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In this week’s episode of Slate’s sports podcast Hang Up and Listen, Stefan Fatsis, Josh Levin, and Mike Pesca discuss the thrilling first round of the NBA playoffs, with its multitude of seven-game series, upsets, and overtimes. They also talk about the NFL draft, the echo chamber of pre-draft analysis, and the problematic assessment of prospects’ “character issues.” Finally, they consider the illustrious career of Sports Illustrated writer Gary Smith in another installment of the Hang Up and Listen Magazine Club.
Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned on the show:
- Leslie Kaufman of the New York Times wrote about recent developments at Slate, including Mike’s new daily podcast The Gist.
- The NBA’s first round concluded with five Game 7s over the weekend. The round took 50 of the possible 56 games to complete.
- The Wall Street Journal asked “What on Earth Is Wrong with Kevin Durant?” after a disappointing first five games in the Thunder-Grizzlies series.
- The Oklahoman dubbed Kevin Durant “Mr. Unreliable” in a headline.
- Richard Sandomir observed that ESPN inserted a 30-second ad spot into every 20-second timeout during Game 7 of the Nets-Raptors series.
- Mike appeared on last week’s Political Gabfest to discuss Donald Sterling’s racist rant and the NBA’s response.
- The Washington Post’s Mike Wise wonders whether Donald Sterling’s ouster will lead us to take a closer look at the beliefs of other NBA owners.
- Last year, the NFL announced that the draft would be postponed to May 8 due to a conflict with a show at Radio City Music Hall.
- Peter King wrote Sports Illustrated’s cover story on Johnny Manziel.
- On the MMQB, King assembled five quarterback experts to ask whether they would trust their team to Manziel.
- SI conducted an NFL fan Twitter mock draft. Fans predicted Jadeveon Clowney would be picked first.
- CBS reported that an anonymous NFL executive called Clowney “spoiled” and “lazy.”
- The National Football Post assesses potential prospects character issues by issuing “red flag reports.” They issued Jeremy Hill a medium-high warning for pleading guilty to “carnal knowledge of a minor” and an arrest for simple battery after punching a man outside a bar.
- In March 2013, then Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla tweeted: “The parents of the kids that supposedly died in the sandy hook situation are liars.” Todd McShay reported that scouts have nicknamed him “ankle bracelet.”
- SI’s S.L. Price wrote that his colleague Gary Smith was “the greatest.”
- In 2003, Ben Yagoda wrote a piece in Slate arguing that Smith was the best magazine writer in America.
- The Smith articles discussed on this week’s show: “Crime and Punishment,” on high school basketball star and sexual assault convict Richie Parker; “Someone to Lean On,” the inspiration for the movie Radio; and “Remember His Name,” on Pat Tillman.
Hang Up and Listen’s Lil’ Romeos:
Mike’s Lil’ Romeo: Does the Game 7 slogan “win or go home” actually make sense?
Stefan’s Lil’ Romeo: Talking to Loch Phillips, director of the upcoming 30 for 30 short, Barbosa: The Man Who Made Brazil Cry.
Josh’s Lil’ Romeo: Roller derby stars have started using their real names.
Podcast production and edit by Mike Vuolo. Links compiled by Casey Butterly.
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