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Saturday
May312014

Birdman!!! Birdman!!!

So, I wrote about the crazy, convulted, insane, wild Catfishing type case involving Chris "Birdman" Andersen and others (Brody Jenner!!) for Newsweek. It's a sad story really, the poor guy had his reputation decimated, and luckily he's started to recover, but I can't even imagine what he had to go through. But in writing it I definitely became a Birdman fan, he's seems like a genuinely good guy. Anyway... here it is:  http://www.newsweek.com/2014/06/06/birdmans-vengeful-ghost-252517.html

 

Thursday
May222014

20 Minutes at Rucker Park

I always forget I have this blog! So I thought, 6 months later, it might be a good time to post my story about TJ, the Sacramento kid with dreams of becoming the next AO and Hot Sauce (or maybe even Kevin Durant!) 

Anyway, I rode the bus with him cross country, it was kind of an important part of both of our lives and a very transformational trip, although he had much more at stake than me. I'm rambling, here it is: 20 Minutes at Rucker Park 

Wednesday
Oct092013

The God of Macedonia

I played against Bo McCalebb in 2010 when I was with the British team. I saw him play for the first time a few months before that in Paris for the Euroleague final four and I was blown away at how quick his first step was. For those of you NBA (or USC) aficionados you remember Robert Pack, Bo reminded me of him. Compact and explosive.

So when I played against him, he was that and more, he could finish, he was smart, very quiet and unassuming on the court, but seemed to always make the right play at the right time. In short he was a winner. (He also, and we'll just mention this briefly in passing, fouled me out in about 12 minutes on the court.)

Anyway, I became a fan from that point on and anyone who has seen him play will also say the same thing. He plays an exciting style but plays like a point guard should. Unfortunately he'll probably go down as one of those "greatest players to never play in the NBA" so if you haven't seen him play I suggest you do. 

So I wrote an article about him for Sports on Earth, but of course, as always happens with these things, the backdrop of Macedonia was as interesting or even more so than his story. I learned a lot and hope you do to:

The God of Macedonia. 

Friday
Aug092013

Writing for the FlipCollective

Paul Shirley, who is not only an awesome dude, a great bball player, and a fantastic writer, also has a stellar website he runs called FlipCollective.com. He asked me to write a few pieces for it over the course of six weeks.

'You can write about anything you want,' he told when I started, which was actually a little daunting for me. I mean, of all the things in the world to write about where would I start. But after a little thinking I got really into it and wrote a couple things I'm really proud of. One about growing up in LA, and taking the public bus everyday through Hollywood. My first foray into fiction; a love story set on Armistice day in Amiens, France. A piece about meeting Smush Parker, and the relationship between sportswriters and athletes. And a recount of my cross-country bus trip. Enjoy. 

Wednesday
Jul032013

Slovakia! Tahiti!

Man, sometimes I forget I even have this blog. 

So I did a piece on playing in Slovakia. Why? you ask. Well, because it's like no place on earth, that's why! It was probably the most fun to write of any thing I've done and brought back so many memories. It's funny at the time, when I played there, it all seemed so normal– this is just the way it is in Eastern Europe. Of course, when I sat down to write, I couldn't believe all the things players have to put up with. 

 

A month or so later I went to Tahiti and decided to write something un-basketball related. I basically went there with this brilliant idea that this tiny quasi-country was in soccer's Confederations cup and someone needed to tell the story. I thought it would be a funny, haha piece like a Bad News Bears sort of thing but Tahiti it turns out is complex and not at all the place I thought it would be.