Summary of “Blake Griffin, Clippers Bid Farewell to Lob City”

“Burglars on the west side of Los Angeles are versed in NBA schedules, not injury protocols, so the masked intruders who broke into Blake Griffin’s three-story traditional in Pacific Palisades at 3 a.m. a year and a half ago did not expect to see the 6’10” power forward asleep in his upstairs bedroom.
The Clippers were on the road, but Griffin was at home, rehabbing from arthroscopic surgery on his left quadriceps.
Recently, a couple of Griffin’s childhood friends from Oklahoma City visited L.A., and one pretended to record him surreptitiously with a cellphone.
“The dynamic with Blake and Chris was weird. I don’t know why. It was just strange. No one knew who the leader was, and if you had something to say, it would turn into an argument. I think people were sometimes scared to say something to Blake, because you didn’t know how he’d react. [Now] he’s a whole different person, more approachable, and I think it’s because we’ve embraced him. We know who our leader is. We’re all-in with Blake Griffin.”
The Clippers were facing the Jazz in the first round, and Griffin was undergoing tests for an injured plantar plate in his right big toe, the latest in a series of maladies that could fill a small medical journal.
“Griffin is not funny in the slapstick way that translates to press conferences or even locker rooms. His humor is dry and observational. During games Clippers center DeAndre Jordan plays off Griffin, and afterward, the opposite. Jordan will jabber for five minutes about his abiding affection for his hometown Houston Astros, to which Griffin will quietly reply,”I’ve literally never heard him talk about the Houston Astros until right now.
In January 2016, Griffin expected to return from a partially torn quadriceps on an East Coast road swing, but he re-aggravated the injury the day before the Clippers left.
In New York City, trainers ruled him out for the trip and Griffin asked if he could fly back to L.A. to rehab at the practice facility.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Joel Embiid is more than the NBA’s best follow”

PHILADELPHIA – Joel Embiid postures at the free throw line like the Greek warrior Perseus, flexing his chiseled 7-foot-2 frame and gesturing to the paying customers to raise their game.
With Joel Embiid on the floor, Philadelphia has offensive and defensive ratings on par with Eastern Conference playoff teams.
“Yet his skill set is only part of the appeal. Embiid has unleashed the most captivating NBA personality since Shaquille O’Neal, conquering social media with the same gusto he exhibits on the court, whether it’s flirting with Rihanna, making free agency overtures to LeBron James and Kevin Durant, dishing smack to Hassan Whiteside, or spinning yarns about killing a lion, even though he was born and raised in Yaounde, Cameroon, a bustling city of 2.4 million people – and zero big-game animals. Embiid has even waded into politics, warning teammate Ben Simmons, who was born in Melbourne, Australia, prior to last November’s presidential election, that if Donald Trump were to win,”He’s gonna deport you.
Brown put Embiid on a minutes restriction while he rounds into shape, which the young center declared “f–ing bull–.” Through seven games, Embiid is averaging 27 minutes a night, which, he rationalizes, is close to starter’s minutes.
Embiid is adored even more in his native Cameroon than in Philly because he represents prosperity and promise to an African nation that has been thwarted by pervasive corruption.
In the final 30 seconds of the game with the Sixers holding a five-point lead, Joel Embiid comes tumbling down on top of James Harden, and after a review, he’s called for goaltending.
Embiid sets up in the post, but Rockets center Clint Capela holds him at bay while PJ Tucker comes over to double Embiid and strips the ball.
The postgame chatter on Philly talk radio is that Embiid needs more shots.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Unspeakable Greatness of Giannis Antetokounmpo”

Visitors to Milwaukee quickly discover that it’s no exaggeration to describe Antetokounmpo’s future as the least of the Bucks’ concerns in their bid to become a credible contender for the first time in nearly two decades.
Charles Antetokounmpo died of a heart attack on Sept. 29 at age 54.”I can feel the love from the city every day I step on the floor,” Giannis Antetokounmpo said.
Charles and Veronica Antetokounmpo, who moved from Nigeria to Greece as undocumented immigrants in 1991 in search of a better life, secured the necessary paperwork to relocate to Milwaukee along with Giannis’s two younger brothers halfway through his rookie season.
Kostas Antetokounmpo is a redshirt freshman at the University of Dayton now, but the rest of the family moved into a new downtown complex before this season, with Giannis and Alexandros Antetokounmpo housed on the fifth floor and Charles and Veronica on the fourth.
Veronica Antetokounmpo has moved up a flight to be with her sons on the fifth floor in the wake of her husband’s death.
“Leading your family is a lot tougher than basketball,” Antetokounmpo said.
Places to ImproveThe areas for on-court improvement are obvious for Antetokounmpo even as he stuffs box score after box score.
The legendary Kobe Bryant, now in his second season of retirement, had seen enough coming into training camp to challenge Antetokounmpo via Twitter in late August to make a bid for the league’s Most Valuable Player Award.

The orginal article.

Summary of “In $25 billion video game industry, voice actors face broken vocal cords and low pay”

Voice, that intimate marker of human emotion, is now seen as essential to the $24.5 billion U.S. video game market, where the hyper-realistic graphics and operatic ­story lines used in games can be as textured as the best film dramas.
This led voice actors to go on strike last year against 11 of the largest video game developers over bonus pay and safety issues such as vocal stress.
A couple of days before her “Horizon Zero Dawn” session, Burch was at the Cartoon Network offices in Burbank, Calif., to record voices for the new cartoon “OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes.” Jobs like this helped Burch and other voice actors stay afloat as the strike dragged on and auditions for video games disappeared.
Another voice actor on the show, Courtenay Taylor, mentioned she suffered a hemorrhage in her vocal cords last year while voicing a game.
Last year, the union invited California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health to investigate what it called unsafe and vocally stressful conditions for actors doing video games.
The union proposed a bonus structure for voice actors that would kick in when games sold at least 2 million copies – a blockbuster in movie terms.
Almost no voice actor can survive on video game work alone.
“I’ve made more money from one episode of some crappy preschool cartoon than one of the biggest-selling video games of all time,” said Phil LaMarr, a comedic actor who has lent his voice to the “Metal Gear Solid” series and cartoons such as “Pound Puppies.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why ESPN Could Abandon NFL Football”

With so much of ESPN’s universe asunder, it’s not outlandish now to entertain a previously unthinkable prospect: Might ESPN elect to go without rights to NFL games after the expiration of its eight-year deal for Monday Night Football in 2021?!
First, quietly, ESPN has been able to pull off a dramatic judo move in recent agreements with its affiliates, one whose importance cannot be overstated: There is no longer specific contract language that requires the cable giant to have NFL games in order to earn its lofty subscriber fees, currently more than $7 per household.
Third, ESPN pays a disproportionally steeper rights fee for NFL games than CBS, Fox and NBC, because ESPN’s deals give it access to NFL footage outside the games – NFL films and other NFL-related opportunities.
When ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption wants to run a highlight, or SportsCenter and all the network’s NFL shoulder programming want to dissect games and plays till the cows wander home, ESPN producers can use all the NFL footage they want.
Can anyone imagine the NFL turning down an offer from ESPN of $300 or $400 million for just those rights, even if ESPN didn’t have game rights? It’s doubtful.
What might be the repercussions for ESPN if it decided not to seriously chase down another NFL rights package? There would be both bad and good news.
Take the $2 billion that it is now giving the NFL, subtract say $350 million for rights to highlights as described above, and another $250 million to send back to Burbank the way Henry Hill gave Paulie that “Tribute” money after a big haul, and that still leaves a billion and a half dollars for ESPN to play the media rights version of Wheel of Fortune.
While it’s true that nothing drives a sub fee like the NFL, ESPN could go on a spending spree targeting CBS’ college football deal with the SEC, a Big 12 deal, baseball post-season, rights to NHL hockey, EPL soccer and a whole buffet table of other properties that would prove beneficial in its negotiations with distributors who would want to lower their sub fees.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Can Tom Brady leave football on his terms with the TB12 Method?”

The TB12 Method is Brady’s first real book, but there is little surprise in the fact that it doesn’t take the form of a memoir, an autobiography or a tell-all – that it isn’t even really about Brady.
He keeps a glass of water by his bedside and sleeps, famously, in TB12 “Bioceramic recovery wear,” which is also for sale from TB12 and which Brady also considers part of a “Movement” – the “Tech-enabled apparel and sleepwear” movement.
Brady writes, “Sustained. peak performance isn’t about luck” and claims that “Much of the success I’ve been lucky enough to have in my career I owe to a lifelong ‘will-over-skill’ mindset.” However, if Alford had caught the ball Brady threw to him instead of Edelman, or if the ball had followed its natural course and fallen to the turf instead of being held up by a thicket of arms and legs – or if Pete Carroll had just handed the ball to Marshawn Lynch in Super Bowl XLIX – we might be having an entirely different conversation about Tom Brady.
In response, Brady did what Brady does: He willed himself to get better.
Brady credited Guerrero for keeping his body intact, and Guerrero credited himself, but the Patriots credited adjustments Brady had made to his game.
Garoppolo played well, but for either a want of luck or willpower he lasted only five and a half quarters before being knocked out with a shoulder injury and eventually giving way to Tom Brady and the Method.
The question holds, because either Tom Brady is a football player who, like other football players, has suffered multiple concussions, or he is a football player who, unlike most other football players, has found a way to rise above the game’s inherent assault on body and brain.
What would count as a failure for Tom Brady? Playing until he’s 41 instead of playing until he’s 45? Never winning another Super Bowl? Getting released at age 43 from the Patriots and spending the last days of his career hobbling around for the Browns, still angry that they took Spergon Wynn in the sixth round of the 2000 draft instead of him? Or getting all he wants – playing until he’s 45 and winning two more Super Bowls – only to discover 15 years later that he has recurring headaches and his memory is hazy and he can’t follow the route to the nearest TB12 training center?

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Texans, Seahawks, and the NFL’s Week 8 Winners and Losers”

Every week this NFL season, we will celebrate the electric plays, admonish the colossal blunders, and explain the inexplicable moments of the most recent slate.
Winner: Everybody Who Watched Seahawks-Texans The game of the year took place in Seattle on Sunday: The Seahawks won 41-38, but Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson confirmed he’s perhaps the most exciting player in the league just a couple of months into his rookie season.
The last player with 400 passing yards, four touchdowns, and 50 rushing yards in a game? Nobody.
Its most exciting players are hurt, its best teams seem mediocre, its marquee matchups have been duds.
You know what’s better than my memory? Pro-Football-Reference’s Play Index! I searched the PI database for plays that were a punt, resulted in a score, and resulted in a score that was a safety.
Twenty-one were punts that were blocked; 19 have the description “Punts no gain, safety,” which seems to also be a descriptor for punts that were blocked; five are plays where the punting team committed a holding penalty in the end zone.
The NFL’s players have become great actors this season, but I think Smith-Schuster is the first person asked to play an inanimate object.
He’s on a team forced by its owners to abandon its fans and play 16 road games, and his team specializes in excruciating losses.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Super Mario Odyssey review: Mario’s densest, deepest adventure yet”

A few weeks ago, I got dragged down a rabbit-hole discussion of what defines a “Core” Mario game.
While a core Mario game could have secondary goals and while there might be multiple exits in a single level, getting from the start to the end has always been a defining characteristic of his adventures.
Even more open 3D games like Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy have retained this model to some extent, ending with a run through the level and putting Mario back to the start after he collects a star.
By this strict definition, Super Mario Odyssey can’t really be considered a core Mario game at all.
This may sound like a small difference, but it changes the flow and feel of the standard Mario adventure in a profound way.
Super Mario Odyssey is decidedly not a game about getting from point A to point B. Instead, it’s a game about just having a wander, getting lost in inventive environments, and seeing what happens.
While there have been plenty of hidden secrets in previous Mario games, Odyssey seems more explicit about making those hidden gems the point of the adventure.
Often you’ll see a moon on a high ledge and wonder how in the world Mario can jump high enough or far enough to reach it before exploring a bit more and finding the correct path hidden in some out-of-the-way place.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Making a Most Valuable Player”

You think you’re hype for Giannis Antetokounmpo? You are not hype for Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Giannis Twitter is already out of control, and every media outlet from the Washington Post to Sports Illustrated to our very own NBA-obsessed site has accelerated the overarching take from “Giannis is sooooo good” to “Giannis for MVP.”.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens flat-out called Giannis “An MVP candidate,” and Hornets coach Steve Clifford basically got the vapors when talking about him.
During the offseason, Kobe Bryant issued Giannis one of his exclusive MVP challenges.
The real question isn’t so much whether Giannis is a legit MVP candidate.
During the course of the conversation, Paschke posited that Giannis would likely not win Most Improved Player again this season since he it won it a year ago.
“OK” Giannis continued, “If I win the MVP, I can win the Most Improved.”
As LeBron neatly summarized last week, Giannis has the skill set and the talent to win MVP, but “At the end of the day, it’s all about team success.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Assassin’s Creed Origins review”

Like so many big-budget extravaganzas, Assassin’s Creed Origins is an attempt to perfectly triangulate the three corners of open-world game design: environment simulation, storytelling and gameplay.
Previous Assassin’s Creed games took place in the late medieval or post-Renaissance world.
As the game progresses, Bayek and Aya are involved in some of the most iconic moments in ancient history.
While the world is superb, and the story offers plenty to admire, the game itself is much as you’d expect, if you’ve spent any time playing entries in the Assassin’s Creed series.
As a stealth and combat game, Assassin’s Creed Origins is entirely competent.
The game itself makes a lot of compromises with its alleged openness, in order to guide the player through a coherent experience.
Wrap-up Assassin’s Creed Origins is the best iteration of a decade-old formula In essence, Assassin’s Creed Origins is much the same game as the original Assassin’s Creed, which came out a decade ago.
In each episode of Quality Control, a Polygon editor talks to a critic after they review a new game, movie or piece of gear and allows them to add a little bit of extra context and insight.

The orginal article.