HoopSpeak Live: Royce Young Highlights

Royce Young of Daily Thunder and CBS’s Eye on Basketball joined HoopSpeak Live to share some OKC Thunder knowledge yesterday. Here he is talking about Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and tattoos.

HoopSpeak Live airs Thursdays at 5PM Eastern right here on HoopSpeak.com. You can follow the show with the #hoopspeaklive hashtag, and you can follow the talented Mr. Young at @dailythunder.

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HoopSpeak Network

HoopSpeak Live: Kevin Arnovitz on homosexuality in sports

Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com is a regular on HoopSpeak Live. Normally he comes on the show to talk basketball, but since we’re in the middle of a lockout his appearance yesterday covered a variety of things, including *gasp* baseball. Here he is talking about homosexuality in sports:

HoopSpeak Live airs Thursdays at 5PM Eastern right here on HoopSpeak.com. You can follow the show with the #hoopspeaklive hashtag, and you can follow the talented Mr. Arnovitz at @KevinArnovitz.

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HoopSpeak Live Episode 11

Today’s guests:

 

Royce Young, of Daily Thunder and CBS Eye On Basketball

Kevin Arnovitz, of ESPN.com.

 

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To video chat with us and our guests: Find a spot without too much background noise, sign in, fire up the web cam, and be sure to have your headphones (to eliminate echo)!

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Technique of the Week: Going straight up

Joel Anthony eats a Tyson Chandler forearm to stop a dunk without fouling

Technique of the Week is a HoopSpeak feature that highlights the technical nuances that makes great players special and role players meaningful

Technique: Going Straight Up

Why it’s important:

Being able to lock down the opponent’s top offensive threat is great, but what’s even more valuable these days is a defender who can also stop his teammates’ assignments from scoring near the rim. The NBA players who do that best do so by challenging at the hoop without fouling—by going straight up.

It’s almost impossible to stay in front of the big, ultra athletic wings and guards in the league today. As a result, many teams have developed complex defensive schemes designed to keep as many bodies as possible between the ball and the basket without drawing a defensive three second violation. This puts a tremendous amount of pressure on rotating defenders to not only get in position to offer resistance, but then actually affect the shot. The increasing value of that role is why light footed big men with little to offer offensively like Tyson Chandler and Joel Anthony seem to be overpaid but probably aren’t.

This technique is rarer than one might assume. Sure, there are plenty of players who can protect the hoop by hacking anything with a pulse that enters the lane. The JaVale McGees of the league enforce a “no easy buckets” policy that reroutes driving players to the freethrow line, but the reality is that there may be no easier NBA bucket than the points earned at the charity stripe. The name says it all—it’s an efficient and reliable method of scoring that truly great defensive teams, like the San Antonio clubs in the mid 2000s, take

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HoopSpeak Live: Rafe Bartholomew Highlights

Rafe (pronounced like Raef Lafrentz, as I learned) was an awesome guest. Here he dishes on everything from playing hoops with Smush Parker when the two were on a middle school travel team (first video), and his experiences learning about pro and amateur hoops in the Philippines (second video).

Bartholomew recently released a paperback version of his excellent book, Pacific Rims. Buy it. He’s the J.K. Rowling of Manila.

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HoopSpeak Live airs Thursdays at 5PM Eastern right here on HoopSpeak.com. You can follow the show with the #hoopspeaklive hashtag, and you can follow Rafe at @rafeboogs.

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HoopSpeak Live: Krolik at the movies (with Charles and Kenny)

John Krolik is a regular on HoopSpeak Live not because he has smart thoughts about basketball, though we here he does, but because he has a killer impersonation of Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley. In this clip, he brings the TNT crew to the movies.

Of course, Krolik also managed to sneak in some thoughts on actual basketball, or J.J. Hickson, at least.

HoopSpeak Live airs Thursdays at 5PM Eastern right here on HoopSpeak.com. You can follow the show with the #hoopspeaklive hashtag, and you can follow the talented Mr. Krolik at @JohnKrolik.

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HoopSpeak Live Episode 10

Today’s guests:

Rafe Batholomew, author of Pacific Rims and Grantland contributor John Krolik from Cavs: The Blog and recently Pick and Pop Culture

To submit text questions: just sign in and ask away!

To video chat with us and our guests: Find a spot without too much background noise, sign in, fire up the web cam, and be sure to have your headphones (to eliminate echo)!

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HoopSpeak Live, Episode 9

Today’s TrueHoop Network guests:

Tim Donahue from 8 Points 9 Seconds (recommended reading) Sebastian Pruiti from NBA Playbook (recommended reading)

To submit text questions: just sign in and ask away!

To video chat with us and our guests: Find a spot without too much background noise, sign in, fire up the web cam, and be sure to have your headphones (to eliminate echo)!

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Nowhere Fast: The David Kahn Story

Image by Zach Harper

The following is an excerpt from the made for ScyFy movie: Nowhere Fast: The David Kahn Story (Directed by Michael Bay’s big toe).

David Kahn straddles a motorcycle by the side of a dusty highway. His leather jacket is tasseled and bears the insignia of a howling wolf. He moves his sunglasses from his nose to the space where his hair should be.

A desert bird shrieks in the distance.

He checks his watch and chuckles: “Better late then never.”

With a sober gaze to north, he breaths: “The Spaniard has arrived. Let’s Ride!”

Power cords from a classic Nickleback song disturb the eerie silence of the desert wasteland as Kahn puts his motorcycle into high gear, and pops up on his back wheel. A free man making his way on the open road.

Thank god for David Kahn.

It hasn’t been easy for NBA writers these last few weeks. Unless you have access (and few do) to those involved in the CBA proceedings, you’re resigned to essentially writing about others reporting, and maybe springing an original thought or two.

Then came Minnesota President of Basketball Operations David Kahn’s press conference regarding the awkwardly belated firing of head coach Kurt Rambis. Aside from an opportunity to ritualistically tear down a stranger 140 characters at a time, this conference offered an excellent insight into the reasons why the Wolves competitiveness problems won’t be solved by revenue sharing or a hard cap.

Kahn repeatedly expressed a desire to play an uptempo style, a philosophy for which he admits Kurt Rambis was thoroughly unsuited. In Kahn’s mind, the task now is to find a coach with “Uptempo DNA” who can get the most out a Wolves roster Kahn believes is engineered to play

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NBA Lockout: CBA thoughts and theories

I’ve had a hard time writing about the NBA labor dispute because you can only use “slam dunk” as a bad metaphor, and because there’s a low slung layer of ignorance that clouds any judgment. The NBA owners say 43% of Basketball Related Income isn’t enough. But we don’t know exactly what they’re using that money for, so it’s impossible to pass definitive judgment.

Still, there are some things we’ve learned. Here are some ideas, theories and notes that have caught my mind’s eye in the last couple weeks:

Optimistic

The undercurrent of Ethan Sherwood Strauss’s piece on the drag that the NBA’s current TV deal places on league-wide revenue is that David Stern and the NBA blew it by signing an 8 year deal.

When any business signs a deal that long, the idea is to “lock in a rate.” The buyer hedges that the product will continue to have value, thus yielding greater returns at the end through inflation ($930mil in 2007 will not be worth $930mil in 2015), appreciation of going advertisement rates and perhaps an improved, genuinely more valuable product. Meanwhile, the seller, in this case the NBA, bets that by securing an eight year deal, it will earn more money than if it signed a briefer, cheaper deal but looked to capitalize on the spec growth of the league down the road.

The NBA had a choice: take $7.4bil over eight years in hand, or sign a four year $3.2 Bil contract and hope the league is worth $5bil over 4 years when that first contract is up. Ad Week estimates the league provides $1.25bil in advertising value to the networks so that scenario isn’t at all outside the realm of possibility.

That is, when we read into the length and size

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