nba

Every sports fan recalls with amazing accuracy a pivotal winning moment involving a favorite team or player - yet lost are the stories on the other side of these history-making moments, the athletes who experienced not transcendent glory but crushing disappointment: the cornerback who missed the tackle on the big touchdown; the relief pitcher who lost the series; the world-record holding Olympian who fell on the ice.

In Losing Isn’t Everything, sportscaster Curt Menefee (joined by bestselling writer Michael Arkush) examines a range of signature "disappointments" from the wide world of sports, interviewing the subject at the heart of each loss and uncovering what it means—months, years, or decades later—to be associated with failure. 

Keith Strudler: Summer Basketball

Jul 13, 2016

This week my two boys, age 6 and 8, started summer league outdoor basketball in my town of Beacon. For the uninitiated, summer ball is a particular basketball pleasure, an offseason gathering for those who truly love the sport. Its lacks the structure and perhaps urgency of winter ball, the sport’s natural regular season. It’s outdoors, instructional, and really for people that see basketball as not simply a sport on the rotation, but a year round pursuit.

Keith Strudler: Durant’s Heel Turn

Jul 6, 2016

In professional wrestling, the term “heel” refers to the bad guy. The guy who plays dirty and usually hits someone with a chair. The “face,” or “baby face,” is the good guy, the hero. He’s the one we all cheer for and always does the right thing, at least by professional wrestling standards. Perhaps the most dramatic moment in the sport – and yes, I know it’s fake – is when a good guy, a “face,” turns into a bad guy. It’s called a “heel turn,” and it’s as predictable as an episode of Bar Rescue. Hulk Hogan did it, Stone Cold Steve Austin did it. If you’ve been in the square circle long enough, chances are you went from good to bad. And perhaps back again.

Chances are if you’re a dedicated WAMC listener, Frank Deford is a part of your morning routine. The legendary sportswriter has delivered more than 1,600 commentaries for Morning Edition over the past 36 years. His wry and incisive observations remain a refreshing antidote in an age of shouty sports talk defined by hot takes.

An Emmy and Peabody winner, Deford has written 18 books and serves as senior contributing writer at Sports Illustrated, where he first appeared in 1962. He’s also a correspondent for Real Sports on HBO.

This Saturday, Deford will sign copies of his new book I’d Know That Voice Anywhere: My Favorite NPR Commentaries at Sweetpea in Stone Ridge, New York.

Keith Strudler: End The Sadness

Jun 1, 2016

If you’re a basketball fan, this is what you’ve been waiting for. After months of regular season, followed by another lifetime of playoffs, we’ve finally arrived at the grand finale. The end of this wonderful tale. Thursday, the NBA Finals begins, a best of seven series between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the defending champion Golden State Warriors, a rematch from last year. This is the matchup we’ve all waited for, the best team in the history of the NBA, at least according to their regular season record, against perhaps the best all-around player in NBA history, if you believe that about LeBron James, as many do. It’s small ball that the Warriors play, whipping the ball around the perimeter to 3-point shooters, against star ball, which the Cavaliers practice in LeBron, and to a lesser degree Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, the most current incarnation of a Big Three. It’s east vs west, San Fran vs Cleveland, and pretty much every other clichéd opposite you’d care to present. Just to put it in terms everyone can understand, both potential leads for Space Jam 2 will play in this game. That in itself should let you know how big this series really is.

Keith Strudler: The Promise Of A Better Tomorrow

Mar 2, 2016

I believe in evolution. And I mean that not in the political context it’s often discussed, but rather simply I believe we progress over time. You get to see this at the Museum of Natural History, when you realize the shark of a million years ago is different than the one swimming in the Pacific – although for the record I’m afraid of both. Crocodiles, house cats, monkeys – they’ll all changed with the times. And if they didn’t, they’d become extinct. Just ask the Dodo bird or the Sabre-tooth cat.

Keith Strudler: The Spoils Of A Star's Life

Dec 2, 2015

There’s good news for Philadelphia 76ers rookie center Jahlil Okafor. First, his team finally got their first win of the season last night, beating the also hapless Los Angeles Lakers to bring their record to 1-18. That puts them one win ahead of the Lakers for the all-important top spot in the NBA draft lottery, which seems to be the 6ers title every year now.

Keith Strudler: Golden State Of Grace

Nov 25, 2015

It’s hard to say what perfection looks like, since, by all practical regards it doesn’t exist. In fact, it’s typically a poor aspirational, which is why perfect is the enemy of good. But in sports, perfection stands as the ultimate barometer. The perfect game, the perfect pass, the perfect race. As long as there are games and people to play them, people will chase the holy grail of an athletic performance without flaw.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Albany basketball legend Luther “Ticky” Burden has died in North Carolina.

Keith Strudler: Life’s Great Awards

Jul 22, 2015

Not all sports awards are created the same. For example, if you win, say, the most improved on your high school JV tennis team, that’s fine. But if you win the Super Bowl MVP award, that’s better. With the ubiquity of awards and requisite ceremonies, most people are rightfully judicious on which commendations to cherish, and which to simply accept. In other words, some go on your wall, while others straight to the basement, if the trash.

Today's Sports News

May 22, 2015

NBA:

To the NBA Playoffs and the Western Conference finals where Stephen Curry allowed the Golden State Warriors to overcome an outstanding performance by James Harden as the Warriors held off Houston 99-98 and take a 2-0 series lead.

Keith Strudler: Basketballs And Ping Pong Balls

May 20, 2015

Yesterday was a good day for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Those days have been few and far between as of late, since they’ve just wrapped up a league worst 16-66 record for the year. But while the final four remaining NBA squads play in the conference championships, the T-Wolves may have had last night’s best result, even better than the league leading Golden State Warriors, who took a 1-0 series lead against the Houston Rockets.

Westchester Knicks To Play Home Opener

Nov 19, 2014

Westchester’s new NBA Development League affiliate of the New York Knicks plays its home opener Wednesday evening.

Keith Strudler: Future Tense For Chicago Fans

Nov 12, 2014

For Derrick Rose, the future is not right now. That’s likely disappointing for Chicago Bulls fans who have waited for some eternity for that moment to come. They’ve endured injury after heart breaking injury as perhaps the league’s third best player watched from the sidelines, keeping the Bulls from being little more than a playoff nuisance for the Eastern Conference’s elite. Now, after essentially two years of waiting, Rose is finally wearing something other than a suit and tie on the bench and can actually contribute to a team some consider, if Rose is playing and healthy, perhaps the best in the entire league.

Keith Strudler: King James Goes Home

Nov 5, 2014

Life doesn’t always go according to plan. If it did, I’d be writing this from my ski chalet in Switzerland while my 7 year old cures Cancer. Things haven’t gone exactly according to plan for the sports fans of Cleveland, either. That’s pretty much true for all of sporting history, but particularly true at this very moment, where their beloved Cavaliers are now 1-2 to start this NBA season. That wouldn’t be entirely unusual, if it weren’t for the fact that this season marked the return of the Chosen One LeBron James, who returned from Miami to finally bring a title to beleaguered city. And he brought all-star forward Kevin Love with him, who, along with point guard Kyrie Erving, would form the new holy trinity of power in the Eastern Conference, something the Heat managed for the past several seasons.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Former New York Knicks guard Luther "Ticky" Burden has been diagnosed with a rare heart disease and is being treated at a Manhattan hospital. Two local fundraisers are being held to give the NBA star a helping hand.

Keith Strudler: Jason Kidd's New Job

Jul 2, 2014

Life is always relative. A good job for someone might be a failure to another. Gourmet food in one kitchen is another’s table scraps. But nowhere is that more true than when you talk about salary. One man’s fortune is another man’s welfare. That seems to be the current case of NBA basketball coach Jason Kidd. After one year of his first ever coaching job as head coach of the Brooklyn Nets, the former all-star point guard has left New York for the same job in Milwaukee. Milwaukee. A city Brooklyn could swallow whole for breakfast. Who’s most famous resident was likely William Rehnquist. But it falls off quickly from there. Where they can’t get an arena built, a place NBA free agents see as some sort of purgatory between Boston and LA. That’s where Jason Kidd will spend his second year coaching in the NBA, just named head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Keith Strudler: Help Wanted - No Experience Required

Jun 11, 2014

For everyone who sits at home at watches, let’s say the Knicks, and thinks they could do a better job coaching the team than whatever clown they’ve got, here’s the good news. You may someday have a chance. Because it seems one of the historic barriers to getting the job, years of coaching experience, is no longer important. In fact, you don’t need to have coached a single basketball game in your life. Just ask Derek Fisher, the newly crowned coach of the Knicks. He’s never coached before, and now he’s got perhaps the biggest job in the sport. Same goes for Steve Kerr, who left the broadcast booth for his first coaching gig, head coach of the Golden State Warriors. Gone are the padded resumes and decades of apprenticeships. Gone are the so-called recycled candidates, coaches who’ve already led two or three other NBA teams. Here are the days of new faces and out-of-the-box thinking, which is one of the world’s most ambiguous catch phrases.

Keith Strudler: The NBA Finals

Jun 4, 2014

It’s cliché to say something is more than just a game. Or in this case, more than just a series. But for the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals, it is truly more than simply the sum of its parts.

Herbert London: Hypocrisy, Thy Name Is NBA

May 14, 2014

L’affaire Sterling is nearing an end. Almost every sentient human being is aware of Don Sterling’s rancid racist comments. He has been banned from the NBA forever and he is being forced to sell his team, the Los Angeles Clippers. All of this is known. Adam Silver, Commissioner of the NBA, has been heralded for his quick, and “appropriate” action. The legendary Michael Jordan summarized the view of players and owners by noting: “As an owner, I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views. As a fellow player, I am completely outraged. There is no room in the NBA – or anywhere else – for the kind of racism and hatred that Mr. Sterling allegedly expressed.”
Google Images

Banned for life from the National Basketball Association and a $2.5 million fine: the penalty handed down yesterday by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, Donald Sterling, who was recorded making racist comments regarding African-Americans. Olden Polynice played 15 years in the NBA, including with the Clippers. Polynice, who is now a guest commentator on Fox Sports News, says he did not have a relationship with Sterling, but there were some disturbing incidents.

    

  The Los Angeles Lakers of the 1980s personified the flamboyance and excess of the decade over which they reigned. Beginning with the arrival of Earvin “Magic” Johnson as the number-one overall pick of the 1979 draft, the Lakers played basketball with gusto and pizzazz, unleashing their famed “Showtime” run-and-gun style on a league unprepared for their speed and ferocity—and became the most captivating show in sports and, arguably, in all-around American entertainment.

Bestselling sportswriter Jeff Pearlman draws from almost three hundred interviews to take the first full measure of the Lakers’ epic Showtime era in Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, And The Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty Of The 1980s.

There is a plan in the works to bring an affiliate team of the NBA’s New York Knicks to Westchester County. It’s on a county board’s agenda Thursday.

Jets Eliminate Miami 20-7, Eagles Take NFC East

Dec 30, 2013

In the NFL, it was the Jets over Miami 20-7. Geno Smith led three long scoring drives, ran for a touchdown and threw for 190 yards. New England defeated Buffalo 34-20. The Pats finished 12-4, while the Bills ended up 6-10 and last in the AFC East. The Giants moved past Washington 20-6.

Heat Dominate NBA Opening Game Against Bulls

Oct 30, 2013
Keith Allison/flickr

The NBA season officially got under way Tuesday night.

The Miami Heat celebrated their second straight NBA championship by distributing rings and raising the title banner before facing the Chicago Bulls. Miami built a 54-33 halftime lead in a 107-95 win over the Bulls. Miami scored 37 points in the second quarter alone, more than Chicago accumulated the entire first half. LeBron James had a team-high 17 points and Chris Bosh added 16 for Miami.

Bulls guard Derrick Rose finished with 12 points in his first game since missing all of last season because of knee surgery.

Ticky Comes Home

Jun 24, 2013
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

An Albany basketball legend has returned to one of the places where his career began.

One of Albany's own NBA Stars came home Friday afternoon to the little gym that helped form the foundation for his career. Luther “Ticky” Burden made his way home to Trinity Place, which has been serving children in the city's South End for decades. Burden's pro career entailed a single season with the Virginia Squires and two with the New York Knicks in the late 1970s.

WAMC Morning Edition Sports Update

Mar 8, 2013
Keith Allison Flickr

In the NBA, the Oklahoma City Thunder picked up their third straight win last night to pull within 2 ½ games of first-place San Antonio in the NBA's Western Conference. The Thunder downed the Knicks 95-94 in New York.

The only other NBA game last night had Denver beating the Los Angeles Clippers 109-92. It's the seventh straight win for the Nuggets and their 12th in a row in Denver. They own the league's best home mark at 27-3. The loss drops the Clippers five games off the Western Conference lead.

PG Jason KIdd to Join the Knicks

Jul 6, 2012

Well the Knicks have added a Kidd to their backcourt – but they haven’t gotten any younger…

ESPN reports this morning that veteran point guard Jason Kidd has decided to leave the Mavericks and join the Knicks to the tune of roughly $9 million dollars over three years.  This move comes as Houston and restricted free agent point guard Jeremy Lin have reportedly come to terms on a four year, $29 million dollar deal - the Knicks have three days to match the Rockets’ offer.

Lakers Land PG Nash, Rockets Make Offer to Knicks' Lin

Jul 5, 2012

Well one NBA club celebrated our nation’s independence by bringing a Canadian to town…

The Lakers have acquired point guard Steve Nash in a sign-and-trade deal with the Suns, who receive four draft picks in return: first rounders in 2013 and 2015, and second rounders in 2013 and 2014. Nash agreed to a three-year deal worth $27 million dollars.

To replace Nash, the Suns have re-acquired point guard Goran Dragic to the tune of $34 million dollars over four years.

Source: Nets Land Hawks' Johnson, Pursue PG Williams

Jul 3, 2012

Well according league sources, the Nets have made a major move – and the deal does not include the names Dwight or Howard. 

The Hawks and Nets have reportedly agreed to a trade that would send All-Star guard Joe Johnson to Brooklyn. Johnson has four years and $90 million left on his contract.  The Hawks will receive five players and a draft pick from the Nets, who are also trying to re-sign free agent point guard Deron Williams.

Pages