Tag Archives: Los Angeles

Elgin Baylor | The Most Important Laker Legend

By David Jordan Jr

The one. The first. The blueprint. When people think of Los Angeles, California, many different things come to mind. The beautiful beaches, Hollywood, celebrities galore and the Los Angeles Dodgers all have a permanent place in the city of Los Angeles. The most iconic and symbolic representation of the City of Angeles is the Los Angeles Lakers. Originally founded in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Lakers franchise moved to California in 1960. The one-way ticket to Los Angeles for the franchise brought the most important player to ever wear the purple and gold (royal blue and white initially) to Los Angeles; #22 Elgin Gay Baylor. Baylor, a product of Washington D.C. transcended the game of basketball with not only his natural on-court talent but his creativity and his ability to be great EVERYTIME he stepped on the hardwood. Drafted to the Lakers out of Seattle University in the post-George Mikan era, Baylor was able to fill a void in the franchise created by Mikan’s retirement. Baylor’s first year in the National Basketball Association would see him win not only the NBA Rookie Of the Year, but he would also be named Co-MVP of the All-Star Game while also being named to the ALL NBA First Team. His rookie season would be a preview to the future of unmatched exploits that he would display on the hardwood wearing a Lakers uniform in both in the cities of Minneapolis and Los Angeles. April 10, 2018, Elgin released his personal memoir “Hang Time: My Life In Basketball” to the world. This memoir gives the reader a true glimpse into what made Elgin Baylor a great basketball player and how life experiences from a society rooted in racism didn’t hinder him from achieving his goals but pushed him to excel beyond the limits created by segregation and limited opportunity. Reading Baylor’s words about his days as a youth in the nation’s capital, Washington D.C., his recounting of acts of racism against his sister and father show not only the effect it had on him individually but it also put into perspective how awful racism was for black people in an area of the country that was not one of the Confederate states.

“Integration has become law, but how do you legislate against hate?” – Elgin Baylor

That quote from Elgin Baylor may be the most powerful words written in his memoir. One, this quote shows how hate outweighed legislative laws created to create a land of equality. Two, these words are still relevant sixty plus years later as hate is still existent in many places where laws would indicate otherwise.

“I am a human being.” – Elgin Baylor, 1959

1968 would see Dr. Martin Luther King Jr come to Memphis, TN leading a strike with sanitation workers of the city that demanded equal treatment to their white co-workers and to be treated as a human being. The adopted mantra for this march by King and the sanitation workers was “I Am A Man.” In 1959 Elgin Baylor made the decision to not play in an NBA game after being refused accommodations at a hotel in Charleston, West Virginia. Before Muhammad Ali, Baylor made the ultimate statement on the highest platform as an athlete, understanding that being treated as a human being was worth more than any NBA paycheck he would receive. Baylor made this stand at a time when the NBA operated on an unwritten “quota” system that limited the number of black players on teams. Despite the ignorance and hate-filled actions of that night and many other instances in his life, Baylor achieved in ways that had not been seen before in the NBA. 

The greatness of Baylor as a Laker was validated by the one who had a courtside seat to every game from the teams initial move to Los Angeles; the late great Chick Hearn. Hearn the play-by-play announcer for the Lakers saw every legend to wear the purple and gold uniform; Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, James Worthy, Jamaal Wilkers and the list to continue, but the greatest of them all according to Hearn was Elgin Baylor. The number of honors Baylor finished his career with are outstanding and one would need a scroll to read them in totality.

Elgin Baylor Career Accomplishments

11 Time NBA All-Star (1959–1965, 1967–1970)
NBA All-Star Game MVP (1959)
10 Time All-NBA First Team (1959–1965, 1967–1969)
NBA Rookie of the Year (1959)
NBA 35th Anniversary Team
NBA 50th Anniversary All-Time Team
Jersey retired by Los Angeles Lakers (22)
NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player (1958)
Helms Foundation Player of the Year (1958)
Consensus First-Team All-American (1958)
Consensus Second-Team All-American (1957)
Led NCAA in rebounding (1957)
Jersey retired by Seattle University (22)
NBA Finals Record 61 points (single-game scoring record)

The pinnacle of Laker greatness has been defined by the ultimate honor from the organization; being immortalized in statue form forever. April 6, 2018, the statue of Elgin Baylor was revealed to the world in front of the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. With Laker royalty and Laker fans on hand to pay homage to the living legend that carried the franchise on his back from Minneapolis to Los Angeles, Baylor’s day was a live memoir for those on hand of the journey he took in life in becoming a man and a basketball legend.

“Hang Time” shows how the combination of God-given ability, humility, perseverance and hard work created the first and most important Laker legend Elgin Baylor. The statue of Elgin Baylor immortalizes his on-court greatness and the accomplishments and statistical records he amassed show the completeness of his game. Los Angeles wouldn’t be Los Angeles without the Lakers and the Lakers wouldn’t be in Los Angeles without Elgin Baylor. Simple math. #EB22

Big Baller Brand INC

By David Jordan Jr
Big Baller Brand. BBB. The Ball Brothers. The Ball Family. There is an old adage that says in order to do big things you have to first visualize yourself doing big things. The path always taken is not always the right path. There are many different ways to get to an intended destination. Lavar Ball has had a vision for his sons every since they were old enough to hold a basketball and understand that the game of basketball is something that they wanted to do with their lives. Love Mr. Ball or hate him, you must respect him for number one, his love and belief in his sons ability to play the game of basketball and number two his frame of mind to own rather than be owned.
Lavar’s three sons Lonzo, LaMelo and LiAngelo have all made waves in recent years through their on court exploits in Chino Hills, California. Through the AAU circuit playing ball for their father and by also playing collectively at Chino Hills High School, each Ball brother has created their unique intrigue for the media, analysts and fans to become enamored and consumed with in today’s world of basketball. Lavar Ball has not only sought to making sure his kids are in a position to be successful on the basketball court; he has fully embraced the opportunity to create a platform for success off the court with the creation and launching of the Big Baller Brand. Lonzo Ball, the oldest of the Ball brothers recently completed his one and only season of collegiate basketball at UCLA before deciding to take his talents to the NBA.   A sure lottery pick, the opportunity to turn pro is essentially what Lonzo has worked for his entire life and what Lavar has primed him for as not only a coach, but a father. Anytime a player declares for the draft, particularly the NBA Draft, a multitude of opportunities comes his way. Endorsement opportunities from all walks of life present themselves to the next potential NBA superstar. The one constant in recent years has been the signature shoe deal for NBA Draftees. The shoes companies which have consistently been involved with professional basketball over the years (Nike, Reebok, Converse, Adidas and most recently Under Armour) have had a stranglehold over the top talents which have entered the Association. The magic of Lavar Ball is that he totally understood the value which his son(s) not only would have to one of the aforementioned shoe companies but he also understood the value each of them could potentially have to themselves. Enter Big Baller Brand. NEVER has there been a player in any sport that entered the professional ranks with their own brand of athletic shoes and athletic apparel. The greatest athletes of all time which have had their own signature shoe had the rights of their shoe owned by a corporation which dictated essentially everything pertaining to the shoe. Sure some input was allowed from the athlete but in most cases a design team was put in place to put together  the shoe, the marketing plan for the shoe and most importantly the price of the shoe. Lavar Ball has to be celebrated for the fact that he understands the dynamics which factor into the shoe game and how corporations marginalize the person which has the signature shoe while maximizing the profit that comes from that same shoe.The Ball brothers and their father Lavar have been the victims of extreme ridicule and hate for being visionaries and game changers with ambitions as they have launched their own athletic brand. There are no rules which says a person has to follow the norm; conformity is what hinders not only people but ideas and in the world of business ideas and growth it is what creates dollars and cents.
Lonzo Ball is a potential top three pick in the 2017 NBA Draft and with that stamp shoe companies began clamoring after his signature once he declared for the draft. The genius of Lavar coupled with the design of the “ZO2” by Lonzo shook the entire shoe world; this happened because many looked at them as “How dare they create something on their own and not do what everybody else is doing” and then the price tag of $495.00 also created other discussions amongst people. So many people have been quick to say “he hasn’t proven himself” and that the price is “ridiculous” but the real question is who are these people to make these statements? So many people in the world (particularly the United States of America) get so caught up in labels and what everybody else is buying, wearing and driving that they are easily influenced and see nothing else. The fact that a black man has the mind and ability to go his own route in an industry as crazed as the athletic shoe industry has infuriated so many individuals. There have been countless journalists and reporters in the media that have not simply made judgements and remarks about Lavar’s Big Baller Brand, but have made personal attacks on Lavar, his family and how he parents his kids. The personal attacks on Lavar are totally unfair, yet they are not uncommon when it comes to black parents which have played a major role in their child’s development as an athlete. Richard Williams, the father of tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams encountered much of the same resentment and backlash nearly twenty years ago for being a vocal father and having such a strong belief in his daughters and their athletic abilities.

Richard Williams with his daughter Venus and Serena Williams

Lavar has taken things a step farther with the creation of an athletic line, totally disregarding what other think he should do by pursing and financing his own corporation. The investment in one’s self will determine the potential return; Nike invested $90 Million dollars in Lebron before he stepped foot on a NBA court and in the years since he signed with them has made billions of dollars in profit off of his signature to endorse the Nike brand. The money invested by the Ball family into themselves has the potential for endless financial returns.

I applaud Lavar Ball for being a trendsetter within an industry which has had total control over the athletes which have propelled it to astronomical levels with not only notoriety, but also financially. The price tag of the ZO2 is what many claim to be dissatisfied about but the anger and resentment is deeper; the majority of people are upset that the Ball Family has chosen their own “LANE” to achieve success.

A FREE WORLD | DCTG Sportswear

By David Jordan Jr
With the changing of the seasons, it’s only appropriate that the Wave GOD (Chris Douglas-Roberts) blesses the world with the releases of his much anticipated fashion collection, DCTG Sportswear.1v2a4423_massive

“Don’t Cheat The Grind” is not only something you wear; it’s a way of life, a way of living and maximizing one’s self to the highest level. Sportswear that is composed of not only fabric, but experiences has enabled  CDR to connect with the world on a unique level. The life he has lived has cultivated his perspective, which is clearly visible in the pieces in the collection. Simplicity and heart are what stand out when it comes to connecting with people. Style is something that you create and with each unique piece from the DCTG collection, one is able to create their own dynamic style.1v2a4198_massive DCTG Sportswear is unique in the fact that it enables us all to be apart of the something bigger than a label. We are all grinding through life for a purpose. Some people know their purpose early, others realize their purpose in the midst of their grind, but one thing is forever true; the grind reveals who we are as people.

Chris Douglas Roberts on the DCTG Sportswear Fall 2016 Collection –

As far as the mood: I’m creating a world. That’s what iconic street brands do. Create worlds that the people live in. Invested in. That’s how they become loyal supporters. I don’t like calling them customers. It’s a cool laid back world they can be themselves and feel comfortable in. A free world. DCTG™ Sportswear is a confidence too. No boundaries just positive vibes, love and acceptance. 1v2a4162_massive

As far as the personal gratification: I put my heart in it. I’m happy with it and that’s all that matters. I know the product is tight. I know the world I’m creating. I feel I’m a lot more advanced than a lot of “rookie” designers at this point.1v2a4623_massive I’ve only been in fashion for a year. This is my very first collection. I’m late with this release since its already considered Fall, but I’m going to get better. Like I said in a previous interview, my shit will be one of the hottest brands on the streets. And we aren’t going anywhere. I’m not chasing any trends. I’m not whoring the brand out by sending it to my famous friends. I can go through my Rolodex and ask for favors. Ask my famous friends to take pictures in my shit and post it, but fuck that; thats lame to me. I’m building this from the ground up. I want you to wear it because you like it. I’m going to stay true to DCTG™ Sportswear. I’m going to make shit I like, that I’ll wear, that’s stylish. The stylish people will find us. 1v2a4638_massive

 

WHO: DCTG™ Sportswear fashioned by Mason and Chris Douglas-Roberts.

Mason | IG @mai.mason

Chris Douglas-Roberts | IG @montecristo_ritchie

Photographed by Ashley Nguyen | IG @ashleyanp

WHERE: Venice Beach, California

Shop DCTG™ Sportswear By Clicking The Link http://www.wavegodtourmerch.com/collections/all