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Original Issue

The Beat

KOBE BRYANT's nickname is the Black Mamba, but he wanted nothing to do with any snakes while shooting a video promoting his new Nike shoe, the Hyperdunk. In the clip, which has been viewed over 2.5 million times on YouTube, Bryant is shown leaping over a snake-filled pool and dunking a basketball. "There were about 140 snakes in the pool," said Bryant, who admitted he had some editing "assistance" on the dunk. "Anacondas, red-bellied snakes; there weren't no black mambas—they're a little too deadly."... Few ceremonial first pitches have been as photogenic as the one Mariah Carey (right) threw last week at the Tokyo Dome before a Yomiuri Giants--Rakuten Eaglesgame. Carey, who was in Tokyo with new husband Nick Cannon for the MTV Video Music Awards Japan, wore a belly-baring pink jacket, sunglasses, Daisy Duke shorts and high heels. Her pitch rolled to home plate, but for some reason she still received an ovation.... Phil Mickelson recently spent two days taping an episode of HBO's Entourage set to air in September. Said Mickelson, whose previous acting credits include a cameo in Tin Cup: "It's edgy; the language is a little rough, but I just love watching that show."

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