Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Sacramento's Crowd-Sourcing Strategy

As all of you NBA fans are aware, the league held its annual lottery last Tuesday night, and for the third time in four years, Cleveland won the prize and their choice of Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, or Joel Embiid (or alternatively, for a team desperate to make the playoffs next year, trading the pick for an established veteran star who fills a need - say, Kevin Love?). This is shaping up to be one of the deepest drafts in years, with anywhere from four to eight future All-Star talents, and potential solid rotation pieces all the way into the first round. Because of that wealth of talent, several teams engaged in rather shameless tanking this year in order to get the best chance at hitting the mother lode. Thankfully, Cleveland was a team that was actually trying to win basketball games, and cashed in a 1.7% chance. They've been lottery regulars since LeBron left town in 2010, and they've had company along the way.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Influential Coaches #5: Bob Smith & Mike Craig

Previous entries:
Series Overview
January: Paul Westphal (basketball)
February: Tara Gallagher (basketball/softball)
March: Robert Joseph Ahola (rugby)
April: Rickey Perkins (swimming)

Mike and Bob are emblematic of the thousands of youth and high school coaches across the country who volunteer their time and money in order to provide a fun environment for kids. There certainly never would have been a Valdez High School baseball team without their efforts (and indeed, with the Craig family now living in Anchorage and both Smith children long since graduated, a team does not currently exist). And from a personal standpoint, I can say that without their team and their invitation to include me as a part of that team in one capacity or another for all six of my summers in Valdez, I would likely not have enjoyed those summers nearly as much as I did, nor would I have developed as many friendships, in particular with a few guys whom I consider to be among my very closest friends.