Tag Archives: NBA

The 2015 NBA Draft: The First 5

By: Dallas J. Short

This year’s NBA Draft kicked off Thursday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. As the masses filled the stands, watched on tv or followed along on social media, the fan’s Christmas was about to go down. Would they get everything they wanted?

Here’s a quick look at the first five selected. The top four picks are all 19 years old, and number five turned 20 just a few months ago.

With the first selection of the draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves chose Karl-Anthony Towns, the former University of Kentucky center makes history by being the first Hispanic player to ever be the top pick. He’s 6 feet 11 inches and weighs 250 pounds, so the size is legit and like I had mentioned he is only 19. The T’Wolves are rebuilding nicely and while I’m unsure he’ll be a big impact player next season. This kid could be something special in the years to come.

Second up, after a shockingly disappointing season, the Los Angeles Lakers took D’Angelo Russell, from Ohio State. Another young choice, this year’s theme? With Kobe’s end in near sight, could he be their guard of the future? The Lakers better hope so or figure something out soon. I’ve been seeing a lot of purple and gold magically turn into red and blue. Good luck to the Laker Loyals as they work to reclaim their top spot in the West.

Three is the magic number. My Philadephia 76’ers picked up Jahlil Okafor, another big man at 6 feet 11 inches and weighing 270 pounds. I was surprised Okafor made it down to the third choice and a bit surprised the Sixers picked him up. We have two big guys already, Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid. I guess if we’re unsure if/how Embiid will play next year, then we might need Okafor. Plus, Okafor is great, lead Duke to the National Championship. However, before I start raising my 2016 NBA Championship banner, I remember that…we’re the Sixers and we will probably end up trading away anyone who starts to shine.

The Knicks, the Knicks, the Knicks. Easily one of the most passionate fan bases in the NBA. So when things didn’t go their way their way and Okafor didn’t fall in their lap and the team drafted Kristaps Porzingis, a Latvian forward, saying the crowd erupted into boos is an understatement and yep, the internet exploded too. Frank Kaminsky might have been a better choice, just off name recognition. Knicks fans are hating Porzingis, most with knowing nothing about him. The last time the Knicks had a draft pick this high, it was Patrick Ewing. The frustration is beyond real in the Big Apple. This kid will not end up with his jersey retired, but I think he will fit in and add to the Knicks.

Orlando Magic also went overseas for their selection, Croatia’s Mario Hezonja. I don’t know too much about him, except the Magic have been watching him develop for a while, he supposedly tiptoes that cocky/confident line and is a beast on the court. I haven’t watched the Magic (on purpose) since they got rid of Jameer Nelson and J.J. Redick. I am a Nik Vucevic fan though, so hopefully this new addition helps him and Orlando out.

With all the reactions and overreactions to this year’s selections, the saying “time will tell” rings loud and true. Don’t jump off the bridge or plan a parade just yet. Believe in your team through the ups and downs.

Here are some social media reactions from NBA players, sports writers and fans.

http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/post/_/id/13150030/joel-embiid-was-rather-amused-76ers-selection-jahlil-okafor-other-draft-reaction

http://www.oregonlive.com/nba/index.ssf/2015/06/nba_draft_2015_fans_media_reac.html

I know I have a lot of friends who had strong opinions about what their team did or didn’t do in the first round. How are you feeling about your squad’s picks and next season?

As always, if you like what you read, please be social and share.

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We’re Still Talkin About Practice

By Dallas J. Short

May 7, 2002, a day that will forever be remembered as the greatest NBA press conference in history or least the press conference that created a timeless quotable. The date when Allen Iverson questioned “Practice? We’re talkin about practice, man.”

(Full disclosure, the Sixers are my favorite team and I believe Allen Iverson is one of the greatest players of all time.)

Video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d29VsG35DQM

Thirteen years later, we’re still talking about practice. This is a quote I use on a regular basis, as recently as Monday night I used it at my kickball game. I used it in a blog a few months ago. It has taken on a whole life outside of that press conference, been parodied by comedians, referenced by other athletes, paid homage to on t-shirts and much more.

If you’re reading this, you probably have already done your Allen Iverson “practice?” impersonation out loud or replayed it in your head. So, now that we have got that out of the way, let’s talk about a few social media practices. Don’t worry, I didn’t click bait you with the Iverson story. I really wanted to talk about it, but this is, after all, a professional blog and I figured it was a good tie-in.

Here are five social media practices, which while known, often seem to slip through the cracks.

  • Questions are a great way to engage your community. It makes your fans and followers feel involved. Do not just talk at them, talk with them. Keep your questions short, simple and to the point. “Are you talking about practice?”
  • Asking for a retweet, this is a practice which I know a lot of people say they are against, but when used right, it’s effective. If you have a strong opinion or emotional photo, this could be the time to rally your troops. Use sparingly, otherwise it will be like crying wolf and will have negative effects.
  • You have a story to tell, get it out there. Make sure you sure you have options for people to share your blog posts or articles through other social media platforms. It lets your story grow outside of your own site and increases readership.
  • Your social media voice should be the voice of your company, not an employee. Define it and ride with it. If the person handling your social media ends up not working there anymore, it should not be obvious to your readers. If the ball is ever dropped, it should be able to easily and seamlessly be picked up by anyone on your team.
  • You can never take your online community for granted. You do not need to fawn over them, but you need to make sure to thank them and make them feel appreciated. They are an extension of you. Online and offline, you want them cheering on your side.

Are there any memorable sports quotes you find yourself bringing up at work? What other social media practices do you think people sometimes forget or should try to improve?

As always, I welcome your comments and if you like what you read, be social and share.

Yes, practice.

Zero Dark Thirty: Step Away From Your Cell Phone

By: Dallas J. Short

The NBA Playoffs are back and I’m sure you are just as shocked as I am that my Philadelphia 76’ers somehow did not make the cut. While many are convinced this year’s champion will be from the Western Conference, that has not stopped one of the league’s best from continuing a tradition that has helped him #StriveForGreatness.

LeBron James is once again on his “Zero Dark Thirty” social shutdown. No phone, no Facebook (21.5 million), no Twitter (20.7 million), no Instagram (9.6 million), it’s radio silence from the 4-time MVP. He started this in 2012 postseason, one year after he and the Miami Heat lost to the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals. He says he only needs to talk to his family and his teammates. He’s locked in and focused on bringing the trophy home to Ohio.

Forbes.com has an article “30 Reasons to do a Digital Detox” and #19 “because it’s a challenge” is also one of the reasons LeBron gave. I’m sure King James’ bigger reason is to avoid distractions, trolls and negative comments, but who doesn’t love a good challenge every now and then.

Though I probably have as much chance of getting an NBA Championship ring as my Sixers do, I think a digital detox can be beneficial for anyone. That break free moment of ceremoniously throwing your phone into the ocean, taking a deep breath and inhaling the beauty of the world around you. At least, that’s how I picture it in my head. In reality, I make deals with myself. “I’ll only use my phone as an alarm clock.” “I’ll only reply to texts.” “I’ll just check it for e-mails.” “I’ll do it next weekend.” There always seems to be something that stops the disconnect. We focus on captioning the moment instead of capturing it. LeBron’s won back to back championships and continues to make the finals, so it’s definitely working for him. The super busy, super productive and super successful Arianna Huffington is also big on digital detoxes.

Here are a few other reasons Forbes listed on why to do a digital detox.

  • To give your brain a break from digital processing. Information overload is a serious issue. Recharging is healthy.
  • To see things clearly, make better decisions, and find a more productive way to do things when you return.
  • Once you switch off, time seems plentiful (compared to the version we tend to race against most days).
  • To have in-depth conversations that meander and make you think and bring up questions that aren’t answered by the Internet.
  • You’ll carve out space to think deeply, connect to yourself, and connect to the people around you.

So let’s do it this weekend. I’m in and up for the challenge.

Are you addicted to your smartphone and social media? Have you ever tried a digital detox?

As always, I welcome or comments and if you like what you read, be social and share.

What to Take Away from the Donald Sterling Scandal

By: Gina Mason

It is very disheartening that in 2014, racism is still a major issue in our society. Despite the progress that we have made, we still have not been able to completely purge the hate and ignorance of judging others based on race, religion or sexual orientation from humanity.

On Friday, we witnessed a despicable example of hatred and racism in the sports world when the NBA was rocked by a huge scandal that involved LA Clippers owner, Donald Sterling. Sterling was recorded making racist remarks about African Americans and it was later revealed that he was notorious for making similar derogatory comments. This offense received a tremendous amount of attention and made people question why Sterling had never faced any repercussions for his ignorant words and if there is a larger issue of racism within basketball.

Despite the scandal, I believe that there is a silver lining to this situation and that we as a society can benefit from his abhorrent actions. Here are a few positive things that I think we can take away from this scandal:

Awareness

There is no denying that Donald Sterling’s remarks garnered a huge amount of media attention and gave people something to talk about. Sterling’s actions had a “shock and awe” factor that generated a discussion about his stupidity and most importantly, the existence of racism today. Even though this scandal was a negative situation, the dialogue of racism spawned greater awareness for the issue and made us all more cognizant that racism is still prevalent within sports as well as our culture.

Unity

In times of adversity people come together and we saw that this scandal not only unified the players in the NBA, but also some of America’s biggest influencers. Following the release of the tape, we witnessed the players (both current and retired), coaches and front office personnel from around the NBA create a united front against Donald Sterling and racism within the sport.  Those actions also spurred politicians, celebrities and influencers to get behind the cause to voice their disdain for Sterling and his actions. All of the people who spoke out against Sterling aided in spreading the message that these actions will not be tolerated in sports or our society. 

Zero Tolerance

I believe one of the most important things that we can take away from this scandal is the zero tolerance statement that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver made against racism. By banning Sterling, he sent a message that goes beyond the confines of the NBA and set an example that such actions will not be tolerated in sports, business or our society. I think that children in America can learn from this and will realize that hatred or discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated under any circumstance.

In a world of negativity and hate, I do believe that we can learn from situations like this and grow as a society. There are so many people who follow professional sports and I believe that this has sent a strong message against racism to people around the world.

What did you think of the scandal? What did you take away from the situation? Do you feel that there will be a positive outcome from these negative actions?

As always, I welcome your comments and if you like what you read, be social and share.