A few things are certain regarding the Oklahoma City Thunder this season: First, OKC’s best bet to make the playoffs rests solely on the shoulders of All-Star guard Russell Westbrook. Second, Westbrook’s string of triple-doubles makes him the team’s best candidate for the NBA MVP award, which Kevin Durant won last year. Finally, any success that the Thunder have this season will be without Durant, who will undergo his third foot surgery in less than six months, thus ending his season,
There is a procedure for determining the MVP. Ballots are e-mailed to 126 media members who cover the NBA on a regular basis, and they are due back at the league office the day after the season ends. The league then tallies the votes and decides when to announce the winner. That, folks, is a procedure. Which brings us to proper use of the word “procedure,” and how it relates to the media’s coverage of the NBA. Specifically, the Oklahoma City media
Just 52 games into the NBA season — not yet at the All-Star break, and the Orlando Magic have unloaded a sizable amount of talent. That’s coaching talent. Thursday’s breaking news was that of Magic CEO Alex Martins and GM Rob Hennigan had decided to cut ties with head coach Jacque Vaughn and assistants Wes Unseld Jr., Brett Gunning and Zack Guthrie. Assistant coach James Borrego will take over as interim head coach.
There can, at times, be a rather contentious relationship between the media and the superstars that it covers. Some times, it may be warranted. Others, perhaps not so much. Former ESPN NBA writer Chris Palmer seems to have earned the ire of Kevin Durant over the years, in large part for his polarizing opinions. Tuesday, Palmer had another opinion to share.
Back when his team was under .500 and LeBron James was or was not on strike, I sent a text to David Blatt letting him know that I was hearing rumblings that certain members of the Cleveland media had an intense dislike for him, asking him where he was getting his p.r. advice. He wrote back tersely, the implied message being: Don’t text me anymore. I do not believe you. Well, then this Brian Windhorst column came out saying that folks around
Every team wants a player in the NBA All-Star Game. Just this week, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban complained that the voting system is “absolutely, positively broken” and lobbied for the NBA to provide additional roster spots for reserves who may have been overlooked by the fans. His reasoning was that leading vote-getter Stephen Curry received a mere 1.5 million votes, which is a miniscule total when you consider the global, electronic balloting process. As he often does, Cuban made some good
One of the biggest knocks against the NBA is that when the season starts, there are only five or six teams that can truly win the championship, making the regular season and the early playoff rounds interminably tedious. Not this season. As we reach the midway point – 18 teams have played at least 41 games, another nine have played 40 – there are no less than a dozen teams with legitimate title aspirations, including a handful that haven’t been in the
Sunday marked a tragic day in the sports world. Longtime ESPN anchor Stuart Scott passed away in the morning hours of January 4, 2015 after a long battle with cancer at the age of 49. The news is devastating to all those in the sports industry, including athletes, fans and viewers of ESPN. He brought something to the network and sports reporting that changed the game, and will continue to do so.