Think you can handle the truth ?
With the world said to be aghast, because another high-profiled athlete finds themselves on the wrong side of the law . I for one , would like to know why it is the fans and the public are showing their surprise ? I mean , athletes have always thought themselves to be above the law , and not to be held accountable at all for their actions . The NFL much like the other four major professional team sports have all been caught with the customary stigma , when the professionals there, have been embroiled in some sort of controversy . Aaron Hernandez may well now be implicated in three homicides , but there was already a disturbing pattern of behavior associated and established with the now former New England Patriots` tight end dating back to his pre college years . Yet, this was all ignored at various points during of the player`s athletic career, collegiate and within the professional ranks. And along the way, we have seen the hypocrisy of the various bodies and coaches who have presided over the player`s career . So now we are looking for answers to questions that most psychologists would explain not only as dangerous deviant behavior , but also as something that was ongoing , that would reach a boiling point and come to a head .
At the same time I have yet to read anyone suggesting that the NFL and Players` Union , ever seeking to deter or better yet , seek of ways to curb the excess and grossly dangerous behavior of its players . Does anyone actually remember the actions of Donte Stallworth and his repeated lies to the press and prosecution , concerning the tragedy in of the case of the vehicular manslaughter death of a South Florida citizen ? Stallworth , got behind the wheel of his $ 175,000 vehicle with a BAC (blood alcohol content) of 0.143 , almost twice the legal limit within the state of Florida . Not only that, but the Patriots` wide receiver tested positive for marijuana , which both he and his lawyers claimed, played no part in the death of 59 year-old Mario Reyes , a father of four . The case against Stallworth was straight-forward , but somehow , the course of justice was perverted by the State Attorney`s Office , with the player only serving a twenty-four days of what was meant to be a thirty-day sentence . Am I missing something here ? Were this, simply a civilian as a defendant , I am certain that having been found guilty , or willing to take a plea agreement, as was the case here , at a minimum that individual would now be serving no less than five years in a case of vehicular manslaughter . The public expects more from its public officials, as well these athletes , but instead , they are placed on a pedestal by the press and fans alike.
Well , as of now, I find this whole situation to be to be not only repugnant , but also repulsive !
A patron of my site recently suggested that the country as advanced racially and socially to the point where are at a point , were we should no longer be overly concerned with race in terms of equality . Well, unless he has been living under a rock, the country remains extremely divided along racial lines . And that is now being played not only in the court of public opinion but also right in-front of our very eyes , as the trial of George Zimmerman takes place in the city of Sanford , Florida , in the death of seventeen-year old African-American , Trayvon Martin . Considering that in the past eighteen months within the state , this is as such, is the eight such instance, where the use of the `stand your ground law has been used as a crux for the slaying of an unarmed victim , were the victim has been someone of ethnic ethnicity . I would like to know, are we as a society , still depraved ? The answer I believe to be yes, and empathic yes , I might add ! The criminal case has begun to capture the nation`s attention, while also showing that the legal establishment within the state is and remains extremely mediocre . The prosecuting and defense attorneys, are pandering and posturing for the cameras, rather than seeking to establish any semblance of the truth. A simple microcosm of a mediocre societal system will be played out in-front of our very eyes over the ensuing weeks . Then at the end of it all, we can assess whether her or not, if justice has been served .
With the free agency status of NBA players able to declare their eligibility declare their status as of 1:00 AM tonight . It will be interesting, to see which players will seek to ply their trade elsewhere . If the rumors are to be believed , then it seems all but certain, that Los Angeles Lakers` center Dwight Howard will leave the franchise and seek a new home for his talents . Personally , I am of the belief that Howard, beyond not being entirely happy with his sojourn in the city of Angels, his relationship with the team`s best player Kobe Bryant , was severely tested . Lakers` head coach Mike DAntoni , to my mind , is not someone I believe is capable of corralling a cast of characters , such as in the makeup of this Lakers` roster . The team`s play throughout much of this past season was lethargic and unconvincing . And those who were of the belief that gathering the talents of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard to play alongside Kobe Bryant would make the Lakers a legitimate playoff contender and championship caliber team were clearly misguided , if not stupid .
With several teams said to be vying for the Lakers center`s services , it is hard to assess where would be the best fit for a player who over the past two years has simply failed to live up to expectations . Long thought of as being the best center in the NBA , I am not so sure that those claims can still be justified at this juncture . yet these are merely my observations and no one else`s. Howard lacks leadership skills , maturity , but most notably when placed under a great deal of pressure , he simply fails to deliver .
This past season the NBA salary cap was held steady at $58 million , but with their being a growing view that a number of the big-market teams who would like to see that figure raised . It seems inconceivable, that is likely to happen, if the league hierarchy would raise keep the luxury tax rates and salary cap above their existing levels . A dollar for dollar or $1-50 per dollar surcharge, would certainly impede the teams over the league`s current soft salary cap , and it would certainly lead to a contentious situation between the parties concerned . So unless the league, team owners and union (NBPA- Players` Union) can come to some sort of compromise , then that scenario is unlikely to take shape . And given how contentious the relationship has been between the NBPA and league hierarchy, I certainly do not believe , that we are likely to any changes come about overnight . Concessions would have to be made on all sides . As of this moment, the Players` Union remains highly distrustful of team owners and of David Stern , in particular . The latter , who prides himself on being the voice of reason for the NBA . Anyone who has witnessed the commissioner`s autocratic rule , will know that Stern is very much like an immature child , who if things simply do not go his way , he is likely to pick up his toys , cry off , while seeking to apportion blame elsewhere .
One can already see the teams that are likely to be encumbered with monstrous payrolls this upcoming season , unless those franchises seek to get rid of the dead weight on their respective rosters . Leslie Alexander , owner of the Houston Rockets along with head coach Kevin McHale , James Harden , GM Daryl Morey , have met with the player and his agent Dan Fegan . However, there are several other meetings scheduled for Howard and Fegan over the next few days before a formal announcement is made as to the player`s desired destination . Dwight Howard can seek to obtain a maximum contract from any of the vested parties , a contract most certainly make the player amongst the highest paid players in the NBA , and most likely at the position in the league . Ultimately, whatever the destination of Howard , I do believe that the center will be in a for a rude awakening , as he seeks to resurrect his career. . A six-year contract paying Dwight Howard between $118 million to $125 million , does seem inflated for a player who has no proven signs of leadership , and has often been known and witnessed , to simply give up , when adversity stares him directly in the face . I have never been truly enamored with Dwight Howard as a player , as I find him more often than not , to be a mere caricature and a cartoon character , showing almost infantile like behavior for an athlete described as one of the best players in the NBA. A formal announcement is likely to be made by the player by no later than the 10th July, 2013 .
Just like The Jefferson`s , it would appear that the Brooklyn Nets are seeking their own deluxe apartment in the sky . The fact that team owner , Mikhail Prokhorov and GM Billy King have seen fit to acquire both Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce from the Boston Celtics , in exchange for a two first round draft picks (2013 , 2014) and monetary exchange , might bode well for the besieged franchise . In an effort to take the glare and shine off their conference rivals the New York Knicks . This maneuver could either lead to the franchise’s undoing or at the end of the day , be seen as spectacular , if not a genius move engineered by King . Given the disarray shown by the team during the postseason . it is clear the Nets need to be installed with leadership ability . It clearly has not come from Deron Williams , in spite of his eight years in the NBA . If Williams has not learned that trait by now , then there is no certainty that he ever will , in spite of his many supporters . There is a definite reason why the likes of Steve Nash , Chris Paul , Tony Parker and Rajon Rondo are viewed as figureheads on the teams were they play . Granted, the same can be said of Williams , but he has never been a player who it is said , has led by example or in fact , instilling that eagerness to win . Yet somehow, all of the plaudits and vocal accolades heaped upon the Nets` point guard simply cannot deter the fact that he has in essence, become the face of a player who is in fact a prima-donna ____ very much a self-absorbed athlete and `coach-killer` . I would countenance that by saying , this is the image of so many players around the NBA , that has now become the norm , rather than the exception to the rule .
With Jason Kidd having recently retired , after a successful career in the NBA , the future Hall of Fame player , was recently introduced as the successor to PJ Carlisemo . No coaching experience , but a wealth of insight on the game, from his playing days, this could very well be the wrong scenario for the league`s newest head coach to embark upon a coaching career. It has to be said Kidd`s start will be a baptism of fire more tan anything else . Egos on the court of play and having to deal with a no-nonsense owner , I believe will be far too great a task for the Nets` new coach to deal with ! Garnet , Pierce and Kidd in terms of their respective careers have served the NBA combined for the better part of three decades. Whether or not , Kevin Garnett , Paul Pierce and Deron Williams can coexist, while taking instructions from Jason Kidd remains to be seen , but it will create an interesting dynamic as to the environment within the Nets` environment and locker room at game time . Kidd has stated that his coaching staff will be made up of the best possible talent available . So , I guess Jason Kidd knows of the obstacles he now faces, as he now embarks upon a new phase of his NBA career .
If there is one thing that we have to be aware of when it comes to the NBA , its it is that much like their counterparts in Major League Baseball , the NBA`s team owners are just as capricious and ostentatious . Baseball , reportedly prides itself on being fiscally conservative , but that is the farthest thing from the truth . Especially , when Commissioner Bud Selig is not known for transparency , much less be willing to have the game`s finances be opened up for public scrutiny . It should serve as a warning to the fans, but somehow it simply does not , because in large part , the vast majority of these fans would be unable to fully comprehend even the mildest financial principles that the teams operate under , much less be able to explain how the league`s luxury tax system actually works . The same premise also holds true for the NBA , and the bile that David Stern continually sells to the public en-masse as to the overall health of the NBA .
To further expand on the nonsensical whims of the NBA , and the fact that team owners and general managers believe that it is best to simply try to outspend their rivals . This past season the Brooklyn Nets with a payroll of $89.583 million , ranking it amongst the highest within the league . From an economic standpoint , given the gravitas of Mikhail Prokorov and the uninhibited manner under which he operates the Nets . It should come as no surprise that the franchise will have to pay a $31 million surcharge , with the organization having exceeded the league`s soft salary cap of $58 million for this past season . A large portion of the Brooklyn`s payroll was tied up in the salaries paid to Deron Williams and Joe Jonson . As to evidence the naiveté and sheer absurdity tat the NBA continues to operate under , Johnson`s contract still calls for the player to be paid another $67 million over the next tree seasons. All this , for a player whose presence the court for his team was barely noticeable this past season , during the regular and postseason .
Picture gallery .
No grandstanding , no standing on ceremony , the next chapter in the LeBron James` quest to be rightly or wrongly be called The King or Great One , will take a new approach . James knows that the comparisons are already being made to his idol Michael Jordan . Personally , I feel it best to make such comparisons once a player`s career is over . Then we can truly judge as to the perceived greatness and attributes of the players in question . Making comparisons by way of age or shall we say what was accomplished by a certain point of their respective careers does not give one a true gauge on what could ultimately transpire down the road . What I am fully aware of , is that during this postseason , LeBron James put on array of performances that allowed the Miami Heat to defeat the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals , thereby guaranteeing the franchise`s successful defense of their title . As an avowed fan of the game, though not necessarily of the player , I acknowledge and congratulate LeBron James on his success ! . If anything, as the league now seeks to make new inroads in terms of its global presence , it will be James who becomes the face and persona of the NBA . Hopefully , David Stern can see what he has in front of him as a marketing tool and simply not make a damn mess of things , as he has been known to do and then to apportion blame elsewhere for his own mea-culpas. Your thoughts on this all and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter ?
Picture and slideshow details below .
(1) Shayanna Jenkins, middle, fiancée of former New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez, is escorted by attorney Janice Bassil, left, and an unidentified attorney after a bail hearing in Fall River Superior Court Thursday, June 27, 2013 in Fall River, Mass. Hernandez, charged with murdering Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old semi-pro football player, was denied bail. AP Photo/Elise Amendola …
(2) Aaron Hernandez accomplice Carlos Ortiz appears in court and is arraigned for his role in the murder of Odin Lloyd. Ortiz had relatives that denied his involvement and he teared in court on June 28, 2013. Photo : Twitter/AP ….
(3) Donte Stallworth is seen here accompanied by his attorneys in July 2009 , as the jury renders a verdict of guilty in his vehicular manslaughter trial in the death of Miami native , fifty-nine year old Mario Reyes , a father of four. The player was given a thirty-day sentence , but served only twenty-four days in jail , after a plea agreement reached with the district attorney . Stallworth would also see the suspension of his license and was placed on five years probation . An out of court settlement was reached with the Reyes` family , with Donte Stallworth having to pay the Reyes` family $2.5 million . Public outrage was vented at Miami Dade State Attorney , Katherine Fernandez-Rundle as to the leniency of the sentence and for her office negotiating a plea agreement which in essence brokered this abhorrent deal , subverting the pursuance of any real justice . Miami Herald / Ignacio Chela …..
(4) Defendant George Zimmerman in the Sanford Courthouse, Sanford , Florida during his trial for manslaughter in the death of teenager Trayvon Martin . Judge Debra Nelson has already caused a stir with her ruling that the audio of the apparent incident cannot be used as evidence in the trial of what she stated was insufficient technology available to disseminate and clarify the voices of the defendant and victim . Unless I am mistaken , the technology the judge questions , is used on a daily basis by not only Federal Law enforcement agencies but numerous state agencies around the country for the use of , and in monitoring and surveillance . Incredible , the level of incompetency that is already being shown in the trial`s infancy by the prosecuting , defense attorneys, as well as the presiding judge . AP / NY Times / Craig Ross …..
(5) Dwight Howard of the Los Angeles Lakers is seen talking to the convened press after the team`s first round loss the San Antonio Spurs having been swept 4-0 in the first round of the NBA Playoffs . Howard is now an unrestricted free agent and in what appears to be a last-ditch effort attempt by the Lakers` hierarchy , GM Mitch Kupchak , team owner , Jim Buss have pleaded with the center to remain with the franchise . Also throwing himself into the mix , is Hollywood A List actor Jack Nicholson , a die-hard Lakers` fan , who sent a personal message to Dwight Howard . Courtesy of SI ……
(6) Brooklyn Nets general manager Billy King , left , is seen here with the team`s new head coach Jason Kidd , himself a former with the franchise . Also new to the new organization will be aging veterans Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce . Billionaire team owner Mikhail Prokhorov is hoping that the experience of the trio can bolster a team that failed to live up to h is own lofty expectations this past season . Getty Images / Elsa Amendola … .
(7) Miami Heat players laugh as they watch highlights of center Chris Bosh, right, Monday, June 24, 2013, during a celebration for season ticket holders at the American Airlines Arena in Miami. Other players from left are: Shane Battier, Juwan Howard, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Rashard Lewis. The Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs 95-88 in Game 7 to win their second straight NBA championship. AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee …
From left to right , Tricia Helfer , Grace Park & Katie Sackhoff .