by Fine Diner
I have always been one of those types of
guys who has trouble staying in one place for long.
Whether as a child, a traveler or on the job, I was
always on the move. There was always too much to do, too
much to see
and I wanted to see and do it all.
Then came the Internet, and I found yet another way to
stay on the move. The more I got on the net the more I
found myself surfing, visiting and following links for
one website after another. Like Robert Frost's traveler
agonizing over the road not taken, I have wondered about
the sites that I didn't get to see because time would not
One of my all-time favorite websites, though, has got to
be the official one for my favorite sport: basketball. As
a hoopaholic, I have been addicted since "Havlicek
stole the ball!" Now, I can proudly say that I am
addicted to www.nba.com as well.
My favorite feature is the running game score they have
on under-way games. So, while I have the Celtics on our
local television here in the Boston suburbs, I can follow
any other game I want as well. While great for rotisserie
mavens, as well as anyone who can't get enough of
basketball (me, and me again), it lets me toggle back and
forth while working on my newspaper articles. The page,
with play by play shown of every basket and the time
scored, a game stat readout and the player who had just
scored, updates every 60 seconds. Along with live games,
the site gives final scores of that evening's games and
previous boxes as well.
There is also a series of complete schedule pages, as
well as broken down by team and date. The NBA's schedule
page is internationally all-inclusive now, thanks to the
advent of the Michael Jordan years and the influx of
international players. The world-wide page gives times,
dates and stations for NBA broadcasts from Angola to
Zaire with everything in between, including even Ireland
(where they probably still can't pronounce Boston
One of the most enjoyable and informative activities on
the site is the live chat. NBA players are scheduled on a
regular basis to sit in online with any number of people,
spending 30 minutes answering questions. I joined the
chat with one of my favorite rookies, out of the
University of Connecticut, Richard Hamilton of the
Washington Wizards. At least one chatter asked about the
Michael Jordan influence, and questions ranged from
sublime (what is your home life like?) to technical (do
you prefer a zone defense?).
Hamilton proved highly intelligent, well educated, and
well mannered, which could make some wonder how long he
can last in the NBA. But seriously, it was enjoyable. I
even managed to get a question in, which is more than
most sportswriters can say about Bobby Knight, unless the
question is: "are you aiming that at me, sir?"
Mike, I like the way you play, which is a big reason that
I got you on my fantasy team during the preseason draft.
I just wondered if there is any particular player you
might have idolized or patterned your style after?
Richard Hamilton: I really don't pattern
my game around one individual. I think the one thing I
try to do is that my game isn't ever going to be similar
to one player. I try to take a little bit of everything.
I try to take the aggressiveness of Reggie Miller, the
way Allan Houston takes his jump shots off the dribble,
George Gervin, the way he dominated without breaking a
sweat, Magic Johnson with the passes, Michael Jordan with
his competitiveness. So I try to take bits and pieces of
everyone's game to add to mine.
The answer of a smart ball player. The site reveals
upcoming NBA chatters and transcripts of previous chats.
One may also send in and view answers to more technical
questions offered by Doctor Jack Ramsey, former coach and
Another section I love is history, with everything from
top all-time player lists to snippets from the greatest
games, seasons and careers of all time. These include an
audio feed of Boston's most popular Johnny Most broadcast
moment, when he hoarsely screamed "Havlicek stole
the ball! Havlicek stole the ball! It's all over!"
at the end of the 1965 NBA finals. I wonder if I can
petition the NBA to include the classic "McNasty and
I love viewing clips of big plays and moments. There is
also a nightly play of the day video feed, a 10- to
15-second game-winning jumper, steal, or whatever, with
accompanying vocal feeds. Anyway, this is a short piece
on a more in-depth site requiring more analysis to do it
justice. Naturally, non-hoopaholics might not care to
check it out, but if other major league sports keep up,
there ought to be a lot of interesting stuff to be found
at the NHL, MLB and NFL sites. The way I can't stay in
one place too long, don't be surprised to find I've
beaten you to them.
HOT OFF THE PRESS
salutes this month's featured writer:
MR. APRIL: FINE DINER
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WHAT NBA TEAM PLAYS IT'S HOME GAMES