Thursday, July 24, 2014

La Roux On Sex, Sax & Struggle In New Album

La Roux On Sex, Sax & Struggle In New Album - Interview video

La Roux talks through her brilliant new album, 'Trouble In Paradise', and dissects the lyrcs, structure and meaning, exclusively for NME. 

Running time: 12:02  

Otter -vs- Beaver

 Watch as a beaver and an otter discover why they can't be friends during the winter.

INSIDE KNOWLEDGE: The Origins of the Hero Sandwich

Food for Thought: The Origins of the Hero Sandwich

Oh, a hero sandwich. Is nothing tastier than a giant, v-shaped piece of bread filled with vegetables, cheese and meat? Nope. It's about as good as it gets. But, and we're guessing that you've asked this question at least once in your life, why the heck is it called a "hero?" Other than the fact that it comes to the rescue of your hunger, how did this truly inspirational sandwich get its name? 

Well, first off, it's good to remember that the hero sandwich is just one of many names that has been given to the universally known (and fast food brand reinforced) submarine sandwich. You might think it makes sense to call a sandwich that is cylindrical in shape a submarine sandwich, but that's not the only reason it got that name.

The submarine sandwich got its title during WW2 in New England. Due to a heavy naval presence in Boston (including multiple ports and shipyards), advertisers thought it might be a good idea to name this brand new sandwich after a sea vessel. In other words, if you want to sell your sandwiches to sailors, what do you call it? A boat. Well, that's not as catchy as "submarine" and there's nothing about the sandwich itself that resembles a boat whatsoever. Hence, the submarine sandwich was born.

Like with many things, New Yorkers have a different perspective about the whole submarine sandwich issue, and there are many claims that the "hero" might've actually been a term that was coined before "submarine."

The first (and much less fun) theory about how the hero sandwich got its name is that it is simply a bastardization of the word gyro. If you haven't heard of a gyro (pronounced yur-oh), it's a Greek sandwich that vaguely resembles a hero. It's a meat-filled pita with onions, tomatoes and tzatziki sauce, but you know what it’s not? Related to a hero sandwich. Gyros became popular in the US during the 1960s and the first recorded use of the "hero sandwich" was in the late 1930s. Not to mention, who's going to confuse a Greek sandwich with an Italian sandwich? Nobody.

The real way that the hero sandwich got its name was from a writer named Clementine Paddleworth (no, really). Paddleworth wrote for the New York Herald Tribune in 1936 as a food critic. And after sampling one of those magical sandwiches, he described it by saying, "you had to be a hero to eat it." And thus a hero was born.

People are still skeptical of this origin story because the Tribune Herald's archives are not easily accessible (that's what happens when your newspaper fails in 1966), but it's the coolest explanation, so we're going to stick to it.

And while many things have changed about the hero sandwich in the past 65 years - types of meat, types of bread, types of cheese and peppers - that name has stuck. So I guess the real question is, which hero was good old Clementine referring to when he said that only a hero could eat it? 

My guess is Fred Dukes (AKA Blob).

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Unlocking The Truth - Youngest Hardcore Band From Brooklyn, NY


63 points on reddit
Last Thursday I took the L train to the end of the line and caught up with Unlocking the Truth, a heavy metal trio composed of three sixth graders, Malcolm Brickhouse, Jarad Dawkins and Alec Atkins. We were first made aware of these guys after we saw some of their videos on YouTube, which show the trio absolutely destroying Times Square. Some people have referred to them as "childcore," but those people probably can't play music well enough to appreciate the epic crushiness these 11-year-olds pump out. These guys play seriously brutal metalcore, and they're better than whatever sixth grade band you were in. This is what we're talking about:
Right? Right.
Malcolm and Jarad have known eachother since day one—literally—and they met their bassist, Alec, in daycare. We met at their rehearsal lair in East Flatbush. It's in Malcolm's mom's basement, who they refer to as their "momager." Before I could say a word they handed me a fresh pack of neon green earplugs and began to maim me with what was for sure some of the heaviest sonic shrapnel ever to erupt from such small hands.
After an hour or so of photographing and listening to them rip through their set, I got a rare chance to sit down and chat with these little tykes about how rap is wack, how homework always comes first, and how Skittles are basically universal.
Noisey: I see on the wall that you guys have a lot of dates lined up for summer—Webster Hall, Lincoln Center—are those for real?
Jarad: No, those are our imaginary tour dates. Places that we want to go when we get big and successful.
Oh. Huh. Are you guys just into metal or do you like other music?
Malcolm: I'm into metal and pop.
Jarad: I'm into metal and hip hop and R&B.
Alec: I'm into metal and dubstep and pop.
What do you mean by pop?
Malcolm: Lady Gaga.
Does your mom listen to metal too?
Malcolm: No. She listens to R&B.
Jarad: She listens to house music.
Are you guys trying to educate your parents about metal? 
Jarad: No. My mom just likes the songs we make. She doesn't like the songs that we listen to.
Where do you guys get the ideas for your songs?
Jarad: Well, people judge Malcolm about… he wears nail polish and I dealt with it once and I see what Malcolm felt because everybody judged him, but I ignored it and I think he does too. Alec do you get judged?
Alec: No… I go to a weird school so, like, anything happens.
Do you feel like doing metal is different than what other kids your age are listening to at school?
Malcolm: Yep. Most of them listen to rap.
What do you guys think about rap?
Malcolm: I don't like it at all.
Alec: Rap is meaningless.
Jarad: Yeah, I mean I like it a little. I don't listen to much of it anymore because of how much I like metal now. In my phone I only have like five rap songs and everything else is probably metal.
Malcolm: They ask us why we don't listen to rap. 
And what do you tell them?
Malcolm: It's wack. Rap is wack.
Who are some of your biggest influences?
Jarad: We like to listen to Motionless in White. Malcolm and Alec like Escape the Fate, but I don't. Mainly my favorite band right about now is Chelsea Grin, a deathcore band. They haven't stopped touring since 2008, they have an EP called Evolve which I listen to almost everyday.
Malcolm: This is our interview not theirs.
Jarad: I know.
So you guys play outside a lot in Times Square. What's that even like?
Jarad: There's a lot of constructive criticism during the day. The bucket seems to get full every set from now on since Alec has joined the band and everybody's been looking for us to get a bass player. Everything's been going very good in Times square. The thing is I hate when we gotta pay for our own food and drinks and hot chocolate or whatever 'cause in Times square in April it's kind of cold but then in the afternoon it gets hot and then it goes back cold again. We had to pay for hot chocolate, it came out of our expenses.
Is hot chocolate part of your ritual? Any other rituals before you go on stage?
Jarad: I usually do paradiddles. It's a drum strategy to get my arms in shape.
Malcolm: I sweep pick. And when I perform, I get nervous and start talking to myself. I say random things to myself to make me forget about why I'm nervous. I don't know how that works. Or I sing to myself.
Alec: Before I perform I play "Seven Nation Army" to get my arm into shape because it's on a whole bunch of different frets where you have to skip so, it helps with my arm.
So do you guys totally rule at Guitar Hero and Rock Band and stuff like that?
Malcolm: I do.
What's your high score?
Malcolm. A hundred. A hundred percent. 
What song were you playing when you killed it?
Jarad: "Bat Country," by Avenged Sevenfold.
Do you think it helps you play the guitar?
Malcolm: Yeah I think so. It stretches my fingers out.
What kind of food do you guys like to eat?
Alec: Chinese food.
Malcolm: Pizza.
What about candy? I think when I was your age I was eating a lot of candy.
Jarad: We don't eat candy.
Alec: My signature candy is mint M&Ms.
I didn't even know they made mint M&Ms.
Jarad: Alec's signature cereal is Fruit Loops and Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
Alec: It's the mini-wheat things.
Jarad: Candy is too sour and sugary. The only candy I would probably eat now are Skittles.
What are some of your favorite classes besides music?
Jarad: I hate every other class except science. Science is so interesting and fascinating.
Malcolm: I like science and social studies. Science is interesting, all those cells, stuff like that. And social studies is like a comic book with all those wars and fights.
Alec: My two favorites are ELA and social studies. 
You got a band and also a lot of homework - how do you guys balance it all?
Jarad: Homework is always first for me.
Malcolm: I do my homework in school.
Jarad: I didn't get homework for the past three days, wonder why but..
Malcolm: I barely get homework.
Alec: Me too. Barely get homework.
Jarad: Well actually I didn't get homework for the past two weeks.
What was your first guitar?
Malcolm: My first guitar was a blue acoustic First Act guitar from Toys R' Us. 
Is it hard to play now that you're used to the big one?
Malcolm: Yeah. 
Tell me about your show at the Apollo Theater.
Malcolm: We had to audition to get on it and we got picked, then we had to go to the Apollo and compete with other people and we won the first round and lost the second round to a girl singing Adele.
You guys said you had a singer? What happened there?
Jarad: He was a very difficult person to work with so… things change, things come along. 
Singers are always hard to work with. What's your advice to younger musicians?
Malcolm: Don't give up.
Jarad: Believe in your dreams. Hard work pays off and do what you do best.
Alec: Follow your heart.
Kevin is our new favorite photographer. You can find him on Twitter - @KevinSheaAdams

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Return Of The King — Cleveland Cavaliers' Promising Roster Potential

The Return Of The King — Cleveland Cavaliers' Roster Potential
by Kong from theKONGBLOG™

The King hath returned — before LeBron James re-shocked the world by choosing to return to his hometown team...the Cleveland Cavaliers, I am 100% proof-positive he sat down w/ Team James and tediously dissected the potential of his Cavs' young and inexperienced roster. Although I am not LBJ, we do -however, share in the same nickname: "King" — with that being said, here is a hypotheical glimpse into the potential mindset of King James as he assessed the potency of Cleveland's line-up:
PG - Kyrie Irving (Isiah Thomas)
SG - Dion Waiters (Mitch Richmond) / Matthew Dellavedova (Goran Dragić)
G - Andrew Wiggins (Scottie Pippen) / Joe Harris (Wally Szczerbiak)
SF - LeBron James (Magic Johnson/Michael Jordan)
PF - Anderson Varejão (Poorman's Joakim Noah) / Tristan Thompson (PJ Brown) / Anthony Bennett (Larry Johnson/Elton Brand)
As you can see, this line-up is not as futile as suggested in LeBron's open letter to the sports kingdom via Sports Illustrated:
"I’m not promising a championship. I know how hard that is to deliver. We’re not ready right now. No way. Of course, I want to win next year, but I’m realistic. It will be a long process, much longer than it was in 2010. My patience will get tested. I know that. I’m going into a situation with a young team and a new coach. I will be the old head. But I get a thrill out of bringing a group together and helping them reach a place they didn’t know they could go. I see myself as a mentor now and I’m excited to lead some of these talented young guys. I think I can help Kyrie Iriving become one of the best point guards in our league. I think I can help elevate Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters.  And I can’t wait to reunite with Anderson Varejão , one of my favorite teammates."

Contrary to what the average basketball fan may think, the championship pedigree in the NBA doesn't necessarily consist of a Big Three. In-depth analysis uncovers the fact that the modern blueprint to a NBA championship roster isn't solely dependent on a trio of superstars — it is more or less a combination of superstars + chemistry + deep bench = NBA titles [See: Celtics, Heat & Spurs of the New Millennium].

Now please don't get it twisted and/or misconstrued, I am sure LeBron James misses home and wants more than anything — to bring that all elusive & coveted NBA title to the city and state of Cleveland, Ohio. But perhaps one is the biggest fool if he/she didn't think the King returned home due to the organization's financial flexibility, future first round draft picks, and overall potential of this young-studded roster.

The exact opposite position of his former team, the Miami Heat.

If you beg to differ, please submit your application for a court jester position.

Andrew Wiggins Ridiculous Pre-Game Dunk

Andrew Wiggins completes a 360 degree, behind-the-back dunk during pregame warmups of NBA Summer League.
Andrew Wiggins | #22 | F | Cleveland Cavaliers

#1 Draft Pick of the 2014 NBA Draft

Andrew Wiggins by way of Toronto, Canada

The End Of The Lone Genius?

Jacob Magraw and Rachell Sumpter

The End of ‘Genius’

“Powers of Two: Finding the Essence of Innovation in Creative Pairs.”

WHERE does creativity come from? For centuries, we’ve had a clear answer: the lone genius. The idea of the solitary creator is such a common feature of our cultural landscape (as with Newton and the falling apple) that we easily forget it’s an idea in the first place.

But the lone genius is a myth that has outlived its usefulness. Fortunately, a more truthful model is emerging: the creative network, as with the crowd-sourced Wikipedia or the writer’s room at “The Daily Show” or — the real heart of creativity — the intimate exchange of the creative pair, such as John Lennon and Paul McCartney and myriad other examples with which we’ve yet to fully reckon.

Historically speaking, locating genius within individuals is a recent enterprise. Before the 16th century, one did not speak of people being geniuses but having geniuses. “Genius,” explains the Harvard scholar Marjorie Garber, meant “a tutelary god or spirit given to every person at birth.” Any value that emerged from within a person depended on a potent, unseen force coming from beyond that person.

As late as the Renaissance, people we’d now consider quasi-divine creators were more likely to be seen as deft imitators, making compelling work from familiar materials. Shakespeare, for example, did not typically dream up new ideas for plays but rewrote, adapted and borrowed from the plots, characters and language of previous works. “Romeo and Juliet,” as Mark Rose, a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, notes, is an episode-by-episode dramatization of a poem by Arthur Brooke.

Of course, theater is inherently collaborative. But the Elizabethan stage was more like the modern film industry, where the writer is generally less an auteur than a piece of a machine. Surviving records show three or four or even five playwrights receiving pay for a single production, according to the Columbia professor James Shapiro. The irony is that Shakespeare, whose world serves so well to illustrate a collaborative (or networked) idea about how good work is made, would become the icon of the solo creator.

The big change began with Enlightenment thinkers, who sought to give man a dignified, central place in the world. They made man’s thinking the center of their universe and created a profoundly asocial self.

Meanwhile, as the feudal and agrarian gave way to the capitalist and industrial, artists needed to be more than entertaining; they needed to be original, to profit from the sale of their work. In 1710, Britain enacted its first copyright law, establishing authors as the legal owners of their work and giving new cultural currency to the idea of authors as originators.

This is when we start to see the modern use of “genius.” In an essay published in 1711, Joseph Addison cited Shakespeare as a “remarkable instance” of “these great natural geniuses” — those lit up by an inner light and freed from dependence on previous models.

But it was during the Romantic era that “the true cult of the natural genius emerged,” Ms. Garber writes — with Shakespeare as its signal example. He was a convenient case; so little biographical material existed that his story could be made up.

Paradoxically, the most potent illustration of Shakespeare-as-genius manifested itself as an apparent challenge to it. How could the son of a glover with a provincial education have written so knowingly of kings and queens and faraway lands? It must have been another, dissenters said, with the Earl of Oxford emerging as a favorite candidate. What’s remarkable here is the underlying assumption that Shakespeare’s plays emerged entirely outside the give-and-take of the theater. Shakespeare doubters, the Cleveland State University scholar James Marino says, “are taking the lone genius idea and doubling down.”

Today, the Romantic genius can be seen everywhere. Consider some typical dorm room posters — Freud with his cigar, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the pulpit, Picasso looking wide-eyed at the camera, Einstein sticking out his tongue. These posters often carry a poignant epigraph — “Imagination is more important than knowledge” — but the real message lies in the solitary pose. fact, none of these men were alone in the garrets of their minds. Freud developed psychoanalysis in a heated exchange with the physician Wilhelm Fliess, whom Freud called the “godfather” of “The Interpretation of Dreams”; King co-led the civil rights movement with Ralph Abernathy (“My dearest friend and cellmate,” King said). Picasso had an overt collaboration with Georges Braque — they made Cubism together — and a rivalry with Henri Matisse so influential that we can fairly call it an adversarial collaboration. Even Einstein, for all his solitude, worked out the theory of relativity in conversation with the engineer Michele Besso, whom he praised as “the best sounding board in Europe.”

Now, from disparate directions, a new view of the self has been gathering steam that allows us to begin seeing these old stories as though for the first time. Many factors are at play, not least the rise of the Internet, both for its actual mechanisms that bring people together and for its potency as a metaphor. And the social science of relationships is flourishing, starting with the relational foundations of human development.

Consider what happens when 4-month-olds interact with their mothers: They mimic one another’s facial expressions and amplify them. A baby’s grin elicits a mother’s smile, which leads the baby to a full-on expression of joy — round mouth, big eyes. “Both parties,” writes the psychiatrist Susan C. Vaughan, “are processing an ongoing stream of stimuli and responding while the stimulation is still occurring.” The implication, Ms. Vaughan argues, is that emotions are “peopled” from the start, centered in an interpersonal exchange rather than in an atomized self.

This is just one piece of an impressive body of research in social psychology and the new field of social neuroscience, which contends that individual agency often pales next to the imperatives of a collective.

The elemental collective, of course, is the pair. Two people are the root of social experience — and of creative work. When the sociologist Michael Farrell looked at movements from French Impressionism to that of the American suffragists, he found that groups created a sense of community, purpose and audience, but that the truly important work ended up happening in pairs, as with Monet and Renoir, and Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. In my own study of pairs, I found the same thing — most strikingly with Paul McCartney and John Lennon.

WHY is this? For one thing, given that our psyches take shape through one-on-one exchanges, we’re likely set up to interact with a single person more openly and deeply than with any group. The pair is also inherently fluid and flexible. Two people can make their own society. When even one more person is added, roles and power positions harden. This may be good for stability but problematic for creativity. Three legs make a table stand in place. Two legs are made for moving.

Pairs also naturally engage each of the two people involved. In a larger group, an individual may lie low, phone it in. But nobody can hide in a pair.

It’s going to take some time to truly accept the significance of pairs in creative life, in part because so many partners, if they do their job well, remain hidden to the outside world. Most Vera Nabokovs never get acknowledged. Partnership is also obscured when the two people have distinct public identities. C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien didn’t “collaborate” in the traditional sense, but, as a scholar of their work, Diana Pavlac Glyer, has shown, the influence of each on the other was critical to the work of both.

The pair is the primary creative unit — not just because pairs produce such a staggering amount of work but also because they help us to grasp the concept of dialectical exchange. At its heart, the creative process itself is about a push and pull between two entities, two cultures or traditions, or two people, or even a single person and the voice inside her head. Indeed, thinking itself is a kind of download of dialogue between ourselves and others. And when we listen to creative people describe breakthrough moments that occur when they are alone, they often mention the sensation of having a conversation in their own minds.

This phenomenon is so uncanny that the writer Elizabeth Gilbert has proposed that we return to the myth of the muses to help characterize it. That doesn’t mean there literally are “fairies who follow people around rubbing fairy juice on their projects and stuff,” Ms. Gilbert has said. But the core experience described by the muse-creator interaction — that of one entity helping to inspire another — is almost always true.

This raises vital questions. What is the optimal balance between social immersion and creative solitude? Why does interpersonal conflict so often coincide with innovation? Looking at pairs allows us to grapple with these questions, which are as basic to the human experience as the push and pull of love itself. As a culture, we’ve long been preoccupied with romance. But we should also take seriously something just as important, but long overlooked — creative intimacy. — The New York Times

How To Fill-Up A Bucket w/ Water?

Filling up a bucket of water is awkward and frustrating when it doesn't fit in your sink. Redditor mrfitzy shows us a genius way to fill it up hassle-free. All you need is a dustpan.
Dustpan-as-Funnel Is How MacGyver Would Fill a Bucket
A quick way to fill up a bucket when it won't fit in your sink.
Just put the dustpan in the sink, handle facing outwards, and let the water flow into the handle (like a funnel) and out of the sink, into your bucket. This will work a bit differently for everyone depending on the size of your sink and dustpan, but with a few modifications, we were able to make it work using Dachis' abnormally large sink (and tiny dustpan). If you're really lucky, you'll get something like the image to the right—where the dustpan fits perfectly in the sink and you can let it sit while it fills up. If not, though, you can do what we do in the above video, and hold it while the bucket fills to the brim. Hit the link to read more.

Natalie Nakase's Road To Become NBA's First Female Coach

Natalie Nakase was an all-conference point guard at UCLA (1999-2003)

Aiming at Glass Ceiling, but Not With Her Jump Shot
Clippers’ Nakase Aspires to Be N.B.A.’s First Female Head Coach

Professional athletes will frequently do almost anything if they believe it will help them improve. That explained why Billy Knight, an overseas basketball player, was home one summer honing his jumper in a Manhattan Beach, Calif., gym with Natalie Nakase.

When another player — an acquaintance of Knight’s — walked in, he was incredulous. “What are you going to learn from her?” the player asked. 

Knight said Nakase was a better shooter. He said she could prove it unless the other player was scared. That was enough to set the mark. 

It went like this several times when Nakase and Knight, college acquaintances, worked out together: a wisecrack followed by a shooting contest. Nakase rarely talked, but sharks were not supposed to look like her: 5-foot-2, ponytailed and disarming — at least until she unleashed her jump shot. 

The Los Angeles Clippers named Natalie Nakase, center, an assistant coach for
the two-week N.B.A. Summer League in Las Vegas.
As they moved around the 3-point line, keeping track of shots made, the player who did this for a living swallowed harder. When the contest ended, he handed over $20, and a bit of his pride.

“At first, Billy was mad because I didn’t want to take the money,” said Nakase, who said even the loser insisted on it. But she came to like it enough that she started to hustle on her own, winning more than she lost. Now she even makes some money off her co-workers, the Los Angeles Clippers — though she won’t embarrass any players by naming names.

“I don’t want anyone mad at me,” she said. 

Nakase, the Clippers’ assistant video coordinator, is trying to earn credibility in the coaching profession the same way: by proving her worth. She landed a spot as an assistant coach on the Clippers’ bench during the two-week N.B.A. Summer League here, a first according to the Clippers and a step toward her goal of becoming an N.B.A. coach — something no woman has ever accomplished.

“I don’t want to just coach,” Nakase said. “I want to win championships.”

On that point, she is echoing the mantra of Doc Rivers, who joined the Clippers last summer as coach and chief executive of basketball operations, and who in the wake of the Donald Sterling scandal became an inspirational beacon for the organization. Rivers has said the Clippers do not just want championship players, but championship sales representatives, accountants and marketers.

So when Nakase, 34, sat on the bench recently on the staff of Brendan O’Connor, the summer league coach, it was an acknowledgment of the work she has put in over the last two seasons as a video intern.
“It’s where she wants to be someday,” Rivers said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s men or women — she wants to be a coach and she works her butt off at it. She’s in our film room all year, she’s terrific, and it’s a way of rewarding employees. She’s very loyal; she’s out on the floor with our guys, rebounding, and she’s a student of the game, and I thought it was important to reward her.”

As Nakase sat on the bench July 12, charting the Clippers’ success in defending screens, when their shots came relative to the shot clock, and any after-timeout plays that caught her fancy, Nancy Lieberman sat in the stands. She was beaming.

Lieberman, a Hall of Fame player who grew up in New York idolizing Walt Frazier and playing against boys, was the first woman to coach a men’s professional team when she coached the Texas Legends, the Dallas Mavericks’ Development League team, in 2010-11. She is now the team’s assistant general manager.
Nakase started three seasons for U.C.L.A
“There’s going to be a woman at some point in the N.B.A.,” Lieberman said. “It’s going to happen — as a player development coach, as an assistant. I mean, that’s why I’m here. I want to coach in the N.B.A. I’m so proud of Natalie that she has this opportunity. I know how hard it is. The most important thing, and I’ll speak for her, is that we don’t want to be hired because we’re girls. We want to get hired because we’ve earned it and we have the qualifications for the job.”

Lieberman, 56, had a straightforward path into coaching thanks to her accomplishments. Nakase began coaching men because she could not coach women.

After she graduated from U.C.L.A., where she was a three-year starter, Nakase tore knee ligaments playing in Germany. She traveled to Japan with a friend, Darin Maki, who was playing for the former N.B.A. coach Bob Hill. When Nakase, who was looking for a job, was rebuffed by a women’s coach, Maki got permission from Hill to let Nakase observe practice. It was a revelation.

“It was so efficient,” Nakase said. “He was on point. He didn’t like to waste time. I was obsessed with that from then on.”

She spoke afterward with Hill, who gave her an assignment — a scouting report on his team’s next opponent. It took her two days to put together.

“It turned into a seven-page email on tendencies, thoughts and whatever she could get out on these guys,” said Casey Hill, Bob’s son, who is now coaching the Santa Cruz Warriors, the Golden State Warriors’ Development League affiliate. That helped lead to an assistant coaching position and then a head coaching job with the Saitama Broncos in a men’s professional league in Japan. But when Nakase returned home to Huntington Beach, Calif., her father asked her why she kept going back to Japan if her objective was to coach in the N.B.A.

“So the decision was made,” Nakase said. 

She sent emails to anyone she knew with an N.B.A. contact, and one day received a call asking if she wanted to work at a coaching clinic the next morning. She was ecstatic — until she found out it was a youth clinic, run by Dave Severns, the Clippers’ assistant player skills coach. Nakase’s ability to dribble landed her the role of Severns’s demonstrator, and she badgered him with questions, mostly about the N.B.A. When Severns talked about how hard Blake Griffin worked, Nakase asked if she could come the next day and watch. 

She did, and at the end of that session she asked if she could do video work.

Video interns are usually the first ones in the building, about 6:30 a.m., arriving before the coaches, and are among the last to leave, regularly well past dinnertime. It is an increasingly important duty, compiling useful clips for players and coaches. Video interns also might be on the court, rebounding or passing or even setting screens. 

It is grunt work. But it is also a foot in the door. 

After serving as head coach of the Saitama Broncos for one season, Natalie Nakase
decided to part ways with the team to pursue her NBA goal back home.
Coaches like Erik Spoelstra, Frank Vogel and Mike Brown started as video interns. For the first season, Nakase was unpaid. Last season, she made a little money, but she has relied on her savings and the generosity of an older sister, with whom she lives rent free. Nakase considers the experience, such as assembling a video clip for Chris Paul and having him explain how a 6-foot guard rarely has his shot blocked, priceless.

Coaching, she knows, is more than handing a clip to someone and explaining what to do. It is about building relationships. In this area, Nakase appears to have excelled. She has the support of the Hills, the respect of Rivers, who called her a grinder, and the admiration of Scott Brooks, the Oklahoma City Thunder coach, with whom she has corresponded via email after meeting him at a clinic.

In shuttling between the Thomas & Mack Center and the adjoining Cox Pavilion, where the summer league games are being played, Nakase cannot seem to pass another 30-something scout or coach without a hug or a handshake or a greeting. She said she sensed she was receiving a little more respect now that she was coaching.

When the Clippers finished their game July 12, the coaches huddled in the hallway outside the locker room. They made plans to head to a hotel for a meeting with Clippers’ season-ticket holders. Nakase asked if it would be O.K. if she missed the event so she could scout the Miami Heat and the Houston Rockets, their next two opponents.

“I’ve got you covered,” said Armond Hill, an assistant coach for the Clippers, but not before teasing her.
She smiled, thanked Hill and said goodbye to the rest of the coaches. Then she threw her backpack over her shoulders and went back to watching basketball, certain that it was right where she belonged. — Billy Witz | The New York Times

Would You Trade Andrew Wiggins For Kevin Love?

The ‘Would You Trade Wiggins for Love?’ Shootaround

Bill Simmons: With my beloved Celtics stuck in Rebuilding Mode, I find myself rooting for LeBron’s Cavaliers to give Cleveland its first championship in 50 years. How they handle a hypothetical Kevin Love–Andrew Wiggins trade is crucial for that quest. What should they do? Here at Grantland, we couldn’t resist passing along our advice. I’m writing an expanded take, and then we’re turning it over to some of our other writers for their quickie takes.
Lemme just say, it’s an honor to be hypothetically working for Dan Gilbert, one of the luckiest men in professional sports, as well as someone who did just about everything wrong for five solid years … only to be rewarded by winning the lottery three times in four years while also improbably winning back LeBron James. I really hope some of his luck rubs off on me. Here’s my Love-Wiggins plan in three parts:
First, I’d convince Gilbert that, instead of doing the wrong thing every time and improbably having it work out in our favor, we should attempt to make the rightdecision for once. This would be part of a bigger game plan that I’m tentatively calling “Don’t Do the Wrong Thing Every Time Anymore.”
Second, I’d convince Gilbert that the Timberwolves don’t want to trade Love yet. If they did, they would have traded him before the 2014 draft, when they could have scored the biggest package of draft picks for him AND picked at least one of those players. They’d much rather just keep leaking out that they’re continuing “talks” with Golden State about a Love–David Lee–Klay Thompson deal even if the Warriors have done everything short of putting up billboards around the Bay Area that read “WE ARE NEVER TRADING KLAY THOMPSON.”
My theory: Minnesota GM/president/coach/pooh-bah/czar/second-luckiest man in professional sports because how the F is he this powerful???/head honcho Flip Saunders has been in job-preservation mode ever since he snookered Glen Taylor into giving him that job. Let’s say you trade Love, one of the league’s 10 to 12 best players, and he comes back to haunt you on another team. Or let’s say you land a young “stud” in that trade who doesn’t turn out to be exactly what you thought he’d be, or you make a high lottery pick that isn’t as sure of a thing as you thought he’d be. Well, you’re done. You’re out. You’re in Bristol doing Coors Light Cold Hard Facts.
But if you bring Love back for his contract year, now he’s playing for a mega-deal on a Minnesota team that underachieved last season — thanks to a ridiculously competitive conference, poor coaching from Rick Adelman (since retired) and historically bad luck in close games. Couldn’t your team blossom like the Blazers did last season? Remember when we thought LaMarcus Aldridge was fleeing Portland … right until it turned into a playoff team and made the second round? What if that’s Minnesota next season? It’s not inconceivable, right?
Trust me — Flip keeps playing that Aldridge-Portland scenario in his head. More importantly, he can’t even find a poor man’s Godfather offer for Love, much less an actual Godfather offer. (Golden State wouldn’t even pony up Thompson for him!) Flip wants no part of this generation’s one-sided “Charles Barkley for Jeff Hornacek, Andrew Lang and Tim Perry” trade that was horrible at the time and looks even more egregious 22 years later.
My guess: He’d rather keep Love for now, roll the dice with the Aldridge-Portland scenario, and then, if Minnesota starts off slow, he can always deal him before February’s deadline.
That brings me to the third thing I’d bring to Gilbert’s attention: You know who else doesn’t need to make a move right away? The Cleveland Cavaliers! What’s the rush? Why do we have to finish our roster in July? What’s wrong with riding out the current nucleus for a few months, getting everyone in a training camp with LeBron, then seeing how everyone meshes with him?
What if Wiggins shows signs — day after day after day — of becoming the Pippen to LeBron’s MJ? What if LeBron is throwing him crazy alley-oops left and right and gushing, “I’ve always wanted to play with a freak athlete like this”?
What if Wiggins and LeBron are roaming around defensively like coyotes, stripping dudes at midcourt, jumping passing lanes and basically looking like mid-1990s Pippen and MJ reincarnated?
What if sending Wiggins to Playing With LeBron Camp turned out to be the greatest thing that ever happened to Andrew Wiggins? What if this single-handedly altered his professional destiny? What if LeBron turned him into his basketball clone, much like Jordan brainwashed Pippen into evolving into his perfect sidekick?
Here’s the point: THE CAVALIERS HAVE TO FIND OUT. And they’ll know, or at least have a really good idea, by December or January.
And guess what. That same Wiggins-for-Love deal will still be sitting there after Christmas. None of the other 28 teams are trumping it. If it has to be done, then it has to be done — the Cavs can’t waste the rest of LeBron’s prime if Wiggins isn’t close to being ready yet, not with LeBron passing 40,000 career minutes during the first quarter of his first 2014 Cavs game. There’s a shelf life here. The Cavaliers can’t take their sweet time and wait for their supporting cast to catch up with the greatest player of his generation. They can’t.
At the same time, I need to see LeBron and the young’uns for a few months before I swing a mega-deal. I want to see how Kyrie Irving and Wiggins blend with LeBron — if they figure out how to run with him, space the floor for him, ease some of his playmaking burden and let HIM be the guy taking advantage of everyone else’s young legs for once. I want to see if Dion Waiters can become this generation’s Vinnie Johnson, a.k.a. Microwave 2.0. I want to see if Anderson Varejao can stay healthy for the first time since 1975, and I want to see if Tristan Thompson and Anthony Bennett jump a level because they’re suddenly playing with one of the league’s best passers.
I mean … is it OK that I see this for 45 to 50 games? Is that fine with everyone?
Best-case scenario: Wiggins proves to be untouchable and Bennett shows signs of becoming a late bloomer/belated keeper, followed by Flip begrudgingly settling for a February deal of Love for Bennett, Waiters, two unprotected first-round picks (including Miami’s first-rounder that’s unprotected in 2017) and one pick swap over the next five years … a deal that, by the way, is still better than any other offer they’ll get. Yes, including the right to overpay David Lee and eventually overpay Klay Thompson.
Worst-case scenario: Wiggins suffers enough growing pains that you no longer feel fearful or guilty about flipping him for Love in February … which means Cleveland would be trotting out one of the seven best basketball players of all time and one of the league’s 12 best players as his sidekick.
In summary, the Cavaliers can’t lose no matter what happens. I look forward to them screwing up the final decision and somehow having it work out. In Gilbert We Trust.
Here’s what the other Grantlanders think …
Chuck Klosterman: If you deal Wiggins for Love, you obviously have the best team in the East. You obviously have the ability to spread the floor and outscore everyone, and the premise of Love throwing full-court outlet passes to Irving and LBJ would make all of November feel like a McDonald’s All American Game.
These are the obvious details everyone will mention when considering this hypothetical. But I would still stick with Wiggins, and my reasons are threefold:
1. I am not totally convinced Love is much more than an incredibly skilled fantasy player. He certainly might be, but how could we possibly know (based on experience)? Such a move would still be a gamble. He doesn’t protect the rim. He seems inordinately interested in numbers. And those aforementioned full-court outlet passes evaporate in June.
2. Up until the Big 12 tournament, Uncle Wiggily was pretty underwhelming at Kansas. He had a few games in which his shooting was tragic, especially off the dribble. But he has the body, and that’s what matters. His body is better than Love’s. He defends the whole floor. He’s an underrated glass chewer. And if we all concede that Wiggins has the potential to be a transcendent player, placing him alongside a bike-riding maniac like LeBron is the best-case scenario. If you throw 20-year-old W with LBJ, you will get the totality of whatever he has to offer (and then you re-sign him for life). LeBron will not let him bust.
3. The Cavs signed LeBron. He’s the best player in the world. Let him prove it. Enough of this pandering. No more roster additions. No more gaming the system to make things easier. This is the team. Play with this team. That letter James “wrote” to SI? Idiotic. It was totally idiotic. I’m not interested in constructed apologies or histrionic aphorisms. Just go do this.
Mark Titus: “Should Cleveland give up a guy who has the potential to be one of the top five players on the planet in seven years for a guy who hasn’t made the playoffs in his six-year career? Before you answer, consider that the guy for whom Cleveland is trading is reportedly going to bolt his team in free agency next season if he isn’t traded, meaning Cleveland holds pretty much all the bargaining chips here.”
Um, no?
That the Cavs ever considered this trade as a possibility tells you how insecure the Cleveland sports scene is. It’s like as soon as LeBron announced his decision to return, Kool & the Gang was blasted through the entire city on loop as Clevelanders danced in the streets and Frenched strangers. Then, after a few days of this, someone tapped Cleveland on the shoulder and told it LeBron signed only a two-year deal that includes a player option after the first year. Even though it’s fairly obvious that LeBron’s deal was structured in anticipation of a projected salary cap rise, the music was still cut as every Clevelander went through the same mental anguish.
Oh god, oh god, oh god. OK, don’t panic. We’ve got this. He’s not going to leave again. He can’t. There’s no way he does that to us twice. Is there? Shit, there is. He’s going to do it. He’s going to leave again, isn’t he? He’s probably already got one foot out the door. Well, if that’s how it’s got to be, let’s just go all in and win a title this year so at least we have something to keep us happy when he rips our hearts out a second time.
Don’t get me wrong here — the Cavs should be making moves to win now. LeBron + Anderson Varejao + Brendan Haywood + guys who haven’t hit puberty yet doesn’t strike me as an immediate championship formula. But taking a few young pieces out of the mix and throwing in Love suddenly turns the Cavs into the obvious choice for Eastern Conference champions. So I’m all for going after Love.
I’m just not for giving up Wiggins. A lot of people seem to misunderstand the talk surrounding Wiggins and assume that because he’s described as a guy with a ton of potential, he must therefore be a gamble. But just because his ceiling is so high doesn’t mean his cellar is just as low. In truth, even if Wiggins never asserts himself offensively as consistently as he should, he’s still likely going to be a 15-plus PPG guy and one of the best perimeter defenders in the league.
That last bit is huge. The Cavs are in a great spot as it stands by having a young guy who can help LeBron carry the offensive load (Irving) and another who can help carry the defensive load (Wiggins). Wiggins on the Cavs means LeBron won’t always have to guard the other team’s best player. It also means Cleveland could conceivably have the two best perimeter defenders in the game three years from now. That might not sound as sexy as a 26-and-12 guy joining LeBron, until you realize that a Cavs defense with Wiggins and LeBron will get infinity steals, those steals will trigger fast breaks, and those fast breaks will end with one of those guys putting his nuts above the rim.
Throw anything else at Minnesota to get Kevin Love to Cleveland. Just don’t touch LeBron, Irving, or Wiggins.
netw3rk: Rationally speaking, you can’t really argue for not trading Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love. Critiques of Love’s game often revolve around the dearth of playoff appearances and his being a stat-stuffer. My retort would be that, if the 2013-14 Timberwolves were in the Eastern Conference, they surely would have made the postseason. And even if he is a stats hog, holy shit, look at those stats!
Last season, Love scored 2,010 points, pulled down 963 rebounds, and dished out 341 assists.
The list of players who have scored more than 2,000 points, grabbed more than 950 rebounds, and dished more than 300 assists in one season is as follows: Kareem six times (1969-70, 1971-72, 1972-73, 1973-74, 1975-76, 1976-77), Wilt Chamberlain twice (1963-64, 1965-66), Elgin Baylor twice (1960-61, 1962-63), Oscar Robertson (1961-62), Bob McAdoo (1975-76), Billy Cunningham (1969-70), Charles Barkley (1988-89), and Tim Duncan (2001-02). I’d call that good company.
Wiggins is a very talented, ultra-athletic incoming rook who has a great chance to be a defensive destroyer and a star. He doesn’t need the ball, and that’s a plus on a team with Kyrie, LeBron, and (for now?) Waiters. But, again, Love is coming off a historically good season.
Still, I think it’s more instructive to turn the question around. If I were a fan of the Timberwolves, and Flip Saunders sent Love to Cleveland without getting Wiggins in return, I’d storm the Wolves’ practice facility and burn it to the ground.
Andrew Sharp: Is Daryl Morey secretly overrated? Who’s had the better career, Tom Hanks or Tom Cruise? Jay Z or Kanye? Should you let your kids play football? Would we all be better off if the Internet didn’t exist? Has Barack Obama’s presidency been successful? These are debates. Reasonable people can argue both sides.
Was David Kahn secretly underrated? J. Cole or Kanye? Is that bookcase talking to you right now? Should Barack Obama be arrested for treason? These are not debates.
It’s not a debate if one side of the argument is just crazy people.
That’s how I feel about the “Should the Cavs trade Wiggins for Love?” question. If we talk about it long enough it may seem like a real question, but this should never get that far.
As good as everyone hopes Wiggins will be one day, Love is that good right now. I understand that playing with LeBron gives Wiggins a much better chance of maxing out all of his potential, and it’s something everyone wants to see. I even understand the people who think Wiggins could help extend LeBron’s prime the way Kawhi Leonard did with Tim Duncan. But let’s not be crazy.
There’s no way Minnesota’s doing a deal with Cleveland that doesn’t include Wiggins, and if that’s the case, the Cavs absolutely have to include Wiggins and get the deal done.
LeBron’s 29 years old. The East is wide open. Even if you think Wiggins will be a star — I think he will — it probably won’t happen for another three or four years, at which point the East will probably be tougher, LeBron will be older, and there’s a chance the Cavs will have wasted three years of LeBron with no titles, while the entire city of Cleveland gets a little more anxious every year.
Why make it complicated? Don’t give the Warriors a chance to come to their senses and offer Thompson. Love and LeBron would be diabolical right this second. The passing alone would make them the most entertaining team on earth. They wouldn’t even need three other players. Just let them run a two-man weave on the entire league.
Think about it this way: What do other teams want the Cavs to do? Teams could take their chances the next few years against LeBron and Kyrie with a bunch of young guys and broken-down veterans trying to fill in the gaps around them. Or they could spend the next five years facing a new superteam with Love, LeBron, and Kyrie, three superstars smack in the middle of their primes, with less pressure on the young guys and a new cast of veterans signing on every summer. I’m sure it’s tough for Cleveland fans to watch Vines like this and imagine that player somewhere else, but come on. Don’t overthink this. The biggest reason the Cavs should trade Wiggins for Love is because every team in the league is quietly praying they’re crazy enough not to.
Illustration by Muideen Ogunmola
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