The Golden State Warriors won an NBA-record 73 regular season games and were supposed to romp past the Houston Rockets in the first round of the playoffs. But that hasn't exactly happened. Stephen Curry "tweaked" his ankle in the series' opening game, and the Warriors have struggled to regroup. Golden State snuck by the Rockets in Game 2 but fell Thursday night in Houston. Does Curry's injury make the playoffs more exciting? That's first up on this week's “3 Stories You Should Know.”
1. Steph's Ankles
Stephen Curry's long history of ankle injuries poses a concern for Warriors fans, but Erik Malinoski wonders if it might actually be good for the NBA.
EM: [The Warriors] didn't play well [Thursday]. They looked completely out of sorts. The fact is that even after the Game 3 loss, ESPN still gave the Warriors a 97 percent chance of winning the series. Really? 97 percent? Is that all? ... I think [Curry's injury] certainly makes all of the Warriors' games a lot more competitive. Does his absence in some ways actually make them a little bit more interesting?
2. Jersey Advertisements
This week, the NBA became the first major U.S. sports league to approve the placement of ads on jerseys. League commissioner Adam Silver used the term "manifest destiny" to describe the move. Mina Kimes wonders whether it was a wise business move.
MK: One, I think it tells us that there might be some concern with the league's owners about long-term television revenues, that they want to monetize this side of the game. And, two, it's kind of this crossing-the-Rubicon moment. It's not going to stop here. I think the ads are going to get bigger. They're going to spread to other sports. I'm curious to see whether fans really care once it begins.
3. Influential Athletes
Time Magazine’s list of 100 Most Influential People includes a handful of athletes. Curry made it, as did Ronda Rousey, Usain Bolt and Caitlyn Jenner. Time's list has Bill Littlefield thinking about what makes an athlete "influential."
BL: I'm not sure what influential means in this context. And I’ve never been comfortable with the “athlete as role model” cliché, but I kinda like Tina Fey’s justification for Ronda Rousey’s inclusion. She said, “Could Ronda be the one to finally help us understand that as females, we define the word ‘feminism’ and that it doesn’t define us?”
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This segment aired on April 23, 2016.