As we embark on a new championship run here in Los Angeles, we pay homage to 20 years ago. The dawn of a new era in LA. The coming of age of a young Kobe. The dominance of Shaq. Big Shot Bob. Aging veterans. Role players. Phil and his innate ability to manage egos of [...]


I remember when I first went to @vanillablackla and saw that the register had a Kobe sticker on it. I found out yesterday that it was actually stolen recently. Hopefully, we can help replace that along with what was lost financially during the pandemic.This project was a mixture of Kobe and Coffee, hence the term, [...]


Best team ever? What do you think? Honestly, it doesn’t matter. Bay Area cats will argue about their Warriors and how they would light them up from the 3 point line. Some will say the early 00’s Lakers. The argument can go on forever whether it is a thread on Twitter or a bunch of people in a barbershop. The only thing that can be said in this moment is that this team was dope as hell. We’ve always wanted to do a Jordan piece. “The Last Dance” only lit that desire even more. Jordan has always been the GOAT. Everything about him is on another level. His swagger on and off the court back in the day was just so intriguing. It’s kind of weird because now his style is... never mind lets not talk about that. Let’s just appreciate him for what he has done for basketball and the culture. In order to design this piece, we linked up with our favorite artist, Joanne Nimes. Joanne hoops in the Philippines for Ateneo De Manila University. Not only is she a beast on the court, she’s a master at creating. We talked about Jordan and the Bulls. This is what we came up with. We called it Project “9596” for obvious reasons.


My earliest memories of adolescence were with my older brother. We lived for the summertime and basketball in the backyard. Then, one day we stepped out the front gate and met the neighborhood kids. This was my first sense of belonging. One of the kids, Jon, was a skater sponsored by United Boardshop in Lakewood, California. This influenced my brother and I to ask Mom for a real deck. Not the one's from Walmart. I remember I got a Shorty's deck. It was "Bridget the Pissed Off Midget." Before you knew it, I was running around the streets of Bellflower with my brother and our crew.

Eventually all my cousins got skateboards and we were turning family parties into skate sessions. I remember my Ateh Rose even dated a pro skater. I always played basketball, but didn't feel that sense of community with the sport until I got older. There was something about riding through the streets on skateboards and chillin' on the curb with the homies that was just so dope. We would play football in the streets and have water balloon fights all summer. This was a fun time and quite frankly there's nothing like this. No responsibilities, just a care-free time with the homies. This is what inspired Project "Slow Grind."


Do you remember linking up with your homies to run 5’s at the park? Running the courts until the lights shut off. Grabbing breakfast burritos after the hoop session and chopping it up in the parking lot after you said you were about to dip an hour ago.