Rihanna Ready to Do Bigger Things, Kyler Murray Ready to Bring His A-Game; Both Looking to Flex What They’ve Got Next

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Whether as a sports fan or music fan, lots of folk got their eyes on the scoreboard. For sport fans it might be the NBA draft lottery or playoffs where Lebron James is out but Kawhi Leonard is in. After an almost magical game-ending shot, The Raptors moved on to play Milwaukee in the Eastern Conference Finals.

For music fans it might be the latest release from Ciara or waiting for the next winner on Idol or The Voice to be crowned. But even those primetime events might not be where it’s at. Folks are also watching for how Rihanna is ready to do bigger things and NFL #1 pick Kyler Murray is ready to bring his A-game.

Both are looking to flex what they’ve got next. Rihanna announced a major partnership for her luxury ‘Fenty’ fashion line with LVMH. Word is that she’s the first woman to have an original line with the iconic fashion house. She’s also the first woman of color to head-up her own high-fashion creations there.

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Murray took to the field recently as part of rookie minicamp. He’s got a lot riding on him playing for the Arizona Cardinals. They’ve had a few losing seasons and are hoping to turn things around with Murray at the helm as QB. In the days ahead, all eyes will be on the scoreboard for both Rihanna and Murray.

They didn’t get to this point overnight. Rihanna now 31, won her first Grammy at 19. She’s produced loads of hits and fans are waiting on her next project which is rumored to be reggae-infused. Murray comes from a football family and can’t wait to develop his pro game. They know it’s about working on the:

  1. Talent

At an early age Rihanna figured-out that she had singing chops. Then she was discovered by Jay-Z whose record label gave her the exposure and the resources for developing her talent. Now she’s a multi-award artist and international icon. She’s turned talent into far-reaching fandom and record sales.

  1. Player

The concern some sports commentators have about Murray is he’s got average height. Will he be able to see over the offensive or defensive lines? What he seems to bring is that he’s not so much a pocket-passer as much as he is an open-field scrambler. Maybe as a player he’s more like a Michael Vick.

  1. Star

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One of Rihanna’s big hits came with the words ‘shine bright like a diamond.’ It’s something she’s been able to do on the world stage. Murray’s got his chance in the big leagues. So what’s it going to take for him to be a star? Maybe a winning record or a breakout performance as rookie and starting QB.

  1. Brand

Just imagine, Rihanna started out as a little-known singer from Barbados. She made a name for herself on the music charts. Then she made some moves into fashion with boots, cosmetics and other sexy apparel. Now she’s stepping up her brand-name mojo and market appeal to having a luxury clothing line.

For Rihanna and Murray, it might feel like they’re at another starting point in their careers. Like a lot of recent college grads, they’re getting ready to flex what they’ve got next. If what they’ve done already in sports and music says anything, then they’re ready to do bigger things and bring their A-game.

Tip: Those ready to flex what they’ve got next bring their A-game to do bigger and better things by taking their talent from ‘diamond in the rough’ to brand-name star.

Talkback: Who’s ready to see Murray’s first scrimmage or waiting for Rihanna’s next album drop?

Tracks: Rihanna – Diamonds – https://youtu.be/lWA2pjMjpBs

Shaggy – Money Up – https://youtu.be/VW5ayZX38Jo

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Kawhi Leonard’s the New Kid on the NBA Block as Playoff MVP

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Theme:–The Year of ‘Brandemonium’
Where Hopes & Dreams Become Real on Breakout Teams” (Old-School Flava)

It’s not what the Heat would have ordered. After getting to the NBA finals four years in a row, they had a chance to do something rare. A 3-peat is no easy feat especially since the Spurs had a bitter leftover taste from last year’s loss. And yes, Kawhi Leonard’s the new kid on the NBA block as playoff MVP.

Leonard had the task of guarding Lebron James, arguably the best player in the world. He was roughed-up by coach Popovich for playing soft after games one and two. He stepped-up his game and the Spurs did the same with relentless offense. At times they were hitting shots everywhere from inside and outside.

The series began with a win by the Spurs on their homecourt. Then they lost to the Heat in game two. That must have been a wake-up call. They won three straight games after with outstanding defense. They maintained a lead in those games for much of the way. Their defense was more consistent than the Heat.

During the post-game press conference Lebron James gave props to the Spurs for their teamwork brilliance.  He said “That’s the brand of basketball, and that’s how team basketball should be played.” This is true for hopes and dreams becoming real on breakout teams as well. Teamwork makes dreams work.

Leonard as MVP and with the other guys delivered relentless offense. They were clicking in all spots. Their focus on improving their defense over the past few years paid off. It became more like a habit than an add-on to their game. Team sports are a great reminder of success life lessons on and off the court.

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Theme:–The Year of ‘Brandemonium’
Where Hopes & Dreams Become Real on Breakout Teams” (New-School Flava)

Not what the Heat had planned. But the SA Spurs took a stand. After NBA finals four years in a row. Heat didn’t expect a losing blow. A 3-peat is something rare. But that was the talk in the air. Spurs had bitter taste from last year’s loss. Ready to go at the ball toss. As Kawhi Leonard’s the MVP in the playoffs.

Leonard had to guard King James. No easy thing in full-court games. Arguably the best player as a pro. So you betta act like you know. Coach Popovich roughed-up Leonard for playing tame. So in game three he upped his game. Spurs did too with on-fire offense. Hitting shots inside and outside the 3-point fence.

Series began with a team Spurs win. Arena air so hot it felt like a sin. Then they lost in game two. Might have had them feeling blue. A wake-up call getting back on focus. With dazzling defense as their hocus pocus. Maintaining game lead the rest of the way. More consistent defense than the Heat’s play.

Post-game press conference was somber. James felt Spurs had their number. Saying teamwork brilliance came alive. For the Spurs to take series in five. It’s the brand of basketball that’s most effective. His take on the game by being reflective. True for hopes and dreams as well. Teamwork helps make dreams sell.

Leonard as MVP made sense. Spurs played their best offense. Clicking in all areas seemed easy. Team efficiency made it look breezy. A focus on defense after last year’s fall. Became more like a habit than a play call. Team sports a reminder of how to score. Another success moment on the game of life floor.

Tip: A balance of offense and defense in sports or vision and action in life helps teamwork and dreamwork come alive.

Talkback: Were you surprised that the Heat lost in five?

Is Tim Duncan Playing with a Chip on His Shoulder or like a Man Possessed?

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Theme:–The Year of ‘Brandemonium’
Where Hopes & Dreams Become Real on Breakout Teams” (Old-School Flava)

So they’re off and running! No, not the Belmont Stakes but the NBA finals. The Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs are in a rematch from last year’s finals. Both teams have kept their big-three tandem intact and in good health. So, is Tim Duncan playing with a chip on his shoulder or like a man possessed?

It’s as if he’s rolled back the years to his early days. He’s got a bounce in his step and a glide in his stride. The Spurs try to feed him the ball or feed off of his energy. After some 18 years in the league, Duncan is not done quite yet. But some sports analysts think Kawhi Leonard got next as the face of the franchise.

Coach Gregg Popovich has high hopes for Leonard and the Spurs. Duncan and his teammates know that their loss to the Heat in last year’s finals went down like sour grapes with Popovich. Duncan even said it has given them added motivation in moving past the tears. That’s code for having some ‘leftover bitter!’

With the Spurs going up 2-1, there’s a slight advantage. The Heat are looking to turn things up on the Spurs. Leonard kinda did so in game three by his all-around performance. He showed the ability to raise his game by shifting gears to the next level. That’s true for sports, biz as well as in life.

A lot’s been said about their mutual respect. Duncan as the ‘old man’ on the court while James as the ‘main man.’ Their individual stats and status reflect a hardcore champion’s mentality. With champions there’s no panic. You get that edge in sports or life by handling the fears that can derail your success.

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Theme:–The Year of ‘Brandemonium’
Where Hopes & Dreams Become Real on Breakout Teams” (New-School Flava)

They’re off and running! For an event that’s stunning. No, not the Belmont Stakes. But the NBA finals series takes. The Heat and Spurs in a rematch. From last year’s back-and-forth scratch. Both teams with good health of the big-three. And Duncan playing with passion and full-court glee.

As if he’s rolled back the time. To the early years in his prime. He’s got a big bounce in his step. A glide in his stride and pep. Spurs try to feed him the ball. Or feed off his energy in roll-call. After 18 years it’s a big bet. Whether his days are done yet. Kawhi Leonard may have next. That’s from a sports analyst context.

Spurs coach Greg Popovich is high on his team. As rising star Leonard is living his dream. Duncan and his teammates know last year’s loss hurt. Like sour grapes, Popovich has choice words he’d blurt. That’s given them the motivation to do better. By moving past the tears and having ‘leftover bitter.’

Spurs win game 3, series no longer tied. Heat fell short but no one cried. Spurs have slight edge in the round. Heat looking to raise their game by the pound. Leonard showed signs of doing the same. Taking it to the next level in his game. By shifting gears on the court. That’s true for biz and life as seen in sport.

They say both teams have mutual respect. It’s what the media likes to project. Duncan the ‘old man’ of the bunch. James the ‘main man’ in a crunch. Their individual stats and status reflect a reality. A panic-free hardcore champion’s mentality. Life’s about handling the fears. For much success through the years.

Tip: Starting from the bottom of your years and moving to the edge of your fears, life’s about getting past the tears with new success from shifting gears.

Talkback: Is Tim Duncan playing with a chip on his shoulder or like a man possessed?