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Tag: Michael Jordan

Dave Zirin: “There Is No Stay in Your Lane…All the Rules Are Gone”

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has become one of the league’s most vocal advocates on various social issues (Zereshk/Creative Commons).

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In these unprecedented times in which sports is constantly intersecting with politics and society, Dave Zirin of The Nation and the Edge of Sports podcast joins the show for an important conversation. Below, you can find some highlights from the interview:

6:31-7:18: “There is no stay in your lane at this point. All the rules are gone, and I think the very existence of Donald Trump should remove this idea, even as a debate. But the reason you’ve heard it step up in recent years is precisely because we have this Donald Trump[-led] racist backlash taking place in this country. And part of this racist backlash involves squelching voices of dissent. I would argue there’s been no cultural sphere quite like the world of sports in terms of being a center of anti-racist activism. It has been the voice, the clarion call, the moral conscience about racism in the United States over the last five years, dating back to, I would argue, the killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman.”

12:49-13:18: “This has always been part of his [LeBron James’] DNA. This has always been a part of the kind of legacy he wanted to leave. So while LeBron James, I would argue, has been strongly affected by the Black Lives Matter movement, by social media, he’s also somebody who came into the league with this idea of thinking to himself, ‘I want to be a global icon like [Muhammad] Ali. I don’t want to be defined just by my bank account but [by] the kind of political contribution that I can leave behind.’” Continue reading

Jonathan Abrams Discusses New Book, “Boys Among Men,” on the Lasting Impact of the Prep-to-Pro Players

Abrams' first book showcases the good, the bad and the ugly of the Prep-to-Pro Generation and hints at where the NBA may be headed with regard to draft eligibility rules.

Abrams’ first book, which debuted March 15, 2016, showcases the good, the bad and the ugly of the prep-to-pro generation and hints at where the NBA may be headed with regard to draft eligibility rules.

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The wait is over. Jonathan Abrams’ highly anticipated book, “Boys Among Men: How the Prep-to-Pro Generation Redefined the NBA and Sparked a Basketball Revolution,”  is finally out! In it, he expertly chronicles the impact of the players who came to the NBA directly from high school before the rule was changed after the 2005 draft. Aaron spoke with the author in detail about the book and some of its most fascinating takeaways. To get you in the mood, we’ve transcribed some sexy clips:

9:37-10:07; Abrams on how he set out to humanize larger-than-life NBA players: “I don’t think there’s that much of a challenge if you just look at these people as human beings, which they are. They all have stories and origin tales of where they began. And I try to look at each story almost like, ‘OK, how did this guy become who he is today? What influenced him and what made him become that person?’ You just start from there and try to unravel the tape and figure it all out.”

13:55-14:48 on the challenge of structuring the narrative: “It was difficult. That was one of the things that I struggled with for a little while. The first thing I did was try to do as much as reporting on the subject as I could. Try to talk to as many coaches and players and agents as possible. And then I tried to construct how the book was gonna flow. And yeah, it was difficult at first. I didn’t want the same story over and over again in different chapters, and I didn’t want the chapters to seem all disconnected. And I think the one thing that did make sense was to try to connect it through kind of how the NBA grew up and matured, because back when Kobe and KG were entering the league, Michael Jordan was still king and NBA salaries weren’t anywhere near where it is today. So you can almost say that the NBA grew up during this time with these players as well.” Continue reading

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