The Walk of Shame ……

The Walk of Shame …… 06/06/2012 00:14 AM (EST)

tophatal …………

So in their infinite wisdom the Orlando Magic will seek to hire former Los Angeles Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson as a special consultant to the organization , with regard to player personnel decisions . It’s somewhat similar to the role that Jerry West now undertakes with the Golden State Warriors . With the firing of Stan Van Gundy and the jettisoning of Otis Smith _____ the organization’s hierarchy led by COO Alex Martins now has to hire a new coach and general manager , as quickly as possible , in lieu of the upcoming NBA Draft . While this now becomes a matter of urgency for the franchise. Overtures had been made prior to the end of the NBA regular season when Martins had been in contact with the Boston Celtics’ head coach Doc Rivers . As you may well be aware , Rivers served the team in the same capacity from 1999-2000 , before being released by the club. In the years since the coach’s departure , things haven’t been a relished ride that would excite the Magic’s fans . More highs, than lows , over the ensuing decade plus albeit that the organization drafted Dwight Howard but that in of-itself hasn’t been enough to satisfy the most discerning of Magic fans .

=============================================================================================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


========================================================================================================================================

Slide show for your perusal .

I do believe that in the aftermath of a horrendous season and a postseason appearance that simply mirrored the team’s …. mediocrity in more ways than one would care to acknowledge . Stan Van Gundy in essence , lost complete control of this team while he sought to apportion blame elsewhere . If that wasn’t enough his well chronicled flare up with Dwight Howard had pretty much in essence put an end to Van Gundy’s tenure with the Orlando Magic . I don’t believe that Jackson would be interested in a return to the NBA , as it seems something of a major step down for the well-respected coach. He had no intention of returning to New York to join the New York Knicks (joining them as a consultant) even when it was being speculated on and became a matter of conjecture amongst insiders (analysts) and a number of front office executives .

If there is to be a hire by the Orlando Magic, then I believe it will likely come from the club seeking a successor via an assistant with a current team within the league. Granted , they may well go outside this sphere , and gauge the interest of a high profiled college coach . Among the candidates I believe would be viable , the names of Tom Izzo , Rick Pitino and Billy Donovan are likely nominees for the position . Much of this however , will be predicated upon the mindset of Alex Martins and team owner Rich De Vos .

One potential candidate overlooked , is Brian Shaw but the Magic still has within their organization on the coaching staff , Stan Van Gundy’s head assistant Patrick Ewing . The former player yearns to be given the chance to become a head coach within the NBA . Certainly , neither he or Shaw could be any worse than Van Gundy . Or could they ? Chime in with a thought .

There are so many issues facing the Orlando Magic and a great deal of that was of the organization’s own making . It is hard to see how a team with so much ambition failed so miserably but in reality you simply have to look at many of the decisions made by Stan Van Gundy and Otis Smith , jointly , as it relates to many of the personnel decisions made by the duo. Countless millions were spent on talent that simply wasn’t anywhere competitive over the course of the season . And with Dwight Howard now said to be non-committal to his future with the Orlando Magic , it could very well be back to the drawing board should the player seek a trade to a contender. Martins may well grant the player his wish , or they could very well use him as trade-bait during the NBA Draft .

To my mind , Dwight Howard has become an irascible and petulant child , who in essence has shown that for all of his abilities , he has yet to show that he can lead a team ! He certainly hasn’t shown that trait whilst with the Magic , in spite of the belief he is one of the best centers in the NBA , playing today . Statistically , Howard and Andrew Bynum could lay the claim to that mantel but here too , you have another rather immature player in Bynum , who has not showed himself to be a leader . Unfortunately , it is a sign of the times within the NBA where the players are now said to be bigger than the teams that they play for. Again and pointedly, it all comes down to “ monster” created by NBA Commissioner David Stern ! For the commissioner he’s seen fit to make today’s NBA about the marquee players, rather than the teams .
.

The NBA Draft should prove to be interesting and the mockery that just happens to be Draft Lottery with the New Orleans Hornets . The Hornets will have the privilege of taking the number one overall pick in the Draft and in doing they dashed the hopes of the beleaguered Charlotte Bobcats . And for Michael Jordan as the owner of this franchise , it has to be said the fact that they will be unable to acquire the best player available in this draft. The Kentucky Wildcats’ Anthony Davis coming off an NCAA title season as well as the AP College Player of the Year and Wooden Award winner has been described as the best college player to enter the Draft since the Boston Celtics’ great Bill Russell . A game changer and a player whose proven abilities were on display throughout the Wildcats’ season .

I am not so sure that in light of the Bobcats’ miserable 2011 foray (7-59, .112) simply stirred up memories of the 73-74 Philadelphia 76ers (9-73) now infamous season . Jordan alongside front office executives may well be in for an arduous off-season in seeking to rejuvenate his franchise. Since acquiring the basketball franchise for a reputed $375 million from billionaire entrepreneur Robert L Johnson , the franchise has been in a state of disrepair both on and off the field of play. Sparsely attended games at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte , North Carolina has pretty summed up some of the problems that the club has continually faced as a small-market team in the NBA . And clearly it simply hasn’t sank in with NBA Commissioner David Stern and the senior executives of the NBA hierarchy . I don’t believe that there’s much else left to say concerning one of the league’s least supported teams and who also just happens to be amongst the least viable in terms of value , when you also consider their dire economic season . Jordan and the senior executives will be under a great deal of pressure this off-season as the franchise needs to seek a replacement for the departed head coach Paul Silas . The former Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan is said to be the only candidate granted an interview so far , and it appears he will be the favorite to succeed the well-respected Silas.

The NBA Playoffs have now taken on a life of their own , especially as it relates to the conference finals . Nowhere is this now more self-evident than with the Western Conference Finals . Tied at (2-2) two games apiece the San Antonio Spurs now find themselves on the verge of bowing out of this series . In the waning moments of game five they find themselves on the verge of elimination having lost their game 108-103 at home in the AT& T Center , San Antonio, Texas , . . Unbeaten in their last twenty games before facing the Oklahoma City Thunder in this series . Now in their last three games it has been the Thunder on the march while the obstacles for the Spurs are like remnants of quicksand around the ankles of Gregg Popovich’s …… players . This series has spoken volumes as to the competitiveness of both teams , with the Spurs and Thunder giving it their all . The Western Conference Finals reverts back to Oklahoma City for game six on Wednesday night, where the Chesapeake Energy Center will be rocking inside that cavernous venue. The home fans will be looking to celebrate alongside cott Brooks and his team , as they seek that series victory and make their way to their first appearance in the NBA Finals . Kudos to the Thunder and an outstanding series , as they have now proven to be better team when it mattered the most .

Turnovers have been the Achilles’ Heel for the Spurs throughout the course of this series and it hasn’t ….. augured well for Gregg Popovich and his players . The boon here is , that when it is all said and done , one can either state categorically that this series was simply won because one team desired the victory more . Whereas the other sought to simply play , merely because of being there , and in doing so they let complacency set in . The long walk of shame is about to begin . Your thoughts ?

=====================================================================================================================================================

=====================================================================================================================================================

Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the salient points concerning this piece ? Simply leave a comment as you see fit .

😉

Picture and slide show details below .

====================================================================================================================================================

(1) DENVER, CO – APRIL 22: Head coach Stan Van Gundy leads the Orlando Magic against the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center on April 22, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. It was reported on May 21, 2012 that the Orlando Magic fired Head Coach Stan Van Gundy and GM Otis Smith. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images …

(2) Orlando Magic COO Alex Martins is seen here leaving the dais having made the formal announcement that Stan Van Gundy had been fired and that GM Otis Smith was relieved of his role within the organization. A strenuous search is now underway as the Magic now seeks a new head coach and general manager. Martins has reached out to former Los Angeles Lakers’ head coach Phil Jackson to gauge his interest in becoming a special consultant with the Orlando Magic. AP Photo/ Philip Baker …

(3) FILE – In this April 13, 2012, file photo, New Orleans Hornets owner Tom Benson answers questions at a news conference after the NBA Board of Governors meetings in New York. The Hornets won the lottery for the league’s No. 1 draft pick, Wednesday, May 30, in New York. AP Photo/Richard Drew …

(4) Eric Gordon (10) of the New Orleans Hornets is fouled by Mo Williams (25) of the Los Angeles Clippers during the first half at Staples Center on April 22, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images …

(5)Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan speaks during an NBA basketball news conference in Charlotte, N.C. After the worst season in league history, Jordan and the Bobcats are hoping that their 25 percent chance of earning the No. 1 pick in the lottery on Wednesday, May 30, 2012, for next month’s draft pays . AP Photo/ Gary Wilkinson …..

(6) Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan speaks during an NBA basketball news conference in Charlotte, N.C. After the worst season in league history, Jordan and the Bobcats are hoping that their 25 percent chance of earning the No. 1 pick in the lottery on Wednesday, May 30, 2012, for next month’s draft pays off. AP Photo/Chuck Burton … (6) CHARLOTTE, NC – MARCH 13: Michael Jordan of the Charlotte Bobcats and Fred Whitfield answers questions about the team on March 13, 2007 at the Charlotte Bobcats Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images …

(7) Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant watches his shot fall against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half of Game 5 in the NBA basketball Western Conference finals, Monday, June 4, 2012, in San Antonio. The Thunder won 108-103 . AP Photo/Eric Gay …

(8) SAN ANTONIO, TX – JUNE 04 : Nick Collison (4) of the Oklahoma City Thunder dunks the ball against Stephen Jackson (3) of the San Antonio Spurs in Game Five of the Western Conference Finals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on June 4, 2012 in San Antonio, Texas. Photo by Pool/Getty Images …

(9) Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant’s mother, Wanda Pratt embraces head coach Scott Brooks after Game 5 in the NBA basketball Western Conference finals against the San Antonio Spurs, Monday, June 4, 2012, in San Antonio. The Thunder won 108-103. AP Photo/Darren Abate ..

(10) Kevin Durant (35) of the Oklahoma City Thunder celebrates late in the game after hit a free throw against the San Antonio Spurs in Game Five of the Western Conference Finals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on June 4, 2012 in San Antonio, Texas. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images …

(11) SAN ANTONIO, TX – JUNE 04: Head coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs reacts from the bench against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the Western Conference Finals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on June 4, 2012 in San Antonio, Texas. Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images …

=======================================================================================================================================

================================================================================================================================

NBA news

NBA Playoffs 2012

NBA Standings 2011-12 by conference & division

NBA Draft & draft order

Balls , Balls , Balls Are Raining Everywhere And Not A God Damn Ounce of Common Sense Is Currently Being Shown ….

Balls , Balls , Balls Are Raining Everywhere And Not A God Damn Ounce of Common Sense Is Currently Being Shown ….

By tophatal ………. 05/30/2012 ….. 11:37 PM (EST)

So as the NBA postseason slowly winds down to its show case finale and we are now being entertained by the four teams now vying to be the 2011-12 NBA champions . The Eastern Conference Finals pits the Boston Celtics against the Miami Heat . While in the Western Conference we have by far the two best teams left vying for the conference supremacy as well as the changing of the guard. The San Antonio Spurs squares off against the young guns of the Oklahoma City Thunder . Now pardon me for suggesting that a number of patrons are simply in awe with style over substance but it has been clearly the case with some of the absurd favoritism and comments I’ve read concerning the playoff series as they have unfolded .

Somehow fans were in awe of the Miami Heat merely because there were being seen as the preseason favorites for the NBA title .

=========================================================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

=================================================================================================================

Slide show for your perusal .

The Miami Heats’ ” Big Three “ now their heightened duo of Dwyane Wade and LeBron James are now seeking to quell the late career ambitions of Kevin Garnett , Ray Allen and Paul Pierce . While the Celtics’ mercurial point guard Rajon Rondo seeks to further add to his already established postseason legacy . The player for his part has been vocal in his recent comments about the Heat’s celebrated pairing , and the fact that “they needed to be essentially knocked on their ass “ . Wade and James have responded , simply stating that they’ll let their actions speak for itself on the court. That being said , the Miami Heat ___ Erik Spoelstra’s players have been as good to their word having taken a 1-0 lead in their best-of-seven game series in the conference finals’ match-up. Game one proved to be a somewhat lackluster performance from both sides as the Heat simply went about derailing the hopes Doc Rivers’ ….. team .

GM Danny Ainge the general manager and team owner Wyc Grousbeck know that this may well be the last hoorah for their celebrated trio of future Future Hall of Famers . Truth be known , what ails the Celtics isn’t simply about the lackluster performances and their inconsistent play at times by the Boston Celtics ____ but simply that the team’s aging core are now on their last legs . Defensively the Celtics can make this series a low scoring endeavor but if Rondo isn’t at his leveled best , then he and his teammates stand “no real chance “ in this series ! The team’s best defensive player , Avery Bradley has been lost to the Celtics for the entire postseason having fractured his right clavicle . That in of-itself has played a part in what we are now witnessing from the Boston Celtics , albeit that Kevin Garnett has been doing his leveled best to lead this team by example . Paul Pierce for his part a Finals’ MVP has been a mere shadow of the player who led the Celtics over the Los Angeles Lakers to their most recent NBA Finals triumph.

Tonight the Boston Celtics will look to level the series at one game apiece as both teams line up at the American Airlines Arena (AA Arena) in Miami , Florida in what is sure to be a full house , in-front of a national television audience . Pat Riley , the Heat’s team President and a minority stake owner in the organization looks to add to the franchise’s legacy , as they seek their second title in six years . Riley , along with Micky Arison knows that the orchestration to acquire LeBron James and Chris Bosh was a major gamble in which they had sought an immediate return last season . Granted, the team made the postseason but they were upended in the 2010 NBA Finals by the upstart Dallas Mavericks , on their way to that franchise’s first title . Finals’ MVP ….. Dirk Nowitzki had an outstanding series along the way , leading the team scoring throughout the Maverick’s postseason sojourn in 2010. .

Now as good as the Miami Heat appear to be , I truly believe that unless LeBron James and Dwyane Wade combined can give this team at least thirty points apiece , I do not believe that they can outplay and defeat the San Antonio Spurs ! . The Heat’s bench players are nowhere accomplished or polished enough to contribute the offensive productivity required , while negating the offensive prowess of the Spurs . And of the many comments that I have read concerning the Heat and their alleged proficiency , very little has been made of the fact that Gregg Popovich is by far the best coach left in the playoffs . The Spurs coach’s resume` simply speaks for itself while the benign or should I say the misinformed simply salivate over the Miami Heat , as if they are glaring at the center-fold of a Playboy pictorial of several voluptuous females , who just happen to be showing a great deal more than their genitalia . I don’t believe that I could put it anymore succinctly than that !

A great deal was made of the match-up between the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder . The starting duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook while having been exemplary during the playoffs right up until this series , neither have had a real effective answer for the Spurs and the strategies employed by Gregg Popovich . Unbeaten now , in nineteen straight games including the playoffs and I have read suggestions that the team is actually due for playoff loss . If a suggestion is being made that the Spurs can be beaten , then at least give comprehensive reasons why , rather than the inanity of a premise that they are simply due a loss ! That’s like saying the sky will remain blue during the daytime unless it starts to piss down with rain , and the dark clouds now begin to hover . I may well be mistaken but some of the so-called fans within this forum are simply too dumb for their own god-damn good !

Scott Brooks’ team now find itself in a 2-0 hole in their best-of-seven-series . And what many believed would be a highly competitive match-up and an entertaining playoff series . If anything this has been a clinical class in effectively negating the prowess of one team while simply highlighting the prowess of a more accomplished and experienced opponent . In essence , this is how best to now summarize the series between the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs . Tony Parker has shown why he is now the preeminent point guard in the game in spite of the idiocy of Chris Paul being named to the All NBA Team . Paul is an accomplished point guard , who’s said to make those around him better but in all honesty that clearly hasn’t been the case for the player during this postseason and the very fact his team the Los Angeles Clippers had their asses handed to them on a silver platter ., having been swept 4-0 in the second round by the San Antonio Spurs in a clinical and sensational fashion . Paul , Blake Griffin were nowhere to be seen along with the rest of the team , Vinny Del Negros’ and his coaching staff .

The contribution from the Spurs simply comes from the depth of its roster and the very fact that they are the most balanced team ….. left in the playoffs . Simply look at the Spurs’ scoring throughout the their postseason ….. run ? This team doesn’t have to be reliant on two primary scorers to attain a victory , which has clearly been the case for the Boston Celtics , Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder . Scott Brooks has to be reliant upon the contributions of Durant , Westbrook and the team’s Sixth Man of The Year James Harden for the majority of the ball-club’s scoring . And if the bench simply has nothing at all to offer then there’s no way that the Oklahoma City Thunder can even hope to even this series or avoid being swept . My thoughts and opinions only , concerning this premise !

Game three of and the resumption of the series will see the Oklahoma City Thunder hosting the San Antonio Spurs at the cavernous Chesapeake Energy Center , Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (OK) , in what is sure to be a hostile and vociferous home crowd . If they (Thunder) are to take advantage and come back in this series and claw back this 0-2 deficit then it will be incumbent upon the players of the home team to simply go out, carve a lead and simply hang unto it for it for the entire forty eight minutes . It has been clear that over the course of the two games played in this series due to the Thunder’s youthful exuberance but their inexperience , they simply haven’t been able to deal with the very best that the San Antonio Spurs has thrown at them . From my own personal standpoint , I do believe that this series could very well be over and done with , bar the shouting should Popovich’s players come away with a victory on Thursday night ! And even if Oklahoma City Thunder should come away victorious I simply don’t believe that the momentum will carry over into game four on Saturday night . The Spurs are far too professional a team and Gregg Popovich is too consummate a coach to let an advantage slip through their very grasp . And that is the primary reason why I believe that they will prevail in this series make their way to a fifth appearance in the NBA Finals . From there , the San Antonio Spurs can await whomever comes out of the Eastern Conference as their opponent in the NBA’s showcase event and finale .

================================================================================================================

=============================================================================================================

Picture gallery for your perusal .

The NBA postseason has began to live up to expectations but in all honesty things regular season offered the fans a great deal even with the truncated schedule of 66 games and the idiocy shown by NBA Commissioner David Stern stating that injuries haven’t significantly played a part in the performances of the teams and their players over the course of the regular season . Do you feel that the NBA regular and postseason have been of great satisfaction when you bear in mind what we all have observed at this point ? And what expectations if any , do you have for the remainder of the postseason ? By all means do leave a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support of this site as it is greatly appreciated !

😉

Picture and slide show details below .
=================================================================================================================

(1) MIAMI, FL – MAY 30: Udonis Haslem (40) of the Miami Heat passes the ball against Paul Pierce (34) and Kevin Garnett (5) of the Boston Celtics in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 30, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images …

(2) Dwyane Wade(3) and LeBron James (6) of the Miami Heat react against the Boston Celtics in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 30, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

(3) Kevin Garnett (5) of the Boston Celtics stands on the court with his head down against the Miami Heat in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 30, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images …

(4) (Clockwise from bottom L) Paul Pierce (34) and Mickael Pietrus (28) of the Boston Celtics chase down a loose ball against Shane Battier (31) and Dwyane Wade (3) in the second half of Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 30, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images …

(5) Rajon Rondo (9) of the Boston Celtics attempts a shot in the first quarter as he drives and draws contact against Shane Battier (31) of the Miami Heat in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 30, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. The Celtics would go on to lose this match-up 115-111 in an error strewn final three minutes of game two by from the Celtics’ players . Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images .. ***BESTPIX*** ….

(6) Ray Allen (20) of the Boston Celtics looks on in overtime as LeBron James (6) of the Mimi Heat gets set to attempt a free throw in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 30, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images …

(7) Boston Celtics’ Rajon Rondo (9) grimaces during the post-game news conference following Game 2 in their NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals playoffs series against the Miami Heat, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, in Miami. The Heat defeated the Celtics 115-111 in overtime . Rondo led all scorers in scoring a sensational 44 points . AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee ….

(8) San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker (9) , of France, shoots under pressure from Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka (9) , from the Republic of Congo, and Kevin Durant (35) during the second half of Game 2 in their NBA basketball Western Conference finals playoff series, Tuesday, May 29, 2012, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 120-111 . AP Photo/Eric Gay ….

(9)Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks reacts on the bench against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half of Game 2 in their NBA basketball Western Conference Finals playoff series, Tuesday, May 29, 2012, in San Antonio. AP Photo/Darren Abate …

(10) SAN ANTONIO, TX – MAY 29 : (R-L) Head coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs talks to Tim Duncan(21) and Tony Parker (9) on the bench in the third quarter while taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Two of the Western Conference Finals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on May 29, 2012 in San Antonio, Texas. Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images …

===================================================================================================================

😉

http://facebook.com/tophatal

http://twitter.com/tophatal

g+(Google+)

😉

=============================================================================================================================

NBA news

NBA Playoffs 2011-12 & results

Boston Celtics news

Miami Heat news

Oklahoma City Thunder news

San Antonio Spurs news

😉

====================================================================================================================

Bea Flora/

Hot chic pic of the day Bea Flora .

Got milk ? Grab a hold of these then .

🙂

Bea’s gift to the Orlando Magic …… suck on this . Not necessarily deserving but it’s plain to see that the players and coaching staff still need to be suckling on something because of their complete lack of maturity ! No truth however , that Dwight Howard simply loves ‘butt-holes but then again <b his penchant for playing one has manifested itself greatly over the past two months in more ways than one .

It’s Back To The Drawing Board …………

It’s Back To The Drawing Board

By tophatal ……………. 05/21/2012

Not totally unexpected but the NBA …. postseason has seen the firing of its first coaching casualty , with the Orlando Magic having fired Stan Van Gundy this afternoon . GM Otis Smith was also asked to relinquish his duties with the beleaguered general manager and Magic hierarchy agreeing to mutually part ways . COO Alex Martins now has to conduct an exhaustive personnel search for an insighftul general manger and and an astute head coach . Both Van Gundy and Smith over the course of their tenure at best , have simply been completely oblivious as to what is needed to construct a championship caliber team . And it certainly hasn’t helped that Dwight Howard has become a petulant and tiresome ass , who’s biggest attribute is no longer his game but the mere fact that he plays the clown so adroitly ! Nothing says I’m an asshole than an athlete simply being self-absorbed and believing himself to be bigger than the team . The coaches who have held the position with the Magic don’t seem overly impressive when you peruse the list of abject failures in spite of the success of Chuck Daly , Doc Rivers and Brian Hill . I simply get the feeling that the off-season will be a long an arduous one for Alex Martins and his staff , as they seek replacements for Stan Van Gundy and Otis Smith .

================================================================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

===================================================================================================================

Slide show for your perusal .

With the Orlando Magic being unceremoniously dumped in the first round of the playoffs by the Indiana Pacers was enough to suggest that that this Magic organization was completely out its depth . This Orlando Magic team was simply made up of ill-fitting pieces and a coach whose best attribute was to be animated and continue to whine like a stuck pig before it’s placed on a spit grill to be roasted . OK , so Ryan Anderson was said to be the most improved player in the NBA this past season . But really is that asking too much of Anderson , given the fact that before this past year season no one would have known whom he was said to be . And please forgive me when I state that J J Redick , Hedo Turkoglu , Jason Richardson and Jameer Nelson are about as scary an opponent in the NBA as Clay Aiken would prove to be in a room filled with naked , openly gay males . Over course of their season schedule the Orlando Magic were simply hideous . Let’s be succinct here , who the fu_k believed that this team was simply good enough to beat any of the Eastern Conference participants in this season’s playoffs ? Come on , ask yourself the question , were the Magic good enough to ” beat” the Pacers ? We all saw that the players simply gave up , rather than seeking to be competitive .

The relationship between Dwight Howard and Stan Van Gundy had already been seething , with there being growing animus between player and coach . Van Gundy approached the senior executives to question whether or not Howard had approached them to have him fired . Oh Stan, get over yourself , as you’re not that great a coach to begin with ! There’s a reason why your tenures with both the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic were not only clouded in controversy but the abrupt way that you’ve now left both organizations has to speak volumes as to your lack of ability as a head coach . There’s a great deal that has be done within this organization , the hiring of a successor to Van Gundy and the upcoming NBA Draft Also there has to be roster personnel decisions with regard to the potential free agents beyond the team’s All Star center Dwight Howard . The player , had the chance to leave the organization earlier this season at the trade deadline and it would appear that either Smith didn’t believe that the teams said to be interested in acquiring the player , simply were not prepared to meet the asking price of the Magic. The Los Angeles Lakers eschewed the idea of acquiring the player in exchange for either Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol , and the perceived interest from the New Jersey Nets simply went up in smoke the moment that Brook Lopez went down injured .

The potential list of candidates that Alex Martins might seek to interview for the position probably will be not be that great. There simply doesn’t appear to be a viable candidate I believe, that might deemed a suitable successor to Stan Van Gundy ! A retread of someone like Larry Brown , Mike Fratello or P J Carlesimo and the organization might as well call on Brian Hill or Matt Guokas . And if the aforementioned executive should seek to go the collegiate route for that successor , then Alec Martins might seek to hire Billy Donovan , Tom Izzo , or Tom Crean . But I seriously doubt that that Martins has the mendacity or the ambition to gauge the interests of the aforementioned collegiate coaches ! Over the years , I simply wonder what ambition if any there has been within the Orlando Magic organization ! Unfortunately , the misguided fans within the Central Florida area bought into the bullshit that Rich De Vos ever possessed the acumen to make the Magic a real success . He may well have co-founded turned the direct sales product company Amway made it a multi-billion dollar , multi-marketing level behemoth but beyond that he has simply sleep walked as the basketball franchise has simply slipped into deep obscurity . Two appearances in the NBA finals and each time the team fell at the final obstacle in the NBA’s postseason showcase finale . It’s hard to fathom where the Magic now go from here , as I believe that if they choose to rebuild around Dwight Howard there is the likelihood that they will struggle find the prerequisite pieces to complement the Howard’s skill-set. Try as they have , it has already been a complete failure from the moment Dwight Howard was drafted #1 overall in the 2004 NBA Draft . From thereon-in it has been one prat-fall after another with this organization with no semblance of common sense from anyone within the front office to the coaching staff on down . Pretty much damned , and be damned , as it relates to the Orlando Magic .

The ongoing fiasco that happens to be Bud Selig being viewed as the consummate senior executive within baseball’s hierarchy simply knows no boundaries . From his his mishandling of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ financial woes , to that of the New York Mets , the commissioner’s handling of each has left a lot to be desired. And who can forget his and the fu#king asinine rant of one of the commissioner’s subordinates , Rob Manfred questioning arbitration verdict of Shyam Das in overturning Ryan Braun’s 50 game suspension after an alleged banned substance was said to be found within this system ? As we all now know , the testing laboratory facility failed to follow the proper protocols as it related to the gathering and storing of the test specimens of a subject (player) . But somehow rather than rebuking the hired facility these two dumb fu_ks sought to question the arbitrator’s decision after he followed the “rule of law” . And so the saga continues and the lame ass supporters of Bud Selig are still jumping out of the woodwork like termites after an exterminator is within their midst.

Is there a day that day goes by when there’s not some controversy said to be fomenting within baseball ? Within the Tampa Bay area there’s a growing discontent between the Tampa Bay Rays’ ownership group led by managing partner Stuart Sternberg and city of St Petersburg , home to the Rays and their home venue at Tropicana Field , St Petersburg, Florida . Throw in the county government of Pinellas County and their bordered county government neighbor of Hillsborough County , as each seeks to lure or retain the baseball franchise . Sternberg seeks the financial assistance of the city of St Petersburg in the building of a new downtown venue. The city of Tampa and its mayor Bob Buckhorn seeks to lure the baseball club to his city with the financial inducement of a lesser tax burden . But as with any other governmental agency , it will be the residents who in the end will suffer , as the use much of needed resources will be directed elsewhere in order to assist a multi-millionaire sports’ franchise owner . This is the very same bullsh#t that is now transpiring within the city of Sacramento but with their apathetic fan-base trying to suggest that the use of city’s resources in building a new $391 million venue for a basketball franchise , the Sacramento Kings , whose fan-base has been steadily on the decline for the last eight years will be of benefit to the residents as a whole . If that wasn't bad enough the city's Mayor Kevin Johnson seems to be a bumbling ass . His city has an enormous budget deficit but he feels the best way forward to spend funds that they simply haven’t got while furloughing city employees , cutting none-discretionary spending and simply cutting their budget overall . The Sacramento Kings’ ownership group led by Joe and Gavin Maloof have been less than forthright in their dealings with Johnson and his city’s council members . You have the NBA Commissioner David Stern , remaining remarkably moot on the issue but you simply know that this conniving bastard will undoubtedly side with the ownership group of the franchise , if the Maloofs are unable to have their demands met ! I’ll say no more , as I simply don’t want to decry those fans in Sacramento anymore , their idiocy seems to know boundaries !

The Tampa Bay Rays in spite of their recent success have simply languished under the misapprehension that Bud Selig will come riding to the rescue to assist them in their pursuit of a new ballpark . That’s not going to happen anytime soon , as the commissioner has not only rebuffed and rebuked the Rays’ ownership but he has has had the temerity to suggest that the franchise will never play host to an MLB All Star Game until they have a state of the art new venue . Pray Bud , and where will the Tampa Bay Rays get the much needed financing , an approximate $ 575 million to build the proposed new venue come from ? Rays’ GM Andrew Friedman has tried to be very diplomatic concerning this most acute of issues , while not looking to run the wrath of the commissioner’s authority or that of the governmental agencies in question . Over the ensuing months it will be interesting to see how this all pans out .

Now while the two franchises , the > Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers have divergent seasons . It has to be said it is troubling to see the Angels simply flounder from one inept performance to another . If they maintain this type of mediocrity they’ll be hard pressed to finish their season with an above .500 record . The offense has had its problems and their high priced acquisition , Albert Pujols , I’ve no doubt wishes that he were still playing on the senior circuit of the NL ! I’m not saying he’s having issues acclimatizing with his new team but it’s like placing a lamb being led to the slaughter as he tries to acclimatize himself within the AL this season. And other than Jered Weaver’s ….. no hitter for the team this season there has been little to write home about for the Angels this season . Arte Moreno and GM Jerry Dipoto have to be wondering what to make of this team and the coaching staff led by Mike Sciocsia .

While the Angels appear to be fizzling the Los Angels Dodgers are simply on a tear within the NL West . This division could very well be sewn up before we hit the month of August . And at this juncture it’s pretty safe to say that the feats of Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp have pretty much made themselves the early season and prohibitive favorites for the NL MVP.

Confrontations good , bad or indifferent , are never a premise that the game of baseball should operate under. But there’s one now brewing between the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s . Lew Wolff seeks to now relocate the franchise if there is no agreement to build a new ballpark for renowned franchise . With no agreement as to a new venue and the aging O Coliseum (Oakland Alameda County Coliseum) now teetering on the brink of being obsolete . The the A’s are seeking to move to Santa Clara County and to a proposed site on the outskirts of San Jose . But herein lies the issue, as the the Giants state that it encroaches upon their territorial boundary and would create a dilution in terms of the fans and their own drawing power within that territory . Just when you thought there was common sense to be found , up comes the fecal matter to simply emit an odor that’s so rancid that it makes you gag.

Courtesy of the San Francisco Examiner in conjunction with Reuters


Territorial rights for SF Giants, Oakland A’s still up in the air

By Reuters

Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig said Thursday there has been no resolution regarding the Oakland A’s and San Francisco Giants’ territorial rights to San Jose after both parties made presentations to Major League Baseball’s executive council on Wednesday, MLB.com reported.

The A’s would like to build a new ballpark in San Jose and play there, but the Giants have not relinquished their rights to San Jose and Santa Clara County. Those rights have been part of the MLB constitution since 1990.

“This is part of the process we’re going through, but I certainly can’t give you a timetable,” Selig told the media Thursday. “As I’ve said before, it’s a complicated, complex issue. People think it’s taking a long time, but if you look at all the issues, you’d understand it better. … The idea is to get it right and if it takes a little longer, that’s fine.”

When asked whether the A’s would be allowed to consider relocating outside of the Bay Area, Selig said, “You’d have to ask [A’s managing partner] Lew Wolff. That’s really his decision to make.”

Approval from 75 percent of the other 29 owners is required for the A’s to move their franchise out of their territory, whether that be to San Jose or elsewhere.

“[The A’s] have to go through an approval process,” Selig said.

Meanwhile, baseball owners approved a new division series format that could actually favor the underdog. Top division winners will play two games on the road before coming home for all necessary remaining games in the five-game series format. When wild-card teams were first added to Major League Baseball playoffs, the format was 2-3. Next season, the plan is to restore the 2-2-1 series format in the first round.

==============================================================================================

Now the question that may well be asked by the fans , is how can this matter be best resolved to acceptance of the parties involved . Bud Selig has known of the issues that the Oakland A’s have had, as they seek a new venue for the ball-club but rarely has the commissioner spoken publicly on the matter. But somehow he has been front-and-center in aiding the ownership groups of the Miami Marlins , New York Mets and New York Yankees obtaining new baseball stadiums . And those venues have been built at the collective cost of $ 2.855 billion ($2,855,000,000) , all at taxpayers’ expense . New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his Miami counterpart Tomas Regalado have each lauded the commissioner for the assistance and input provided . But somehow the A’s and Rays , now seen as mere paupers within the baseball world are now being left to fend for themselves . I can’t help but wonder if the team owners within the game have such a close fraternal order , then how is it that the likes of Jeffrey Loria , Hank & Hal Steinbrenner and the duo of Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon can seemingly look down on their peers as nondescript miscreants not worth assisting in such an endeavor ! I’ve heard all this bull_hit about there being parity within the game of baseball because there has been not a back-to-back winner of the World Series in over a decade . That means absolutely nothing , where it really counts , and that’s from a economic and financial standpoint . The big market teams within the financial resources at their disposal can simply cakewalk their way to a title , merely by picking up a high priced free agent that meets their prerequisite needs. Not so , for the small market teams around the league ( MLB) but you would be hard pressed to suggest that to many purists and those who claim to have some so-called knowledge of the game from a financial standpoint . I’ve yet to hear anyone explain it succinctly to me , why it is that the game of baseball has such a financial imbalance as it relates to the teams. The New York Yankees think nothing of dropping a $200 million plus payroll on their roster for each of the last five seasons , while the minnows of the game such as the Kansas City Royals , Tampa Bay Rays and Pittsburgh Pirates are left to pick at the dog scraps left in a bowl .

Anyone who believes that Bud Selig cares about all of the baseball teams within the game is simply misguided and hasn’t got any god-damn common sense . The MLB commissioner puts profits above all else , much like his NFL counterpart Roger Goodell , who himself , is currently under siege for his apparent lack of inaction thereof , in dealing with the now ” lingering stench ” of the New Orleans Saints’ scandal with a modicum of real transparency . . There’s a reason why Goodell has no comprehension of jurisprudence (law) , and how to apply it with veracity and judiciously . And even with the in-house legal counsel being provided the NFL commissioner still comes up looking like a complete ass ! .

============================================================================================================================


===================================================================================================================

Picture gallery for your perusal .

Are you at all surprised by the dismissal of Stan Van Gundy as the coach of the Orlando Magic ? And what of the now growing feeling that the Los Angeles Angels now have some major issues to deal with concerning their lackluster performances this season ? That asides what needs to be done concerning the concerns or the Giants and their issues with the possible move of the A’s ? Chime in on this and anything else you believe pertinent on the subject matter. Thanks as always for the continued support of this site as it is greatly appreciated ! .

😉

http://facebook.com/tophatal

g+ (Google +)

http://twitter.com/tophatal

😉

Picture and slide show details below for your perusal .

=====================================================================================================================

(1) DENVER, CO – APRIL 22 : Head coach Stan Van Gundy leads the Orlando Magic against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on April 22, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. It was reported on May 21, 2012 that the Orlando Magic fired Head Coach Stan Van Gundy and GM Otis Smith. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images …

(2) ORLANDO, FL – DECEMBER 18 : Orlando Magic General Manager Otis Smith speaks to the media regarding the acquisition of Gilbert Arenas from the Washington Wizards, Jason Richardson , Hedo Turkoglu, and Earl Clark from the Phoenix Suns at Amway Arena on December 18, 2010 in Orlando, Florida. It was reported on May 21, 2012 that the Orlando Magic fired Head Coach Stan Van Gundy and GM Otis Smith. Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images ….

(3) Dumber and dumber . MAITLAND, FL – SEPTEMBER 29: Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy and general manager Otis Smith pose for a portrait during NBA Media Day on September 29, 2008 at the RDV Sportsplex in Maitland, Florida. Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images …

(4) Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins , left, smiles as Dwight Howard answers questions during a news conference,Thursday, March 15, 2012, in Orlando, Fla. Howard signed papers Thursday agreeing to waive the early termination option in his contract, guaranteeing he will be with the Magic at the beginning of the 2012-13 season. That situation now seems a little more uncertain with the recent upheavals within the organization and the player’s own immediate future . AP Photo/John Raoux ….

(5) Rob Manfred (left) and Bud Selig are seen here being interviewed by the press prior to the MLB All Star Game in 2011 . Both senior executives were unhappy with the ruling rendered by Shyam Das during the arbitrator’s presiding over the Ryan Braun mediation case . Das sided with the player after it was shown that the testing facility hired by the league failed to follow the proper protocols in its chain of custody in handling Braun’s test samples . AP / Ian Shaw …….

(6) Oakland Athletics’ owner Lewis Wolff , right, talks with vice president and general manager Billy Beane during the A’s spring training baseball workout in Phoenix, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2007. Beane, the architect behind Oakland’s four division titles since 2000, was rewarded with a seven-year contract extension Wednesday, June 13, 2007. The duo are said to be unhappy with the prolonged efforts of the MLB hierarchy in seeking the owners’ approval and a vote in setting about the chain-of-events that would see the organization move from their present site to a proposed new venue in San Jose (Santa Clara County) California . At the heart of this all , is a brewing territorial dispute between the A’s and San Francisco Giants . AP Photo/Eric Risberg …..

(7) Bochy , Sabean , Cain , Baer of the San Francisco Giants . From left to right San Francisco Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy , GM Brian Sabean , pitcher , Matt Cain and the team’s managing general partner & CEO Laurence Bear . Baer has stated that the Giants have no wish to relinquish their territorial rights which came by way of an agreement that has been in existence since 1990. It is becoming abundantly clear that this matter may well end up being a protracted legal argument , unless the two sides and the MLB hierarchy can reach some sort of a compromise amenable to all of the parties concerned . AP Photo / Chris Chadwick ….. …..

====================================================================================================================

😉

===========================================================================================================================

NBA news

NBA results 21st May 2012

——————–

MLB news

MLB standings

MLB results 21st May 2012

MLB schedule 22nd May 2012

MLB probable starting pitchers 22nd May 2012

Put A Choke Hold On That Bitch !

Put A Choke Hold On That Bitch !

By tophatal …………. 05/18/2012 00:32 AM

Now it goes without saying a great has been expecting of the Miami Heat this season , with the team surrounding itself three superstars , namely Chris Bosh , LeBron James and Dwyane Wade . This was the monster created by Heat front office executive …. Pat Riley and team owner Micky Arison . . With the team having handily dealt with their first round opponents the New York Knicks with the skilled precision of a surgeon . It was felt that the Heat would find the postseason something of a cakewalk on their way to second NBA title in the last seven years. Not so fast as the Miami Heat are performing like a virgin about to get “her cherry popped” for the very first time in their series against the Indiana Pacers . Is that blood I see ? Whose blood ? Oh , it’s the Heat’s …… LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

===========================================================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

==========================================================================================================

Slide show for your perusal .

The Miami Heat’s second round opponents are the third seeded ….. Indiana Pacers who pulled off something of akin to a walkover in beating the shit out of the Orlando Magic in their first round match-up . The Magic were absolutely horrendous and even with the loss of Dwight Howard , there was simply no reason for the team to literally fold their tents and make a quick exit home ! It was a gutless performance from the team and coaching staff alike ! Put a choke on that bitch ! Stan Van Gundy has repeatedly said he’s not worried about losing his job . Who’s he kidding ? He’s a lying sack of fecal matter ! Put a choke hold on that bitch , as well as Van Gundy !

Well Thursday night as the Indiana Pacers played hosts to the Miami Heat at the packed Conseco Field-house in Indiana , Indianapolis . It has to be said this is perhaps the biggest night in the franchise’s history in almost a decade . The game itself , was not set in stone as the odds-makers in Vegas believed and in large part the vast majority who have jumped on the Miami Heat bandwagon thinking that this would be another wide margin of victory for the Heat. Well someone forgot hand the script to Frank Vogel and his players . . With the series now tied at 1-1 this match-up was set as the coming out party for the Miami Heat . Danny Granger , Roy Hibbert and David West would have none of it , as they put a ” choke hold ” on this bitch by simply outplaying the Miami Heat throughout the greater part of this game . And in doing so they came away with a heartwarming victory leaving the Heat’s postseason hopes now up in smoke . I do not envisage that this was the way LeBron James and his teammates would now envisage their postseason foray playing out for the public to witness . And while there are quite possibly still four games to play in this Eastern Conference semifinals series , the Heat can ill afford to now go down 3-1 in this series with game four due to be played on Sunday .

Down 2-1 and having lost Chris Bosh for this series and quite possibly for the rest of the NBA postseason . It has to be said that Erik Spoelstra now has to prove himself an able bodied coach . With the apparent talent that’s said to be at his disposal , the Heat players this postseason have if anything , greatly underachieved , leaving their fans perplexed and in large part , utterly dismayed . LeBron James may well have won the league’s regular season MVP. But he has yet to show that he has the the capacity to close out a game for the Miami Heat with any great authority . A prolific scorer during the regular and postseason , one seriously doubts that this is how James wants his legacy to be defined . That being said beyond LeBron James and Dwyane Wade , tonight , during this game , there was very ,little offense really provided by the Miami Heat , other than the contributions of Mario Chalmers .

The Miami Heat I’ve been told has a stifling defense , well, where was it during this game ? The Heat’s defense was nowhere near great , or as great as has been advertized , no matter what the likes of NBA analysts Hubie Brown , Tim Legler and Kenny Smith would have us believe . Well , if you choose to drink from the porcelain pot that the Heat players tend to piss in , then at times, the urine or quite possibly the fecal matter that emanates does tend to really stink up the joint ! . Put a choke hold on that bitch ! Oh sorry , I have already said that ! Why can’t the Miami Heat play like a championship caliber team , rather than continuing to tease and essentially become damn wannabe’s ? ” Put a choke hold on that bitch” . Something the Heat are clearly unable to do at present ! A loss in this series would prove to be a tremendous embarrassment for the Miami Heat organization and would be seen as of one the biggest upsets in NBA postseason history without a doubt . It would also prove to be a cautionary tale as to what not to do in building a team made of ill-fitting pieces that seemingly isn’t of one mind .

And-1 Basketball is all well and good during the regular season but it just doesn’t fly in the postseason . All of the “high praise ” for the combination of Blake Griffin and Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers while on the face of it might seem valid . But at the end of the day this team is simply being outplayed and out-coached by a much better coordinated opponent . It would appear that the vast majority of NBA fans are simply of the opinion that style over substance is all that matters in the postseason . And that is exactly what you get with the Los Angeles Clippers , whose coach Vinny Del Negro is showing his inexperience as an NBA coach in the postseason arena , where legends are made . In reality , one earns that mantel/reputation rather than merely having it affixed prematurely . Note to LeBron James , ” before one” becomes ” a King ” ……… you actually need a kingdom , serfs to rule over and not a bunch of ass kissing idiots , fawning over your every move .

The Clippers are already down 1-0 in this series against the San Antonio Spurs , who alongside the Oklahoma City Thunder , are the two best teams in this NBA postseason . Any doubts about that and one simply has to look at the postseason results so far and the statistics that really matter . Game two in this best-of-seven series , once again proveed to be a lopsided victory , with the Spurs upending the Clippers with the clinical precision of a surgeon at work . And anyone of the belief that the Los Angeles Clippers is still in with a remote chance of evening this series had really better rethink that premise altogether . . Tony Parker and Rajon Rondo are proving to be the two best point guards not only within the NBA this season but also the postseason . Any doubts about their value to their respective teams is undeniable . and proof why they are held in such high esteem ?

If the Los Angeles Clippers are to make this series a competitive one , rather than it seemingly coming to an inevitable end . Then most certainly there has to be much better play coming from Chris Paul , Blake Griffin , Kenyon Martin and the rest of this team . It has yet to happen , and it would now appear unlikely to happen as this semi final match-up proceeds to its finality . Vinny Del Negro’s players have no apparent answer for Manu Ginobli , Parker , Tim Duncan , Danny Green , Kawhi Leonard , Stephen Jackson and the rest of this Spurs’ team . Those who have overlooked San Antonio Spurs unit in favor f the high flying Miami Heat , have simply chosen to do so , merely because of a ” flashy approach “ , rather than actual substance .

While I am not yet suggest that the series between the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat already has a sense of finality to it . One has to admit , that no one could have foreseen situation where Frank Vogel’s team leads the series 2-1 , having only to win two of the next four games in order to make the conference finals. Let that sink for one moment , and then wonder what the thought process must be amongst the fans of the Miami Heat and within the front office of the organization ? For the Los Angeles Clippers there’s a sense that this team is simply one or two players away from being a legitimate contender for an NBA title . Good , but simply not good enough ! .

====================================================================================================================

===========================================================================================================

Picture gallery for your perusal .

Of the highlights this NBA postseason what if anything has been the biggest surprise to you ? And which team or team has proven to be the biggest disappointment overall ? The same question also applies to a player as well in your estimation in terms of their play , good , bad or indifferent ? Simply chime in with an answer as and when you see fit .

🙂

http://facebook.com/tophatal

http://twitter.com/tophatal

g+ (Google+)

😉

NBA posts within this site

🙂

Picture gallery and slide show details .
============================================================================================================

(1) INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MAY 17: Dwyane Wade (3) of the Miami Heat walks up the court after missing a shot against the Indiana Pacers in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on May 17, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Pacers defeated the Heat 94-75 . Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images …

(2) David West (21) of the Indiana Pacers shoots between Ronny Turiaf (21) and LeBron James (6) of the Miami Heat in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life /Conseco Fieldhouse on May 17, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Pacers defeated the Heat 94-75 . Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images ….

(3) LeBron James (6 )of the Miami Heat looks up at the scoreboard as the Heat take on the Indiana Pacers in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on May 17, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Pacers defeated the Heat 94-75. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images ….

(4) Darren Collison (2) of the Indiana Pacers drives past Mario Chalmers (15) of the Miami Heat in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on May 17, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Pacers defeated the Heat 94-75 . Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images …

(5) INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MAY 17: LeBron James (6) of the Miami Heat drives between George Hill (3) and Paul George (24) of the Indiana Pacers in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on May 17, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images ….

>

(6) INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MAY 17: Larry Bird , President of Basketball Operations for the Indiana Pacers, is given the NBA Executive of the Year Award by Stu Jackson before the Pacers take on ther Miami Heat in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on May 17, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images …

(7) SAN ANTONIO, TX – MAY 17 : (L-R) Tony Parker (9) , Daniel Green (4) and Tim Duncan (21) of the San Antonio Spurs celebrate during play against the Los Angeles Clippers in Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on May 17, 2012 in San Antonio, Texas. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images …..

(8) SAN ANTONIO, TX – MAY 17: Boris Diaw (33) of the San Antonio Spurs takes a shot against the Los Angeles Clippers in Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on May 17, 2012 in San Antonio, Texas. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

(9) Los Angeles Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro , center, with Chris Paul , left, argues a call after Blake Griffin (32) was called for a flagrant foul against San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker during the fourth quarter of Game 2 of an NBA basketball Western Conference semifinal playoff series, Thursday, May 17, 2012, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 105-88 . AP Photo/Eric Gay …..

===============================================================================================================

😉

====================================================================================================================

NBA news

NBA statistics individual and team statistics

==========================================================================================================

See it , the NBA season , for what it is, a watered down product ! Brand name “Blue Magic ” _____ a brand name just like the NBA . It’s (NBA) been chopped down and up ! . See this “clip ” from the movie ” American Gansgster ” .

Some Things Are Best Left Unsaid …………. But F#k It I’m Going To Say It !

Some Things Are Best Left Unsaid …………. But F#k It I’m Going To Say It !

Ah the latest tidbit in the sports world that seems to be norm at present PGA Tour professional Tiger Woods made the formal announcement that he will not be playing in the US Open at Congressional Country Club , Bethseda , Maryland . And once again the bell seem to be tolling as most prognosticate whether or not Woods’ reign at the top is about to implode . The player is now ranked outside the top ten (ranked 15th in the latest rankings) of the World Rankings for the first time in over a decade . From my own standpoint the player apart from recurring injuries, Woods is now gunshy and is completely lacking in confidence . Now sliding down the rankings faster than a cheetah at full speed , it is becoming abundantly clear that we’re now seeing a player whose determination to win is still there but the physical attributes that made him a once dominant player no longer remains . His peers on the PGA Tour no longer seem to be intimidated by their once great nemesis . And this being the national championship I’m not sure that the second major of the season will be won by a US born player , it could well be won by a foreign player and therein lies the situation with regard to the PGA Tour. US talent is now merely about the players here winning the mundane events on the PGA Tour rather than the Majors (The Masters, US Open , British Open and PGA Championship) .

=================================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

=================================================================================

Slide show for your perusal .

I have got to admit I will be pleasantly surprised if the winner of the US Open is an American because simply put the inconsistency of Phil Mickelson , Hunter Mahan , Steve Stricker simply doesn’t cut it amongst the real fans of the PGA Tour . It is Woods who drives the meters and the gossip on the Tour while lesser lights are simply the topic of the moment .

Can someone remind me why it is that I simply ought to be interested in the career of Floyd Mayweather as a boxer ? Undoubtedly talented , Mayweather is now more widely known more for his outside the ring run ins with the law , rather than for anything that he has achieved within the ring . A multiple weight divisional champion , the fighter now hopes to challenge Victor Ortiz for his WBC welterweight title this September (venue yet to be arranged) , as Maywether will be making a return to the ring for the first time in almost 18 months since he last fought and defeated Shane Mosley in a bout that was about as entertaining as the viewing of a head on collision between two high speed locomotives.

Ortiz , twelve years Mayweather’s junior knows that this will be a step up in class and at the same time he knows that should he pull off the impossible and defeat the former titlist , then the world becomes his oyster with limitless opportunies to establish himself amongst the top fighters in the world . The sport of boxing has become mundane and the mere fact that the desired fight between Manny Pacquiao no longer seems to be a priority amongst either fighter or the respective promoters. All the talk and hype in the world won’t change the fact that the proposed bout was never on the cards to begin with . They say money talks bullshit walks , well walk it did , as there was such a stench created by Bob Arum , Mayweather’s own camp and co promoter Oscar de La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions Inc.

When this bout actually takes place between Floyd Mayweather and Ortiz there may well be some passing interest there but I for one simply don’t believe that Mayweather is the draw that he once was ! His own failings as a father , a man and as an example to his children leaves a lot to be desired . And with the allegations of spousal abuse , verbal abuse of his children and the threatening of a witness with physical violence simply indicates that from a mental standpoint Mayweather’s faculties might not be all there . If Floyd Mayweather were to step away from boxing today he may well be sorely missed but from my own perspective the sooner he walks away the better off the sport will be !

Well the MLB Draft for 2011 (held in Seacaucus New Jersey) this past Monday , and before we knew it , it was over. Truth be known, it was something of a non-event given the fact that the highlights weren’t shown on either network television or on ABC/ESPN , Fox Sports or for that matter TBS . Instead the whole event was televised live by the MLB Network . There’s a reason why the MLB hierarchy cooperates with their broadcast partners but somehow this wasn’t a time they felt it necessary . Now don’t get me wrong but a from business standpoint I’m not so sure that the league itself much less its teams are on a sure footing financially. The ongoing saga with the Los Angeles Dodgers has become cannon fodder for the sports pages across the nation . And less we forget, the woefully inept the New York Mets in spite of the $200 million investment in the organization by hedge fund manager David Einhorn has me believing that the league has to intervene sooner rather than later.

The Pittsburgh Pirates were the beneficiaries of having the number one overall pick with the organization taking the UCLA Bruins’ Gerrit Cole as their choice. One can understand the reason why the MLB Draft plays second fiddle to the NBA , NFL in terms of their respective drafts and the mere fact of the visibility raised when the events are televised . Granted , there’s more of an interest in the NFL’s Draft and the mere fact that the draft geeks are front and center in assessing the merits of the decisions made by the respective general managers around the league. Inasmuch , as Bud Selig would like to sell us on the merits of the event I don’t really believe that the commissioner himself believes that other than the consumed fan who’s so into the draft there is a heightened interest in the decisions being made.

Well the madness has to stop , it is now or never but fu#k it , sanity has to enter the domain at this juncture. In the sports world where it’s about the immediacy of the here and now , in terms of what have you done for me lately ? In the NBA it appears that the vast majority of fans were already prepared to anoint the Miami Heat as the 2011 NBA champions. Having seen the San Antonio Spurs bow out in the first round of the postseason and as a fan that result was a profound disappointment to me ! The Dallas Mavericks simply made their way through the playoffs with consummate ease and then in the Western Conference Finals they simply manhandled the Los Angeles Lakers , the two time defending NBA champions .

The Finals’ match-up that many had been had desired didn’t materialize as we now have the workman like Mavericks teeing up against the star laden Miami Heat led by LeBron James , Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade . With the series now tied at two games apiece and the knives are out after a diabolical display on Tuesday night by James __ eight points though from a defensive standpoint the player stood his ground but offensively he was more of a detriment to his team . The knives will be out and directly aimed LeBron James. And this being the player who actually anointed himself ‘King James’ and then simply ran with it ? The two time league MVP had one of those games where nothing seem to have gone right but at the same time he rode into town announcing that this team would be good enough to win multiple titles __verbatim “not one , not two but three , four , five and why not six titles ” ? Hey LeBron let’s not get completely ahead of ourselves, you’ve already become an ingrate and are about as welcomed in the Cleveland area multiple doses of the ebola virus . Now you’re bringing your undoubted talents to South Beach but an ego that is large as the Grand Canyon will not make you all the more likeable at this juncture. I just hope for your sake at this moment in time should this team fail …….. you don’t choose to apportion blame elsewhere ?

The three point loss (83-86) told me a great deal about the Miami Heat and in particular about the ‘ Big Three’ on this team ! When placed under a great deal of adversity they are inclined to wilt under pressure and nowhere was this more self evident than last night . James was guilty of failing to deliver the goods and now the excuses will be made as to the reasons why and whether or not LeBron bears a great deal of that blame . While the protagonists out there were trying to make a case that James is now ready to wear the crown worn by Michael Jordan as the best player in the NBA . Here is simply another reason why those very same protagonists should simply shut the hell up and let history take its course , rather thrust upon LeBron James something that he has yet to deserve. It does a great disservice not only to the game but also to its image and Jordan’s legacy.

Lebron James may well yet become a truly great player and have a long and successful career in the league but as of now he’s yet to lead a team to a title and when last I looked , a runner up finish simply meant nothing to even the most ardent of fans !

On the flip side of the script Dirk Nowitzki simply showed why without him the Dallas Mavericks would simply be viewed as an also ran within the league . Now as they look to claim their first NBA title it will be interesting to see whether or not his teammates finally are beginning to believe that they are indeed capable of defeating the Miami Heat . It’s all well and good Jason Terry emblazoning a tattoo on his right bicep as an omen . But given the fact that Terry’s own displays during this series and the playoffs overall have been intermittent I’d say it’s time for him to get with the damn program !

There’s a great deal at stake for both teams in particular for the Miami Heat and their financial viability. Repeated losses over the last few years can’t hide the desperation of team President Pat Riley and Heat owner Micky Arison . The acquisition of Bosh and James wasn’t about merely a last ditch attempt to retain Dwyane Wade but also to shore up the financial coffers of the Miami Heat. Had they not been able to lure the two All Stars then in all likelihood Wade would have been playing elsewhere this season and with that the growing losses of the organization would be like a dead weight around the neck of the organization . Riley knows that a compelling series victory will bode well for the future of the Miami Heat and from a financial standpoint it would be greatly beneficial. As of now this series is far from over and the worrisome situation is that for LeBron James, his struggles continue in an NBA Final. Swept aside by the San Antonio Spurs in 2007 in the Finals of that year when James was a player for the Cleveland Cavaliers . That sole appearance until this year has been something of a nightmare for the player that many have stated has become the new “King of the NBA “ . Doesn’t a King wear a crown and just to add mere substance to those claims shouldn’t he have at least won something that actually resonates with the fans as a whole ? Style over substance means fu#k all but there are those who actually believe otherwise . How naive !

Game five is scheduled for tonight hosted by the Dallas Mavericks in what will be no doubt a sold-out American Airlines Center in Dallas , Texas . Vociferous Mavericks’ fans are sure to get behind Rick Carlisle and his team , with those very same fans being of the belief if they can eke out a victory then they are but a win away from winning their first NBA title . Can you imagine what the fallout may well be should the Miami Heat fail to win what many believe had been preordained ? I for one believe nothing is merely given to you without you actually deserving it ! And nothing that the Miami Heat has achieved so far would suggest that they deserving of winning the NBA title , merely because they are now in the Finals . It has been this sort of complacency that has been clearly visible with many of the players on this Hear roster , including James , himself .

Should Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks triumph this may well be right way for him to bow out of the game with his legacy firmly entrenched within the annals of the game and perhaps the best European player to have played in the NBA ?

=========================================================================================================

========================================================================================================

Picture gallery for your perusal .

Simply chime in with a comment on the topics raised within this piece as you see fit and as always thanks for the continued support as it is gratefully appreciated !

Alan aka tophatal ……………………………..

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .

————————————————————————————————————————————-

(1) This December 3, 2010 file photo shows Tiger Woods of USA as he puts his hat back on as he walks off the 18th green after finishing the second round, at the 2010 Chevron World Challenge at the Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, California. Woods, a 14-time major champion chasing the all-time record of 18 won by Jack Nicklaus, said June 7, 2011 that he will not play in next week’s US Open golf tournament. Left knee and tendon pain has bothered Woods for the past month. “Not playing in US Open. Very disappointed. Short-term frustration for long-term gain,” Woods posted on his Twitter microblogging website. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK /GETTY IMAGES ……

(2) In this June 25, 2008 photo, golfer Michael Whitehead, who is currently a senior at Rice, poses for a photograph in Houston. Whitehead, who was first alternate from the Dallas qualifier, will replace Tiger Woods in the U.S. Open after Woods withdrew due to lingering issues with his left leg. AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Karen Warren ….

(3) PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL – MAY 12: Tiger Woods addresses the media after withdrawing on the ninth hole during the first round of THE PLAYERS Championship held at THE PLAYERS Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass on May 12, 2011 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Woods announced June 7, 2011 that he will not play in the U.S. Open because of an injury to his left leg. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images …..

(4) Phil Mickelson hits his tee shot on the par 4 10th hole during the third round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance at Muirfield Village Golf Club on June 4, 2011 in Dublin, Ohio. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

(5) FILE – In this April 30, 2010 file photo, Floyd Mayweather Jr. steps on the scale at a weigh-in ceremony before a WBA welterweight boxing title fight against Shane Mosley in Las Vegas. Mayweather, the undefeated six-time world champion, says on his Twitter feed Tuesday, June 7, 2011, he will end a 16-month hiatus from boxing when he faces WBC welterweight champion Victor Ortiz on September 17. AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File ……

(6) Victor Ortiz (left) the challenger makes sure that Andre Berto’s (left) defense of his WBC welterweight title will be a brief one . Ortiz would defeat the former title holder in a unanimous decision in the bout held at the Foxwoods Resort , Mashantucket ,Connecticut ,. Getty Images / Chris Borbon ……

(7) Miami Heat managing general partner Micky Arison, right, talks to president Pat Riley during a basketball practice for the NBA finals, Wednesday, June 8, 2011, in Dallas. The Heat will face the Dallas Mavericks in Game 5 of the best-of-seven series that is tied 2-2, Thursday, June 9, 2011. Do they now have something to be extremely worried about ? AP Photo/David J. Phillip ………

(8) DALLAS, TX – JUNE 08: LeBron James of the Miami Heat attends NBA Finals Media Availability on June 8, 2011 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images ………

(9) Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle applauds while Dirk Nowitzki (L) walks off the court during game 4 of the NBA Finals on June 7, 2011 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat 86-83. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK /GETTY IMAGES …………

(10) LeBron James (C) of the Miami Heat is guarded by Jason Kidd (L) and Tyson Chandler of the Dallas Mavericks during game 4 of the NBA Finals on June 7, 2011 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat 86-83. AFP PHOTO / Robyn BECK / GETTY IMAGES ……..
——————————————————————————————————————————————————–

PGA Tour

PGA Tour news

FEDEX Cup Standings

Boxing

Boxing news

MLB News

MLB Standings

MLB Wildcard Standings 8th June

MLB Schedule 3 days at a glance

MLB Results

MLB Results & scores 8th June

MLB Probable starting pitchers 9th June 2011

MLB Draft

MLB Draft order 2011

NBA News

NBA Finals

Dallas Mavericks news

Dallas Mavericks team stats

Miami Heat news

Miami Heat team stats

The More You Know ……….. In Reality It’s The Less You Know

The More You Know ……….. In Reality It’s The Less You Know

As the NFL lockout looks as if it’s running its prolonged course I find it all the laughable when I hear fans stipulate that there’s nothing that’ll be lost for some of the teams from a financial and economic standpoint. Well as things now progress we’re now learning that a number of teams are gravely struggling to even sell preseason game tickets much less season tickets for the upcoming season . Amongst the teams looking to stave off the problems now besetting them are the Oakland Raiders . In light of the fact that during the 2010 season the Raiders in terms of their attendance for their home games were amongst the lowest in the NFL . Team owner Al Davis as an added incentive to his staff at all levels within the organization has requested that they each try sell no less than 10% of their salary in terms of ticket sales . This is something that he’s not only asking of the sales staff but all employees within the Raiders’ organization. If the front office is on board in terms of this then it can only benefit the Raiders’ organization as a whole .

===============================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

===============================================================================

Slide show for your perusal .

There’s a feeling that as the lockout shows no signs of an accord being met between the parties concerned in terms of the damage done to the NFL’s image is now beyond irreparable . NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell along with the team owners now find themselves trying to how best spin this situation wherein in order the premise of the situation is in their favor.
The fans however don’t actually see it that way and if anything they do feel alienated by this whole situation. The NFLPA for its part along with its members are looking to challenge the NFL’s antitrust exemption status within the Federal Court System . Signees to this civil suit are some of the most prominent players in the NFL , each are Superbowl winning quarterbacks Tom Brady , Drew Brees and Peyton Manning . The trial itself is still ongoing and it looks as if it will be a while before the judge renders a verdict in this particular case.

We all can look back on the fact that the 2010 season was quite an enthralling one with the Superbowl itself turning out to be quite an exciting spectacle with the Geen Bay Packers finally hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in their defeat of the Pittsburgh Steelers . Superbowl MVP Aaron Rodgers stood tall in the saddle and has pretty much eradicated the memory of Brett Favre amongst the Packers’ fans at Lambeau Field . And given Favre’s antics in the past few years with the New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings I feel that it’s a great thing that the player has since walked away from the game under his own steam !

In light of Favre’s retirement I must say that in the latter years of his storied career I found the player to be self serving and an ingrate ! If nothing else I have to admit the longer Brett Favre stayed in the game thinking that he could in fact bring a championship to any franchise willing to meet his asking price like a mercenary for hire simply showed what a narcissistic asshole …… Brett Favre had become ! What might be even more comical was the mere fact that the idiot analysts covering the game within ESPN and Fox Sports clung unto Favre’s every word as if he were a deity rendering his thoughts on the NFL and his own aspirations. Statistics asides it’s almost certain that Favre will become a first ballot Hall of Famer having met the criteria for his induction .

I’m not so sure that the Western Conference Finals of the NBA postseason is all that enticing . Granted , we have two offensively minded teams in the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder . Defense seems to have gone out the window as both teams are intent in merely showing us their offensive prowess . In this series we also have two of the most prominent scorers in the game with Kevin Durant and Dirk Nowitzki .

With the series tied at 1-1 , game three’s resumption of this series in Oklahoma City with the Mavericks looking to take the upper hand in the series by taking a 2-1 lead in this best of seven playoff match-up. For Scott Brooks as the coach of the Thunder can ill afford to go down to 2-1 at home in this series knowing full well that they will have dug themselves int a hole. Brooks will have to emphasize to his players that they need to step up their game and be fully aware as to the dangers that this series brings if they continue to remain complacent. Durant in conjunction with Russell Westbrook will have to be weary of what their contributions must be throughout this series . Anything short of their regular season performances and this series will end up being beyond the Thunder’s retrieval .

Mavericks’ coach Rick Carlisle has in large part instilled a workman like commitment from his players in doing what’s best for the team from a collective standpoint and we’ve seen that in the contributions from a number of players on this roster . Asides from Nowitzki we’ve seen aging veterans Jason Kidd , Jason Terry show their guile . But if anything it has been the play of the bench players such as J J Barea , Tyson Chandler , Shawn Marion and Brendan Haywood that have played their part in the Mavericks’ success this season and in the playoffs. Now that the success is now being replicated in this series it augurs well for the Mavericks and their ambition to win their first NBA title .

Mark Cuban as owner of this franchise has long sought to bring success to the organization. Now it may well be finally be within his grasp . The fact that in the organization’s sole appearance in the NBA Finals they came up short to an enlivened Miami Heat team that simply outplayed them in every facet of that particular series . A humbling 4-2 series loss was enough to send the Mavericks packing their bags home and back to the Lone Star State.

I’d like to think that the Dallas Mavericks in their endeavor to make it to the NBA’s showcase event can actually redeem themselves. In the aftermath of that NBA Finals series’ loss I felt that the window of opportunity may well have closed on this organization. But now I know that to be oh so false as the Mavericks have shown me that they finally possess some grit and determination . As this series plays itself out it will be interesting to see how both teams will acquit themselves knowing that there’s a great deal on the line for both of these organizations.

==================================================================================

=================================================================================

Picture gallery for your perusal .

In terms of the NFL’s continued lockout what remedies do you feel would best bring the two sides together in reaching an amicable accord ? And as you observe the NBA Playoff series has there been anything that has come a complete surprise to you as it’s about to reach its latter stages ? Simply chime in with your own thoughts on the points raised within this piece and as always thanks for the continued support .

Alan aka tophatal …….

Picture and slide show details below .

———————————————————————————————————–

(1) New Oakland Raiders coach Hue Jackson (L) looks on as Raiders owner Al Davis (R) speaks to reporters after introducing Jackson as the new head coach of the Oakland Raiders on January 18, 2011 in Alameda, California. Hue Jackson was introduced as the new coach of the Oakland Raiders, replacing the fired Tom Cable. Getty Images North America / Justin Sullivan …..

(2) Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) celebrates winning Super Bowl XLV over the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 with his family at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on February 6, 2011. Kevin Terrell/NFL) ….

(3) Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre leaves the field after warmups at Ford Field before their their NFL football game against the New York Giants in Detroit, Monday, Dec. 13, 2010. Favre is inactive for the game with the New York Giants, ending his record consecutive starts streak at 297, dating back to 1992. The Giants would defeat the Vikings 24-3 AP Photo/Paul Sancya …..

(4) James Harden (13) of the Oklahoma City Thunder goes up for a shot against Jason Kidd(2) of the Dallas Mavericks in the second half in Game Three of the Western Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Oklahoma City Arena on May 21, 2011 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Mavericks would go on to defeat the Thunder 93-87 to take 2-1 lead in the best of seven Western Conference Finals . Getty Images / Ronald Martinez ……

(5) OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – MAY 21: (L-R) Jason Terry(31) , Peja Stojakovic (16) , Brendan Haywood(33), Dirk Nowitzki(41) and Jose Juan Barea (11) of the Dallas Mavericks celebrate on the court in the second quarter while taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Three of the Western Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Oklahoma City Arena on May 21, 2011 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Getty Images / Ronald Martinez ………

———————————————————————————————————–

NFL News

Oakland Raiders News

NFL Schedule 2011

NFL Schedule 2011 preseason

NBA News

Questions I’ve No Wish To Be Answered But Yet They Remain Within The Public Domain So Does Anyone Have An Answer ?

Questions I’ve No Wish To Be Answered But Yet They Remain Within The Public Domain So Does Anyone Have An Answer ?

Well inter-league play is now front and center within MLB and though the purists may well be dead set against the idea here it now is. Personally from my own standpoint I see it as a chance for teams within the AL and NL a chance to play each other and for many of the fans to see their heroes up close and personal. Though I’m not an overly admirer of this format until the World Series as I alluded to , it does give the fans a chance to see their favorite players .

==============================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

==============================================================================

Slide show perusal for your perusal .

As the season progresses I know that we’re bound to see the teams at their very best and at their worst. But you can be sure that won’t last long as the season heats up and reaches its halfway point by late July . By then a number of the divisions should be taking shape albeit that there still will be a great deal to play for . I’m not about to make any quick announcements as to what I think will happen other than to suggest that the teams playing the best baseball should actually be stepping up to the plate and making their present felt and their class known .

Well over the weekend several of the top NFL’s rookies gathered on the campus of UCLA Berkley for a charity event . Amongst those attending were Cam Newton , Von Miller , Blaine Gabbert and Andy Dalton to name but a few . Many of the players in question suggested that in spite of the league lockout they were happy to be part of the fraternity but their biggest disappointment was not being able to participate in any drills amongst their new teams or at their respective training facilities. In the midst of this all the NFL hierarchy , team owners and the NFLPA , there still remains a chasm as to their differences . Meanwhile the lockout still remains in place after being upheld by the 8th District Appellate Court . The New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees in an interview granted to ESPN’s Ed Werder during which he stated that the reason why he was a willing participant in a civil suit against the NFL wherein he , Tom Brady and Peyton Manning had all signed on to challenge the league’s antitrust status . One of the points that Brees brought up during this interview was the very fact the players are doing this mainly to represent the veteran players that have retired and the very fact that they have been inadequately assisted by the NFL . If anything this might well have been one of the most pertinent points raised in this whole unsavory episode . Because to my mind it certainly hasn’t been only the NFL that has failed the retired players but also the very union who say that they represent those players’ interests. Certainly neither Gene Upshaw or his successor DeMaurice Smith of the NFLPA have spoken publicly of their wish in obtaining better benefits for their members, in particular the retired veterans . But such has been the idiocy of this lockout and the very fact that the two sides seem to so far apart in trying to reach an accord as it firmly remains about money and how best to split a $9 billion piece of pie .

Well the daggers are now out for seven time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong as the Justice Department seeks testimony and evidence that would indict the former champion of using performance enhancing drugs (PED’s). Such has been the absurdity of this whole spectacle where we have seen former champion Alberto Contador have his own suspension lifted after positive test which he asserts was due to having ate tainted meat at a restaurant . In light of this all I find it rather asinine that the Tour organizers L’Equipe and the sport’s governing body UCI have yet to reach an accord where there is in fact a really comprehensive drug testing policy. The IOC which oversees the Olympic Games has a part to play in this all but they appear to be taking a hands off approach as WADA and UCI try to make the best of a bad situation by trying to get the appropriate testing protocols in place that is universally recognized.

Much of Armstrong’s problems will now manifest itself even more so with the allegations now being made by former teammates of Lance Armstrong as Tyler Hamilton has stated that he repeatedly saw the former champion inject himself with steroids and other illicit PED’S . In an interview conducted by CBS’s Scott Pelley for their magazine news program ’60 Minutes’ , Hamilton emphasizes that Lance Armstrong was a frequent user of PED’s throughout much of his career , especially during the run-up to the Tour de France. Now it’d be naive to even suggest that Armstrong might not be guilty of anything but at the same time one certainly would have doubts . The other teammate of Armstrong who also has also given testimony to the Justice Department is George Hincapie . OK , so Lance Armstrong has never tested positive while in competition or during the cycling off season but yet the allegations appear and reappear with even more frequency as time goes by . Now while Hamilton has given his sworn testimony to the Justice Department the question I would ask is what does he actually gain from all of this ? He would be an idiot to perjure himself at this juncture knowing full well that lying would mean a jail sentence in a Federal penitentiary . But at this juncture until an indictment is handed down all one can do is merely speculate on the matter . 60 Minutes who tried to get in contact with Armstrong and his legal representatives seeking a statement from the beleaguered cyclist were not met with a response of any kind. However , Armstrong has always maintained his innocence in any wrong doing on his part. For someone who was so beloved after his heroics and the fact that he overcame testicular cancer it would appear that his days now seem to be numbered as he looks keep his legacy and integrity in tact.

The vultures are now hovering and it appears that they are looking gorge themselves on the carcass of Lance Armstrong . Witch hunt or not , this might be one of the most unsavory moments in recent l history as it relates to the sport of cycling, especially as to its relevance here in North America , where Armstrong is still very much seen as the face of the sport.

As the NBA postseason takes shape with the conference finals I can’t help but wonder how the fans now view things as they begin to play themselves out ? The Eastrn Conference Finals have worked out well as the top two seeds meet for the right to represent to the conference in the NBA Finals . The Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat so far , have given us an exhilarating two games wherein the series is now tied at 1-1 . And for both coaches Tom Thibodeau and Erik Spoelstra are on the cusp of leading their respective teams to what will their first appearance in the league’s showcase event as coaches. It is extremely hard to believe that other than Phil Jackson , Gregg Popovich and Doc Rivers there are no other active coaches in the league that have won an NBA title . But such has been the dominance of that triumvirate as coaches within the NBA that it easy to understand the reasons why they have had the success that they have attained. They are the consummate individuals within their fraternity and have the respect of their peers and their players no less.

The stars on both teams have shone as this series has progressed and it may well take one of those stars to raise their game to another level if their team is to succeed. For league MVP —- Derrick Rose this has been an outstanding season as he has vindicated himself to many by showing why he has been so successful as a player and a leader of this Bulls’ team . With the series now resuming this upcoming Sunday at the AA Arena in Miami , one should expect an explosive and raucous atmosphere in that arena as the Heat’s Dwyane Wade , LeBron James , Chris Bosh and the rest of this roster showcase their skills as they seek to take a lead in the series.

All evidence would point to the fact that should the Heat take game three then they would be viewed as being in the driver’s seat and expected to perhaps look to close out this series . At this juncture I would say that nothing is off the table because this season’s playoffs while exciting , have also been full of a number of surprises as we’ve seen both the San Antonio Spurs and the reigning two time defending champions the Los Angeles Lakers being summarily embarrassed by their respective opponents in the earlier rounds .

In the Western Conference Finals the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder look to up the ante in their series as they each look to regain the upper hand in their series . Dirk Nowitzki after his dominant performance in game one with an emphatic 48 point offensive output in the Mavericks’ 121-112 defeat of the Thunder . This series has see-sawed up and down because of the over powering offensive display of both teams . At the same time I look at the situation where it would appear that defense appears to the last thing on the mind of either team. For both Scott Brooks and Rick Carlisle this is something that has to be remedied if either team is to prevail in the series outright .

Game three resumes in Oklahoma City this Saturday with the series tied at one game apiece . In tying the series the Thunder knew that taking a game at American Airlines Center in Dallas this series is now up for grabs . Much of the post-game scenario played around the benching of Russell Westbrook by Scott Brooks for the entire fourth quarter of the game. Inconsistency or not Westbrook is uniquely aware that he’s not the leader of this Thunder team as that right belongs to the two time league scoring champion Kevin Durant . Westbrook must know that if the Oklahoma City Thunder is to be successful then he will have to defer to Durant as and when necessary . Any other alternative will ultimately lead to the team’s demise and a chance of making their first appearance in the NBA Finals as the NBA’s youngest franchise .

As this NBA postseason unfolds it will be interesting what drama now awaits the participants left the respective series .

After what appeared to be an enthralling bout a rematch was made between former light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins and the reigning champion Jean Pascal of Canada. In their first dramatic fight that ended in a highly contested draw , the animosity between the two antagonists actually grew. What is now undeniable is the that Hopkins seeks to further cement his legacy in becoming the oldest world champion in boxing history. The former champion is 46 years old and some eighteen years the senior of his opponent. Their title bout will take place in Montreal this upcoming Saturday (10:00 pm EST) and will be televised by HBO .

Though the state of boxing has now become mundane and pedantic , Hopkins and Manny Pacquiao remain perhaps the two biggest draw in the sport. Unfortunately however , once these two legends of the sport retire boxing will become bereft of real talent and characters that the fans can actually identify with. Pascal for his part knows that if he actually beats Hopkins his ascent up the ranks will only gain him more exposure and greater financial reward. It seems strange at the age of five Pascal he probably wouldn’t have been aware that his opponent would be making his professional debut in the sport. That being said when these two meet again at the Bell Centre , Montreal , it won’t be about Pascal showing any deference to his more experienced foe and it will certainly be vice- versa with Bernard Hopkins. The former champion felt he was cheated out of the decision on the champion’s home turf in their first outing and for that, he expects to right a wrong . And as impressive as Pascal’s 26-1-1 (16KO’s) record might appear to be the quality of opponents he has met over the course of his career pales into comparison when adjudged against that of Hopkins’ and multi-divisional championship record (51-5-1 [32 KO’s])would and resume’ would indicate.

This rematch has the makings of being an instant classic given what is on the line for both fighters. And I think that there is a distinct possibility that the challenger may well walk away with the title belt as he feels that he has something to prove . Certainly Pascal being the much younger fighter knows that he can ill afford to take Hopkins lightly as he had done in their first meeting. And if anything he was extremely lucky to have retained his title with that favorable decision of a draw by the judges . This time around there may well not be a need for the judges to actually give a verdict as this bout may well be decided by knockout . Either way this could be a fight that will dictate the careers of both fighters and the directions that they may well be heading in .

==================================================================================

==================================================================================

Picture gallery for your perusal .

What opinions might you have as to the topics raised within this piece ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts as you deem fit and anything else you may well feel pertinent .

Alan aka tophatal ………………..

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .

———————————————————————————————————————————–

(1) Atlanta Braves’ Joe Mather celebrates his one run double in the twelfth inning of an interleague baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Saturday, May 21, 2011, in Anaheim, Calif. The Braves won 5-4 . AP Photo/Gus Ruelas …..

(2) Alex Gonzalez (2) #2 of the Atlanta Braves scores a run in front of Hank Conger (16) Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to take a 5-4 lead during the 12th inning at Angel Stadium on May 21, 2011 in Anaheim, California. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images …..

(3) MINNEAPOLIS, MN – MAY 17: Former NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith (second from left), NFL retired players’ lawyer Michael Hausfeld and NFL players’ lawyer Jeffrey Kessler arrive for court ordered mediation at the U.S. Courthouse on May 17, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As the NFL lockout remains in place mediation was ordered after a hearing on an antitrust lawsuit filed by NFL players against the NFL owners after labor talks between the two broke down in March. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images ……

(4) Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (8) of the Seattle Seahawks converses with quarterback Drew Brees (9) of the New Orleans Saints after the Saints 34-19 win at Louisiana Superdome on November 21, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. ….

(5) Cyclist Lance Armstrong holds a press conference during Day 1 of the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting on September 24, 2008 in New York City. Armstrong was speaking on his return to competitive cycling and the work of the Lance Armstrong Foundation in conjunction with the Clinton Global Initiative to fight cancer.2008 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting – Day 1New York, NY United StatesSeptember 24, 2008 . Photo by Jemal Countess/WireImage.com @ copyrighted material all rights reserved ……

(6) Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden (13) goes up for a shot attempt as Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki of Germany, right, and DeShawn Stevenson, bottom left, defend in the second half of Game 3 of the NBA Western Conference finals basketball series Saturday, May 21, 2011, in Oklahoma City. The Mavericks won 93-87 . AP Photo/Larry W. Smith ….

(7) Dirk Nowitzki (41) of the Dallas Mavericks reacts in the fourth quarter while taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Three of the Western Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Oklahoma City Arena on May 21, 2011 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Getty Images / Christian Petersen …….

(8) Bernard Hopkins of US shows his tongue after a hit by Jean Pascal of Canada during their light heavyweight championship fight for the WBC light heavyweight championship, on May 21, 2011, at Bell Centre, Montreal in Quebec, Canada. Ring veteran Bernard Hopkins beat Jean Pascal by decision in a World Boxing Council light heavyweight bout to become the oldest major world champion in boxing history at 46 years old. Hopkins came on strong in the middle rounds and hung on in the 12th against the hard-hitting Canadian Pascal to get the decision in front of a crowd of 17,750 at the Bell Centre arena May 21, 2011. Hopkins won a unanimous decision against Pascal in an entertaining rematch of their December 18 draw in Quebec City, Canada. TOPSHOTS AFP PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES/ ROGERIO BARBOSA …….

(9) Bernard Hopkins misses a punch on Jean Pascal during the WBC Light-Heavyweight Championship fight between Bernard Hopkins and Jean Pascal at the Bell Centre on May 22, 2011 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images …….

(10) MONTREAL, CANADA – MAY 21: Bernard Hopkins punches Jean Pascal during the WBC Light-Heavyweight Championship fight between Bernard Hopkins and Jean Pascal at the Bell Centre on May 22, 2011 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images ….

(11) Both Bernard Hopkins and Jean Pascal raise their hands in victory after twelve rounds of action during the WBC Light-Heavyweight Championship fight between Bernard Hopkins and Jean Pascal at the Bell Centre on May 22, 2011 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The challenger would defeat his younger adversary in obtaining a unanimous verdict from all there judges . In winning the light heavyweight title Bernard Hopkins became the oldest world title holder in boxing history at the age of 46. Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images ….

——————————————————————————————————————————————

MLB Scoreboard

MLB News

MLB Results & scores 20th May 2011

MLB Probable starting pitchers

MLB Probable starting pitchers 21st May 2011

MLB Standings

NBA News

NBA Playoffs

Chicago Bulls roster

Dallas Mavericks roster

Miami Heat roster

Oklahoma City Thunder roster

NFL News

<a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/box”&gt; Yahoo Sports Boxing news

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 .

=================================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

================================================================================

Slide show for your perusal .

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 !

================================================================================

================================================================================

Picture gallery for your perusal .

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

———————————————————————————————————–

(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 …..

———————————————————————————————————–

NBA New .

Chicago Bulls news

Miami Heat news

NBA Conference Finals

NBA Playoff stats

Do The Right Thing ……………….

Do The Right Thing ……………..

There’s a great deal to be said about the legacy of baseball , its history and the fact that Jackie Robinson played a part in integrating team sports, being the first African American to play a professional sport where its embodiment was integrated . And granted, were it not for Branch Rickey willing to take a chance on a social experiment that would have lasting ramifications that would reverberate across the landscape of the country , I seriously doubt that we’d have seen the integration of the game at the time we did. Consider this, at the time that Robinson suited up for the Brooklyn Dodgers the US military still hadn’t been fully integrated wherein African American soldiers could be part of the same platoon and serve alongside their Caucasian counterparts but yet this myth continues here within this country that it’d rather gloss over this whole episode concerning African Americans within the US military. The US military wouldn’t be fully integrated until 1953 , some eight years after World War II had ended .

=================================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

=================================================================================

Slide show for your perusal .

In light of the above evidence a patron (chappy81) of my site and I mulled over the situation with regard to the image of the NFL and that of MLB and the fact that both sports are so image conscious . He remarked about the fact baseball celebrates Jackie Robinson Day and that baseball also has its Civil Rights —– games played this weekend . But that in of-itself I find to be a real misnomer as it simply means nothing in the greater landscape of things , given the fact that now we’re seeing an attack to repeal many of the advances made under the Civil Rights Act . And whereas Jackie Robinson’s number has been retired by the league I do find it somewhat asinine that the league especially now under the tenure of MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has somehow refused to retire Roberto Clemente’s number in honor of the player and his accomplishments but specifically as a human rights activist and philanthropist . If Selig and the league hierarchy simply can’t view Clemente’s accomplishments other than to institute an award in his name , I think it somewhat inane that they simply believe that honor only ought to be bestowed upon Jackie Robinson , merely because he was simply the first person of an ethnic minority to have the game as part of an integrated team at the professional level ! Baseball while steeped in its traditions has become archaic and fully out of touch with the realities of the world .

Given the current problems within the league , financial instability of teams around baseball , team owners who’ve simply put greed above common sense and a hierarchy who for the most part simply show the naivete of an immature child that it’s hard to imagine that the game has made the advancement that it has over the years. Character issue asides of the players past and present I do feel that it is now time for Bud Selig do the right thing and actually retire Roberto Clemente’s number , not just simply as an act of benevolence but also to acknowledge his achievements as a philanthropist .

Now one might suggest that in allowing Clemente’s number to retired it would diminish what Jackie Robinson’s entry at the major league level meant to the game . But I say …no ………. because if anything these are two great players who by their own deeds and willingness to beat the odds has done a great deal to establish the game of baseball across a broad demographic and therein making it relevant socially as well being viewed as America’s pastime .

Well now that the conference finals appear to be set with regard to the NBA Playoffs . The Eastern Conference Finals sets up an intriguing match-up between the top two seeds within the confrence . The Chicago Bulls will host the Miami Heat at the United Center in Chicago on Sunday 15th May in a game one of this best of seven game series . For LeBron James , Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade they see this as a form of vindication having defeated the Boston Celtics in their conference quarter semi final series 4-1 .

So clinical was the defeat of the Celtics that it had many wondering whether or not this might the last charge of the Boston Celtics’ ‘Big Three’ of Kevin Garnett , Paul Pierce and Ray Allen . To my mind I do feel that this Celtics’ roster labored because of the fact that is in large part an aging one . And whereas Doc Rivers was able to lead the Celtics to an emphatic triumph in the 2008 NBA Finals . This might very well be a time for a changing of the guard in some part . GM Danny Ainge and senior general partner Wyc Grousbeck may very well have to overhaul this roster if the Celtics are to have any serious chance of challenging for an NBA title next season .

And while it is being widely reported that Rivers is now in the process of accepting a renewed five year $35 million deal to remain with the organization . It may well pretty much put into effect that the Big Three will likely also remain with the Celtics . Beyond that it remains to be seen what now becomes the next saga of the Boston Celtics’ history.

In going back to address this conference finals’ matchup between the Bulls and Heat it will most certainly be an intriguing one. The Bulls swept the season series between the two teams with some ease but that was in large part before the Heat had found any real consistency in their play . If the Bulls are to prove that those results during the regular season were no fluke then they will have to play with a fluidity and resolve that they’ve shown throughout the large part of the postseason . League MVP —- Derrick Rose and his teammates have to be mindful as to the knowledge that will be imparted to them by their coach Tom Thibodeau and his coaching staff if they’re to have any chance of beating the Heat in this series . And for the Heat who’ll no doubt be looked at as the presumptive favorites for coach Erik Spoelstra , he knows that it is now or never for this team which has been looked at to win it all ever since team President & Head of Basketball Operations Pat Riley engineered the moves that brought Bosh and James to the Miami Heat during the offseason.

Not since the Michael Jordan era led Bulls of the 1995-96 season has there been this much fervor over this organization for which the expectations are now extraordinarily high. Should the Bulls prevail in this series then it could be viewed as one of the biggest shocks in recent NBA history , in terms of postseason upsets .

Amazingly enough while the Dallas Mavericks awaits the winners of the series between the Memphis Grizzlies and Oklahoma City Thunder . I’ve now got to ask myself after this monumental disastrous display by the Thunder in their fourteen point loss to the Grizzlies on Friday night how is it that Scott Brooks can feel that his team can now close out this series ? On a night when league scoring champion Kevin Durant had an abysmal night shooting , that this was a game that I believe that the Thunder would rather forget ! Once again it was left the heroics of Zach Randolph as he led the team in scoring and in taking the lead as its vocal leader in erasing a 3-2 deficit to even this series with everything to play for as game seven brings the two teams back Oklahoma City to bring this conference semi finals to a fitting culmination. As to what that might be , we now all wait to see what unfolds in this exhausting and thrilling series .

If the rumors are to believed as it is now being reported that the Los Angeles Lakers have allowed Phil Jackson’s assistant Brian Shaw to speak with both the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets as to both vacant coaching positions. Strange as this may seem , unless the Lakers are extremely confident that Jackson will be returning to the organization then I feel it somewhat less than prudent of them to allow Shaw to seek out an initial interview with either organization . Shaw if anything has to be the favorite for the position as he has the respect of a number of players on the team. But it may well be that GM Mitch Kupchak and team owner Dr Jerry Buss may well feel that it is indeed better bring someone anew to be Jackson’s successor. From my own perspective although I’ve heard the name of Rick Adelman being bandied about as a likely successor I do feel that it’d be step backwards for the Lakers should they hire this well respected coach. A retread is very much the last thing that this organization needs in light of their rather embarrassing 4-0 series loss to the Dallas Mavericks . The one candidate I feel who fits the bill as the successor to Jackson would be Tom Izzo of Michigan State and his given his coaching pedigree I think he’d certainly be the appropriate choice ! However , that decision is now in the hands of the general manager and owner of the Los Angeles Lakers and it may well be some time before they come to a final decision .

==================================================================================

==================================================================================

Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do have on the points raised within this piece ? Simply chime in with a comment and thank as always for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated !

Alan aka tophatal …………….

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .

———————————————————————————————————————-

(1) From left to right Branch Rickey , Jackie Robinson and his wife Rachel seen are as the former player receives his plaque after his enshrinement into the Baseball Hall of Fame . AFP Archives ………

(2) Pirates’ outfielder Roberto Clemente whose tragic death is still mourned to this day . Baseball archives ….

(3) LeBron James (6) of the Miami Heat gets emotional after closing out the series against the Boston Celtics in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 11, 2011 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images ….

(4) Omer Asik (3) reacts with Luol Deng (9) of the Chicago Bulls after Asik drew a foul from the Atlanta Hawks in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Phillips Arena on May 12, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. Kevin C Cox / Getty Images …….

———————————————————————————————————————

MLB News

MLB Standings

MLB Scoreboard

MLB Results & scores 14th May 2011

Probable starting pitchers 15th May 2011

Probable starting pitchers 16th May 2011

MLB Schedule 3 days at a glance

NBA News

NBA results 15th May 2011

NBA Playoffs 2011

The Real Funny Side Of Sports You’d Think ………….

The Real Funny Side Of Sports You’d Think …………

The longer this facade goes on the more asinine I know that baseball has become in terms of the game’s hierarchy , the team owners and the mere fact that they’ve never been known to show any common sense . The sharks are now circling the Los Angeles Dodgers as they smell blood and the idiocy of the team’s owner Frank McCourt only further adds to the illusion that when the league hierarchy saw fit to grant him the right to purchase the team from Fox and its parent company NewsCorp when they simply hadn’t used due diligence .

===================================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

=================================================================================

Slide show for your perusal .

The organization is now mired in so much financial mismanagement that it’s hard to understand how McCourt and the rest of the executives within the Dodgers’ front office could have been so financially irresponsible . But herein lies the caveat the league hierarchy rarely looks into the finances of its teams unless they believe there to be something inherently wrong. What might be even more surprising is that even in spite of there being clear cut evidence that something was awry with the Dodgers from a financial standpoint Bud Selig chose not to intervene until things had got to a point where one now has to question whether or not the Dodgers can now survive in its present format. If McCourt and his now ex-wife Jamie McCourt were using this organization as their very own personal ATM then questions have to now be answered with a great deal of veracity by not only Frank McCourt by the entire hierarchy of the Los Angeles Dodgers. This so called $3 billion tv contract that awaits the league’s approval has been the sole basis for McCourt to suggest that the organization has no financial worries as it also asks for $ 300 million upfront as an advance from the local Los Angeles Fox tv affiliate . What gave McCourt the impression that $ 300 million would be the cure to what ails the Los Angeles Dodgers when it is clear that he and his subordinates have contravened many of the league’s very own rules ? Now it’s becoming transparent that McCourt and those very same subordinates have been less than truthful as it relates to the organization’s financial stability.

Now the ante may well be upped in lieu of the fact that neither McCourt and Selig have met publicly to discuss the team’s issues . And with it now being reported that the Dodgers simply doesn’t have the cash available to meet its budgetary expenses for the months of May and Junes ____ you simply have to ask how much longer this idiocy can be allowed to carry on , in allowing to have McCourt even be associated with this team in any form whatsoever ? Gross negligence on his part , much of it no doubt suborned by the front office as they may well have been powerless but at the same time they also have a responsibility to the league hierarchy to report any serious malfeasance within their organization . Either Ned Colletti and CFO Peter Wilhelm are that stupid or they simply went along with the insipid moves and his then wife Jamie Court in raiding the organization’s coffers for their own malevolent needs . Frank and Jamie McCourt it is suggested were loaned $108 million between 2004-09 to fund their lavish lifestyle . If this is indeed true then I can only surmise that Frank McCourt’s estimated wealth of $1.2 billion had to have diminished immensely for him to be taking money from the coffers of the organization while they struggled to actually be competitive within NL West.

Granted this season we’ve witnessed some competitiveness from the team but as of late things have tailed off somewhat for organization as the off the field troubles has simply become a major news sports story within the game of baseball this season . The NL West as competitive as some may well believe it to be in large part has been a division that has been viewed as where the baseball being played there between those teams can be best described as being marginal . The division is now led by San Francisco Giants with a 21-16 mark followed by the Colorado Rockies (19-16) and Dodgers some 3.5 games behind with an 18-20 mark. That being said with all of the off the field controversy and mayhem taking place within the Dodgers’ organization the events taking place on the field have been forced to take a back seat as this idiocy simply plays itself out as a spectacle within the public’s domain.

It’s sad that one of baseball’s great organizations has been allowed to sink such depths but in reality this merely shows the complete ineptitude that is now on display at all levels of the game from the league hierarchy on down to the very players themselves .

If Chad Ochocinco can’t have the glare of the limelight placed upon him this NFL player simply becomes bereft of all common sense . Not content with having tried out for a roster spot with MLS soccer’s Sporting Kansas City the player is now said to be interested in riding a bull on the PBR (Professional Bull Riding) circuit . Well given the amount of bull served up last season by Ocho and the Cincinnati Bengals I just hope that the bull he’s given to ride simply stomps his ass into several hundred pieces ! The more he’s around in the NFL , the more you simply know that any team that he’s a part of is almost certainly doomed for failure . Granted, coming off a 2009 season where the Bengals were the AFC North champions 2010 was merely an afterthought as the Bengals simply slipped into a season sheer ineptitude posting a 6-10 record for the year . If that wasn’t bad enough you then had the team’s Pro Bowl quarterback Carson Palmer demanding a trade rather than remaining with the Bengals . That situation seems close to resolving itself as the team took Andy Dalton as their second pick 35th overall in this season’s NFL Draft .

From my own perspective the problems of the Cincinnati Bengals are many , from a defense that’s simply become non-existent to an offense that on its best days would simply have problems making a first down, much less putting up points on the board as and when needed . It simply wasn’t merely about Palmer’s problems both on and off the field but the mere fact that Marvin Lewis lost control of these players and little of what he or his coaching staff imparted on those players actually manifested itself on the field of play last season. This season the Bengals could very well be at odds with itself as well as the incumbents within the AFC North. This much is certain if the Bengals are to have any chance being legitimately viewed as contender within the AFC much less the rest of the NFL then Ochocinco and this team will very much have to prove themselves worthy adversaries of their opponents this season . A great deal is being asked of Andy Dalton if he’s chosen to be the team’s quarterback but in lieu of that fact his being thrown in at the deep end may not be the wisest of choices but it may well be the only one that can be made by Marvin Lewis and his staff.

Well now that the Boston Celtics have been unceremoniously dumped out of this season’s NBA Playoffs in their series loss to the Miami Heat . The orbituaries are now being written as to the demise of several players on this team . It appears that negotiations are underway to retain the services of Doc Rivers as the team’s coach . But if anything GM Danny Ainge , senior managing partner Wyc Grousbeck and the other managing partners can’t have been entirely happy in the way that this teams was summarily dispatched by this Heat team .

This 4-1 series loss by the Boston Celtics to the Miami Heat in essence explained a lot about the two diverging paths that these two heave have taken over the course of the regular season. Having won their regular season meetings 3-1 the Celtics may well have felt that they had the upper hand were they to meet again in the postseason. But if anything it was the Heat who took heart from those meetings knowing that they had to up their game and play with a great deal more resolve. Erik Spoelstra having got this team play much more cohesively, began to see the fruits of his labor . At the same time team President Pat Riley and team owner Micky Arison now know that all of the maneuvering and the subsequent work done by Dwyane Wade in persuading both Chris Bosh and LeBron James to sign with the team was not only in the players’ best interests as it offered them the best chance of winning an NBA title but it also benefited the Heat organization from a competitive and financial standpoint as well.

For the Boston Celtics Ainge alongside Rivers and the coaching staff must now look at how best rebuild this team and what if any major roster changes need to be made if they’re return back the playoffs as a formidable postseason opponent. We surely have seen the last of both Jermaine O’Neal and Shaquille O’Neal as players within the NBA . Collectively the duo offered little if anything to the team during much of the postseason. However my greatest gripe concerning the fall from grace by the Celtics was the absurd notion by Danny Ainge that his trade deadline moves of trading both Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson actually made the Celtics better , when he got little , tangible in return from those deals . He may well have done that to pare down the Celtics’ payroll but that all seems redundant when you consider that jointly Jermaine and Shaquille O’Neal were earning more than Perkins and Robinson combined this season. Contract lenght asides who in their right mind would want two aging veterans who between them offered nothing to this team throughout much of the regular season other than being a complete waste of space on the bench ?

It remains to be seen the steps to be taken by Ainge and his staff but this much is certain for the large part this current roster will most certainly change in its current format and for the large part we will be seeing a number of new faces on this team be it via free agency or through the upcoming NBA Draft.

====================================================================================

====================================================================================

Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have on the topics raised within this piece ? Simply chime in with a comment .

Alan aka tophatal ………………….

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .
——————————————————————————————————————

(1) Tom Schieffer , the man charged by Major League Baseball with sorting through the finances of the Los Angeles Dodgers, is interviewed in New York, Thursday, May 12, 2011. AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews …..

(2) Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Ronny Cedeno, right, watches his throw to first after forcing out Los Angeles Dodgers’ Andre Ethier during the second inning of a baseball <a href="http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2011_05_12_lanmlb_pitmlbgame in Pittsburgh on Thursday, May 12, 2011. Juan Uribe was out at first. AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar ….

(3) Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig listens to a question during a news conference on Thursday, May 12, 2011 in New York. Selig gave Frank McCourt the face-to-face meeting the Los Angeles Dodgers owner wanted, but provided no timetable on approving a proposed $3 billion television deal with Fox that would keep the club from running out of cash at the end of the month. Selig and McCourt met Wednesday when owners began a two-day quarterly meeting at Major League Baseball’s office. AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews …..

(4) Dodgers’ GM Ned Colletti (left) and the team’s owner Frank McCourt . This was Colletti’s formal introduction to the public as the team’s new GM in November 2005. Icon SMI/ Larry Goren ……. .

(5) A.J. Green(4) overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals, poses for a photo on stage with family members during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City. Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images ….

(6) Cincinnati Bengals second round draft pick Andy Dalton(notes), left, a quarterback from TCU, and third round draft pick Dontay Moch, a linebacker from Nevada, right, pose with their jerseys during an NFL football news conference, Saturday, April 30, 2011, in Cincinnati. AP Photo/ David Kohl ……..

(7) Cincinnati Bengals first round draft pick A.J. Green, right, speaks at a news conference with head coach Marvin Lewis, Friday, April 29, 2011 in Cincinnati. Green, a wide receiver from Georgia, will wear number 18 for the NFL football team. AP Photo/Al Behrman ……….

(8) Chad Ochocinco begins tryout with Sporting Kansas City on March 23, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. The player having gained a roster spot with the team is now said to be interested in riding a bull within the PBR circuit . Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images ……

(9) Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge talks with reporters during a news conference at the team’s NBA basketball training facility in Waltham, Mass., Friday, May 13, 2011. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer …….

(10) MIAMI, FL – MAY 11: LeBron James (6) of the Miami Heat gets emotional after closing out the series against the Boston Celtics in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 11, 2011 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images …..

(11) Mario Chalmers (15) of the Miami Heat is congratulated by Ray Allen (20) of the Boston Celtics after Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2011 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena on May 11, 2011 in Miami, Florida. Getty Images /Mike Ehrmann ………

(12) Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers reacts on the sideline during Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2011 NBA Playoffs against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on May 11, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NBAE/Getty Images/ Mike Ehrmann ……….

—————————————————————————————————————————————

MLB News

MLB Standings

MLB Schedule 3 days at a glance

Probable starting pitchers 13th May 2011

Probable starters 14th May 2011

MLB Scoreboard

MLB results & scores 12th May 2011

NFL News

NBA News

NBA Playoffs

NBA Schedule

NBA Conference Finals

Eastern Conference

Chicago Bulls ……. vs ……. Miami Heat

Western Conference

Dallas Mavericks …… TBD …….. winners of the series between Memphis Grizzlies …… & ….. Oklahoma City Thunder

Don’t Hate Appreciate ………… Have You Had Your Can Of Whup Ass Today ?

Don’t Hate Appreciate ………… Have You Had Your Can Of Whup Ass Today ?

I’ve said it repeatedly the tough teams know how to win when it matters most and case in point was proof positive of that as the Los Angeles Lakers simply gave up in their quest having succumbed to the Dallas Mavericks 98-92 in a decisive game three played at the American Airlines Center in Dallas , Texas. Instead of being composed we saw a Lakers’ team pressed and playing rather in consistently throughout this series .

=====================================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

=====================================================================================

Slide show for your perusal .

If there was an unsung hero during this game for the Mavericks then it had to be jointly Jason Terry , Peja Stojakovic and that wily veteran Jason Kidd who belied their years in the league. Now pardon me for saying this but each time I hear TNT or ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy I simply want to throw up ! Is there no time wherein this guy can simply be observant report on what he observes rather than coming up with asinine comments and analysis. Now down 0-3 this series is now beyond the reach of the Lakers as no team in playoff history has ever come back from an 0-3 deficit to come back and win that series .

This was simply a collective effort from this Mavericks’ team and it was a thoroughly convincing result and this series now seems to the Dallas Mavericks’ for the taking . If you’ve any doubt about that then simply look at the box-score and the stats for the Mavericks ? Game four of this series resumes on Sunday and we’re liable to see the Lakers be swept out of this series as the Dallas Mavericks make their way to the Western Conference Finals . Personally I can see the Lakers quite possibly taking game four but beyond that this team is liable to lose one if not two of the next three to be played at the Staples Center after the series’ departure from Dallas .

Anyone who was in any doubt why Derrick Rose became the youngest league MVP in NBA history then you simply had to witness his display against the Atlanta Hawks in game three played at the Philips Arena in Atlanta , Georgia . The Chicago Bulls simply laid the wood to the Hawks as they took them behind the woodshed and literally beat the shit out of this Hawks’ team . Forty four points simply sums up this player’s play and the fact that the Bulls’ bench took up some of the slack . Joakim Noah , Kyle Korver and Taj Gibson played with a great deal of aplomb as and when needed, as they harried the Hawks’ offense and made them look lethargic .

By midway through the fourth quarter this game was simply beyond the Atlanta Hawks’ reach and their two All Stars on this team in Joe Johnson and Al Horford simply couldn’t do anything to bring the Hawks back into this game. On this series resumption with game four we could well see the Chicago Bulls take a 3-1 lead in this series .

Can someone explain to me how it is that Cliff Lee can strike out 15 batters in a game and still come up with a loss (5-0 ) in a game played at Citizens Ballpark in Philadelphia as the Philadelphia Phillies took on the Atlanta Braves ? Lee’s opposite number Derek Lowe also had the prospect obtaining a no hitter in this game in what was an exemplary display by both pitchers. In the end however this was more about the mistakes defensively made by the Phillies and solid resolute play by the Braves as they inched closer to the the Florida Marlins and Phillies within the NL East .

Andre Ethier’s amazing season continues as he embarks on rewriting the Los Angeles Dodgers’ record book. Ethier is on the cusp of becoming the Dodgers’ consecutive single season record in terms of a consecutive games hit streak . Now at thirty games and counting Ethier looks to surpass the Dodgers’ record of Willie Davis’ streak of 31 and hopes to top the mark of forty before he can think about even coming within range of Joe Di Maggio’s 56 game hit streak which is the all time record within MLB . It’s now becoming redundant to continue talking about the Dodgers’ off the field problems as nothing can now simply change that particular landscape as it now stands. The idiocy of it all is that the team’s owner Frank McCourt continues to wallow in the fact that he’s now become a victim in the aftermath of the league hierarchy taking over the day to day running of the organization. Suffice to say that the league , its team owners enabled McCourt and his executive subordinates to enact this madness . And for those opining that the Dodgers and their $3 billion tv contract signed with Fox and its parent company NewsCorp let’s just say if you’re unable to pay the staff salaries for your employees for the months of April and now May please don’t come up with the bullshit about this organization being in a viable financial position. Simply let it be , and get a dose of reality as to how business is conducted in the real world .

Maryland basketball coach Gary Williams effectively announced his retirement as coach of the Terrapins’ basketball team . Having assumed tenure of the Terrapins as its coach in 1989 while the team was under NCAA probation Williams single handedly resurrected this program and put it back on the map. In doing so he won the 2002 NCAA Basketball Tournament . That title has been Maryland’s sole NCAA Men’s title but it has been the programs consistency over the years that has made Gary Williams stand apart as a collegiate basketball coach . He leaves an indelible record having won over 630 games and a run of eleven straight NCAA appearances as well as the Sweet 16 on multiple occasions . Thirty three years as a coach of, which 22 were spent as the coach of Maryland and I’d like to think that makes Gary Williams something of a special talent within the world of collegiate basketball !

Well it appears now apart from Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff looking to challenge the BCS’ antitrust exemption status and its stand as a monopoly within collegiate football. It now seems that the US Justice Department and its antitrust division will now serve notice that they intend to send letters to NCAA President Mark Emmert and the BCS seeking their reasons as to why there isn’t a playoff format in place for the national championship at the D1 level. If that’s not enough to peak your interest assistant US attorney general Christine Varney within the antitrust division of the Justice Department says that she is quite prepared subpoena records from both the NCAA and BCS to seek out how they conduct their business practices as it relates collegiate football . Considering the NCAA is already facing a civil suit challenge by several former NCAA athletes as to the use of their likeness for business purposes within the Federal Court System this couldn’t have come at a worse time for both the NCAA and BCS.

If it hasn’t been enough that we’ve seen the idiocy of the NCAA and the belief that the BCS and its subordinates feel that they’re above reproach . We now have to see them having to defend themselves from what we already know to be a grossly corrupt system that is in place and that’s being defended by an idiot in Ohio State university President Dr E Gordon Gee . How in God’s name that buffoon believes that the system is above reproach tells you all you need to know when you simply survey the 2010-11 and 2011 schedule of the Buckeyes to see how they affix their schedules , wherein they’re literally playing a bunch of no name programs to pad out their stats. In the midst of this all, Gee has the temerity to suggest that mid major conferences ought not to be allowed to have the privilege of attaining a BCS Bowl game berth because they’re simply not good enough. If anything, Gee ought to be more concerned over the image of his school and the fact that its football coach Jim Tressel has no moral character or integrity and the very fact that he’s self consumed a liar and a cheat . Those ought to be Gee’s biggest concerns rather than his asinine notion that the BCS system is above reproach.

I’ve longed felt that were it not for Severiano Ballesteros the European Tour and the PGA Tour wouldn’t be what is today . Having won five grand slam majors and over 68 tournaments worldwide Ballesteros’ legacy has been well chronicled . Long before Tiger Woods held the world as a captive audience on the golf course it was the spectacle of seeing Ballesteros simply play with a fluidity not often seen on any major tour today. His shot making was uncanny and anyone who knows anything about the sport of golf will know how special Seve’ Ballasteros was . Unfortunately , the Spanish star and a successful Ryder Cup captain is suffering from cancer of the brain , having gone through repeated bouts of chemotherapy and undergone several neuro surgeries over the past eight years ever since it was discovered that he had malignant tumors on his brain. Having removed several of the tumors it was felt that Severiano Ballesteros’ would be able to make a slow and successful recovery from his illness .

Ballesteros died at age 54 in the early hours of Saturday morning, in the arms of his family, a national treasure within the country of Spain and a worldwide celebrity . A wealthy individual in his own right , from his professional earnings and as a businessman from his the off the field business ventures , he married Caroline Boutin , whose family founded one of Spain’s largest financial institutions Banco de Santander . He will be sorely missed by the golf word but it was his larger than life character , respect for and of the game as well as his fellow competitors that made Ballasteros stand apart. His dominance of the game goes without saying and for those who’ve never witnessed Ballesteros at his very best , simply imagine the shot playing of Tiger Woods at his best with the power of Jack Nicklaus and you can imagine how special Ballesteros was at the height of his game.. Thanks Seve’ for all the grace you brought to the game and in particular the world of sport , you’ll be sorely missed !

====================================================================================

===================================================================================

Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have on the points raised within this piece ? Simply chime in with a comment as to your thoughts and thanks as always for the continued support as it’s greatly appreciated !

Alan aka tophatal ………………….

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .
————————————————————————————————

(1) DALLAS, TX – MAY 6: Dirk Nowitzki (41) of the Dallas Mavericks reacts after hitting a three against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Three of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 6, 2011 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Danny Bollinger/NBAE via Getty Images …….

(2) The Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant looks at his bench as Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki , left, Peja Stojakovic , center and Jason Kidd , right react during the final minutes of Game 3 of a second-round NBA playoff basketball series, Friday, May 6, 2011, in Dallas. The Mavericks won 98-92. NBAE/Getty Images / Danny Bollinger ….

(3) Los Angeles Lakers’ Pau Gasol shoots over Dallas Mavericks’ Jason Kidd, left, and Peja Stojakovic during the first half of Game 4 of a second-round NBA playoff basketball series, Sunday, May 8, 2011, in Dallas. AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez …….

(4) ATLANTA, GA – MAY 06: Derrick Rose (1) of the Chicago Bulls drives against Joe Johnson (2) and Al Horford (15) of the Atlanta Hawks in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Phillips Arena on May 6, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. Getty Images / Kevin C Cox …..

(5) Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Derek Lowe(notes) delivers to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Friday, May 6, 2011, in Philadelphia. AP Photo / Barbara Johnston ….

(6) Atlanta Braves’ Jason Heyward (22) steals to second base as Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Michael Martinez (19) is late with the tag during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Friday, May 6, 2011, in Philadelphia. The Braves won 5-0. AP Photo/Barbara Johnston ….

(7) Los Angeles Dodgers’ Jamey Carroll(14) greets teammate Andre Ethier (16) at the plate after Ethier’s seventh-inning two-run home run as New York Mets catcher Ronny Paulino , center, looks on during a baseball game at Citi Field in New York, Sunday, May 8, 2011. AP Photo/ Kathy Willens ……

(8) University of Maryland basketball coach Gary WIlliams (L) hugs his wife Dana WIlliams after announcing his retirement on May 6, 2011 at the Comcast Center in College Park, Maryland. Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images ……..

(9) University of Maryland basketball coach Gary WIlliams speaks while announcing his retirement on May 6, 2011 at the Comcast Center in College Park, Maryland. Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images ……..

(10) Seve Ballesteros (C) of Spain poses with Per Ericsson (R) and German Lopez of Volvo Event Management during the press conference of the Volvo World Match Play Championship 2009 presentation at Intercontinental Hotel on October 14, 2009 in Madrid, Spain. Ballesteros, who is recovering from cancer which has left him partially blind in his left eye, is hopeful that he’ll be able to take part in the upcoming Volvo World Match Play. October 13, 2009 – Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images Europe ……..

(11) Ballesteros seen here in receipt of the Green Jacket having won the 1983 Masters Tournament at Augusta National G&C Augusta , Georgia ,. Photo archives / Reuters/ Peter McKinnon ……

(12) Christine Varney (left) head of the Antitrust Divsion of the US Dept of Justice . Her department has been asked by the AG Eric Holder to look into possible grounds to see if the BCS can be considered a monopoly in terms of its business practices as it relates to D1 collegiate football . NY Times Susan Etheridge ……

———————————————————————————————————————

MLB News

MLB Scoreboard & schedule 7th May 2011

MLB results 6th May 2011

MLB Schedule 8th May 2011

MLB Standings

NBA News

NBA Playoffs 2011

NBA Results 6th May 2011

NBA Schedule 7th May 2011

NBA Schedule 8th May 2011

It’s Time To Put Up Or Shut Up …………

It’s Time To Put Up Or Shut Up …………

It now becomes a battle and test of wills but somehow the Los Angeles Lakers as two time defending champions will have to prove that they’re worthy of the mantel of being champions . Now down 0-3 in series that most on paper would have the Lakers winning with ease the Lakers now find themselves caught between the Devil and the deep blue sea. The Dallas Mavericks have all but placed that last nail in the coffin of the Lakers during this less than suspenseful series . It’s hard to explain but the Lakers faltering at this juncture has more to do with the mindset and complacency that has beset not only this team but also the organization as a whole. The acquisitions made by the Lakers as an addition this team if anything hasn’t improved the Lakers albeit that they ended up with the second best record within the Western Conference .

====================================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

====================================================================================

Slide show for your perusal .

It seems inconceivable that Phil Jackson and the two time —— defending champions could find themselves in such a position . I don’t know about you but until the white flag of surrender has been raised I think that no there’s no way in hell that the Lakers will give up this series without a fight . That being said if Kobe Bryant is the only one prepared to step up to the plate then there’s really not much else to be said concerning the complete ineptitude shown by the Lakers shown throughout this series . Bryant may well be of the belief that there’s still a great deal to fight for but he ought to remind his teammates that they ought to get their fat asses off the sidelines and man the fu_k up !

I don’t know about you but I’ve long held the opinion that boxing is actually on its last legs . I find it ironic that a sport that once gripped the nation has now become nothing more than after thought amongst the vast majority of sports fans . The heavyweight division and the title itself was once deemed the most prestigious individual title in sports now that division as well as the title itself has become a parody and metaphor for that is actually wrong with the sport. Manny Pacquiao may well be viewed as the face of the sport at present but once he retires this sport may as well fold its tent and pack it all up. There are no longer any real legitimate stars that can be viewed as the future of the sport and those who are now coming to the fore in many respect they lack a personality and if anything they lack a great deal of skill. Promoters such as Don King , Bob Arum and Oscar De La Hoya have made the sport a complete laughing stock as the pre-eminent promoters within boxing . The welterweight title bout that took place this past weekend between Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosely which was staged at the MGM Grand Casino & Resort in Las Vegas , Ne was if anything , something of a non- event. For twelve utterly boring rounds these two champions of the sport staged a fight that was simply so boring that I for one thought the fans would have been better off seeing two octogenarians in the ring trading blows . Mosely a three time three division champion fought a lackluster fight and and his Filipino opponent simply was unable to live up to the hype that many have now come to expect from the all action spectacles he’s given us the majority of his long and illustrious career.

Pacquiao won a unanimous twelve round decision and with it his legacy is still in tact as the best pound for pound fighter on the planet. At this juncture I do believe that it would be in Pacquiao’s best interest to retitre as there are no more challenges left for him to attain. A potential blockbuster bout against Floyd Mayweather seems to be a thing of the past and with Mayweather’s ongoing legal troubles I for one seriously doubt that fight will ever take place .

Two no hitters have been thrown within seventy two hours and the latest was attained by the Detroit Tigers’ Justin Verlander in his team’s —– 9-0 shellacking of the Toronto Blue Jays . This has been the second time that Verlander has achieved this feat and if anything he’s proven why it is that he may well be one of the main contenders for the AL Cy Young Award this season. I don’t know about you but I’ve never considered the Blue Jays a team that could compete within the AL East much less the rest of baseball ! They’ve not been competitive in a decade and a half at least and while the feat of that no hitter can be considered an excellent feat . Come on now we’re talking the Blue Jays ! . Watching that team hit is like watching the likes of Mitt Romney , Joe Biden and Tim Geithner explain the inherent problems that plague the US economy. They’re simply too stupid to explain it even in laymen’s terms that anyone could actually comprehend and likewise with anyone who actually feels that the Blue Jays are a team that can be viewed as being competitive.

As to the Tigers’ own aspirations this season within the AL Central I do believe that once again they’ll simply underachieve as they have done over the past five seasons . This team has been way too inconsistent for my liking and I feel that Jim Leyland and his coaching staff I do believe are bereft real ideas as to how best to get the optimum out of this team . GM Dave Dombrowski will no doubt make the appropriate acquisitions at the trade deadline needed to make the Tigers competitive enough to be considered a legitimate contender for the World Series .

====================================================================================

====================================================================================

Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the points raised within this piece ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts on this topic .

Alan aka tophatal ………………………..

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .
————————————————————————————————————————

(1) The Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant leaves the floor after the Lakers lost 122-86 to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 4 of a second-round NBA playoff basketball series, Sunday, May 8, 2011, in Dallas. The Mavericks swept the series. AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez …..

(2) Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, right front, and business partner Todd R. Wagner embrace after the Mavericks defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 122-86 in Game 4 of a second-round NBA playoff basketball series, Sunday, May 8, 2011, in Dallas. The Mavericks swept the series. AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez ………..

(3) Teammates rush out as Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander(notes), center right, and catcher Alex Avila(notes) celebrate Verlander’s no-hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays in a baseball game in Toronto on Saturday, May 7, 2011. The Tigers won 9-0. AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darren Calabrese ……

(4) Shane Mosley of the US falls down after being punched by Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines (L) in their bout for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title at the Garden Arena in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 7, 2011. Pacquiao retained the WBO welterweight title by beating Mosley to extend his winning streak to 14 bouts. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS ……

(5) (L-R) Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines throws a right at Shane Mosley in the WBO welterweight title fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 7, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. AFP/Photo Gabriel Bouys …….

———————————————————————————————————————

MLB News

MLB Scoreboard

MLB Scores & results 7th May 2011

NBA News

NBA schedule Sunday 8th May 2011

They Came , They Saw , They Conquered ………………..

They Came , They Saw , They Conquered …………….

Well they came, they saw they conquered and the post-game interview by San Antonio Spurs’ coach Gregg Popovich essentially was magnanimous in defeat but clearly couldn’t explain his team’s inauspicious departure from the NBA Playoffs in the first round . A 99-91 defeat on the Memphis Grizzlies’ home-court at the Fedex Forum , in Memphis , Tennesse left the home crowd fans ecstatic as their team will now make their first appearance in a conference semi finals where they will face the high flying Oklahoma City Thunder .

==================================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

==================================================================================

Slide show for your perusal .

Now for only the second time since expansion of the playoff format from a five game first round to the best of seven series’ format has a number one seed bowed out the of the NBA Playoffs in the first round. This 4-2 series loss will certainly have its ramifications and repercussions as the Spurs’ management assess and reassess why they failed so miserably . GM R C Burford and Popovich’s coaching staff will certainly have to look at this roster and note where their deficiencies are . Most certainly to my mind the contributions of Richard Jefferson and Antonio McDyess were minimal at best but what might be even more disturbing was the fact that the Grizzlies man-handled the Spurs with seasoned veteran Zach Randoplh being allowed to shred the defense almost at will . Randolph’s heroics was indicative of what has gone on throughout this series all along with him being allowed to roam free _____ but he was also ably abetted by Marc Gasol , Shane Batter and Mike Conley whose play at the point guard position has developed since his entrance into the NBA . It has been a profound disappointment to me in seeing the San Antonio Spurs bow out of the playoffs but I’ve seen the highs and lows of this organization. Remarkable as this might seem the Spurs have made the postseason for fourteen straight consecutive seasons and have averaged 55 wins per season over that time frame . As an avowed Spurs’ fan it goes without saying that in the aftermath of this series loss the organization will undoubtedly have to make some changes .

As to the Memphis Grizzlies their postseason is now in their own hands and they can essentially write their own story as to their aspirations . This much we do know their season has shown us all what to expect when you have no doubts as to your own will to win . That if anything to my mind was most definitely lacking in the persona of the San Antonio Spurs !

Just when I thought things simply couldn’t get anymore asinine with regard to the NFL lockout it has been reported that the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals have rescinded Judge Susan Richard Nelson’s original verdict , which now allows the NFL owners and league enforce the lockout . Never mind the fact that the league hierarchy has gone ahead with the NFL Draft which is being staged at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City and culminates with the seventh and final round of picks this Saturday 30th April , 2011. As contentious and litigious as this episode has become I can’t but help wonder why bother with all the facade being created by the league with the staging of the draft ?

I’ve always maintained that the league created this monster with the alleged labor relates issues and that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell seriously underestimated the hierarchy of the NFLPA which has now become a trade association. That being said neither party is without fault here with the asinine stance that each party has taken in being unable to decide how to split the $ 9 billion in revenues that the league has coming into its coffers each season . And as ridiculous as it may sound , neither side wants to be viewed as being the culprit here but in essence this has simply been about sheer greed with little if anything really having to deal with any inherent labor issues ! Question if you can’t find a way to seriously deliberate how best find a solution sharing $ 9 billion amenably then what would that suggest to you about both of the parties involved ? Greed or merely that both the league hierarchy and union are simply too stupid for their own good ?

Andy Dalton welcome to the NFL and you now more likely than not will supplant Carson Palmer in the pecking order for the quarterback position with the Cincinnati Bengals . Given the Bengals’ disastrous 2010 season where Palmer and his teammates were an immense disappointment having been the AFC North divisional champions in 2009, 2010 simply showed how much the team had simply regressed.

Bengals’ coach Marvin Lewis knows that his job is on the line this season and anything short of a divisional title and postseason berth and effectively his managerial career with the organization will come to an abrupt end . As for Andy Dalton this now becomes his team to lead in light of the continued displeasure of Carson Palmer and his wish to be traded . However with the player’s demands having not been met and the continued scenario within the NFL his only option appears to be to proceed with his original announcement that he would retire if his demands were not met . Personally, if this is indicative of quarterbacks coming out of USC and the fact that they have no heart or will a will to win once in the NFL then my advice to Palmer would be ………. “see ya wouldn’t want to be ya and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out ” !

Unequivocably the game of baseball is in a complete mess and this season has simply been indicative of that. If anything it hasn’t been the play of of the teams on the field that have made the headlines but namely the stories off it. Frank McCourt is now prepared to challenge the league’s hierarchy in providing an outside presence to deal with the day operations of the Los Angeles Dodgers . McCourt as the team’s owner has if anything been a complete ass in thinking that he can place this organization in dire financial straits but at the same time fails to address the issue as to why he needed to borrow some $30 million from the local LA Fox affiliate to meet the team’s budgetary expenses for the month of April. Frank McCourt has also maintained that the league hierarchy has within their possession documents related to a possible television deal with Fox that woud pay the Dodgers $3 billion over the next two decades . At this juncture it simply means nothing if that document remains unsigned with the deal not physically in place awaiting league approval .

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig for his part stated that his greatest concern were the dire consequences that McCourt had placed the organization in . But here’s the caveat, if as such the Dodgers met all of the league’s rules as it concerns the conduct of its business affairs then how is that they’ve allowed McCourt to systematically d to use the Dodgers repeatedly as collateral in many business deals with outside parties not related at all with the game ? Having installed former US Ambassador to Japan J Thomas Schieffer as the league’s representative while the Dodgers undergoes this period of intense scrutiny . I’ve now got to ask what now awaits the team and organization over the course of the their season ?

If anything this is what has been endemic within the game of baseball and the unwillingness of the team owners and the hierarchy itself to be openly transparent in the conduct of their business affairs . And it goes without saying that this conduct has been suborned by the fact that MLB’s antitrust exemption status allows it carte-blanche /free rein as to how they conducts themselves in almost every facet of their dealings both on and off the field of play . And I’m led to believe that the House Oversight & Gov’t Reform Committee weren’t aware as to the league’s conduct over the past decade and a half ? The league has become archaic , its leadership structure as are the team owners , the MLBPA are simply clueless and are a bunch of blithering idiots ! With the New York Mets’ episode yet to be addressed fully by the league do you get the feeling that MLB would rather the respective owners there Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon removed from their executive posts as well ? Where else could one find such mismanagement within the game but in essence the league hierarchy continues to act as if they’re rearranging the life boats on the Titanic thinking that they’re in no imminent danger .

I know that the MLB season is one of 162 games but the way that the Cleveland Indians have been playing as of late you’d be under the impression that they’re now on the cusp of making the postseason. Winners of five of their last seven games the Indians sit atop of the AL East . If anything they’ve been the surprise team within the division with their play and seems to be infectious amongst the younger members on this Cleveland Indians’ roster .

In their game against the struggling Detroit Tigers the Indians simply showed why they have been playing with the resolve that they have shown since the very start of their season . In a fitting way to end the game Indians’ slugger Carlos Santana hit a walk off grand slam to deny the Tigers victory on their way to a 9-5 win over their divisional rivals . And although it’s still early in the season it’s good to see that for now the Cleveland Indians appear to be relevant once again. With that win the Cleveland Indians now share the best record (17-8) in baseball alongside the Philadelphia Phillies . A nice resurgence for a franchise that seems to have been in the doldrums over the last decade but now appears to be back where they and their fans feel that they belong.

================================================================================

================================================================================

Whether or not you’ve been watching the initial part of the NBA postseason unfold what to your mind has been the biggest surprise or disappointment from your own standpoint ? With regard to the NFL its Draft and everything that now seems to be unfolding how do you envisage this episode finally ending ? From your own perspective do you feel that there’s now time for a real drastic change within the hierarchy of MLB and also do you feel that the owners should be more transparent in their business dealing in and outside of the game when they are as such using their team as any part of a business transaction ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts as to the points raised within this piece .

Alan aka tophatal ………………….

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .
———————————————————————————————–

(1) MEMPHIS, TN – APRIL 29: Zach Randolph(50) of the Memphis Grizzlies talks with Greg Popovich after the Grizzlies beat the San Antonio Spurs 99-91 in Game Six of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at FedExForum on April 29, 2011 in Memphis, Tennessee. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images …..

(2) San Antonio Spurs players watch the final moments of their loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in the second half of Game 6 of a first-round NBA basketball series on Friday, April 29, 2011, in Memphis, Tenn. The Grizzlies won 99-91 to win the series 4-2 . From left are Richard Jefferson, Matt Bonner, Gary Neal, Daniel Green, and Steve Novak. AP Photo/Lance Murphey ……….

(3) Cincinnati Bengals second round draft pick Andy Dalton, and his fiancee Jordan Jones, left, pose for a picture being taken by the Bengals third round draft pick Dontay Moch, right, after an NFL football news conference, Saturday, April 30, 2011, in Cincinnati. AP Photo/David Kohl ……….

(4) Cincinnati Bengals second round draft pick Andy Dalton, left, a quarterback from TCU, and third round draft pick Dontay Moch, a linebacker from Nevada, right, pose with their jerseys during an NFL football news conference, Saturday, April 30, 2011, in Cincinnati. AP Photo/David Kohl ………

(5) Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, left, poses with the team’s first round draft pick A.J. Green during an NFL football news conference, Friday, April 29, 2011 in Cincinnati. Green, a wide receiver from Georgia, will wear number 18 for the Bengals. AP Photo/Al Behrman ……

(6) Gary Guyton (59) of the New England Patriots carries the ball in for a touchdown as Carson Palmer (9) of the Cincinnati Bengals tries to tackle during the NFL season opener on September 12, 2010 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Guyton intercepted Palmer’s pass. Getty Images North America / Elsa Martinez …….

(7) LOS ANGELES – APRIL 29: the San Diego Padres the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 29, 2011 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images …….

(8) Cleveland Indians’ Carlos Santana watches the flight of his game-winning grand slam off Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Joaquin Benoit in the ninth inning of a baseball game in Cleveland on Friday, April 29, 2011. The Indians won the game 9-5. Tigers catcher Alex Avila, left, looks on. AP Photo/Amy Sancetta …….

(9) Cleveland Indians catcher Carlos Santana celebrates as he jumps to home plate after hitting a game winning three-run walk off home run off Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Joaquin Benoit in the ninth inning of a baseball game in Cleveland on Friday, April 29, 2011. The Indians won the game 9-5 . AP Photo/Amy Sancetta ……..

———————————————————————————————–

NFL News

NFL Schedule 2010-11

NBA News

NBA Playoffs 2011

NBA Postseason Schedules

Sunday

Monday

NBA Stats Postseason

MLB News

MLB 29th April 2011

MLB Schedule 30th April 2011

MLB Scoreboard 1st May 2011

Now What ?

Now What ?

Well the NFL Draft began and over the course of three days Radio City Music Hall , New York City well become the epicenter of the NFL world . Never mind the fact that although Judge Susan Richard Nelson has sided with the players over their challenge of the league’s mandated lockout the nation’s top collegiate players will be front and center as the teams and their front office executives and coaches will assuage and assess their merits .

====================================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

===================================================================================

Slide show for your perusal .

No real surprise as Cam Newton was taken number one overall by the Carolina Panthers having been the league’s worse team record wise last season. The draft itself as it continues and until its culmination on Saturday will provide the fans with a great many surprises and no doubt a great deal of disappointment as to the choices that’ll no doubt be made by the various teams. As a discerning fan I for one am not overly interested in the process , as from my own perspective until that first snap and first down is made on an NFL field during a regular season game we’re totally unsure what to expect from the rookies stepping up to the professional ranks . Suffice to say , that the likes of Newton , Von Miller , Marcell Dareus , A J Green , Patrick Peterson and Julio Jones are now set for life financially having been taken as the first six players in the first round of this year’s NFL Draft.

That being said I expect a number trades to take place too as some teams may well look to off-load a prospective free agent in order to move up in the draft order in order to obtain a player that meets their needs. Given the still unclear picture of the league landscape and the very fact that though a 2011 schedule has been made public the fans are still unclear as to what awaits them in terms of there actually be a regular NFL season. The owners have still vowed to fight on in spite of Nelson’s verdict and her denying them a right of appeal at the Appellate Division . So the only recourse for the league and owners would be to challenge that decision in the Supreme Court , with that challenge being heard by the Justices there . And the likelihood that Chief Justice John Roberts and his colleagues supersede or overturn that decision seems highly unlikely , unless the the league as the plaintiffs, can provide a clear and substantive proof that Nelson erred in rendering her original decision .

For now in terms of anything tangible all the NFL fan simply has at this moment in time is that draft and the parade of the players as chattel bound for a new owner. For the analysts and draft geeks I’m of no doubt that they’re well on their way to making prognostications as to who has done well in the first two rounds and who may well have made a profound miscalculation with their picks . Be that as it may , no one really knows for sure what is liable to happen with these players until that first whistle is blown and the season should there be one , gets underway. Then and only then , will we be able to gauge these players and how they’re likely to do.

I’m sorry, but now is not the time for excuses ,…………. especially when your team gets handed its own ass on the proverbial silver platter for all to see . Having watched in large part several of the games in the NBA playoff series between the Atlanta Hawks and Orlando Magic , I have come to the conclusion that the Magic have and become the softest team in the Eastern Conference merely not only from a mental standpoint but also from a physical one as well ! At no time throughout this series has the Orlando Magic actually played well much less with any degree of consistency . If anything their play has been erratic and if anything the hype over these players and in particular the aspirations of Dwight Howard being a viable league MVP candidate was simply hyperbole and not much else . Big players step up and lead , here’s been a clear cut case wherein Howard has simply bitched and complained as things haven’t gone his way and where the team’s animated coach Stan Van Gundy has simply proven that when it really matters most , in the face of real adversity he simply cannot instill anything into this team. I’ve heard it said that a league MVP simply means being the best player on the team , I think it goes way beyond that , as it means also showing leadership qualities and actually getting those around you to raise the level of their play. If anyone can point to the fact where Howard has shown any semblance of the latter during this series where a teammate has stepped up and followed his lead then someone please intervene and show me such an instance ?

This series essentially was over once the Hawks took to taking the Magic and exposing all of their flaws bare for all to see . A one dimensional team that lacked creativity and imagination. The likes of Gilbert Arenas , Jason Richardson and Quentin Richardson have literally been stealing money from the Orlando Magic and undeniably it has been Van Gundy , the front office executives and GM Otis Smith who have been culpable in creating this unmitigated mess with the Orlando Magic in its present guise . There has been no cohesion on this roster as it has simply been assembled as a group of mismatched pieces . The trades that took place that gave berth to the roster must’ve been thought up as a quip at first because in terms of offensive presence what had been hoped simply didn’t materialize and in terms of defensive voracity it wasn’t on display by the Magic as Jamal Crawford , Josh Smith , Al Horford and the sighting of Joe Johnson made the Magic seem all the more irrelevant during the series . Hard to believe that Magic were actually the number four seeds in the Eastern Conference but that’s what one tends to get suckered into if you simply take a record at face value rather than looking over the entire body of work and what’s brought to the table in terms of anything tangible .

Game six and that result (84-81) was an emphatic statement as to which team was simply deserving of this series . Having lost the series (4-2) the Magic , the coaching staff and team will have to reassess where , why and how things all went so badly wrong . This much is certain the Orlando Magic in its present guise I firmly believe will be completely new entity for the start of the 2011-12 season . I certainly don’t believe that Smith , Van Gundy and in particular team owner Rich DeVos , President & CEO Bob Vander Weide and the other senior executives of the Magic can be entirely happy with the outcome of this seris from a competitive or financial standpoint. Especially in light of franchise’s ongoing difficulties , albeit, that they’re now esconced in their new facility the Amway Center in downtown Orlando . The NBA and in particular in order to remain viable not just from a competitive standpoint also have to remain a viable one from a financial standpoint also . And that if anything has cast a shadow over the organization over the past several years . With NBA Commissioner David Stern and the league hierarchy projecting a fiscal loss of anywhere between $400 to $500 million you can well understand why it was imperative for the team to have had some semblance this postseason . Instead they’re now back to the drawing board looking to start over again with a plan in face hopefully with something that will lead to that ultimate goal of securing the club its first NBA title .

Given that in 2009 , the Orlando Magic were one of 18 teams around the NBA who were in receipt of a $175 million bailout courtesy of the league hierarchy by way of several financial institutions which the league itself has guaranteed . In 2010 the same exercise was again the norm with a further $300 million and it begs the question what’s going on with the NBA and in particular with its own financial template ? Anyone care to take a guess ?

I don’t know about you but as more information is divulged about Jim Tressel’s actions and the fact that he knew full well of several players’ improprieties , in their actions of selling memorabilia for financial gain. The more I ask myself , how is it that he still has a job at Ohio State ? Pardon me for saying this but how the fuck can the university condone these actions with a mere slap on the wrist by simply doing nothing more than asking Tressel to make a public apology and handing down a rather menial suspension ? The players involved in this subterfuge as such still have their athletic careers in tact but this simply gives further credence as to how corrupt collegiate athletics has become and the mere fact that the universities and the NCAA are powerless to stop any form of malfeasance that takes place . If Tressel can be allowed to remain on campus without there being real consequence for his actions , lying to senior faculty members and the press alike then it simply tells about this coach’s complete lack of integrity and character. And to think there are idiots about who still think of him as some type of role model ? Only a friggin’ idiot would be of that mindset I believe !

Dr E Gordon Gee the university’s president and Athletic Director Gene Smith have stated that they hope that episode can be put behind them and the school can proceed forward with its integrity still in tact . Well my answer to both Gee and Smith ….. ” had you had the balls to do what is morally right then perhaps your statements could be treated with a degree of realism “ . But given the fact that both have shown that they’d rather keep Tressel within their midst and with a tainted reputation simply emphasizes that within collegiate athletics ….. money simply trumps everything . There’s no denying that the football program brings in countless millions for the school but what that says about the school’s own image and the mere fact that they’d believe that Tressel’s less contrite apology makes up for his misdeeds shows and indicate how naive they actually are .

NCAA President Mark Emmert has stated that he’d like see a situation where student athletes would be able to receive some form of stipend while their collegiate athletic career is ongoing . But that’s something that I for one believe that the purists and many of the various athletic conferences might not be willing to part-take in . Not if it’s going to diminish what they’re receiving in terms of filling their monetary coffers . Imagine you have SEC Commissioner Mike Slive who’s now more concerned whether not the actions of Mark Shurtleff as Attorney General of Utah is stepping outside of his legal parameters ? Merely because Shurtleff wants to challenge the BCS’s antitrust exemption status and where he also feels that the BCS is an illegal monopoly in terms of its existence and how it conducts itself as a business entity. One could well understand Slive’s concerns , as he simply doesn’t want to see that gravy train dry up in any way .whatsoever . Not with there being countless millions at stake and pouring into coming into the major BCS conference coffers each year through various sports and business formats .

At some point there has to be some semblance brought into the midst as to how the NCAA deals with the misdeeds of not only the student athletes but also of the coaches who have been allowed in large have gone untouched for their actions . Simply look at what has taken place with Jim Calhoun , Bruce Pearl and Lane Kiffin recently and you can understand how pointless it as times to expect any sense of integrity coming from within collegiate athletics ! Integrity and greed simply doesn’t mix , much like oil and water is said not to . And that’s why nothing will ever change within the collegiate athletics landscape because in retrospect no one there actually wants it to change , the status quo has to remain the same . Integrity and honor be damned because that’s the least of the concerns of the schools , much less the NCAA itself .

======================================================================================================

====================================================================================================

Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do have on the topics raised within this piece ? Simply chime in with a comment as you see fit .

Alan aka tophatal …………………

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

———————————————————————————————————–

(1)Carolina Panthers first-round draft pick Cam Newton answers a question after being introduced during an NFL football news conference at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, April 29, 2011. AP Photo/Bob Leverone ………….

(2) Washington Redskins first-round draft pick Ryan Kerrigan addresses the media during an NFL football news conference at Redskins Park, Friday, April 29, 2011, in Ashburn, Va. AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez ……

(3) Cam Newton receives a hug from his mother Jackie on stage after he was selected #1 overall by the Carolina Panthers during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City. Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images ….

(4) NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (L) poses for a photo with Mark Ingram, #28 overall pick by the New Orleans Saints, holds up a jersey on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City. Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images ………

(5) Stan Van Gundy of the Orlando Magic reacts after a missed basket during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on April 28, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. Kevin Cox / Getty Images …..

(6) Dwight Howard(12) of the Orlando Magic reacts after a turnover to the Atlanta Hawks during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on April 28, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. Kevin Cox / Getty Images …….

(7) A fan hold up a neon green sign with the word “Kryptonite” written on it during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs between the Atlanta Hawks and the Orlando Magic at Philips Arena on April 28, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. Getty Images/ Kevin C Cox ……….

(8) Gilbert Arenas (1) of the Orlando Magic drives to the basket against Josh Smith (5) and Al Horford (15) of the Atlanta Hawks during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on April 28, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. Getty Images/ Kevin C Cox ………

(9) NBA commissioner David Stern, left, chats with Orlando Magic owner Rich DeVos during the first half of Game 1 in a second-round of the NBA basketball playoff series between the Magic and the Atlanta Hawks in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday, May 4, 2010. Stern announced earlier Tuesday that the 2012 All-Star Game will be held in Orlando. Courtesy of Forbes Magazine & AP Photo /John Raoux ……

(10) E. Gordon Gee, left, Ohio State University president; football coach Jim Tressel, center; and athletic director Gene Smith take questions during a news conference Tuesday, March 8, 2011, in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State suspendedTressel for two games and fined him $250,000 for violating NCAA rules by failing to notify the school about information he received involving two players and questionable activities involving Buckeye memorabilia. Tressel also will receive a public reprimand and must make a public apology. AP Photo/Terry Gilliam ………..

==============================================================================================

NBA News

NBA Playoffs 2011

NBA Games schedule

Friday 29th April 2011

Conference Semi Finals match-ups

Eastern Conference

Home team designated on the left

Chicago Bulls vs Atlanta Hawks

Miami Heat vs Boston Celtics

Western Conference

Los Angeles Lakers vs Dallas Mavericks

San Antonio Spurs/ Memphis Grizzlies vs Oklahoma City Thunder TBA

The series between the Spurs has yet to be decided with game six to be played tonight at the Fedex Forum in Memphis , Tennessee . . The Grizzlies at present have 3-2 lead in the best of seven game series .

NFL News

2011 NFL Draft

Draft by rounds : Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Round 4

Round 5

Round 6


Round 7

NFL Draft 2010

————————————————————————————————-

Wyclef Jean …….. feat’g ….. Mary J Blige ……………. “911”