The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the Internet
Jay Caspian Kang from The New York Times writes an excellent expose of the greatest scorer in NBA history. For the young fans who never saw him play, Abdul-Jabbar is idolized as the unstoppable scorer with his trademark sky hook. Those fortunate enough to see him play remember him as a recluse, loner and polarizing figure who was undeniably great at the game of basketball. Kang followed Abdul-Jabbar and his manager for a day to understand life from the viewpoint of the legendary center. A must-read piece that helps shed light on the mystique that is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Anyone who watched the Chicago Bulls team play last year must have wondered, why is Derrick Rose taking so many threes? He has never excelled with the long ball, and wasn’t doing too well in the threes he was taking. Yet, Rose continued to fire at will and had a career high in three point attempts. Rose seems to have lost confidence in his ability to get to the rim, and now is settling for long range attempts to force defenses to close out on him so that he has an avenue to drive when he wants to. Read more on how the strategy paid off for Rose and what he should do moving forward.
Brooklyn Nets rookie Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is adjusting to life in the NBA and in the big city. Part of that adjustment involves making good decisions with that newfound wealth and fame, as there have been far too many who don’t do that and end up going broke or getting into trouble. Hollis-Jefferson is determined to make smart decisions with his life, and instead of partying it up and living lavishly, he’s more focused on his rookie season and getting his college degree. This seems like a kid with a really good head on his shoulders, and he should be appreciated in Brooklyn.
RealGM is going through the next month with detailed analysis of each NBA team, and they start off with the Boston Celtics. I really enjoy the Boston Celtics (one of the only Boston teams I can say that about) because I respect their organization. They could’ve easily written off last season and purposefully lost to gamble for a high lottery pick, but instead decided to give a legitimate effort and mesh the team together. Under Brad Stevens and with the additions of David Lee, Amir Johnson, Terry Rozier and R.J. Hunter, the Celtics seem to have a solid core to build upon.
Success overseas doesn’t necessarily translate to NBA success. In fact, it generally doesn’t. The few cases where overseas stars become NBA stars (Pau, Dirk) are few and far between, with the more likely cases of overseas stars flaming out. A factor in that burnout has to do with talent disparity, as overseas players don’t have a chance to play in a talent-loaded league like the NBA. Two FIBA players who excelled this year are Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins, who can circumvent that factor due to the fact that they were both drafted out of college to the NBA. Now, can we take away anything from the success that the two Timberwolves experienced in the FIBA tournament?