Lockdown Reviews: Showboat The Life of Kobe Bryant

Like much of the United States and possibly the world I am on lockdown because of COVID – 19.  I have two jobs and both have shut down for the last five weeks due to government orders to prevent the spread of the plague.  This has given me a lot of time to catch up on reading.  I checked out the biography Showboat:  The Life of Kobe Bryant shortly after the NBA star died and I didn’t get around to beginning the book until the quarantine in March.

I am an NBA fan but Kobe was never my guy.  He didn’t play for my team which is the Detroit Pistons.  I have chanted BEAT LA in my living room many, many times.  Most of that energy was directed towards Kobe.  When Kobe died on January 26 I was shocked and saddened.  Even though I’ve never been a Kobe fan I respect his success and I appreciate what he did for the game for twenty years.

This biography is very well written, well researched and detail oriented.  This book is essentially an NBA history that focused on the late 90s to the mid 2010s.  There are accounts of injuries, trades, games and series.  The book is a little less than six hundred pages so it is a long and at times dry read.

I enjoy NBA but the minutiae of this book was a bit much for me.  I was disappointed that the author only devoted a paragraph or two to the 2004 Laker loss to the Detroit Pistons.  I was looking forward to reliving that in print but the author glossed over that glorious event.  But overall I enjoyed the book because it cleared up some of the folklore surrounding Kobe’s relationship with Vanessa, his mother and father and Shaquille O’Neal.  And yes, the rape trial was discussed.

This book reinforced all of my previous notions about Kobe Bryant.  He was an aloof man and fierce competitor.  Kobe Bryant was not a nice guy.  He didn’t really get along with anyone once he became a star.  But that wasn’t important to him.  Winning was.  He was meticulous in everything he did and was a diligent worker.  Kobe had no patience for people around him that didn’t live up to his standards and people were easily discarded.

Kobe also didn’t like to share the spotlight with others.  He didn’t want to share the spotlight with Shaquille O’Neal or Phil Jackson.  LA wasn’t big enough for all of them.  He never wanted it to be said that he needed them in order to be successful.  Kobe was a lot like a 1980s night time soap opera villain that was motivated by a single goal and he didn’t let anything get in his way.  Even though Kobe wasn’t warm and fuzzy I did like him more after reading this book.  I respect the man’s drive and passion.

I also disliked him more after reading this book.  By all accounts Kobe was a prick and so is his wife.  He stabbed Shaquille O’Neal in the back more than once.  He threw his coach Phil Jackson under the bus.  He turned his back on his parents and siblings and cut them off financially before marrying his wife Vanessa and buying a beautiful new home for her mother who was in financial straits before her daughter married the NBA star.  No one really seemed to get along with Kobe.  As an NBA fan I kind of already knew that.

I did learn some new details about Kobe’s life but there wasn’t a lot of new information for me in this book.  It’s fun to relive some of the NBA history that was written about in this book.  I enjoyed the dirt that the book shared on Kobe’s personal entanglements.  The author did a good job of giving us a backstage look at NBA life.  I would recommend the book if you’re an NBA fan.  You will enjoy it and it might make up for the NBA Playoffs being postponed.

 

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It’s the most – wonderful time of the yeeeeeaaaarrr……  Just kidding it’s not that great but it is pretty exciting.  Ladies and gentleman it’s time for the 2019 NBA Playoffs, starring my hometown team and favorite sports franchise ever the Detroit Pistons!

I’m pretty excited that the Pistons made it to the Playoffs this year.  I’ve been checking their standings for  the last month or so hopeful that they would get to the post season.  I rarely watch NBA anymore because I don’t have time most evenings and the NBA only broadcasts about eight teams repeatedly.  My Pistons are not one of those teams.  So I’m thrilled to get to take in some basketball that I actually care about.

In the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs my Pistons are playing the #1 Milwaukee Bucks.  Under different circumstances I would be cheering for the Bucks.  I don’t recall them having a lot of success over the years and I like to support small market Midwestern teams.  If I was a betting woman I would always bet on the long shot and the sleeper teams.  But the Bucks are playing my Pistons so I of course want them to lose so my boys can make it to the next round.

detroit pistons

The Golden State Warriors are playing the LA Clippers in the first round in the Western Conference.  I would love to see the Warriors lose.  They are a great team, Steph Curry is a good, Christan family man.  I really do like them but I’m sick of them.  I don’t like dynasty teams of any kind.  And national NBA broadcasts are pretty much the Steph Curry Show.

Playoff Bracket

I hope the Rockets win their first round so they can defeat the Warriors in the second round.  Realistically the Warriors will probably get to the second round.  If they get to the Finals again this could turn into another snooze fest just like the Superbowl LIII.  We get sick of watching the same teams every year.  I mean I would watch because Golden State vs. anyone in the East could be a compelling match up.

There are some exciting teams in the East.  Toronto and Philadelphia have been fighting to become dominant.  Indiana has been pretty solid and respectable the last few years.  And it will be interesting to see what Orlando and the Nets can accomplish in the Playoffs.  I hadn’t thought of the Orlando Magic in years.

My adopted team is the Oklahoma City Thunder.  I can see some of their games locally on cable.  Love the one you’re with right!  I also think that Russell Westbrook is fantastic.  He is a heck of a player and he seems to be a great family man.  Some say that he has an attitude but I think that he’s assertive and has leadership skills.  He also doesn’t tolerate people disrespecting him or treating him in a condescending way.  You see, the way American society is set up that will get a Black man labeled as having an attitude.  I would love to see the Thunder do well.

In order for the Thunder to do well they will have to get past the Trailblazers.  I’m a 90s NBA fan so the Trailblazers bring back fond fantastic NBA action.  The Blazers were always in the 90s pro basketball mix.  The current star of the team is Damian Lillard who seems like a quality human being.  But I’m still hoping OKC takes them out.

Anyway, best luck to all the teams in the 2019 Playoffs especially the Detroit Pistons that kind of need it.  There’s nothing in the world like a good basketball game.  I’m look forward to getting enthralled in the matches and sad once it’s all over.

 

 

#TeamTristan

Tristan Thompson is back at it!  He’s making headlines again.  It’s not for playing basketball.  The Cavaliers are 13 – 46 and in the fourteenth place out of fifteen teams in the east.  He’s back in the gossip news for cheating on his baby mama Khloe Kardashian with her sisters ex room mate Jordyn Woods.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m completely in favor of loyalty, fidelity and long lasting, loving relationships between men and women.  But this isn’t that.  There is no evidence that this is a respectful relationship at all.  It all just looks like a big confusing mess from the beginning.

The internet says that Khloe began seeing Tristan while his other baby mama was pregnant with his other child.  Shortly thereafter Khloe got pregnant with her daughter.  The internet says he cheated during Khloe’s pregnancy as well.  After their daughter True was born there was some Kris Jenner manufactured drama on social media.  Tristan was the villain, Khloe was the victim and the bystanders discussed what Khloe should do next.

Just like in old soap operas Khloe did exactly what she shouldn’t do.  She pursued a romantic future and family life with a notorious philanderer.  I don’t know what Khloe expected from this.  I’m certainly not surprised that Tristan cheated on her.

I haven’t heard any declarations of love from Tristan to Khloe.  I haven’t heard of an engagement between the two.  Nor have I heard about an elopement.  Tristan Thompson is a single, successful man that can do as he pleases.  He’s nobody’s husband.

You see this is what happens when boundaries and lines are blurred.  You get confusion and hurt feelings.  People get taken advantage of in gray, undefined areas.  Gray undefined terms and conditions are like smoke bombs that are intended to cause confusion and make it harder to see clearly.  It’s kind of like when the Joker throws smoke bombs in “Batman”.

Romantic partners that aren’t your spouse don’t owe you anything.  Hopefully they care about you enough to protect your feelings but you are taking your chances.  You aren’t entitled to loyalty and devotion from a person to whom you have not married.  You also don’t owe it to anyone.  Tristan doesn’t owe any of his baby mamas a thing.  If they really wanted Tristan for the long haul they would require marriage.  If he was not interested in that type of a commitment they would know that they are barking up the wrong tree and they need to pursue other relationships.

These vaguely defined relationships aren’t doing anyone any favors.  Men and women seem to be unhappy with each other and both sides get used and taken advantage of.  Women get taken advantage of for sex and other favors.  Men get taken advantage of for financial reasons or are pressured to marry because of the child they probably didn’t want.

There are no real winners.  There is a purpose behind marriage and we should honor it.  If you choose to take the new aged approach to relationships you will probably end up suffering in some regard whether you are a man or woman.  Don’t expect old fashioned results with new aged behavior.

Kylie & Jordan