Category: NBA

Little Shop of Horrors …….


Little Shop of Horrors ….

So there we have it, the NBA Playoffs were something of a failure, ,while the NBA Finals become abhorrent bore and blur. In the aftermath of it all , we had the NBA Draft with all of the uncertainty and drama you would expect at this time of the year. Now comes the idiocy of the fallout , with the teams now trying to position themselves for the upcoming season. Teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers , New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers have found themselves in situations which were of their own making . Phil Jackson after three seasons of complete incompetence on and off the court , came to an agreement that he and the Knicks’ organization would part ways. Three years and being paid almost $60 million in salary and Jackson was unable to achieve anything of note. Team owner James Dolan whose continued stupidity remains boundless, now seems to be in agreement that the Knicks will also have to part ways with Carmelo Anthony . The player has agreed to waive his no-trade clause , while still being owed $54 million on the two remaining years on his existing contract.

Carmelo Anthony’s wish is to join a legitimate contender among the teams he’s said to consider joining would be the Cleveland Cavaliers where his friend , LeBron James is the team’s leader and face of that particular franchise.

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Unfortunately, for the Cleveland Cavaliers to consider acquiring Carmelo Anthony , a third team will be needed to make such a deal a reality , while seeking to remain under the league’s salary cap structure. One should also bear in mind the Cavaliers are coming off-season where they lost money , while also having one of the largest payrolls in the NBA , all in their chase for success. The tumultuous fallout from their loss to the Golden State Warriors was embarrassing enough without then having to witness the dismissal of the general manager David Griffin . There clearly was a difference of opinion between owner Dan Gilbert and his lead front office executive , but for LeBron James , this could very well be the last straw in what appears to be uncertainty within the franchise. Suffice to say, for the moment , James will remain with the Cavaliers , waiting to see the next move to be made by Dan Gilbert.

Away from the NBA, the sports world has provided some fascinating stories , with boxer Manny Pacquiao having lost his WBO Welterweight Title to challenger and little known Australian fighter Jeff Horn . In this title fight which had its own controversy , the champion failed to deliver in the challenger’s backyard of Brisbane, Australia . There may well have been questions about the officiating and the judges awarding Horn a unanimous victory, but to my own mind , this was one of Manny Pacquiao’s worst performances of his career . Whether or not there is a rematch, which is a clause in the contract of the dethroned champion, I am not so sure Pacquaio can come back and avenge such a humiliating loss.

Bob Arum , Manny’s longtime promoter and adviser clearly wants his client back in the ring purely from a financial standpoint. I firmly believe it is time for Manny Pacquiao to retire from a boxing ring once and for all. Teddy Atlas , one-time boxing trainer and now a respected analyst , should stop with his continued whining that this verdict was a travesty. There have been far more egregious and outrageous decisions and verdicts rendered in a boxing over the past decade. Somehow , Atlas must believe this has been the first verdict of its kind given in a boxing during his lifetime. Teddy Atlas should get back to the basics and start to question the integrity of the sport.

An even bigger circus extravaganza due to take place in a boxing ring will be UFC fighter Conor McGregor facing unbeaten welterweight Floyd Mayweather . This bout is likely to be the most viewed PPV event in boxing history as well as the highest grossing boxing match in the sport over the last two decades. Mayweather is likely to net over $300 million after expenses and McGregor is likely to earn in excess of $50 million, the biggest payday of his professional career. If you like the attraction of viewing a freak-show then this might be the event for you.

With less than a week to go before MLB’s mid-season extravaganza of the All Star Weekend , there are a number of teams jockeying themselves into position for the second-half of the season. There is a full slate of games on for this weekend , beginning on Friday afternoon. With the divisional standings being as they are, the most interesting series features the New York Yankees taking on the Milwaukee Brewers , with the Brewers seeking to cement their lead within the NL Central . I have to admit , I am presently surprised by the Brewers’ play this season and also by the lack of competitiveness shown by their divisional rivals the Chicago Cubs , who as the reigning World Series’ champions have shown themselves to be extremely fallible . The Cubs will be in action today when they face off against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field in Chicago , Illinois.

If Joe Girardi really wants to prove his worth as the New York Yankees’ manager , then he has to have this team playing with a great deal more zeal. The Yankees find themselves looking up at the Boston Red Sox within the AL East and this is a Red Sox team buoyed by the productivity of the youngsters on their roster as well as by some of their seasoned veterans . The Boston Red Sox will be on the road to face the Tampa Bay Rays , while the New York Yankees will be taking on the Milwaukee Brewers .

Never let it be said that baseball has ever had its financial house in order or that the league hierarchy has a sense of purpose. The Miami Marlins currently are in dire straits, suddenly find themselves in the midst of some real intrigue as potential bidders for the ball-club are falling by the wayside faster than leaves falling from a tree during Fall . The latest consortium to drop out of the bidding and the ludicrous asking price of ‘$1.3 billion ‘ was the once favored group led by billionaire venture capitalist Wayne Rothbaum . The entrepreneur’s patience may well have ran thin with his own partners which included Tagg Romney , son of former GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and also Jeb Bush , the other notable high-profiled partner among the list of investors which made up the syndication group. Marlins’ team owner Jeffrey Loria has come down considerably from his extremely ridiculous original asking price of $2.1 billion for the sale of the team.

Courtesy of the Miami Herald

Marlins sales efforts receive more setbacks

By Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald bjackson@miamiherald.com

The Marlins’ attempts to complete a sale in the next couple of weeks received a significant setback in recent days, with the Wayne Rothbaum/Tagg Romney group dropping out of the bidding and Derek Jeter’s group losing a billionaire investor, according to a report Thursday on the New York Post’s web site.

Meanwhile, Miami businessman Jorge Mas remains interested in buying the team but has not yet made a formal bid and values the team at less than owner Jeffrey Loria’s $1.2 billion asking price, a person close to Mas said by phone this week.

Loria recently rejected a $1.1 billion bid from the Rothbaum group, the Miami Herald reported last week. Loria originally asked for $1.3 billion but is now willing to accept $1.2 billion, according to a source briefed on negotiations.

But Rothbaum ultimately was unwilling to raise his offer, despite the Marlins encouraging him to do so. The Marlins had been under the impression that negotiations would continue.

Two people who have had involvement with the Rothbaum group said Thursday afternoon that they had not been informed that Rothbaum and Romney had dropped their pursuit of the team. The Marlins declined to comment.

Meanwhile, Jeter lost a key member of his investment group, Chicago billionaire Richard Chaifetz, according to The Post report.

Chaifetz was uncomfortable with Jeter seeking control while not investing much money in the team, The Post said.

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This season the Miami Marlins have not fared that well in spite of the contributions from Giancarlo Stanton , Christian Yelich , Marcell Ozuna and others on the team. Marlins’ manager Don Mattingly will seek to get his players back in stride this weekend when they face the San Francisco Giants in a three-game series beginning today. A series’ win against the Giants would be a tremendous boost to the team’s morale and it would go a long way in taking the minds of the fans off the issues now faced by the organization off the field. Never-ending uncertainty , is not the way for the ball-club to proceed forward and even if Jorge Mas is waiting in the wings with his own bid , I seriously doubt that will be enough to secure and deal with the real underlying issues for this baseball franchise.

While I know there will be heightened anticipation concerning this season’s All Star Game , from my own perspective, the second half of the season will certainly tell me more about the direction the teams are heading in.

UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes makes the second defense of her title when she faces the division’s number one challenger Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 213 this Saturday , 8th July , 2017. Nunes and Shevchenko headline the card for the night , but there are several intriguing bouts which make up the under-card for the night. If things go to form then I expect the champion to make a successful defense of her title as well as beating her opponent for the second time in their two meetings.

It is hard to say where Amanda Nunes now goes from here should she make a successful defense of her title. Perhaps enticing the return of Ronda Rousey who she defeated with ease might be an option , but with their being only three weight categories in Women’s MMA under the UFC banner , Nunes’ options are not clearly defined.

At this time of the year there isn’t a great deal happening on the North American sports’ scene. Was anyone really interested in who won the Stanley Cup ? In reality , was there anyone actually watching the series on NBC ? The NFL continues to cast its giant shadow across the sporting landscape , but until the preseason comes into being , the fans simply wait for the latest breaking news and for the drama which tends to unfold.


 


Picture gallery . Click on frame to read the accompanying narrative.

What if anything has been the biggest sports’ story you have been intrigued by over the past ten days ?

Tophatal …… 2017/07/07 03:06 pm

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NBA news

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MLB news and weekend schedule

MLB results 6th July and MLB divisional standings

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UFC news

Who Let The Dogs Out ………. ?


Who Let The Dogs Out ?

Well now that the fallout in the aftermath of the Los Angeles Lakers’ abrupt demise within the NBA Playoffs it appears that the repercussions and ramifications could be long lasting . We know that the team’s coach Phil Jackson will be stepping down and it’s presumed that a decision will be made by GM Mitch Kupchak in conjunction with the team’s principal owner Dr Jerry Buss as to who Jackson’s successor might be. Who could’ve foreseen the Lakers being swept in four rather lopsided games by the Dallas Mavericks in the conference semi finals of the playoffs ? The Mavericks now await the winners of the series between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals .

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Slideshow for your perusal .

In light of what we’re now hearing it could well be that the remnants of this team will be torn asunder and be completely revamped . This much we do know, the only piece liable to remain untouched could well be Kobe Bryant . But inasmuch as that is a certainty I do believe that Bryant , himself , will go a long way having his own input as to the personnel decisions that will most definitely have to be made. A successor to Phil Jackson will probably come from amongst the ranks of the assistants on this coaching staff of which the leading candidates appear to Brian Shaw and Jim Cleamons . It remains highly improbable that the hierarchy would go outside their stable of assistants to hire a coach unless it’s a high profiled experienced coach amongst the professional ranks . I certainly don’t believe that they’re liable to look amongst the collegiate ranks for a successor to Jackson !

It became pretty much clear that during this series the Lakers were mentally and physically outmatched and from a defensive standpoint this team was simply not there as a willing participant or competitor . The Lakers bench was never present and rarely did we see the best from Lamar Odom , Ron Artest , Matt Barnes and sparingly did we actually get a glimpse as to the consistency of either Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol . The one consistent factor throughout the series for the Lakers was in fact the player of Kobe Bryant who was the leading scorer on the team throughout the conference semi finals .

I do believe that if anything the Lakers’ players came in with the mindset that as the two time defending champions all they had to do was to literally turn up and that the Dallas Mavericks would quiver in their wake. Complacency and naivete had set in and if anything Phil Jackson was simply out-coached by his opposing number Rick Carlisle . But consistently throughout the series the Lakers simply didn’t have an answer for Dirk Nowitzki , the very astute and intelligent play of Jason Terry , Tyson Chandler , J J. Barea and the unselfishness of wily veteran point guard Jason Kidd . These aren’t your Mavericks of old as they’ve become resolute and very much more defensively oriented with the combined play of Chandler and utility player Shawn Marion as they’ve provided the team with that much needed one ….. two punch from a defensive standpoint.

Now any thoughts that NBA Commissioner David Stern might have had for a proposed Finals’ matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and the presumed favorites to make it out of the Eastern Conference the Miami Heat , will now have to be placed on the back burner. The Heat are now looking to fully vindicate themselves by closing out their series against their heated conference rivals the Boston Celtics . Now 3-1 up in that series and with the Celtics ailing on a number of fronts it’s hard to see how Doc Rivers’ team will be able erase this deficit and actually come back and win this series outright. An aging roster of stars now seems to have met its Waterloo and this will most certainly have to be the last charge for Kevin Garnett , Ray Allen , Paul Pierce and Shaquille O’Neal .

As to the direction that may well be taken by the Lakers’ hierarchy as they look to rebuild I for one can’t really see them delving once again into the free agent market with the impending free agents that will come to the market . Granted , there may well be one or two desirable free agents but nowhere near the number that came to the market this past season . Mitch Kupchak will look to see where the deficiencies are on the roster and make the necessary moves to bolster a team that underachieved and that had performed well below the hierarchy’s as well as their fans’ expectations . This much we do know the this Lakers’ team of the 2010-11 season won’t in many respects resemble the one we’re liable to see for the 2011-12 season.

Game four of what’s now turning out to be an intriguing and suspenseful series brought a cumulative points total not often seen in an NBA playoff game . If I said you that the game between went into triple overtime and there’d be 256 points scored you would’ve probably thought that I was insane . But that’s what transpired on Monday night at the Fedex Forum in Memphis , Tennessee, as the Oklahoma City Thunder would defeat the Memphis Grizzlies 133-123 in a thrilling and exhilarating game . Russell Westbbrook and Kevin Durant would account for more than half of the Thunder’s output with the duo scoring a combined 75 points on their way to the team’s impressive win . Not to be outdone in all of this were Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol who each chipped in with 60 points between them for the Grizzlies.

Tonight’s game resumes the series in Oklahoma City in a pivotal game five where the victor take’s the reins and more likely than not will the upper hand in this series . To my mind for both coaches Scott Brooks and Lionel Hollins after this explosive and unbelievable offensive output where defense was simply left at the door I seriously doubt that the two teams will be able to reproduce another epic of this magnitude ! If anything tonight’s game should be somewhat less stressful for the discerning NBA tv viewer in terms of the suspense we could expect. Thrills and spills asides this series has indeed taken on a life of its own wherein the two teams seem to be evenly matched . Albeit that as the number eight seed in the Western Conference , few might have expected the Grizzlies to have made it this far in the playoffs . Should Randolph and his teammates prevail against the Thunder , then a much anticipated conference final’s match-up against the Dallas Mavericks awaits them.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

As the postseason unfolds were you at all surprised by the Los Angeles Lakers’ exit from the NBA Playoffs ? And which series to your mind of those played so far has been the most exciting to watch in your opinion ? Simply offer a comment as to your thoughts on the topics raised within this piece and anything else you feel to be pertinent with regard to the NBA postseason .

Alan aka tophatal ………………..

http://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) EL SEGUNDO, CA – MAY 11: Phil Jackson, coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, speaks during his last official Lakers news conference at the team’s training facility on May 11, 2011 in El Segundo, California. The Lakers were swept out of their best of seven series with the Dallas Mavericks four games to none. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images …..

(2) Phil Jackson, coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, hugs a Kevin Ding reporter for the Orange County Register as he leaves his last official Lakers news conference at the team’s training facility on May 11, 2011 in El Segundo, California. The Lakers were swept out of their best of seven series with the Dallas Mavericks four games to none. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images ……

(3) Lamar Odom (7) of the Los Angeles Lakers speaks during a news conference at the Lakers training facility on May 11, 2011 in El Segundo, California. The Lakers were swept out of their best of seven series with the Dallas Mavericks four games to none. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images ……..

(4) Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers speaks with members of the convened press at the team’s facility at the Toyota Center in El Segundo, California. Getty Images / Kevirk Djansezian ……

(5) Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, right, reacts to a dunk by teammate James Harden, left, in the second quarter of Game 5 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies in Oklahoma City, Wednessday, May 11, 2011. AP Photo/Alonzo Adams …..

(6) Oklahoma City Thunder guard Daequan Cook, left, shoots in front of Memphis Grizzlies guard O.J. Mayo, right, and forward Zach Randolph, center, in the fourth quarter of Game 5 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, May 11, 2011. Oklahoma City won 99-72 . AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki …….

(7) Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins shoots as Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen watches in the second quarter of Game 5 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, May 11, 2011. AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki ………

(8) Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph, left, shoots in front of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka in the first quarter of Game 5 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, May 11, 2011. AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki ……

(9) Oklahoma City Thunder forwards Kevin Durant, front, and Serge Ibaka, right, cheer in the fourth quarter of Game 5 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, May 11, 2011. Oklahoma City won 99-72. AP Photo/Alonzo Adams ……..

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If at all interested do take time to participate in the above mentioned poll .

Better The Devil You Know Than The One You Don’t Or Is It ?


Better The Devil You Know Than The One You Don’t Or Is It ?

Better the devil you know than the one you don’t….. they say and in many ways that might just be true. Given the fact that we’re now seeing a great deal of unrest within the NFL and quite possibly the NBA in its imminent future . I’ve got say that I’m completely surprised with the ease at which MLB is now transitioning itself from Spring Training to the commencement of its regular season on the 31st March , 2011 . I suppose we’ve all got to grateful and thankful for MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and the somewhat smooth transition for the situation ?

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We’ve all seen for ourselves the unrest now taking place between the NFL and the game’s players represented by the NFLPA . And with there now being a league enforced work stoppage and the impending litigation process to take place within the US Federal Court System it has me wondering where are the current leaders of tomorrow for the respective sports that we’ve all in some ways either come to love or hate ? NBA Commissioner David Stern has been in place the NBA’ commissioner for twenty five years and having come from a legal background as a lawyer it’d be only natural to think that any successor to Stern might from within the league’s own hierarchy or a prominent lawyer from inside the beltway with known connections to Stern and quite possibly members up on Capitol Hill. That was most certainly the case with Roger Goodell when he succeeded Paul Tagliabue as NFL Commissioner. Goodell and the league NFL President and present Chief legal counsel Jeff Pash are protege`s of Tagliabue while he was commissioner of the NFL and also when he was first a practicing lawyer with the law firm Covington &Burling LLP . Tagliabue a founding partner in the firm has since returned to his old stomping ground to practice law on a somewhat limited basis with the firm.

Goodell for his part after his initial first two years in office he now seems to have hit a brick wall in his dealings with the union and in doing so he’s coming across as something of a bumbling idiot whereas his opposite number with the NFLPA , Executive Director DeMaurice Smith has been able to articulate the union's points with clear clarification leaving no one with any doubt that they’re not the culprits here but it’s the league and the owners who are trying to paint a very different picture of the stance being taken by the players. Personally I’m not about to take sides on the issue , except to say that the childlike immaturity that has been shown by those sides during the negotiations borders on being downright infantile and totally below anything I’d have expected from either party ! But that’s what tends to happen when you have a bunch of multi-millionaire players and multi-billionaire owners fighting like rabid dogs over the scraps left at the dinner table. Only the scraps isn’t in fact leftovers from a meal but how to split $ 9 billion ($ 9,000,000,000) evenly amongst the two sides . Have you ever seen or heard anything so ridiculous in all of your life ?

Now when it comes to David Stern you either love him or hate him . He’s something of a chameleon as to the way he wants to be perceived by the fans and public alike and when it comes to the photo-op whereby he can even outshine the elite players within the NBA , let’s just say that is when the commissioner is at his very best it’s very difficult to actually ignore him . Twenty five years as commissioner of the league has seen expansion , as to the number of the teams within the NBA and the gross revenues of the league as business concern. And that could not have been done without the ascension of Michael Jordan and his becoming the face of the NBA globally and still being a marketing phenomenon to this day even after his retirement almost a decade ago . The league hierarchy under Stern’s tenure has shaped the league and its brand not just domestically but also on a global scale . And it might just be next to soccer the most popular sport on the planet and that is with due respect to baseball .

From a league whose revenues could be counted in the tens of millions each year____ the NBA is now a $4.5 billion —- $6 billion ($4,500,000,000 —- $6,000,000,000) a year enterprise that is still growing globally but if anything it may well have hit its saturation point within the North American market. And it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that even with introduction of the D League or Development League as it is more commonly known , David Stern has hinted that he’d some day like to see an expansion franchise outside North America , either in Europe or South America. Pardon me , for saying this but as popular as the sport may well be , and the fact that the league though headquartered in New York City , any thought of adding a franchise in either of the two regions mentioned would not only prove costly but somewhat of a gamble on the part of the NBA. Both Europe and South America already have an established presence of professional leagues and teams albeit that the players there see the NBA as their envy and a professional wish to play in the most competitive and athletic league on the planet. But the risks for them don’t outweigh the rewards whereas for the NBA that would clearly be the case in setting up a fledgling franchise anywhere around the globe. And what the NBA hierarchy may not have also taken into account is that soccer as such is very much the predominant pastime of many sport’s fans within the regions mentioned. As I alluded to earlier the risks outweigh the advantages and with there being a great deal at stake monetarily any plan put into operation would have to thought out and enacted.

We saw the death knell given to the NFL’s decade plus long experiment in Europe with NFL Europe, which is said to have cost the league in excess of $100 million and at the end of the day it simply had nothing at all tangible to show for it. Remarkably though the NBA hasn’t set its sights that high but what it has done is to have offices in Europe , the Far East , and in South America, working in conjunction with numerous partners in those regions to get the game more widely accepted and established. Is it any wonder during the Beijing Olympics Team USA was the talk and toast of the town as its litany of NBA stars were accepted by the masses and wherein audiences for their games during the tournament were in front of sold-out crowds ? Albeit that the NBA worked in conjunction with USA Basketball and the association’s director Jerry Colangelo to establish a real presence and resurrect the appeal of the team after their most recent disappointments on the international stage competitively.

Perhaps it’s too early to talk about David Stern stepping down as NBA Commissioner and though he hasn’t stated when he’s likely to step down from the position as the game’s highest ranking official. It has to be said that he hasn’t groomed an heir apparent nor has he suggested who he’d like to see succeed him in that office. I’d dare say that’d be a decision left to the owners within the league who will likely search for someone with a similar vain to succeed Stern at the time he chooses to step down. From my own perspective while I’ve admired David Stern’s business acumen I’ve got admit I do not admire his autocratic style of running the NBA . Granted , he’s made the league a great deal of money over the years but at the same time he’s made a number of mistakes that at one time or another have come back to bite the league in the proverbial ass, much to the annoyance of the fans and the journalists who cover the NBA. His adoption of a code of conduct and dress code was one of the many things he’s done right but at the same time he stooped to the lowest common denominator in trying to make the league on appearance seem ethnic in terms of marketing it to a wider demographic , particularly amongst young African American males and other ethnic minorities. It may well have been one of the biggest faux-pas on Stern’s part during his tenure. And his intransigence in not wanting to adopt a much sterner drug policy within the league while all the while trying to use the league’s selling point that at the time it had one of the sternest testing policies within all of major sports. Players weren’t being tested for marijuana , but were being tested for certain opiates, iliecit narcotics and steroids. Do I need to go any further with this ? Or is it plain to see who held the upper hand with regard to that specific issue ? It …… certainly wasn’t Stern or the owners ! The players obviously balked at that idea and may have made their feelings felt through the their union the NBPA and their Executive Director Billy Hunter

Then you also had the image policy as it related to the players’ conduct. The very fact that David Stern has been so inconsistent there as to the punishment at times meted out , that it certainly had me believing that not unlike the NCAA and its own idiotic policies as it relates to meting out what’s deemed appropriate punishment , here too the NBA picks and chooses who they necessarily want to make an example of as a deterrent to others. And perhaps another of Stern’s biggest flaw is the fact that he believes implicitly in the officials who officiate the games in the regular and NBA postseason. As we’ve all seen over the years their mistakes during and in the postseason have become not merely a talking point amongst the fans but a complete embarrassment to the league when it’s clear that they’ve done an abysmal job of officiating a game. Stern simply cannot accept that they are flawed individuals in terms of their on-court performances and any public criticism of the officials is often followed with a hefty financial punishment of the critic in question. .

Should the NBA commissioner choose to step down in the imminent future then I’d like for the person who succeeds him to use due diligence when it comes to all matters and simply not laud of the league as if it were their own personal fiefdom . That clearly has been the case with David Stern as he ruled the NBA , where from his early days of running the league , as he saw his influence grow and the money that was to be made he certainly made sure nothing stood in his way even if it meant having to turn a once trusted ally into an enemy. There may well be a number people around the league who’ve a great deal of admiration for the commissioner and many of them may well have some very flattering and reverential things to say about him . But I can only assume that neither Mark Cuban or Stan Van Gundy would be atop of that list in their view of Stern as an executive who’s said to be impartial.

Of all the high ranking officials within the four major sports I don’t know if anyone has alienated and has been more disliked by the fans than Bud Selig. From interim commissioner to now having held the position full time , Selig has managed to assume the role of class clown and idiot without ever having to bar an eyelid . It was if he were in character right from the start. And the very fact that he was once a team owner before succeeding Faye Vincent has me believing that the owners didn’t really cast their net all that far or wide in looking for a successor . All they seemingly wanted was someone who’d be at their beck and call as and when needed _ and who would try to put the Players’ Union (MLBPA) in its place. Which is akin to saying that we’ll hand a child a box of matches and see what happens next . You simply know that no good can from those actions.

As many of you know I think that Bud Selig is to baseball what the Congress , Senate and present administration are to the economic health of this country ……….. a complete and utter failure when it comes to dealing with its most inherent and acute issues. Selig for his part along with league hierarchy , owners and the union were complicit in covering up the steroid issue , and that’s even light of the statements made by Jose Canseco and the subsequent book published by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams (co authors of Book of Shadows) . As I said at the time when those 105 names came up on the list of then alleged steroid users and the fact that the union and hierarchy were under the impression that the list once in their possession would be destroyed as they were essentially were the ones who requested the testing of the players. Instead they chose to retain those records and when supoenaed by the Justice Department cried foul as the agency used that information to try and make its still ongoing case against Barry Bonds . At what point does the idiocy stop with Bud Selig and the game’s hierarchy and common sense begin to set in and prevail ?

Beyond the steroid issue and the very fact that as a financial concern the game of baseball has some major imbalances that it seemingly doesn’t know how to handle or that they may well choose not to out of sheer ignorance. It’s extremely hard to envisage how the MLB commissioner can repeatedly state that the game is in a very healthy state when for years it has had to assist many of its small market teams merely stay afloat from a financial standpoint . In his almost two decades of holding the game’s highest executive position Bud Selig has brought being a simpleton and an idiot to an art form that could be only admired by the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton were they alive !

Not only content with that issue Selig also looks to enforce his will on a team such as the Tampa Bay Rays by suggesting that they will never be able to stage an MLB All Star Game unless they have a new stadium built . But at no time has he or anyone within the game’s hierarchy come to their assistance in dealing with the politicians within the community at the municipal or state level to provide any type of input that would be of benefit to the organization and its owner Stuart Sternberg . Not only that Selig has also made a point of now pushing the issue to where it has now become something of an all consuming battle between the city of St Petersburg where the team resides at Tropicana Field and the organization (front office) itself. There seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel on this issue but and Selig continues to keep fanning the flames that has provided the discontent between the two factions on the matter.

What might be even more surprising in the midst of this all , while many teams within the league are suffering financially , the commissioner has been so well compensated over the last four years that he’d prove to be the envy of any senior banking executive on Wall Street. From 2006 to 2009 , Bud Selig earned in excess of $65 million accumulative in that span and it begs the question if he’s earning that much then why all the furor by St Louis Cardinals’ manager Tony La Russa belly aching over the team’s slugger Albert Pujols wanting to be well compensated for his productivity and what he means to the team and organization ?

It’s from the sublime to the ridiculous in all things related to Bud Selig and the game of baseball . Many have suggested that by initiating the wildcard system within the game it made it all the more suspenseful in terms of the postseason. And with the added incentive that whomever won the All Star Game between the AL and NL would gain home-field advantage throughout the postseason . True enough , that has been the case but all of that pales into comparison with Bud Selig’s inconsistencies and decision making on so many levels in terms where has gone wrong with many issues concerning the game . The negatives have far outweighed the positives in my belief and will continue to do so until he actually steps down from his role as commissioner.

The decision making as and when it starts prior to Bud Selig’s departure as to the list of candidates quite possibly interviewing for the position and then assuming the role may well be not necessarily a large one . But I’d like to think that whoever is chosen will be a vast improvement upon the present incumbent .

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Picture gallery for your perusal.

At the time of either Bud Selig and David Stern stepping down from their respective positions do you believe that of their legacies will be well respected in terms of their overall achievements ? Or do you feel that the sooner their departure the better off both sports will be , no matter who assumes their roles as the respective commissioners of MLB and the NBA ? Merely leave a comment as to your thoughts on the topics raised in this piece.

Alan aka tophatal ……………………….

http://tophatal.wordpress.com/

🙂

Picture and slide show details .
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(1) Commissioners Of Major Sport Leagues Attend Hearing On Capitol Hill L-R) National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman, National Football League Players Association Executive Director Gene Upshaw,(now deceased – succeeded by DeMaurice Smith) National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell, National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern, Major League Baseball Player Association Executive Director Donald Fehr (who now holds a similar position with the NHLPA ) and Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig testify before the US House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection about the use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs in professional sports on Capitol Hill February 27, 2008 in Washington, DC. The subcommittee also heard testimony from officials from the US Olympic Committee, National Thoroughbred Racing and the US Anti-Doping Agency. Chip Smodoville /Getty Images North America ……….

(2) Team representative Tommy Losorda of the Los Angeles Dodgers and MLB Commissioner Bud Selig speak during the MLB First Year Player Draft on June 7, 2010 held in Studio 42 at the MLB Network in Secaucus, New Jersey. Mike Stobe /Getty Images North America ……

(3) John Wall of Kentucky stands with NBA Commissioner David Stern after being drafted with the first pick by the Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden on June 24, 2010 in New York City. Al Bello /Getty Images ………..

(4) (L-R) Sports Illustrated Group Editor Terry McDonell, Sports Illustrated Writer Tom Verducci and Commissioner of Major League Baseball Bud Selig attend the 2009 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year Celebration at The IAC Building on December 1, 2009 in New York City. Theo Wargo / Getty Images North America ……………

(5) Stern presents Michael Jordan with the 1991-92 MVP award in Chicago, MJ’s third of the five league MVP awards he’d win over the course of his career . Nathaniel S Butler Getty Images ……….

(6) Jeff Pash (background), NFL Executive Vice President and General Counsel, left, and Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner, leave after negotiations with the NFL Players Association involving a federal mediator in Washington, Tuesday, March 8, 2011. AP Photo/ Alex Brandon …..

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😛

MLB News

Profile of MLB team owners

MLB hierarchy

NBA News

Profile of NBA team owners

Profile of NBA hierarchy

NFL News

Profile of the NFL’s team owners

😛

Do participate in the above listed poll by placing a vote as you see fit .

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Wiz Khalifa ……. feat’g Too Short ………………. ” On My Level”

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Eye candy ……………. Sally Ferreira

Milani Rose

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We’re Moving On Up …………….But It Ain’t To The Eastside Or That Deluxe Apartment In The Sky


We’re Moving On Up …………….But It Ain’t To The Eastside Or That Deluxe Apartment In The Sky

Well it appears even with a horrendous season in prospect things simply aren’t getting any better for the Sacramento Kings at all. Having had a player selected to be a participant in the NBA’s midseason showcase event of the All Star Game it now seems that the organization may well consider the offer to relocate from the Arco Arena in Sacramento to the city of Anaheim , California . It may well have been a tremendous accolade to have both DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans selected to the Rookies’ All Star Western Conference roster but it simply cannot hide the overwhelming problems that this franchise now has from a competitive and financial standpoint.

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The Maloof family as owners of this team have simply struggled over the past few seasons merely to keep this franchise a successful and viable concern within the city. And even now with a dwindling attendance for the team’s home games there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel for the organization. The team is projected to lose in excess of $25 million this year alone but it could quite possibly be a great deal more than that given the economic outlook , albeit that the league hierarchy has already been benevolent to this team as well as several other NBA franchises around the league over the past season.

Courtesy of The San Francisco Chronicle


Another Sign Points to Kings’ Desire to Leave Sacramento

By Sam Amick in counjunction with Fanhouse

With a March 1 deadline to file for relocation looming large in Sacramento and the owners of the Kings continuing discussions with Anaheim Ducks officials regarding a possible move to Southern California, a source close to the situation said Monday that they have yet to deliver documents that were promised to the arena development team in California’s Capital City.

It is, without question, yet another sign that the Maloofs (Gavin and Joe above) are strongly considering the possibility of playing elsewhere next season.

After the Sacramento City Council voted to work with developer David Taylor and arena builder ICON venue group on Feb. 8 in attempt to construct a viable arena plan, the Maloofs issued a statement two days later that they would “provide him with the studies, research and documents done during the course of the last 11 years on the feasibility of a new sports and entertainment facility.” Yet the source told FanHouse that documents have yet to be provided, and all indications are that the Maloofs will only turn their attention back to Sacramento if they can’t find a way to strike a deal in Anaheim.

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As with any presumed relocation of a franchise it would need a majority vote from the board of governors of the NBA which basically is the league’s hierarchy in conjunction with the team owners in order to facilitate the Kings’ move from the state’s capital to Anaheim. From a financial standpoint it would certainly make sense for the organization and I’ve no doubt that team GM Geoff Petrie sees it as the best option for the Kings at this juncture . And it can only be further sanctioned by both George , Gavin and Joe Maloof , who as principal executives and owners of the family’s business and sporting interests must see this as the best way forward for the organization .

On the other hand , I can help but wonder what must be going through the mind of NBA Commissioner David Stern , because for too long he has simply ignored the major economic problems that the league and the owners have simply overlooked. They’ve seen the revenues of the NBA increase exponentially over the last twenty five years and along with the franchises’ worth have appreciated steadily, where the average value of an NBA team is upwards of $ 375 million but yet somehow in the wake of this type of monetary windfall many of these teams find themselves in something of a financial mess. The NBPA (union ) for its part merely looks at this all as simply another reason why they feel that they’re in need of a larger slice of the revenues that they share with the league. And though NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter along with union President Derek Fisher and their executive committee have been adamant that they will negotiate a fair and equitable agreement as it pertains to the present collective bargaining agreement , you simply get the feeling that though sides are still communicating things are liable to come to a head.

There’s not said to be a great impasse between the two sides but clearly there are some sticking points which neither side will freely admit to _____ that it is creating somewhat of a problem. And if as proposed the union is prepared decertify itself in order to challenge the NBA’s antitrust status within the US Federal Court rather than seek arbitration through a court appointed mediator or the NLRB ( National Labor Relations Board) then you know that the game and the league will be in for dire consequences. League executive Stu Jackson and Billy Hunter have been adamant that they wish for this all to be amicably resolved before the NBA playoffs begin and it seems given the present state of affairs that may well not happen unless both sides are willing to make certain concessions.

The NBA hierarchy has certainly never been willing to open up its books for public scrutiny , albeit , that it is in fact a private enterprise . But at the same time the league is given advantageous tax breaks and with its antitrust exemption guaranteed by the House Oversight Committee and you can well understand why David Stern and the owners would rather keep their financial records one big secret altogether and away from prying eyes.

Given the tumultuous season that the Sacramento Kings have had the only bright spot one might say has been the play of both Tyreke Evans and to a lesser extent DeMarcus Cousins who’s still showing his immaturity and unwillingness to defer to others when needed. Unfortunately Cousins’ talents at the college level and the latitude allowed by John Calipari shows how ill disciplined a player he was and still is . But that asides the real problem facing the Kings is that they’re simply still a work in progress with a great many flaws to this team. And most noticeably there’s a distinct lack of veteran leadership on the floor and that’s something that’s most definitely needed if the team is to improve.

Certainly Paul Westphal is trying to get the youngsters on this roster to buy into his style of coaching and to learn the nuances of the game . But that in of-itself may not be enough to stave off the inevitable concerning the team and its present record (13-40). They’re now in something of a dog fight with the Cleveland Cavaliers , Minnesota Timberwolves and Washington Wizards as to who may well end up with the worse record in the NBA come season’s end. It doesn’t take a betting man at this juncture that barring either Wizards or Kings’ implosion that dubious distinction may well end up belonging to Byron Scott’s ——- team . God knows , the Cavaliers simply find even more redundnant ways of losing games explicably and inexplicably , such has been their ineptitude and abundantly mediocre season !

It’s sad to think that the Sacramento Kings are no longer viewed as a legitimate and perennial contender within the league for an NBA title. But that hasn’t happened since the days when former players Mike Bibby and Chris Webber made the Arco Arena and the Kings a “must see”, can’t miss place to watch an exciting brand of basketball. Those days now appear to be long gone and all but now a distant memory for the most avowed of Sacramento Kings’ fans.

As to what might be the impending move of the Sacramento Kings, it seems that it may well inevitably take place in the off-season. As it’s unlikely that the team would be allowed to move during the season. The organization and the city of Sacramento have had numerous discussions over the team’s domicile and the very fact that neither party can agree upon who ought to be responsible for any refurbishments or the complete upgrade of the venue has in fact led the organization to its present predicament. The team’s lease on the venue is due to expire and even in discussion with the city’s mayor Kevin Johnson no acceptable compromise could in fact be reached concerning both parties’ wishes. In this day and age , when municipalities are cash strapped because of budgetary deficits and constraints the last thing they ought to be doing is to be spending money on a facility that in large part the leasee with their financial resources seems to be unwilling to spend the funds themselves on any specific upgrades even in conjunction with the leaseholder . It has become all the more asinine when repeatedly multi millionaire sports franchise owners who live high on the hog now have the municipalities at their beck and call merely to spend money when those funds are needed elsewhere for services that are of vital benefit to the residents within that city . But you’d be hard pressed to hear the owners , much less the NBA hierarchy or the politicians question the rationale behind spending the funds in such a way. Especially now given the current economic climate and the inane stupidity that has been shown by the NBA with regard to its finances .

This may not be the last such case we have concerning an NBA franchise and its financial situation as it’s clear that many other teams are in a rather precarious situation . One only has to survey the landscape to realize that the New Orleans Hornets now under league ownership and the long drawn out financial debacle that has now engulfed the Detroit Pistons and its reluctant owner Karen Davidson has simply shown us how wayward and somewhat irresponsible the NBA and its owners have become ______ and are !

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have concerning the Sacramento Kings and its present predicament and how do you feel it will ultimately end for the organization ? Also your thoughts if any you might have concerning that of the both Detroit Pistons and New Orleans Hornets ? Simply wade in with your comments on these matters or anything else you feel that is pertinent to this topic and the NBA at large .

😛

Alan aka tophatal ……………………….

Picture and slide show details below.
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(1) Oklahoma City Thunder’s James Harden (L) and Portland Trailblazers’ Wesley Matthews (C), both of the Sophmore Team, go after a rebound against Sacramento Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins (R) of the Rookie Team during the NBA All Star – Rookie Challenge at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 18, 2011. The Rookies won 148-140 . AFP/Getty Images/Mark J Terrill ……

(2) LOS ANGELES, CA ,. (L-R) Eric Bledsoe (12) of the Los Angeles Clippers and Rookie Team, Greg Monroe (10) of the Detroit Pistons and the Rookie Team, DeMarcus Cousins (15) of the Sacramento Kings and the Rookie Team and Stephen Curry (30) of the Golden State Warriors and the Sophomore Team react during the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge and Youth Jam at Staples Center on February 18, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images …….

(3) Tyreke Evans (6) of the Sacramento Kings, who is missing the game due to injury, throws the ball during the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge and Youth Jam at Staples Center on February 18, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images ……

(4) Sacramento Kings head coach Paul Westphal, left, questions official John Goble about a foul call during the second half against the Oklahoma City Thunder in a NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011. The Thunder beat the Kings 99-97 . AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli ……

(5) (L-R) Brothers George Maloof, Gavin Maloof and Joe Maloof watch a preseason game between the Sacramento Kings and the Los Angeles Lakers at the Thomas & Mack Center October 13, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Lakers won 98-95. Getty Images North America / Ethan Miller ….

(6) Inset Sacramento Kings general manager Geoff Petrie joins the Grant Napear show to talk about the Kings’ incredible victory over the Grizzlies and he feels the Kings are a better team than their record indicates and sees the Kings improving with each game. courtesy of CBS Sacramento/Grant Napier Show …… @ copyrighted material all rights reserved .

(7) Former NBA star Kevin Johnson the current mayor of Sacramento. The city council and the Kings’ organization have been at odds concerning the team’s lease of the city owned ARCO Arena . Many of the Kings’ grievances lay in the fact that the aged venue is in need of refurbishing and major renovation and neither side can agree on who should bear the burden of the costs or whether or not the expense should be shared between the two parties. At the same time the Kings’ leaseof the facility is due to expire . AFP/Photo/ Carter Yates ……….

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NB : By clicking on the respective links below you can view the latest news , stats and details as it relates to the NBA and Sacramento Kings.

NBA Standings Conreference & Division

NBA news

Sacramento Kings’ profile

Sacramento Kings news

Sacramento Kings’ front office

Sacramento Kings roster

Sacramento Kings head coach Paul Westphal

Assistant coaches

Sacramento Kings’ history

Sacramento Kings’ 2010-11 schedule

Sacramento Kings’ team stats

Sacramento Kings current form by win streak

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Eye candy …………… the ubiquitous Tammy Torres Not so debilitating after all !

It’s hard knock life and I’d to knock the shizz-nick out Tammy !

Who wouldn’t want to share with Tammy a lick of her ‘lollipops’ ?

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The Family Stand …………………. “Ghetto Heaven”

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Do The Right Thing …………….. You’ve Been Bamboozled


Do The Right Thing …………….. You’ve Been Bamboozled

Did I miss something but since when did respected movie director Spike Lee become a conduit for the front office of the New York Knicks ? I know that he’s an avowed fan of this team but now it’s becoming somewhat ridiculous when Lee is now an intermediary for the front office as they seek to lure Denver Nuggets’ guard Carmelo Anthony. As we’re all now aware the front office of the Nuggets though they’ve to yet state it categorically that it’s their intention to trade the player. In the last year of his existing contract the Carmelo Anthony hasn’t stated his intent to re-sign with the team. The uncertainty for the Nuggets also stems with the growing concern of the health of coach George Karl . Having undergone chemotherapy for throat cancer the coach’s recovery has been slow but there’s a lingering concern that even with a full recovery there will be times when Karl’s mindset will not be completely about the game and that is totally understandable. At the same time there seems to be rumblings of discontent from the player though no formal statement has been made by him to that effect.

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Given the possible upheaval and impending uncertainty one would’ve thought that the the organization would seek to trade the player now prior to the start of the season by looking to get an equitable return. The number of teams out there that would desire Anthony at this moment in time aren’t thought to be that many and with a number of them now having settled into their roster setups as they prepare to embark on their season . It’s extremely difficult to see which teams are seriously interested in making a trade for Carmelo Anthony at this juncture. Now as I alluded to earlier the New York Knicks it appears have been monitoring the situation closely and are intent on making Anthony their next acquisition. In joining the Knicks alongside Amar’e Stoudemire I don’t view the team as an immediate threat within the Eastern Conference . Most certainly however, they will improve but to my mind unless the complimentary players surrounding Stoudemire and perhaps the newly acquired Anthony actually step up their play this will be a team that will suffer the pitfalls expected of being forever perceived as a woefully inept team.

Knicks’ GM Donnie Walsh , owner James Dolan and head coach Mike D’Antoni no doubt want to facilitate this trade as quickly as possible. And with the start of the season merely a week away should this trade not go down then we are likely to see an organization showing a great deal of uncertainty and a team not knowing what their perceived direction ought to be. The trade deadline though early in the season it does create something of a dilemma should the Nuggets then seek then to trade away the player as it readily promotes the fact that they’ve already given up on their season. Granted , the nucleus of this roster is a veteran one with veterans such as Chris Andersen , Al Harrington , Kenyon Martin and Chauncey Billups. And though the team had an excellent postseason last year where they would succumbed to a more competitive and resolved team in the Los Angeles Lakers in Western Conference semi-finals who would then go on to win the NBA Finals .

Rosie Perez seen here dancing to the theme song from Spike Lee’s seminal movie ‘Do The Right Thing’ . Theme by Public Enemy ………. “Fight The Power”

While no one doubts that Nuggets would want to remain competitive it’s extremely hard to see them doing so were they to relinquish the services of Carmelo Anthony. But given the player’s reluctance to commit to the organization and to my mind the owner Stanely Kroenke his son Josh Kroenke , team President and their willingness to complement Anthony with players matching his talent and zeal then the possible trade of the player might well just be the best possible move that can be made that is acceptable to all parties. If nothing else it gives both groups the chance to start afresh .

Now if the perceived trade to the Knicks does happen then this doesn’t automatically change the overall picture within the Eastern Conference but it most certainly gives notice that the Knicks and their fans mean business. Granted the landscape within the conference still will revolve around the Miami Heat and their trio , along with the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic. How this all plays out will be incumbent upon the desires of the teams mentioned. The pressure will be on the Miami Heat led by Dwyane Wade , LeBron James and Chris Bosh. And with the organization’s financial combined commitment to the trio by team owner Mickey Arison said to be upwards of $200 million it is understandable to see how and why the organization is hoping for a quick return on that investment . Having lost in excess of $45 million in 2009 nothing short of an NBA title win will be considered anything less than their season being viewed as a success. The vast majority of teams who’ve the Heat on their schedule this season are said to be doing a blistering business in terms of ticket sales. And for the Miami Heat from a commercial standpoint the re-signing of Wade along with the acquisition of Both and James had led to a financial windfall of spectacular proportions. Both ABC/ESPN , NBA Tv and TNT Sports whose televised coverage of the NBA has become the staple for the fans of the game. Each of the broadcast outlets in question have not only beefed up their coverage of the Heat but they are also using the team as part of their overall marketing and promotional programming schedule.

Now while I’ve no doubt that the Heat are and will remain bona-fide favorites within the Eastern Conference and the thinking will be that they’ve but to play above average basketball merely to make their presence felt . I do believe that they’ll become complacent and it could very well lead to their demise. Overlooking this all will be team President Pat Riley and his subordinate coach Erik Spoelstra . Perhaps no other coach in the NBA will be under more pressure to achieve this season. And should Spoelstra and this team falter in any way then it wouldn’t at all surprise me to see Riley step down from his executive position and assume the reins from his protoge`. Behind that alleged calm persona of Riley belies and individual who’s a chameleon and a narcissist at heart. Nothing would give him more pleasure than to win another NBA title as a coach and then rub it in the faces of the press and public who view acquisition of both Lebron James and Chris Bosh as simply a PR stunt .

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For James Dolan and Donnie Walsh the big splash of landing Carmelo Anthony would make the Knicks more relevant as an organization and team within the NBA. Even if they are one the most valuable NBA franchises it means absolutely nothing when you’re still viewed as something of a laughing stock around the league. My own perspective concerning this all is that should this coup be pulled off and with Anthony joining the New York Knicks will that now enable Spike Lee to actually either become a an executive with the Knicks’ organization ? Furthermore what does that tell you about Lee as a sport’s fan if he’s able to make this happen when an alleged basketball mind in the guise of Isiah Thomas as an executive and coach simply wreaked havoc within the Knicks’ organization and almost brought it to its very knees ? Kind of makes you wonder who’s …….been doing the right thing and who’s been bamboozled here doesn’t it ?

Do you envisage Carmelo Anthony being traded at some point in the season and if so to which NBA team ? To your mind would he be a perfect fit within the Knicks’ organization should that particular trade ever take place ? Chime on in with a comment as you deem fit.

NB New York Knicks roster

NBA News

Alan aka tophatal …….. 🙂

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Rosa Acosta

A little bit of eye candy Rosa Acosta .

Now What’s The Dog And Pony Show Really About Anyone Care To Ask Members of The Miami Heat ?


Now What’s The Dog And Pony Show Really About Anyone Care To Ask Members of The Miami Heat ?

OK the hype has yet to be stop and it appears that we’re not liable to see it be come to a close anytime soon. Now it’s getting to the stage where David Stern views this as the ‘life blood’ that the NBA needs in order keep the brand omnipresent in the public’s eye. The Miami Heat and their triumvirate of stars are looking to take their show on the road this season. I’m sorry to say this but this could end up driving me to feel the same way I feel about Brett Favre and his repeated ‘retirements’ and ‘un-retirements’ . As we all know the player’s repeated cries to be loved by the fans and whomever else would be willing to listen was about as welcoming a dose of the ebola virus. Favre for his part while being a great ambassador for the NFL over the last few years has been about appealing as a member of Congress. Albeit that he’s continually viewed as the goose that laid the golden egg for cable broadcast outlet ESPN. Now here comes a ‘marriage’ created in heaven but now seems to be on its way to hell by way of the idiotic bunkum that LeBron James and the station felt was necessary to further widen the player’s appeal..

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As I stated earlier simply making the Miami Heat and their latest escapades the sole reason why we ought to be tuned into the every move of the NBA is like waiting to hear or see what Congress can do for the country at large as it relates to the economy and other acute issues. Less we forget David Stern sought to sell us a ‘bill of goods’ when the NBA sought to borrow $250 million to several teams around the NBA in order for these clubs to remain financially viable. Amongst the recipients of the quarter of a billion dollars doled out was the Miami Heat, whose multi billionaire owner Micky Arison is amongst one of the richest men in the state of Florida and amongst the 250 richest people in America . What am I missing here as it relates to how the NBA hierarchy conducts its business and what we now know to about the owners ? The Miami Heat lost in excess of $45 million in 2009 and then the maneuver set in place to bring in both James , Chris Bosh and along with the re-signing of Dwyane Wade has now made the Heat the team to beat within the Eastern conference. Though it has to be said that the likes of the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls , Orlando Magic and Atlanta Hawks will be looking to make that target on the Heat’s back ‘ripe to be hit dead center’ and to be taken down.

Miami’s first preseason game against an NBA opponent will be against the Detroit Pistons and it will give Heat coach Erik Spoelstra a real chance to assess his much celebrated triumvirate alongside role players who will be looking to defer to these stars while at the same time complementing the team. Heat President Pat Riley , the Svengali behind this all as he’ll no doubt be looking to this team to make an allout assault on challenging the might of the Western Conference as well as being viewed as the team to beat within the Eastern Conference, it has to be said that there’s a great deal riding on this all. The stakes are high but given the fact that ticket sales have seen a twofold spike as well the executive suites and the sale of Heat memorabilia at AA Arena in Miami . These are indeed some bountiful times for the Heat on and off the court , at the same time it has proven to be profitable for the NBA as a whole. But none of that will mean anything should the team fail to make it to the NBA Finals and win it. Riley , the players and Heat front office may well play this all down but simply look at the access that the team has now granted not only ESPN but several international news and sports’ organizations as they seek to embark on this quest ? And while Pat Riley continues to play this all down by leveling his own criticism at those who’ve voiced their displeasure at the way James left the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Now we all know the travesty of the whole James departure from the Cavaliers played out like a rather idiotic Hispanic tele-novela . Now if you’ve viewed one of those shows you’ll understand they have know they have no plot-line but somehow they tend to attract a captive audience. And that now appears to be the case with LeBron James and his sojourn across the NBA . His supporting cast now happens to be the Miami Heat and even if it’s being viewed as Dwyane Wade’s team it will James’ every move that will be under close scrutiny throughout this upcoming season. And if you thought that James isn’t loving the grand stage of Miami then nothing could be further from the truth Over the past forty eight hours the player has been interviewed by various members of the world’s press elite as they want to know about his every move. Not to be left out of any of this are James’ cohorts Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh as they’ve been part of this ongoing circus and the whole spectacle as it unfolds for the public’s consumption.

As enthusiastic as I am about the NBA and this upcoming season I have to admit that this spectacle concerning the Heat while it may lure a lot of discerning fans I do believe that it could well be bored by it all ! Now that’s not to say that it won’t be a profitable exercise in terms of the teams who’ll have the Heat as part of their regular season schedule . You’ve got to understand there’s money to be made and while there’s been a great deal of criticism from within and outside of the game here’s the caveat to it all who wants kill the goose that lays the golden egg ? This goose the NBA hierarchy will be around for years to come as we’ll no doubt soon see the departure of Kobe Bryant , Shaquille O’Neal , Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan from the NBA within the next five years.Their retirements are bound to leave a great void within the game and the fact that the NBA no longer has a rivalry that it can feed to the masses and the mere fact that there’s no dominant team other than that of the Los Angeles Lakers. And the perceived rivalry that many of us might’ve thought was back to its best with last season appearance of the Boston Celtics in last season’s NBA Finals had about as much revelry as watching Rosie O’Donnell strip to the music of George Michael , not exactly a wondrous sight at all but for others it might just do.

To the other aspirants around the NBA it has to be said that their time to step up will be during the season to show the fans what they’re all about. The Los Angeles Lakers while they’re still the reigning champions they know that this season until they’re actually dethroned no matter what ‘type of dog and pony show’ is on the road the true test will come from the team or teams seeking to dethrone them will still have a fight on their hands. While we’re now seeing the Heat now being regaled as if they were the reincarnation of the ‘Showtime Lakers’ I proffer this as a word of advice , this particular ensemble has done absolutely nothing as of yet to justify any comparison with any of the great NBA dynasty’s or teams of the past ,and until they do all we will continue to see are the likes of ESPN regaling us with their every move . Meanwhile in the background remains Stern and Riley simply grinning from ear to ear like cats who’ve come across several bowls of milk and a room filled with mice. Makes them happy no doubt but for some of us at present we’re simply being bored by this all.

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Picture gallery for your perusal and by clicking on each frame you can view that picture in its original formatted size.

In the upcoming season is there a team within the NBA which you view as being capable of derailing the ambitions of the Miami Heat ? If so state your reasons why and also which team do you see as a prospective challenger to the Los Angeles Lakers as possible champions of the NBA ?

🙂

Alan aka tophatal ………… 🙂 _ 😦

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Veronica Vior

Eye candy courtesy of Smooth Magazine ….. Veronica Vior

Image ? Image And A Self Conscious League


Image ? Image And A Self Conscious League

I found this story somewhat unbelievable when I’d heard that Detroit Lions’ President Tom Lewand has plead guilty to a DUI charge . Now far be it for me to suggest that it should just be the players that be held accountable for their actions both on and off the field of play. The image conscious NFL has been somewhat none compliant on this issue concerning the team executives . Had this been an NFL player pleading guilty to these serious charges then the story would be front and center with everyone opining on the matter. Instead it has been placed at the foot of the sports pages almost nowhere to be seen.

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Picture gallery for your perusal. Just click on a frame to view in its original format.

Courtesy of The Detroit News

Lions’ Tom Lewand apologizes for ‘very, very serious mistake’

By Tim Twentyman , The Detroit News

Roscommon, Mich. –Tom Lewand stood in front of 83rd District Court Judge Daniel L. Sutton in Roscommon on Friday and admitted his guilt.

Charged with driving under the influence June 25, the Lions president pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle while visibly impaired, a misdemeanor. He was sentenced to six months of probation, received a $532 fine and will have to complete an “intensive” outpatient alcohol recovery program. He is also not allowed to consume alcohol while on probation.

If Lewand does not complete the program or violates probation, he could spend 60 days in jail, according to Sutton.

“I’d first like to thank Judge Sutton and prosecutor (Mark) Jernigan and Sheriff Stevenson for their professionalism and efficiency in dealing with this matter,” Lewand said afterward. “As I said before, I offer my complete apologies for my actions. I take full responsibility for them.

“I’m glad that this portion of those consequences for my actions is completed and I look forward to coming out of this a stronger and better person as a result of it.”

Lewand was stopped the night of June 25 by Roscommon County sheriff’s deputies on M-55 after deputies saw his Lincoln MKX moving erratically while exiting the Limberlost bar and restaurant near Houghton Lake.

Lewand failed a sobriety test, and when he refused to take a breathalyzer (PBT) test, he was handcuffed and arrested. The charge of failing to take a PBT test was dropped as part of the plea deal.

Lewand was in Houghton Lake attending the 30th annual Kolo Golf Outing, a charity event founded by Bob Kowalkowski, a former Lions offensive lineman who died last September.


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Commissioner Roger Goodell has been playing his cards close to his chest where no one can see them . And now when “the image” of the NFL is at its lowest up comes a story that would have most asking what the hell is going on ? An NFL executive being charged with drunk driving and the league itself has yet to issue a statement on the matter. Never mind that the Detroit Lions have not issued a statement on the matter but rather a curt apology from Lewand and that has been it. Why oh why am I not surprised by any of this at all ?

Call me crazy but now that the LeBron James’ saga is now over perhaps the most disappointed individuals are none other than the Cavaliers’ fans . But what I found most surprising was the fact that comedic actress Betty White had an opinion on the matter and the actress was very eloquent in her thoughts on the matter. White went so far as to suggest that she’d have spent the night with the young superstar if it was enough to entice him to remain with the team . Pardon me for saying but this might well have been the straw that broke the camel’s back as LeBron probably didn’t want it to get that the cause of him remaining in Cleveland was the fact that he bedded the octogenarian actress. Way to go LeBron , you missed out on a glorious opportunity but that being said could you have handled Betty to begin with ?

Hold unto your horses but the New York Yankees lost out on obtaining Seattle Mariners’ starting ace Cliff Lee . The two sides couldn’t agree on the compensation sought by the AL West team. And instead Lee will make his way to the Texas Rangers within the Mariner’ own division. As to the Yankees they may well now pursue other opportunities in terms of acquiring a starting pitcher to add their already burgeoning roster of pitchers. And it appears that team GM Brian Cashman won’t let this minor occurrence get in his way of strengthening the roster of this team. As good as they’ve been Cashman knows that nothing can be overlooked not when you’ve got both the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays chasing you down within the division __(AL East) . Now when it’s all said and done the defending World Series champions would like to make another return to the postseason and thereby successfully defend their crown. Nothing less is expected from the organization where success is deemed the pinnacle and where “failure” is seen as not an option.

HBO the much vaulted cable network more widely known for its dramatic staple and first runs of box office success movies is also home to rather influential niche in the sport of boxing. Especially within the heavyweight division but recently the head of the sports programming Ross Greenburg has stated the cable network is no longer interested in televising fights within the heavyweight division as the public interest is no longer there. Now that statement should not come as a surprise to anyone with a keen interest in the sport. But given the lack of credibility within the division and wherein the two best heavyweights refuse to meet each other in an undisputed unification bout because of familial ties. This decision will have some serious ramifications for the sport as HBO and its parent company Time Warner are one of the primary sponsors of PPV. And without that to hang its hat on then the division and the various international governing bodies within the sport are at something of a loss. And for champions Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko the big paydays that they’re both no doubt looking for won’t be forthcoming, not unless they are prepared to fight each other in an undisputed title unification bout. The fighters , their managers and respective promoters have simply made a mockery of the division and the pretext that the problem as to the malaise within the division has nothing to do with them is a complete misnomer. As it has everything to do with and the diabolical situation within the heavyweight division.

The fact of the matter is that the division has not had an undisputed heavyweight champion since the retirement of the British fighter Lennox Lewis in 2004. And since then the championship has found itself in its various forms in the hands of the Ukrainian, Klitschko brothers. Ability wise , watching either brother fight is a rather mundane and at time painful experience . A tooth extraction without the use of anesthesia would be far less painful than watching either Vitali or Wladimir Klitschko. And such is the scene of heavyweight boxing that there are no real credible opponents within the division and that’s with due respect to WBA champion David Haye .

Well known and legendary promoters Don King and Bob Arum once the most gregarious of showmen seem to be more interested in dividing the spoils between them in the lighter divisions. And for King this would be something of a come down given the stable of credible heavyweight fighters that he’s either managed or promoted over the years. And Bob Arum for his part , well his main concern is to create the buzz and promote what has been described as what will be the biggest fight in boxing . The proposed bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao promises to be that and a great deal more . But as of yet no concrete timetable has been set as to where the bout will be staged. This much we do know however , it will be by far the most anticipated and biggest grossing fight in history without a doubt. And the fight itself will be co-promoted by Top Rank Inc , Golden Boy Promotions Inc in conjunction with Mayweather’s own fledgling promotional company.

Everyone involved in that aspect of the bout will end up being a winner. At $49-95 per viewer and with an anticipated 2 million buys expected the gross via the sales only here in North America will top $100 million and when one takes into account the international interest that figure is liable to double without taking into account ticket sales and merchandising .

A $200 million grossing fight would be unimaginable but it is in the offing should this proposed bout take place. One would expect both fighters to be handsomely rewarded for their exploits and suffice to say that having fought then retirement could very well be beckoning for both fighters. With Pacquiao pursuing a political career in his native Philippines and Mayweather looking to cross over into the business side of the sport , boxing could very well face some lean times ahead.. Say what you will however much of this malaise within the sport has been brought about by the lack of authority from the various international governing bodies and their unwillingness to do what is inherently best for the sport.

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If sport is so much about its image then why is it a great deal of the time when there’s something inherently wrong , so why is it that the proper authorities are so slow to act ? The answer could well lie in the fact that those who are actually in power either have very little intelligence or they are for all sense purpose merely a puppet while it is the marionette who is indeed pulling the strings . Your thoughts on the topics raised in this piece are welcome and I will do my best to respond with a succinct and clear answer. Thanks as always for the continued support as it’s greatly appreciated !

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ……………… 🙂

Chris Brown ……….. feat’g Tyga & Kevin McCall …….. ” Deuces”