I love this so much:
[Point guard Jeff Teague] reported to training camp in September 2013 and couldn’t find his chair. “You’re over there now,” said reserve big man Gustavo Ayon, motioning to the spot between center Al Horford and forward Mike Scott. [Head coach] Budenholzer wanted players sitting next to one teammate they could influence and another who could influence them.
How the Hawks are running away with the East
I read Phil Jackson’s Sacred Hoops, and mostly liked the more biographical stuff. His tales of the early days (in a Pentecostal family in North Dakota) reminded me of my father and grandfather, devoted Christians growing up in the midwest and geeking about about basketball and eventually other spiritual traditions. One nice treat of reading books like this – recent history when there are always cameras rolling – is the ability to check YouTube for the highlights.
You hit 30, 35, 40, and the life of a professional athlete seems more and more remote. It’s one of a million pasts that never happened rather than a future you can dream about. And the experience of the coach is simply much more accessible to almost every grown-up fan than the experience of any high-level player. And not just because so many fans go on to coach their kid’s T-ball team or whatever; think of it as a lifestyle question. The coach doesn’t have to be able to score from an overhead kick or throw a football 80 yards; he has to run meetings, make plans, juggle lists, and justify himself, same as anybody. He does paperwork. Maybe hops on the treadmill when he can. He’s still connected to the magic of sports, but with him it takes the form of inspired halftime speeches and brilliant late-game stratagems — basically work e-mail lifted to a spiritual plane. More than anything, he has to watch a ton of games: obsess about what’s not working, get mad at players who screw up, praise players who do well.
Understanding a fan’s relationship with management in sports – Grantland
Where before we silently cursed the dumb coach in our living room while remaining unsure whether we were pissed because we were right or because we had had four beers, today we take to the Internet and find thousands of people who also think we are right, and some more who have done the math that demonstrates that we are right, and therefore we know.
The Joy of Stats – Tablet Magazine