Kobe Talks Retirement; O.J. Mayo Finds A Team

By: 07.17.12
Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant (photo. Chris Sembrot)

It wasn’t easy, but a W is a W. Team USA struggled early against Brazil and were down by as many as 10. A struggle? They were having problems just converting layups. Russell Westbrook was missing breakaway lay ins; the rest of the team couldn’t make a shot in the lane. At the end of the first quarter, it was 27-17 Brazil, and we thought Coach K might break a blood vessel. Everything was going wrong for the USA early, even the Kiss Cam. Barack Obama and Michelle were in the building, and they were put on the Kiss Cam. Michelle refused the president twice, even after he went in for the kill, and the crowd wasn’t feeling it. Obama was swagging out all night in Under Armour – at a Nike event – but it took him a second try at the Kiss Cam to give his woman a smooch. Meanwhile, the USA Team pulled off a 13-2 run, and then followed it up with a 20-5 run to end any conversation about the game being up for grabs. LeBron dropped 30 points, and the USA defense was incredible in the middle quarters. They held Brazil to five third quarter points, and created another game-deciding run in the third … After the game, the Brazilian women were stopping the American stars to take pictures in the hallway. In fact, Kobe got stopped by some girl who wanted one of those Facebook “look at me!” snap shoots. Hilarious … Part of the perks of being in this industry is the gear, and yesterday our man Sean Sweeney got hooked up hardcore. As most of the readers know, he’s been in Washington, D.C. all weekend for the World Basketball Festival, and yesterday was the icing on the cake. First in the morning, all of the media brought in by Nike got a chance to head over to the Armory – the site of most of the weekend’s action – and wear test the new Nike Lunar Hyperdunk 2012. The sneaker features a chip system and phone syncing system that tracks all of your physical stats while playing and wearing the shoes. When we say everything, we mean it. Vertical and quickness are incredibly easy to detect, but there’s even more than that. You can track your time spent sprinting, walking and moving laterally in-game, and the percentages. You can track how often you use hyper quickness and how often you’re moving at a steady pace. All of your jumping is tracked, analyzed and charted for averages. You can also see how much energy you’ve used, and pretty much all of this info is put into easy-to-use bar charts. It really is insane; Sweeney can’t even recall all of it because it’s so engrossing. We went through specific testing for vertical and quickness, as well as on-court statistical measures. But what was probably coolest was the dunk station, where the rim was placed at varying heights, Nike employees filmed and the media were given the chance to dunk, see themselves on a big screen and see their statistics. On top of that, the sneaker is super dope and has the potential to work on-court or off of it. Check back here later for a full recap and full review of the shoe … Keep reading to hear about Kobe’s retirement …

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