The Sideline


The NBA on Channel 4

February 23, 2017 Sammy Gunnell

The NBA on Channel 4

I was a teenager during the 90s, old enough to remember the NBA being pushed in the UK in a number of different ways. Around the country there were huge metal basketball hoops going up, we were finding NBA goodies in our cereal, the occasional NBA game was being played in London , but perhaps most significantly the NBA was being shown on Channel 4, and it was actually amazing viewing. I learned the basics of basketball pretty quickly as a kid, mainly from playing video games, but also from just watching the game. There was a thrill in figuring...


The Digital NBA

December 01, 2016 Sammy Gunnell

The Digital NBA

NYC has a history of producing gifted and gritty basketball players, point guards specifically. Some have graced NBA courts and seen their names etched in history books, others have remained urban legends in a city where the competition has been as fierce as the courts are overcrowded. This has apparently subsided in the last few years. I heard an NYC playground legend blame the quietness of the courts and the decline in consistency coming from the five boroughs, on kids playing video games at home, rather than hitting the courts.  I live in London now, but grew up in another...


Hard Work

November 10, 2016 Sammy Gunnell

Hard Work

The new NBA season is here! I know, I'm late. It's already in full swing, but one of the first games of the 2016-17 was a gritty reminder of what we realised back in June, nothing is guaranteed in the world of sports. In that historical series the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead (apparently) and Lebron James was basically hard work personified. Over the summer that followed super teams were supposedly formed (not the Knicks, sorry D-Rose...), and the rest of the league studied tapes and drew up plans of how to stop the golden boys turned super villains of...


Last of the Franchise Players

July 12, 2016 Sammy Gunnell

Last of the Franchise Players

Let me start by being honest. I don't like Tim Duncan. The fact that he was known as 'The Big Fundamental' basically sums it all up. I don't like his lack of flair, I don't like his lack of emotion, I don't like the way he speaks, I don't like the way he claps, I don't like what he did to my beloved Knicks in the 1999 NBA Finals. Heartless. Don't get me wrong. Tim Duncan is a legend. An undisputed hall of famer and an undeniably great player, I admit that although I didn't find his career particularly exciting, apart...


Clutch Threes

June 29, 2016 Sammy Gunnell

Clutch Threes

Kyrie Irving made what was probably the biggest three pointer of his entire career during game 7 of this year's NBA Finals. It doesn't get any bigger, hitting this type of shot when it matters the most is what careers are remembered by, ask Reggie Miller. But they don't always come from the guy you'd expect, ask Steve Kerr. One guy who you may never heard of is John Paxson, a key member of the early 90's Chicago Bulls team who won three titles in a row from 91-93. It was the 1993 finals where Paxson made the shot which...