The Swing Pass: Ryan Anderson's Nickname, Looking at the Blazers, Durant MIP?

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The Swing Pass: Ryan Anderson's Nickname, Looking at the Blazers, Durant MIP?
Harry How/Getty Images

Wondering if you've missed out on any NBA news? Each week you'll find a collection of the best NBA-related content that the Internet has to offer right here on The Swing Pass. From features to quick hits, hard-hitting news to YouTube clips, if you need to see it, it'll be here for you.

  • How do you survive a season working the beat for a team that isn't very good? By coming up with leads like this one from Eric Koreen out of Toronto: “There ain’t no tuition for having no ambition,” was how Kanye West put it on the first song of his first album, presumably not at all thinking about the welfare of a sub-par professional basketball team. Nonetheless, he captured the reality of these Toronto Raptors pretty well. 
  • Yep, he opened with Kanye. that's a guaranteed win by my scorecard.
  • Ryan Anderson connected on a career-high eight three-pointers against those Raptors in a Magic victory. That wasn't my favorite Anderson note today, though. Nope, that would be discovering that his teammates call him "Baby Brinks Truck."
  • Really. Read on for more info from Chris Tomasson.
  • Who would you give the Most Improved Player award to if you had to pick someone today? SB Nation's Mike Prada makes a strong case for why it should be given to MVP candidate Kevin Durant. Watching Durant flirt with a triple-double in the Thunder's victory over the Heat on Sunday, there's been some serious growth in his overall game.
  • What's Renaldo Balkman been up to since being waived by the Knicks to make room for J.R. Smith? He's been on #TeamHustleHarder. What exactly does that entail?
  • Check the photo. So. Damn. Good. 
  • Jason Quick gets real about the Blazers: Is a team hurting itself when it fights to make the playoffs at the cost of taking a close look at younger players to see if there's a place for them on the roster in the future?
  • Dan LeBatard with a very important piece on LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat taking a stand for Trayvon Martin. I encourage you to click the link, but if you don't, this paragraph is a must in explaining the struggle for pro athletes to grow and mature like their non-professional-basketball-playing peers:

When did you find your voice?

What age?

It is easy to forget, because of all the cartoon muscles, because of all the noise that has surrounded him for a decade, but LeBron James is only 27. It is not any kind of normal, growing up a child star, and it is harder still without a father to guide you and a mother who can be problematic. This might explain why you never see James alone, perpetually surrounded by an entourage he describes as la familia. 

It can be hard to find your voice living and working in this particular bubble, especially when you don’t have college’s stumbling growth to help you along the path. If you are looking for an explanation for how Dwight Howard could make such an unholy mess of his flip-flopping Orlando situation, here’s a decent start: Often, a young athlete looks like a man many years before he actually becomes one.

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