Social Media Butter: Kendall Marshall

Sports

Prior to December 2013, the majority of Los Angeles had no idea who he was. And unless you hang tight with the Lakers or the NBA, you still may not recognize his name.

The Lakers pulled up Kendall Marshall from the D-League this past season after the point guards on their roster began dropping like flies to injuries. Marshall held his own on the staggering squad, finishing with an average of 8 points, 8.8 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game, according to NBA stats.

In the Lakers Kobe-less stretch, Nick Young stole the show on the court, claiming the nickname Swaggy P and becoming notorious for his shot celebrations. However, Marshall was able to build a following with his off the court personality — @KButter5 reigns supreme.

@KButter5Marshall’s follower count on Twitter trumps every Laker on the 2013-14 roster with the only exceptions being All-Stars Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol. His Q&As, fast food cravings and comedic comments have garnered an audience.

As everyone has said since Twitter took off, it provides a platform for athletes and celebrities to connect with fans like never before. Marshall has mastered it. Scroll through his feed and it’s immediately apparent that he leaves up no walls between him and the world.

He’s for real and his social media reach doesn’t even stop at the blue bird. You can also join his 36.6K Vine followers to follow his life in six second bursts, most of which feature him singing or lip-syncing.

Or if you’re more into photos, of course he is on Instagram as @jethrowellington to the tune of an audience of 102K.

Third 2014 draft pick Joel-Hans Embiid has made noise on Twitter lately with his failed attempt to sway LeBron James to choose his team in Philly. And his most recent tweet at Kim Kardashian (he quickly apologized).

Yet Embiid’s wild antics still don’t quite bring him to the threshold of @KButter5’s 212K.

Marshall loves his Chipotle, he loves sharing across social media and we’ll have to wait and see whether or not the Lakers sign him up for another season.*

@jethrowellington: “safety first babygirl.”

Until then, he is worth keeping tabs on. You will be entertained.

@jethrowellington: “just bc one doesn’t tweet about it daily, doesn’t mean the work ain’t happenin. This is my job, what I’m SUPPOSED to do. No need to broadcast it. don’t let this social fool shit fool you from what’s fact. sidenote: spider push ups ain’t no joke. sheesh”

*UPDATE:  Kendall Marshall is no longer a Laker, but rather a Milwaukee Buck. He’ll jostle with Brandon Knight for the starting PG spot. The Bucks have the promising second lottery pick on their squad (Jabari Parker) and the unpredictable Jason Kidd as the new coach. Marshall said the following fittingly via Twitter:

“It’s been a roller coaster these first two years! Learning so much about basketball and business, loving the process. I’d like to thank the entire organization for giving me a chance. from management, coaches, to teammates. and lastly, I’d like to thank chipotle. I’m lookin forward to seein what the chipotles in MIL have to offer.

Sorry I Couldn’t Concentrate During Church Worship This Morning

Life, Sports

Hillsong LA

A tall guy in a backwards snapback snuck into the Belasco Theatre from the left of the stage in the middle of the opening worship songs during the 11 a.m. Hillsong LA service. He was non-disruptive, no one noticed.  But I did. This guy was towering over the two other men that walked in with him.

Then, I caught a side profile of him, and he really looked like Kevin Durant — as in 2014 NBA MVP Kevin Durant. I kept glancing over to the front row where he stood, each song passed and I tried to catch a better look.

Hillsong is similar to most Christian churches in that there is a point in the beginning where you’re urged to introduce yourself to those around you. Finally, the mysterious tall guy turned around, and surely it was Durant. While no one around me seemed to realize the great baller standing smack dab in the middle of the front row, I could recognize that face from a mile away. He left in the middle of the closing worship songs, the same way he entered. He swiftly and quietly hugged and fist bumped a few guys as he passed while exiting.

I’m guessing he was there to support the guest pastor from the New York City Hillsong, Carl Lentz. The two have photos together on both of their Instagram accounts. In the following snapshot, KD writes, “Shoutout my bruv @carllentz ! Happy birthday, love u man!”

And here’s one of the two catching some breakfast together with KD smiling.

The first reaction you may have to those photos is that this pastor is working for the wrong reasons, and that there is no way he’s a real pastor. Anderson Cooper touched on those skeptical views in a segment he did for Anderson Cooper 360º called, “Inside Hillsong’s ‘hipster’ church.” 

I challenge you to think otherwise. The way I see it, Lentz hanging out with the likes of Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Landry Fields (I’m sure there are more athletes/actors/etc.) demonstrates that these big names are human. They need spiritual guidance as well.

To those who say that flashy pastors and concert-like worship sessions shouldn’t count as “church,” I ask, “Why not?” Matthew 18:20 says that God is present where two or three gather in his name. If the pastor happens to be tatted up, an NBA All-Star happens to drop in, the service happens to be held in a theater, that’s all circumstance. The truth lies in the motives, as it does in everything in life.

Anyway, Lentz gave an incredible message about Psalm 23 titled “Like it or not,” I caught a glimpse of Durant. I’m overly excited for the next NBA season, despite the fact that the 2014 NBA Draft hasn’t even happened yet. And I highly recommend Hillsong if you’re interested in checking out a church.

 

 

Sippin’ on Summer: White Hot Slush

Sports

LeBron has two NBA championships, four MVP awards, his own phone app and — most recently — has created his own limited-edition Sprite flavor dubbed the Sprite 6 Mix. It’s Sprite mixed with flavors of cherry and orange, according to the press release.

This week 7-Eleven released the special flavor in Slurpee form. Today, I had the chance to try out the drink, and it’s a solid selection. It reminded me of the traditional white cherry flavor, but with a twang of Sprite mixed in.

LeBron Slurpees

As I was sipping on the slush, my NBA playoffs-obsessed mind wandered to compare the Slurpee flavor to the journey of the current Miami Heat squad. The drink is cold and refreshing — perfect for a hot summer day. Similarly, the Heat are talented and they go hard — a prime team to watch for any fan of the pure game of basketball.

At the same time, the Slurpee faintly reminded me of something I’d tasted before, just as watching the Heat succeed has, in my mind, loosely resembled the 2000-02 Lakers. For those three seasons, my eyes were glued to the purple and gold in NBA playoff games. I believed that Lakers team could’ve won eight straight. Now, the Heat are in the same position: They are on the brink of a three peat with endless possibilities ahead.

According to the Sprite press release, LeBron’s Sprite 6 Mix is only around for a limited time. Likewise, will the Heat fade away in the next couple years, or will they muster enough strength to fulfill the (now overused) prophecy of “not five, not six, not seven …”

I’ll let tonight’s dominant performance in Game 6 versus the Pacers speak for itself.

#KamanLikeAWreckingBall

Sports

Stuntin’ the Sunday whites, 10-year veteran Chris Kaman carried the Lakers to a 115-99 win over the Phoenix Suns. Get this stat line: season-high 28 points, 17 rebounds and six assists.

He hammered down a dunk, sunk a step-back jumper, swept the boards and hit guards on the run. All of which warranted him the hashtag #KamanLikeAWreckingBall — I know, brilliant, right?

That’s the same guy who played six minutes, notching dos points and a single rebound in LA’s embarrassing 143-107 collapse against the Minnesota Timberwolves two days ago.

That’s also the same guy who blew me off when I asked for his autograph as a middle schooler. The basketball league that I played in did a shooting tournament once a year at Staples Center before Clipper games. Each team could send two shooters.

kamaaaannnnnnn

It was around 2005 or 2006 when I was chosen to go. And it was awesome! Having the opportunity to actually be on an NBA court was incredible. We ended up taking third place (hence the medals). They told us that we’d get to meet a Clipper player.

As I hoped and wished Elton Brand would step out, we got Kaman instead. Cool, I guess. He was their center. I knew who he was at the time, so when my teammate and I went to take a photo with him, we naturally asked for an autograph.

“No,” he said. “Because then everyone else will want one and it won’t be fair.”

He crushed my dreams. Wow, dude. You can’t spare a couple signatures? You’re not Elton Brand. You’re no superstar. (Those were my thoughts in that moment.)

Ever since then, I’ve labeled him as the “mean guy who wouldn’t give me an autograph.” But now here we are. Caveman Kaman, 31 years old, in purple and gold. I honestly thought he was long gone, and that he’d wither away on a bench somewhere random. Instead, he decides to put a smile on everyones’ faces (including mine) and have an All-Star performance.

What I’m trying to say here is, “I see you, Chris. Keep doing you.” But please, if a little kid asks you for an autograph, just do it.

Let the trash talk begin

Sports

Nash and Sacre

I know, I know. It’s the preseason. Only 21 games that don’t really matter have happened. I told myself I wouldn’t get too excited.

But then I turned on the tail end of the Brooklyn-Wizards game yesterday. And then Glen Rice Jr. had a dunk at the buzzer to send the game into OT. After that I watched the Lakers take on the Nuggets, and barely recognized their roster (I’m all caught up now).

So now I’ll dedicate my life to the NBA, once again, as I do every year come fall. The battle between game times and homework assignments begins, usually resulting in late nights; sometimes from busting out papers or cramming for tests, other times they’re from being too pumped up off a close game to sleep. Heat-Spurs Game 6, I was buzzing well past 2 a.m.

From the two preseason games I’ve seen thus far, here’s my quick take in seven sentences:

The Lakers show promise. I’m sad Metta is gone. Purple and yellow has given Nick Young superpowers. Xavier has a cool name pronunciation. Sacre has cool tattoos. Chris Kaman defied my expectations. Jason Kidd looks weird as the head honcho in a suit.

As far as I’m concerned, the NBA season is officially underway.

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