Words With Friends
The NBA prompts more great features, profiles, analysis, essays, viewpoints, and other writing than any other sport. There is too much for anyone to see it all, but here are the five best pieces we’ve read lately.
1. How Stephen Curry Went from Ignored Recruit to Possible MVP
by Pat Forde
"How did an entire nation of coaches miss someone with all those talents? Especially one whose father, Dell, was one of the best 3-point shooters in NBA history? What the hell was everyone thinking when they let a future superstar go virtually unrecruited? “Sometimes,” explained Curry’s high school coach, Shonn Brown, “kids don’t pass the eye test. As a senior he looked like he was about 14 years old.”"
2. Aldridge Follows in Z-Bo’s Footsteps
by Baxter Holmes
"[LaMarcus] Aldridge said he’d love it if the story was a simple one — [Zach] Randolph and the team welcomed him with open arms, preparing him for his destined role as the franchise’s prized post player. “I wish I could say that,” Aldridge said. “I want to give you that story so bad. But I’m trying to tell you, they did not believe in me in the beginning. I was a ‘project.'”"
3. A Grizzlies Fan Finds Fame as the Bongo Lady
by Scott Cacciola
"“Bongo Lady,” the Grizzlies’ Tony Allen said, “is my home girl.” [Miranda] Meacham, 45, might just be the world’s pre-eminent air-bongo impresario. She flails her arms and bobs her head as she plays the heck out of those cartoon bongos, her movements defying easy description … It should be noted that Meacham has no formal musical training. Her bongo wizardry is self-taught. The key, she said, is to stay on the bongos. Too many fans let their hands drift away, which makes their playing look inexact. Meacham strives for authenticity … “Shout-out to the Bongo Lady,” said Allen, who likes to give his closest friends a hand gesture that he calls the deuces. “Even when she’s not dancing, I always wave at her, give her the deuces and say hello. She throws the deuces right back. It’s all love.”"
4. The Gospel of Coach Bud
by Kevin Arnovitz
"This unification of the strategic and personal isn’t a happy coincidence, but a deliberate campaign by [Hawks coach Mike] Budenholzer to create a workplace where the product on the floor is an actual expression of a belief that everyone matters. This is an ethic passed down by Popovich to Budenholzer, the idea that if you create a system that relies on collective trust, everyone will flourish … Not one Hawks player has scored more than 30 points in a game this season, yet you won’t find a roster anywhere in pro sports that swoons over a coach the way the Hawks’ chorus sings the gospel of Bud."
5. Rajon Rondo Gives Connect Four Advice to Children
by Jason Concepcion
"Sorry to burst your bubble, but your dad lets you win. Either that or he’s more trash at this game than you are. This is terrible chip placement. If you were my child and you made this move, I wouldn’t speak to you for at least five months. There are over four trillion possible permutations to Connect Four, and you picked the s***tiest way to begin your game. Start in the center every single time if you want to win."
Next: Being Thankful