Basketball

42 articles
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Uncontested: The Life of Donald Sterling

A profile of the Los Angeles Clippers owner, an oft-sued real estate baron with a documented racist streak and a penchant for heckling his own players, on the occasion of him winning an NAACP lifetime achievement award.

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Michael Jordan, in general

A brief history of the world and the late 1990s Chicago Bulls.

"This is the version of him that has no future or past. No ex-wife or kids, no off-court life. He lives in the United Center. He doesn't fuss with food or water. There are whole months in the air, between the floor and the rim. This moment of quiet and loud gets stuck on repeat. Michael Jordan shoots, swishes, but a lot of times he just stands, lit. An occasional swivel. Rotates like a figurine. Television size. He could dribble his basketball in the palm of your hand."

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The Greatest Team That Never Was

Dunks, drugs, and disappointment: an oral history of the 1980s Houston Rockets.

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Rocket Man

A profile of Jeremy Lin.

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Blackballed

The playground, the Ivy League, the triangle offense,  and how we dreamed up a “black basketball” and “white basketball.”

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Where Amazing Happens

An ode to professional basketball players and why pro ball is the best ball of all.

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The Truth Is Out There

On conspiracy theories in sports, from the ‘85 NBA draft lottery to Michael Phelps’ gold medal performance in the 100-meter butterfly.

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Wilt vs. Elgin: When Their World Was the Playground

On the lost pickup basketball games in D.C. between Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor, then both still in college, during the summer of 1957.

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Grandpa Was A Baller

One man’s stories from the early days of the NBA.

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The Kid Who Wasn't There

An investigation into the true identity of a high school basketball player.

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The Malice at the Palace

An oral history of the Pacers/Pistons melee in 2004.

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A Question of Identity

On the “unfair significance” of Jeremy Lin.

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The Legacy of Wes Leonard

The story of a high school star who died minutes after hitting a game-winner to end an undefeated season, and the family and friends he left behind.

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Did This Man Really Cut Michael Jordan?

On Clifton “Pop” Herring, the then-26-year-old high school basketball coach who famously left Jordan off the varsity squad as a sophomore.

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"We Are Grown Men Playing a Child's Game"

Bill Russell, race, and the NBA of the 1960s.

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The Murder of Tayshana "Chicken" Murphy

On the death of a high school basketball star in New York City.

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Shaqzilla!

On the battle between Shaquille O’Neal and his former IT guy, who’s in control of much of O’Neal’s archived (and often damning) correspondence.

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Larger Than Real Life

What happens to 7-footers when they step off the basketball court?

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Three-Man Weave

On witnessing an incredible junior college basketball game 23 years ago in North Dakota.

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Eyes of the Storm

On being – and playing for - Lady Vols basketball coach Pat Summitt.

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Shoot the Moon

A profile of Felipe Lopez, high school phenom.

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The Garden of Good and Evil

On recommitting to the Knicks after “a decade of dysfunction and delusion.”

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A Fan's Notes on Earl Monroe

The author came late to basketball. A profile of his favorite player:

He creates a sense of danger in the arena and yet has enough wit in his style to bring off funny ideas when he wants to.

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Betting It All On Basketball: A Gamblers Grind In The NBA

Basketball is considered one of the most difficult sports to effectively bet on, therefore gamblers like Haralabos Voulgaris who make a handsome living on NBA lines are a rare breed, whose knowledge of the game and personal statistical databases rival most of the league’s front-offices’.

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Welcome to the Far Eastern Conference

On former Knicks savior Stephon Marbury and his post-NBA life playing in China.

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This ’Melo Is

A profile of Carmelo Anthony, newly anointed savior of the New York Knicks.

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The Talent Trap

The inner workings of a high school basketball team stacked with international talent.

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A Fling and a Prayer

The story of the 2010 NCAA championship game between Duke and Butler, and what would have been greatest shot in college basketball history.

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Dunk and Done

On Baylor’s freshman basketball star Perry Jones and how the new era of one-season careers has changed the landscape of college basketball.

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Too Slick, Too Loud, Too Successful: Why John Calipari Can't Catch a Break

A profile of the highest paid coach in college basketball. A pioneer of one-and-done recruiting, Calipari is also the only coach in NCAA history to have two runs to the Final Four removed from the record books for rules violations.

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The Days and Nights of an NBA Groupie

The pecking order of All-Star Weekend sex-with-basketball-player-or-rapper hopefuls.

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Dear Nate

The story of Nate Fleming—walk-on point guard at Oklahoma State, fan favorite, golden child—and the 2001 plane crash that took his life.

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Allen Iverson: Fallen Star

A reporter heads to Istanbul, where Iverson is playing minor league hoops in a 3,200-seat arena and hanging out at T.G.I. Friday’s.

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A Different Drummer

A profile of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, written at the midpoint of his career.

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Home and Away

A profile of Yao Ming published during his second season in the NBA.

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The King and I

Brian Windhorst was one of the first reporters to cover LeBron James. He was there in high school. There at the draft. There in Cleveland. And now he’s there in Miami, though the relationship is far from what it used to be.

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Jordan’s Moment

The story of one of the great final acts in sports history.

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The Education of Demetrius Walker

Or, the perils of promoting a middle schooler’s basketball skills. An excerpt from Play Their Hearts Out.

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The Shot That Saved Lives

Mykal Riley’s last-second three-pointer kept thousands of fans out of the path of tornado. Just as remarkable? That Riley was there to shoot the three in the first place.

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The Legend of Black Superman

In the 1980s, Billy Ray Bates, once dubbed “the Legend,” drank himself out of the NBA and ended up playing in the Philippines. For a few wild years, his legend grew–both on the court and in the bars.

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Empty Garden

Lance Stephenson, the latest in a long line of Coney Island basketball prodigies, carries a burden none of his predecessors did: restoring New York City’s reputation as the hoops capital of the world.