Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union Show How the Grind is More than Just Make a Living Because of What Hustle-Love Can Do

The regular NBA season is about to end. Some fans are getting ready for the game to go to the next level. The playoffs start in a few days and sports commentators are busy ranking a team’s chances to win it all. It’s the first in a long time that Lebron James will be missing and watching from the sidelines.

Another streak that‘s about to end is Dwyane Wade’s NBA career. He’s played for 16 seasons during which he’s won championship trophies, MVP awards and scoring titles. Wade’s been savoring the moment with his ‘One Last Dance’ tour in NBA cities, swapping jerseys with other players along the way.

Wade has become an icon to many for his hustle-love on and off the court. He’s been teaming-up with his wife Gabrielle Union in doing more than just the grind but also encouraging us to be who we were meant to be. They’re parents of a new girl born by surrogate that’s been its own life-giving story.

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As Wade’s career takes a shift, Union is charting new ground in her career as a judge on America’s Got Talent. They’re both seen in TV commercials pushing each other on the treadmill but maybe even more importantly, inspiring us to grow in mind, body and spirit. They’re good examples of life beyond the grind.

Wade’s personal and professional journey is seen in a special video that is a big tear-jerker. He’s thanked by five people with their appreciation for what he’s meant in their lives. In the video we learn how Wade sees the game, the grind and the gift for making a difference. His hustle-love has been driven by:

  1. Pain

The story behind the man is heard from his mom. She remembers falling short in caring for him due to her own substance abuse challenges. But when Wade showed love to her even then, she saw him as more than a son. Hustle-love can turn pain into gain, into something that’s paying or even a payback.

  1. Project

He didn’t go to school to become a fashion designer, but he’s caught the ‘style and fashion’ bug. His line of socks is sold through Amazon. It’s something he began as a side project. His hustle-love on the court is seen in game-winning shots. But hustle-love is also in learning something you didn’t go to school for.

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  1. Passion

Wade’s not sure what’s next after basketball. He’ll likely pitch products beyond his sneaker line. If socks became his passion project, then wine testing is becoming a possible business passion. He says there’s something about the feeling around the ‘wine & dine’ experience with others that gets his juices flowing.

  1. Purpose

He knows things could have gone differently as a child. There were times of lack and lost opportunity. But people gave him a helping hand and he wants to do the same. That came through in the video for how he’s fulfilling his purpose. Hustle-love through purpose means ‘hustle & love’ to serve the people.

During the last week of the season fans came out to show love. Union defended him against those wanting to dim his shine. NBA coach Gregg Popovich said Wade’s hustle-love is bigger than the game of basketball. And President Obama put in a word saying “Wade’s done us proud” grinding all his life.

Tip: Showing up for work is more than just making a living. It’s bringing hustle-love through the pain in a project or where passion can serve a larger purpose.

Talkback: How has Wade changed the game after teaming-up with Lebron and Bosh?

Tracks: Nipsy Hussle – Grinding All My Life – https://youtu.be/nHLKEHnfo9c

Ne-Yo – Champagne Life – https://youtu.be/gqayCgvI_uI

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Steph Curry and Tiffany Haddish on Turning Good Breaks into Dance Shakes While Keeping Their Game On High Performance

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The NCAA Final Four teams are set with a few one-seed upsets. The two Carolina teams Duke & UNC are out of the dance. Virginia is still in the mix while Texas Tech beat west coast favorite Gonzaga to reach the Final Four for the first time. For die-hard fans, some of those games were hard to watch.

Another North Carolina boy has his eyes set on a different upcoming series. Steph Curry is gearing up for the big push of the NBA playoffs. He’s been on a run lately that is simply other-worldly. Meantime, Tiffany Haddish is trying to reset her comedy game after a New Year’s Eve show that went off the rails.

They know something about turning good breaks into dance shakes. You see it when Curry runs a fast break or hits a 3-point shot so far out he might as well have taken it from the parking lot. Haddish does her dance shake when she pinches herself and realizes the path taken to becoming a hit in Hollywood.

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Curry says he’s still working on some things in his game. That’s why when he named his top-5 NBA players in the past 20 years, he says his name wasn’t on the list because he’s still a work in progress.  Haddish says she learned the reason why her show bombed. She partied too much the night before.

What drives them is the stuff they’re doing to make their game and life story come alive even more. Curry remembers times when people said he was overrated. He puts in the work to silence the doubters. Haddish says she’s back to doing comedy right. They’re keeping their game on high because of the:

  1. Dream

Your dream is deeply-rooted in some inner vision for your best self or is connected to someone else’s dream for a better product, service or world. Curry’s dream probably came from watching his dad play ball in the NBA. As a kid, he’d be on the court learning the plays of the game and the tricks of the trade.

  1. Flow

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When you watch Haddish she seems like a boundless flow of energy. When you watch Curry, he’s just hitting shots in the flow. Everybody’s got their own flow. But one reason why fans might attend their games or stand-up comedy shows is to experience and enjoy the magic of their flow.

  1. Brand

Curry started his own production company to work on other projects that help fulfill his true calling and broader purpose. What he does in the game is good for scoring points and celebrating championships. What he’s doing off the court is good for building his brand and defining his life’s work.

  1. Destiny

Usually in the professional game folks are driven by something to prove. Maybe Curry felt doubted and had to prove he’s got game. Maybe Haddish felt slighted as a child and had to prove that ‘she ready.’ But even beyond having to prove to others in the game, is their hope to fulfill their destiny.

Once the NCAA tournament is done the NBA playoffs begin. Curry’s looking to do something not done since Kobe Bryant and the Lakers with a three-peat. Haddish is working on her stand-up game for Netflix projects. They keep performance on high, driven by the dream, flow, brand and destiny ‘cause they’ll be around.

Tip: Great achievers keep performance on high, because of the dream, flow, brand and fulfilling their destiny.

Talkback: Who you’ve got for taking the crown at the NCAA Big Dance?

Tracks: Cee-lo ft Timbaland – I’ll be Around – https://youtu.be/TatmBrl8Y28

T.I. ft Chris Brown – Get Back Up – https://youtu.be/B9qZz-m6BL4

F. Gary Gray and Jordan Peele Have folks Coming out to the Box Office in Droves #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!)

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

There are some events that seem to bring out celebs from everywhere. These days it’s probably Coachella and the NBA playoffs. At Coachella, Rihanna and Cam Newton showed-up making fashion statements. But it’s Jordan Peele and F Gary Gray who have folks coming out in droves at the box office.

Gray is Director of the Fate of the Furious, the eighth release in the franchise. In his own words as an emerging Hollywood player he once said “I’d like to direct epic feature films that I won’t have to apologize for years down the line.” He knows secrets for delivering innovation, spotting trends and reaching people.

Peele who recently had breakout success with the movie Get Out might say one secret is having an eye for seeing what others might not readily see. That goes beyond eyesight to include foresight. They’ve honed this by bridging their current reality. It’s taken them to the point of having their vision come to life.

Some of this quality was on display this week from Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg who’s excited about the next tech frontier of what’s being called ‘augmented reality.’ These guys show us how trends + innovation means seeing what people want before they need it or need before they want and gotta have it.

When it comes to their appeal, a key ingredient has been how their work reaches a diverse audience. It’s keeping things simple, plain and with a common touch. It’s not trying to hypnotize or fool the world. But getting people to see themselves in moments of joy, pain and sunshine with no more rain in their clouds.

Groove-Track: Angie Stone – Sunshine – https://youtu.be/V9Zgp1WzwLk

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

Some events seem to be. A time and place to spree. With lots of celebs in the spot. Helping to make things hot. Like Coachella, NBA playoffs and more. Rihanna and Cam raised the fashion score. Jordan Peele and F Gary Gray doing their thing. Folks at the box office make it go ka-ching.

Gray as Director on the set. Fate of the Furious ain’t peaked yet? Eighth franchise release now. Where fans watch and go wow. As emerging Hollywood player Gray said. Hoping to land epic movies and feature spread. Years down the line he’d have it made. Innovation, trends, reaching people, getting paid.

Peele made history breaking the bank. With Get Out a reason to thank. Secret in having the eye for gold. Doing more than fitting the mold. Goes beyond simple good eyesight. But also attaching foresight. Honed by bridging current reality station. To do more to affect a nation. Where things come to life from vision.

Some of this on display. From what Mark Zuckerberg had to say. Excited about tech’s new frontier. Being called augmented reality to be clear. When trends + innovation means seeing what people want. Before the need or have it to flaunt. What they need before it’s a hit. Or they get the feeling of ‘gotta have it.’

When it comes to their appeal. They’ve been able to land the deal. Working to reach diverse audience streams. And tapping into real life dreams. By keeping things simple and plain. A common touch all the sane. Not to hypnotize or fool others along the way. But for peeps to see themselves rising another day.

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Tip: When it come to mass appeal, the common touch gets people to see themselves rising another day.

Talkback: What’s the ‘it-factor’ that has made the Fast Franchise such a hit?

Groove-Tracks: Jennifer Hudson – Walk it Out – https://youtu.be/mykXoDnFKlU

Common Kings – Everybody Wants to Fool The World – https://youtu.be/hOXoyx4qVZ0

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

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?

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?

Serge Ibaka’s Return Brought Energy in Raising Oklahoma Thunder’s Intensity

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

Who’s ‘the man’ for OKC? Well, it depends since Russell Westbrook is their leading point guard. It may be Kevin Durant who recently won the award as NBA MVP. Then there’s Serge Ibaka, their dominant power forward. Ibaka surprised many in game 3 where he brought energy in raising OKCs intensity.

He suffered a calf strain earlier in the playoffs. It didn’t seem like he’d be back in time. But with the help of doctors and his own determination he was back with major impact. Ibaka used this to leverage a turning point into winning points. His injury proved to be a make-or-break moment and a plus even in game 4.

Ibaka brings passion and energy with a ‘hustle and flow’ style. For him this usually shows up in blocked shots. He’s a league leader in protecting the basket from easy scores. In sports, they say defense drives offense. In life, hustle and flow means channeling your strengths and passion to elevate your game.

He uses street-game smarts to outplay opponents. Ibaka started playing basketball in Africa as a child. He might have seen a few pick-up games on less-than-ideal playgrounds. Street-game smarts aren’t learned in a classroom or formal setting. It’s the stuff you just can’t teach as practice gives you an edge.

Ibaka has basketball in his blood. Both of his parents were star-players in their day. That might have something to do with firing-up his game. But he also plays with ‘fireplace energy.’ From the outside, an unlit fireplace appears dull and dormant. But when lit, there’s heart-warming beauty and a raging inferno.

 

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

Who’s ‘the man’ for OKC? Check the stats, don’t ask me. Could be Russell Westbrook leading the fast-break. Or Kevin Durant raising his NBA stake. Then there’s Serge Ibaka the big man upfront. His power forward play is no stunt. Surprised us in Game 3 with his energy. Helping to raise OKCs intensity.

A calf strain his earlier setback. Lots of questions about a playoff comeback. With the help of doctors and self determination. Making impact and rising to the occasion. Ibaka used this to leverage a turning point. With solid play as fans rocked the joint. A make-or-break injury for sure. To setup a resounding game 4.

Ibaka checked his passion and energy file. To bring his own ‘hustle and flow’ style. Usually shows up in blocked shots. Can happen from various court spots. A league leader in protecting the rim. From easy scores and offense rhythm. In life, hustle and flow is channeling. Your strengths and passion into winning.

He shows his street-game smart. To outplay others from the start. Playing basketball in Africa as a child. Squashing the perception of people-gone-wild. He’s been to a few pick-up game compounds. With less-than-ideal playgrounds. Street smarts not from the classroom. It’s genius like that from the upper-room.

Ibaka’s got basketball in his veins. Staying true to his defensive reigns. Both parents came-up as star-players. Might be the secret to his talent layers. He plays the game with ‘fireplace energy.’ Adding value to team synergy. An unlit fireplace looks dormant and dull. Once lit it’s like breathing fire from your skull.

Tip: Your passion once lit, might have you looking like you’re breathing fire from your skull.

Talkback: Who’s ‘the man’ for OKC?

Lebron James Delivered High Five’s and Low Three’s by end of Game

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

The Miami Heat evened the series with the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals. This game could be seen as the turning point if they go on to win the series and advance to the NBA finals. It really was anybody’s game. Maybe that’s why Lebron James gave teammates high five’s at the end.

TV analysts and sports fans alike might say the game was scrappy. There weren’t lots of break-away scores or memorable fast-break moments. Norris Cole was one of the bench players who stepped-up big for the Heat. In order to win they had to work through the early struggle of James and Bosh.

They also had to work through the ugly, not in their faces but in their play. The box-scores might not tell it all but both teams seemed out of sync. Isn’t it interesting how sports can provide such great life lessons? Sometimes you have to work through the struggle and the ugly to get to where things are pretty.

James hit on only one 3-point shot. So did Bosh. The high-point scorer for the Pacers was Lance Stephenson who was on fire. But that fire wasn’t enough to overcome the Heat and the hate. Both teams don’t have much love for each other. Maybe with the Heat it’s about love for the game and hate for losing.

Throughout the game things weren’t always clicking. The last quarter came down to James and Wade. They provided much of the scoring and defense for the Heat when it counted. A one-man Stephenson show was good for the highlight reel. But it took a tag-team effort between Heat aces to chalk-up a win.

 

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

Heat and Pacers evened the score. Eastern Conference Finals set for more. Series talked about since last year. Pacers hope to shift their playoff gear. Heat win in game two might be turning point. Could have been anybody’s game in the joint. James gave high five’s at the end. Game three is just around the bend.

Analysts and sports fans might say. It was a scrappy game in team play. Few break-away points to remember. Loss could haunt Pacers through the summer. Norris Cole came off bench like a lion. Bringing heat like iron sharpening iron. James and Bosh struggled from jump. As they started out in a slump.

Players had to work through the ugly times. Not in their faces or that they committed crimes. The box-scores might not tell it all. But team chemistry was in a stall. Interesting how sports can be a great teacher. From the field, court to the bleacher. Struggle and ugly as new best friends. Get to pretty covers all ends.

James’s 3-point shot went cold. Long-range shooting was in the fold.  Bosh didn’t do much better. Pacers’ Lance Stephenson was the go-getter. Hitting from everywhere had him on fire. Pushed by his free-agent contract for hire. Not much love between these teams. Maybe Heat hate more to lose in their dreams.

Throughout the game things weren’t clicking. James and Wade came together with the clock ticking. Doing much of the scoring with strong defense. Not stuck in first-quarter past tense. Stephenson’s play made the highlight reel. But tag-team play by James and Wade gave Heat the win as a steal.

Tip: Getting a win or living your dreams isn’t always pretty, but at the end there’s the thrill of victory.

Talkback: Who wants it more, Heat or Pacers?