2023年7月20日 星期四

For Best Playoff Performance, the Floppy Goes To.... 論季後賽表現 最佳假摔獎得主是…

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2023/07/21 第442期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
紐時周報精選 For Best Playoff Performance, the Floppy Goes To.... 論季後賽表現 最佳假摔獎得主是…
The Esports World Is Starting to Teeter 玩不下去的電競美國夢
For Best Playoff Performance, the Floppy Goes To.... 論季後賽表現 最佳假摔獎得主是…
文/Kurt Streeter

論季後賽表現 最佳假摔獎得主是…

In the 2023 NBA playoffs, LeBron James got in on the act. And Stephen Curry, and the league's MVP, Joel Embiid. Kyle Lowry keeps trying, but, oh, does he need help. Even Nikola Jokic has taken a bow.


Yes, this postseason has showcased the beauty of basketball. The upstarts, upsets and dominance. But it has also been marred by players of all stripes — ahem, Malik Monk, the sixth man for the Sacramento Kings — falling and flailing as if stung by a cattle prod.


All in desperate attempts to hoodwink referees into calling fouls.


Welcome to the National Basketball Floppers Association.


Flopping isn't new, of course. In the 1970s, Red Auerbach, the Boston Celtics' fabled and curmudgeonly leader, railed on national television against the "Hollywood acting" that was sullying the game.


"NBA floppers are almost always overacting," said Anthony Gilardi, a Hollywood acting coach. "You watch these guys with their pratfalls and their on-court stunts, and it's so over-the-top cringeworthy as to be hilarious."


I asked Gilardi to watch video clips of sham playoff tumbles and offer an assessment. He had seen most of the plays and knew the subject well. He's a Celtics fan who has seen all of Marcus Smart's greatest flops.


There's a vast difference, Gilardi said, between players reacting to contact in a way that creates an illusion that a foul has occurred and being so obvious that every fan in the arena can tell the reaction is fake. It is the difference between what we see from an Oscar nominee and an actor on a run-of-the-mill soap opera.


"In soap operas, it's often the case you can absolutely tell they are acting," he said, emphasizing the word the way Heat guard Max Strus would a shoulder bump. "There's not enough subtlety to create the illusion."


The flop, part acting and part competition, is now baked into the NBA. It shows off athleticism and skill, a deep thirst for winning as well as showmanship — attributes that define the league. It's all part of the spectacle.


So why not have some fun with it? Maybe, instead of resisting and demonizing the flop, we should embrace it — but demand better acting.


With the dominant way Jokic has been playing to get his team to the franchise's first N.B.A. finals, the concept of stopping him seems like pure theater.



The Esports World Is Starting to Teeter 玩不下去的電競美國夢
文/Kellen Browning


Six years ago, the Madison Square Garden Co., a group that includes James Dolan, owner of the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers, announced a triumphant entrance into sports' next frontier: a professional video game league.


The New York investors spent more than $10 million to purchase a majority stake in Counter Logic Gaming, an esports team, and said that professional video gaming "now stands on the verge of enormous change, which we believe has the potential to generate significant growth."


Instead, that growth has stagnated. As esports revenue fell below expectations and investors became skeptical of the industry, Madison Square Garden's owners last year tried to find a way out of the business by selling their marquee team.


After years of fanfare, esports in the United States are giving way to economic realities. Unable to turn a profit, team owners are cutting costs by laying off employees and ending contracts with star players. In some cases, they are selling their teams and sometimes at a loss, offering a blunt reality check to people who believed esports could be the next big thing in entertainment.


Most alarming, some viewers seem to be losing interest. They watched 14.8 million hours of the 2023 spring season of the League Championships Series, the biggest U.S. esports league, down 13% from a year earlier and down 32% from 2021, according to estimates from the data firm Esports Charts.

最值得警惕的是,有些觀眾似乎正失去興趣。根據數據公司Esports Charts估計,美國最大電競聯盟、英雄聯盟冠軍聯賽,2023年春季只獲得1480萬小時觀看時數,比前一年下滑13%,且比2021年減少32%。

Star esports players can earn seven-figure salaries and compete for championships. Investors over the past decade purchased stakes in teams that participate in professional leagues for games including League of Legends, Overwatch and Call of Duty.


The biggest of those is the League Championship Series, a 10-team league established in 2013 and run by Riot Games, the company that created League of Legends. In the league, teams go head-to-head in League of Legends, a fantasy-themed game, in matches that can draw millions of viewers and fill stadiums.


But the leagues have struggled to make money. Partnerships to broadcast esports tournaments on sites such as YouTube and Twitch have dissipated, sponsors are slashing their advertising budgets, and owners are operating teams at a loss while paying huge salaries to esports players.


Some esports teams, including Evil Geniuses, have parted ways with many of their expensive League of Legends players. Others, such as 100 Thieves, are laying off employees and senior executives.

包括EG戰隊在內的部分電競隊伍,已經告別隊上許多「英雄聯盟」高薪選手。其他像是100 Thieves等隊伍,正在解僱員工和高階主管。


從生成式AI到負責任AI 以法律角度談AI的自律與他律
當ChatGPT 熱潮以雷霆萬鈞之勢橫掃全球之際,也產生了一個嚴肅的課題。那就是伴隨 AI 運用而產生的各種違法、侵權或不當的行為,到底應該要由誰負責以及應如何規範。其中的一個關鍵問題,就是是否仍由業者透過負責任AI的自律方式處理,還是應該由他律的法律層面加入因應,是這波 AI 熱潮下待解決的重要議題。

橘世代、上班族 有專屬醫療保單方案
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