"What you’re about to see are hundreds of men across two sports not merely tolerating a gay player because he’s a peer in their league, but actually accepting him because he’s their friend." Former NFL linebacker, current sports analyst, and long-time equal rights proponent Scott Fujita writes about 'Michael Sam, Jason Collins paving the way for a better workplace, world'.
He played last night in a 108-102 win against the LA Lakers. After a 10 month hiatus from playing in the NBA, Collins became the first openly gay athlete to compete in any of the US's 4 major team sports. [more inside]
Shaqzine. What is Shaqzine? A zine about Shaq. A weird, supernatural, timely, informative zine full of truthiness. [more inside]
Databall. With an ocean of new statistical information available, the NBA could be on the verge of understanding the value of every single movement on the court.
Don't fight it. It's the year of the oral history. If there hasn't yet been an oral history on your favorite pop culture phenomenon, it won't be long. In the meantime, for your reading pleasure, how about starting with an oral history of Captain Marvel: The Series? Or perhaps you'd rather read about The Telluride Bluegrass Festival? If your taste runs more toward technology, check out an oral history of Apple design. More reading inside! [more inside]
After a weekend in which tight end Rob Gronkowski and safety Tyrann Mathieu both sustained season-ending tears to their anterior cruciate ligaments, many NFL fans are wondering why there seem to be more such injuries this season than in seasons past. Grantland looks at the dreaded ACL tear and tries to solve the puzzle. [more inside]
Mike Tanier of Sports on Earth discusses poorly designed sports team logos throughout history.
"I’ve been waiting 10 years for someone to ask about his life, not his death". The amazing life — and mysterious death — of former NBA player Bison Dele.
As the 2013-14 NBA season approaches, the last year of the reign of Commissioner David Stern, Sports Business Journal takes an in-depth look at his successor, New Media enthusiast, marathon runner, and fan of competitive balance, Adam Silver. [more inside]
The Charlotte Hornets are back! This may signal a return to the iconic teal and purple color scheme made so popular by Starter jackets.
Whatever you think about Sampson...may say more about you than about him. The Washington Post's Kathy Orton tracks the rise and fade of Basketball Hall of Famer Ralph Sampson. [more inside]
Jason Collins, a veteran NBA center currently playing for the Washington Wizards, is now the first active player in major league American sports to openly declare he is gay.
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.
Sheed and Stack in the Big Apple is a new piece by Grantland's Jonathan Abrams about the NBA veterans Rasheed Wallace and Jerry Stackhouse
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.
Royce White is a professional American basketball player who suffers from general anxiety disorder. Though he was considered one of the best talents in last year's NBA draft, he was not selected until the 16th pick, due to concerns over his mental health and his avowed reluctance to fly. Although the NBA season is only a couple of weeks old, White and his team, the Houston Rockets, are already having difficulty determining how to manage his health while meeting the professional demands of the NBA. LINKS: Documentary highlighting White's anxiety // Highlights of White while at Iowa State // White's Twitter account (where he is currently tweeting about his situation)
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]
From Paul Lukas of Uni Watch, a list of the 25 best uniforms in the four major North American professional sports. [more inside]
After months of rumors and frustration, it appears that Dwight Howard has been traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in a four-team trade. Here is Bill Simmons rapid reaction.
With the 2012 NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder starting tonight, it's a great time to see where the Heat and Thunder hit their shots
When we got to the gym, there was this balcony [overlooking] the gym, so we didn't walk right in. It was almost, like, suspenseful. We look down and we see Barkley dunking. We see Michael stealing from somebody and doing one of his things where he takes off from outside the lane and double-pumps under the rim. We're like, "Wow, they do this in practice, too?" Some great insights to the original Dream Team in '92. [more inside]
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]
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]
One song was synonymous with NBA Basketball throughout the 1990s: Roundball Rock by John Tesh [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
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.
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.
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."
There are precious few 7-footers that can turn into a jump hook while chewing gum at the same time, much less make a living out of it on the pro level. Yet, there Yao was. And he would have been there, even if he was 6 inches shorter than his 7-6 frame. Maybe if it weren't for those extra 6 inches, he and his Rockets would have played into the conference finals last spring. Yao Ming Retires from the NBA. [more inside]
"Internationally, the league has never been stronger: It's the only American sports league that attracts stars from every corner of the world. Digitally, the league has been light years ahead of everyone else, embracing the revolution and staying ahead of the curve with social media and video content. It's also spent the past two decades carefully (and successfully) selling mostly black players to a mostly white audience, an ongoing conundrum that nearly submarined the league in the late-'70s and early-'80s. Throw in a killer 2011 Finals and everything looks fantastic on paper … except for the part that the league is losing money." - Bill Simmons analyzes the NBA labor dispute for his new website, Grantland.
From 1967 to 1976, the American Basketball Association delivered wild, raw, above-the-rim hoops that few ever saw (lacking TV broadcasts). They introduced the 3-point shot and slam-dunk contests (along with a red, white and blue ball, short shorts and big afros), brought pro ball to the American South, and launched the careers of Connie (the Hawk) Hawkins, Bob Costas, George Gervin, Fly Williams, David Thompson and a guy named Julius Erving. You know, Doctor J. [more inside]
After being involved with the N.B.A for 40 years, Phoenix Suns President and CEO reveals that he is gay. [more inside]
Update: In Sept. '09 I posted about Artis Gilmore being denied his place in the Basketball Hall Of Fame. Injustice rectified. [more inside]
Deadspin tells the story of the unlikely friendship between Kendrick Perkins of the Oklahoma City Thunder and two fans.
Free Darko calls it quits. Contributors to the irreverent basketball writing site that Brian Philips describes as "a vintage record shop that radiation turned into a grad student" talk about what Free Darko meant to them. Also, an interview with Free Darko writer and illustrator Bethlehem Shoals and Jacob Weinstein.
American basketball icon Charles Barkley turned 48 yesterday to a certain amount of televised fanfare. For those who have followed the ups and downs of the round mound of rebound over the past 25 years, his staying power has been impressive. The author of four books has even recently launched his own website. From a quixotic attempt at a political career to a golf reality show to his current role as an NBA analyst, Barkley’s on-camera life has been far from boring. And while many of his Dream Team peers are fading into middle age, Barkley’s image and popularity have continued to improve, despite his best efforts off-camera to the contrary. From a shout out by the President to a serenade by Stevie Wonder, does everybody now love Sir Charles?
One of the surprise stories of the NBA season has been the effective play of New York Knicks rookie Landry Fields. After four years at Stanford, his draft selection was at the time mocked, booed, and met with skepticism, but now he has Spike Lee sporting his jersey at nearly every Knicks game.
Non-sports fans may be more interested to know that he appears to be a World of Warcraft fan. [more inside]
Non-sports fans may be more interested to know that he appears to be a World of Warcraft fan. [more inside]