseball and Basketball Home-Grown Talent

A not-so-scientific experiment on whether teams have more success with players from the area.

Baseball:

  • San Francisco Giants: 5 players from California – Most notable is infielder Freddy Sanchez from Hollywood. A key player, but won a batting title in Pittsburgh so it’s not like he played better in the comforts of sunny California.
  • Texas Rangers: 5 players from Texas – Most notable is Jorge Cantu, who despite playing for the Mexican team in the WBC was actually born in McAllen, TX. The fact that he was the biggest contributor doesn’t say much for the theory.
  • Philadelphia Phillies: 1 player from Pennsylvania – Jamie Moyer, a reliable member of the staff but certainly not having the best years of his career in Philly.
  • New York Yankees: 4 players from the tri-state area – Most notable, of course, is Mr. Yankee Derek Jeter who was born in Pequannock, NJ. He certainly has thrived in his home surroundings. Little known fact…Alex Rodriguez was actually born in New York before re-locating to Florida. I know he’s not New York’s favorite son, but he did win his only championship with them so it’s got to count for something.

Basketball (last season’s rosters):

  • Los Angeles Lakers: 2 players from California – Jordan Farmar and Luke Walton (noted BFF’s) both grew up in Southern California and helped the Lakers win back-to-back championships. With Farmar now in New Jersey we’ll have a better gauge on whether the hometown crowd gave him an extra boost.
  • Boston Celtics: 0 players from Massachusetts – Ouch! Take that Boston!
  • Phoenix Suns: 1 player from Arizona – Channing Frye, a major contributor and probably having his best years in the NBA while in Phoenix.
  • Orlando Magic: 1 player from Florida – Vince Carter…not much to say about that one.

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Newest Laker Steve Blake LOOOOOOOVES Johnny Rockets

Steve Blake is a scholar.

While Steve Blake may fit in perfectly with his new Los Angeles Lakers teammates on the court, off the court he may have some problems. You see, it seems as if Steve is beyond the video games and meaningless banter associated with the young folks of today’s NBA. Steve Blake is an intellectual.

I was lucky enough to come across one of Blake’s essay’s from the University of Maryland. While Blake is known for leading the Terps to a national championship in 2002, it seems we haven’t given him enough praise for his accomplishments in the classroom.

Take for example this essay, that Deadspin was kind enough to publish for our enjoyment. Click the link to see the whole essay, but essentially it is an edgy critique of one of our nation’s most prized establishments, Johnny Rockets.

Blake wisely begins his essay, entitled “Happy days at Johnny’s” as fiction, in an effort to draw the reader into a personal story about two young lovers going through a difficult time in their relationship. During an argument, the young lady wanders into a Johnny Rockets restaurant and her boyfriend follows her inside:

A young couple was walking down Main Street arguing with each other. The young lady got frustrated with her boyfriend and just walked away from him and went into a restaurant. He wanted to make up with her so he went in there after her…As they were sitting, they heard a song by Elvis being played throughout the whole restaurant. The couple looked at each other and smiled because they both really liked that song. The restaurant that this couple went to is in Florida and is called Johnny Rockets, a restaurant that brings people happiness.”

Quickly and unexpectedly, however, Blake abandons the two characters and begins his appraisal of the Johnny Rockets franchise, noting such things as:

  • The colors of the restaurant are red, white, and yellow.
  • There is also a straw holder that the waiter or waitress opens for you to get a straw as if you were a five-old kid.
  • By looking at Johnny Rockets you can tell it is resembling the 40s and 50s by the juke boxes.
  • With the friendly service of the waiters and waitresses and the singing and dancing they sometimes do makes this place just as fun as hanging out with your friends.
  • By having a restaurant like this, I think it shows how we haven’t forgotten about what has happened back in the 40’s and 50’s.

So far the essay may seem like a puff piece, like he was paid off by Johnny Rockets to write a positive review. But Blake is sure to show the drawbacks of the restaurant as well:

The only downfall of the restaurant is that you don’t get much food.

He even goes as far as to compare Johnny Rockets to its competitors:

The burgers are about the size of McDonalds but the taste of Johnny Rockets is much better. One thing I do like is that you get a good amount of a chocolate shake if you order one. The prices at Johnny Rockets are a little high compared to a McDonalds or Burger King but are average compared to a Fridays or Applebee’s.”

Finally, Blake concludes with the main argument of his essay. He tries to show why Johnny Rockets is just so special to him:

When I was younger, my mother would listen to oldies while I was in the car and I enjoyed listening to them then. So the only time I really get to hear oldies now is when I go to Johnny Rockets.”

Remember, this essay was written in the early 2000’s, before music downloading was rampant. So it is actually quite telling that visiting Johnny Rockets is the only way that Blake could listen to oldies and be reminded of his childhood and his mother.

It says on the Maryland website that Blake was a criminology and criminal justice major at Maryland. Well he needs to put his training to work because he has clearly been robbed of a Nobel Prize for Literature.

So if in the upcoming season Steve Blake hits a game winning shot and you’re hoping to find him out that night to congratulate him, look no further than the red, white, and chrome of Johnny Rockets. It will certainly bring you, your family, and Steve Blake happiness.

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Podcast #3 – Colin talks to The Life

After a big Laker win in game two, I called my high school point guard and current Los Angeles Clippers employee David Gale to get some insight.

Oh yeah, he worked out with Blake Griffin on Saturday…how’s that for credibility?

As always you can download here or find me on iTunes by typing Ward-Henninger, You’ve Got to be kidding me, or some combination of my name and the title…you’ll figure it out.

Podcast #3 – Colin talks to The Life

Which Laker would make the best president?

With the election just one day away, I thought I’d take a look at some OTHER possible candidates for the president of the United States. Sure, Obama and McCain are good candidates, but can they run the triangle?

In case you’ve been living in a cave for the past year — actually forget that, even the caves got word of this– you will be tuning in Tuesday to watch one of the greatest contests in our nation’s history. 

No, I’m not talking about Phoenix at New Jersey. I’m talking, of course, about the presidential election. Now while Barack Obama and John McCain are both solid candidates, I thought I’d see how some of our very own Lakers might fare as America’s next president.

Kobe Bryant

Pros: A natural competitor, Kobe has always been known for his tireless work ethic and refusal to accept mediocrity. In the past couple of years, Kobe has also proven that he can put his personal agenda aside and do what is best for the team.

Cons: His competitive fire often causes him to make rash and ill-advised decisions. Also, questionable choices in his personal life leave Kobe open for attacks on his “moral character.”

Electability: 3/10 – Always a polarizing figure, Kobe would easily win California but would lose each of the other 49 states.

Lamar Odom

Pros: Versatile and unselfish, Odom has always been willing to sacrifice personal glory to put the team first. He has also learned to deal with criticism after being chastised mercilessly for the better portion of his career.

Read the rest of the story at Examiner.com…while you’re there subscribe to get email alerts every time there’s a new post!

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