Preview of Lindy's Pro Basketball 2012-13Lindy's Pro Basketball 2012-13 includes eight feature stories: "Scoping the NBA" (a quick hitting discussion of a variety of subjects), "Read, Relax...and Dominate" (a LeBron James profile), "The Older, the Better" (an examination of older guards who are still thriving), "NBA Report Card" (exactly what it sounds like: grades are given for the offseason moves made by each team), "Fantasy Basketball" (provides "Ten Commandments" for fantasy basketball aficionados), "A Look Back" (Lindy's editor Roland Lazenby describes Bob Cousy's great career) and "He's a Rare Breed" (my contribution to the mix, a comparison of Kevin Durant's skill set and productivity with George Gervin, Bob McAdoo, Alex English and Dirk Nowitzki). The Durant feature includes a sidebar with quotes from my interview with an East Coast scout who has followed Durant's career since Durant starred at Texas.
I contributed seven team previews this year: Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Bobcats, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Oklahoma City Thunder, Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz. Each team preview is accompanied by a sidebar story. The sidebars are typically limited to 300 words but perhaps I adhered to that guideline too strictly because in almost every case a few sentences were added to what I wrote, a contribution I would have been glad to make if I had realized that more space was available; this is just me being a perfectionist, because I don't have a serious complaint with how the product ultimately turned out but I try to submit copy that does not have to be changed for any reason ranging from the obvious (grammar, spelling, accuracy) to the less obvious (word count, style considerations).
Here are the titles of each of my sidebar stories, plus some brief notes about the content:
Brooklyn: "What will Joe Johnson bring to Brooklyn?" (The last two sentences of the sidebar were added to what I wrote but I do agree that Deron Williams and Joe Johnson should "make life a lot easier for each other" if they both play up to their capabilities).
Charlotte: "Somewhere, Jerry Krause is laughing" (A few sentences were changed around but, however one phrases it, the unchanged major point is that Michael Jordan--the great player who once mocked Jerry Krause's management acumen--assembled arguably the least talented roster in NBA history).
Denver: "No more foolin' around for McGee" (JaVale McGee must strive to become a star on the court, not just a star in Shaquille O'Neal's "Shaqtin' a Fool" segments).
Detroit: "Sticking with Stuckey" (I did not write the last three paragraphs; I agree with the sentiment that Rodney Stuckey needs to live up to the potential that Dumars sees in him but I continue to be skeptical that this will happen).
Oklahoma City: "For Durant, the ring's the thing" (What I wrote was slightly expanded but without changing the essential point that Kevin Durant, like other greats of the game, will ultimately be remembered for how many championships he wins).
Phoenix: "Requiem for 'Seven Seconds or Less'" (The sidebar was extended past 300 words to include a second comparison to the Showtime Lakers, plus a question about the likelihood that Goran Dragic will run any kind of uptempo offense).
Utah: "Corbin leads Jazz revival" (Again, the sidebar was extended past 300 words but the message stayed the same: Tyrone Corbin survived initial turmoil during his coaching tenure and is doing a solid job).
Most of the material in my team previews appears as I submitted it, though C. J. Miles' departure from Utah after my deadline necessitated some slight changes to the Jazz preview, while Jermaine O'Neal's mid-August signing with Phoenix also happened past my deadline. The blockbuster Dwight Howard deal affected the Brooklyn and Denver previews: I submitted some late alterations that made the cut and then Lazenby made some slight changes as well.
I enjoyed writing the Durant article, the team previews and the sidebars and I hope that the readers find the magazine as a whole to be informative and entertaining. The upcoming NBA season features several compelling storylines--including Miami's quest to repeat, Oklahoma City's determination to win a championship after falling just short and the possibility that the rebuilt Lakers could challenge for the title; the lockout sadly meant that Lindy's did not produce a preview issue last season, so it is good that Lindy's is back as strong as ever for the 2012-13 season. Roland Lazenby did an excellent job melding together the contributions of the various writers and I also enjoyed his piece about Cousy; an editor is like a basketball referee: when he does his job well he is not necessarily noticed by the casual fan but he is still playing an important role in the proceedings (in contrast, bad editors and bad referees both stick out like Rudolph's famous bright red nose).
posted by David Friedman @ 3:40 AM