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Book Review: Swee’ Pea and Other Playground Legends

A great deal of what interests most people about sports relies on legend. We hear about a player (say, Thon Maker) and we get glimpses of him via mixtapes on YouTube, but we really have no idea if he can stand up to NBA competition. The jury is still out on Maker, but he put […]

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 30:  Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder looks on prior to Game Seven of the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on May 30, 2016 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Thunder Ink Westbrook, Set Sights on Blake Griffin

The Oklahoma City Thunder got the biggest win imaginable in the wake of Kevin Durant ditching the franchise, inking Russell Westbrook to a three-year, $85.7 million contract extension. But, wouldn’t you know it, the extension was reportedly agreed upon weeks ago. According to ESPN’s Royce Young, the Thunder rescinded guard Dion Waiters’ qualifying offer on July […]

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 19:  LeBron James #23 and Kevin Love #0 of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrate after defeating the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 19, 2016 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

A Very Early 2016/17 NBA Eastern Conference Preview

  Just two years ago, the free agency period in the NBA wrought seismic changes to the Eastern Conference. I tried to figure out how things would shake out and I didn’t do too badly. The team I missed on was actually my Milwaukee Bucks who rode Jared Dudley and Zaza Pachulia to a surprising […]

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Book Review: The Only Rule Is It Has to Work

I don’t really consider myself aligned with any school of thought. I try to be open minded, which I guess makes me liberal (which is a freighted term). My Facebook profile does not provide much information either (although my political allegiance, it says, is to DILLYGAF). Were I to label myself, I would proudly wear […]

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 07:  Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors poses with his new jersey during the press conference where he was introduced as a member of the Golden State Warriors after they signed him as a free agent on July 7, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Durant To The Warriors: See No Evil

  Here we go again: a player leaves a team as a free agent and the common thought seems to be that he has betrayed not just his former team, but everyone. The reasoning seems to be that the best players owe their teams loyalty for now and for always. LeBron James deceived Cleveland four […]

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 19:  LeBron James #23 and Kevin Love #0 of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrate after defeating the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 19, 2016 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

2016 NBA Finals: Does It Get Any Better?

  Why do I watch sports? There have been times over the past couple of years that I have asked myself that (as you know). I could be doing so many other things with my time, but I continue to return to basketball. If I ever need to ask myself that question again, I can […]

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 08:  A ping pong ball is pictured on the table during day one of the ITTF World Team Cup at the Al Nasr Sports Club on January 8, 2015 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images for Falcon)

2016 Lottery Night Mock Draft (a few days late)

  A tradition like no other: it is the lottery night mock draft from Missner’s Manifesto. Of course, every tradition is like every other and I am a few days late from lottery night. Sadly, my schedule did not allow me to start typing on Tuesday evening after the ping pong balls were drawn. I […]

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 21: (L-R) James Harden #13, Serge Ibaka #9, Kevin Durant #35, Kendrick Perkins #5 and Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder stand on court against the Miami Heat  in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The Best Three Year Draft Runs in NBA History

  A few weeks ago, I wrote about the incredible success that the Oklahoma City Thunder have had in the NBA draft. The team’s three-year run of drafting from 2007 to 2009 with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, and James Harden should be the blueprint for all teams. However, I began to wonder if […]

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Book Review: Chasing Perfection

  One of the first podcasts I listened to was an early version of the ESPN college basketball show with Andy Katz and Andy Glockner. I was neither here nor there about Katz, but I liked Glockner. He had a sense of humor and he loved the numbers. I was sad when he left ESPN, […]

DURHAM, NC - DECEMBER 15:  Brandon Ingram #14 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts after a play during their game against the Georgia Southern Eagles at Cameron Indoor Stadium on December 15, 2015 in Durham, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

The Skinny of Draft Prognostication

  Draft prognostication is an inexact science. There are so many things that can go right or wrong for a player that even the experts are just guessing. One theory that I have long held is that skinny players from college should be avoided. This theory will once again be tested in 2016 because Brandon […]

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 30: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers takes a shot from the bench prior to the game against the Utah Jazz on October 30, 2015 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

How To Build a Team (Starring the Thunder – Not the 76ers)

  In the early days of Missner’s Manifesto, one of my greatest targets was the Philadelphia 76ers and their attempt to game the NBA draft process by losing intentionally over multiple seasons. I thought this was an inane way to build a team and I was a bit ahead of the curve in disparaging Sam […]

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 5: Daniel Ochefu #23 of the Villanova Wildcats attempts a shot as L.J. Peak #0 of the Georgetown Hoyas defends during the second half in an NCAA college basketball game on March 5, 2016 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Villanova defeated Georgetown 84-71. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)

2016 Final Four Live Blog

Final Four Saturday is quickly becoming one of my favorite days. It generally features two great games back-to-back and I get to shoo away any other responsibilities and just watch (and type). I’ll be doing another live blog on Saturday evening and you can follow along, if you like. I am much more interested in […]

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 24:  Ben Simmons #25 of the LSU Tigers looks on against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Barclays Center on November 24, 2015 in Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Missing Ben Simmons

  The 2016 NCAA tournament has been great. We had all of the first round upsets that a person could want. The signature moment will likely be the crazy Texas A&M comeback from 12 points down with less than a minute remaining. While I have enjoyed it and will surely enjoy the Final Four coming […]

NORMAN, OK - JANUARY 16: Buddy Hield #24 of the Oklahoma Sooners reacts after making his first two point shot against West Virginia during the first half of a NCAA college basketball game at the Lloyd Noble Center on January 16, 2016 in Norman, Oklahoma. (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)

Bracketology Bracket-Busting Breakdown

For the past couple of seasons, I have not filled out a bracket. It had something to do with feeling stupid after not being able to pick the games correctly. I also have the belief that everybody is doing something, it must be wrong. This year, I will be back to bracket-filling (and I am […]

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - FEBRUARY 27: Jake Layman #10 of the Maryland Terrapins dunks the ball against A.J. Hammons #20 of the Purdue Boilermakers at Mackey Arena on February 27, 2016 in West Lafayette, Indiana.  (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Giving The Big 10 Some Much Needed Love

    Over the past few weeks, I have noticed that I have given the Big 10 a short shrift this year. While the Big 12 deserves plenty of attention, I have spent too much time looking at teams from the SEC (LSU, Kentucky, I am looking at you). I have attempted to rectify things […]

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