With NBA Playoffs back on and the stock market reaching new all-time highs, we thought it would be fun to combine our love of sports with our love of stocks!
To do this, we established three teams and asked the newest members of the Street Lightning team to come up with a stock portfolio that best represents the 2008 Redeem Team! The five NBA superstars that we told them they needed to relate the stocks to are LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul.
The teams’ picks for each player will be coming out over the course of the day, every hour, on the hour. So, be sure to come back soon and check out what they think. And, of course, let us know what you think of their picks! What stock would you have selected to represent these NBA Superstars?!
So, without further ado, we present the first of our Superstar selections… (Michael Buffer voice) KOBEEEEEEE BRYYYYYANTTTTTT
Jacques Potts, Alex Moreno and Kareem Winters Select Apple
Apple has been leading the world with its innovative products and offerings which correlates with what Kobe Bryant once was. He is considered to be one of the greatest players of all time and is one of the most dominant players in NBA history. Apple has remained a top force in the market and they solidified this position when they reached the 2 trillion dollar market capitalization point. This makes Apple the Most Valuable Public company in the world. Apple has always innovated and adapted with the times. They have kept their loyal customers on their feet with their new products and ability to make the world around them simpler and at the edge of their seats in anticipation of what comes next.
No matter how many try to bring Apple down, Apple always finds a way to outperform their competitors. Apple has created a luxury brand that seems to have the majority of the world eager to try their products. This goes hand in hand with Kobe Bryant who had played an impressive two-decade long career in the NBA. Bryant’s resume in the NBA is one for the ages and includes things such as five NBA Championship wins, 18-time All-Star, 15-time All-NBA First Teams member and a 12-time member of the All-Defensive team.
Just as Apple is known for its premium products and best in-class ecosystem, Kobe is remembered as creating a larger-than-life image of a player who would never be out-worked and would always get back up from hardships that he endured on and off the court.
Nikhil Gunderia & Kevin Perkins Select Amazon
Kobe “Bean” Bryant is undoubtedly established as a basketball all-time great. He spent his entire 20 year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning a total of five championships. He is recognized for his famous “Mamba mentality” mindset, a trait that consisted of Bryant’s killer instinct on the court.
While with the Lakers, Bryant was able to stand out amongst his peers. His drive, competitive nature, unmatched work ethic, and desire to win is what defined him as a player. Overall, Bryant wanted to be better than anyone who he was competing against and ultimately the greatest to ever touch a basketball.
Similarly, Amazon shares the same characteristics as Kobe Bryant. Amazon is considered to be the top US retail e-commerce company. Amazon share of retail e-commerce market sales currently stands at nearly 50%, which is considerably better than it’s top 3 competitors combined. CEO and founder, Jeff Bezos, adopts the “Mamba Mentality'. He believes what separates Amazon from everyone else is that the company has “the top customer service.” Another resemblance between Bezos and Kobe Bryant is the dedication to their organization. Similar to how Kobe spent his entire career with the Lakers, Jeff Bezos has not only founded Amazon, but has remained the CEO of the company to this day.
Amazon is clearly dominating the retail e-commerce market as well as the public cloud space and is continuing to prove itself far superior than any other company. Along with that, Amazon has a history of dominating its competitors in just about any market it enters. Much like Kobe Bryant, Amazon is extremely difficult to compete with and will most likely be better, if not the best, at what they do.
Emmanuella Nwokenkwo, Javier Frausto and Jeeho Yun Select Apple
When comparing public companies to the all stars of the Redeem Team, Kobe Bryant seems to most ideally mimic the performance of Apple, Inc.
Despite being a phenomenal basketball player, the Black Mamba was far from the best; in fact, his greatness is most attributed to how he marketed himself as the most ‘clutch’ player, keying and trademarking the term ‘killer instinct.’ We see the same elite marketing in Apple, as they lack behind other Eastern companies in mobile device market share, yet still manage to outperform their competitors in the public market.
We know how Kobe distinguished himself within the NBA, but how does Apple make their mark in the stock market? They don't have the most open operating system, so they aren’t as versatile as other competition (Android), and their products tend to cost more for the same amount of memory found in competing products. However, every young adult seems to cherish their products and appear loyal to the end, ready to be buried with their iPhone like it’s ancient Egypt!
This brand loyalty may be attributed to Apple’s intense focus on its image, on the need to be viewed as the company that releases only ‘premium’ products, they may not be first but when they release a product you know it’s ready for the masses. The other big factor to which they can attribute their incredible success? Trust. Consumers know the names of Steve Jobs and Tim Cook, they trust the company over all others with their data. Likewise, as any NBA fan will acknowledge, Kobe Bryant was a premium player that was always trusted to take the final buzzer beater shot.
While we unfortunately only saw a glimpse into Bryant’s life following his basketball days, there’s no doubt his second act would have extended beyond playing in the NBA, to areas such as social good and public speaking. By the same token, Apple is again pricing its dominance as it grows into its second act, moving beyond just consumer hardware products as it widens its services business. In the end, we have no doubt the California-based company and Bryant would have proven themselves even more alike than they already were.
Disclosure: At the time of publication, we are long Amazon and Apple. We wrote this article ourselves, and it expresses our own opinions. We are not receiving compensation for creating this article (other than from TheStreet) and have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.