Kareem Abdul-Jabbar recently made a speech slamming the NBA for letting rookies as young as 19 into the league. His argument: “[The NBA] gets precocious kids from high school who think they’re rock stars—‘Where’s my $30 million?’” And while the NBA does get some amazing talent out of high school (Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, etc.) I agree: there should be a minor league/milling system similar to baseball, or rookies should have a few years of college under their belt to mature as individuals. If King James’s attitude isn't evidence enough, a few tales from the life of Mohawk, age 19, should shed some light on the maturity of the barely-out-of-highschool set.More...
Just as I felt it was my duty as a man, to write about March Madness, my Y chromosome again compels me to tell you it's NBA playoff season (This happens every year after March Madness. Strange, I know.) And with Kevin Garnett of the Celtics already throwing elbows, it looks like it's going to be a fiery run, to say the least. Here, in less than 100 words, is basically everything you need to know:More...
- Fairbanks Farms, a meat processor in New York, has recalled half a million pounds of ground beef due to E.Coli contamination. The meat was sold at Giant, Trader Joe's, BJ's and Price Chopper. Bought any ground beef at TJ's lately? Look for the USDA mark of inspection on the packaging — if it says "EST. 492" inside the mark, throw it away.
- October is over, but you should stay off soda anyway. Sugar sodas make you fat, and so do diet sodas. Diet sodas can also damage your kidneys. And there's always a chance that your can of soda could be a spy camera in disguise.
- Short-burst interval training gets better results in less time, even for amateurs, reports MSNBC.
- Jogglers (joggers who juggle) and costumed runners keep the back of the pack interesting, reports the New York Times.
- Johns Hopkins researchers have found that fatty acids are essential for the brain's learning and memory functions. Also, scientists have discovered a new gene in fruit flies that controls the metabolism of fat.
- And, being in a bad mood can also improve your memory.
- "The Colbert Report" is now the primary sponsor of the U.S. Speedskating team. Team uniforms will now be emblazoned with "Colbert Nation."
An interesting and possibly admirable development in our professional-sports-saturated culture: The Orlando Magic basketball team -- who just lost in the NBA Finals to the Los Angeles Lakers -- is making good on a promise to build five, big (25,000 square feet) community recreation centers around Orlando. These are sizeable places, with basketball gyms, game rooms, locker-rooms, offices, etc., and, yes, one must follow the money: The centers will have "sponsor" logos galore, and the local county will be on the hook for ongoing operating costs, and the team is in the process of building a stadium that is almost certainly massively subsidized by taxpayers. Still, other professional teams build stadiums on the taxpayers back, and don't feel any apparent need to return the favor. So, give the Magic a round of snaps, and make a mental note of the moment when professional sports in America usurped the community-center-development role normally reserved for church or state.
Oh boy, Men's Health scores interview with NBA mega-superstar Lebron James, and they've created an eight page online feature detailing the non-basketball parts of his dailly workout. Here's the truth: In addition to being a comic genius, Lebron is a personal trainer's dream. There's nothing fancy or super macho here: Pull ups, push ups, some tough-looking core exercises on an exercise ball. (Does Gaiam make balls big enough for a guy 6'8" and 250?) No bench press, no Oympic clean and jerk. Nothing to wow the CrossFit set. Minus the part about doing squats on a vibrating platform, you could start this today. And if you aim to dunk this summer, you probably should....
"I've seen some players come and go who had more talent, but they didn't play as hard, they didn't work as hard and they didn't care as much as John does." -Dave Checketts
Awoke thinking about John Starks, who played basketball for the New York Knicks in the 1990s. (Audience alert: Unreformed, ex-jock guy moment to follow....) Starks was infuriating and beloved. He showed up out of nowhwere: One moment he was bagging groceries in Tulsa, or playing in the minor leagues in Europe, or something, and the next he was the Knicks' starting point guard. On any given night, he seemed capable of almost any basketball feat, while at other times he self-destructed like a panicked teen. All of this would play out across his face with terrifying clarity, a funny, wide-eyed baby face.More...