“I considered giving up basketball and just focusing on soccer.” – Kobe Bryant

Filed under: Culture & Lifestyle, Kobe Bryant

kobe us soccer

* Sorry for the click-bait, but I couldn’t resist.

Last night, writing for The Players Tribune, and apparently as the editorial director, Kobe Bryant shared some of his thoughts as he reflected on yet another career achievement, that continues to let us know how passionate Kobe is about the game of soccer.

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With the free throw above, Kobe Bryant passed Michael Jordan, to place himself 3rd on the NBA’s All-Time scoring list. In his piece for TPT, its appears that all of this almost didn’t happen. Kobe writes:

Zero. That’s the number of points I scored the entire summer while playing in Philadelphia’s Sonny Hill Future League when I was 12 years old. I didn’t score. My father Joe “Jellybean” Bryant and my uncle John “Chubby” Cox were Future League legends in their day. My father as a 6-10 point forward and my uncle as a 6-4 point guard.

I was putting my family to shame! I considered maybe just giving up basketball and just focusing on soccer. Here’s where my respect and admiration for MJ was forged.

The post from Kobe on TPT is basically a piece about his enormous respect for Mike Jordan and how looking up to him drove Kobe to practice harder, play harder and work harder to become the man he is today.

Great story but I also wanted to throw the soccer part up here to show what we are working for here at TOW.

What if it wasn’t MJ that he looked at as the guy he modeled his game after, but instead it was Ruud Gullit? What if Kobe was a Fiorentina supporter while living in Italy and the guy who kept him going was Roberto Baggio?

I team this up with something we wrote here a month ago about Odell Beckham Jr., the NY Giant who may have made the greatest catch in the history of the NFL, and how he was a youth soccer player with a chance to go to the academy but he instead chose American football over soccer.

(By the way, that subject has gotten a lot of run in the last day or so because TMZ picked up on it, but we wrote about a month ago, #jussayin #brushesimaginarydirtoffshoulder.)

I’m eager to see how stories like that will be told in 10 or 20 years when its, “I almost played basketball, but Clint Dempsey in Seattle made me want to play soccer.” Or, “I was going to sign up for spring football but I remember watching the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and wanting be a part of that.” Or, “When I was 11 walked into Nike and the new Mercurial Superfly’s were on display and I HAD TO get them because they were so fresh and I begged my mom for them, then I started playing on the weekends, then I tried out for my high school team, and the rest is history.” Or, “My dad used to take me to every game at Rio Tinto because we had season tickets and I always wanted to be out there just like Nick Rimando.”

The tide is shifting baby, and we are excited to be a part of it, because its not just the game that has an effect on that decision. As the holidays approach, think of giving gifts that have to do with the game on and off the pitch. Think about getting your nephew some fresh Tiempo’s. Or, some Samba’s. Or, a NYC FC scarf. Or, Bumpy Pitch gear. Or, soccer inspired posters and art from Etsy. Lets keep this thing moving forward.

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Added on December 15th, 2014 by

Nike Air Command Force – Black / Hyper Jade

Filed under: Culture & Lifestyle, Kicks

Nike Command0

~~  No surprise to see these Hi-Hi-Hi-Tops making a strong comeback in late 2014…. Even the Patrick Ewing’s are looking fresh these days.

A good look at the Black / Hyper Jade color way drop in the Nike Air Command Force, spotted and available over at Premier.

Nike Command

Added on December 15th, 2014 by

Trailer :: The Divergent Series – Insurgent

Filed under: Culture & Lifestyle, Trailers, Videos

~~  Almost done with the third book… Been one of those series that you start and just keep reading until you’re through with the last book.

The Divergent Series: Insurgent raises the stakes for Tris as she searches for allies and answers in the ruins of a futuristic Chicago. Tris (Woodley) and Four (James) are now fugitives on the run, hunted by Jeanine (Winslet), the leader of the power-hungry Erudite elite. Racing against time, they must find out what Tris’s family sacrificed their lives to protect, and why the Erudite leaders will do anything to stop them. Haunted by her past choices but desperate to protect the ones she loves, Tris, with Four at her side, faces one impossible challenge after another as they unlock the truth about the past and ultimately the future of their world.

Release: March 20, 2015
Cast: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet

Trailer - Insurgent

Added on December 15th, 2014 by

2014/15 Europa League – Round Of 32

Filed under: EPL News, Highlights, Videos, and Scores | English Premier League Highlights, La Liga News, Highlights, Videos, and Scores | Spanish La Liga, Soccer News

Europa

~~  The moment things get interesting in the Europa League…. With the Champions League 3rd place teams parachuting down, the like of Olympiacos, Sporting Lisbon, Zenit, Anderlecht, Ajax, Liverpool and Roma enter the Europa League.

Which match ups should you be keeping an eye on in the Round of 32 you ask?

Wolfsburg vs Sporting Lisbon, Roma vs Feyenoord, PSV vs Zenit, Liverpool vs Besiktas, Spurs vs Fiorentina and Celtic vs Inter are the ones I’m looking out for.

And keep in mind.  The winner of Europa League sees Automatic Qualification into Champions League next year.

Added on December 15th, 2014 by

2014/15 Champions League – Round Of 16

Filed under: EPL News, Highlights, Videos, and Scores | English Premier League Highlights, La Liga News, Highlights, Videos, and Scores | Spanish La Liga, Soccer News

Champs0

~~  And there it is…..  Really only two match ups that everyone will keep their eyes on in the Round of 16 draw.

#Zlatan, David Luiz & Co taking on Jose Mourinho and Chelsea…… And then Manchester City vs Barca…

The best part is the Round of 16 is broken up into two different sets of match ups… Feb 17th / 18th first leg starts vs Feb 24th / 25th starts.

Added on December 15th, 2014 by

Premier League Sunday Recap and Highlights : 12 · 14 · 2014

Filed under: EPL News, Highlights, Videos, and Scores | English Premier League Highlights, Highlights

Manchester United 3 – 0 Liverpool : Manchester United beat Liverpool 3-0 at Old Trafford as keeper David De Gea played lights out against Brendan Rodgers’ side.

Team Match Reports (Man United) (Liverpool)

Swansea City 1 – 2 Tottenham : Christian Eriksen delivered another late winner as Tottenham edged past Swansea with a 2-1 victory at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday.

Team Match Reports (Swansea) (Tottenham)

[H / t NBC Sports video team & ESPNFC]

Added on December 14th, 2014 by

Nike Air Max 1 Escape QS – Light Bone

Filed under: Culture & Lifestyle, Kicks

Nike Escape

~~  I don’t care if it is snowing pretty much everywhere right now…. These.

A good look at the Light Bone color way drop in the Nike Air Max 1 Escape QS, spotted and available over at CaliRoots.

Nike Escape0

Added on December 14th, 2014 by

Jürgen Klinsmann is good at the twitter thing

Filed under: Jurgen Klinsmann, MLS News, Highlights, Videos, and Scores | Major League Soccer Highlights, Sacha Kljestan, US National Team, us soccer

Jürgen Klinsmann tweet

Jürgen Klinsmann tweeted out a link to an interesting article today. Its a country-by-country breakdown of the Champions League Group Stage team rosters. The US’ lone representative is Sacha Kljestan:

sacha champions league

Jürgen Klinsmann didn’t make any grandios statements other than adding “interesting” to what the list contained. He didn’t follow it up with another tweet or anything. He just threw it out there and let the twitterverse have at it… and have at it did it.

I think he has made it very clear where he comes out on things and I think we all know how MLS feels about how he sees things. Tons of discussion about it online right now. I’m reading a lot of things that I’ve read before, but also seeing some new stuff. Its a great conversation. Because out of discussion, a lot of times (when the discussions remain somewhat rational I suppose), come solutions.

Turn on your twitter machine. Have some fun. Because at the end of the day, we definitely all want the same thing.

Champions League group stage 2014-15: all the players, country-by-country – Guardian

* You think Jurg copped that new Gambino?

Lang NSFW

Added on December 13th, 2014 by