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Thomas Alter
Tommy Alter is a producer and writer based in New York City. He has written for Sports Illustrated, Yahoo, and The Daily Beast, among other places. You can follow him on twitter @MrTalter

Entries by Thomas Alter


(0) Comments | Posted April 13, 2015 | 10:28 AM

In a world where cultural cachet is judged by twitter followers, professional marketers throw around words like "influencer" often with no idea what it actually means, bet against Jay Z, Beyonce, Rihanna, Calvin Harris and the rest of the TIDAL crew at your own peril.


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The Growth of the Wizards

(0) Comments | Posted April 28, 2014 | 4:39 PM

For the better part of the last decade, the Washington Wizards have been a walking NBA representation of Murphy's Law. From Gilbert Arenas and his guns, to the Andray Blatche/Javale McGee/Swaggy P chaos, the Wiz have offered fans and writers a unique concoction. As hopeless and unfocused as they were...

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For Talib Kweli, Independence Is Bliss

(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 5:47 PM

Talib Kweli is experimenting.

The Brooklyn born lyricist has never been in Hip-Hop for the money. From his first album, "Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star," a critically acclaimed look at the life of a young black artist in New York, to his most recent album, "Gravitas,"...

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Can The Lessons of John Lewis Sustain the Modern Civil Rights Movement?

(0) Comments | Posted March 18, 2014 | 11:19 AM

On a breezy March Sunday in Brown Chapel Church in Selma, Alabama, John Lewis began to preach.

Brown Chapel was the starting point for the Selma to Montgomery marches that led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. If you closed your eyes for a minute, you could imagine...

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Michael Dunn and the Victim Mentality

(39) Comments | Posted February 19, 2014 | 1:10 PM

When a Florida jury on Saturday night failed to convict a 55-year-old white man, Michael Dunn, in the shooting death of a 17-year-old black kid, Jordan Davis, whose only crime was playing his music too loud in a car outside a Jacksonville, Florida gas station, a friend asked me, "Why...

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Richard Sherman and Why We're Scared of Honesty

(12) Comments | Posted January 22, 2014 | 10:09 AM

One of the most interesting chapters of David Remnick's fantastic book on Muhammad Ali, King of The World, focuses on the media reaction to the dominant fighter changing his name. Most newspaper editors and reporters refused to refer to Ali by his new name, calling him Cassius Clay, even as...

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Duck Dynasty and Madonna

(16) Comments | Posted December 23, 2013 | 7:57 PM

In April 1989, the Pepsi Corporation announced that it was canceling plans to broadcast a television commercial that featured Madonna, then arguably the most popular singer in the world. Madonna had released the music video for "Like a Prayer" a month earlier, and was entering a $5 million...

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The Rise of the Barclays

(0) Comments | Posted November 13, 2013 | 11:57 AM

It takes a lot to get noticed in New York City.

With a million dreamers and achievers Yelping and Instagramming around the city day and night, greatness isn't just demanded, it's expected.

This attitude applies to venues as much as anything else. Madison Square Garden is the world's most...

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Brooklyn in the House

(0) Comments | Posted November 4, 2013 | 10:51 AM

When the Nets arrived in Brooklyn a year ago, things never completely clicked. The team was talented but jumbled, the product of a Russian oligarch who was determined to spend whatever it took to win, with little regard for team cohesion.

The uniforms and arena were cool, but felt too...

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Steve Lonegan, the Great Embarrassment of New Jersey

(25) Comments | Posted October 14, 2013 | 6:32 PM

For the millions of Americans who love to dump on New Jersey, it's your lucky day. The state that brought you Paulie Walnuts, Snookie and the turnpike from hell has dropped another laughingstock into the national conversation. The unfathomable Steve Lonegan.

Lonegan, Cory Booker's opponent in the Senatorial Special Election...

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Confederate Flags and Football

(118) Comments | Posted August 16, 2013 | 5:34 PM

College athletics and the NCAA have faced heat lately for the growing perception that "student athletes" are cash cows, milked until they're no longer of use, then tossed aside for the next herd to come in.

The most damning passage on the debate is not new; rather it comes from...

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New York, We Have A Problem.

(5) Comments | Posted July 24, 2013 | 1:56 PM

New York isn't supposed to have this problem.

Dirty streets, overpriced housing, psychotic cab drivers, yes we have those. Mutant rats, $12 dollar beers and increasingly Seattle-like weather, yes we have that too.

But as anyone who's lived here can testify, there's a palpable, magnetic allure to the city....

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Trayvon and Chicago

(33) Comments | Posted July 18, 2013 | 3:31 PM

In the emotional wake of Saturday's George Zimmerman verdict, a new public outcry has emanated from the gleeful band of brothers dedicated to defending the Zorro of Sanford, Fla.

The evolving narrative from this bunch has changed from, it was a sad accident, to Trayvon deserved it, to...

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Why Does the NBA Hate 'Lil Nate?

(20) Comments | Posted July 10, 2013 | 12:42 PM

It seems NBA general managers have been listening to too much Randy Newman recently. If "short people got no reason to live," then they certainly got no reason to play in the NBA.

As this offseason has shown, roster management is a lesson in contrasting styles. Some teams have found...

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Lowly Wizards Starting to Turn It Around

(2) Comments | Posted February 7, 2013 | 9:19 AM

When legendary New York Knicks broadcaster Walt "Clyde" Frazier said over a media room dinner before Wednesday night's Knicks/Wizards game in Washington "I'm worried about tonight," it was unclear what he was talking about. The food? Bad weather preventing the Knicks from getting out of D.C.? Surely the former Knick...

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The Heat Hate Is Gone

(2) Comments | Posted December 6, 2012 | 4:27 PM

Bouncing around Georgetown's McDonough Gym on an unseasonably warm December morning, LeBron James looks happy. Simultaneously chatting with reporters, joking with teammates and video chatting on his phone, James bears no resemblance to the man who once claimed publically he enjoyed playing the role of the villain.

Maybe it...

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NASCAR and the NBA: A Fighting Double Standard

(49) Comments | Posted November 19, 2012 | 4:12 PM

There aren't many things American sports fans enjoy more than a brawl. Maybe it's the emotion that boils over from increasingly machismo sporting events. Maybe its American culture as a whole. Sites like World Star Hip Hop that shows nothing but home videos of various fights are some of the...

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Celtics Bench Is Key to Their Success

(0) Comments | Posted November 12, 2012 | 8:17 AM

With the King basking in the glow of his ring in Miami, Dwight and Steve joining up with Kobe in Tinseltown and subsequently getting head coach Mike Brown fired, the Celtics have been somewhat of an afterthought this fall.

They've already been penciled in as the crotchety old men...

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Notes From the NBA Draft

(1) Comments | Posted June 29, 2012 | 10:09 AM

NBA Draft 2012 -- The Good, the Bad and the Grotesque.

There aren't more exciting non-game, sporting events then the NBA draft. It's not a 36-hour bonanza like its NFL counterpart and unlike the NHL and MLB drafts, most people have heard of the guys getting drafted. If you were...

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Draft Mistakes Have Doomed the Heat

(16) Comments | Posted June 7, 2012 | 10:40 AM

The obituary of the 2012 Miami Heat will be filled with over-the-top, and often unfair attacks on LeBron James, calls for young coach Eric Spoelstra to be fired and schadenfreude from jealous executives and fans. Yes, even If Miami comes back and beats a good but not great Boston team,...

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