Cease and desist ………..

Cease and desist

David Stern enters his last season and the NBA commissioner looking for the year to be an eventful and a fully entertaining one. He has found some cordiality and a somewhat uneven truce with the NPBA (union) , who themselves will be going through a tumultuous stage of non-stop litigious to and fro , with former Executive Director Billy Hunter . The former union leader has brought about a multi-million lawsuit against the union , Derek Fisher , who until June of this year was the union’s President . With the Los Angeles Clippers’ point guard Chris Paul having won a unanimous vote to Fisher , the union will now to forge head in seeking a calmer environment , while looking to throw out the civil suit for wrongful dismissal , slander and libel action brought by Billy Hunter . From my own perspective , I believe that the union has been acting under a veil of secrecy with regard to its actions and that was most certainly true of the former executive director . At the same time, why there seemed to be no oversight in place to monitor Hunter’s alleged actions and activities has to come into question. Yet this all will be left in the hands of a jury and a federal judge to decide what will be deemed a justified outcome. One way or another, whatever the decision made, the losing party is likely to appeal the verdict .

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Slideshow .

As to the season itself , LeBron James and the Miami Heat will seek to add to their current legacy as the organizations seeks to win its third consecutive NBA title . Having won in 2012 and 2013 , this season the team is likely to be viewed as the prohibitive favorites to win it all. Will there be a worthy opponent and challengers coming from within the Eastern Conference ? Well that remains to the seen , but most certainly the Chicago Bulls , Brooklyn Nets , Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks , are the four teams thought to have the best chance of derailing the Heat’s hopes at this juncture. I believe a great deal of that will now come down to the coaching acumen shown by Tom Thibodeau , Jason Kidd , a first time head coach in the league, Frank Vogel and Mike Woodson .

Far too often I have read pieces, some of which have been written quite articulately , that tend to simply gloss over the importance of the coach and simply delving into which player or players matter the most in order to bring about a victory for the team . Last I looked , if a head coach did not have the strategy of a game-plan in place, more often than not, the victory being sought actually ended up in defeat. Which brings me to the conclusion , are Kidd , Vogel, Woodson and Thibodeau on the same level as Erik Spoelstra as a head coach ? After a difficult first season , the Miami Heat head coach has now come into his own and given his managerial style , a few more title wins and he could very well surpass his mentor and current Team President Pat Riley as perhaps an even better coach and motivator of players. Clearly , Spoelstra has been able to get his trio of superstars to buy into his philosophy , while at the same time, he has been able to get the supporting to come along for the ride, while contributing greatly to the success of the team . Two titles, says a great deal about the young coach, a third , fourth and may be a fifth , would raise the decibel levels even higher and place on the same plane, as perhaps the likes of Gregg Popovich , or dare one say it, Phil Jackson ? Now detractors could make the argument, that when you coaching two or even three superstars on the same team, you are supposed to win. Spoelstra, like Jackson have suffered the slings and arrows of misfortune of have lost to teams in the Finals , where the roster of players they were coaching at the time were highly favored. Yet complacency and immaturity on the part of the Los Angeles Lakers in 2004 led to their ultimate downfall against the Detroit Pistons . In 2011 , once again, we saw those same familiar traits with the Miami Heat , as Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks laid waste to the Heat’s ambitions that season.

In the Western Conference , we could be on the cusp of seeing the all too quick descent of the Los Angeles Lakers into a deep abyss of mediocrity. Clearly, their fans, are either that naïve or simply not educated enough to now realize that this team in its present guise , is simply not good enough to now challenge even their own neighbors at the Staples Center the Los Angeles Clippers , never mind the likes of the Oklahoma City Thunder , San Antonio Spurs , Houston Rockets and dare I say it either the Golden State Warriors or Houston Rockets ? No amount of suggestion, that while Kobe Bryant remains a Los Angeles Lakers’ player, then just about anything is possible. Unfortunately, Bryant is now on the downside of an illustrious career and cannot be asked to continually do it all by himself . The five-time NBA champion may well have been able to do it on his own three or four years ago , but not now , on aging legs and what is in all honesty an injury riddled body, when there has been little if any support coming from his surrounding teammates . It begs the question , why does he put his body through such torture when his legacy has already been assured as one of the top-fifteen players ever to have played the game and graced an NBA basketball court ? It certainly cannot be for the money !

Lakers’ fans remain delusional, while Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss seem to be intent on ruining the legacy built by Jerry Buss and the great Lakers’ players of the past, even if that is not their original intent. My question for the Los Angeles Lakers’ fans, did you ever at any time, have any implicit faith in Mike Brown ? Do you now have, any faith in the coaching style of Mike D’Antoni ? It is not as if, he has made the practice of defense a policy of or much less an aspect of the Los Angeles’ Lakers’ game since he succeeded his predecessor. Instead, all I continue to hear is a great deal of bitching and whining from the Lakers’ fans still living in the past, who are just not willing to accept the inevitable and that this team in its present guise just is not good enough to win an NBA title, and that is in spite of the false bravado coming from Kobe Bryant. That may well prove to be a motivating factor for Bryant, but he even must now realize the truth and accept it for what it is, the window of opportunity has already been shut for this team. Can we please stop it also, with this ludicrous obsession also that in 2014 , either LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony will come in riding on a white steed to rescue the damsel in distress, known as the Los Angeles Lakers ? Idiots such as Chris Broussard , Stephen A Smith , Skip Bayless and Tim Legler are paid for their stupidity and their combined knowledge of the NBA even with their breaking stories , pose just about as much of an attraction, as a group of individuals during an act of flatulence , each of whom, have eaten several plates of baked beans . They simply begin to stink up the joint .

While Miami opens up the defense of their title , starting their season with a home game against the Chicago Bulls at the AA Arena in Miami , Florida on the 29th October , when the league opens its regular season schedule . The Bulls and Tom Thibodeau will welcome back point guard Derrick Rose who missed much of the 2011-12 postseason when in the opening round the top seeded Bulls lost their opening series to the Philadelphia 76ers . The injury shook the young point guard mentally more than it seemed to have done from a physical standpoint. Rose’s seventeen-month delay seems like an eternity to the franchise’s fans , but now that long delay will come to an end when the get to see the player and his teammates return to the court in the first of several preseason opening games in the lead-up to the Bulls’ regular season opener. . The first of those preseason games will be on , Saturday , 5th October against last season’s .. Eastern Conference Finalists the Indiana Pacers. A team that many believe will be amongst the most serious challengers to the Miami Heat this upcoming season.

The Orlando Magic this past season ended the year with a league worst mark of 20-62 , with a team that was simply out of its natural environment . First year head coach, Jacque Vaughn struggled to get any semblance of consistency out of the team throughout much of last season. Never able to maintain a lead during a game , not being able to defend with any zeal , pretty much summed up the woes of the franchise. A shake up within the front office was meant to bring about changes that would be of benefit to the franchise , but yet things remain bleak for the Orlando Magic , who now have to contend with a declining attendance and a major drop-off in its overall fan-base , as well as major corporate endorsers no longer prepared to sponsor the success starved organization . As to what this will now mean to Dan De Vos , Team President Alex Martins , GM Rob Hennigan , Charles Freeman and Jim Fritz , may well mean a concerted effort on their part to try something new. The on-court product, remains the main issue, along with the lack of veteran leadership on the roster. That team will now be placed in the hands of Jameer Nelson and Hedo Turkoglu , as the presumed leaders of the Orlando Magic. A great deal also will be asked of Jacque Vaughn and his coaching staff as they embark on their reason . Orlando will begin their schedule against the Indiana Pacers at the Bankers Field House in Indianapolis , Indiana.

In a division (Southeast) where the Orlando Magic will have to contend with the Charlotte Bobcats , Atlanta Hawks , Washington Wizards and the defending NBA champions the Miami Heat. It remains to be seen how this team will be able to contend not only within their division but within the Eastern Conference never-mind the rest of the NBA as a whole . David Stern profligates the charade that the league remains competitive , but like Major League Baseball (MLB) , it now has now become a league of the ” haves ” and ” have not’s” . A ” soft ” salary cap that no one seems to be interested in abiding by , but yet we have a group of idiots still trying to create the perception that the NBA has no real underlying issues concerning its business template .

I have never been a great admirer of Mark Cuban , who apart from being a constant thorn in the side of David Stern , he has proven to be an egotistical and narcissistic asshole . Not content with those traits, it now appears that the Dallas Mavericks’ owner is about to have his day in US Federal Court , as he seeks to prove his innocence against the charges of insider trading , and profiting to the tune of $750,000 . All of this, for an individual whose net worth is estimated to be in excess of $ 2.5 billion . It makes me wonder how the mega-rich can now survive in this day and age if three-quarters of a million dollars will prove to be that much of a loss . Not content with having mocked the US Justice Department with preceding the charges against him , but Cuban has taken upon himself to suggest that the motives behind the case has been the fact that he has been politically outspoken and critical of the SEC (Securities & Exchange Commission) . That last statement might well be the most ludicrous of the claims being made by self-aggrandizing and always publicity seeking owner of the Mavericks . If he wishes to prove his innocence , then do so by appearing in court , rather than continuing to make a complete ass of himself , because he is not being judged in the court of public opinion in this case. That will ultimately take place in a Federal Court , where he will be judged by a jury of twelve of his peers , with those individuals adjudicating his guilt or innocence. After-all, is that not what the Justice System is meant to be about ?

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Picture gallery

Though the season has yet to begin within the NBA , what if anything do you believe will be the most interesting or thrilling event that is likely to take place over the course the schedule ?

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Picture and slideshow gallery details below .

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(1) Former NBPA Executive President Director Derek Fisher , left is seen here at the dais, alongside Billy Hunter . The union’s former Executive Director is seeking punitive damages from the union for wrongful dismissal , libel , slander and damage to his reputation . Fisher and the union state that Hunter acted outside his parameters in establishing deals and the hiring of certain family members to maintain certain entities within the NBPA’s structure including its pension fund . There also allegations of misappropriation of union funds exceeding $250,000. All of the allegations in question have been vehemently denied Billy Hunter’s lawyers , who state that this essentially a character assassination attempt by the union . AP Photo / Brandon Jones ………

(2) Four-time league and two-time Finals MVP LeBron James will be seeking to guide the Miami Heat to the franchise’s third straight NBA title . In 2014 the player can opt out of his existing contract to become a free agent but it seems highly unlikely he is like to leave the franchise to play elsewhere . Getty Images / Robert Woods …

(3) Miami Heat President Pat Riley and head coach Erik Spoelstra are seen here celebrating the team’s 2013 NBA title series’ victory over the San Antonio Spurs . In a series that went to a seventh game , the Heat were pressed throughout the Finals by the Western Conference representatives . Spoelstra will seek join Red Auerbach and Phil Jackson as the only coaches in NBA history to have won three consecutive NBA titles . Getty Images North America / Paul Hanson …

(4) Los Angeles Lakers’ head coach Mike D’Antoni is seen here talking with players Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol during the interval of a game played at the Staples Center last season . Throughout much of the year the team struggled and with the departure of center Dwight Howard to the Houston Rockets as a free agent , questions arise as to how good the team is likely to be in its present format . AP Photo / Chris Marshall ……

(5) From left to right Orlando Magic executive Alex Martins , head coach Jacque Vaughn and general manager Rob Hennigan . AP Photo / Phil Coulter ….

(6) Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban seen here polishing the Larry O’Brien Trophy after the team’s triumph over the Miami Heat . The often outspoken owner will face insider trading charges having sought to manipulate the stock price of a small tech-firm while seeking to make a profit of $750,000 from the trade . All charges which Cuban and his attorneys deny . AP Photo / Kelly Myles ….

(7) Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls . The young point guard, after a seventeen-month layoff makes a welcome return for the team hoping to contribute to Bulls’ success this upcoming season . AP Photo / Paul Mayhew ….

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tophatal ……………… 09/30/2013

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NBA news and archived stories

NBA regular season begins 29th October 2013 and 30th October 2013

NBA head coaches

NBA team payrolls ( salary cap $58.044 million) —– Top player salaries

2012-13 NBA standings (division) and conference standings

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Idle hands make for light work , so let’s get those hands doing something worthwhile .

Now that’s what I call keeping the assets perky !

I’m Going To Make Them An Offer They Can’t Refuse …………..

I’m Going To Make Them An Offer They Can’t Refuse

Perhaps it’s me but unless NBA Commissioner David Stern is trying to pull the wool over our eyes. We’re to believe that NBA and its teams are said to be losing tens of millions of dollars. For the fiscal year of 2010, Stern states …’ that the combined losses of the league will exceed $400 million dollars‘. Now when I last looked the NBA’s revenues exceeded $7 billion a year from all of its global operations. Somehow either there’s ‘financial mismanagement’ on the NBA’s behalf, courtesy of the owners. Or in fact there are indeed some serious inherent problems within the NBA that was overlooked by the game’s hierarchy from the very outset. Which is it to be ?

<strong>NBPA Executive  Director<em>   Billy  Hunter </em>  seated  left   alongside  NBA  Commissioner <em> David  Stern</strong></em>.   At  present the  two  men  are   in  a  very   contentious   negotiation   scenario  with  regard  to   the  league's   collective   bargaining  agreement.     photo  appears   courtesy  of <strong>  NBAE/Getty  Images/</strong>   Andrew  D  Bernstein  ..............
NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter seated left alongside NBA Commissioner David Stern. At present the two men are in a very contentious negotiation scenario with regard to the league's collective bargaining agreement. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Andrew D Bernstein ..............

Now unless the ‘ executive board’ of the NBA that currently exists mirrors that of the board members of both GM and Chrysler combined . And as we know the board members there, essentially ran both businesses to the brink of bankruptcy . Now we’re meant to believe that the NBA and its owners are actually that financially irresponsible , wherein, they’re now trying to stave off their own financial meltdown and irresponsibility ? If we’re to believe and take David Stern at his word , then each of the teams within the league are on average losing $13.34 million each. Somehow, I for one find that inconceivable but then again unless the NBA is willing to open up their books for financial and public scrutiny. I can only surmise, that the sole reason for Stern and the NBA’s hierarchy to pose this to the NBPA (Players Union) is to merely indicate that they’re in an acute financial dilemma .

Courtesy of New York Daily News

NBA Commissioner David Stern: Teams are in $400M hole

By Mitch Lawrence , Daily News Sports Writer

Dallas – NBA players need to face the harsh economic facts and prepare to take major pay cuts in the next collective bargaining agreement, commissioner David Stern said Saturday night.

During his annual state of the NBA speech at All-Star Weekend, Stern said the league will lose $400 million this season – roughly double its annual losses over the last four years – and has to come up with a new “sustainable” economic model.

“We’ve shown the players the facts,” Stern said. “Our current level of revenue devoted to player salary is too high. I can run from that, but I can’t hide from that. And I don’t think the players can hide, either. We need to make significant changes to deal with the very substantial losses that are in the hundred of millions of dollars.”

Owners presented a proposal Friday to the players that called for massive cutbacks in guaranteed salaries, and cutting the percentage given to players from basketball-related income, from its current level of 56%, to around 43%. In terms of salaries for superstar players, the days of those making in excess of $20 million in a season would be over, with those players likely making no more than $13 million. Maximum contracts would plummet from an average of $18 million per season to around $11 million per season.

The players’ executive director, Billy Hunter, rejected the owners’ proposal out of hand.

“You can denounce it, you can tear it up, you can burn it, you can jump up and down on it, as long as you understand that it reflects the financial realities of where we are,” Stern said, while refusing to detail the specifics of the proposal.

Although the two sides have plenty of time to reach a deal – the CBA runs through next season – Stern gave no indication that the owners’ demands will change over the next 18 months. League sources told the Daily News recently that about half the 30 teams are losing “tons of money.”

Despite the glum outlook for labor peace, Stern tried to leave on an upbeat note.

“There’s always a deal,” he said, forgetting to mention that in 1998-99, his owners shut down the league, for the first time, and reduced the season to 50 games. “We plan to make a deal this time, too.”

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Billy Hunter the Executive Director of the NBPA, his executive committee members and the NBA , are in the midst of a very contentious union deliberations as to their collective bargaining agreement . Stern for his part, wants there to be even more financial constraints placed upon the union as to their share of the league’s revenues and how its shared amongst the teams and its players. The present NBA salary cap is $71.2 million and the league and Stern are said to be looking for a 20 % cut across the board amongst the players in terms of the salaries to override the losses of the league. Now one can surmise that neither Hunter or his members would find this at all amenable . Nor are they prepared to cave in to the request of Stern at this juncture.

For all the guile that David Stern seems to possess , I do believe that he’s now trying to play the ‘capo de tutti capi’ in terms of his demands. In 2009 Stern made the asinine statement that the …. ‘ $250 million that was doled out to 16 franchises within the league was to be viewed not as a bailout but merely a way of helping them all financially to remain stable. The question I for one would like to pose to David Stern is how is it that the teams and the ownership aren’t able to show financial constraint but yet they are prepared to impose increases on the fans ? Somehow if even he and the owners aren’t prepared to be held accountable for their actions then how are we now to believe him when he states the financial problems that the league is now said to be facing ?

If the NBPA is acquiesce and overcome this impasse , then they may well have to climb down from off their lofty perch and at least meet David Stern and the owners at least half way. And by all accounts, Billy Hunter hasn’t ever been that trustful of anything emanating from the mouth of the commissioner. And who can blame him ? It’s not as if Stern has ever been known to be upfront and open as to the transparency of the league and its inner workings to begin with. The league’s hierarchy has been so secretive that they now make the conclave of Cardinals who oversee the papal order and its choice of the Pope seem open. But that would be to surmise that the Roman Catholic order was ever open to begin with. The NBA for its part has proven to be nothing more than a business that now has been mismanaged and through the greed of its hierarchy and that of the commissioner’s office has become a microcosm corporate America , and how much of a mess that it has now become. Instead of actually being to produce profits through the natural order of producing a brand and product that appeals to its customers. We now find the NBA conducting itself, like a business that’s now said to be completely devoid of ideas and innovation and seemingly having to massage the numbers through financial creativity in terms of its accounting practices . What more else that can be said can be best done after we are allowed to view the evidence that the NBA is willing to allow us to see.

Make them an offer they can’t refuse David Stern because in all probability the union will be unwilling to acquiesce to your demands. For far too long you and the owners have ran the NBA as if it were a slot machine wherein yourself and the hierarchy have been the sole profiteers of the business template and its rewards therein. C’mon make them an offer they can’t refuse .

Alan Parkins aka tophatal

The classic line as quoted by Vito Corleone in the movie ‘The Godfather’ ……’I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse’ . If Stern and league somehow uses that approach , I seriously doubt that he’ll get what he wants from the union. They’re no longer intimidated by him the league’s hierarchy or the owners, themselves.

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This could well be how Hunter and Stern will actually carry out their negotiations during the collective bargaining agreement deliberations. That bolt of lightning will definitely be striking someone within either side of the NBA hierarchies. Will it be the NBPA or the upper echelons of the NBA itself ?

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Actress <strong> Freda Pinto </strong> one of the  stars of the multiple  Oscar winning   hit  movie <strong><em>  'Slumdog  Millionaire' </strong></em>.  Worth   slumming over  because  Pinto just  needs is <em> some good  loving </em>  that's  all  !  What   do   you  think  ?
Actress Freda Pinto one of the stars of the multiple Oscar winning hit movie 'Slumdog Millionaire' . Worth slumming over because Pinto just needs is some good loving that's all ! What do you think ?