Summary of “What Makes a Team Great?”

“Baseball is a team game,” Pete Rose, the former player and manager, once said.
In its typical invocation, chemistry is a cop-out-an after-the-fact explanation of why a team won, especially against the odds.
Barry Zito, then a declining Giants pitcher who miraculously outdueled opposing pitcher and reigning American League MVP Justin Verlander in a game that had been billed as “One of the great mismatches of World Series history,” told me recently about the team’s postseason turning point, which he offered as proof of its chemistry.
Two economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and one from Indiana University recently attempted to locate team chemistry by finding places where existing performance metrics fall short.
These players, the economists hypothesized, create chemistry-they have shown repeated ability to elevate their team above the sum of its parts.
A similar effort is under way in the major leagues, where Dacher Keltner and Hooria Jazaieri, psychologists at UC Berkeley, are conducting research with the goal of finding associations between the supposed subtle physical tells of chemistry and team success.
Russell Carleton, a writer for Baseball Prospectus, has found evidence that chemistry can be cultivated in the long term through careful organizational management-one analysis of his, for example, reveals that having less roster turnover from year to year helps a team slug more home runs.
Katerina Bezrukova, a professor at the University at Buffalo School of Management, looked at the demographic breakdowns of all 30 MLB teams over five seasons, analyzing age, race, nationality, tenure, and salary, on the theory that while diversity was necessary for success, teams with players who were isolated-those without any or many demographic peers-would develop “Faultlines,” or breaks in chemistry that might be exposed and exacerbated when the team struggled.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Some Friendly Advice for LeBron James As He Prepares for His Next Decision”

It’s probably safe to say that Decision 1.0 didn’t get the rave reviews LeBron was looking for when people responded by burning his jersey in the streets.
The NBA would never let a player get an ownership stake while he’s still playing, but there’s nothing to prevent LeBron from making an implicit agreement with whatever franchise he signs with to join their ownership group once he retires.
Ask Bronny Where He’d Like to Play Danny Chau: Watching LeBron James Jr. highlights has become one of my favorite pastimes.
Where an NBA player establishes home base isn’t a pressing issue anymore, but as Bronny gears up for high school, I’d imagine that for LeBron Sr., proximity to his son would play a factor into the calculus of his offseason decision.
The 2023-24 season is the objective; LeBron has consistently stated that he’d love to play against his son at the NBA level.
George will likely be an unrestricted free agent, and he and LeBron can finally play together in a city that’s much more appealing than Cleveland.
Try to Get Cleveland to Draft Your Favorite Prospect T.C. Kane: In 2014, the Heat traded up to draft Shabazz Napier because LeBron tweeted about him during the NCAA tournament; LeBron left anyway, because of course the undersized 24th overall pick was never going to be a factor in his decision.
Cleveland might not bend to his will like Miami did, but it would be hilariously petty of LeBron to make it clear that the right rookie might keep him in the Land, and the wrong choice would doom the Cavs’ candidacy.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Warriors’ Dynasty Is Different”

In the same backcourt, the Warriors had another guard who was arguably an even more accurate shooter, with a release that is the quickest in basketball – so fast that he doesn’t even need to have his feet set before he shoots.
The Warriors were the best jump-shooting club in the NBA when left wide open this past season.
In Game 2 of the Finals, the Warriors countered that predictable gameplan, by using dump-off passes to spring give-and-go opportunities, or to set up lobs for JaVale McGee and Jordan Bell, who were often left all alone in the paint.
The Warriors aren’t as young as you think Teams that won three titles in four seasons by the age of their core players in the last title season, 1976-2018.
If there’s something that makes this team different – and gives it better odds of winning for a greater amount of time – it’s that this group of highly talented players doesn’t seem as likely to be torn apart by the retirements, contract issues and jealousies that trouble other clubs in this spot.
By contrast, the Warriors have already become the new-age San Antonio Spurs, as a number of their players have acted in the best interest of the team by taking much smaller deals than they could have.
The players’ willingness to often take less than market value, even for bit pieces like Zaza Pachulia, has allowed the Warriors to improve the roster on the margins each year – sprinkling in specific attributes that the team lacks.
With McGee in particular, Golden State took a minimal risk by signing a player who had a less-than-stellar reputation around the league, but was incredibly long and athletic – two things the Warriors lacked in a traditional center.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Managers Don’t Matter and Why the U.S. Could Win the 2026 World Cup”

I caught up with Stefan over the phone and Simon via email to get their take on the state of world soccer before things kick off in Russia.
If you added up all the revenues generated by European soccer in 1990, it was less money than any one of the revenues generated by the NFL, the NBA, or MLB. However, today the revenues of European soccer actually exceed the combined reviews of those three leagues.
1 greatest soccer nation in the history of the world? Some might say Germany, but I think most of us still think that unbelievably disorganized and chaotic nation, Brazil.
Eight countries have won World Cups, and yet at the same time, I know that soccer, at least on a game-by-game level, is such a random game.
Remember also that the vast majority of countries in the world are too small or have too little soccer tradition to even hope to qualify for a World Cup more than once in a blue moon.
It’s chiefly because the training of players from age 6 is better in western Europe than anywhere else-which is why, e.g., Jürgen Klinsmann selected so many “European” players when he coached the U.S. Likewise, Morocco will probably kick off this World Cup with a team drawn entirely from their European diaspora.
Finally, the World Cup also might be in the U.S. So: The U.S. is going to win the 2026 World Cup.
There’s no reason to think that the U.S. couldn’t win the World Cup.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Seahawks Rebuild on Pete Carroll’s Competition Mantra”

In the team meeting room, each player gets up from the seats they were in the year before and finds a new spot around different people.
Kam Chancellor is awaiting scans on his neck to see if he’ll be able to play.
Here’s the curveball: The roster turnover, the departure of all those core players, has actually made it easier for Carroll.
We’re going to share details on a visit Kobe Bryant took to Foxboro in May. The Kobe visit was an interesting one, because of Bryant’s experience as an athlete who played 20 professional seasons.
“We want to turn the page on that as fast as we can. Obviously we can’t get the taste out of our mouth until we start playing football games. We all know that and we respect that. But to talk about it, what does that do? It doesn’t do anything but bring up bad memories. We’ve pushed forward from that.”
“That’s the way John’s approached it. I know it’s the way our coaching staff has approached it. We want to get to winning as soon as we can, and the moves signal that. Tyrod Taylor’s our starting quarterback, we drafted a rookie quarterback, and I think it’s a great situation to be in-we don’t have to play a rookie quarterback right away, because we have a proven guy who’s played in the league, won games, played in playoff games. That’s exciting. I also think it sends a message, creates a narrative that this team is gearing up to win, that everything we’re doing is pointing towards winning.”
Among Bryant’s talking points was the importance of training, and of studying other players, to his ability to play two decades in the NBA. The Patriots who were listening have another pretty good example of longevity in their own locker room, and they made the connection quickly.
I’ll never blame a football player in that situation for trying to leverage a team.

The orginal article.

Summary of “World Cup Preview 2018: Messi vs. Ronaldo, Magic Cats, Iceland!!, and More”

In the summer of 2010, he successfully predicted the outcomes of all seven of Germany’s World Cup matches, unerringly choosing to eat first from the box marked by what would prove to be the winning nation’s flag.
Any run-of-the-mill billion-dollar sporting event can produce one magical animal; in less than a decade, the World Cup has generated an entire animal-oracle tradition.
It’s an open question whether winning the World Cup is a reasonable criterion for establishing an individual soccer player’s greatness.
That’s probably why soccer fans tend not to care too much about whether Messi or Ronaldo ever win the World C-ha! I’m kidding.
Eight years ago, the legendary Argentine star turned hapless Argentine manager Diego Maradona ran over a journalist on the way to his own World Cup squad announcement; I sometimes think that Messi has a better chance of being named the king of Faerie than of winning a World Cup with Argentina.
If you tune in only for the World Cup you’re more likely to remember him as the Uruguayan chaos agent who’s been ejected from the past two tournaments, first for a fateful handball against Ghana, in 2010, and then, in 2014, for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini during a match.
The tight-knit Icelandic squad followed its incredible run through Euro 2016-where it beat mighty, or, anyway, mighty-ish, England to reach the quarter-final-by qualifying for its first-ever World Cup.
France won the World Cup in 1998 and the European Championship in 2000, but has spent the past eighteen years Gallically declining to win anything.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Zach Lowe on Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors dynasty”

As Kevin Durant and his father, Wayne Pratt, parted Saturday morning in Cleveland after an all-night celebration, Durant drew Pratt close and cited a statistic he had seen pairing Durant and Michael Jordan as two of the only players with four scoring titles and two Finals MVP awards.
Zach talks to Warriors coach Steve Kerr about another championship, the struggles against the Rockets, re-connecting with Kevin Durant, the future of the team and much more.
Durant told Steve Nash, a Warriors consultant, as much when he called Nash from the Hamptons while still deciding whether to join Golden State in the summer of 2016.
Durant has done it before: the Slim Reaper MVP season of 2013-14, when Russell Westbrook missed 36 games and Durant tallied historic streaks of 30- and 25-point games while running a near-LeBronian volume of pick-and-rolls.
Ron Adams, a Warriors assistant who also coached Durant in Oklahoma City, thinks Durant could average at least eight assists per game if he wanted.
“He is probably the most talented player in the world,” says Bruce Fraser, a Golden State assistant and Durant confidante.
The Warriors tweaked their screening actions in Games 6 and 7, and settled during a timeout in the middle of Game 7 when it appeared they were coming apart – with Green shouting at Durant.
Of course, all those off-the-dribble skills would come in handy if Durant ever becomes the every-possession alpha dog some fans want to see – if he decides someday to make a team his own in a way Curry’s Warriors can never be.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Kobe Bryant, NBA Greats Get Lathered About LeBron’s Legacy”

LeBron James was fighting for his legacy last week, but all Kobe Bryant saw was the exhaustion in his effort.
Bleacher Report queried several former players on the topic, including four Finals MVPs, during the course of the series, as it became apparent the Cavs would lose.
He’s been to more Finals than any player in modern times.
B/R: How should we weigh a star’s supporting cast? Does LeBron get credit for carrying Jordan Clarkson and JR Smith this far, or penalized for losing with them? We saw how the role players blew Game 1 of the series.
I’ve played against Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, played against Michael Jordan.
B/R: LeBron is the only player in history with 30,000 points, 8,000 rebounds and 8,000 assists.
I think he’s the greatest athlete that ever played; I think he’s the best all-around player that’s ever played.
You look at the greatest, and you talk about once-in-a-generation players, he’s definitely there.

The orginal article.

Summary of “5 Pencil and Paper Games”

Pencil and paper games are an all-around great source of impromptu entertainment, as you’ll almost always have all the supplies needed for their play on hand.
A player wins the game when they guess the correct word.
The old-school version has the advantage of not needing those annoying little pegs or a manufactured game board, making starting a spontaneous showdown, or playing in the car on a long road trip, much easier.
Each player creates two 10×10 grids on their piece of paper.
Label one grid “My Ships” and the other grid “Enemy Ships.” Label each square on the x-axis 1-10, and each square on the y-axis A-G. Make sure neither player can see the other’s grids.
Once each player has drawn out their fleet, the play begins.
One player is “O”; the other player is “X.”.
The player who makes the last move wins the game, or you could play so that the player who makes the last play loses.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Steph Curry and Klay Thompson overcame their childhood nemeses”

While he might well be one of the most feared weapons in the NBA today, when Steph Curry was 12 years old, a kid named CJ Young owned him.
While the barrel-chested Young looked older than his peers, the wispy Curry was often mistaken for a younger player.
During one of their games, Carl Young remembers, Curry drilled seven 3-pointers in a row over an increasingly agitated defender.
As Curry grew older – and taller – he enrolled at a private school, Charlotte Christian, and no longer crossed paths with Young.
The last time Young saw Steph Curry was in 2005, when they ran into each other at the Indian Trail Rec Center on the outskirts of Charlotte, working independently on their games and preparing for the next step in their basketball journey.
CJ Young, Curry is informed, has a debilitating illness.
“Recently, while watching Curry drain one of those absurdly long 3s, Young turned to the friends who were watching with him and informed them proudly,”I know him.
He quickly thumbed through, then triumphantly pointed to a faded AAU photo from 18 years ago, when Steph Curry was just a skinny little zone-buster and CJ Young was on top of the basketball world.

The orginal article.