No Baller

No Baller

No Baller is a thoughtful exploration of the world of sports, hosted daily by Chris Rawle.

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No Baller
  • Sand Through The Hourglass

    Aaron Rodgers held a press conference Wednesday afternoon that laid bare his grievances with Green Bay Packers management, saying, “I’m always going to be optimistic on change being possible.” Rodgers also traced the arc of his career, fully aware that time is running out.

  • The Most Systemic Game There Is

    Rings culture would have you believe championships are the ultimate reflection of an individual’s performance. How long will people continue believing that a debate about individual quarterbacks in football, the most systemic sport in existence, can be solved simply by who wins or loses?

  • The Last Dance Packers & The Return Of Aaron Rodgers

    After a long, strange offseason, Aaron Rodgers has returned to the Green Bay Packers. It seems likely this is the final ride, a Super Bowl or bust season before Rodgers and Green Bay part ways. How do you find balance between joy and the pursuit of winning when the stakes are this high?

  • Texas & OU To The SEC: The Butterfly Effect Of Conference Realignment

    In conference realignment, there are far more losers than winners. Texas and Oklahoma have both announced they are leaving the Big 12 for the SEC, sending shock waves through the college football universe. Every realignment shift mirrors the butterfly effect: small change eventually begets enormo...

  • The Capacity To Change

    To what extent is change possible? Can you become somebody else entirely, or will you always revert back to whatever you are at your core? Golf is a game that demands constant change in order to achieve success and nobody has embodied this more over the past 5 years than Bryson DeChambeau. While ...

  • The Chaotic Side Of Trying To Win A Championship

    You can build the perfect team and still not win a championship. Unpredictable events shape every championship team (like the 2021 Milwaukee Bucks) and every team who falters (like the 2002 Sacramento Kings or the 2013 Auburn football team). It's the chaos theory of team building: control everyt...

  • All Is Forgiven When You Win

    The Milwaukee Bucks are the 2021 NBA champions after another otherworldly performance from Giannis Antetokounmpo. In a battle of small market teams, the Bucks won their first championship in 50 years as the Suns watched the opportunity for their first in franchise history slip away.

  • A Change In Legacy

    Two incredible sporting events dominated the weekend, Game 5 of the NBA Finals and The British Open. Both featured star performances that fuel one of the more complicated yet enjoyable aspects of sports: the always changing legacies of players and teams.

  • The Many Roads To Victory 

    There are many roads to victory in professional sports. The NFL features recent examples like the KC Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while the NBA Finals has two teams who are embracing past strategies like interior domination and scoring in the midrange. The smartest teams and most talented pla...

  • The Elemental Side Of Golf

    Golf in its purest form is a physical, emotional, and mental test. The British Open, currently taking place at Royal St. George's in England, presents an immense challenge via the elemental side of golf. It is the most compelling viewing product in professional golf, one that allows a diverse ran...

  • The Best Adjustment: Play Better

    X-and-O adjustments are fine and good, but many times the best adjustment in a playoff series is simply playing better. The Bucks defeated the Suns in Game 4 of the NBA Finals to tie the series at 2-2 and both sides were boosted by players (Devin Booker, Khris Middleton) delivering their best per...

  • Donovan Mitchell & Hope

    In the NBA, there is nothing more valuable than a proven playoff scorer. Donovan Mitchell is four years into his career and has already shown a tantalizing ability to score against multiple playoff defenses and individual defenders. It's the single biggest reason for hope within the Jazz franchi...

  • What Could've Been

    In a way that is hard to process, sports can be completely random. Unknowability in turn leads to wistfulness, a common feeling amongst fans that watch their team lose. It's one of the most powerful emotional threads that binds fans across a variety of sports: the feeling of what could have been.

  • An Accumulation Of Edges

    For the second straight game, Giannis Antetokounmpo played a sublime individual game of basketball in the NBA Finals. In Game 2, the Suns won by 10. Last night in Game 3, the Bucks won by 20. What changed around Giannis's performances that resulted in such a drastic swing? An accumulation of smal...

  • Giannis, In A Losing Effort

    Giannis Antetokounmpo played an outstanding game of basketball in Game 2 of the NBA Finals and his team lost. The Phoenix Suns relied on team-wide contributions to trump a brilliant individual performance from Giannis, another lost performance of the playoffs and sobering reminder that situation...

  • Coaching Matters, But How Much?

    Coaching is a piece in the championship puzzle, one of the razor thin margins between winning and losing in the playoffs. At times it is easy to understand, other times not so much. How much impact can a coach have on a player's career arc and a team's chase for a championship?

  • The Infinite Avenues To Success: Phoenix Suns, Living In The Midrange

    The Phoenix Suns, led by the star guard combination of Chris Paul and Devin Booker, are more than comfortable dissecting opposing defenses with midrange jumpers. That philosophy was on display in last night's Game 1 of the NBA Finals, as the Suns defeated the Bucks behind the pick-and-roll brilli...

  • The Infinite Avenues To Success

    The greatest task in sports is building a team capable of winning a championship and this mission can be pursed in a variety of ways. Talent is always necessary. Beyond that, there are infinite ways of arriving at the same destination as teams attempt to find the balance between process and adapt...

  • The Unpredictability Of Sports

    In all sports, unpredictability plays a major role. A golf ball hits the side of a hole and goes in or out. A hockey puck hits a post and goes in or out. A basketball bounces around a rim and goes in or out. An athlete is injured and another is asked to fill the void. It makes for incredible thea...

  • A Shift In Narrative

    For the first time in his 16-year NBA career, Chris Paul is going to the NBA Finals. His performance in last night's Game 6 was a masterpiece, made possible by the team that has been put in place around him. As a shift in narrative occurs, it's time to revisit familiar themes of team success, ind...

  • Playoff Luck Is Injury Luck, Pt.2

    It’s always said that good health is a key piece to winning a championship. This year in the NBA, it might be the only piece. Giannis Antetokounmpo went down last night in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, joining Hawks star Trae Young as yet another injured superstar in these playoffs. Th...

  • The LA Clippers, Paul George, & Reggie Jackson: Opinions Change

    The LA Clippers staved off elimination against Phoenix in Game 5. It's been a strange yet incredible run of resiliency for a team that was anything but in last year's playoffs. Leading the charge are two players, Paul George and Reggie Jackson, whose performances are flying directly in the face o...

  • The Impact Of Referees

    Referees will always have a large impact on the outcome of a game. It's easy to remember when a call is egregiously bad and directly changes who wins or loses. It's harder to remember all the minimal ways a referee leaves an imprint, from the simple way a game is reffed to individual calls themse...

  • Before You Can Win, You Must Lose

    A tale of amateur golf, ice hockey, and the journey of learning from your losses in order to win.