This Might Be As Good As It Gets …..
So for anyone not engulfed in watching the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament then they’re either keeping a close eye on the NFL off-season awaiting the decision to be made by free agent quarterback Peyton Manning . And just in case you were overly concerned as to where Kyle Orton will ultimately end up . Then you’ll be happy to know that the often beleaguered player is now the back-up to the Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo .
Slide show for your perusal .
And just in case you weren’t aware Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones and the organization have been penalized by the NFL for contravening one of the league guidelines as it relates to negotiations arising from Miles Austin’s contract with the team. The wide receiver’s deal was front loaded with a number of incentives , which strictly contravenes the league’s guidelines. Also falling afoul of the league hierarchy were the Washington Redskins . Team owner Dan Snyder in conjunction with GM Bruce Allen have stated that they do not agree with the verdict rendered by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell . In the case of the Redskins , their faux-pas concerned the 7 year deal that was offered to their former defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth . If one recollects the player’s deal was for an astounding $100 million of which $65 million was in guaranteed money . The fact that Haynesworth was traded by the organization a mere two and a half years into the deal to the New England Patriots where his productivity was lackluster and some might even suggest inept . The Patriots themselves were never really enamored with a player that simply no longer seemed capable of showing the prowess that once made him a bona-fide Pro Bowl player .
Both the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins will have to forfeit a combined $46.5 million that will now be split amongst the other 30 NFL franchises . It seems that two of the league’s most high profiled owners Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder and their respective organizations simply can’t abide to play by the rules . At the same time should we at all be surprised by this , given the rather asinine the owners pled their case during the lockout with about as much sincerity as Syrian President Bashar Al- Assad now seems to be showing towards his citizens . Absolutely nothing that the league hierarchy does nowadays , can be viewed with any type of veracity. And did anyone truly believe that Goodell had the upper hand in the deliberations with his union counterpart DeMaurice Smith and the NFLPA’s Executive Committee ? Believe that , and I’ve got a plot of desert acreage in Saudi Arabia that I think I could interest you in buying ! And it’s certainly not in the midst of some untapped area where there’s said to be a billion barrels of crude oil .
The NCAA Tournament itself is off to a nonchalant start and on has and for those whose brackets may well have gone up in smoke , then my hearty commiseration to you all ! It would appear that John Calipari and his Kentucky Wildcats have to favored as the prohibitive favorites to win . Statistically , this team would suggest that they have it all but at the same time , one sudden misstep could end their season in the blink of an eye.
Now I don’t know about you but knowing that the Detroit Lions saw fit to make Calvin Johnson the highest paid player at the position in the league . It as such didn’t come as I real surprise until I was made aware as to details of his contract . Let’s just say it’s money well spent by the Lions for one of the most productive …. wide receivers in the NFL today . For Lions’ coach Jim Schwartz , this gives him the chance to have at least one of the desired pieces in place to make this team an even more competitive and credible contender .
So the Portland Trailblazers saw fit to fire head coach Dwayne Casey after the team’s ….. 45 point loss to the lumbering New York Knicks . Given the issues that Casey has been faced with throughout much of the season , it certainly hasn’t helped that Brandon Roy announced his retirement after a recurrence of his weakened knees and plantar-fasciitis . It’s sad , that a player of Roy’s abilities and some might suggest blossoming career had to be cut short ! But such are the blows that life tends to deal us , that one simply can either choose to fight back when possible or simply walk away with one’s honor and health in tact .
With the Blazers’ season now on the verge if imploding it will be very interesting to see what efforts will be made by the front office of the organization in terms of resurrecting their efforts of making the playoffs . The team’s best player LaMarcus Aldridge can either choose to carry the load upon his broad shoulders should the rest of his teammates … buy into his leadership . But it is my opinion the window of opportunity for this franchise has disappeared as it relates to the season .
Well , what seems to be an ” about-face” Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic are still an item . The player who could still choose to opt out of the final year of his current deal but has stated that it is his intent to remain with the franchise until the end of the season. How this premise plays itself out remains to be seen but I feel for the moment that GM Otis Smith and front office have for now dodged a bullet . COO Alec Martins now has to convince the player they have the ambition and drive to make this franchise a success . I’ve read many articles within this forum concerning the player but few have shown the insight to state what is clearly transparent . The players that Howard has been surrounded by are simply not good enough to make this team a credible challenger for the NBA title . In all honesty the likes of J J Redick , Ryan Anderson and Hedo Turkoglu are not the type of guys that are about to make the likes of the Chicago Bulls , Miami Heat or for that matter the top contenders within the Western Conference simply quiver in their boots over the course of seven game playoff series .
Howard a perennial All Star and three-time Defensive Player of The Year has yet to reach the peak of his career . Long sought after by the New Jersey Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers where the trade bait from the respective franchises were said to be either Pau Gasol or Andrew Bynum of the Lakers and Brook Lopez of the Nets . And as good as those three players are said to be , I do believe that they simply are not of the caliber of Dwight Howard ! A force on both ends of the floor the center is a force to be reckoned with . Howard unlike Nets’ point guard Deron Williams has decided that he will opt out of his contract while looking to resume his career elsewhere in the NBA . Given the fact that the front office of the New Jersey Nets just seemed to be out of touch with reality , it should not surprise anyone that the point guard came to this decision . Team owner Mikhail Prokhorov’s ambition seemed elsewhere as he sought to become the President in his native Russia , while the business of the day-to- day operations was ceded to GM Billy King .
This will now become a maelstrom of complete mayhem within an organization that’s set to move into a state of the art venue in Brooklyn in 2013. The Barclays Atlantic Yards Development is seen as a pinnacle of design in terms of an NBA venue . Without a major lure in terms of a prominent NBA star , it goes without saying that the Nets’ franchise will be starved of support at the new arena. Not that their current situation is said to be healthy one at this moment in time as the New Jersey Nets are one of the least supported franchise’s in the NBA . And that clearly has been the case of the last five years for this organization , something that the league hierarchy led by David Stern has to be acutely aware of . And for all of the inane fans who feel that the commissioner has been circumspect and above reproach . Consider this, the Stern has been less than forthright in terms of the league seeking out a suitor for the league owned New Orleans Hornets . For for the idiotic numbskulls who felt that Stern’s decision to negate the trade of Chris Paul to the Lakers was beyond his authority . Consider the ramifications for the franchise and the very fact that in terms of the Hornets’ teetering competitiveness and financial stability.
The New Orleans Hornets are for all sense and purpose are a complete and utter mess from a financial and competitive standpoint . George Shinn rid himself of a franchise that had become a boondoggle , which was poorly supported within the city of New Orleans and across the state of Louisiana. Even with the league hierarchy as usual seeking some sort of monetary input from the city of New Orleans in terms of refurbishing the Hornets’ home venue . I’d like to think that there’s some hope for this franchise ! But consider this , David Stern now appears to be like his MLB counterpart Bud Selig , whose biggest concerns nowadays seems to be keeping the smiles on the faces of the team owners in the major markets . And it is no different with the NBA commissioner and the owners within the league’s largest markets , with whom he has always been willing to curry favor . Doubt my word then simply watch his antics as it relates to some of the more high profiled owners such as Micky Arison , Jerry Buss , James Dolan , Mikhail Prokhorov , Rich De Vos , Michael Jordan and Wyc Grousbeck ? At their behest and that of the other team owners within the league simply does what they believe to right.
That now simply makes you wonder at times even with Stern’s apparent autocratic rule who at times seems to be wagging the dog’s tail. The league mandated lockout this past off-season that led to a three and a half month delay to the start of the 2011 -12 season . The embarrassment to the league and damage to its image was enough to suggest it wasn’t only NBA’s nose that was put out of joint but primarily the commissioner’s ! The NBPA (union) under Billy Hunter’s direction and that of the union’s Executive Committee simply over-powered the hierarchy’s dominance and that of the owners . It also led to a number of those franchise owners questioning David Stern’s autocratic rule when their $4.5 billion a year business template was coming under a great deal of criticism and fire . So much so , that even with intervention of the FMCS , a quasi governmental agency that presided over multiple arbitration hearings seeking to a binding arbitration agreement which neither side would truly be amenable to . Not if it meant that their bounty would up for grabs , with the players getting an even bigger slice of the pie . To my mind both parties were equally to blame and no amount circus created acts of philanthropy on the part of high profiled stars such as LeBron James , Carmelo Anthony , Dwyane Wade , Kevin Durant and Deron Williams , with their charity sponsored events this during the lockout hid the fact that theirs was simply nothing more than image making exercise seeking the empathy of the ardent NBA fans and public in general alike ! At the end of it all , who to your mind came out as the victor ?
Neither side in reality actually came out ahead because the NBA has a financial crisis of its own making and neither the league hierarchy or union can use the acute state of the economy as a crux . Certainly not the way that the politicians use for their own asinine pontificating ! And certainly not the way those moronic assholes who now seek to oppose Barack Obama in the upcoming Presidential elections. If Mitt Romney who claims to be such an astute businessman sought to set himself apart from his rivals as the claim is as a co-founder of Bain Capital Inc , which he , himself cannot explain the rudimentaries of the economy succinctly but somehow in 2008 had his ass handed to him on a silver plate by his then Republican opponent Sen John McCain (R-Az) for party’s nomination that historic race. McCain , no expert himself on the economy or for that matter on foreign or domestic policy simply exposed the flaws in Romney . Much as in the same way Rick Santorum is now doing to the former Massachusetts’ governor . At the same time the White House incumbent , perhaps hasn’t yet realized that the mantra he rode in on …….. ” .change that we can believe in ” ……………….. hasn’t amounted to much .
If the NBA this season is truly looking to shed that image as a languid self-absorbed league ____ a ” monster” created by David Stern that simply sought profits and heighten the image of the players before the teams that make up the league . The branding , the riding on the coat-tails of Michael Jordan as the game gained a global image , all of that was forgotten as the billions of dollars poured in annually . Now with a diluted brand , and a product , wherein the talent has been greatly diluted , a lack of actual defensive prowess on display . Is it any wonder that the game is now at a crossroads ? Viewership is down across the board , and the attendance levels for the games has hit its trough of highs and lows over the last few seasons ( 2010 , 2009 , 2008 , 2007 , 2006 & 2005 ) .
The commissioner and the owners having opened up Pandora’s Box and now are unable to corral the elements they have placed within the fans’ midst . And for the hierarchy and owners to plead poverty when they themselves have simply not reined in costs by way of team salaries . And when concedes to the fact that the players themselves are unwilling to accede anything by way of the concessions sought , you simply get the feeling that NBA is still a powder-keg waiting to explode .
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Picture gallery for your perusal .
What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised within this piece ? By all means do take the time to leave a comment on this or any other topics you deem relevant on the subject matter . Thanks as always for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated !
Picture and slide show details below .
(1) FILE – In this March 16, 2012 file photo, Denver Broncos executive John Elway , rear, smiles as he arrives at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport, in Raleigh, N.C. Elway and coach John Fox traveled to North Carolina to watch Peyton Manning work out at Duke University . ESPN is reporting that Manning is negotiating to join the Broncos . Citing anonymous sources Monday, March 19, 2012, ESPN said that the four-time MVP has instructed agent Tom Condon to negotiate to complete a deal with Denver.(AP Photo/The News & Observer, Shawn Rocco ……
(2) Quarterback Peyton Manning (18) of the Indianapolis Colts smiles after defeating the Denver Broncos 27-13 at INVESCO Field at Mile High on September 26, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. It was reported that Peyton Manning will sign as quarterback with the Denver Broncos, barring a snag during intensified contract negotiations according to sources March 19, 2012. Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images …….
(3) Papa John’s founder John Schnatter is seen here alongside Redskins’ owner Dan Snyder and Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys. The trio were part of a tv and print commercial ad for Papa John’s Pizza . AP Photo/ Mitch Harris …….
(4) Kentucky forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14) reacts in the second half of their NCAA third-round tournament college basketball game against Iowa State in Louisville, Ky., Saturday, March 17, 2012. Kentucky defeated Iowa State 87-71 . AP Photo/John Bazemore ….
(5) LOUISVILLE, KY – MARCH 17: Anthony Booker (22) of the Iowa State Cyclones controls a rebound against the Kentucky Wildcats during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at KFC YUM! Center on March 17, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images ……
(6) Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant , left, dunks in front of Portland Trail Blazers’ LaMarcus Aldridge, right, during the fourth quarter of a NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Sunday, March 18, 2012. Oklahoma City won 111-95 . AP Photo/Alonzo Adams … …..
(7) Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kendrick Perkins , left, defends the basket as Portland Trail Blazers’ LaMarcus Aldridge , right, shoots during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Sunday, March 18, 2012. AP Photo/Alonzo Adams ….
(8) Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard (12) shoots past Miami Heat’s Joel Anthony (50) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March 18, 2012, in Miami. The Heat won 91-81 . AP Photo/Lynne Sladky ….
Kanye West ………….. “Can’t Tell Me Nothing ”