That Game of Thrones finally broke through last night to garner a long-awaited Emmy for Best Drama Series now seems almost preordained, especially when you factor in what else happened over the weekend. We had the return of a young prince (Odell Beckham Jr.) after a week of indifference–or as close as ODB can get to it. We had more theatrics from Cam Newton, a young hero who’s meshing style and charisma with results as well as any quarterback in the game. But where the all-too-real game of thrones really came into play is with what happened over social media on Sunday night.
Hip-hop and the NBA make for an intriguing power couple, and it’s a relationship that’s only growing stronger. Whereas it was once news to simply hear Jay Z‘s name involved in bringing the Nets to Brooklyn, now…it’s commonplace to hear about Drake designing uniforms, Drake recruiting players, Drake dropping insider lyrics in his music, Drake teasing new Jordan Brand collabs. Sorry, Em, but Drake is the new Rap God and it manifests itself in the way NBA players salute him. The roots of the Drake and Future partnership feel like they’re invested in the NBA mindset, where great players team up with other great players in an attempt to become legendary players. Viewed within that prism, it’s not surprising to see LeBron and Dwyane Wade embrace the latest rap tag team as their own. Great minds build brands, and you build brands by surrounding yourself with the best. Will any of this ever matter to the big picture in sports? I used to doubt it. But now I’m not so sure. When our next step is still too hazy to see, it’d be wrong…it’d be stupid…to ever doubt entertainers and athletes who make and break trends on a whim. They’re the ultimate tastemakers, and they hold all of the power.
Ten, maybe even five years from now, who knows what the game will look like? One way or another, they’ll be piling up style points like Meek Mill piles up Ls. Because, in the end, it’s not always about what you do but how you do it. Cats like Cam Newton, Drake, and ‘Bron ‘Bron seem to know that better than anyone.
In this week’s edition of Style Points: Cam Newton Is the NFL’s Flyest Player; Drake and LeBron Won’t Give Up the Crown.
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The NFL isn’t the “performance” haven the NBA is when it comes to footwear. That’s mostly because of the NFL’s color regulations. But there are a few cats that like to show out. And the pregame is the place to do it.
Take Carolina’s Cam Newton, for example. Two weeks in and during both games the 6-5 signal-caller has rocked a pair for warmups before switching to something else for the game. Before leading his Panthers to a 2-0 start with a win over Houston where Newton accounted for nearly 300 yards and three touchdowns, including a wild scramble where Newton jumped into the end zone off a ridiculous front flip that he came thisclose to landing, Killa Cam donned another Superman version of his Under Armour C1N cleats. They included Superman colors and “SuperCam” printed across the straps.
If the Panthers make any noise this year, it’ll be because of Newton. He’s a stud in both style and production.
We’ve always known Green could dunk. (It’s somewhat ironic that the tragic childhood accident that left Green with 9.5 fingers happened during an attempted dunk.) Even as a high school senior, he routinely hit his head on the backboard and was so far beyond his peers athletically that it probably hindered his growth as an overall player. He was Tracy McGrady of the high school game. But after years of paying his dues, Green finds himself as a key member of a potentially dangerous Miami Heat team, a fill-up-the-box-score swingman who comes in off the bench looking to attack at all costs.
After reviving his career during the past two years with Phoenix, Green is ready for his first extended face time in the spotlight since competing in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest. By the looks of his hops, Green will be making nightly SportsCenter stops this year.
ODELL BECKHAM JR.
The NFL’s most explosive weapon, the human Vine, ODB announced his arrival to fantasy teams everywhere yesterday afternoon with a massive 67-yard touchdown catch-and-run on Atlanta. However, the Giant receiver’s top move didn’t come until he was already in the end zone. He hit the Ronaldo on the haters, and executed it to perfection. It’s good to see some wide receivers are still working to keep the Terrell Owens legacy going.
There’s no worse feeling than getting cracked during the summer circuit. The gym is packed. Adrenaline is off the charts. Everyone is looking to make a name. And if they see you get dropped like this? You’ll never live it down.
Harge is a 5-8, 145-pound YouTube sensation who is entering his sophomore year in high school, and recently at the 2015 Best of the Best Camp in Orlando, the lil’ man pulled it back on some unsuspecting defender. The result? The defender took a seat on his heel. That’s nasty. (Check out the background reactions of the kids on the sidelines.)
Harge is already becoming a household name in high school sports because of his online videos. Expect him to jump to another level in the next year or two.
via Home Team Hoops
DRAKE/FUTURE and LeBRON/WADE
Remember over the summer when there was that incredible emoji war between Houston and Dallas during the epic courtship of DeAndre Jordan? (That needs to be a book title, by the way.) Well, over the weekend Drake and Future hooked the world up with that heat by finally dropping their hyped mixtape, What a Time to Be Alive. And while I’ll argue the tape is somewhat underwhelming–maybe my expectations were just too high for this–the ensuing Instagram reaction has been A1. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have even gotten involved, comparing themselves (or maybe it’s the other way around) to Hendrix and the 6 God.
As musicians get more involved in the NBA–Drake in Toronto, Wale in D.C., JT in Memphis–this love affair feels like a clashing of the titans, potentially the biggest crossover yet between music and basketball. Drake and ‘Bron have always been brothers, and Drizzy’s connection to the NBA could really change things in the future. He has the team, the kicks. He has the best player on his bandwagon. Seriously, what’s next? Then bringing Future into the picture, the hottest rapper in the game right now? The best in the rap game teaming up with the best on the court? I feel bad for Meek Mill. “Jumpman” and, most definitely, “Big Rings” will dominate in-arena airwaves this season. We should all take notice. A realer partnership between the 6 God and the King might just change the entire game.
Follow Sean on Twitter at @seanesweeney