Laker Nation 5 Letters: R-E-L-A-X

Kobe Bryant
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Kobe may be done for the year (or most of it), but that doesn’t mean that he’s done for good. There are MANY reasons as to why I think he will be back; Kobe has a drive that separates him from other NBA’ers, which is why so many players hate playing with him. He pushes other players to play up to his standards, and generally that pushes them away, but it’s that same drive, and desire to do better, which is why I think Kobe will return for another campaign with the Lakers in the ’15-’16 year.

The Lakers, with or without Kobe this year, were going to have a very bad record. I don’t know if that was exactly the plan in the front office, but it seems to be the plan now, total rebuild mode. With the bad record, comes a high draft pick, and for the first time in many years, the draft is pretty full of good players. The Lakers could get significantly better from a top ten pickup to pair with Kobe, maybe use a later round pick or two for depth, and add a few free agents to fill out the starting lineup and bench, and Kobe could have a playoff team to lead. The Lakers should have a ton of cap space at years end to bring in at lease 1 really good free agent, and a couple others to add depth to the rotation.

Kobe is #3 in NBA history in points, he just surpassed MJ this year, and I don’t think he will stop without being #1. Back to Kobe’s competitive drive again for this one; It’s either a 6th career ring, or #1 in points, whatever comes first, that will be the end to Kobe’s career, he won’t let an injury end it. It’s just how Kobe operates; he does things his way, for reasons we don’t understand. He’s the Frank Sinatra of the NBA in his mind. He will always have something to prove to fans and the history books, I guess constantly being compared to players your whole career, past or present, will do that to someone. He’s like the whiny middle child, who needs approval and coddling constantly for achievements. Maybe that’s why Phil Jackson left/retired? Another reason Kobe won’t hit the golf links and call it a career now, I really feel that Kobe will get the farewell treatment that Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter got in baseball. A little gift from each team that decides to have a little PR opportunity pregame with the NBA great, probably will end up being an NBA mandate to all teams. This type of sendoff could have some sponsorship dollars to be had for Kobe, and the NBA, so I’d think it’d be something they would want to explore, and Kobe has rarely said no to more money, case in point, his current contract with the Lakers.

I’d be willing to bet anyone, that Kobe is back for the Lakers next year. I’m sure he will be under a minutes limit/restriction of some kind, but he’ll be back. I also would be willing to guess that his surrounding cast will be significantly better than this year’s team thus far. I’m not going to speculate which free agent, or who the Lakers will draft, but I KNOW the Lakers GM and front office will definitely give their aging star a better team to work with in the ’15-‘16 year. The window is closing for Kobe to get his 6th with the Lakeshow, the Lakers will do anything to make that a possibility for Kobe, as he probably would’ve already retired and held a press conference if he thought he would play with the same caliber of team next year, as he had this year. I guess we will have to wait and see what the rehab process has in store for the Black Mamba.

Revolution Brewing Coup D’Etat Saison Ale

Coupe D'Etat Saison - By Revolution Brewing
Revolution Brewing – Chicago, IL

Poured from a 22oz Bottle into a snifter (tulip recommended). Dense white foam layer, the beer is an amber gold color and not too carbonated, like a lot of Saisons can be. Instantly you can smell the aromas of citrus, herbs, and that happy hops scent, a VERY full flavor palate is anticipated. At first sip, definite fruity and citrus flavor common of a Saison, however, crisp and dry at the same time. There is a nutty type earthy tone at the back, which gives Coup D’Etat more depth in the all around flavor, not AS light as most beers like this can be which I definitely appreciate. The alcohol content is concealed pretty well by the great flavor; here are the stats on the brew:

Brewed By: Revolution Brewing Company

Brewed In: Chicago, IL, USA

ABV: 7.5%

Overall, this is 4 out of 5 for me. Coup D’Etat is very flavorful, but light, French style Saison. The graphic designer who did their labels should win a separate award as well, but that’s neither here nor there. I would definitely recommend this brew to a friend, and furthermore, will personally visit the brewery in Chicago soon to sample the beer directly from the source. Give it a try, the price is not crazy for a 22oz bomber, so buy two and have a good night! Cheers.

Adidas Black History Month Collection 2015

2015 Adidas Black History Month Sneaker Release
Release 1/23, 1/30 and 2/6 on adidas.com and select retailers

Adidas Basketball has gotten into the fun of holiday/themed releases. Their Black History Month (BHM) collection for this year is a pretty strong, and I personally like the choice of theme: living legend, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The 4 silhouettes to be released in the brown/bronze colorways are covered in quotes that are made to represent Kareem’s career and his various stops along the way.

Crazy 8: “Fundamentals are the Foundation for Excellence” Release 1/23

The once upon a time Kobe signature, is now graced with the Adidas BHM treatment, the quote above is featured on the shoe and is supposed to represent the good ole days of childhood in Harlem. Canvas is used for the upper, a throwback; the sock liner uses his high school colors of purple and gold.

J Wall 1: “Rules are what make the Game Challenging” Release 1/30

The Wall signature is basically covered in words; the whole upper is an essay from afar. The sock liner is blue and gold to represent the UCLA days. Kareem honed his skills in college and under John Wooden, learned the game.

D Rose 5 Boost: “The Hook shot is Worth a Thousand Words” Release 1/30

The Milwaukee Bucks days are featured on the Rose boot, where Kareem really made the sky hook his signature along the way to his first NBA Championship and NBA Finals MVP run. The sock liner is red and green, which gives the shoe its Buck’s spin.

D Lillard 1: “When the Music Changes, So Does the Dance” Release 2/6

The D Lillard line just launched this month, and this shoe represents the last part of the Kareem Show, in Lakerville, USA. Los Angeles purple, gold, and palm trees are shown in the sock liner. Kareem had most of his success in LA, winning 5 NBA rings there, and the quote just shows the change in scenery, going from Milwaukee to LA, as well as his style of play changing with a different supporting cast of teammates. Is it just me, or does the silhouette/side view of the upper on this shoe kind of take the shape of an exaggerated AJ3?

Kareem is one of the NBA’s top 50 of All Time, 6x NBA champ (as a player, 2 more as an asst coach) 19x all star, 2x Finals MVP, so this honor is definitely deserved for Kareem. Personally, I’m after those canvas Crazy 8s. It’s nice to see a brand pay homage to a hero to many, who played in an era before the interwebs and “limited edition” player signature shoes. Pick these up at adidas.com on their respective release dates starting this Friday.

Football Final Four: NFL Edition

Football-Cash-Playoff-Betting

So we’ve made it to January football. 4 teams and 3 games left to go (4 if you include the Pro Bowl, but no one cares about that game; furthermore, if you bet the Pro Bowl, you my friend have a gambling problem). I like to bet, I always have been pretty successful with bets because I stick to what I KNOW. I don’t bet Olympic Curling, or Women’s Soccer, but, when it comes to Football, Basketball, and Baseball; I like to think I know what I’m doing. Let’s get into these games.

(Lines taken from scoresandodds.com, and are subject to change)

Green Bay @ Seattle -7.5, o/u 46

My gut says Green Bay to WIN is the payoff pick to click, but for the sake of others, I’ll beak it down. The key for me here: the opening numbers on this game, Sea -7, o/u 47. As a bettor, that should tell you the public is betting the Under and Seattle HEAVILY. Vegas doesn’t lose, the public loses, so my money will move to GB here. This A-Rod injury, idk, I think they are pulling our leg…get it? Yeah, so my picks are better than my jokes. I’m going moneyline on Green Bay personally, but if I HAD to pick, I’d say def take the points on GB, and the Over feels good too.

Indianapolis @ New England -6, o/u 53.5

This one is a tough call. I really feel like New England wins the game, but possibly in OT, or by a field goal. Indy is scrappy, and can score quickly. New England is, well, New England. With under a minute left I don’t know who else better than Brady to be under center. I probably would not bet this game with my own money to be honest, and if I did, I’d be checking the lines hourly to try to get a value bet, and bet it cheap. I hate these numbers for this game because I feel Vegas did too good of a job making them, I’m avoiding this game like the herpes, but if I had to pick: Indy +6 and the Over.

Clearly, I’m going to be glued to the couch on championship Sunday. Have fun, be safe, and enjoy the games; good luck if you’re tossing some cash around.

-Daddybets

(Note: This is intended as advice, for entertainment purposes, you are responsible for your own decisions after reading)

Nike Black History Month Releases – 2015

black history month nike sneaker release 2015
Images from: Nike.com

Nike’s Black History Collection is coming out this weekend. They wanted to make sure and rape everyone’s pockets on this batch of releases so they threw the gauntlet down, 11 different shoes and even a cleat, you know, in case you are peacefully protesting and have to run out for a pass. Nike really knows how to honor fallen heroes, make money off of their legacy, well duh? The uppers of all of these shoes are…..wait for it….black and white. Hey Nike, lets try to further racial harmony, not outline the clear differences between us subconsciously in the design. The BHM collection is just another money grab to release their “common” silhouettes in a “limited” theme; at least Adidas is honoring a legend, Kareem, with their BHM collection. Kyrie, LeBron, Kobe, AJ1, KD7, are all featured, as well as AM1 for you runners and Dunk Lows for the, uhm, skaters(?). Good luck on release morning because we all know how Nike.com is on a Saturday. I’ll be saving my loot for the Adidas BHM Crazy 8, you gunnin’ for any of these Nike BHM’s?

New Year, New Release Time

This will be the 2nd week with the new time change for releases on Saturday mornings on the interweb. If you don’t know yet, sneaker release time has been changed to 10am eastern / 7am pacific (Hawaii, you do the math because I don’t want to). This took effect last Saturday, so if you’re planning on copping kicks on Saturday make sure you set your alarm to the new release time. When I started buying shoes online the release time used to be 12am eastern/ 9am pacific, then the switch to 8am eastern/ 5am pacific, and now this. I felt the 8am/5am release time was good. If you really wanted the shoes, you would have to wake up early to get them. Even though you would still have to fight bots for kicks, there are some people that wouldn’t wake up early enough for online releases. I see that as fair game, due to the fact that we still have to fight them annoying ass bots for kicks. Well, at least we get to sleep in a little on release day now.

Some highlights from this weekend are the Christmas Collection: Kobe 9, LeBron 12 and KD7.Set your alarms on your phone/watch/tablet (do people still use alarm clocks?) if you want to get on these releases. Good luck out there!

second-week-january-2015-sneaker-releases
Image Source: Nike.com

Freshemporium’s Hip Hop Top 10 of 2014

Rated on content, not sales

A few years ago I just about gave up on new hip-hop. Nas, Wu-Tang, Jay-Z, Outkast, Biggie, and Pac stayed in heavy rotation at home and the commute to work. I really thought hip hop for all intents and purposes was dead. New artists like: Kendrick Lamar, J Cole, and Schoolboy Q have breathed life into what I felt like was a genre in turmoil. The vast majority of the music being pushed out was senselessly edgy, predictable, and boring. This year the West Coast kind of outshined everyone else. That’s okay; it evens out the map and helps foster diversity in the sound of hip hop. Years past have seen the dominance of the south and New York sound, but finally there is something of a reemergence from the rest of the regional sounds.

This year wasn’t too different from years past, but finally, it feels like hip hop found its identity again. The music in its essence underwent something of an evolution to a more electric sound, thanks Yeezy. Lyrically songs have become somewhat smarter, less predictable, and all around more enjoyable in comparison to recent years. Below, are our picks for the best of 2014… some mainstream picks, some not so much. Most of these albums garnered some kind of press but some of these artists were new to me. Anyway, it has been good year, here’s the recap:

10. J-Cole – 2014 Forest Hills Drive

Initially, when I reviewed this album last week I had kind of mixed feelings. After keeping it in heavy rotation in my car I gotta say… It’s very nice. It took longer than most albums to grow on me. I still stand by my point that it was a weak follow up to one of the best hip hop albums in recent memory. However, I also stand by the fact that, even at his worst J-Cole is better than most.

9. Rick Ross – Mastermind

Comprehensive. Yeah, that’s a great word to describe this album. In my opinion, this is the best album from Ricky Rosay to date. Between the production and selection of beats, to the heavyweights on the album like Jay-Z and Kanye West, it carries its own. Speaking of the beats, there are redone versions of throwback classics like 93 til Infinity and You’re Nobody that are 100% on point. This album is easily one of those albums where you don’t have to skip over a track. Definitely hot shit!

8. YG – My Krazy Life

Simple, west-coast, Compton sound. Save for the few R&B tracks, and an appearance by Drake, My Krazy Life, harkens back to the early 90s sound that made the likes of Snoop Dogg famous. That back yard party life is prevalent throughout the album and although it lacks the maturity of some of the other emerging West Coast artists, it’s still one of the year’s best albums.

7. Common – Nobody’s Smiling

With production done by Chicago and hip-hop legend No I.D., this album is easily Common’s best since Be. In my opinion the best to come out of Chi City this year (you Chief Keef fuck boys can jump in the coldest part of Lake Michigan, that’s not hip hop). The sound of the album is a nice mix of old and new, combining some soulful, and some electronic beats. Common’s lyrical style remains as powerful, thought provoking and intelligent as it always has been.

6. Apathy – Connecticut Casual

Who raps about New England life better than Apathy? No one. This whole album was literally a journey into all things New England. From the Kennedy dynasty to lobster fishing this album made me want to book a weekend on “Maathas Vinyaad”. I seriously never knew lobster pots and pirates could be so gangster.

5. Big K.R.I.T. – Cadillactica

T.I. move the fuck over! There’s a new king of the south. For real, this album is what Outkast would sound like if they were still around. Cadillactica is packed with the o.g. sound that the south needs to stay relevant in between the coasts.

4. Ghostface Killah – 36 Seasons

Hip hop veteran Ghostface’s 11th studio album was so welcomed after that questionable output by Wu Tang’s A Better Tomorrow. AZ and Pharoahe Monch deliver some of the best guest appearances possible on an album and are integral to the story the album tells. The soulful sound of the album is damn near flawless. Finally, Ghosts lyrical capabilities round out this album to make it easily one of the year’s best.

3. Schoolboy Q – Oxymoron

For a first album to come out the way Oxymoron did is one hell of an achievement. Granted Schoolboy Q has been around for a few years this was one hell of a debut. A lot of comparisons can be made to Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, all of which are justified. It’s a hardcore, gritty, West Coast, storytelling album at its finest. No surprise, this isn’t TDE’s only appearance on this list, clearly there’s a label out there with a formula for success.

2. Ab-Soul – These Days

Lyrically, this could be the best album of the year. Every single song on this album is chocked full of smart word play. Again, TDE is emerging as a powerhouse label thanks to having artists like Ab-Soul on its roster. If Schoolboy is the muscle Ab-Soul is the brains on the labels 2014 efforts. The album is packed with star power thanks to appearances by Lupe Fiasco, Rick Ross, and J. Cole. Ab-Soul definitely has a bright future if he can keep this quality up.

1. Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels 2

As close to flawless as you’re gonna get this year. It’s revolutionary in its sound and lyrical quality. Never did I get bored with the album or feel like I had to skip a track and maybe revisit it. From the first listen the album didn’t disappoint and I thoroughly enjoyed it beginning to end.

Honorable mentions: Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Piñata / Young Thug & Bloody Jay – Black Portland / A$AP Ferg – A$AP Forever / Future – Honest

Well, there it is, 2014 top ten, you think I missed any? Let us know in the comments below.

Janurary 2015 Jordan Releases

Sneaker lovers and Jordan heads, I know you’re excited for this months Columbia 4 release. First it was just a rumor, then they got the green light, and now we’re just a few weeks away from the actual release!

Image Source: Sneakernews
Image Source: Sneakernews

The shoe first made its debut in 1999, and this will be first so called “Remastered” Jordan of the year. Nike and the Jordan Brand are claiming this release will be the same as the 99, with the “same” materials as the original Columbia 4s. I haven’t seen the shoe in person myself yet so I can’t compare to the originals just yet. Either way, I’m excited as hell for this release and I know many of you feel the same way.

The Jordan 4 “Columbia” will be released on 1/10/15 and will run you $190 for a pair so mark your calendars. These are a for sure cop for me, how about you?

The ladies and team small foot are getting their own exclusive Jordan 4 next month. The Jordan 4 “Fuchsia,” will be releasing on 1/17/15.

Air Jordan Fuchsia release 1
Image Source: TheShoeGame

Featuring a black base, Fuchsia Force serves as the main vibrant call out here, but there’s also a glow aesthetic on the lining.  The shoe doesn’t look bad at all but if this was to released in men’s sizes, I would pass on them, it’s not a must have for me in my book.  I’m all for new colorways of Jordan’s, but we can’t have the same shoe releasing every year, and this is similar to a release from last year.

If you’re planning on buy these for your loved ones, these 4s will run you $140.
What are your thoughts on this colorway?

The Jordan 7 “French Blue” is making a comeback on 1/24/15. This colorway originally released back in 2002.

Jordan 4s Columbia release 2015
Image Source: Nicekicks

It released on the same day as the Raptor 7s, so if you picked the Raptor 7s over the French Blue back in 02 you get a 2nd go at it for retail. Next year is the 23rd anniversary of the Jordan 7 so we all know that it’s going to be a year of the 7. We can expect some of the old colorways like the French Blue and maybe some new colorways like, “Marvin the Martian,” coming our way in 2015. This will be the 2nd “Remastered” Jordan of 2015. This is a clean colorway in my opinion. I’m not big on white shoes or shoes that have a lot of white on them, but I’m definitely feeling these.

The French Blue Remastered 7 will be available in all sizes come release day. This will be added to my must cop list of 2015.  I own a few pairs of 7s and they’re really comfortable so they are a must.  If you are planning on copping a pair it will run you $190 before tax.