Did you hear about the time Kevin Durant learned about a flag football game in Stillwater from a tweet from a student at Oklahoma State? Next thing you know, Durant is lacing them up with the student and his buddies.
Speaking of extracurricular recreation, Paul Pierce has the nicest in-house bowling alley since the Nixon White House.
From the founders of HoopSpeak comes HoopSpeak U, a brand new college basketball site edited by Zach Zimmerman. Inaugural features include Sebastian Pruiti on North Carolina's offense and Ian Levy on Adam Morrison's legacy.
Beckley Mason on LeBron James as the league's most subversive player: "In his young reign, James has consistently used his power to depose those who would have influence over him. No owner controls where he would play, no team’s general manager can pull off a stunning swap to land him and no remote mega-agency profits from his basketball contacts or endorsement deals. He owns a stake in a top team in the world’s most lucrative soccer league. Just 26, He has replaced The Agent, The Owner and The GM with The King. The website of his talent marketing agency, LRMR, explains its (and James’) philosophy, 'LRMR is about partnerships, not sponsorships' and elsewhere, 'we seek partners, not clients.' The message: you, the athlete, won’t be treated like a commodity here. You’ll be a full-grown man capable of making and maintaining business relationships. You’ll be empowered. That’s the real message of LeBron’s career thus far: he doesn’t want or need anyone telling him what to do."
The Painted Area presents its NCAA Viewing Guide for fans with an eye on the NBA Draft. Watching college hoops should be an efficient process this season because "so many top prospects are consolidated on so few teams."
Don't let a canceled November stop you from previewing what would be a top-shelf opening night matchup, the Lakers vs. Oklahoma City.
"Clinical infectious Diseases," a medical journal that focuses on epidemiology, publishes an investigation of the nasty norovirus that broke out in NBA lockers rooms in 2010. Rishi Desai of the Center for Disease Control writes, "We confirmed that norovirus spread within at least one team and possibly from one team to another. Overall, 21 players and three staff from 13 teams were affected."
Zach Lowe of Point Forward presents a compelling case for teams to have the power to trade their amnesty rights.
Brandon Roy has fallen from world-beater to prime amnesty candidate in a couple of short years. Scott Leedy of Hardwood Paroxysm: "Roy’s career captures the same emotions and sentiments ... as the careers of Tracy McGrady and Penny Hardaway ... Thus, when injury strikes down these once dominant powers, and forces them to walk around on planet earth with the rest of human kind, our beautiful fantasy is shattered ... I think ultimately, this is what makes my willingness to cut Brandon Roy so difficult. It lacks any kind of empathy or compassion. Yes, I know it’s a business. I know the Blazers would be foolish not to get rid of his contract. Still, I can’t help but feel everyone, Roy especially, deserves a lot better than this."
Despite Blake Griffin's otherworldly hops, ClipperBlog's Breene Murphy projects Griffin to be a more traditional, very solid base defender: "I just don’t see shot-blocking ever being a significant part of his defensive repertoire, though he’ll still be effective on D. Don’t think that’s possible for a big man? Look at Chuck Hayes: great defender, not a shot-blocker."
To execute quality pick-and-roll sets, what do you need from your point guard?
Arturo Galletti of Wages of Win looks at a series of metrics to determine whether your city would be a sensible candidate for a big-league sports team. Galletti brings up a very important point: "The NBA is focusing largely on cost-cutting (and mostly on the player side) and are leaving a humongous opportunity on the table to increase revenues.
It all comes back to a simple question: Which cities can best support an NBA team?" Yet, the NBA refuses to entertain the idea that its choice of markets is a vital factor in its economic struggles.
Georgia Tech looks to capitalize on the Hawks' absence from the basketball landscape in Atlanta.