Why are there two three-point lines on an NBA half-court?
We tend to think of the three point arc on an NBA basketball court as one continuous line, but in fact that’s not true. There actually are three separate but joined lines that define three-point distance in an NBA game: there’s the actual arc that curves 23 feet and 9 inches away from the center of the basket, and then there’s the straight 22-foot lines that parallel the sidelines on each side of the width of the court. All those lines join at a couple of soft corners to form one continuous stripe that defines three-point range.
OK, that’s all easy to understand; it’s even easier to visualize when looking at the court versus describing it. (You can see all of this laid out in the diagram available at this site.)
What’s not easy to understand, if you pause to think about it, is why that’s supposed to make sense.
Continue reading The Mystery Of NBA’s Arc
Bitching about the prevalance of advertising in the sports world is nothing new for The DFR. Indeed, it’s a recurring theme around here.
However, the practice of treating the eyes of sports fans as a perpetual advertising dump has recently taken on a new dimension in the NBA. This season, for the first time in the Association’s history, the advertising has migrated from the broadcasts and every available surface in the arenas to the very uniforms the players are wearing.
Embed from Getty Images
The Pelicans’ Anthony Davis sports a Zatarain’s logo — whether he likes it or not
This change has happened with hardly a ripple of protest or comment from the nation’s (or for that matter, the world’s) NBA fans. Apparently, at this point, people have become so inured to the constant assault that is advertising that introducing a little bit of “branding” on a player’s chest is not even worth noticing for most observers.
Still, you’d think it might ring a few more bells than it has, given that the NBA’s workforce largely consists of Black people. Because once upon a time in this country, Black people getting “branded”–by their almost-universally White owners–meant something entirely different from sporting the logo of some famous (or obscure) business concern.
It’s enough to make a knowledgable observer cite–not for the first time–the famous philosopher Timon from The Lion King: “And everybody’s OK with this?!” Continue reading Branding Without Irons, Or Irony
A Muted Sound Of Thunder
On an idle Thursday night, I happened to tune in to the second half of the Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Denver Nuggets game on TNT. To the surprise of seemingly everyone–except yours truly–the Thunder are not playing like the new superteam that they were supposed to be.
The conventional wisdom going into the season would have had the newly reformulated Thunder easily handling the Nuggets. Instead, Denver pulled away from OKC and sent the struggling Thunder to a fourth straight loss. The presumed “big three” of Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, and Paul George are now looking that much further up at the Nuggets from last place in the Northwest Division.
It wasn’t supposed to be like that, for sure. The apologists are saying that the new-look Thunder just haven’t gelled yet; that once they get to know each other, they will surely right the ship and take their place as at least the third, and maybe even the second, best team in the West.
This result is a surprise, if you look at the thing as adding two All-Stars to a third. However, if you view the new additions, Anthony and George, in terms of accomplishment, the wisdom of the move suddenly becomes much less clear. Continue reading A Muted Sound Of Thunder
Swap Meet, Or Swap Meat?
So this was a big deal, in every sense of the words.
All of the “hot take” action the last day or so has been directed towards figuring out who got the better of the Cavaliers-Celtics trade. Is Kyrie Irving the piece the Celtics need to push them over the top in the Eastern Conference? Maybe, but then again, maybe not, since half of last year’s successful Boston team will now be suiting up for Cleveland. At this point, it’s hard to say which team will come out on top in that particular two-way battle.
Then again, again, maybe the trade will wind up weakening both teams, now and in the future, enough that neither team winds up the East’s No. 1 seed. Continue reading Swap Meet, Or Swap Meat?