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Steph Curry Broke The Way Video Games Are Made
I know that title seems a little hyperbolic but it's absolutely, 100% true. If you know anything about basketball or if you're friends with anyone who knows anything about basketball, then they probably talk about how much of a beast Steph Curry is on the court. He hits 3-pointers from way beyond the arc and he's consistent with it. And I can see the look on your face, you're like, "Paul what the fuck does this have to do with video games?" Well, Curry's performance this season (in real life) has just broken the way NBA2K builds their video games. In a recent interview with Forbes, Mike Wang (gameplay director of the NBA2K games) said, that they're "looking for new ways to translate his [Curry's] game into 2K". As an avid fan and player of the NBA2K games, I know first hand that they've come up with formulas and rules for the game so the game feels like a realistic basketball game. In the most recent iteration, shot selection is a big factor in making shots. But -- if you watch Curry play -- his shot selection is, sometimes, insane. But that doesn't translate to the video game, like, at all. ESPN even ran an article titled, "Real-life Stephen Curry is better than video-game Stephen Curry" which compares Curry's real stats to simulated video game stats and Steph Curry in real life does consistently better than the video game version of him. And it seems like the next iteration of the NBA2K series will have some careful consideration when they start designing the way Curry plays in-game. If you watch the first minute of the video above (which is from a game that just happened a couple of days ago), you'll see Curry make a 3-point shot with two defenders on him. If you were to do this in NBA2K as Steph Curry, you'd most likely miss. It's insane to me that because of his skill, the people that work on 2K have to develop new ways to deal with his on-court skill. It's kind of insane (and awesome and amazing) to me that Stepch Curry is better than an artificial version of himself who, by all means, should be better. Mostly because it's an AI that doesn't get tired or have thoughts or anything else like that. It's kind of breathtaking, to be honest. And I'm sort of happy to be alive during this sports-historic moment in time. All of that being said, I guess the color-commentators need to stop comparing Curry's skill to something that's "video game-like" instead of saying it's unbelievable because, well, the best basketball video game (and its developer) can't believe it either.
Can 'Crying Michael Jordan' get you sued?
The Crying Micheal Jordan Meme was by far one of the best things to come out of 2015. Social media kingpins relentlessly attack famous people across the globe at their weakest moments with a crying MJ meme centered around their latest blunder. It's pretty low, but I must say, it's pretty damn funny. "It just seems to have an appropriateness for so many different circumstances," said Andrew Selepak, director of the social media graduate program at the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications. "That face can be used for a meme for a number of different levels, whether it's sports or non-sports related. But because of the passion people have for sports, I think it has legs like few other memes that have been popular in the past." It's had an amazing amount of staying power, and like most things that have this type of power, often comes dollars. So when money gets involved, who owns the rights to this? Could a person be sued over the Crying meme? The Associated Press could pursue legal action if it believes its copyright of the image has been violated. "We own the rights in our photo, which was taken in 2009," Associated Press spokesman Paul Colford wrote in an email to ESPN.com. "We could enforce those rights depending on the use and other factors, as is the case with all AP photos." Likewise, Jordan spokesperson Estee Portnoy recently implied that the basketball icon's camp is keeping a close eye on usage of the meme. "We haven't seen anyone using it to promote their commercial interests, which is something that we're monitoring," Portnoy wrote in an email to the Chicago Tribune. So be careful about letting loose a signature Crying Micheal Jordan meme, it could cost you some dollars down the line.
Boston Celtics VS. Houston Rockets Pregame Analysis/Prediction
The Celtics, currently on their 4 game winning streak, welcome the Houston Rockets to Boston. The return of Avery Bradley to the starting lineup has fine tuned the C's defense, while the Rockets are coming off a disappointing loss against the New Orleans Hornets. Individual Leaders BOS HOU Points Pierce 19.8 Harden 26.4 Rebounds Garnett 7.0 Asik 11.4 Assists Rondo 11.3 Lin 6.4 Team Stats BOS HOU Scoring 95.1 106.0 Rebounding 38.7 43.2 Assists 23.2 22.8 Analysis: The Celtics and the Rockets have faced each other not too long ago (Dec 14, 2012), and the Rockets took the victory on their home court. However, the situation is a bit different after about a month, with Boston welcoming Avery Bradley back in the starting lineup and Houston playing without much consistency. The Rockets rely heavily on their superstar, James Harden, but it is their role players that must perform for Houston to fully activate their high-power offensive schemes. In their last game (see video), players like Parsons and Patterson drain three's and facilitate the ball well enough for Harden to penetrate and Asik to dominate inside. If the role players don't click, then the Celtics will shut down any flow that Houston tries to generate. Recently, with Parsons' illness and Patterson becoming a non-factor, players like Delfino, Lin, and Asik must step up offensively for Harden to have some freedom to operate. Meanwhile, for the Celtics, the return of Avery Bradley is huge in fortifying their perimeter defense, as well as some offensive contribution. In the last game, Pierce was the primary offensive weapon, draining three's and driving to the lane. Rondo played OK, but definitely can step up to facilitate the offense more smoothly. Both Rondo and Pierce need to be aggressive attacking the rim, so that it opens space for their perimeter players, such as Terry and Bradley, to shoot from outside the arc. Prediction: On paper, it seems that the Rockets have superior stats over the Celtics, but the current numbers are a bit misleading. For one, the Celtics now have Bradley back, which should limit the number of points allowed, while strengthening the C's perimeter defense. On the other hand, the Rockets boast the best offense in the NBA (1st in scoring), but this is a team that has little consistency in replicating their high-octane offense day-in and day-out. If Harden decides to not show up to the game, and Lin is shut down by the Celtics' vastly improved perimeter defense, the Rockets will struggle to score. Furthermore, Houston's inside presence loses the physical battle against the C's Garnett and Sullinger, and will fail to grab rebounds against the rejuvenated Celtics squad. It will be a close game, but the Celtics take care of business at home. BOS 98 - HOU 90
Me, My Brother, and LeBron James
When I was 14 years old, my brother joined the Air Force. He came back home almost a decade later with a lot of stories and a copy of NBA 2K. I remember coming home late one night -- either from work or class -- to my brother playing NBA2K on the largest television in our house. As I walked through the door, I heard the audio from the video above playing out: "... giving up is not an option, and when you feel like you’ve reached your limit, it’s only the beginning, that’s when it’s time to dig deep, to find the courage to push some more, because if you’ve got the drive, the discipline, and the resolve to do what it takes to make yourself great, then the rewards are endless." Even though I barely knew who LeBron James was at the time. His words hit me. They hit me hard. After being hit with what felt like a freight train I thought about how I needed to change and if I even wanted to. I had spent the past couple of weeks ditching class, barely cutting it at work, and taking any chance to get into a party. I was in a terrible place. I, somehow, stopped caring. Stopped wanting to live. Not in the binary live/die sense. I just wanted to exist. I wanted to be in the world and that's it. I felt uncomfortable at home, with friends, at work, and in public. Actually, I barely even felt. That was, until my brother made me watch a Knicks game with him. Listen, I never liked team sports. I grew up on skateboarding, cigarettes, staying out late, and causing trouble. So sitting down to watch the New York Knicks play didn't sound like an amazing idea. But I had nothing to do and there was nothing else on television, so I sat down next to him. As the game went on, my brother and I started connecting. It was weird, growing up I always felt like we were polar opposites. But here he was sitting next to me, drink in hand, explaining the plays to me, explaining who the players were, and there I was, drink in hand, engaged. Hanging on every word. By the 4th Quarter we were both yelling at the television set. We were hugging (something we rarely used to do, by the way) and high-fiving. We were bonding. We were laughing. And more importantly, I was feeling something again. Ever since then, my brother and I try to watch every game we can. We spend as much time as we can together. Not for any other reason than we want to. And these days, I love basketball. It's to the point where some of my old friends are dumbfounded, they can't believe that I got into sports. For a while, I would just say, yeah I guess I like it now. But the truth is, I love basketball because it helped me reconnect with my brother after not seeing him for most of my life. I love basketball because it helped remind me what it's like to feel excited about something. I love basketball because it helped me love again.