The Oberlin Review

Kyle Korver Calls on White Athletes to Recognize Their Privilege

Nathan Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief

April 26, 2019

Americans have a cultural fascination with the idea that sports are a meritocracy, where the only ingredients for success are physical prowess and a burning will to win. This mythology is strong within basketball culture, as legends like Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and others have become revered for their aggression, unwavering ambition, and exceptional work ethic. What this narrative erases, however, is that athletes are people who face many of the same barriers as the rest of us — both physical and social. Athletes of color, for example, face racist people and structures, as do other people of color — a fact that is not discussed often enough at both amateur and professional levels within...

NBA Fans and Players Mourn Nipsey Hussle, Celebrate His Legacy After Rapper’s Death

Alexis Dill, Sports Editor

April 5, 2019

With just over a minute left on the clock and a safe 16-point lead over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Billy Donovan pulled his starters. But as Paul George, Jerami Grant, and Dennis Schroder sauntered off the court, Russell Westbrook stayed put. Seconds later, Westbrook snagged a missed 15-foot shot off the fingertips of Lakers rookie Isaac Bonga, running his rebound total to 20. By doing so, he became just the second player in NBA history — and the first player since 1968 — to put up 20 points, 20 assists, and 20 rebounds in a single game. The first to do so was Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain, who many argue is among the top five players in basketball history. “20...

Zion Williamson’s Shoe Incident Revives One-and-Done Debate

Jane Agler, Sports Editor

March 1, 2019

When potential number one NBA Draft pick and Duke University’s current star forward Zion Williamson walked onto the court last week, it was to compete in one of the most heated rivalries in college basketball history. The North Carolina Tar Heels were due to face-off against the Duke Blue Devils, drawing heavy attention from sports news outlets and beyond. People were excited about the game, but they were more excited to see Williamson dominate the court in the same manner he has all season, averaging 21.6 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game. Even former U.S. President Barack Obama was eager to see the 18-year-old in action and made an appearance at the game. However, after trying to chang...

‘Enough’: NBA Players Take a Stand Against Gun Violence

Nathan Carpenter and Alexis Dill

November 16, 2018

As former Miami Heat teammates LeBron James and Dwyane Wade laced up their sneakers and jogged onto the Amway Center basketball court for warm-ups, a 17-year-old boy just 30 minutes northeast of Orlando, in Sanford, FL, put up his hood and stuck a bag of Skittles in his pocket upon leaving a 7-Eleven. At the same time as over seven million people tuned in for the tip-off of the 61st NBA All-Star Game — 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 26, 2012 — Trayvon Martin was pronounced dead. Martin, a Black teenager from Miami Gardens, FL, was visiting his future stepmother with his father the night he was fatally shot in the back by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman. Martin was unarmed and committing no crimes when he...

Hammon Should Exemplify Fight Against Sexism in Sports

Alexis Dill, Sports Editor

May 11, 2018

As a girl who grew up playing sports and dreaming of one day becoming a sports journalist, I have always been supported and encouraged by the men in my life. However, many of the women I look up to have been victims of sexism at one point or another throughout their careers. Fox NFL Sportscaster Erin Andrews was labeled “Sideline Barbie” by sports blogs. Serena Williams, one of the best tennis players ever, was told by former tennis star John McEnroe that if she played the men’s circuit, she’d be “ranked 700th in the world.” When the Oberlin College Athletic Department brought Justine Siegal to campus in November 2016, I made sure I was there. Siegal became the first female coach in Major League Baseball ...

LeBron James Deserves Reverence, Even If He Leaves Cleveland

Alexis Dill, Sports Editor

May 4, 2018

Quicken Loans Arena erupted last Wednesday as LeBron James sank a game-winning, buzzer-beating three-pointer over the outstretched arm of Indiana’s Thaddeus Young to give the Cleveland Cavaliers a 3–2 lead going into Game 6 of the series. After chest-bumping Cedi Osman and receiving embraces from his other teammates, James jumped onto the scoring table and pounded his chest as he looked into the sea of Cavs fans. Even if the Toronto Raptors eliminate my hometown team in this upcoming series, I’m grateful that one day I’ll be able to tell my kids I watched the greatest player to ever grace the NBA hardwood and was blessed with celebratory moments like this. As the end of the NBA season looms, James will have t...

NBA, Adam Silver Need to Address League’s Tanking Problem

Alex McNicoll, Sports Editor

April 20, 2018

Tanking is no secret in the NBA. Teams like the Chicago Bulls or the Sacramento Kings openly sit their top veterans in an attempt to “develop young talent,” but in reality, they are intentionally losing to get a better pick. It’s not a new phenomenon. The Philadelphia 76ers did it for three or four years to get Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Markelle Fultz. Even the San Antonio Spurs did it so they could draft Tim Duncan first overall in 1997, and he helped them win five NBA Championships. But tanking is a serious problem that kills the competitive nature of basketball, and commissioner Adam Silver must find a solution, no matter how drastic it may be. At the end of the 82-game regular season, the top 16 teams compet...

NBA Expands from Two-Team Race

Alex McNicoll, Sports Editor

April 13, 2018

Since the 2015–2016 season in the NBA, when the Golden State Warriors — the reigning champions — passed Michael Jordan’s 1995–1996 Chicago Bulls for a seemingly unbreakable record of 73 wins and nine losses in a single season, the NBA regular season has largely been considered boring and predictable. While finals duels between the Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers are always entertaining, fans of the league often prefer following player’s Instagram accounts or pre-game outfits during the regular season, and then only tune in for LeBron James’ yearly championship cameo. However, if this past regular season has proven anything, it’s that the Warriors and Cavaliers matchup we’ve grown accustomed to isn’t go...

Write-In Votes for Athletes Must Consider Qualifications

Alex McNicoll, Sports Editor

December 1, 2017

New York sports fans found a novel way of honoring their athletes off the field last month, as the New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge and Knick’s Kristaps Porzingis received write-in votes for mayor of New York City in November’s election. Judge, the Rookie of the Year who came in second place for American League MVP; and Porzingis, the Latvian-born phenom averaging 27 points a game this year, were not the first — and certainly won’t be the last — athletes to earn this sort of appreciation from fans. Instead, their write-ins indicate how athletes play multifaceted roles in fans’ lives beyond in the sports themselves. Fresh off a Boston Red Sox world series win, World Series MVP David Ortiz came in third place...

Professional Athletes Risk Image for Autonomy

Alex McNicoll, Sports Editor

November 10, 2017

Eric Bledsoe, who tweeted “I don’t wanna be here” Oct. 22, was traded from the Phoenix Suns to the Milwaukee Bucks Tuesday. While he claimed that he referenced being in a barber shop, Bledsoe has not been with the team since being sent home by Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough after the tweet. Bledsoe’s bizarre departure from Phoenix is just the latest installment in athletes using social media to voice their opinions and the risks that run with it. The Phoenix Suns had no place for Eric Bledsoe on their roster, and keeping him there was a waste of his prime years. With one of the youngest cores in the league, centered around 21-year-old Devin Booker, the Suns do not plan to contend for a while. Bledsoe, o...

NBA MVP Vote Must Return to Players, Away from Press

Alex McNicoll, Sports Editor

November 3, 2017

Just over two weeks into the NBA season, the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers are already sure to face off in a championship rematch — their fourth straight Finals duel — and once again take all of the suspense out of the league. The 82-game season may not be exciting, but the MVP race has historically added drama to the regular season. Last year was one of the tightest MVP races in history. Russell Westbrook, James Harden, LeBron James, and Kawhi Leonard all had MVP-worthy seasons, and Westbrook ultimately came away with the award after becoming the second player ever to average a triple-double over the course of a season. This year, the race is shaping up to be just as good, with the usual suspect...

Tanking Undermines Competitive Nature of Sports

Alex McNicoll, Sports Editor

October 6, 2017

Professional sports plays dirty. From performance-enhancing drugs to the NBA fixing the 1985 draft, cheating and out-of-sport advantages have always created unfair playing fields. However, some advantages are more hidden than others. Big market teams like the New York Yankees have been poised to get whichever free agents they want, fast-forwarding the rebuilding process to just a year or two. Meanwhile, for small market teams, such as the Buffalo Bills, it is not so easy to develop into a competitor. A strategy that has been gaining momentum amongst the less fortunate professional teams, however, has finally broken into the mainstream: tanking. In other words, the best way to win in the future is to lose as often as p...

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