Duke basketball is considered one of the “blue bloods” of college basketball and a lot of that is thanks to Coach K. He’s accumulated over 1,000 wins with the vast majority of them coming at Duke and that means a lot of weeks spent as the No. 1 team in the AP Poll. Continue reading “Duke matches historic record after latest AP Poll is released”

Cody Ross

By Mark Otten, Associate Professor of Psychology, California State University, Northridge. Who will emerge as this year’s David Freese? Eric Gay/AP Photo “I don’t know. It’s unbelievable. It’s amazing,” said Dodgers outfielder Enrique “Kiké” Hernandez after game 5 of the National League Championship Series, when he became the first Dodger in the team’s 134-year history to hit three home runs in a postseason game. Continue reading “The psychology of the clutch athlete”

Crowdfunding Sports

I’m a big fan of crowdfunded projects – I like the idea and I like that I can help someone create something like a documentary I’d like to see, instead of having to wait for someone to green light it. Okay, I guess that’s a bit self-serving. But I do browse crowdfunding sites quite a bit looking for different interesting projects and often I will throw in a few bucks to try and help the cause.

These projects are sometimes hit-or-miss; if the funding goal isn’t reached, the project might never happen. But often I’ve been able to enjoy awesome results, such as the No Look Pass documentary. I was an early supporter of Vantage Sports and their goal of creating detailed stat tools for basketball, but they just couldn’t get the numbers of backers to fund the project through their initial pitch. Then, of course, there are some that are downright ridiculous, like this one attempting to raise $1.6 billion to buy out Sports Authority. No, I’m not kidding.

So while all projects are only available for funding for a limited time, I thought I’d start posting some of the coolest looking sports related projects for your perusal from time to time. If you like the idea, be sure to donate $5 or $10 to help these projects get off the ground.

1. “What It Takes” – A documentary/series about women working in male dominated sports. The trailer looks well shot although I wish there was a bit more narrative to show the subject’s voices and perspective; however, looking at sports from media other than the cookie-cutter mass production we see from major networks is always interesting.

2. Popup Hotel Suites for Sporting Events & Festivals – this is a great idea which should be taking the world by storm, but with time running out and very little interest, it seems unlikely. The basic idea is this: sporting events such as the Super Bowl or major festivals like Coachella are often limited to locations with enough hotels. However, with popup hotel suites – like the prototype built here by The Rollick Hotel Company, would allow many more fans and geographical locations to host major events. How is this not already a thing?

Pop up hotel suite

3. One for the Team – A great project intended to help kids in impoverished areas around the world by providing used sports equipment. Why this is a cool idea is pretty self-evident, but it’s been proven that sports can help groups avoid physical conflicts; in other words, if two groups can solve their differences in a soccer match, there’s a better chance they won’t resort to violence or war in the future. But that’s just my input – the basic project is focused on kids.

4. Mirage – The World’s First Sports Light-Up Headband – this actually isn’t the first time I’ve seen something similar to this. But honestly, someone needs to make this for all of those early morning runners who are hard to see in the dark – sometimes reflective clothing isn’t enough. This morning I was driving to the gym before sunrise in a driving rain – I’m always worried that I won’t see someone until it’s too late. This might not completely prevent accidents but anything that helps, I’m on board.

5. KUAI: The World’s Smartest Multi-Sport Headphones – This one’s going to happen, or at least, get funded. Which makes sense: WE STILL HAVE NOT SOLVED SPORTS HEADPHONES AS A SPECIES. We landed on the moon, invented electric cars and the computer and we still are looking for some way to keep little speakers in our ears correctly while exercising. This project has a lot of endorsements and tons of interest. I don’t know if it will work, but I’m getting in on this one too.

1. Nobody wants to be known as a defensive specialist

Any serious basketball player wants to be good at defense. Some players make it a mission to be a lock down defender. But everybody wants to score. Even guys who can’t hit unguarded layups and know their role still wish they could dominate the scoring column. So when you see that guy on TV who always sets the right pick and passes to the star player like he’s supposed to, remember that he’s giving up a lot to make the team win – because everybody, deep down, wants to be a scorer.

2. Jammed fingers are a way of life

If you play basketball as a passion, your knuckles may constantly seem to be in a state of swelling and discomfort from jammed fingers. It’s so much a way of life that most of the time you don’t even think about it, but if the swelling from that missed dunk doesn’t go down within a few hours or a day, you should probably have it checked out. At the very least, use the RICE method (rest, ice, compression and elevation).

3. Basketball is a year-round sport

Most people think basketball starts sometime in January and ends sometime in March, except for the NBA playoffs, which last for-ev-ah. But for the players, it’s nonstop, whether you are playing high school, college, semi pro, rec league, AAU, summer league or even on a national team, the only month where very little organized basketball happens is August, but even then you can find a game somewhere. Unlike baseball or football, basketball can be played year round and technically only requires 2 people, a hoop, and a basketball to have a game. Even soccer, which only requires a ball, can’t compete with a real 1-on-1 game anytime of the year.

4. The crowd has less effect than the fans think

Most players are only rattled by big crowds when they first play in front of them. The situational blindness of playing generally means you see what’s happening on the court, and not much else. Players can tune out almost everything else, and it’s not even something that you have to work at – but that’s also why coaches can be yelling from the sidelines and none of the players react. It’s like their in their own hoop bubble, and it stops at the edges of the courts.

5. Music matters. A lot.
Hoopers may listen to a lot of types of music, but the reality is that hip-hop (or just called ‘rap’ if you’ve been balling since the 70s or 80s) is the music of basketball. The hard driving rhymes and looped joints of great hip-hop melds perfectly into the mindset of how you have to move and play on the court. Basketball might have been born under peach baskets in Massachusetts, but it grew up on the blacktop of the urban centers of the United States, just like hip hop.

6. Kobe Bryant’s Not A Ball Hog

Kobe Bryant isn’t really a ball hog because he’s one of the purest jump shooters that’s ever played in the NBA. Neither was Michael Jordan, Julius Erving or even Allen Iverson. You know what a real ball hog is? It’s that guy that takes the inbounds pass, races up the floor, never even looks at his teammates and launches the ugliest air ball that has ever been seen on a basketball court – and you know the very next time he touches the ball, he’s going to do it again.

7. Just because a guy is tall, doesn’t mean he can play

Being tall certainly helps playing basketball, but just because a player is 6’7″ or 6’9″ doesn’t make him an automatic NBA player. There are thousands of people who are 6’6″ or taller who aren’t anywhere near the talent level to play in the NBA, but there are just as many who aren’t really talented enough to play sports in general. Sometimes they do want to play and improve, but many times taller people are guided into basketball just because of their height, when they are possibly better suited to be flower arrangers or market analysts.

8. Choosing the adequate Basketball Hoop is not an easy task. 

If you are a basketball player just like me, you’ll know that all basketball hoops are not the same. There are various factors to consider before you spend your money on purchasing the best in-ground basketball hoop. It seems like an easy task but basketball hoops also come with their features and to make sure that it lasts you a lifetime you need to evaluate the pros cons and all features before you end up buying it. Check Out In Ground Basketball hoop guide to learn more about!.

9. Refs get a lot of calls completely wrong

NBA players have taken to complaining about fouls that they obviously committed to an art form, but ignoring the pros, every player has been hit with bad calls. You do have to play through the bad calls, but every player has had calls go against them that they knew they didn’t commit – as in, ‘not even on that side of the court’ to commit the foul that was called.

10. A lot of basketball sneakers are just for show

Sneakerheads have new models to choose from all of the time, and many hoopers are sneakerheads. However, just because a pair of shoes looks good means they are meant to play in, since there are different shoes for different kind of feet, so Let’s discuss few top rated Basketball Shoes for Wide Feet and how you can find the perfect shoe for you in this case. John Wooden, the legendary UCLA coach, constantly preached to players to take care of their feet – from the way they tied their laces to the types of shoes they wore.

National Basketball Association commissioner David Stern answers questions from the media regarding failed contract negotiations between the NBA and the players association in New York June 30, 2011. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT EMPLOYMENT BUSINESS BASKETBALL)

        
        

The NBA and the players’ association representatives met yesterday, giving fans hope that if things went well, the possibility of pro basketball this season might still be a reality. This week, meaning, by Friday, is pretty much the last week any kind of deal could be reached before affecting the season, because of training camp schedules and then the pre-season.

Unfortunately, they walked away without any resolution, leaving a lot of doubt on the season. NBA Commissioner David Stern said that he has not asked any of the owners to take the ultimate step regarding this season, but it doesn’t sound like there is any plan for a meeting in the near future:

The Owners are scheduled to hold a Board of Governors meeting on Thursday and while Stern may not ask for a vote, the final power to scrub the pre-season may be granted to the Labor Relations Committee simply by virtue of process.

Stern warned that while yesterday was a “bad day”, he hoped that phone conversations could re-start the process which seemed awfully close yesterday.

The silver lining is that the players and owners apparently started discussions over the biggest point of contention, which is how to split revenues. This could have been a result of more people being brought into the negotiations, but normally, when a group that’s trying to agree on something gets bigger, that usually just makes it more difficult.

Regardless of how both sides try to spin the result of yesterday’s meeting, the reality is that everyone knows the lack of a resolution is a very bad sign for the upcoming season:

“I think coming out of today, obviously because of the calendar, we can’t come out of here feeling as though training camps and the season is going to start on time at this point,” players’ association president Derek Fisher(notes) of the Lakers said.

The only real movement in the discussions is that the players seem willing to give up more revenue, although no formal proposal was made. Despite everyone involved expressing disappointment, Stern seems to be the ‘less glum’ of the participants, probably due to the change in position by the players:

“We did not have a great day,” said commissioner David Stern, though he was not nearly as glum as the players. Perhaps Stern recognized important movement in the players’ stance. Just last week the two sides had exchanged proposals, according to Stern, while engaging each other in conversations that were inspiring to both union and management. While union chief Billy Hunter said he hadn’t been expecting to reach an agreement Tuesday, he was hoping to achieve progress to build on the gains of last week.

As we’ve stated before, in this negotiation, the owners have far more leverage to get what they want than the players, and it’s pretty much a waiting game for them until the players’ wallets start hurting enough, and they concede.

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Interested in playing basketball overseas? You might want to check out this handy guide.