You don’t want to be the guy who replaces a legend , you want to be the guy comes in after the legend’s successor is said to have failed miserably

You don’t want to be the guy who replaces a legend , you want to be the guy comes in after the legend’s successor is said to have failed miserably

Over the past two decades within professional team sports , we have seen the departures great players from the game , either through retirement or their trade to another franchise. Though not thought to be earth shattering at the time , the feeling was that Peyton Manning’s departure from the Indianapolis Colts and the organization’s handling of the matter was haphazard , incompetent and somewhat disrespectful , given Manning’s contribution and resurgence of that particular franchise. The famed quarterback’s success along with Tony Dungy’s coaching acumen brought about that success , the added profitability of the Colts and to the overall wealth of the team’s owner Jim Irsay .

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With the Indianapolis Colts having traded Peyton Manning to the Denver Broncos , the team was lucky enough to have drafted Andrew Luck out of Stanford as the number one overall draft pick in the 2011 NFL Draft . Luck’s success as a rookie and subsequent play has simply been a revelation , having led the team into the postseason in 2012 , along with his peer Robert Griffin III , who was able to achieve a similar feat with the Washington Redskins .

This season , both the Indianapolis Colts and Washington Redskins have followed different paths, with the defending NFC East champions are likely to miss the postseason , after an erratic season of missed opportunities and a great deal of finger-pointing around the organization , with the actual coaching acumen of Mike Shanahan and his coaching acumen now coming into question, along with that of his coaching staff . At the same time, Robert Griffin’s play this season has been far from scintillating , somewhat of a surprise to many, given his growth and maturity shown over the first two years of his NFL career. This season , much like the team’s, Griffin’s performances , along with the other quarterbacks within the NFC East , have been understated and amongst the most erratic in the entire NFL . Yet , if there is blame to be apportioned , then a great deal of that must be placed squarely on the shoulders of the Redskins’ secondary and the poor play exhibited over the course of the season . With the team now in preparation for their week twelve scheduled Monday night match-up against the high-flying San Francisco 49ers , in an NFC contest to be played at Fedex Field in Landover, Maryland . It will be interesting to see what steps will be taken by the Washington Redskins as they take on the NFC West divisional antagonists.

There is no denying that Andrew Luck’s success has been contagious and that it has affected the organization throughout , with the fans coming in droves to see a newly revamped team play at Lucas Oil Stadium , in Indiana , Indianapolis , all under the watchful eye of head coach Chuck Pagano and his coaching staff . Having replaced an icon and legend in Peyton Manning, it would appear that the young quarterback , Andrew Luck is prepared to lead the Colts’ into a new chapter of their history . That next phase, will begin on Sunday , when the Colts are guests of the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Tempe , Arizona, where former Colts’ assistant Bruce Arians is now the head coach of the host team . Arians and the Cardinals will be looking to see if they can secure a win , in order to leapfrog the second placed San Francisco 49ers within the NFC West , in a division that is now blossoming into a thoroughly enthralling contest between the top three teams , by way of its competitiveness .

Robert Griffin’s path of succession in following in a long line of shall we say lackluster Redskins’ quarterbacks over the past eight seasons , has been one of the numerous reasons why the franchise has failed so miserably . Reading off those list of names of nondescript individuals , would be akin to reading the recipe of ingredients from a can of soup , produced as a generic brand to be stocked on the shelves of your local supermarket. The list of Rex Grossman , a past his prime , Donovan McNabb , Jason Campbell , Mark Brunell , and Patrick Ramsey have all got something in common . They have played for a franchise, where the team owner , Dan Snyder , has spared no expense , in carrying on with the Redskins’ ineptitude, since he took the helm of the Washington Redskins in 1999, as its main proprietor .

At 3-7 within the NFC East , the record of the Washington Redskins has proven to be a monumental disappointment . In a division , where the only team above .500 in terms of a winning record are the Philadelphia Eagles (6-5) . It is a damning indictment, as to how bad the teams are said to be, in what has been repeatedly described as the “glamor division “ . of the NFL , with the brand and product having become so diluted . Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and there has been absolutely nothing glamorous about the quartet of teams much less their play over the course of this season . As I alluded to earlier , the quarterback play also has been something of an abomination and it is also, another clear indicator as to how bad things now appear to be, even in spite of a number of analysts now salivating over the play of Eagles’ quarterback Nick Foles , who may well be on the verge bringing about the abrupt end of Michael Vick’s career with the franchise . If former, Philly head coach, Andy Reid could not see it for himself, that Vick is now past his prime . Then surely Reid’s successor , Chip Kelly must now realize that fact for himself , given the rather innocuous performances from the veteran player player this season , in spite of his health issues .

One could perhaps attest to the fact that where would be something of a misnomer with regard to the title of this piece and how it relates to the NFL , may well have been the passing on of the baton from Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers and Joe Montana to Steve Young . Though not necessarily controversial at the time, Favre’s unwillingness to take a back seat to a younger and most certainly a more receptive player in Rodgers, led to the veteran being looked upon as a rather petulant individual . Brett Favre’s departure from the Green Bay Packers had its supporters and detractors. Yet, it should be noted, the all-time career touchdowns’ passing as well as career passing yardage leader , never showed the form that made him such a treat to watch after his departure from the Packers. After a fifteen career in Green Bay , the subsequent stops in New York with the New York Jets ( one year) and two years with the Minnesota Vikings were as eventful , as they were somber. No doubt, upon meeting the eligibility requirements, Brett Favre will become a first year ballot Hall of Fame inductee.

Aaron Rodgers, has all but erased the memory of Brett Favre ever existing and playing at Lambeau Field for one the league’s most revered and venerable NFL franchises . Now considered to be amongst the elite of the NFL quarterbacks, now playing in the NFL , his career has been a personification of dedication to his craft , as well as having the respect of his peers and teammates alike. Other than, Tom Brady , Peyton Manning and Drew Brees , I seriously doubt that there is a more well-liked or respected quarterback in the entire NFL !

Five Superbowl victories for an NFL franchise, tends to tell you a great deal about an organization and what they have been able to achieve over the course of their existence . The transition from Joe Montana to Steve Young did a have a few bumps in the road , but who can deny the fact that these two quarterbacks along with Jerry Rice , Roger Craig , Ronnie Lott , Dwight Clark , Jesse Sapolu and the franchise’s legendary head coach Bill Walsh may well have done more to put the San Francisco 49ers on the map , beyond Walsh’s influence on the game , through his play-calling . Montana and Young between them, account for all five of those Superbowl triumphs, with their names being etched in postseason history in terms of their respective performances in the postseason and the “big game ” itself .

After a spectacular 2012 , during which we witnessed the San Francisco 49ers make their sixth Superbowl appearance. The team would not fare as well , as in their previous forays , as Colin Kaepernick and his teammates would fall to their AFC opponents the Baltimore Ravens 34-31 in a game blighted by the incompetence of not only the NFL hierarchy , utility’s company Entergy , but also the host site, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome , home to the New Orleans Saints , operated by SMG and a venue owned by the Louisiana Expo & Sports Authority . The explanations forthcoming, as to why a power outage interrupted the NFL’s biggest spectacle were as ludicrous, as Roger Goodell’s comments that the stoppage, did nothing to take away from the event , nor did it have an effect on the end result. One more reason, why the incumbent NFL commissioner cannot be taken seriously as the league’s highest ranking executive. His communicative and leadership skills , beyond being remarkably poor, are in fact a complete embarrassment to the NFL and the teams he presides over .

I have been reading with a great deal of interest , where Hakeem Olajuwon , a Hall of Fame inductee , whose playing career with the Houston Rockets was unprecedented , has now taken it upon himself along with fellow inductee and Rockets’ head coach Kevin McHale , to assist in improving and “polishing ” the game of Dwight Howard . These two great players from a bygone era of excellence within the NBA , may well be taking on a great deal than either would care or be willing to admit . Howard may well have been, a Defensive Player of the Year within the league on multiple occasions , but his offensive prowess , as well as leadership skills and lack of maturity, has repeatedly come into question . It was self-evident and there for all to see, as the player struggled to show any signs of leadership, much less being able, to impose his will on a game , while playing for the Los Angeles Lakers last season .

The fact that Dwight Howard was acquired by the Lakers’ franchise as a long-term investment and seen as heir-apparent to Kobe Bryant , as the vocal leader of the Los Angeles Lakers, came and went as swiftly , as Howard’s decision to bolt from the Lakers , taking less money , to sign with the Rockets . If that was not indicative of the fact, that the center simply could not handle any form of adversity , then his now constant moaning , as to why he has been criticized by many of the elder statesmen of the game , is clear evidence that Dwight Howard will never be viewed as one of the best players at the position to have ever played the game. The NBA in terms of the play of the centers now within the game, are a far cry from what many of the fans have witnessed during the heydays of David Robinson . , Hakeem Olajuwon , Shaquille O’Neal , Bill Russell , Kareem Abdul Jabbar , Nate Thurmond , Patrick Ewing , Willis Reed and Moses Malone . All of whom were known to be ferocious competitors . Can the same be even remotely said about Dwight Howard , even as many now regard him as the best center , currently now playing in the NBA ?

Dwight Howard’s acquisition by the Rockets, in some circles was seen as the missing piece for a franchise with a legitimate shot of making the NBA Playoffs this upcoming season. In bolstering a roster , led by the presence of James Harden , Jeremy Lin , Ronnie Brewer , Patrick Beverley , Chandler Parsons and Aaron Brooks . The team was seen as a solid enough of a competitor to challenge the presence of the San Antonio Spurs (10-1) within the Southwest Division of the Western Conference . Coming off a narrow three-point 123-120 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night , the Rockets will face the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Toyota Center in Houston , Texas on Saturday evening , in what is likely to be a very lively contest between these two Western Conference foes.

Rockets’ owner Leslie Alexander and GM Daryl Morey, made a bold move, that will either prove to be a success or simply backfire for the organization. While, I believe Dwight Howard will be of some benefit to the Houston Rockets, I just cannot see the player as the person who will now get the team “ over the hump” that will make them a legitimate threat to the more prominent teams within the conference , such as the San Antonio Spurs , Oklahoma City Thunder , Los Angeles Clippers and what now appears to be a very talented and well-coached Golden State Warriors’ roster. I may well be wrong, but at this juncture, my observations are based on what I have seen from Dwight Howard , and the fact that he’s now being asked to fill the shoes of predecessors before him on the Rockets, who made significant progress in making the franchise more widely recognized . Hakeem Olajuwon and to an extent , Yao Ming made you aware of the franchise in terms of what they brought to the Houston Rockets . Has Dwight Howard actually been able to do that any point of his career, beyond his goofy off the court antics and winning a meaningless Slam Dunk Contest ?

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Do you believe it easy, for a professional sport’s franchise to replace an iconic legend that has been associated with a team over a long period of time? Or as teams would always like to suggest “ it’s time to move on” , more often than not, because of monetary issues , rather than the athlete’s possible declining production ? Your comments are most certainly welcomed on this and anything else you believe to be of value to the premise stated this moderated piece.

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Picture and slideshow gallery details below .

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(1) Mar 7, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning speaks and Jim Irsay stands beside him to announce during a press conference at Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center that Peyton Manning will become a free agent. Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE ….

(2) Andrew Luck, left of the Indianapolis Colts is seen here with team owner Jim Irsay. . The quarterback, who was drafted out of Stanford as the number one pick in the 2012 NFL Draft , proved to be an immediate success with the franchise having taken the team into the postseason and the Colts now seem to be set , in terms of their long-term future with a quarterback who has proven to productive , with an immediate impact for the Indianapolis Colts from a competitive and financial standpoint. AP Photo / Garry Moss …

(3) Washington Redskins` starting quarterback Robert Griffin III is seen here with the team’s offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and backup quarterback Kirk Cousins . The team as defending champions within of the NFC East , now find themselves in almost untenable position of being at the bottom of the division and likely to miss the playoffs , having rode into the 2012 postseason riding on a sea of optimism and at the same time , projected long-term success. Instead, this season has turned out to be an unmitigated disaster , with a defense performing poorly , with alarming regularity and the same could be said of the offense . GM Bruce Allen and team owner Dan Snyder are likely to make a number of sweeping changes during the off-season concerning the player personnel and quite possibly amongst the coaching staff. Getty Images / Lance Jones …..

(4) Green Bay Packers’ teammates Brett Favre (4) and Aaron Rodgers (12) are seen here seated on the sidelines looking up at the scoreboard . The two players who have been described as not being extremely close , with Favre having been critical of the organization when Rodgers was drafted by team as a late first round draft pick in the 2005 NFL Draft . The backup would not become a regular season starter until 2008 . Brett Favre would later depart from the franchise under a cloud of controversy , with fans and detractors of the veteran , voicing their thoughts publicly , in print, via the airwaves and on television . Getty Images/ Mark Parsons …….

(5) Former 49ers Steve Young (L), Roger Craig (C) and Joe Montana (R) wait to go onto the field for a half time presentation during home opener as the San Francisco 49ers host the Seattle Seahawks at Candlestick Park September 20, 2009 in San Francisco, California. Getty Images North America / David Paul Morris ….

(6) Hall of Fame inductee Hakeem Olajuwon foreground , shows the Houston Rockets’ center Dwight Howard a few on-court drills and moves . Howard , since his arrival with the franchise has performed moderately , but the team now evolves around the play of point guard Jeremy Lin and James Harden . Olajuwon , GM Daryl Morey and head coach Kevin McHale see Howard as a vital part of the team’s offense , as they seek to make their presence felt within the Western Conference this season . AP Photo / Matt Shields ….

(7) Newly acquired center Dwight Howard , left foreground , is seen here with Houston Rockets’ great Hakeem Olajuwon and the team’s head coach Kevin McHale in the background at the team’s venue the Toyota Center in Houston Texas . Signed as a free agent in the off-season , the three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year is seeking establish himself as the premiere center in the NBA , after a somewhat lackluster year in 2012 , with Howard being unable to assist the Los Angeles Lakers during the postseason in any great depth . AP Photo / Keith Miller ….

(8) Two legendary giants of the game and some might agree a pair of centers who at the height of their careers were the most dominant players of their generation as centers . Bill Russell , left , whose career with the Boston Celtics is littered with accolades too numerous to mention , shakes hands with Kareem Abdul Jabbar , whose own career with the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers are synonymous as Russell’s with the Boston Celtics . AP Photo / Roger Pettigrew …. …….

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A Welcoming Face To The NBA Now Soon To Be Missed ……………..

A Welcoming Face To The NBA Now Soon To Be Missed ……………..

With the formal retirement of Yao Ming from the NBA and the Houston Rockets an organization that the player represented proudly . I have always felt that were it not for the recurring injuries suffered over the latter stages of his career the player would have put up prolific numbers . Alas it was not to be and I feel with his departure the fans were deprived of something truly special ! Drafted number one overall in the 2002 NBA Draft the player would become a multiple All Star during his time with the Houston Rockets .

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It was often felt that team owner Leslie Alexander and general manager Daryl Morey never truly sought to surround the player with the talent needed to be competitive at the highest echelons of the game . Certainly with the team failing to make the 2011 NBA playoffs this past season it was clear for everyone to see that the organization would be heading in a new direction. And with the mere fact that the Houston Rockets within the Southwest Division of the Western Conference looked so out of lock with the rest of the teams within the division and conference at large.

With there now being an initiative slowly being proposed to have a special dispensation that would allow Yao Ming to forgo the five year criteria after retirement that would allow the player immediate enshrinement into the Basketball Hall of Fame . The main proponents of this have been a group of Chinese reporters who cover the NBA not only in the country but across the Asian Pacific peninsular . There’s no denying that the player has served the game well as an ambassador and has contributed greatly to the popularity of the sport in his native China . In lieu of the Beijing Olympics when team USA with its litany of NBA stars won gold , it has to be said that beyond the marquee players on that roster perhaps no other player was more beloved and respected than Yao Ming.

Courtesy of USA Today

Yao Ming nominated for Naismith Hall of Fame as contributor

HOUSTON (AP) — Retired Houston Rockets center Yao Ming could enter the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as early as next year — not as a player, but as a contributor to the game.

John Doleva, the president and CEO of the Hall, said Tuesday that Yao has been nominated by a member of the Chinese media and his credentials will be considered by an international panel. As a contributor, Yao would bypass the usual five-year waiting period for retired players.

The 7-foot-6 Yao retired in July after leg and foot injuries ended his eight-year NBA career. The eight-time All-Star averaged 19 points and 9.2 rebounds in the NBA.

He’ll also be remembered for his global impact on the league, almost single-handedly expanded its reach throughout Asia.

PHOTOS: Yao Ming in pictures

Doleva said a panel of seven “experts on the international game” will consider Yao’s credentials, and six of the seven will have to approve Yao’s election. The panel is only allowed to select one individual, and Doleva said Yao will be facing about 12-15 other candidates for induction next year.

The deadline for nominations is Nov. 1. Doleva says a member of the Chinese media contacted him to ask about the categories available for individuals, and submitted a formal application this week on Yao’s behalf.

“It has to go through the process,” Doleva said. “There is no guarantee when someone is nominated that they will be elected in their first year. That’s kind of what makes the process work. The committee takes a look at the pros and cons.”

Yao can certainly make a compelling argument.

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Now there’s bound to be some controversy brought about with the possible enshrinement Yao Ming to the Basketball Hall of Fame but it has to be said that you cannot ignore the contributions of the player not only as a player but also in terms of humanitarian and philanthropic efforts and he should be commended for that all . Should this proposal be accepted by the committee and board members of Naismith Hall of Fame then I do believe that it will be something that the fans of the NBA will be appreciative of !

As the immediate future of the Houston Rockets it is extremely difficult to see where the organization goes from here . The team’s best player Kevin Martin has been the leader that they need but beyond the team’s leading scorer but beyond Luis Scola and Kyle Lowrie there’s little to suggest this team is capable of mounting a serious challenge to be thought of as a legitimate contender for an NBA title .

With the NBA lockout still in place and a number of players still opting for the idea of playing abroad . A great deal has been made as to how this will affect the teams should there not be a regular season for the upcoming year. For the Houston Rockets there biggest concern will what they are or will be able to do in the aftermath of losing Yao Ming. There seems to be discontent amongst the fans and great concern as to whether or not they will be able to retain Kevin Martin should the season resume as scheduled . Daryl Morey even with the moves made by the organization did not build anything amounting to what one would perceive to be a championship caliber team . Instead he has sought to build through the draft adding pieces he believes alongside the integral piece of Kevin Martin and an assortment of veterans as the Rockets apparently look to the future .

The long held feeling amongst the fans is that as the lockout remains enforced with neither side seemingly clear as to reaching an amicable accord the fans will be left in bewilderment as to the lack of traction in the deliberations between the league hierarchy and the NBPA (union). Certainly with there being no communique between the coaches and players as to their off-season regimen there is not much that can be added to the current spectacle on display.

And though there’s a young nucleus to the roster of the Houston Rockets , without that major veteran presence the team will sruggle . With the hiring of NBA great Kevin McHale as the team’s coach and an assistant staff led by Darryl Eto and Jason Biles we could see some semblance of commitment and competitiveness from this team should there be an upcoming season.

What cannot be denied as the Houston Rockets look to the future is that the organization has been fortuitous with the personnel decisions made by Daryl Morey in terms of the draft choices made . Some of which have panned out , while others have not . The pressing need for the team will be how best to recover from the loss of Yao Ming not only from a competitive standpoint but also what he brought to the organization from a commercial and economically as well. Some teams can withstand the loss of a major presence but I doubt that few can actually match what the loss this player will actually mean to the Houston Rockets and the NBA in particular . His popularity wasn’t simply amongst the NBA fans itself but on a global scale his was the face that gave the game a real presence around the world . And in a country where the population of 1.3 billion , Yao Ming’s face was recognizable to all and it has never waned .

It will now be up to the likes of Kevin Martin , Luis Scola , Kyle Lowry , Chase Budinger , Jonny Flynn , Goran Dragic and Courtney Lee to prove that they are capable of taking this organization to new heights in the future . And we may well see what Kevin McHale is actually capable of achieving as a coach as he looks to impart his knowledge to this team. Hopefully , it will be of great benefit to the players as they move forward looking to acquit themselves favorably in the eyes of the Houston Rockets’ fans .

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With the retirement of Yao Ming from the NBA do you believe that he’s a worthy candidate for enshrinement into the Basketball Hall of Fame ? Or do you believe that his inclusion as such will make something of a mockery as to what one might consider appropriate in terms of the permitted criteria for his inclusion ? Do bear in mind however that the Hall is not simply about the contribution merely on the court but what is achieved by the the inductee in popularizing the game away from the court . Feel free to leave a comment as to your thoughts on the subject matter in question .

Alan aka tophatal …… https://tophatal.wordpress.com

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(1) In this photo from August 2010 , Houston Rockets center Yao Ming, right, of China talks with a reporter after a basketball workout in Houston. Yao underwent a medical evaluation Monday which revealed a hairline fracture in his right foot . AP Photo/ David J. Phillip …..

(2) FILE – In this Oct. 30, 2010 file photo, Houston Rockets’ Yao Ming, left, of China shoots the ball over Denver Nuggets’ Nene (31) of Brazil, during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Houston. John Doleva, the president and CEO of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame , said Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011, that Yao has been nominated by a member of the Chinese media as a contributor to the game and his credentials will be considered by an international panel. As a contributor, Yao would bypass the usual five-year waiting period for retired players. AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File ……….

(3) Basket-CHN-Yao,FEATURE, by D’Arcy Doran ____ Chinese basketball player and NBA superstar Yao Ming speaks during a press conference in Shanghai on July 20, 2011. The search is on to fill Yao Ming’s size-18 sneakers after China’s biggest sports luminary announced his retirement, and Chinese scouts are combing city courts and pre-schools for a future star. AFP PHOTO /Getty Images / PHILIPPE LOPEZ ….

(4) Chinese basketball player and NBA superstar Yao Ming (R) and his wife Ye Li hold their daughter Amy during a press conference in Shanghai on July 20, 2011. The 2.29-metre (7ft 6in) Yao, the first Asian superstar of the National Basketball Association, announced his retirement after a trail-blazing career that made him China’s best-known athlete abroad and helped spur the game’s global growth. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE LOPEZ /Getty Images …..

(5) US basketball star Kobe Bryant (R) is challenged by a college student during a friendly game in Manila on July 13, 2011. Bryant, who was in Manila for promotional work while meeting with poor local children and players, hailed fellow NBA superstar Yao Ming for the Chinese giant's contribution to basketball amid reports the Houston Rockets centre would soon retire. AFP PHOTO / JAY DIRECTO/Getty Images …..

(6) NEWARK, NJ – JUNE 23: Marcus Morris from the Kansas Jayhawks greets NBA Commissioner David Stern after he was selected 14 overall by the Houston Rockets during the 2011 NBA Draft at the Prudential Center on June 23, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey. Getty Images/ Mike Stobe …….. @ copyrighted material all rights reserved .

(7) Kevin Martin (12) of the Houston Rockets reaches to control the ball in front of Eric Gordon (10) of the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on December 22, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images North America / Stephen Dunn ….

(8) Luis Scola (4) of the Houston Rockets celebrates after making a basket late in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on December 22, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The Rockets won 97-92 . Getty Images/ Stephen Dunn ……

(9) Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey is seen here alongside Luis Scola . Getty Images / Rob Hughes …..

(10) Houston Rockets new basketball head coach Kevin McHale, left, answers questions as team owner Leslie Alexander looks on during an introductory NBA basketball news conference, Friday, June 3, 2011, in Houston. AP Photo/Pat Sullivan ….
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Hashish Is The Spice of Life …………

Hashish Is The Spice Of Life So Says Deron Williams

Let’s get one thing clear and stop with the utter stupidity that the statement in which New Jersery Nets’ point guard Deron Williams whose choice to pursue and offer his talents to top Turkish basketball side Beseitkas BC is all about money. The player who left the Utah Jazz in a trade transaction that was a multi player deal to make his home with the Nets . Multi billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov and the front office had to have given his blessing for this deal even with the advent of the NBA mandated lockout. The vested interest that the organization has in the player and the fact that GM Billy King knows that they would rather have a happy player rather than a discontented one .

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Williams simply doesn’t need the money as he’s the thirteenth highest paid player in the league and has sizable endorsement contracts that simply gives the player all the money he could simply ever wish for. What most patrons who’ve proffered up a commentary on this issue fail to understand is that the NBA players are not covered their teams’ insurance coverage during a labor stoppage so it makes prudent financial sense for a player to seek plying his trade elsewhere. The caveat being however , it does give an NBA team the right to void the player’s contract should they have a serious injury that could curtail their career during their sojourn. In the case of Deron Williams he will be financially rewarded with a $ 5 million one year contract , an assistant , the lease of a brand new car , a luxurious home for the player , his immediate family , round the clock security and all of his living expenses will be paid for by Beseitkas during the player’s stay in Turkey. The team itself is one of the top club sides in Europe alongside Maccabi Tel Aviv of Israel .

Nets’ team owner Mikhail Prokhorov is seen here with minority equity stake partner Jay-Z . The two will combine their resources in bringing the team to the Barclay Yard Development in Brooklyn , New York in two years . Courtesy of NESN.com copyrighted material @ all rights reserved ….

Now with Williams’ wish to play abroad it remains to be seen whether or not any of the league’s marquee stars will seek to ply their trade abroad . With all of the rumors currently circulating that Kobe Bryant is said to be interested in playing in Italy , I for one find that premise somewhat misleading with the mere fact with the player coming off surgery , it is highly unlikely that Bryant would seek to have a re-occurence of injury while playing abroad . If anything the player is more liable to rest and recuperate while awaiting an outcome of this work stoppage initiated by the league hierarchy at the insistence of the NBA team owners .

Courtesy of Foxsports

NBA stars going overseas a bad sign

By Dan Wolken

So Deron Williams wants to play in Turkey if the NBA season doesn’t start on time, which is certainly his right. In theory, it’s a decent way to spend a few months: Hang out in Europe, make money and play basketball while the NBA bickers its way through a lockout. It sounds so good, in fact, that within minutes of Williams’ agent confirming the agreement, superstars ranging from Carmelo Anthony to Kobe Bryant indicated an interest in joining him overseas.

But just by entertaining the idea of a European exodus, NBA stars are already showing the kind of selfishness and greed that will ultimately undermine the Players Association in what could be a long, ugly labor war.

A number of basketball people reacted the same way to the news Williams had agreed to play for Besiktas: They’ll believe it when they see it. But even if Williams never makes it to Turkey, the mere notion of it has already caused problems for players on the margins of the NBA.

With the possibility that legitimate NBA players and even some All-Stars could sign for the duration of the lockout, there are some early indications that players who typically go overseas may be squeezed out until European teams see who they can get.

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With that in mind this can’t sit well with the owners knowing that their players would seek to ply their trade elsewhere while the league itself is in the midst of a labor dispute . But so asinine has been the situation that it is hard to see how David Stern , Adam Silver as Deputy Commissioner can seek to resolve this situation when the league hierarchy and the NBPA are so far apart in renegotiating the collective bargaining agreement which expired on the 30th June.
The union’s Executive Director Billy Hunter along with union president Derek Fisher and its <a href=”http://npba.org/leadership”&gt; executive committee are insistent they have no wish to accede and make any concessions to the league unless the owners and hierarchy are prepared to acquiesce and reciprocate in kind. That at present doesn’t, appear to be an option but it remains to be seen over the ensuing days and weeks how things will work themselves out . This much is certain if the hierarchy and players aren’t on the same page by the time by the mini camp and preseason starts , we could well be seeing a prolonged stoppage with the possibility that the 2011-12 season not starting on time until either January of 2012 or perhaps the season being completely abandoned altogether .

The NBA’s teams at present are hemorrhaging money with more than half the teams in the league now said to be incurring multi million dollar losses . A patron of my site tried to allude to the fact that much of what is being stated concerning the teams’ losses is mere subterfuge on the part of the NBA and the fact that there are clear indications that the teams are in fact making millions . A recent article in noted financial publication Forbes Magazine states that much of the NBA hierarchy’s claims are a fallacy but herein lies the caveat with regard to those claims , it is merely that the contributor of that article merely remarked about the fact that much of the revenues derived by the teams are in fact from season and general admission ticket sales and that of concessions during regular season games . Not much was made with regard to revenues streams derived from the NBA’s own marketing and branding operations . Now inasmuch as I’ve a great affinity for Forbes Magazine and what it at times bring to the table I found the article on the NBA’s finances something of a faux pas on their part ! The article failed to touch on the very fact that in 2009 and 2010 respectively the league received cumulatively in excess of $550 million in loans which was shared amongst 22 teams around the NBA . If that is not indicative of a league that is said to be in dire straits then can someone please explain to me what is ? David Stern in his formal statement in 2009 concerning the first series of loans made the suggestive statement ….. ” that this should not be viewed as a financial bailout of the teams in question but merely a way of assisting them in their financial difficulties”. Over this last decade the league’s teams have borrowed in excess of $1.6 billion from major financial institutions across the nation. Clearly a situation that the league now needs to address as to the financial acumen of its teams and their general managers .

After a nine year career much of it filled with a great deal of disappointment Houston Rockets’ center Yao Ming we’re told will make a formal announcement stating that he will retire from the game. Recurring injuries and ill health throughout much of his career led to this decision where the 7′ center feels it necessary call it a day. Drafted in the 2002 NBA Draft first overall by the Rockets Yao Ming would make his home in Houston leading the team in a number offensive categories over much of his career .

The faith shown in Yao Ming by general manager Daryl Morey and owner Leslie Alexander has been implicit but it has been the growth of the game in Yao’s homeland of China that must first be appreciated . Granted , the population (1.6 billion and counting) may well have known about Michael Jordan through jersey , other sports apparel sales and the presence of Nike Inc which has several manufacturing plants dotted all over the country gave a heighten awareness to the game and NBA brand in the Far East.

With Yao’s apparent wish to step away from the game it has to be said that league hierarchy will see this as something of a sad loss . Commercially the player had the second highest jersey sales in his native land behind Kobe Bryant but without the Chinese native’s rise to the top of the game and the legions of fans within China that now follow the NBA , this has all been due to his presence within the professional ranks in North America.

Success though fleeting for the Rockets with Yao’s arrival and the awareness of the Sino American community within the state of Texas and in particular within the city of Houston laid the foundation for the organization and its selling of the player to the community at large . Yao Ming played his role in that task and it became clear that the Houston Rockets and NBA at large would profit greatly from this endeavor. And though it is questionable as to how Yao Ming’s career will be viewed by the fans and analysts at large . A great player in his own right on both ends of the court it has to be said there will be those who will debate overall whether or not he has actually been a success in the NBA . Debate it at will but there will be those who come out in favor of the player and those who will also question where he stands within the game. The preeminent centers within the game as Yao’s peers were Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard once he became a force in the league but it has to be said the thinning of the position with O’Neal now retiring leaves us with not much by way of the prototypical center within the NBA.

From my own perspective with the retirement of Yao from the game it now leaves a large gap of what I believe to be truly good centers within the NBA ! Certainly amongst the centers now playing the game Dwight Howard immediately comes to mind and that of Andrew Bynum with the latter yet to refine his game and live up to the perceived expectations as to how good he can really become. I think that comes more out of conceit on the part of Bynum , the fact he is self absorbed and believes himself privileged . And if the Los Angeles Lakers are to be resurgent once again then he will have to raise the level of his play.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

In your opinion do you feel that the departure of Deron Williams to play in Europe will be sign that other marquee players will seek to ply their trade elsewhere ? Also with what is said to be the imminent retirement of Yao Ming what thoughts if any do you with regard to play of the centers that are now playing in the NBA ? Do you believe that it is on the decline or is it your opinion that this is merely a cyclical situation and we will once again see a dominant player at the position ? Simply chime with a comment as you deem fit .

Alan aka tophatal …. https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below.

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(1) FILE – This Feb. 24, 2011, file photo shows New Jersey Nets’ Deron Williams posing in front of his poster at a news conference, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Turkish team Besiktas says it is close to reaching a deal with NBA All-Star guard Deron Williams. The New Jersey Nets say they can’t comment because of the lockout. AP Photo/Bill Kostroun ……

(2) New Jersey Nets draft pick Jordan Williams speaks during an introductory NBA basketball news conference as Marshon Brooks looks on Monday, June 27, 2011, in East Rutherford, N.J. AP Photo/Bill Kostroun ….

(3) New Jersey Nets general manager Billy King speaks during an introductory NBA basketball news conference as draft pick Bojan Bogdanovic , left, looks on Monday, June 27, 2011, in East Rutherford, N.J. AP Photo/Bill Kostroun ……

(4) Nets’ team owner Mikhail Prokhorov is seen here with minority equity stake partner Jay-Z . The two will combine their resources in bringing the team to the Barclay Yard Development in Brooklyn , New York in two years . Courtesy of NESN.com copyrighted material @ all rights reserved ….

(5) This file photo taken on June 27th, 2011 shows NBA Houston Rockets’ Chinese basketball star Yao Ming listening to a question during a press conference in Taipei. Chinese media was rife with speculation on July 11, 2011 about what basketball icon Yao Ming might do next, after reports the country’s most famous sporting export is set to retire. AFP PHOTO /Getty Images / FILES / Sam YEH …..

(6) LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 26: Yao Ming (11) of the Houston Rockets looks on during their opening night game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on October 26, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images …..

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NBA News

Houston Rockets news

Houston Rockets’ history

Yao Ming bio

Yao Ming career stats

Yao Ming game by game stats

New Jersey Nets news

New Jersey Nets team roster

Deron Williams bio

NBA team owners

NBA Team general managers

NBA Salaries

New Jersey Nets team salary

When The Rubber Hits The Road It’s Time To Step Up ……

When The Rubber Hits The Road It’s Time To Step Up ……

When the rubber meets the road it’s time to step up and it appears that the San Antonio Spurs have hit the road with a flat tire. The Memphis Grizzlies have given the Spurs all they can handle a great deal more. A 91-88 victory by the Grizzlies with Zach Randolph leading the charge in his team’s victory . When it’s all said and done a question needs to be asked ….. have Gregg Popovich’s  —- players become complacent or are the Grizzlies simply too good ? ===========================================================================

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A 2-1 series lead and it appears with their next victory this series could be the Grizzlies for the taking . At this point Popovich has to get these players playing with a great deal more zeal as the Memphis Grizzlies simply have the Spurs on their heels. It’s seems strange to see the number one seed within the Western Conference simply being outplayed not only on their home court but also in large throughout much of this series as it has unfolded . Throughout much of the season this Spurs’ team played at a high caliber  with players such as Manu Ginobli , Gary Neal , Dejuan Blair , Tony Parker and Matt Bonner stepping up to the plate. However the zeal with which we saw during the regular season has been missing as this series has taken on a life of its own as it seems to be now slipping away from the grasp of the San Antonio Spurs. . If the Spurs are to be in with a chance of reasserting themselves and regaining some sort of momentum in this series then we’re going to have to see more from the likes of Ginobli , Parker and their seasoned veteran Tim Duncan . Granted , Duncan has seen limited time throughout much of the regular season .

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Clearly at this point of the playoffs the contenders ………….. ‘ the real contenders’ step up and separate themselves the pretenders’ . As an ardent Spurs’ fan I get the feeling that the Spurs rather than looking like a contender they’re now beginning to look and play like a pretender ! The four time  NBA champions are no nearer to adding a fifth title than there’s a chance of Donald Trump winning the 2012 Presidential elections based on their play in this series and in particular game three which saw them being completely outplayed by their Western Conference opponents . The credit where it’s due belongs to the Memphis Grizzlies and their belief that they’d nothing to fear in taking the game to the Spurs and forcing them to change their whole way of playing and the fact it has been this Grizzlies’ team in the driver’s seat. At some point we have to acknowledge that the league is now changing and that the so called  teams we believe to be dominant are no longer really that.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers  , Miami Heat and Boston Celtics will have their work cut out for them during these playoffs . Albeit that the Heat and Celtics have series leads as the playoffs progress these teams will face a much sterner test in the second round (conference semi finals) of the NBA Playoffs . As the playoffs unfold we’ll get to see what these teams are actually made of and how each faces adversity when stares at them from across the court . The Spurs are now in a position where they can ill afford to go down 3-1 in this series knowing full well that even on their home court they will be hard pressed to put the Memphis Grizzlies back on their heels. If anything it has been the Grizzles who have placed the Spurs back on their heels looking to stave off a series defeat and if anything what would be the shock of this season’s playoffs series so far. Zach Randolph has put this team on his back and played like a man possessed with something to prove to the doubters and naysayers who felt he’d nothing to offer . And as troubled as his career is said to have been Randolph now seems to have found a home where his talents have flourished and where the Grizzlies’ fans have no doubt shown their appreciation for all that they have witnessed from the player’s contributions on the court and within the local community . If it’s a given that the Spurs bow out of this series then I am willing to admit that I underestimated the Grizzlies but even more so I know that the the Spurs this while while their regular season was impressive if anything it created an illusion and an air of complacency that the lulled and lured their fans into thinking that this team was once again ready to contend and perhaps actually playing with a sense of purpose in marching towards the goal of winning another title .

A series loss would raise a great many questions as to this team and the direction that it is heading in. The triumvirate of Ginobli , Parker and Duncan is an aging one but the thought was that with a young nucleus of players looking to make their mark , instead it looks as if they have regressed lost in situation that in some respect is one of their own making. I certainly do believe that Gregg Popovich and GM R C Buford will have to reassess the qualities they seek in terms of the Spurs’ roster and how best to address the deficiencies that we now know that the San Antonio Spurs have. Now as the postseason plays itself out it will be very interesting to see what happens with each of the series in question . In the case of the Spurs and where a number one seed has previously faced a situation where they could be down 3-1 in the first round of a playoff series, that seed has gone on to win that fourth series game and to win that series four out of the six occasions since the playoff format came into being and where it changed from a best of five series to a best of seven game series . That if anything should be an added incentive to the team . But in reality the Spurs simply don’t need that as an incentive , what they actually need to do is to come out and play a meaningful game and series as if their very lives depended on it .

The 2011 NBA Playoffs have brought us a great deal of thrills and spills , and I must say that while I’d expected some controversy in terms of the officiating it has to be said the surprises if any, have come from the fact that certain teams we’re thought to have favored haven’t played anywhere near their true potential . And that has either been due to them either playing inconsistently or more to the fact that the lesser seeded teams in these playoffs have played well above their potential . It now remains to be seen how things will actually pan out for the teams and their loyal fans who have become engrossed in the NBA’s showcase event _ the playoffs as a precursor to the NBA Finals itself .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What series if anything in the first round of the playoffs has been of interest to you ? And how do you see the series between Memphis Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs ultimately ending ? Simply chime in with a comment as to your thoughts on this piece and the NBA postseason as you now see it.

* NB Is there an NBA team in the state of Texas that actually has a backbone ? The Spurs are in turmoil in their series . The Dallas Mavericks in allowing the Portland Trailblazers to erase a twenty three  point deficit in game four of their series shows us why this Mavericks’ team is simply softer than a roll of Charmin tissue paper ! Mark Cuban you’ve been Punk’d bitch !

As for the heroics of Brandon Roy , it was truly exemplary ! The Houston Rockets having chosen not to seek the return of Rick Adelman  next season are now without an NBA coach . As to who Adelman’s successor will be it remains to be seen but team GM Daryl Morey will be seeking a quality oriented coach who knows how to get the best out of a young team and its players .

Alan aka tophatal ………………….. Picture and slide show details below . ——————————————————————————————————

(1) MEMPHIS, TN – APRIL 23: Zach Randolph (50) of the Memphis Grizzlies celebrates with a little dance after defeating the San Antonio Spurs in Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 23, 2011 at FedExForum  in Memphis, Tennessee. Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE /Getty Images …..

(2) Darrell Arthur of the Memphis Grizzlies against the San Antonio Spurs in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 25, 2011 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. The Grizzlies defeated the Spurs 104-86 to take a 3-1 lead in the best of seven series . Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images………

(3) Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) drives against San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (9), of France, during the second half of Game 4 of a first-round NBA basketball series on Monday, April 25, 2011, in Memphis, Tenn. Conley led the Grizzlies with 15 points and Parker led the Spurs with 23 points. The Grizzlies won 104-86 to take a 3-1 lead in the series. AP Photo/Lance Murphey  …………

(4) Memphis Grizzlies forward Leon Powe  (7) grabs a rebound in front of San Antonio Spurs forward DeJuan Blair (45) and Daniel Green (4) during the second half of Game 4 of a first-round NBA basketball series on Monday, April 25, 2011, in Memphis, Tenn. The Grizzlies won 104-86 to take a 3-1 lead in the series. Behind Powe are San Antonio Spurs forward Steve Novak (23) and Memphis Grizzlies center Hamed Haddadi (15), of Iran. AP Photo/Mark Humphrey …..

(5) Trying to instill confidence ? Maybe . San Antonio Spurs center Tim Duncan, center, talks with his teammates during the second half of Game 4 against the Memphis Grizzlies in a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Monday, April 25, 2011, in Memphis, Tenn. The Grizzlies won 104-86 to take a 3-1 lead in the series. AP Photo/Mark Humphrey …….

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NBA News

Sunday’s playoff schedule

Monday’s playoff schedule

San Antonio Spurs news

Memphis Grizzlies news

NBA Playoffs 2011 .

All the series latest news and results NBA Postseason Stats at a glance NBA Stats Year 2010-11

(a) NBA Standings (Conference) (b) NBA Standings ( Division) NBA Statistics

Offense —— Defense

Player stats …… Regular season Scoring

Double doubles

Assists

Rebounds

Free Throws

From The Sublime To The Ridiculous And Beyond …….

From The Sublime To The Ridiculous And Beyond …………

Well it goes without saying that the coming week will bring us a great deal of news . First off the upcoming NFL Draft will begin this Thursday the 28th April being staged at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City , New York . The it factor as they say is that quarterbacks are at a premium and the furor over Cam Newton , Andy Dalton , Blaine Gabbert and anyo other collegiate player playing the position , they’re considered to be prime pieces of real estate in a burgeoning market. Well friends , given the fact that commercial real estate and the whole real estate economy is now in the doldrums , when it comes to the quarterbacks that are on display here . I’m not so sure that any team opting to take a qb in the first dozen picks of the first round would be considered a prudent one .

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I’d say this the idiocy of not only carrying on with the draft but at the same there’s a league instigated lockout and is there a thought that the league hierarchy and owners are looking like more the buffoons we now believe them to be right from the outset ? Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith have become the NFL’s answer to that legendary comedic duo Laurel and Hardy with the intransigence that has been shown by between both , as presiding Judge Susan Nelson has mediated over this process . The two sides will not meet again publicly until early May , as Nelson has adjourned this process while she now assesses the presentations from both sides before rendering a binding arbitrary decision . I somehow get the feeling that verdict n will only be met cordially with any form of approval from the side that the verdict is rendered against .

The NFLPA having decertified itself to become a trade association in order to challenge the NFL’s antitrust status took a bold attempt with their decision and maneuver to go down this route . Goodell and the owners saw fit to try and paint the players and their union in a poor light and that effort seems to have failed in the eyes of the public . As to the decision rendered I hope that the two sides will have learned something from this all and that it prove fruitful in any further dealings between the two sides !

I understand that for MLB Commissioner Bud Selig finds that the postseason within baseball is the most exciting time of the calendar year within the game . But if the rumors are to be believed that the league hierarchy and owners are thinking about tinkering with the postseaon schedule by adding to wildcard system . Then I would have to say that the idea is something of an asinine one ! If adding teams to the system is what Selig seeks , then he will most certainly have to seek an agreement from MLBPA Executive Director Michael Weiner and the union . At the same time I would have thought that Selig , the league hierarchy , owners and the union have far more pressing issues such as , the financial stability and viability of a number of teams around the league . Is it not enough that Bud Selig has had to personally intervene by sending in an independent official to take over the day to day operations of the Los Angeles Dodgers whose self absorbed owner Frank McCourt was well on the way to bankrupting the organization with his less than open business deals ?

If McCourt is of the opinion that borrowing some $30 million from the local Fox tv affiliate in order to meet the team’s budgetary expenses for the month of April when the season is barely one month old ___ alludes to the fact that the Dodgers isn’t an organization that is in serious financial trouble then it would suggest that he’s not the businessman he obviously thinks that he is . What I for one would like to know , is when Frank McCourt proposed buying the team from News Corp subsidiary Fox Inc in 2003 what sort of investigation had been conducted by the league hierarchy before agreeing to let the purchase go ahead ? Because had their investigations been absolutely thorough then the hierarchy would have found that McCourt had some serious concerns in light of certain business deals that had fallen through , and wherein certain business entities he’d been dealing with had sought legal recourse within the Federal Courts lodging several suits against the real estate tycoon . But I guess the color of money tends to cloud the judgment even of the most principled of people !

If the changes as proposed does come into being I can only assume that it’s being done in order to foster further interest from the fans of the teams who in large part were never really in with a chance of making the postseason to begin with . This maneuver merely creates an incentive and the illusion that somehow those teams are actually in with a chance. As to the proposal which haven’t yet been made public I would certainly like to know what major changes are about to take place , how and when should the approval be given ___ when will we sit it all come into being ?

Well the silly season has began as the NBA Playoffs creates the excitement we’ve all come to expect . Nonetheless it’s behind the scenes where I for one now find amusing ! . The Houston Rockets and their GM Daryl Morey have seen fit not to seek the return of coach Rick Adelman . But if anything the Rockets’ problems have been fomenting over the past two seasons . Having lost All Star center Yao Ming this past season to a recurring injury and the less than productive tenure of Tracy McGrady as part of the organization you can’t but question the mindset of Morey and that of team owner Leslie Alexander . At what point had it occurred to them that things simply hadn’t been working out with Adelman ?

Surely based on the play of the team not only this season but last season as well , the loss of Yao would play a significant part in how one would view the chances of the team succeeding . You simply can’t think that there’s an easy solution to replace Yao’s productivity and what he brings to a team as merely an aberration . But somehow I get the impression that Morey simply hadn’t planned for such a situation and neither had he taken the opportunity of bolstering the team’s roster in each of the last two seasons when the center was having his injury problems .

If the problems of Miami Dolphins’ wide receiver Brandon Marshall hasn’t been well chronicled enough as it has been already . This latest incident wherein his wife Michi Nogami-Marshall had been arrested and charged with attempted second degree assault in the stabbing of her husband in the abdomen . Though the injury isn’t said to be critical or life threatening , the player had to held overnight in a South Florida hospital . If that hasn’t been enough, given Marshall’s history both on and off the field as it relates to his temperament, that it has now come to this ? A question now has to be asked as to how the Dolphins’ management will view this situation. GM Jeff Ireland and team coach Tony Sparano will no doubt await the results of the police investigation before making any public statement but you can’t help but wonder what they might now be thinking given the team’s poor play and having underachieved last season . Another headache concerning a player whose candor and temperament that in no way represents the undoubted talents that the wide receiver is said to have . So what’s next for the Dolphins and Brandon Marshall at this juncture ?

Any form of violence resulting from any type of domestic abuse cannot be overlooked and here it appears that is the case between the two feuding individuals . Marshall’s wife states that she was protecting herself from an attack by her husband . The way that this now plays out with the law being what it is in within the state of Florida any incident stemming from domestic abuse wherein there’s an act of violence __ one , if not both parties can be placed under arrest dependent upon the circumstances surrounding the actual incident. Character issues come into play once again with the wide receiver but here one simply cannot view this as simply another isolated incident given the fact that while as a Broncos player the player had repeated run ins with local law enforcement there concerning accusations of domestic violence against a previous girlfriend . I view a situation such as this as an issue that the league hierarchy has failed to address concerning the players . Even more so the players’ own union the NFLPA hasn’t a policy in place , relating to giving assistance to their members concerning anger management issues . I understand that the nature of the game demands violence and a great deal of aggression but herein lies the caveat, away from the football these players at times are not able to curtail their aggression and temperament. So in the case of what at times may well be nothing more than innocuous argument can turn into something far more unsavory , as has been the case here between Marshal and his wife.

I’ve always been of the opinion the NFL and its fraternity as a whole would rather have that machismo image on display and anything that tends to blacken its image placed firmly in the background. We’ve had the idiocy of Ben Roethlisberger’s impromptu behavior and the player denying that he’d done nothing wrong in the alleged sexual assault of two women . The player having been given a league mandated initial four game suspension had to undergo treatment for sexual addiction and anger management issues. Having seen his character come under assault the player quietly revamped his image and led his team the Pittsburgh Steelers to a berth in the Superbowl where they end up losing to the Green Bay Packers . They say …….‘time heals all wounds’ but I’m not so sure this is a wound that can be healed as it relates to this incident as it relates to Brandon Marshall and his wife.

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Picture gallery .

In light of the topics raised within this piece what thoughts if any do you have on these very same issues ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts .

Alan aka tophatal …………

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) Quarterback Blaine Gabbert (11) of the Missouri Tigers throws a pass during the Insight Bowl against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Sun Devil Stadium on December 28, 2010 in Tempe, Arizona. The Hawkeyes defeated the Tigers 27-24.
Christian Petersen /Getty Images North America …..

(2) Blaine Gabbert looks on during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Getty Images /Joe Robbins ……..

(3) Former Major League Baseball player Eddie Robinson (L) and Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig (R) shakes hands while Major League Baseball Players Association Executive director Michael Weiner looks on prior to a news conference in New York, April 21, 2011. Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association announced an agreement Thursday to make annual payments to players who retired before 1980 but did not have enough service time to qualify for a pension benefit via the MLB Players Benefit Plan. Reuters / Brendan McDermid ………….

(4)Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey . AP Photo/ Carl Breslin ….

(5) Rockets’ CEO & President Leslie Alexander . Both Alexander and GM Daryl Morey made the decision not to retain the services of Rick Adelman as coach of the team for next season . Getty Images / Mike Newell ….

(6) Brandon Marhsall seen here with his wife Michi Nogami-Marshall in a post wedding photograph from September 2010 . Courtesy of South Florida Sun Sentinel …….

(7) Rocky (L), the mascot of the Denver Nuggets interacts with Brandon Marshall (R), wide receiver for the Miami Dolphins and his then fiance Michi Nogami as they sit courtside as the Nuggets face the Dallas Mavericks during NBA action at the Pepsi Center on February 10, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Mavericks 121-120. Doug Pensinger /Getty Images ……

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NB: Although Judge Nelson has sided with the players rendering a verdict the NFL hierarchy and team owners have filed an appeal in the US Appellate Court requesting a stay of the verdict .

You Want An NBA Storyline …………………… ?

You Want An NBA Storyline …. ?

It’s been something of an anticlimax to the say the least as the NBA season has got off to a rather inauspicious start. The Miami Heat of late has been the storyline that everyone wants to follow as the ‘Big Three’ have become the talk of the town . LeBron James , Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade have made the Heat relevant once again. That being said to my mind the story that has me wondering how asking what else can befall a team has been that of the Houston Rockets . It’s hard to comprehend the misfortune that has beset this team as having lost All Star center Yao Ming for the season to a recurring injury . While much of this has been happening the one constant to this all has been the play of Kevin Martin and the fact that without him the Rockets would simply just another byline to the NBA season.

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The troubling here there though has been the fact Yao hasn’t played a meaningful game in over a year and the danger is that his career now seems to be on the verge of being at end. Barring a miracle I seriously doubt that we’ll see this player back on a basketball court in a competitive NBA game. Say what you will but Yao Ming had his admirers as well as his detractors . At his peak, he was certainly one of the most admired but also one of the best centers in the game but herein lies the caveat to this all once injiries started to befall the player , you simply knew that it was only a matter of time before things would go south for both he and the organization . What now happens for the Rockets is now merely dependent upon the players and their desire play the remainder of the season with the zeal one would come to expect of a team looking for some type of redemption. If nothing else they owe it to themselves and their fans.

The NBA Western Conference has now become awash of the unexpected and as the plot thickens the idiocy surrounds the sudden lull in the play of the Los Angeles Lakers . Don’t be fooled by anything you’ve heard or read at this point of the season teams will have their ups and downs and it’s how they respond that will define them. The Lakers have rebounded back and Kobe Bryant and his teammates seem to now back in the driver’s seat and their resolve will be to play the games as they come and then in the postseason show the NBA world why it is they’re the reigning NBA champions . If nothing else you simply have to respect that pedigree and until they’re toppled off the pile then due respect has to be given .

The Lakers’ neighbors within the Staples Center the Los Angeles Clippers and their sudden recognition around the league. No one person is more responsible for this other than Blake Griffin and his play through much of the season so far . In the same way that Dominique Wilkins came to be known as the “Human Highlight Reel” , Griffin has single handedly made that nom-de-plume his very own this season with his spectacular dunks. Unfortunately for the Clippers and their fans this hasn’t resulted in that many wins and at the same the Clippers still remain the same old Clippers. I’ve often maintained that when an organization simply lacks the will and ambition to win then whatever befalls that team is simply one of its own making. Is there now a more despised owner in professional sports than the Clippers’ Donald Sterling ? OK, so we could add the Redskins’ Daniel Snyder , Pittsburgh Pirates Bob Nutting and last but not least Jerry Jones of the Cowboys.

I understand that the business of sports is primarily about making money and any bye product sought is to win championships but what can be said as to morass that continually extends and surrounds the Los Angeles Clippers ? Someone needs to explain to me at what point will their fans simply say enough is enough ………? It’s apparent that NBA Commissioner David Stern and the league hierarchy isn’t overly concerned as to the mediocre plight of the Clippers under the tenure of Donald Sterling. But then again simply but as long as the league is reaping the vast rewards of the billions of dollars that unyieldingly comes into its coffers he’s not going to be concerned. For Stern the storyline here is that of the attention gained by the likes of the Heat , Boston Celtics and Lakers . If they’re being repeatedly on by the press then Sterling’s concerns aren’t that great but then again this is the same individual who last season issued the statement that the $250 million paid to a number of teams should not be viewed as a bailout because of those teams’ financial plight due to the economic climate. Kind of makes you wonder what perception the commissioner is trying to create with that rather asinine statement ?

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Clueless in Phoenix as that appears to be the situation with the Phoenix Suns at present under Alvin Gentry as the Suns’ coach. Ever since their most recent trades with the team acquiring Vince Carter and a number of other players which in turn sent Jason Richardson to the Orlando Magic . This team can’t find a win much less play a lick of defense and statistically they rank in the bottom half of the league with that rather dubious distinction. And now with rumors circling that the franchise may well be willing to offload Steve Nash with a view as building for the future , the question being asked is where they go from here ?

With the competitiveness of the Western Conference where week in week out it’s something of a dog fight one could say that last season’s Western Conference finalist’s this season appears to be something of a regression back to the ways of old. In all likelihood if Gentry is unable to have the Suns playing with any semblance of a will to win then team owner Robert Sarver will look to bring in a coach who can take the team back to the heights and expectations that he feels befits the organization .

There’s reason at present for noted film director Spike Lee and avowed basketball fan to be happy as his New York Knicks are once again relevant . Coach Mike D’Antoni and his coaching staff has the team playing with a great deal of resolve within the NBA. Amar’e Stoudemire , Raymond Felton , Landry Fields and Wilson Chandler have been playing at a pace that not many may well have expected. And those in attendance at Madison Square Gardens for the Knicks’ home games have to be more than pleasantly surprised but also extremely excited.

With what we’re now seeing within the Eastern Conference there’s no reason to believe that the Knicks cannot play themselves into contention within the conference and garner their first playoff berth in almost a decade. At their current pace the Knicks are on target to win 47 games, albeit that a sub .500 record or slightly above can garner a playoff spot within the conference. If that’s not enough of an indictment as to how bad the conference can be, then simply look over the past seasons and the records of the teams that have prevailed within the conference in garnering a postseason berth ? It hasn’t been uncommon for the teams ranked four through eight to have a record barely above .500 (41-41). It remains to be seen if this season we can see a vast improvement of the teams in the lower half of the seedings within the conference and how they may well fare. If nothing else the remainder of this season will be proof of that and what we ought to expect from some of those teams within the conference.

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Picture gallery . By clicking on an individual frame you can view that picture in its original formatted size.

Should the Knicks make the playoffs there’s a distinct possibility that Mike D’Antoni could very well be in with a chance of winning the NBA’s Coach of The Year Award . Given what he’s been able to achieve in assessing and building this team with the help of President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh this has been a season of redemption for the Knicks and their long suffering fans . One can only hope that barring injuries they can remain on course of achieving their goals .

Chime in with your comments as to your thoughts on the NBA season and any of the topics raised within this piece .

NB: NBA Conference Standings ..

Latest NBA news …..

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NBA Divisional Standings ….

NBA Statistics ….

NBA win streaks by conference and division

Alan aka tophatal ……………………….

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Faran W

Eye candy ……………. Faren Williams

More of Faren….. as you know doubt like it ?

Faren

That’s a body worth watching from any view ! Faren’s that is !

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Lupe Fiasco feat’g …… Matthew Santos …….. ” Superstar”

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I’m Not Stylin’ I’m Just Wild About My Team ………………

 
 
 

I’m Not  Stylin’  I’m Just Wild   About  My  Team  …..

 

 

 

Is  it  appropriate that  an  owner   ought to be   calling  his  team  out in   public ? Even  if  they’re  playing well  or  not  ?   I  was  always  under  the  impression   that    sort  of  things   is  best  left  to  the  coaching  staff. Or  if anything   the  right  course of action  to  be  taken  is for  the   owner  to  speak   with  the  coach   and  his  staff  and   relate  to   them   his concerns.

 

 

Dirk  Nowitzki  of  the  Dallas  Mavericks drives to the  basket  whilst   trying  to  evade the defensive play  of the Hornets'  David West .
Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks drives to the basket whilst trying to evade the defensive play of the Hornets' David West. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ Layne Murdoch ............

 

  

My  reasons   for  asking  the   questions   pertain  to  the  actions  of  Dallas  Mavericks’ owner Mark  Cuban.   In   doing   so   once   again   he   embarrasses   himself   and  the  organization.   OK  so they   lost   a    game  where  their    performance  was  less  than  adequate.   And   he  may  well   have  a  right   to  be  perturbed.   As  too  have  the   fans  but   in  all  honesty   denigrating    his   players   whilst    not  apportioning  any of  the  blame   on  the   coaching  staff    does    rather  smack   of   stupidity  and  a   great   deal  of  immaturity  as  well.  One   statement   that  can  be  attributed  to   Cuban   directly    was  that    if  the   team   continued  to   play  in   such  a  similar   vein   then  he’d  go  ahead  and  gut the  whole   roster  rather   than  have the  fans   endure  anymore  of  the  same”.

 

 

82991457LM000_MAVS_HORNETS
David West of the New Orleans Hornet grabs the defensive rebound and deprives the Mavericks' Jose Barea of the offensive play. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/Layne Murdoch ..........

 

 

The  lingering   doubt   that   has   always   concerned  the  Dallas  Mavericks   is  their  lack  of    heart.   They’re   often    viewed  as   one   of  the more  softer  teams  within  the  NBA.   And  it  certainly   hasn’t   been   lost   on  many   who’ve   witnessed  their   play  over  the  years.   They’re  gifted   in  the    fact that    they  may well  possess  two  of  the  more marquee   players   within   the  NBA  in    Dirk  Nowitzki  and    Jason  Kidd.   However   the  team  as  a  whole    though    not   physically   imposing  can   play   with a   great deal  of aplomb  when  they  set    their    minds  to  it.   However  the  fact of  the  matter  is that   much  of  the  time   they’re  all   too   inconsistent   in their   play.   And  it  certainly   hasn’t  helped   their  cause as   of  late  that  they’ve    seen  a  resurgent   San  Antonio Spurs  and     a  New  Orleans  Hornets  teams   that   has   rediscovered  its   desire.   And   within  the  Southwest  Conference  standing   this   hasn’t  exactly   bode  well   for  the  Mavericks  at this   juncture.   They  sit behind   the  Spurs , Hornets and  the  Houston  Rockets at  present. 

 

 

Hornets'  point  guard  Chris Paul who once again led his  team  to a win and who  had  an  exhilerating   night  terms  of  his  play and  productivity.   picture appears  courtesy of  nbae/getty images/ Layne  Murdoch .........
Hornets' point guard Chris Paul who once again led his team to win and whose own performance on the night in the team's victory over the Mavericks was exhilerating. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ Layne Murdoch ............

 

 

 

Though   now  seated  as  the  eighth   seed   in   the  Western  Conference  standings.  Were  the  playoffs to  start  today    their   fortunes  as it is  would  lay  in their  own  hands.  But  having   to  take   on the   presumptive   favorites  within  the   conference     in  the  Los  Angeles  Lakers   would  undoubtedly   prove   to  be  an   ominous   task. As  well as  they’re  thought  to  be  playing    Cuban   has  felt   that    they’ve  just   not   been    playing  well  enough.  If anything   he   should  be questioning   the    approach  of  the  coaching   staff and  their    failure   to   communicate    with   the  players. \

 In  Rick  Carlisle   he    possesses   one   of  the  better   but   yet   one   of  the  more   understated   coaches   within  the NBA.   His  pedigree  is  one  where   he’s  coached   in Indiana   and  in Detroit .  And   as  a former   player   in  the  NBA  he   does  know  what  it   takes  to  play  at  the  highest  level   within  the  game.  They   say  that  a  team  does   tend  to   take  on the  persona  of  its   coach.  So  if that  is   indeed the   case  then  Cuban’s  tirade   if  anything    ought  to  be  directed  at  his  coach.   Albeit  that   it  is the   players   who  are  on the  court   playing   the   game.  It’s   from the   coach   that the  players   indeed   get their   instructions  and  the  strategy  that’s entailed  for   a game.  And   even  if  the  players aren’t   always   held   accountable    for the  results .  All  too   often   in the  end   it’s  the coach   that  often   ends    up  baring  the   brunt   of  the  blame. 

 

 

 

Jason  Terry of  the Mavericks  attempts to  drive  past  the Hornets' Devin Brown .........
Jason Terry of the Dallas Mavericks attempts to drive past the Hornets' Devin Brown. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ Layne Murdoch ..............

 

 

 

Mark   Cuban   has often     been   known   to  direct     his  animus   at   the   officials   and  at times    directly  at the  game’s  hierarchy.  And   the  fines   borne   by  him  over the years  have  been   enough   to  build  several  large    family  homes.   And   to  a  billionaire   like  Cuban   money   is   afterall   no   option.  When  you’re  said  to  be  worth   in  excess  of   $2.6bn   and   ranked   at   #161  of  Forbes’  400 Richest  Americans.  A  paltry  fine  of   a  couple  of  hundred  thousand   is  minimal  when  it’s  all   said  and  done.  And  as  his  tirade   isn’t  directed at  anyone  within  the   game’s   hierarchy   this  time   around   he  hasn’t    really   anything   to  worry  about  .  Other  than   that  of  his   own   gigantic   ego  and   how  he’s   viewed  as  a  whole   by  the   fans  and   public  at  large.  But  in  reality   Mark  Cuban   has  never   really   been  all  that  worried   what  anyone   thinks about  him.   His   concerns    are  directed  at   the  things that  he  can   control  and  the  empire   he  purveys.  And  if  nothing   else   in Cuban’s   fiefdom   his  word  is  final   mo  matter  whether or  not   he’s   right   or  wrong.  The  narcissist   in  him  wouldn’t   have  it  any  other  way.

 

 

Hornets'  point guard  Chris Paul  drives  past   both  Jason Kidd  and Dirk  Nowitzki   of  the  Mavericks  as  he  makes  his  way  to the  basket  with  the  layup . The   Hornets  would  go  on to  win the  game  decisively  104-88  in the  game  played  in the New Orleans Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana .  picture  appears  courtesy  of nbae/getty images/ Layne  Murdoch .............
Hornets' point guard drives past both Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki of the Mavericks as he makes his way to the basket for the layup. The Hornets would go on to win the game decisively 104-88 . The game itself was played in the New Orleans Arena , New Orleans, Louisiana . picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/Layne Murdoch ..............

 

 

 

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