Summary of “Ringer Top 100 TV Episodes: When Do TV Shows Peak?”

We can examine whether the growing pains that Apatow described-and the hypothetical decline that Rogen alluded to-are typical of TV shows on the whole.
TV shows aren’t necessarily subject to the same forces that govern human maturation and mortality, but there is a pattern to their progression and a point at which they typically peak.
To trace the life cycle of the average TV series, we gathered episode-by-episode IMDb user ratings for the nearly 1,500 shows with at least 5,000 votes.
Granted, the quality of a creative endeavor like a TV episode can’t be quantified as easily as an athlete’s exploits: As writer/producer Alec Berg says via direct message, “The very best episodes of an unbelievably innovative show may meet with a thunderous lack of response from an audience. They don’t get it, at all.” In some cases, Berg adds, the audience rating may be less a direct reflection of a show’s merit and more a measurement of when viewers “Start to ‘get’ the show and when they tire of it.”
As it turns out, the conclusions we can draw from the stats align in some ways with what casual TV viewers might expect, as well as what TV creators have told us about the process of producing long-running shows.
To generate our TV aging curves, we filtered out documentaries, any show in the sample with only one season, and all active shows with fewer than five seasons, so as not to skew the trajectories by including series that are still in the early stages of their life cycles.
The average quality for all shows combined is close to the top end of the 1-10 range because the sample is restricted to series that were popular enough to draw the minimum number of votes required to qualify.
“After a season or two, writers on successful shows get plucked with overall deals or a pilot, not unlike a championship team losing players and front-office personnel. Supporting actors that gained traction on a drama get a series commitment on another show and now you can’t use them anymore. New stars get movies and realize they’ve committed themselves to a TV show for seven series and now wish they hadn’t, and on some occasions their performance suffers.” Witness the swoon that The West Wing went into as creator Aaron Sorkin dealt with stress and budget constraints and finally left the series along with colleagues including Falls.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Five Reasons Why 2018 Has Been the Year of the TV Sophomore Slump – Rolling Stone”

The Handmaid’s Tale, Luke Cage, Westworld, Legion, 13 Reasons Why, Jessica Jones and Sneaky Pete were among the second-year shows to disappoint, frustrate and/or inspire reevaluations of their acclaimed debut seasons.
There are a lot of different reasons for how and why the first group of shows went awry.
If there’s a Grand Unified Field Theory to the phenomenon, it’s this: Like second novels and albums, sophomore seasons of TV dramas have an awfully hard time living up to the original, while comedies are much more immune to this.
TV shows don’t always work that way, but at minimum, there’s often a sense in freshman-show writers’ rooms to put the most vital and resonant material into that first year to make as big an initial splash as possible.
13 Reasons Why embarrassingly contorted itself this way and that to re-solve a mystery its first season had exhaustively solved, simply because the show was apparently too popular to cancel.
On top of that, one way TV execs are trying to break though the cluttered programming environment is with flashy, high-concept work that can more easily get attention rather than “Here’s a really well-executed variation on a thing you’ve seen three dozen times already.” Together, this means that a lot of shows are in the hands of screenwriters, playwrights, novelists, etc.
TV isn’t “Movies, but longer” – and a lot of shows are in the hands of people who never learned that.
Sophomore slumps are so frequent throughout TV history, you could probably find 1960s TV criticism along the lines of, “Ugh, again with the twists, Rod Serling?” Truly great shows manage to come back strong the year after and the ones that don’t make it clear pretty quickly that it’s all downhill from here.

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.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Wilt Chamberlain’s Trade to Los Angeles, 50 Years Later”

Los Angeles as a basketball city-the reputation of tradition and prominence that it has now-couldn’t buy a ring from the Boston Celtics until Wilt Chamberlain showed up.
In actuality, it was Wilt, then two years younger than LeBron is now and with comparable influence, pulling off a shadow free-agency move, 20 years before unrestricted free agency existed-and in doing so, simultaneously creating basketball’s earliest superteam.
“Kosloff and I argued about that through the whole summer after we won the championship,” Chamberlain wrote, “And I finally decided that I couldn’t play for the man any more if that’s the way he was going to treat me.” They finally came to an alternative agreement, equally unique: Kosloff would settle the dispute by paying a lump sum and tearing up Wilt’s three-year contract to sign him to a new one-year deal-with the understanding that after it expired, Wilt was free to go.
For the first time in his NBA career, the only person who owned the rights to Wilt was Wilt.
“There’s no way they could get fair value for Wilt to trade him,” said Melchionni.
“Players were sent as token payment,” Billy Libby wrote in his book Goliath, “Darrall Imhoff, Archie Clark, and Jerry Chambers-but by terms of his final pact with Kosloff, Wilt was free to go where he wanted. For Cooke, getting Wilt was merely a matter of getting together with him on a contract.”
By the time Wilt moved to Los Angeles, he was a four-time MVP, an NBA champion, and a seven-time leading scorer and rebounder, and he had ended the season prior as, why not, the leader in assists; Baylor had finished in the top three in MVP voting four times and had been named to nine All-NBA first teams; West had been named to six All-NBA first teams and had finished top three and top two in MVP voting.
By the time Wilt arrived, Baylor’s knees were going, while Chamberlain also had injury issues.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Biggest Takeaways of NBA Free Agency”

The Lakers Will Be Better and Worse Than We Expect Danny Chau: The potential union of LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard fascinates me more than any other feasible partnership in the league, and as a non-Laker fan, I’d rather watch two top-five players run roughshod over most of the league than watch LeBron potentially meme himself to death in wrangling extremely young talent and permanently suspended adolescents on the active roster.
Not every young player can successfully break from LeBron’s marionette strings while he’s on the court.
Kuzma is the kind of big with athleticism and floor spacing that LeBron hasn’t played with in a while; Ball is an offensive wild card, but has the playmaking and defensive instincts to get in the King’s good graces.
I’m even excited about Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who might just prove himself to be the best 3-and-D player LeBron has played with in ages.
The Bulls Will Regret Matching Zach LaVine’s Offer Sheet Justin Verrier: Forty-three players made more than $19.5 million last season, and the majority are either cornerstones or millstones for their franchise.
LaVine is only 23 years old, and has flashed the sort of scoring potential that typically earns players top dollar on the open market.
In 24 games with the Bulls last season, while playing through minute and game restrictions, LaVine shot just 38.3 percent from the floor.
Just a few months later, Paxson is now paying LaVine as if he already is a better player.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Is Going on With the Rockets This Summer?”

Their situation may have already changed too much for the Rockets to pretend they’re the same team as last year.
Despite his late-season ineffectiveness due to shoulder injuries, Mbah a Moute was a vital contributor to the Rockets’ “Switch everything” defensive game plan last season-Paul presumably got the news at a Cavs-Pacers summer league game in Las Vegas, as he was sitting courtside as the story broke.
Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, who spoke to ESPN prior to the team’s game against the Clippers on Monday, assured fans that these moves weren’t influenced by the team’s impending entry into the luxury-tax zone.
The Rockets are also expected to sign Carmelo Anthony to a deal once his buyout with the Thunder is complete.
The Rockets thrived in an isolation-heavy system last season, but it was rooted in James Harden and Chris Paul’s individual efficiency.
There’s been rumblings that Capela wants a $100 million deal, and that the Rockets offered a four-year deal worth around $60 million instead. Taking the qualifying offer is a risk, but it could be the only way Capela eventually gets both the freedom and the long-term money he envisioned.
The season is long, and as we saw from the Cavaliers last season, the Rockets don’t necessarily have to make all their moves during the summer to revitalize their team.
The Rockets only want another shot at the Warriors, and I’m sure possible deals will come up.

The orginal article.

Summary of “With Kevin Knox, the Knicks’ New Era Is Officially Here”

Knicks summer league head coach Mike Miller has been using Knox to initiate on offense, and the 18-year-old is showing passing instincts that were absent in college.
Knox’s new tricks are particularly interesting given the Knicks’ new head coach.
Too often last season, Knox settled for midrange jumpers early in the clock, but he’s already beginning to cut it out of his diet.
The Knicks have frequently used Knox as a screener in the pick-and-pop, like in the play above, and in other actions to free shooters.
If Frankie Smokes brings the ball up the court, New York can use Knox off the ball as a cutter or in dribble handoffs to create for himself or others.
Donovan Mitchell and Jayson Tatum looked like no-duh NBA talents last summer; Knox is having moments for the Knicks that capture a similar spirit.
In summer league, Knox has been the intense, high-effort defender he was in high school rather than the passive wanderer he was last season at Kentucky.
Knicks fans booed the Knox selection on draft night, but he could be the steal that helps make the team relevant.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Zach Lowe on winners and losers in 2018 NBA free agency”

Will the Lakers or another team step up and make a deal for Kawhi Leonard? Zach Lowe breaks down the Kawhi conundrum.
The NBA needs to get out of here with this noise about air travel and imbalanced scheduling in batting away the idea of seeding teams 1-16 without regard to conference.
The system safeguards that to some degree via Bird Rights – the ability of teams to go over the cap in re-signing their own players.
The only potential good news: A bunch of quality players saw this coming, and took one-year deals that will vault them back into free agency next summer – when a lot of those grotesque 2016 contracts expire.
Almost half of the league’s total player pool will enter free agency in a year.
The rare teams with space – or the full, $8.7 midlevel exception – used their leverage to try and squeeze good players into three- and four-year deals.
To lock players in longer, teams had to settle for second-tier wings or overpay their own free agents.
Remember the last time we freaked out about Houston losing free agency? It was 2014: LeBron switched teams, Dallas hit Chandler Parsons with a fat offer sheet, and the Rockets let Parsons walk because they didn’t think he was a star.

The orginal article.

Summary of “In Remembrance of the Terrible, Meaningless Lakers”

Not one player who shared the floor with Kobe that night will be on the team when the 2018-19 season tips off and the Lakers usher in a new era of relevance.
Because the ease with which the team recovered from that span explains more about the Lakers than all of the stories that we’ll actually remember.
After winning the season series against the Lakers just once in the first 28 years that the two teams shared a city, the Clippers have won every season series since 2012-13, going 21-3 with three season sweeps.
The Clippers’ brief run of L.A. dominance will be forgotten, as the Lakers have snapped back to relevance simply by being the Lakers.
In their fallow years, the Lakers did not act like a rebuilding team.
The primary reason the Lakers should challenge for championships moving forward is because LeBron wanted to play for the Lakers, and he wanted to play for the Lakers primarily because they’re the Lakers.
If any other team in the NBA was as bad as the Lakers for as long as the Lakers while making as many horrible choices as the Lakers, we’d treat them like, well, the Clippers.
We remember the Lakers for their peaks: Showtime, with Magic, Kareem, and Big Game James; the three-peat, with Shaq, Kobe, and Phil; and now a future with LeBron James, perhaps the greatest player of them all.

The orginal article.