The unrest that held the NBA hostage left Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_SI) chomping at the bit for the opportunity to write about X’s and O’s rather than labor negotiations. But he admits that, with the end of the lockout, transitioning back to straight basketball writing won’t be seamless.
“I’m going to have to retrain my brain to watch the game and break it down,” he says. “There’s going to be some rust during those Christmas Day games as I try and remember what sets the Heat like to run.”
Such an adjustment period is understandable considering that Lowe’s blog, The Point Forward, was essentially a lockout news feed since the summer. For every piece such as the Top 100 NBA players—a mix of informative facts and statistics that has become a Point Forward forte—Lowe had three to four stories updating readers on what was on the NBA negotiation table at any given time. All of that came to head on Saturday, at a time when most people were preparing for a restful Thanksgiving weekend.
Earlier today, SI.com announced that its production of “The Battle of I-95” — an exhibition game featuring 16 NBA stars that aired online at SI.com yesterday night, live from the Palestra in Philadelphia — resulted in more than 235,000 video streams. This was the first live basketball game ever produced and streamed by SI.com and featured SI staff writer Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) providing insight and analysis from courtside, where he was joined by Newsday’s Alan Hahn in the second half. Mannix also conducted pregame interviews with the team captains, Hakeem Warrick (for Team Philly) and Carmelo Anthony (Team Melo).
The game featured the strongest compilation of star power since the NBA Finals this past June. Headliners included All-Stars Anthony, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and Tyreke Evans in addition to Philly hoopsters Kyle Lowry, Lou Williams, Mardy Collins, John Salmons, Wayne Ellington and Ronald “Flip” Murray.
Read and watch more about “The Battle of I-95″ by clicking through to the following links:
- Video: Top 10 highlights from the game
- Photo gallery: Team Melo vs. Team Philly
- Game recap: LeBron, Carmelo, Paul fall short to Team Philly in “Battle of I-95″
- Bryan Armen Graham (@BryanAGraham): Tribute to Philly’s proud basketball tradition
- The Point Forward/Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala): Sights and sounds from the Philly-Melo showcase
With the resolution of the NFL lockout yesterday, the number of North American professional sports leagues embroiled in a labor crisis is down to one. So what to make of the current state of the NBA? Senior writer Ian Thomsen (@SI_IanThomsen) – who profiled National Basketball Player’s Association President Derek Fisher in last week’s issue – answers some of our questions about the issues at hand and what to expect.
There are at least a dozen baseball teams with realistic chances at postseason play. So what will it take for each team to realize those October dreams? Few people know the answers to those questions as thoroughly as award-winning senior baseball writer Tom Verducci. And readers on the tablets this week are in luck. For this week’s SI Digital Bonus, Verducci spends one minute each on the 30 MLB teams and breaks down everything you can expect from now to the end of the regular season—and in some cases, beyond. Can the Phillies’ rotation be beat? Is Boston’s pitching strong enough? Will the Rangers run away with the AL West? Are the Pirates—yes, the Pirates—for real? Download the tablet version of the July 25 issue to find out.