The Oberlin Review

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...

NBA Jersey Ads Signal Corporate Encroachment

Alex McNicoll, Sports Editor

September 15, 2017

The Golden State Warriors inked yet another eight-figure contract this week that will completely reshape the NBA. Instead of adding another MVP to their roster, however, the reigning world champions signed a deal to let Rakuten, a major Japanese tech company, advertise on their jerseys. The three-year, $60-million agreement is the latest and largest in the NBA’s decision to let teams put ads on their jerseys. This move by the NBA shows how corporate sponsorships are taking yet another step in defining the way we experience sports. Rakuten is not new to the sports world, as it signed a similar contract with soccer powerhouse FC Barcelona last November. Its soccer deal was much more lucrative, totaling at $262 million...

Cool or Drool: Phil Jackson Targets Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony

Dan Bisno, Columnist

April 21, 2017

As a 10-time NBA All-Star, three-time Olympic gold medalist and former NCAA Champion, Carmelo Anthony commands respect. But he’s received anything but from New York Knicks executive Phil Jackson. Ever since Jackson joined the Knicks organization in 2014, he has been eager to take cheap shots at Anthony whenever possible. As the poster child of the Knicks for six years, Anthony is an easy target. He is a once-in-a-generation talent without an NBA title to his name. Prior to an early-April exit meeting with the Knicks front office, Anthony hinted that basketball is becoming less fun for him — echoing the sentiment shared by players who left teams headed by Jackson in Chicago and Los Angeles. There is no question ...

NBA Should Shrink Playoff Field, Cut Lesser Teams to Boost Competition

Jack Brewster, Columnist

April 14, 2017

This past week, the 2016–2017 NBA regular season came to a close. The playoff seeding is now set and the teams who clinched playoff spots are preparing to make a run. Fans are hopeful the 2017 Finals will be as good as last year’s, when the Cleveland Cavaliers rallied back from a 3–1 deficit to defeat the powerhouse Golden State Warriors in seven games. But while the 2016 NBA Finals were exciting, most NBA playoff series are uncompetitive, lopsided and uninteresting. The playoff format is to blame. The NBA allots 16 playoff spots overall, eight per conference. This means that more than half of the NBA’s 30 teams make the playoffs every year. In contrast, there are only 10 playoff spots in the MLB (the two Wil...

Cool or Drool: And Now, a Message from Our Sponsors

Dan Bisno, Columnist

April 22, 2016

Every year the NBA seemingly becomes more and more popular. With Kobe Bryant’s recent retirement and the Golden State Warriors breaking Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls’ 72–10 single-season win record, the U.S.’s attention has largely been consumed by basketball this spring. Either way, since the organization’s conception, the NBA’s most popular product among fans has been jerseys. After all, who wouldn’t want to sport the same jersey as an NBA All-Star? League officials undoubtedly picked up on this trend, as the NBA recently announced that, starting in the 2017–2018 season, jerseys will feature commercial advertisements. Before you waste your savings on an advertisement-free jersey to get one of...

Golden State of Mind

Randy Ollie, Sports Editor

April 15, 2016

Wednesday night was one many fans of the Na­tional Basketball Associa­tion will never forget. Not only did the Gold­en State Warriors break the 1995–1996 Chicago Bulls’ regular season re­cord of 72 wins by defeat­ing the Memphis Grizzlies 125–104, but prolific point guard Stephen Curry broke his own single-season re­cord of made three-point­ers by tallying his 400th in the third quarter. Simul­taneously, iconic shooting guard Kobe Bryant scored 60 points in his final game as a Los Angeles Laker, marking the sixth time in his storied career that he has scored 60 or more points in a game. Fur­thermore, Bryant’s efforts helped the Lakers defeat the Utah Jazz 101–96, ef­fectively capping a tumul­tuous...

NBA in Golden Limbo

Randy Ollie, Sports Editor

February 19, 2016

As another NBA trade deadline came and went on Thursday, the NBA ros­ters officially cemented for the rest of the season. Bar­ring a few possible excep­tions, teams will remain virtually the same until af­ter the NBA Championship this summer, when trades become legal by league guidelines once more and teams look to bolster their talent and productivity for the upcoming season. In past years the trade dead­line has commonly been associated with blockbust­er deals in which franchise players are exchanged be­tween teams, usually to help fulfill championship aspirations or to serve as building blocks for future success. However, this deadline was devoid of any such transactions, a testament to both its insignificance...

Cool or Drool: NBA Rookie Begins Reckless Rampage

Dan Bisno, Columnist

December 11, 2015

The NBA season is finally in high gear, and it only took six weeks for a rookie to make a fool of himself. It’s always a waiting game after the NBA draft: Which soon-to-be rich 19-year-old draftee is going to show the world that, despite having a pro­fessional career, he acts his age? The third pick from the 2015 NBA draft to the Philadelphia 76ers Jahlil Oka­for answered that call. After an explosive start to the season — averaging nearly 17 points and eight rebounds per game — it would be unfair to expect Okafor to tuck himself into bed before cur­few and stick to mineral water. In fact, Okafor reportedly attempted to purchase alcoholic beverages with a fake ID at a bar, appropriately named Misconduct Tavern,...

Cool or Drool: Durant, Smith Square Off in Exaggerated Feud

Dan Bisno, Columnist

October 9, 2015

National sports nowadays are 80 percent reality TV show and 20 percent actual sports game. With the endless sports commentary shows, Twitter feuds and general gossip, many sports fans have become more enamored with the players’ personal lives than with their game performance. Amid all this excitement, sports stars are under more media scrutiny than ever before. Rarely are players described as any­thing other than victims of the scandal­izing media, consistently ripped apart by the ruthless mass of camera-toting individuals known as sports reporters. This brings us to the most recent NBA media feud: Kevin Durant versus Stephen A. Smith. For those of you who don’t know, Durant is the star small forward for the...

Cavs’ Title Hopes Hit Snag

Dan Bisno and Henry Weissberg

May 1, 2015

Attention Oberlin College seniors: You have two more sure opportunities to see LeBron live in action this season — maybe forever. Shell out the big bucks and see the best athlete on the planet throw down. It was a midsummer’s dream come true for Cavaliers fans. In early July, as the haze wafted off the asphalt basketball courts in Cleveland, countless fans asked themselves: Where will LeBron land? Many were still bitter after his “decision” to move to Miami in 2010, but was it time for the prodigal son to return after four finals appearances and two championships in South Beach? In July of that summer, LeBron posted a heartfelt essay to the Sports Illustrated website answering that question: He was coming back ...

NBA Will Miss Durant

Nate Levinson, Sports Editor

April 3, 2015

On March 27, news broke that Oklahoma Thunder superstar forward Kevin Durant would miss the remainder of the NBA season due to complications in recovering from a Jones fracture in his right foot, which he suffered in early October of last year. He’s since had bone graft surgery, beginning his long road to recovery. In the short run, Durant’s injury is a huge bummer because it deprives NBA fans of one of the league’s brightest stars and most marketable players. At full strength, he’s the best pure scorer in the league and forms the most exciting duo in the NBA along with Russell Westbrook. When he returns, Durant will be just a season away from entering unrestricted free agency, and he’ll have plenty to prov...

Sanders Walks Away from Game: Cool or Drool?

Dan Bisno and Henry Weissberg

March 6, 2015

Welcome to this week’s edition of “Cool or Drool?” We are your one-stop shop for biased opinions on off-the-field sports stories. It’s been an eventful season for the Milwaukee Bucks. Losing the second overall draft pick, Jabari Parker, to a torn ACL devastated fans who had high hopes for the young prospect. Players like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brandon Knight stepped up for the Bucks and put up great numbers before the All-Star break. Then, in a move that surprised almost everyone, the Bucks dealt away Knight in a three-way trade, in which they acquired Michael Carter- Williams from the Philadelphia 76ers and Tyler Ennis and Miles Plumlee from the Phoenix Suns. The move, while promising, adds elements of unc...

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