Len Bias has been dead for longer than he has been alive. For ESPN Michael Weinreb examines how the tragic death due to a cocaine overdose of this young, up and coming basketball star affected both the sport and American drug policy. Meanwhile at Deadspin, Tommy Craigs explains how twentytwo years after his death Len Bias still makes everyone crazy.
"I think sportsmanship is knowing that it is a game, that we are only as a good as our opponents, and whether you win or lose, to always give 100 percent." - Sue Wicks. When the Coronado High School Thunderbirds basketball team entered their last game of the season, Coach Peter Morales had more than winning on his mind.
Michael Jordan Has Not Left The Building. Wright Thompson of ESPN: The Magazine profiles Michael Jordan as he turns 50 and finds himself in a world where his body may age, but his obsessive drive to compete never goes away.
In the 1990's, Michael Doret was tasked with creating a new logo for the New York Knicks. Here is the story of how his ideas were scaled back to create the logo the team uses to this day.
If you are in the 7 foot tall club in the US there is a 16% you play in NBA. Which is a good thing, as getting all your clothes custom made isn't cheap. Sports Illustrated takes a look at what life is like when you live in a world that was not designed for the very tall.
Yes, he only shot 48% from the floor, but last night, Jack Taylor, a sophomore guard from Div. III Grinnell College in Iowa, set a new men's NCAA basketball scoring record (on any level) by dropping in 138 points in Grinnell's 179-104 win over Faith Baptist Bible. This is the "insane" boxscore. You know a player has a big game when an opposing player (Faith Baptist Bible's David Larson) scores 70 points and becomes a footnote. So how'd he do it? [more inside]
"We have little trouble recognizing that a chess grandmaster’s victory over a novice is skill, as well as assuming that Paul the octopus’s ability to predict World Cup games is due to chance. But what about everything else?" [Luck and Skill Untangled: The Science of Success]
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating, popularity, preparing for being drafted, and shyness, as well as to children on following the law, the value of quietness in school, and appreciating our parents. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health, what kind of people live in America, how to keep a job, supervising women workers, the nature of capitalism, and the plantation System in Southern life. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
ESPN NBA blog The Hardwood Paroxysm has released a 2012-2013 Season Preview Guide [PDF] full of clever, opinionated (or sometimes data-driven) previews of each team and star player. [more inside]
Starting with a bracket for every letter of the alphabet, a bracket suggested by readers and a "Fuck" play-in bracket, blogger Ted McCagg just finished a contest for the Best Word Ever. In the running were Umpteen, Eke, Isthmus, Skedaddle and Akimbo. The Final Four. The finals. The champion. [Via The Paris Review & Kottke.]
"If you go into a Web browser and type the full city-nickname combination and add a .com, 27 of those URLs will take you to the official team page." Not so for CharlotteBobcats.com. (autoplaying audio)
In the 1950s, Maurice Stokes was a superstar basketball player for the Rochester (later Cincinnati) Royals. Stokes was Rookie of the Year and an NBA All-Star in each of his three seasons, trailing only Bill Russell and Oscar Robertson in scoring. But at age 24, a brain injury sustained in the last game of the 1958 season left him almost completely paralyzed. With his teammate alone in an unfamiliar city, Jack Twyman became his guardian and advocate. Stokes died in 1970, after years of care and friendship with the Twyman family; Jack Twyman [NYT] died yesterday. [more inside]
"I'm just looking for a second chance. Other people get second chances. Alcoholics. Drug addicts. Spousal beaters. Not gamblers, though. But, if you want to put something on my tombstone that was very important to me, it’s 1,972. That’s how many winning games I’ve played in. So that makes me the biggest winner in the history of sports. No one else can say that." Here, Now is a short documentary that looks at baseball legend Pete Rose, as he lives his life today. [more inside]
The ad is the work of two of the most fearsome players in Republican politics: Larry McCarthy, the producer behind the infamous Willie Horton commercial in 1988, and Crossroads GPS, the political battle squad founded by Karl Rove. Here it is.
This 18 minute short film (SLYT) travels to all the important locations from the movie Hoosiers. "Coach stays," and apparently everything else does too as very little has changed since they filmed the movie in 1986.
Grandpa Was A Baller The weird, wonderful tales of an early NBA player, who happens to be my grandfather.
Finally, Gilbert Arenas reveals the whole story behind the infamous Washington Wizards guns in the locker room incident.
"Ever wondered why there are only 5 positions in basketball or how a player’s position is determined?" Maybe not. But analytics are becoming more and more important in basketball, to the point where some are questioning some fundamental 'facts' about the game. After the MIT Sloan Sports conference this year specifically addressed the role of analytics in basketball, there has been a bit of a backlash against the practice among commentators, coaches and fans. Yet the projects just keep coming, including this recently updated web project using some amazing mapping analysis: Courtvision [more inside]
In the main link in griphus' post this morning, there was this little aside: "In 1957...a physics student named Don Knuth built a program for the IBM 650 to help the 1958 Case Institute of Technology basketball team win the league championship." Yes, THAT Don Knuth. Here's a young Don with the team and the IBM 650 (capable of making 50,000 calculations a minute!), and here he is talking about it. [more inside]
One song was synonymous with NBA Basketball throughout the 1990s: Roundball Rock by John Tesh [more inside]
The Warlord and the Basketball Star When an athlete-turned-humanitarian and an energy executive tried to buy gold in Kenya, they found themselves mired in Congo's dangerous world of conflict minerals -- and totally outmatched. [more inside]
We have zillions of security plans for the Palace, for all kinds of things. But none included a player going up in the stands
Mr. George said in a telephone interview that his goal for “The Announcement” was not only to tell the inside story of Mr. Johnson’s personal deliberations but also to “make people aware this thing hasn’t disappeared.” He added: “People are still dying of the virus. People are living very tough lives because of it. It’s falling off the national agenda, I believe, and this in some way helps us reintroduce it.”*On March 11, 2012 at 9pm Eastern, ESPN will air the documentary The Announcement, about Magic Johnson's diagnosis with HIV and his decision to go public with his diagnosis. The film is directed by Nelson George, a award-winning author and noted filmmaker whose sister is Andrea Williams, an HIV+ activist for AIDS causes in Brooklyn (and who inspired George's HBO movie Life Support, which won Queen Latifah several awards for her role as a fictionalized version of Williams).
You may have heard about the Michigan high schooler who made a game-winning basket and then died. Here's the rest of the story. [Alternative link]
"Lin is saving the Knicks with super-human play, but he's dispelling myths about Asian America by being otherwise hyper-normal and I thank him. He doesn't have a duty to embrace Asian America, speak for Asian America, or represent Asian America because right now he IS Asian America." -- Eddie Huang on Yao Ming, Jeremy Lin, and being Asian in America. [more inside]
Dick Pfander's obsession with basketball box scores means that every NBA box score in the league's history is now accessible.
You may not know who the Costacos Brothers are. But if you were a sports fan in the US during the 1980's, chances are that you had one of their posters up in your room.
The sad tale of the man who (supposedly) cut Michael Jordan, found after not a little searching and digging. (via)
The Comedian's Comedian's Comedian: Garry Shandling on boxing, basketball, buddhism and being.
a human being as plated with artisanal finesse at a Michelin-star restaurant, with a head as garnish
Anticipating a season long lockout, several NBA players signed contracts with teams in the Chinese Basketball Association. Now that a labor deal has been reached, leaving for the NBA won't be easy.
The U.S.S. Carl Vinson, which has provided relief in Haiti after an earthquake, launched air strikes in the Middle East after 9/11 and, most recently, dumped Osama bin Laden’s body out at sea hosted an uncharacteristically maritime event this evening: a basketball game on the flight deck. [more inside]
Here's the deal: If you don't play for, or you are not an employee of, the team in question, "we" is not the pronoun you're looking for. "They" is the word you want.Why "We" is the most overused term in sports.
"Unfortunately, his NBA career will probably be derailed by a complete inability to understand or carry out the fundamentals of defense."
University of Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt, the winningest coach in NCAA basketball history (men or women) has been diagnosed with early onset dementia. Regardless, she plans to continue coaching the Lady Vols for the 2011-12 season.
With five NBA championships and seven rebounding titles won during his career, the oft-times colorful and flamboyant Dennis Rodman has earned a place in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. His heartfelt and emotional speech at his induction last night in Springfield, Massachusetts displays a very different Rodman.
Fun While It Lasted is a blog that details the histories of long-dead sports franchises, including the Hawaii Leis/Sea-Port Cascades/Seattle Cascades, the Portland Lumberjax, the Columbus Minks, the Denver Comets, and the Phoenix Fire -- a professional soccer team that never actually played a game. [more inside]
The unlevel playing field - "Contrary to popular perception, poverty and broken homes are underrepresented in the NBA, not overrepresented. ... We believe that skills always trump circumstances. But that's a myth."
Odessa, Texas, may be best known for its Permian Panthers high school football team. Their 1988 season was chronicled H. G. Bissinger's non-fiction book Friday Night Lights, which in turn inspired a movie and a tv show. But in 2010, it was another Permian Panthers -- the school's lesser-known basketball team -- that received media attention when it came to light that their star point guard, 16-year-old Jerry Joseph, was in fact a twentytwo-year-old man named Guerdwich Montimere. Now Montimere is facing up to twenty years in jail, but not for lying about his age on the basketball court. During his time at Permian High, he had sex with a fifteen-year-old girl.