The 2018-19 NBA regular season returns Tuesday night! Need help passing the time before tip-off? We have some stuff for you to read.
- Steven Godfrey’s blockbuster, controversial feature Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta.
- Seerat Sohi’s huge piece on how big men are changing their bodies to fit in the modern game.
- Matt Ellentuck goes inside the world of skills trainers.
- Kristian Winfield on how the arena hallways have turned into runways.
- Bill Hanstock gets weird and amazing on the dystopia the Warriors have created.
- Jessica Camerato goes deep inside the synapse-crazy mind of Kyrie Irving.
- Kristian Winfield plays Celebrity Matchmaker with the killer 2019 class of free agents.
- And I wrote about LeBron James seeking immortality outside basketball.
Add on top of all that Paul Flannery’s huge preview from this week that includes thoughts on all 30 things. Plenty to keep you going all day!
RIP Paul Allen
Another tragic death strikes the basketball world. Paul Allen, franchise owner of the Portland Trail Blazers for 30 years, has died after a repeat bout with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Allen is one of the wealthiest men in the world after co-founding Microsoft, and had a huge passion for sports and philanthropy. He kept the Blazers in Portland when more lucrative markets called and really kept the team competitive for nearly all of his tenure.
Jason Quick writes about Allen’s familial relationship with the Blazers for The Athletic. Reactions have poured in, including those from former Blazers. Portland has had some tumult, and Allen has run through a good number of GMs and coaches. But everyone is singing high praise about his passion for the franchise. That’s telling.
There is, of course, the messy matter of what happens to the Blazers next. It sounds like the franchise will eventually be sold as Allen had never married and has no children. But the Blazers’ lease with Moda Center runs through 2025, and Portland has truly proven itself a premier NBA market. So relocation should be completely off of the table.
Deepest sorrows and sympathies to those who knew and love Paul and the extended Blazers family.
Real, live NBA basketball that counts in the standings. It’s here!
Sixers at Celtics, 8 p.m. ET, TNT
Thunder at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT
No rookie extension for Kristaps Porzingis, because the Knicks are preserving flexibility for the 2019 offseason — it would be easier to sign other free agents before making Porzingis’ deal official.
The Pacers could have used that flexibility as well, but that didn’t matter as Indiana locked Myles Turner into a hefty rookie extension.
Candace Buckner is excellent, and this piece on a few Wizards becoming first-time dads this summer is wonderful. Come for the Austin Rivers struggling to install a car seat despite being obsessed with cars, stay for Bradley Beal gaining 15 pounds of sympathy weight last season.
Let’s basketball. Be excellent to each other.