Style Points: Neymar, Kobe, and the Preseason’s Nastiest Crossover

  • Neymar

    Neymar is back (no pun intended). This dude has earned himself some Style Points previously, and I’m sure you’re wondering what he has done to secure his spot again; let me assure you it’s more than enough. Try scoring all four goals against Japan during an international friendly.

    As our homies over at Complex mentioned, Neymar absolutely tore up Japan’s defense the entire game, leading to his four goals, putting his total at 40 in just 58 matches for Brazil. Crazy. The 22-year-old has a long career ahead of him, and thus we can only speculate that this is still just the beginning of his Style Points run.

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  • Nike Kobe 9 Elite
    Kobe Bryant

    Kobe Bryant. A name all too familiar for an L.A. native like myself, or anyone who has kept up with the NBA for the last decade or more.

    This past season was tough for the Lakers without him. It led to ESPN dropping him back to 40th on their ESPN Rank. His reaction to that was priceless, and in his play he showed he’s back and healthier and more determined than he’s been in a long time. He’s been looking great this preseason — not just statistically, but appearance-wise as well.

    Mamba’s style points come by way of his current choice of shoe. His newest signature shoe has yet to be released, so he has continued to wear the Nike Kobe 9. Get a look at KB’s newest player exclusive home colorway, with an all-white upper and Concord accents. A good-looking shoe, plus a healthy Kobe, equals Style Points.

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  • Nate Robinson

    Making his Style Points debut this week is Nate Robinson. Truthfully, Robinson could’ve earned his spot due to a number of crazy plays over the year. Remember the time he dribbled between his legs and then sliced up Portland’s middle to slam it down? Or maybe the time he stuffed Yao Ming?! (Be sure to remember Nate is 5-9) I mean, he stuffed LeBron too, but no one seems to remember that.

    Robinson’s style points this week are the result of — no, not a block on someone over a foot taller than he — a 40-foot jumper while time was running out. Remarkable.

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  • William Will

    Kick return for a touchdown. We’ve all heard that statement hundreds of times. How about “kicker returns his own kickoff for a touchdown?” Yeah, I knew it. That’s a new one, hence William Will of the Dayton Flyers making the Style Points list this week. As Trinidad James would say, “Don’t believe me, just watch.”

    The video really speaks for itself and the rarity of a kicker returning a fumbled kickoff for a touchdown is pretty incredible. Props to my man William Will and, oh, and here are your style points, too.

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  • Eric Bledsoe

    So what that he missed the shot. It opened up a rebound and Phoenix converted. We were too busy watching Jared Cunningham to notice anyway. In his return to Los Angeles during the preseason, point guard Eric Bledsoe not only carved up his former team for an efficient 27 points on 12 shots (!), he also had one of the nastiest crossovers we’ve ever seen. It was so tight it sent Cunningham, who was playing to make the Clippers team (Eds. note: He did), flailing and falling halfway across the court. Nasty.

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  • Jarryd Hayne

    One of the NRL’s (Nation Rugby League) best players and highest paid athletes ($1 million AUD per season) just made the choice to abandon rugby and take his chances at playing in the NFL. Style Points? Personally I think this is our winner this week. I can understand the contrary view…but this dude is abandoning a career as a premier player in one sport, to travel across the ocean to try his luck at making an NFL team, in his words, “a lifelong dream.” What better way to earn his style points? Best of luck to this guy, and if you’re speculative of his chances at being an elite NFL player…well, just watch this.

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  • Travis Ishikawa

    Wow. Even if you don’t follow, appreciate, or love baseball, you have to applaud Ishikawa’s record-setting walk-off homer. He’s the only person after Bobby Thomson in San Francisco Giants’ history to hit a walk-off home run to send the Giants to the World Series. Talk about style points…this dude spent the last two seasons playing in the minor leagues on the East Coast. He was cut by the Pirates after playing just 15 games, and then picked up by the Giants to play for their minor league team. A couple of injuries later and Ishikawa is pulled up to the Giants and hits the game-winning walk-off home run to send his hometown team to the World Series. Once again…wow. Welcome to Style Points.

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  • Nike Kobe 9 Elite
  • Nate Robinson
  • William Will
  • Eric Bledsoe
  • Jarryd Hayne
  • Travis Ishikawa

Well, it’s that time of the week again. The best time of the week. The time when you get to see who’s killin’ it on and off of the field, pitch, court, and diamond. It’s time for Style Points, which means it’s not only about what you do, but how you do it.

The past few weeks have given us spectacular finishes to games, our World Series contenders, some exciting football, some hype surrounding the NBA season, and a future NFL hopeful. Neymar and Kobe Bryant are both back, shutting up the critics and dispelling the injury claims about them. You’d think, at some point, the haters would just shut up and respect greatness. Nope, that would be too easy. Instead, they’re falling all over each other to be the first to jump off the bandwagon. Great players get to where they are by defying the odds and doing things the average athlete can’t do. It’s what separates them, makes them different.

I would tell you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the best summary of the past few weeks of sports, but quite honestly, you’re just gonna have to get ready…because Neymar, Kobe, Nate Robinson, a college football kicker, Eric Bledsoe, and a rugby star are bringin’ the heat in this week’s Style Points, not to mention a clutch last-inning stunner.

Get yourself ready for the colder weather and the start of the NBA season with this week’s Style Points: Neymar, Kobe, and the Preseason’s Nastiest Crossover.

Follow Bowen on Twitter at @bowenbaily