Summary of “Oklahoma City Thunder star Carmelo Anthony is learning to accept a new role”

Through training camp and the first six weeks of the season, that was the unofficial mantra of the Oklahoma City Thunder, or at least its three headliners, Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Anthony.
After the Thunder lost to the Cavs on Feb. 13, amid the forced quiet of the locker room, Anthony walked from the shower to his locker carrying his phone.
“I’ve been on teams with bad guys,” says Thunder backup point guard Raymond Felton, who played with Anthony in New York.
Sept. 22, three days before the start of training camp, Anthony got a call asking if he would be willing to add the Thunder to his list of approved teams if a deal could get done.
Hundreds of them showed up at the airport to greet Anthony when he arrived from New York after the trade.
“In New York, there was so much going on with the organization and the city,” Anthony says.
Never in his career – not in his eight years in Denver nor his seven in New York – had Anthony been open to the idea of reducing or even altering his role.
Without saying the words, he said he would make every effort to bring Olympic Melo to OKC. The next day, Anthony called Westbrook and George together and told them the new plan.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Field Guide to the Characters of Michael Jordan Lore”

Michael Jordan or LeBron James? It is one of the essential questions in the modern era of sports fandom, encompassing facts and biases, statistics and anecdotal evidence, and the ever-shifting barometer of cultural relevance.
So if you ask, “Why would Cliff Levingston fall down simply from a faked pass?” I would respond, “Because it was Michael Jordan who was faking it, and everything Michael Jordan was doing with a basketball at that time was fucking terrifying.”
Jordan is on the left of Rollins, scowling at him, very clearly making a “Bitch, I told you don’t jump” face, and there’s Oakley on the right, very clearly doing a “Bitch, he told you don’t jump” finger point.
A quick summary of the Kwame-Jordan history: Jordan was the head of basketball operations for the Wizards when they selected Kwame with the no.
During Kwame’s time with the Wizards, there were multiple reports of Jordan bullying him, some instances of which were so crushing that they moved Kwame to near tears.
The opposite version of the Kwame story is what happened with Steve Kerr, who played with Jordan for three seasons.
In Jackson’s new book, “Eleven Rings,” he says the punch was a wake-up call for Jordan and a turning point for the championship-winning 1995-96 Bulls who won 72 regular-season games, a record that will likely never be broken.
It’s hard to imagine that Jordan ever would’ve wound up becoming the highest grade of basketball royalty without Scottie running along next to him.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How the NBA’s New Guard Remembers Michael Jordan”

Michael Jordan or LeBron James? It is one of the essential questions in the modern era of sports fandom, encompassing facts and biases, statistics and anecdotal evidence, and the ever-shifting barometer of cultural relevance.
Asked later where he first heard of MJ’s exploits, Smith, a North Carolina native, said “My pops. He didn’t want hear no comparisons.” After learning of Jordan, Smith went on YouTube and tuned into NBATV in search of Jordan’s greatest hits.
As the game turns to young players like Mitchell and Smith, it’s simultaneously distancing itself from a past ruled by Jordan.
From the time he was 3 years old, Collins said his mother would play the Jordan documentary Come Fly With Me for him every morning.
“I’m not gonna lie, when people say Michael Jordan is the greatest, I don’t know if he’s the greatest,” Hield said.
In March 2017, after passing Jordan for most postseason points ever, LeBron James talked about Jordan’s impact on his career.
“When you’re growing up and you’re seeing Michael Jordan, it’s almost like a god. So I didn’t ever believe I could be Mike. So I started to focus myself on other players and other people around my neighborhood because I never thought you could get to a point where Mike was. So I think that helped shape my game.”
They may not have seen Jordan at his peak, but they can see his imprint everywhere around today’s NBA. Jordan might not officially be the Logo, like Jerry West, but his silhouette adorned every jersey in Sunday’s All-Star Game.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Self-Taught Artificial Intelligence Has Trouble With the Real World”

In 2016, Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo thrashed champion Lee Sedol at the ancient board game Go after poring over millions of positions from tens of thousands of human games.
The past year also saw otherworldly self-taught bots emerge in settings as diverse as no-limit poker and Dota 2, a hugely popular multiplayer online video game in which fantasy-themed heroes battle for control of an alien world.
One characteristic shared by many games, chess and Go included, is that players can see all the pieces on both sides at all times.
An even more daunting game involving imperfect information is StarCraft II, another multiplayer online video game with a vast following.
Before the release of AlphaGo and its progeny, the DeepMind team achieved its first big, headline-grabbing result in 2013, when they used reinforcement learning to make a bot that learned to play seven Atari 2600 games, three of them at an expert level.
Within the larger category of reinforcement learning, board games and multiplayer games allow for an even more specific approach.
In game after game, an algorithm in a self-play system faces an equally matched foe.
Since 2008, hundreds of thousands of human players have attempted Foldit, an online game where users are scored on the stability and feasibility of the protein structures they fold.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Crystal Small Ball: Predicting the NBA’s Second Half”

Which team will make the biggest push in the second half? Danny Chau: The Sixers.
The Heat are mostly an anonymous team, but they do feature a player you’re bound to hear about over the next few years.
O’Connor: It’s the same team as it was before the season: Houston.
Who will get left out of the West playoffs: Clippers, New Orleans, Portland, and/or Utah? O’Connor: New Orleans is at a severe disadvantage without DeMarcus Cousins, but the Pelicans still have the best player of any of the four teams on the bubble, so it’s hard to pick against them.
Tjarks: The good people at Denver Stiffs did a nice breakdown of the schedule for all of these teams, and the one that stands out is Utah, which plays 11 games against non-playoff contenders who don’t have much incentive to win.
It’s hard to top the existential dread induced by your owner telling Dr. J that your team is a loser, but the Kings recently started a lineup in which the oldest player was Bogdanovic, a 25-year-old rookie.
O’Connor: Mark Cuban said the best option for the Mavericks is to lose, which is certainly true, but it’s largely fascinating because the statement could either suck the life out of the team or motivate it more than ever to close the season strong.
Which team will finish first in the East standings? O’Connor: The Raptors are the deepest team in the East, and they seem to be getting better and better as the season progresses.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Inside Villanova’s epic five-year run”

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Jay Wright was surprisingly upbeat on the Thursday morning after Villanova’s upset loss to St. John’s on Feb. 7.
Wright made an interesting decision before the 2012-13 season: He named Arcidiacono, a freshman who had never played a game for Villanova, the captain.
Villanova played Purdue at Madison Square Garden a couple of games into the season.
There’s a game between the current team and the pros who played at Villanova, a golf outing and then a party for the players, coaches and their families.
“There’s so many guys that came from that program, that helped build that program, they played Villanova basketball,” said Hart, a former All-American at Villanova who now plays for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Some will point to the Big East as the reason behind Villanova’s gaudy record, but that wouldn’t hold up when factoring in Villanova’s national championship and record in the NCAA tournament.
On the biggest stage in college basketball, Wright saw that his message of culture and attitude and always playing Villanova basketball had gotten through.
He’s gone back to recruiting players who fit the Villanova culture – even if a few of them are still five-star prospects.

The orginal article.

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Things start to get a little trickier when we expand our scope past the entries on the SNES. Where do Donkey Kong Country Returns and Tropical Freeze fit in? How about the Donkey Kong Land series on the Game Boy? The spinoffs like Diddy Kong Racing and Donkey Kong Jungle Beat? The original arcade series?
Well, the Donkey Kong Wikia claims that the first chronological entry in the series is actually Circus, a 1984 Game & Watch title in which Donkey Kong must perform as a captive ape for Mario’s amusement.
Sometime after the events of the original arcade series, Donkey Kong moves from Big Ape City to the wilds of Donkey Kong Island, the eponymous setting of the Donkey Kong Country series.
In a decision that would forever change Donkey Kong history, Rare chose the latter, thus leaving DK Jr. out of the DKC series and positioning Diddy Kong as DK’s nephew.
What happened to Donkey Kong Jr.? If he isn’t the modern tie-wearing Donkey Kong, then where did he go?
The Donkey Kong Wikia describes the Great Ape War as a conflict between the Kongs and the Kremlings.
So far so good-the Kremlings are the major antagonists throughout the Donkey Kong Country series right up until Donkey Kong Country Returns.
In the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series, Donkey Kong and Pauline even become friends.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The wonderfully empty world of Shadow of the Colossus”

The Forbidden Land of Fumito Ueda’s 2005 video game Shadow of the Colossus is vast, enigmatic, foreboding.
Though the realm that you explore is indeed large and open, few would call Shadow of the Colossus an “Open-world” game.
Linear levels stitched together in an order determined by the all-powerful game developer – the cutting-edge tech that powered GTA3 allowed players to lose themselves in a reasonably facsimile of a crime-ridden modern city, an innovation soon termed an open-world.
In a gaming universe now conquered by the thrall of the open-world, Shadow has the gall to offer something distinct: an empty-world game.
While these trifles offer a nominal reward for the effort spent – Shadow is far from a challenging game without them, even on “Hard” – the act of exploration serves as its own reward.
More than almost any game in the medium, Shadow of the Colossus cultivates this sense of intrigue, which most open-world games desperately lack.
Led by YouTubers like Nomad Colossus, these die-hards have delved into the game’s code and uncovered unused colossi, relics of the game’s origins as a doomed online RPG. With this new version, Bluepoint decided to deliver a gift to these digital archaeologists, giving Nomad a shoutout in the credits and hiding 79 shining coins across the land.
In 2005, these players needed no incentive to dive into every corner of the game, leaping off colossi, or wind-surfing with the help of birds.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Made in China: every new video game you love”

For Zhu Jie, a 33-year-old with wireframe glasses and bright pink hair, credits are often the best part of a game, a rare moment of recognition for her and her colleagues at Virtuos Ltd, a company in China that builds 3D art and levels for the biggest game companies in the world: Sony, Microsoft, and Electronic Arts, among others.
In 2008, an anonymous poll of 200 major video game studios found that 86 percent relied on outsourcing for some aspect of development.
“It takes a village now, to build these games,” Peter Moore, then COO of EA, said in 2015 at the External Development Summit, “And I’m not just talking about the game itself. Because if games don’t have companion apps, if they don’t have websites – we have 450 different social media websites supporting all of our franchises, so we have requirements for integrated development that not only keeps the core game alive but keeps the ecosystem around that game humming, because if you’re not delivering content each and every day then the engagement drops.”
“We don’t place bets on certain IPs,” he said, referring to the intellectual property that constitutes a new game.
Costs for game development had been rising steadily throughout the 1990s, when the average budget for a PlayStation or Nintendo 64 title was between $1 million and $3 million, according to a presentation at the Game Developers Conference by Factor 5.
To ensure consistency across all the game’s outsourcers, van Beek and his team of artists at Guerrilla compiled a large library of reference photos of everything they wanted in the game.
Is there really a way to make a game of Horizon’s scale and complexity without someone being exploited along the way? Working conditions at many traditional game studios are already bad enough, with nightmarish crunch-time stories and frequent overtime, often without additional pay.
A recent report in Politico points to the fact that from 2005 to 2015, “The number of people in alternative work arrangements grew by 9 million and now represents roughly 16 percent of all U.S. workers, while the number of traditional employees declined by 400,000.” A 2016 IGDA survey found a similar force at work among game developers, only 66 percent of whom were full-time employees.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Eagles Parade Was Beautiful, Melancholy, Profane, and Utterly Philly”

The 7 A.M. Acela out of New York was full of Eagles fans, but it was a little early for revelry.
Having no in-state professional football team of its own, New Jersey fans root for three out-of-state teams, the New York Giants, the New York Jets, and the Philadelphia Eagles.
In southwest Jersey, where I grew up, we are passionate Eagles fans-the word is pronounced to sound like “Giggles.” Although “Go Birds!” is favored nowadays, I still hear “Go Iggles!” in my head. Here is a photograph of me in an Eagles uniform in 1967, age eight, pretending to catch the winning touchdown while my father talks on a telephone behind me.
The year after the picture was taken, 1968, I convinced my dad to take me to an Eagles game, then at Franklin Field.
I’d like to think I came to that game as a normal nine-year-old football-crazy kid, but that I left as something else-a bloodied Eagles fan.
As a kid, I longed for a January Eagles Super Bowl parade.
“No one likes us, no one likes us, no one liiikes us, we don’t care.I have never seen so many happy people in one place before on hearing that. Seemingly every single one of the thousands and thousands of faces around me lit up with pure joy. Public joy like that is something you have to experience in person. YouTube allows fans to share other fans’ private moments of joy, such as the video of Kobe Bryant celebrating the Eagles’ victory with his sleeping baby in his arms. The parade made those private feelings public. It was an oceanic outpouring of joy that swept us all, young and old, up in its powerful surge.”
He died in 2009, not long after the Eagles lost the N.F.C. championship game to the Arizona Cardinals-the last game we watched together on TV. I startled him by screaming at the receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who killed the Eagles that day.

The orginal article.