Summary of “Present Is Prologue: What to Watch for in the Upcoming NBA Season”

The 82-game NBA regular season may drag along at times, but it’s what you make of it.
I’m watching the 2018-19 NBA season with an eye on how the present will set the slate for the future.
Ler is expected to play in the Wolves’ season opener on Wednesday, but team owner Glen Taylor “Came to an agreement” with Butler that the front office will continue to seek a trade, The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski reported Sunday.
A productive exhibition season can be predictive of a successful young career-whether it was Nikola Jokic in 2015, Joel Embiid in 2016, or Kyle Kuzma and Donovan Mitchell last year.
Losing Redick would hurt a roster that’s thirsty for floor spacers to surround its young centerpieces-none of whom are credible outside threats entering the season.
Part of me even wonders if Shamet, who can seamlessly operate within an offense on and off the ball, might help fill the void that Fultz left last season better than Fultz can this season.
Even higher-profile players like Hassan Whiteside and Cody Zeller are getting into the fun, attempting a combined six triples after only five last season.
The 2018-19 season is about far more than this season.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What to Do If Your Team Is Too Busy to Take On New Work”

When I have asked “Why can’t we do more with our existing budget?” the answer is usually, “My team is telling me that they’re all too busy with existing initiatives and do not have capacity to take on anything new.”
As a leader, how do you know whether your team really needs more resources, or whether they could be working more efficiently?
Eliminate Work: Are there tasks that the team is doing that are no longer needed?
In one of my past organizations, we uncovered that team members were spending up to 40% of their time on internal projects rather than customer-facing projects.
To figure out why, we asked team members to provide the names of all their projects, the purpose of these projects, when the projects had started, and how close they were to completion.
As a result, team members continued to work on projects that were inconsistent with our current business goals.
These changes allowed each team to launch more campaigns.
Our team members were able to engage with a larger number of customers to meet our growing needs.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How leaders can fix their toxic office culture”

The onus, ultimately, is on leadership to identify and fix the source of a team’s disintegration.
Leaders need to recognize their own fears, insecurities, and road blocks before they can identify the same among their team.
“They are a signal to the team that leadership respects them enough to own and then fix the problem.”
The model captures five broad social domains that cause tension in the workplace, and is a useful lens to identify triggers that may cause team members to feel threatened, ultimately leading to team dysfunction.
Identify individuals who are reluctant to delegate and micromanage projects, which can lead to no personal agency or choice among the team.
Look for cliques and ostracizing behaviors, which can lead to team members feeling like they don’t belong, or that they are replaceable.
Notice if decisions are made by leaders opaquely or subjectively, without little input from team members and no transparency into the process or rationale.
Illustrate how there is a place for everyone on the team, and schedule frequent check-ins to gauge progress and calibrate efforts.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The 34 People and Things That Will Define the 2018-19 NBA Season”

We heard you like rankings, so to kick off The Ringer’s 2018-19 NBA Preview, we’re devoting the week to evaluating the players, the story lines, and the odds and ends that promise to make the upcoming season one to remember.
The two consensus top-10 recruits took peculiar routes to the NBA draft - Robinson eschewed his commitment to Western Kentucky to dedicate the season to draft preparation; Simons, a 2018 recruit, eschewed college basketball altogether.
For all of the accelerated aging Smith forced upon James during their three-plus seasons together, their working relationship helped the Cavs to four Finals in a row and the game’s most infamous marksman to squeeze out some good basketball - and land one last big payday - as he crept into his 30s. What will happen now, with Smith entering his age-33 season without James by his side? Judging by the glimpses we’ve gotten of his offseason improvements, it will be captivating no matter what.
Smith followed up a dreadful 2016-17 season with an equally brutal 2018 postseason; if the downward trend continues, and one of the young wings in the Cavs’ stockpile takes a step forward, our access to Smith and the life he injects into the game may be limited.
Porzingis’s games played have trended downward since his rookie season and could hit a career low this season depending on when he returns from February’s torn ACL in his left knee.
Dwyane Wade’s Retirement Tour Chau: Just over 12 years ago, in the 2006 NBA Finals, Dwyane Wade seemingly solidified his standing as a top-five shooting guard of all time - in only his third season.
It’s not hyperbole to suggest that the shoulder issue that derailed the first NBA season of the no.
For all the possibility that Simmons’s first NBA season elicited, the Celtics’ success in exposing his limitations was a cold, hard reminder of how far the 22-year-old still has to go.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Light Work: The Rise of NBA Skills Trainers”

Players work out with their trainers in the offseason, do film work with them, and keep in contact-sometimes in person-throughout the season.
In recent years, these trainers have become more than just another face in an NBA player’s entourage.
Most of the working trainers I spoke to for this story, all of whom either have clients in the NBA or work for an NBA team, come from similar beginnings: They were basketball obsessives who topped out at high school or college ball, or maybe after a stint overseas, and eventually found training as another way to make a living off the sport.
“One, players who want to get famous, and be on Instagram, and enjoy their pictures and their workouts and their videos. I get so tired of that bullshit. And two, there are the players who want to get better and have a different career and win championships. I wanna work with the guys who want to get better.” Unlike most trainers breaking into the business, Beckner says he wants to be hard to find.
Some trainers work for free or have to track down players for money, while others live comfortably.
Some trainers think the pettiness makes the industry look bad. Grover also thinks trainers have become too eager to be claim players that they work with.
Some players come to trainers specifically to gain the confidence and skills to go beyond their current role.
No matter how team personnel or anyone else associated with the NBA may feel about private training, there’s an acknowledgment that the trainers are now very much a part of the business of professional basketball.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Don’t Try to Be the “Fun Boss””

Too much of this may be a bad thing in the eyes of your team members.
The team may start to worry that you will no longer do what is best for the team or organization, and that you will instead do what is best for your own agenda.
While you may have been noticed and promoted based on your charisma, being reliable, rule-following, and responsible is more important for your team.
Showing your team that you exercise caution, take calculated risks, and will adhere to organizational principles will go a long way toward gaining their trust.
At times, we may all enjoy working in an environment that is less formal, or working for a boss who knows how to keep things light-hearted.
It’s OK to stay out of the limelight and keep some space between you and your team.
The data may indicate the best course of action for the bottom line, but this may not be the best decision for the broader team or relevant stakeholders.
Having awareness of your surroundings and an understanding of the ways you influence your team will help to keep yourself on track.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Give Your Team the Freedom to Do the Work They Think Matters Most”

The idea can be stated simply enough: A liberated company allows employees complete freedom and responsibility to take actions that they-not their managers-decide are best for their company’s vision.
Every morning, a liberated company’s manager would ask whether there is anything preventing her team from doing their best.
As a result, today all warehouse teams manage the order fulfillment by themselves, and many teams set their own work schedules.
The reason for it is not in some top-management talk about serving the “Whole person.” It’s simply that feeding psychological needs lead to higher engagement and-as a consequence-to higher team productivity and initiative and increased corporate performance.
Some managers make the transition into leaders serving their teams easily.
Given the discretion allowed in freedom-based companies, a shared vision is fundamental since it provides a common criterion for the teams to make their decisions.
The respect tide will stimulate teams’ willingness to set their own work schedules or to make their own hires, and these demands affect organizational processes.
Your employees will be willing to come to work every day to do their best, your manager-leaders will spend their days revealing employee potential, and you will enjoy dinner every night with your family knowing that your business is succeeding.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Did 30 Chinese Baseball Players End Up on the Texas AirHogs Roster?”

Instead of fielding a typical American Association team of fringe prospects, has-been minor leaguers, and guys trying for one last shot at The Show, the 2018 AirHogs would, in effect, lease out the majority of their roster to players from the Chinese national baseball team.
Shipping their players to North Texas to play one hundred games against American pros would be the first big step.
The Chinese national team players that arrived in Texas were young, inexperienced, and far from world-beaters.
Nelson suggested the Chinese players-many of whom grew up playing other sports and came to baseball as teenagers-needed more games, better competition, and a more rigorous talent development system.
The AirHogs’ leadership may have been experienced, but none of them were sure how the Chinese players would compete against the American Association competition-or if they could at all.
Martin said that he had “Heard all sorts of theories on how good or bad these guys were and none of them were quite right.” McLaren, a Houston native, had known some of the Chinese players since he took over the national team in 2011, and he admitted that before the start of the AirHogs 2018 season he “Didn’t think we were ready for this.”
Signs began to emerge that there were better times ahead. Scott Sonju, who runs the day-to-day operations of Neltex Sports, told me that he knew things were looking up when an opposing pitcher beaned an American AirHog and the Chinese players responded by flooding out of the dugout and onto the field to come to his defense.
The starting lineup featured four American players and five Chinese players.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Stop Wasting Money on Team Building”

Most corporate team building is a waste of time and money.
In 2011 senior HR leaders at Mars decided that we would study our global workforce and try to crack the code of how to maximize team effectiveness.
The resulting research, which I led, revealed that most of what we – and others – thought about team building was wrong.
The questionnaires revealed that team members felt the most clarity about their individual objectives, and felt a strong sense of ownership for the work they were accountable for.
The first: Why is their collaboration essential to achieving their business results? And second: What work, which specific tasks, would require collaboration to deliver those results?
We had a chance to test our framework in early 2012 with the Mars Petcare China leadership team.
Their team purpose had focused their collaboration on the things that mattered most to the results they planned for.
Connecting collaboration to the motives of success-minded team members is what unlocks productive teamwork.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The NFL’s Most Likely Surprise Contenders”

After a fourth-place finish in the NFC East the year before, the Eagles went into last year with its win total set at eight-lower than 18 other teams.
Last year the Bengals were forced to design plays that got the ball out of Dalton’s hands quickly, and he finished with the third-shortest average time to throw last year among all regular starters.
The Broncos defense had a relative down year in 2018, but relative is certainly the operative term.
Keenum doesn’t need to light it up and throw the ball all over the field; he just needs to take care of the football like he did last year for Minnesota.
Bill Musgrave, now officially the offensive coordinator after finishing last year in an interim role, would do well to implement many of the same concepts Shurmur leaned on to help Keenum to a career year in 2017: run-pass balance, personnel and formational diversity, plenty of play-action, and some college offense concepts.
Most people probably assume that Alex Smith is going to fall back to earth after putting together a career year for the Chiefs in 2017, posting 26 touchdowns and just five interceptions, averaging 8.0 yards per attempt, and registering a league-best 104.7 passer rating.
It’s going to take a smart plan from head coach and play-caller Jay Gruden-they may borrow a few concepts from the Chiefs’ scheme-and Smith will need mismatch tight end Jordan Reed to play most of the year, but the wily veteran passer proved last year he has the upside of a top-10 quarterback, throwing with the type of aggressiveness and confidence he lacked earlier in his career.
In addition to Reed, Smith will be throwing to one of the most dynamic slot receivers in the game in Jamison Crowder, a field-stretching contested-ball specialist in Paul Richardson, an elusive open-field missile in running back Chris Thompson, and, if he can finally break out in Year 3, a jump-ball red zone threat in Josh Doctson.

The orginal article.