Kobe Bryant is part of the new Call of Duty: Black Ops marketing blitz, and their newest commercial is pretty damn cool. The idea is, of course, these are game-players, seeing themselves in their avatar’s skin, running around trying to frag other noobs, and it’s executed brilliantly.
However, considering the fact Kobe’s brandishing military armament, affectionately named “Mamba,” there’s already some backlash, or the fear thereof.
Marvel Comics has a partnership with the NBA and ESPN to produce comic book-style covers and images of the NBA and some of its players and the early returns are pretty keen. Marvel’s work can also be seen on the latest ESPN: The Magazine’s cover, and it, too, is also quite keen. It features Kobe Bryant as Iron Man (he’ll need it this season with his dodgy knee), LeBron James as Captain America (um, OK), and Kevin Durant as Thor.
While the image itself does indeed soar, Durant as Thor is pretty confusing.
Considering his nickname, Durantula, a Spider Man tie-in seems like a no-brainer, but, as /Film explains, these three iconic characters also represent the next three Marvel movies, and with Sony owning the rights to the Spider-Man movie, using Thor is understandable. That being said, throughout Marvel’s history, Thor has been awfully built and defined. Durant? While being perhaps the best scorer in the NBA now, that’s still a “not so much.”
Anyway, after the jump, check out a bigger version of the ESPN cover, as well as ESPN.com’s image from yesterday. After the jump >>
After yesterday’s love letter, it’s clear I’m excited for the NBA 2K11/Michael Jordan basketball game, but after this little head’s up from The Basketball Jones (via NikeKicks.com), I’m even more stoked. Evidently, players can unlock 40 different Air Jordan variations, the shoe that cemented Nike as part of our society’s collective conscious.
Not only do the unlockable Jordans allow you to customize appearances, they also give the player an attribute boost as well. For instance, when you unlock the ones in the lead image, the player receives a +2 in the ball handling department, and with over 40 different shoe buffs to choose from, variety will be your friend. In one game, you can have Jordan wearing shoes that give him a +10 on dunks and in another game, you can equip a pair that gives a +5 Defensive Low Post.
You know, just in case you’re guarding Kobe Bryant or another post-playing guard.
Yes, these 40 additional unlockables are there to entice potential buyers, and man, it worked on me. Granted, I was already on-board with 2K11, but this just cements my decision even further. I can imagine the same is true for all those Air Jordan collectors out there. One more thing, Kobe’s commercial for 2K11 is pretty awesome:
Kobe’s smart for drafting Jordan. What better way to protect your legacy than by putting the man who has a better one on your team?
I guess, as a sports blog, I should acknowledge the Los Angeles Lakers beating the Boston Celtics last night for their 16th banner.
Mom always told me if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. While I normally ignore that, today, mom’s right. Congratulations to the Lakers. If you want analysis, go read Ball Don’t Lie or Basketbawful. I’m basketball’d out for now.
Finally. That’s about all I can come up with when thinking about the fact the NBA Finals start tonight. Boston versus LA. The Lakers versus the Celtics. Magic versus Bird gives way to Kobe versus Paul Pierce. All things considered, that’s the way it’s supposed to be. To help get you prepared for the fun, here’s a selection of intros and promos for the NBA Finals on television.
If these don’t get you in the mood for some basketball, nothing will:
During last night’s post-game press conference, Kobe Bryant was incredibly pissed because of his team’s lack of defensive effort, and anytime a press member tried to ask him about the Lakers’ offensive performance, the answer was a less-than-impressed Kobe telling everyone who would listen that the offense wasn’t the problem. As you can tell by the look on his face in the lead image, Bryant could give less than a damn about putting the ball through the bucket.
Instead, he wants his team get stops. Lots of stops.
Arizona’s controversial immigration law has been the subject of much discussion for in-state residents, so much so, in fact, it’s even made an impression on the Suns/Lakers Conference Finals. Whether it’s the Suns wearing their “Los Suns” jerseys or the multitude of signs you’ll see during the game, like it or not, this particular series has a political undertone to it. And that, friends, is where some creative Suns fans come into play.
I found this little gem on Craigslist, a sticker in the form of Arizona state, saying simply “Deport Kobe.” While the Craigslist item looks like a cash grab capitalizing on a trend, the “Deport Kobe” meme was seen on various signs behind the Inside the NBA crew during last night’s post-game show.
Obviously, Suns fans know their chances of advancing to the NBA Finals are a great deal better without Kobe Bryant roaming the opposing sidelines, but then again, the Suns did just fine last night, surviving Bryant’s 38-point (including 6-9 from behind the arc) 7-rebound, 10-assist performance.
After sitting out for a couple of weeks to rest various bumps, bruises and ailments, Kobe Bryant made a very triumphant return to the Lakers roster last night, scoring an extremely efficient 32 points, including the game-winning 3-point shot that put the Memphis Grizzlies away for evening. For the night, Bryant was 13-19 from the field for 32 points (3-4 from behind the arc) while grabbing seven rebound and handing out six assists.
He also added three steals to his statistic total.
I mentioned something about Bryant being efficient, and to illustrate the point, his PER (player efficiency rating) for last night’s workload was 42. For comparison’s sake, the PER league leader this season is LeBron James, who averages about a +32 PER.
Anyway, enough math. How about some highlights of Kobe’s game-winning shot?