Tag: David Stern

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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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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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/

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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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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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By clicking on an individual frame you can view that picture in its original
formatted size.

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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 .

๐Ÿ˜›

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 Kingsโ€™ 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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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.”

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