First up, from fellow micro.blogger @canion, comes The NBL Pocket Podcast and specifically episode 169: Nick Elam - bringing the Elam Ending to the NBL!. In it, Andrew and his co-host Joseph interview Nick Elam about the Elam Ending. If you aren’t familiar with it, the Elam Ending is a solution to a problem in basketball where at the end of games you either have a huge blow out that seemingly goes on forever or you get a close game where the team behind ends up fouling and slowing down the game to a halt. This kills a lot of the joy and flow of basketball and just results in something that is a slog to get through. The proposed solution is playing the first 3/4 as usual, but instead of having a clock tick down for the last period, you create a target score based on the leading teams point total at, that either team has to reach in order to win. So in essence, there is always a game winning shot. It was adapted in The Basketball Tournament as well as the NBA All-Star Game, where they played the first three quarters per usual and then the winner was the first team to reach the leading teams score after three quarters plus 24 (in honor of Kobe Bryant). Since I know I did a terrible job explaining, think of a pick-up game where you might play to 11 or better yet, just give the podcast a listen. Similar to Andrew and Joseph, I am a huge fan of the Elam Ending and want to see it implemented in basketball all over the world in every league, including the NBA. It just makes a for a better experience for all parties involved and removes the horrendous slog of late game situations. I’m also for eliminating the corner three, but that’s a conversation for another time.
Second, we have Spinsters, a newly launched podcast from ex-Ringer staffers Haley O’Shaughnessy and Jordan Ligons and specifically their most recent episode Why Don’t People Think Women Dunk? I haven’t paid much attention to The Ringer as of late so I had no idea either Haley or Jordan left and had their own podcast. It turned out to be less of the conversational podcast about basketball I had expected and more of a deep dive into a specific topic with a guest. This time it featured Natalie Weiner and dunking in women’s basketball. The timing of this episode was pretty great given the recent back and fourth between Shaq, who advocated for lowering the rim in women’s basketball, and Candace Parker, who is strongly opposed to the idea. Shaq and many like him believe lowering the rim would make women’s basketball more exciting, but it’s essentially based on a false premise that women can’t dunk on a ten foot rim (and also that dunking is what makes basketball exciting, which I’d argue it’s the skill of the players that makes basketball exciting, but that’s neither here nor there). This podcast does a great job at disproving that fact and then looking into why we don’t see more women dunking in games.