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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 talk about Kevin Durant and other athletes ranting against the media. They also discuss the decision to strip Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West Little League of its 2014 U.S. title due to violations of residency requirements. Finally, Slate columnist Daniel Engber joins the show to discuss the art and science of free-throw distraction and the latest innovation therein, Arizona State’s “Curtain of Distraction.”
Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned on the show:
- Howard Beale’s famous monologue from Network.
- Kevin Durant told off the media at the NBA’s All-Star weekend.
- Deadspin’s Greg Howard says Durant was right.
- ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne sympathizes with Durant and says the media scrum can be dehumanizing.
- The Oklahoman newspaper called Durant “Mr. Unreliable.”
- Durant’s teammate Russell Westbrook has had similarly contentious run-ins with reporters.
- Royce Young describes some of Westbrook’s churlish locker room behavior.
- Recent essays by baseball player Andrew McCutchen in the Players’ Tribune and the NBA’s DeAndre Jordan in Medium.
- Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West was stripped of its U.S. championship by Little League Baseball.
- Mark Konkol of DNAinfo.com reported on the league’s leaders flouting eligibility rules.
- The Boston Globe wrote about Chris Janes, the vice president of a rival Little League who blew the whistle on Jackie Robinson West.
- Jackie Robinson West Little League has a long, proud history.
- Eligibility scams are reportedly common in Little League, and investigations are rare.
- Dave Zirin and Daniel Kay Hertz went back and forth on whether the Jackie Robinson West story is about gentrification.
- Justin Wolfers’ New York Times story, “How Arizona State Reinvented Free-Throw Distraction.”
- Video of the “Curtain of Distraction” in action.
- Dan Engber’s 2005 Slate story on how he convinced Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to try out his free-throw distraction technique.
- How Duke’s “Speedo guy” distracted North Carolina’s Jackie Manuel.
- Tarheelblog.com claims that Duke’s Cameron Crazies have no effect on opposing free throw shooters.
Hang Up and Listen’s weekly Mavs Man and Champ:
Mike’s Mavs Man and Champ: Ranking Saturday Night Live cast members is just like ranking athletes.
Stefan’s Mavs Man and Champ: An update on the new season of the TV show Friday Night Tykes.
Josh’s Mavs Man and Champ: Author J.M. Barrie assembled a terrible cricket team consisting of amazing writers.
On this week’s Slate Plus bonus segment, Stefan Fatsis, Josh Levin, and Mike Pesca discuss Last Man, a contest in which contenders go for as long as they can without learning who won the Super Bowl. Slate Plus members get an ad-free version of this podcast with bonus segments. Visit slate.com/hangupplus and try it free for two weeks.
Podcast production and edit by Mike Vuolo.
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