From Metta World Peace declaring a name change to “The Pandas Friend” to Kevin Durant dropping off the Team USA basketball World Cup roster, sports news has not been lacking lately.
Within the past couple weeks, two of the headliner stories have been 1) The NFL handing Ray Rice a four-game suspension after Rice knocked out his wife in an elevator and 2) The Spurs signing Becky Hammon as the first paid female assistant coach in the NBA (or any pro men’s sport). These two stories in particular generated a wide array of “hot takes” and bickering.
There’s an endless supply of words on those two pieces of news so I’ll be brief with my opinions. I do think that Rice deserves a harder slap on the wrist than four games, especially when you compare past suspensions that the NFL has doled out — it doesn’t make sense to me in correlation.
As far as the hiring of Hammon goes, this has been a long time coming. However, I think that now is a better time than ever. The Clippers gave Natalie Nakase a shot to be an assistant coach for Summer League (as I wrote about last post). You could almost feel like one of the NBA’s front offices were going to make the leap. For it to be the Spurs is perfect — who is going to question the judgment of the legendary Coach Gregg Popovich in selecting Hammon to sit on the bench alongside him. He just won his fifth NBA title. It’s pretty fair to say that he knows what he’s doing.
Aside from my takes, I waded through Tweets and articles and found two columns that I feel nailed the Rice and Hammon news better than the rest.
On Rice, ESPN‘s Kevin Van Valkenburg wrote,
“What to think about Ray Rice: Were Ravens star’s actions a tragic mistake or proof of the man’s true character?”
Valkenburg reflects on his own interactions with Rice, admitting he wrote a feature for The Baltimore Sun praising “the great guy” character of the talented football player. A couple of his sources are one of Rice’s teammates and the executive director of a Baltimore domestic violence organization. It’s well thought out and well-rounded.
On Hammon, The Nation‘s David Zirin drilled out a pointed column asking,
The first five words are “The biggest line or horseshit…” From the get-go, it’s clear that Zirin isn’t writing this one just for clicks. He addresses the problems of American sports, the boldness of Popovich and he even drops in a line about the NFL. It’s short and clear, and it’s worth your time.
If you’ve read any stand-out articles, go ahead and Tweet them at me (@AlyshaTsuji) or comment below.