The Light at the End of the Tunnel ….

 The Light at the End of the Tunnel …

Well the NBA season is still several weeks away and the league itself will have a great deal to offer us this upcoming season. Star players have found new homes and the salary scales for those players are now at an all-time high along with the team payrolls . Meanwhile, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will have a great deal to think about , along with the NBPA (union) seeking to rework their current collective bargaining agreement. On the court it will be interesting to see which of the Los Angeles’ based franchises will be viewed as the best team in the league this season. Both have made big splashes, with the acquisition of key players , likely to add to the efficiency and productivity of both teams.. Who would have guessed that Finals MVP , Kawhi Leonard would have left the Toronto Raptors to join the Los Angeles Clippers , with the franchise also adding Paul George into the mix on the team’s roster that’ll be coached by Doc Rivers ? GM Lawrence Frank and Rivers were able to work wonders in getting both players to make the Clippers their destination. Countering that move the Los Angeles Lakers got their man when Anthony Davis was acquired in exchange for Lonzo Ball and a bunch bye products no longer wanted by the franchise. Los Angeles also saw the departure of Luke Walton as the team’s Head Coach , with his being replaced by Frank Vogel . From my own perspective , I do not believe that Vogel will be able to put enough wins to actually seal the deal, where the Lakers are considered a top contender for the NBA title .

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Opening night of the NBA regular season will tip off on October 22nd with the opening games being the Toronto Raptors facing the New Orleans Pelicans as the Raptors begin the defense of their NBA title won last season. The other opening night game features the Los Angeles Lakers facing the Los Angeles Clippers.

LeBron James continues to chase history, with the four-time League MVP seeking to surpass the legacy of his idol Michael Jordan as a player . There are some who now believe James to be the equal Jordan, albeit that James has yet to beat Jordan’s feat of six championship winning NBA Finals and six Finals’ MVP Awards. I think that sums up every reason , why LeBron James will never been seen as Michael Jordan’s equal.

There are a number of teams that I feel can compete for the NBA title this season, with everything being equal . The team likely to have the most difficult task could very well be the Houston Rockets , whose window of opportunity becomes more difficult with each passing season. Having n James Harden team up with Russell Westbrook makes this roster a formidable one , but it remains to be seen whether or not they have what it takes to derail the hopes of their opponents during this upcoming season. Houston will begin their preseason with a game against the Los Angeles Clippers on the 4th October .Their regular season opener will see the Rockets tip off against the Milwaukee Bucks , in a game where Harden will match wits with Giannis Antetokounmpou , the reigning League MVP .

Dave Dombrowski was summarily fired by the Boston Red Sox , with the team having failed to seal a berth for the postseason . Such was the failure of this team , that there’s a growing feeling that a number of their high-priced players could very well be on the move at the end of this season. Much of the blame for the Red Sox’s malaise can be laid firmly on the shoulders of Dombrowski, who felt it was best to overpay for a number of stars whose best years might well be behind them. Boston and team manager Alex Cora will have the rest of September to prove to their fans that the team can still play with pride. In their next game the Red Sox will be on the mound to face the Toronto Blue Jays on the road. It will be interesting to see how they will fare against their divisional rivals in this contest.

Zack Scott is likely to take over the duties relinquished by Dave Dombrowski after his firing and it will be interesting to see the moves that Scott could very well make , which will likely determine the future of this ball-club .

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Zack Scott , front office executive with the Boston Red Sox

Throughout the history of the New England Patriots , team Head Coach Bill Belichick has never been afraid to take a chance on a player , from Corey Dillon to Randy Moss , to Donte’ Stallworth and now Antonio Brown . The wide receiver was signed by the Patriots after he was cut by the Oakland Raiders , The Players Union are now in the midst of filing a grievance , concerning Brown’s dismissal by the Raiders. Having been signed to a one-year , $15 million deal of which $9 million is guaranteed money. It will be interesting to see what the Patriots will be able to get out of Antonio Brown over the course of this season. One thing for sure , this Patriots ‘ offense is a hell of a lot more potent than any of their rivals within their division , the AFC as well as the rest of the league. Having demolished the Pittsburgh Steelers 33-3 in their regular season opener , the New England Patriots will line up in week two to meet the Miami Dolphins . . Antonio Brown is likely to be in the team’s lineup with the Patriots’ coaching staff looking to assess the player’s worth to the team .

One looming issue which could threaten Antonio Brown’s time with the Patriots this season , is that of a possible lawsuit being filed against him by Jon Gruden , Head Coach of the Oakland Raiders. This stems from the player having recorded a private conversation between himself and his former coach. Under California state law , a private telephone conversation between two private parties , cannot be deemed legal unless consent is given by both parties. How this is viewed by the courts has yet to be played out , while it’s unclear that Gruden as such, can claim that if this was actually a conversation where he was representing the interests of the Raiders , or that it was solely one of privacy . Brown also faces claims of sexual assault by a former personal trainer , Britney Taylor , hired by the player. Taylor claims that she was sexually assaulted by Brown on three separate occasions , but at no time had she made those assertions public , having informed law enforcement of these three incidents. I can only surmise that Taylor having seen that Brown signed his deal , is now seeking some form of compensation from Antonio Bryant.

As optimistic as it was thought that this season was going to be for the Jacksonville Jaguars . The loss of the team’s starting quarterback Nick Foles has led to an even bigger dilemma for the coaching staff and front office , is whether not they should now acquire a free agent quarterback currently on the market , or call up one of Foles’ backup on the Jaguars’ depth chart. Gardner Minshew and Joshna Dobbs are two players with minimal experience on the team’s roster at the quarterback position .

Heading into week two the Jacksonville Jaguars will face the Houston Texans on the road in an AFC match-up . All signs point to the fact that this could be a very entertaining game, with the Jaguars being definitely in need of a victory .

Far be it for me to suggest , but it is becoming abundantly clear that the window of opportunity for Jameis Winston to prove himself as a leader for the Tampa Buccaneers closing extremely fast . Ever since being drafted by the franchise in 2015, Winston has continually struggled in his role as a starting quarterback. Week one saw an abysmal performance by Jameis Winston as the Buccaneers succumbed to the San Francisco 49ers , with the Bucs’ starting quarterback being hit and throwing interceptions unwantedly . With their next game being a divisional contest , the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jameis Winston are going to be tested when they face the Carolina Panthers on Thursday evening , 12th September, 2019. Bruce Arians might well feel it prudent not to start Winston given his record against the Panthers since his becoming a starter for the franchise. For the Panthers they are likely to be without their starting quarterback Cam Newton for this contest. Newton for his part would like nothing better than to be on the field for this game as he seeks to regain the form that made him a League MVP in 2015. For both teams a win is of vital importance moving forward.

Jameis Winston having recently being given a contract extension , must now know that he’s playing for his long-term future and that of the Buccaneers’ own livelihood, as they can ill-afford to start off their season on a two-game losing streak. . Becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2020 , the veteran quarterback has to be looking to commensurate a deal that would provide for his long-term future , but given his inconsistency , I seriously doubt that the front office of the Buccaneers will be so forthcoming.

Since his acquisition of the Miami Dolphins , current team owner , Stephen M Ross , has seen the ongoing demise of a franchise that hasn’t seen any semblance of real success in over a decade. Their last postseason appearance came in 2016 , and prior to that it was in 2009 , when Ross finally took control of the Dolphins from previous owner H D Wayne Huizenga . Miami’s season opening loss might well have been the franchise’s worst defeat of regular season football over the last ten years. The performance of this team was in deed an embarrassment for first year Head Coach Brian Flores and his coaching staff . The Baltimore Ravens led by their quarterback Lamar Jackson laid waste to a Dolphins’ defense which so was brutal in their lack of execution and play , with their offense being equally inept . Things won’t be getting any easier as the Dolphins will have to face a red-hot New England Patriots’ team looking to improve off their season opening win when these two AFC East rivals meet in week two of the regular season.

When pressure is being brought to bear on an NFL rookie , especially one who is a Heisman Trophy winner . The expectations continue to be high through much of their career with few of those aspirants really ever being able to live up to or meet those expectations. Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals , now finds himself in such surroundings , with the fans and front office
expecting a great deal from the rookie quarterback this season . . Murray and the Cardinals in their week one opener tied with the Detroit Lions , 27-27 , in a game which went into overtime. . With the rookie and sophomore quarterbacks’ Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson meeting for the very first time, these two players should bring out the best in each other.

What story of late within the world sports has you riveted by way of its unfolding ?

Tophatal ……… 09/11/2019 …

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USA Today sports’ headlines …

NBA news …

NBA transactions …

NBA regular season schedule (month one)

NBA standings (division) ..

MLB news …

MLB standings division ..

MLB schedule three days at a glance 14th-16th September

NFL news …

NFL standings division

NFL schedule week two ..

NFL team injuries

NFL week one results ..


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