Your Annotated Smartphone Bathroom Reader for Tuesday, July 15th, 2014.

Last two posts on the Diss are bathroom readers? Yep, must be July.

Dream Role
Kate Fagan
ESPN

I was watching the Clippers play summer league the other day, and was surprised to see a woman on the bench, working with the coaching staff, drawing up plays and getting into Delonte West’s ear. This piqued my interest; who was this woman whom I had never seen before? This woman is Natalie Nakasi, who has spent the last year of her life working as a do-it-all intern for the Los Angeles Clippers. In this longer piece, we learn that there’s much more to Nakasi than just her dream — to coach in the NBA — and that her story is a fascinating, engrossing one. Nakasi, a former Division I basketball player for UCLA, has made her mark as one of the hardest-working young coaches in the NBA, after having coached overseas, and having turned down several jobs that would brand her as a “women’s coach.” Seeing where she came from is fascinating, and given her acumen, it only seems like a matter of time before she latches on permanently with a coaching staff. I enjoyed learning more about this prospective NBA coach, and hope that she shatters one of the strongest glass ceilings in American professional sports.

Splitting the Basketball Atom
Seth Partnow
Nylon Calculus

Now that the Hardwood Paroxysm Network (HP Network) has filled the void that the TrueHoop Network used to occupy, I’m getting used to old faces writing in new places, under a new(ish) banner. I was not surprised to see Seth Partnow join in on the act. Partnow — who is known in basketblogging circles as a writer who is as sharp as he is prolific — delivers a real whammy of an introductory piece for Nylon Calculus, the HP Network’s site based on analytics and advanced stats. In his opening piece, Partnow goes long(form), and provides the reader with a comprehensive overview of where basketball scientists stand in their quest to metaphorically split the basketball atom, and really delve into the building blocks of how the game happens on a nightly basis. Partnow’s analysis is full of stuff to chew on, including the various forms of technology being employed to better understand the game, and the ways that technology is used by its creators, as well as its clients. In the analysis, a central theme emerges (at least for me, a guy who doesn’t know too much about stats): that while technology has made leaps and bounds, the humans that use it are just as, well, human as they’ve ever been, in that they know this stuff is useful, but they’re not really sure what for yet. This provided an interesting look into where we stand in terms of breaking down the game into its smallest parts — even though I think that pursuit is, in the end, meaningless.

Who Actually Got the LeBron James Scoop?
Kevin Draper
Deadspin

Yes, a familiar face, at a not-so-familiar-place. The Diss’ co-editor “Detective” Kevin Draper gets his reportage on with Deadspin, and does what he does best: provide an autopsy explaining who, exactly, broke the LeBron James story. Draper’s investigation takes us to an unlikely face: Chris Sheridan, the former ESPN news-breaker, who has fallen largely out of the spotlight in recent years. In the end, Sheridan got to the right place first, but how much of it was legit, and how much of it was guessing? “Chris Sheridan got the end result right, in other words, but along the way he got enough wrong that you have to wonder about the reporting process,” writes Draper. It’s that “along the way” that Draper is so good at illustrating, showing how this great big “Sources Say” sun in the sky keeps us all moving around it. Congrats to Detective Draper, this is a very good read.

About Jacob Greenberg

Jacob is a behaviorist by day, blogger by night, and founded the Diss. Follow him on Twitter @jacobjbg
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