The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the internet
1. “Wolves preparing for life without Kevin Garnett” – Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press
Garnett is currently the league’s longest-tenured player, but his illustrious career may be coming to an end soon. “The Big Ticket” is working toward a buyout with the Timberwolves, and the team thinks he’s going to retire, per ESPN.com’s Marc Stein.
It would be sad to see KG leave, but he’s had a great career and he’s probably not in a position where he can accomplish anything more of significance. Krawczynski details how the Wolves will cope with the absence of their future Hall of Famer.
2. “Brew Hoop Roundtable: Giannis Antetokounmpo Extension!” – the Staff of Brew Hoop
Antetokoumpo’s contract extension was agreed to Monday, but at a slow point in the NBA news cycle, it’s still worth talking about, especially now that teammate Khris Middleton is out for most of the season. The Greek point guard/small forward/wherever else he plays will soon enter the league’s elite, and the Bucks locked him up for four years at less than the max. That’s huge.
Some of the Brew Hoop staff discuss the move, and there’s plenty of humor and good analysis to keep even the shortest attention spans interested.
3. “Making sense of Evan Turner in Portland” – Ian Levy and Chris Manning of Hardwood Paroxysm
Without a doubt, one of the big surprises of the summer was the Trail Blazers splurging four years and $70 million on Turner. Turner has been a massive disappointment after being drafted second in 2010, and he achieved moderate success for the first time in his career last season in a bench role for the Celtics. Then there’s a weird fit with the Portland perimeter group that the team has already spent so much money on.
Levy and Chris Manning try to reason with the Blazers’ brass on this one, but it’s really hard to do. They come to the conclusion that the move puts a definite ceiling on what the current Blazers core can accomplish.
4. “What Happened to Robert Swift?” – Chris Ballard of Sports Illustrated
Marcus Fizer. Chris Mihm. Jerome Moiso. Kwame Brown. Eddy Curry. DeSagana Diop. Nikoloz Tskitishvili. Melvin Ely. Marcus Haislip. Darko Milicic. Mike Sweetney. Rafael Araujo. Ike Diogu. Fran Vasquez. Yaroslav Korolev. Sean May. Andrea Bargnani. Tyrus Thomas. Shelden Williams. Patrick Bryant. Mouhamed Sene. Hilton Armstrong.
From about 2000 to 2006, teams were really bad at drafting big men. All of the above names were lottery selections from those seven drafts, and some of their terrible careers run together in my head.
But Swift, a prep-to-pro, seven-foot bust who joined the league in 2004, has a specifically interesting story. Ballard tells his detailed story in a fascinating manner, making you wonder what could’ve happened if Swift had fulfilled his tremendous potential.
5. “This Video Game is Boosting the NBA’s Brand” – Thomas Barrabi of FOX Business
I love the NBA 2K franchise. I haven’t purchased the newest game, but they’ve consistently been fun games to own and have only fanned the flame of my love for the NBA.
The gameplay is enjoyable and realistic, and the wide variety of modes allow players to take on a variety of roles. Basically, it’s the perfect way to get your fill of the NBA during the league’s four-month layoff between June and October.
Barrabi highlights the impact the franchise has had on the league’s popularity, specifically among the younger audience. However, the game caters to all NBA fans who enjoy video games, and it should only make the world’s basketball league more popular as the new features continue to add up.