Today in Sports: A blockbuster NBA trade, soccer get new technology, and some truly awful Olympic photographs.
- NBA watchers are stunned (!) by the surprise trade of Steve Nash to the Los Angeles Lakers, giving Kobe Bryant the one thing he has truly lacked throughout his entire career — a top shelf point guard to throw him the ball. Though both Bryant and Nash are on the downsides of their careers (that's okay, because it's a long way down), Laker fans are salivating at the possibilities. [Los Angeles Times]
- International Football Association Board has approved the use of goal-line technology systems that help officials on the field determine whether or not a ball has crossed the goal line during fast moving soccer matches. Since the IFAB determines the "laws of the game" of soccer, this opens the door to technology being used in all English soccer leagues, and eventually in all major international competitions as well. FIFA has already announced that it will be implemented for the first time at the 2013 Club World Cup in Japan and later at the World Cup in 2014. [BBC]
- Speaking of replays: Starting next season fans at NFL stadiums will get to see the same replays on video boards as the referee is seeing when he reviews plays on the field. In the past, stadiums generally avoided showing replays of controversial plays inside the stadium, so as not incite fans or influence the referees. Now fans will be voice their displeasure as the ref is making his decision. Yet another slight advantage for the team with home-field advantage? [ESPN]
- Here's the story behinds those absolutely horrendous Olympic athlete photos. It wasn't entirely the photographer's fault, apparently. [Slate]
- We're not entirely sure what's going on in this riff (or, as its editor, Adam Sternbergh might put it on Twitter, "Riffiest Riff That Ever Riffed") to LeBron James, but it's probably worth a read if you enjoy long, confusing discourses on the nature of athletes in the modern age:
James’s relationship to basketball sometimes seems almost incidental, as if he’s less an athlete than a crypto-hulk sent from outer space to problematize our very notions of humanity's relationship to the time-space continuum. It has become a kind of parlor game, among fans, to speculate on how good James would be at other sports: football, say, or track and field. But I’d argue that James has an unusually intimate relationship with basketball — a sport that is itself, as James is, cobbled together out of irreconcilable parts: James Naismith invented it, out of desperation, with a peach basket and a football and the rules of an old children’s game called Duck on a Rock.
Also the headline is: "LeBron James Is a Sack of Melons." So there's that. [The New York Times Magazine]