28th December 2010
Archive for the 'No Math Required' Category
19th October 2010
Here's a hilariously bizarre layup for all mid-1990s NBA/video game fans:
29th September 2010
I'm admittedly a little behind the curve here, but I thought I'd throw some linkage to the player ratings for NBA 2K11 (which, as I was informed by a GameStop rep via phone-call several minutes ago, comes out midnight next Monday). Lots to disagree with there, so let me know in the comments what 2K's most egregious mistakes were... Also, for an alternate take, check out this blog where "Rashidi" offers his own (more reasonable) ratings. Happy gaming!
9th September 2010
Send it in, Jerome!!!
(A Special Hat Tip goes to my buddy Brent for the link.)
6th August 2010
Drew Cannon wrote a very interesting post for Basketball Prospectus on Monday, regarding player positions. His theory is that coaches should break positions down offensively and defensively, since the former deals with certain specific skillsets (scoring, passing, ballhandling, & rebounding) while the latter is concerned with what level of opposing height and speed a player can defend. Instead of worrying about whether a scorer is in the body of someone who can defend a SF or a PG, Cannon contends (and I'm inclined to agree) that as long as you fill all of the necessary roles on both sides of the ball, it doesn't matter who does what job and whether their defensive position matches up with the traditional offensive role of that slot. Anyway, it's a really good read, so check it out and let me know what you think about traditional positions vs. Cannon's idea.
19th July 2010
I've been meaning to link to this for a long time, but I'm just now getting around to it... Apparently Matt Bonner of the Spurs (who recently inked a 4-year extension with San Antone) is, like myself, a bit of a sandwich fan. In fact, he has a blog at NBA.com called "Matt Bonner, Sandwich Hunter: The Quest for the Hoagie Grail". No kidding. In his travels as an NBA baller, Bonner takes time to hunt down the best sandwiches in each NBA city; his latest entry is #26, D'Angelo Grilled Sandwiches in Boston, where they make one wicked grinder. So go ahead and check out Matt's sandwich blog, and feel free to tell me in the comments section which NBA city makes your favorite sandwich.
9th July 2010
Basketball is all about sharing, about unselfishness, about legends like Bill Russell doing whatever it takes to win. But apparently it's also about who has the bigger... um, contract.
You see, all we heard these past few days was whether LeBron and D-Wade could co-exist as "Alpha Males", or that LBJ joining Wade in Miami is supposedly something a true "Alpha Male" (ostensibly referring to Kobe or MJ) would never do... It's curious that this hyper-macho view of basketball first began to emerge less than two decades ago, though. Like a commenter said yesterday, the Michael Jordan era was so transformative that we may very well have have convinced ourselves that the MJ-Pippen formula (and the Alpha-Beta designations contained therein) is the only way to view the game. Heck, Bill Simmons even wrote a 700-page book that revises the entirety of NBA history to match that ultramasculine theory of basketball.
Yet in those same pages Simmons also extolled the virtues of "The Secret", which is allegedly about sacrificing numbers, money, and individual glory for team success... Well, isn't what LeBron did last night the living embodiment of The Secret, leaving millions on the table and turning himself into a hometown villain, all for the sake of winning? If Vince Lombardi was right and "winning isn't everything, it's the only thing", then LeBron made the only rational decision last night. But the dirty secret of commentators like Simmons is that winning by itself is not good enough -- you apparently also have to win while simultaneously vanquishing the idea of another male rival sharing your spotlight, because god forbid that another Alpha could possibly question your hoops authority when you're doing all that winning.
Oh, but I forgot, basketball is the ultimate team game, and it's all about sacrificing stats and glory for championships, right?
I guess this LeBron situation provides the ultimate opportunity for people to put their money where their cliches have been all these years.
11th June 2010
In the midst of the current conference expansion insanity, we have a school that's soon to not be aligned with any major conference. They are the 3rd-winningest program in their sport's history. They've won 5 National Championships. Their first coach was the inventor of the sport itself.
So why doesn't anyone want Kansas?
Yeah, yeah, I know, football is king. Football makes the most money, has the most support, and consequently dictates every decision made by the major conferences. But how insane is it that Kansas, arguably the most storied program in college basketball history, will be left out in the cold while Nebraska, an irrelevant basketball school for its entire history and barely an above-average football one over the past decade, gets to decide the fate of an entire conference? How does that make any sense?
Over at ESPN, Eamonn Brennan tackled the issue of Kansas' inexplicable irrelevance in the conference shuffle:
"The Pac-10 doesn't want Kansas. The Big Ten doesn't seem wholly interested. The Jayhawks are, for the moment, on the outside of conference expansion looking in. Which says a lot more about conference expansion than it does the Kansas Jayhawks.
What it says is that college basketball doesn't at all factor into what conference expansion will produce."
What if the tables were turned? What if, say, Michigan was without an affiliation? Would other major conferences possibly be interested in adding them to their ranks?
Of course they would -- they'd kill for Michigan. Because Michigan is the football equivalent of Kansas basketball. Another KU analogue, Notre Dame, has been fending off would-be conference suitors (in football, at least) for decades. That's the reality of being a college football powerhouse. But when an elite basketball program becomes available, the only question is, "How's their football team?"
Like Brennan wrote, basketball fans may understand this summer's conference free-for-all on an intellectual level, but that doesn't make it any easier to stomach when one of the prestige programs in the entire country, the place where Dr. James Naismith himself coached, finds itself on the outside looking in while historically lame basketball programs like Colorado and Nebraska dictate its future.
7th May 2010
From What Would Oakley Do?, here's an entertaining look at this year's playoff teams from a Shakespearian perspective. And pretty insightful, too -- for instance, if any NBA team has ever looked like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, I'd say the Hawks last night were it.
26th February 2010
This essay is a rather extreme case of late-night rambling -- just warning you ahead of time.
In case you stumbled upon this website and have no understanding of basketball, sports, or American culture in general, let me just say that the players in the NBA are really good at hoops. I mean, ridiculously good: so good that they have been dominant players their entire lives, at virtually every level. I always laugh when some fans are watching a game and say "I could do that!"... Well, no, you couldn't. The average fan seems to have a shaky grasp at times on the vast, gaping, astronomical chasm that exists between their own abilities (or even the abilities of the best basketball player they've ever known/played with) and those of the worst NBA player who ever played. There's simply no comparison there, as I learned the hard way when future D-Leaguer Patrick Ewing Jr. dunked over me, Freddy Weis style, in a high school AAU game in 2003. I was on a mediocre lower-tier HS team, we were playing the best crop of prospects in the state of Georgia (which at the time included Ewing, Stanford/Washington G Tim Morris, Evansville C Bradley Strickland, & Georgia Tech PG Matt Causey), and they beat us by nearly 100 points. And Ewing is the only player on that team with even a remote shot at the NBA! Talk about a harsh dose of reality.