And1 Tai Chi Mixtape Shoes – In the Wild!

Introducing the TAI CHI MIXTAPE, a limited edition remix on one of the most iconic basketball shoes to date, the AND1 Tai Chi.

And I’ve got them. You can’t read my past blog posts on my extensive fan love anymore but I was a huge And1 fan – I had jerseys, mixtapes, mixtape poster, mixtape tours, books, etc. I tried to intern for them over a decade ago, writing a personal letter to Seth Berger. I even have an autographed card from the team’s 2005 E3 appearance to promote their And1 Streetball game. It sits framed in my apartment and has traveled the world with me. It’s been great to see them getting back to their streetball and community roots over the last few years – you can also find their gear at affordable prices in places like Walmart.

The shoes look great in person. The only problem is if I can bear to wear them and get them dirty…IMG_1477IMG_1479IMG_1480IMG_1482

NBA Business Lessons from Jared Dudley

https://art19.com/shows/thewojpod/episodes/ebb0221c-ccdc-46f5-b54f-cbbfb8405863/embed

I listened to this newest episode of Adrian Wojnarowski’s The Woj Pod this morning on my commute – it is excellent, perhaps the most educational NBA business related podcast episode I’ve ever listened to. Jared Dudley goes into details about what makes a veteran valuable to a team, and how he got paid for that. I’ve never heard a current player be so frank about his situation before – you’ll usually only hear about that stuff once it’s long over (Jalen Rose). Jared Dudley keeps it real!

My favorite quote, from something Jared Dudley learned, “Be a star in your role.” I love the direction of doing what you’re asked to do at your very best, not what you think you should be doing or what you want to do, but fulfilling your assigned role to the maximum and forgetting ego.

I’ve been listening to Woj for the last year. At first, his interview style was a bit annoying because he tends to ask positive-tilting leading questions, but once I understood that people aren’t coming on to be grilled by a homicide detective, I’ve really enjoyed the quality of guests he brings on and the stories they tell on the podcast.

Through this, I understand the relationships Woj has built around the NBA, why’s he’s such a scoop machine, and his value to ESPN.

Being Sad for Ivan Rabb Means We Should Celebrate the “One and Done”

A year ago, I said:

As of today, according to DraftExpress (a reputable source on pre-NBA talent), Jaylen Brown would be the 4th pick (or is the 4th best prospect, however you want to read it) in this summer’s draft. Ivan Rabb is 14th. Both would be considered “lottery picks”, draft picks for teams that do not make the NBA playoffs, just as Chris Porter could have been so long ago. …

If their draft positions hold, Rabb and Brown would get closer to $3M and $7M, respectively. …

Taking money now is the smart thing, if it is guaranteed. For any player’s long term development, he has to be in a good team situation in which he can grow (compare San Antonio Spurs vs Brooklyn Nets) – this is something a player has much less control over and thus, has much more risk. The money is guaranteed while the opportunity to play, be liked by a coaching staff, is not. …

Other than having your draft position go down, costing you literally millions of dollars, if you get booted to the second round as Chris Porter, you will not have a guaranteed contract, or a contract at all. …

If a player stayed in school in order to complete his college degree and then dropped out of the first round, I would say he wasted the point of going to college. Jaylen Brown, Ivan Rabb, get in the draft now and go to summer school in the future.

Last night, former Cal Bear Ivan Rabb was picked in the second round by the Memphis Grizzlies, 35th overall. That likely means no guaranteed money, no guaranteed roster spot, and extensive time in the D League.

Rabb went from the projected late lottery as a freshman with guaranteed money and a chance to play to now having nothing.

And for those who look down upon the one (year) and done athlete, how do you feel about someone who lost millions of dollars by doing the “right thing”?

This isn’t much different from the example of Chris Porter over 15 years ago. Last year, I recommended: “Jaylen Brown, Ivan Rabb, get in the draft now and go to summer school in the future.”

I’m sorry Ivan.