The Rockets Reach for Greatness, by Zach Lowe. A look at a team using advanced analytics somewhat successfully, and including a discussion of the limitations of how far it has taken them thus far.
John Lanchaster rides the London Underground, by John Lanchaster. If you like public transportation, interesting stories, London, or simly good writing, I think you’ll enjoy this piece. Some interesting tidbits – people starting commuting because of sex; shortening one’s commute is one of the few ways someone can make themselves happier; and five times as many people travel on the tube each day as live in Columbia.
History sucks: Dennis Rodman’s unwitting turn as an incompetent diplomat, by Matt Ufford. A look at The Worm’s trip to North Korea, which includes some points on how sports can bring together (in a sense) two people who otherwise would never be associated with one another. It’s rather amazing that, despite all the differences between them as people, let alone their two countries, both Barack Obama and Kim Jong-Un are both Bulls fans, right?
Back on the Trail, by Jason Zengerle. Many of you may be interested to read this piece on the political resurgence of former governor Mark Sanford. I, for one, was very taken aback by this one anecdote though, and wonder if it might not show that he really can’t recover from what he put the state (and his wife) through:
His infidelity notwithstanding, it seems he never considered ending the marriage. Even after Jenny discovered the affair, he tried to find some middle ground that would allow him to preserve both relationships, begging for his wife’s permission to have visits—albeit non-conjugal ones—with his mistress. (On one occasion, for a trip to New York, Jenny granted it, on the condition that a friend serve as chaperone. “Sleep well,” the friend texted Jenny at the end of the evening. “He played by the rules.”)
Stats, storytelling, and Sloan: How to make advanced stats in basketball a more engaging conversation, by Paul Flannery. Interestingly he notes one of the best ways to do this is to inform the local broadcast team. Here, we’re in excellent shape thanks to the stat-heavy tones of Gamecock radio frontman, Andy Demetra.