Summary of “NBA Commissioner Adam Silver Has a Game Plan”

Beyond being one of the biggest providers of sports programming, it has expanded its lines of business into adjacent areas: the WNBA; the NBA G League, a developmental league; the NBA 2K League, an e-sports league based on the NBA’s video game NBA 2K; NBA League Pass, a popular video streaming service of live games; and a host of experiments with leading technology platforms including Facebook, YouTube, and Tencent.
The 2018 Los Angeles All-Star game was the 55th anniversary of the first All-Star game we played in Los Angeles in 1963.
S+B: What role do you think video games, in particular, play in the NBA’s fan ecosystem? How is their significance similar to or different from, say, what you said about social media?SILVER: We’ve always believed that, to an extent, young fans become engaged with the NBA through our video games, and by learning about the players and the teams, they’re more likely to want to engage in the live product.
We think there’s an opportunity to capture a new kind of fan, one who currently isn’t necessarily watching our games on television, but is more of a gamer, and is interested in NBA content and enjoys playing our NBA 2K game.
We saw an opportunity to create a league with our partner Take-Two around our NBA 2K game, using a new set of competitors who are professional gamers.
What if a mobile user gets an alert that a game is close, or that Steph Curry is going for 50 points, or that a game is going down to the wire? How do we then provide an opportunity for them with one click to buy some portion of the game that they can watch on their phone? Maybe we’ll be able to set the price based on the amount of content consumed rather than selling the entire game for a set price.
Tencent has been very focused on discovery: for example, on how it alerts users that there’s an interesting part of the game on, or that a player that users have already demonstrated an interest in is playing.
Bob Johnson, the founder of BET, when he was the owner of the Charlotte franchise, said watching an NBA game [on TV] is like watching one of the old silent movies.

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Summary of “Inside the Confidential N.F.L. Meeting to Discuss National Anthem Protests”

The owners were intent on finding a way to avoid Trump’s continued criticism.
The Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula sounded anguished over the uncertainty of when Trump would take another shot at the league.
The owners kept returning to one bottom-line issue: Large numbers of fans and sponsors had become angry about the protests.
After the Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross raised the idea of a “March on Washington” by N.F.L. players and owners, Eric Reid, Kaepernick’s former teammate and the first player to kneel alongside him, brought the discussion back to Kaepernick.
Anquan Boldin, a former N.F.L. wide receiver who was at the meeting, said that owners needed to be spokesmen, too.
“Letting people know it’s not just the players that care about these issues, but the owners, too,” Boldin said.
Before the meeting ended, owners had quoted Thomas Paine, invoked Martin Luther King Jr.’s Selma march and expressed great hope for what they all could accomplish together.
“Today owners and players had a productive meeting focused on how we can work together to promote positive social change and address inequality in our communities. NFL executives and owners joined NFLPA executives and player leaders to review and discuss plans to utilize our platform to promote equality and effectuate positive change. We agreed that these are common issues and pledged to meet again to continue this work together.”

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Summary of “The Disgrace of Minor League Baseball”

The collective bargaining agreement that governs MLB gives a team control over a player for either four or five minor league seasons, then his first six full major league seasons.
You won’t get rich making $35,000 per year, and it’s still not a great look for a league that pulls in $8 billion a season, but you can live on $35,000, as opposed to the $6,000 or so most minor league baseball players will make each season.
Even basketball players don’t have it as good as minor league hockey players.
In the ECHL, the lowest level of affiliated North American hockey, the rookie minimum for the current season is $460 per week, which isn’t much, but still beats the $1,160 per month minor league baseball players make.
So why do minor league basketball and hockey players get a better deal than minor league baseball players, despite those leagues’ parent clubs bringing in less money overall? It’s not because basketball and hockey owners are less interested in maximizing profits at all costs-many baseball owners have a stake in another pro team, and even if the people running the NBA, NHL, and MLB aren’t literally the same people, they all went to the same business schools and hang out at the same golf courses.
Plus, the crop of underpaid minor league baseball players includes not only Americans with nothing more than a high school education, but Latin American players, many of whom grew up in poverty, and who’d have to leave the country if they chose to pursue another career.
Minor league hockey players, unlike minor league baseball and basketball players, are unionized.
There are numerous reasons why paying minor league baseball players a living wage, and not screwing around with their big league service time, would be beneficial for MLB clubs as well.

The orginal article.

Summary of “From Atop the College Basketball World to the Middle of Nowhere”

Today, the Hustle, one of 26 G League teams, are in town to play the South Bay Lakers.
For players like Davis, John Wall, and DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky was a launchpad for long NBA careers.
Some now play in Europe, others in Asia, and many more in the G League.
He’s played for a G League team that no longer exists and international leagues that are tiers below the country’s premier league.
He’s been fined for altercations, brawls, and calling out Manny Pacquiao for playing in the same league as him in the Philippines.
“Playing basketball abroad, you kind of feel like you don’t have a life. I mean, you don’t have a life. This is my life, essentially. It consumes everything.”
“We were kids playing together, highly touted kids at one of the biggest basketball schools in the country with the best fan base,” Harrison says.
Teague says he’s always made a point to chat up former Kentucky players whenever he runs into one, whether it be at an NBA game, a G League game, or maybe a run in the summer.

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Summary of “The 10 Biggest Questions Heading Into the NFL Offseason”

Seven teams will head into 2018 with new head coaches and/or front-office personnel, and a handful more have made changes at the general manager position.
Scheme changes, locker-room culture shifts, and salary cap purges are common among regime changes as new coaches and GMs look to bring in “Their guys,” ditch the players that are not, and create a competitive team.
Will pending superstar contract negotiations stall? Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell is looking for a long-term contract and has already indicated he’s willing to sit out or retire if the team tries to franchise-tag him for a second straight year.
Add in tight end Antonio Gates, defensive end Julius Peppers, running backs Adrian Peterson and Frank Gore, safety Kam Chancellor, pass rusher Cliff Avril, and a slew of other aging vets that could decide to call it a career and a few teams could look a whole lot different in 2018.
The overhaul’s already started, of course, and following the Seahawks’ 9-7 finish, head coach Pete Carroll fired offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, defensive coordinator Kris Richard, offensive line/assistant head coach Tom Cable, and a few other position coaches-all moves that signaled a desire to return to the type of football Carroll wants his team to play.
The question now is whether that coaching purge will extend to the team’s roster.
Not only did Philly head coach Doug Pederson’s system make Carson Wentz an early favorite for the MVP award, but that quarterback-friendly scheme helped Nick Foles lead the team to a championship after the team lost Wentz for the year with a torn ACL. The NFL’s a copycat league, and plenty of teams were paying attention to what Pederson-and a few other forward-thinking coaches around the league, including his former boss Andy Reid-did this year to stress defenses with run-pass options, option runs, and play-action looks.
Add the Redskins, a team that may incorporate some of Kansas City’s offensive stylings to help smooth Smith’s transition, to that list, and there should be a handful of other teams that work those concepts into their offenses.

The orginal article.

Summary of “It Might Not Help Vince McMahon, but the NFL Needs the XFL”

No, it’s a boon for the league because the past 70 years suggest that no one benefits from more football quite like the NFL. The history of the NFL is that its good ideas often start somewhere else.
The NFL is in the midst of a season in which Blake Bortles made a conference championship game-it seems misguided to think that there’s so much talent in the NFL that the runoff will make its way to the XFL for less money and things will still look good.
Historically there have been a lot of attempts to topple the NFL. There was the XFL in 2001, the USFL in the ’80s, the World Football League in the ’70s, the Canadian Football League’s brief American expansion in the ’90s, and by far the most successful upstart, the AFL in the 1960s, which later merged with the NFL. Without any semi-legitimate second option, there’s been no serious place for NFL players to develop in the offseason since NFL Europe folded in 2007.
There is a long history of the league borrowing ideas from its rivals, so let’s start with an idea the NFL took from McMahon’s league: their television production.
If you enjoyed the SkyCam angles this year, you can thank the XFL on NBC. A few months after the league folded in 2001, Monday Night Football “Approached the NFL about using a variety of the gimmicks XFL execs bragged about last season.” The main “Gimmick” in question was SkyCam.
Jim Kelly, Reggie White, and Herschel Walker starred in the ’80s in the USFL. The XFL wouldn’t dream of such a competition for top college players-they’ll instead have to settle for the fringes-and that works just fine for the NFL. The best guidepost for a league like the new XFL would be the old XFL, which rejuvenated careers of players long forgotten and turned them into decent NFL starters.
At a time when there’s undoubtedly a shortage of great quarterbacks, a Last Chance Saloon where one or two passers could work their way back into the NFL would help.
Hank Stram, famed coach of the Kansas City Chiefs and one of the innovators of the odd formation and the 3-4 defense, talked extensively about how open the AFL was to new ideas as opposed to the staid NFL. This included the “Odd” front and a variety of offensive formations-things quickly accepted into the NFL mainstream after they proved to work.

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Summary of “In a Top-Heavy Premier League, More Teams Rush to the Bunker”

On the first day of 2018, Sam Allardyce, the club’s freshly installed manager, sent his team out not to stand toe-to-toe with Manchester United, but simply to stand firm: to absorb pressure and cling on.
Of course: Most Everton fans would accept that his team does not have the offensive firepower to match Manchester United.
Mark Hughes, Stoke’s manager, sent out a drastically weakened team at Stamford Bridge with the aim of saving his best side for Monday’s meeting with Newcastle, a direct rival in the battle to avoid relegation.
It has always been this way: The best teams monopolize possession, which means their opponents have always focused on damage limitation.
His decision forced the Premier League to alter its rules regarding the fielding of weakened teams.
The Premier League has long sold itself as the most competitive league in the world, as a division where might does not make right, in which teams never know when they are beaten, where the emphasis is always on attacking.
When Manchester United – or the great Arsenal or Chelsea sides of earlier this century – “Had opponents beaten in the tunnel,” as Hughes, a former United player, once said, only one or two teams inspired such fear.
The alternative, when faced with teams with vastly superior players and resources, remains unclear.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Justice League Was Apparently Micromanaged Even More Than We Thought”

Would Whedon’s new home at the rival comic book studio offer him what Marvel couldn’t: complete creative control? According to a new report, the answer-at least when it comes to Justice League-is: not quite.
When Whedon first signed on to help with Justice League, Snyder was still working on the project.
Justice League producer Charles Roven told The Washington Times that Whedon re-shot “15, 20 percent of the movie,” but some rumors indicate Whedon’s contributions may have been much higher.
Though he goes uncredited as a co-director, Whedon’s contribution was so significant that die-hard Zack Snyder fans seem to believe there is a full, workable cut of Snyder’s Justice League out there and are demanding it be released.
Still, according to the Snyder faithful, all the issues with Justice League can be laid at Whedon’s feet.
Even those early reviewers who tweeted positively about Justice League, had to admit that the tonal clash between Whedon’s light-hearted take on superheroes and Snyder’s grim and dour one was significant.
McCallany-whose dry wit made him an instant favorite on Netflix’s Mindhunter-told Men’s Fitness: “I love Joss Whedon. My scene with Batman was originally conceived as a comedic scene. That’s how Joss wrote it, and that’s how we shot it. I thought it came out great, but the studio felt it would be a mistake to open the film with a completely comedic scene, so it was re-edited a little bit. I was disappointed.” It would appear Warner Bros.
Despite rumors, according to a recent report in Entertainment Weekly, Whedon is still on board to direct Batgirl for Warner Bros., meaning that the post-Justice League relationship can’t be all that toxic for either the studio or the director.

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Summary of “Justice League Is a Big, Ugly Mess”

Dear Justice League, I must say that no, the lighting is not good.
To be fair, the DC movies preceding Justice League-particularly Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad-have gotten their share of criticism already.
What a nice few months that was! But now, with cracking whiplash, arrives Justice League, the culmination of the three non-Suicide Squad DC films to come before it-a hurried and slapdash heroes-assemble affair that clatters loudly and senselessly, tossed together out of loose screws and scrap metal.
Justice League awkwardly tries to move away from much of the forbidding tone of Man of Steel or B v S, a perhaps studio-mandated attempt to lighten things up, to add some effervescence like the kind Tony Stark and friends enjoy together.
Justice League is such a misguided mess-often feeling entirely unguided-that you want to intervene, softly saying, “Stop, stop, you don’t have to do this, stop.” But you can’t talk to the movie screen, so I’ll say it here.
His human side is warring with, and often loses to, the burgeoning artificial consciousness placed inside him by his grieving father, an interesting conflict that Justice League introduces and then does very little with.
Perhaps the Justice League franchise really has been rotten from the start, experiencing not evolution but entropy, with Wonder Woman standing as an anomalous glimmer of false hope.
I could be projecting, but boy does poor Gal Gadot look so sad in Justice League, watching this lumbering and witless movie lay waste to the nice thing she just got finished making.

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Summary of “NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in bitter battle few saw coming led by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones”

Roger Goodell is in a battle few saw coming, with the league’s membership teetering on an all-out, unprecedented civil war.
For years, America’s most powerful sports owner has heaped praise on America’s most powerful commissioner for being a visionary, a “Grow-the-pie thinker.” Jones, now 75, uses a cost-benefit analysis to measure the value of many relationships, and as the NFL grew from a $6 billion-a-year to a $14 billion-a-year enterprise under Goodell, their relationship seemed strong.
In early November, when Jones threatened to sue his fellow owners and the league to stop progress on Goodell’s next contract, Falcons owner and compensation committee chairman Arthur Blank told Jones, “This is not how we do things in the NFL.”.
It is a turmoil that seems new but actually began years ago in a shadow war waged inside the cloistered world of NFL offices, owners’ suites, private meetings and conference calls, rooted in very different visions, mostly by Jerry Jones and Roger Goodell, about what the NFL’s future should be.
Goodell was elected commissioner, aided in part by Jones, who, along with others, twisted arms to put Goodell over his closest challenger, league attorney Gregg Levy.
Many called for Goodell to step down, but Jones was among the owners who always publicly backed Goodell – even when he was upset with him.
Behind closed doors, Jones repeated to other owners that the NFL shouldn’t be in the “Investigative business.” Jones knew many owners agreed; Bob Kraft, for example, has complained for years that the league “Wastes” money on seemingly endless player discipline investigations, including a reported $22.5 million on Deflategate.
The two men never spoke, opting instead in the coming days for power plays on letterhead: Blank’s compensation committee accused Jones of “Conduct detrimental to the league’s best interests”; Jones asked for a special owners-only meeting to discuss Goodell’s new deal.

The orginal article.