Daymond John and Sophia Popov Show How to Get Dreams Moving from the Background to the Headlines


This week was Mamba Day at the NBA! The league remembered Kobe Bryant on 8-24 to honor his game and the numbers he wore. There was a kind of mamba spirit at work as LA sports teams had lots of success in their games. Both the Dodgers and Lakers won big with players showing love to their icon.

For different reasons, folks gave props to Daymond John and Sophia Popov. Both made news recently for their ‘hustle and flow’ credentials. For John, it was a program feature to honor Dr King’s famous words, “I Have a Dream.” John is known as a ‘Shark Tank’ personality but his biz skill came from the streets.

Popov made history winning the Women’s Golf British Open. Her rank in the world was somewhere in the 300th range. It’s only happened once before where someone with such a junior rank wins a golf major. She placed 10th in the qualifying tournament, providing her a chance to play among the game’s stars.


The backstory told by John is he learned from watching his parents about what it takes to ‘rise & grind.’ They’d work their regular jobs and then after that did stuff with their side hustle. For Popov, it’s been about believing in herself and her game and knowing that she could perform among the best of them.

Their success is an example of what can happen when you give your dreams a ‘shot of r-u-m’ by putting it in ‘roll-up mode’. It’s not what you have in a beverage sense but in the way you mix skill, talent, passion & mojo. That means we get our dreams moving from the background to the headlines by how we:

  1. Work it

John realized he wanted to be a ‘bid-ness man’ after selling baseball caps on the street corner. He had borrowed money from a relative to make a few caps for himself. People started to like them, so he made some extra ones. He hung-out on the corner and made $800 selling them. That was his ‘work it’ moment.

  1. Play it

Popov went from relative unknown to becoming a golf champion. Some might say timing was everything because Covid-19 prevented few of the ‘regulars’ from playing in the tournament. But she showed how you ‘play it’ is just as important. This comes by maintaining poise and not being distracted by life’s noise.


  1. Build it

John then started with the brand FUBU and was able to ‘build it’ from the ground up with help from friends & fam. When you build it, things might start out as a ‘proof of concept’ and end up being your ticket to the big time. So that means staying on message or on track to build momentum for a breakthrough.

  1. Change it

At times we might have to tweak things in our game to get better results. Plus, when things get stale or feel stuck, we might have to ‘change it.’ John sees that happening now with the public unrest. He’s frustrated that we’re still ‘stuck on stale’ when it comes to dealing with social justice issues.

It’s still hard to fathom that Kobe was ‘here today, gone tomorrow.’ As players send love to his family, we can live our best life in honor of his story. Some go the entrepreneur route by how they ‘build it’ while others worry during Covid-19 if they’re gonna ‘play it.’ But no matter what, let’s ‘change it’ or ‘just work it.’

Tip: You get dreams moving from the background to the headlines by how you work it, play it, build it and change it!

Talkback: Will this win for Popov be a career one-off or a dream jump-off?

Tracks: Pharrell Williams ft Jay-Z – Entrepreneur –

Missy Elliott – Work It –

Kobe Bryant Brought ‘Mamba Flava,’ Kerry Washington brings Acting Chops with Their Talent on the Big Stage


That never-ending question of who’s the greatest ever NBA player has surfaced again. This time it’s because of a TV commercial featuring Michael Jordan. In it he sets the stage for an NFL matchup between Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. Of course folks thought Jordan was hinting at something else.

Often the question of the greatest ever basketball player brings up the name of Lebron James. But there’re times another name gets thrown in, that of Kobe Bryant. He went on to be known as one who brought the ‘Mamba Mentality.’ He says it’s a matter of ‘building your process and working your craft.’

Bryant has moved on from the player-roster but his name is still relevant. So is Kerry Washington who’s moved on from ‘Scandal’ on network TV to a new production on Broadway. Bryant brought his mamba flava while Washington brings her own acting chops in how talent rises on the big stage.

Sometimes people debate who is the greatest. Other times they debate a trend that’s the latest. What these two celebs know and show is how talent is to your it-factor as ‘hustle love’ is to your hit-factor. Bryant explains this by sharing that he worked at the small things so he could perform the big plays.


When you peal back the player in Bryant and the layer in Washington you get to some core aspects of their success and greatness. Some of what they do can apply to the work court and career-you. Whether it’s to start-over on the daily grind or start-up a new journey in the real world they push their talent for:

  1. A goal

Washington who grew up in the Bronx has returned to New York to perform on stage. It’s something she’s familiar with as a child. She says she was a busy-body teenager when she caught the acting bug because her mom put her in extra-curricular activities. Her goal is to improve her ‘live performance’ roles.

  1. The game

Bryant says he worked at his skill and at his game. There’s the skill in how he shot the ball or how he made a pass. But there’s also the game in how he made talent become more than his it-factor. He would try to understand all aspects of the game (the detail) to deliver his hit-factor.

  1. Some guts

There’re times you see an athlete make a play that commentators say was a gutsy move. That simply means not everyone with talent might have been able to pull that off. Bryant and Washington from their career might say ‘gutsy’ happens when we commit to growing in the game personally and professionally.

  1. Pure glory

The ones who experience a measure of greatness are those who are remembered not just for their play but for their story. Washington has made her commitment to social justice a part of her story. Bryant is turning his champion experience into life-notes for trailblazers. Oftentimes the story is the road to glory.

Washington hopes to pass-on her childhood experiences while working in NY. She’s taking museum trips and other adventures with her kids. Bryant hopes to inspire the next class of great players. They know that regular folks and those with startup dreams reach the mountaintop by turning it-factor into hit-factor.

Tip: The road to glory might start-off with talent as your it-factor. But it moves from the valley to the mountaintop because of your hit-factor.

Talkback: Was that Michael Jordan commercial a tease or a throwback?

Tracks: Sia – The Greatest –

Juice Wrld – Lucid Dreams –

Shaquille O’Neal & Patrick Ewing: Not the Most Elegant, But Probably Most Dominant? #BigTimeUniversity

BigTimeUniversity – “Small Talk, Street Dreams, Next Level”

This production of “Wise-up Weekly” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST

LOL Tube – Got Funny? (Or Just Fun!)


Theme:–The Year of ‘Hotstepping’ – Get Jiggy, Get Woke!”
A Cool Way for Flexing Style, Game & Soul in How We Roll (Old-School Flava)

The ‘big diesel’ is talking stuff again. Shaquille O’Neal is saying he’s in the top 3 of all-time NBA centers. On a list of his all-time greats he puts Bill Russell at #1, Kareem Abdul Jabbar at #2 and Patrick Ewing at #7. Shaq and Ewing might not have been the most elegant in the paint, but probably the most dominant.

At a recent statue unveiling event, Shaq told Sports Illustrated and other media “There’s two things that made a crowd go crazy: a deep, contested three and a dunk. I always tried to dunk to intimidate my opponents and to make the crowd go crazy.” Everyone has different reasons that put them in ‘drive.’

During their NBA careers Shaq and Ewing brought something different to the game. Ewing had a medium range shot while guarding Shaq in the paint was a hassle. They know whether in college or beyond, the key to improving their game as athletes or industry leaders is to discover strengths.

Ewing would probably love to see the Knicks do better. Shaq’s happy for the Lakers’ honor as a go-getter. As the Final Four squads have been set, they and others hope their team gets to cut down the net. It will be about how stars and role players deliver the goods on the court with hunger and hustle.

Some think Ewing’s in the running to be Georgetown head coach. He got major props from Detroit Piston’s head coach Stan Gundy. Even though Shaq & Ewing had issues with aspects of their game that people might debate over, the real ones bring extra heart that put them in the winner’s circle.

Groove-Track: Gnarls Barkley – Crazy –

Theme:–The Year of ‘Hotstepping’ – Get Jiggy, Get Woke!”
A Cool Way for Flexing Style, Game & Soul in How We Roll (New-School Flava)

The ‘big diesel’ back at it. Gonna put some fans in a fit. Saying he’s among top 3 all-timers. As NBA center ballers. Giving Bill Russell #1 spot. And Jabbar #2 in the lot. Ewing takes #7 place. Others filling-out the space. They not the most elegant. But probably for some most dominant.

At recent statue unveiling. Shaq rising to the ceiling. With lots of media in the house. Not expecting him to be a mouse. Things that made crowd cheer. Was three-pointer or dunk in the air. How he’d use it to intimidate. And make crowds go crazy mate. Different reasons to have drive. Watching them come alive.

During career in their prime. Various skills brought at the time. Ewing with medium range shot. Shaq in the paint, hassle opponent got. Whether in college or beyond. Working with team players to bond. Key to taking game to new heights and lengths. As athletes and leaders is to discover strengths.

Ewing hoping Knicks could do better. Shaq’s happy for Laker’s honor as go-getter. Season after season, day after day. Doing the best in their own way. As Final Four squads have been set. They and others hope their team cuts down net. Stars and role players deliver more. With hunger and hustle for the score.

Some think Ewing’s in the mix. For Georgetown University head coach pick. Got major props from coaches old and new. From his days of Hoya’s blue. Even with issues in their game. Not much debating over their fame. The real ones bring that extra heart. To reach the winner’s circle from playing smart.


Tip: The real ones bring to the game extra heart whether as a star or in their role playing part.

Talkback: How’s that March Madness grid looking these days?

Groove-Tracks: Chante Moore  – Real One –

Tori Kelly – Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing –

This production of “Wise-up Weekly” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST