If you can’t stand the heat, then stay the hell out of the kitchen .

If you can’t stand the heat, then stay the hell out of the kitchen .

As the NBA season still is still til in its infancy , we are already seeing the struggles of several notable teams thought to be legitimate contenders for the NBA title . Last season, we saw both the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks make somewhat spirited forays as part of the NBA Playoffs , only to subsequently fall in the first round and the conference semi-finals within the Eastern Conference. From my own standpoint , although their efforts were admirable , in no way could either team be seen as a real threat to derail the eventual champions , the Miami Heat , simply based on the performances of the Heat during the entire playoffs ! Unfortunately, for fans of the New York Knicks, as always, has been their want, theirs is a world built around their belief that sports’ world is encapsulated around everything that exists within the organization , the players , management and the coaching staff .

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Coming into this season, a great deal was expected of the New York Knicks and specifically , this team , led by Carmelo Anthony , Tyson Chandler , J R Smith , Metta World Peace , Amare` Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert . Head coach Mike Woodson , long seen as a very good coach of young players, has sought instill discipline into a roster that was simply lacking that trait in 2012 , and it would appear that the trait still remains , as the Knicks are off to an understated start , having posted a 3-7 record through their first ten games of the season . Good enough, to have them at the bottom of the Atlantic Division and amongst the lower rungs of the Eastern Conference .

Now losers of three straight , one could attest to the fact that the Knicks are still seeking a footing in terms of consistency , but the evidence would suggest otherwise , with erratic play both defensively and on offense . On Wednesday night , the team will play host to the Indiana Pacers (9-1) , the current pace setters within the Central Division , as well as the conference , in a game that will be played at Madison Square Garden , in New York City , New York , home to the New York Knicks. While I believe the Knicks to be merely a competent team , I simply do not believe that they have the depth or the mindset to be considered good enough to dethrone the Miami Heat in a seven-game playoff series . Granted , Knicks’ fans will always point to their defeat of the Heat during the regular season, but in essence that imply counts for nothing, when there is not a great deal at stake. It has always been the postseason , where legacies are made, and at this juncture, the New York fans have simply forgotten that very fact.

How the Knicks acquit themselves against the Pacers, could tell us a great deal about the team as they move forward. A loss , not while catastrophic, could start to raise questions about the makeup of this roster and whether not a number of roster moves might well need to be made at some point during the season . GM Steve Mills , might well need to take a look at his options, should he seek to improve the roster in order to strengthen the team’s chances of making the postseason

With the baseball season now over and a World Series’ champion having been crowned , with the Boston Red Sox claiming their title in the last ten years. One of the more unsavory aspects of this past season has now raised its ugly head, with the ongoing procedural hearing concerning Alex Rodriguez’s attempts to have his suspension overturned during arbitration , with special arbitrator Frederic Horowitz presiding over the entire appeal’s process. Ten days into this proceeding , the defendant , Rodriguez , has decided to show his disgust with this all, by leaving the MLB headquarters , showing his utter disdain for Horowitz, after the arbitrator made the decision not have MLB Commissioner Bud Selig take the stand to stand to fully explain the reasons for the league’s stance in taking their current action to have the New York Yankees’ third baseman for a record two-hundred and fourteen-game suspension.

The league’s position, has been that Rodriguez has been less than truthful in the testimony provided to the league’s investigators, as well as the evidence now in their possession , in some cases paid for , as part of their evidence gathering from the now defunct South Florida based supplements’ company Biogenesis . Company founder, Anthony “Tony” Bosch , now under federal indictment for a number of federal charges , concerning drug trafficking and the selling and distribution of prescription drugs , has agreed to testify on behalf of Major League Baseball. As to what bearing, this will have not only on this hearing, but also Bosch’s own liberty , as he awaits his federal trial , will most likely be dependent upon how damaging his testimony is likely to be against Alex Rodriguez.

Rodriguez and his high-priced legal team , headed by criminal attorneys David Cornwell and Joe Tacopina will have now have a hard time trying to disprove the case against their client , after his actions , and the alleged use of “foul language” by Alex Rodriguez , in describing the whole procedure as a ‘ ###king farce’ , as well as directing a great of his venom at the commissioner and the arbitrator. Were this a criminal case, I seriously doubt that the player’s actions would be so direct , and filled with such anger towards the aforementioned parties !

While I do believe in due process , it is very hard for me to now see how Rodriguez can see his action as being a positive ! His credibility has already come into question , with his repeated non refusal to address earlier claims that he had used performance enhancing drugs , prior to this latest allegation of ties to Biogenesis and the evidence of his having purchased a cache of different substances for his personal use , all in violation of the league’s policy. Bear in mind also , the player is also seeking legal recourse, with his own action against MLB as well as the lead medical physician of the New York Yankees , and what he feels has been a collusive act to have him driven out of baseball . As to why a team doctor would seek to work in conjunction with the league hierarchy to have a player thrown out of the game , simply defies logic , based on Rodriguez’s premise and that of the lawyers’ case in the civil suit filed in US District Court in Manhattan . Seeking punitive damages , emotional distress, loss of income, defamation and damage to his reputation ? Is Alex Rodriguez actually serious, with those claims ?

Rodriguez’s attempts to cast the league’s case as a witch-hunt I believe has more to do with the fact that he may well have felt that any suspension rendered against might well have been in line those meted out to the other twelve players named in the league’s investigative findings and then suspended . A maximum penalty of sixty-five games was handed down to the Brewers’ Ryan Braun , who has subsequently apologized for his actions , in lying not only to the fans the Milwaukee Brewers’ organization ,. but also to the league hierarchy for his misdeeds. A far cry, from his original denial in 2011, the year he won the NL MVP Award , while offering up a web of deceit and lies .

In March of 2010, Alex Rodriguez, himself, would apologize publicly for his steroid use, with the New York Yankees’ organization orchestrating much of the actual premise behind the player’s act of contrition. Yet less than eighteen months later , Rodriguez’s name would come up in association with that of Orlando medical professional , Dr Anthony Galea , who was said to be running a “pill mill” out of his offices in the Central Florida haven . Galea , now serving his time in a federal facility after a plea agreement with the U S Justice Department , was never questioned by the MLB’s investigators concerning links to Rodriguez and the player, himself when broached on the subject, simply deflected those questions with the usual baseball banter of wanting to see the team do well , and that he was not involved or did not know Galea , nor did he have any idea, how his name came to be associated with the now convicted felon. Come full circle, and it now appears, that Alex Rodriguez will seek to muddy with the waters, , with the actions taken , while also seeking to show that baseball’s hierarchy is in fact incompetent , disingenuous and cannot be trusted. The player may well be right , but at this juncture, who are you likely to give the benefit of the doubt to ? The player, or the MLB hierarchy in terms of their respective actions ?

The MLB hierarchy , as led by Bud Selig , along with the team owners and union, bear the brunt of the responsibility for this continued farce , even with Alex Rodriguez trying to dramatically play the victim , when his portrayal , if anything , has more to do with that of a villain with an amoral attitude. As to the player’s claim, that he has a deep respect for the game , his actions have shown that to be a falsehood in the past and now in the present after his less than civil behavior during an arbitration proceeding .

As the NFL enters the final five weeks of the regular season ,with the week twelve schedule giving us a taste of another Thursday night contest between NFC divisional rivals the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints (8-2) . I simply cannot help but wonder, how many of us would have thought that the Falcons’ season would have become so miserable and with their now being calls for the head of Mike Smith as well GM Thomas Dimitroff and a number of players on this roster ! There now seems to be nothing to play for, concerning the Falcons, other than pride and self-respect. Even that might not be enough to abate the wrath of their fans , who expected so much more out of the team this season , along with that of their Pro Bowl . quarterback Matt Ryan .

In a division where the Atlanta Falcons were expected to be challenging for divisional dominance over the New Orleans and a now resurgent ,a href=http://nfl.com/teams/profile?team=car> Carolina Panthers (7-3) . This Falcons’ team now finds itself firmly rooted at the bottom of the NFC South with a 2-8 record , which they jointly share with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-8) , a team that also this season , has been a major disappointment to their fans . There is a common belief that at the end of this season , both Mike Smith and his Buccaneers’ counterpart Greg Schiano are likely to get a reprieve from their respective front offices and are likely to retain their positions. Though, it would not surprise me, were either Thomas Dimitroff or Mark Dominik decided to ” pull the trigger” and simply fire both head coaches ! When all else fails and the players are not being held accountable, then the coach has to be fired. I mean, it’s the nature of the beast , kill or be killed.

Playing for pride and self-respect now appears to be the only thing left for the franchise, beyond their impending draft status. The Falcons’ draft classes in recent years , overall, have been unspectacular, with their being a lack of leadership coming from the “face of the franchise ” , in Matt Ryan. He may well be a very good player , but I have yet to hear anyone describe the player as someone with great leadership qualities . Instead, Ryan is a great regular season quarterback, but the doubts have begun to set in concerning his most recent postseason performances and the lack of recent postseason success by the franchise. . Going forward , it is unlikely that the front office is likely to do anything drastic concerning the quarterback, but there are likely to be several moves structured to improve the roster , in order to make it all the more competitive .

Matt Ryan, has the weight of a burdensome contract that he appears not to be able live up to. Unlike many of his peers at the top NFL “ quarterback food chain” , with the exception of , Sam Bradford , Philip Rivers and Tony Romo , all of the others have won a Superbowl . That if anything, has to be truly indicative of the pressure place upon a player who was drafted to replace the once beloved former Falcons’ icon Michael Vick , whose fall from grace while with the Atlanta Falcons has been well chronicled . As to what, now awaits the Atlanta Falcons over the remainder of their schedule will be predicated upon the effort given by a team , that this season , has been one of the major disappointments of this NFL calendar year. Matt Ryan has a great deal to prove, not only to himself, but also to the Falcons’ fans , as well as the NFL, in terms of his playing ability , and being able to lead the franchise to a Superbowl victory.

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In light of the issues raised within this piece , what thoughts if any do you have concerning this article and anything else you believe to be pertinent to the topic ? Simply leave a comment on this and by all means, if you have any suggestions as to future content you would like to see within the site , your thoughts are more than welcomed !

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(1) Carmelo Anthony goes up for the dunk during a game played between the Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Wednesday night , 20th November , 2013 . Indiana would go on to defeat the Knicks in overtime 103-96 , with Paul George of the Pacers leading all scorers with 35 points during the game. AP Photo / Kathy Willens ….

(2) Paul George (24) of the Indiana Pacers attempts a shot over the outstretched arms of the New York Knicks’ Beno Udrih (18) . The Pacers with the victory pushed their record to 10-1 , which is the best in the Eastern Conference and the top mark in the NBA alongside the San Antonio Spurs (10-1) . AP Photo / Kathy Willens ….

(3) Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees is seen here leaving his limousine alongside his attorney Joseph ‘Joe’ Tacopina , as the two arrive at the MLB headquarters in New York City , where the player listened to the arbitration proceedings presided over by the league and union sanctioned arbitrator Frederic Horowitz . On the tenth day of the hearings, the player abruptly left the hearing in anger , slighting both the arbitrator and MLB Commissioner Bud Selig for what he believes to be an unjust and flawed hearing . As to how Rodriguez’s action will impact any verdict rendered remains to be seen . For the moment, the player’s defense , in seeking the rescinding of his suspension will be plead by his two lead attorney Joe Tacopina and David Cornwell . Rodriguez also has a civil suit awaiting a trial date to be set in US Federal District Court in Lower Manhattan , New York . AP Photo / James Todd ……

(4) Matt Ryan (2) of the Atlanta Falcons attempts a pass during a game played against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a divisional contest at Raymond James Stadium , in Tampa , Florida , this past Sunday . The Buccaneers would go on to defeat Atlanta 41-28 in what turned to be one the Falcons’ worst performances of the season . On Thursday night they will face another divisional foe , the New Orleans Saints , when the two teams meet at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Georgia ,. The Falcons’ quarterback has performed somewhat erratically through his team’s first ten games of the season , in leading them to a 2-8 record within the NFC South and NFC as a whole . AP Photo / Rheinold Matay ….

(5) Gerald McCoy (93) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sacks Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan during the this past Sunday played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa , Florida . Tampa would go on to defeat Atlanta 41-28 in a lopsided victory for the home team . AP Photo / Rheinold Matay …..

(6) Buccaneers’ running back Bobby Rainey (43) scampers into the end-zone , after a forty-three yard touchdown run , that highlighted the team’s victory over the Atlanta Falcons 41-28, this past Sunday . AP Photo / Rheinold Matay ……….

(6) From left to right , Atlanta Falcons’ team owner , Arthur Blank , GM Thomas Dimitroff , head coach Mike Smith and the team’s quarterback , Matt Ryan . The quarterback who recently signed a six-year $113.75 million contract in 2013 , of which $42 million is in guaranteed money , will now have to live up the deal . The expectations are high not only for the player and his long-term future but also for that of the Falcons’ franchise who are seeking to move into a new venue , to be built at an estimated cost of $1.205 billion , during which the Atlanta Falcons are hoping to be ready for the 2014-15 season. A great deal of controversy has surrounded the proposed venue with the Falcons said to only putting up $200 million towards the $1.2 billion cost of the proposed structure, with the rest coming from public funding . AP Photo / Garrett Lang ……

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“Alles , was du willst ” ? (See anything you like ? [German])

This is not what I signed up for !

This is not what I signed up for !

By Tophatal

The NBA season is moving along nicely, but for a new of teams , it now looks as their seasons could very well be over before we have reached the midway point of the 2012-13 NBA calendar . The plotlines to the season are now being played out , with Charlotte Bobcats , Cleveland Cavaliers and Washington Wizards , all three teams are seeking to redefine mediocrity , and now the fans have been witnesses this all.

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In the Eastern Conference , the three teams that seem to the setting the pace , are the Miami Heat(23-11) , New York Knicks (23-12) and the surprisingly resourceful Indiana Pacers(22-14) . While the reigning champions, the Heat are looking to make a successful defense of their title. Yet on the face of it, this team do seem to be trying to make things extremely hard for themselves with their rather inconsistent play. The NBA season, having had the first of two coaching casualties, with the dismissals of Mike Brown of the Los Angeles Lakers , five games (1-4) into their season , with a rather asinine explanation coming from GM , Mitch Kupchak , as to the reasons for the improbable decision .

The other casualty to fall , was Avery Johnson of the Brooklyn Nets , and whether or not this is pertinent , but it would appear that Nets’ point guard , Deron Williams , is now becoming known , as something of a “ coach killer” . It should come as no surprise , with the evidence being there for all to see , first with the Utah Jazz , and the departure of Jerry Sloan, albeit the famed former head coach resigned , rather than being forced out , but the tell-tale signs were there for all to see . An underperforming star , continually, complaining about his team’s play, without ever once, showing any form of leadership to his teammates . I’ll say this for Deron Williams , in spite of his play , his lack of maturity far outweighs anything that he is said to have achieved at this point of his career .

The Brooklyn Nets , with P J Carlesimo , now coaching the team on an interim basis , have made a hard push to lure famed and future bound Hall of Fame coach , Phil Jackson , out of retirement , literally offering him a King’s ransom and a rumored minority interest in the Nets’ franchise . Part ownership of a listless team, that is also without a leader , much less having any real character , is not I believe, a scenario where Jackson would be lured back into coaching ! And the same situation can now be applied to the idiocy that has now befallen the Los Angeles Lakers , another aging , uninspired franchise and team . As Kobe Bryant , recently stated, we’re getting old and heading nowhere fast “ . It is now beginning to look all the more probable that the franchise could very well end up missing the postseason , should the team continue with their ongoing season of ineptitude and inconsistency. It has now left many fans and NBA analysts wondering , how could things spiraled so out of control, so fast , without their being any inclination at the start of the season , that , it would be one , of sheer ridicule of the ownership and management ?

The hiring of Mike D’Antoni to succeed Mike Brown , is befuddling to myself , as to this ongoing belief and fascination with the paparazzi, that the career of Lindsay Lohan , still remains relevant when she has done absolutely nothing of merit over the past five years. As to D’Antoni’s resume` , well let’s just say , there’s not a great deal that one could truly say , is altogether inspiring ! I truly believe, that Mitch Kupchak and Lakers’ SVP, Jim Buss , have now erred twice in their most recent managerial hiring! If you believe my statement to be a mistake, then do take the time to explain your reasons why?

The makeup of this Lakers’ roster pivots around the play of Kobe Bryant , and as he goes , then so does the rest of the team, Granted , Bryant can go off , for forty-plus points , and inevitably given their play of the team, and they still end up losing . Yet the enigma, here , is that the team either choose not to , or has no idea , how to play a lick of goddamn defense , when it matters most ! As things now continue , with the winners of four of their last ten games , it begs the question what is the perceived direction that the team , is said to be heading in ? The Lakers now sit 12.5 games out of first place , within the Pacific Division behind the surging Los Angeles Clippers (28-8).

With Blake Griffin leading the way alongside one of the NBA’s premier point guards , in Chris Paul , it has to be said that the Lakers’ task is becoming all the more unenviable , especially when the Clippers are now seen “ as the best story happening , in the city of Angels” . Failure at this juncture , and we could very well see the franchise go through their second managerial change inside of a calendar year . Something, I would have said , was impossible at the start of the season . And this is a franchise known for its semblance of continuity , albeit , that the glitterati and paparazzi make the organization the center and focus of the NBA landscape , and that is with due respect to the residents of the “Big Apple” and “ Brooklyn” .

Now unless I’m mistaken, we were led to believe that the NBA is a brand that has become world renown , yet, I seriously doubt David Stern would have expected three teams within the Eastern Conference subjecting the fans of the league , to such abject futility! The Charlotte Bobcats (9-26) , Cleveland Cavaliers (9-29 ) , and the Washington Wizards (5-28) , this season have given a whole new meaning to the words , “ futility” and “mediocrity” , which is clearly reflected in their respective records and play.

Inasmuch , as I have admired Michael Jordan’s career as an NBA player , it has to be said his successes as an NBA front office executive is now “peppered” with a “ litany of failures” . Anyone who would now suggest that Jordan is at the forefront of his present career, as owner and de-facto general manager , should now begin to acknowledge that he might now be the NBA’s answer to Jerry Jones of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys . I am not about to suggest that Michael Jordan doesn’t accept the input of his fellow executives , in particular that of GM, Rich Cho . Yet it has become , and will remain abundantly clear, that Jordan is prepared to things his way , and is not truly prepared to accept any criticism leveled his way. And the Bobcats for their part , are not making the situation any more acceptable with the ongoing futility of this team . If there is a silver cloud to this nightmare , then it is the fact that , the organization is unlikely to end up with the worst record within the NBA at season’s end , especially when one bears in mind , the franchise’s 7-59 mark of last season , in reduced schedule of sixty-six games , from the customary eighty-two game schedule the NBA is naturally known for.

I’ve called it , and the anally retentive idiots who sought the retention of the Sacramento Kings in the California state capital , clearly have no fucking idea as to what is happening within their very midst , let alone within the front office of the Kings , altogether. I suppose that all comes down to the apathy of those fans , and what they feel is their all-knowing belief, that the NBA eats , breathes and shits , by the events take place on the West Coast, and shapes this league as a whole ! In what should not be seen as a surprising turn of events the ownership group the Sacramento Kings , led by the Maloof family , of Joe and Gavin Maloof , have agreed in principle to the sale of the NBA franchise to a Seattle-based consortium that will relocate the Kings to Washington State. For the better part of two and a half years, the city’s mayor , Kevin Johnson , himself a former NBA player , has judiciously negotiated with the Kings , primarily with GM, Geoff Petrie , but also with, Joe and Gavin Maloof.

Courtesy of USA Today

Sacramento Kings’ possible move uneasy for players, fans

SACRAMENTO (AP) — Aaron Brooks has been in an awkward spot since news surfaced that the Sacramento Kings could be sold and moved to his hometown of Seattle.

The Kings guard has no answers for family and friends who have been calling and texting for information. Even the excitement his brother, Alvertis, had when he showed up for a visit evaporated once he realized those in Sacramento might feel the same sorrow as when the SuperSonics left for Oklahoma City in 2008.

NEARING DEAL: Seattle group negotiates with Maloofs

“Seattle does need a team. But you would hate to have a team leave a city you know wants a basketball team,” Brooks said. “It’s unfortunate.”

For Sacramento players, coaches and fans, this is not an easy time.

In the first game since the latest — and perhaps most serious — round of relocation talks began, the Kings lost to the Dallas Mavericks 117-112 in overtime Thursday night, with chatter around the aging arena seemingly centering on everything but basketball.

GAME: Mavericks come back from 17 points down

Newspaper and television reporters from Seattle showed up along with an increased local media presence. Fans contemplated whether they should keep supporting a team they love. Ushers and parking attendants who depend on the team for work approached reporters wondering if they knew what might happen.

Even players and coaches admitted all the attention made it difficult to focus on the game.

“It’s definitely going to be a distraction,” said Kings coach Keith Smart. “But we’re pros. We’ve got to figure out a way how to separate the two and then get ready to play.”

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However, it has been intransigence of the franchise’s owners and the very fact , that David Stern has failed to act as a willing intermediary and peacemaker , that has led to this actual debacle . From the very outset, it was my belief that Johnson was negotiating from a position of weakness! And this continued idiocy by a number loyal but misguided Kings’ fans that it would be in the city’s best interest to use public funds in conjunction with that of private enterprise within the city’s locale , presently shows why the state and city remains a “complete cluster fuck “ , politically and economically , with no apparent leadership or the capacity to do what is ethically right , and that is to walk away while you have the option , instead of being made to look like a complete asshole ! As of now, that can be the only way to view Kevin Johnson and the Sacramento City Council. When will these municipal politicians, learn that continually kissing the ass of a billionaire or millionaire professional sports’ franchise owner , rarely benefits a city in the long-term !

Courtesy of USA Today

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson says he’ll save Kings

By Sam Amick , USA Today Sports

SACRAMENTO — Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson swears he still has a shot to save his hometown team.

Johnson, the native son and former NBA point guard who has spent recent years trying to keep the Maloof family that owns the team from taking it elsewhere, told USA TODAY Sports on Friday night that Seattle hasn’t won this game just yet. Asked if his window had closed in light of a Wednesday report that the Maloofs and the Chris Hansen-Steve Ballmer group were finalizing a deal to bring the NBA back to Seattle and more reports on Friday that the deal was done in principle for $525 million, Johnson spread his hands wide and smiled. The window, he swears, remains open.

“(NBA Commissioner David Stern) knows that I’m going to make a request to speak to the governing board (before any Seattle deal is formalized),” Johnson said, noting that the deadline to file for relocation is March 1.

NBA A-Z: Sacramento turns out to support Kings

Stern said Thursday night that potential buyers who might keep the team in Sacramento deserve a shot, even naming billionaire supermarket mogul Ron Burkle as one candidate.

“This will be decided by a committee of owners and the NBA’s board of governors with the advice of me but not leading the way,” Stern said on Thursday night.

As was the case when he made an impassioned and ultimately successful pitch at a board of governor’s meeting in New York to keep the team from going to Anaheim, Calif., in April of 2011, Johnson — who had an agreement in principle with the Maloofs and the NBA for a new arena last February before they backed out — is confident Stern will give him the time necessary to organize his effort.

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A web of lies, and deceit , have been built around this whole sale , and it is clear that the Maloofs simply sought vested parties willing to take a beleaguered and an unprofitable franchise off their hands . Now comes the hard part , how will the fans act with regard to his monumental betrayal by the ownership group , and their malfeasance ? The irony here , has been the apathy of the fans who bought into this fucking bullshit , with regard to Joe , Gavin and Robert Maloof’s intent of keeping the franchise in Sacramento . I’ve always maintained before you run , you have to learn how to walk , and before you start to talk about the economic sports, at least have the goddamn temerity to know what the hell you are talking about , and that has been the stupidity of the Kings’ fans at this juncture !

At 13-23 , there does not seem to be a great deal that the Kings seem to be offering their fan at present , no matter how you view the situation. Coming off to a tough 117-112 loss to the Dallas Mavericks at the archaic and impoverished Sleep Train Arena , one of the NBA’s more dilapidated venues , for which the Maloofs, offered no assistance in refurbishing, when this whole negotiating process began . From the very outset it was abundantly clear , that neither Joe or Gavin Maloof, intended to negotiate in good faith , yet Kings’ fans in their continued bewilderment and sheer stupidity , held out hope that an amicable agreement could be reached between the city of Sacramento and the owners of the NBA franchise. It was merely the blind, and the blissfully stupid, being led down the garden path by the Maloofs . At the end of the day , one simply knows that David Stern in celebratory mood will commending the new owners of the soon to be relocated franchise , while the city of Sacramento , are left egg on their face and a white elephant , whose only use will be to stage a number of concerts and perhaps , a number of business expositions .

Next up for the Kings, will be two consecutive home games , with the first being tonight against the Miami Heat to be followed by a meeting against the Cleveland Cavaliers , on Monday night . There is not a great deal that can be said in terms of a positive for head coach Keith Smart and his coaching staff . The team’s best player remains Tyreke Evans , who’s ably assisted by Aaron Brooks , John Salmons and the troubled enigma that is , DeMarcus Cousins , whose exploits off the court , have now become the sole reason to even take an interest in the troubled player , who just doesn’t seem capable of harnessing his abilities and being truly productive for this beleaguered franchise . Beyond that, there is not much left, that can be said !

While, I am impressed with the growing stature of the Los Angeles Clippers , and their body of work this season . There can be no denying that if this franchise is to prove itself a success , then their efforts against the top tiered teams within the league will have to be amplified and maintained over the course of the season , and Vinnie Del Negro cannot be complacent in settling for half-measures in terms of his team’s productivity . If anything , while having the league’s best record , the continued “ knock” against the Clippers , will be , until they have proved themselves in the postseason , they will just be looked upon as a very good regular season team.

If the Clippers based upon their record are deemed the best team in the NBA at present , then surely , the Oklahoma City Thunder must pose an ominous threat , along with the San Antonio Spurs , within the Western Conference ? ? The “ dark horses” within the conference are the Memphis Grizzlies , a team capable of beating the very best within the NBA when they apply themselves to the task at hand .

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Picture gallery .

The NBA this season , we have been privileged to seeing the ascent of the New York Knicks , Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies . Players , LeBron James , Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant , continue to be dominant , yet why do I get the feeling that I am likely to be continually disappointed by the league in so many ways ? What, if anything has proven to be the biggest surprise and joy to your mind, while also witnessing, the very worst that the NBA has to offer? simply, leave a comment as you see fit.

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Picture and slideshow gallery details below .
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(1)Indiana Pacers’ George Hill (3) drives against Charlotte Bobcats’ Ben Gordon (8) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013. The Pacers defeated the Bobcats 96-88 . AP Photo/Doug McSchooler …

(2) Denver Nuggets’ Kenneth Faried , right, shoots over Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving , left, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, in Denver. AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez …

(3) Michael Jordan , the Charlotte Bobcats’ owner , is seen here with fiancée’ , Yvette Prieto , watching the Bobcats in a game played at the team’s home venue at the Time Warner Cable Arena , in Charlotte , North Carolina . Jordan and general manager , Rich Cho , have yet to get the Bobcats heading in the right direction , and it appears that their struggles have been on ongoing over the past two seasons . Team acquisitions as well as the draft have yet to be fortuitous for the franchise . AP Photo / Suzy Marshall …

(4) Phoenix Suns’ Sebastian Telfair (31) drives the ball past Brooklyn Nets’ Deron Williams (8) in the first half of an NBA basketball game on Friday, Jan., 11, 2013 at Barclays Center in New York. AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek ….

(5) ” Clueless in Sacramento ” , Seattle Mayor , Kevin Johnson is seen here Sacramento Kings’ owners , Joe and Gavin Maloof are seen here in attendance of a Kings’ game in 2011 . It is now being widely being reported that the franchise will be sold to a Seattle-based consortium , for a yet undisclosed, sum for which the Maloofs have agreed in principle to the sale . Johnson, has vowed to use every available means within his power avert the ” sale” and to retain Sacramento Kings within the California state capitol . AP Photo/ Paul Pennant …….

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To read more of Tophatal’s blog , click on the link provided Tophatal’s blog……

NBA & College Basketball pieces

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NBA related pieces :

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NBA news and archived stories

NBA transactions

NBA teams & NBA coaches

NBA statistics

NBA schedule 12th January 2013 & 13th January

NBA standings (alphabetical by teams)

NBA standings by division & ….. by conference

NBA team statistics offense

NBA team statistics defense

NBA scoring leader

NBA player efficiency (pts, reb’s & assists ) & Double-doubles

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Dior Keyshia

Keyshia Dior , a hot piece of ass that’s worth watching , up close and personal !

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James Brown ……. ” Papa’s got a brand new bag ”

And there goes the nieghborhood

And there goes the neighborhood

By Tophatal

The NBA season is under way and the teams thought to be noteworthy and credible this year, are proving their worth . Off to what appeared to be fast starts are the reigning champions , the Miami Heat . And within the Heat’s conference , the Eastern , so too are, the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks . All three teams , will certainly be looking to viewed as credible candidates for the NBA title .

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Slideshow.

The Nets in their multimillion dollar home, the Barclays Center , in Brooklyn, New York , houses NBA’s newest and most fashionable venue. So much so , the “Barclays” , as the venue , is being commonly referred to , could soon, very well challenge the Staples Center and Madison Square Gardens , as “the place to be seen” , as an A-list celebrity within the NBA . However , much of that will be predicated upon the amount of success attained by the current team. There’s a reason why team owner, Mikhail Prokrov , invested heavily and significantly , not only, in purchasing the team , but also the Barclays Center /Atlantic Yards Development , itself . All-told , the financial outlay made by the Russian billionaire , is said to be in excess of $1.2 billion for a majority stake in the development, and a 100% stake in the NBA franchise.

Leading the way for the Nets this season , has been their All Star point guard, Deron Williams, along with Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez. The Nets too my mind , still have a long way to go, before any real claims can be made that they capable of knocking off the Heat, much less the likes of the Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs , Los Angeles Lakers , Boston Celtics and a vastly improved Los Angeles Clippers’ franchise. Albeit , that both LA franchises, are now vying, to see who is now “the top dog” in the “City of Angels”.

The Nets are coached by the versatile, Avery Johnson , along with a vastly experienced stable of assistants . Johnson has been keen to emphasize that his team will play an up-tempo style of basketball , while not getting away from the basics , and specifically , that of defense. And it is here , ” defense” , where a number of teams will be challenged over the course of this season to actually prove their worth , because as we know , in the postseason , it is simply not just about putting up over 100 points on the scoreboard and coming away with a victory , but also being able to defend a damn lead.

It should come as no surprise that the Brooklyn Nets will seek to make a name for themselves as the “new kids on the block” within the Big Apple. New York has craved a competitive and sought well determined rivalry with regard to an NBA franchise . Now the city has two teams in the Nets and New York Knicks . And as rivalries go , this will be one to savor , not just for the rival sets’ of fans , but also for the NBA as a whole . Commissioner David Stern , and his soon to be incoming successor , Adam Silver .

When Silver ascends to the commissioner’s post , he will most certainly seek to change the persona of the NBA , which over the course of Stern’s tenure has become what can be best described as his own personal fiefdom , and his autocratic style of ruling . There can be no denying that the commissioner’s reign while being fruitful for the league , it has also become antagonistic in recent years between the league hierarchy , the NBPA (Players Union) and their its hierarchy. Executive Director Billy Hunter , for his part, has come under a great deal of scrutiny , beyond the handling of last season’s labor stoppage . There are ongoing allegations , concerning the union leader , and whether or not he allowed a close family relative access to league funds and the misappropriation of almost $4 million . No clear signs as to how four million dollars have gone astray from the union’s coffers , for which the NBPA President , Derek Fisher , has yet to give a definitive answer , and how it is that Hunter , still remains in his current role , without their having been an in-depth investigation of this matter by law enforcement . Well it was just a thought , but look , even the FBI or Justice Department are liable to fudge that as well .

Coming into the season , it was felt that Anthony Davis, having been drafted number one overall by the New Orleans Hornets . It was felt that the young rookie would be making a mark for the Hornets. And while the player is still finding his footing , it has been the Portland Trailblazers’ Damian Lillard , who has come out of nowhere , setting the league alight with his presence , and leading the team with a great deal of authority. Now while I’m in doubt that the Blazers will be a contender for the NBA title , but it will not be happening this season , as the team remains a work in progress.

Well after the apparent shock has now worn off , it would appear that fans of the Los Angeles Lakers (7-8) are still not so sure what to make of the Mike D’Antoni hiring , after the abrupt firing of Mike Brown , a mere six games into the season . GM Mitch Kupchak , and SVP Jim Buss felt that the team was not heading in the right direction , under Brown. And whatever one might think , it has to be perplexing to the Lakers’ fans that six games into the team’s schedule both the general manager and a senior vice president felt that the franchise was not on the right track. Unless , I’m mistaken , both Buss , Mitch Kupchak and principal owner, Dr Jerry Buss , felt that Mike Brown was the “ right man” for the job, as the successor to Phil Jackson .

Issues were already abound, with regard to the Lakers, prior to the start of the season. An out of shape,Dwight Howard came into camp . with his game, rusty , and one or two lingering ailments , that as of yet , do not seem to have been cleared up. Factor in , Howard’s acquisition alongside that of an aging Steve Nash , and you can see that these maneuvers were more, “ an act of desperation” , rather than actually seeking to secure the franchise’s long-term future and their viability as a truly competitive force within the Western Conference and the NBA as a whole . Howard’s addition to the roster , will reap the benefits in due time , but the real issues concerning the Lakers , lies in the fact, that the team’s bench is extraordinarily weak , and that from a defensive standpoint , this is but a marginally average team, in spite of the pundits may well think . All that glitters is not necessarily gold , especially when it’s now , the “Purple & Gold” of the Los Angeles Lakers .

The one constant for the Lakers, will be Kobe Bryant , and as his game goes this season , then so do the fortunes of the team , and their expectations for the year. Granted , Howard, and Pau Gasol are meant to be added offensive weaponry for the franchise . Yet, can anyone truly say that the course of an eighty-two game schedule , the two will ably assist Bryant ? One-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year , Metta World Peace , may have “some game “ , but he’s now becoming more known for his comical post-game sound-bytes, than for anything that he’s said to be doing on a basketball court for the franchise . As to Steve Blake , and the fact that he remains the backup point guard to Steve Nash , suggests that the Lakers’ situation is far more dire than the front office , is clearly willing to admit , at this juncture .

A narrow 2 point loss (79-77) by the Los Angeles Lakers , to the Indian Pacers, on their home-court, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles California, on Wednesday night , has to be seen as a tremendous disappointment by Mike D’Antoni and coaching staff. Yet to mind , it is still early days yet in the NBA season, and we barely at the quarter-way point , of an arduous eighty-two game schedule, that will be littered with obstacles for all thirty teams of the NBA . Next up for D’Antoni’s players, will be another home game, on Friday night , when they face the Denver Nuggets , in a Western Conference match-up. Needless to say , win is imperative for the Lakers’ franchise , if they are to remain in close pursuit of the leaders within the Pacific Division , the Golden State Warriors (9-6) and the Los Angeles Clippers (9-6).

Now in spite of the Charlotte Bobcats’ historic season of ineptitude for the 2011-12 schedule , it has to be said their 7-59 mark from a truncated sixty-six game schedule, doesn’t look as if is about to be threatened. But yet , the Washington Wizards (1-12) now seem intent on doing their part to actually make that a reality , this season. I may well have been misguided in making the prognostication in Sports Chump’s NBA contest that the Bobcats would once again end up with the worst record in the NBA, this season ! If things hold true as they are , then the record percentage-wise will be seriously under threat by the Wizards.

The Washington Wizards started off their season with ten consecutive losses , and the team earned their very first win of the year, with a two-point, 84-82 victory over the Portland Trailblazers, on Wednesday night , on their home-court at the Verizon Center , in Washington, D C. Now, far be it for me to suggest, that the Wizards are an extremely bad team , that head coach ,Randy Wittman , and his coaching staff are simply out of their depth . Yet ,what other explanation can be put forth, to suggest why this team in particular has the record , they have earnestly gone out there and earned ? . Can anyone come up with a succinct answer to this ? If so , then do chime in with a comment . Can anyone come up with a succinct answer to this ? If so , then do chime in with a comment .

All kidding asides, the fan-base cannot be entirely happy with what they have witnessed or have been asked to endure while in attendance at the Verizon Center, so far this season. Better yet , who should be held accountable for this travesty foisted upon the fans ? Should it be the players , coaches , or management , in this respect ? Ernie Grunfeld , team President ,and Tommy Sheppard, Head of Basketball Operations, in conjunction with owner, Ted Leonsis , bear the brunt of the responsibility for this mess . The truth of the matter just happens to be , this is not a very good Wizards’ team and the roster simply isn’t one, of an NBA caliber contender, much less that of a marginal varsity team. Unfortunately , in the nation’s capital, this is what would be deemed a success, when adjudged against the productivity and success of the US Congress over the past four years . God-damn, this country is in a right fucking mess , politically and in so many ways, on the sporting front ! Anyone who believes to the contrary simply survey the mess that has been presided over by David Stern, Roger Goodell , Gary Bettman and Bud Selig , during that time-frame .

David Stern being the pompous asshole we all know him to be , has taken umbrage with the fact that Gregg Popovich , head coach of the San Antonio Spurs sought to rest four of his team’s starters for a regular season game . That event was an early season match-up against the Miami Heat , a game played at the AA Arena in Miami , Florida . What should be taken away from this all , is in spite of Popovich having rested , Tim Duncan , Manu Ginobli, Danny Green and Tony Parker , the Heat were not as dominant , as some might have thought, given the fact that their team was spearheaded by LeBron James , Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. And as the reigning NBA champions , it was felt that this season , James and plethora of role players, will simply romp to a successful defense of their title , while perhaps challenging the Chicago Bulls’ record-breaking 72-10 season of 1995-96 . They very well could , but I think it highly unlikely , when one bears in mind that the Miami Heat struggled to defeat a Spurs’ team that was actually missing four prominent starters in a game played last night . And but for the last-minute heroics of the Heat’s sharp-shooting Ray Allen , we might very well have been talking about an unlikely upset , albeit that it is still early in the NBA season.

As to the commissioner’s action, in wanting to perhaps financially penalize the San Antonio Spurs and the head coach. The actions if taken , wreaks of Stern’s self-indulgent and pompous attitude. If David Stern figures , a punishment rendered , will act as a deterrent to other teams around the league who seek to rest their stars , then the commissioner has to be seen as an even bigger asshole , than even I , could ever have taken him for ! I’ll call it like I see it as a matter of fact , the NBA commissioner is a god-damn asshole ! There I said it ! Now anyone out there got something to say about that ? Speak now , or forever hold your tongue !

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Picture gallery.

What if anything do you hope to see during the first half of the NBA season ? And are you of the opinion that the NBA product as you view it , has diminished in terms of the play and coaching ability of the coaches now within our midst ? Chime in with your thoughts on the matter and anything else you believe to be pertinent concerning this article .

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Picture and slideshow details below.
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(1) San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich talks to reporters before an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012, in Miami. AP Photo/Alan Diaz ….

(2) Brooklyn Nets’ Brook Lopez reacts after causing an offensive foul in the second half of their NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks at Barclays Center , Monday, Nov. 26, 2012, in New York. The Nets won 96-89 in overtime. AP Photo/Kathy Willens …

(3) Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) shoots over New York Knicks’ center Rasheed Wallace (36) in the first half of their NBA basketball game at Barclays Center , Monday, Nov. 26, 2012 in New York. The Nets won 96-89 in overtime. AP Photo/Kathy Willens …..

(4) Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard shoots between Washington Wizards forward Kevin Seraphin , left, from France, and guard A.J. Price during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, in Washington. AP Photo/Alex Brandon …

(5) Wizards’ head coach Randy Wittman , left , is seen here with John Wall of the Washington Wizards in a game played at the Verizon Center , in Washington , DC. The team is off to a disastrous start to their season having lost their first ten games . There have been distinct calls for Wittman’s firing as well as the removal of several —- front office executives of the Wizards’ franchise . Washington Journal / Art Morrow …

(6) Deputy Commissioner, Adam Silver , left , is seen here alongside , NBA Commissioner David Stern . The commissioner formally announced that he will be stepping down as the NBA commissioner, after 25 years serving the league, in that role. Silver , will formally assume the role as Stern’s successor on February 17th , 2014, marking the twenty-fifth anniversary , in his ascension to the position. In the quarter century since , the NBA has gone from being a multi-million dollar business entity , to a $ 4.655 billion global behemoth , with satellite offices in Asia , Europe , Latin America and the African continent . How , Silver intends stamp his identity on the league, that has now become synonymous with the former corporate attorney remains to be seen . Getty Images /NBAE Inc @ copyrighted material all rights reserved .

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NBA related links: Warriors’ Bogut , says he’s out indefinitely

NBA vows to sanction Spurs for resting regulars

Cavs sign rookie Jones , cut Harangody

NBA pieces within this site
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NBA news

NBA standings (division)

NBA results 28th November

NBA results 29th November

NBA schedule 30th November

Weekend schedule 1st December and 2nd December

2012 NBA Draft

NBA transactions

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Brooklyn Nets news

New York Knicks news

Los Angeles Lakers news

Washington Wizards’ news

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Highest paid players in the NBA

NBA mandated “soft salary cap “ for 2012-13 stands at $58.044 million

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Hot chic pic of the day . A bevy of beauties from the UK tabloid The Sun