Hienot NBA-kirjoitukset

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edit. Otsikkoa muokattu joustavampaan suuntaan.

Tässä otsikossa siis poustaillaan asiapitoisia ja mielenkiintoisia pelaajien esittelyjä, elämänkertoja ja muuten vaan siistejä tekstejä yksittäisistä pelaajista.

Kaikenlaiset "Kobel on v!ttu sata mestaruut" ja "Lebron on ihan p*r*s"-jauhamiset voi surutta jättää toisiin otsakkeisiin. Pelaajista voidaan keskustella, mutta asiallisesti ja jankkaamatta. (Toivon, että topikki voitaisiin pitää asiapitoisena ja että valvojat hoitaisivat kerrankin tehtävänsä kunnolla.)

Hyvään etikettiin kuuluu myös linkki mahdolliseen blogiin/internetsivustoon, jonka kautta ko. teksti on bongattu, koska samasta lähteestä löytyy varmasti jotain muutakin siistiä.

Tässä esimerkki siitä mitä haetaan takaa:

[quote author="http://www.detnews.com/article/20110331/SPORTS0102/103310359/Ex-Piston-Dennis-Rodman-a-one-of-a-kind-force"]
Ex-Piston Dennis Rodman a one-of-a-kind force

Terry Foster / The Detroit News

All eyes were on Dennis Rodman, the many-tattooed former basketball player turned disc jockey and pitchman.
He made his way through the crowd at a business expo in New York City, shaking hands and hugging fans.

A few feet away, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, a member of the cast on MTV's "Jersey Shore" who also was making an appearance at the event, wondered what all the excitement was about.
"He is the guy that used to wear wild hair when he played in the NBA," someone told her.
She shrugged.
"He was on 'Celebrity Apprentice,'" someone else said.
"Oh, now I know who he is," she said.


Koko teksti: http://www.detnews.com/article/20110331/SPORTS0102/103310359/Ex-Piston-Dennis-Rodman-a-one-of-a-kind-force
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Ei enää ihan niin ajankohtainen, mutta unohdin poustata tämän n. kuukausi sitten ja nyt se pisti silmään puhelimen selaimessa..

Seuraavasta linkistä löytyy todella mielenkiintoinen kertomus Jerry Sloanista, Phil Johnsonista ja Dick Mottasta.

[quote author="http://jazzfanatical.wordpress.com/2011/02/21/jerry-and-phil-the-back-story/"]Jerry and Phil: The Back Story

Although it starts in Utah, the story of Jerry Sloan and Phil Johnson is one that pre-dates either’s arrival in Salt Lake City. It’s a story that goes back almost 60 years.

It starts with Utah native and 10th all-time winningest coach in NBA history Dick Motta, who is one of only a few NBA coaches in history that never played basketball in high school, college, or professionally.

Side Note: When he became the coach of the Bulls, Motta was also, at 5’7″, the shortest coach in the league.

Motta was an agriculture major at Utah State before switching to physical education during his sophomore year. After graduating in the mid-1950s, he got a job teaching at a junior high school in Idaho. One of his students was Phil Johnson. Phil ended up playing for Coach Motta not only in junior high school, but also high school (where he was the star player on the 1959 Grace High School state championship team) and college. Phil was the first person in his family to go to college, and his goal was to become a high school basketball coach one day. Motta eventually moved on to coach basketball at Weber State in the early ’60s, and Phil joined him as his assistant after graduating from Utah State. When Motta was named head coach of the Chicago Bulls in 1968, Phil became the head coach at Weber State.

Motta joined the Bulls in Jerry Sloan’s 4th NBA season. At this point in time, there were no NBA assistant coaches, but Phil would go to Chicago and help Motta during training camps.


Koko teksti: http://jazzfanatical.wordpress.com/2011/02/21/jerry-and-phil-the-back-story/
Vs: Hienosti kirjoitetut henkilöprofiilit

Ennen tämän artikkelin lukemista Joel Anthony oli pelkästään satunnainen naurun kohde. Ilmeisesti pinnan alla on enemmän.

Ihmeellinen kaveri. Aloitti koripallon 16-vuotiaana ja teki yksin, ilman valmentajaa drillejä, jotka oppi koriskirjasta. Innokas harjoittelija, jonka Spoelstra on joutunut bannaamaan treenisalista. Myös Heatin supertilastoilla mitattuna superpelaaja jne.


Tämä kohta erityisesti lukemisen arvoinen, muutenhan tuo artikkeli on hieman ESPN/Heat-kuraa.

The 2,500 kilometers between Montreal and Miami
If Anthony doesn’t come across as player who was classically trained, that’s because he wasn’t. He learned the game of basketball not by watching Michael Jordan as a kid or by shooting hoops with his dad on a blacktop. (He grew up with a single mother.)

No, Joel Anthony learned the game of basketball by studying a book.

Anthony was 16 years old and had recently grown six inches over the course of a summer. Anthony was at the Big & Tall clothing store -- an unofficial hotbed for scouts searching for the next basketball prospect -- because, at 6-6, he had outgrown his clothes. An inquisitive shopper saw Anthony there and invited the teenager to go to the local rec center he ran and play ball. Anthony took him up on the offer.

That’s when Anthony, who had only played football in organized fashion up to that point, became serious about the sport of basketball.

“Then, everything was about basketball,” Anthony said. “I wanted to try and get better.”

But there was a problem. Anthony had no coach to practice with him. All he had was a paperback he had picked up at school.

Why this particular book? Because there was a picture of Alonzo Mourning on the cover. To the young Anthony, the shot-blocking Heat center seemed like a player he could model his game after. So Anthony flipped through the pages of “NBA Power Conditioning” and worked tirelessly every day, trying his best to learn 122 drills with the company of no one.

“I’ve never had anyone teach me the game,” Anthony said. “I was working out on my own.”

Without any tutelage, it’s no surprise that Anthony was cut from his the first college team he tried out for at Montreal’s Dawson College. But Anthony made the cut on an AAU team, and while he was traveling through a circuit in Florida, a basketball coach at Pensacola Junior College noticed a human pogo stick altering every shot in sight.

Just a couple of years after stumbling upon “NBA Power Conditioning,” Anthony had earned a college scholarship to play basketball.

After two years honing his skills in the Florida Panhandle, Anthony transferred to UNLV to play for then-coach Lon Kruger. In his senior year, Anthony reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament and won the Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

But no one drafted Anthony, and he barely managed to earn a workout.

Anthony did receive an invitation from the Miami Heat to play for their summer league team. He impressed the coaching staff enough to warrant another invitation, this time to the team’s training camp in South Florida.

There, Anthony walked proudly into the Heat’s weight room alongside Bill Foran, the Heat’s strength and conditioning coach. But Anthony was taken aback by a poster hanging up on the wall. It was a poster of Alonzo Mourning on the cover of a book titled, “NBA Power Conditioning.”

“That’s the book,” Anthony blurted out, looking up at Mourning’s photo. “That’s the book that got me into basketball.”

Anthony soon found out that Foran wrote the book’s introduction. A couple of weeks later, Anthony survived the notorious Pat Riley training camp, and the Heat liked what they saw, rewarding Anthony with an NBA contract.

The kid from Montreal made it somehow.
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Vs: Hienosti kirjoitetut henkilöprofiilit

Kuten tuossa johdannossa todetaan, ei entisten NBA-pelaajien ja USA:n presidenttien yhdistelyssä ole oikeasti mitään tolkkua, mutta ihan hauskaa luettavaa joka tapauksessa:

[quote author="http://rfhcollective.blogspot.com/2011/04/zeke-and-tricky-dick-parallel-history.html"]Zeke and Tricky Dick: A Parallel History

This is the first installment of a new series on the RFH Collective. We will be taking a look at past Presidents and making the appropriate comparisons to NBA players. Does this make any sense whatsoever? No. So why are we doing it? Because it's awesome.

Richard Nixon and Isiah Thomas:

A comparison of Richard Nixon and Isiah Thomas is the best possible way to start this series. The commonalities between these two men can no longer be ignored. They share an eerily similar career trajectory and operated within their own codes of ethics. Both men grew up with little, suffered from severe inferiority complexes and would do anything to win. They were both immensely accomplished and resilient when faced with defeat. They played dirty, resented others' success and ultimately ruined their legacies.

Here's a closer look.....

Koko teksti: http://rfhcollective.blogspot.com/2011/04/zeke-and-tricky-dick-parallel-history.html

Linkki on luonnollisesti peräisin Truehoopista, http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/27584/players-as-presidents .
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Vs: Hienosti kirjoitetut henkilöprofiilit

Vaikka porukalla onkin tapana lapata etikkaa ja virtsaa Andrew Bynumin niskaan, tästä jutusta saa kaverista oikein sympaattisen kuvan.

[quote author="http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1184609/1/index.htm"]
April 25, 2011
Work In Progress


Lee Jenkins

Bobby Corbin was working in the service department at Fry's Electronics in Manhattan Beach, Calif., when a 7-foot teenager approached the counter. Corbin glanced up at the boy giant's stubble-free face and assumed he was a college basketball player. Maybe he needed help tricking out his dorm room. "You know how it is with those guys," Corbin says. "They don't usually have to do much for themselves." The kid explained that he was looking for a personal computer, and while Fry's carries half a dozen brands, he was not interested in any of those. "I want to learn how to build my own," he said. He rattled off his desired components: a 500-gigabyte hard drive, four gigs of RAM and a graphics card. Corbin was amused and intrigued. He picked out the parts, and as he stood on one side of the counter assembling the machine, his 285-pound customer stood on the other and studied his work. Corbin wondered if this was really a basketball player or just a very tall techie. The next day a Fry's colleague asked him, "Do you know who that was?" Corbin shook his head. "It's the new Laker."


Koko teksti löytyy osoitteesta: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1184609/1/index.htm
Vs: Hienosti kirjoitetut henkilöprofiilit

Vaikka tämä ei olekaan hienosti kirjoitettu henkilöprofiili, vaan kysymys-vastaus -juttu, niin joka tapauksessa varsin mielenkiintoinen pätkä Charles Oakleysta. Jutussa Oak kertoilee tiukkoja mielipiteitään tämän päivän NBA:sta ja miten meininki eroaa hänen ajoistaan. Mielenkiintoista jutussa on myös Oakleyn jutut omista yrityksistään (omistaa mm. autopesuloita ja ravintoloita.).


Original Old School: The Wash

SLAM 148: As tough as Charles Oakley was on the court, that’s how cool he was off it. Still is, in fact.

by Christian Trojan

At 6-8, 230, Charles Oakley was never afraid to speak his mind—and today, as an assistant coach for Michael Jordan’s Charlotte Bobcats, Oak still has many stories to tell. The former Bull and Knick (his 19-year career also included stints with the Raptors, Wizards and Rockets and ended with per-game averages of 9.7 ppg, 9.5 rpg and 1.1 spg) has had his mind set on coaching in the League for several years now. After Charlotte Hornets’ coach Paul Silas gave him a chance in late December, Oakley has been out to prove what we already knew: that the NBA has missed the “Oak Tree”—big time.

While catching Oakley on the phone during a six-game road trip in late January, one can’t help but realize that the 47-year-old, now once again employed by an NBA team, is looking for the, shall we say, PC words to answer certain questions. But, Oak being Oak, he can’t be kept from giving his honest opinion on the Bobcats and Knicks, the current state of the Association, his relationship with his buddy MJ and his very own cooking show (yes, cooking show!). Still standing a solid 6-8, 260, Oak is still willing to speak his mind, and we know the NBA community is deeply grateful that he is back where he belongs.

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Hieno artikkeli "pehmeistä" pelaajista.

[quote author="http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/mr-softy/"]Mr. Softy
May 9, 2011 By Ryan O'Hanlon

Three years ago, Pau Gasol was the big weight in the most lopsided trade in NBA history, coming from the Grizzlies to the Lakers for his kid brother and a few no-names. He immediately turned the Lakers into a title contender. They went to the finals the year they brought him in and won the championship the next two. He was one of the best big men in the league. He made All-Star teams. He was a franchise big man, the rarest commodity in the NBA.

Now, he’s a main reason why the Mavericks swept the Lakers. He’s even made that trade look better for the Grizzlies. He was an All-Star again this season, averaging 19 points and 10 rebounds a game, but those numbers fell to 13 and eight in the playoffs—the drop being inversely proportional to the number of laser beams shot at him from Kobe Bryant’s eyes.

Why the dropoff?

Because it’s the playoffs. It’s where “real men” shine.

So Pau Gasol must be soft.

Loppu kirjoitus löytyy osoitteesta: http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/mr-softy/
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Vs: Hienosti kirjoitetut henkilöprofiilit

Ja sitten Beckley Masonin vastaus tuohon kirjoitukseen.

[quote author="http://goodmenproject.com/good-feed-blog/a-response-to-mr-softy/"]A Response to "Mr. Softy"

May 9, 2011 By Beckley Mason

Beckley Mason, the editor of ESPN’s beautiful HoopSpeak blog, wrote in a lengthy email response to Ryan’s original article. Mason was kind enough to let us use his words for a post. You’ll enjoy this.

I agree with your argument that otherness is a major factor who we regard as “soft.” What’s funny is that Kevin Garnett has one of the most jump-shot oriented games of any seven-footer ever and yet he obviously avoids this stigma by yelling and winning.

The thing I find most troubling about the soft tag, and this is something I assume you mean when you talk about “otherness,” is that you can’t be sometimes soft.

Pau won L.A. the 2010 title by kicking Perkins’ and Garnett’s asses. He literally dominated the “toughest” front line in basketball, mauling his way to 19 boards in Game 7. Physically he was stronger, mentally he was ferocious. Now, this year he doesn’t play with that aggressiveness, and it’s that “Pau is soft,” not that he is “playing soft.” The obvious distinction is that one phrasing suggests momentary failure, the other an inherent flaw. L.A. has two titles because Pau was twice the best, baddest big man in the Finals. He played poorly and seemed to be, for whatever reason, somewhat disengaged emotionally/mentally this year.

That’s it, that’s all.

Loput täällä: http://goodmenproject.com/good-feed-blog/a-response-to-mr-softy/[/quote]
Vs: Hienosti kirjoitetut henkilöprofiilit

hamahakkimies sanoi:
Pau won L.A. the 2010 title by kicking Perkins’ and Garnett’s asses. He literally dominated the “toughest” front line in basketball, mauling his way to 19 boards in Game 7. Physically he was stronger, mentally he was ferocious.
Tämä pointti on kyllä aivan paska, koska Perkins loukkaantui kuudennen pelin ekalla jaksolla. Perkinsin loukkaantuessa Boston johti sarjaa 3-2 ja Gasol oli ottanut hiukan vaatimattomammat 10 levaria per peli. On kohtuutonta Paun nuoleskelua väittää että Gasol olisi dominoinut Perkinsiä tai liigan kovinta etukenttää näissä finaaleissa, pelasi mies vikassa kahdessa pelissä kuinka hyvin tahansa.
Vs: Hienosti kirjoitetut henkilöprofiilit

Joo, ei Gasol ole koskaan dominoinut ketään "kovuudella" vaan miehen soft touch ja monipuoliset liikkeet ovat olleet valtti. Ehkä Boston olisi vienyt sarjan 2010, jos Perkins olisi ollut kunnossa, ehkä ei. Turhaa jossittelua. Tänä vuonna Gasolin hyökkäyspään arsenaali Mavseja vastaan oli täysin olematon. Krediittiä täytyy ehdottomasti antaa Chandlerille ja Nowitzkille, mutta silti, ihan oikeasti, olihan Pau Mr. Softy ilman soft touchia.
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Aika karua tekstiä.

[quote author="http://www.slamonline.com/online/the-magazine/features/2011/05/book-excerpt-b-ball-junkie/"]
Book Excerpt: B-Ball Junkie

Former NBA player Chris Herren recaps how drug abuse almost ended his life.

I was dead for 30 seconds.

That’s what the cop in Fall River told me.

He said that two EMTs had brought me back to life.

“Just shut the fuck up,” he said when I started to say something.

“You were almost dead.”

I was only a few blocks from where I had grown up, only a few blocks from B.M.C. Durfee High School, where there was a banner on the wall saying I was the highest scorer in Durfee history. I had gone off the street near the cemetery where Lizzie Borden was buried, Oak Grove. Maybe the worst thing was that I had just driven through Fall River for a couple of miles in a blackout, a ride I don’t remember to this day. When the EMTs found me there was a needle in my arm and a packet of heroin in the front seat.

It was only about two in the afternoon, but I had been going at it heavy since early in the morning. I had put my 7-year-old daughter, Samantha, in the car like I did every morning after my wife Heather went to work. We drove through the nice suburban neighborhood in Portsmouth, RI, where we lived, and went to East Main Road, where the liquor store was. I bought a pint of Popov vodka, poured it into an empty water bottle, and started to drink. Then we went back home to wait for the bus that took Sammy to school.

By the time she was on the bus I had finished the pint, and I went back to the package store to get another one. Now I needed some money, so I drove to nearby Middletown, virtually on the Newport line, where Heather was working in a hotel. She had told me that morning that she would leave some money in the car for me. It was $40 under the mat in the front seat, and I started off to Fall River, about 20 minutes from my house, to meet one of my drug dealers. I gave him the $40, and he gave me five bags of heroin. I didn’t take heroin at night. I’d shoot up at 4:30 in the afternoon, just before Heather got home, so sometimes in the morning I’d be starting to get sick and needed more.

This was my daily routine, had been for about eight months.

Loput kirjan lainauksesta löytyvät osoitteesta: http://www.slamonline.com/online/the-magazine/features/2011/05/book-excerpt-b-ball-junkie/[/quote]

Täytyy varmaan laitta tuo opus hankintalistalle.
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Vs: Hienosti kirjoitetut henkilöprofiilit

Asiallinen teksti Mr. Universumista ja Mavsin vaihtopenkin tulevaisuudesta (mistä?).

[quote author="http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-Triangle/post/_/id/135/"]Bareatime!

Bill Barnell

J.J. Barea and I have two things in common: We both went to Northeastern University at the start of the aughts and neither one of us looks like we would make very good professional basketball players. We played pickup hoops at the same gym on campus, but while Barea was undoubtedly playing on the court with all the school's best players, I fumbled around on the other court with the other pudgy undergrads and "Bird," the out-of-shape middle-aged guy who always wore goggles and a Larry Bird jersey. We have no mutual friends on Facebook.

Koko juttu osoitteessa: http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-Triangle/post/_/id/135/[/quote]

edit. Tarkemmin ajateltuna tämä ei kuulu tähän topikkiin, mutta meni jo.
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Vs: Hienosti kirjoitetut henkilöprofiilit

Ihan hauska stoori Benjamin Markovitsilta. (Älä kysy. Joku kirjailijaksi ryhtynyt wannabe-korispelaaja vissiin.)

[quote author="http://www.slate.com/id/2296869/pagenum/all/"]Young Dirk

I played against the NBA Finals MVP when he was 17. He was a lot better than me.

NBA Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki
I once knocked down a 3-pointer over Dirk Nowitzki. He was guarding me a little lazily, with his hands on his knees, daring me to shoot. So I shot, and the ball dropped in. And that's it—the full extent of my highlight reel against the 2011 NBA Finals MVP.

My shining moment came in the mid-1990s, when Dirk was 17 years old and I was fresh out of college, trying to make a living in the German minor leagues. I hadn't played organized basketball since senior year in high school, and even that season I spent mostly on the bench. Skinny, tall, and geeky, I had an old-fashioned two-handed release inherited from my father. In college, though, I'd put on some muscle and learned a jump shot. I flew to Hamburg after graduation with no idea whether I was good enough to make it. What I knew was that none of the other options on the table—grad school, law school, moving home and finding a job—seemed as enticing as becoming a professional basketball player.

Stoorin loppuosa: http://www.slate.com/id/2296869/pagenum/all/[/quote]

Toinen, "vähän" hehkuttavampi profiili:

[quote author="http://deadspin.com/5805082/"]Stay Soft, Dirk Nowitzki

Luke O'Brien

Even before Dirk Nowitzki lifted a championship trophy on Sunday night, he was being held up as a new man. Nowitzki had reinvented himself, we were told. He'd finally "shed" the Euro-soft label plastered to him throughout his career and, to much adulation, morphed into the sort of rugged warrior that wins titles. The tale of an individual transforming himself to wrestle destiny into submission satisfies a special American yearning. In this case, it's obscuring an even more fundamentally American story.
One can only chuckle as the same journalists who once called Nowitzki a wimp now chide us for not respecting him sufficiently. Two years ago, Michael Wilbon, who was of the opinion that Nowitzki had the constitution of a field mouse, said the German was "soft" for sitting out national team duty in the European Championships on Mark Cuban's orders. "This is the problem with the Dallas Mavericks," Wilbon said. "If your player, if your best player is so weak that he lets the owner tell him what to do, you have no great player." Now Wilbon writes that we must "collectively eat a huge plate of crow for judging Dirk wrongly."

Great. For column purposes, Wilbon and others have turned Nowitzki into a symbol of redemption, a newfound tough who once, as Bill Simmons remembers it in his monstrous basketball tome, "refused to limp around with an injured knee in the [2003] Conference Finals." That's only partly true. Yes, Nowitzki was worried about further injuring himself, but Don Nelson (and medical wisdom) refused to let him play. When Cuban insisted, Nelson put his foot down. The disagreement between the two men led to the unraveling of their relationship. Eight years later, we find Nowitzki roaring at Jason Terry and battling through a torn finger ligament and a 101-degree fever on his way to a title, the arc from soft to hard complete, at least in the prefabricated narrative.

A few weeks ago, Basketball Reference compared Nowitzki's career stats to those of Larry Bird, that paragon of clutch play against whom the German has always inevitably been measured (tall, BLOND, long-range shooter). The numbers are close. Nowitzki is the better scorer thanks to his otherworldly offensive efficiency. Bird was a better offensive rebounder and defender. He got more assists, too, but Bird never had Jerry Stackhouse receiving his passes.

Over his 13 seasons, Nowitzki has been about as reliable and lethal a scorer as the league has ever seen. He's put up 20-plus points a game for more than a decade and taken shallow teams into the playoffs, occasionally far, for the last 11 years. This is not a man who's undergone enormous transformation as a player.

If the external data don't support the storyline, something internal must be involved. Thus the explanation that, until three days ago, Nowitzki was too soft to win a title. Bird, by contrast, was coiled steel, an infamous trash talker who once throttled Dr. J. after scoring 42 points and rubbing it in Erving's face. When Bill Laimbeer clubbed Bird on the chin in game two of the 1985 Eastern Conference semifinals, Bird went and rattled off 31 points. In game three, he fought Laimbeer. Nowitzki is not cut from a similar cloth.

Instead of everyone casting about for ways to explain Nowitzki's transformation now that he has a ring, we should celebrate the fact that he hasn't transformed at all. In being exactly who he's always been, he defies the silly notion in American sports that an athlete has to don armor, psychic or otherwise, to win a title. Nowitzki has never been the guy who screams into the upper decks like a maniac after each and-one. He's never tried to be. He's one of the best low post scorers in the NBA, but you'd never know it because he doesn't play with his back to the basket like other seven-footers. Instead of dunking opponents through the rim, he's mastered a step-back shimmy to get off a soft jumper that nobody can defend and that often leads to a free throw that almost always goes in. Softly. Nowitzki doesn't charge into battle. He fades away. And he wins because of it, not despite it.

This style of competition is what got Nowitzki plastered with all those labels in the first place. That and his failures in the fourth quarter of key playoff games. In game six of the finals on Sunday, however, he struggled from the opening tip, missing enough open looks that it kicked up a breeze in AmericanAirlines Arena. In the third quarter, Nowitzki was 4-19. This was where the tough guy starts forcing his way to the rim, bangs bodies, makes something happen. Miami cut the Dallas lead to three with Nowitzki on the bench. "I'm Dirk Nowitzki, I'm checking myself in right now," Jeff Van Gundy said on the broadcast. "I'm not waitin'. This is my chance. I could play the rest of the way."

Jeff Van Gundy is not Dirk Nowitzki. Nowitzki stayed on the bench. He'd come off when Rick Carlisle called him in. If Dallas had lost the game and the series, the same critics who dogged Nowitzki for years would have again laced into him for listening to his coach and being unassertive. When Nowitzki did check back in—his teammates having extended the lead without him—he took and missed a pair of three-pointers: 4 for 21. Then he made a 16-footer. He made five of his last six shots. He won. Then he ran quickly out of the spotlight and into the locker room.

Nobody quite figured out what Nowitzki sprinting off for. Did he shed a tear in private? Take a quick trip to the toilet? Had he assumed it was time to drink some champagne and forgotten about the obligatory on-court TV ceremony? The inscrutable foreigner failed to read the cue cards.

Or did he refuse to read them? Nowitzki has always been more renegade than people give him credit for. He doesn't have an agent or a business manager. He doesn't care about endorsements or personal branding, our latest tawdry generational birthright. He mocked the Gatorade bottles product-placed in front of the players on press-conference tables and forcibly swept them out of his way at the Finals. The only noticeable thing Nowitzki has cared about on his long journey to a championship is rejecting the idiotic demand that he be someone he's not.

One of the seminal points in his career was one of his most vulnerable. After the 2006-07 season, at a time when he was considered a choke artist and a failure, when John Hollinger had put him on his all-decline team, Nowitzki went walkabout. He roamed Australia for over a month reflecting on his basketball career, on himself, on life. He "slept in youth hostels ... dozed on the beach reading German novels ... let his hair and beard grow long ... drifted out at sea for days ... slept in a car for a week." He engaged, in other words, in the type of numinous self-reflection that Americans might deem "soft," unless they are therapists or have read some Buddhist literature. And he emerged the better for it.

From "Crocodile Nowitzki," a 2007 story by Jesse Hyde in the Dallas Observer:
Dirk Nowitzki was lost. And he was starting to stink.

He had come this far, deep into the Australian Outback, and now that it was dark, he didn't know where he was. Not exactly, anyway. He'd ended up on a patch of wind-swept dirt, surrounded by sagebrush and stiff yellow grass, a place to park the Jeep and build a campfire.

The closest town of any significance was Alice Springs, or the Alice, as the locals called it. It was once a telegraph station so remote it had to be stocked by camel train. Aborigines could still be seen at times on its outskirts, wading shirtless in the muddy Todd River. But that was 250 miles away. Other than the wind, which blew softly through camp, the night was silent.

Nowitzki sat in front of the fire, strumming his guitar and sipping his whiskey straight from the bottle. He had stopped shaving days ago and didn't know when he would bathe next. He had been in Australia for a week and a half, even though it was May, and by all accounts he should have been somewhere else. He should've been on a basketball court, leading the Dallas Mavericks deep into the NBA Playoffs. He should've been winning a championship. But for the second year in a row, the season had ended in disappointment. Once again people were questioning his mental toughness.

He had but one traveling companion on this trip, his mentor Holger Geschwinder, a mostly bald 62-year-old German with puffy bags under his eyes and a big Roman nose that looked like it had been broken in a fistfight, or several fistfights over the years. In the light of the fire, his features looked sharp, as if his head had been cut from granite.

Nowitzki had come to Australia because he didn't want to be recognized. He didn't want to be reminded of his failures, of the places he should have been.

In his haste to leave Dallas, he had failed to consider one thing-it was winter in Australia, meaning darkness would fall early each night of his trip. At the present moment, sitting in front of the fire, there was nothing to do but sit and think, or talk to Geschwinder.

"Why me?" Nowitzki wondered, gazing into the glowing embers. "Why is this happening to me?"

He had just a few weeks to find the answer.
Nowitzki did find his answer. When he got back to Dallas, he was zen. He'd reached a place where he no longer feared failure. Life would come to him. He could be soft and he could win. He'd realized that, regardless of what he did, he wouldn't be in control in the end. His mentality was the opposite of the American superstar. The ability to tame fate is the most adamantine and American of fallacies, especially in sports, where it is held that the sheer will of an individual can prevail over anything at the last, even in a team game. (Try persuading Dwyane Wade of this now.) We demand our stars work harder, be more valiant, tougher, more cutthroat, less sensitive, more solipsistic, less socialistic, develop a killer instinct, dominate, crush, destroy, show no weakness, dispense with humor unless using it to mock, have unwavering confidence in personal greatness, ignore doubt, reject fear, embrace hero status. But this is not courageous. This is stupid. Courageous is what Nowitzki did. He stayed true to himself, the soft seven-footer who uses his height to get away from defenders, not get over them.

No other player of Nowitzki's size has made such a successful career as a finesse shooter. That nobody ordered the giant German to get into the paint and stay there is one of the greatest individual success stories in the history of player development. Kevin Garnett, a 6-foot-5-inch shooting guard trapped in a seven-foot body, had to lie about his height so he could get away with playing on the perimeter. But there's nothing tender about Garnett. He's always been a ferocious, howling presence, especially on defense, earning the right to take jumpers by leading the league in rebounds.

No, when it comes to that necessary yielding quality, Nowitzki has them all beat. Without question, his is the greatest triumph of softness in NBA history. And in the end, isn't that the really successful American story? You know, the one about how the immigrant assimilates and changes us for the better, not the other way around.[/quote]
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Vs: Hienosti kirjoitetut henkilöprofiilit

Vanha juttu, mutta asiallinen.

[quote author="http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2010/11/the-fighter/"]The Fighter

Manute Bol did more than block shots.

by Thomas Golianopoulos

Manute Bol sent word in advance of his final visit to his homeland, the Republic of the Sudan. This gave the elders in his home village of Turalei time to prepare a house and to arrange the killing of a cow, a Sudanese tradition for important visits. When Bol arrived in late-November, 2009, children and adults flocked to the 7-7 former NBA star. “It was almost [like] a worshipping attitude,” says Robert McFarlane, a former national security advisor to former president Ronald Reagan, who traveled with Bol. “He was somewhat able to lift the next generation and give them a sense of purpose and hope for a better future.”

Koko juttu osoitteessa: http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2010/11/the-fighter/[/quote]
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[quote author="http://www.denverpost.com/nuggets/ci_18400591"]Nuggets' power forward pick Faried creates buzz

By Benjamin Hochman

Your new favorite Nuggets player is a Muslim. Your new favorite Nuggets player was raised by his mother and her female life partner. Your new favorite Nuggets player could change the way you look at society.

Kenneth Faried, Denver's highest pick in the 2011 draft, has created a buzz across the Front Range, similar to when he led Morehead State to an NCAA Tournament upset win over Louisville last March at the Pepsi Center.

Fans are giddy about the new power forward who wasn't just one of the better rebounders in NCAA basketball, but broke Tim Duncan's modern-era (post 1973) record with 1,673 career boards.

"I don't quit on plays," said Faried, who was drafted No. 22 overall. "I just want it more than anybody else."

Faried is fascinating. He plays basketball the way he lives his life — unwavering, headstrong and proud. And he comes to town carrying an amazing life story in his gym bag.

Loppustoori löytyy osoitteesta: http://www.denverpost.com/nuggets/ci_18400591[/quote]

edit. Hienosti kirjoitettu voi olla liioittelua, mutta ainakin stoori on mielenkiintoinen.
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[quote author="http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/6760779/the-legacy-yao"]
The Legacy of Yao

Examining the career of a once-in-a-generation player

By Jonathan Abrams

Jeff Van Gundy is already concerned. Hours after news leaked of Yao Ming's retirement from the NBA, Van Gundy predicts Yao's play on the court might eventually be forgotten, that the original difficult transition Yao made look so easy would be downplayed and that his contribution to the league would be categorized in terms of global dollars and not his influence on the Houston Rockets.

"People are saying he was pretty good," says Van Gundy, who coached Yao after his rookie season in Houston for four seasons.1 "No, he was dominant. He could play. You could make the case he didn't do it for long enough to be considered an all-time great. But this guy was dominant when he played. In his age group, he was the best center," Van Gundy then pauses and offers the one qualifier as large as Yao that will ultimately follow him into retirement: "When healthy."

Lopputeksti löytyy täältä.[/quote]
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Vs: Hienosti kirjoitetut henkilöprofiilit

Jossain paksun Boris Diaw'n sisällä on se Boris, josta tämä kirjoitus kertoo.

[quote author="http://www.hardwoodparoxysm.com/2011/07/18/the-lost-season-boris-diaw-05-06/"]
The Lost Season: Boris Diaw, 05-06

Posted by Noam Schiller on Monday, July 18, 2011


With the threat of a shortened or even cancelled season upon us, there is very little we can do other than watch U19 tournaments or read books to restore a shred of basketball into our lives. What we can do, though, is reminisce over other “lost” seasons. Seasons which saw players or teams achieve extraordinary things that go beyond titles or awards, only to fade back into the background one year later. Here we will bring the tale of these lost seasons, the ones that touched us on a personal level, the ones we will never forget, though history itself might. we start with the story of Boris Diaw, and his magical 2005-2006 showing.

Lopputeksti: http://www.hardwoodparoxysm.com/2011/07/18/the-lost-season-boris-diaw-05-06/
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[quote author="http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/jon_wertheim/11/08/wayman.tisdale/index.html"]Wayman Tisdale's powerful legacy

If you'll indulge a lapse into first person, one of the real highlights of my childhood came in the spring of 1984, my first year of middle school. The trials for the U.S. Olympic basketball team were being held in my town, Bloomington, Ind. Since Bob Knight was the coach, the tryouts were staged on his turf. So it was that the 70 or so invited players -- Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Chris Mullin, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone and John Stockton among them -- rolled into town.

Most players were cut -- including, amazingly in retrospect, the latter three -- but those who made the Los Angeles Games roster spent three months marooned in Bloomington. (A college town in the summer carries a vibe not unlike a resort town after Labor Day.) This was before pros played in the Olympics and before college stars were full-blown celebrities. No entourages, money or even personal phones. The players stayed at glorified dorm rooms at the Student Union in the middle of campus. They ate in college cafeterias and were shuttled around town in red vans.

You can imagine what this was like for a sports-crazed kid. My friends and I would ride our bikes to the Union and hang out with the same players we'd seen on TV a few months earlier. These were future NBA stars, but they were either too bored or too nice to shoo us away. One day we would play video games with Chuck Person or Mullin; the next we would go bowling with Vern Fleming. Once we walked to the Chocolate Moose for milkshakes with Jordan. When the team practiced, we sometimes sneaked into Assembly Hall -- it was never locked, much less staffed with security -- and watched from the stands, ducking to get out of Knight's line of vision.

I vividly remember that there was only one jerk, Patrick Ewing, who wore a perpetual scowl and declared that he would sign no autographs. And I vividly remember that the nicest guy in the bunch was a guy from Oklahoma, Wayman Tisdale. He walked around with a blue-ribbon smile. It was like product placement for teeth. Even among this group of young athletes -- yet to become jaded by fame, their lives pregnant with promise -- Tisdale was the happiest and the go-luckiest. He sometimes wore a T-shirt with the word "TIS" in ironed-on lettering, not unlike the John Belushi "College" shirt from Animal House. In the lobby of the Union, Tisdale would wait patiently for the pay phone as Sam Perkins (who would later become one of his best friends) talked to his girlfriend. He sang out loud and was happy to sit and talk, once complaining to his audience of 13-year-olds that Knight had yelled at him like no other coach had. "He said I can't rebound!" He also told us not to worry about Ewing. "He doesn't talk to me much either."

Koko juttu: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/jon_wertheim/11/08/wayman.tisdale/index.html[/quote]
Vs: Hienosti kirjoitetut henkilöprofiilit

hamahakkimies sanoi:
Jossain paksun Boris Diaw'n sisällä on se Boris, josta tämä kirjoitus kertoo.
Tuo oli Diawilta älytön kausi, miehestä tuli lempipelaajiani kertaheitolla. Naamasta näki, että kaveri pääsi jollekin toiselle tasolle, aivan kuin halogeeni olisi syttynyt pimeään latoon/liike hidastunut/Naismith ilmestynyt/saanut Nashin kanssa saman salamaniskun. Kaveri teki oikeita, ennalta arvaamattomia ratkaisuja liukuhihnalta. Kaikenkaikkiaan Sunsin hyökkäyspään peli tuolla kaudella oli luovinta ja iloisinta, mitä olen päässyt näkemään. Ei pelkästään Nash ja Diaw, vaan koko joukkue laittoi palloa liikkeelle luovasti ja ilman paineita. Peliä pelattiin samaan aikaan tosissaan ja riemuiten, aika lailla niin kuin mielestäni pitääkin.
Vs: Hienosti kirjoitetut henkilöprofiilit

Sir Karnivori sanoi:
Tuo oli Diawilta älytön kausi, miehestä tuli lempipelaajiani kertaheitolla. Naamasta näki, että kaveri pääsi jollekin toiselle tasolle, aivan kuin halogeeni olisi syttynyt pimeään latoon/liike hidastunut/Naismith ilmestynyt/saanut Nashin kanssa saman salamaniskun. Kaveri teki oikeita, ennalta arvaamattomia ratkaisuja liukuhihnalta. Kaikenkaikkiaan Sunsin hyökkäyspään peli tuolla kaudella oli luovinta ja iloisinta, mitä olen päässyt näkemään. Ei pelkästään Nash ja Diaw, vaan koko joukkue laittoi palloa liikkeelle luovasti ja ilman paineita. Peliä pelattiin samaan aikaan tosissaan ja riemuiten, aika lailla niin kuin mielestäni pitääkin.
Bill Walton on Boris Diaw
Jotta voit kirjoittaa viestejä, sinun täytyy rekisteröityä foorumille. Rekisteröityminen on ilmaista, helppoa ja nopeaa. Rekisteröidy tästä.