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]
Should I be who you want me to be? We wanted you to be who you said you'd be. Maybe you're just making excuses. (previously)
Harvey Araton wrote that basketball star Reggie Miller has "a mouth that can stretch as far as his jump shot range." He might be right. Once, in a game against the New York Knicks, Miller so taunted Knicks guard John Starks that Starks headbutted him. Starks was summarily ejected. That incident took place during Game 3 of the 1993 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals - a series New York would go on to win in 5 games. [more inside]
ESPN the Magazine previews the 2010-11 NBA season by collaborating with Marvel Comics artists to produce comic book covers for each NBA team. The covers, which range from goofy to badass, were drawn by a team that includes "virtually a who's who of who's hot in comic books right now." Hi-res jpgs available for your downloading pleasure. [via] [more inside]
If you are an NBA basketball player and you do not play for a certain team in Florida, this is probably the most terrifying thing you will see this pre-season: Hakeem Olajuwon schooling Dwight Howard. [more inside]
As the City of Cleveland reacts badly to the end result of a long, drawn out process, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert takes matters into his own hands, flipping out on the his team's website, penning his screed in everyone's favorite font. [more inside]
Have you ever been intrigued by the arcane rules of NBA finance? Then you need Larry Coon's amazingly comprehensive NBA Salary Cap FAQ. [more inside]
If William Wesley says LeBron James is going to play for the Chicago Bulls next year, it is probably true. Known as World Wide Wes, insiders call him the most powerful man in the NBA. And nobody really knows what he does. “I don’t have any clue what he does or how financially he benefits from this. I don’t know. But he’s just there. He’s around. He knows all the pro guys, their agents, the sneaker people, the coaches, general managers, media people. There’s no one he doesn’t know." [more inside]
Sebastian Pruiti offers the sort of analysis many of us like to see from the sports media. Instead of manufacturing controversy, his blog teaches us have a fuller appreciation of the game on the court. For example, instead of obsessing on Cousins' personality, we get a look at his sophisticated post game. [more inside]
Billy Ray Bates, in his words, was "an average player who can do fantastic things. After flaming out in the NBA, he became a legend in Phillippine Basketball Association.> [more inside]
Antoine Walker starred on arguably the greatest college basketball team of all time- the 1996 National Champion Kentucky Wildcats and went on to earn over $110 million dollars as a 3-time NBA All-Star with the Boston Celtics. In 2010, Walker is broke and eyeing an NBA comeback to pay off his creditors, including 2 Vegas casinos owed more than $900,000. [more inside]
What might be the most profitable team in professional sports hasn't played a game since 1976. That summer, as the American Basketball Association was completing its merger with the NBA, only four of the six remaining teams were going to be able to join the league. It was the ABA's responsibility to figure out how to pay off the other 2 owners. One owner accepted $3 million, which he eventually used to buy the Boston Celtics. The other owners got a slightly better deal.
The Confessions of an NBA Scorekeeper Gawker's Tommy Craggs talks with an ex-scorekeeper for the Vancouver Grizzlies, and reveals the subjectivity of stat keeping in the NBA. This guy once gave Nick Van Exel 23 assists just because he felt like it.
The Donald Sterling Rule "Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling lives by his own rules. And the only one that matters, apparently, is this: all bad deeds go unpunished. Over the last six years, nearly two dozen L.A. residents have sued Sterling for engaging in racist housing practices and Jim Crow-style bigotry. In a 2003 deposition, the 76-year-old real estate mogul admitted to paying a former employee to have sex with him in an elevator. Three years ago, the U.S. government charged him with "willful" mistreatment of African-American and Latino tenants, and earlier this month, he agreed to pay the Dept. of Justice nearly $3 million to settle a federal racial-discrimination housing lawsuit, the largest award ever for a case of its kind." So why, asks California's Tenants Together, has the NBA said nothing about Sterling's less than sterling behavior? [more inside]
Transcending The same year Jackie Robinson started playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Wat Misaka became the first "person of color" to play in the NBA. Though he only played three games with the New York Knicks. [more inside]
The book the NBA doesn't want you to read. Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy was convicted of passing inside information on NBA games to gamblers, for thousands of dollars. He has written a book purporting to reveal many explosive scandals about NBA officiating (detailed excerpts). It was scheduled for publication by Random House (cached Amazon page), then cancelled after an alleged lawsuit threat by the league. [more inside]
Basketball doesn't have baseball's numerous simmering controversies over Hall of Fame inductees, but the greatest basketball player denied enshrinement may be 11-time ABA and NBA All Star center Artis Gilmore. At 7-foot-2 plus 4 inches for his towering afro, they called him "The A-Train" for his powerful but unpretentious play, and today on his 60th birthday he still owns career records in the NCAA (22.7 rebounds per game) and NBA (59.9% field goal percentage). OK, I only posted this so I could link to these three photos. [more inside]
Basketball-filter: The Portland Trailblazers' offense broken down and explained with custom videos. [via]
Ron Artest--now wearing #37 for the LA Lakers in honor of Thriller's 37 weeks at #1 on the charts--has dropped what should only be described as the definitive Michael Jackson tribute song. (audio possibly NSFW) [more inside]
She did it again. The Orlando Magic took no chances as they extended their undefeated record at home in the playoffs. The Magic remain undefeated when Gina Marie Incandela sings the national anthem(YT). Since first singing the national anthem for them in February, the team has won every game she sings at. Five years ago she was diagnosed with PDD-NOS autism and she now is a poster child for early intervention(YT). Not to get in a rut singing only the national anthem, Gina has released a CD single.
Wayman Tisdale is dead at age 44. The 2nd pick in the 1985 NBA draft, he played for the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, and the Phoenix Suns. His first love was always music, retiring in 1997 to focus on a successful career as a jazz bassist. He released eight albums and was well sought out as a studio musician. [more inside]
Tom Friend's retrospective of Chauncey Billup's career is as fine a profile of leadership, tenacity, and redemption as comes along in American sportswriting. [more inside]
For those who might be unaware: One of the great basketball games concluded last night in thrilling fashion during triple overtime. It is only par for a series that has gone into overtime for the fourth time in games in six games (one of which was double OT, and last night's aforementioned triple OT). The heroic moments and failures of players are too numerous to count at this point, but five of the six games have been decided by 11 points... TOTAL. On Saturday 8PM EST, what is arguably one of the greatest series ever, will conclude with the final game 7. [more inside]