Today I didn't even have to use my AK. I gotta say it was a good day.

You know I hate to overdo these Nike videos but when one strikes me (as they do often) I just gotta write about it, and man this one hit HAAARD.

How? Let me count the ways. And it doesn’t just have to do with Kobe showing up at 1:05 (so he walks around LA, huh? riiiight). The aaaawwweessome air on 1:27 helps, and of course, Ice Cube on 2:04.

It also has a great deal to do with Ice Cube‘s Today Was A Good Day, which was my personal national anthem back in ’93 ( and the absolute perfect musical accompaniment to the Saturdays when I would play in the park that is in the picture on top of this blog.

I promise you, I would listen to that record and the day would be all good. It would put me in the mood for ballin’ with my bros at the outside court, which we liked better because the cement was coarser and therefore offered more grip so we can ankle-break better.

Then lo and behold (it doesn’t stop there), many years later I’d hear that song again on what would become one of my most favorite games of all time – GTA San Andreas, which takes a lot out of the South Central LA setting Cube talks about in his album. The first GTA I played rocked the crap out of me, with its 80’s soundtrack including songs from John Waite (Missing You), Toto (Africa), Wang Chung (Dance Hall Days) and the Late Great MJ (Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin and Beat It), etc.

Then when I couldn’t see how they could do better, they pulled San Andreas out of nowhere and man everything in my life just took a backseat. Soul II Soul (Keep on Movin‘), James Brown (Funky President), Public Enemy (Rebel Without A Pause) and N.W.A with Express Yourself, back in the day when hip-hop had a point, man.

I don’t think you can say whoever directed this video didn’t have special GTA moments of his own, which is why I connect to it so much. And I can’t say enough really, of how genuinely affected I am, watching that vid, playing the game and remembering the old neighborhood with my bros. Yeah this is a basketball blog but a lot of how I relate to the game has to do with those afternoons just hanging around the dudes, laughing, chillin’, enjoying the time together. I coulda spent the time getting high, that’s for sure, that shit was in and all over the place and a lot of guys did. But I didn’t, and I honestly owe the game, my bros, and little things like that song and the memories I relate to it for helping me appreciate just being alive and getting kind of a natural high as opposed to manufacturing it.

Man those were times. All good now. All good.

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