Kwame Alexander is an award-winning poet and children’s book author. His most recent book, The Crossover, is a story told through poems and basketball "rules." The book is about twin brothers who are basketball stars striving for a championship. These brothers – whose nicknames are Filthy McNasty and JB – do everything together, until a girl catches JB’s eye, and the twins’ rope-tight bond starts to fall apart.
Because The Crossover involves poetry, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But it was a really good read — so good, in fact, that it’s now one of my favorite books. Recently, I spoke with Alexander about the book, basketball, and how he decided to tell this story through poetry.
There was some history made in Oklahoma City last night. It was Game 5 of the Thunder-Grizzlies first-round playoff series, and for the fourth straight time the teams went to overtime. The last four games of the series has required bonus basketball, which is a first in NBA history.
OKC stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have been huge for the Thunder in forcing OT in two of those four games. And the team needed some superstar magic again last night.
With the clock ticking down, Memphis was up 90-88. As Grizzlies guard Mike Conley, Jr. dribbled at the top of the arc, Westbrook stuck his hand in, stole the ball, and had a clear lane to the net and a tie game. So of course, he went up for the jam:
Yesterday, commissioner Adam Silver banned Clippers owner Donald Sterling from the NBA for life after Sterling was caught on tape making racist remarks. Once the punishment was announced, the Clippers put up a simple message on their website: We Are One. The NBA quickly followed the Clippers lead by releasing a powerful 30-second TV spot during last night's games that reinforced the message that the NBA stands together:
Over the weekend, a recording surfaced of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling making racist comments about African Americans. Since then, the NBA, its players, coaches, owners, and fans have called on new commissioner Adam Silver to punish Sterling.
In a news conference this afternoon, Silver announced Sterling’s punishment: A lifetime ban and a $2.5 million dollar fine.
“The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful,” Silver said. “That they came from an NBA owner only heightens the damage and my personal outrage.”
Effectively immediately, Sterling cannot attend NBA games or practices and is barred from making any business decisions involving the team. The fine will be donated to organizations dedicated to anti-discrimination and tolerance efforts that will be jointly selected by the NBA and the Players Association.
Michael Jordan is arguably the greatest basketball player ever. LeBron James is making a run at that title. And in the first round of the 2014 NBA playoffs, Air Jordan and King James were on a collision course: the Jordan-owned Charlotte Bobcats faced LeBron's Miami Heat in the first round.
The series wasn't even close. The Heat defeated the Cats last night, 109-98, to sweep Charlotte out of the postseason. But fans at Time Warner Cable Arena got a nice consolation prize when Jordan and LeBron shared a moment together after the end of the game.
It feels like Madden 25 just hit consoles, but EA Sports today announced that the newest game in the series will soon be available. Madden NFL 15 will be in stores August 26 and will be available for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, and PS3. Cover voting opens May 8, just in time for the NFL Draft.
That's probably enough to get you excited. But if you need a little more, here's a teaser trailer for the new game:
Ever wondered which superhero would make the best athlete? Would Superman’s strength make him unbeatable? What about the Flash’s speed? Luckily, one comic answered these questions nearly 40 years ago by pitting the Justice League against their arch-nemeses for a game of baseball.
Back in the early 1960s, legendary creators Julie Schwartz and Carmine Infantino filled five issues of The Brave and the Bold with “Strange Sports,” a mini-series about phantom boxers, gorillas that played baseball, and other science fiction-meets-athletics premises. (Schwartz and Infantino are responsible for many of DC Comics most enduring characters, like the Flash and Batgirl.) But “Strange Sports” would not be revisited for many years, most recently in a single issue, DC Super-Stars #10, published in December 1976.