Friday, June 14, 2019

NBA Champions

Nike x Stranger Things

 – "Nike Heads to Hawkins for Debut Stranger Things Collection"

Stranger Things 3 Trailer
Lego Stranger Things
TV Living Rooms as Ikea Ads 

Adweek – "Burger King Is Creating an Upside Down Whopper for Stranger Things Season 3"
The Next Web – "Netflix is launching two Stranger Things games"

"The most polarizing figure in the NBA"

Sports Illustrated – "The King Maker: Why Rich Paul Will Own the NBA Summer"

"Turning point. The standard Rich Paul story has its cinematic hinge moment: In the spring of 2002, Paul was about to board a flight to Atlanta at Akron-Canton Airport when the 17-year-old James, traveling with friends to the Final Four, spotted him wearing a vintage Warren Moon jersey. They got to talking. Plane landed, and at baggage claim Paul directed James to his supplier, the Atlanta memorabilia store Distant Replays, and told him to drop his name. A friendship struck, a career made.

The Moon jersey is the tale’s talisman: What if Paul had opted for a Fran Tarkenton? Or no jersey at all? But just as important is what happened later that night in Atlanta. A friend gained Paul entry to Sean (Puffy) Combs’s roped-off section at Club Kaya; a member of James’s posse saw him there and figured—wrongly—that he must carry serious clout in hip-hop culture.

Days later Paul was home on his couch in Cleveland when Distant Replays called to say that Paul’s new pal was in the store, buying a 1987–88 Magic Johnson authentic jersey. And in retelling the legend yet again, Paul’s eyes widen and he hits the emphasis button. “LeBron’s buying Magic’s jersey. How crazy is that?” he says. “It all comes back full circle, right?”

But something about the fairy-tale nags. “It’s all random,” Paul says. Yes, he was only 21 then. But he’d also bought his first house at 19, persuaded Distant Replays owner Andy Hyman to tutor him on the business, and at the time was making so much—up to $10,000 on a good week—selling vintage jerseys out of his car trunk that he was scouting Cleveland malls for a spot to open his own store. Hyman estimates that he’d been approached by at least 100 others, “but Rich really did stick out.”

“He was willing to put whatever it took to be a success, and convinced me that he was worth investing my time,” Hyman says. “He doesn’t take no for an answer.”"


"Money used to be the primary marker of that power, but with the advent of the rookie wage scale in 1996 and ensuing restrictions on max salaries, the expression of clout—and of an agent’s skill—shifted.

“That changed the perspective,” Tellem says. “If the salaries are roughly similar, what can a player control? It’s no longer financial. Where he has his say, then, where he has some control, is in the choice of where he plays and with whom he plays.”"

Monday, June 10, 2019

Toronto Raptors Design

 – "Toronto Raptors" – "Studio Stories: Naming and Designing the Original Toronto Raptors"

"The Toronto Raptors started play in the NBA in 1995, offering up a movie-inspired dinosaur name and clad in purple, red, black and white. Getting to that point, though, was primarily driven by then-owner John Bitove and his family’s love of the “Jurassic Park” movie, says Tom O’Grady, then the creative director for NBA Properties and now partner and chief creative officer of Gameplan Creative in Chicago.

“When the movie came out with the ferocity of the evil villain being 6-foot-tall raptors, that echoed in everybody’s thought process,” O’Grady says. “And there was not a professional team named after dinosaurs. We all felt like it was a cool direction to go.”

Sure, Toronto officially offered up a bevy of names on which the fans could vote. The listed included the Beavers, Bobcats, Dragons, Grizzlies, Hogs, Raptors, Scorpions, T-Rex, Tarantulas and Terriers. The Huskies, thanks to the historical use of the name in the city, had some draw too but was discarded early. The Hogs played off Toronto’s “Hogtown” nickname, and Dragons was considered, as O’Grady says, almost as a placebo.

Three nicknames started to take hold for Toronto, the Raptors, Dragons and Terriers. “The owner and his family fell in love (with Raptors),” O’Grady says. “They did focus groups for a sanity check, but deep down John Bitove wanted Raptors as the name and something had to happen to dissuade that.”"


"Then came the colour. “We were having a hard time stumbling on a colour that nobody else had,” O’Grady says. “That is hard. Then we focused on what is a colour combination that might go together that nobody has.” Initially that meant, for Toronto, purple, green, black and bronze, all with a green raptor. Then just before the final approval from Bitove, the design team received a call from the owner that some of the investors were pushing back that the logo didn’t represent Canada."


"“Without question, it was the most polarizing project I’ve worked on,” O’Grady says. “You were either all in or all out.” And with the split almost always falling with anyone over 40 years old all out and those younger all in, the team knew they were on to something, even in the highly conservative sports design market that was Toronto.

In the end, though, those who grew up with the design adored it, O’Grady says. “It was designed for them,” he says, “and they owned it.”

That initial look did sit dormant for about 15 years after the initial design gave way to tweaks, but then Mitchell & Ness recreated a Vince Carter uniform a few years ago, which O’Grady credits with restarting the interest in the nostalgia of the original design (it also has become one of the top-selling designs for the company). Toronto then brought the original design back to the court for a series of throwback nights in to celebrate their 20th season in 2015. “It was coming back from extinction with a second life,” O’Grady pans. “Now you have people asking why can’t we wear purple uniforms for at least one NBA Finals game?”"

Action Network – "Rovell: How Drake Landed Retro Dell Curry Raptors Jersey"

The Toronto Raptors Original Dinosaur

Kawhi's Drive

ESPN – "Who is Kawhi Leonard?"
By Tim Bontemps

"When he was working out at San Diego State in 2010, between his freshman and sophomore seasons, he got word that Ariza -- then firmly entrenched as an NBA player, and already having won a title with the Los Angeles Lakers -- would be working out on campus.

So Leonard sought out Ariza, who had come to work out with his trainer, former Aztecs guard Tony Bland, and asked to take part. Ariza agreed, and found himself immediately impressed with how Leonard handled himself.

"Man, my first impression of him was, 'This kid is here to work, period,'" Ariza told ESPN with a laugh. "No matter what."

That summer in San Diego, Ariza was putting in plenty of work. Every day, he would get in the gym twice -- once early in the morning, and then again in the evening. It was a grueling schedule, one Ariza thought would put him above and beyond anyone else.

There was only one problem: Leonard.

"I prided myself on being there first person in all the time," Ariza said. "And, when I got there, he was already there. He'd done everything he needed to do, and he was ready to work out again. ... When I saw the work ethic he had, I knew he was going to be special."

Leonard was motivated to show up early to test himself against an NBA player. And Ariza wasn't just any NBA player. He was someone Leonard respected -- but also someone who didn't overwhelm the young forward on the court.

"Trevor was big for me in college," Leonard said. "Playing against him, I just felt like I held my own at the time.

"I probably won a game. I don't remember. ... [but] I was fortunate he would let me work out with him."

Leonard might not remember, but Ariza certainly did.

"He was winning one-on-one drills that we were playing. He didn't win them all, but he wanted to," Ariza said with a laugh. "He went as hard as he could every single time. ... He has that edge to him that you need to be the caliber of player that he is.""

The King of the North Is Coming (6/1/19)
Steve Kerr and the Warriors' 5th Straight NBA Finals (5/27/19)
The Toronto Raptors' First Trip to the NBA Finals (5/27/19)
Kobe Breaking Down Kawhi Leonard Game Tape (4/25/19)
Masai Ujiri Traded for Kawhi Leonard While in Kenya With Barack Obama (7/21/18)
Kawhi Leonard's On the Road Diet (3/10/17)

Foraging for Flavors and the Seattle Ice Cream Scene

Seattle Times – "Mushroom ice cream? Taffylike texture? Seattle’s ice-cream options are wider and weirder than ever."

Sunday, June 9, 2019

The Origins of Rudy's Barbershop and Ace Hotel


New York Times – "If Seeing the World Helps Ruin It, Should We Stay Home?"

"The number of airline passengers worldwide has more than doubled since 2003, and unlike with some other pollution sources, there’s not a ton that can be done right now to make flying significantly greener — electrified jets are not coming to an airport near you anytime soon."

Seattle Times – "The ‘flight shame’ issue comes home to Rick Steves"

"The carbon cost of flying is so steep that in Europe it’s led to a new movement that the Swedes call “flygskam.” It translates as “flight shame.” The premise is: fly less, or even, don’t fly at all.

The idea has taken off enough in Europe that flygskam was the talk of an airline conference last week. Headline: “Airlines scramble to overcome polluter stigma as ‘flight shame’ movement grows.”"

Friday, June 7, 2019

Ad Astra Trailer

September 20, 2019
Written by James Gray, Ethan Gross
Directed by James Gray
Starring Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga, Liv Tyler, Donald Sutherland

How Parking Signs Should Be Designed

(via Reddit)

Game of Thrones Characters as Disney Animations

"Anderson Mahanski and Fernando Mendonca developed a series of illustrations that shows how the universe of Game of Thrones would be if it was developed by Disney."

Houses of Westeros

Monday, June 3, 2019

Ford v Ferrari

November 15, 2019
Directed by James Mangold (Girl Interrupted, 3:10 to Yuma, Logan)
Starring Matt Damon, Christian Bale

Honda Brings Back the Passport

Honda Website: 2019 Honda Passport – All-New Rugged Midsize SUV
Car and Driver Review: "The Passport is back—but this time, it's a far cry from the rebadged Isuzu SUV that wore this name in the 1990s—and it's quite good. This new model is larger than the CR-V and is essentially a smaller version of the three-row Honda Pilot. The Passport goes up against crossovers such as the Ford Edge, the Hyundai Santa Fe, and the Nissan Murano—and is better than all of them, too."

Christopher Nolan's Tenet

(Poster unconfirmed)

July 17, 2020
Written & Directed by Christopher Nolan
Starring John David Washington, Robert Pattinson (the next Batman), Elizabeth Debicki, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Michael Caine, Kenneth Branagh

Plot has been described as "an action epic evolving from the world of international espionage."

Netflix Plans "Magic: The Gathering" Series with The Russo Brothers

The Verge – "Netflix partners with Avengers: Endgame directors for Magic: The Gathering animated series"

Hacking and Leaks in European Football

New Yorker – "How Football Leaks Is Exposing Corruption in European Soccer"
By Sam Knight

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood – Trailer

Esquire – "Quentin Tarantino, Brad Pitt, and Leonardo DiCaprio Take You Inside 'Once Upon a Time...In Hollywood'"

Leonardo DiCaprio: "I’ve been listening to podcasts about the history of Hollywood, the transition from silent films to talkies, the advent of television, the musicals in the sixties, the directors’ era of the seventies. And now we’re talking about streaming services. I don’t want to act as if I’ve been around since fucking silent cinema, but I see this as a huge shift in the way movies are going to get done, what gets financing. The studio system has tons of content, libraries of things that they can make movies of, but in a lot of ways they are hemorrhaging. They’ve become—much like in the twenties—these corporate empires that have taken over the artistic vein of moviemaking. We’re now in an era when there’s a flush of cash into streaming. But with an overflow of content, there’s a lot of garbage out there. Now I do see a lot of chances being taken for story lines, certainly documentaries, certainly giving some artists opportunities to make out-of-the-box story lines that I don’t think ten years ago would have been possible. But these types of films that Quentin is doing are also becoming endangered species."

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Teaser Trailer 
First Look at Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Westworld III – Teaser Trailer

SlashFilm – "‘Westworld’ Season 3 Trailer Teases An Entirely Different Show"

Time Zones for Sports

NBC Sports – "Adam Silver: LeBron James leaving East hurts TV ratings, NBA could start West Coast games earlier"

Adam Silver: "Fifty percent of television households in this country are in the Eastern time zone. And so if your West Coast games start at 10:30 at night in the East, you’re invariably going to lose a lot of viewers around 11, 11:30. I mean, you can just chart it. You see how many television households turn off around 11:15, 11:30 at night, just because people have to get up for work in the morning.

I mean, it is something we can address. We’re talking about it. I mean, it would obviously be less convenient to those fans on the West Coast if we played even earlier. I mean, just think about people getting to those arenas after work if you start a game at 6 p.m. local time in the West. It’s not the most convenient thing. It’s not as convenient for a television watcher on the West coast, either. But when you look at the league from a national standpoint, it may make sense to play a little bit earlier in the West. And that’s something we’re going to talk to our teams about this summer."

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Before the Show

New York Times – " His Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy: George R. R. Martin Talks ‘Game of Thrones’"
Interview with Dave Itzkoff (April 2011)

(Photo from early 1990's according to Reddit)


"I didn’t do anything, ultimately, except lick my wounds. I did do other pilots after that, a pilot called “Starport,” a pilot called “The Survivors” – all shows that to this day, I think, ah, that would have been a great show. It would have been fun to work on that. So in some alternate world, maybe I became Joss Whedon or J. J. Abrams."


"So then I would go in and I would start cutting. I would combine characters and trim out giant battle scenes, make it produceable. Although the later drafts of those scripts were always more polished, because I’d revised them several times, my favorites were always the first drafts, which had all the good stuff in it which I had to take out because it was too expensive and too big. When I returned to prose, which had been my first love, in the 90s, I said I’m going to do something that is just as big as I want to do. I can have all the special effects I want. I can have a cast of characters that numbers in the hundreds. I can have giant battle scenes. Everything you can’t do in television and film, of course you can do in prose because you’re everything there. You’re the director, you’re the special effects coordinator, you’re the costume department, and you don’t have to worry about a budget.

Of course the irony of all this is the project that I thought most unlikely to ever be filmed – the project that was actually unfilmable – is now going to be this big show on HBO."

George R.R. Martin's Original October 1993 Pitch Letter

New Yorkers React to the NBA Lottery

Sunday, May 12, 2019

The End of the Oakland Warriors

New York Times – "The End of the Warriors as We Know Them"

"Can something move and remain the same? Can anything be replanted without changing the landscape?

No place tries like California, a mind-set as much as a place. California always leans toward reinvention. It is closer to the future than anywhere else. Nothing feels permanent, even without earthquakes and fires. So it is with the Warriors.

It is so California to come up with something cool and coveted, and at its peak try to lift it to something bigger and better, risking all that made it cool in the first place.

It is why In-N-Out Burger expanded to Texas, why Levi’s made Dockers, why skateboarding is joining the Olympics.

Will Apple, with origins in a suburban garage, ever be as loved as it was before it grew big enough to build a $5 billion headquarters that looks like a spaceship? Will the San Francisco skyline ever be as beautiful as it was before the Salesforce Tower rose like a middle finger to the city’s low-slung aesthetic, amid a rising fist of preening (and leaning) towers?"

The Bjarke Ingels Group Plans for the Oakland Athletics

Designs for Revitalizing Notre Dame

New York Times – "Glass, Golden Flames or a Beam of Light: What Should Replace Notre-Dame’s Spire?"

The Lottery for Zion

(Photoshop by @justin_meduri)

ESPN – "The education of Zion Williamson"
By Mina Kimes

2019 NBA Draft Lottery
Tuesday, May 14 at 8:30 p.m. EST

New York 14.0%
Cleveland 14.0%
Phoenix 14.0%
Chicago 12.5%
Atlanta 10.5%
Washington 9.0%
New Orleans 6.0%
Memphis* 6.0%
Dallas** 6.0%
Minnesota 3.0%
Los Angeles Lakers 2.0%
Charlotte 1.0%
Miami 1.0%
Sacramento^ 1.0%

* = This pick may be conveyed to Boston
** = This pick may be conveyed to Atlanta
^ = This pick will be conveyed to Boston via Philadelphia or to Philadelphia


The Ringer – "“Spursy” Is Dead: How Tottenham Killed the Narrative by Advancing to the Champions League Final"
By Kevin Clark

MLB Television vs. The Kentucky Derby

Detective Pikachu's 35mm Attempt for Blade Runner

Vulture – "Detective Pikachu Cinematographer Shot Movie on 35mm Because He Wanted It to Look Like Blade Runner"

"“One of the things that film does best is replicate vivid colors, holds their integrity,” Mathieson says. “If you have a poppy red, digital can go toward a British postbox red … Film can hold those colors a lot better than digital can. We had the freedom to go for a really weird purple, to find an interesting shade of blue.”"