Kobe Bryant – The Legend

Kobe Bryant 8Kobe Bean Bryant entered the National Basketball Association (NBA) right out of high school as the first guard to ever do so, in 1996. On draft night the Hornets selected him and he was immediately, as was prearranged, traded to the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Black Mamba stayed with the Showtime Lakers for his entire 20 year career, earning 18 trips to the All-Star game, being named 15 times to the All-NBA team, locking in 12 All-Defensive Team honors, taking home 5 NBA Championships (one three-peat and one repeat), nabbing 2 NBA Finals MVP Awards, and 1 NBA MVP, among many other honors and accomplishments. His 18X All-Star appearances is second only to NBA All-Star and Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s 19 nods.

Kobe Bryant 24He was a monster on the court, offensively and defensively, and earned the respect of virtually anyone who played or watched the game, even those who hate on the Lakers, for their 16 total NBA Championships, second only to the Boston Celtics who have won 17, 11 of which were gathered with NBA All-Star and Hall of Famer Bill Russell.

obe Bryant 5 time champKobe was the first-ever NBA player to amass at least 30,000 career points coupled with 6,000 career assists, and is one of only four NBA players with 25,000 points, 6,000 rebounds and 6,000 assists. In 2006, the Black Mamba scored 81 points in a W over the Toronto Raptors, second only to 100 dropped by legend Wilt Chamberlain.

During his career, Kobe averaged 25.0 points, 5.20 rebounds, and 4.69 assists per game. His 33,643 total points scored ranks 4th all-time in the NBA. He played 1,346 regular season games and another 220 NBA playoff games.

Kobe Bryant OscarDue to a very serious torn Achilles tendon in 2013, and further injuries to follow, his remaining few years with the team were not vintage Kobe, although his last game, the 2016 season finale on April 13, saw him scoring a season-high 60 points against Utah, where, during this last hurrah, he outscored the entire Jazz team 23–21 in the fourth quarter, ensuring a Lakers 101–96 victory.

He was also a two-time Olympic Gold Medal winner (2008 and 2012) and, after his retirement he won an Oscar in 2018 for the Best Animated Short Film, titled “Dear Basketball.”

Kobe Bryant will be missed on many levels.

May he Rest in Peace!

Over For Now.

Main Street One

 

New Painter Refuses to be a Struggling Artist

Mirit and her First Sale - Even Water BreaksThere are artists who create their vision and hope that someday, in the not too distant future, they will make it, that they will be discovered. Then there are artists, such as Mirit, who break that mold entirely. The first sale by the 43-year-old novice painter was for $28,000 – within months after she picked up painting brushes for the very first time.

“Even though I came to the game late and only taught myself to paint a few months ago, I swore that I would never be a starving artist,” Mirit says. “I’m a business woman and an artist and decided that I will focus on making high-end art for collectors, celebrities and people who can afford the quality of the art that I want to create.”

The proud owner of Mirit’s first sale, “Even Water Breaks,” is Marina Shea, an avid South African art collector who operates several dental offices in Southern California. A lover of beaches, Marina was immediately drawn towards the painting due to its sensual and romantic nature, encased by a dynamic, heavily lacquered natural wood frame.

MiritOne of Mirit’s driving forces is not being discouraged by “art critics,” especially those who may spew their negative judgment upon new painters, or artists of any kind, while in many cases not being able to create art of their own.

Born in Israel, raised in a Nigerian jungle in Africa, and then legally immigrating to the United States, Mirit is not your typical artist. She escaped an extremely abusive marriage from a disbarred attorney and found herself on welfare with two young daughters to raise.

To provide for her family, she entered the business world and became very successful in the field of high-tech, long before she even considered painting as a vocation.

“For some reason,” Mirit says, “I can paint with no former training. It’s taken over my life. I paint every chance that I get and sometimes wake up in the middle of the night or at 5 a.m. because I have to paint.”

Mirit is blazing a new trail, one that very few novice artists have ever traversed. One of her strongest beliefs that continues to guide her is, “I truly believe that we’re all artists at heart.” Learn more about her and check out her unique art as prints, home décor and more at Mirit.

Grateful American by Gary Sinise review

scott d welch - grateful american by gary siniseI was fortunate to become a member of the Grateful American Launch Team, a group of people who follow Gary Sinise on Social Media, who are Patriots and who love books, which afforded me the opportunity to receive an Advance Readers Copy of his book for review.

Actor Gary Sinise (Forrest Gump, CSI:New York, etc.) wrote “Grateful American – A Journey From Self to Service” which skillfully and wondrously chronicles his life, all the while describing the subtitle perfectly.

In his Prologue the tone of the book is set…there will be much emotion, there will be introspection, there will be memories, and there will be defining moments where ideas come to fruition and where decisions are made. You are being prepared for what is to come in this very personal journey.

In the Prologue, Sinise writes “…my life’s mission and passion today are to shine a light on those who serve and defend, the true heroes who go into harm’s way, volunteering to lay down their lives so we can have the freedom to make something real and good of our own lives.”  You can feel his Patriotism and his pride throughout.

The events detailed in his book leading up to how he goes about accomplishing this mission are quite entertaining and very moving.  The details of relationships, not just with our military and first responders, but with his acting peers, especially those in their early years, show not just a quite talented man but a sincerely humble one.

From beginning to end, page after page, you feel as though you are getting to know Gary, the person, and that if you were ever fortunate enough to meet him in person one day, it would be like two old friends shaking hands and hugging, though it would be vastly one-sided in that knowledge.

Sinise is certainly fulfilling his mission and passion.  Evidence, outside the book, is quite abundant.  To check out his recent, and former, activities with and for our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need please visit the Gary Sinise Foundation and his Lt Dan Band website.

I am proud to share and support his journey.

Releasing February 12, 2019 and several places can be found here.

Over For Now.

Main Street One