Matt Johnson

20 Great FIBA Moments Involving NBA Players

Basketball never stops. When professional leagues across the world go into hiatus, international basketball is usually not far away. Many from outside the U.S. have put themselves on the NBA map with their play in FIBA events, and conversely, many NBA players have added to their legacies while representing their countries. From all over the globe, here are 20 times… Read more →

From The Glasshouse to The Show

Watching a “coaching tree” grow over time is interesting for a couple reasons - it’s fascinating to see just how far the branches will extend and, moreover, how the school of thought they (likely) share will affect the league. Pat Riley’s tree includes the Van Gundy brothers and Erik Spoelstra, all of whom design 7-12 potential defensive schemes for their… Read more →

International Dunk War

July 17, 1999 San Juan, Puerto Rico Olympic Qualifying Tournament Argentina vs. USA Result: 103-72, USA win by 31 points. Everything went according to script. Everything except this: Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan fell victim to an emphatic baseline dunk from 19 year-old Andres Nocioni. The play was promptly dubbed an Argentine basketball highlight “to last a generation”. The repercussions, however, were yet to… Read more →

Thon Maker - In Good Company

Yesterday, ESPN’s “smart guy” affiliate FiveThirtyEight released the short documentary Signals about analyst and trainer Justin Zormelo. The profile of Zormelo’s unique blend of talents - he’s a data wiz and skills coach - is interesting enough in itself, not to mention his roles on several NBA clubs and as KD’s personal trainer during his MVP year. The huge bonus for Aussie fans… Read more →

Young Bloods

The pipeline has never been wider. In 2015, Australia sends more kids to college than ever before. Like all young ballers, our countrymen in the NCAA harbour NBA dreams, but the reality is that just 60 draft spots exist each season and few college graduates catch on as free agents. Most of our rising talent seeks work outside The Association. Over… Read more →

Playoff LeBron

LeBron’s 2015 post-season run has ended any reasonable doubt of his ability to deliver on the big stage. The final act – the crowning of a champion – is oddly inconsequential to how he’ll be graded. Regardless of who hoists the trophy, and whether the series goes 6 or 7, he’s played at a level few have ever reached. As… Read more →

Redemption Sessions

You don’t end up on 8 teams in 8 years if you’re one of the more valuable players in the league. That said, you don’t end up on 8 teams in 8 years without some value, either. The scouting report on Ramon Sessions hasn’t changed much since he debuted with the Bucks in 2007. He entered the league as a lightning fast… Read more →

Making up for Lost Time

“Everybody sees now we would have won last year if we had had Ced.” Charles Barkley, February 1994. Sir Charles didn’t know it then but 1993 was the closest he’d get. His Suns, and later his Rockets, wouldn’t make the Finals again. In fact, he’s been retired for 15 years and they still haven’t. In ’93, Cedric Ceballos was on his way…. Read more →

Late Registration

.336 from the field. .219 from the arc. Unfortunately, these will live for eternity as John Wall’s shooting numbers from his debut playoff run last season. Eleven games of bricks that will weigh down his Basketball Reference page forever. As a high schooler, Wall led Word of God to the coveted North Carolina Class 1A State Title, securing him a spot at… Read more →

In Defense of Byron Scott

Nobody pulls for The Empire, aside from those who… pull for the empire. There are industries and economies in every sport, in every country, driven by the polarizing effect of the resident juggernaut. Their gravity is such that not just a culture is formed around them, but a counter culture. For every five tickets sold to a Man United or Yankees game, there’s an infant sized… Read more →