Along with every other website at this time of year comes the annual gaze into festively plump navals to look back on some of content we are most proud of across our various channels. Whether it’s the NBA, WNBA, Summer League, Draft or Free Agency, Double Clutch has been busy creating articles, features, podcasts, video, artwork and, of course, messing with the #NBAintheUK community across social media.
Some highlights that fall outside this top 10 include Josh Coyne interviewing one of the creators of Sports Illustrated’s NBA Top 100 Ben Golliver, one of The Starters (Tas Melas), and he also headed to Los Angeles to meet up with the G League team. Huw Hopkins caught up with Dave DuFour of Count The Dings, and he also met with Pure Sweat’s Gary Maitland for a series of content. Joe Hulbert went deep into the basketball weeds with the Miami Heat and the Washington Wizards, while interviewing the likes of Jackson Frank from Clutch Points and Robert Flum of SB Nation.
We look forward to doing it all again next year in bigger and better ways, but until then, Happy New Year, and enjoy some of our best content from some of the brightest basketball thinkers and contributors in the UK.
1: Conference debate
The debate that spilled over from the Double Clutch slack channel onto the podcast and articles on the website, Mike Miller and Huw Hopkins sit firmly on opposite sides of the keep or discard conferences and divisions fence. Each with salient points and well-reasoned arguments, take a look at both sides and see how you feel about the NBA tradition of breaking teams up into sides of the USA and sections of the country.
When the Jimmy Butler drama bubbled up at the start of the season for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Ben Moorcroft evaluated the best landing spots for the start wing player. The trade he proposed eventually bore out and the Double Clutch team started looked to Ben as some type of mystic.
Double Clutch launched into the world of the WNBA this year to critical acclaim. One off-season move that made the headlines was the appointment of LA Lakers legend Derek Fisher as the Sparks’ new Head Coach. Josh Coyne caught up with General Manager Penny Toler to discuss the move.
Nobody writes for Double Clutch like Nick Whitfield. His irreverent look at the world and love for nostalgic popular culture leads us down the garden path in ways we never thought possible. Somehow, when Carmelo Anthony signed with the Houston Rockets this off-season, it sparked a narrative in Nick’s mind that compared his situation to Bill and Ted (characters from a 1980s and 1990s film series for the younger readers). While we are all looking forward to the 2020 reboot from Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter, here is a reminder of Nick’s piece from the summer to keep you occupied.
Doing this job is a lot of fun, and when 2K inivited Mike Miller and Joe Hulbert over to Greece for this year’s launch, it created more content than we can list here.
But these two items (one article and one podcast) capture some of the highlights of the game as well as insight from this year’s production process.
Mike Miller and Nick Whitfield teamed up with Sammy Gunnel from The Benchwarmer to put together a video series in partnership between FIBA’s LiveBasketball.TV and Double Clutch. The first episode sees these three hoop historians look back at some of the best NBA moments ever and debate the greatest playoff upset ever. There is more to come in this series, so be sure to sign up to LiveBasketball.TV to get early access to the show.
The Jazz guard started his rookie season off slowly, but by the turn of the year his play propelled Utah into the playoffs and past the first round. Double Clutch’s founder Matthew Wellington was particularly excited by his performance in the All-Star dunk contest and in March produced an extended look at his campaign to become the Rookie Of The Year. It wasn’t to be, but this feature showed what potential he has to be a superstar in this league.
8: Draft class
Nobody does draft analysis like Joe Hulbert, and this year’s was no exception. He went through each team’s position in the lottery and picked the best player for each team and while not all of them were correct, some of them felt like he was being fed information from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Equally, Sam Chadwick evaluated the talents of the top 10 prospects, and while his article wasn’t going to look at where they would be drafted, the order in which they landed looks a lot like the Rookie Of The Year race this season.
At Double Clutch, we’re always looking to highlight the best #NBAintheUK stories, and it is no different with the new WNBA channel that was launched this year. One particular article focused on one of the best centers in the WNBA. Huw Hopkins’ interview with British hero Temi Fagbenle came off the back of a championship run in 2017, and landed just ahead of the WNBA playoffs when Fagbenle did everything she could to get the Minnesota Lynx on track for another shot at the title.
10: Season guide
One of the biggest projects Double Clutch does every year is the Season Preview Guide. This year saw the team produce 156 pages of team previews, featuring histories and exclusive articles. It’s an onerous task but one we are very proud of so if you haven’t checked it out already, do so now before it’s entirely out of date.