Stephon Marbury: Remade In China
How the former hoops star went from NBA outcast to international trailblazer.
How the former hoops star went from NBA outcast to international trailblazer.
The estate of Kobe Bryant and his wife Vanessa are no longer affiliated with sneaker giant Nike, as the late Lakers great’s contract with the company has now expired.
“With Kobe Bryant’s five-year, post-retirement endorsement extension with Nike having expired this month, Vanessa Bryant and the Kobe Bryant estate elected not to renew the partnership, she confirmed to ESPN in a statement Monday night,” wrote Nick DePaula of ESPN.com.
Kobe Bryant spent his first several years being sponsored by Adidas, even though Adidas was never a big-time player on the basketball shoe market.
Eventually, he joined Nike, starting a fruitful partnership for both parties.
“Kobe’s Nike contract expired on 4/13/21,” Vanessa Bryant, widow of the Lakers legend, told ESPN. “Kobe and Nike have made some of the most beautiful basketball shoes of all time, worn and adored by fans and athletes in all sports across the globe. It seems fitting that more NBA players wear my husband’s product than any other signature shoe.”
Kobe Bryant and eight others died in a tragic helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. last January.
His influence on basketball and its culture is still seen to this day, as several current NBA players still wear his signature sneakers.
Interestingly, there are reports that before his passing, Kobe Bryant was planning on leaving Nike to form his own sneaker company and disrupt the entire industry.
That desire may have been fueled by some differences with Nike.
“According to a source, Bryant and the estate had grown frustrated with Nike limiting the availability of Kobe product during his retirement and after his January 2020 death in a helicopter crash,” wrote DePaula. “There was also frustration with the lack of availability of Kobe footwear in kids sizes, according to sources.
“Nike, sources said, had presented an extension offer that was not in line with expectations of an ongoing ‘lifetime’ structure similar to the Nike Inc. contracts held by both Michael Jordan and LeBron James.”
Source: Lakers Daily
Former NBA world champion Paul Pierce and ESPN reportedly parted ways this week after the basketball analyst shared a video of himself with exotic dancers on Instagram Live. The video was widely shared across all social media platforms, which prompted the former NBA Finals MVP and ESPN to sever ties.
However, Pierce’s unemployment may not last very long. An adult website has offered Pierce a job that could be worth up to $250,000.
According to Jorge Alonso, the adult site CamSoda has offered Pierce the chance to live stream an NBA show with exotic dancers.
The offer letter read: “Dear Paul Pierce, I saw the news that you have parted ways with ESPN after you posted a video to social media of yourself with exotic dancers. Being that you are now unemployed, I would like to extend you a position at CamSoda as our first-ever ‘NBA Analyst.’ As our NBA Analyst, you would be required to stream yourself live on our platform every week night and discuss happenings around the NBA. Inside the NBA be damned. Here at CamSoda, we champion exotic dancers, cam girls and sex workers. We would be more than happy to accommodate your penchant for women and you’d be free to stream with them while they twerk in the background and more. We’d be willing to extend you an offer of up to $250,000.”
Since his playing career ended in 2017, Pierce has been working as an on-air analyst for ESPN. Pierce, a 10-time NBA All Star, has become known for providing some odd, fairly hot takes and certainly provides entertainment value.
Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reported on Monday that Pierce and ESPN have “parted ways” after he posted the video of himself with exotic dancers on his Instagram account.
“ESPN and NBA Legend Paul Pierce have parted ways, according to sources,” McCarthy wrote on Twitter. “Pierce posted videos of himself with exotic dancers on Instagram Live Friday night. Pierce has played a key role on ‘NBA Countdown’ + other ESPN basketball programming. ESPN declined to comment.”
Pierce had not released an official statement or commented on the matter to reporters as of early evening on Monday. He did, however, appear to offer a reaction to the move via Twitter and hinted at an imminent landing spot.
Pierce played 15 of his 19 NBA seasons with the Boston Celtics and averaged 19.7 points on 45% shooting for his career. He was the No. 10 pick in the 1998 NBA Draft out of Kansas and also played for the Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Clippers late in his career. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame recently named Pierce as one of 14 finalists for its 2021 class, and he seems like a strong bet to be inducted as a first ballot Hall of Famer.
“Just to be recognized — if I do make it — just to be recognized in basketball lore forever,” Pierce said on ESPN’s “The Jump” via Boston.com. “When I’m long gone and away, I’ve always said — look, the Hall of Fame is forever, and having my number hung up in the Boston Garden is forever. So it’s a true honor if it were to happen. I’m blessed that I was able to put time in on my craft.”
The Notorious B.I.G. was made a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame tonight during an induction ceremony broadcast on HBO. Biggie Smalls was inducted by Diddy, who signed the rapper to the then-fledgling Bad Boy Records in 1993, and was also honored by JAY-Z, Nas, and Lin-Manuel Miranda, in addition to his family: his mother Voletta Wallace, daughter Tyanna Wallace, and son C.J. Wallace.
“Big just wanted to be biggest, he wanted to be the best, he wanted to have influence and impact people in a positive way, and that clearly has been done all over the world,” Diddy said. “Nobody has come close to the way Biggie sounds, to the way he raps, to the frequency that he hits. Tonight we are inducting the greatest rapper of all time into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Notorious B.I.G. representing Brooklyn, New York, we up in here!”
Nas discussed how Biggie opened doors for New York rappers. “Rap music is all about who’s gonna be the king,” he said. “The West Coast, they was sellin’ millions of records, and before Big, I felt like there was only so far New York rap could go as far as sales. Biggie changed all of that.”
The segment closed with Biggie’s children—daughter Tyanna and son C.J. (who has previously worked as an actor and released his own music for the first time in August). “Our father was one of the founding fathers of hip-hop. He helped revolutionize what was a young art form for the Black community and the world,” C.J. said. “I’m honored to share his name and his dedication to Black music, creativity, self-expression, and Black freedom. I love you, Meemaw. Thanks for teaching us who Christopher Wallace was as a son, friend, poet, artist, and father. We love you Meemaw. We love you dad. Brooklyn, we did it!”
Biggie is joined in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2020 by Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, Whitney Houston, T. Rex, the Doobie Brothers, and Ahmet Ertegun Award winners Jon Landau and Irving Azoff. The in-memoriam segment included a tribute to the late Eddie Van Halen.
REVOLT’s “The Breakfast Club” will be inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame months shy of their 10-year anniversary.
The syndicated morning radio show will join the group alongside fellow 2020 inductees Angie Martinez and Sway Calloway.
According to The Radio Hall Fame’s website, the organization, a project of the Museum of Broadcast Communications, “honors those who have contributed to the development of the radio medium throughout its history in the United States.”
Following their induction, the hosts of “the world’s most dangerous morning show” took to social media to react to the news.
“We Made It!!!! 2020 Radio Hall of Fame Inductees!!!” DJ Envy wrote alongside his Instagram post. “Thank You to all of you for riding with us.. @breakfastclubam.”
Angela Yee thanked “The Breakfast Club” fans while sending praise to her fellow inductees. “What an accomplishment! We are in the Radio Hall of Fame class of 2020! Congrats to @angiemartinez @realsway @donniesimpsonsr for being legendary personalities in this 2020 class,” she wrote. “And for everyone who listens to us in the morning and is part of our family, thank you so much for this honor!”
In Charlamagne tha God’s Instagram post, he owed his accomplishments to God. “One day people will look back and give us respect for how we impacted the culture the past decade,” his Instagram caption read. “All Praises and Glory Due To God and sincere Thanks and Gratitude to everyone who listens to us on the radio, via podcast, YouTube, however you consume your breakfast, THANK YOU for being a part of our club.”
“The Breakfast Club” is no stranger to recognition. They previously earned the top spot on The Source Power 30 Radio and DJ’s list and was nominated for an NAACP Image Award back in January. Video clips from many of their interviews have gone viral on numerous occasions over the years.
The Orange County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution to make Aug. 24 “Kobe Bryant Day,” according to TMZ Sports.
The date honors the two jerseys worn by Bryant during his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, No. 8 and No. 24. The Hall of Famer was killed in January in a helicopter crash alongside his daughter Gianna and seven other people.
Los Angeles City Council had previously celebrated a Kobe Bryant Day on Aug. 24 in 2016 following his retirement from the NBA.
Source: Bleacher Report
In his 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant was the heart of the city and stands as one of the greatest NBA players of all time. For the majority of his life, basketball was the most important thing, but he was so much more than an athlete. Kobe was a husband, a father, a friend, and a mentor. It’s heartbreaking that we’ll never get to see his future dreams realized, but we can know one thing: like every other chapter in his life, it would’ve been great.
The Mamba Sports Academy was launched in 2018 as a joint athletic training business venture with Bryant and Sports Academy CEO Chad Faulkner. The name will change back to The Sports Academy on Tuesday, with a new website and logo rebranding, Faulkner told The Undefeated.
The name “Mamba” was a part of Bryant’s nickname, “The Black Mamba,” which he gave to himself.
“Our beliefs and thoughts are Kobe is one of one. ‘Mamba’ is one of one,” Faulkner told The Undefeated. “And with that as we carry on as The Sports Academy, it’s more appropriate to put Kobe in another Hall of Fame, if you will, and to really respect a legacy that is really unrivaled, frankly, and let that live on its own. We will continue to do the work we do.