Time For Change ……

Time For Change …

Baseball has entered the last complete month of its regular season and there is a great deal on the line for several teams . The likelihood is that there will be major changes within several of the organizations either from a managerial standpoint or among the front office. We already know the Miami Marlins will see a change in ownership with the Sherman group coming in led by Bruce Sherman , Derek Jeter and Michael Jordan . Jeter and Jordan give more visibility to the ownership group because of their high profiles .,instant visibility and name recognition . Yet, I am not so sure that will be enough to turn around an organization which his has been mismanaged and starved of resources by outgoing owner Jeffrey Loria .


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Within the NL East the Miami Marlins have played themselves out of contention for the divisional title and while their hopes are faint for a wildcard berth , they remain in the hunt for one of the two positions on offer. Fans have been salivating over the season attained by Giancarlo Stanton and his having hit a franchise record fifty-four home runs. Sixty remains out of his reach and while this is all admirable for the player , I don’t believe he will be taking home the NLMVP for this season . I believe it would be a great disservice to the other leading candidates who have contributed to a winning season for their teams who have been in the hunt throughout much of the season. The same cannot be said for the Miami Marlins at any point during this season . Marlins’ manager Don Mattingly and his managerial staff are likely to be retained but I do believe Derek Jeter will be looking to bring in his own people to run the front office. Jeter’s role will be to oversee the overall operations with the new general manager reporting to him directly.

The Miami Marlins will be in action over the weekend as they continue their current series against the Milwaukee Brewers at home. With very little to play for other than pride , it is imperative the Marlins round out their regular season on a high note.

Say what you will , but I do believe seven years is more than enough for a Big League Manger to try and turn an organization around . The New York Mets have been a complete bust with the triumvirate of front office executives , Sandy Alderson , JP Ricciardi and manager Terry Collins at the helm. The trio have gotten to the stage, where they might be even funnier than The Three Stooges and The Marx Brothers. Comedic pratfalls being one thing, but the level of incompetence seen with the Mets over the past seven years has sunk to a new low. This team has been far from being competitive and there has not been one saving grace to suggest they have been worth watching at any point during 2017. Their fans are not only opinionated . but also clearly delusional and obnoxious as always. The Mets have several free agents at the end of this season as well as players set for arbitration and it will be interesting to see the decisions made by Sandy Alderson as they will undoubtedly make changes.

An injury-prone and non-productive David Wright is of no use to the New York Mets and it is unclear why he remains part of the Mets roster . Wright’s best years are behind him , certainly not ahead of him and it is hard to envisage who is meant to be the leader on a team of highly overpaid players . Granted , the Mets don’t have a payroll which ranks alongside the Los Angeles Dodgers or New York Yankees their crosstown rivals . Yet clearly the organization believes they rank up there alongside teams of that caliber, having not shown anything of note this season much less over the past five seasons. Another failed year and the idiocy of continually suggest they have prospects when many of them since 2010 haven’t stepped up to the plate , leads me to believe this organization and their fans are just eternal optimists.

Terry Collins will lead the team into action on Saturday when the New York Mets will face the Atlanta Braves at Sun Trust Park in Atlanta , Georgia . The opposing pitchers will be Jacob deGrom of the Mets as he goes up against R A Dickey , the knuckle-baller who once played for the Mets. This game isn’t critical for both teams but it should prove to be interesting just as many of their regular season meetings have been this season. If this is to be Terry Collins’ last season with the Mets , then his departure can’t come about quick enough along with the dead weight of players who have under-performed over the course of this season. The same can be said for Sandy Alderson and JP Ricciardi .

For Dusty Baker a great deal of weight has been placed upon his shoulders ever since he assumed the role as manager of the Washington Nationals succeeding Matt Williams in the position. With stars such as Bryce Harper , Gio Gonzalez , Stephen Strasburg and Daniel Murphy on the roster , it was assumed it would plain sailing for the ball-club . Instead near misses and a lack consistency prevailed with regard to their postseason ambitions . Washington has seen the rise of the Chicago Cubs with the end of their one hundred and ten-year drought . I get the feeling Baker and the entire Washington Nationals’ organization wouldn’t mind being in the driver’s seat while being called World Series champions.

The Washington Nationals have not made a postseason appearance since 2014 when they appeared in the NLDS losing to the San Francisco Giants in four games . In the three subsequent yeas the ball-club is eager to make another return to the postseason. A commanding lead in the NL East , the Nationals will be there and everything suggests they will be among the favorites for the NL Pennant . . Baker and his team are in the midst of a series against the Los Angeles Dodgers being played at Nationals Ballpark in Washington , DC. Game two of the current three game series takes place today , Saturday 16th September , 2017. It will be interesting to see what Daniel Murphy and Bryce Harper are able to do in this series against the Dodgers. Dusty Baker and his managerial counterpart Dave Roberts are different stages of their managerial careers , but both are under a great deal of pressure to succeed.

While I wasn’t surprised by the sale of the Miami Marlins , the price paid by the new owners was simply ludicrous and outrageous. The Marlins are not a big market team and their accessibility by way of marketing revenues is nowhere as great as baseball’s hierarchy would have us believe. Bruce Sherman and business partners may well have paid $1.2 billion for the team , with Jeffrey Loria’s original asking price being in excess of $2.1 billion , but even in this day and age of wealthy owners within the game of baseball. Unless that ball club is competitive , profitable and a perennial contender then there’s no way in hell they’re worth the type of money now being banded about within the game. The only thing driving these upward trends within baseball’s economics remains the television deals and marketing which MLB continues thrive off.

Baseball’s players are some of the highest paid athletes in the world , but their names are not among the most widely recognized or the most marketable , while being able to attract major commercial sponsors. Mike Trout might well be considered the best player in baseball , but beyond North America the two-time ALMVP is not universally known across the planet. It is indicative of one of the many reasons the sport hasn’t really resonated around the globe even in light of the miserably mundane World Baseball Classic which elicits about as much excitement as watching paint dry on hot Summer’s Day . From Bud Selig to Rob Manfred , baseball and its hierarchy is still figuring out to make the game more widely accepted across the globe.

At this stage last season it was difficult to foresee what was about to happen as the postseason approached . It certainly wasn’t the case where there were many believers in the chances of Chicago Cubs pulling off the impossible , changing the course of the club’s history with their improbable run to the 2016 World Series . Once again they have all but sealed the deal , leading the NL Central as they look to round out the season with another divisional title. Having just ended their weekend series against the St Louis Cardinals with a decisive 4-3 home victory , Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon will now take his team on the road to face his old club the Tampa Bay Rays in a nostalgic visit to Tropicana Field , St Petersburg , Florida on Tuesday 19th September .

While Chicago’s fortunes have risen , the same cannot be said for the Tampa Bay Rays since Joe Maddon’s departure from the organization. The Rays remain in a state of disarray and for manager Kevin Cash things have not come easy for himself and his managerial staff . This team lacks confidence even with the leadership of Evan Longoria at the helm of the roster and the continued lack of self-confidence is no longer bewildering . Rays’ front office executives Brian Auld and Matt Silverman will have their work cut out for them this off-season as they will undoubtedly have to make some changes up and down the team. The penny-pinching , continues as team owner Stuart Sternberg continues to gripe over the reticence of the local governmental authorities to build them a new stadium at their expense.

There doesn’t seem to be a great deal of support coming from Rob Manfred as Stuart Sternberg vies to have a new stadium built. A stark contrast to the efforts of the Miami Marlins, New York Mets and New York Yankees. It seems when you have the ear of baseball’s hierarchy , as it actually counts for something, rather than continually being seen and treated as if you are at the bottom of the food chain. Sternberg is unwilling to put up any of his own money as a sign of good faith to even get the possibility of the project started . Furthermore , there is no evidence to suggest even with the new venue the Tampa Bay Rays’ fan-base of a paltry 23,500 would be able to continually support such an extravagance, with the stadium likely to take years to pay for itself were it to be publicly financed.

Kevin Cash’s position is not necessarily in jeopardy, but how his team looks next season is going to be far more different than the opening day roster of 2017. Make of it what you will , but these are the continued dire times for the Tampa Bay Rays who have been plodding from season to season over the last eight years without a real plan for growth and stability. It might well be another four or five years before the Rays make another return to the postseason. This is an organization devoid of leadership a t all levels within the ball-club and it shows. Evan Longoria has long been considered the franchise’ s best player , but he has never really led by example . Pretty much sums up what to expect from professional sports’ franchises within the Tampa Bay area in general .


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This MLB postseason could very well be a very interesting one if the teams thought to be in the hunt play to their full potential . As for those on the outside looking in , they simply have to look at their issues and make the changes necessary .

Tophatal ……… 09/16/2017

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Ship Ahoy ………. Look Out For Another Mystery That’s About To Take On A Life Of Its Own

Ship Ahoy ………. Look Out For Another Mystery That’s About To Take On A Life Of Its Own

So here we are and with the ongoing NFL work stoppage now looking as if it’s liable to be a prolonged situation . It no longer comes as a surprise to me that the players are looking to paint the league and the team owners in a poor light. At the same time the league hierarchy isn’t about to make any concessions only seeking to further make this embattled situation more intolerable for the fans . At this juncture it’s pretty safe to say the longer the situation goes on the more suspect that I am the league schedule for the proposed 2011 season won’t commence on time as projected for the 3rd September . Suffice to say that both Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith as the highest ranked executives within the NFL and NFLPA might just be the most despised individuals in professional sports at present.

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Drew Brees in a public statement made the claim that the NFL were circled _____ that their target was indeed the NFLPA like sharks smelling blood after the death of former union executive director Gene Upshaw as they left it would be the right time to seek a change in what was the collective bargaining agreement as it stood at the time. I’m not so sure that I’d disagree with the claims being made by Brees but at the same time I’ve also got to question the confrontational approach of the union as this has all played itself out. From my own standpoint as this idiocy plays itself out and with there now being talk of the NBA quite possibly having their own problems with there also being a lockout there as well I can’t help but wonder when the next shoe will drop. David Stern and his counterpart Billy Hunter are now trying to create the perception that they are capable of acting like mature adults , albeit that the league hierarchy seems to be frustrated at the divergence in the differing views as to what’s best for the league. Union President Derek Fisher and the executive committee has said that the union isn’t prepared to make any concessions without the league itself acceding to the union’s own demands . Given the financial instability of the NBA and the fact that they are projected to lose in excess of $450 million for the fiscal year 2011 .

The NFL is up the creek without a paddle and it appears that the NBA isn’t that far behind as to their stupidity . The NBA’s postseason show case event the NBA Finals are now front and center with the Dallas Mavericks taking on the Miami Heat . A clash of styles and with a quartet of All Stars in Dirk Nowitzki , <a href=”http://nba.com/playerfile/lebron_james/”&gt; LeBron James , Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade . This series has the makings of being a classic if both teams play up to their true potential . But with that being said I can’t help but wonder if the outcome could once again be the same as before when these two teams last met in an NBA Finals in 2006 . The Mavericks would go on to lose that series 4-2 in what turned out to be very much a lopsided finals’ series . The Heat for their part during that series saw Finals MVP Dwyane Wade have a memorable NBA Finals in leading the team to their sole win of a championship. For then coach Pat Riley that would be his fourth NBA title as a coach over the course of his already legendary NBA career.

With Riley now as the team President he now has his protege` Erik Spoelstra coaching this star studded team . The young coach along with his Dallas Mavericks’ counterpart Rick Carlisle are both looking for their first title as a coach. And for Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban and team GM Donnie Walsh they may well now see this as the organization’s chance at redemption. The acquisition of Tyson Chandler has certainly bolstered the mindset of this Mavericks’ team . Certainly throughout this postseason Dirk Nowitzki has been playing like a man on a mission and he’s been ably assisted by a supporting cast that have simply stepped up to the plate .

The Dallas Mavericks for their part made light work of the Oklahoma City Thunder in a thoroughly convincing fashion defeating Scott Brooks’ team —- 4-1 . For many this result may not have come as a surprise but I for one certainly didn’t feel that the Thunder would wilt so easily but then again with this being such an inexperienced team it is understandable that they would succumb under such circumstances.

The Miami Heat are heavily favored to win this series match-up and with their dynamic trio all playing at a </ahigh caliber this postseason showcase event could either be suspenseful or an unmitigated disaster with the Heat simply walking over the Dallas Mavericks with a great deal of ease. I’d certainly like to think that Mavericks will abate all our fears and make this a memorable NBA Finals ! I’ve no doubt that LeBron James and Dwyane Wade would like disprove that although the Mavericks may well have won their regular season series 2-0 the postseason becomes a completely different environment altogether. There’s a great deal more on the line and as such NBA immortality and a legacy to play for as well as an NBA title. That should be enough an incentive for both teams to showcase their undoubted talent and supply the discerning NBA fan with the best possible extravaganza that they can witness . With a worldwide audience approaching 500 million hoping to witness the event ABC as the host broadcast network will be looking to magnify the brand of the NBA as well as their own broadcast talents. And I am sure that David Stern will be hoping that the emerging markets will like what they see. The NBA brand has reached its maturation and saturation point within North America and the league hierarchy now has to look elsewhere to see how best to make the game still a viable and profitable concern. God knows with the mismanagement of the league and the financial mismanagement amongst the teams by their owners and the respective general managers and you can well understand why the league wants a thoroughly entertaining series . Anything that can showcase the league as a entertaining concern would undoubtedly make the NBA a lure for the fan.

As a bye note can someone explain to me how it is that all of a sudden idiocy rears its ugly head with the regard to the comparisons and contrasts with regard to the careers of LeBron James and Michael Jordan . Now looking to add their own thoughts on the matter happens to be none other than Jordan’s former teammate and fellow Hall of Fame inductee Scottie Pippen . The former Bulls’ player stated in a radio interview with hosts Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic on their morning radio show “Mike & Mike” would state that Jordan being the game’s greatest scorer but James to his mind can be considered to be the game’s greatest player. Perhaps his statement can be misconstrued but in reality the idiocy of that statement at this juncture simply doesn’t make that much sense . James has yet to win a title and when I last looked two consecutive league MVP awards simply means nothing albeit that there’s a a couple of scoring titles to be added to that resume`. LeBron James needs to win NBA multiple titles before the contrasts and comparison can actually be made . Scottie needs to take a chill pill , quieten down before he alienates himself not only within the city of Chicago but also with his former teammates . If there’s one thing I know…… you simply don’t bite the fu#king hand that feeds you and for Scottie Pippen the hand that fed him was indeed Michael Jeffrey Jordan ! Enough said on the matter I do believe !

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Simply chime in with a comment on your thoughts as to the points raised within this piece and thanks as always for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated !

Alan aka tophatal ………………….

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 03: New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees makes his way into the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service building for the NFL negotiations on March 3, 2011 in Washington, DC. Photo by Rod Lamkey/Getty Images ……….

(2) Drew Brees has organized workouts for his teammates while trying to organize labor negotiating efforts with NFL owners.
Jonathan Bachman/Cal Sport Media ……

(3) Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki, right, watches fellow teammate Jason Terry, left, during practice on Sunday, May 29, 2011, in Dallas. AP Photo/Mike Fuentes ……

(4) Miami Heat basketball players LeBron James (left) and Dwyane Wade talk to the media after a practice session in Miami, Sunday, May 29, 2011. The Heat will play the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of the NBA basketball finals on Tuesday . AP Photo/J Pat Carter ………

(5) Jordan and Pippen in a moment of triumph , one of many that the duo had over the course of their career with the Chicago Bulls. Also pictured is Steve Kerr a multiple title winner himself.

(6) A young LeBron James (left) gets the chance to meet his idol Michael Jordan . courtesy of je520wordpress.com ……

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ABCDEFG ……………

ABCDEFG ………………..

Ah the rather self absorbed Jason Whitlock once again espousing views that simply at times has no rhyme or reason. Whitlock in his latest masterpiece has written that the NBA’s ” most dynamic duo “ of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat are now a better duo than Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen were at their best with the Chicago Bulls . For a duo that has yet to win anything of relevance within the NBA I get the impression that Whitlock’s love the duo might well be bordering on being homo-erotic rather than based on anything tangible. Never let it be said that his idiocy also has no boundaries when it comes to Whitlock and his ideas .

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This season the Heat have been efficient not necessarily spectacular in making their way to the Eastern Conference semi finals where they’ll meet the Derrick Rose led Chicago Bulls . Kind of ironic don’t you think that in the midst of subject on the Bulls Whitlock as such would take a mocking jibe at perhaps that franchise’s best duo in its history ? Jordan , Pippen and their cast of supporting players won six NBA titles within an eight year span and during the season they won a record <a 72 games that season as well as winning the NBA championship . If the Miami Heat indeed are to prove their worth then this team will not only have to vindicate themselves by winning this season’s title but do so in a convincing fashion .

Whitlock for his part has done little to state succinctly his reasons behind this thought process , other than to suggest that the two Heat players are athletic , dynamic and entertaining . But my question to Jason Whitlock since when have those facets won anything in the NBA ? As impressive as the Heat have been in dispatching the Boston Celtics in their conference quarter final series this is still somewhat a flawed team . The Heat’s ‘Big Three’ of Chris Bosh , James and Wade have been placed under the microscope , dissected , analyzed and criticized to the nth degree . In the midst of this all team President Pat Riley has hit back at those critical of the organization’s moves that brought both Bosh and James to the Heat in the offseason. Erik Spoelstra as coach of the Miami Heat knows that a great deal is now expected of him in leading this team to what many now feels is their destiny. As one of the quintet of coaches left in the latter stages of these playoffs , Spoelstera, Scott Brooks , Tom Thibodeau , Lionel Hollins and Rick Carlisle are now aspiring to be first time winners of an NBA title as a coach. And given the fact that with the impending retirement of Phil Jackson there are only two other coaches in the NBA to have won an NBA title. That duo would be Gregg Popovich and Doc Rivers and then beyond that the cupboard as they say …..” becomes bare ” .

The substantive issues raised by Whitlock goes a long way in showing how much I believe that the NBA has changed as a league over the past decade and a half ! Players during this decade, if anything aren’t necessarily as skilled as their predecessors . More is made about hype over substance concerning today’s players and the image that’s portrayed , albeit that the league now more so than ever is very much consumer driven. That could very well be the premise behind Whitlock’s perspective on making these comparisons or the very fact that he genuinely believes that James and Wade are that much better than Jordan and Pippen. Granted , Jordan had yet to win a title at the stage where both James and Wade now find their careers . But bear this in mind , Jordan led by example and that’s something that is clearly missing from LeBron James’ resume’ as a player. Indecision or not , the way he bolted from the Cleveland Cavaliers left a bitter taste in the mouths of the fans and in particular within the front office of that organization . It left Dan Gilbert an angry owner whose behavior in the aftermath of what he felt was a genuine betrayal by the player. If anything that situation was handled badly by both parties as James came off as being immature and petulant . Whereas, Gilbert simply acted out as enraged, owner who’d lost the team’s biggest asset in an unsolicited takeover bid that simply broke up the company merely leaving him with the remnants of a shell company. Incumbent coach Byron Scott has his work cut out for him in turning this team around and it will take a great deal of work by him and his immediate coaching staff .

To my mind Jordan and Pippen have epitomized what a duo and a team are about and although Jason Whitlock chose the duo to make this comparison it has me wondering how it is he came to this judgment ! This journalist’s work over the years has raised eyebrows as to the volatility and emotions he chooses to put on display with regard to the themes he chooses to address . He has been vilified by many and has the respect of others but in large part he’s either someone that you either love or hate as a journalist.

If one remembers the idiocy of the displays after James and Bosh’s arrival the trio talked of themselves winning ………. not one , not two but five or six championships . As of yet the Miami Heat with this trio in lock have yet to win anything of merit but it has been Whitlock’s idiocy and his piece that makes his subjective article to an extent all the more ridiculous in its premise and what he’s trying to substantiate as a case in making his argument . But in this day and age where journalism no longer has any real integrity to it , rather it being about the journalists simply wanting have you bear witness as to what they believe to be right rather than allowing the readers to make a judgment for themselves with the facts being laid out there for them all to see. Inasmuch as there are somewhat controversial journalists out there such Jason Whitlock , it has to be said without his smorgasboard of morsels to offer the public I seriously doubt that anyone would take the genre of sports journalism with any degree of sincerity !

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What thoughts if any do you have on this piece and in particular Jason Whitlock’s comparisons between the duos of James and Wade , Jordan and Pippen ? Simply chime in with a comment on your thoughts concerning the topics raised within this piece .

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

Picture and slide show details

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(1) Jason Whitlock noted sport’s columnist and journalist . AP Photo / Eric Clarke ……

(2) Jordan (23) and Pippen seen here in one of the Bulls’ many NBA Finals triumphs . In the background is former Bulls and now NBA tv analyst Steve Kerr . AFP/Reuters Inc/ Gustav Nillson ………..

(3) Chris Bosh , Dywane Wade and LeBron Wade seen here just after their formal introduction to the Miami Heat fans this past offseason at the AA Arena ,in Miami , Florida . AP Photo / John Raoux …..

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Twice In A Lifetime ………………..

Coming off a high having beaten the Miami Heat at the AT& T Center in San Antnio ,Texas the conference leading San Antonio Spurs now had to gauge themselves against the reigning NBA champions the Los Angeles Lakers hosting them
at their home venue.

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That display against the Heat so clinical , decisive in its execution that the 30 point margin of victory shocked many who witnessed the game in its entirety. They say you can tell a great deal about a team by the way they can handle adversity and after this debacle it was extremely clear that the Miami Heat players , coaching staff and front office weren’t at all happy with the outcome. Hoisted on their own petard (backside) the team was completely embarrassed by their Western Conference rivals . What might be even more improbable was seeing Matt Bonner shoot the lights out having hit 8 of the team’s seventeen three pointers on the way to the Spurs’ 125-95 defeat of the Miami Heat.

I’m not about to use this one game as a precursor to an envisioned NBA Final as there’s still a great deal left to be played for either team as we now hit not quite the closing stretch of the NBA season . But it does give us some insight as to where both teams are respectively as it relates to their respective seasons. On the one hand you have the Miami Heat who with the litany of All Stars and the adoring fans of South Beach and within the locale it has to be said that for Chris Bosh , LeBron James and Dwyane Wade the expectations are extremely high. All their protracted discussions that their reason for getting together is to win an NBA title , multiple titles in fact . Failure to win this season and there’s going to be a great many questions asked of the triumvirate as well both Pat Riley , team owner Micky Arison and the team’s coach Eric Spoelstra . It may well have been the fact that the Heat were being viewed as clear cut favorites to win this season’s NBA title but let’s simply anoint this team before they’ve actually done anything as of yet.

The same proclamation was made with regard to the Los Angeleles in 2004 when that team had future Hall of Famers Gary Payton , Karl Malone , Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Byrant . And as well know that this team was completely embarrassed by the Detroit Pistons in one of the most lopsided series in NBA history with the Pistons subduing and shellacking the Lakers 4-1 in the 2004 NBA Finals . That one series spoke highly as to what can be expected when a unit becomes complacent and simply believes that they can essentially sleep walk their way through a season as well as the postseason.

The Spurs after their exhilarating victory as I alluded to earlier had to deal with the Lakers and if anything these games tend to be highly competitive and a true test for both teams. A match of wits also between two highly respected coaches Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich who between them have won fifteen NBA titles over their illustrious coaching careers. Popovich seeks his fifth title as the Spurs’ coach , and all have been won during a fifteen year span with Gregg Popovich at the helm.

The game itself in front of a soldout crowd once again at the AT& T Center and a nationally televised audience it slipped out the Spurs’ hand right away as it appeared that Phil Jackson’s team simply wanted to be no part of another embarrassing defeat at the hands of the Spurs whereby it was a collective effort by team and where Matt Bonner stood out as “the hero” from Friday night’s victory with his long range sharp shooting. Kobe Bryant essentially made sure that any thought of a repeat victory in a similar vein. The perennial All Star and former league MVP who simply is perhaps the most single minded individual in terms of psyche and his willingness to sacrifice himself in order to win. That’s something that hasn’t been seen within the league since Michael Jordan was at the height of his fame with the Chicago Bulls and leading them to six world championships as well as having won multiple league and Finals MVP awards . Bryant is now seeking to emulate his idol by winning his sixth NBA title and further enhance his legacy as one of the all-time greats of the game.

By contrast the Spurs have their future Hall of Famer in Tim Duncan and although his stats are down somewhat this year he’s viewed as the heart and soul of this team . Along with Duncan you have also the able duo of Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker who’ve been able to allow Duncan to be more of a make shift player as Popovich has sought more productivity from the younger players on the roster as well as veterans such as Richard Jefferson and Antonio McDyess . Each have played their role this season in the Spurs’ exceptional display this year contributing in all aspects of the game . And Sunday afternoon wasn’t to be the Spurs’ day as the Lakers held San Antonio in check on their way to a 99-86 victory narrowing the Spurs’ lead within the Western Conference .

There’s a great deal that one could as such take away from this game in terms of the way it was played and the resultant victory but I’d preface this by saying it’s merely the regular season and what really will count is the inevitability of each team’s performance as the postseason commences . Then we’ll be able to ascertain for ourselves which of the two teams has the greater chance of ultimately making their way to the NBA Finals . The two could very well meet in the latter stages of the playoffs and that event could make for an exceptional and highly competitive series . So make of it what you will.

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What thoughts if any do you have as to the aspirations of both teams and which of them to your mind at this juncture do you view as the favorite to win the conference title and quite possibly the NBA championship itself predicated upon their play ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts on the matter anything else you feel of relevance to the NBA .

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich argues a call as the Spurs play the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half of an NBA basketball game at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Sunday, March 6, 2011. AP Photo/Bahram Mark Sobhani

(2) Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant gestures to teammates after making a basket against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half of an NBA basketball game at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Sunday, March 6, 2011. The Lakers defeated the Spurs 99-83 . AP Photo/Bahram Mark Sobhani …….

(3) San Antonio Spurs guard George Hill (3) drives past Los Angeles Lakers forward Lamar Odom during the first half of an NBA basketball game at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Sunday, March 6, 2011. AP Photo/Bahram Mark Sobhani ………….

(4) San Antonio Spurs players Manu Ginobili (20), of Argentina, and Tony Parker (9), of France, walk up court after a turnover against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half of an NBA basketball game at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Sunday, March 6, 2011. AP Photo/Bahram Mark Sobhani ……

San Antonio Spurs forward Tiago Splitter , left, of Brazil, is defended by the Los Angeles Lakers’ Matt Barnes (9) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in San Antonio, Sunday, March 6, 2011. The Lakers defeated the Spurs, 99-83. AP Photo/Bahram Mark Sobhani …………

(6)San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili, center, of Argentina, passes the ball after driving between the Los Angeles Lakers’ Pau Gasol , of Spain, and Andrew Bynum during the first half of an NBA basketball game at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Sunday, March 6, 2011. AP Photo/Bahram Mark Sobhani …………..

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Alan aka tophatal ………………………

https://tophatal.wordpress.com


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Eye candy ………………… Not everything out of Jamaica tends to be violent ….. aka Jamaican Coolie . Show her some love .

Oh my !
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Nelly Furtado ………………….. “Say It Right”
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A Life Lost Too Soon Is God’s Way of Using It As An Example For Others To Learn Something From It All …………


This beautifully filmed documentary told the story of rise and tragic death of college basketball star, Len Bias. And for those of you who don’t know about the player , I assure you that seeing him play at the height of his collegiate career was in essence ‘watching of a future superstar in the making’ . He was that damn good and then some ! At the time the luminescent light was shining on another phenom of that era, who would go on to become ‘the face’ of the NBA. That person was none other than Michael Jordan , who at the time was a member of the University of North Carolina ‘Tar Heels’.

I know that you’re all aware that on occasion I’ve berated the cable sports broadcast outlet ESPN numerous times. Essentially, because of the pomposity of their analysts and seemingly idiotic and sometimes condescending attitudes. I’d grown tired of the drivel derived of the likes Lou Holtz” , Mark Schlereth, Chris Mortensen , Kirk Herbstreit , Lee Corso , Stuart Scott , Ron Jaworski , and Chris Berman. They introduce themselves as supposed reporters ,pundits or journalists, as the case maybe. But they just come across a posse of bumbling buffoons performing for a mediocre circus act.

Maryland Terrapins’ basketball star , Len Bias

In light of the above , last night whilst the Citi BCS national championship game between Alabama and Texas, was on. I decided to stream the ESPN program ’30 For 30′ series of documentary stories. These essentially have been a commissioned set of films or documentaries to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the cable outlet. Thirty years and they still haven’t got the programming down pat. But that’s what ESPN now does. They’ll find the product , package it and try and gift wrap it to you as an essential piece of viewing. As to whether or not, you as the patron enjoys the content , I seriously doubt that they care ! Either way they’re going to get paid , as they’re now in the homes of some ’77 million’ cable subscribers. Do you think they’re intent on ‘ world domination’ ?

Bias’ college dorm-mate and workout partner, Brian Tribble.

Now as I alluded to earlier , my sole reason for the streaming ESPN’s ’30 For 30′ series of documentaries. But one lone episode of the series for me , has stood out. Granted , there have been other great episodes in this evolving series of film documentaries and commentaries. But last night’s episode was a re-showing on the life of former Maryland Terrapins’ standout college basketball player, Len Bias. The episode was entitled ‘Without Bias’ . This beautifully filmed documentary told the story of rise and tragic death of college basketball star, Len Bias. And for those of you who don’t know about the player , I assure you that seeing him play at the height of his collegiate career was in essence ‘watching of a future superstar in the making’ . He was that damn good and then some ! At the time the luminescent light was shining on another phenom of that era, who would go on to become ‘the face’ of the NBA. That person was none other than Michael Jordan , who at the time was a member of the University of North Carolina ‘Tar Heels’. The Tar Heels were coached by the legendary Dean Smith and the Maryland Terrapins were coached by Charles ‘Lefty’ Driesell .

Alabama  coach  Nick  Saban raises aloft  Cit  BCS national  championship  trophy.   Alabama  would  defeat  Texas   37-21  in  a game   played at   the  Rose Bowl in  Pasadena ,  California.    picture  appears  courtesy  of ap/photo/  Brian Montgomery .....................
Alabama coach Nick Saban raises aloft Cit BCS national championship trophy. Alabama would defeat Texas 37-21 in a game played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena , California. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Brian Montgomery .....................

Bias was a young and prodigiously talented high school basketball player who’d caught the eye of numerous college programs up and down the country during the eighties. Coming from a well rounded familial environment , of which he was one four children born to James and Dr. Lonise Bias. Brought up to have respect for his elders and peers, Bias was a well rounded individual at home and a thoughtful if not overly impressive academic student in school. Either way , his high school years at Northwestern High School in Hyattesville, Maryland, were ones filled with great memories. And his basketball coach was visibly impressed with Len’s talent as a young player. Rough around the edges but nothing that couldn’t be taught through the discipline of a well meaning coach willing to tutor a player who eagerly willing to learn the nuances of the game.

Len Bias was a star at Maryland under Terrapins coach Lefty Driesell. The Boston Celtics drafted Bias in the first round of the 1986 NBA Draft. Two days later, Bias died of cocaine intoxication.
Len Bias was a star at Maryland under Terrapins coach Lefty Driesell. The Boston Celtics drafted Bias in the first round of the 1986 NBA Draft. Two days later, Bias died of cocaine intoxication. picture appears courtesy of USA Today / Porter Binks ....................

Having graduated from high school at Northwestern , Len Bias would accept a scholarship to the University of Maryland ( Terrapins) to play for coach, Lefty Driesell. There, Bias would blossom into an All American and enrich the Terrapins’ program with his play. So much so, that his star was on the rise not just within the collegiate arena but he was also catching the eye of the NBA world and in particular that of Red Auerbach of the Boston Celtics. Bias’ play and perceptiveness on the court and around the basket made him a unique talent. And if anything he’d be viewed as a top five pick in the NBA Draft at anytime that he’d chosen to forgo a year. Michael Jordan may well have been the pre-eminent college player at the time but Bias wasn’t that far behind in standings. If anything there was little to choose between these two uniquely gifted players.

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Brian  Tribble  (left)  and   documentary  film  maker and  director  of  'Waiting  For  Bias '  Kirk  Fraiser .  The two  were   part of  ensemble  get together  remembering  the  life  , times  and  death   of former   college star  , Len  Bias.         picture  appears  courtesy  of  espn/archives/  Matthew  Paul ................
Brian Tribble (left) and documentary film maker and director of 'Waiting For Bias ' Kirk Fraiser . The two were part of ensemble get together remembering the life , times and death of former college star , Len Bias. picture appears courtesy of espn/archives/ Matthew Paul ................

Courtesy of Washington Post


Bias Death Still Ripples Through Athletes’ Lives

By Amy Goldstein and Susan Kinzie

Monday 19th June, 2006

The frantic 911 call from a University of Maryland dormitory came in at 6:32 a.m. June 19, 1986. A 22-year-old campus hero — the finest basketball player in the Terrapins’ history, just two days earlier the second player chosen in the NBA draft — was sprawled on the floor between two narrow beds, unconscious, without a pulse.

“It’s Len Bias. . . . He’s not breathing right,” one of his closest friends, a Maryland dropout named Brian Tribble, told the dispatcher in a shaky voice. “You’ve got to bring him back to life.”

Bias was rushed to a hospital less than two miles away in Riverdale. Inside, doctors used five medicines and a pacemaker to try to restart his heart. Outside, his teammates, coach and mother gathered, stunned and praying. Across town, his agent phoned a senator’s office, searching for a military helicopter that could deliver a world-class cardiologist to save him.

At 8:50 that Thursday morning, Len Bias was pronounced dead.

He had been killed, it would turn out, by an overdose of cocaine, a nearly pure form he and friends had been snorting from a pile on the living room table. It turned out, too, that he had gotten F’s in three classes and dropped two others in his last semester, leaving him — like most of his teammates — unable to graduate.

At the University of Maryland at College Park and across the country, the scandal exposed the twin corruptions of drugs and academic failure in high-pressure, big-money college sports.

In a nation that had not yet lived through the excesses of the O.J. Simpson trial, had not yet experienced the killings at Columbine High School, his death riveted public attention.

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But behind every story that has some semblance of joy or rationale to it , more often than not there lies a ‘ deep dark secret’ . And in the case of Len Bias , it was the fact that he was a cocaine addict. Unbeknown to some of his teammates, coaches but most of all unknown to his immediate family. Only but a few people knew of Bias’ habit as a ‘coke fiend’. During the eighties, besides marijuana, cocaine ‘was the drug of choice’ . And it was prevalent on college campuses up down the country. But some would have you believe otherwise. If it was there then it could found , you only had to know where to look and the actual suppliers were. It was just as easy as that ! Bias had his close circle of friends and it was with them he’d participate in his new found passtime. Whether , or not his use of the substance affected his game, no one really had a way of knowing. But this much we know when he was on a basketball court that was he was his most comfortable. And it showed in his game and the way that he carried himself on the court as a player and also as a teammate. He had the respect of his coach , Lefty Driesell and that of his teammates. And when that type of adulation tends to happen , you then believe that you’re invincible. And that may well have led to untimely and shocking demise of Len Bias. There are secrets that one can keep and then there are the secrets that in the end have a way of catching up to you. And for Len Bias this would all come crashing down around him in such a way that it would lead to far reaching repercussions on a national level that are still felt to this very day.

The reverence to which Bias is held can be easily comprehended in this Michael Wilbon article for the Washington Post of June 19th 2006 , the twentieth anniversary of Len Bias’ death.

The Story of Bias’ Death Should Always Have Life

They don’t know the story of Len Bias anymore, basketball players 30 years old and younger. Len Bias, to them, is a video clip, maybe a throwback jersey or a locker room story from one of the old guys, maybe an assistant coach who played against Bias back in the day. He’s a concept, something from the ’80s, more a slogan than someone who once pursued the dream they are realizing now, here in the NBA Finals. They have an image in mind but don’t know the details, the hope of draft day or the crushing tragedy of the morning after.

Marquis Daniels of the Dallas Mavericks was 5 years old when Bias died, 20 years ago, of a cocaine overdose. Daniels knows more about Bias than most people his age because Daniels plays professional basketball.

But even Daniels wondered aloud if there is a movie about Bias’s life that he might be confusing with reality.

“When I hear Len Bias’s name,” Daniels said, “I think of a great player who didn’t get a chance to live out his dream. I have one of his throwback jerseys. I’ve seen a couple of clips of him on ESPN Classic. Sometimes people start talking about great talents and somebody will bring up his name. The way he died, we kind of stay away from that.”

Old guys such as Mavericks guard Darrell Armstrong, 38 years old this week, and Miami’s 36-year-old Alonzo Mourning remember exactly what they were doing when they heard Bias had died the morning of June 19, 1986. They wince at the memory of it and wonder if his death taught us anything about drug use, about the flawed notion that youth and strength equal invincibility.

To the young guys such as Miami’s James Posey, who was 9 years old, the Bias tragedy is a basketball story.

“I’ve heard older guys speak of him as being incredible,” Posey said. “The television will be on [ESPN Classic], and they’ll point to him and say, ‘That guy had everything.’ They compare him with [Michael] Jordan and say he could have been a dominant player. We don’t roll our eyes. No. We just take their word for it. I wish I could have seen him play, or maybe see more tape of him in action and try to compare him to what we see now. We can hear the respect they had for him. Nobody talks much how he died. It’s pretty much confined to what he did on the court.”

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Friends and family carry Len Bias' casket out of a college chapel on the day of his funeral.
Friends and family carry Len Bias' casket out of a college chapel on the day of his funeral. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Bill Smith ...................

Byas having evolved into an All American and with the undoubted success of the Terrapins program had within the ACC with it being raised to national prominence. The next stage was for Bias to take his game unto the NBA. He was being openly courted by the Boston Celtics and not only was Auerbach impressed with the player but so too was the Celtics’ Larry Bird. The two had met several times prior to the NBA Draft of the 1986. And Bird had publicly stated that he’d be in camp the moment that Byas stepped unto the Celtics’ practice facility. As Auerbach was heard to say at the time ……’Larry are you OK’ ?

Len Bias  and (left) teammate   Derrick  Lewis of the  Maryland  Terrapins  have  something  to smile  about  during  a  college  basketball   game.      picture  appears   courtesy  of   ap/photo/  Russell  Hodges  ................
Len Bias and (left) teammate Derrick Lewis of the Maryland Terrapins have something to smile about during a college basketball game. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Russell Hodges ................

Fate would set about an unfortunate chain of events not only for Bias but also for the world of collegiate basketball and upon the national stage. The mindset would be changed as to the use of illegal substances and a change in legislation concerning mandatory sentencing for having in your possession substances such as heroin and crack-cocaine. At the time, both substances were primarily being used by predominantly African Americans, in particular young males. Never mind the fact that use of the substances was also on the rise within the ‘White community ‘ at large. But yet many felt that with the nation being in the midst of this rampant epidemic , young black males were being unfairly targeted and incarcerated while others most notably Caucasian defendants were essentially being let off with nothing more than a menial slap on the wrist.

The events leading up to the NBA Draft of 1986 was a momentous and joyous one for the entire Bias family. James and Jolene’s son was about to fulfill his wish of entering and playing in the NBA. And the NBA Commissioner , David Stern was more than happy to welcome a fresh of crop of new faces to the league. Amongst them would be Len Bias , John Salley , Brad Daugherty, Roy Tarpley, Ron Harper , Johnny Dawkins and Chuck Person to name but a few. Brad Daugerty was taken by the Cleveland Cavaliers , number one overall in the draft , with Bias being taken at number two by the Boston Celtics in the first round. The celebrations from thereon in were essentially thereafter, just one big party after another , for the player , family and friends.

Having done the perfunctory interviews for the print and tv media alike , Bias would return home to Landover , Maryland , to be with family and friends to celebrate a new chapter in his life. Having visited with family , he would then meet up with several of his acquaintances and one or two of his teammates on the campus of the university. In the dorm room of Brian Tribble where they and others in their company would share and part-take of a great deal of alcohol and cocaine. Tribble known drug user at the time , stated that they would regularly take cocaine for recreational purposes. What he failed to indicate, was that Bias often abused the substance. Exactly 48 hours after his named had been called as the second overall pick in the 1986 NBA Draft , Len Bias was dead from a lethal cocaine overdose . He would die in the midst of doctors trying to save his life at Leland Memorial Hospital , Riverdale , Maryland. The cause of death was cardiac arrythmia due to the lethal overdose of cocaine. Bias was just twenty two years old at the time of his tragic and untimely death. The reverberation felt through collegiate sports and in NBA would be long lasting. And it became a wake up call for Members of Congress to take a hard and fast stance against proliferate hard drug use.

Joined by her husband James, right, and son Jay, in green shirt, Lonise Bias holds up a jersey presented by Red Auerbach on June 24, 1986.
Joined by her husband James, right, and son Jay, in green shirt, Lonise Bias holds up a jersey presented by Red Auerbach on June 24, 1986. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Bill Smith ...........

As the news spread of Bias’ death , the question everyone was simply asking …..’how could this all have happened ? And how is that so many people were unaware of Bias’ fascination with the use of drugs and in particular and the lethal mix of cocaine and alcohol ‘ ? Answers have yet to be found for the questions raised but at the same time the trend of drug use amongst not just the college athlete but also the professional athletes, still persists to this day. We may not here about it but we do know it’s there and it is still happening. Drug tests and not just education is a key but overall it comes down to the ‘will ‘ of the person who entertains the idea , who thinks that the use of drugs be it for recreational purposes or as a quick form of rehabilitating from an injury is ‘cool’. One way or another it has its dangers and none more so than with the evidence of Len Bias’ death. A life taken from the world , all too soon but still not enough to deter the epidemic that continues to this day. But if you’d have thought that this was the end of the story,well it’s not. Len Bias’ younger brother, Jay Bias was shot to death in a Maryland shopping mall in a needless act of gun violence five years later. Jay, like his brother Len, was a rising star in the world of basketball. Make of this what you will but there’s a lesson to be learned here but it’s not being heeded.

Len and Jay Bias, brothers who died less than five years apart, are literally now resting side by side.
Len and Jay Bias, brothers who died less than five years apart, are literally now resting side by side. picture appears courtesy of espn.com/ Rob Tringali .................

After having read this piece by all means leave a comment as to your thoughts on Len Bias. I look forward to reading them all and responding to them in kind.

Alan Parkins aka tophatal – 🙂

NB: For a biography of Len Bias’ life click here.

Who’s Now Getting More Bang For Their Buck ? Kobe , LeBron Or Nike ?

Well now that the NBA Finals are upon us. It has to be said that the marketing behemoths of Madison Avenue will do their very best to entice us all to divest ourselves of our hard earned cash, as they look to bombard us with their wares. And no one will be more likely to do this throughout the series than Nike Inc.And the one thing that you can’t deny about this particular marketing behemoth is that when it comes to using the tools of their trade. There’s absolutely no one better at it on the planet than they are ! Much like Coke , Pepsi, McDonalds are known globally as a brand that transcends the market place. So to now does Nike and all that it represents. And yes there are those amongst us who view them as exploiters of cheap labor and children.As pertaining to the labor laws . Perhaps even much more asides. But there’s no escaping the fact that as Nike goes . So too does the world of sports apparel and sport’s fashion.

Bill Bowerman and Steve Prefontaine

Bill Bowerman co-founder of Nike Inc seen here with former track star Steve Prefontaine. It was Bowerman, who devised the Swoosh motif that’s readily identified with the sport’s apparel company. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Cale Langer …….

From humble beginnings in Beaverton , Oregon . The company founded by Bill Bowerman and Philip Knight has become a colossus amongst its noted peers. The company still strives for excellence in all of its endeavors. And its tentacles now stretches across the globe in terms of its very presence. And with revenues in excess of $18.6bn for last year alone. It’s quite easy to see why the company is still strongly revered and on the same hand so widely despised. It has to be said that we can either choose to ignore the actions in the market place or we can admire them from afar.

Phil Knight

Phil Knight co founder of Nike Inc along with Bill Bowerman the renowned track coach. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ ……..

As of late they’ve become socially conscious and also making sure that the public is very much aware as to the philanthropic efforts around the globe.

But the genius of Nike has always been their marketing and the quality of the product that they place within the market for the consumer. It also hasn’t hirt them by the fact that they make use of the most visibly high profiled athletes to endorse their wares. And from those halcyon days of the Spike Lee directed Michael Jordan ads . We now come full circle where we now have both Kobe Bryant and LeBron James now endorsing Nike made shoes.

So here’s one or two of the ads just in case you’ve not seen them as of yet. I’m sure that throughout the remainder of the NBA Finals they’ll be bandied about our television screens. And at the same time these particular ads will provide us with a great deal of humor.

And while no doubt that LeBron is sitting at home watching the NBA Finals. No doubt hoping that he were participating in. He can at least be content with the fact that residuals he’ll no doubt earn as the ads are replayed again and again. It’ll go some way in making amends for that exit that he and his teammates had to endure at the hands of the Orlando Magic. As for Kobe, he’s having his day in the sun and he appears to be loving it nonetheless. As if anything else really matters as he pursues a fourth championship ring ?

Continue reading “Who’s Now Getting More Bang For Their Buck ? Kobe , LeBron Or Nike ?”

Common Sense And Phil Knight Have Nothing In Common …………….

For all of his posturing and wealth , it’d appear that a businessman , such as Nike co-founder Phil Knight just doesn’t seem to get it. Here’s a man whose company is one of Tiger Woods’ primary commercial endorsers. Nike pays Woods in excess of $25 million annually, plus his apparel company markets a range of clothing and golf equipment that bears Woods’ name. Over the past decade upon Woods’ entrance on the PGA Tour, theirs is a relationship that seems to have been an amicable and fruitful one , for all of the parties concerned.

Nike  co-founder   , Phil Knight  .    picture  appears  courtessy  of Business  Week /Getty  Images/  Stan   Strouther   .............
Nike co-founder , Phil Knight . picture appears courtessy of Business Week /Getty Images/ Stan Strouther .............

Courtesy of Sporting News

Nike’s Phil Knight tells SBJ: Tiger’s indiscretions just ‘minor blip’

By Tripp Mickle , Sports Business Journal

Nike chairman and co-founder Phil Knight has long been regarded as one of the sports industry’s leading innovators, his influence stretching across the entire sports landscape. He was in New York last week being honored as the National Football Foundation’s 2009 Gold Medal recipient, the organization’s highest award. Before the ceremony, Knight, who wore blue jeans, a sport coat and black tennis shoes, spoke to SportsBusiness Journal staff writer Tripp Mickle at the Waldorf-Astoria.

SBJ: How would you characterize the state of athlete endorsements right now?
Knight: It’s a market like other things and the market like other markets has gone down. When the economy comes back up, they’ll go back up.
SBJ: When?
Knight: You tell me when the economy is going to get better and I’ll tell you right about that same time.
SBJ: You look at someone like Tiger Woods and this episode of infidelity. Does this change the concept of building brands around athletes?
Knight: Not for us. It’s part of the game.
SBJ: Does a company like Nike or another company run a risk in building brands around athletes?
Knight: There’s always a risk. One of the things we always try to do when we have a big endorsement is check out the character and the pattern of the individual. But you’re not going to get it right all the time, and if you’re going to be in the business you have to recognize that.

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Knight, a well respected and an astute businessman, who built his company into a global conglomerate that has revenues in excess of $11 billion a year , annually. Its size and power, dwarfs its nearest competition on the global stage. Albeit , that Nike now tries to portray itself as being socially active and aware. It has come a long way from where its work practices where being viewed and questioned when using child labor to mass produce the Nike product line , in particular the Michael Jordan, sneaker line in the Far East . At the time, they were paying a meager wage, to women and children who were working 12 to 16 hour days, for a mere pittance. For which the product was being sold on the North American consumer market from anywhere between $200- $400 a pair. But that’d be only half of the story concerning the company and its apparent labor malpractice issues.

Woods (right)  and   former  NBA great,  Michael   Jordan   share  some time  on  the  golf  course.   Jordan  prior  to  Woods'  introduction  on  the  PGA  Tour  was  Nike's  main   pitchman   in  terms   of  sales  and   endorsements   for  many  of   Nike's  top  products.   Woods  has  since  eclipsed   Jordan  as  the   company's  main   source  of  product  income   and sales'   pitch  endorsements.         picture  appears   courtesy   ap/photo/   Frank   Hutchinson   ...........................
Woods (right) and former NBA great, Michael Jordan share some time on the golf course. Jordan prior to Woods' introduction on the PGA Tour was Nike's main pitchman in terms of sales and endorsements for many of Nike's top products. Woods has since eclipsed Jordan as the company's main source of product income and sales' pitch endorsements. picture appears courtesy ap/photo/ Frank Hutchinson ...........................

As Nike has steered a path towards business respectability , the company has taken on a tone of social reform and awareness. But if you were to think that those particular changes would as such make the company appear better to the consumer. You’d be entirely right. But at the same time there still remains that somewhat maniacal fervor on Knight’s path, to conquer its competitors by whatever means possible within the tenets of the law.

Nike and Woods are tied at the hips and their symbiotic relationship will continue while Tiger undergoes whatever is necessary to bring his familial environment back on track. As to the possible ‘commercial hit’ that the company will take from the uproar over Woods’ misplaced sexual shenanigans. No one can really quantify what it will be. But they are bound to lead to a drop-off in sales of any Tiger Woods’ based apparel and product. It just stands to reason. There are some things that the public can be forgiving about but when the alleged offender chooses to hide behind a web of deceit and intrigue . Then the public and media alike , will turn their wrath upon that same individual. Deserving or undeserving as the case maybe. It’s not so much that Woods was placed upon a pedestal but he chose it for himself , the very moment he sought to use that public forum for his philanthropic efforts concerning young children. It’s one thing to preach honesty and the benefits of obtaining an education. But it’s another to then lie to not only to the public but also the closest members of your own family, as to your own shortcomings and misdeeds. Tiger literally has learned nothing than the very fact he felt he was above the fray and invincible. The character flaw is now there for all too see and so too is that now ever enlarged chink in his armor.

Phil Knight views Woods’ misdeeds as nothing more than a slight bump in the road. Wherein , he believes that in some respects it’s much ado about nothing. Well , for Knight as he stands nothing to lose from this all emotionally. It clearly shows however , that he’s an individual who thinks nothing of a client of his , being a philanderer , a liar but above all someone who’s a conduit for the very consumers that his company elicits in buying his products. Either , he’s condoning Woods’ actions or he simply just doesn’t get it all ? I certainly think that on the face of it , Phil Knight isn’t a naive individual. But his statement concerning Tiger Woods makes him (Knight) look like a complete ass ! It may well start to hit home once the consumers start to buy less of his client’s product and forsake those products and go elsewhere for their needs.

Common sense , intelligence and clarity pertaining to one being held accountable for one’s actions just doesn’t seem to sit at all well with either Tiger Woods or Phil Knight. And in the case of Phil Knight , it just appears to be that he wanted to make that idiotic sound byte without at all thinking about the ramifications of Woods’ actions.