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Photo credit: John Brighenti on Visualhunt.com

On January 5th, Georgia held its runoff elections for the Senate. That night, it was clear that Democrat Raphael Warnock had won his race by two percentage points, 94k votes. By the next day, Democrat Jon Ossoff had officially won his race by 1.2 percentage points. 50.6–49.4, 55k votes.

Those 149,000 votes are the difference between what would have been a Republican-led Senate in 2021–2022 and what is now a Democratic-led Senate. With a 50–50 split, incoming Vice-President Kamala Harris’ vote tilts the tie to the Democrats. Thank you, Georgia organizers. Thank you, Stacey Abrams. Thank you to everyone who contributed to voting equality and voter mobilization. In November, Joe Biden won Georgia by 11,800 votes — out of 5 million votes counted. The slimmest of margins. …


It’s January 4th and the NBA season is now two weeks old. Most teams have played 6 or 7 games — still a tiny sample, on the heels of a shortened pre-season…but just enough games to make a few observations.

Let’s start with three-point shooting. Most are familiar with the fact that three-point attempts have been climbing steadily over the last eight years or so. By 2016, threes made up 30% of all shots, in both the regular season and playoffs. …


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Doors open and doors close.

We are now fully internet people and the internet loves to wrap things up, year end lists are everywhere. Here’s a question: Why would you click on any “2020 Year in Review?” Do you really need any reminding of what we’ve just endured? For the record books? History already shows that we’ve stopped paying enough attention to history. As a species, it doesn’t seem as though we learn from the past, so much as select facts from it that are convenient for our narratives. …


Why not write some words about possible outcomes for every Western conference team for this upcoming NBA season? It’s fun to take semi-wild guesses instead of studying advanced statistics and probabilities.

West
1 LAC
8 DAL

4 LAL
5 HOU

3 POR
6 UTA

2 DEN
7 PHX

  1. Los Angeles Clippers

Tyronn Lue is a modern player’s coach. Tough love is not part of his approach. Doc Rivers is a player’s coach from a previous era. Tough love is very much part of his approach. Coaches are often given too much credit and too much blame. Doc Rivers did not create the Orlando bubble environment and Doc Hearing his public comments, Rivers did not initially know how to help his team through the isolation and mental grind of that bubble. It was a perfect storm for the Clippers. Kawhi and PG came home to LA and the combination of new teammates, injuries and mid-March hiatus through their season into a blender. From a chemistry standpoint, they were vulnerable. Kawhi is a quiet leader. He isn’t a KG-type igniter. He was perfect in San Antonio and Toronto, where motivation was not an issue. …


Why not write some words about possible outcomes for every Eastern conference team for this upcoming NBA season? It’s fun to take wild guesses instead of studying advanced statistics and probabilities.

East Predicted Playoff Bracket
1 MIL
8 WAS

4 BKN
5 BOS

3 MIA
6 TOR

2 PHI
7 ATL

  1. Milwaukee Bucks
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The Bucks will break through this year.

Jrue Holiday will make countless big plays in the playoffs, giving Giannis and Khris Middleton the third star the Bucks have been looking for. The Bucks will beat the Nets in 6 in the East Semis, then the Sixers in 7 in the East Finals, before dethroing the Lakers in 7 in the Finals. Brook Lopez’ impossible-to-block 28-footers will swing the Finals. …


A handful of poems from the last few months. And some art.

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Waiting Through the Winter

March is the third month
The eleventh is November
One plague has been ended
But the other has new members
We wait for clearance months away
While vaccines get produced
We brace for colder winter days
Though the holidays seduce
Some gather into groups unsafe
Rebellious and without fear
While others hide away from all
Isolated and minds unclear
There is no perfect answer
To this year of perfect storm
Sequester just a few months more
And avoid the misinformed.

Continuation

Is it time to celebrate
Or time to heal?
Is it time to move forward
Or time to stay present?
Is it over yet
Or has it just begun? …


Let’s take a moment to appreciate the NBA will return for what we hope is close to a full season. Completing the schedule of 72 games will be dependent on minimizing COVID-risk, health protocols, and the general American public trends regarding the virus. It’s easy to say they shouldn’t be playing…and maybe that would be the correct health decision. If an outbreak occurs on a team, the NBA has plans in place to re-schedule. The Orlando Bubble experiment went very well — from a fan’s perspective and from a virus perspective. It went less well from a player and coaching staff mental health perspective. It wasn’t realistic to expect another bubble for a close-to-full regular season. A six-week first-half bubble in which teams played 25 games would’ve been interesting and a decent compromise. If that went well, they could have gone home for a three-week break and then done another six-week second-half bubble, playing another 25 games. There could have been two 15-team bubbles for each time. But that would’ve involved a messy negotiation between the NBA owners with Silver and the NBA Players’ Association. …


The issue of economic inequality in the United States is so broadly felt and, for those of us who have enough, we are often insulated from the effects of that inequality. It’s so firmly embedded in the way we live that sometimes those of us that have enough don’t think much can change, or are afraid to push hard for change. Change is often incremental, but with enough momentum, sometimes it leaps.

Those that have more than enough and have become detached from their own good fortune and privilege often get downright angry when the topic of economic inequality is brought up. Being born into comfort isn’t always easy to acknowledge (especially if neighbors had similar comforts), being taught the myth of meritocracy (hard work is only part of the story), and being rewarded with a tax code that often skews toward the wealthiest shielding themselves from paying a reasonable share of taxes (those that imagine the government as a monster that steals money from them, rather than a system that benefits everyone)…all of these factors have allowed the wealthy to insulate themselves. …


I’ve started a new project and I’d love for you to check it out. Jonah Asks is a podcast about being human. These talks with friends revolve around a variety of topics.

The episodes are interview-conversations with friends and friends of friends. These extended conversations often circle back to the following themes: *technology in our lives; *turning 40; *identity; *childhood; *parenting *creativity; *anxiety; *meditation/therapy *nature; *animal connections/pets; *friendship; *psychology; *socioeconomics *equality; *relationships

Broad enough? In other words, being human.

The last three episodes:

Ep 8: meet Jeremy, a Kindergarten teacher in Salt Lake City

Ep 7: meet John, a father of two boys and educational product innovator spreading English in…


During this upcoming winter of COVID, we’ll need our distractions more than ever. Without a bubble, the NBA season will undoubtedly be an experiment in resilience and patience. I need to spend some mental energy on imagining the Boston Celtics playing NBA basketball games…and, as with our relationship to any game, I must imbue some of those games with extra meaning.

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Here we go. Another NBA season is coming up.

The NBA will (ideally) play a 72-game season. The first half schedule (Games 1–36), is expected to be played December 23 — March 4. In an attempt to reduce exposure to the virus and reduce travel, teams will play 2-game sets with one opponent in one city (akin to 3–4 game series in baseball). …

About

Jonah Hall

Writing. Poetry. Personal Essays. On the NBA, MLB, media, journalism, culture, teaching and humor.

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