Category Archives: On the NBA

On the NBA: Let them play!

Right before Kevin Ware’s tragic injury, he closed out on a three-point shooter like a champion—it was unlikely that he was going to effect the (made) shot of Duke’s Tyler Thornton too much. But, he closed out anyway. That’s because he’s a hard-playing player on a hard-playing team; the only kind that can make it [...]

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On the NBA: Beyond the Averages

A few weeks ago, Zach Lowe of Grantland put out an incredible piece exploring how the Raptors are using their SportVU tracking data. While I was reading through it, I came across a juicy factoid that I wasn’t sure I agreed with:  An example: The analytics team is unanimous, and rather emphatic, that every team [...]

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On the NBA: Let’s Get Physical?

The recent debate about physicality in the NBA, raging forth at surprising pace, illustrates a number of important phenomena in the state of the league.  The first is that as fans, blogsters, reporters, talking heads, and even players and staffers, we’re all bound to a certain superstar monomania—whether we like it or not. How much [...]

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On the NBA: Where’s the Beef?

Rivalries have long keyed the hold of pro sports leagues over their audiences. Lakers/Celtics, Yankees/Red Sox, Cowboys/49ers, Michael Jordan/Everyone, etcetera—these are highly palatable binaries for network executives. This is because rivalries cut to the heart of what makes professional sports so appealing to so many, at base-level; rivalries ignite an emotional, physical, regional, Us-versus-Them pride [...]

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On the NBA: Discussion with David J. Leonard, author of ‘After Artest.’

‘After Artest: The NBA and the Assault on Blackness,’ the third book by David J. Leonard, is a deeply compelling interrogation of the historical racial politics at play in the power structures and representations relating the NBA’s players, audience, media, and organizations. I got a chance to correspond with Dr. Leonard via e-mail, for this [...]

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