It has been a while since the “Links of the Week” blog has seen the light of day, but we’re bringing it out of retirement for a nice little run here that will last as long as its legs will let it. Just to give you a little preview of what to expect, I break down nuanced topics of high esteem that are heady, dignified and of the utmost importance. Then, I share neat internet stuff.
So before we get started, I shall take this opportunity to deliver a hot take about free throws.
Free throws have been all the talk of the NBA-fan community for the past few weeks and came to a head on Wednesday night, when the Houston Rockets kicked off the second half by fouling the Detroit Pistons’ Andre Drummond five times in the first ten seconds to force Drummond to shoot free throws. Drummond is shooting 35% on the season. That is not a good percentage. Drummond ended up shooting 36 free throws during that game alone (he made 13, or 36%).
NBA Twitter hates this strategy and many media members go crazy whenever teams employ the “Hack-a-Shaq” gimmick. They call it “atrocious”. Others go so far as to say it is the “legitimately one of the worst, most painful experiences a sports fan can endure.” Calls to change the rules have been growing louder and louder and even the NBA Commissioner is starting to change his mind.
Or, you know, the folks who play professional basketball could make the free throws.
I don’t see a reason to change the rules just because there are 14 individuals in the league who shoot under 50%. Granted, the intentional foul strategy is a dastardly gameplan that sometimes helps and sometimes hurts. Detractors argue that it ruins the game, slows down the pace, and is driving fans away.
Of course, they could also make their free throws.
I agree that the strategy slows down the game and can be a distraction, but I don’t think such a small contingency of players warrants changing the entire structure of the game. If there becomes a new plan - and by the way, I read a lot and have not read a single idea for getting rid of intentional fouls that would make the game better. In the end, the market will correct itself. If it truly becomes *that* big of an issue, teams will be more reluctant to sign the Andre Drummonds and Deandre Jordans of the world. Plus, in the end all they have to do is learn how to throw an 8-pound ball through and 18-inch hole 10 feet off the ground at a distance of 15 feet. Practice makes perfect.
So the lesson is, kids, practice your friggin’ free throws. Here are the Links of the Week:
Lots of basketball this week, so let's start here. Forbes, which does a fair-to-midland job of comprising lists of NBA team values, recently released its list of top earning NBA players for 2016. LeBron James is obviously topping that list at a cool $71 million for the year, but the biggest surprise is Derrick Rose, checking in at #4 (!) on the list, earning $34.1 million. [Forbes via RealGM]
Did you know Google saved about 25 years worth of annoying ads last year? [Adweek]
Another basketball story? Get used to it! Team USA narrowed down its 2016 Olympic roster to 30 players, which it then has to whittle down to 12 before the summer games begin. I spent about six whole minutes trying to pick the 12 without leaving off a great player or future Hall of Famer before giving up. You try. I double dog dare you. [USA Today]
Shutting down traffic around Wrigley Field? Good news for people drunkenly walking around Wrigleyville; bad news for people who live around Wrigleyville who don’t care about the Cubs. [Crains Chicago Business ]
I’ll keep it short. Zach Lowe is the best basketball writer. Here he picks his NBA All Star teams. It is something you should also read. [ESPN]
Really interesting read on large cities’ efforts to be a little more sustainable are being impacted by huge buildings. It makes a ton of sense, but really isn’t something that would come to mind. One company, the Rocky Mountain Institute, is working on a solution. [Harvard Business Review]
2 facts: 1) College athletes aren’t allowed to be paid cash to play sports. 2) Ohio State just signed a $252 million deal with Nike for college athletics. [Columbus Business First]
This wasn’t written this week, but I enjoyed this look into Tesla’s $5 billion Gigafactory on Fast Company. [Fast Company]
Hey here’s something not sports-related: A fair warning that some of these may not be safe for work or may be unsettling, but tough cookies. Here, the Boston Globe’s Big Picture blog picked their Best Photos of 2015. Happy scrolling. [Boston Globe]
How you know the whole “Superhero Movie” thing is getting out of hand: Warner Bros. Studio *alone* is going to release 11 superhero movies in the next five years. 11! That’s not even the Avengers franchise! [Business Insider]
Let's close with Bowie. Have a good weekend.
Photos via Flickr
- patrickknights9993: 2014_District_Free_Throw-8
- Kansas Sebastian: 21a Title Insurance and Trust Company Building and Annex
- Steve Jurvetson: Elon Musk