By Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Kansas City, Mo. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

My Most Painful Four Seconds of Basketball Ever

The end of the 2019 Chicago Sky season felt unjust compared to how its regular season went. Las Vegas Aces forward Dearica Hamby’s steal and near-half-court jumper to eliminate Chicago from the postseason was beyond a knife in the back. It was like I was an unsuspecting field mouse foraging for food at night and…

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NBA 2K League Needs Women in Consumer-Facing Roles

As the NBA 2K League’s 23 teams prepare for the third season of competition, it’s hard to miss out on the tremendous diversity among the league’s coaches and players. There is a great variance of ethnicities and nationalities in those consumer-facing roles. That medley of humanity fades away completely, however, when you take gender into…

How NBA 2K League Can Make the Leap in Season 3

At times during the first two seasons of the NBA 2K League, the entire enterprise felt like it was little more than an attempt to convert esports fans into NBA fans (if they weren’t already). However, now NBA 2K League is making several material changes for Season 3 that aim to legitimize its place as…

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Time is Right for NBA 2K League Players to Unionize

The NBA 2K League will arguably take its most important step toward starting its third season of competition on Saturday in New York City. The league’s 23 teams will add a total of 68 players to their rosters in a live draft at Terminal 5 on Feb. 22. The league’s framework is not only sustainable…

WNBA Team-Building has Entered a New Era

Washington Mystics general manager and head coach Mike Thibault says the WNBA’s new collective bargaining agreement has changed his job forever. He’s right, and it’s a great thing despite the additional challenges for those in his profession. Thibault gave an interview to Ava Wallace of The Washington Post after former Washington guard Kristi Toliver recently…

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How Long Until We See WNBA’s First ‘Super Team?’

During this third decade of the WNBA, players are finally starting to realize some of the agency that their counterparts in the NBA enjoy. That’s not only true of them as a group but as individuals as well. The new CBA appears to open the door to greater and more frequent player movement, as well…

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Blazer5 Gaming Maximizes Potential by Hiring Andrew Maxie

In each of the NBA 2K League’s two seasons, Blazer5 Gaming has gone into the playoffs as the league’s top seed but has been immediately eliminated. Thus, the franchise hired Andrew Maxie as its head coach to address these disappointing results. Maxie comes to Blazer5 Gaming with a wealth of experience in both basketball and…

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Professional Collegiate League Provides New Path to NBA

There are conflicts inherent in the experiences of college basketball players in the NCAA. Whether that takes the form of not being able to choose certain majors because the class schedule conflicts with sports commitments or well-documented “paper classes” designed to keep athletes academically eligible without them doing any actual classwork, the academic experience of…

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WNBA’s New Collective Bargaining Agreement Reminds How Poorly Players Were Treated

The new tentative collective bargaining agreement between the WNBA and WNBPA is a groundbreaking labor contract for those parties. But that’s kind of the problem. While the league has yet to make the full text of the CBA available (and likely won’t do so until after the contract is voted on by the league’s Board…

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It’s Time for a Massive Investment in WNBA Kicks

As Miami Heat guard Jimmy Butler searches for a new shoe deal, the vast majority of his counterparts in the WNBA are in the same situation. But one is far likely to find a new home than all the others. The time to change that has come because of the prevalence of star power in…

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