Former hedge fund manager and now CNBC stock tipster and analyst Jim Cramer has always had his own style and presentation on television. That being said, he’d be the last person I’d be taking advice from on anything to do with the indices of the stock market. Or anything else when it comes to financial analysis or any information involving the companies listed on the NSYE.This is the same guy, who was dishing out advice to his avid viewers that they ought to invest their savings in the now disreputable companies, AIGand Bear Stearns. Now, to say that Cramer isn’t deserving of having his testicles removed and served up to him in the form of a meal wouldn’t be doing the people who lost money from his advice any justice whatsoever ! But such are the benefits to those who choose not to seek due diligence when taking advice from an individual , who despite his immense knowledge , comes across as nothing more than a charlatan.
You’ve got to hand it toComedy Central’s Jon Stewart for pointing out something that not even the so called knowledgeable pundits at Fox Business Channelwould’ve thought newsworthy.But then again when have Fox ever been known to be informative to begin with in terms of being a news channel ? And for those of you still seeking out the advice of Jim Cramer ? I wish you well , well about as well as leper who’s now beginning to realize that what the doctor prescribed just isn’t working. And Cramer’s own asinine assertion and suggestions as to what he did or didn’t say, shows you what a complete asshole he really is to begin with !
The NBA at present is filled with teams whose very prowess on the court can at present be measured by the volatility shown by the Dow Jones Index (DJIA). And were a number of the franchises of the NBA placed within the DJIA. I wonder what price and recommendations there’d be forthcoming from those covering the game ? Again I’d preface this by saying that the likes of Stephen A. Smith,Tim Legler,Ric Bucher and Skip Baylesswouldn’t be the guys I’d be looking to for comfort , advice or any form of solace when it comes to the NBA or otherwise. Whatever insight they’re liable to provide is about as welcoming as be told by your proctologist that he’d like to give you that customary finger wave of your rectum,merely to elicit having some fun on his part. Pretty safe to say that one finger wave too many a year is one finger less welcomed.
Straight out of the gate, some of the teams have performed exceptionally badly. And for beleaguered Lawrence Frank and the hapless, New Jersey Nets. At this juncture there’s absolutely no chance of a do-over whatsoever ! What may well have started out as a season of promise has slowly fallen apart and become an absolute nightmare for Frank, his players,ownership and no doubt the fans, in particular. I’d hate to think what’s now going through the mind of principal partner,Bruce A Ratner ? Especially as he sees this team sink into the abyss of sheer ineptitude. Any thoughts that they might’ve had of luring LeBron James to Brooklyn in 2010 , has to be shelved at this time. Not with this team in need of a backbone and so much more ! At 0-16 and on the cusp of NBA infamy in terms of successive games lost to start a NBA regular season schedule the Nets seem to be just one loss away of equalling that dubious record. My recommendation : Sell !
Can someone explain to me what fate the basketball gods has in store for the New York Knicks ? Needless to say, after the abrupt departure of former coach and executive Isiah Thomas. It was felt that the organization was stepping in the right direction with the hiring of Mike D’Antoni, as their coach. Also,the bringing in of Donnie Walsh, to oversee the basketball operations,in terms being the general manager of the Knicks. Needless to say, the Knicks are no further along in their progression, as the coalition forces are in finding Osama bin Laden. And for those of you who’d rather be up in the Tora Bora mountain range on the Pakistani , Afghani border ,rather than watching the Knicks play. Reserve me a seat , as I’d no doubt would want to join you in that particular exercise. Not only have the Knicks become worse under D’Antoni, they’re a complete embarrassment to the NBA ,as a whole ! Commissioner,David Stern, is there no chance that we can have some contraction within the NBA ? As there are now one or two teams that are making a mockery of the game and how it ought to be played. And the New York Knicks is undoubtedly one of those very teams ! My recommendation : Sell ! Not to hold, just damn well , sell !
I not saying that the Detroit Pistons have fallen on hard times. But their fall from grace , makes the demise of Michael Jackson seem like an act of overt kindness. OK , so we can dispute the facts that’ve led to the untimely death to the one time ‘King of Pop’. What no one can doubt however, is that Jackson apart from being a mild neurotic was enabled by family members and others amongst his entourage to keep up his absurd behavior. And along with that came an assortment of medical professionals who proffered up whatever medication of the day was the norm for Jackson. What of the ‘hippocratic oath’ for these doctors ? First do no harm ? Somewhere along the lines it must’ve been blurred for them from the sight of the money that Jackson was needlessly spending on their services !
As to what Pistons’ GM Joe Dumars, was seeking to do,when he traded All Star point guard Chauncey Billups to the Denver Nuggets,in exchange for Allen Iverson. Well, let’s just say that experiment was about as worthwhile as sticking your arm into the mouth of a hungry crocodile waiting and then waiting to see what the outcome will be.And with Iverson, now said to be mulling retirement , after not being able to find a franchise willing to take him. One might clearly think that at the time Dumars was merely flying by the seat of his pants in thinking that Iverson could provide the team with a much needed spark. In essence, the Pistons had become an old team spoilt on its earlier success and who weren’t willing to make the necessary changes need at the time, in order to build for the future.
Now with the departure of Rasheed Wallace to the Boston Celtics, the team is nowhere nearer to being one of the once dominant franchises with the NBA’s Eastern Conference. Dumars and the team’s coach, John Kuester, now have their work cut out for them, if they’re to turn things around make this team be one with a presence, not just within their division but throughout the NBA as a whole. The window of opportunity for the Pistons has closed and they’re not about to scale back to the heights of prominence ,which they once held. It’s now far too late for that , despite the appearance of youth on the tea’s roster. They now lack a true leader and a proven and consistent scorer on their roster. And it is something that will become their undoing. My recommendation : Sell !
In the Western Conference where it’s presumed the star talent of the NBA is reserved and perhaps the better of the teams throughout the league on the whole are domiciled. We all know that at the end of the day it’s very competitive within the conference. With the reigning champions, the Los Angeles Lakers looking to successfully defend their crown. The bullseye is now comfortably placed upon their back. And with the likes of the San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets, Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trailblazers, Utah Jazz , Houston Rockets and a newly revitalized Oklahoma City Thunder all looking to take them down. One would suspect that the Lakers and in particular Kobe Bryant and the team’s coach ,Phil Jackson are relishing the challenge of defending their NBA title.
You’ll know doubt get some criticism from those in the Eastern Conference who’ll state that the play and talent there is somewhat better than their counterparts in the West. But I’d view that as something of an anathema at this juncture. Teams in the Eastern Conference tend to play a much more conservative type of basketball and where defense is their mainstay. Whereas, in the West much of the play there is most definitely predicated upon offense. Although the likes of the Spurs and Jazz would beg to differ in that context.
Of the three pre-eminent teams in the Eastern Conference ,in no discerning order, we have the Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers and the Orlando Magic. The most well balanced and deepest in terms of their roster , may well be Stan Van Gundy’s Magic team. Of the three teams also, I do believe that the Magic by their play as of late, is the most improved. The additions of Brandon Bass, Vince Carter and Jason Williams has proven to be fortuitous.And General Manager,Otis Smith, might just be one of the least celebrated if not the most astute front office executives in the NBA at present. If nothing else it gives the Magic’s center, Dwight Howard, room to do what he does best and that’s to pound the boards and show off his defensive and offensive prowess. My recommendation : Buy and buy strong.
Besides the Magic in the Eastern Conference , the really only other noteworthy teams one ought to look at, are the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics. The Cavaliers for their part, with the addition of Shaquille O’Neal to complement with the undoubted talents of LeBron James , might just well give the team its best chance of making another appearance in the NBA Finals. But here’s the caveat with regard to the team , when they face real adversity they’re not always able to handle it well. And that could once again become their undoing.That’s in light of having the experienced veteran presence of O’Neal on this roster. My recommendation: Hold . If things fall their way,they could just go out and finally achieve the winning of that elusive ring for James.
The Boston Celtics for their part has the experience and with seasoned veterans , such as Kevin Garnett, Paul Piece,Ray Allen and now Rasheed Wallace. This is a roster, whose coach Doc Rivers, knows how to win games and how to motivate his team. Added to the fact that they now have a point guard of note in, Rajon Rondo, they would be viewed as the presumptive favorites in the conference to win it all. My only concern with the Celtics however, is their health, especially when it comes to the question of their main quartet of players. That issue alone may well be enough to make on hedge their bets as to the overall chances of the team winning a second title for the organization with Rivers at the helm as their coach.
My recommendation here : Again a Hold. Down the stretch run of the regular season if the quartet is healthy , then there could be everything to play for with the Boston Celtics being added into the mix.
As the reigning champions ,the Los Angeles Lakers have added by subtraction. In losing Trevor Ariza to the Houston Rockets and obtaining free agent,Ron Artest. One could say, that they’ve become a much better team ? They’ve added a defensive presence in Artest and an additional scoring option behind Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. And that’s with no disrespect to either,Lamar Odom or Andrew Bynum. But the addition of Artest does make a great deal of sense , if one takes away the baggage that he brings along with him. Here’s a player that brings along with him mental toughness and a willingness to do the dirty work required on either end of the floor. The same can’t be said of certain players on this Lakers’ roster. My recommendation on the Lakers : Buy, a very strong buy ! They’re the team to beat in the Western Conference. As defending champions and with Bryant as the ever present catalyst . How can you bet against them ?
Besides the Lakers in the Western Conference , if anyone is to challenge their supremacy within the conference. Then, the challenge well come from the San Antonio Spurs,Denver Nuggets, Dallas Mavericks and the up and coming Portland Trailblazers. Now where would should one start ?
First off , the four time NBA champions, the San Antonio Spurs seem finally to began to have realized that they can’t simply rely on the aging triumvirate of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker to lead this team. As great as they’ve been over the years , last year was a telling one for the franchise . They simply plugged away but with recurring injuries to each of the triumvirate, you knew it was only a matter of time before the wheels on the bus would continually happen to go flat.
Coach,Gregg Popovich, and the team’s GM, R. C. Buford, sought to bring in Richard Jefferson from the Milwaukee Bucks via a trade. Added to that they’d re-signed veteran Antonio McDyess to a three year deal and they’ve now got another creative play-maker in Roger Mason on the roster. This could prove to be a resurgent year for the Spurs. But much of that will no doubt be predicated upon the fitness of their triumvirate throughout the season and of course into an extended playoff run. And no doubt with the added depth of the team. Coach Popovich will make sure that his players are well rested and free of those worrisome and niggling injuries. My recommendation on the Spurs: Buy !
As good as the Denver Nuggets have looked this season, I can’t help but wonder if their heartbreaking loss of a series in the conference finals of last year wasn’t their one and only opportunity that they’ll have with George Karl, leading the charge as their coach ? The team is resplendent with stars such as Carmelo Anthony,Kenyon Martin, Chauncey Billups,J. R. Smith and Nene’. Built primarily around speed, athleticism and a great deal offensive prowess, the team has now seen that offense alone can’t be their only virtue. And with All Star point guard , Chauncey Billups providing much of that much needed efensive grit and presence. The team has now found a new sense of urgency and acceptance of the task at hand. As to whether or not they can usurp the Los Angeles Lakers remains to be seen. But if there’s one thing that we’re no doubt sure of , it is that the Nuggets are not prepared to lie down and be walked all over. My recommendation : A buy.
If there’s a team that I’ve come to admire in the Western Conference . Then that would have to be the Portland Trailblazers. For so long, they were often seen as a the pariahs of the NBA. In some respects they were more noted for their off the field problems, far more than they were known for anything that they were trying to achieve on it. And it took a turnaround in the mindset of owner, Paul Allen and that of the Trailblazers’ front office in making the drastic changes needed to right this listed ship. General Manager, Kevin Pritchard and Head Coach, Nate McMillan, saw fit to build from the ground up, uprooting the roster of the malcontents and ill fitting parts to a team that had continually underachieved.
Now in its place the Trailblazers have a young, competitive and desirable team that is the envy of the NBA. They’re led by such aspiring stars as Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, Rudy Fernandez, Steve Blake and now it’d appear to be fully fit and resurgent center,Greg Oden. The latter of whom, has begun to justify the team’s faith in him, having missed his first season in the league ,due to a sever knee injury and then surgery.
You’d be highly mistaken in thinking that because the Trailblazers on the face of it are very much a young and inexperienced team, that they wouldn’t have what it takes to pull of an upset. But this is very much a team that knows how to play to its strengths and negates much of the weaknesses that others think that they often see. And in their coach, Nate McMillan , they have someone whose coaching philosophy is being listened to by his players and being heeded all too well. My recommendation on the Portland Trailblazers : Hold !
For me , I very much placed both the Dallas Mavericks and the Phoenix Suns in the same boat. As time goes by, their window of opportunity to win an NBA championship continues to close ever so rapidly. And if they’re unable to do it now, then they’re not going to be able to do it at any time in the near future. On both counts they’ve something of an aging roster and though in essence neither team can ever be viewed as being out of the picture. The fact of the matter is, that each time when they’re called upon to take that final step forward. They appear to be only all too willing to fall flat on their proverbial behinds,when trying to take that step to the next evel. One wouldn’t mind if it wasn’t for the fact that their front offices, in terms of the respective general managers have continued to make considerable mistakes concerning personnel decisions.
And in both,Steve Kerr of the Suns and Donnie Nelson of the Mavericks, you may well have two of the worst GM’s in all of the NBA. But then again I may well be overlooking the once terrific job that was done by then GM, Elgin Baylor for the Los Angeles Clippers ? Let’s just say that Baylor’s knowledge of player personnel as it regards the NBA game of today,ranks up there alongside the intelligence quotient of both Paris Hilton and Tara Reid, combined. And in this case both Kerr and Nelson aren’t that far behind him in that dubious distinction !
As good on paper as both teams might appear to be what they both lack in mental toughness and leadership. Dirk Nowitzki and his cast of teammates of the Dallas Mavericks are about as scary,as Clay Aiken trying to show his masculine side by claiming to be an all-out action star. The thought of which makes you wonder what it is that Aiken does in his down time ? Please no salacious answers to the question ? How else can one explain the Mavericks’ recent 111-103 loss to an undermanned Golden State Warriors’ team, that could only field eight fully fit players for the game ? Needless to say the answers forthcoming will as diverse as usual ! My recommendation for the Mavericks: Sell ! They’re just simply not worth it at this juncture !
The Phoenix Suns for their part can only go as far as the ageless wonder, Steve Nash can take them. With the ‘Shaquille O’Neal experiment’ now long gone. It’s back to the up-tempo basketball that they were once known for. That being said one doubts that their game that’s very much predicated upon primarily offense , will stand them in good stead come playoff time. Especially when given light to the fact for the Suns to play defense is like asking a crack addict to give up his crack pipe for 72 hours. It simply can’t be done without them going ‘cold turkey’. And that in essence is what one simply sees,when viewing this team. My recommendation with regard to the Phoenix Suns : Sell !
Now comes the easy part as to the bottom feeders at present in the Western Conference. The Golden State Warriors. My recommendation : Sell !
The Los Angeles Clippers my recommendation : Sell . The Minnesota Timberwolves,what more can I say, but sell !
The New Orleans Hornets and Memphis Grizzlies – sell !
Bottom feeders in the Eastern Conference ? Well, the New Jersey Nets have seen fit to get rid of Lawrence Frank and that still hasn’t stop the losses. Enough said ! Sell ! As with the sentiment concerning the Buffalo Bills. No one knows of better ways of losing, than the New York Knicks. Sell the whole damn lot of your allotted stake in this sorry ass team ! You’ll thank me in the long run for suggesting that !
Washington Wizards and Indiana Pacers ? Someone suggested to me that there’s optimism there concerning the Wizards ? Well , I’ve got a suggestion for that certain individual, look at their damn record at present and tell me where you see them progressing to ? The Indiana Pacers and their GM , Larry Bird are simply now treading water, awaiting some sort of divine intervention. The sad part to this all, is that the Pacers’ Danny Granger is now languishing on a team, whereby the talent he’s surrounded by is no better than that of a D-affiliate of an NBA franchise. My recommendation: Sell both !
New Jeresy Nets 0-16
New York Knicks 3-13
Indiana Pacers 6-8
Detroit Pistons 5-11
Washington Wizards 5-10
Minnesota T’wolves 1-15
Los Angeles Clippers 7-10
Memphis Grizzlies 6-10
NB: Financial Services company, AIG, was bailed out by the government to the tune of $150 billion of taxpayers’ monies. And at present they’re still on the edge of a financial precipice. Bear Stearns was taken over by investment bank J P Morgan & Co.. This was done after the company had racked up in excess of $81.6 billion worth of debt, for which it had less than $8 billion of liquid assets. J P Morgan was in receipt of $25 billion of Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) monies, courtesy of the Federal Government. Of which part has been repaid, the remaining outstanding balance due is less than $ 6 billion.