With the first quarter of the NBA season behind us, a number of rookies are busy making a name for themselves in the world's top basketball league.
While many newcomers take a while to step up from college ball and develop into solid senior-level players, some make the leap with surprising ease – and it's not always the ones you'd expect to be such a success.
Here’s the best of a group of first-timers seeking to follow in the footsteps of past Rookies of the Year such as Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan, Allen Iverson, Shaquille O'Neale, LeBron James and Kevin Durant. FULL POST
Coming into this season, the Indiana Pacers were naturally tabbed as one of the challengers to the Heat’s championship reign. After all, last season Indiana got to within one win of the NBA Finals before succumbing to Miami in seven games.
The Pacers’ hot start to this campaign has shown they are here to stay and will be hoping to overtake Miami in the East. Indiana won a team-record nine games in a row to begin the season and currently holds the NBA’s best record. Despite that, here are five reasons why they will not maintain this lightning pace: FULL POST
Miami is the center of an NFL media storm, and it’s not because the storied franchise is in the hunt to make their first playoff appearance since 2008.
One of the team’s offensive linemen, Richie Incognito, allegedly bullied a teammate by leaving offensive and racist voicemails on his teammate’s phone and repeating similar behavior over their time together in the last two years.
That teammate, second year offensive lineman Jonathan Martin, has since separated himself from the team, while Incognito has been suspended by the Dolphins until further notice.
Martin's legal counsel, David Cornwell, says in a statement that his client “endured harassment that went far beyond the traditional locker room hazing."
Cornwell went on to say: “Jonathan attempted to befriend the same teammates who subjected him to the abuse with the hope that doing so would end the harassment. FULL POST
Gaining territory, a tactical advantage, physical combat, winners and losers.
Sports journalism could easily be confused with the scribblings of a war correspondent, but of course there really is no comparison between a man on the ball and a man with a gun. It’s only a matter of life or death for one of them.
But in the United States, professional athletes and soldiers are increasingly sharing common ground and it’s not just because they’re all "in uniform."
The 2013-14 NBA season is finally upon us and it’s hard to recall any in recent memory that have so many sub-plots and stories gestating from coast to coast. Usually the spotlight shines on a few teams who are deemed favorites at this time of year, but this season is different.
It seems that everywhere you look, there’s a team (or player) with a point to prove in the 2013-14 campaign:
In South Beach LeBron James and company want to prove they can join the all-time greats by winning a third straight title for the Miami Heat. After all, when you say three-peat, you think of the Shaq/Kobe LA Lakers and the Jordan/Pippen Chicago Bulls. Make no mistake that James is yearning to join that elite list and seems to have the team to deliver. FULL POST
They say that "time waits for no man" – except perhaps if you’re a fan of American sports. The United States is the land of opportunity, and on the basketball courts and the playing fields here it represents an opportunity to freeze the clock and make the action last quite a bit longer.
I love most sports, and the ballgames across the pond from my native Britain are no different. But I do so wish they’d hurry up. Football – the one they play with their hands – lasts exactly 60 minutes on the clock but it takes over three hours from start to finish. Basketball is a game of four equal quarters and it should take just 48 minutes, but an average NBA contest lasts three times that – two hours and a quarter. FULL POST
In 1947, Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in American sport when he took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers as the first African American to play in the formerly all-white baseball league.
Seven decades later, even though the racial tensions are nowhere near what they were when Robinson made history, one of the United States’ most storied sporting franchises still clings to a term many critics argue supports racial intolerance.
The NFL’s Washington Redskins have carried their name since 1933, when they were the Boston Redskins. When the football team moved to the capital four years later, they brought the name with them and have held it ever since. FULL POST
Derided, mocked and supposedly needing life resuscitation, reports of the Women’s Basketball Association’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.
Far from it - the WBNA's is marketing its upcoming season with the slogan "Expect Great." It's a campaign that reflects the WBNA's growing confidence despite some of the jokes about the league: "Expect Great...Seats to Be Available."
Founded in 1996, all too often people have associated the WBNA with the "Family Guy" clip in which they show a game, and then cut to a sole fan in the stands rooting on his team. FULL POST
It was the yellow rubber duckies that did it.
I suppose up until that point I’d been on auto-pilot, I was just waiting for an interview. But when one of the NBA’s biggest stars pulled on a pair of blue socks – festooned with bright yellow ducks – it struck me that this assignment was way more surreal than anything I was used to. Or, for that matter, comfortable with.
With a group of about 20 other men and women, I had just watched the Houston Rockets’ shooting guard James Harden emerge dripping wet from the shower, dry off and get dressed … all from a distance of about two and a half feet. This was my introduction to the world of sports reporting in the United States! FULL POST
Baseball is a game of statistics. But among the statistics, there are numbers that have greater meaning among both players and fans alike.
One of those is the record for home runs in a single season. In Japan, that record was set by Sadaharu Oh, who hit 55 homers in 1964. In the years since, two other foreign players had equalled Oh’s mark.
But recently, former U.S. major league player Wladimir Balentien finally broke through, hitting home runs number 56 and 57 in just his 113th game of the season. I’m not great at math, but one homer every two games is a fantastic accomplishment.
Oh, but I have forgotten to mention the other issue that always seems to accompany home run records in baseball. Controversy. FULL POST