There are only a few rappers that motivate me. The list is fairly short. That’s not to say that rappers not mentioned aren’t in heavy rotation on my playlist. There’s more to it.

Nas, Jadakiss, Tupac, Jay Z and B.I.G. have an uncanny way of elevating my mind state, while removing me from the social confines that life’s daily nuances and mellow-dramatic subplots may provide.

More specifically, Nas and Jadakiss are my go-to artists especially on occasions when stress levels reach new heights – they can effectively soothe my anxiety or frustration with hard-hitting verses juxtaposed with a head-nodding baseline and hooks.

For me, the same could be said for the wonderful world of sports. It has a positive effect on my mental well being.

Despite the multitude of stories towards the end of 2015, the actual content never scratched the surface of the popular narrative that dominated headlines. There was nothing earth shattering that rendered the average fan weak with disbelief. However, there were a few stories in 2015 that raised the odd eyebrow and kept fans’ interest and intrigue at a relatively curious level.

The Mamba makes his exit

Kobe announced his retirement earlier than expected, however the writing on the wall was more like spray painted hieroglyphics that if interpreted correctly, begged and pleaded Mr. Bryant to end the agony and preserve his great legacy.

Simply put, that announcement set to poetic soliloquy, was about as surprising as the next racial slur uttered by Donald Trump or another Bill Cosby accuser coming forward.

Kobe, being the great ambassador of the game he is, will take his victory lap, selling out arenas in the process and leaving this fan yearning for that next great generational player.

Despite the inevitability of his departure, fans all over will bear witness to the denouement of a great career, reminisce on what was and be subjected to abysmal on-court play by the Lakers as the team plans for this upcoming draft.

Kobe, being the great ambassador of the game he is, will take his victory lap, selling out arenas in the process and leaving this fan yearning for that next great generational player.

Chef Curry

Meanwhile, in Northern California, Stephen Curry and his merry band of misfits have effectively shown the rest of the NBA that they have not lost stride since winning the championship last June. They’ve been dismantling perennial powerhouses with ease, all while hurting people’s feelings along the way, smashing records and becoming the content of compelling daily memes and Vines.

As Curry sheepishly chewed on his mouth-guard after draining shot after incredible shot, it has become almost a shoe-in that the Warriors will not only compete for the championship again, but quite possibly achieve the implausible feat of winning back-to-back titles.

Brady, Goodell, Deflategate

Speaking of improbable tasks, Tom Brady and The New England Patriots are trying to do the unthinkable as well – win consecutive Super Bowls in a year when every and anything has been pitted against them.

The Deflategate scandal dominated the headlines for much of the year as the world wondered to themselves how a slightly deflated football could possibly help an NFL football team to win a playoff game in sub-zero temperature and then go on to win the Lombardi trophy.

Time will tell if Brady, alongside his teammates, can overcome a multitude of late-season injuries and the ire of a relentless commissioner to win his fifth championship ring.

The NFL’s commissioner, Roger Goodell, did everything in his power to try and punish Tom Brady for his cheating ways. Initially, Mr. Goodell was successful, suspending Brady for the first four games of the season and sending a message to the rest of the league, that no one, not even the league’s golden child, was safe from his wrath.

But, alas, Brady exercised his right to appeal and was subsequently reinstated, clearly igniting furor in himself and his teammates which propelled them to an 11-0 start to this season – a definite fire lit under them. I could almost hear Nas’ “Hate Me Now” play out as their theme song.

Time will tell if Brady, alongside his teammates, can overcome a multitude of late-season injuries and the ire of a relentless commissioner to win his fifth championship ring.

The champ is here

In what was billed as “the fight of the century”, Floyd Mayweather Jr. defeated his arch rival Manny Pacquiao in vintage style with a multitude of repetitive jabs and an elusive impregnable defence that had his opponent scratching his head.

The fight, held in Las Vegas, grossed estimated combined earnings of $300 million for both boxers.

After the match, Mayweather was accused of running and hiding from his opponent throughout the entire fight, however, the object of boxing is to score as many points as you can by landing punishing blows to your opponent, and in Pacquiao’s case, he couldn’t hit what he couldn’t see.

A Mayweather/Pacquiao rematch would undoubtedly amass close to the same numbers the initial fight earned, however, that event may never come to fruition…

Money Mayweather was simply too elusive for Manny, who ultimately met his defeat by decision.

It almost seemed like the fight was a preface or prelude to an upcoming rematch between both parties, as it lacked the luster and action that was promised in all of the hype publicized throughout mass media.

A Mayweather/Pacquiao rematch would undoubtedly amass close to the same numbers the initial fight earned, however, that event may never come to fruition as the Money Team CEO, Mayweather, is said to have retired and Manny looks to have his foot firmly planted in his homeland, the Philippines, as a modern pariah, political figure and dreadful recreational basketball player.

Looking forward

It’s been 16 years since we thought that the world would collapse at 12 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2000 due to the perceived ‘Y2K bug’ that was to shut down everything.

Suffice it to say, we’ve done relatively well in recovering from the scare that was propelled throughout media. Much of the same can be said about the overwhelmingly glossy narratives of sports that if unearthed, would reveal shallow subplots and even less endearing performances by some of our most celebrated athletes.

The great ones have a way of rising like the phoenix in times of disdain. Just as in rap music, great rappers of our time, like Nas and Jadakiss, have a way of maintaining their musical relevance.

In 2016, we look towards the greats, like LeBron, Steph and Brady, to solidify their dominance in a field yearning for consistency in not only performance, but also intriguing narratives and deep storylines.