We’re in the process of closing up shop here at ETB — yes, a process that’s been in the works for years now — and are hanging up the old “for sale” sign. If you’re interested in purchasing the Empty the Bench domain and all the good stuff that comes with it, please contact me at gornron [at] yahoo [dot] com. – Brian
The other day I hooked up with a fellow sports handicapper, who happens to be a huge National Basketball Association fan. Being as we hadn’t touched base since the 2012 NBA Playoffs had ended, the conversation quickly turned to the Miami Heat finally crowning their King by getting a ring on LeBron James’ finger. After briefly chatting about the NBA Finals series being kind of anticlimactic, the conversation quickly turned into a rather heated debate over which contests could be included in the discussion of the greatest games in NBA history.
There are a ton of games that qualify, most of which have kept hoops fans who had bets tied up at sports betting sites on the web, up until the wee hours of the morning, fingers crossed. After we each rolled out several games that were tattooed to our collective memories, here are some of the more memorable NBA games that received a common nod. Thoughts?
Indianapolis Olympians vs. Rochester Royals – Longest NBA Game in History
Back when sportsbooks were just beginning to dot the Nevada desert landscape – they were called Turf Clubs back then – Indianapolis and Rochester played in what is still the longest game in NBA history. The date was January 6, 1951, and the Olympians edged the Royals 75-73 in six overtime periods. While both teams would later fold, this contest stands the test of time not only for its length, but for its influence on the NBA as well. While games often reach the 75-73 point range by the third quarter today, this match-up was played before the shot clock was introduced in the NBA. With both teams seemingly playing keep-away from each other, the 23 total combined shots in overtime helped usher in the 24-second clock era in 1954.
Detroit Pistons vs. Denver Nuggets – 1983 NBA Contest Pays OVER Bettors Big Time
If you need proof that the implementation of the shot clock helped raise scoring in the NBA, look no further than the Pistons versus Nuggets gem that was played at the McNichols Sports Arena back on December 13, 1983. Though only watched in person by some 9,655 fans, this contest was a shootout from the get-go as the teams were tied 74-74 at halftime. The assault on the rims continued in the second half and the fourth quarter ended with the scored tied 145-145. Three overtime periods later, the Motor City Bad Boys finally pulled down a 186-184 victory. The 370 total points scored was, and still is, the NBA record for most points in a single game.
Chicago Bulls Michael Jordan vs. Phoenix Suns Charles Barkley – 1993 NBA Finals
Considered by many hoops fans to be one of the greatest games in NBA Finals history, the matchup between Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley back on June 13, 1993, is easily in the conversation. This Game 3 Finals contest is known as much for Jordan’s 44-points scored in a losing effort as it is for Bulls guard Scottie Pippen shooting a horrendous 13 of 33 from the field – in a game played in his own backyard. Charles was in charge in this one as Barkley pulled down 19 rebounds, helping the Suns to a 129-121 triple overtime win. This was after Chicago had taken the first two games of the series in Phoenix against the Suns, who had an NBA best record of 62-20 that season. In the end, the marathon loss was just a blip on the map for the Bulls as Chicago captured their third straight Larry O’Brien Trophy with a 4-2 series win.
OKC Thunder Leave the Grizzlies Singing the Memphis Blues in Triple Overtime
Oklahoma City and Memphis waged an epic Game 4 battle in the NBA Conference Semi-Finals back on May 9, 2011. In that contest the Thunder rolled the Grizzlies 133-123 in triple overtime from the Home of the Blues. As the sixth-longest contest in NBA history, this was a game changer for the Thunder as they tied the series at two games apiece heading back to OKC. After leading for most of the game, Memphis was down 96-93 with three seconds to play. Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley then drained a 26-foot three-point jumper to send the contest into overtime with the scored tied at 96-96. Another 26-foot Memphis three-pointer, this time by guard Greivis Vasquez, sent the game to a second OT with the game tied at 109-109. The second OT saw each team score ten points before the Thunder outscored the Grizzlies 14-4 in the third OT period to capture the victory.
Some of you may have noticed that updates have been fewer and further between the past month or so, and for that we do apologize for keeping you in the lurch. As much as we might like to be, we are not machines, not even cyborgs, so we’ve been taking somewhat of a deep breath to recharge, travel, and get some sun. Everybody needs a break now and again, but don’t worry, we’re not going anywhere and I’m sure we’ll be ramping back up again soon.
I was away for 5 weeks traveling abroad in Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and South Africa, and since coming home about 2 weeks ago have been rather busy with some travel writing. If you’re interested, I have a few short blog posts up on Lonely Planet about my time in Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and Kruger National Park; another one to follow shortly on Cape Town. A few months ago I also joined up with the award-winning online travel magazine Perceptive Travel and am writing weekly columns for the blog; all of them can be found here.
While I was away, longtime ETB contributor Zachariah Blott branched out on his own and launched Hoops Karma, a move which we announced a few weeks ago. Zach is obviously focusing a lot of his time and attention on his site, but will still be dropping by periodically to say hello and shit on Kobe. Hey, it’s a dirty job but somebody has to do it, right?
As for Andrew Thell, my partner in crime here at ETB, he was last seen on a frisbee golf course in Florida, NY, marveling at my putting skills and asking for tips on how to improve his midrange game. He also mentioned something about a lightsaber and has developed a F’real addiction.
In summary: We are here. We are not going anywhere. We thank you for reading. Come back soon.
Loyal Empty the Bench readers have grown accustomed to the work of regular NBA contributor Zach Blott over the last year. Zach signed on last season to cover the NBA with his unique perspective and has been delivering the goods on a consistent basis since. Readers have come to know Zach’s hallmarks: strong research, solid statistical analysis, a desire to look past the big name and easy storyline, an affinity for team play, rebounding and defense and … an undying distaste for Mr. Kobe Bean Bryant.
We’ve grown quite fond of Zach’s strong contributions all over the site, as I’m sure all of you have, and so we are proud to announce that Mr. Blott has founded an NBA-specific website of his own. The new digs will be dedicated exclusively basketball news and the site goes by the name Hoops Karma. HK examines the why’s and how’s of the NBA and discusses observations of trends and happenings in-depth. Hoops Karma has already been mentioned on ESPN2′s SportsNation and given Mr. Blott’s skills and work ethic I have little doubt this is just the beginning for him. So bookmark Hoops Karma, add it to your RSS feed and follow HK on Twitter.
To get you started, some recent quality posts on Hoops Karma include:
Since we launched back in February of ’07 (has it really been over 2 years?), Empty the Bench’s award-winning* content has remained under the exclusive direction of myself and my esteemed colleague, Mr. Andrew “Buttercup” Thell. As I said in a recent interview over on Basketball.org, however, we’ve recently been entertaining the idea of bringing in some regular contributing writers to help us fill in the gaps and to help give you, dearest readers, more fantastic content about the NBA, NFL, and fantasy sports.
To all the writers out there in the audience, whether you consider yourself aspiring or established, that’s where you come in. We don’t care whether you’ve written 1 article or 100 articles: if you’re talented, reliable, insightful, and compassionate about your work, we’d love to hear from you. We’re specifically looking for contributors to provide content in the following areas:
- NBA & NFL Analysis with a Slant Towards Stats
- Weekly NBA & NFL Columns
- NBA & NFL Fantasy Sports Advice, Tips, and Rankings
Here’s How to Apply:
- Send an email to both [email protected] and [email protected] (subject line: “Contributing Writer”), telling us a little bit about yourself, your writing background, and what you feel are your areas of expertise. Be sure to include a link or two to published content if you have it, or to paste a sample of your work directly into the email. ALL ATTACHMENTS WILL BE DELETED.
- If we’re interested, we’ll follow up as soon as possible and take it from there.
Please be familiar with our tone and style before contacting us, and if you have any specific ideas for columns and/or topics to cover, feel free to include that in your email as well. Unfortunately, we cannot offer payment to contributing writers at this time. ETB is regularly cited on some of the top sports blogs and websites around, so this is a great way to get exposure for your work and some published clips for your portfolio. All regular contributors will have a bio posted on the site.
Hosted by three-time Emmy Award winner James Brown (CBS Sports’ “NFL Today”), the 16th Annual Make-A-Wish Ultimate Sports Auction is coming up in just a few short weeks at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL. That means now’s the time to think about getting in on this wonderful charitable event, which has to date raised over $3.5 million dollars towards granting wishes to kids with life-threatening medical conditions.
Past athletes and celebs in attendance include Hall of Fame NBA coach Pat Riley, Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland, 19-time Emmy Award winner Bob Costas, Washington Wizards forward Caron Butler, supermodel Carol Alt, and PGA Tour golfer Paul Azinger amongst many others. Obviously, this promises to be a fun night for a great cause; here’s more info from the event’s organizers followed by a short video.
The Make-A-Wish Ultimate Sports Auction, held on Friday, March 27th at the Broward County Convention Center in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, is your opportunity to rub elbows with celebrities from the world of sports. This is the only South Florida charity event that features coaches and players from ALL South Florida teams and more! You CAN’T MISS the Silent Auction – with more than 125 items including special, one-of-a-kind packages, sports memorabilia and sports experiences. The Live Auction is always a hit as the players, coaches, and celebrities take turns “one-upping” each other – often with entertaining results! CBS Sports “NFL Today” host James “JB” Brown hosts. Tickets are very limited. Call 888-773-9474 or visit us on the web at www.ultimatesportsauction.net.
Phew. It’s been a harried 36 hours here at Empty the Bench. The site went down unexpectedly on Monday afternoon and we’ve been doing our best to get it back up and running ever since, but it looks like we’re out of the woods for now.
ETB would like to sincerely apologize to all of our readers for the service interruption and thank you for bearing with us while we figured this out. Neither of us is the most tech savvy guy, so we were forced to consult outside help to get the matter resolved.
We’re back now though, and we’re ready to do what we do best: provide you with high-caliber insight and analysis on the National Basketball Association and National Footbal League with our usual fantasy rankings and articles mixed in for good measure. Just in time for the NBA season to kick off next Tuesday, too.
Enjoy, and hopefully it’ll be smooth sailing from here on out. Special thank you to Tyler of Meat Junkie and Whiskey & Aspirin fame for his help, consultation, and patience.
If there’s breaking news we may still be checking in to opine on it, but the regular content will be on hiatus. And besides:
NBA teams and players must wait for the salary cap to be set before trades and most free agent signings can commence. Teams may negotiate with free agents beginning July 1, but they have to wait until the moratorium ends before signing a contract. This season it ends on July 8th, so the signing and trading can begin at 12.01 am, July 9th.
We’ll be back sometime after then with all kinds of summer shite:
- Updates on NBA Free Agency Comings, Goings, and Trades
- NFL Gossip and Heresay
- Interviews with NBA and NFL Bloggers
- 2008 NFL Fantasy Football Guides and Rankings
- Our Fantasy Football Mock Draft and Sleepers
- A look at the NFL’s 2008 Offseason Police Blotter
- And of Course, Our Award-Winning* Weekly Fantasy Football Content
In the meantime, here’s a few things to help bide your time:
- And finally, enjoy the first episode of “Skunked with Brownie Troop 666,” the new fishing show hosted by Mr. Mickey Melchiondo (Ween, Moistboyz). More info, episodes, and Brownie Troop 666 merchandise can be found at the Official Brownie Troop Fishing Show website.
The NBA Blogosphere has become a busy place these days, with quality new sites popping up regularly. Our friends over at the always solid, environmentally conscious Hardwood Paroxysm have put together a poll to determine which sites are the crème de la crème.
ETB is proud to be nominated for the Best Overall Columnist Blogger award:
That’s category #11, and we also encourage you to write us in for category #15, the Rookie of the Year (this being our first full season covering the NBA). In fact, you should just write us in for the rest of the categories, too, but note that you’re not required to vote in every category—only the ones with an asterik.
Unfortunately, there will be no Swimsuit Competition in this season’s awards, despite multiple, strongly worded requests from ETB. Thanks for your support, and godspeed.
November 20, 2007, New York, NY – Empty the Bench, LLC is proud to announce a new partnership with Fantasy Sports Ventures (FSV), an integrated marketing and media company with a focus on digital/fantasy sports.
Founded in 2006 by Christopher J. Russo, formerly the Senior Vice President of New Media/Publishing for the NFL, FSV will work with Empty the Bench in the areas of commerce, marketing, and content distribution. Empty the Bench plans to syndicate its content for use on FSV’s portal site, FantasyPlayers.com.
As the latest sports blog to join forces with FSV, Empty the Bench is further establishing itself in the growing fantasy sports marketplace and serves as yet another example of the increasing influence sports blogs are having across the sports media landscape.
“Empty the Bench is a perfect addition to our complement of fantasy focused web sites and blogs,” said Andy Regal, Executive Vice President of Programming for Fantasy Sports Ventures. “We are eager to introduce this unique voice to the 5 million users who visit our network of sites each month,” Regal added.