With the responsibilities of being a parent and working a full-time job, I rarely get the opportunity to keep up with the sports news on my days off. However, an interesting argument caught my eye about two weeks ago on ESPN’s First Take. One of the topics that was discussed was which big man would the panelists prefer to have on their team for this year only – Blake Griffin or Tim Duncan? While Griffin may be the answer that rushes to the mind first, I will offer a brief comparison of the two and show why Duncan should not be dismissed so easily.
Let’s start with Blake Griffin. He is a heck of a talent and presents match-up problems for just about any person who guards him. Griffin is capable of putting up a double-double on a nightly basis and is a great finisher around the rim. However, the one limitation in Griffin’s game is he has yet to develop a jump shot. So, if an opponent is able to stay in front of him and force him to take perimeter shots, it limits some of his overall effectiveness. Once Griffin becomes a more versatile player, he will definitely be one of the best big men the league has ever seen.
Tim Duncan may be in the twilight of his career, but the guy knows how to win. He has four titles and is still a presence offensively and on the glass as well. Most big men are capable of scoring around the basket, but Duncan also has a nice mid-range game as well and can hit the bank shot with the best of them. In addition to that, I would also give Duncan the edge in crunch time because he has hit a number of game-winning shots for the San Antonio Spurs during his career. There is no mistaking the importance of Manu Ginobli, Tony Parker and even Bruce Bowen, but if there was no Tim Duncan on the roster, the Spurs would not have won four titles over the past 14 years.
If this discussion was about which player would I prefer to have on my team over the next few years, the answer is definitely Blake Griffin because he is the younger player. However, if a championship was on the line today and I had to decide which of these players I want to anchor my team in the late stages of the game, Tim Duncan is my choice hands down.
Knicks’ Owner James Dolan Bans Heckling Fan
New York Knicks owner James Dolan apparently has some thin skin when it comes to heckling over his horrendous run at the top of the Knicks empire.
That didn’t sit well with Dolan, who called the mad rude and abruptly banned him from attending anymore Knicks games and followed it up by having the man escorted out of the building by security.
NBA Announces Partnership with Puma
The National Basketball Association has officially announced that they have agreed to a multiyear partnership with Puma, who will now be recognized as an official marketing partner of the NBA, according to an official league statement.
“We are thrilled to partner with the NBA to bring PUMA to the next level in our reentry to the basketball market,” Adam Petrick, Global Director of Brand and Marketing at PUMA, said in a statement. “This partnership is a testament to the continued resurgence of PUMA within the basketball industry.”
Per the new agreement, Puma will not be allowed to feature athletes in their respective NBA uniforms and team logos has the brand looks to regain it’s once prominent presence in the NBA.
“PUMA played an important part in the early footwear culture of the NBA,” Dan Rossomondo, NBA Senior Vice President, Media and Business Development, stated.
“As PUMA expands its presence in the basketball market with new player relationships and a new line of basketball sneakers, becoming an official footwear partner of the league was a natural next step to help amplify the brand’s return to the category.”
The NBA has been busy with partnerships as of late. Just last week we reported on their new deal for the NBA G League and Twitch, where Twitch streams will now broadcast NBA G League gameplay, and Twitch streamers will be allowed to participate, via a unique partnership with them.
NBA G League Back on Twitch
The NBAGLeague’s official channel on Twitch, stated the following about their renewed partnership with the popular streaming platform:
“Thanks to a new partnership, you can now watch and co-stream any NBA G League game that is streamed on Twitch on your very own Twitch channel! So bring your hot takes, play-by-play, stat breakdowns, and fan rants because it’s your chance to put your unique spin on the broadcasts”
The news means even more attention will be put on the Twitch marketplace, and one would assume that there may be interest in the future in leveraging Mixer streams as well, if there isn’t already talk of that occurring.
The focus on co-streaming is particularly interesting as it brings a new level of interaction to NBA G League action, and a way for fans, and other Twitch streamers, to get in on the action like never before via a new co-streaming element.
Per an official press release: “Co-streaming is a feature unique to Twitch which allows a streamer to share another channel’s video feed, but with their own commentary and community. The result is a more personalized social experience. If you’re a streamer and want to give co-streaming a try, you can find a commentary-free broadcast to use on your co-stream”
This could be, potentially, a big tool for Twitch streams featuring NBA G League content to get incredible exposure, and a way for the NBA to market G League action on other Twitch channels, and via other niches, such as IRL streams.
Furthermore, it presents a great opportunity to shine the spotlight on female streamers who have a passion for broadcasting, or sports commentary.
On the surface, it seems like a win win for all involved.
Everything kicked off, officially, on February 8th, but here is the remaining schedule of games.:
UPCOMING TWITCH SCHEDULE (ALL TIMES ET)
Saturday, Feb. 9 — 8:30 PM — Memphis Hustle vs. Texas Legends
Friday, Feb. 22 — 8 PM — Agua Caliente Clippers vs. Wisconsin Herd
Saturday, Feb. 23 — 8:30 PM — Iowa Wolves vs. Texas Legends
Friday, March 1 — 8 PM — Fort Wayne Mad Ants vs. Wisconsin Herd
Saturday, March 2 — 2 PM — Capital City Go-Go vs. Raptors 905
Friday, March 8 — 8:30 PM — Raptors 905 vs. Austin Spurs
Saturday, March 9 — 7 PM — Windy City Bulls vs. Greensboro Swarm
Friday, March 15 — 8:30 PM — Agua Caliente Clippers vs. Texas Legends
Saturday, March 16 — 7 PM — Erie BayHawks vs. Canton Charge
Friday, March 22— 10 PM — Agua Caliente Clippers vs. Santa Cruz Warriors
Saturday, March 23 — 10 PM — Agua Caliente Clippers vs. Santa Cruz Warriors
Viewers can watch the original broadcast at on the NBA G League’s official Twitch channel, or they can choose to watch Twitch Partners and Affiliates who are planning on co-streaming the NBA G League this year.
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