The Tinderization of the NBA

Excerpt from this article:

Since the late 1980s, the winning percentage of road teams has been rising in the NBA. After speaking to dozens of players, coaches, and team officials, Tom Haberstroh found a fairly accepted answer: “NBA players are sleeping more and drinking less”. Players are taking their careers more seriously and partying less on the road while transportation coordination has improved. Ubiquitous cameras and big sponsorships keep bad behavior in check. An additional factor is that with apps like Tinder and Instagram, companionship can be delivered to a player’s hotel room like Seamless or Postmates without the need to drink at the club for a few hours beforehand.

Weird Internet trend ‘The Running Man Challenge’ has infiltrated the NBA

Excerpt from this article:

“The Running Man Challenge” is the most glorious new physical comedy meme on the world wide web today. Picture some version of planking, or Gangnam Style, or the Harlem Shake — but set to the 1996 hip-hop hit “My Boo.”

Now the challenge has left college behind for good, breaking through into the NBA. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s back up.

This all started a couple weeks ago with some University of Maryland basketball players who started posting videos of themselves doing variations of the running man dance to “My Boo,” the throwback track by Ghost Town DJ’s. (At least, that’s when it started getting attention, but here are some high school kids doing it four months ago.)

 

 

Trending at Halftime: N.B.A. Players Checking Their Phones

Excerpt from this article:

The professional sports locker room is a sanctuary, a place that is supposed to be free of outside distractions. At halftime of an N.B.A. game, for instance, players sit attentively, absorbing the coach’s instructions. They rehydrate, and maybe even change into a fresh uniform. Their focus for those 15 minutes rests entirely on what must be done in the second half to win the game.

Except when they’re flicking through their smartphone notifications on the sly.

“I don’t think you should necessarily be coming in at halftime and start going through your mentions, but it’s just become habitual,” said Spencer Hawes of the Charlotte Hornets, who are playing the Miami Heat in the first round of the N.B.A. postseason. “What do you do when you’ve been away from your phone in any situation? You come in, check it, check if anyone texted you. I think halftime is kind of no different.”

The ritual has challenged the popularly held perception of the professional sports locker room as a scene of intense focus on the task ahead. It may not affect performance on the court, but it nonetheless signals a significant cultural shift for the veteran players who remember older times and a place, the locker room, that was free of digital distractions.