by Bernard Leak
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cq5dam.web.1200.675The 5th installment of the HBO Sports Special, The Shop, aired this past Friday, May 3, 2019. Guests on the show were: Actor/Comedian Seth Rogen, Rapper Travis Scott, Artist Pharrell William, Actor Don Cheadle, Nike Executive Paul Rivera, LA Laker Lonzo Ball, Houston Texan DeAndre Hopkins, Record Executive Jimmy Iovine, Maverick Carter, and LeBron James. The crew talked about everything from role-models to fame and success. Here’s a quick recap of the series that’s done a great job at blending entertainment professionals with hot topics in an engaging way.

It’s no mystery that LeBron is a role-model for tons of people. For Lonzo Ball, things became interesting when the guy he looked up to now shared a locker room with him. Ball shares that his adjustment was at first, a bit awkward, but after a while, he was able to adjust and move forward. For me, Pharrell was able to capture his sentiments by celebrating the spirit of influencers. It’s all in the spirit and the way people like LeBron move in the room, and when I think of the people in my life who’ve made a huge impact, their kindness and ability to uplift and encourage people are certainly meaningful attributes.

I also enjoyed the conversation around wanting to be the best. So many conversations are centered on what awards look like. Seth and Don both pushed the narrative surrounding the “importance” of casting international stars for movies to have mass appeal; even if they aren’t that good or memorable (can you recall the Best Picture from four years ago?). And that same sentiment and validation don’t just appear in the film business. DeAndre proudly recalls multiple interviews where he says he is the best wide receiver in the league. While laughs accompanied it, his perspective should indeed be celebrated. Hopkins continued by saying: “you should celebrate your goal; if you want to be the MVP, say it. If you have a chip on your shoulder, wear in a way that lifts the entire team”.

With the college admissions scandals breaking headlines across the country, this group spared no words on their thoughts. Jokes rang loudly as most of the men laughed at the audacity of these “criminals’ to not want the FBI raiding their home at 5 am. Privilege still exists, even while committing social crimes. Jimmy summed up their poor decisions by saying too many people think it’s about them. Those parents can say it was for the best interest of their children, but ultimately, they were doing it so they could look good.

This series continues to keep me engaged. LeBron does a good job of providing various perspectives from every avenue of the industry. We’re able to see people we know, and don’t know, bond of topics that impact all of us. It’s grounded conversation in a way that says, hey, we’re in this with you too. While I didn’t cover it in this review, check out a clip of LeBron sharing his thoughts on Magic Johnson stepping down from the LA Lakers below:

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1 comment

Jef Dinsmore May 7, 2019 - 10:01 am

For me, that was the first THE SHOP installment that I could have sat in on for longer than 30 minutes. I could listen to Don Cheadle’s thoughts all day.


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