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Why should we erase history? On the House of Run podcast, Malcolm Gladwell suggests recognize track and field’s records with the context of the era.
Chris O’Hare and Emily Lipari won the elite races at the 2017 HOKA Long Island Mile in the rain. The men’s race was in memory of David Torrence.
Our preseason pick for the national champion is in. Cross country guru Isaac Wood breaks down the top 31 teams that will battle at nationals.
Isaac Wood returns to resume his famous cross country rankings, projections, analysis that have been a hit since 2012. The Wood Report is back.
The CITIUS Mailbag is open and ready to take reader questions. Email or tweet us your best cross country musings. Right now: Who will win the men’s title?
Whether it was on the track or in life, the sky was the limit for David Torrence and that’s a fact that makes his death an even greater loss for us all.
I made a Google Form so you could simulate a HS XC race. It was the worst sports video game of all time but 110 of you participated. Here’s what happened.
A look at how your first day of cross country practice will go. Beware this will be your life for the next four to five years as well.
For years, American distance running was labeled as “on the rise.” With stars like Evan Jager, Ajee Wilson, Jenny Simpson and Paul Chelimo, the time is now.
Americans Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs shocked the world on Friday with a spectacular one-two finish in the women’s 3000 meter steeplechase.
EMMA COBURN AND COURTNEY FRERICHS 1-2 PUNCH
Emma Coburn lowered her own American record, broke the meet record, and won the gold medal in the 3000m steeplechase Friday night.
Not to be outdone was her fellow USA teammate, Courtney Frerichs, who also broke the the American record, and would be the meet record holder had it not been for Coburn.
Coburn and Frerichs stayed calm as Jebet of Bahrain and Chespol of Kenya set a hot early pace. Coburn looked very smooth over the water barriers and used the obstacles to put herself in position each time they came around. Coming over the final water barrier she went from third to first and would not relinquish the lead, holding off Jebet, and a charging Frerichs. Frerichs would run a fantastic final 100, to steal the silver medal, lower her PR by over 15 seconds, and give America the 1-2 punch in the women’s steeple.
The last qualifying spot
Johnny Gregorek advanced to the 1500m final. After running in last for a majority of the race, Gregorek let out what is becoming a signature kick over the last 300 meters, running the fastest split of anyone in the field. He moved himself into 7th place in 3:38.68, snagging the last little ‘q’ qualifying spot. He has one day of rest before he enters the final as the Last American Hope. Needless to say he has quickly become an American hero.
Here he is in his post-race interview with Lewis Johnson where he gave us a great quote, “We needed an American in the final, so I said ‘Let’s do this Johnny G.'”
Women’s 100m hurdles
Kendra Harrison is the fastest woman in the world this year by 0.2 seconds. In a sprint event that’s night and day. But Harrison has developed a knack for underperforming in high performance situations. The world record holder missed out on the 2016 Olympic team after she finished 6th in the trials — a month later she went on to set the world record. In 2015, the last world championships she ran in, she false started in the semi-finals and was disqualified.
She’ll get her first crack at a major world final tomorrow, though, despite finishing 4th place in her heat after cracking the first hurdle and struggling to finish in her semi-final. She managed to squeeze in on time. Hopefully tomorrow she’ll bring her A game, and prove that she’s more than just a name in the record books.
Brenda Martinez has had a tough go in London. She finished 4th in her opening heat of the 800m, and sneaked into the semi-final on time, albeit as the 2nd slowest qualifier.
In today’s semi-final, though, the 2013 World Championships silver medalist failed to advance to the final. Martinez stuck with eventual winner, Neyonsaba the whole race, but found herself boxed on the inside on the bell lap. She tried making two different moves, but didn’t have the position to either swing wide or pass on the inside. She ended up finishing third in the slowest of the three heats, and well outside of the 1:59.74 it took to get through to the final.
Martinez is a household name in American track and field circles, but has failed to replicate her 2013 season that brought a silver medal. American fans can’t help but feel a little disappointed. But Martinez or not, we still have Ajee Wilson and Charlene Lipsey in the final.
Robby Andrews DNF’d in the smei-final of the men’s 1500m today. On the penultimate lap, Andrews, who was in last place, started making some moves. He jostled by a few other athletes and on the homestretch was midpack when he pulled up lame. From our stream, he looked a bit like a sprinter pulling up after tearing a hamstring. He pounded the track out of frustration, and stayed on the infield as the men went around the track one more time.
After the race in an interview with Lewis Johnson, he said that his calf locked up and he had to stop running. Up until now Andrews was having a good season, winning his first national championship as a pro, and looked poise to unleash is signature kick to make it into his final.
His streak of bad luck on the world stage continues, as in last year’s Olympics Andrews was disqualified in the semi-final after taking one too many steps on the infield in the homestretch of the 1500m.
But Citius loves him dearly, and we wish him well.
Today’s 3000m steeplechase final went off without Colleen Quigley. She was DQ’d, after finishing third in her qualifying heat, for stepping on the curved line after a water jump. The one-inch infringement was apparently enough of a “material advantage” to warrant the IAAF to give her the boot. The USATF tried protesting on her behalf but to no avail.
Today’s women’s 800m semi-final had another fast and loose interpretation of the rule book, as Lynsey Sharp was disqualified from her semi-final heat after “impeding another runner” during her race. The infraction? Her forearm went wide as she crossed the finish line and brushed up against the eventual third place finisher Charlene Lipsey.
Had she not been disqualified, she would have secured the final qualifying spot in Wednesday’s final.
This “rules are rules” mentality that the officials in London have been maintaining is an obvious detriment to the quality of the fields. Did the athletes gain any advantage from the above scenarios? Obviously not. Were other athletes opportunity at a clean and fair race ruined because of them? The answer is no. But I suppose if you have a rule book in your hand the impulse to flex your muscles just because you can must be a little too great.
UPDATE: Lynsey Sharp has been reinstated into the women’s 800m final. Sorry for the rant.
Normally, the British seem to have their shit together. They strike me as a well-organized brood with a sharp sense of humor that can sometime not be understood but is nonetheless appreciated because of their silly, fun accents. However, like any warm-blooded, honest American knows, “the times they are a changin’” and the British have now become inept in their organization of championship events. Because of said ineptness we are left with conspiracy theories.
I love conspiracy theories. A friend of mine does this thing where he sends me an email with a subject of, for example, “Wilson Kipsang does 10 x 5K @ 8,000ft” and then the email body is a hyperlink and I click it and I get taken to some conspiracy theory about Phantom Time. I actually hate when he does this. I hate conspiracy theories.
This year’s World Championships is bloody full of ‘em, though. Between a pesky norovirus that ensured the world’s best stayed atop the podium and a poorly-placed cone, these British blokes sure know how to stir the pot. But there’s one theory that has yet to get the warranted media attention and it’s also not a theory; it’s a fact. Susan Krumins is Lynsey Sharp and Lynsey Sharp is Susan Kremins.
These are two photos of the same person. Let’s move on.
Strangely similar birthdates according to Wikipedia
While normally an incredibly reliable source for correct information, I don’t “always” trust Wikipedia. This is a case where I respectfully refuse to accept the purported information on Wikipedia and rely on my own intuition to conclude Lynsey and Susan were both born on July 8th, 1986 because they are the same person.
They have never raced one another
This could not be true. I do not have the appropriate manpower to figure out. It’s a safe assumption though. (Because they are the same person).
You equals me.
This is the real meat and potatoes of this theory/reality. Why would Susan want to pose as a British 800-meter star? This is a very good question and I’m so glad I asked it. The answer is: I have no idea. Running is painful and having to do it for two people terrifies me greatly. Running for yourself is already mostly a terrible pastime, so having to do that for another is really just a bad idea. No human would want to do this. Which leads me to a new theory: Susan/Lynsey is a cyborg created by an inter-governmental agency with a serious desire for world track and field dominance.
The Isaac Makwala incident at the world championships has made the 200m final tremendously more interesting. That’s the biggest final of the day.
There were falls. There were upsets. There were priceless reactions. Recapping all of the best moments from Day 6 at the world championships.
Evan Jager made history with his run at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London. The track and field community lost its mind.
No American runner has shown such a consistent championship pedigree than Jenny Simpson in the clutch at the world championships.
Jenny Simpson vs. Caster Semenya vs. Genzebe Dibaba vs. Laura Muir and more in Day 4 of the track and field world championships in London.
The 2017 IAAF World Championships have begun in London and we’re still in the U.S. but here to provide the most entertaining and informative analysis and results from the championships.
The first day offers some of the early and qualifying rounds of events but we will see Mo Farah run his final 10,000 meter final. He has won every world championship title in this event since 2012. It’s fitting that his final world championship race will come before a home crowd in London.
The meet will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network and can be streamed online using the $69 (#nice) NBC Sports Gold package.
Here are some key links that can help:
Schedule and results can be found here.
The IAAF will also offer a live stream via YouTube and Facebook which will be available in a large number of nations (which includes Canada but not the USA).
Let’s get rolling!
Final Update: Holy shit. That’ll do it for me today. I’ll be back blogging tomorrow for the people (hello? Is anyone there?) What a day it was. I’m absolutely jazzed.
Do you not want me to blog ever again? Please direct your ire to my personal email account: [email protected]
It’s too bad, just from a consistency standpoint, that Elaine Thompson doesn’t have a hyphenated name like the other great Jamaican sprinters that came before her–Veronica Campbell-Brown, Shelly-Anne Fraser-Price, etc.
Anyway. Names aside I’m sure she’ll do great. It’s a formidable final, though. I imagine her stiffest competition will be Bowie and Ahoure. This is Bowie’s first stop in her quest for a historic double, but she’ll have to run a perfect race to steal a gold here.
HOLY CROW DID TORIE BOWIE TAKE IT AT THE LINE? IT LOOKED LIKE TA LOU HAD IT BUT TORIE BOWIE HAD A TEXTBOOK LEAN AND DOVE ACROSS THE LINE LIKE WONDER WOMAN. IT WAS ABSOLUTELY BONKERS. DID ANYONE GET A PHOTOT? BECAUSE I’M POSITIVE AT ONE POINT SHE WAS COMPLETELY PARALLEL WITH THE GROUND. WHAT A FINISH BY BOWIE!!!!!!!!!!
The favorite and world no.1 Elaine Thompson, finishes off the podium. Who got the last medal? Netherlands Dafne Schippers. What an upset of a 100m final. And you know what? That’s the best kind of final.
Arena update: The DJ is playing the crowd pleasers. Who knew the Brits loved Neil Diamond? A rousing rendition of “Sweet Caroline” is currently taking place, and the DJ is cutting the track when ol’ Neil gets to the “ba! ba! ba!” part. The crowd then takes over and, with no trace of their cheeky British accent whatsoever, fills it in perfectly.
Hold the phone. Now they’re introducing the women’s 100m final, and the arena DJ (could it be Nijel Amos?) now starts playing Guns ‘n’ Roses “Welcome to the Jungle.” American rock and roll is alive and well in the UK, my friends.
Shotput update: Joe Kovacs has just thrown himself into 2nd place. That’s a silver medal folks!
This heat is a real bear. A loaded gun, if you will. I’d say this will be the hardest one to get out of and I expect it to be the fastest of the three. Mo Aman, Brazier, Bett, Pierre Bosse. All of these men have high-1:42, low-1:43 PRs.
Bett controls at the front. Followed by Bosse, with Aman tucked in. They go through slower than the second heat, 51.52 and Bett still leading. Aman is boxed in. Bosse is in good position. Brazier is in bad position. Bett still leading with 600m to go. Who’s going to pull the trigger first? Everybody still in it with 100m to go. It’s going to come down to a sprint. Bett is going for it. Aman follows. It’s going to be Bett and Aman. Finishing time 1:45.03, which is the fastest time of the day. I imagine the other two qualifiers are going to come from this heat.
Drew Windle. Lewindowski. Korir. This should be fast.
McBride of Canada lead from wire to wire. He took it out nearly three seconds faster than the first heat, and the field responded by stringing out. Korir gave chase early, and was the only one intent on going with the Canadian. There was almost no movement until the last 75 meters. Korir began to fade and Langford of Great Britain and a few other men started to close. Korir tied up, and Langford snagged the 2nd place, auto qualifying spot behind McBride. We will not see Korir in the final, who is the world leader this year.
First heat lining up on the track. The overall favorite and Botswana’s no. 1 Club DJ, Nijel Amos is in the house. Your American in this race is Isaiah Harris. Also in this race is a general competitor, Poland’s Adam Kszczot, who hasn’t ran well this year but owns a 1:43.3 PR.
Rotich is in the front as they go through the first 400m in 52.95, which is rather pedestrian. Amos moves up onto his shoulder with 300 to go. Kszcsot will be the first to make the move with 200m to go and he’s making it a race. Kszczot still leading with 75 to go. Amos moving up into 2nd. Rotich will hold on for third and our own Isaiah Harris is fourth.
It was a rather handsy semi, with some bumping and clipping. But you know what they say, rubbin’ is racin’.
They’re taking two from each heat plus the next two fastest times to the final. Our first two qualifiers are Kszczot of Poland and Rotich of Kenya.
There’s been some rounds of the women’s heptathlon 800m. Since most of the events have taken place in the morning (I think, that’ll be my excuse anyway), I’m not well versed on what’s been going on. So I’ll just take a screenshot of the winners table when they’re done calculating the points.
The only thing I know right now is that the Americans did not do great.
Aries Merritt, a man that’s made a tremendous comeback from a kidney transplant, is on the line. This is where he won his Olympic Gold back in 2012.
A very muscular Hungarian man, Balasz Baji, wins the heat, out leaning Merritt at the line. Merritt still gets the auto-qualifier.
Two-time US Champion, Devon Allen, is on the line in this 2nd heat. After a disappointing 5th place finish in Rio, Allen will be looking for a bit of redemption here in London.
Wow. Four guys, including Allen, all finished in a straight line. The naked eye will not be able to determine who will win. Thank god for computers.
As they sort it out, it looks like here are the results. Devon Allen will miss the final which is a huge bummer:
Omar McLeod, Rio Gold Medalist, shouldn’t have a problem winning this heat. He’s a member of the sub-13 club, with a newly minted 12.90 PR. Let’s see how it plays out–two big Qs and two small Qs.
McLeod came on late, but took the heat in 13.11. There was a fall over about the fourth hurdle by Al-Youha of Kuwait. The Frenchman Garfield Darian and McLeod were neck and neck over the last few hurdles, with McLeod just out leaning him.
A few things: Luvo Manyonga just got his medal for the long jump. If you need a refresher, Manyonga had a promising start to his career, but it was derailed in 2012 after he got addicted to crystal meth, went to jail, went to rehab, served a suspension and now he’s back. This is his second medal on the world stage since returning, as he was the silver medalist in Rio as well.
However, when he got his medal, he stood on the podium and dabbed. This is truly disappointing, as I thought that dabbing was something reserved for idiot teens, not reformed meth heads.
I’ve spotted the other Borlee twin. I’ve also spotted a very fast Botswanan, Isaac Makwala. He went sub-44 and sub-20 in the same day. He finished 2nd to Van Niekerk in the Monaco DL 400m. I’d say he’s the number one contender for the South African world record holder.
Makwala runs 44.30 seconds and is the clear winner. Demish Gaye, a Jamaican, overtakes Gil Roberts down the home stretch to snag the 2nd auto-qualifier. Lane 7 has been a tough draw for the Americans. All three of them were in lane 7, and none of them are auto-qualifiers. Fred Kerley made it through on time, but Gil Roberts wasn’t as lucky.
Here’s your final:
Behold! Wayde Van Niekerk is in this race! As well as LaShawn Merritt. This should be a somewhat exciting pre-final match up.
Van Niekerk and Merritt broke away early, but as Van Niekerk continued to accelerate, Merritt showed his age and faded to last place. Van Niekerk shut it down early, finishing in 44.22, after chasing down Babolaki Thiebe of Botswana on the home stretch. Thiebe wanted to rattle the Olympic champ and World Record holder. It’s a strange phenomena, but I kind of like it: young runners trying to intimidate the overwhelming favorite in the semi-final. The big boys know where the real race is run.
Discussion question: Is this the last we’ve seen of LaShawn Merritt?
Two Americans in this heat: the great Fred Kerley and Wil London. I also recognize one of the Borlee boys. Should be fast. Kerley is young, but he’s also 16-0 this year, and the world no. 1. Let’s tuck in:
Kerley comes out of the turn in the lead. But loses to Gardner and Allen of the Bahamas and Jamaica over the last 100m. Kerley finished third. I’d say he went out far too hard over the first 200m, more than making up the curve. The world no.1 will have to wait anxiously to see if he gets through on time.
Steven Gardener of the Bahamas dipped under 44 seconds for the first time in his career, and in the process is the new Bahamian Record holder. He is still laying on the track though, and we shouldn’t discount the toll a sub-44 effort takes on your body.
Anybody know the fastest time in a 400m semi-final? Hello?
I should take back the mean thing I said about Deajah Stevens. She had an O.K. start, but upon further inspection looks like her first three steps were essentially a stumble. It’s too bad, because, generally speaking, she is very fast.
Here’s tonight’s final:
Torie Bowie took this heat, making her 10.91 look easy.
Ahoure is the other auto qualifier. She will join her teammate, Ta Lou, in the final. The west African country with a population of 23 million has two women in the final.
The American to watch in this race is Ariana Washington. But the real story for this heat is Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson, your world number one who has run 10.70 this year.
Thompson runs a very impressive, very easy 10.84. She took her foot off the gas with about 20 meters to go. The American, Washington, suffered the same fate as her fellow countrywoman, Stevens: a terrible start.
The other auto-q is Santos of Brazil who ran 10.91. According to IAAF, that’s a national record! By about .14 seconds! Big time!
We have the first of three very fast women’s 100m semi-final heats on the track right now. We have three Americans to watch, and you bet they’re fast.
Wow–The Duck, Deajah Stevens had, and I’m not exaggerating, the worst start I’ve ever seen in professional sprinting–and I watched Usain Bolt yesterday. She will not make it to the final.
The winner was Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast, and the other auto-qualifier will be Schippers of the Netherlands, in 10.87 and 10.98 respectively. The others will have to bite their nails to see if they can make it through on time.
I had a bowl of oatmeal and a slice of leftover pizza for breakfast. I watched the first hour of a Netflix documentary called Icarus, in honor of Justin Gatlin winning the 100m yesterday, and I feel ready to deliver some top notch blogging. Is anyone listening?
Oh right. Also, I’d like to give a big shoutout to Amy Hastings-Cragg! Big time!
True grit.@HastyHastings just won a bronze medal in the world championships marathon.
— CITIUS MAG (@CitiusMag) August 6, 2017
Follow along as we cover the second day of the IAAF World Championships in London. Live stream, TV, radio, results, analysis and more.
Follow along as we cover the first day of the IAAF World Championships in London. Live stream, TV, radio, results, analysis and more.
Upon writing this, there are plenty of actual scenarios you can gamble on for the 2017 World Championships. Now, that being said, I have no idea how to actually go about placing a bet. If someone came up to me and said, “Stephen, go place a bet on Usain Bolt to win the 100-meters.” I would immediately grab a meatball sub and watch The Sopranos while trying to discern how they bet on stuff. This would obviously end with me staining my shirt with marinara sauce and being wildly confused on the inner workings of gambling culture.
To combat this happening, I crafted some not-so-likely prop bets you can’t actually do anything with. Please enjoy responsibly.
Why did Andre De Grasse actually withdraw from the World Championships?
Mo Farah’s retirement from the track is mentioned more than 30 times throughout the competition.
Evan Jager’s reaction after he wins gold in the men’s steeplechase:
We stop under-appreciating Brenda Martinez:
Galen Rupp’s location during the World Championships:
Molly Huddle does not get nipped at the line again for a medal:
Coming from a Division II school with world championships and Olympic dreams sounds daunting but a methodical progression has helped Drew Windle get there.
Testing the idea that there is a little “pullback” in how fast the winning times are at a World Championships following an Olympics.
U.S. Olympian Nick Symmonds suggested a three-point plan to clean up track and field’s doping problem. A few suggestions on his suggestions.
Here’s to hoping that Usain Bolt runs in the 10-seconds and still wins at the world championships, Evan Jager breaks 8-min and more.
How a boy with the same name as the greatest basketball player ever became an elite U.S. steeplechaser. Meet the Michael Jordan of track.
It’s the seven-year anniversary of a terrible afternoon where I lost control of my bowels while running. The epic tale of shitting my shorts on a run.
Attempting to predict the marathon times for the major characters from Game of Thrones. How would Tyrion Lannister fare in a 26.2 mile race?
Next month, Sarah Mwangi fly from Nairobi to El Paso to start her four years at UTEP. Her flight will be the last and easiest leg of her journey.
Craig Engels chats with Pat Price on his attempt to break four minutes for the mile at the Sir Walter Miler, joining the Nike Oregon Project and more.
Stephen Kersh makes that the marathon is terrible and perfect and he loves it, but there are plenty of other ways to impress your co-workers.
We discuss the proper running etiquette as it pertains to interacting with the non-running general public. We’ve all been assholes, but we needn’t be.
How Shelby Houlihan went from running the 5,000 meters for fun to an 11th place finish at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Spurred on by a recent negative experience with nature’s cruelest mistake–sand–Ryan and Paul signed onto email to banter about what is the best running surface.
Hey Ryan, I’m glad you reached out on this topic.
Friend, you have yourself a deal.
2. A Track
They don’t call it “sand & field,” folks. Tracks aren’t as hard as concrete, so they lose points there, but they are flat, round, and allow you to easily keep tabs on the distance you’ve logged. And as an added bonus, most–if not all-track world records have been set on a track!
Well, I think it’s safe to say we’ve satisfactorily ranked every available running surface in the world to prove our point that running on the beach is for losers!
Loss of property, bad races, relationships and television shows are just part of the rules for conversation during your long run with friends.
How and who to watch at the 2017 Tracktown Summer Series finale in New York City on Thursday night.
One thing that runners can sometimes get some flack for is being “one dimensional.” Now, I’m not around all runners all the time, but a good example of the “one dimensional runner” is something like this:
Party Goer #1: How about this NBA Free Agency?
One Dimensional Runner: (twitching in panic, then shouting) WITHOUT LIMITS IS THE BETTER PREFONTAINE MOVIE!
Party Goer #1: (Exits stage right)
Here at Citius we’re not just about informing our readers about the running world, but the non-running world as well. Our aim is to create a well rounded and educated population of Citius Nerds. So in order to avoid the pitfall described above, we would like to present to you the [semi] Complete Runner’s Guide to: NBA Free Agency. It’s a series that maybe we’ll start doing weekly and just getting the geeky runner up to speed on things outside the ovals and trails.
Below you’ll find a few important things you need to know about recent NBA trades, along with some talking points, and relevant memes so the next time your boss or loved one lays into you about it you’ll have this cheat sheet as your go to.
Background: Paul George is a top-10 player in the league. He’s twice lead the Pacers to the Eastern Conference Finals, both times losing out to Lebron James and the Miami Heat.
Why it’s a big deal: Paul George has been whining about leaving Indiana (who can blame him?) for a while now. Despite being vocal about returning “home” to Los Angeles (he’s from Palmdale. Palmdale is not Los Angeles), a number of teams like the Boston Celtics (and the Lakers) were actively recruiting him this offseason. Then out of nowhere ESPN’s Romona Shelbourne dropped this on us:
Paul George has been traded to OKC, per sources
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 1, 2017
Now, Paul George (a Kevin Durant-lite) will be teaming up with the 2017 MVP, Russell Westbrook. George’s contract is up at the end of this season, and Russell Westbrook has yet to sign an extension, and currently has a player option in 2018, meaning he could opt out of his contract and head to a title-contender.
Things to say to your friends: “It’s great that Russ is finally getting some help. Would love to see him and George stick it to Durant and the Warriors this year.”
Background: The Minnesota Timberwolves have been bad for a long time. They haven’t made the playoffs since 2004. Kevin Garnett left in 2007 and all hope was lost. Kevin Love couldn’t help, and neither could back to back rookies of the year in Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. But with a new coach and an exciting young roster (that still has the two Rookie’s of the year), the Wolves seemed to be on an upswing.
AND THEN THIS HAPPENED:
Sources: Chicago and Minnesota have completed trade of Jimmy Butler to Wolves for Zach LaVine, No. 7 and Kris Dunn.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 22, 2017
Why it’s a big deal: Jimmy Butler is a top ten player in the league who has spent a majority of his time in the NBA coached by the now Wolves coach, Tom Thibodeau. He’s an elite defender, which the Wolves desperately need. And if this wasn’t enough, this happened:
Free agent Taj Gibson has agreed to a two-year, $28M deal with Minnesota, league sources tell The Vertical.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 2, 2017
This isn’t as significant as the Jimmy Butler signing, but Taj brings veteran defense and big presence in the paint. And then this happened:
Jeff Teague has agreed to a three-year, $57M deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves, league sources tell The Vertical. 3rd-year player option.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 1, 2017
Now the Wolves have a point guard that’s as potent of a passer as Ricky Rubio was, in addition to being less of an offensive liability.
Things to say to your friends: “I wouldn’t be surprised if the Wolves finish top 5 in the Western Conference. That’s if Thib doesn’t tear someone’s ACL by playing them 48 minutes a game.”
Background: I hate the LA Clippers. I’ve had the opportunity to go to some Clippers games over the last few years. There’s no point in turning down free tickets, but the way the Clippers play basketball would be a good reason. They’re whiny. They’re boring. The fans don’t even seem to like them that much. And despite having one of the greatest point guards in NBA history, an athletic freak at power forward, Duke Legend JJ Redick, an all-star caliber big man, and a fairly potent bench, this line up has never made it to the conference finals.
AND THEN THIS HAPPENED:
After Chris Paul agreed to opt-in on contract, Clippers are trading All-Star guard to the Houston Rockets, league sources tell @TheVertical
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 28, 2017
JJ Redick has agreed to a one-year, $23 million deal with the 76ers, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2017
Blake Griffin plans to reach agreement on a five-year, $173 million deal with the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources tell The Vertical.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 1, 2017
All of this as reports of Deandre Jordan taking meetings with a handful of other teams, as well.
Why this is important: Mostly this is interesting because the Clippers that have showed so much promise over the past few years are finally dismantling. Here’s another one of Ryan Sterner’s “I’ll eat my show if it happens” bets: if the Clippers make the playoffs this year, I will eat my shoe.
The conversation of the Clippers inevitably leads to a conversation about:
Background: James “the Beard” Harden finished 2nd place in the MVP race this year. Most of this can be attributed to his usage rate going through the roof after 1) Human cess pool Dwight Howard was traded to the Hawks and 2) he shifted to playing point guard.
The problem: Chris Paul is a point guard that thrives with the ball in his hands. What is a team to do with two ball heavy point guards? I have no idea. In my idiot-brain it doesn’t end well. But I imagine 2017 Coach of the Year Mike D’antoni will understand what to do with both of them. If anything it means that Harden will be able to take a rest without his team’s offensive efficiency plummeting to nuclear-winter type levels.
Things to say to your friends: “It’ll be interesting to see how Chris Paul and James Harden can handle playing point guard on the same team. Also, have you ever seen Harden without a beard?”
Background: I haven’t heard about Hayward being upset with the Jazz until this season. But after getting swept from the conference semi-finals by the Warriors, rumors started swirling about where Hayward would go.
Why this important: The Jazz this season were genuinely exciting. They have a good number of roll players as well as a few sure-fired superstars in Rudy Gobert and Hayward. Despite the promise of the Jazz, who have really only entered the playoff conversation this year, Hayward vetting offers from a few other teams in his free agency, most notably teams in the East Coast Conference.
What this would mean: Let’s consider this a Kevin Durant leaving the Thunder and/or Lebron James “The Decision”-esque dilemma. Him leaving the Jazz would be devastating to the franchise and their young coach, but very beneficial to him, as he’d likely go to an Eastern Conference team with a much, much easier path the the NBA Finals.
Gordon Hayward will sleep on his decision to go to Utah, Boston, or Miami, I'm told. Another July 4 declaration it is…
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) July 4, 2017
Things to say to your friends: “It’s just Gordon Hayward. Who gives a shit?”
Background: The only background you need to know on the Eastern Conference in general is that they haven’t been great for a while, as long as we’re overlooking Lebron James. Since 1999, an Eastern Conference team has won the NBA Championship only six times. The disparity in the league is only growing, but the dummies in the NBA continue heading west.
Why it’s important: Well, from the outside, it would seem that the most important thing for NBA players is winning rings. The greatest opportunity to get to a title shot in the NBA is heading East, but with a slew of these off season trades, the trends continues to be players heading west.
The NBA's West is gonna be so stacked next year.
Meanwhile, in the East… pic.twitter.com/J2CRHsRBeM
— SB Nation (@SBNation) July 3, 2017
Things to say to your friends: “I’m pretty sure a slowly deflating bag of garbage could make it to the NBA Finals out of the east coast”.
Background: Here are a few teams I’ll name from the Western Conference: San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors. What do all of these teams have in common? They’re all in the Western Conference, and they combine for 12 of the last 19 NBA Champions.
Why it matters: It doesn’t. Except that the trend seems to be moving West, when really, as an NBA player you should be moving East if you’re looking to make it to the playoffs. As it stands, it could easily take 50 wins to get even an 8 seed in the west.
— ESPN (@espn) July 1, 2017
How did Pheidippides manage to run 250 kilometers in two days? Luckily for us, we uncovered his secret training journal and opened it up.
As the weather gets warmer during the summer, now’s not a bad time to head to the mountains for summer training & running. Here are some great destinations.