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June 26, 2016
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Mark Heisler

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Mark Heisler
Mark Heisler

Mark Heisler, who avoids writing about himself in the third person when possible, preferring the royal “we,” is a regular Truthdig contributor...

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Hubris Costs Warriors NBA Championship

Owner Joe Lacob should have been the voice of reason. But he—like the rest of the Golden State team—got caught up in a regular-season record chase and lost sight of the ultimate prize.

Posted on Jun 21, 2016 READ MORE


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Blue Jays-Rangers Brawl Highlights Major League Baseball’s Latino-Anglo Rift

You can argue whether it’s racial or cultural, but tension among the players is real, and integration is not the same as acceptance.

Posted on May 18, 2016 READ MORE


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NFL’s Handling of CTE Controversy Shows Compassionate Conservatism of Roger Goodell in Action

In determining the effect of concussions on the lives of football players, nobody lawyers up while making sincere protestations of loving the other side like the NFL commissioner.

Posted on Apr 22, 2016 READ MORE


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Kobe-Less Lakers Era Begins With Jerry Buss’ Kids Still Looking for a Road Back to the Glory Days

Guess what happens after a parent hands over the keys to a multimillion-dollar sports enterprise. Hint: It often isn’t pretty.

Posted on Apr 13, 2016 READ MORE


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Duke’s Coach Krzyzewski, Donald Trump and the Meanness in All of Us

What the unfortunate comments—and lies—of the college team’s basketball coach can teach us about American culture and politics.

Posted on Mar 30, 2016 READ MORE


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Adieu to Peyton Manning—and His Squeaky-Clean Image

The NFL star has received millions in endorsements, largely because of his reputation as the All-American boy next door. But as he retires, he is being chased by accusations that he exposed himself to a woman in 1996 and that he used a banned substance after a 2011 surgery.

Posted on Mar 9, 2016 READ MORE


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The NBA Presents an Instant Rivalry for the Age of Hyper-Engagement

In the past, sports rivalries—notably in baseball—evolved and played out over decades. The rise of the NBA shows how much things have changed.

Posted on Jan 26, 2016 READ MORE


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Bio

Mark Heisler
Mark Heisler

Mark Heisler, who avoids writing about himself in the third person when possible, preferring the royal “we,” is a regular Truthdig contributor and a former NBA-at-large reporter for the Los Angeles Times and the Tribune newspaper chain.

The 2006 winner of the Naismith Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Award, Heisler has spent almost 30 years covering the NBA, the first seven in Philadelphia with the Inquirer and the Bulletin, later more than 20 with the L.A. Times and now he writes for Forbes on a constant basis. In 2010, the Los Angeles Press Club honored Heisler’s original Truthdig columns by granting him the Best Online Column award
for his Truthdig essay “It’s Not About Tiger Woods, It’s About Us.” In 2011, Heisler was awarded the Southern California Journalism Award for Online Sports News, Feature, and Commentary for his Truthdig article“Role Models for the Id.”

A native of Springfield, Ill., he graduated from the University of Illinois with a B.A. in history and an M.A. in journalism. In 1969 at age 25, he was lucky enough to get a job in Philadelphia, a hotbed in the sports writing revolution sometimes called the “Chipmunk Movement” for a comment made by the great Jimmy Cannon at the sight of young writers chatting excitedly about what they had just written.

For their part, the chipmunks spurned homerism, prized irreverence, widened coverage to include social causes, and, as Philadelphia 76er GM Pat Williams told GQ’s Alan Richman, “scared everyone to death.”

Several revolutions later, Heisler is fascinated by the vast changes across communications that make almost everything accessible almost everywhere. On the downside, with the competition for market share making immediacy and sensation all-important, the press has become a giant tabloid, obsessing upon and warping stories, as opposed to putting them in perspective. If change is inevitable and his generation had it coming—Heisler calls it “payback for Elvis”—the scary part is this isn’t just something that happening in sports.

Heisler has spent three years as a baseball writer covering the Angels and the Dodgers, and five on the L.A. Raider beat in his Hunter Thompson Experience, with owner Al Davis petitioning his bosses to get him taken off it for the last four of those years. He has also written books about the Lakers and Pat Riley and co-authored a book about Bobby Knight with Steve Delsohn.

He lives in Northridge, Calif., with his wife, the long-suffering Loretta Summers Heisler, and their daughter, Emily.

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