Howard Schultz & Steph Curry Enjoy the Best Work Life Ever as Masters of Their Game

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It was just over a week ago when news hit the wire that Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz would be stepping down. He’s been the head honcho responsible for building the company to its massive presence in the marketplace. In the announcement he described his days at Starbucks as the dream of a lifetime.

While Schultz might be stepping down, Steph Curry just took his team another step up in the annals of NBA history. Having been to the finals four years in a row, they won the last two in back-to-back fashion. Schultz and Curry enjoy the best work life ever on the field of dreams as masters of their game.

For Schultz it’s been about building a world-class brand. For Curry it’s been about building a Warriors team dynasty. Their achievements are so many to mention but what they seem to have in common tells us something about what it takes to be masters of our own game and have the best work life.

Their success reminds us of what it means to act like a player and think like a brand. In our early days of primary/secondary education that’s essentially what we’re learning. In that case it’s a cross between school and sports. But in our adult years it’s a cross between how we develop socially and professionally.

What we learn from Schultz is a sense for how we brand our skills. In the case of Curry we might see how to swag our skills. Those skills have helped to build their competencies into a global franchise and all-star professional. They’ve been through the good, bad & scary and came out ahead by managing:

  1. Passion points vs selling points

Curry’s got game and as a player he thrives on his unique passion points. Schultz’s got mojo as a market leader and helped the biz thrive on its unique selling points. Whether it’s your passion points or selling points these can have different levels of impact starting from the ground-up and starring at the top.

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  1. Bad pain vs bad press

Both had some downtime (or dark time) in their careers. More recently, Curry was out with a sprained ankle. Schultz had to deal with the discrimination incident at a Philly store. Being masters of their game forced them to be ‘twice-baked.’ That’s where you have to grow both personally and professionally.

  1. Skills ballin’ vs niche rollin’

Every year the NBA draft welcomes a new class of players. Some make it through training camp and the Combines to eventual become a household name. A similar journey happens for an emerging brand or ‘on the verge’ artist. What we’ve seen Curry and Schultz do is turn skills into ballin’ and niche into rollin’.

  1. Good fit vs big hit

There’re times we see players on a team for years without making it to the championships. Then they’re traded to another team and somehow things begin to click. Curry hasn’t had a need to be traded and Schultz didn’t jump ship to another brand. They simply became a good fit on the team and a big hit for the fans.

Curry says he’s looking to win a few more rings. Schultz says he’s open to new opportunities in philanthropy and public service. There’re rumors that he might even have an eye on higher office. When their hall-of-fame story is told there’ll be moments when you realize how they enjoyed the best work life.

Tip: Whether it’s becoming a world-class brand or first-rate player, the good ones know how to turn their skills into thrills and their passion points into a big hit.

Talkback: Who should get NBA league MVP this season: Steph, Harden, or Lebron?

Tracks: Carrie Underwood ft Ludacris – The Champion – https://youtu.be/HgknAaKNaMM

Ne-Yo – Good Man – https://youtu.be/3xv9YIOKIZw

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Tracee Ellis Ross Gets Honorary Degree That’s Good for Brains, Beauty, Ballers, Beats – #WUWECAST

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

LOL Tube – Got Funny?

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Theme:–The Year of ‘Uppertunity’ – Get Lifted!”
With Higher Hopes, Bolder Dreams and Greater Teams (Old-School Flava)

It’s that time where people get to celebrate and elevate. A lot’s going on from the recording studio to the basketball court to the college halls. Taylor Swift is selling-out records. Stephen Curry is turning-out shots. And Tracee Ellis Ross gets an honorary degree. It’s all good for brains, beauty, ballers and beats.

Ross was ecstatic about the honor from her alma mater Brown University. She was among six alums who’ve ‘got game’ in their own fields. Her honorary doctorate degree was given because of her “grace, talent and strong sense of self, passion for self-expression, and pushing the boundaries of imagination.”

That’s true for Ross, the co-star of Black-ish on ABC. It might even carryover to others whose greatness is tied to the fact that they got goals. Just ask the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers who’re expected to meet in the NBA finals. Their sheer will and determination is nothing to hate but appreciate.

Curry returned to the court in game 4 of the Western Conference finals after a scary fall. Lebron James stayed on the court in game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals while battling fatigue and leg cramps. For Curry, James and others with next level dreams, it’s all about where their ‘A-game’ meets their ‘B-side.’

Taylor Swift from her recent Billboard Awards coronation is one of the hottest music artists right now. Stephen Curry’s got a champion’s heart after being named regular season MVP. For Ross, her honorary promotion to Ph.D. long after her own graduation is one that now allows her to be called Dr. Ross!

Groove-Track: Alicia Keys – ‘Empire State of Mind’ – https://youtu.be/iYmmh9zkpQM

Theme:–The Year of ‘Uppertunity’ – Get Lifted!”
With Higher Hopes, Bolder Dreams and Greater Teams (New-School Flava)

Time for winners to celebrate. As rising stars get to elevate. Lot’s going on from the recording studio. College halls and b-ball courts in the barrio. Taylor Swift albums got the hots. Stephen Curry making impossible shots. Tracee Ellis Ross with honorary degree feat. Good for brains, beauty, ballers and beat.

Ross ecstatic about recent honor. Given by Brown University her alma mater.  Among six other alums who’ve ‘got game.’ In their own fields they’ve made a name. Honorary doctorate not at all about race. But for strong sense of self, talent and grace. Passion for putting imagination in its right place.

True for Ross, co-star of ABC’s Black-ish. And those masters of their own fetish. Might carryover to greatness on display. Tied to goals that will expire in May. Ask the Warriors or Cavaliers as expected rivals. Since they’re about to reach the NBA finals. Sheer will and determination simply crucial.

Curry returned to court in game four. Hoping to even the score. James stayed on court in game 3. Battling fatigue, leg cramps and making a plea. For Curry and others with next level dreams. It means playing ball like past championship teams. Where their ‘A-game’ meets their ‘B-side.’ And fans get to enjoy the ride.

Swift gets latest Billboard’s coronation. One of the hottest in music compilation. Stephen Curry can relate to music’s pop. As NBA regular season MVP he’s on top. So Ross gets promotion to Ph.D. rank. Nothing to do with sales in the bank. Now called Dr. Ross in some circles. Long after her graduation chronicles.

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Tip: When ‘A-game’ meets ‘B-side’ it lets you close your eyes and enjoy the ride.
Talkback: Rank order your pick for greatness: Stephen Curry, James Harden, Lebron James
Groove-Tracks: Alicia Keys – Mark Steele – ‘Greatness’ – https://youtu.be/AyguCQLzkaw

Gyptian – ‘Beautiful Lady’ –   https://youtu.be/F5JPxcypzHY

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

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?

Lebron James and the Heat Look to Join the Ranks of the Greatest Ever

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

The Miami Heat are in the NBA finals four years in a row. That’s no easy feat when you consider the level of talent in the league. Now they’re setting their sights on a 3-peat. If making the finals consecutively was hard then a 3-peat is off the charts tough. James and the Heat would join the ranks of the greatest ever.

It’s been 29 years since the last 3-peat. Back then the game was different. Some think it might have been easier. But the level of play these days shows how much the game has grown. It’s still about putting a ball through a hoop. But James and the Heat have taken their skill for scoring and defending to another level.

In 2010 James, Wade and Bosh took on a mission. They set their sights on being the latest NBA championship standard. The first year was a bit rocky as they tried to jell. Since then, they’ve played their roles to create championship synergy. In sports and in life it takes skill and synergy to propel your game.

Indiana Pacers coach was quoted as saying, “They play at championship level. They have a way to raise it to the point that it’s too much to overcome.” That speaks to having more than a championship standard or championship synergy. It speaks to championship strength seen in their mental focus and toughness.

During the end-of-game interviews Heat Coach Eric Spoelstra pointed out that a key to winning is in stepping-up to the big moments. This means keeping yourself ready for having a major impact. That’s how James and the Heat players approach each game. It’s also how championship moments are made.

 

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

Four years in a row. The Miami Heat put on a show. NBA Finals here they come. Trying to 3-peat and then some. Not an easy thing to do. Even with the best big-three crew. Range of league talent is high. Other teams keep having to sigh. Looking to join greatest-ever ranks. With all their money in the banks.

Some 29 years since it’s been done. Others came close, “no can do” son! Back then different tempo to the game. Some say level of play wasn’t the same. These days game has surely grown. Takes big money for you to own. Still about putting ball in the hoop. But also about skill, scoring and rallying the troupe.

In 2010 James, Wade and Bosh announced their mission. Setting sights on a higher vision. For becoming the NBA championship standard. Taking no prisoners avoiding the hazard. First year seemed a bit tricky. Game didn’t jell and was sticky. Merging roles into team synergy. In sports and life propels game energy.

Indiana Pacers coach might have tried praying. Telling media “They play at a championship level… just saying! Raising their game to the point. Where it’s too much to overcome, just anoint.” More than championship standard and synergy as the fix. But about strength, focus and toughness in the mix.

End-of-game interviews were telling. From what Heat Coach Spoelstra was selling. Says key to winning is stepping-up in the fray. Minute by minute with “in the moments” play. Means keeping yourself ready to go. For a major impact if we might say so. That’s how champs do their thing. And strive to earn another ring.

Tip: It might take skill to win it once, but it takes synergy and strength to produce championship moments.

Talkback: What will a great game-1 by the Spurs have to look like?