The league is announcing a two-year partnership with Green Day that includes an opening song for NBC Sports’ “Wednesday Night Hockey.” The song, “Ready, Fire, Aim” isn’t custom-made for the NHL and will be on Green Day’s next album, though it’s likely a matter of time until Green Day or another band follows what Hank Williams Jr. and later Carrie Underwood did for the NFL.
Now that the NBA Playoffs have begun, Elevated: The Global Rise of the NBA arrives at the perfect time. The book takes a look at the history of the league through the lens of the New York Times writers who have covered the sports over the decades, as edited and annotated by Harvey Araton. Due to the nature of the book, you won’t find one specific writing style throughout. Although, there’s a high level of quality to the writing and you get a look at how the writers have changed their approach to covering the sport as new things like social media came into play.
Since I’m someone who doesn’t have a subscription to the New York Times, I otherwise would not have been able to read many of these articles. It’s an excellent chance for NBA fans to get a look into how devoted one publication was to covering a variety of teams, not just the ones in the New York area. You’ll find articles from the 1970s, to ones as recent as 2018, and everything in between. However, don’t expect the story to unfold in chronological order.
Wright Thompson, writing for ESPN:
Ichiro is a meticulous man, held in orbit by patterns and attention to detail. This place specializes in beef tongue, slicing it thin by hand and serving it raw alongside hot cast-iron skillets. They do one thing perfectly, which appeals to Ichiro. Tonight he’s got dark jeans rolled up to the calf, each leg even, and a gray T-shirt under a white button-down with a skinny tie. His hair looks darker than in some recent photos, maybe the lighting, maybe a dye job. Either way, not even a 44-year-old future Hall of Famer is immune from the insecurities and diminishments that come with time. This winter is the most insecure and diminished he’s been.
Sports Forum: 2019 MLB Season Thread
Sports Forum: March Madness NCAA Basketball
Tyler Kepner, writing for The New York Times:
Mariano Rivera, the career saves leader whose elegant efficiency helped the Yankees win five World Series, on Tuesday became the first player ever elected unanimously to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
It is bonkers to me that no one else had been elected unanimously before.
Here’s Derek Jeter, writing at The Player’s Tribune:
I heard a stat the other day and it blew my mind:
In human history, more people have walked on the moon than have scored an earned run off of Mariano Rivera in the postseason.
Sounds crazy, right? But it’s true.
According to NASA, 12 people have had the privilege of walking on the moon.
According to Baseball Reference, 11 people have scored an earned run off of Playoff Mo.
And while no statistic could ever truly encapsulate Mariano, I figure this one is as close as we’re going to get. Because I think it really gives you a sense of what sort of greatness we’re dealing with, when it comes to Mo. It’s hard to compare him to other closers — in fact, it’s hard to compare him to other pitchers.
“I back anyone who takes a stand for what they believe in. I know being an artist that it’s in my power to inspire. So before confirming the Super Bowl Halftime performance, I made sure to partner with the NFL on this important donation,” he said in a statement. “I am proud to support Dream Corps and the work they do that will hopefully inspire and promote change.”
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.
Sports Forum: NBA Season Thread
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.”
Sports Forum: FIFA World Cup 2018
Sports Forum: FIFA World Cup 2018
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sports Forum: March Madness NCAA Basketball
March Madness: Join the bracket challenge.