Summary of “The unusual path of new Raptors assistant coach Brittni Donaldson”

Brittni Donaldson was almost literally born into basketball in Iowa, but even she could never have imagined her improbable path to becoming the league’s 10th current female assistant coach, and the youngest at just 26 years old.
Donaldson spent the last two seasons as a data analyst – i.e., advanced stats guru – in the Raptors’ front office before Masai Ujiri, Toronto’s president and alternate governor, and Nick Nurse, the head coach, picked her in mid-July to fill an opening on Toronto’s bench.
Jeff Donaldson went on to play at what was then Briar Cliff College in the NAIA, and scored over 1,000 career points.
“Not many young girls in Iowa love the NBA, but she did,” Jeff Donaldson says.
Finally, Chicago-based STATS LLC hired Donaldson to work the graveyard shift monitoring data pouring in from motion-tracking cameras installed at NBA arenas.
Ujiri watched from his office and was impressed when Donaldson sat with Gasol after the workout, opened a laptop, and took him through some of Toronto’s plays.
“The conversation with Nick was, ‘I’m going to treat you like an assistant coach because that’s what you are,'” Donaldson says.
Donaldson is the fifth woman hired as an assistant coach just this summer, joining Lindsey Harding, Lindsay Gottlieb, Kara Lawson and Niele Ivey.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Flagrant Foul: Benching Teen Moms Before Title IX”

After Christoffer got married, taking the last name Rubel, and gave birth to a daughter in 1970, the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union denied her eligibility to play basketball her senior year.
As Rubel told the Des Moines Register soon after she filed her lawsuit, “A Russian girl who is married and the mother of three took gold medals at the last Olympics – that proves something.”
Ever since the sport took hold in Iowa in the early 1900s, the state has had a strong tradition of girls’ basketball – it was even once referred to as the “Capital of women’s basketball.” Prior to the passing of Title IX in 1972, of the nearly 300,000 American girls that played high school sports, 20 percent were Iowans, of whom almost half played basketball.
If Rubel – a married student with a 1-month-old at home – was allowed to play, the entire school would lose its athletic certification, which would effectively disquality all of Ruthven’s girls’ teams from being able to compete in any sports.
According to a story in the Register, “It’s hard to find anyone here who doesn’t think Jane Rubel should play basketball if she wants to.” Hackett – Rubel’s friend and teammate – told the paper that all the young people she’d talked to in surrounding towns supported Rubel’s desire to play, calling the lawsuit the topic of discussion at Friday night high school football game.
Cooley “Actually believed I would’ve been a really bad influence for the image of girls’ basketball,” Rubel says.
Ruthven led by nine points after the first quarter when, according to Rubel, “The refs just started calling fouls and just whatever else they could to even out the game. And there was like five out of the six of us in foul trouble before the game closed.” And though no Ruthven player fouled out, Everly still attempted 28 free throws to Ruthven’s 15, a glaring disparity.
Several players in northern Iowa had been waiting for a ruling on Rubel’s case before deciding whether to challenge the IGHSAU’s policy – Cooley specifically cited a “Girl in Gruver” named Kaylynn Reinhardt Anderson that “Was preparing to file a suit of her own” – and their eligibilities were reinstated.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘These kids are ticking time bombs'”

In 2017-18, the number of NBA games lost to injury or illness surpassed the 5,000 mark for the first time since the league stopped using the injured reserve list prior to the 2005-06 campaign, per certified athletic trainer Jeff Stotts, who has cataloged the careers of more than 1,100 players since that point and is considered the most authoritative public resource for tracking injuries in the NBA. This past season, in 2018-19, the league topped the 5,000 mark again.
Through dozens of interviews over the past two years with NBA team and league officials, current and former players, AAU coaches, parents, youth players, researchers, medical and athletic training officials in and around the NBA, as well as those intimately involved with youth basketball, one possible answer repeatedly emerged: Players, they say, are physically broken down by the time they reach the NBA. “It is grave,” says one NBA general manager, who says his team’s injury databases on players entering the draft, dating back decades, leave “No question” that there are more orthopedic issues among young players in recent years.
Silver, in an interview with ESPN, calls the issue “The highest priority for the league – and I think both in terms of the health and wellness of the players in the NBA, but also the larger category of millions of players, boys and girls, not just in the United States, but globally.”
Still, despite these collective efforts, the NBA continues to receive players who are broken down by the time they get there.
IN 1984, AT the age of 21, Jordan joined the Bulls after spending three years in college, typical of players at that time.
Says Clark, “All the specialization is helping the player become more skillful and more powerful and more athletic, but at the same time they’re not working on the things that prevent injuries and help them recover.”
The lack of a national governing body for youth basketball makes a uniform system of rules all but impossible, says David Krichavsky, the NBA’s vice president of youth basketball development: “Because the youth landscape has been so fragmented, you have other actors coming in and gobbling up the space that exists. A lot of them are profit-driven, and you end up with an ecosystem that has kids playing way too much basketball way too early.”
Seaford, who notes that millions of boys and girls play youth basketball in non-AAU leagues, cautions that the solutions are far from simple: “I don’t think the NBA has the power, nor do I think they should have the power to declare what organization can play basketball or when they can play it. It’s impossible to enforce. USA Basketball has no control. AAU has no control. I don’t know what can be done.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “In Praise of Doris Burke, Basketball’s Best TV Analyst”

The good news is that the best broadcaster in the game is Doris Burke.
As a basketball analyst for ESPN and ABC, Burke is the smartest, best prepared, most original on-air voice that the game possesses.
You can be sure that when Game 6 of the Finals begins, Burke will know more than anyone about the murkiest subplot so far in the series between the Toronto Raptors and the Golden State Warriors: What’s the story with Kevin Durant? Why did he play hurt in Game 5, and who, if anyone, should take the blame for his ruptured Achilles, an injury that could put him on the sidelines for a year and cost him untold millions of dollars as a free agent?
Van Gundy has called Burke “The LeBron James of sportscasters.” A former high-school and college point guard, Burke, who is fifty-three, has been studying the intricacies and evolution of basketball for decades.
In 2016, at a game in Toronto, Drake, a crazed courtside Raptors supporter, wore a T-shirt emblazoned with Burke’s picture and the phrase “WOMAN CRUSH EVERYDAY.” Deadspin has pronounced Burke “The best damn basketball broadcaster there is.”
Bill Simmons, a gifted basketball writer and sports podcaster, and hardly a dinosaur of the Dick Young era, wrote about Burke on ESPN.com, in 2008, with a condescension he’d grow to regret: “She’s doing a fine job, but does it make me a sexist that I can’t listen to Doris Burke analyze NBA playoff games without thinking, ‘Woman talking woman talking woman talking woman talking. . . ‘ the entire time?” A decade later, Simmons answered his own question, saying that Burke was a “Fantastic analyst” and that it was “Embarrassing” that she was working the sidelines during the playoffs.
“She’s sure-footed. She’s confident. She’s not trying to appeal to anybody on any other basis other than knowledge. She’s a basketball junkie and she’s an athlete. She comes from that pure place. She’s not trying to be an entertainer. She’s just trying to be observant and tell the truth.” YouTube is filled with examples of Burke’s unshowy, revealing interviews, including her moment with LeBron James after he brought the N.B.A. title to Cleveland, in 2016-the greatest individual performance of the era.
Doris Burke ought to be the lead analyst straight through to the last game of the N.B.A. Finals.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why the NBA and the Fashion Industry Are Connected”

Some large-scale sponsorships have even created legitimate powerhouse brands-just look to Air Jordan-but the phenomenon of players bringing quantifiable business value to fashion and accessories brands that started off the court is a new one.
Magic Johnson told Esquire that the new guys shouldn’t be getting all the credit for their fashion sense: “We all wore what was hot in our day, too. The difference [today] is the players get to show people right then and there what they have. Unless you came and took a picture of me, no one would’ve known what I wore.”
“It makes news outside of basketball when a player wears unreleased, $20,000 sneakers.” Tucker wore those sneakers-the Nike Christmastime Stewie Griffin LeBron 6s-in December 2018, which were then available on Grailed for more than $20K, according to ESPN.In fact, sneakers are many players’ gateway into fashion.
These players’ relationships with sneakers not only serve as basketball’s gateway to fashion but also as fashion’s gateway to basketball.
In 2018, the NBA changed its on-court sneaker color policy so that instead of team colors, players could wear any color sneaker during a game.
“The NBA encourages players to have businesses outside of basketball,” says NBA’s Lisa Piken Koper.
Beyond the sponsorships, the collaborations, and the investments, basketball players come to fashion as many do: as a form of self-expression.
Being a basketball player is not a lifelong career, and through external interests like fashion, players can find their next chapter.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Lost Lakers Season Is an Existential Crisis for LeBron James”

Call them-since Michael Jordan is the figure to whom he’s inevitably compared, the creator of the template LeBron has been slotted into and broken out of, forced to fit and criticized for not fitting, his whole adult life-the Jordan Universe and the Anti-Jordan Universe.
LeBron takes risks; MJ did that one baffling, unreadable thing-he went off to play baseball in Birmingham-but in basketball, he stuck to the odds.
We don’t see the LeBron of the Anti-Jordan Universe modifying the LeBron of the Jordan Universe.
It’s early April, and LeBron has played his last basketball of the NBA season.
The bigger danger of the L.A. meltdown is that the sheer massiveness of LeBron’s move seems predicated on the assumption that LeBron can bend events to his will-that he’s too big to fail.
Like: Of course, he can conquer Hollywood and revive the Showtime era and expand his brand and win championships; he’s LeBron.
Imagine, for a quick second, that you are someone who hates LeBron James.
LeBron has perfected basketball to the point that basketball itself is at risk of becoming an afterthought.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Zion Williamson Defies Belief”

Zion’s dunks are the lowest type of hanging fruit for the casual basketball fan, but even the smarmiest hoop nerds become giddy schoolchildren when Zion pro-hops 10 feet to split an eager double-team and hit an open shooter.
Years ago, before player movement was really policed, teams would likely have just beaten the shit out of Zion.
In a transition sequence, Zion can play any part and blow the doors off of the defense, and the pressure his presence puts on the opponent brings heavy gravitational pull in his direction.
Imagine if Zion were playing on a roster that could’ve forecasted his role at the next level.
It’s easy to get carried away imagining how much his spatial advantages will improve in the NBA. Duke’s lack of shooting has also played a part in depriving us of Zion as a screener and short-roll creator.
Physical outliers like Zion give the offensive player a moment of ” oh no.
Ever since Sports-Reference began keeping stats, no player has soared to the heights that Zion has in PER, win shares per 40 minutes, offensive box plus/minus, and box plus/minus.
Years from now, when we’re passing around stories of this excitement, it’ll be fun to watch people attempt to separate folklore from reality-because the reality of Zion Williamson is that hard to believe.

The orginal article.

Summary of “West Across the Sea”

Tryggvi Hlinason, who is 20 years old and about 7 feet 1 inch tall, grew up in the northeast corner of this rugged, largely uninhabited island the size of Kentucky that rises out of the sea.
Though Hlinason had only been seriously playing the game for two months, Jóhannsson was impressed enough to inquire about promoting him to the national program.
Practices were structured to be light but still informative, a tactic that worked – Hlinason improved every week, and before long, he had played his way off the farm, out of Iceland, and into Spain.
Word of Hlinason began to spread across the ocean in the summer of 2017.
Now, Guðmundsson’s heirs routinely play overseas in top leagues in Germany and France, and a burgeoning crop of talented players, like Thorir Thorbjarnarson at Nebraska and Jon Axel Gudmundsson at Davidson, are currently shining at the NCAA level.
The singularity summer league demands – every player vying for shots and possessions while trying to impress and capitalize on the moment – creates a different game than the one Hlinason plays at home and in Spain.
“Big men like Hlinason may have fallen out of favor recently with basketball executives, but there is always a need for athletic giants with soft hands and quick feet. Players like 7’3” Boban Marjanović, who has transformed from a lumbering relic into an efficient post player and analytics’ darling, are a reminder of that.
“Valencia is a really nice, beautiful city, and I would love to play there again but if the situation occurs that it would be better for me to leave to be a better player, I will just do that and work on it from there.”

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Summary of “How a 32-year-old basketball player plans to play professionally with one arm”

Whitaker sees this and fakes a spin move back to his left, which sends his opponent barreling into a screen set by a hulk of a man, freeing Whitaker Jr. He doesn’t finish the play with a step-back jumper or body-contorting reverse layup, as to not ruin the play with his own missed shot.
For the past three years, Whitaker, 32, has been hooping across the globe, working to become a professional basketball player, possibly the first to do it while missing an arm.
The elder Whitaker was a good shooter, but he’s most responsible for teaching his son how to dribble, preaching that Whitaker Jr. keep the ball on the tips of his fingers while handling it.
What helped Whitaker Jr. in basketball was that he was always energetic, whether on the court or off.
As the family waited for the first responders to arrive, Whitaker Jr. lay on the ground, the poison slowly creeping up his arm.
Watching Whitaker Jr. play basketball is like viewing a magician’s trick.
Michael “Troy” Hamlett, a youth basketball coach in Jacksonville, was the only coach who wanted Whitaker Jr. on his recreational league team after the accident.
In the early years after the accident, defenders would play off Whitaker Jr., at times blatantly leaving him wide open on possessions.

The orginal article.

Summary of “My 84-Year-Old Neighbor Has The Only Good NBA Takes”

Iris seemed different, and once the offseason calmed down I dropped by to ask what she thought of the league’s latest moves-and to find out how she became an NBA fanatic in the first place.
What on earth had Iris been up to? “Watching the ball game,” she replied.
Iris worked at RCA for a long time-“41 years and eight months,” she says-soldering and crimping and testing TVs. While she never married, that job allowed her to buy the house we were sitting in; it let her help out the single moms she worked with; it let her do nice things for her siblings and their kids.
In 1994, Iris retired from RCA. But that gave her more time to spend with her group of 10 friends, all of them going out to eat and then playing cards long into the night.
While Iris is in her sixth decade of NBA fandom, she admits that something has changed in the last few years.
Iris doesn’t watch SportsCenter, and she doesn’t get a newspaper or own a computer.
Her group of 10 friends is down to three, and it’s hard for even them to get together, or for Iris to make the picnics for RCA expats, because she can no longer drive at night.
Iris is excited about the upcoming NBA season, too.

The orginal article.