The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the internet
1. “NBA’s link to 1990s continue to fade with Elton Brand’s retirement” — Fran Blinebury, NBA.com
Add Elton Brand to the list of players from the ’90s who are calling it quits. Brand’s teams didn’t win a whole lot, but his career shouldn’t be judged by wins and losses. The 6’9″ power forward was an incredible player despite being stuck in poor circumstances throughout his career. He led the lowly Clippers to the playoffs in 2006, averaging 24.7 points, 10 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game on 52.7 percent shooting from the field. It’s possible Brand would’ve been mentioned in the same breath as Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett has he been blessed with a winning situation.
2. “Zach Lowe’s annual tiers of the NBA” — Zach Lowe, ESPN.com
Every year, Zach Lowe puts all 30 NBA teams into tiers depending on expectations for the upcoming season. This year’s edition features eight different tiers, with the defending champion Cavaliers and Warriors naturally in their own tier at the very top as they both look to return to the NBA Finals for a third straight year. But what about after them? The Clippers get love as the team with the best chance to upset the mighty Warriors in the best, while team’s like the Spurs, Raptors and Celtics are in a tier behind them. Lowe offers up good insight on all 30 teams, even those at the very bottom of the totem pole.
3. “NBA, players’ union draw closer to inking new CBA deal” — Tim Bontemps, Washington Post
Good news, NBA fans. The NBA and the union are expected to agree on a new CBA deal soon, which would eliminate the possibility of a work stoppage next season. The Vertical reported that both sides have agreed on the same Basketball Related Income split that currently ranges from 49 to 51 percent for the players. BRI is usually one of the biggest issues in CBA talks, so the fact that they’ve already got it resolved is a positive sign. They’ve now shifted their focus on reworking extension rules and possible changes to the D-league, as well as raising rookie contracts and salary cap exceptions.
4. “Here’s how the NBA is stepping up its virtual reality game” — Jonathan Vanian, Fortune
Starting Oct. 27, the NBA will broadcast one game a week in virtual reality that viewers can watch in 360 degrees. With a Samsung Gear VR headset and the appropriate Samsung smartphone, viewers can watch the first game for free with a free trial of the NBA League Pass. The NBA has done a lot of experimenting with 360 broadcasts to learn how to keep viewers engaged, and they’ve decided to add digital scoreboards, multiple camera angles and replays. The NBA hopes to eventually introduce these type of broadcasts to the regular NBA schedule.
5. “A look at the NBA coaching changes entering this season” — Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press
With one-third of the league’s 30 teams having changed coaches during the offseason, Tim Reynolds takes a look at 10 coaches on new teams. The Houston Rockets are expected to be among the teams that run the most with Mike D’Antoni as their new head coach. James Harden has expertly filled the Steve Nash role so far in the preseason. Luke Walton had a 39-4 record with the Golden State Warriors last year as head coach, but he’s dealing with an entirely new and less talented roster with the Los Angeles Lakers. Lakers fans are hoping Walton can bring some of the Warriors’ dynamic offense to an up-and-coming Lakers team.