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A millennial’s letter to Mamba: Thank you Kobe for teaching us greatness


The first moment I heard your name when it meant something…
was related to a piece of garbage.

But if we made that piece of garbage into the trash can, we were considered greatness.
Extra props if we hit it on a fade-away… just like you.

An 8-year-old kid can barely fathom greatness in perspective to the world. But we equated your name with greatness on the playground w/ that ball of paper and a trash can.

Plus our parents revered you, so we automatically did too… the way Americans inherit all values, legends and traditions.

… You were ingrained in our everyday culture from the beginning. One of many reasons as to why you, Mamba, have been the biggest loss for a Millenial.

Fast forward through years of witnessing your career of five rings, 2 NBA Finals MVPs and 4 NBA All-Star MVPs. Fast forward through the years of using “Mamba Mentality” to push ourselves a little further in whatever it was we wanted to achieve, especially us athletes.

Happy Nba Finals GIF by SHOWTIME Sports - Find & Share on GIPHY

… Okay, so now we’re starting to get a sense of the greatness we inherently gave you at 8.

Sooner than we think, we‘re 24 years old and tune into the historic moment of your last game ever. It came and went as quick as your step back fade-away, as you walked off the court with 4.1 seconds left in the game… For unison sake of course.

We can still barely relate to the word “historic” itself, as our conscious years have only really started. But, we know you’re it.

We saw the rings, we peeped the stats, we heard the stories of the early workouts and the extra practices… we get it:

“Hard work equals success.”

“Hard work outweighs talent.”

Plus, we see the quotes on our highly valued social media every day.
So trust us, we get it.

But like I always say, “to know and to be are two different things”.

Fast forward a few years, and we’re finally independent yet social media-obsessed adults.

Our social media obsession gave us special access to you.

Special access to your family.

Special access to your daily interactions.

We watched you up close, and now we finally feel like we know the Bryants, especially you and GiGi.

We watched Gigi maybe even closer. We watched her grow up from high-fiving you from the sidelines on your game nights to you coaching her on her games courtside.

We were excited for her future like she was our little sister. At thirteen, barely a teenager, she was already the generation’s Mambacita.

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

You’re now the image of the perfect human on & off the court. The incomparable NBA player with the longest playing career.

A mentor to the great NBA players we currently watch. A dedicated father that Black America can look up to. A deliberate man parading for women’s equality and the youth.

The media loves you. The people love you. The legends love you.

We fell in love hard. We grew closer than ever. We got comfortable.
You were always great. You were always invincible. You were always there – since we were 8.

But as every wise, older adult alludes, your late 20s / early 30s teaches you your hardest lessons. And we all have heard the lessons:

“Life is short”

“Life doesn’t play favorites”

… but experiencing the lessons is it what really teaches us.

“To know and to be are two different things”.

We hear these lessons. Grew up with these lessons. The same way we grew up with you. But it wasn’t until you left us, was the lesson taught in a way none of us could simultaneously feel until now.

This wasn’t quite like MJ. We weren’t as conscious to grasp the gravity yet.

This wasn’t quite like Whitney. The media projected her to be on a downward spiral, so the news was graspable although still grave.

This wasn’t quite like John Witherspoon. We didn’t know him quite like you.

This wasn’t quite like the famous young rappers we’ve lost these past few years, we loved them but didn’t grow up with them since we were 8.

We weren’t ready. We were comfortable. We knew you. We made you our superhero.

Our generation has been harshly taught that another day is never promised, even for our superheroes.

Although always told, our generation has been harshly taught the true impact that greatness can have on the world. It is not enough to say it, quote it and post it, but we must BE it. As you were. Thank you for influencing a generation to be great. Your legacy lives on through that teaching alone.


The NBA brought the heat to Art Basel Miami Beach, here’s why we want more

In partnership with the NBA, Franchise and AMP gave basketball lovers the art they were truly looking for during Art Basel Miami with their first-ever exhibition, “Momentum.”

The exhibit was hosted in the historic Nautilus Hotel. When I walked into the hotel on Saturday afternoon, there was merch for purchase and some dope paintings such as a Zion portrait and LeBron painted with Yoda.

Artist: Eric Yanhker – Shut Up & Dribble You Must Not 2018

Me being a basketball fan, I was hype, but also ready for just another art exhibit in NBA form. Then, I walked through to the Beyond the Arc section. I was in basketball heaven.

There were 16 game-worn sneakers enclosed in glass with a detailed description of the iconic game moment it was played in. The section featured recent iconic NBA moments like Dwayne Wade’s Li-Ning Way of Wade 7 Series shoes that he wore in the final game of his 16-year career.

It also extended to the earliest iconic basketball moments like the Air Jordan 12’s that Michael Jordan wore during the 1997 finals that he played with the flu and still scored 38 points.


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Beyond the Arc at Momentum presented in partnership with @flightclub 16 moments in NBA history paired with the shoe worn.

A post shared by FRANCHISE (@thisisfranchise) on

After I left this room, I was directed towards The Tunnel, which was an actual tunnel intended to imitate that pregame arena walk-through. That’s one of my personal favorite parts of an NBA game (given my love of fashion).

Here they had a video installation that showed tunnel walkthroughs from Allen Iverson’s baggy clothes days to D’Angelo Russell walking through Barclays Center with his brother, Tone.

Viewers got to witness the fashion changes throughout the decades of all of the iconic players. Given that the installation was also in an actual tunnel, the experience felt true to life and truly immersive.

Momentum Art Basel

I finished walking through the tunnel after obsessively watching the full walkthrough installation about two to three times and walked into what looked like a basketball court.

I was enclosed in a dark court which was lit up only by video screens that took up the full wall space, another dope immersive experience to make you feel like you were there with the players.

There were about four screens, one screen per wall, and each screen highlighted iconic dunks throughout the history of the NBA. It was like having a TV show of NBA highlights from the 50s all the way to Lebron’smost iconic LA Laker dunking moments.

For all of my NBA fans currently reading this with severe basketball FOMO, don’t worry. If you missed the exhibit at Basel, you’ll have another opportunity to catch it in February when the exhibit travels to Chicago for the 2020 NBA All-Star Weekend.

If you won’t get the chance to make it to All-Star, a little NBA bird told me there’ll be more pop-ups throughout the year, so make sure to stay tuned!

Sav Says: How to stick to your 2019 New Year’s Resolutions (Part 1)

Hey guys! Thank you for tuning in to my very first video of 2019! We’ll be starting off the New Year with positive and motivating ways to kick start your year on the best foot possible!

We all have goals and resolutions to start off the New Year and improve ourselves in some way, shape or form. But what do you really need to do to make you’re staying on track? In this video, we will break down four easy and motivating ways to ensure your resolutions don’t slowly dwindle as the year progresses (like they normally do).

Whether you’re trying to get into better shape, achieve more financial gain, or just find more inner peace, there are small little tricks you can do to psyche yourself out and finally accomplish your goals.

It’s not always easy but with the right dedication, focus and balance in your life, you can accomplish anything in 2019! No more excuses when it comes to what you want to achieve — you have to go and get it for yourself!

This is part one of a three-part series that will help break down how to start navigating your way to a successful year.

On the next part, we’ll be talking about the best habits every single good boss should have. Make sure you tune in next week to more Sav Says. Join me every Friday this month to learn new, easy ways to stick to your goals and create positive habits to dominate 2019!

3 ways to start making money in the eSports industry today

Last week we kicked off the convo talking about the emerging eSports market and why now is the time to get invested. In part two this week, we discuss how!

There are obviously numerous ways to get involved in the eSports space however, it’s all relative to each individual because everyone has a different amount of time to dedicate, different amounts of money to invest, and a different level of interest in eSports itself.

So essentially, we’re going to keep all concepts pretty high level and whichever of those apply to you the most, take that information and feel free to do your own research more in depth.

We’ll discuss 1) Creative Entrepreneurial Ways to Get Involved, 2) Navigating eSports Stocks and 3) the Private Market and Startups.

Check out the video above and make sure to subscribe to Sav Says on YouTube! Stay tuned to learn more!

Sav Says: Why eSports is the next major sport to get involved in NOW

With one of the fastest-growing fan bases in pro sports today, eSports has a youthful global audience that’s already larger than Major League Baseball’s and have top players who are quickly joining the ranks of millionaires.

It’s safe to say, that gaming has entered the mainstream. In just a few years eSports has gone from laughing stock to the new celebrity investment craze.

In just 2018 alone, we’ve had Drake and Scooter Braun become eSports co-owners, Chris Bosh become an executive for an eSports Player Development program, and Steph Curry being a first-round investor for TSM.

Now, this is just 2018… In 2016 is where we started to some serious buy-in from “fellow” sports organizations and individuals such as the 76ers, Sacramento Kings, Rick Fox, Alex Rodriguez, Shaq, and Magic Johnson.

Then in 2017, we see some investments from the Miami Heat and co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks to just name a few. So what do these teams and moguls see in eSports? How did eSports even get to this point? Check out the Sav Says video above to find out more.

Martyr or marketing ploy: Is Nike really kneeling with Kaepernick?

During the week of the NFL season opener, Nike has strategically dropped their campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick and it’s erupted conversation, tension, and social media hashtag challenges. It’s divided the nation, once again, into the pro-kneelers and the anti-kneelers.

With Kaepernick in and of himself being such a controversial topic, Nike has been newly revered as a sort of “martyr” in the sense that they’re putting their sales at risk for the betterment of the nation and social inequality. However, with their instantly recognizable swoosh and slogan, Nike clearly knows a few things about marketing, so it’s hard to believe there is no personal motive here.

Any person can be pretty certain Nike ran the numbers and saw that, despite the shoe-burning and boycott-threatening, the move would be good for business. Let’s a take a look at the stats Nike most likely considered when making their decision…

Now, it’s no surprise that the majority of Nike’s demographic is young African-American males. We have a strong history of prioritizing Nike, specifically Jordan’s, within our low-income budgets, and even murder each other, just to have them in our possession.

Nike’s core demographic is primary millennials. The majority of Millennials (60 percent to be exact) are belief-driven buyers. But while a clear majority of Americans wants the brands they interact with to speak out on social issues, it’s also important to note that there are significant differences among demographic groups. According to Sprout Social:

“Seventy-eight percent of respondents who self-identify as liberal want brands to take a stand, while just about half (52 percent to be exact) of respondents who self-identify as conservative feel the same.”

The fact that liberals are a lot more interested in companies getting political no doubt made Nike’s decision even easier. As sports industry analyst Matt Powell noted in a since deleted tweet: “Old angry white guys are not a core demographic for Nike.” The company’s customers skew younger, urban, and liberal, so angering conservatives only won Nike increased loyalty. Not only is Nike’s core audience likely to be sympathetic to Kaepernick and the causes he stands for, but they’re also more likely to spend on sneakers.

Was the marketing powerhouse correct in their research and projections? As always… of course they were. Nike sales have increased 31% despite the backlash and burning of their already-purchased sneakers… and I don’t know about about you guys, but all I see on my social media nowadays is this Nike Kaepernick meme which has flooded my feed.

So now that we’ve proven our loyalty to Nike, we, as African-Americans, feel as though Nike has proven themselves to “us” by having a symbolic figure such as Kaepernick as the face of their 30th-anniversary campaign. However, is this really a plea for social justice or just a marketing ploy researched and proven to increase Nike’s profits for their own selfish reasons?

Nike is still in contract with the NFL for another 8 years, but do we think they would’ve made this same marketing decision if their contract was up for renewal in 2019, or even 2020? (Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!)

At the end of the day, what we can say to Nike for sure, whether social equality is their true intention or not, is “thank you for bullying the bully.”