S3E4 – Kings, Pelicans, and Presidents with Francis McCarthy from Unikrn

I chat to Francis McCarthy, Senior Marketing Manager at Unikrn. He was previously on Season 2. Now he’s back for a 2 part episode (S3E3 & S3E4). Francis has been living in Seattle, USA. We cover what its like travelling in the US, role of the media and we go all out on our favourite topic, the NBA! For Episode 3 (aka part 1) go here.

S3E4 - Kings, Pelicans, Presidents

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Fantasy Basketball Decision Making Framework

I’ve been playing fantasy basketball on and off for about 10 years. I really like it because I’m a big fan of the NBA and its very analytical. I’ve decided to share it as I’ll get feedback from other people that will improve my decision making in fantasy basketball.

Fantasy sports is huge, particularly in the US. Some of the fantasy sports games like Draft Kings actually sponsor the real life game. I spend several hours a week playing fantasy basketball and probably an hour a week watching basketball condensed games on league pass.

Its important that I outline what is fantasy basketball and how my particular league works as this dictates my decision making framework.

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Redesigning the NBA League Pass Boxing Day ad for Australian fans

I’m a huge NBA fan and diehard Chicago Bulls supporter. I’ve been watching NBA games online everyday during the holidays using League Pass. I’ve actually just finished watching Bulls vs Pacers game which the Bulls narrowly won.

Over the past few days on the NBA League Pass website I noticed there is a Boxing Day ad. It has a 25% discount for a League Pass subscription. Its pretty hard to miss it because its one of those annoying pop up ads that takeover the whole screen. I couldn’t watch league pass without closing the ad. This is the ad that I saw.

NBA boxing day ad luol deng

Boxing Day, if you are not familiar with it, is a day that is well known in Australia for when shops go on sale with deep discounts post-Christmas. The tradition behind it is that servants and tradespeople would receive a “Christmas box” gift from their employer. This Boxing day ad offers a 25% discount during the Boxing day sales period.

On closer inspection of the ad I noticed something wrong with it. The player on the left hand side is Andrew Bogut, starting centre for Golden State Warriors. The player on the right hand side is Dante Exum, rookie guard for the Utah Jazz. Bogut and Exum are Australian players. Who’s the player in the middle?

Luol Deng boxing day promotion

In the middle is Luol Deng, small forward for the Miami Heat. Deng is a British player, originally from Sudan and grew up in Egypt. Deng represents Great Britain in international competition. I know this because I am a Bulls fan. Deng played 10 seasons with the Bulls. In fact, Deng is the cover athlete for NBA Live video games in the UK.

NBA Live 10 UK

So Luol Deng in the Boxing ad for Australia looked out of place. I suspect what has happened is that the NBA has boxing day promotions for different countries. Based on your IP address, it would work out your location and serve you one of their localised Boxing Day ads. According to Wikipedia, Boxing Day is celebrated in United Kingdom, Barbados, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, South Africa, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and other former British colonies.

I assume that they used a picture with Deng for the UK. I assume that someone has made a mistake putting Deng in there or just added two Australian players next to him to localise it for the Australian market.

So what I have done is redesign the Boxing Day ad for the Australian market with the help of one of our designers. The most well known Australian player other than Andrew Bogut is Patty Mills. He’s a guard for the San Antonio Spurs and played on last season’s championship team. See the original ad and the new version below.

Boxing Day Ad Luol Deng

This is the new one with Patty Mills, Australian player replacing Luol Deng, British player.

Australian NBA boxing day promotion with Patty Mills

Ah this looks much better! Now back to watching League Pass 🙂

I’m out like Luol Deng from the Australian team,

Matt Ho

p.s. Sportal sucks.

Motivational Sports Quotes – MMA & Basketball

Cain vs JDS

Cain vs JDS

I love the confidence of Javier Mendez, Cain Velasquez’s MMA Coach on the upcoming JDS vs Cain fight:

“I see the fight playing out more or less like that last one; different type of scenario but same type of thing. The pressure is on and Junior is doing his best to try and finish Cain. That’s the only way Junior can win is to try to finish him. He’s not going to win a decision; he’s not going to win a round.

via UFC 166: Velasquez Coach Says JDS Will Not Win A Single Round Tonight In Main Event MMA News

Wow, killer quote! I’ve highlighted the part in bold that I really like. Boxing and MMA are those sports where you need supreme confidence in yourself. Its a one on one battle. Its as much about mental strength as physical strength. Anderson Silva used to defeat opponents before they even stepped into the ring. Same with the great Ali as well.

Cain vs JDS

Cain & JDS throwdown

I heard about one basketball game where Michael Jordan started counting down from the number 40 every time he scored. He’d score one basket and say “38” to his opponent. Scored again and said “36”, “34” and continued. Then his opponents figured it out. It showed the level of confidence he had in himself. Even though his opponents knew what he wanted to do, there was nothing you could do to stop him. He ended up with 42 points that night.

If you read this blog, you’ll probably know that I’m a huge Chicago Bulls fan. I saw this quote today from the Pacers vs Bulls preseason game and a quote from Tom Thibodeau really struck a chord with me:

“We have the capability to be an excellent rebounding team, but we need everybody to rebound. You have to hit, you have to fight, you have to pursue, and that takes work and multiple effort and it takes heart. And when you play this game you have to play with an edge.”

A lot of these quotes remind me of startups, but also of life. If you want to do anything well and be successful, you have to fight for it. You have to pursue it. The times you see success, its only 1% of the time. People don’t realise the other 99% of the time was spent struggling, training, and working your butt off when no one was watching. Very few startups hit it out of the park immediately. Just like no boxer is punching out people on the way to the top and not putting in work. I was talking to some people at my church yesterday, and they were saying that the top high school swim squads will wake up at 5am daily, and train 7 times a week.

Even though boxing is a puglistic sport, I remember watching an interview with Mike Tyson. The interviewer said “you had a powerful punch, you could knock people out with one punch”. But Mike corrected him and said “In my younger days, I was trying to knock everyone out. But its not the strongest fighter that wins. Its the smartest fighter.“.

Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson – more than punching power!

Even if you watch his earliest fights, Mike was a very technical fighter. It wasn’t just about power and strength. The combination of hand speed, power, footwork, movement, technique and aggression was unmatched. It requires talent but also training, hard work and smarts. Obviously, the smart thinking and training went out the window when he took that bite.

Btw I’m rooting for Cain to win! I saw him fight at my first live UFC event in Sydney, Australia. It only lasted one minute but I still saw the current Heavyweight Champion fight and win 🙂

I’m out like TKO’s

Matt Ho