Style Points: It’s “Comeback Season” for Kobe Bryant and Johnny Manziel

We’re in the seventh-inning stretch of the summer. We’re inching closer to October in baseball. That means postseason play soon. The NFL Preseason has provided some great storylines thus far with Johnny Manziel trading in his trademark “money sign” for a less-distracting on-field strategy. You can’t have the flash without backing it up, though. Here’s hoping the 20-year-old wins back all of the team’s trust while dismissing the bust theory that’s trailing him once and for all.

In NBA news, the Black Mamba uploaded a photo of him looking jovial/youthful and declaring that he was back on the court shooting. Good news for Lakers Nation, right? Even if he’s lost most of his step and hop, he compensates for it with a never-failing wisdom and some lash in case of a outspoken rookie.

Once you’ve done the hard task of earning the accolades and glory in your respective sport, the hard part really begins: keeping it. Kobe knows all about that. So does Usain Bolt. After reppin’ the island of Jamaica proudly in the Olympics and in just about every other sprint run out there, Usain Bolt came out on top again by winning the 100m gold at the recent World Championships. Brethren, keep owning it.

Remember, in the end, it’s not always about what you do but how you do it. In this week’s edition of Style Points: It’s “Comeback Season” for Kobe Bryant and Johnny Manziel.

*** *** ***

On a weekend that saw Bryant celebrate his 37th birthday, the Mamba also got back out on the basketball court for the time first since his season ended last year with surgery to repair a torn right rotator cuff. It’s been almost eight months since Bryant went under the knife, an eternity for any player who’s been in the league 20 years. Can he make it back to somewhat resemble the man who terrorized the NBA for nearly two decades? We hope so. We wouldn’t be surprised either. And even if he doesn’t, it’ll be good just to see No. 24 back on the court again.

Kobe Bryant

Don’t start taking your “Lightning Bolt” posters down just yet. The world’s fastest man remains just that by winning his third 100m world title after beating out the clear favorite, Justin Gatlin. Bolt, with much style, continues his post-run tradition of the “lightning bolt” pose in the same way the Bat-Signal lights over Gotham City. So, big ups to Bolt and The Island that rides behind him. Winning when everyone is ready to count you out? That’s Style Points right there.

I remember playing MLB video games where in Home Run Derby Mode, you got extra kudos for batting the ball off a particular target or object in the outfield. MLB batters have enough juice to send the ball packing way beyond the outfield fence but rarely do you see a homer hitting the top of a foul pole. Watch it in slo-mo to catch a better look at how it went down.

You know when you’re in a relationship and you have no idea how to express your love for that special someone than go and tattoo their face or name on your body? That’s what this feels like. Michael Jordan inspired me in life early on (and still does). Kobe’s fierce competitive nature made him my favorite once MJ passed the torch onto him. But never would I idolize them in the form of a tattoo. I’m just not that big of a fan. This dude, though…

Kobe Bryant Michael Jordan tattoo

Rip Hamilton was one of our generation’s best cutters away from the ball, but his kick game has also been well-documented. Although he retired from basketball, that hasn’t stopped him from flexing a little muscle on Instagram with pictures of kicks that ain’t even been released yet.

Air Jordan 14 Richard Hamilton

Get used to hearing “Drew Brees to Brandin Cooks” this season…that’s if both players are able to stay healthy. After receiving a co-sign from Randy Moss, who watched him on the practice field, Brandon lit up the Patriots defense (Moss’s old team) in Week 2 of the preseason by registering four passes for 117 yards, including a touchdown. With his speed, it will be hard for any cornerback in the league to keep up with him. At 21 years old, he’s one of the youngest guys in the league doing it big right now. Here’s to watching him go from “very good” to “great” this coming season.

It’s great to see Johnny Manziel up and running on the football field again, especially after all of the off-the-field drama. (Even if it came against second-teamers.) During Cleveland’s recent 11-10 loss to Buffalo, Manziel directed a ridiculous 96-yard drive for his team’s only touchdown, a 21-yard throw to Shane Wynn. Johnny Football was nearly perfect on the drive, and has people around the team saying he looks like a new man this year.

Manziel’s game was never put to question as much as it was his commitment to his team and his focus. Here, he gives us a preview of the elite quarterback he’s capable of being by slinging one on the run to wide receiver Darius Jennings. With every new day comes the chance to make a new highlight. The world is excited to see what you have to show us, Johnny; it’s all in your hands now.