The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the Internet
This article concludes by stating that Mark Jackson should probably stop calling Warriors games, which is true. The very existence of the piece pretty much guarantees that won’t happen though; as long as people will react to Jackson’s comments and click on stories about them, there’s value in him being at the games. Parham’s take isn’t really about that, of course. He’s more focused on kids being kids, and the sheer joy of throwing up an impossible shot and shouting your favorite players’ name while you do. You could argue that these moments of joyful play aren’t really what Jackson is referring to, but you can’t claim they are not an essential part of why kids love basketball.
It is getting harder for NBA fans to ignore the D-League. Between former #1 pick Anthony Bennett asking to be sent down, the suggestion that D-Rose might be well served by time in the minors, and the looming reality of each team having a dedicated affiliate, important things are happening off the radar. Writers like Cooper who have caught on to the trend are making themselves valuable by using the playtime, performances and improvements of players sent down from NBA teams to analyze their potential and value. For fans that are curious about the future of their team it’s a fascinating read, but it offers a peek into player development that should interest any basketball fan.
The rise of Clint Capela has been precipitous and somewhat unexpected. After failing to score in his first six NBA games and multiple assignments to the D-League, he exploded on the scene during the final nine games of the 2014-15 season and got real minutes off the bench for Houston during the playoffs. Now, he’s moved into the Rockets’ starting lineup, allowing the team to recreate its identity on the fly. According to Mah, he transforms them from a run-and-gun offense-first team into a defensive juggernaut that leads the league in offensive rebounding when Howard and Capela share the floor. While the potential for interminable hack-a-thons to close games is high, the Rockets needed something to save their season, and it looks like they may have found it.
O’Sullivan’s excoriation of Fox Sports 1’s hiring practices shouldn’t catch you off guard, but it could still make you feel very bad about a lot of things. Reading through the “greatest hits” of FS1’s marquee talent leaves you feeling like you just spent the night at a strip club without telling your girlfriend; you didn’t actually do anything wrong, per se, but you’re still consumed by guilt and shame. If Fox Sports 1 does intend to be “a major alternative to ESPN”, it is not surprising that it would trend toward the right. Leaving aside the fact that Fox has a long history of conservative leanings, there is an undeniable leftward bent to many of sports writing’s rising stars; to truly offer an alternative means offering a different perspective, as well. It is strange however that Katie Nolan, one of the brightest of those risers, calls Fox her home, given her progressive tendencies.
R.K. Anthony is a very unique sports writer. In a way he feels old fashioned, but at the same time it is impossible to imagine him writing anywhere but the Internet. So when he starts a piece about OKC’s bench rotations with an extended meditation on raising his children, including pictures of his entire family, you just sort of roll with it. He layers so many different perspectives and emotions into each piece that writing which should feel overdone ends up being compelling and hard to put down. His tone fits particularly well with the Thunder, a team that has been so focused on developing talent on their way to contention; the whole team has a sense of familial nostalgia to it. Of course the writers who cover them would too.