Monthly Archives: November 2012

Brad Pitt Movie Trailer Showdown: Killing Them Softly vs World War Z

You are not like me. You are the kind of person that thinks, “I can get sick of Brad Pitt’s glorious acting ability. You know that Brad Pitt is playing a hitman with a heart made out used bullet shells in this weekend’s release of Killing Them Softly. But you also know that Brad Pitt is playing a resourceful world-saver in the global war on zombies in next year’s World War Z. You don’t know which Pitt to give your hard earned $32.50 to (you know that’s the cost of a movie when you bring a date, and you’re a man who can get a date). So which do you see. Let’s check the tape.

Killing Them Softly

World War Z


If you are a man, see Killing Them Softly. Johnny Cash would laugh at you for seeing a zombie flick over a classic gangster flick.

If you are a woman, see them both. You’re the kind of woman that can get a date, so it’s free.

You’re welcome,

Kobe Bryan’ts Diary: What’s In A Name?

After 16 years in the league, Kobe Bryant has decided to keep a diary to document “the year he caught Jordan”.  While Kobe refuses to remove the diary from a pedestal in his trophy room, he has allowed Writing Bareback the exclusive rights to post these excerpts.

November 23 – vs Memphis

This was a fun day until we blew a second straight game, this one to the Memphis Grizzlies. I know it’s not my fault. I scored 30 and was easily the best player on the floor. I didn’t want to talk about a losses over my weekend holiday, so I was really glad that I’d given the press something to have fun with by glossing the nickname “Gatsby” on Steve Nash.

My father was a good basketball player. But there’s a reason you never see the word “good” in front of the word “legacy,” and if you do, try to remember that you can’t have an oxymoron without a moron. One thing people do remember about my father is his nickname, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant. When I was a kid, I asked him if he liked it and he said, “Of course. If you don’t have a nickname, then nobody gives a shit about you.” It’s amazing how a father’s words stick with you.

I’ve personally had some great nicknames. A few off the top of my head are “Lord of the Rings,” “Mr. 81,” “The Closer,” and “King Kobe.” I appreciated those, but when I remembered my father’s words, it caused me to think about who should have been giving nicknames. No one gives a shit about me more than me, so I was best suited to self gloss. Now everyone in the world knows and adores me as “The Black Mamba.”

When you lead a team, you always have to focus on keeping others involved while also keeping them focused on our end product: being a playoff-ready team that understands how to pay at my championship caliber. You can’t get depressed by things like injuries, and you can’t let an injured teammate get depressed about not contributing. So when I realized

November 24 – vs Dallas

Sorry about the abrupt ending to my last journal entry. Some people might think it’s weird to apologize in a private journal, but considering that no one can ever be as disappointed in me as I can be in myself, it feels good to clear the air. I forgive me.

So when I realized that Steve might be feeling left out, I started thinking about ways to include him. I’m at the theater checking out Lincoln last weekend because I respect history and consider the Great Emancipator a kindred spirit in his commitment to excellence, and all of a sudden a trailer for The Great Gatsby comes on. I’m looking at Leonardo DiCaprio, but I’m seeing Steve Nash. Most people are saying I came up with it because Gatsby’s hair looks like Steve’s hair.


I speak three languages. I am EXTREMELY knowledgeable about literature, fashion and modern cinema. I lay a nickname like “Gatsby” on Steve, and everyone should realize that I take my life as seriously as I take my game. Your words are your brands are your businesses after all. Plus, now I’ve got the media talking about Steve again, keeping him focused on how important he’s going to be to this team and getting them to play at my championship level. So what if the hair does look the exact same. Give me some credit.

Anyway, picked up an easy W against Dallas. Figlio di puttana, Cuban! Ha!

-Mamba out


Kobe Bryant’s Diary: Crouching Trainer, Hidden Harden

After 16 years in the league, Kobe Bryant has decided to keep a diary to document “the year he caught Jordan”.  While Kobe refuses to remove the diary from a pedestal in his trophy room, he has allowed Writing Bareback the exclusive rights to post these excerpts.

November 15th – Practice Day

Ask any real basketball fan who the best player of all time is, and you’ll only get one of two answers: Michael Jeffrey Jordan or Kobe Bean Bryant. The tie that binds us is Phil “Zen Master” Jackson. Michael won all six of his rings with Phil. I won all five of my rings with Phil. Needless to say, It’s going to be weird catching number 23 this year under the eye of Mike D’Antoni, but if anyone is capable of pulling this off, it’s me.

Still, you can’t help but overhear the rumors. You hear people saying that you’re too old and too slow. You put up with pranks like the Depends waiting for you in the visitor’s locker room (no one from Utah will own that prank. I’m 90% sure that it’s Dwight’s effort at motivating the team. He’s such a child). You can’t get caught up in all that, though. You can only rep out 1,000 elbow jumpers a day in preparation for the next game. We’ve got Phoenix tomorrow night, and I’d like to give my new coach the gift of victory.

-Mamba out

November 16th – vs Phoenix

When it comes to Phoenix, the first thing you think is how frustrating it is that we put such a low value on phonetic spelling. The second thing you think of is their team of native American witch doctors that they call a training staff. Broken veterans who have the historical durability of wet balsa wood go to Phoenix and suddenly they’re AC Green (I see you, Grant Hill). Some people think my obsession with Aaron Nelson and his band of voodoo masters is unneccessary. But unless I learn Aaron’s ways, I might actually have to keep my word to retire in a couple of years instead of playing the two more decades that Arizona magic could grant me.  Today, I got to the arena an hour earlier than usual so I could try to intercept old teammate Shanon Brown for some background tips. I texted him when I got impatient.

Me: LET SHANNON DUNK! lol -Mamba
SB: MAMBA! you cray
Me: u n staples?
SB: fo sho. n LR doing #CSRRacing. you play?
Me: wtf? son, plz
SB: ur loss mamba. 1174 2nite?
Me: u didn’t CU46 any1?
SB: nah. i keep LA free for the Mamba
Me: def. can u ?^ Aaron Nelson 4 me
Me: Shannon?
Me: 4Q – Mamba

You hate when an old “teammate” turns on you so quickly. Apparently Nelson includes amnesiac hypnosis as part of his rehab techniques. I went ahead and dropped a casual 31 points and picked up the big W for Coach D. Before getting into my cool-down routine, I check out CSR Racing on my iPhone. Shannon was right. It had been my loss.

-Mamba out

November 18 – vs Houston

Professional athletics has long been a thrilling industry for facial hair, and the NBA is certainly no exception. James Harden is a young player who has done a good job of building his brand and bank account with a bearded offensive. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that. I know a thing or two about building a brand, but my only technique to building my brand has been to consistently put in the grueling man hours needed to be the best basketball player that ever walked the earth. I make a possible exception for Jesus Christ because even though I’m pretty sure that Jewish men from 2,000 years ago don’t have the physicality for an 82-game season, it’s not clear how Son-of-God powers translate at the NBA level. The one thing I do know is that if Jesus Christ was a great basketball player, I would probably be more concerned about an acute connection to the Holy Spirit than his beard.

Anyway, I messed around and got a triple-double, beating Harden in every single statistic for the night.  It was important for me to remind him who the best shooting guard in the game is, now and forever. The game wasn’t enough though. The people who think you’re only playing the other guy on the court don’t best-think in best-terms. I had a message delivered to him that I handwrote on the inside of a folded out Gillette box.

“I am a 5-time champion with 2 NBA Finals MVPs 14 All-Star appearances. No one with a beard like yours has ever accomplished what I have.”

He’ll receive my cover issue of Best Shave to drive the point home before our next matchup on December 4th. I wouldn’t be surprised if he were babyfaced by the playoffs.

-Mamba out

Kobe Bryant’s Diary: A Little Adversity

After 16 years in the league, Kobe Bryant has decided to keep a diary to document “the year he caught Jordan”.  While Kobe refuses to remove the diary from a pedestal in his trophy room, he has allowed Writing Bareback the exclusive rights to post these excerpts.

November 11 – vs Sacramento

In life, you’re going to face some prosperity and some adversity. Sometimes that prosperity is making millions of dollars while you perform your craft at a virtually unprecedented level over two decades. Sometimes that adversity is not having the gentle, guding hand of a zen master to help you sustain your success. That’s just the way life goes. But like Phil always said in what I’m sure is a Phil original, “Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records.” Reminder to self: I’m the second kind of man.

In a renaissance of Lakers greatness, we put together our first back-to-back wins of the season. That’s just one win shy of a hot streak, which is basically the team equivalent of my shooting in 4th quarters. Yep, we put a good beat on the Sacremento Queens (Shaq wasn’t exactly Yogi Berra with the quotes, but that line is worth remembering). It’s always fun when your much poorer, less successful, in-state non-rivals come to town and get reminded how much poorer and less successful they’ll always be. C-Webb’s not walking through that door.

D’Antoni’s going to be here soon. I support the hire for now. It’ll be interesting to see how the rest of the team responds.

-Mamba out

November 13 – vs San Antonio

There was a man who once said, “Life is truly known only to those who suffer, lose, endure adversity and stumble from defeat to defeat.” That man was probably one of the drunk hobo’s I ignore while I’m coasting towards the Staples Center in any one of my Bentleys. Simpler minds would assume I purchased my $10 million garage with legal tender. While that’s true on the surface, the deep truth is that money is merely the tangible realization of my bestness. I don’t stumble from defeat to defeat. I frollick from championship to championship. It’s the lifestyle I’m accustomed to, and that only made losing to the Spurs tonight more painful.

Normally, watching a professional like Tim Duncan perform at a high level warms my heart. He’s nearly three years older than I am. So when I take into account my superior genetics, conditioning and overseas medical connections, watching Tim reminds me that I have at least another 14 years of best-level performance in me. But tonight, losing to the Spurs was nearly unbearable. It was more about the way we lost than anything. Dany Green hitting a go-ahead three over my perfectly outstretched hand hurt. Watching as Pau Gasol missed a last second shot that I definitely would have made gave me “the announcement” feeling. Simply brutal. Any time that someone who isn’t me is taking a last-second shot, you have to question his commitment to winning. D’antoni will be here soon, and I hope he was watching tonight, because he’d better nip those 4th quarter shenanigans in the bud as his first priority if he wants to avoid going the way of Mike Brown.

I can’t write anymore. I think I’m sick.

-Mamba out

Kobe Bryant’s Diary: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

After 16 years in the league, Kobe Bryant has decided to keep a diary to document “the year he caught Jordan”.  While Kobe refuses to remove the diary from a pedestal in his trophy room, he has allowed Writing Bareback the exclusive rights to post these excerpts.

November 9th – vs Golden State

Whenever you go through crisis, it’s tempting to wonder about the future. But the trick to dealing with crisis is placing a laser focus on today’s responsibilities. Since I’ve lived every year of my past in preparation for the everlasting present, I wasn’t shocked when I heard about Mike Brown’s dismissal. I got this text from Kupchak:

Mitch: Mike’s out
Me: Phil?
Mitch: Working on him

And that was it. I updated my Facebook page to calm the hysteria of fans, but I couldn’t waste time on further speculation. I had a game against Golden State to focus on. Our second win. I’ll put more thought into this on a non-game day.

November 10th – No Game

There’s no such thing as a mutual break-up.  It usually boils down to some kind of he said, he said situation, and while you try to make it clear that it’s a matter of mutual chemistry and not mutual affection, the message never comes across the right way. You try to explain to the other person that it’s over, that you’d rather be with the old grey man with the fused spine and excellent book recommendations. You try not to make eye contact as the other person realizes there’s no hope left, as he sputters “I tried my best” while wiping the tears away from his admittedly stylish glasses. You try, but you’re really just giddy for the moment that this other person leaves and you can text Phil that you’re single again.

Me: “Hey coach, what are you up to this season? – Mamba”
Me: “It will be different this year. I changed. I got my knee fixed in Germany.”
Me: “You have won six with MJ! Now win six with me! – Mamba”

Sometimes good sense betrays you when you’re texting an ex. I wish that I hadn’t found that Braveheart line so moving. It feels desparate in a third, unanswered text. I’ll bet that Phil doesn’t even have that old cell number anymore. Yeah, that’s it. He wouldn’t just ignore me like I didn’t give him some of my best game-winning years. Would he?

Maybe I should have been a little nicer to Coach Brown.

-Mamba out

Kobe Bryant’s Diary: The Will to Win (cont).

After 16 years in the league, Kobe Bryant has decided to keep a diary to document “the year he caught Jordan”.  While Kobe refuses to remove the diary from a pedestal in his trophy room, he has allowed Writing Bareback the exclusive rights to post these excerpts.

November 8th – No Game

I just read yesterday’s entry in my diary, and I feel a little bad. Of course I was heated about losing, and having a “teammate” assume that I cared about it to an average degree was salt in the wound. To be more accurate, it was a 300-pound salt lick dropped onto my razor-knicked chin from a height of however high a 6-10 deuschbag can lift it above his head. It’s pretty easy to see that Dwight is simultaneously becoming my greatest asset and my greatest enemy at the same time.  I’ll have to keep him close.

That said, I wasn’t wrong yesterday. Whenever you’re truly devoted to being the best, you have to be devoted to winning. And whenever you’ll do whatever it takes to win, people are going to call you selfish. They’re going to say you’re not a “team-player.” You can’t worry about that. Last I checked, it doesn’t matter if I score 50 points and the other five guys score ten apiece or if I just score all 100 myself. If we have more points at the end of the game, my TEAM wins. That’s what being a team player is all about, not letting coat-tail riders hold you back. I think it’s time for me to put the team on my back like Greg Jennings (no matter how frustrated I am with my “teammates,” that short film always helps me find strength). I’m not going to worry about what the “advanced metrics” like usage rate and true shooting percentage say. John Hollinger should have come up with a formula for PWKMAER (Player Who Kicks the Most Ass Efficiency Rating). I would have led the league in that stat for the last 14 seasons. It’s hard to argue with MJ leading the league during my 1st and 2nd seasons. I was too distracted by winning dunk contests and dating Moesha to be serious about claiming the PWKMAER crown at that time. Well, both the dunk contest and Moesha are behind me now. IT’S KOBE TIME!

Wow. I just got a hand-written letter from Phil ten minutes ago. A text would have been quicker, but Phil says that only longhand can carry the soul’s intentions. The letter says:


Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.


Phil’s included a post card that’s pre-addressed to the Budhist temple in the Phi Phi Islands where he’s vacationing. I simply write “Emerson” on the back of the post card and put it in the mail. He’ll know I understood. It’s a long season. Don’t get crazy.

-Mamba out

Kobe Bryant’s Diary: The Will to Win

After 16 years in the league, Kobe Bryant has decided to keep a diary to document “the year he caught Jordan”.  While Kobe refuses to remove the diary from a pedestal in his trophy room, he has allowed Writing Bareback the exclusive rights to post these excerpts.

November 7th – vs Utah

You never want to say anything to the press that you wouldn’t say to someone’s face.  Listen to Dwight making assumptions to ESPN. I’ve bolded, italicized and underlined the most egregious portion for convenient reading:

“I know [Kobe] was a little frustrated tonight. He wants to win just as bad as all of us do, but we just got to stay together, remember it’s a process, and stay focused.”

Dwight actually said that I only want to win as bad as my “teammates.” I’d have preferred to be wrongfully accused of sexual assault, at least then his quote would only be tied for the second worst thing ever said about me. Here’s a complete and exhaustive list of every living being that wants to win as bad as I do.

  • Vince Lombardi’s corpse

I’n tninking tgT DWIG….I’m so angry I can’t even type! Screw it! I’m averaging 40ppg for the rest of the year. DO YOU HEAR ME, KAREEM? 40!

-Mamba f-ing out

Kobe Bryant’s Diary: Down Goes Utah!

After 16 years in the league, Kobe Bryant has decided to keep a diary to document “the year he caught Jordan”.  While Kobe refuses to remove the diary from a pedestal in his trophy room, he has allowed Writing Bareback the exclusive rights to post these excerpts.

November 6th – Off Day

Leadership is often a thankless position. I’m not saying it’s thankless in the sense that you don’t get stupidly beautiful women, fantastic financial compensation, great post-leadership career options, and the genuine respect of peers and fans.  It’s not thankless like that. But look at me. I’m on a virtually unprecedented run of success as a leader, and I have to deal with doubters all the time. “Is Kobe too old to carry his team?” “Is Kobe not really as clutch as we think he is?” “Is Kobe turning gay?” The point is, people don’t appreciate all that goes into being a leader, so I tip my hat to both candidates for striving for the burden of leadership.  Naturally, I tip it a little higher to the President, a winner I voted for because game recognizes game.

The most interesting element to this election is that we have to play the Utah Jazz the day after their state’s governor lost the most public popularity contest in the world. How will they respond? Most NBA players are notoriously apathetic where matters like national politics are concerned, but I’m a little nervous about Raja Bell. Raja tends to let his emotions get the better of him. He was born in St. Croix, which is foreign enough to make him educated about politics and allows him to vote as an American citizen. If the Jazz fans are pissed at suffering another public beating at the hands of a flashier, more charismatic opponent, Raja could harness that emotion and throw me in a sleeper. You never want to be the victim of an islander’s sleeper hold, but then you remember that you get to shoot free technical shots, and you also remember that if you sell it right, Raja could get tossed from the game and fined. That’s why you start texting.

Me: 2 losses in a row for Utah – Mamba
Me: Know what I’m saying? – Mamba
Raja: I voted for Obama.
Me: You think you can convince Hayward to punch me? – Mamba

No response. Too bad. But it is nice to see how far Raja and I have come along. That we can have adult conversations about politics like that is pretty cool. At least, that’s what I was thinking until I saw that Raja hasn’t played a single minute this season. Loser.

I just read that Mitt’s actually the governor of Massachusetts. That Mormon thing can really throw you off.

-Mamba out.

Damnit! Who ordered the bacon crusted rolls?

I have a feeling this is going to blow up. Bad lip reading from the debates. There are some gems in here.

No words. Just emotions.

Kobe Bryant’s Diary: A Good American

After 16 years in the league, Kobe Bryant has decided to keep a diary to document “the year he caught Jordan”.  While Kobe refuses to remove the diary from a pedestal in his trophy room, he has allowed Writing Bareback the exclusive rights to post these excerpts.

November 5th – No Game

I thought it was awfully patriotic of David Stern to not schedule us in the last two days leading up to the election.  The last thing that this country’s citizens need is the media firestorm that will surround the first Lakers winning streak of the season.  Everyone should be focusing on the presidential election. As great as David has been in utilizing my tremendous international appeal to grow basketball into a global game, he never forgets how much we owe America. “Home is where the multibillion dollar company is,” David always says, and I know it’s true because my wife Vanessa says the same thing. I’m going to miss the commissioner when he retires. He’s been like a father to every player who’s played at a hall of fame level for over 15 years.

Now that I wrote ths little fluff piece for iVillage, everyone knows that I vote. But that’s all they can know. It’s like MJ said, “Republicans buy shoes too.”  It’d be very easy for others to believe that I endorse Barack after the way I masterfully painted a chummy picture for the press. It’d also be easy to see me voting for Mitt because I’m rich enough to own a vaulted pool of money like Scrooge McDuck.  The truth? I honestly couldn’t care less who won the election. I’m an international megastar because I only care about playing basketball at the peak of human potential, not whether or not women get equal pay (which seems kind of assinine when we consider the WNBA). I’ll still vote though, because that’s what a good American does. I’ll simply walk into the booth, vote for both cadidates and tell anyone who asks that I voted for the best man for the job because “game recognizes game.” That’s just brand management people, where winners figure out a way to win.

-Mamba Out