May 2013

Basketball

Appreciating the masterfully aged San Antonio Spurs

With all due respects to Kobe Bryant, who’s renamed himself Mamba Vino, the San Antonio Spurs are your vintage Bordeaux. The Spurs have aged with grace, and through their aging process, they have taken on different noses; David Robinson to Tim Duncan to Tony Parker and back to Tim Duncan again. Is this the year they win their fifth NBA championship?

Basketball

The Times and Life of Larry Hughes: A Biography in Reverse

Let’s talk Larry Hughes, and I mean let’s really talk Larry Hughes, from the beginning to the end and everywhere in between. Hughes may not have ever ended up being the next Michael Jordan, or even an NBA superstar by most definitions, but that doesn’t mean his story isn’t still one of the most inspiring of our generation. You just have to tell it in reverse.

Basketball

The New Orleans Pelicans: What’s in a Name?

Logos, mascots, and team colors are all extremely important factors in creating a sports team’s identity. There have been some teams that have managed to become far more popular than others simply based on the fact that more people want to wear their merchandise. When the New Orleans Hornets announced that they’ll be changing their team name to the Pelicans they accepted the task of totally reinventing their marketing identity.

Football

Kyle Love, Diabetes and Business as Usual

The NFL is a big business, and the New England Patriots remind everyone of this perhaps more than any other team in the league. This May, the team released defensive tackle Kyle Love – and in terms of timing, it’s perhaps worse than the time they released wide receiver Tiquan Underwood the day before Super Bowl XLVI. That’s because this time, the decision to release Love came on the heels of the player having been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Charles Blouin-Gascon explains.

Reviews

Eleven Rings (2013)

There aren’t many coaches more interesting than Phil Jackson, both in terms of career and personal life. In a trade where coaches are increasingly alike, Jackson’s the Zen Master, the imposing figure sitting on a throne-like seat. Mark Milner reviews Jackson’s latest autobiography.

Football

Everett Golson and the role of academics in NCAA football

The news came out late last week that an elite athlete can’t participate in his sport for a year. That’s hardly uncommon: heck, it even happened more than once last week alone, but things tend to get weirder and more unusual when you’re talking about college sports, though, and that’s what makes the case of Everett Golson stand out. It all begs the question of what role academics ought to play in the NCAA.

Baseball

The Peculiar Case of MLB Prospect Development

A thoughtful minor league broadcaster and friend shared a theory this past week on why Major League teams don’t work as hard to develop talent in American inner-city communities as they do in the Dominican Republic or Venezuela and it got us thinking about how prospect development and the draft in general is handled by professional ball clubs. Jesse Goldberg-Strassler explains.

Basketball

Charlotte Hornets: Where to go from here

When the New Orleans Hornets decided to rebrand themselves as the New Orleans Pelicans for next season, it opened the possibility of the Charlotte Bobcats reclaiming their former name. While the nostalgic marketing potential alone is endless for the franchise, it’s left many wondering and waiting to see if they can translate that into on-court success.

Hockey

Rangers Hit Panic Button Against Boston

Down 3-0 to the Boston Bruins, the New York Rangers are in a tight spot as they head into Game 4 at Madison Square Garden Tuesday night. After blowing a third period lead in Game 1 then being embarrassed in Game 2, the pressure is on the Rangers who looked like they were a small step from making the final at the end of last season. Can they claw their way back from the brink?

Baseball

The Case for Evan Longoria as MVP

Evan Longoria is a candidate to win the American League’s MVP award, but where exactly does the man fall among the game’s greatest? Harlan Ambrose takes a thorough look at the numbers behind Longoria’s unassumingly dominant 2013 campaign, arguing that not only is he among the game’s best, he quite possibly already could be.