Basketball great Jerry West’s accomplishments are legion.
A high school and college star, West won an Olympic gold medal, an NBA title, was a 12-time All-Star and was named league MVP in 1972. He then went then went on to win seven more titles as a general manager.
To get an idea how big Jerry West is in the National Basketball Association, consider this: It is his image that is the NBA’s corporate logo.
One other thing: West is a living example of the devastation wrought by child abuse.
His recently released book West by West: My Charmed Tormented Life, details the abuse he suffered at the hands of his father, abuse West believes contributed to depression which has haunted him his entire life.
Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby takes a pragmatic look at NBA star LeBron James’s decision to play for the Miami Heat.
It was a no-brainer for James to pick south Florida over a move to New York or remaining in Cleveland, but taxes likely had as much to do with James’s choice as anything else, Jacoby argues.
Had James chosen to play for the New York Knicks, for example, he would have been saddled with a city income tax of 12.85 percent. That’s on top of what the IRS takes.
One of the many things that sets The Wall Street Journal apart from every other mainstream publication in the US is that everything it cover, it covers well.
Take this story on, of all things, Division I basketball. The Journal analyzes the fact that while there are 343 Division I hoop programs, three of the top seven – Duke, North Carolina and Wake Forest – are essentially within spitting distance of one another.
The writing alone makes the article worth the read:
“What has helped the Carolina schools excel this season is a common culture of innovation – in this case, a warp-speed style of play. At a time when most college teams are working the floor at a snail’s pace … Tobacco Road looks more like the autobahn.”
The story also offers genuine scrutiny of the programs’ successes and little of the lingo-ridden prattle that hamstrings so many sports stories.
The Journal, perhaps, understands that it’s not writing at the usual sixth grade level of most papers, but is instead appealing to a readership interested in something besides simply blind picks and alley-oops, recruiting updates and police-blotter highlights, coaching sound bites and player cliches.
It’s interesting that as newspapers across the country struggle to survive and continue to reduce coverage in an effort to concentrate on “core competencies,” the Journal has actually branched out into areas such as culture and travel.
The fact is, if you’re good at what you do, you’ll always be able to attract customers.