Summary of “E-sports leagues are starting to look a lot like the NFL and NBA”

Now, some of the biggest professional e-sports leagues in the world are starting to look a lot like the NBA or NFL. That includes big-money owners, a structured schedule, and things like minimum salaries and other benefits for players.
Even the NBA has launched its own league, partnering with publisher Take-Two on the 17-team NBA 2K League.
By having permanent teams that fans can become attached to and owners can invest in for the long-term, these leagues are hoping to build something that can eventually compete with more established professional sports leagues.
For many of these owners – who reportedly paid a $20 million fee to be part of the league – the familiar structure of a traditional sports league like the NBA was comforting, in large part because the business model is proven, something that’s not true for many e-sports leagues.
If Blizzard can make good on translating the global, inclusive nature of Overwatch to the players in the Overwatch League, it could represent a significant advantage over the traditional sports leagues it’s aiming to compete with.
“It’s a really fascinating case study that a lot of leagues will look to to learn about the idea of regional teams, and building strong brands within cities,” says Hopper.
Last February, game publisher Take-Two announced a partnership with the NBA to launch a new professional league based on NBA 2K, one of the best-selling sports games in the world.
The NBA has long been one of the most forward-thinking sports leagues in North America.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Way-Too-Early 2018 NBA Redraft”

Tjarks: In all seriousness, I wouldn’t let Smith’s struggles as a rookie affect my opinion of SGA. For one, I’m still really high on Smith, especially now that he’s playing with Doncic in Dallas.
There are a lot of big men at the next level who can be excellent roll men if they are playing in sufficient space.
He’s a decent shooter, but he doesn’t have much fluidity when it comes to putting the ball on the floor and making plays in space.
Robinson might fly across the court to block shots, but can he read pick-and-roll defense? Can he defend without carelessly fouling? Can he execute offensive sets? Williams was suspended in college for breaking team rules, was a low-effort player on the court, came into pre-draft workouts out of shape, missed his conference call with the media the morning after the draft, missed his flight to his first practice, and got red-flagged by multiple teams for his knee issue.
In 2015, would you not have drafted Karl-Anthony Towns, Jahlil Okafor, or Kristaps Porzingis just because you could get Bobby Portis, Larry Nance Jr., or Chris McCullough in the late first round? Okafor might’ve been a mistake, but if that were the mind-set you might end up with a lesser player.
He’s an eyesore on defense, despite the fact he plays hard, because his reaction time is so poor.
He’s a well-rounded player who impacts the game in a lot of different ways.
The interesting thing is that his summer league team was a lot like his college team in that he dominated the ball and didn’t really have anyone else to play off.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The NBA Is a Cold World for Non-superstars”

As the league’s popularity surges, NBA players seem to have more power than ever.
Though every NBA roster carries at least 13 players, the league is increasingly being shaped by only a handful of superstars.
What does a player “Deserve”? It’s a question that’s being debated not just in the NBA, but in other sports like the NFL, where contracts are shorter and come with a lot less guaranteed money.
Most NFL players can lose their status in an instant, given that very few non-QB players are irreplaceable.
Players’ power has an unpalatable side effect on their peers: It limits the agency of other, non-superstar players.
All players like DeRozan could do was speak out after the fact.
Though Kawhi’s situation feels like a once-in-a-blue-moon scenario given how long and thorny it became, it won’t be long before another player exerts his superstar power.
Recent CBA negotiations have stopped short of abolishing the max contract, with the league and the players union choosing instead to distribute the money that would surely go to the likes of LeBron and others to the rest of the non-superstar players.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Zach Lowe on the Chicago Bulls, Jabari Parker and Lauri Markkanen”

Jabari Parker doesn’t want to hear how the Bulls, in Year 2 of a rebuild after a slapdash ending to the Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler eras, will have problems finding touches for all their score-first young guys.
Chicago is hoping Parker channels his edge into the sort of all-around effort that could bring balance to a young roster light on defense, playmaking, and overall hoops IQ. They already know the jewel of that core, Lauri Markkanen, plays with a swagger that frankly surprised them.
Markkanen can really shoot, and the threat he presents off the ball gives him confidence Chicago can make it work with Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, Parker, and Markkanen jostling for touches.
The Bulls still ended up with Wendell Carter Jr. at No. 7, and they are thrilled with his potential as an Al Horford-style fulcrum who makes plays in space – a perfect frontcourt partner for Markkanen.
When Parker and Markkanen man the forward positions, lots of opponents will try to arrange things so that a wing defends Markkanen – leaving a bulkier player on Parker.
Markkanen is adding weight in anticipation of playing more center – a look Hoiberg likes, even though Chicago hemorrhaged points in that alignment last season.
With LaVine locked into one wing spot, most rival executives would have recommended Chicago shift away from Parker – and use his slot to take unwanted salary from Denver, along with the Nuggets’ 2019 first-round pick.
If Parker disappoints, the Bulls can decline their option on him for 2019-20.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Here’s How Fortnite ‘Hooked’ Millions”

The wildly popular online battle game has amassed over 125 million players and hosts more than 3 million concurrent players.
The average Fortnite player spends between 6 and 10 hours per week on the game.
What makes Fortnite so engaging? To understand why players keep coming back, you need to understand the game’s Hook.
The game allows players to invite friends, chat with them, and lets them enjoy watching them play even after their own character loses and can no longer participate.
The main rewards Fortnite offers is the uncertainty around each session: you have no idea who your opponents will be, how well they play, what terrain you’ll end up in, or what loot you might find once you get there.
Investment in Fortnite primarily occurs when players pay to personalize their characters.
Investment in the form of personalization is a key component of why players keep coming back to the game, and of course, is how the game makes gobs of money.
Although Fortnite is designed to maximize player engagement, that doesn’t necessarily make it a bad thing – quite the opposite in fact.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Six Encouraging Summer League Developments”

Summer league can bring out the existentialist in an NBA fan.
From a scouting perspective, summer league has value.
Carter played stout interior defense by rotating well, playing sturdy post defense, and continuing to alter shots without fouling.
The early returns playing for the Las Vegas summer league champs are positive-he flat-out looks comfortable and plays with both pace and feel.
The fact Simons is already playing competitive defense by sliding over screens and generally being in the right position is even more encouraging.
Melton shot 28.4 percent from 3 and 70.6 percent from the line during his freshman season with the Trojans.
As The Stepien’s Cole Zwicker ‏tweeted, Melton made only a pair of 3s off the dribble in college, yet made seven this summer.
ESPN’s Mike Schmitz pointed out that Mykhailiuk showed similar scoring flashes playing last summer at the U-20 European Championship, but he’s reached a new level since the collegiate season ended.

The orginal article.

Summary of “N’Golo Kanté: France’s Biggest Key Was Their Smallest Player”

To watch Les Bleus stifle more creatively inclined opposition wasn’t captivating or particularly flashy in a traditional sense, but it’s this workmanlike efficiency that made us marvel at the team’s understated MVP. N’Golo Kanté doesn’t jump off the screen in the same way as his teammates-neither for France nor for his club team Chelsea.
Kanté’s presence on the pitch is itself a paradox: The 27-year-old defensive midfielder is self-effacing to the point of anonymity, but also omnipresent; a common refrain is that he’s got a secret twin, because there’s no way one single player can cover that much ground.
While forwards Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy contributed to Leicester’s explosive counterattacks, Kanté was the anchor of their midfield, intercepting balls and completing more tackles than any other player in the EPL that season.
As former Chelsea coach Antonio Conte said of Kanté amid their title-winning season: “He’s a humble man, a humble player. I like him. I like these type of players who put the team before themselves.” For Kanté, I used to think the best NBA comparison was Kawhi Leonard and we all know how that’s going.
Put simply, Kanté was as integral to France’s World Cup success as Griezmann, Mbappé, and Paul Pogba-and his teammates know it.
After France won Sunday-a game in which Kanté underperformed and was subbed early in the second half, though it was later reported he tried to play through a stomach bug-Kanté was reportedly too shy to ask his teammates to hold the World Cup trophy, so Steven N’Zonzi had to ask them on his behalf.
Hopefully, with Les Bleus turning the Kanté chant into a nationwide rallying cry, the casual soccer fans of the world will get to know the world’s best defensive midfielder.
Unbelievable scenes outside the French presidential palace as Paul Pogba breaks out with the now famous N’Golo Kanté chant, Deschamps giddily joins in: “N’Golo Kanté, he is small, he is nice, he shut down Lionel Messi…” pic.

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Summary of “The Tyrant and His Enablers”

“A king rules over willing subjects,” wrote the influential sixteenth-century Scottish scholar George Buchanan, “a tyrant over unwilling.” The institutions of a free society are designed to ward off those who would govern, as Buchanan put it, “Not for their country but for themselves, who take account not of the public interest but of their own pleasure.” Under what circumstances, Shakespeare asked himself, do such cherished institutions, seemingly deep-rooted and impregnable, suddenly prove fragile? Why do large numbers of people knowingly accept being lied to? How does a figure like Richard III ascend to the throne?
Shakespeare’s Richard III brilliantly develops the personality features of the aspiring tyrant already sketched in the Henry VI trilogy: the limitless self-regard, the lawbreaking, the pleasure in inflicting pain, the compulsive desire to dominate.
Some of these cynical collaborators, as Shakespeare imagines them, will be among the first to go under, once Richard has used them to obtain his end.
The ambiguity seems built into Shakespeare’s conception of Richard.
Lady Anne has every reason to hate Richard, who has, as Shakespeare stages it, killed both her young husband and his father, King Henry VI. When the murderer woos her – quite literally – over Henry VI’s dead body, Anne curses him, spitting in his face in a visceral expression of loathing and disgust.
Upon a time when Burbage played Richard III there was a citizen grew so far in liking with him, that before she went from the play she appointed him to come that night unto her by the name of Richard III. Shakespeare, overhearing their conclusion, went before, was entertained and at his game ere Burbage came.
The message being brought that Richard III was at the door, Shakespeare caused return to be made that William the Conqueror was before Richard III. Like most stories about celebrities, this one probably says more about those who circulated it than about those it describes.
From the start, the play seems to have aroused intense interest: first performed in 1592 or 1593, Richard III was published in quarto no fewer than five times during Shakespeare’s lifetime.

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Summary of “Aaron Rodgers Isn’t Scared: Of Aging, New Contracts or Sharks – ProFootballTalk”

Fully rehabbed quarterback Aaron Rodgers-smiling, relaxed, and walking a Tahoe fairway holding hands with Danica Patrick-dishing to me about his offseason audience with the Dalai Lama, about conquering one of his two biggest fears in life, and about how much longer he wants to play.
Me on T.O. In Nevada, I ask Doug Pederson: “If you walked into a sportsbook right now and had to put down $5 on Carson Wentz playing or not playing opening day, which way are you betting?”.
“I’ve played football since I was 13 years old and I’ve taken two shots where I couldn’t wiggle free, and broke my collarbone twice. I feel pretty good about the way I play, avoiding some major stuff. I’ve had a couple muscle pulls. But other than that, as a starter I’ve been pretty healthy. Two hits. First time I didn’t see the guy. Second time I did. I didn’t think he was gonna hit me maybe as hard as he did. But he did and that was what happened.”
At 34, playing for $22 million annually on average, lesser quarterbacks have wizzed by Rodgers this off-season: Kirk Cousins at $28 million per, Matt Ryan at $30 million per.
He’s seen the sick contracts handed to players who’ve accomplished less than a man who out-dueled Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, and played great in big moments, to win a Super Bowl.
Foles said: “As I watched the film, something immediately stuck out to me: I was moving in the pocket, scrambling outside it, and throwing the ball with different arm angles It was a joy to behold. The seeds of a new beginning began to take root. I began to rediscover who I truly was as a quarterback.” Great coaching can bring out great playing.
“The ref turnover is exacerbated by the two huge rules changes. Here’s the exact definition of the new helmet rule, from Riveron:”If a player lowers his head to initiate contact with an opponent, and you make contact, it’s a foul.
Gut feeling: The NFL will use the preseason to throw a flurry of flags to get players in tune with the new rule.

The orginal article.

Summary of “This Was the Best World Cup in Decades”

Antoine Griezmann, who’s one of the best strikers in the game, functioned as a defense-first advanced midfielder, while Paul Pogba, who was once the most expensive player in the world because of his ability to score and create goals from behind the attack, was employed as a reserved midfielder who rarely got too far forward.
This, after all, is the same nation that saw its 2010 World Cup brought down by a player mutiny.
World Cup red cards for serious foul play/violent conduct1998: 162002: 112006: 82010: 62014: 72018: 0.- Bill Edgar July 10, 2018 It cleaned up dirty play and possibly opened up things for attackers.
Managers Matter More Than Ever Before Before the World Cup, Soccernomics coauthor Simon Kuper told me, “The manager’s role is usually vastly overrated.” The players on the field win and lose and draw the games, and at the club level, the quality of those players is typically determined by how rich your team is.
The best teams seem like they have the best managers because they have the best players.
Sweden were without the best player in the country’s history and possibly even still their best player right now, and they won a group that included the defending World Cup champs and then advanced farther than Spain, Portugal, and Argentina.
While they generally struggled from open play, the Three Lions made the semifinals of the freaking World Cup and were less than 30 minutes away from the final.
Thanks to improvements in coaching and player training across the globe, it seems like the rest of the world is starting to catch up to the traditional powers.

The orginal article.