About Me

My name is Alex Raphael and I am a fifth-year senior at James Madison University. I major in Sport and Recreation Management with a double minor in Sport Communication and General Business.

I’ve written for the sports section of my school’s award-winning newspaper “The Breeze”, have worked with JMU Athletics, and I’m currently the Director of Basketball Content for the sports website Pro Sports Outlook.

My long-term goal is to attain a job in sports media as a sportscaster or sport journalist. My short-term goal is to obtain an entry-level job in the communications sector of the sports industry.


*Originally written 07/08/2020

Today’s NBA is filled to the brim with elite-level talent. As a result, some of the league’s rising stars are underrated — neither receiving media exposure nor winning NBA awards. Names like Donovan Mitchell and Devin Booker, who previously could have been labeled as underrated, are not in the running given they were All-Stars this year.

The purpose of this article is to uncover the Association’s hidden gems from the 2019–20 season. The evaluation of such players is based on statistics, salaries, accolades (or lack thereof), and media coverage.

Now let’s take a deeper look into the…

*Originally written 07/25/2020

Ever heard of an NBA player — or any pro athlete for that matter — who thinks they’re overpaid? Didn’t think so. So, I set out to identify the players who have a high paying salary coupled with woeful on-court production in the 2019–20 season. The likes of Nicolas Batum and Blake Griffin, who might’ve been suitable candidates, are not eligible due to being injured for the majority of the year.

I also generated an overall 2019–20 season production grade for each player to be paired with their contract for this year. Keeping in mind the NBA’s…

*Originally written on 07/19/2020

The NBA has gradually phased out the era of over the shoulder hook shots and has shifted in the direction of electrifying crossovers and savvy passes. The purpose of this list is to rank the best young point guard-shooting guard combinations in the NBA; keyword being young.

A requirement for consideration is no player can have more than five years of NBA experience. Gauging how bright the future is for these backcourt tandems is based on untapped potential and productivity levels in the 2019–20 season.

Other criteria used will be analytics, NBA awards, and impact on…

Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

The Most Valuable Player Award is the most coveted of the regular-season individual player accolades. However, the term “most valuable” can be interpreted differently by different people. Some define “most valuable” as the most outstanding overall performer. Others describe the term as the player who’s the most integral piece to a team that, without it, would crumble.

These two definitions strain far from the same ideology, but are both taken into consideration by the 100 vote-eligible media members. …

Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

In the NBA players come from a variety of backgrounds. For some, basketball is a choice. For others, it’s the only option for success in life. And on the way up, some encounter pitfalls, such as injury or a negative environment. But it’s how they respond in the face of adversity that reveals a great deal about their character. About their perseverance. And about their dedication to beating the odds by overcoming the obstacles blocking their path to greatness.

Derrick Rose is a man who came from nothing. Rose grew up in Englewood, on Chicago’s notorious South Side. He was…

Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The NBA established the three-point line in the 1979–80 season. In that inaugural year, teams averaged 2.8 attempts a game from beyond the arc. In the past decade a three-point revolution has been in full effect, evident by analytics revealing of league patterns.

Last year, teams averaged an all-time high 32 threes attempted per game. The innovative small-ball Houston Rockets set a record too for the most attempted threes per game by a team, with a ludicrous 45.4.

Respected as one of the most elite shooters, Larry Bird only averaged one made three per game (1985–86); by my standards deeming…

Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Approaching a topic that dates back to the inception of the NBA, back in 1949, requires careful deliberation. Both the composition of players and the success of the teams will be determining factors. Also, no franchise will be repeated for the sake of equal opportunity to other franchises. Sorry, 1971–72 and 1999–2000 Los Angeles Lakers.

While this list is about an individual season, the duration of dominance by the teams will be taken into consideration as well. This is based on the merit that sustaining a product over five years garners more acclaim than a product lasting one year. …

JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images

The composition of players who make up a list of the greatest to step foot onto an NBA court will be debated for eternity. Whether you side with LeBron James, or Michael Jordan. Bill Russell or Wilt Chamberlain. All of the players on this list have a case for being the greatest of all-time.

In an effort to bring resolution to the topic, I have tackled the age-old question: ‘who are the greatest players of all-time?’ The criteria I used to evaluate the players for my list is a combination of individual accolades, team accomplishments and statistical achievements.

10. Karl Malone

  • 1985–2004: 2x…

On June 18th the NBA’s Detroit Pistons finalized a deal with Troy Weaver to make him the franchise’s new general manager according to the team’s official website. Troy Weaver was the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Vice President of Basketball Operations and has a great eye for evaluating young talent and helping them develop. On the Thunder, he assisted in drafting three players who would go onto be league MVPs, in Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden.

Detroit was in dire need of a change to continue to dictate their rebuilding process. In the past 10 NBA seasons, they have only…

Alex Raphael

Senior, Sports and Recreation Management major, at James Madison University. I can be contacted at acraphael9804@gmail.com

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