The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen …………..


The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

By Tophatal

A patron of my site tried to suggest that a the presumed leader on a renowned NBA franchise was being disingenuous, in being critical of his teammates . From my own perspective, by appearance alone, when the player happens to be the best athlete and player on that team and he is expected to carry the burden of that organization upon his lone and competitive shoulders . Then he has every right to be “calling out his teammates” no matter what the circumstances , especially in the case where it would appear that the head coach takes a nonchalant and laissez-faire approach , merely seeking to make excuses for the team’s poor play and then drawing the ire and complete disdain from the fans . If you haven’t caught on by now , the team in question just happens to be the Los Angeles Lakers (25-28) and of course , the player , just happens to be , none other than Kobe Bryant .


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Slideshow .

Now while the talk of the NBA at present has been outstanding play of play of LeBron James and his six-game run of averaging 30.4 points, 6 assists and 6.6 rebounds per game . Meanwhile , James, and the Heat, hold a comfortable seven-game lead over their closest rivals within the Southeast Division , the Atlanta Hawks (29-22) . It would remiss to think that Miami Heat and their head coach , Erik Spoelstra have had this season all to themselves . At present, the team is being is pushed hard, within the Eastern Conference , by none other than the New York Knicks (32-18). Who themselves have it on their minds, if at all possible , to supplant the Heat for the best record in the Eastern Conference . With that in mind, it is clear that Mike Woodson and his players had hoped to make that a reality before the All Star Break. The Knicks’ head coach however, can feel pleased with the fact, that his team leads the Heat, in their regular season series’ meetings (2-0) , so far, as part of the duos’ regular season scheduled contests.

It has to be understood , that there are as such, for all sense and purpose only three teams that certainly matters in terms of piquing the fans’ and public’s interests when it comes to the NBA , namely those franchises are the Boston Celtics , the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat . And granted , a case can be made for the San Antonio Spurs , but for the fact that they’ve won four NBA titles since 1997 , one seriously would have thought that the Gregg Popovich coached, and Tim Duncan led franchise , would be seen as one of the NBA’s marquee franchises . And perhaps, over the last four years with the ascent of Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder , as a rising powerhouse not only within the Western Conference but the NBA as a whole .

While I am not against players showing their passion or zeal on the court for the game , away from it , I would like to think that they can hold themselves accountable for their actions. A great deal of criticism has been leveled at Kobe Bryant over the course of his career , much of if it valid , and other cases , most definitely . With Bryant’s recent criticism, of his teammates, for their lackluster efforts on the court , it could be seen that the player’s frustrations had boiled over into sheer anger and contempt. And much of that, I believe has been brought about from the mere fact Kobe Bryant no longer has any faith in the abilities of general manager , Mitch Kupchak and SVP Jim Buss , son of team owner, Dr. Jerry Buss. The duo of senior executives, have simply made a mess of the season, with some rather curious and dubious personnel decisions. And while, the pundits were singing the praises of the acquisitions of Dwight Howard , and Steve Nash and their insertion unto this team . It has to be said , that the experiment so far, has worked out about as successfully, as the 72 day ‘marriage’ of Kim Kardashian to Nets’ power forward , Kris Humpheries. All of the hoopla behind that sham of a marriage” could not hide the fact , that intellectually and emotionally, the pairing was contrived and orchestrated, simply to whet the appetite of the public’s fascination of a publicity hungry female and a moderately successful NBA player . I just hope, that you had at least one chance, to tap that ass Kris ? Just simply, tap that ass !

On a one game winning streak , but losers of seven of their last ten games , there is no denying that you would have to be simply naïve , not to understand Kobe Bryant’s frustration. The team’s head coach, Mike D’Antoni, seems to be completely devoid creativity and ideas ! And to this asinine theory , that D’Antoni would bring about a defensive resilience to this unit , that is tantamount to suggesting that Lindsay Lohan’s acting career, has been a resounding success, given all of her off-screen problems . In the case of D’Antoni , he simply, has not brought anything meaningful to the table , by way of his alleged coaching prowess. In terms of defense the Los Angeles Lakers rank sixth , in the Western Conference allowing an astonishing 100.5 points per game , while in the league as a whole they rank eighth in points allowed . And when one takes into account that Bryant has been the primary offensive weapon on a team that is devoid of leadership , beyond the player , himself , and the very fact that the Lakers are physically and mentally soft ! What would now give anyone the notion that this team is simply good enough to make a credible run deep into the playoffs , much less actually garner a playoff berth based on their current standing within the conference ? If there happens to be a loyal Lakers’ fan still pinning their hopes and beliefs that the team can somehow turn things around . Then I, for one, would appreciate a succinct explanation as to how this will come about , given the franchise’s present situation ! Anyone, surely, there is a Los Angeles Lakers’ fan with the gravitas to show their undying allegiance to this renowned franchise?

The Lakers’ next game pits them against their co-habitants of the Staples Center in Los Angeles , Los Angeles Clippers (38-17) , in what is sure to be a heated and highly contested match-up . Vinny Del Negro’s Clippers hold a 2-0 series’ lead in their head to head match-ups this season , with their last meeting ending in a five point , 107-102 victory for his team . Will the Lakers be up to the challenge or will Blake Griffin led Clippers be like marauding mercenaries laying waste to the Lakers’ slowly evaporating season ?

While the Lakers and Clippers are dueling it out , a repeat of last season’s NBA Finals will be on tap , as two of the game’s most prolific scorers and some arguably might say , the NBA’s two best players , LeBron James and Kevin Durant will face off against each other , when the Miami Heat are the guests of the Oklahoma City Thunder , at the Chesapeake Energy Center , in Oklahoma City , Oklahoma ,. It is likely that the fans in attendance and those watching the cable broadcast are likely to see a highly entertaining and offensive minded game. Two of the game’s, biggest scorers , and a pair of teams , with the players , who, are good enough , to keep the electronic scoreboard rattling along at a phenomenal pace .

I firmly believe that the NBA over the last eight years, has simply sold its very soul to the Devil ! And while it has a great brand on perception , if you simply delve beneath the surface and sift through the bull-crap , espoused by David Stern and so many of his subordinates , you will find that there is not a great deal of transparency or clearly defined demarcation points, in terms of the hierarchy’s leadership. Stern , simply eschews it all , and rules his fiefdom with a rod of iron , that the likes of Joseph Stalin and Muammar Gaddafi would have been proud of . Thankfully, the NBA does not, suborn the use of torture , life-long imprisonment, or execution by a firing squad , as a means of rendering punishment , or as a harsh deterrent for those who oppose his every whim. Be warned Mark Cuban , as I know at, $1.25 million in fines and counting , your adversarial foe (Stern) is simply looking for you to be critical of his very next idea of grandeur. As for the NBA commissioner , when will he get it into his thick skull that the wide latitude given to him , is not given in order that he belittles the fans , and the cities in which the NBA franchises are domiciled . If you think that last statement just happens to be off base , then consider David Stern’s distinct lack of aid , given to the city of Sacramento as the municipality and the fans of that franchise fought for the Sacramento Kings’ retention within the California state capitol . .

With the Kings having been sold for a reputedly exorbitant $ 525 million to a consortium led by hedge fund manager and venture capitalist billionaire , Chris Hansen, Microsoft Chairman Steve Ballmer , and a number of minority stake-holding partners , who now await the NBA Board of Governors’ approval , in relocating the beleaguered franchise to Seattle , Washington. And even with a last-ditch effort mounted by Californian billionaire , Ron Burkle , jointly with ex-President Bill Clinton with their last-ditch bid , which seems unlikely to be favored , even with the backing of Sacramento City Mayor Kevin Johnson , now leading the municipality’s efforts . This wouldn’t all be so comical and sad , when you realize that the basketball franchise is one of the NBA’s least supported teams , and in terms of competitive success , the Sacramento Kings’ last postseason appearance , came back in 2006 , that ended , with a first round series’ loss (4-2) to the San Antonio Spurs. Subsequently, things have been pretty sparse by way tangible success competitively , personnel wise and most definitely , from an economic standpoint , with the team eking out a mere $2.6 million in profits, on revenues of $96 million . A rather meager return , given the franchise’s locale and region , but yet one asinine Kings’ devotee , once suggested to me, that the franchise is a profitable concern compared to many of its peers. What this idiot failed to acknowledge because of his undoubted lack of business acumen, was that the franchise had distinct advantages over many of its rivals, but in reality, the ownership group and front office , clearly were , mismanaged the franchise and placing it on the brink of financial insolvency . All of which, he failed to acknowledge, when the evidence was placed in print for him to peruse. Well, if you can’t damn well balance a check book , then it’s clear that a financial balance sheet would be right above his intellectual being.

For the soon to be departing Sacramento Kings’ owners , Joe and Gavin Maloof , and their siblings . Well, let’s just say, that their sale of the franchise has come about at least, five years too late. During, their tenure, the Sacramento Kings have seen their fair share of highs and lows. In retrospect , I would definitely say more lows , than highs , but those are just my personal opinions ! I can only hope that with relocation and a far more resourceful ownership group , the Kings can hopefully see a return to better days ! The Maloof’s sheer indulgence and lack of forthrightness has to come into question , but so too must David Stern’s apparent willingness to let a franchise owner almost single-handed take the franchise to brink of extinction without ever once questioning the motives of Joe and Gavin Maloof. Well this should not at all come as a surprise to anyone , given the commissioner’s instincts and his own overall lack of honesty and integrity . One only has to follow the David Stern’s actions , and that of the present owners of the Oklahoma City Thunder, to fully comprehend the web of deceit and lies which took place during the sale of the Seattle Supersonics , and their subsequent relocation to their new locale , in Oklahoma City , Oklahoma .

The recent injury to the Kentucky Wildcats’ Nerlens Noel , a point has to be raised . In clearly what was a season ending injury , Noel , thought to be a consensus number one overall pick for the 2013 NBA Draft , will be sidelined for the rest of the team’ regular season schedule , with not even a remote chance of a return , for participation in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament . Wildcats’ basketball coach , John Calipari , in a somber mood , having spoken to the player after his injury , simply stated that he hoped to see the player back in a Kentucky Wildcats’ uniform next season . The chances of that happening , I e firmly believe just went up in smoke ! Should Nerlens Noel make a full recovery , and he is looked upon favorably by the draft experts , NBA coaching staffs , then it seems abundantly clear , that the player will declare his eligibility for the NBA Draft and seek to make his fortune in the professional ranks . A torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee , is the injury which has sidelined the young Wildcats’ star for what is not necessarily an indeterminate period .Surgery , and recuperation period of six to eight months is considered a bare minimum time for recovery . And this is the exact same injury that NFL running back Adrian Peterson was able to recover from in record time . Therefore, it all bodes well for Nerlens Noel, now, if placed under the appropriate medical staff for treatment. I would like to think, that the player seeks to make a return to the collegiate ranks , but everything would suggest that with the untold millions that awaits in the NBA , a young athlete of Noel’s potential would find it hard forgo the chance of that fortune .

Nerlen’s injury came in a game between the Wildcats and the Florida Gators . Billy Donovan’s , players came away with an exciting 69-52 victory , in which there were some thrilling plays from both teams . With Nerlens Noel scoring a game-low eight points in the Kentucky Wildcats’ loss. Their next scheduled game will be an interesting contest against the Tennessee (Volunteers) in Knoxville, Tennessee , this Saturday , the 16th February , 2013.

With the NBA hierarchy’s apparent intent to review eligibility status of college players , questions will arise of the intent of the league to review present rules governing the college athletes’ eligibility, of their entrance into the NBA Draft. Once again, the “one and done rule” becomes a subject of great conjecture, debate and speculation. Is it really the league’s duty impinge and deprive a potential employee a right to earn an income merely because the NBA sees it as a way controlling the apparent quality and branding of their product ? This essentially, is what this maneuver will all boil down to, should there be any anticipated changes. Fighting this, will be the agents, whose clients will be subject to this edict. NCAA President, Mark Emmert , will undoubtedly seek to offer his input with regard to this issue. This will either all come crashing down around the NBA’s ears or David Stern , will once again be able to use his power and cast aside any opposition to his authority. Your thoughts, on this all ?

Inasmuch as it pains me to say this , this an NBA season just seems to be mirroring many of their predecessors , in a great deal of the play we see being exhibited . Scoring seem to be on the increase ,meanwhile there are deficiencies on defense that fans seem to be overlooking , while they seek to gloss over these issues within the league (NBA) at present . A number of fans seem to be oblivious to this all , as they seek to make light of these obvious flaws within game , which is being ignored by David Stern , as his only thought seems to marketing a waning product to anyone willing to listen to his spiel . Suffice to say , with the NBA brand having saturated the North American market , the NBA’s need for growth , will come from the continents of Australia , Africa , Europe , and Asia .

The league’s biggest growth area will be in China , where its population of 1.6 billion people are now fans of the NBA. And with the Beijing Olympics , and the success of Team USA Men’s and Women’s basketball teams in bringing home Olympic gold, heightened the popularity of the game , even more so. Even, in light of retirement of former Houston Rockets’ , center, Yao Ming , a Chinese native , and the country’s most popular and prominent sporting export , until the recent ascent of WTA Tour player , Li Na . The female tennis professional is now idolized by young girls and women , in very much the same way , as Yao has been admired and appreciated by the country’s population. His popularity still remains high , as he now seeks to broaden the base and popularity of the sport of basketball across the country of China.

Na’s rise to prominence , has seen her become a three-time Grand Slam finalist and winner of the 2011 French Open title on the clay courts of the Roland Garros Stadium in Paris , France. Add in the fact , of her seventeen career singles’ titles , 16 doubles’ titles and over $10 .6 million in prize money , and one can fully appreciate why she’s held in such high esteem by the Chinese people and the People’s Republican Party of China. Li Na , is currently ranked fifth in the WTA rankings , with top spot held by Victoria Azarenka of Belarus . And with both sports , basketball and tennis reaching such a widespread audience globally , with each reputedly becoming multi-billion dollar enterprises , then clearly, any room for growth will be eagerly sought by the NBA , FIBA as the international governing body of the sport of basketball , and the WTA , as the custodians of the sport of women’s tennis.

Sunday, the 17th February , marks the fiftieth birthday of Michael Jeffrey Jordan, arguably , the greatest player in NBA history. Most certainly justified , as being one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players of All-time . The question now becomes, how will the NBA celebrate their most famous and universally recognized ambassador ? Jordan’s name is still revered globally , and that is in spite of the rise today’s era of stars , such as Kobe Bryant , LeBron James , Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony , Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose . Jordan’s legacy and his achievements will long be remembered after his passing and thankfully many of the accomplishments are either etched in our memories or held on film , where we can view them all for prosperity . Who can fail to remember his game winning shot over the outstretched arms of a then bewildered Craig Ehlo of the Cleveland Cavaliers , in the waning seconds , of what was a career defining play , of which he has repeated countless times over ? Yet this game winning shot, in Game 5 of the first round of the 1989 NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs , meant a great deal more than just a victory , as it elevated Jordan to a God like, deity status. Michael Jordan remains one of the most recognizable athletes on the planet , and his universal acclaim might only be outshone at present, by retired boxer , Muhammad Ali and PGA Tour golfer, Tiger Woods . And no doubt , LeBron James , would like to see his fame take that ascent into the stratosphere , but first, it will take at least another three or four NBA titles , several league MVP’s , 6 or more Finals’ MVP awards , 8 more scoring titles , an additional ten more All Star Appearances, and shall we say, 20,000 more career points as an added bonus , before the comparisons can be made to Jordan , the icon , and the player who James , models himself after ?

Comparisons, will continually be made between NBA players of the past, and those of the present. Moreover, at times it may seem somewhat at disingenuous to gauge the greatness of these players , in thinking old versus new . In reality, there are no other means , nor is there an exact science to come up with a result that will meet everyone’s satisfaction , and that would deem to be fair . In my honest opinion to best way judge the players of the past against today’s crop of stars is to wait until an NBA of today makes his formal announcement to retire . And then we can start to deliver our verdicts , as to what we determine greatness to be !



Picture gallery .

What do you believe may well be the NBA’s biggest failure as a sport’s brand ? In addition, do think that they can rectify those problems on long-term or the short-term ? By comparison , do you believe it to be justified in trying to suggest who is the better player of the two , in making a decision between Michael Jordan and Michael Jordan ? Do bear in mind that James is only now entering his tenth year in the NBA , having been drafted as the number one overall pick , from the 2003 NBA Draft. Your thoughts or comments on this and anything else you believe relevant to this article is greatly appreciated . So do take time, and chime on in .


Picture and slideshow details below for your perusal .


(1) “Faces of the NBA “ … the past and the present. Left, LeBron James holds the Bill O’Brien Trophy , signifying, his first NBA title (world championship). And right, Michael Jordan , long considered the NBA’s greatest player past or present . AP Photo / Chris Pearson …

(2) Los Angeles Lakers center , Dwight Howard , left, shoots as Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan defends during the first half of their NBA basketball game , Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, in Los Angeles. AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill ….

(3) Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) shoots as Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) defends during the first half of their NBA basketball game, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill …

(4) Left , NBA Commissioner , David Stern and the Dallas Mavericks’ owner , Mark Cuban . The two individuals have had a contentious relationship , which is said to be built on ” mutual respect” . Yet, herein lies the dilemma , over the course of Cuban’s custodianship of the Maverick. He has reputedly, paid over $1.25 million in fines rendered by the league hierarchy led by David Stern . Cuban , a billionaire , tech entrepreneur will no doubt think of the fines as a mere pittance , when by comparison his net worth exceeds $2.35 billion . Getty Images/ Stuart Gough …

(5) Houston Rockets basketball center Yao Ming attended a press conference in Beijing, China to announce a partnership deal with the Brisbane company Monster Cable Products Inc. Yao and Monster has developed a broad range of co-branded “Yao Monster” consumer electronics and lifestyle products for distribution in China. Yao Monster products include headphones, bags, 3D glasses and home theater connectivity and power products. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a portion of the proceeds will go to the Yao Ming Foundation, which builds schools for disadvantaged children in China. Courtesy of Pacific Coast News … @ copyrighted material all rights reserved ….

(6) Nerlens Noel , the Kentucky Wildcats’ guard is seen lying on court during a game between Florida and the Kentucky Wildcats . Noel tore his Anterior cruciate ligament in his right, knee and will be lost to the team for the rest of their schedule , missing in its entirety the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament . Florida would go on to defeat Kentucky 62-59 . While Noel hopes to make a quick return , it is highly unlikely that he will return for his sophomore season with the team . Nerlens Noel is considered to be a ” consensus top five pick overall “ , if not the number one pick for the 2013 NBA Draft. It seems almost a certainty that Nerlens Noel will forgo his sophomore season , declaring his eligibility for the draft , recuperating , while honing his game in the ranks of the NBA . A number of NBA coaches and scouts have seen Noel’s game and have been impressed with the player’s all-round skill-set . AP Photo / John Thorn …



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NBA results 13th February , 2013 , and two scheduled games 14th February

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NBA All Star Game 15th February -17th February , 2013 , at the Toyota Center , in Houston , Texas

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NBA team valuation – value and profits in ascending order

NBA teams’ salaries and with the league’s “soft” salary capof $58.044 million , one could attest to the fact that, the general managers , team owners and league hierarchy are simply ” kidding” themselves as to the NBA’s apparent frugality !

Highest paid NBA player , average salary and cap hit .


Consequence , feat’g Kanye West …….. “ The Good The Bad & The Ugly “

Author: tophatal ...........

An avid sports' fans that's all !!!!!

52 thoughts on “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen …………..”

  1. For the fans , I am now showing you the good , the bad and the ugly as it relates to the NBA ! Stop with this idiocy that this league is simply filled with resplendent stories , when the real issue has been the utterly anemic play from “so many “ of the teams at the top and bottom of the league !

    Once again, the Lakers cannot get one over on their fellow co-habitant of the Staples Center , as the “Clip joint” put their season hopes and aspirations for the postseason almost to rest with a victory . At a minimum , Kobe and his teammates will need to win no less than for 43 games to be in with a sure chance of gaining a playoff berth and be part of the postseason scenario .

    The NBA is now , not awash with money ! Simply look at the team values , which in no way truly reflects ” real value ” , as it is all speculatory , in nature ! Here are the profits and revenues of the franchises . Tell me , what is already , glaringly obvious ?

    Would it be unwise to suggest that LBJ will be a runaway winner for league MVP this season , as no one has been remotely close to him in terms of their play this season ?

    ” Adam likes to see penetration while the game is in transition . I just simply like a guy who knows what sex act makes me feel good, anally ” ! David Stern & Deputy Commissioner , Adam Silver .

    And when it’s time for David Stern to pull his $ick out of Adam Silver’s a$s (Deputy Commissioner) and address not only issue of player eligibility but also the financial disparities in terms of teams’ salaries . Perhaps then , he can really deal with the issue , rather than espousing his views on the financial stability of the league and its teams . Because last I looked the teams in the NBA had been recipients of over $600 million (2009 & 2010) , which he states “should not be seen as a “bailout ” for the twenty-two recipients of those monies . There are thirty teams in the NBA and 75% of them needed some form of financial aid ? What is this , the NBA’s and Stern’s idea of TARP ? What an a$$hole, he just happens to be ! All this and he’s being paid in excess of $15 million year ? By comparison , simply look at the number of NBA players who earn close to or above that sum on an annual basis .

    Jordan turns 50 this Sunday , let’s see what the NBA itself will do to celebrate that milestone for the former Bulls’ star .

    It’s sad , that the Wildcats’ Nerlens Noel will be lost to the team for the rest of their season , as he was perhaps their best all round player and double threat on both ends of the floor .

    Tophatal ……………


  2. Here’s two things we learned from watching basketball last night.

    1) Kevin Durant is a sick talent but he’s not LeBron James, nor will the Thunder be able to hang with the Heat in a seven-game series.

    2) Despite their recent little hot streak, the Lakers are still a bad and uninspired team. Even if they do make it to the playoffs, they’ll get blown out of the water by a team with more togetherness if they don’t get their act together.


    1. Chris Humpherys

      This is what I do know ! LeBron can play all five positions on the court and he’s a better defensive player than Kevin Durant . And while both are phenomenal offensive players , which has been shown by the fact of the number of scoring titles won by the duo , collectively .


      “This time we do the Macarena ” ! LeBron James and Kevin Durant .

      Head to head meetings between meetings the Heat and the Thunder in the regular season and in the playoffs

      Heat’s playoffs stats in 2011 and at of the Thunder’s stats



  3. LArmstrong paranoia has set in. Does LBJ look bigger and stronger than last year? ‘Roids? Stern needs them.

    Al, wtf are the babes?


    1. Ronbets

      “Shrunken nuts , shrunken #ick , what do I care , a chick is still gonna suck on ‘my stick’, when I whip it, out ! So, do you want some of this Oprah ” ? Armstrong and Oprah Winfrey

      It was never paranoia with Lance , he was simply a conceited and deceitful ba$tard !


      True or false ?

      Of course LBJ is playing better than last year ! The guy is on a mission to prove that in the end he’ll be the equal if not surpass his mentor and icon Michael Jordan .


      Selita Ebanks


      Wendy Fiore


      SI model Kate Upton

      You want hot chicks
      with big tits who like a lot of #ick , then you’ve come to the right place .


  4. This just in , Heat owner , Mickey Arison will be forcing his players to honor their contracts by taking a cruise on his Carnival Cruise Line vessel “The Triumph “ . Yes, that very same vessel that became listless in the Caribbean with 5,000 passengers on board swimming around in their own fecal matter , urine and rotting garbage .

    I own the Heat and I own Carnival Cruise Lines . Not only that but I’m a goddamn billionaire , so who gives a $hit ! Micky Arison


    “Way too much #hit on board , some one grab a bucket ” .

    Courtesy of the LA Times

    Carnival Triumph cruise ship adrift; long lines for toilets, food

    Passengers stranded on a cruise ship adrift in the Gulf of Mexico say they must stand in long lines to use working bathrooms and to get hot meals.

    The messages from passengers on the Carnival Triumph, drifting in the Gulf of Mexico after an engine fire Sunday, came from text messages sent to family and friends. No one was injured in the fire but it left the ship without propulsion.

    Miami-based Carnival Cruise Line said some of the public and cabin toilets are not operating and only limited power is available to run elevators and heat food.

    A tug boat reached the ship Monday and a second boat is expected to arrive Tuesday, with plans to pull the ship to Mobile, Alabama by Thursday, the cruise line said. The ship, departed Galveston last week with about 3,000 passengers and more than 1,000 crew members on a four-day cruise to Cozumel, an island off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

    Several text messages relayed from friends or relatives of Triumph passengers were printed on, a review site for cruise vacations.

    The messages said the rooms are so hot without circulating air that some passengers were sleeping in tents on the deck.

    The husband of a woman on the ship said he spoke to his wife Sunday by phone. “At the time I spoke to her, there were no toilets. They were using little red bags. And no running water, no lights, except emergency lighting.”

    Click on link to read in full.

    The next time anyone attends a game at the AA Arena , in Miami , and they have to use the restrooms , do remember to flush twice , and wash your hands for a minimum of thirty seconds . Keeps the germs away ! LOL,LOL,LOL !!!
    Tophatal …………..

    Tophatal ……………….


  5. No that’s more Tophat Al. My preferences on the Babes shown? Wendy then Oprah. I like beefy gals.
    Btw Al, Superbowl performers. You’re preference Beyonce or Alicia Keys?
    consensus pick


    1. The performances were very good , albeit . that I believe the NFL goes overboard when catering to the masses . Goodell and the hierarchy , I don’t think really knows what the public at large really wants .

      Both Keys and Beyonce’ Grammy winning artists whose resume`s speaks volumes as to their great talent. But I would have love to have seen a momentary wardrobe malfunction .! And don’t you think that would have been great good ?


      Beyonce` sang about “Puttin’ a ring on it ” . How about her allowing someone else other Jay-z put a #ick inside her ? The same with Keys as well , albeit that Swizz Beats might have something to say about it .

      As to the Superbowl game itself , it was a wonderful event , once the > second half got going . Flacco and Kapernick both performed amazingly well under such conditions.

      The Ravens have to be seen as prohibitive favorites for the Superbowl XLVIII (SB XLVIII) next season .

      NFL transactions , it’s getting crazy this off season as teams are payroll to meet cap issues and get under it in many cases .


      My rates just went up , blood pressure and heart rate that is , and I love it ! LOL,LOL,LOL !!



  6. Now that’s more like it. The NV sports poll winner is…………..


    Thanks for the informative and picturesque blog.


    1. It was a great performance by Keys but the plateau was set by Whitney Houston and since then no one has even been close to surpassing that accomplishment .

      Houston gives it her all .

      Tophatal …………..


  7. Kobe Bryant’s mouth has gotten him into trouble, but he still seems to not care. Bryant knows he’s the face of the franchise and literally does whatever he wants. It’s the truth.


    1. Blog Surface /CDR

      I’ve no problem with Kobe being critical of his teammates , it’s not as if it isn’t valid ! I mean look at the core of the team and then what’s allegedly expected of them and the fact that DAntoni simply doesn’t know how to coach defensive basketball ? Fans are either that stupid or just apathetic in thinking , that roster is simply good enough to win an NBA title !

      Other than Kobe Bryant who else on that team is actually contributing in any big way towards to the team’s victories ? I’ve yet to hear or read a patron’s comments stating that !

      Lakers’ news

      Tophatal ……………


  8. I’m sorry but you’re going to have a long way to go before you convince me that the All Star Weekend and its festivities will be that great .

    Tonight’s game was a joke , an event made up of D list celebrities , minor players whose fit in the NBA , ranks up there with Boehner’s hope of seeing Obama take a fall, while walking the grounds of the White House . Then we have Saturday’s idiocy and then the mainstay which will be another uncompetitive game , where the players’ efforts are half-assed and noncommittal !

    Why is this said to be , an event worth watching ? It is really worth it ? It’s not as if the fans or the game benefits from it . And what real incentive is it to the teams or for that matter to the game itself ?

    Tophatal ………………


  9. The Lakers go back to Minneapolis and the days of George Mikan. I got to know George and his one of his sons Patrick. I have an autographed of George, The Lakers are in trouble. Will I watch the NBA all-star weekend no! Maybe the slam dunk contest and a bit of the game but that’s about it. I have linked my bobby gee word press sit to yours. I have you on the blog roll. so guys check it out as well as bobby gee defutebol.


  10. On other point. Watch Black magic on ESPN. These will give you a real history of the great black players in the USA. Earl the Pearl Monroe, Woody Salisbury, Dick Barnett, Willis Reed, Sonny Hill, just to name a few.


  11. Al, agree with the Whitney performance. Gonna be tought to beat.

    bobbygee, the guys you named were super, but need to be listed following guys like the BigO, The Big Dipper, Russell, and Baylor. In all due respect, I’ve never seen Salisbury or Hill play. I remember Sonny Hill as a knowlegeable color commentator for the 76’ers with Andy Muser on WCAU Philly.


    1. Whitney’s performance , stands in a class by itself !

      And I agree with you on comments you have stated to Bobby !
      Few fans of the NBA tend to look at the game’s history instead they’re more intent on so many of the players of today . They have forgotten about players such as West , Mikan , Russell , Jabbar , Worthy , Magic , Reed , Bird and others from a bygone era .

      Does Denise Milani make your ” bones” feel stiff ?

      Tophatal ………..


        1. Ronbets

          My ” rod ” will always stand to attention , if there are chicks like Wendy Fiore , Denise Milani and Lucy Liu are about . Especially the latter , Liu , as I loves me , an Asian chick ! Which the present girlfriend can attest to , as she’s biracial , Asian American .






          Lucy Liu

          What was that ” garbage ” served up last night in terms of an All Star Game ? There’s a reason , why we can have porn on cable ! In order to overcome having to watch crap like that , from last night !


          Tophatal …………………….


  12. By now you’ve seen that the Clippers beat Lakernation yet again. Season’s over for former stars of Staples Center! The rumore of Dwight going to Beantown for Rondo are bogus. He’ll resign with the Lakers. o where else for oft injured big guy to go..
    As for Whitney, I put her video up when she past on Feb. 12th 2012. She set the standard for class and talent in her rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. No one else has come close.
    Nice piece Alan-


    1. Fantasy Furnace /Hank

      The Lakers have been terrible this season and defensively the team simply has been mediocre . They will be hard pressed to make the postseason , because they cannot afford any slip-ups over the remainder of their schedule .

      Playing . 675 or .750 basketball at a minimum will be the only way for them to make it into the postseason scene . And with Bryant being the only player contributing anything on that roster , I seriously doubt that they will make it ! And should they do son , then, they will want no part of the Spurs , Thunder , Clippers or Grizzlies for that matter !

      If the Lakers were to trade Dwight Howard at the trade deadline at the trade deadline would be an admittance of failure on their part ( Kupchak & Jim Buss ). The firing of Mike Brown was idiotic and the hiring of Mike DAntoni was an even bigger mistake !

      Howard this season has been indifferent and he seems disinterested , Given his present play I don’t believe him to be the best center playing in the NBA !

      As for Whitney Houston , I’ve yet to see a performer give sing the National Anthem with such passion at any formal or sporting event ! She remained in a class by herself while alive and performing at a high level . Unfortunately , for her , she ended up with a bum like Bobby Brown .

      Thanks for chiming in with a comment !

      Tophatal ……………….

      Tophatal …………

      Tophatal …….


        1. The only way you’ll get me to watch the events from the NBA All Star Weekend is under duress wherein , I’m shackled to a chair and forced to watch as a form of torture ! I’d rather a situation be forced upon me, where I’m watching porn and then be asked to offer up my thoughts on the subject matter !

          It’s good , it’s bad and it’s ugly , but at least my are interests are piqued . Not so the case , when it comes to those specific events from the NBA’s mid-season showcase event !

          Tophatal …………


  13. Personally , I cannot wait for the resumption of the NBA season as it relates to this mediocre league !

    That way I can judge for myself how some of these teams can prove themselves , rather than read some of the asinine comments within this forum concerning what fans believe to a great season . Teams are playing some of the most ludicrous defense possible , whereas on offense , few teams actually are able to shoot more than 40 % from beyond the arc . What if anything that does that tell about the NBA in comparison to last season in terms of defense and offense ?

    NBA standings 2011 conference and divisional standing .

    Tophatal ….


  14. ,My condolences and commiserations to all of the supporters of the Los Angeles Lakers as well as to the Buss’ family , with the untimely death of the team’s owner , Dr . Jerry Buss , PhD ! Hopefully the tradition of success can be carried on by his immediate family , sons , Jim Buss , Jerry Buss Jr and daughter , Jeanie Buss .

    Magic , Kareem , Buss (at the podium) and Pat Riley

    Buss , the patriarch , epitomized what the Lakers’ glitz was all about , as they were first and foremost LA’s team .

    Rest in peace Dr Buss , as you were of great service to the NBA and the game of basketball !

    Tophatal …………….


  15. The Lakers are in deep trouble. Lebron is good but Wilt averaged 50 PPG and 21 RPG per game in one season. MJ is great but let’s not forget Elgin Baylor Oscar, Sam Jones, Wally Jones, Clyde the glide Frasier. just to name a few.


    1. Bobby Gee

      There is no doubt that the Los Angeles Lakers will be in for a rough and tough ride over the next few seasons . There seems to be no heir apparent to Kobe Bryant , as the mantel has been passed down during previous eras from Mikan to West , to Wilt to Kareem , to Magic and Worthy . And then in the subsequent years you had Shaq and Kobe guiding the franchise to where it now is today, with Kobe Bryant being the chauffeur . And now with the player , in the twilight of his career and things being indescribably tough for this team , the front office led by Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss , son of the late Dr. Jerry Buss , have no sense of urgency or clear direction , as to where they are heading .

      Given where they now stand within their division and conference , the chances of them making the postseason are looking far from secure and if anything it is now more remote than ever , they will actually be a part of the playoff picture .

      Tophatal ………….


    1. Tim Solis (sportsgrinder)

      We know what a Kentucky Widcats program coached by Calipari is all about ! You’re in and you’re one , and done !

      The fact of the matter is , Nerlens Noel , had he not been injured , would have parlayed his season and then declared his eligibility for the 2013 NBA Draft . Now with the player having to forgo the season , having been injured in the loss against Florida . He will now have to sit on the sidelines, as his teammates try to make a successful run in the NCAA Tournament . That’s not to say that Noel won’t make himself available for the Draft given the fact that, he’s seen as a consensus top ten pick in the first round . There may well be a team willing to take a chance on the player , who has a proven ability on both ends of the floor .

      Tophatal …………


  16. I stand by the ascertion that calling your teammates out through the media is counterproductive. Say what you want behind closed doors, rip each other to shreds in private, but publicly there should be a display of solidariity and unity by the team. Not finger pointing.

    Teammates sniping at each other through the media is a sign of weakness not strength. We’ve seen this before with Kobe, when Shaq was there. It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now.


    1. Maurice Barksdale

      Sometimes ,. it needs to be said out loud and in public , because we’re now seeing that this Lakers’ team simply doesn’t possess a backbone . These guys are scared of their of their own goddamn shadows ! Mentally and physically this team is soft and Mike DAntoni , as a head coach simply is now completely out of his depth !

      Do you consider the players on the Lakers to be mature men or adolescents ? Personally , I see that entire group as a bunch of immature prima-donnas ! They are overpaid for what they offer in return which isn’t anything at all tangible for the fans this season . they

      They (Lakers) are amongst the worst of the teams within the conference and NBA defensively . As for Nash’s assertion , that all the team needs to improve offensively , is to play more pick and roll . He clearly fails to address so many of the other flaws the franchise currently has .


      I wouldn’t mind polishing her (Annie Thao) rims !

      Tophatal ….. …..


      1. It’s like I said, the Kobe Bryant era is on a downward trend. There are simply other players in the western conference who are hungrier at this stage of Kobe’s career, and more determined to win than he is.

        Kobe can try and will the Lakers to be champions, but it’s now the Thunder and the Clippers time to rise, and barring a dramatic turn of events, there’s not much that Kobe can do to stop that.


        1. Maurice Barksdale

          Last I looked Kobe had yet to become a member of AARP , with that being said he still remains a prolific scorer in the NBA . The unfortunate thing here is that his band( team) of cast-mates seems to be like a boy band without its lead singer , when he’s injured or on the sidelines . Think N-Sync without Justin Timberlake ! LOL,LOL,LOL !!! Not that my musical tastes stretch to “pop music” , but I’d swear that JT has some ethnicity in him !

          All roads to the Western Conference Finals this season may well have to go through my beloved San Antonio Spurs , where everyone seems to be ignoring the play of Tony Parker this season ! I believe him to be one of the leading candidates for the League MVP ! But it appears to be LeBron James’ award to lose . Your thoughts on that premise ?

          What Kobe needs to do , is to ” lay the pipe ” to Vanessa , his wife , and stop messing around with actress, Sanaa Lathan , as he’s not ” man enough” to handle that fine Nubian sista’ !

          Sanaa Lathan ! She can play on my pole anytime she wants !

          Tophatal ………..


            1. Maurice Barksdale

              Duncan will get his points , but my concern as always , has been the offensive and defensive production from off the bench during the regular and postseason ! If the Spurs are not able to expedite that efficiently , then their postseason foray could very well be short-lived .

              Popovich has the players , playing some great basketball at present , with the team holding a comfortable lead within their division and the Western Conference . That being said, they have not made any major deals , so it indicates to me that GM R C Buford and the coaching staff are quite happy with things being as they are .

              Tophatal ……………..


    2. Maurice

      Better them calling each other out , than drawing a gun on each other ! Remember the idiocy between the Wizards’ Gilbert Arenas and Tarvaris Crittenton at the Verizon Center in DC , a few years back ? And that was simply over one player not paying off his damn gambling debt from a poker game .

      Me , I’m ol’ school , we can either ” throw down ” in a martial arts’ dojo or in the octagon, MMA style ! Not of this , pop a cap in someone’s a#s , crap !

      Tophatal ………….


        1. Maurice Barksdale

          It was sheer stupidity on the part of Crittenton and Arenas ! And we wonder why there’s so much gun violence within the inner cities and which has now spread to the rural areas of the country ?

          Don’t get me wrong , I am not against people owning guns , just as long as the licensees of the weapons are law abiding and responsible citizens ! Having spent a decade in the British military *(Royal Marines) and being on active duty in Ireland during the latter early eighties , I’ve seen up close and personal what a weapon in the wrong hands can do along with an incendiary (explosive) device .

          Meanwhile , you have an anally retentive official such as Rahm Emanuel , mayor of Chicago, blaming the gun violence solely on the street gangs . Why doesn’t he also admit to the fact that he and his predecessors have cut their spending on the recruitment of police officers and educators , and that has also been mirrored by the Cook County government in the state of Illinois ! Instead of remaining in his city during a time of political crisis , that idiot (Emanuel) was out campaigning for Barack Obama during the last Presidential election, not only within the state, but also in various parts of the country . How does that serve the electorate and citizens of Chicago ?

          An unenlightened individual Rahm Emanuel !

          *Also served in various parts of North Africa on training exercises —- training foreign troops in that region

          Tophatal ……


          1. I think Chicago is just a stepping stone for Rahm Emanuel to seek a higher office. Solving Chicago’s crime problems isn’t nearly as high a priority for him as getting his name out there for his next political office is.


            1. Maurice Barksdale

              Unfortunately, Rahm Emanuel will use that position as you say to seek higher office either at the state level , but ultimately , I believe as a shot at a congressional seat in the House or Senate , with quite possibly taking a shot at the Presidency in either 2016 or 2020. I certainly believe that Hillary Clinton has it , on her mind , for one more shot in 2016 for the Democratic Presidential nomination !

              “Hey Hillary , myself and Joe Biden would like to ‘double team’ you ” ! Rahm Emanuel ‘

              Tophatal ……


            2. Maurice Barksdale

              And that is what I hate about the politics here ! Rahm Emanuel rather than seeking to serve his constituents , is simply self-serving and conceited S-O-B !

              While working alongside Barack Obama , was there one defining moment, wherein , you could say , he had done , or did something of benefit for the nation ? Pontificating and
              and throwing out meaningless statistics does nothing but indicate a message of indifference and at times downright stupidity !

              Tophatal …………


            3. Maurice Barksdale

              The Bulls are playing some great basketball at present , but with the sudden inconsistency we’ve recently seen from the Knicks and Nets . The Eastern Conference could get very interesting as the NBA closes out the regular season .

              I think that Tom Thibodeau has done a fantastic job this season , given the loss of Derrick Rose for much of the Bulls schedule. .

              The Bulls’ front office led by GM Gar Foreman and EVP & Head of Basketball Operations John Paxson in recent seasons , have been damn impressive in terms of their draft picks .

              That Knicks’ 30 plus point loss to the Pacers , then the Nets , themselves , being recently blown out , and neither team playing any defense , do you feel that either team stands a chance against the Heat this season in a seven-game postseason format ?

              Tophatal ………………..


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