Baller/Film Buff Kobe Bryant posted a pic to his instagram account yesterday of him with Rapper/Film Actor 50 Cent and the legendary Oscar Winning Film Actress/hoop fan Meryl Streep. It was taken after the Lakers/Knicks game that the two celebs attended and drew lots of laughs across social media from fans of each exceptional individual. Most people thought the trio was an odd mix with nothing in common but I can think of one big thing they can all share. They all had a fantastic 2003.
Let’s start with 50 Cent who skipped the Grammy’s to hold hands with Streep yesterday. It was June of 2002 when Eminem and Dr Dre signed the king of the mixtape circuit to a $1 million record deal. Later that year, Eminem put 50 on the 8 Mile Soundtrack which made him and his song “Wanksta” a household name in the households of hip hop fans.
Then in January of 2003, 50 Cent’s official debut “Get Rich or Die Tryin'” was released and sold almost 900k copies in the first four days. Interscope Records was so happy with the success of the album and the single “In Da Club” they gave him his own label – G-Unit Records. 50 signed his mixtape friends and released the album “Beg for Mercy” in late 2003.
As big as 50 blew up in 2003, it’s safe to say he wasn’t a household name in the households of many Meryl Streep fans yet. Unlike the new found success for the struggling 50, Streep already had 2 Oscar wins and 12 Oscar nominations, including one for one of my favorite films – The Deer Hunter. She also had 15 Golden Globe nominations to her name but her last win was 20 years ago.
Then in 2002, she released two critically acclaimed films that had Streep fans arguing which had a better performance from her – The Hours or Adaptation (my vote)? She would receive an Oscar nomination for Adaptation but a Golden Globe nomination for both of the films.
Then on January 19th of 2003, she ended the streak of losses and won the Globe for Adaptation. Later that year she starred in the TV mini-series Angels in America and would be rewarded the following year with another Golden Globe.
Like Streep, everybody in LA and Hollywood knew who he was and when 50 Cent was celebrating his record deal during the summer of 2002, Kobe Bryant was celebrating a sweep of the New Jersey Nets in the NBA Finals and a 3rd straight NBA Championship.
Then in early 2003 when 50 and Streep were enjoying the accolades of their work, Kobe Bryant went to work and took his game to a new level and started a historic 9 games streak of 40+ points a game.
- 2/6/03 versus New York Knicks: 46 Points (Lakers Win)
- 2/11/03 versus Denver Nuggets: 42 points (Lakers Win)
- 2/12/03 versus Denver Nuggets: 51 points (Lakers Win)
- 2/14/03 versus San Antonio Spurs: 44 points (Lakers Lose)
- 2/16/03 versus New York Knicks: 40 points (Lakers Lose)
- 2/18/03 versus Houston Rockets: 52 points (Lakers Win)
- 2/19/03 versus Utah Jazz: 40 Points (Lakers Win)
- 2/21/03 versus Portland Trail Blazers: 40 Points (Lakers Win)
- 2/23/03 versus Seattle Supersonics: 41 points (Lakers Win)
Kobe would average 30 points per game that season but took an early exit in the playoffs in a heart-breaking game 6 against the Spurs in the Western Conference Semi-finals. Later that year, the Lakers signed Karl Malone and Gary Payton which gave them a strong enough team to return to the NBA finals the following season.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW
Unlike most where are they now shows where we hear about fallen stars that are broke and desperate, these 3 continued to stack up platinum albums, investments, Oscar wins and nominations and NBA championships. Now, granted 50 isn’t as popular of a rapper as he was a decade ago and Kobe is injured and Meryl Streep is….never mind she just received a record 18th Oscar nomination, 50 is mainly an actor now that is living good off his Vitamin Water deal and Kobe Bryant is still the closest thing we have seen since Michael Jordan and just recently signed a 2 year $48.5 million contract.