Warriors’ Thompson shoots because, well, he’s open

Golden State’s Klay Thompson is a great shooter, especially from distance, and most notably when he’s open longer than a 7-11.

When he’s left alone, as was usually the case against the Chicago Bulls recently, he hardly misses. Why would he?

In fact, he made 14 of 24 three-pointers in that game, a new NBA record. Forget the made shots, he launched 24 threes! How? Why?

The internet tends to salivate over things like this, as if making that many threes is some sort of epic achievement. Listen, it truly would be if Dennis Rodman was guarding you, or if Benny The Bull slammed a cream pie in your face before every shot.

Not only did neither of these things occur, but the Bulls players hardly breathed on the Warriors’ marksman. They may as well have cheered him on.

To make matters worse, the Bulls also struggled with screens set by diminutive Steph Curry, a player that couldn’t boxout an usher.

But then again, with some the NBA’s current defensive efforts, I’m pretty sure the same usher could break records of his own.


Kings of basketball

The Sydney Kings are a solid brand in the world of sport, supported by a loyal following and buoyed by a rich 30-year history. They probably also play more entertaining hoops than the team of the same name across the Pacific, if we’re honest.

The Kings experience, in fact, isn’t far off watching an NBA game, albeit with fewer three-pointers, spinning dunks and chest beats. Scoff if you will, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Despite what we’ve been told the past few years, good basketball is a mix of pace, athleticism and accuracy, and not always helped by long shots. At least to my eyes, the Kings offer each of those elements and yet don’t seem dependent on three-point strategies the way, say, the Golden State Warriors or Houston Rockets are.

If you like watching three-pointers, you might want to think about loading up the horseshoe channel. Or apple picking on the foodie shows; they, too, can lob the pill from distance.

No, threes don’t really float my boat. Sure, it’s great when Kings captain Kevin Lisch drains one from afar, a habit he established at Saint Louis University in Missouri, but I’d much rather see him run the break and toss a nifty bounce to a charging teammate for a lay-up.

Many will argue this because three-pointers are worth more. These people care more about the destination than the journey. They don’t savour the beer but crushing the can. You know the type.

So, yes, National Basketball League has a good brand of ball, mostly because it doesn’t need to be the NBA. It can’t be anyway – not without that type of pogo-stick personnel.

No matter. The NBL has a nice balance of inside – outside play that the NBA can lack at times, especially when data-centric squads take the court with their three-point obsession.

This is why Andrew Bogut fits in so well with the Kings too, because he understands the local game. Though he once played in Golden State, he doesn’t bow to the altar of the three-pointer, instead making sure his teammates can find lanes to the hoop via the picks he sets, or neat passes he makes, because a good shot is an open one.

And good basketball isn’t always predicated on statistics.

Great logos of the World Series

Image result for red sox dodgers

Two of the globe’s biggest sporting brands battled in American baseball’s 2018 World Series, fielding not simply the best line-ups in the sport but arguably two of the most recognisable sports logos.

The lettering that adorns the caps of both the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox might only be superseded by the famed ‘NY’ of the Yankees when it comes to brand recognition. These logos, Boston’s old time ‘B’ and the interlocked ‘LA’ of the Dodgers, are increasingly popular among people in cafes, pubs and in parks, marking a confusing time in sporting culture where the uniforms worn by professional players are considerably more important to the public – at least the casual fans among us – than the sports they play.

So in many ways this is the ideal scenario for any sport: having brands within the game, be they team logos or individual players, that elevate a league’s presence amid an overly crowded and light-speed popular culture.

Whether ‘LA’ or ‘B’ succeeded really didn’t matter to most folks outside of Boston or Los Angeles, but that their reach is so great – and therefore their cache so strong – must mean a great deal to baseball’s promoters who perhaps never anticipated the fashionable appeal of its clubs.

Like Manchester United or the Los Angeles Lakers, these clubs enjoy uninterrupted popularity whether they win or lose. Success can help but it’s perhaps the perception of success that becomes more important in the long run.

And certainly value, monetary value that is, helps with that perception. This is why Dodger and Sox caps are only growing in number in big international cities, while Orioles and Mariners caps are nowhere to be seen. That’s a shame because their logos are really pretty cool, too.