Tuesday, January 27, 2009

That B.Roy Can Dunk

The reaction to Brandon Roy's vicious dunk over Cheikh Samb (full size picture gloriousness found here) has been fast and furious. After Eric Gordon's dunk ignited the Clipper fans who bothered to show up to the Staples Center, Roy answered back with a jam so emphatic that the Clips might have been better off declaring a peaceful surrender by waiving their white home unis on a stick. Mean, mean stuff.

Oh yeah, the reaction to the dunk.

Jason Quick: But Roy soon silenced everyone, finishing a drive with a thunderous jam in the face of 7-foot-1 center Cheikh Samb. It was so impressive and forceful that Blazers owner Paul Allen couldn't control his arms and legs from his courtside seat.

Slam Online
: Last night, the Blazers were losing to the League-worst Clippers. Eric Gordon set the momentum in L.A.’s favor after a sick facial over two Portland bigs. So Brandon Roy did what only a few players in the League can do at will: Dominate. Sorry Cheikh Samb. Mr. Roy had to go to work.

Dime Mag: Brandon Roy’s checklist for the last week looks something like this. Tell the media that you’re going to “give them something special” and then finish a game with 10 steals. Check. Come out and score 30 the next night. Check. Embarrass someone on the Clippers worse than anyone on the Clippers has been embarrassed all season. Check.

Blazer's Edge: Possibly the easiest 33 points you'll ever see scored. Did he even break a sweat? 11 of 15 shooting plus 9 of 10 from the line. Buckets. In case you missed it: here is one of the best dunks of the season, Brandon absolutely destroying Cheikh Samb. "Booya." The score was tied 67-67 when he dunked that. The Blazers went on to outscore the Clippers 46- 21. Game-changer.

Ball Don't Lie: "I hold here a contract between myself and one Cheikh Samb pledging me his soul for a poster and a donut — which I delivered! And both were scrump-diddley-umptious!"
— Brandon Roy, post-game, in my twisted Treehouse of Horror-infused mind.

Rip City Project: Seriously, Cheikh Samb might go Madonna-crazy and turn to kabbalah after the jam Roy laid upon his soul. If Darryl Dawkins were to name that dunk, it would be the "Losing your Religion on Planet Lovetron Jamaroo."

Side note: I want to declare my disdain for youtube highlight clips, especially those that originate via holding a camera up to a television. A lot of people work hard putting broadcasts and authorized web highlights together, and pirating that work is theft. Period. Those cameras and servers cost money. Producers and editors cost money. And when you pirate video highlights, you make it that much harder for those doing business to survive. It's no different than going to, say, Blazer's Edge, taking an excellent recap from Dave or Ben and posting it whole hog in a blog. Those guys put in the work, they should get the page views and the advertising dollars that go along with those page views. It's no different for video. There are no fewer than three different videos on NBA.com that contain the Roy posterizing Samb highlight. All legal. Just something to consider.


Justin said...

Great post! Until...

That's a weird rant at the end. Yeah, filming the television makes for a terrible clip, and I realize you're part of the "machine" of content producers now, but this isn't piracy. People are just being fans, not distributing something that is for sale. They're *promoting* the NBA, not costing it money. And they're doing it for free, with someone other than the NBA's bandwidth (which costs the NBA cash).

If Barack Obama had gone after everyone who posted his speeches in video and text format, he'd still be the Senator from Illinois. If nobody ever got excited and posted clips of their favorite players on YouTube, I think that'd say something about the NBA's popularity--not good. Let's rail against the YouTube clips for their crappy quality (when that adjective applies), not some made-up, trumped up charge of piracy.

BlazerFANATIC said...

Hey Casey,

Was this a knock on Sean Meagher over at oregonlive.com? In his game reaction he posted the video highlights from YouTube instead of NBA.com. I noticed it too and thought it was a little weird because when I go looking for highlights I always go to NBA.com. I'm not even a writer and I know this! What a shame.

Casey Holdahl said...

I see where you're coming from Justin, and I appreciated the sentiment, but it is piracy. And they are distributing something that is for sale, and has already been sold: digital rights to exclusive NBA content.

If there were no clips available, then I would agree that posting youtube clips would be helpful in promoting the NBA, but that's not the case. Those links are widely available legally on NBA.com.

And it does cost the NBA money. NBA has advertisers that buy ad units for video. When people watch pirated video, those are page views of content owned by the NBA that never materialize.

Look at it this way. Cormac McCarthy writes a book. Someone buys that book, types it up, and puts in online for anyone to read. Now you could say "Hey, more people can read McCarthy's work. That's great promotion for him." But try telling that to McCarthy and his publisher who make money by ... selling books. Reaching a mass audience is great, but that doesn't amount to a hill of beans if you can't afford to pay your mortgage.

Casey Holdahl said...

No way BlazerFantatic. Sean is my boy. We go way back. If I wanted to say something to Sean, I'd go to him and say it.

I noticed what Sean wrote as well, and he gets it because he's in the business of web content.

What Sean notes, and he's 100% correct on this, is that the NBA doesn't currently have an embeddable player. So you have to link to the video, rather than having it running in your own website. That's somewhat bothersome because it drives traffic away from your site, so embeddable videos are preferable to bloggers, which I completely understand.

Justin said...

I think it's a knock on BlazersEdge.com. They posted a TV cam highlight.

Then the Mercury reposted the same clip, giving BE credit.

My only complaint is the quality of the clip. If it bugs the NBA, they can always send armies of lawyers after youtube users and shut down blazersedge.com

But they won't do that, because we've seen what happened to the music industry when they failed to embrace new technology, and decided it would be a better idea to call everything piracy and sick lawyers on their fans and biggest promoters.

Justin said...

Also, it looks like the NBA.com clips aren't just of Roy's play, they bury that in amongst other highlights, many from other games. Bloggers just don't want to waste their subscribers' time by linking to that extra stuff. The post is about the dunk, so they want a clip of the dunk...

Anonymous said...

Casey, what you fail to note is that in addition to no embedding for the video of the dunk from nba.com, you also have to WAIT until the middle of the video to see the Roy dunk. I'm sure you can understand for that kind of dunk people want to see it immediatley not wait until the video loads up halfway. Personally I saw the dunk on nba.com and I would recommend it because of the high quality of video but if you're concerned about piracy then just tell Blazer broadcasting to make sure everytime Roy posterizes someone to make that clip of the dunk available on nba.com, blazer.com or wherever. It's like Steve Jobs said about illegally downloading music, you cannot expect people not to do it if you don't give them a legal alternative. You cannot harp on people for posting clips if you do not provide them with a legal alternative.

Casey Holdahl said...

Good points all.

Justin: It's not a knock on BE. Everyone does it. I'm making more of a statement about the act, not those doing it. And as you mention Justin, no one is going to go all litigious on anyone.

Cheihk: Good point. Having to wade through other clips is somewhat annoying, but I don't think it's that bothersome in the grand scheme.

By the way, it shows a lot of class for you to show up and take your medicine Cheihk. Kudos to you.

Sheed said...

I am guilty of this "video of TV then to youtube" stuff and I understand that it is wrong. I think I'll take that sidenote to heart.

One thing that I think is a little bit different is the comparison of posting a video and Edge's blog recap. The recap is someones personal thoughts, feelings and conclusions while the video is something we all see exactly the same. If that makes sense. I would never steal a recap, but for some reason find myself taking videos of big time highlights.

Anyway, good post, good point. I got served, even if it was indirectly. Thanks for the perspective.

Muddy said...

In that pic of Brandon THROWING IT DOWN, I love that you can see 5 people wearing Blazers' jerseys in the stands and only 2 clippers jerseys. Blazers here, Blazers there, Blazers everywhere!

Todd said...

Too bad the NBA's video streaming site won't work in Firefox (forcing me to open up crappy IE). I'm all for respecting other people's intellectual property, but it's no shock that it occurs when the NBA's video streaming site is far inferior to youtube or espn.

Casey Holdahl said...

That surprises me Todd, as I too hate IE, only use FireFox and haven't had any problems viewing NBA video in FireFox. Then again, I haven't done the latest update, so maybe that's what is causing your difficulty. I'll check into it.

Anonymous said...

I just want to reiterate my point.

The Roy dunk was available on nba.com in two forms; the game recap and the top 10 plays of the day countdown, both times you had to wait until the video loads then fast forward to the Roy dunk. The clip that Ben from BlazersEdge posted showed you the dunk immediatley as well as Mike Barrett's awesome call. The clip on nba.com robs the dunk of it's emotional impact because it takes too long to watch. I mean sure the actual time isn't that long but in our youtube culture that kind of delay to see someone get posterized is unacceptable.

I don't know if there is some copyright issue (such as game clips belong to the NBA as opposed to the Blazers) or something like that but I really don't understand why you just don't post clips on blazers.com or even the official youtube channel of the Blazers (which btw hasn't been updated in two months and has ZERO game footage).

It just seems like a problem that has an easy solution.

JohnVM said...

The NBA video works fine for me in Firefox 3.0.4.

Greg said...

"I want to declare my disdain for youtube highlight clips..."

I think the kids making their own mashup highlight videos are good for the game, good for the NBA, and good for the broadcasters. Blazer highlight vids on YouTube increase interest in the broadcasts, build bigger audiences, and strengthen the brand. Isn't that what the Blazers want? The kids like making them, the fans like watching them, and the Blazers benefit. It's a win win win. Besides, the DMCA includes a clause on "fair use."

Cheer up!

BRoyFTW said...

You're going to far calling out youtube. If the NBA would sell copies of the NBA games I'm sure people would buy it. Instead real fans have to search sites to download the replays of the game. There is no way to quote video highlights. The NBA should thank Youtubers for promoting the players.

No one is going to lose their job over some pixilated recording of a television highlight.

Macrovox said...

Casey, dunno if you'll see this given the passage of time, but I wanted to offer an alternate take on your concern about bootleg clips. I TOTALLY understand your point, but I think you've got the wrong response. If you soak people in multimedia from birth, then multimedia is how they're going to turn around and talk back to the world, and the Internet automatically gives everyone a global platform to express themselves. Responding by saying "That's wrong, please don't do it" is natural, and there's a point there, but it's not going to work.

I think the NBA should take a page from other media companies that have recently inked deals with Youtube where they're posting up their own stuff and then get a majority cut of the related ad revenue. In those same deals, the original content owner even gets a chunk of revenue off the "bootlegged" clips they weren't even involved in. Total win win. Producer gets paid, Youtube increases their clout, fans get their voice.

Truth is, the league is at this point even more behind the curve on leveraging digital media and the Internet than the recording industry, and that's the league's problem to fix.

This Isn't Vietnam said...

the difference here in my eyes is that these are highlight clips. Posting the whole game (or even a large chunk of it) would be piracy. swaccing NBA.com's whole top 10 highlight reel and posting it on youtube would be piracy. But this clip by itself is more the equivalent of a 30 second snippet of a song--it gets people checking for the rest of it, and is not piracy IMO.

The amount of people who saw this dunk because the youtube video was embedded is likely pretty big. I see that as good for Roy and the Blazers at the very least--maybe there's some grey area but I'm not gonna shed a tear over a couple bucks in hypothetical lost ad revenue for David Stern here. Besides the point that until someone (the NBA, the blazers, ANYONE) starts ACTUALLY making posters of all these "posterizations," I have no sympathy for anybody involved. I want to hang a pic of this in my living room.

OutrageousJ said...

I just have to chime in and say I agree with the other commenters that, while I understand your point about stealing from NBA video productions, the 30 second YouTube clip of Roy's dunk isn't that big of a deal.

It's 30 seconds out of a 3 hour telecast - that's less than 0.5%. Your quote from Blazers Edge was one paragraph out of a 17 paragraph post - 6%. If the youtube clip is stealing, wouldn't you be just as guilty, if not more so? Lawrence Lessig's new book "Remix" has an interesting take on our culture's sensibilities when it comes to quoting with words and quoting with video.

I wouldn't call your quoting "stealing," but I wouldn't call posting a YouTube clip of a short highlight "stealing" either. Just my two cents... And didn't mean to be harsh or anything - I love your blog, just wanted to chime in. Keep up the good work.