Ranking all 30 NBA court designs: Art and sports meet on the playing surfaces of the NBA, where court design has evolved considerably over the past few decades. We asked four experts -- RedEye designer Sara Amato, Chicago Tribune data visualization editor Jonathon Berlin, Gameplan Creative chief creative officer Tom O'Grady and art critic Lori Waxman -- to rank the design of all 30 NBA courts. As you might expect, they don't always agree, but here are their reviews, ranked by aggregate points from worst to first.
Texas Rangers take game one 5-3 against the Toronto Blue Jays: in a game that sees Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, and Adrian Beltre leave with injuries. David Price has lost six straight post-season starts (four of those losses coming against Texas) and Rangers 2B Rougned Odor became the 2nd youngest player* to score three runs in a playoff game, twice after being hit by Price and once via a solo home run in the top of the 7th inning. Game two features a pitching match-up of trade deadline acquired Cole Hamels against late-season-emerging-after-tearing-an-ACL Marcus Stroman.
James Blake reportedly thrown to the ground, cuffed and detained by several NYPD officers.: Blake, retired for the past two years, is in NYC to appear at US Open related events. NYPD officers say they mistook him for a suspect in a fraudulent credit card operation. James, who has cuts and bruises as a result of the event stated "To me it’s as simple as unnecessary police force, no matter what my race is. In my mind there’s probably a race factor involved, but no matter what, there’s no reason for anybody to do that to anybody. I was just standing there. I wasn’t running. It’s blatantly unnecessary. You would think at some point they would get the memo that this isn’t O.K., but it seems that there’s no stopping it.”
The End of the Hoop Dream: A Journey to the Extreme Fringe of International Basketball. Fueled by desperation and long-shot hopes, a twentysomething huckster agent leads 10 end-of-the-line players on a European exposure tour. It could be their final chance at basketball glory, but will anyone buy what he’s selling?
The IOC announces Beijing as the host of the 2022 Winter Olympics.: Beijing, which hosted the Summer Olympics in 2008, barely squeaked out a 44-40 win over its only competitor, Almaty, Kazakhstan. Pointing at the fact that a Beijing hosted Olympics would require relying on artificial snow, Almaty's campaign slogan was "Keeping It Real".
Miracle on ice goalie Jim Craig auctioning off his memorabilia: Seeking to secure his family's financial future, Craig is seeking $5.7 million for 19 items, including his gold medal, jerseys worn during the semi-final and gold medal games, and the flag that was draped over him after the US defeated Finland.
The Justice Department has ended its criminal case against Barry Bonds.: The U.S. Department of Justice will not appeal a court ruling that cleared baseball player Barry Bonds of obstruction of justice in a probe over steroids. The DOJ's move effectively ends the long criminal prosecution of the sport's career home run leader. The slugger was convicted on one obstruction charge in 2011, and the jury deadlocked on three perjury counts. His sentence of two years of probation and 30 days of home confinement was put on hold pending his appeal.
Zach Lowe's NBA Free-Agency Winners and Losers: Now that Marc Gasol and Robert Pera have come down from their tapas-and-wine bender across Barcelona, the last big-name free agent outside the LeBron Show is off the board. The first free-agency period of the NBA’s new money era mostly unfolded over a whirlwind 90 hours, starting with Al-Farouq Aminu’s move to Portland and ending when LaMarcus Aldridge broke away and headed to San Antonio. Even when most players re-sign with their old teams, free agency jolts the league’s balance of power and explodes new trends in the player-sharing economy.
SpoFi NBA Pick 'Em final results: congratulations to grum@work and ic23b who tied for first place. (more inside)
WTF MLB? Baseball Strikes Out With Its Streaming Policies.: Iowa is supposed to be heaven for baseball fans – 'Field of Dreams' and all that. But if you want to stream MLB games, it's a virtual hell.
SpoFil NBA Playoff Pick 'Em: Finals Edition. Picks must be in before game one starts at 9 PM Eastern on Thursday night.
SpoFi NBA Pick 'Em: Round Two results and Conference Finals Picks. Picks need to be in by 9:00 PM Eastern on Tuesday (tomorrow) before game 1 of the Rockets/Warriors tips off.
The Cleveland Cavaliers catch heat for in-game promotional video.: The video features a couple re-enacting the final performance scene from Dirty Dancing; however after the male catches his girlfriend he proceeds to slam her into the ground when it's revealed she's wearing a Bulls t-shirt.
SpoFi NBA Playoff Pick 'Em: Round Two. First game tips off at 1 PM Eastern tomorrow, so hurry up and get your picks in.
Chris Rock on baseball losing the Black market: HBO's Real Sports offers up this seven-minute monologue featuring Rock's memories of growing up a Mets fan in the 80's and his perspective on the (fairly commonly accepted) idea that MLB is failing to keep the attention of African-Americans.
Sources: Billy Donovan will coach the OKC Thunder: The University of Florida men's coach will replace Scott Brooks, who was fired last week after an injury-riddled season that ended without a playoff berth.
Charles Barkley: Rick Carlisle should bench Rajon Rondo permanently.: Rondo's game 2 performance at Houston featured a first-half uncontested 8-second violation which he followed by drawing two personal fouls and a technical foul in the first 34 seconds of the third quarter. Rondo didn't see the court again and declined to speak to reporters after the game. He is widely rumored to sign a free-agent contract with the Lakers in the off-season.
The NFL free-agency period begins with a slew of major moves: Including the New Orleans Saints trading TE Jimmy Graham to Seattle, the Eagles and Rams swapping quarterbacks and...
Baseball's fight with fatigue: Last year, less than 9% of position players appeared in 150 or more games. That is the lowest such percentage in major-league history, according to Stats LLC. Run scoring in September last year was 7% lower than it was during March and April, twice as steep a decline as the historical norm. So, as full squads report to spring training in Florida and Arizona this week, teams aren’t worried so much about hitters being ready for Opening Day. They’re worried about keeping them fresh for the stretch run, and they’re exploring myriad new ways to boost their endurance.
“I got a big charge out of seeing Ted Williams hit. Once in a while they let me try to field some of them, which sort of dimmed my enthusiasm.”: A Futility Infielder tribute to Rocky Bridges (1927-2015), one of the game's most colorful characters - When Don Zimmer passed away last June after 66 years in baseball, I called him the ultimate futility infielder. Allow me to amend that, for Rocky Bridges, who died last week at the age of 87, was every bit as worthy of that title, and every bit as much an inspiration for this site. The secret of futility infielders is their ability to thrive despite their shortcomings in talent, thanks to persistence, flexibility and a command of fundamentals that go well beyond the playing field. They’re the laces that hold the leather together, the very soul of baseball.
Former Portuguese footballer Luis Figo joins crowded field looking to unseat Sepp Blatter as President of FIFA.: The 78-year-old Blatter is seeking his fifth consecutive term as FIFA President in an election to be held May 29th. Figo joins Frenchman Jérôme Champagne, Jordanian Prince Ali (who has won the backing of England's FA), Dutch FA President Michael van Pragg, and a bookmaker-backed publicity candidate. ESPN FC's Gabriele Marcotti offers a brief primer (autoplay audio/video warning).
Ernie Banks, legendary 'Mr. Cub,' dead at 83: Banks was an 11-time all-star and back-to-back NL MVP. With career totals of 512 home runs and 1,636 RBI, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977. He is the only National League shortstop to hit 40+ home runs in a season, a feat he accomplished five times.
Don't hit me in the mouth, I gotta play tonight: Miles Davis and boxing. "The legendary jazz trumpeter and composer isn’t the only person to ever make the comparison—George Foreman famously stated that “Boxing is like jazz. The better it is, the less people appreciate it.”—but few are as uniquely qualified to ponder the relationship between music and pugilism as Davis was. Over the course of his life and career, the man’s connection to the sweet science was almost as complex and fascinating as his music was. It was a source of childhood inspiration, a muse, and even a lifesaver."
Hall of Fame voting raises more questions than answers: The fact of the matter is, Major League Baseball and the Hall of Fame both recognize Barry Bonds as the all-time home run leader, and now they're trying to pass the buck on the BBWAA to shell out some justice. That's not a game I'm comfortable playing. C. Trent Rosencrans fills out his first HOF ballot.