Cheers to the weekend and all the fathers out there. The next fifteen minutes of your life won’t suck:
Cheers to the weekend and all the fathers out there. The next fifteen minutes of your life won’t suck:
Admittedly, I don’t know much about the small college in Baltimore, Maryland other than it’s mascot is a retreiver and according to wikipedia they’re notable alumni consists of a guy named Duff who apparently is a pastry chef on The Food Network and Kathleen Turner may or may not have attended classes there at some point.
But then this happened: Christos FC, an amateur Baltimore soccer team that never practices and is headquartered in a liquor store, was playing a fourth-round U.S. Open Cup match against D.C. United of MLS. In the 23rd minute, Mamadou Kansaye scored on a free kick to give his club a 1-0 lead over the three-time Open Cup champs.
Kansaye, like many of Christos FC’s players, played soccer at UMBC. And the liquor store crowd went crazy:
Javale McGee = NBA Champion
Charles Barkley, Elgin Baylor, Karl Malone, Patrick Ewing, John Stockton, Allen Iverson, Dominique Wilkins, Chris Paul and George Gervin = NOT Javale McGee
The rat-tailed, 7-foot basketball-Narnia-journeyman of the NBA finally reached a pinnacle that MANY of the greats have never ascended. Despite being a player who by all accounts should be an unguardable force forged by the Greek God of athletics (Hermes) himself, previous to this moment Mr. McGee seemed to never quite grasp his natural surroundings, similar to a jheri-curl or a mullet.
Perhaps Javale’s basketball prowess could be more aptyl compared to a baby deer standing on a frozen pond for the better part of purgatory, he only seems to comprehend images six inches in front of his face while he floats amidst the tress, vaguely reminiscient of an elderly man lost in a mall parking lot.
And yet here he is now, NBA Champion and Supreme Leader of Braided Rat-Tail Enthusiasts.
Trump’s America…am I right?!?!
If you have siblings, and you were blessed by the good lord (praise be, under his eye) to be the oldest one of the bunch, you will revell in this athletic display of rivalry-dominance:
The 12-year-old, alpha-pre-teen version of myself mercilessly instituted a similar game plan with my younger brother when he was 5 or 6 years old (or however much younger he is than me, I’m the older brother so I can’t be bothered with dates and birthdays):
“I’ll give ya a 30 second head-start” was as classic as “I’ll play left-handed” or “I promise I won’t block your shot” or the ultimate: “Go deep…..keep going….yeah deeper….yeah keep going….yeah keep running….”
“The Freeze” will be running the basepaths and hitting lead-off for the Cleveland Indians within the week, you can guarantee it.
Former NBA journeyman Sebastian Telfair was arrested in Brooklyn Sunday morning and charged with possession of a terrifying arsenal of weapons, ammunition, and bulletproof vests, according to an NBC New York report.
NBA fans of a certain age will remember Telfair as a legendary Brooklyn high school point guard who backed out of a commitment to play for Rick Pitino at Louisville in order to enter the 2004 NBA draft, and wound up going to the Trail Blazers with the 13th pick. Telfair’s prestige as a professional basketball player can be tracked pretty tidily by the players he was traded for during his nine years in the NBA: from Portland to the Celtics in 2006 in a deal that ultimately returned Brandon Roy to the Blazers; from the Celtics to the Timberwolves in 2007 as part of a package that returned Kevin Garnett to Boston; from the Wolves to the Clippers in 2009 in a deal that sent a declining Quentin Richardson to Minnesota; from the Clippers to the Cavs in 2010 as part of a complex deal that brought along Antawn Jamison’s corpse to Cleveland; from the Cavs back to Minnesota in 2010 in a deal for Ramon Sessions; and, finally, to the Toronto Raptors in 2013 in a deal for [gulp] Hamed Haddadi. Telfair last played professionally for the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association.
Telfair was arrested in 2007 and pled guilty to criminal possession of a weapon after a loaded handgun was found under the passenger seat of a car he was driving in Yonkers. In the years since he seems to have graduated from unwittingly transporting the odd pistol:
Telfair, 32, and another man, Jami Thomas, 18, were found with three loaded firearms, a semi-automatic rifle, ammunition and a bullet-resistant vest, police said. Two bags of marijuana and a burning marijuana cigarette were also allegedly found in the 2017 Ford F-150 pickup with Florida plates.
How do you rate an NBA team across decades of play? One method is Elo, a simple measure of strength based on game-by-game results. We calculated Elo ratings for every NBA (and ABA) franchise after every game in history — over 60,000 ratings in total. Read more: How this works | 2016-17 rankings and picks
Elo ratings have a simple formula; the only inputs are the final score of each game, and where and when it was played. Teams always gain Elo points for winning. But they get more credit for upset victories and for winning by larger margins. Elo ratings are zero-sum, however. When the Houston Rockets gained 49 Elo points by winning the final three games of their Western Conference semifinal during this year’s playoffs, that meant the Los Angeles Clippers lost 49 Elo points.
A rating of 1500 is approximately average, although the league average can be slightly higher or lower depending on how recently the league has expanded. (Expansion teams begin with a 1300 rating.) Select a team above, and zoom in to explore its history.
It’s no surprise that the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls — with 72 regular-season wins — had the best Elo rating ever until they were surpassed by the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the 2017 NBA Finals. Chicago picked up its fourth NBA championship at the end of that season, but the Bulls hit their peak Elo (1853) a few games earlier when they stomped the SuperSonics 108-86 in Seattle to take a 3-0 lead in the finals and improve their playoff record to 14-1. Chicago went into a “slump” for the next two games — losing both by double digits — before clinching the title in Game 6.
Going into the 1971-72 season, the Los Angeles Lakers had a middling 1496 Elo rating, in part because their competition was watered down by the NBA’s rapid expansion (the league had gone from nine to 17 franchises in the span of several years). And anchored by aging veterans Elgin Baylor (37 years old), Wilt Chamberlain (35) and Jerry West (33), the team was supposed to be approaching the end of the era, a perception strengthened by Baylor’s retirement just nine games into the season.
Then: the streak. From Nov. 5 through Jan. 7, the Lakers reeled off 33 consecutive wins, raising their Elo rating over 200 points, from 1544 to 1753. That was the team’s peak rating for the season, although the Lakers did go on to win the 1972 title, the franchise’s sixth and its first since 1954.
The Boston Celtics won 11 of 13 NBA titles from 1957 through 1969, a dominance unparalleled in modern sports. Elo doesn’t care about rings, though, and knocks the Celtics for their weak opponents and occasionally lackluster regular seasons (at least relative to their playoff achievements). Still, the Celtics’ Elo rating hung around 1700 (really good) for much of the era, and the team maintained an above-average Elo rating for over 13 years. Only the 1980s-era Lakers and the current San Antonio Spurs, a team with which those Celtics have a lot in common, put together similar streaks.
The 1969-70 season was a great one for New York basketball. Led by Willis Reed, Walt Frazier and Dave DeBusschere, the Knicks were 23-1 through Nov. 28 and hit an Elo rating of 1712 — the highest in franchise history. Things were a little less smooth after that: New York went 37-21 to close out the regular season and was taken to seven games twice in the playoffs. By the time the Knicks won the franchise’s first title in May, their rating had fallen to 1591.
It’s been awhile since Nov. 28, 1969. No other active team has an Elo peak so long ago; the next closest are the Bucks (March 8, 1971) and Nets (Feb. 23, 1975, when they were still in the ABA). Every moment of Knicks daylight since — from Linsanity to Larry Johnson’s 4-point play — has not quite lived up to their former glory.
OXON HILL, Md. — A row of metal detectors guards the hotel ballroom that stages the Scripps National Spelling Bee. There’s less than an hour until the final day kicks off with Round 4, but this main entrance is nearly empty—a trio of security guards are the only people here. I ask the woman who searches my bag if they check for dictionaries or giant flash cards with letters on them.
She looks at me blankly. No, she says. “Mostly knives and pepper spray, stuff like that.”
All of the bee’s latter rounds receive the same slickly produced high-stakes treatment on ESPN each year. For the very final rounds, at night, this seems to make sense—it’s the most intense competition, the biggest crowd, the primetime broadcast. But right now, it is 9:30 a.m. with 40 spellers remaining and Fall Out Boy blasting to pump up rows of empty seats. There are anxious parents, bored-looking siblings, and hardly anyone else apart from staffers and television crewmembers.
I’d been amazed a few days earlier when I looked up “national spelling bee tickets” on a whim only to discover that there were no tickets. No tickets at all! Anyone could just walk right in to this prestigious nationally broadcast event featuring our nation’s most talented youth! Wild! How blessed was I to be only a moderately-priced cab ride away from such glory? I couldn’t find anything on the process of securing a seat, but I imagined it would be difficult. A line that started forming hours in advance, probably, or adults holding their own spell-offs to decide line priority, or something. I decided to leave at least 90 minutes early to give myself a chance at getting in.
I left an hour early because I am incapable of getting ready efficiently, but I soon discovered that I could have been three hours late and been completely fine. I should not have been amazed that the National Spelling Bee is not a ticketed event, because it should have been self-evident that there is little-to-no demand to spend a beautiful spring day inside watching unfamiliar preteens melt under pressure over your morning coffee.
Family members are easily identified, both by a tag that declares their speller of choice and also by their conspicuous stress levels. There are very, very few people who seem to be here for anything so ordinary as entertainment. I ask a bee staff member if it’s really so weird to attend simply because you want to. She cheerfully informs me that plenty of people come to watch solely as spelling enthusiasts. I don’t see any of them now. The staff member notes that the majority of these people come for the evening rounds.
It’s only after the better part of a round that I realize that entertainment was the wrong foundation for the question. The bee is captivating, but there is nothing entertaining here. It is extraordinarily uncomfortable peeling back the sheen of production to watch it unfold live during the day—an awkward intimacy in seeing just how tiny the spellers are in person, how harsh the lights and how big the stage for a half-empty room made to seem full on a television broadcast. There are pre-recorded introductions for the kids who are favored or who have the most compelling stories, and their tape plays on an enormous screen above their heads as they stand alone on center-stage below.
The pre-taped versions of the children flash their braces with big smiles and talk about how much they love the Hamilton soundtrack while their real-life counterparts fidget anxiously under the spotlight and wait to be given a word. Each makes the other feel wrong, and it’s hard to know which one to look at.
A few days after Orioles outfielder Adam Jones said he was berated with racist insults by fans at Fenway Park, former Red Sox pitcher/ ultimate ass-hat Curt Schilling wants to give due process to the accusations before he gives it his stamp of white-out-of-touch-rich-guy approval.
Even after other professional ball-throwers have weighed in on what to expect as a visiting team in Fenway Park, (CC Sibathia) Curt Schilling can’t quite wrap his head around the possibility that there are racist morons in the stands, just like the ones that sit in offices in DC.
“I don’t believe the story, given the world we live in. I don’t believe it, for this reason: Everybody is starving and hungry to sit in front of a camera and talk and be social justice warriors. And if a fan yelled loud enough in center field for Adam Jones to hear the N-word, I guarantee you we would’ve heard and seen fans around on CNN on MSNBC, they would’ve found multiple fans to talk about what a racist piece of junk Boston is.”
Schilling went on to give his own examples of racist-agenda communism from his playing days, citing what he sees as black people trying to perpetrate “fake racist hoaxes” against white people. He was never very clear about what the end goal of those falsities were, but he was adamant that Jones’s story was “bullshit.”
“I spent most of my adult life in baseball parks. I heard the N-word out of my black teammates’ mouths about 100 million times,” Schilling continued. “For somebody to talk loud enough for Adam Jones to hear the N-word in center field, other people would have heard it.
“If somebody did say it, we’re going to see it and hear about it, and I would apologize to Adam Jones for doubting him, but until then, I think this is bulls—t. I think this is somebody creating a situation.”
At this point you’re probably thinking, “Wow, Curt Schilling is a dick-head who probably says the N-word a lot when only white people are around”.
And yeah, you’re probably right. But it’s not over, the Curt decided to further his white-intelligence with a gorgeous cherry on top. He quoted rap lyrics on twitter:
Pretty safe to say that Curt Schilling will never quite understand anyone who isn’t white, republican and rich. But maybe I’m making a quick assumption about someone JUST because I read their tweets and listened to them make ridiculous accusations publicly.