Sports Stories That Simply Aren’t Worth Reporting But Somehow They’re Out There

Sports Stories That Simply Aren’t Worth Reporting But Somehow They’re Out There

Minnesota Timberwolves’ coach Kurt Rambis is said to be aggrieved as to the uncertainty concerning his impending future with the organization. Given his coaching record and the mere fact that the Timberwolves had another miserable season pretty much sums up what the front office’s thoughts may well be on the beleaguered coach . Team owner Glen Taylor and GM David Kahn surely know that with the upcoming NBA Draft due to take place on the 23rd June they can ill afford to any type of indecision on their part. They either retain the coach or relieve him of his duties and immediately start a search for his successor. Any indecsiveness on their part hurts the image of the franchise and shows complete ineptitude to the fans and across the NBA landscape in general .


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Things are difficult as it as already for the Minnesota Timberwolves without now further opening up themselves to ridicule concerning their coach and his job status. But then again the mindset within this organization can be easily summed up in two words …” woefully inept “.

Now don’t get me wrong I was happy to see the New York Knicks make the NBA postseason but the mere fact that their sojourn there lasted about as long as Usain Bolt would take to run a 100m race , essentially told you all that you needed to know about this team and such the organization. Team owner James Dolan is looking to extend the contract of GM Donnie Walsh the seventy four year old senior executive within the Knicks’ organization . If the rumors are to be believed Dolan wanted offer Walsh a two year contract extension as they seek to rebuild the basketball team . Donnie Walsh in spite of his undoubted NBA knowledge knows that in many ways he’s not getting any younger and at the same time his job placed him under a great deal of pressure allowing him very little time to be with his family. The general manager has told the owner that he will not be returning to the organization next season , choosing instead to relinquish his duties with the New York Knicks .

I certainly would have thought that the New York Knicks would be better prepared in terms of having a long term plan as to successor by having someone within their front office be tutored by Walsh since his original hiring by the organization. But somehow given the plethora of executives that make up board of the New York Knicks you simply knew that sheer incompetency wouldn’t be far behind in terms of the decision making that the organization has come to be known for. If Hank Ratner or any other of his peers aren’t capable of assuming Walsh’s role , then I would hate to think that Knicks would be idiotic enough to rehire Isiah Thomas to a position he once held within the organization. There is no way in hell that the Knicks would consider rehiring their former VP & Head of Basketball Operations , albeit , that Thomas stated that he has no interest in rejoining the organization but then again we are talking about the New York Knicks .

Cyclist Lance Armstrong the seven time winner of the Tour de France continues to maintain his innocence concerning the latest admissions by Armstrong’s former teammates Tyler Hamilton and George Hincapie former teammates members on the Radio Shack team ran team manager by Johan Bruyneel . The ongoing cause-de-celebre concerning concerning Armstrong’s innocence , the fact both Hamilton’s and Hincapie’s evidence was sworn testimony under oath given to law officials of the Justice Department . It would be simply idiotic to think that either cyclist would choose to perjure themselves knowing well that a federal sentence would await them courtesy of the Bureau of Prisons within the federal penitentiary system. In the advent of this all Armstrong seeks an apology from CBS News and in particular from the producers of the broadcast outlets news magazine program ’60 Minutes’. Anyone who witnessed the in depth segment on Tyler Hamilton and in particular his allegations concerning his former teammate would be hard pressed not to believe that allegations made by Hamilton . If nothing else Armstrong who has been adding to defense with a legion of of defense attorneys in pursuant of the Justice Department’s decision to seek the indictment of Armstrong for the illegal use of use steroids in particular EPO and several other known illicit substances .

From my own perspective cycling may well be the most corrupt sport on the landscape and the mere fact that UCI the international governing body for cycling has been literally all too slow in seeking to clean up its sport. L’Equipe which oversees the Tour de France has been less reluctant to actually come forward and say that they have not done enough to make this sport more appealing and its image above reproach . Instead L’Equipe’s greatest wish has been simply to make millions of dollars through the event with the broadcast rights of the Tour across the globe. My own wish would be to see the IOC the governing body of the Summer Olympics to simply suspend the sport from the Olympics until UCI has a strict and comprehensive drug policy in place . It would not be too much to ask but the idiocy within the sport of cycling does leave a great deal to be desired ! It has been all talk and with two of the sport’s most visible faces having been embroiled in drug controversy only a complete idiot would take this sport seriously and think that it has something tangible to offer !

Clearly anyone who believes that the Chicago Cubs’ fortunes are about to change hasn’t been watching this team play at all. I’m not saying that the curse of the goat still looms over Wrigley Field but at this juncture if a tornado were to hit that storied edfice the aftermath in terms of the destruction brought it would be a hell of a lot better than what the Cubs’ fans have been asked to endure since the start of the season . The NL Central where the Cubs reside along with the division leading St Louis Cardinals (33-24) whereas the Chicago Cubs have simply been mediocre . This team is on a three game losing streak and has lost seven of their last ten games during which manager Mike Quade and his coaching staff have tried to to the players playing with a great deal more resolve. GM Jim Hendry along with the ownership group headed by the Ricketts’ family has simply tried to instill a sense of purpose of and an eagerness to win . The long terms of efforts can’t go unrecognized with regard to the refurbishment of Wrigley Field in order to make the venue fan friendly. But that in of itself won’t be enough as the organization seeks its World Series title in over a century . Simply put the years of mediocrity that the fans may well have thought long gone still seem to be alive and present. .

So the so called saga concerning Alex Rodriguez’s stance that he simply abused the league’s steroid policy through sheer naivete` and the fact that he and his cousin Yuri Sucart were simply looking to get an edge no longer seems to make any sense . In the aftermath of his admission and apology to the league hierarchy and the New York Yankees still hasn’t stopped the player from associating with his cousin after Rodriguez having been advised not to associate communicate with Sucart on the Yankees’ property or any baseball facility during the season . It would appear that the requests are lost on Alex Rodriguez with there now being evidence to suggest that the player and Sucart have been seen together at the St Regis Hotel in San Francisco prior to a recent game played against the Oakland Athletics at the A’s ballpark . What might be even more unpalatable is the very fact that Sucart has accompanied Rodriguez to several games this season with the player knowing full well that he has been advised by senior executives within the Yankees’ hierarchy not to associate with his cousin.

If one remembers Rodriguez’s apology suggested that he and Yuri Sucart were merely experimenting with the use of steroids and the regimen followed was he says… so ill disciplined that it’s hard to take the player at his word when it has come to light that his name has come up repeatedly , in conjunction with the indictment of Orlando medical professional Dr Anthony Galea . The doctor is now awaiting trial with regard to the sale and transportation of illicit narcotics and steroids across international borders . The Justice Department having arraigned and indicted Galea ____ they are now seeking assistance from the medical professional in seeking the indictment of other subjects to whom he supplied steroids and other illicit substances. Many of the individuals that Anthony Galea is said to have supplied are a professional athletes in MLB , NBA , NFL and NHL and college athletes . If that isn’t now a cause for concern given the fact that Commissioner Bud Selig is still of the belief that the game now has the strictest testing policy in all professional sports , one has to ask what they will now do in light of these latest allegations concerning Alex Rodriguez. And with the player being less than forthright when asked about his name being associated with Galea and his cousin Yuri Sucart can we really now expect anything form of action by the league ? Rob Manfred a senior league official and Head for VP of Player Relations has spoken directly within the New York Yankees concerning Rodriguez’s association with his cousin. If this is what the league believes to be the appropriate action I firmly believe that the league has no idea as to what it takes to stem the flow of the illicit use of PED’s within the game , with players now flouting clear instructions makes a mockery their edicts . Is it any wonder that Manny Ramirez having failed a second drug test was allowed to walk away without any form of punishment levied against him by the league ? That is the complete asinine stance that MLB has with regard to its stance when players flout the rules . As for MLBPA and their Executive Director Michael Weiner and his response to what is now an acute issue that even the league and union have failed to really address .

In the wake of the Jim Tressel fiasco we are now learning that the quarterback for the football team Terrelle Pryor had been driving on a suspended license . What is now coming to light concerning this also is the very fact that the player who drives a 2011 Nissan 350Z which we have been informed was purchased by his mother Thomasina Pryor as a trade in . In light of that however since Pryor’s entrance to Ohio State he has been driving around in a number of vehicles for which there is no substantive evidence that would suggest he owned the vehicles in question or that they were leased by the player. The longer this saga has gone on the more idiotic both university President E Gordon Gee and the AD Gene Smith appear to be in light of their actions and what we now know Tressel had suppressed from his superiors . As the investigation went on both Gee and Smith stood behind their actions of a mere suspension and monetary fine of the coach knowing full well that were other far more serious allegations that had already come to light. Now with Pryor now subject of the school’s own internal investigation we’re now finding out that the NCAA is prepared to conduct their own separate investigation into the player and these latest allegations. And one wonders how corrupt collegiate sports is now said to be ? Why not simply allow the players to be paid, gamble on their games and have done with it ? It is becoming abundantly clear that collegiate athletics no longer can be taken seriously on any level at all !



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

What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the points raised within this piece ? Simply chime in with a comment as you deem fit and as always thanks for the continued support as it is gratefully appreciated !

Alan aka tophatal ………………………………..


(1) MINNEAPOLIS, MN – APRIL 13: Head coach Kurt Rambis of the Minnesota Timberwolves reacts to a play against the Houston Rockets during a game on April 13, 2011 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Timberwolves’ front office is said to be undecided as to whether or the coach will be retained for the upcoming season. Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images ….

(2) David Kahn seated right alongside Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor. Kahn recently assumed the mantel of being the team’s GM as well as Head of Basketball Operations. He’s also keep the title of President of the Timberwolves’ organizational structure. Besides having to deal with the Rubio situation Kahn also will be in search of a new coach for the Minnesota Timberwolves. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Richard Clarke-Patterson ………

(3) GM Donnie Walsh (seated left) is seen here alongside Knicks’ team owner James Dolan . Walsh has declined the team’s offer for a two year contract extension deciding instead to be with his family , retiring from the NBA having been involved in the sport for over four decades. AP Photo/ Chris Young ….

(4) Lance Armstrong of the USA, riding for Team Astana, speaks with Astana team director Johan Bruyneel before the start of stage six of the 2009 Tour Down Under January 25, 2009 in Adelaide, Australia. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images ….

(5) Tyler Hamilton seen here during his interview with 60 Minutes’ correspondent Scott Pelley reiterates his position that former teammate Lance Armstrong knowingly took EPO amongst other illicit banned substances during competition. Courtesy of CBS News/Getty Images …

(6) Aramis Ramirez (16) of the Chicago Cubs hits a two-RBI double against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on June 5, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals beat the Cubs 3-2 in 10 innings. Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images …..

(7) Cubs’ GM Jim Hendry is seen here with Alfonso Soriano as the player is formally introduced to the convened press . AP Photo/ Tonny Todd ….

(8) Cubs’ manager Mike Quade all smiles for the moment but for how long ? His job isn’t yet imperiled but who knows should the <a href=";. team continue to lose without any real effort on the part of the players ? Getty Images / Keith Stoddart …….

(9) Yuri Sucart , cousin of Yankees’ slugger Alex Rodriguez and whose name has once again been associated with the player in spite of the warnings issued to the player and New York Yankees’ organization. Both Rodriguez and Yucart were seen together in public at the St Regis Hotel and then again at the A’s ballpark . It would appear that the player has failed to heed the requests of MLB as well as the New York Yankees in not associating with his relative . The player who in his admission to the use of steroids stated that he was supplied with the prohibited substances by Yuri Sucart . AP/Getty Images / Rafael T Aguillar ……

(10) ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 5: the New York Yankees the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on June 5, 2011 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California. The Yankees won 5-3 . Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images ….

(11) In this photo taken Monday, May 30, 2011, Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor arrives for a players only meeting at the Woody Hayes Complex in Columbus, Ohio. Pryor, the highest profile recruit of former coach Jim Tressel’s 25-year coaching career, is one of five Buckeyes who have already been suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season for taking money and tattoos from local tattoo-parlor owner Edward Rife, who pleaded guilty last week to federal drug trafficking and money-laundering charges. AP Photo/Terry Gilliam …

(12) Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor arrives in this Nissan 350Z, center, to a players only meeting Monday, May 30, 2011, at the Woody Hayes Complex, in Columbus, Ohio. AP Photo/Terry Gilliam ……..


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It Was The Best of Times It Was The Worst of Times The Rise And Fall of Isiah Thomas …………..

Perhaps it’s me but there has to be something extremely wrong in the world of sports when once a great player is said to be disliked so much by the peers of his era. The reason I say this , is having read an article in today’s edition of the online edition , sports section of Los Angeles Daily News – that it has me wondering what in God’s name could’ve brought about such a chilling relationship between two former greats of the NBA , in Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson and Isiah Thomas.

When  The Game  Was   Ours  .....   Book  written  jointly  by   Magic  Johnson   and  Larry   Bird   in  conjunction  with  Jackie Mullan  .

The cover the book which is soon to be released entitled ‘When The Game Was Ours’. The book details the rivalry and friendship that grew out of the relationship between Larry Bird and Magic Johnson from their college days through to their epic rivalriy in the NBA. The book written by Bird and Johnson in conjunction with Jackie Mullan , details also the fractured relationship that came about between Johnson and Isiah Thomas. picture appears courtesy of ap/photos ……

Egos asides , history tells us that these two players were amongst the greatest to have played the game of basketball in the NBA. And with both having climbed the game’s ultimate pinnacle, each having won an NBA title. There’s not much more that can really be said about these two superstars of the game. Other than the fact, that theirs is very much a fractured relationship. Perhaps built out of greed , envy and maybe a combination of the two ? But to have Magic tell it , this all surrounded his being diagnosed with HIV in 1991.Though it didn’t immediately bring an end to Johnson’s professional career. It did had some people questioning whether or not it was appropriate for him to still be on the basketball court playing the game.

Johnson  and  Thomas  seen  here  in   public   exchanging  a  few pleasantries   at   some  point  in   2004 .

Johnson and Thomas seen here in public ,exchanging a few pleasantries at some point in 2004. picture appears courtesy of ap/afp/photo/ James Richards …………

And the premise behind much of Johnson’s wrath and disdain laid in the fact that , he didn’t think it right that Thomas should’ve been asking others or even questioning his sexuality as he puts it. Much of the nineties hiv/aids was primarily viewed as a gay affliction , most notably amongst homosexual males. But there was a preponderance to suggest that it was also being transferred intravenously through the sharing of dirty needles through overt drug use. And it was in fact spreading amongst the hetero sexual community as well as being on the rise with the intravenous drug users. Johnson for his part, acknowledged that he caught the virus through having unprotected sex with numerous females other than his wife over the years of his playing basketball ,professionally. Which begs the question who’s really the victim here ? Magic Johnson or his wife and family ?

The  US  Dream  Team of   1992   , which went  on  to   win Olympic  gold   in the  men's  basketball   competition.  They defeated    Croatia   17-85  to  take  home  the  gold  medal in the  competition.   Their  average  margin  of  victory  in the  Olympics  was  35  points  per  game.        picture  appears courtesy of   reuters/   Alexander  Hutchinson  .................

The US Dream Team from the 1992 US men’s Olympic basketball competition of that year. They would defeat Croatia in a memorable final 117-85 to take home the gold medal in the competition. Their average margin of victory throughout the tournament was 35 points per game. And it’s arguably understandable why 12 players on the roster are amongst the 50 greatest players in NBA history. The roster for the Dream Team from left to right back row , Patrick Ewing, Earvin Johnson, David Robinson, 2nd row , Christian Laettner, Karl Malone, third row , Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, coach Chuck Daly, Charles Barkley and Chris Mullin . Front row , Scottie Pippen, John Stockton and finally Clyde Drexler . picture appears courtesy of reuters/ Alexander Hutchinson ………….

The repercussion of this all was , albeit a maneuver which Johnson fully acknowledged he engineered- was to make sure that Thomas was never going to be a part of the original ‘Dream Team’ for the 1992 Olympics held in Barcelona , Spain. The team coached by the late Chuck Daly. A team, that was filled at the time , with a litany of NBA All Stars, with the exception a young college player by the name of Christian Laettner. The lone college player on the roster and a member of the Duke University (Blue Devils) who repeated that same year as NCAA champions. It’s arguable whether or not Johnson held that much sway as to the makeup of the roster at the time. But I certainly think that Thomas as a player wasn’t at all liked by certain members of that team, at the time. As to whether or not Magic Johnson can lay claim that much of this was because of him with regard to Thomas was overlooked for the team. One can really only speculate on the subject. If anything it may well be Johnson wanting to interject himself and his ego into the matter.

Courtesy of Los Angeles Daily News:

Lakers great Magic Johnson expected strong reaction from Isiah Thomas regarding book

By Tom Hoffarth, Staff Writer

NBA: Lakers great says about long-time friend, `We both move on and keep going.’

If Magic Johnson’s fractured friendship with Isiah Thomas suffers further collateral damage by a book released this week, there doesn’t seem to be much movement for any kissing and making up in the near future.

In “When The Game Was Ours,” a book coming out Wednesday co-authored by Johnson and Larry Bird to recount their basketball rivalry- turned-brotherhood starting 30 years ago, a few egos have been stepped on when diverting to other sidelights.

Johnson writes how more than miffed he was that Thomas began asking people close to both of them whether Johnson was gay after it was revealed he had HIV in 1991. He adds that he helped orchestrate blackballing the Detroit Pistons’ All-Star guard from being picked for the 1992 U.S. Olympic “Dream Team.”

When book excerpts came out last week on, Thomas, the former Detroit Pistons All-Star guard who just took over as head coach at Florida International University, responded: “I’m really hurt, and I really feel taken advantage of for all these years. I’m totally blindsided by this. …

“I didn’t know he felt this way … What most people don’t know is, before Magic had HIV, my brother had HIV. My brother died of HIV, AIDS, drug abuse. So I knew way more about the disease, because I was living with it in my house.”

Johnson said Monday he wasn’t surprised by Thomas’ reaction to the book.

“No surprise, that’s just a part of life,” Johnson said. “Isiah’s got to worry now about his Florida team and his life going on, and I’ve got to worry about my businesses. We both move on and keep going.”

In order to read Tom Hoffarth’s article just click on the text link shown

Johnson’s and Thomas’ career paths after basketball have diverged and intersected along the way. Though not at the same time, in terms of their professional accomplishments. Both have tried their hands at coaching. Without much undue success to be shown in terms of success. Johnson for his part even had a failed late night talk show for that matter. Of which, those of us who might have been watching, must have felt that the Fox network either made a genuine mistake or they completely overestimated Magic’s appeal to a television audience. The show itself came, and went with the blink of an eye. It was indeed terrible ! As Johnson’s command of the English language and its vernacular bordered on being awful to say the very least. He has however , kept himself involved in the game behind the scenes as minority stakeholder in the Los Angeles Lakers’ franchise. And at the same time he’s become a wealthy entrepreneur in a wide range of diverse businesses. Building himself an accumulated wealth said to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. His vast business interests has over 7,000 people in its employ and generates in excess of $2 billion dollars a year in gross revenues. Much of that has brought a great deal of investment to the inner cities blighted urban decay and crime.

Johnson  seen  here  with  hjs   family  ,  his   wife  Cookie pictured next him   along   with    his   son  EJ , 17 and   daughter   Elisa 14.  Johnson  also  has an  older  son  Andre  aged   20.    picture appears  courtesy of  ap/photo/ Ross  Harrison  ..............

Johnson seen here with hjs family, his wife Cookie pictured next him, along with his son EJ ,aged 17 and daughter Elisa,14. Johnson also has an older son Andre aged 20. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Ross Harrison …………..

But it’d also be remiss not to mention his philanthropic efforts through his Magic Johnson Foundation . Set up in part to educate about aids awareness and to assist those in some way afflicted by the disease. The foundation also gives out scholarships to needy students and it also assist in community aid programs. Johnson by his own volition has gone out to set an example for others to follow.

Thomas after his stint as a coach with the Indiana Pacers. He then was tapped to take over the woefully inept New York Knicks. He was installed as the team’s general manager. And his relationship with the then coach , Larry Brown , can be best described of covering the gamut from being contentious to downright asinine and comical. Brown’s own dismissal wasn’t at all totally unexpected. But what transpired next with Thomas installing himself as the coach. Well , let’s just say that everything from thereon in for the Knicks went downhill. What Thomas brought to the Knicks as a coach, is akin to Paris Hilton being asked to teach a class in quantum physics. The one certainty that we know is that the exercise is doomed for disaster. And the same can be said for the ‘Isiah Thomas’ experiment in New York.

The fans railed on Thomas for his roster moves but even more so for the lack of competitiveness shown by the team . And much of this transpired under the watchful eye of the Knicks’ corporate parent Cablevision Systems . Which is in turn owned by the Dolan family . Money was of no object for the NBA’s wealthiest franchise in terms of value. But when it came to showing common sense and due diligence. Well, none of that was forthcoming from either party involved . In this case that would be James Dolan and Isiah Thomas. The team has been a model of inconsistency under Thomas’ reign and when added to the fact he and the organization were embroiled in a sexual harassment and wrongful termination suit. It only added to comedy of errors that as unraveling with the Knicks’ organization. If nothing else, one could only watch from afar and wonder what was about to happen next. Needless to say that the writing was on the wall once James Dolan saw that ‘enough was enough’ and that the idiocy had to be stopped in its tracks.

Dolan initially moved Thomas into a consultancy position within the Knicks’ organization and then brought in Donnie Walsh to oversee the player personnel activity within the New York Knicks as VP and Head of Basketball Operations. At a later date they sought out and hired former Phoenix Suns‘ coach Mike D’Antoni .

Thomas  seen  here  with a  young   FIU  fan  at  the Panthers'  Alumni  Basketball  Preview  .

Thomas , now coach of the FIU Panthers is seen here with a young fan , Jordi Fernandez , 13 , at the Panthers’ Alumni Basketball Preview. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Wilfredo Lee ………………

Knowing that his role was ever diminishing, Thomas left the organization citing that he was seeking out fresh business opportunities. Little did we know that those opportunities would be as a coach within the collegiate ranks of basketball. He found himself being hired by Florida International University (FIU-Panthers). He states, ….. ‘ that it’s been a life long ambition of mine to give back to the college student athlete and to enhance their lives as not only students but also as outstanding citizens as well ‘. A very commendable thought indeed, on his part ! As to whether or Isiah can make a success of it as basketball coach within the collegiate ranks. It remains to be seen but certainly he can’t do much worse than in his tenure with the New York Knicks . Or can he ?