Author: tophatal

Born in the UK of Caribbean parentage.College grad with degrees in the following , Economic and Int'l Finance. MBA attainnee . I'm a former member of the British military (Royal Marines). Now residing in Central Fl. I now work within the corporate business division of a law firm . Where we specialize in the legal aspects of mergers and acquisitions. Avid martial artist and sports fan.

Black Hawk Down ……..Black Hawk Down ……..Only In This Case It’s Not A Rebel Force That Have The Hawks On The Run ………..


Black Hawk Down ……..Black Hawk Down ……..Only In This Case It’s Not A Rebel Force That Have The Hawks On The Run ………..

The NBA Playoff series between the Atlanta Hawks and the Milwaukee Bucks might well be one the more entertaining and quite possibly one of the most enthralling series’ playoffs in the postseason. Never mind the fact that you have the number the three seeded Eastern Conference Hawks on the brink of elimination , down 3-2 to the Bucks in this series . Do you get the impression that we may well be witnessing one of the more astonishing upsets and surprises of this NBA postseason ?

==========================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Slide-show

==========================================================

If any of you have seen the the , Ridley Scott directed war drama ‘Black Hawk Down’ (2001). Then you’ll know the background to what was an actual fact based situation that took place in Mogadishu , Somalia. The events surrounding the US military’s plight in the country led many to believe that their involvement there was badly timed and to an extent unwarranted. But given the fact that American citizens’ lives were at risk in the civil war torn country the actions taken by the Clinton administration at the time were understandable. However the loss of so many US Marine lives was never envisaged against what was deemed to be at the time a bunch merely well armed rabble rousers. Unfortunately the US underestimated the Somali militia’s intent and that of the warlord’s leadership at the time.

The case can be made here that the Atlanta Hawks led by their coach Mike Woodson and his coaching staff have simply underestimated the resolve and coaching ability of the Bucks’ Scott Skiles and his staff . Led by rookie sensation Brandon Jennings and his main partner in crime John Salmons . The Milwaukee Bucks have made this postseason appearance “an almighty nightmare” for the Atlanta Hawks. Needing now, but one more win to dispatch the third seeded Hawks out of the playoffs. What looked to have been something of a cake walk of an appearance has become anything but that. And instead of lives being lost it has actually been the reputations of players such as Joe Johnson , Mike Bibby , Al Horford , Josh Smith , Jason Collins and the entire roster that is now on the cusp being laid bare in tatters.

Hawks’ fans are no doubt dejected to know that what they may well have deemed to be a promising season is now essentially looking to be something of an aberration. Never mind the support shown for the team at Phillips Arena , Atlanta , will now essentially become something of an elephant’s graveyard should they bow out of the series . The startling thing is , given the confidence now being shown by the Milwaukee Bucks it would be somewhat naive for the Orlando Magic to think that should they face this Bucks’ team in the conference semi-finals , their task will be made all the more easier because of the Bucks’ lack of postseason inexperience. If anything the pressure will be “amped up and will be squarely placed on the shoulders of this Stan Van Gundy coached team to prove their worth. And nowhere will that pressure be more felt , than upon the large frame and shoulders of Dwight Howard , the team’s best player. His postseason travails have been well documented , given his lack of maturity and continuous foul problems. They may well have dispatched and overwhelmed a Bobcats’ team that was simply there , making their owner Michael Jordan proud. Never mind that it also once again added to the legitimacy and claim that Larry Brown is one hell of coach who can literally turn water into wine !

My God, almost everywhere Larry Brown has been over the course of his illustrious NBA career , he has turned an NBA franchise around. OK , we can all attest to his failings with the New York Knicks . But look at who he had to deal with apart of from the bunch “misfits” and “malcontents” on the roster ? Isiah Thomas and James L. Dolan were hardly what one would deem to be the “epitome” of ” success” and “ambition” from an executive standpoint !

Now , if the Hawks are to “play themselves back into this series”, then Horford , Johnson and Smith will have to lead by example. And not only that but Mike Woodson had better get up off his ass and start to prove his worth as a coach . His opposite number in Scott Skiles has simply made Brown look like a novice throughout much of this series .

Over in the Western Conference I’m hoping that the San Antonio Spurs can close out their series against the Dallas Mavericks . I’ve put myself out on the line by stating in print that if the San Antonio Spurs lose the series . Then I’m prepared to give up sex for six months ! Sportschump is even now holding me to that claim. And this case I will most definitely be a man of my word. If you’ve served in the military and especially as a Marine , then you’ll know that their word is their bond ! In my case it’s the British Royal Marines and I’m proud to have served in that context ! Unfortunately , for the girlfriend that may well mean her buying some size D batteries and making use of a certain vibrating sexual device. It’s the “pleasure principle” as Janet Jackson so aptly says ! I wonder how she’s doing since her split with Jermaine Dupri ? Any bets to be taken that she’ll have someone at her side within the next 6 to 8 months ?

Movie trailer for “Black Hawk Down”

Simply put, I hate that ingrate Mark Cuban and his antics not primarily as an owner but also in his guise as an alleged businessman and entrepreneur. Having gotten off on insider trader charges, knowing full well the information obtained was done so surreptitiously and illegally , he went full steam ahead with his business dealings. But then again I ought to be apportioning blame also upon the Justice Dept and SEC (Securities & Exchange Commission) for their piss poor handling of not only the indictment but the case also. But then again , these two governmental agencies have been about as proactive in going after the “big wigs” on Wall St who’ve essentially led about the almost cataclysmic demise of US economy. Never mind what has taken place within the banking and financial mortgage industry. Still feel that your money is safe within a bank even if it’s federally insured courtesy of the FDIC ? As good as that specific governmental concern has been they’ve still had to shut down over 260 financial institutions within the last four years.

With game six of the series to be played at the AT&T Center in San Antonio , Texas. This Gregg Popovich coached team knows that with this being its chance to close out the series clinically, with a victory. All that is required of them is to “deal the decisive blow” in tonight’s game . There’s no real margin for error at this juncture, at all ! Better to win the “series” 4-2 rather than having to be forced to a game seven back in Dallas ! .

===============================================

Picture gallery ……….. Click on the picture you’d like to view individually to see in its full image.

===============================================

Two teams in the Milwaukee Bucks and San Antonio Spurs looking to pull of an apparent upset. But on the face of it would you really deem it an upset to begin with , knowing what you know about their opponents ? Chime in with a comment on the topic and as usual thanks in advance for the continued support. It’s greatly appreciated !

(more…)

Hickory , Dickory, Dock , The Mouse Ran Up The Clock , Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock ……….Time Is Now Ticking In The NBA ….


The NBA season has started off at its usual pace and a number of the teams are either beginning to separate themselves from amongst the pack or those with aspirations of making a name for themselves are surprising their fans , plaudits and pundits alike. That being said ‘controversy’ rears it ugly head with the actions of Washington Wizards’ players Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton . All that you need to know is that the Wizards’ front office as well as that of commissioner’s office have failed to act appropriately with regard to the actions of both players. Little needs to be said other than the fact that David Stern ‘no longer’ has any credibility whatsoever as the commissioner of the NBA. The same can be said of his ‘main enforcer’, Stu Jackson. As to the Wizards’ front office, their inaction only speaks to the ineptitude shown by the organization over the years.

Early  season  MVP  candidates  ?  The  Cavaliers' LeBron  James,  the  Grizzlies'  Zach  Randolph   and  the  perennial  fan  favorite   , Kobe  Bryant  of the Lakers  .     picture appears  courtesy  of  NBAE/ Getty  Images  ................
Early season MVP candidates ? The Cavaliers' LeBron James, the Grizzlies' Zach Randolph and the perennial fan favorite , Kobe Bryant of the Lakers . picture appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images ................

Courtesy of NBA.com

Reeling Wizards brace for fallout from Arenas incident

By David Aldridge

So, you want to hear about how Tim Duncan’s back on track this season?

Didn’t think so.
The Big Fundamental’s renaissance, like a lot of other interesting developments in the league this week (from the latest on Tracy McGrady, to Kobe’s latest incredible game-winner, to KG’s knee) has taken a back seat to a ridiculous problem for the Wizards, all Gilbert Arenas’ doing — and one that will surely cost him money and games when either the Washington, D.C. and/or federal authorities, and/or David J. Stern are done with him.

On Saturday, in front of assembled reporters following the Wizards’ loss to San Antonio, Arenas said he used “bad judgment” in the Dec. 21 incident with Javaris Crittenton in which, according to sources, both players had their hands on guns in Washington’s locker room — though it is not clear that they pointed them at one another, as the New York Post has reported.
Former Wizards beat writer Mike Jones, on his blog, and the Washington Post’s Michael Lee both reported that a frustrated Crittenton threw one of Arenas’ guns across the locker room after Arenas had laid out three guns near Crittenton’s locker and taunted him to pick one up. It was an extension of an argument that began between the two on the team’s plane from Phoenix Dec. 19, when a source told me that Arenas failed to pay a $25,000 debt to Crittenton. (Jones says the amount wasn’t $25,000, and was owed not to Crittenton, but to another teammate: Javale McGee.)
No one disputes that Arenas brought three guns, which were unloaded, to the locker room from his Virginia home. He said he brought them to work because he no longer wanted them in his home with three children around. But it nonetheless was a violation of the NBA’s constitution, which specifically prohibits bringing weapons to team facilities. In addition, Arenas had not registered the guns in the District of Columbia, where Verizon Center is located.
“I take responsibility,” Arenas said. “If I have to deal with the police, the investigation, the DAs, that’s what I have to deal with. I have to deal with that on Monday. I’ve got to put it in their hands, tell the story, and then see what they say.”

============================================
In order to read the remainder of David Alridge’s article just
click on the link provided
=============================================

Boston Celtics' Rasheed Wallace (30) yells as he celebrates with teammates Kendrick Perkins (43) and Ray Allen after dunking the ball as Toronto Raptors' Jarrett Jack (1) looks on during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010, in Boston. The Celtics beat the Raptors, 103-96. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Mary Schwalm  ......
Boston Celtics' Rasheed Wallace (30) yells as he celebrates with teammates Kendrick Perkins (43) and Ray Allen after dunking the ball as Toronto Raptors' Jarrett Jack (1) looks on during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010, in Boston. The Celtics beat the Raptors, 103-96. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Mary Schwalm ......

While no real light needs to be shed on the action of both players, other than to suggest that the image that the game strives to exude isn’t helped by the stupidity shown by Arenas and Crittenton by this incident. The ramifications of which could’ve been far more serious had either of them discharged their weapons. But then again we should be thankful that they didn’t self a wound upon their person, or should we ? Think Plaxico Burress and his ‘idiotic antics’. A lesson well served as to the reason why guns shouldn’t be placed in the hands of individuals who have no use for them , other than in the case of Arenas, Burress and Crittenton to make themselves look like complete morons.

Cleveland  January 3rd , J.J. Hickson (#21) of the Cleveland Cavaliers dunks the ball as teammate Shaquille O'Neal (#33) and Nazr Mohammed (#13) of the Charlotte Bobcats look on on January 3, 2010 at The Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.  picture appears courtesy of  NBAE/ Getty Images/ David  Liam Kayle .....
Cleveland January 3rd , J.J. Hickson (#21) of the Cleveland Cavaliers dunks the ball as teammate Shaquille O'Neal (#33) and Nazr Mohammed (#13) of the Charlotte Bobcats look on on January 3, 2010 at The Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. picture appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/ David Liam Kayle .....

In the Eastern Conference the usual suspects are striving for supremacy. And there isn’t a great deal to choose from the triumvirate of the Boston Celtics (24-8), Cleveland Cavaliers (27-9) , Orlando Magic (24-9) and certainly new to the bunch, the rather surprising Atlanta Hawks (21-12). And if you think that the Hawks’ fans aren’t surprised just think as to what this must be doing to the mindset of TNT tv on air analyst, Charles Barkley ? What sound bytes will he be looking to use, to describe the play of the Atlanta Hawks ? Cause as we know ‘Sir Charles’ has never been one to hold things back.

Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls and the Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard look to contest a loose ball during the game played at the United Center , Chicago, Illinois. picture appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/ Randy Belice ….

The triumvirate mentioned all lead their divisions with some room to spare. But once again it looks like the Celtics may well be without their most pivotal player in, Kevin Garnett. Age and recurring injuries seem to be catching up fast, with the seasoned veteran. And without him at the helm it appears that they’re not the threat many would believe them to be. Albeit that point guard, Rajon Rondo seems to have raised the level of his play and all-round game. So much so , that this is no longer about the ‘Big Three’ of Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. But you could perhaps now add Rondo into the mix. Never mind the fact that Rasheed Wallace has now been added to this deeply talented Celtics’ roster. And for Celtics’ coach Doc River he must feel like he’s been blessed with an abundance of talent. But I guess it can’t be done without their veteran leader to guide them and guide as they embark on returning to the NBA Finals. But that’d be predicated upon them overcoming the likes of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic.

The Cleveland Cavaliers for their part, in addition to LeBron James have added 15 time NBA All Star center, Shaquille O’Neal to their roster. And this is being done in the hopes that the combination of James and O’Neil can clear the obstacle of making to another NBA Finals and raising the Larry O’Brien trophy to signify them as world champions. Last season’s bittersweet loss to the Magic in the Eastern Conference semi finals was a sour note for the franchise. And for their coach Mike Brown it was a tremendous disappointment. Nevertheless , the team is expected to contend for postseason honors come what may. And if anything O’Neal has something to prove , while LeBron finally wants to show NBA world that he can land the ‘Big One’.

Kryptonite they say is the only thing that makes Superman susceptible and not impervious to defeat. In the case of the Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard, it is his arrogance and lack of maturity, despite his years in the league. This time around there’s nowhere for Howard to hide should the Magic fail in their quest to return to the Finals and redeem themselves from their lopsided series’ loss to the Los Angeles Lakers (4-1). The team performed nowhere near as expected and that was despite their thrilling series’ wins against the Cavaliers and Celtics on their way to last season’s NBA Finals. Stan Van Gundy as their coach , squealed ,squawked , cajoled and with the all of the usual animation you’d come to expect of a cartoon character could not get this Magic team to raise the level of their play as and when needed to stem the tide or play of the Lakers, or for that matter, Kobe Bryant, the Finals’ MVP.

The Western Conference it seems is replete with talent as well teams on a mission. The defending champions , the Los Angeles Lakers are off to a fast start and they possess the best record in the NBA ,with a 27-6 mark. And it’s safe to say that Kobe Bryant alongside his teammates are eager to successfully defend their NBA title. At the same time it gives Lakers’ coach, Phil Jackson a further chance to distance himself record’s wise, from the achievements of Red Auerbach. And one seriously doubts that we’ll ever see another coach replicate Jackson’s feats as an NBA coach.

Los Angeles 3rd 2010.  Kobe Bryant (#24) of the Los Angeles Lakers makes a pass around Dirk Nowitzki (#41) of the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center on January 3, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  The Lakers  would go on to  defeat  the  Mavericks 131-96.  picture appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images / Andrew D Bernstein ............
Los Angeles 3rd 2010. Kobe Bryant (#24) of the Los Angeles Lakers makes a pass around Dirk Nowitzki (#41) of the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center on January 3, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers would go on to defeat the Mavericks 131-96. picture appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images / Andrew D Bernstein ............

With the loss of Trevor Ariza to free agency, the Lakers would acquire Ron Artest. Curiously enough, as Artest would join the Lakers , Ariza did likewise by joining the Houston Rockets</a, Artest's former team. And it’d appear that the Lakers have yet to miss a beat. With Artest in tow to provided some stout defense as well as being the third or fourth scoring option for the team. One would find it hard not to resist placing a wager on the Los Angeles Lakers. With Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum all having that confidence about them. The Lakers are deemed the team to beat in the Western Conference. That’s not to say this is a one man show within the conference. The Denver Nuggets (21-13), Portland Trailblazers (22-14), Oklahoma City Thunder (19-15), aPhoenix Suns (21-13), Dallas Mavericks (23-11) and the San Antonio Spurs (20-12). Each of these teams are looking to take down the Lakers a notch or two. As to whether or not they are capable of it remains to be seen. But so contentious is the Western Conference that it has become a conference wherein the bloodletting once it starts just doesn’t seem to stop. Russell Crowe’s character, Maximus from the movie ‘Gladiator’ would feel at home with the barbarity that ensues within the conference. The bloodletting itself seems to have the fans of the teams in awe. As to the bragging rights. Well, let’s just say ’til you knock the champion of his pedestal, the bragging rights still belong to him.

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, right, drives on Chicago Bulls guard James Johnson during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 4, 2010, in Chicago. picture appears courtesy of  ap/photo/ Charles Rex  Arbogast  .......
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, right, drives on Chicago Bulls guard James Johnson during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 4, 2010, in Chicago. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Charles Rex Arbogast .......

To my mind the most surprising team in the Western Conference at present may well be the Oklahoma City Thunder. And night in, night out , Kevin Durant never ceases to amaze us all with his play , nor his phenomenal offensive prowess. Here’s a guy who looks less than 120 lbs ringing wet but plays with the heart of a lion and has the ‘killer instinct’ of a cold hearted assassin. Need one say, that he’s now beginning to make people think less and less about how god-damn awful the Seattle Supersonics use to be- the Thunder’s previous guise as an NBA franchise. Needless to say that when you’ve a team of complementary parts then things that come to fruition tend to be really good. And in Scott Brooks, the Thunder may well have one of the most unassuming coaches in the entire NBA. If there’s a more unassuming coach in the NBA that you know then let me know about him.

The usual cacophony of teams who all want to be a part of the postseason drama within the conference are as always many of the better managed teams. And with ‘Mr Fundamental’ back to his usual best , the thought is that Tim Duncan and his Spurs’ teammates are ready to assume the mantel as the Lakers most dangerous opponents. Now that’s not to say that the likes of the Nuggets, Suns , Mavericks, Thunder and Trailblazers won’t be a reliable source of drama throughout the regular and postseason. Suffice to say that with all of the bloods and guts that’ll be spilled. Whatever’s left from the carnage more likely than not will have to be viewed as the prohibitive favorites to win the NBA title. I know that there’ll be some derision those who are fans of the Eastern Conference of the NBA. But if the lack of real effort shown by last season’s conference representative is anything to go by. Then whomever comes out of the conference to face the Western representative is liable to get more of the same. How much more is dependent upon the resistance that team is able to put up.

So as of now, the clock is ticking on the NBA season and how things will pan out as the season unfolds. We all know smart a mouse can be as he’s being chased by the cat. But we also know how the guile of a cat can be and the dangers that lie within when the cat has his prey trapped. So which is it to be for the Los Angeles Lakers this season ? Are they going to be the mouse who evades capture from the chasing cat , as in the rest of the NBA ? Or will they be the mouse who gets caught by its erstwhile predator the cat, who’ll no doubt devour its prey ? What are your thoughts on it all ?

A classic ‘Tom & Jerry’ cartoon and the usual staple of classic mayhem ensues that the characters were always known for. Much like what we’ll no doubt see throughout much of the NBA regular season and also in the playoffs.