Sports

Sports

What the Hell Happened to Darius Miles?

This is a few weeks old now, but it’s a really great read:

Dudes like me ain’t supposed to talk about this type of stuff. I’m about to tell you some real shit. Things I haven’t told anybody. But first, we gotta go back in time. We gotta go back to when the NBA was still the NBA. Way back when I had the pager with the two-way alert.

I’m about to tell you the most Y2K story ever.

The Courageous Fight to Fix the NBA’s Mental Health Problem

Jackie MacMullan is doing a five part series on mental health in the NBA for ESPN:

Yet there remain many obstacles to confront, chief among them the stigma attached to mental health that prompts many players to suffer in silence. There’s another critical sticking point: The union insists that mental health treatment be confidential, but some NBA owners, who in some cases are paying their players hundreds of millions of dollars, want access to the files of their “investments.”

It’s KD’s Fault

Craig Fehrman, writing at Slate:

The NBA has been bad for two years, and it’s Kevin Durant’s fault.

If the Warriors beat the Cavaliers on Friday night, they’ll clinch a second straight title, compiling a playoff record of 32–6 along the way. This team has erased two seasons of potentially exciting basketball as thoroughly as Ted Williams’ military service erased several years of his prime.

The Warriors aren’t the ’96 Bulls. The Warriors were the ’96 Bulls—a 70-plus-win team with a superstar and a championship-level supporting cast. Then they added the second-best player in the league. It’s as if David Robinson decided to join Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen in Chicago and coast his way to some mid-’90s titles.

I love the NBA and have hated this year’s playoffs and finals. It’s not fun to watch. This article really gets to the why and how an un-competitive league is bad for basketball.

N.F.L. Teams Will Be Fined if Players Kneel During National Anthem

Victor Mather, writing for The New York Times:

N.F.L. players will be allowed to stay in the locker room during the national anthem, but their teams will be fined by the league if they go onto the field and kneel, according to new rules adopted by owners on Wednesday in an effort to defuse an issue that escalated last season into a national debate catalyzed by President Trump.

This is so unbelievably stupid.

The Disgrace of Minor League Baseball

The Ringer:

So why do minor league basketball and hockey players get a better deal than minor league baseball players, despite those leagues’ parent clubs bringing in less money overall? It’s not because basketball and hockey owners are less interested in maximizing profits at all costs—many baseball owners have a stake in another pro team, and even if the people running the NBA, NHL, and MLB aren’t literally the same people, they all went to the same business schools and hang out at the same golf courses.

No, it’s about power and leverage.

A Gentleman’s Guide to the NBA: When Players Agree to Take Plays Off

Bleacher Report:

Thanks to Jokic, Bell learned earlier than most this important lesson about NBA life: In a sport in which games can last nearly three hours and seasons almost nine months, it becomes essential to save strength for the more important moments. After all, 100 percent effort on 100 percent of plays would sap even the greatest of deities of their godly gifts and transform contests into stumbling slogs.

And so to avoid this descent into the mud, many players strike unofficial pacts with their opponents. Possessions are punted, secrets are traded, game plans are passed along. It’s not that these players don’t care about the outcomes of games. Think of it, instead, as a sort of gentleman’s pact between players, one governing action across the NBA.

I found this article fascinating.

Watch MLB TV in Picture in Picture on a Mac

Six Colors:

It’s baseball season again, and there’s some good news for people who use MLB TV to watch out-of-market games on their Mac: This is the year that Major League Baseball has finally ditched Flash or Silverlight or whatever they were previously using for desktop streaming. This is nice, because it means I can use Safari (my preferred browser) rather than Chrome (which I keep around for sites that aren’t compatible with Safari or require Flash). But there’s a great side effect: It finally gives Macs the ability to do what iPads have been able to do for a couple of years, namely pop a baseball game into Picture in Picture mode, so it floats above other windows on your screen without any browser chrome getting in the way. […] Still, I was able to enable the Picture in Picture mode by using PiPifier, an app in the Mac App Store that adds a picture-in-picture button to the Safari toolbar.

You can grab the extension here. It works great.

March Madness Bracket Challenge

The NCAA basketball tournament is once again upon us. As usual I’ve created a bracket group for members of the website to fill out brackets. The winner will get a free year of the supporter package. Pick some teams, win some Dark Mode. Not a bad deal.

A printable bracket can be found here, and times for the games can be found here. And, as always, we have a thread in the sports forums for talking about the games.

The NBA’s Obsession With Wine

Baxter Holmes, writing at ESPN:

At the Cavs’ morning shootaround before their loss in Sacramento, Wade, sitting along the sideline, about six weeks before being traded back to Miami, is asked who on the Cavs knows the most about wine. Without hesitation, he points at James, who stands across the court. “He knows a lot. It’s just something he don’t want to share,” Wade says. “But when we go out, it’s, Bron, what wine we getting? You ask most of the guys on the team who orders the wine, we leave it to him to order.”

Indeed, among the Cavs, the legend of LeBron’s oenophilia is large.

As Love says, when it comes to wine, “Bron has a supercomputer in his brain.”

This is a really great article.

There Is a Competition to Avoid Learning Who Won the Super Bowl

Scott Detrow, at NPR, looks at this year’s Last Man competition:

We’re going to tell you who won the Super Bowl. Yes, the game happened last week, but there’s an important warning for the eight people still in the running in a contest called Last Man. Competition’s pretty straightforward but a near impossible goal – go as long as you can without finding out who won the Super Bowl.

I first heard about this game in a New Yorker article a few years back:

The game runs on the honor system—pride is the only prize—and deaths are self-reported on Twitter. Those who play refer to themselves as “runners,” and the thing they are running from—the fact that New England beat Seattle—is known as “the Knowledge.” The only real rule is to stay in the country.

Thanksgiving Week Is the Event College Basketball Needs

Mark Titus, writing at The Ringer:

The most absurd week ever of regular-season college basketball came to a close Sunday night/early Monday morning when no. 4 Michigan State held no. 9 North Carolina to 45 points, no. 16 Texas A&M blew out no. 10 USC in Los Angeles, and no. 1 Duke erased a 17-point second-half deficit to beat no. 7 Florida. There’s no way of fact-checking whether this was actually the most absurd regular-season week in college basketball history, of course, but I don’t think we need to bother. Shoot, these past seven days have been so wild that the “regular season” qualifier might not even be necessary. Wichita State’s comeback to beat Cal in the first round of the Maui Invitational happened last Monday, yet I could easily be convinced that it took place a decade ago because of all that’s transpired since.

The NBA All-Star Game Gets an Overhaul

The NBA All-Star game is getting an overhaul. Paolo Uggetti, writing at The Ringer, describes the changes:

Instead of an East vs. West matchup, teams will be picked based on playground rules, with two captains selecting from the remaining pool of players, according to an announcement by the NBA on Tuesday.

The initial All-Star voting process will remain the same as last season: five players (two guards and three frontcourt players) from each conference will be selected by votes from fans, players, and media, and the remaining 14 players will be chosen by NBA head coaches. But now the top fan-vote-getters in each conference will be enlisted to choose, fantasy-draft style, who among the remaining 22 gets to play for which team.

Seems like a needed fix when most of the All-Stars are now in the western conference. Hopefully it makes the games a little more fun as well.