Dead On Arrival (DOA), An Autopsy Worth Waiting For Or Was It ? …

Dead On Arrival (DOA), An Autopsy Worth Waiting For Or Was It ? …

Was there really anyone expecting the NBA Finals to be truly competitive ? The first three games of the series were simply a precursor of what the fans were to expect over the course of the series. Kevin Durant led the Golden State Warriors to their second NBA title in the past three seasons . Durant was one of the primary factors behind the his team’s victory , but what should not be overlooked , were the defensive capabilities shown by the Warriors who completely outplayed during this series. Opposing head coaches , Steve Kerr of Golden State and Tyronn Lue of the Cavaliers matched wits, but it became clear , Lue was not the equal of his Warriors’ counterpart.


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The fallout now begins, as fans and analysts begin to question how and why LeBron James was not able to lead Cleveland passed their Western Conference foes. One thing became abundantly clear, the Golden State Warriors were not going to allow the officials to dictate this series , as they were able to do last season during the NBA Finals , when the ejection of Draymond Green turned the tables and ” gifted ” the title to the Cleveland Cavaliers. For LeBron James , a career littered with firsts , he added another to his career by become the first player in NBA history to be on the losing side in five NBA Finals’ series . Questions will be asked as to what went wrong and why . The first of which , who is to blame and is this Cavaliers’ team in its current guise as good as advertised ? Clearly not, after this staggering series’ loss , where the four games lost by the Cleveland Cavaliers were by double-digits and where on one of those games , James accounted for almost half of the team’s turnovers.

Personally, I feel Cleveland’s front office led by GM David Griffin acquiesced to far too many of James’ needs as to how the roster was built to complement LeBron James’ skill-set for this regular season and Playoffs. Seasoned veterans such as Kyrie Irving , Deron Williams , Kevin Love and Kyle Korver were basic no-shows during the series. However , it should be noted when you play in a mediocre conference where you’re barely tested over the regular team schedule , you simply know that the team is likely to be exposed once they get to the NBA Finals , as was the case here against the Golden State Warriors.

It will be interesting to see what decisions could very well be made during the off-season and if David Griffin will allow LeBron James will have a major say, as to which players he would ultimately see signed by the franchise as free agents. Cleveland finds itself in a non too enviable position and will likely to shed one or two of their high-priced players on the roster to make way for a big-money signing .

Kevin Durant having won his first NBA title as well as being named Finals’ MVP has to feel vindicated in his decision to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder to join the Golden State Warriors. It was a shrewd decision by front office executives Jerry West and GM Bob Myers to lure Durant, while players Steph Curry , Klay Thompson and Draymond Green were all able to play a role in Durant’s acquisition. During this off-season , I believe Golden State will be looking to bolster the roster and I certainly believe they will remain the team to beat within the West as they have been over the last three seasons. Team co-owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber , successful businessmen in their own right have been able to defer all business matter and personnel decisions to a front office staff which is truly exceptional in its own right , with their biggest asset being their Hall of Famer Jerry West.

While people continue to talk about dynasties and rivalries within the NBA, I believe these are now things of the past , as free agency has simply impaired that entire premise. The last great rivalry seen in this league came at the height of prosperity seen with the Boston Celtics’ and Los Angeles Lakers’ days , which are now long-gone . The only way is now up for the Golden State Warriors and for their fans they are now relishing being on top of the world . A second NBA title in three years and every possibility they are likely to go unchallenged over the next few years. Kevin Durant , Steph Curry and Klay Thompson complement each other well enough for me to believe this team in its current guise is far better than the Miami Heat team which had the triumvirate of LeBron James , Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade . The trio would begin to go their separate ways after James’ relationship with Heat President Pat Riley was soured , because of their respective egos and losing sight of their alleged ambitions.

LeBron James being the superstar that he is , puts his own ambitions above all else in his zest to win and be accepted,  but unfortunately , it is to the detriment of others , in particular the organization , namely the Cleveland Cavaliers. And while I agree there is blame to be passed around , I can’t help but feel , the front office of the franchise is now at a loss as to what else they can and need to do .

If the future looks somewhat dim for the Cleveland Cavaliers, then imagine the situation now unfolding with the New York Knicks under the leadership of their erstwhile executive Phil Jackson . The time has now come , where we have to stop reveling in what Jackson has been able to achieve on the court as a basketball head coach and look at his ever-growing failures as an NBA Executive . It has become abundantly clear , that he could not spot talent , were he aided in his quest with a box of Crayola and blotting paper . Other than Kristaps Porzingis , his draft choices and player acquisitions for the Knicks have been an absolute ‘ bust’ . This wasn’t a team built to win , but merely to stay afloat , as has been the way with the organization over the past six seasons under the helm of owner James Dolan , who actually continues to put profits above the team’s competitiveness.

There continues to be discontent and dissension within the New York Knicks’ organization and it has become increasingly clear that among the playing staff , all is not well. I believe Jeff Hornacek and his entire coaching staff are completely out of their depth and that’s Phil Jackson’s zeal for the continued archaic ‘ Triangle Offense’ is another one of the reasons why the Knicks failed so miserably last season. The team’s record was a true reflection of what they have become, unimportant and absolutely redundant .

The NBA needs a competitive league and most certainly a competitive Eastern Conference and most definitely a conference that stand on its own against its Western counterpart. I cannot see this happening anytime soon , because the players are simply not that good !

If NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is hoping fans will be entertained in the coming years , then he had better hope the quality of the players being drafted from among the College Ranks will be as good as advertised . There appears to be a great deal of hype over Lonzo Ball and the possibility of his being taken as the number one overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft . I certainly don’ t believe Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics’ front office will be going that route when the decision is made. From my own perspective , the risks far outweigh the alleged advantages which Ball is said to have. La Var Ball , father of the young UCLA basketball prodigy has courted continued controversy , with outlandish demands and statements concerning his son. It remains to be seen where the player is taken in this Draft, but if the rumors are to be believed , then Ball could very well end up remaining instate and playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. Team executives Magic Johnson and Lakers’ GM Rob Pelinka have been heaping a great deal of praise on Lonzo Ball, but given the Lakers’ continued misfires with their draft picks over the last six years , I am not expecting the young phenom to set the NBA alight.

Los Angeles Lakers’ fans are certainly hoping for the franchise to return to former glories of the past , but I feel under Luke Walton and the roster in its current guise , they will remain at least three years away from being competitive enough to challenge the best the Western Conference has to offer as well as the rest of the NBA. Luke Walton can only hope that there will be a marked improvement from the team . Hopes of acquiring a big-time marquee free agent appears to be a long shot , especially when you consider the makeup of the roster isn’t that great.

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will be missing from the list of competitors competing at the US Open being held at Erin Hills (GC) , Erin Hills , Wisconsin, beginning on the June 15th, 2017. Woods’ withdrawal was to be expected , with the former world number one , having not competed in an officially sanctioned PGA Tour Event in 2017. Mickelson’s absence was announced in advance , when he informed the PGA and USGA of his intent, citing his wish to be at his daughter’s graduation. With two of golf’s most recognizable faces missing from the second Grand Slam Major of the season , it will be interesting to see which player from the field will rise to the occasion .

There can be no denying Tiger Woods has been his own worst enemy for the better part of two years , having not won a tournament of a top-ten finish of any kind anywhere in the world. Woods’ off the course issues have been well-chronicled alongside his current addiction to prescriptive medication. From my own perspective , I do not believe he has the ability to win another Grand Slam Tournament and he is unlikely to surpass the eighteen career Grand Slam victories recorded by Jack Nicklaus .

While I believe Phil Mickelson enjoys being on a golf course and competing , I believe the player no longer relishes tournament play as much he would like us to believe. He has come through some emotional trauma of his own , his wife’s cancer scare, as well his own medical issues , which are ongoing and having taken a physical toll on his body. Mickelson has amassed a sizable fortune while still being among the highest paid golfers in the world.

It should prove interesting , seeing whether or not a top-ten player from the rankings will be crowned the 2017 US Open Champion at the tournament’s climax on Sunday evening . First-round leader Rickie Fowler has a great deal to prove and would undoubtedly like to show many of his contemporaries that he should be considered among the best of the players currently on the PGA Tour.


Picture gallery . By clicking on an individual frame you can view that image in a reformatted size alongside the accompanying narrative.

What to your mind has or was the biggest disappointment during the regular season and NBA Playoffs ? Also, do you believe that the US Open will provide a great deal of excitement as the tournament continues ?

Tophatal ……….. 06/13/2017

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NBA news

2017 NBA Finals

2017 NBA Draft

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

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

38 thoughts on “Dead On Arrival (DOA), An Autopsy Worth Waiting For Or Was It ? …”

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers’ apologists cannot accept the fact , this team is vastly overrated . LeBron James himself , now lacks even more credibility with statements attributed to him and there in print , when he , claims he’s never played on a Super-team. James was simply a mercenary when he fled Cleveland to join the Miami Heat , playing alongside Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh , where he would go on to win two NBA titles and making four consecutive appearances with the franchise in the championship series.

    NBA news

    Tophatal …….. 06/16/2017 01:49:33 am

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  2. Rickie Fowler must continue to play with the same discipline shown in round one as he enters round-two and the second day’s play of the US Open at Erin Hills in Erin Hills , Wisconsin. If he can solidify his lead , then there is no reason to believe he is not capable of winning his first Grand Slam Major title .

    Rickie Fowler during the first round of the US Open at Erin Hills (GC) in Erin Hills , Wisconsin.

    PGA Tour news

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  3. LeBron James has achieved a great deal in an astonishing NBA career which has now spanned fifteen years . While he’s still regarded as the best player in the world , I am not so sure it makes him the best leader . Clearly, he’s not and never will be the equal of his icon Michael Jordan , whose own career has been etched in stone .

    The fallout from the NBA Finals’ series loss by the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Golden State Warriors has been absolutely catastrophic and it is undeniable. Many felt the series would be a great deal closer with perhaps the Warriors having a slight edge. Yet , what the fans bore witness to , was a lopsided and poorly executed game-plan by the Cavaliers’ players and coaching staff .

    Likely to exacerbate things even further after their series’ loss by the Cleveland Cavaliers is the very fact they will not be in an entirely healthy state in terms of the salary cap heading into next season. Cavaliers’ GM David Griffin and Dan Gilbert will clearly have to take a look at the makeup of the roster and how the financial resources have been committed. What is abundantly clear the Cavaliers have issues up and down the playing staff which cannot be addressed by just throwing money at the solution as a way of solving their problems. It will be interesting to see how David Griffin will seek to address those issues and which players he now believes are expendable .

    Cleveland Cavaliers news

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  4. In the lead-up to the NBA Draft an agreement has been reached in principle where the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers would agree to exchange their first round picks for cash consideration. Boston gives up the number-one pick and would obtain the Sixers’ number-three pick in the first round. It’s seen as a shrewd move in a number of circles benefiting Boston and their long-term ambitions. For Philadelphia this is the third time in the last five years where they have a top-five lottery pick . Front office executives , the father and son team of Jerry Colangelo and Bryan Colangelo were the main instigators behind the deal with Celtics’ GM Danny Ainge signing off on the deal. This now clears the way for the Philadelphia 76ers to draft : Markelle Fultz , point guard out of University of Washington .

    Markelle Fultz , University of Washington.

    Courtesy of CBS Sports

    Reports: Celtics, 76ers will finalize trade Monday; Sixers will take Markelle Fultz with top pick

    Markelle Fultz is expected to go No. 1 overall to Philly; Celtics will pick third after Lakers

    By Jack Malloney @ jackmalloney

    The blockbuster trade between the Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft has reportedly been agreed upon, TNT’s David Aldridge reports.

    On Saturday night, shortly after Markelle Fultz worked out at Philly’s practice facility, Aldridge tweeted the deal will be finalized on Monday, with the top pick going to the Sixers, who will take Fultz.

    Additional reports confirmed the deal, including from Adrian Wojnarowski, who noted that the two sides have been locked into the deal for 24 hours and that Fultz would not have worked out for the Sixers without assurance that the deal was essentially done.

    Wojnarowski also reported the Lakers attempted to deal for the top pick, but the Sixers had a better package to offer the Celtics.
    As for how Fultz feels about the trade, Marc Spears is saying that Fultz loved the Lakers but is “good” with going to the Sixers. Via ESPN:

    “Washington guard Markell Fultz REALLY loved Magic Johnson & the Lakers, but is good with going to Philly, a source said. Lakers have 2nd pick.”

    We also now know what the Celtics will be getting back in return from the Sixers. According to Wojnarowski, it will be two first-round picks, including the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s draft.

    The protections on the pick from the Lakers is of course the key here, as it will determine whether the Celtics have an extra first-round pick next year, or in 2019. Regardless, it should be a high pick, as both the Lakers and Kings figure to be at the top of the lottery in the next few seasons.

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    From my own standpoint , I believe the Philadelphia 76ers will struggle again this upcoming season and I cannot see the team making such an improvement where they are a forty to forty-five win franchise with the possibility of making the NBA Playoffs . Head coach Brett Brown and the coaching staff are simply not good enough to make that a reality and the team in its current guise even with the addition of Markelle Fultz are likely to fall short of any expectations sought.

    Danny Ainge will his new stock of bargaining chips can now go out and possibly obtain a marquee free agent to complement the lineup of Al Horford , Isiah Thomas , Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder , solidifying their front-court and offense.

    NBA news

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  5. The next shoe to drop in what will likely be a very active off-season within the NBA and the likelihood of several changes being made to team rosters with restricted and unrestricted free agents changing homes seems all the more likely. The Indiana Pacers could very well seek to move Paul George and after the abrupt departure of Larry Bird as the Head of Basketball Operations , one would concede the franchise is now in a state of transition . George has tried to be diplomatic concerning his loyalty to the Pacers, but his recent comments and “tweets” have not been all that assuring to the Indiana Pacers’ fans. The player wants success , but having to play in the East where the Cleveland Cavaliers’ dominance is likely to continue and it would only make sense for Paul George to now try his luck elsewhere. It is widely known the Cavaliers themselves might be interested in acquiring the Pacers’ play-maker , best player and they could very well facilitate a trade .

    Courtesy of Yahoo Sports

    Sources: Paul George tells Pacers he plans to leave franchise, prefers joining Lakers

    By Adria Wojnarowski , Yahoo Sports 18th June, 2017

    All-Star forward Paul George has informed the Indiana Pacers that he plans to become a free agent in the summer of 2018 and will leave the franchise – preferably for the Los Angeles Lakers, league sources told The Vertical .

    Paul George of the Indiana Pacers.

    George hasn’t requested a trade before he can opt out of his 2018-19 contract, but did have his agent, Aaron Mintz, tell new Indiana president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard that he wanted to be forthright on his plans and spare the franchise any confusion about his intentions, league sources told The Vertical.

    In the past 24 hours, Pritchard has become more aggressive in pursuing trades for George, league sources told The Vertical. Pritchard has yet to show an inclination to engage the Lakers, but has discussed deals with several teams – including Cleveland – in which the expectation of teams would be that George is a “one-year rental.” The Cavaliers are devoid of the kind of young players and future picks that Indiana might want in return for George, and George has never mentioned the Cavaliers as an intriguing destination.

    It is unclear how robust offers to Indiana will ultimately be, given that teams believe he will sign with the Lakers next summer. So far, Indiana is asking for a substantial package of talent and draft picks for George, league sources said. Discussions could extend until Thursday’s NBA draft – or beyond.

    George can sign a four-year deal worth as much as $130 million with Los Angeles next year. George is a Southern California native and playing for the Lakers would represent a homecoming for him.

    George plans to play out the 2017-18 season with Indiana, but wants to give the organization the chance to plan appropriately for its future – which George told the team won’t include him, league sources said.

    George’s desire to join the Lakers has massive repercussions on the free-agent market in 2018. Under president Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka, George would represent the first NBA star in years to choose the Lakers in free agency. As Los Angeles’ management reshapes its roster, George could be a lure to recruit other top available players to the Lakers.

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    There are several other teams who have shown an interest in acquiring Paul George , among them are the Los Angeles Lakers , New York Knicks and quite possibly the Miami Heat , though it would all be predicated on cap room availability . Paul George is not due to become a free agent until 2019 , but he can opt out of that final year in 2018.

    The possibility of Paul George joining the Los Angeles Lakers is not a certainty , but it is clear , Lakers’ GM Rob Pelinka and Head of Operations , Magic Johnson would likely see this as a step in the right direction as the franchise goes through a period of transition.

    Lakers’ front office executives Magic Johnson , left and GM Rob Pelinka .

    Over the last fifteen years the Los Angeles Lakers have never been an organization which has been able to develop talent from within . It has always relied upon acquiring marquee agents , while not planning long-term . Ever since 2006 , the franchise’s draft choices have been more miss than hit . Paul George being added to the Lakers’ current roster will be a short-term fix unless they are willing to spend capriciously on players . Rob Pelinka is likely to be the key to any success sought by the Lakers , because Magic Johnson doesn’t possess the acumen of a NBA franchise front office executive to identify or nurture talent on any level. It was abundantly clear during his brief stint as an NBA coach with the Lakers during the 1993-94 season .

    NBA news

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  6. Over the last two seasons it has become abundantly clear Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson in spite of their exceptional success , both are clearly clueless in their now chosen roles as front office executives . Jordan as the owner of the Charlotte Hornets has outlived the goodwill created when he took over the ownership from fellow billionaire Robert L Johnson , while Jackson has yet to forge a competitive roster for the New York Knicks as Head of Basketball Operations

    In what can only be seen as an act of sheer desperation the Charlotte Hornet acquired Dwight Howard in a trade which simply makes no sense whatsoever. Howard has not been relevant in the NBA for the past four years while being paid a ‘ King’s Ransom ‘ during that time . I don’t believe Dwight Howard can add anything to the Hornets’ roster in terms of his play on either side of the ball .

    Dwight Howard .

    It should be noted since Michael Jordan assumed control of the Charlotte Hornets they have yet to win their division or make the NBA Playoffs. Troubling times call for a franchise to make sound decisions and the acquisition of Dwight Howard is not a sound decision or a practical one from any viewpoint . Hornets’ GM Rich Cho may well have been forced into making this decision by Michael Jordan and it speaks volumes as to why the team continues to struggle.

    Top from left to right Charlotte Hornets’ executives , Fred Whitfield and Michael Jordan , with GM Rich Cho at the bottom of the frame

    Let’s get one thing clear , Phil Jackson has brought nothing but mayhem to the New York Knicks since he and James L Dolan teamed up to steer the franchise out of their competitive difficulties. Two coaching changes have brought nothing but ineptitude. Derek Fisher was way out of his depth and his successor Jeff Hornacek might even be worse. This past season the Knicks were incapable of doing anything right on or off the courts . Now there appears to be a great deal of dissension within the player ranks , with rumors of Kristaps Porzingis wanting to bail on the franchise and quite possibly be released from his contract . The Knicks will be looking to fortify their roster with a sound pick in this upcoming NBA Draft . I expect Phil Jackson to do what only he can, simply fudge the picks and then wax on lyrically of his expectations for the future .

    NBA news

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  7. The Los Angeles Clippers are likely to be torn apart during the off-season with the possibility of both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin moving on elsewhere. If the rumors are to be believed then both players could be joining the Houston Rockets to play alongside James Harden . If that were the case , then it could propel the Rockets’ cap into the stratosphere with their window of opportunity being just one year to get the job done of winning an NBA title which would be their first in over two decades .

    Chris Paul (left) and Blake Griffin .

    Courtesy of Fox Sports

    Why Blake Griffin should sign with the Houston Rockets this summer

    By Dieter Kurtenbach @dieterkurtenbach

    Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has a plan — and a formula — for everything, including beating the Golden State Warriors.

    While the conventional wisdom is that the Warriors’ reign over the NBA should butt up against the new decade, Morey is of the mindset that they can be beaten — soon.

    “They are not unbeatable,” Morey told ESPN’s Zach Lowe earlier this month. “We are used to long odds. … If Golden State makes the odds longer, we might up our risk profile and get even more aggressive. We have something up our sleeve.”

    That “something” up Morey’s sleeve might be another star to play alongside James Harden

    On Wednesday, Marc Stein reported that the Rockets are going to try to land another star player in free agency. Among them Chris Paul, Kyle Lowry and Paul Millsap.

    The first two don’t make a ton of sense — Harden has established himself as a premier point guard in the NBA, and the Rockets could use help elsewhere. Millsap, whose chances of returning to Atlanta seem to diminish by the day, would be a great fit with Houston’s offense and bring some much-needed defensive skill to the Rockets.

    But it was the fourth name Stein mentioned that should have Rockets fans buzzing:

    Blake Griffin would be a perfect fit in Houston.

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    From my own perspective , I believe head coach Doc Rivers has way too much responsibility in his dual role with the Los Angeles Clippers as the coach and Head of Basketball Operations . Team owner Steve Ballmer should ask Rivers to relinquish the role , simply concentrate on his coaching responsibilities and bring in someone with Player Personnel experience.

    In the NBA Playoffs the Los Angeles Clippers were not up to the task and their falling in the first round was symbolic of to the problems with the franchise. Way too much style over substance and not enough mental toughness among their players . As to the Clippers’ franchise being one with a winning attitude , well that comes down to sheer stupidity on the part of the individuals who believe that to be the case .

    Los Angeles Clippers news

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  8. When it comes to egotistical coaches within College Basketball perhaps no one is more egotistical , narcissistic or more self-absorbed than the Louisville Cardinals’ head basketball coach Rick Pitino . With the program now under siege for infractions which violate NCAA rules, Pitino has issued a public statement denouncing Collegiate Athletics’ governing body. Rick Pitino believes the NCAA went too far with their decisions and that the punishment meted out were far too severe. Allegations that the Cardinals’ Athletics Department hired prostitutes and strippers to lure potential recruits to Louisville have been denied , but the NCAA felt there was substantial evidence to suggest many within the program’s hierarchy knew of the conduct and actions being taken by coaches of the school’s basketball and football programs.

    Courtesy of NBC Tv affiliate Wave3

    Pitino says NCAA ‘penalized us beyond reason’ in letter to supporters

    Published : Wednesday, June 21st 2017, 9:02 pm EDT
    Updated : Wednesday, June 21st 2017, 9:02 pm EDT

    LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – University of Louisville Basketball Coach Rick Pitino has written a letter to supporters, asking them to keep their spirits high in the wake of the Katina Powell sex scandal.

    In the letter addressed to Friends of the Ville, a booster club, Pitino said the NCAA committee penalized the University “beyond reason for the charges that were presented against us” and he wanted to give fans “the truth and only truth.”

    “Billy Minardi Hall was built in memory of my best friend and brother-in-law who I lost on 9/11,” Pitino said in the letter. “If I knew of anything that was going on there that would dishonor his name, that person would not be able to get out of town fast enough.”

    MORE FROM WAVE3.COM
    + Not walking away: Katina Powell says movie, second book possible?
    + NCAA RULING: Pitino suspended, UofL gets probation
    + Could Pitino miss the UK game as part of NCAA suspension?
    + Katina Powell’s attorney: NCAA ‘sending a message’
    + Grand jury won’t indict Katina Powell, Andre McGee in UofL sex scandal

    Pitino goes on to call his former assistant Andre McGee a liar, comparing his actions to that of Bernie Madoff and detailed the first phone conversation they had after Powell’s book “Breaking Cardinal Rules” was released.

    Transcripts of Pitino’s letter to Cardinals’ boosters can be seen by click unto this link

    “There are no questions that I asked to even give me a small clue to what was going on. Security employees, managers, assistant coaches, fellow students and most importantly, Billy Minardi’s children, and my nephews, all lived in that dorm. They were all questioned by me, and not one had any suspicion of any inappropriate activities going on in that dormitory,” Pitino said.

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    Jim Boeheim (left) and Rick Pitino .

    Now jumping to Rick Pitino’s defense is none other than Syracuse head coach Jim Boheim who has suggested Pitino may not have known that escorts were being hired for the procurement to provide sexual gratifications for college bound Cardinals’ prospects. Herein lies the idiocy of the comments from Boheim , during his tenure at Syracuse the program came under repeated NCAA investigations for a vast array of issues which led to NCAA sanctions.

    Courtesy of CBS Sports

    Jim Boeheim says he believes Rick Pitino didn’t know about escorts at Louisville

    These two Hall of Fame coaches have been in the crosshairs of NCAA justice in recent years

    By Matt Norlander @ matt norlander

    Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim went on the radio Wednesday and spoke publicly for the first time about the aftermath of what’s happened to Rick Pitino, Louisville’s sordid NCAA investigation and the punishments the Cardinals and Pitino are set to receive from the Committee on Infractions.

    Boeheim said he didn’t believe Pitino knew about the escorts or any of the actions that were arranged primarily by disgraced former U of L director of basketball operations, Andre McGee. Boeheim’s comments came on 104.5 ESPN, an affiliate of greater Albany.

    “Obviously when somebody does something like that there’s going to be repercussions, and I don’t believe Rick Pitino knew about it but it still happened,” Boeheim said. “I didn’t know about somebody putting quotations in a paper at Syracuse, but it happened, so, you know we’re going to take the hits for it.”

    In 2014, Syracuse — just like Louisville would do a season later — self-imposed a postseason ban in an effort to temper down any further widespread sanctions from the NCAA. The Orange wound up getting hit fairly hard, but the one thing that was not touched was Syracuse’s 2003 national title.

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    There can be no denying Rick Pitino is not only condescending , but he is also a hypocrite and a liar. Given his past legal issues , philandering and the very fact he had an affair with the wife of one of his assistant coaches . It begs the question what is Pitino prepared to tolerate as and individual both professionally and privately while acting very pious ?

    Tophatal ……………….

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  9. Markelle Fultz will now join a long list of Philadelphia 76ers players to have gone in the first round of the NBA Draft of the last five seasons , but who will struggle to make their mark in the NBA . The only player of note picked by the franchise who made their mark as a rookie and then full-fledged play-maker over the last decade was Hall of Fame inductee , multiple-time All Star and MVP , Allen Iverson . Iverson’s career with the Sixers is legendary and he might be considered among the top-five players to have played for the franchise .

    NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is seen here with the number one overall pick Markelle Fultz

    Courtesy of CBS Sports .

    Philadelphia 76ers choose Markelle Fultz with top pick in NBA draft 2017

    NEW YORK — The Philadelphia 76ers have selected 6-foot-4 guard Markelle Fultz with the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.


    NBA draft prospects including Lonzo Ball (front left) , Markelle Fultz (front middle) and De’Aaron Fox (front second right) before the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Thu., June 22, 2017.
    Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports

    Fultz averaged 23.2 points last season at Washington, tops among freshmen, and added 5.9 assists and 5.7 rebounds per game, the only Division I player to reach those stats. He walked across the stage Thursday night at Barclays Center wearing red sneakers made of basketballs.

    The 76ers had the No. 1 pick for the second straight year after trading with the Boston Celtics on Monday.

    Fultz joins Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, last year’s No. 1 overall pick, to give the Sixers one of the most exciting young cores in the NBA, CBS Sports reports. The Sixers had previously said that Simmons would serve as the de facto point guard once healthy, so it will be interesting to see if Fultz, who has mostly played point guard, shifts to playing off the ball in Philadelphia’s system, CBS Sports said.

    More news about the NBA from CBSSports.com

    Embiid welcomed Fultz to Philly with a tweet — what else ? — where he proclaimed the new nickname was FEDS : Fultz, Embiid, Dario, Simmons.

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    Markelle Fultz will now be on a roster coached by Brett Brown which includes Ben Simmons and Joel Embid . From my own perspective, I don’t believe the team will be good enough to win more than forty-games much less make the NBA Playoffs. Athletic as some may believe the Sixers to be , Brett Brown and his coaching staff do not possess the coaching acumen to lead the franchise to where they need to be.

    Philadelphia’s front office executives led by Jerry Colangelo and Bryan Colangelo will certainly be looking to make one or two trades to quite possibly bolster the roster , but I don’t believe even with those deals the Sixers will be anywhere near good enough to be competitive within the Eastern Conference much less the rest of the NBA. It will be still be a big learning curve for both Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons. For Simmons last season was simply a bust , as the player was beset by injuries missing more than half of the eighty-two game schedule of the Sixers.

    Philadelphia 76ers news

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  10. The one thing we can guarantee at the time of the NBA Draft is the momentum seen as the the teams make decisions to pare down their cap obligations by moving players as part of a salary dump . Among the players who have been on the move are Dwight Howard and Brook Lopez . Both players are centers in the league with many believing Lopez has more of an upside at this point of his career than the rapidly declining skill-set of Dwight Howard. Of course there’s also the growing stupidity seen by the front office executives around the league who believe it’s always best to overpay for talent rather than grooming from within.

    Dwight Howard is seen here against Brook Lopez (11).

    With Brook Lopez having joined the Los Angeles Lakers , it will be interesting to see the next steps being taken by the Lakers’ front office executives led by Head of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and GM Rob Pelinka . Johnson set the ball rolling last night with the drafting of Lonzo Ball , hometown product out of UCLA . Also joining Ball as part of the Lakers’ draft class was Tony Bradley .

    Dwight Howard now finds himself with the fourth team of his NBA career , one which has reached the highest of highs with an appearance in the NBA Finals with the Orlando Magic , to now being an afterthought in the league while still being among the highest paid players at the position within the NBA. Howard has joined the Charlotte Hornets as team owner Michael Jordan and the front office seek to bolster the Hornets’ roster .

    Charlotte Hornets news

    Los Angeles Lakers news

    Tophatal …….

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  11. Well , their regular and NBA Playoffs’ efforts were gallant ones, but at the end of the day we have to admit as noble as the Toronto Raptors were there were signs they were very much out of their depth. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan were good , but the depth simply wasn’t there on the team’s roster. Masai Ujiri the Raptors’ general manager will have his work cut out for him during the off-season as he seeks to revamp the team by way of trades and the NBA Draft as we witnessed with Toronto’s choices.
    Courtesy of The Daily Progress

    Raptors select OG Anunoby with 23rd overall pick

    By Paul Attfield Associated Press

    TORONTO (AP) — Re-signing all-star point guard Kyle Lowry still remains the biggest offseason task facing the Toronto Raptors. They did bolster their forward ranks in Thursday night’s NBA draft.

    OG Anunoby

    With Serge Ibaka, P.J. Tucker and Patrick Patterson all unrestricted free agents this summer, the Raptors selected Indiana forward O.G. Anunoby with the 23rd overall pick.

    “He’s a P.J. Tucker clone practically,” coach Dwane Casey said after the pick, Toronto’s lone selection in the proceedings.

    The 6-foot-8, 232-pound Anunoby averaged 11.1 points and 5.4 rebounds while shooting 56.3 percent from the field in an injury-shortened sophomore year at Indiana.

    The 19-year-old played just 16 games before suffering a season-ending knee injury on Jan. 18.

    Despite tearing the ACL in his right knee, Anunoby said before the draft he was feeling great with no pain, and expects to be back on the court by October or November.

    “I’m two months ahead of schedule,” he said of his rehabilitation work. The Raptors are taking no chances with the injury, and will get him working with the team doctors just as soon as his introductory news conference is over on Friday.

    Casey said that if it wasn’t for the injury, Anunoby might have been gone long before the Raptors were put on the clock.

    “He’s a big-time talent and if it wasn’t for his injury he would have gone a lot higher,” Casey said. “He’s a guy that our scouts targeted and luckily he fell to us. There were a lot of teams right behind us that were salivating to get him.”

    Athleticism clearly runs in the family. His brother, Chigbo, has been signed by several NFL teams, including Cleveland and Minnesota.

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    The Toronto Raptors’ only pick in the NBA Draft was OG Anunoby the twenty-third overall pick in the first round . Cap implications for the Raptors this past season might have vast implications for any ambitions the franchise might well have to sign a marquee free agent during the off-season .

    Masai Ujiri may well seek to make seek to assess his own free agents before making any hasty decisions . Last season if anything taught us a great deal about how a franchise might tend to work.

    Toronto Raptors news

    Tophatatal …………………..

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  12. There seems to be differing opinions on the Miami Heat’s pick in the NBA Draft after their first round choice was revealed as Bam Adebayo . Heat President Pat Riley has long been ridiculed when it comes to assessing talent and the only time it has ever truly panned out for the executive was in his drafting of Dwyane Wade during the 2003 NBA Draft . It is hard to suggest what Adebayo will bring to the team by way of his ability , but it is clear Riley does have a great deal of faith in the player.

    During this off-season I don’t believe Pat Riley will be plundering the free agency market looking for a high profile player. Any chances of an imminent return of Dwyane Wade is seemingly out of the question unless Wade was willing to accept a veteran’s minimum or at least a one-year deal of no more than $5 million .

    Bam Adebayo (right) is seen here with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

    Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra a candidate for NBA Coach of The Year along with his staff will use the Summer League to assess Bam Adebayo along with Miami’s players on their D-League roster .

    Miami Heat news

    Tophatal …………

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  13. Chicago , you now have a problem . In what can only been seen as a franchise in turmoil , the Chicago Bulls’ front office led by John Paxson and GM Gar Forman made the decision to trade Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves triggering a great deal of criticism from fans and analysts alike . The move can only be seen as a salary dump and nothing at all with the organization seeking to restructure the team and to create a competitive entity. This move reunites Butler with former Bulls’ head coach Tom Thibodeau who now holds a dual role with the Timberwolves franchise.

    Gar Forman (foreground) and John Paxson of the Chicago Bulls.
    Courtesy of CBS Sports

    Jimmy Butler after trade from Bulls: ‘I just don’t like the way some things were handled’

    All-Star forward was sent from the Bulls to the Timberwolves on draft night

    By Jack Maloney @jack haveitall

    Just a few picks into the 2017 NBA Draft on Thursday night, the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves shocked the NBA world by agreeing to a trade that sent Jimmy Butler to the Wolves in exchange for Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine, along with a swapping of first-round picks.

    Halfway around the world, in Paris, Jimmy Butler was alerted to the news in the middle of the night, and offered no comment at the time. Come Friday, however, he was ready to talk, and he had some things to get off his chest. In addition to his comments about how being the face of the franchise in Chicago got him nothing, Butler also said that he didn’t “like the way some things were handled.” Via the Chicago Sun-Times:

    “It’s crazy because there was me talking with guys about Cleveland, then all the outside rumors with Boston, Minnesota, Phoenix, then the feeling that I’m not going anywhere,” Butler said. “I mean I had so many people telling me what could possibly happen, but I just got to the point where I stopped paying attention to it.

    “It’s crazy because it reminds you of what a business this is. You can’t get mad at anybody. I’m not mad, I’m not. I just don’t like the way some things were handled, but it’s OK.”

    As Butler noted, he was the subject of countless trade discussions, and without being privy to any of the inside details or communications between Butler and the Bulls front office, it’s a definite possibility that things were mishandled there.

    Going back a bit, there was also Butler’s accusation that the Bulls’ front office spies on players, with the forward supposedly warning the young players on the team about the practice.

    We’ll never know all the minutiae on Butler’s relationship with the Bulls, but it’s pretty clear he’s not going out on the best of terms.

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    From left to right , Jimmy Butler , Ricky Rubio and Zach LaVine.

    Jimmy Butler’s loss to the Bulls will be immense and it might also create even more uncertainty as it relates to veteran Dwyane Wade who’s now the most experienced player left on the team’s roster. At a time when the Bulls should be seeking to be even more competitive within the Eastern Conference , once again it looks like Gar Forman and John Paxson are back up to their old tricks , tearing the franchise asunder without looking long-term . While Forman and Paxson might believe the experience of Rajon Rondo and Dwyane will provide the Bulls with leadership , what is undeniable is that both of these seasoned veterans are well past their sell-bye dates.

    With Jimmy Butler having joined the Minnesota Timberwolves will certainly make them better , however , I do believe Tom Thibodeau erred in making Zach LaVine part of the deal !

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    1. Chris Humpherys (SportsChump)

      The NBA Finals were a complete and utter bore , never mind the idiocy of the fans who commented with their benign stupidity about optimism of seeing a competitive series . What is it with the sports’ fan in general here in this country? Are they all so damn apathetic and clueless ? This series was over ever at the very first game when the Cleveland Cavaliers were completely blown out of the water . Thereafter we witnessed LeBron James showing how fallible he was and that his teammates were simply gutless pieces of $hit .

      The trades we’ve now seen taken place are not much different from those of the previous season , other than the level of the notoriety of the players involved.

      Now look at the fallout which has been taking place with the Los Angeles Clippers and also with the Chicago Bulls .

      Tophatal …………..

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  14. No one can deny what Jerry West have achieved as a player and as an executive within the NBA . Well what might be even more surprising is that his relationship with the Golden State Warriors is now at an end and he has now been hired by the Los Angeles Clippers at the behest of team owner Steve Ballmer . I believe this is a solid move in the right direction as Doc Rivers has failed miserably in his role as the Head of Basketball Operations for the franchise. Idiotic trades and a totally inept draft class over the last three seasons was a clear indicator of what has gone wrong for the Clippers. This is one of the poorest defensive teams in the NBA over the last two seasons. With the fallout of both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin choosing to opt out of their contracts to become free agents , the Clippers are left in a great deal of turmoil.

    Courtesy of Yahoo Sports

    The Clippers might have hired Jerry West to help them land LeBron James

    By Dan Devine

    Jerry West has called his decision to leave the Golden State Warriors organization that he helped build into a burgeoning dynasty in favor of taking a similar consulting role with the Los Angeles Clippers the “last adventure of my life.” The goal of that quest? Well, it might be the biggest free-agent prize the league has to offer.

    According to Sam Amick of USA Today Sports, the “grand plan” for West — a Hall of Fame player during his years wearing forum blue and gold who helped build a pair of Lakers dynasties during a quarter-century as a scout, coach and general manager, has won a pair of Executive of the Year trophies and served as a vital voice in the Warriors’ front office over the past six years — as he joins up with Clips decision-makers Doc Rivers and Lawrence Frank is to recruit and land the one and only LeBron James.

    According to two people with knowledge of the situation, West’s potential ability to improve the Clippers’ chances of landing the Cleveland Cavaliers star in free agency in the summer of 2018 was a significant factor in his hiring and in the willingness of owner Steve Ballmer to pay West between $4 and $5 million annually. The people spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the team’s plans.

    There’s all kinds of work to do before then, like re-signing James’ close friend/Clippers point guard Chris Paul this summer (which is still believed to be likely) and convincing five-time All-Star forward Blake Griffin to come back too (which is considered more dicey). There’s the Carmelo Anthony situation that hasn’t gone anywhere over these past few months. A scenario remains possible where J.J. Redick, via a sign-and-trade, would be sent along with another Clippers player to the Knicks in exchange for Anthony, who is also close friends with James and Paul.

    But James, who has a home and an increasing amount of off-court business in Los Angeles, is at the center of the Clippers’ dreams. And West, as the Clippers see it, is the perfect recruiter to lure James away from his home state.

    [Follow Ball Don’t Lie on social media: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Tumblr]

    Amick’s report comes on the heels of Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reporting last week on his podcast that “within Cleveland and around the league, [executives] feel that [James is] very much in play to leave [the Cleveland Cavaliers] again and likely head out West to one of the two LA teams.” Combine the rising volume of those rumbles with the grumbling coming out of Cleveland — and from LeBron’s Twitter account — over the departure of respected Cavs general manager David Griffin, and add in James’ ever-expanding entertainment portfolio, and you start to see some potentially connectable dots.

    The theoretical connection becomes a bit stronger when you consider the actual connection between James and West. The two are separated in age by 47 years, but both stand among the greatest players in NBA history … and share the unique experience of having met with failure more often than success come the NBA Finals, with West compiling a 1-8 record in the championship round and James sitting at 3-5 after falling to the Warriors earlier this month.

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    Whether or not Jerry West can convince both of these superstars to remain with the franchise is now open to a great deal of speculation. A max deal for Chris Paul would see the Clippers having to commit $205 million over the next five years for the point guard . In t he case of Blake Griffin it would also have to be a similar option and I cannot see the Clippers willing to break the bank to conclude that as their final solution. Ballmer may well be one of the richest people in America , but he didn’t attain his fortune to become a naive individual overnight . For the idiots out there without a clue about sports’ economics, I do not believe the Clippers are willing to burden themselves with an obscene amount of financial penalties concerning the NBA luxury tax . That type of idiocy can best be left to the likes of the Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks where owners Dan Gilbert and James L Dolan are more interested in style over substance . As profitable as the Los Angles Clippers are , both Jerry West, Lawrence Franks , Doc Rivers and Steve Ballmer know , it all comes down to the bottom line of dollars and cents alongside a competitive on-court product .

    NBA news

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  15. So what was once a beautiful relationship between owner and general manager has now turned into one of sourness , distrust and perhaps character assassination ? The departure of David Griffin as general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers might be the biggest breaking news within the franchise and the NBA over the past four days . Cavaliers’ billionaire team owner , Dan Gilbert hasn’t issued a formal comment as to the reasons behind Griffin’s abrupt departure , but you can be sure it hasn’t sat nicely with the franchise’s best player LeBron James . And while many have began to speculate as to whether or not James might well bust loose , leaving the Cavaliers for the second time in the last six seasons. I can’t help but wonder if the four-time League MVP would be willing to risk that , as well as his reputation and the wrath of Ohio , knowing full well he’d be seen as a traitor by the Cavaliers’ fans.

    Courtesy of ESPN

    The long parting of ways between GM David Griffin, Cavaliers

    By Brian Windhorst and Dave McMenamin

    “Griff!”

    “C’mon, Griff!”

    “Get up here!”

    Pictured in the foreground are Dan Gilbert and David Griffin (right).

    On a makeshift stage in a corner of TD Garden after defeating the Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals, Cleveland Cavaliers players wearing fresh, white T-shirts with crisp “The NBA Finals 2017” lettering called David Griffin to join them. TNT’s Ernie Johnson shifted to make room right up front for Griffin, as the smallest man in the huddle sheepishly joined the group.

    Moments later, when it was time for a group photo, an assistant coach saw team owner Dan Gilbert standing behind the cameras and called for him to join, too. Gilbert smiled and shook his head and declined, staying away.

    LeBron James carried the Cavs, Griffin built them and Gilbert paid for them to the tune of $150 million this season, including luxury taxes. But Gilbert didn’t want to be a part of one of the NBA’s rare glory moments, backing up from the awkwardness of posing alongside his general manager, who parted ways with the Cavs on Monday.

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    If there was a real failure about the Cleveland Cavaliers during the NBA Playoffs , it came from the fact only LeBron James came to play during the Playoffs , with their being little help coming from his teammates at any point during the NBA Finals or the preliminary rounds .

    Cleveland Cavaliers news

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  16. Can the analysts and fans out there simply stop with the horse-$hit of how effective Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving have been for the Cleveland Cavaliers over the past two seasons ? It is abundantly clear that in the big games which matter the most neither of these two highly paid individuals have the balls to step up to the plate. Love was missing in action throughout the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors as was Irving himself , clearly an overrated point guard who is being paid far too much and giving little in return to his team.

    Kevin Love (0) and Kyrie Irving (2) .

    The Cleveland Cavaliers have been very much exposed as a fraud and the idiotic statements by ESPN contributor J A Adande cannot be taken seriously as having any real merits when he states ” this was a close series which could have gone either way ” . Adande was showing himself to be an @ss who has no real clue concerning what he’s talking about.

    ESPN’s J A Adande .

    With a major shakeup having taken place within the Cavaliers’ organization with the abrupt departure of David Griffin , there are likely to be even more changes made among the playing staff with the departure of several players . As to the input sought from LeBron James as to who goes and who stays , well that remains to be seen.

    Cleveland Cavaliers news

    Tophatal .,………………………

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  17. It now looks as if there could be as many as five suitors looking to land the Indiana Pacers’ forward Paul George and among the teams looking to snag George are the Eastern Conference champions the Cleveland Cavaliers . Any part of a possible deal in a block-bluster trade would require a third team to be part of the the move or the Pacers adding another player as part of the transaction . The Indiana Pacers would certainly be looking for something of value in any deal and the potential bait in such a trade would appear to be Kevin Love . Based on league requirements there can be no more than a 10% disparity in salary between the two main players trade . Kevin Love’s salary and that of Paul George’s are not that far apart.

    The Cleveland Cavaliers certainly cannot continue as they have done for the past two seasons , being burdened by the luxury tax , not in lieu of having to pay $1.50 for every $1.00 they are over the luxury tax threshold . I don’t care how profitable the franchise might well appear to be , it is no a sound business policy in spite of Dan Gilbert’s wealth . We can leave that sort of stupidity to the likes of Phil Jackson and New York Knicks’ team owner James L Dolan .

    The window of opportunity for the Cleveland Cavaliers is slowly beginning to close and with LeBron James fourteen years into an astonishing NBA career. I am not so sure James can play another five or six more years , with all of the physical toll likely to take place on his body.

    NBA news

    NBA transactions to date

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  18. If the Utah Jazz are really intent on moving forward , seeking real success on a scale not seen since Karl Malone and John Stockton were teammates . Then the first order of business, has to be the resigning of Gordon Hayward to a long-term max deal making the player financially secure and committed to the franchise for the rest of his career . Utah’s front office will have to build around this very talented player if they are to compete against their Western Conference opponents as well as the rest of the league and this remains an undeniable fact. This past season the Utah Jazz were the surprise team in the NBA , garnering a third seed within the West for the NBA Playoffs , albeit that their appearance in the postseason was somewhat short-lived .

    News now circling around the NBA and within the sports’ headlines is the fact that several teams are now showing interest in acquiring Gordon Hayward and that the player is among a number of several high-profiled targets on the market as a free or unrestricted free agent during this off-season. Hayward is already a fan-favorite in Utah and he is certainly the franchise’s top player , by far .

    Gordon Hayward’s agent Mark Bartelstein obviously knows his client’s worth and even with a year left on his existing contract with the Utah Jazz , it is quite obvious Bartelstein will be looking for a considerable increase in salary for his client.

    Courtesy of CBS Sports

    Report: Celtics looking to add both Gordon Hayward and Paul George in offseason

    Boston is working on adding serious star power this summer
    By Jack Maloney @jackhaveitall

    After all of the rumors and reports, the Boston Celtics did not end up swinging a trade for a superstar before or during the 2017 NBA Draft. Yet according to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski, they still have some big plans.

    Per Wojnarowski, the Celtics are trying to acquire both Gordon Hayward (via free agency) and Paul George (via trade) in the coming weeks. Via The Vertical:

    The Boston Celtics are pursuing an aggressive summer plan of sequencing the signing of free agent Gordon Hayward and relinquishing the assets needed to complete a trade for Paul George, league sources told The Vertical.

    For salary-cap purposes, Boston wants a Hayward commitment before it can finalize a trade for George and secure the most dynamic free-agent coup in franchise history, league sources said.

    For Boston, here’s the hitch: While Indiana believes Boston can offer the best possible package, the Pacers may be unwilling to wait until the start of July free agency on Boston’s timetable and could turn toward making a deal elsewhere for George, league sources told The Vertical.

    Danny Ainge has pulled off a similar combination of moves in the past. He swung trades for both Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett in summer 2007, and once again he has the right combination of picks and young players necessary to facilitate moves of this magnitude.

    But there are still multiple hurdles to clear here, and nothing from Wojnarowski’s report makes it seem that either deal is imminent. As is the case with any of these kind of potential blockbuster moves — especially with the Celtics, who seem to always be at the table — it’s important to have some restraint.

    However, it’s reasonable to pay close attention to this scenario, because if Ainge is able to bring in both Hayward and George in the same offseason, even with the caveat that George could be a one-year rental because of his reported desire to play in Los Angeles, it could upend the power structure in the East.

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    At this time of the year on the NBA calendar it is all hands on deck as teams begin to assess their off-season needs by way of the NBA Draft and the deals which can be made .

    Utah Jazz news

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  19. At first it was thought to be a marriage made in heaven , but after three years sheer incompetence at the executive level as well at the coaching level with Derek Fisher and Jeff Hornacek , the New York Knicks and Phil Jackson have agreed to mutually part ways . The fact that it has taken this long for the franchise to come to this decisions shows how detached and out of touch the team owner James Dolan had become. Dolan concentrated more on the economics of making money rather than putting a competitive and entertaining product on a basketball court. Phil Jackson for his part simply proved that he was not a capable front office executive.

    Courtesy of ESPN

    Knicks, Phil Jackson mutually agree to part ways after 3 years

    By Ramona Shelbourne , ESPN Writer

    The New York Knicks and team president Phil Jackson announced Wednesday morning that they mutually agreed to part ways.

    Phil Jackson , left , former New York Knicks’ executive is seen here with the team’s GM Steve Mills

    “After careful thought and consideration, we mutually agreed that the Knicks will be going in a different direction,” Knicks owner James Dolan said via statement. “Phil Jackson is one of the most celebrated and successful individuals in the history of the NBA. His legacy in the game of basketball is unmatched. We wish him the best and thank him for his service to the Knicks as both a player and an executive.”

    Conversations about what was best for the team’s future between Jackson and Dolan accelerated this week when the franchise decided it would not buy out embattled forward Carmelo Anthony, sources said.
    Jackson, 71, had made it well known that he felt it was best for Anthony and the organization to part ways, both publicly and privately, but Anthony refused to waive his no-trade clause, and the Knicks were determined not to accommodate any request for a buyout. Anthony has two years worth more than $54 million remaining on his deal.

    With no end to the stalemate in sight and free agency beginning Saturday, Jackson’s discussions with Dolan accelerated late Tuesday night and the decision was made to part ways. Some close to Dolan had been pushing him to consider firing Jackson for much of the season, sources told ESPN’s Ian Begley.

    “The New York Knicks will always hold a special place in my heart,” Jackson said in a statement. “This team and this town launched my NBA career. I will forever be indebted to them. I am grateful to Mr. Dolan for giving me the opportunity to return here.
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    Over the last three years there has been absolutely nothing to suggest the New York Knicks were ever heading in the right direction. Phil Jackson’s relationship with the players had become extremely tepid and he simply lost their respect. To exacerbate it all even further , Kristaps Porzingis , perhaps the only reason to watch this team , sought to distance himself from all of dissension taking place and even went far enough to suggest he “wanted out” from the remainder of his contract. With their being renewed rumors of the Knicks’ willingness to trade Carmelo Anthony , it has to leave the fans wondering what the hell is going on ?

    From my own standpoint , I always felt Phil Jackson’s return to the New York Knicks was a mistake on so many levels ! Special relationship or not the franchise was bereft of real talent. The Knicks’ inner workings were simply embarrassing with no real signs of leadership within the structural hierarchy whatsoever. There hasn’t been this much incompetence seen within the Knicks’ organization since Isiah Thomas held the dual roles of Head Coach and Head of Basketball Operations. James Dolan for his part has simply given Phil Jackson almost $50 million for three years of showing absolute incompetence .

    NBA news

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  20. Houston, it would appear you no longer have a problem , but even with the addition of Chris Paul to the roster of the Houston Rockets , this team is still a long way off from being considered on the same level of either the San Antonio Spurs or the Golden State Warriors within the Western Conference . Paul chose to opt-in , creating the situation where his contract remained in tact , allowing the Los Angeles Clippers to trade their All Star point guard .

    Chris Paul , right and Clippers’ head coach Doc Rivers .

    For Doc Rivers this has to be seen as a bitter end to a very unsatisfying chapter , during his which his tenure as the Los Angeles Clippers’ Head Coach hasn’t yielded the success he desired. The team had its ups and downs , never quite being able to get over the hump . The Clippers’ appearance in the NBA Playoffs of this past season was a clear indicator of that.

    Courtesy of CBS Sports

    Doc Rivers: Clippers players had nothing to do with Chris Paul’s move to Rockets

    “He left because he wanted to be with James Harden,” the Los Angeles coach said

    By Chris Barnwell @ChrisBarnwell

    Chris Paul was always going to the Rockets. He told the Clippers in a meeting with them that his plan was to sign with Houston in free agency and that they should probably try to trade him. That’s what Los Angeles did and they managed to get a decent return for a superstar player.

    Doc Rivers spoke to the media and commented on the trade. He spoke at length about why Paul left, his relationship with Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Austin Rivers. He defended his players saying that Paul left to go play with Harden because he wanted to. This was most likely in response to reports Wednesday that Paul left due to issues with teammates and the coaching staff.

    “At the end of the day, when you lose a CP, it’s a big loss. I thank him for the years he was here. He left because he wanted to be with James Harden. Let’s not get that twisted. I wish him well. I have no problem with that. Do I disagree? Yeah, I think he would have been better served here. But that’s not for me. That’s CP to decide and he decided against that. We’ve heard all the stories about Blake and DJ and Austin. I can’t comment just on Austin because it’s just not right. We’ve heard he left because of all three today. He left because of DJ, he left because of Blake and now he left because of Austin. We know he didn’t leave because of that. There is a lot of speculation on why he left. The one thing I know is he didn’t leave because of any of those three guys. He left because he felt like he would have a better chance to win somewhere else.”

    Rivers is right that for the majority of Paul’s time in Los Angeles he’s had his teammates receive blame and now that he’s left, those same players are receiving blame. He’s probably right that Paul chose to leave so he could go play with Harden and that it had less to do with internal issues, but to say there were none at all is probably not accurate. If Paul was completely happy in Los Angeles he wouldn’t have left.

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    Beginning of a new chapter for the Los Angeles Clippers or quite possibly the writing being on the wall , as a steady decline begins ? If this franchise cannot win with Chris Paul , Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan , then how the hell will anyone believe with this new roster they’ll be capable of defeating the best the West and East has to offer ? For Clippers owner Steve Ballmer this has to be all so disheartening as he and the front office executives seek to regroup and assess the whole situation.

    Mike D’Antoni might well feel he now has all the pieces in place to make an assault on the Houston Rockets winning the franchise’s third NBA title in their history . GM Daryl Morey has shown himself to be an intuitive executive who knows how run an organization and make deals which are of benefit to a franchise.

    Houston Rockets’ head coach Mike D’Antoni , left and team GM Daryl Morey.

    On paper the Houston Rockets might now be considered the third best team in the Western Conference and certainly a legitimate contender for the NBA title this upcoming season.

    NBA news and the latest team transactions

    Los Angeles Clippers news

    Houston Rockets news

    Current NBA free agents

    Tophatal ……………….

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  21. You finished the NBA season as one of the worst teams in the league. There’s now no denying the NBA off-season has provided a great deal more real excitement than the NBA Playoffs themselves. A lackluster Finals and there remains the idiocy of the LeBron James’ supporters still trying to justify his status as the best player in the NBA. James is not a leader and when faced with real adversity , he becomes a deer caught in headlights , who then whimpers like a petulant child . If things then don’t go his way , excuses are either front and center or there are behind the scenes maneuvers to rid him of those whom he believes are his enemies. The continued insistence he has become the closest thing fans have seen to Michael Jordan gets farcical by the minute . Even the mentally retarded analysts on television who have foamed at the mouth are now searching for excuses to make are nothing more than the idiots you’d come to expect .

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  22. Oh God , they’re quite possibly breaking up the Band ? Dan Gilbert billionaire owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers came close to trading away Kyrie Irving within the last couple of days. Now my thought remains for those with short-term memories , wasn’t it LeBron James pledging to win , not one , not two , not three , not four , but at least six NBA titles in Miami ? Now having returned to Cleveland the bang has now turned into fizz , with the franchise and team in complete disarray. Meanwhile , the Cavaliers have become unprofitable , because of the burdensome choice of seeking to overpay , exceed the salary cap and clearly not seeking to develop talent from within.

    Tophatal ………………….

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  23. Miami Heat President & Head of Basketball Operations , Pat Riley will try to persuade Utah Jazz free agent Gordon Hayward to sign with the Heat. The player who last season led the Jazz to their first NBA Playoff appearance in several years . Knowing that he can resign with his current team for a considerably higher salary than what he could with the Heat , Hayward has sought to test the market in free agency knowing there’s likely to be keen interest in his undoubted talent . From my own perspective , I believe Pat Riley will have to do a great deal more than acquiring Gordon Hayward alone as the team is truly starved of an offense’ minded player . Other than Goran Dragic there is not a consistent scorer on the roster .

    NBA news and Miami Heat news

    NBA transactions

    Restricted and unrestricted free agents

    NBA player caps (2017)

    Team salary caps (2017)

    Tophatal ……………

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  24. Paul George won’t be going to the Cleveland Cavaliers or his beloved Los Angeles Lakers , which he expressed to join . Instead Indiana Pacers’ GM Kevin Pritchard was able to pull off a stunning trade which sends the Pacers’ player to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Victor Oladipo and Dominic Sabonis . George becomes one-year rental , but it also gives him a chance to play alongside the newly minted League MVP , Russell Westbrook . Both players are free agents in 2018 and I believe Thunder GM Sam Presti will move heaven and earth to resign both George and Westbrook to long-term contracts .

    Russell Westbrook almost single handed pushed the team into making the NBA Playoffs and had the assistance been provided by way of an additional scorer and defensive foil , I do believe the team would have been more successful in the postseason. The addition of Paul George will provide the Thunder with the chance of proving themselves this upcoming season against their divisional rivals as well as the West and the rest of the NBA. This deal now leaves both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers scurrying back to the drawing board, as they look for a high-profile free agent to add to their roster. There are not that many names which fit the category . Cleveland remains without a general manager after the shocking departure of David Griffin , while Magic Johnson , Head of Basketball Operations for the Lakers , along with newly appointed general manager Rob Pelinka are still getting use to their roles as front office executives within the Lakers’ organizational and hierarchical structure. Other than the drafting of Lonzo Ball there hasn’t been much done which one would deem impressive in the moves made by Johnson and Pelinka .

    NBA news

    NBA transactions

    This month in the NBA and on this day in NBA history

    Tophatal …………………

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  25. All of the dominoes are beginning to fall into place . There was never any doubt that Steph Curry would re-sign with the Golden State Warriors as the two-time League MVP was rewarded with a five-year (max deal) to the tune of $205 million , average of $41 million a year. There may well be outrage at such largess , but this is what the NBA has become and one should consider that JJ Redick , nowhere near the best player at his position in the league has just signed a one-year deal of almost $24 million to join the Philadelphia 76ers , one of the worst teams in the league over the last three seasons .

    The NBA is in a position to do such deals , because the broadcast and cable networks have overpaid for the product and in a marketplace where the sporting alternatives are somewhat bleak , it would appear basketball offers the best value for money . The returns are very good and the product elicits excitement among the fan-base. I doubt the same can be said for the NHL (hockey) or Major League Baseball , with only the NFL (football) proving itself to be the one team sport which has the fans wanting more .

    Steph Curry’s teammate Kevin Durant is likely to be offered a similar deal and with Warriors’ GM Bob Myers knowing that the core of his team has been well-taken care of , the reigning champions will be around for a very long time , dominant as ever and likely to be the prohibitive favorites for next season. Myers now has his key ingredients in place also , with the re-signing of Andre Iguodala to the roster which to my mind has the best depth of any team in the East or Western Conference and league overall .

    Warriors’ GM Bob Myers (left) and team head coach Steve Kerr

    It will also be interesting to see what players within Golden State’s GLeague affiliate will be part of the steady progress for the organization during the Summer League schedule.

    NBA news

    Golden State Warriors news

    Philadelphia 76ers news

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    Tophatal …………….

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  26. If the news now circulating is to be believed , then the Boston Celtics might well have pulled of the biggest coup-de-gras with their signing of Gordon Hayward whose tenure with the Utah Jazz appears to have come to an end . Celtics’ head coach Brad Stevens played coy with the press after Hayward visited with the franchise within the past forty-eight hours , with the free agent having met with Stevens , front office executives , GM Danny Ainge and the team’s managing partner Wyc Grousbeck . It remains to be seen as to the terms of the deal signed by Gordon Hayward , but it is believed to be a multi-year deal with the Eastern Conference based Celtics.

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  27. Zach Randolph has formerly ended his career with the Memphis Grizzlies ending an eight-year tenure to join the Sacramento Kings and Kings’ head coach Dave Joerger . Randolph signed a two-year $24 million deal with Sacramento , likely adding offensive to a team sadly lacking in those areas last season. Kings’ front office executives Vlade Divac and Peja Stojakovic seemed to trying win back the goodwill of their long-starved fans . It is plain to see this is a last-ditch attempt by Sacramento to make up for the loss of DeMarcus Cousins who was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans in a rather idiotic trade engineered by Divac.

    Memphis Grizzlies’ owner and billionaire businessman Robert Pera has been gracious enough to thank Zach Randolph for services not just to the franchise , but also his largess within the community as a whole , while also wishing the veteran player the best of luck in his future endeavors. For the Grizzlies , the core of this team will now be based around Marc Gasol and the talents of point guard Mike Conley .

    The majority of the NBA rookies are on the cusp of being signed to their rookie deals with their respective teams.

    NBA team transactions

    Memphis Grizzlies news

    Tophatal ……….

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  28. Some seasoned veterans have either been cut /waived or are on the move to new destinations . Most notably the San Antonio Spurs have been able to acquire Rudy Gay , thereby bolstering the team’s front-court and offensive capabilities . Spurs’ GM R C Buford and team head coach Gregg Popovich can see the value in adding Gay to the roster , while also remaining within the salary cap and not encumbering the luxury tax and still managing to remain profitable .

    The addition of Rudy Gay will certainly make the San Antonio Spurs more competitive and certainly among the top three teams within the Western Conference. San Antonio may not be the most stylish team in the NBA , but they are clearly among the most competitive and with Gregg Popovich, they arguably have the best coach in the entire NBA .

    San Antonio Spurs news

    Tophatal ………..

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  29. Not happening anytime soon and I don’t care what the fascination might be but there’s no way in hell I would sign veteran center Andrew Bogut to any sort of contract ! At his peak , Bogut was never a player able to dominate or prove to be productive. He’s un-athletic, awkward and bring little to the table on either end of the floor at this stage of his career. Coming off the bench and offering minimal minutes might be the best alternative .

    Courtesy of NBA.com

    Andrew Bogut feeling good in recovery from leg injury

    By Steve Aschburer @steveaschburner

    When we last saw Andrew Bogut on the NBA stage, he was on the floor at Quicken Loans Arena, grabbing his left shin and cringing in pain. His stint as a rebounder and rim protector to help the Cleveland Cavaliers late in the season and through the 2017 playoffs lasted all of 58 seconds, snuffed by a fractured tibia when he collided with a Miami player in his March 6 debut.

    Former number one overall pick by the Milwaukee Bucks from the 2005 NBA Draft , Andrew Bogut.

    Nearly four months later, Bogut is finishing his rehab and nearing NBA free agency, which begins Saturday at 12:01 a.m. ET.

    In a phone conversation from his native Australia, Bogut, 32, said he plans to resume jumping and full basketball workouts within three weeks. His injury did not require surgery, and he shed a custom carbon-fiber cast a few weeks ago.

    “The big one was getting cleared to jog. And then just ramping it up week by week,” said Bogut, 32, a veteran of 12 seasons who started 2016-17 with Dallas before being included in a trade-deadline deal with Philadelphia for Nerlens Noel.

    Waived by the Sixers, he signed a $385,000 deal with Cleveland in hopes of returning to the Finals for the third straight year (he went in 2015 and 2016 with Golden State). His injury ended that plan for both Bogut and the Cavs.

    “Rehab’s been good,” he said. “I feel strong, everything feels good. But the full explosive stuff will be about another three weeks.”

    To head off any concerns about his leg, agent David Bauman has sent copies of Bogut’s medical clearance and bone scans to interested teams. Bogut said they have a “laundry list” of more than 10 teams with whom they’ll talk, and added that he isn’t worried the injury will dissuade anyone.

    “I don’t feel like this injury will hurt me long-term, because the bone will heal stronger than it was before,” he said.

    ——————————————————-
    Click on link to read this article in full.
    ——————————————————–

    Andrew Bogut may well be looking to sign on with a legitimate contender , but all of those teams would already appear to have their big man in place . As a twelve year veteran of the NBA this former number one overall pick from the 2005 NBA Draft might be considered one of the biggest busts in league history .

    NBA news

    Tophatal …………………….

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  30. Jeffrey Loria has once again proven why he’s one of the most deceitful and corrupt individuals in all of baseball and among the owners within the game. Clearly overpricing the Miami Marlins as he seeks to sell the franchise , he has rejected the sole bid left on the table after the previous two interested parties dropped out of the process . This situation has to be deeply disturbing for Major League Baseball and its hierarchy led by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred . The Marlins’ ball-club was originally priced by an investment banking group for a ridiculous sum of $2.1 billion . Bear in mind the Miami Marlins’ doesn’t have the revenues or generate the profits to be even remotely considered a big-market team on any level. Over the past five seasons their record has been abysmal along with the attendance record. Now with the value of the franchise having been lowered considerably , Jeffrey Loria and the front office staff have refused the $1.1 billion bid from Miami businessman Jorge Mas .

    Needless to say , I firmly believe Jeffrey Loria has no idea what he is doing . He has been enabled throughout his tenure as the owner of the franchise to be corrupt , even resorting to cash inducements to local politicians within Miami Dade as well as the city of Miami , in order to get Marlins Ballpark built at the taxpayers’ expense .

    Miami Marlins’ team owner Jeffrey Loria .

    At present the Miami Marlins are not even competing within the NL East much less as a wildcard team . Furthermore the productivity of the team has been abysmal all season long. This team has not been lucky to win a regular seasons against any of the opponents faced in 2017. Manager Don Mattingly and his managerial staff are completely out of their depth and Mattingly has provided very little inspiration to the playing staff at all .

    Miami Marlins news

    Tophatal ….

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  31. Aaron Judge
    and Giancarlo Stanton are having excellent seasons for their respective teams in baseball this season and Judge is looking every bit the part as the best player on the New York Yankees’ roster this season. Last night in the Home Run Derby as part of the All Star Festivities which climaxes tonight when the two players will take center-stage in the All Star Game itself. It will be interesting to see if either will be able to lead AL or NL All Stars to the title game.

    Aaron Judge put on a spectacular display of power-hitting to overcome Giancarlo Stanton in the Home Run Derby and providing the fans with one of the best contests over the past five years .

    When the regular season resumes on Friday it should provide for an interesting second half of the schedule. By comparison to last season the teams got off to a rousing start .

    MLB news

    Tophatal …………………..

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