‘LeBron’s Mighty Mind’

Brian Windhorst, writing for ESPN.com:

He is 6-foot-8 or so, and 260 pounds or so. He has striking athleticism even while in a crowd of some of the greatest athletes on the planet. He has a strong work ethic that manifests itself in expansive summer programs that are at the heart of the steady development of his game over the years. He is ambidextrous, playing right-handed but doing most other things in his life left-handed, a trait that has helped him become one of the great scorers in league history. He has an expansive interest in the history of the game, which he uses both as a teaching resource and to generate motivation in a time where he has very few true contemporaries.

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On Levi’s Stadium

Ryan Lawler, writing for TechCrunch:

Levi’s Stadium, which had its ribbon-cutting ceremony yesterday, is a beautiful arena. It comfortably seats 68,500 fans and can add additional seating to hold 75,000 for events like the Super Bowl. There are two giant screens on either side of the field, with a viewing area of 19,200 square feet between them.

But that’s the kind of thing that we’ve come to expect from new modern arenas. What’s really cool about Levi’s Stadium is the technology that has been built into it.

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On Going Home Again

Dave Zirin for The Nation, on what it means that LeBron is going back to Cleveland:

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LeBron: ‘I’m Coming Home’

King James himself, in a statement on SI.com:

When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission. I was seeking championships, and we won two. But Miami already knew that feeling. Our city hasn’t had that feeling in a long, long, long time. My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio.

[...]

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On the Braves-Giants Marathon Game

Mark O’Neill, writing for Around the Foghorn:

On July 2, 1963, one of the greatest pitching duels in major league history took place at Candlestick Park, when 25-year-old Juan Marichal, of the San Francisco Giants, out-dueled 42-year-old Warren Spahn of the Milwaukee Braves, 1-0, in a marathon sixteen-inning game. The contest was ultimately won by the Giants when Willie Mays hit a solo home run in the bottom of the sixteenth.

In an era of pitch-counts and specialization of bullpen personnel, it is inconceivable that any pitcher today would ever engage in this kind of lengthy appearance, but back in the day such was not the case. Complete games were the norm and guys prided themselves on their durability.

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On Tony Gwynn

Tyler Kepner, writing for The New York Times:

For Gwynn, the thrill was in the pursuit of perfection in a job built around failure. He tried to leave nothing to chance. Years before laptops and iPads, Gwynn would lug video equipment around the league, meticulously combing through his at-bats, discarding the rare clunkers and studying the gems.

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On Donald Sterling and ‘Injustice’

Dave Zirin for The Nation, on the dark side of Sterling’s exile from the NBA:

Now the NBA will never have to answer the question about why the Sterlings have been coddled for so long. Now the NBA won’t have to defend why racist housing practices, demonstrable misogyny and the verbal abuse of players was ignored for so long.

Great question — if Sterling was known like this prior, why wait to act now?

‘The National Pastime, Amid a National Crisis’

Michael Beschlosis, writing for the NYT’s The Upshot blog:

This is one of the earliest photographs ever taken of a baseball game, and it happened by accident. The photographer, Henry P. Moore, of Concord, N.H., was focusing on the well-uniformed Union soldiers of the 48th New York State Volunteer Infantry, but he also captured their baseball-playing comrades in the background.

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‘It Doesn’t Say How Much You Played On Your Championship Ring’

Nice profile of Greg Oden, former #1 overall pick-turned-backup, by Mark Titus for Grantland:

I asked him straight-up: “If this is the final chapter of the Greg Oden story — if you’re destined to be a benchwarmer for the rest of your career — are you OK with that? Will you be satisfied with your legacy?”

“I’m over all of that,” Greg told me. “I know I’m one of the biggest busts in NBA history and I know that it’ll only get worse as Kevin Durant continues doing big things … It’s frustrating that my body can’t do what my mind wants it to do sometimes. But worrying or complaining about it isn’t going to fix anything …

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NBA Bans Clippers Owner Sterling for Life

ESPN reports on the punishment handed down by Commissioner Adam Silver:

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been banned for life by the NBA in response to racist comments the league says he made in a recorded conversation.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he will try to force the controversial owner to sell his franchise. Sterling also was fined $2.5 million, and Silver made no effort to hide his outrage over the comments.

For the best take on this news, see this tweet retweeted by Christina Warren.

(via 512 Pixels)