TakePart TV, the new impact-driven channel recently launched by Participant Media, has partnered with NBA superstar Kobe Bryant to create a five-part video web series focusing on the homeless problem in Los Angeles.Mission follows Bryant as he documents an honest and unfiltered account of challenges facing residents of Skid Row, the downtown Los Angeles area with the largest concentration of homeless people in the United States. Through Bryant’s personal and candid conversations with residents of The Los Angeles Mission, a nonprofit organization that cares for homeless people in the area, Mission highlights key social issues affecting millions of homeless Americans and how organizations are helping people regain their lives.“There has to be something else bigger than just yourself and what you leave out on the basketball court. You have to use that to affect change and affect change in a serious way,” said Bryant.In support of the issue, TakePart is encouraging viewers to take action by volunteering in their local area to help the homeless.“Kobe is a superstar on and off the court. We applaud his desire to bring attention to important causes he cares deeply about and we are inspired by his commitment to move people to act on the issue of homelessness in America,” said Evan Shapiro, President of Participant Media Television.This marks the third series to premiere on TakePart TV since the YouTube Channel launched in early October. For more information or to watch other top series, including Capitalism with Henry Rollins, American Savage with Dan Savage or the daily show Brain Food Daily, click here.
While the Los Angeles Lakers have endured a (predictably) poor start to the 2014-15 season, their future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant continues to rack up individual milestones. In one game last month, he picked up his 20th career triple double and became the first player in league history to record 30,000 career points and 6,000 career assists. And after a 32-point outburst Tuesday night, Bryant moved to within 30 points of Michael Jordan and third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list — meaning Bryant could pass Jordan in the Lakers’ Friday night game against the San Antonio Spurs.Jordan has always been an easy comparison for Bryant. The two men play the same position (shooting guard), are built similarly (both stand 6 feet 6 and weigh about 200 pounds), seem to possess the same maniacal work ethic, and even have similar-looking games. Bryant’s championship count, five, even rivals Jordan’s six. In the minds of many fans, Bryant is the closest to Jordan the game has seen since Jordan retired for good in 2003.Statistically, though, there’s never really been much of a comparison. According to most advanced metrics, Jordan was better than Bryant at both ends of the floor. (This is true even if we restrict both players to the same block of seasons by age so we’re comparing apples to apples. Kobe entered the NBA at age 18, and he’s 36 now; Jordan played from age 21 to 34, retired and played again from age 38 to 39. So their overlapping years are 21 to 34.)Offensively, Bryant can’t hold a candle to Jordan, mainly because of a disparity in efficiency. After translating both Jordan’s and Bryant’s stats to a league-wide offensive efficiency level of 106 points per 100 possessions to account for the changes in the game (the NBA’s overall average since it merged with the ABA in 1976), Jordan posted an offensive rating of 118.4 between the ages of 21 and 34, while Bryant put up a rating of 112.4. For a top scorer like Bryant or Jordan, an offensive rating boost of six points per 100 possessions can mean an extra four wins for his team in an 82-game season.Because of an effect known as “skill curves,” it can be misleading to directly compare efficiency numbers between players with different offensive responsibilities. (This is why Steve Kerr and Fred Holberg aren’t better offensive players than Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony, for instance.) But Jordan’s and Bryant’s roles were of roughly the same, so it’s a fair comparison; between the ages of 21 and 34, Jordan used 31.9 percent of the Chicago Bulls’ possessions while on the floor, while Bryant used 31.6 percent of the Lakers’ possessions when he was in the game. In other words, with essentially the same volume of the offense being directed through each player, Jordan was just a lot more efficient than Bryant at turning possessions into points.Why? Jordan shot the ball more accurately than Bryant, with a true shooting percentage of .580 to Bryant’s .556 — and that number even includes Bryant’s superior three-point shooting (particularly by volume) and a slight edge to Bryant at the free throw line as well. This means Jordan’s shooting advantage was almost totally driven by a better success rate on 2-pointers, where he crushed Bryant 52.0 percent to 48.5 percent despite the high likelihood that Bryant has taken more shots closer to the rim than Jordan did. (Even though a much larger proportion of Bryant’s shots came from three-point territory, Bryant’s rate of drawing fouls per shot attempt — a good proxy for how close to the basket a player is taking his shots — was higher than Jordan’s.)Jordan also protected the ball much better than Bryant. Between the ages of 21 and 34, Jordan turned the ball over on just 9.3 percent of his possessions, the best rate ever among players with such a high volume of shooting. Bryant isn’t exactly careless with the ball, but Jordan’s combination of a high usage rate, great shooting efficiency, a good assist rate and a microscopic rate of turnovers is what makes him arguably the best offensive player of the NBA’s post-merger era.Even when coupled with usage rate, it’s possible for individual efficiency numbers to belie a player’s true offensive contribution. A more sophisticated approach to measuring a player’s effect on his team’s offense can be found in statistical plus/minus metrics like Daniel Myers’s Box Plus/Minus (BPM). By that measure, Jordan helped his teams’ offenses by about 2.3 more points per 100 possessions than Bryant did between ages 21 and 34. We can’t be sure what a player’s actual on-court impact was before 2001 because we don’t have play-by-play data, but this reconstruction of regularized adjusted plus/minus for the 1990s (using box score and quarter-by-quarter score data) estimates that Jordan was, by far, the best offensive player of that decade. (By contrast, Bryant’s offensive impact ranks fourth relative to his peers.)Meanwhile, on defense Bryant looks like the Derek Jeter of the NBA — soaking up defensive accolades on reputation rather than performance. Over his career (which includes 12 All-Defensive team nods) the Lakers have only been 0.6 points per 100 possessions better than average defensively, and Bryant’s long-term regularized defensive plus/minus of -0.9 is below average. Synergy Sports, the video-tracking service that classifies every play a player is involved in, has the most favorable view of Bryant defensively but still considers him to be just a 55th percentile defender on aggregate since it began tracking full-season data in 2006-07 (a span over which Bryant was named to six All-Defensive squads).We don’t have Synergy numbers for Jordan defensively, but what evidence we do have suggests that he was better than Bryant at that end of the court. Jordan posted higher rates of steals, blocks and defensive rebounds than Bryant, and team-based defensive metrics like Dean Oliver’s defensive rating consider Jordan far superior (101.1 to 105.4; lower is better on defense) over the age 21 through 34 span after translating for era. Furthermore, the defensive component of Myers’s BPM lists Jordan as saving about 1.4 points per 100 possessions relative to Bryant (whom the metric considers a below-average defender). And while Jordan was in the top 12 percent of 1990s defenders by the aforementioned reconstructed plus/minus rating, Bryant was in the bottom 42 percent of his peers in defensive regularized plus/minus.Bryant will catch — and pass — M.J. on the all-time scoring list soon, but that shouldn’t be taken as an indication that Bryant has been a better basketball player than Jordan. To the contrary, the best statistical evidence at our disposal shows there really isn’t any legitimate way to make the argument for Bryant’s superiority. It’s only natural to hold the two players up side by side because of their superficial similarities, but a serious breakdown of the numbers renders all of those comparisons silly — the better player is Jordan, in a landslide.
Chelsea’s plan to hire a new manager may be scuppered by the transfer ban imposed on the club, according to Jamie Redknapp.With results not going as planned on the pitch, Chelsea were further plunged into crisis with a transfer ban by FIFA just two days before their Carabao Cup final against Manchester City.Sky Sports News reports that the punishments was a result of a three-year FIFA investigation related to the signing of more than a dozen players by Chelsea.They will be able to sell players, but not register any new ones. However, any thoughts Chelsea had of changing their head coach will have to be revised now, according to Redknapp.“Difficult times ahead for Chelsea,” Redknapp told Sky Sports. “They might be able to appeal that, but the worry is where does this stop. They will feel like they have been picked on a little bit.“If you are a young player at the club, though, then this is music to your ears and is a really big opportunity for a lot of these young players. There are no excuses for these young players now.“If they do go for a new manager, they are going to have to go for someone who buys into their youth system. Whether that is a legend of the club, like Frank Lampard, they will have to turn to youth.Sarri: “Cristiano Ronaldo is the strongest player in the world” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Maurizio Sarri has no doubts that Cristiano Ronaldo is the main man at Juventus, and plans to the star give more freedom to exploit his talents to their fullest extent.🗣️ #CFC transfer ban “could force club to stick with Sarri”, says @Sjopinion10https://t.co/KeBOEEujxg— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) February 22, 2019“Sarri isn’t that type of manager, but I don’t blame him, because you are under so much pressure at Chelsea to win, you haven’t got the time to blood young players.“Pochettino has that luxury, as he knows he is not going to get sacked. At Chelsea you have a bad eight months you get sacked.”A win for Chelsea in the Carabao Cup finals on Sunday will be the first trophy won by Sarri and that could go a long way to reduce the pressure at Stamford Bridge.
German luxury car maker BMW seemed to have been making some aggressive plans for India. The company is now all geared to introduce its petrol-electric hybrid i8 at the upcoming Auto Expo 2014.The car, which made its global debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2013, is powered by a3-cylinder, 1.5-litre, twin turbocharging petrol engine, in combination with an electric motor. The engine generates a power of 231bhp, a peak torque of 320Nm and is mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox transmission. The car is capable of attaining 0 to 100kmph speed in 4.5 seconds and offers a top speed of 250kmph, along with a fuel efficiency of 40kmpl.The car is likely to be the most expensive from BMW for the India market and, according to various reports, it is likely to come with a price tag of ₹1.5 crore. The company is expected to start rolling out the new offering by early 2014.Also, BMW India has kick-started the promotions for the BMW i series car.”A new kind of movement has arrived. A movement that defines your future. BMW i. Its pure progressive shapes will fascinate you. Its lightening performance will energise you. Its intelligent applications and services will help you enjoy more. Its unparalleled use of sustainable technology will allow you to live responsibly. It will combine what is good for you and what is good for tomorrow,” RushLane quoted an update by the company.
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