Nothing makes you feel the impending arrival of a new basketball season like the appearance of preview magazines on the newsstand racks. There’s a little rush I seeing each new one slowly find it’s way to the store.
So far I’ve gotten the college basketball editions of Athlon, Lindy’s, Sporting News, and Yahoo Sports (which seems to mirror the format of the CBS Sportsline magazine from the past few seasons, looks like a rebranding)
I’ll have full reviews coming but so far I’m enjoying Lindy’s the most out of the 4. It has a great layout particularly for smaller conferences that gives you a wealth of pertinent information and it’s one page newcomer summaries for each conference are fantastic reads. Ups go to Athlon for including some college fantasy basketball rankings.
The draft lottery went down tonight and I immediately found myself missing Dan Patrick’s presence as the lead commentator. While he was never an NBA guy per se, he lent a certain level of cred to the event.
I respect what ESPN is trying to do with Doris Burke but some of her segments were borderline painful.
The Chicago Bulls were the big winners, grabbing the top pick even though they only had a 1.7% chance to win it. Makes me feel better about quitting it all to pursue a professional keno career if those type of odds can win.
The Bulls will be choosing between Derrick Rose and Michael Beasley..either way’s a good choice but there is that special something Rose has that makes me think he’ll be going #1.
The seemingly obvious sacking of Avery Johnson as head coach of the Dallas Mavericks earlier today was nonetheless still shocking.
With any coach, there reaches a point where absent tangible championship results (and sometimes even with) when the players begin tuning you out. It had reached that point with the Mavericks and Avery and a change was necessary. Both parties will ultimately yield more success apart than continuing a fractured, strained relationship.
As a self-admitted Spurs diehard, I’m somewhat selfishly pleased to be able to fully root on Avery again as he no longer will be coaching a bitter division rival (please go to NY Avery!)
This week I’ll be revisiting something I started last year by reviewing the bulk of the preseason college basketball magazines that proliferate the newsstands. I thought before publishing my first review of the new batch I would lay out a manifesto of sorts on what makes the perfect preview issue.
COMPREHENSIVE TEAM PREVIEWS This would appear to be obvious enough, but it’s a category frequently lacking in many of the highest profile preview magazines. I’m looking for information that I’ll be able to turn to throughout the season while I’m watching a game and learn enough quickly to watch the game with some understanding of both teams. I want rosters (with numbers!) and the basic stats from the year before. Player breakdowns (by position preferably) and recruiting analysis are also musts. Bonus points are given to publications that give equal time to mid-major and smaller conference schools as their importance and national exposure continues to grow.
FEATURES The best preview issues go beyond the team-by-team previews and provide interesting feature stories that illuminate the season ahead. Whether it’s rankings of the best backcourts or “Where are they now?” stories, I want stuff that’s not plainly obvious (last year, we more than exceeded the Billy Donovan story quota) and written with a modicum of skill.
PICTURES/GRAPHICS As much as I enjoy reading a team preview or article, equally helpful are pictures of players (a few cheerleaders here and there don’t hurt either) so that a connection is made beyond simply reading. I also group the overall graphical layout of a publication in this category. Good graphical design makes for an easier read and enhances the later usability of a publication for reference throughout the season. Bad or lazy design can make the entire publication suffer.
INTANGIBLES The types of things that can’t be summarized but that enhance your general enjoyment of a preview. Hard to categorize but you know them when you see them.
When the first of my review comes out tomorrow night (The Sporting News), I’ll be ranking it and each subsequent publication on these four criteria.
Site’s been in hibernation during the offseason..but with tipoff around the corner the site will be undergoing a change as well. Before then however, we’ll begin with some reviews of preseason basketball mags beginning tonight.
Momentum is picking up in the Pacific Northwest for a potential new Sonics arena that would be located on land owned and built by the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe. SonicsCentral first reported on it here and this afternoon the Puget Sound Business Journal released a story about the feasibility study run by the Tribe on the cost and potential of a 18,000+ NBA capable facility.
Given the existence of a completed feasibility study, it would not be surprising if talks between the Sonics and the Tribe are at an advanced stage with an official announcement any day (pure speculation on my part however).
Great article out of the Orlando Sentinel focusing on the Billy Donovan situation. The Magic are a class organization and I’m in total agreement with their insistence that Billy Donovan must be the one to break the deal if he wants out.
While Kobe Bryant’s flip-flopping trade demand saga has been a walking wet dream for ESPN and wanna-be GM’s, I see no chance he’ll be playing anywhere else but LA. He knows LA is the market for him and Bryant is just exercising is own power of influence to shake things up.
Kobe’s a Laker next year, period.