The wind beneath whose wings ……..

The wind beneath whose wings …

The NBA season is now in full swing and in the lead-up to the always important Christmas Day schedule , teams will certainly be looking to play with a great deal more consistency than with the initial start to their season.

Defending NBA champions the Golden State Warriors are certainly proving why they are the best team in the league and also have the best starting lineup by far. There is no other team in the NBA with greater depth and certainly they have the best head coach currently coaching in the game.

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Steve Kerr has experienced it all as a player , head coach and brought a sense of stability and intellect needed to a Warriors’ franchise , which it lacked under Kerr’s predecessor Mark Jackson . Add in the fact among the franchise’s front office , you have Jerry West as a consultant and an astute general manager with the acumen of Bob Myers and you can see why the Warriors remain ahead of the curve both on and off the court.

The same cannot be said for a litany teams around the NBA and that is with due respect to the likes of the Los Angeles Lakers , New York Knicks , Sacramento Kings , Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers , all of whom are simply bringing the NBA to its knees , if not lying on its back , prostrate. Simply look at their respective records within their divisions , conference and the league overall as a reason why they are and remain so bad.

When Joe Lacob and Peter Guber made the decision to buy the Golden State Warriors from former owner Chris Cohan, they sought to fix the problems often ignored by their predecessor and the front office.

Cohan, for his part , was often seen as an owner who simply didn’t care about the fate of the team during his tenure, just as long as he was able to share in the profits reaped not only by the team, but also the league in general. One has to remember , first and foremost the NBA as a brand is a major money-making business , which is presided over a group of executives whose major and primary concern has been to exact a degree of control over its brand , which makes it impossible for anyone to compete against them on any level.

The tyrannical rule seen under David Stern as the league’s commissioner, was one of complete authority, even if along the way there were buffoon-like decisions made along with a slew of mistakes and his even using race and gangster rap, as a selling point to market the NBA brand. Yet , I have been told countless times by a number of individuals , Stern was very good for the NBA. In reality, the former commissioner made use of Michael Jordan as the “tool” needed to sell the brand globally around the world . Now we are in the era of LeBron James and this league remains as popular as ever, even though there has been a marked decline in the quality of the play on the basketball court. In part , that could be down to the coaching and also the lack of real in-depth talent advancing from the college level over the past few years.

Adam Silver has succeeded David Stern as the NBA Commissioner and Silver looks to further the league’s ambition to expand beyond the North American continent. From my own perspective, while basketball might be one of the most popular sports in the world , second only to soccer. The league will be in for a hard sell in such places as Latin America , Western Europe and certain regions of sub-Saharan Africa. To date, the NBA’s most successful advances have been made in Europe and on the Asian continent , where in particular , China has been the league’s big success. A billion-plus consumers to be embraced and you cannot go wrong and then add in the fact the country’s biggest sporting export Yao Ming still remains popular in China, even after his retirement and you can understand why the NBA seeks to have its tentacles firmly around the globe. Something , I firmly believe the hierarchies of the NFL, MLB and NHL have failed yet to grasp, when it comes to marketing their brands on the global market.

The Golden State Warriors on their march to seeking a second consecutive NBA title have been blowing past opponents and leaving them in their rear view mirror. Reigning NBA League MVP Steph Curry , is having another banner year and his teammates are following his lead. Defensively, as good as they are , the Warriors can still get better and the question now on everyone’s lips , which team can inflict Golden State’s first loss of the season. At 22-0 , the Warriors are just eleven games away from equaling the longest consecutive winning streak in NBA history, a mark held by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers. Another five-straight wins by Golden State would see them equal the second longest mark set by Miami Heat during the 2012-13 NBA season.

In their last game the Golden State Warriors in a contest , which pitted them against the Indiana Pacers . A home loss for the Pacers in a 131-123 defeat pushed Indiana’s record to 12-9 for the fifth best record in the Eastern Conference. The Warriors’ next game will see them on the road to face the Boston Celtics , where we are likely to see Golden State improve their road record as well as against another Eastern Conference opponent.

While the Golden State Warriors are being praised for their success this season , for the teams at the bottom end of the NBA and the continued ineptitude shown. I don’t know that a great deal more needs to be said about the play of the Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers , Brooklyn Nets , New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings. Ineptitude this season , shall we say, is the new normal ?

Brett Brown , head coach of the 76ers, is a franchise, which is bereft of talent on the court , but even more among so the coaching staff and front office . Having recently won their first game of the season , the Sixers can rest assured no one is really concerned what they do over the remainder of their schedule, much less the idiocy of those who believe GM Sam Hinkie is building something which will be of benefit to the franchise and their long-term future. This is the sort of prevailing idiocy which is now prevalent around the NBA, with the fans and analysts alike. Once, the several of these younger players (rookies) have fulfilled their contractual obligations with Sixers , I believe a number of them will be getting as far away from Philadelphia as fast as they can, without taking a look in their rear view mirrors !

Rajon Rondo may well be resurrecting his career with the Sacramento Kings , but the team will not be going anywhere at all this season. George Karl, as experienced a coach as he is, has to be provided with a team willing to play, one which plays with a great deal of zeal. Clearly not the case with Sacramento at home or on the road this season. A six-point victory over the Utah Jazz by the Sacrament Kings may well have provided the Kings with some respite momentarily but they will be in for something of a test when they face the New York Knicks at home on Thursday evening. For the New York Knicks, this will give the Derek Fisher coached team a chance to improve their record against Western Conference opponents. While there might be a great deal which the Knicks’ fans feel they can rejoice about , at this point of the season, with a 10-12 record within the East and 2 ½ games behind the eighth placed , Orlando Magic (12-9) , is not necessarily a great place to be for a franchise , where their fans as well as the front office believe the team is capable of making the NBA Playoffs this season.

LeBron James might well be considered the best player in the NBA since his entrance as the number one pick during the 2003 NBA Draft . The ensuing years have provided the fans with just about everything they expected and a great deal more. As LeBron seeks to guide the Cleveland Cavaliers to their first NBA title, the player seems to be making all the right commercial moves off the court , while still making a considerable salary on the court. James’ signing of a lifetime $500 million contract , further enhances his viability as the NBA’s highest-profile and commercially viable marketing asset, the league currently has. The deal with Nike Inc, will push the player’s lifetime earnings in excess of $1 billion. If the rumors are to be believed then the player could be joining his personal icons Michael Jordan and Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson of becoming not only major sports’ icons , but also billionaire status .

The Cleveland Cavaliers have not proven to be as dominant as some believed they would be this season and already the team has suffered some rather embarrassing losses against opponents, which many felt were beneath them. Over their last six games heading into Wednesday night the Cleveland Cavaliers have posted 3-3 record , hardly emblematic of a team seeking to be the best within their conference. Granted, the Cavaliers do have the best record , but they have been far from dominant within the Eastern Conference. In their last game Cleveland had to overcome pesky Portland Trailblazers , who they defeated 105-100. Prior to that game, they lost a lopsided decision to the Miami Heat , while they were without LeBron James for the contest. The next game for the Cavaliers will see them take on the Orlando Magic at the Amway Arena , Orlando, Florida on Thursday , 11th December ,2015.

It would be fair to suggest there are no more than a handful of teams in the Western Conference likely to be able to derail the chances of the Golden State Warriors making a successful defense of their NBA title. Among those , I would count the Oklahoma City Thunder , Los Angeles Clippers and San Antonio Spurs to be among the teams in question ! Of the three franchises mentioned , the Spurs with their depth might be the team capable of making that a reality. The fact that Gregg Popovich and RC Buford were able to pull of such a coup in acquiring both LaMarcus Aldridge and David West only adds to the fabled accomplishments of both executives .

San Antonio currently has the second-best record in the league and the conference behind the undefeated Golden State Warriors. Certainly, when these two teams meet in the first of their regular season meetings , it is likely to be one the games of the season and most definitely the game of the night, when this contests takes place. These two teams will meet four times times over the course of this season as part of their schedule, with those games being contested on the following dates, 25th January, 19th March, 7th April and the final meeting between the two taking place on the 10th April . Last season both the Warriors and Spurs put on an exhilarating display in each of the three games held as they sought conference supremacy .

Tim Duncan and his San Antonio Spurs’ teammates will next take to the court when they are due to face Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant having announced this will be his his last season in the NBA, will not be going out with a splash, but more so, on a somber note as the Lakers’ season is already imperiled due to the poor play by the entire roster and poor coaching of Byron Scott .

The only way is up , from here-on in concerning the Los Angeles Lakers, but I believe it is too steep a mountain which this franchise is incapable of climbing . simply because of the lack of intelligence shown by the team’s owners Jim and Jeanie Buss, while GM Mitch Kupchak remains clueless in his assessment of talent and how to put a competitive together. Six years on from their last NBA title triumph , the Lakers have labored in a pool of acrid mediocrity .

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What have you found to be the most impressive statistic witnessed at this point of the NBA season and do you believe the Christmas schedule will play a large part in what we could very well see over the remainder of the NBA schedule ?

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Tophatal …………..

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For whom the bell tolls …

For whom the bell tolls ….

The NBA is now gearing up for an emphatic season , but a great deal of off-court news has somewhat created a dilemma for the league . Granted , with sale of the Los Angeles Clippers and abandonment of the Sterling family , of which Donald and Rochelle Sterling are no longer owners of the once besieged franchise , it now leaves the NBA to start afresh , or so we thought. Atlanta Hawks’ owner Bruce Levenson for some inexplicable reason in an e-mail he sent, saw fit to go on a racial tirade stereotyping African-American players and individuals of the ethnicity in a very repulsive way. To further exacerbate the situation we then had the franchise’s general manager Danny Ferry be extremely critical of then free agent Luol Deng who chose not to sign with the Hawks during the off-season.

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Ferry’s statements attributed to an e-mail he read from , states the player was of low intelligence often seen with players of ethnicity and those from the African continent . Danny Ferry has now taken a leave of absence while offering very little by way of an apology for his remarks . Bruce Levenson sold his majority stake in the franchise with Michael Gearon now assuming control of the Atlanta Hawks. In the midst of his all , NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has not seen fit to reprimand either Ferry or Levenson for their actions , instead Silver has seen fit to issue a statement in support of the Hawks while not necessarily distancing the league from Ferry’s remarks.

The NBA’s handling of the Donald Sterling saga was a complete embarrassment for the league and the criticism of the league was more than warranted. Such incompetency and hypocrisy by the league , its owners and the union (NBPA) in general, had many questioning what the mindset was said to be within the league hierarchy, not just under the present commissioner , but also his predecessor, David Stern . The latter has been given a pass, while his legacy seems to remain intact , with this continued idiocy , Stern was of great benefit to the league, because of the rise in profits and revenues of the NBA in general and his custodianship of the league. In truth, David Stern simply fought the battles he felt would benefit his image and raise his profile even higher among his peers , the fans and public in general.

One could continue to be critical of the NBA, but it would be of little benefit because the league, like the NFL , MLB and NHL are simply bereft of leadership and creativity. It will continue to be that way, no matter what changes are proposed by the hierarchies under the existing leadership. One simply has to look at the current mess within the NFL and the poor handling by the hierarchy, as led by Roger Goodell.

The Atlanta Hawks will face a tough season in the NBA, as the team opens up their schedule with a game against the Toronto Raptors on the opening night of the league on the 29th October ,2014. The exhibition season for the franchise will begin on the 6th October , and there the Hawks will begin their preseason schedule with a game against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Philips Arena, in Atlanta , Georgia,. Head coach Mike Budenholzer and his coaching staff will be under pressure to succeed with the team that is light on experience, but is likely to play with a great deal of fortitude as the season begins. Atlanta will be looking to seasoned veterans such as Elton Brand , Kyle Korver and Al Horford to provide the team with much-needed leadership while rookies , Adrian Payne and Walter Tavares are not expected to make a great contribution in the first half of the season , while still learning the ropes at the professional level. Jeff Teague is likely to be the player with which Budenholzer is expected to see the biggest improvement as he provided the Atlanta Hawks with a great deal of leadership throughout much of last season and is expected to do the same again this year. For the moment however, this remains Al Horford’s team, as he is still by far the best player on the roster.

LeBron James is back in Cleveland, much to the chagrin of the Miami Heat and team President Pat Riley , but as they say, ” the show must go on “ .Unfortunately, for the Heat the cast is now a bunch of nondescript coupling, with an aging Dwayne Wade who is now past his sell by date , along with a very inconsistent Chris Bosh who has been in essence the ” third wheel” , as part of the franchise’s former ‘Big Three’ . As to what that now says about the current roster remains to be seen before they embark upon their preseason schedule as well their regular season sojourn. With the roster as it is, I certainly do not believe the Miami Heat will be good enough to win their division but they are likely to gain a postseason berth, if Wade and Bosh can play at an optimum level while leading the team. Erik Spoelstra will be counting the duo’s experience along with Udonis Haslem and Chris Andersen .

An eight-game exhibition season, will give the Heat head coach just about enough time to gauge how competent his players are likely to be, before their first regular season encounter when they take on the Washington Wizards at home in the AA Arena in Miami , Florida. LeBron James’ departure simply placed a monkey wrench in the plans of Pat Riley, but to my mind this departure while a surprise came about because of the executive’s unwillingness to bolster the roster in the ways needed and if it meant the decoupling of the Big Three , then it should have been done, rather than this asinine belief James could continue to carry the team on his back. He was barely supported throughout last season and during the postseason , his teammates were literally nowhere to be seen as shown in the lopsided series’ loss to the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals . Not much more needs to be said beyond that !

Steve Ballmer may well have paid for the privilege of owning the Los Angeles Clippers with his audacious bid of $2 billion , simply blowing any competing bid out of the water. Ballmer was needed more by the NBA, than they would actually care to admit because of their poor handling of the Donald Sterling affair. Nobody can yet justify the value of the Clippers was on the mark , in terms , of the final sale price , but here is what we do now know , every single owner in the NBA must be now salivating , because of the sale price and the belief the value of their respective franchises will continue to rise.

With Donald Sterling’s departure, the Los Angeles Clippers can set about re-imaging the franchise , but it will be down to head coach Doc Rivers and the two mist visible members of the roster , Chris Paul and Blake Griffin to bring about a new change in how the public view organization. The Clippers for their part last season proved themselves the better of the two Los Angeles’ based franchises winning the Pacific Division , with the Los Angeles Lakers bringing up the rear within the division. As to what this suggests about the decline of the Lakers , can be best summed up by the upheaval within the franchise with the departure of Mike D’Antoni , his being replaced by Byron Scott and the departure of several players from last season’s roster. From my own perspective , I firmly believe Mitch Kupchak has lost his touch , with Jim Buss simply being clueless about what is needed in resurrecting the fortunes of this now fast declining basketball club.

Kobe Bryant remains part of the current Lakers’ roster and the likely only chance of survival the team will have this upcoming season. Their contests with the Clippers should prove to be engaging , with the belief Blake Griffin , Chris Paul and their teammates having the upper hand in the season meetings , which was definitely the case this past year. The first of those highly anticipated games will take place on the 31st October , with the Clippers being the visiting team at the Staples Center , in Los Angeles , California , on the night in question.
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As tumultuous as the off-season was said to be for both the Los Angeles Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers, both franchises are thought to have fared reasonably well in the NBA Draft , but clearly, the Clippers are ready to be deemed contenders now , rather than later . For Byron Scott and his coaching staff , this will likely be a season where he is simply left to gauge the makeup of the roster and let things fall where they may.

The Los Angeles Clippers had a memorable season , but their postseason foray ended abruptly with a conference semi-finals’ loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder . Kevin Durant would prove to be the star of the series, leading all players in scoring average and points scored in the series . Oklahoma for its part , would fall the to the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals , where defense played its part in the Spurs’ success, but in essence it was systematically the all round play of the team , which led to the victory.

Disappointment in 2013 and 2014 , and it would seem the Thunder are found wanting , with / Scott Brooks being unable to get his teams over the hump during the seasons in question. He has the reigning MVP in Kevin Thunder and one of the most dynamic players in the NBA with point guard Russell Westbrook . There is also the defensive prowess of Serge Ibaka , but somehow the team last season was lacking the killer instinct needed to get the job done. Oklahoma was favored to come out of the Western Conference and likely to seen as a real threat to the Miami Heat , but it was all to no avail , as witnessed in the series’ loss to the eventual champions the San Antonio Spurs. This season the Thunder will be under a great deal of pressure , but Kevin Durant will be severely tested as to his acumen and appetite as he chases after that elusive first NBA title of his career. Frustration has begun to build for the player and recent statements attributed to him, suggest he would like to play somewhere else, at some point in the future. Albeit , he has not stated where , Durant is a native of Washington , DC and the likelihood of his suiting up in Washington Wizards’ uniform for the moment might seem remote , but it would prove to be a tremendous morale booster for the beleaguered franchise .

Durant will not become a free agent until 2016 , but he can opt out of the final year of his contract in 2015 , which seems to be the likely outcome for the player who is represented by the up and coming sports’ management agency RocNation Sports , home to several high-profiled professional athletes. If Durant can be persuaded to remain with the Oklahoma City Thunder, then Scott Brooks , GM Sam Presti and the franchise’s ownership group will have to move heaven and earth to prove to the player, they all share the same goal and that is to bring an NBA title to the franchise and the city of Oklahoma, where this basketball team has been well supported ever since their relocating to the city.

We have seen a marked decline in the play of the Dallas Mavericks over the past two seasons and with Dirk Nowitzki in the waning years a of an outstanding career with the franchise. It will hard to imagine how the team in its present guise can be viewed as major contender within the Western Conference. An aging roster led by Nowitzki , with veterans such as Devin Harris , Jameer Nelson , Richard Jefferson , Raymond Felton , Tyson Chandler and coached by Rick Carlisle . If the Mavericks are to succeed this season , then these veterans will have to be the leaders on the team as the likes of Jae Crowder , Ricky Ledo and Gal Mekel make their way through the season where it will be a rigorous schedule for the players. The Mavericks’ first regular season game will pit them against the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center in San Antonio , Texas on the 28th October, 2014 , opening night of the regular season within the NBA .

For the Dallas Mavericks’ owner , the larger than life Mark Cuban , he and GM Donnie Nelson can only hope this will be the season in which Dirk Nowitzki can bow out on a high note. I view this team as one which will go through the motions in trying win a second NBA title , but in reality , this group of players, will face a tough task even making it out of their division much less garnering a playoff berth this upcoming season , as the Western Conference is likely to very competitive, throughout the year.

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With the upcoming NBA season , which teams or players do you believe will have the biggest impact on the league ? Also, in light of the problems now besieging the NFL , do you think the NBA hierarchy will be able to deal with any major issue likely to affect their image should it be a problem concerning the behavior of a player ? Your thoughts on this and anything else are more than welcome concerning this article .

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(1) Donald Sterling and his now estranged wife Rochelle Stein-Sterling are now the former owners of the Los Angeles Clippers . Banished by the league , Donald Sterling having lost his case concerning the sale of the franchise to Steve Ballmer , has a civil case pending against the league hierarchy in US Federal Court in California . The former owner is seeking $1 billion in damages from the league with punitive damages on top of the proposed figure mentioned . AP Photo / Keith Morris …

(2) Steve Ballmer , former Microsoft Chairman and now the league’s newest NBA owner . The billionaire paid an astonishing $2 billion for the franchise far exceeding most expectations in the value of the Los Angeles Clippers . Getty Images North America / Steve Matthews … …

(3) Former Atlanta Hawks’ owner Bruce Levenson , foreground is seen here with team general manager Danny Ferry . The two executives have been caught up in furor concerning racial epithets and stereotypes used in something of a very derogatory way to describe African-Americans . Levenson has since sold his majority stake in the basketball franchise and Ferry has taken a leave of absence from the team. Neither individual has been punished by the NBA for their actions. AP Photo/ Christina McIntosh …

(4) Miami Heat team President Pat Riley , left, introduces the team’s draft pick Shabazz Napier to the press at a press conference. Seated center , is Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra . The Heat’s roster will have drastically changed from last season , after the departure of LeBron James and several other players. AP Photo/ Paul Mason ……

(5) Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder is seen here with head coach Scott Brooks during a game played at the Chesapeake Energy Center in Oklahoma City , Oklahoma,. Getty Images / Paul Ross ….

(6) Court-side from left to right , Rick Carlisle , Jose Barea and Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks. Getty Images/ Leon Patterson … …..
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tophatal ……..

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No soliloquies needed here .

Nigger in the woodpile ? Donald Sterling doesn’t even have a plantation but he probably wished, he had one ……..

Nigger in the woodpile ? Donald Sterling doesn’t even have a plantation but he probably wished , he had one ……..

So as the NBA postseason meanders towards what the fans believe will be an inevitability , it is interesting to note, that the biggest story now surrounding the league , just happens to be the unfolding episode concerning the statements attributed to Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling that was first reported by entertainment news’ website TMZ .

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Sterling , is said to have made the comments to his girlfriend, that he would rather have her not associate herself , with “niggers” or have them attend the games of the team he owns , while they are playing at the Staples Arena in downtown Los Angeles , California . As to why anyone, would actually be surprised by these statements by Donald Sterling , when it has been a repeated pattern of behavior by one of the NBA’s most malignant owners . Furthermore , it should be noted, that the owner, has been ran afoul of the US government , by way of the US Justice Department ,with his having been successfully sued in US Federal Court in an action brought by the US Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) , for being a ” slum landlord “ , and in having many of his tenants live in squalor conditions in a number of the numerous residential properties that he owns , many of the tenants in question were minorities , of African-American , Asian-American and Hispanic ethnicity , living within the greater Los Angeles area. The fact, that the city of Los Angeles failed to act with any type of expediency when his actions first came to light with regard the ongoing negligent actions as a landlord , and one of the city’s most prominent residential owners , leads me to believe that beyond the city’s incompetency , was due the power able to be wielded by Sterling within the city and among the city council, itself.

Tantamount to this all, has been the sheer naiveté , apathy , downright stupidity and utter gullibility of fans and the NBA hierarchy , who have continually over the years overlooked Donald Sterling’s continued behavior. It has been an ongoing pattern of behavior by the owner, wherein, David Stern has turned a blind eye to the Clippers owner’s ongoing behavior not only as it relates to the racial overtones of his comments , his egregious sexist behavior but also , what is said to be mistreatment of Clippers’ employees within the organization . Stern, long seen as a bastion of presiding over a league, said to be image conscious, but yet during the time that this owner has carried on with boorish behavior , neither the former NBA Commissioner , nor his later successor , Adam Silver , has sought do a thing, to in some way suspend or fine the owner . Yet , the NBA remains a league where in the past , David Stern has seen fit to fine Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks , hundreds of thousands of dollars , when Cuban has been justified in his criticism of the league hierarchy and that of the officiating of regular and postseason games in the NBA. Need we be reminded also , that Stern has also seen fit to actually punish players with impunity for actions , he believes to be harmful to the game or conducting unbecoming ? Yet during his tenure , he has never seen fit to punish Donald Sterling , for previous allegations of having thrown out racial epithets.

I have to ask myself, what would David Stern or Adam Silver deem serious enough for them to take action against Donald Sterling, given his repeated gregarious behavior ? If that was not enough, how much of an apathetic idiot must one be , to try and suggest consider that the country has progressed beyond the racial divide , when in many cases , there still remains an economic and social chasm within this country, along its racial lines ? Also , with the recent incident , with the death of Alfred Wright in Jasper , Texas , which was also the scene of the dragging and lynching death of James Byrd IV . Can someone explain to me, why they are those, who of the opinion, that racism and dare one say “hate crimes “ are on the decrease ? Is it merely, because the US the Justice Department, would try to suggest that, as being a fact? Need we be reminded, who now heads that particular governmental agency and the continued incompetency that has been shown by Eric Holder , as the US Attorney General ?

Now beyond the racial statements attributed to Donald Sterling , his odious views on women and how sexist those tones are , does bear asking, what other views he may well have, that we have not come seen come the surface and his views on race and other numerous social issues ? Clearly, beyond this stupidity that this is now solely Adam Silver’s issue to deal with , we also need to now look at the actions of the other owners around the NBA , and why no response there about Sterling’s comments and why no formal statement from anyone within the NBPA hierarchy or from among those on the Clippers’ coaching or playing staff . This might be the one time I firmly believe that Doc Rivers or the team’s presumed leader in Chris Paul actually make a formal statement . Consider also , that the Clippers’ point guard is the current President of the Players’ Union (NBPA) . Begs the question, is there no end, to clear incompetency and apathy within the NBA and union , itself ?

As to the postseason , the reigning NBA champions the Miami Heat (3-0) are proving to be now as decisive as they have been at any point during their regular season schedule . LeBron James leads the team in scoring during the playoffs , as he seeks to add a third NBA title to his already impressive resume’ . Erik Spoelstra may well be relishing the fact that as the Heat strolls through the first three games of their first round series against the Charlotte Bobcats (0-3) , the Indiana Pacers (2-2) as the number one seeds in the Eastern Conference now find themselves in the midst of a dogfight against the Atlanta Hawks (2-2) in their quarter-final series , now tied at two games apiece (2-2), with game five scheduled for Monday night at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indiana , Indianapolis. Frank Vogel’s Pacers can ill-afford to lose game five and then place themselves in an almost irretrievable position, in having to win the final two games of the best of seven series . Considering, the seismic waves a first round series’ loss would create for the Indiana Pacers, can certainly be judged by the fact, that it would create an easier path for the Miami Heat, as they seek to make their way to a third consecutive NBA Finals.

In the run-up to the end of the regular season, the Chicago Bulls were very much one of the most impressive teams over the final ten games of the season. It seemed hardly likely that with the season long loss of Derrick Rose and the franchise’s decision to trade Luol Deng , that one would have guessed that the team would indeed make the NBA Playoffs as the fourth seed within the Eastern Conference . A first round series’ match-up, against the John Wall led Washington Wizards (3-1) , was if anything, expected to be a very competitive series. Instead, it has become an ongoing nightmare for Tom Thibodeau , his coaching staff and the Bulls’ players have squandered just about every advantage and opportunity , one might have thought that they might have had , in now finding themselves on the brink of elimination , now down three games to one (3-1) against the Wizards. Coming into the series , I felt that with the momentum gained by the team over their final twenty regular season games , I thought them to be perhaps, the most dangerous of the outside contenders, who might hinder the path of both the Indiana Pacers Miami Heat , and their presumed conference finals’ match-up !

Tuesday’s game , given the contest’s value , will very much be one of zeal and guise on the part of the Bulls , because , Washington Wizards’ head coach Randy Wittman, his coaching staff and players , will be seeking to close out a series , that few might have expected them to be victorious in . Turnovers and a complete lack of leadership, has simply been the tale of the Bulls’ woes throughout this series and that does come as a surprise , when one considers the level of play shown by Joakim Noah during the regular season and his winning of the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year , this past season .

A scrappy series, between the Toronto Raptors (2-2) and Brooklyn Nets (2-2) ha pretty much summed up what this season has simply been about within the Eastern Conference wherein , the level of the play has simply bordered on being insipid and downright puerile . , though the continued idiocy to sell the league and specifically the Eastern Conference as being competitive. Nothing could be further from the truth , and the very fact that we now have Adam Silver consulting with USAB Chairman Jerry Colangelo , on his thoughts, about how best to improve the branding and play within the NBA, points to the very fact that Silver, is simply out of his depth ,. as David Stern’s successor !

Now, far be it, for me to suggest, that Silver, is likely to be as successful, as the image conscious egotistical former NBA Commissioner , who many , try to espouse as being the consummate businessman. David Stern, rode on the coattails of Michael Jordan , and during the mid to late nineties used African-American teens , the genre of ” gangster rap ” and the appeal of gun violence to sell the NBA as a brand , but dumb ass idiot fans are all too ready and willing to overlook that very fact , and once again show why there is no fucking common sense among the North American sports’ fan in general , never-mind the fact, that , this was the very same commissioner , who tried to suggest that the NBA being bailed out to the tune of $550 million in 2009 and their teams having been loaned $2.5 billion over the past decade , decade , should not be viewed as a bailout, with ticket prices having increased on average in excess of 23% during years between 2009 and 2012 , all of this in the midst of an economic downturn , which has shown no real sign of dissipating.

David Stern, simply tried to suggest, that this was the cost of doing business, while his salary increased , while the league sought to hold down their expenses , when in fact team payrolls climbed , as did television revenues and that of the league’s revenues. The commissioner’s salary upon his exit , exceeded $25 million a year , on par , if not above the highest paid player in the NBA , where the largest NBA contract belongs to the Nets’ Joe Johnson , whose six-year $123.66 million contract , is as ridiculous as it sounds , but yet not one fan, can explain succinctly, what the former commissioner has achieved, in reining in the cost of teams’ expenditure , when in fact David Stern simply cannot point to one evidential, piece of success of that nature ! A ” soft salary cap” , still has not stopped teams , of seeking to be financially expedient and for the majority of fans without a degree in finance , much less economics , theirs’ continues to be the idiocy of letting the teams spend whatever , while they chase after that ever elusive success .

Current NBA Coach of the Year , Gregg Popovich , a four-time winning NBA Finals’ coach, has seen the San Antonio Spurs (1-2) squander their home-court advantage and now quite possibly a series’ lead during their instate postseason conference match-up against the Dallas Mavericks (2-1) . The conference and NBA leading sixty –two wins’ season (62-20) , might all be for nothing, should they lose their first round playoff series’ contest against the Mavericks . Over the course of the regular season , San Antonio proved to the best team in the league , as well as having the longest unbeaten winning streak during the year . Now down 2-1 in the series against Rick Carlisle’s players led by ageless wonder , Dirk Nowitzki, this contest has been busted wide open , with the likely series’ winner, being the team showing , that they can deal with whatever adversity is thrown within their midst . In two successive losses , the Spurs have shown themselves , not to be that team , as the Mavericks have simply outplayed their Western Conference rivals. Monday night’s game , when the series resumes at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas , Texas , should tell us a great deal about the mindset of both teams , with the San Antonio Spurs, seeking to erase that 2-1 deficit and squaring the series, at two games apiece (2-2).

If the San Antonio Spurs are now seen in an unenviable position against the Dallas Mavericks , then the series between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies could prove to be as equally daunting a task for the Thunder. Truth be known , in a seven game series , I would not bet against the Grizzlies to beat any of the top eight teams in the Eastern Conference , and yes that does include the less than imposing Miami Heat , who are physically and mentally soft against teams, b that are far more imposing . Were it not for the dexterity shown by LeBron James , the Heat would be no better than the third or fourth best team in the East and no better than the fifth best team in the West. All that glitters is not necessarily gold and the Miami Heat as assembled by Pat Riley this season , have proven to be at best , perhaps , “fool’s gold” with a little bit of pixie dust sprinkled in for good measure ! Likely , League MVP for this season , Kevin Durant has shown every bit of his skill-set in this playoff series against the Zach Randolph led Grizzlies and that particular match-up between Randolph and Durant has been very enticing to watch, as both players have excelled in various areas of their respective games .

When the two teams, resume their series in a pivotal game five , set for Tuesday night , with everything to play for . There is no doubt in my mind, that the winner of that contest should be in the driver’s seat for the remainder of the series ! A great deal is expected of the Scott Brooks’ coached Thunder and failure at this point of the postseason , would be seen, as not only traumatic for the organization , but pretty much summing up their season, as one of , failing to meet expectations of the front office led by Sam Presti and CEO & Chairman Clay Bennett .

Inasmuch as I hate to say this , but with these recent revelations about Donald Sterling, long known to me , having studied in-depth, a great deal about the owner and his ownership of the franchise , his treatment of current and former employees , including the lawsuit taken out against Sterling, by former front office executive Elgin Baylor . Nothing, would now give me greater pleasure, than to see the Los Angeles Clippers now bow out of the postseason, with the team being derailed by the Golden State Warriors ! As to the NBA hierarchy, taking action against the owner , there is about as much chance of that happening as an elephant devouring its own fecal matter ! Fuck it, if a self-absorbed asshole such as David Stern can overlook the boorish behavior of the Clippers’ owner , then why should I expect Adam Silver to be any different ? I mean , the current commissioner, has yet to issue a public statement on the matter , even after weekend news’ cycle within the league , was simply overshadowed by this story , but yet fans believe that the NBA is a league ran by intelligent individuals ? Fuck no , and it never has been , nor will it ever be , even with the mindless morons who still continue to drink out of the porcelain pot , that David Stern continues to piss and defecate, in ! Please seek out tangible evidence and do not buy into every piece of bullshit, ushered down by a league that is now simply devoid of intelligence, at just about every level from the league hierarchy on down to the owners , general managers , players, union and the officials themselves !

The NBA has become an all-out defective league , where sheer incompetency , masks the lack of real acumen , and where excuses are sought by the players , owners and the league’s executives , for their ongoing incompetency and where dumb ass fans , continue to buy into their never-ending bullshit !

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Picture gallery .

In light of this ongoing story within the NBA, which has now cast a giant shadow over the NBA postseason and the lack of action by the league hierarchy . Do you believe that Adam Silver can in all good conscience ignore these allegations and turn a blind eye to it all or do you believe that some form of action is called from the NBA Commissioner ? Also, which of the playoff series now in session , do you think will provide the biggest surprise in terms of a possible upset ? Simply, leave a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for your continued support of this site, as it is greatly appreciated !

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Picture gallery and slideshow details below .

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(1) In this photo taken on Friday, Oct. 25, 2013, Los Angeles Clippers owner, Donald Sterling , right, and girlfriend V. Stiviano , left, watch the Clippers play the Sacramento Kings during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles. The NBA is investigating a report of an audio recording in which a man purported to be Sterling makes racist remarks while speaking to Stiviano. NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement Saturday, April 26, 2014, that the league is in the process of authenticating the validity of the recording posted on TMZ’s website. Bass called the comments “disturbing and offensive” . AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill ……. @copyrighted material all rights reserved

(2) From left to right from the Los Angeles Clippers , Blake Griffin , Chris Paul and head coach Doc Rivers . Paul as Executive Director of the NBPA (Players Union) has yet to issue a public statement concerning the alleged racial epithets used by team owner Donal Sterling in an expletive racial taunt to his girlfriend V Stiviano. The Clippers’ front office , has yet to issue a statement from any high-ranking executive within the organization . Given the lack of action by the league hierarchy , who it is now said that they are conducting their own investigation into the matter , One has to ask , if this has been a pattern of behavior with Donald Sterling , going back several years , why is it only now , that Adam Silver’s office has sought to take action ? Repeatedly, during David Stern’s tenure as commissioner , Sterling’s behavior was known to be boorish with various comments attributed to him, often denigrating women and minorities . Yet, somehow this was all overlooked by Silver’s predecessor . AP Photo / Jason Moore ….

(3) NBA Commissioner Adam Silver , foreground , and his predecessor David Stern are seen here after the newly installed commissioner succeeded Stern and his thee decade long tenure as the league’s highest ranking executive during that time-frame. Silver , is now said to be conducting an investigation into the actions of Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling . A pattern of behavior by the franchise owner has been repeatedly ignored by the former league executive , but yet Stern , himself , has yet to answer those allegations , but somehow , anal retentive fans view the former commissioner as having been a great executive and ambassador for the league. LOL,LOL,LOL !! Getty Images / Rod Harper …..

(4) Charlotte Bobcats’ owner , Michael Jordan is seen here congratulating LeBron James of the Miami Heat . James and his teammates would go on to .defeat (109-98) the Bobcats in game four played at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte , North Carolina , sweeping their Eastern Conference rivals 4-0 in their first round series’ match-up . Getty Images / Tim Bevan …

(5) The Washington Wizards’ back-court of Bradley Beal (3) and John Wall (2) now have the team on the brink of eliminating the Chicago Bulls (1-3) , with the Wizards taking a 3-1 lead in their series . Game five takes place tonight at the United Center in Chicago , Illinois , when the Bulls play host to their conference rivals . AP Photo / Tom Murphy …..

(6) Boris Diaw (33) of the San Antonio Spurs, who alongside teammate Manu Ginobli , played a major contributory role , in the Spurs squaring their series against the Dallas Mavericks , defeating the hosts 93-89 in their game four contest played at the American Airlines Arena , in Dallas, Texas on Monday night , 28th April, 2014. Getty Images/ Rachel Adams …….

(7) Kevin Durant (35) of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Zach Randolph (50) of the Memphis Grizzlies are the primary reasons why their respective teams have made the NBA Playoffs and the series’ contest between these uniquely gifted players has been one of the highlights of the postseason so far . Tied at two games (2-2) apiece, this series is now about to get even more suspenseful , when their pivotal game five takes place tonight at the Chesapeake Energy Center in Oklahoma City , Oklahoma , in front of what is sure to be packed venue for this contest . AP Photo / Mason Foster …..

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What the major newspapers are now saying about the Los Angeles Clippers and Donald Sterling . Click on the links shown below to view. And for the uninitiated lame @ss fans who still believe David Stern to have been of true benefit to the league then please explain succinctly did he seek to overlook the earlier bad acts of the Clippers’ owner ? Or will you continue to be and act as apathetic as former NBA Commissioner and his now newly elected successor Adam Silver ? If there has been a pattern of behavior with the Clippers’ owner , why the fu$k is everyone now acting so surprised by this latest revelation ? Are these NBA fans and journalists alike, that f##king stupid ?

USA Today :: Jeff Ziglittt :: How will NBA’s Adam Silver punish Donald Sterling?

Boston Globe :: Bob Ryan :: Donald Sterling profile not a pretty picture

Los Angles Times :: Bill Dwyre :: Donald Sterling scandal merits an over the top reaction

Washington Post :: Mark Berman :: Why the world finally noticed Donald Sterling’s appalling history

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tophatal ………. 04/28/204

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News, views and other tidbits, from around the world of sports

News, views and other tidbits, from around the world of sports …

With the biggest event of the North American sports’ world, taking place on Sunday afternoon , when the Denver Broncos play host to the Seattle Seahawks in Superbowl (XLVIII) . The last-minute builds up and news, has now reached fever pitch . With journalists from around the globe reporting on the event , it will be interesting to see how these individuals report the contest, the images and their take on it all. Now while, much of the NFL related news has been about rants and ravings of the Seahawks’ corner back Richard Sherman and his thoughts. From my own perspective , Sherman has simply been trying to “cash in” on the newfound notoriety , while hoping to be part of a victorious Seattle Seahawks’ team . For the NFC West based franchise, this will their second appearance in the NFL’s , biggest postseason event.

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For opposing quarterbacks, Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos and Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks , their respective careers are now at their nascent , in one case and in the other , it has reached a plateau , that is likely to see Manning add to an astonishing NFL career , in terms of the accomplishments and accolades received during his fifteen-year tenure in the NFL.

Wilson will be seeking to win his first Superbowl title, after a little less than three seasons in the league . All the more astonishing, when you consider the draft class in which the young quarterback entered the NFL . . In what will be only his fifth postseason career start ,the Seahawks’ passer will be facing Peyton Manning , who will be making his twenty-third postseason start and third Superbowl appearance , having already won a title with his former team the Indianapolis Colts and also walking away with the Superbowl MVP, for good measure after that victory . This contest, even if it is likely to be played under inclement weather conditions , with the likely weather forecast suggesting game-time conditions will be contested with freezing temperatures. I would like to believe, that this match-up will be competitive and highly entertaining! ! Yet, with that in mind , I would proffer this question to Roger Goodell , did he really have to capitulate to the owners of the New York Giants and New York Jets in acquiescing to their demands in staging the Superbowl at Met Life Stadium , in East Rutherford , New Jersey, which houses both franchises, knowing that the match-up was likely to be played during icy temperatures during Winter ?

The NFL Commissioner, is proving to be an individual with even less intelligence than first thought. A case of the dog wagging its tail or someone else wagging the dog’s tail on their behalf?

Say what you will about this NBA season , but it is becoming abundantly clear , with it being formally the last month of David Stern’s three-decade long tenure as the NBA Commissioner and the league’s highest ranking executive . He leaves the league , in somewhat of a dire situation. His successor was already being groomed as heir-apparent and Adam Silver will succeed Stern as of Monday morning. The league itself is going through not growing pains, but a lack of competitiveness within the Eastern Conference and what appears to be not only dour coaching . but also the lack of a truly engaging team rivalry within the NBA, itself . Gone are the days, where a regular season showdown between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics actually meant something . As of today, both of these heralded franchises are going through pains of their own , borne out by the respective conference and divisional records this season. Lackluster results and some truly unbearable performances and it is easy to understand why both teams are currently struggling.

For the Boston Celtics and their off-season upheavals, that led to the departures of Doc Rivers to become the head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers , a triumvirate of players , Kevin Garnett , Paul Pierce and Jason Terry being traded to the Brooklyn Nets , and what now appears to be a resurgent Nets’ team . The travails of rookie head coach Brad Stevens and this young Celtics’ team looks as if it is likely to be an arduous first season for the former Butler head coach.

For GM Danny Ainge and managing general partner , Wyc Grousbeck to now start afresh , when it might have been best to have contemplated these moves last season , when it was widely known that Rivers was not satisfied with the direction of the franchise. An influx of young talent by way of the NBA Draft over the past two seasons , and still the signs are that this will be something of a long hard slog for a coach still finding his legs in the NBA.

As losers of nine straight of their last ten contests , it would be safe to suggest that beyond non-availability of Rajon Rondo , suggestions that Danny Ainge might also seek to trade the point guard does seem somewhat speculatory in nature, as well as suicidal , in that concluding that the franchise should simply give up on the season. Granted, the fans are already disappointed with a team bearing a 15-33 record languishing at the bottom of the Atlantic Division , 10 ½ games behind divisional leaders the Toronto Raptors (24-21) . Growing pains abide , but all that is really needed , is for this group of players to find some sort of consistency , with Stevens and his coaching staff getting the best possible contribution out of his starting lineup and bench players .

A narrow one-point loss by the Boston Celtics at home to the Philadelphia 76ers , and then they face another conference rival on the 2nd February , against the Orlando Magic whom they host , before a return engagement with the 76ers at their home venue , the Wells Fargo Center , in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania , on Wednesday evening .

A the leading candidate, in the MVP race , Kevin Durant has been laying siege to the NBA this season. On a tear, that has seen the player score thirty or more points for twelve straight games , along with near double-digit assists or rebounds in several of those contests , in leading the Oklahoma City Thunder to the best record in the NBA. That feat of Durant’s, puts him in the rarefied air of Hall of Fame great Oscar Robertson , who himself , was also prolific scorer and player. An NBA title has so far do eluded Kevin Durant , his teammates and the team must now be seen as the prohibitive favorites to come out of the Western Conference as a likely contender for this season’s title .

If to further emphasize the growth in Kevin Durant’s game , he and his teammates were recently the guests of reigning NBA champions, the Miami Heat . That contest in some circles , may well be seen as a precursor to the title match-up this upcoming postseason , albeit , that the Indiana Pacers are no pushovers and are likely to give the Heat their biggest test of the postseason , if the two teams are indeed to revisit their budding rivalry within the Eastern Conference . The Thunder’s lopsided seventeen-point victory over Miami, led many to believe that not only has Kevin Durant been out playing LeBron James this season , but in all likelihood with his performance in that contest he has to be seen as the current frontrunner in the League MVP race. As good as Kevin Durant’s play might have been against the Miami Heat , I believe his leading the Thunder in a come from behind victory over the Atlanta Hawks was just as scintillating and quite possibly the best individual scoring feat of this NBA season and that is with due respect to the “overrated “ sixty-two point outburst recently by Carmelo Anthony , against what I deem to be a totally inept Charlotte Bobcats’ team . A team that I might add, whose defensive stature at present belies the fact that they have one playoff appearance in their current guise , but yet, there seems to be idiotic hyperbole as to the magnitude of what Anthony was able to achieve against the Bobcats. Mediocrity, can come in many forms and currently , there are no two better representatives of that, than the Charlotte Bobcats and New York Knicks within the Eastern Conference.

I will say this for Dan Gilbert and Chris Grant as the owner and general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers , both laid the groundwork in running LeBron James right out-of-town , when the player declared his free agency options ! Neither thought it appropriate, to consult with the star prior to firing Mike Brown . As the head coach of the franchise , he led the franchise to their only NBA Finals’ appearance , a series that they would subsequently lose to the San Antonio Spurs in a lopsided 4-0 loss , during which Tony Parker was named the Finals MVP . In the subsequent years after that series’ loss, things have simply spiraled out of control for the franchise , with Byron Scott’s tenure being a tumultuous one as the head coach . Brown’s firing, led to his being hired by the Los Angeles Lakers , only for his stay there to be undermined, by the simple idiocy of Mitch Kupchak and owner, Jim Buss . Brown’s successor, Mike DAntoni is currently feeling the heat , if not necessarily the wrath of the Lakers’ fans , as that franchise’s season sinks into oblivion . Mike Brown has since been rehired by the Cavaliers , but it now looks as if history might be on the brink of it repeating itself, as the franchise’s biggest asset and best player , Kyrie Irving is now said to be dissatisfied and unhappy with the current “state of affairs” Cleveland. Any idiotic hope, that there was said to be, of LeBron James returning to the Cavaliers, can be rightfully shot down. Are there still individuals who now believe that James would be willing to opt out of his contract to return to Cleveland , when he is guaranteed a max-contract simply by remaining in Miami that is likely to net him upwards of $140 million gross over six years (averaging $23 million plus a year) ?

Kyrie Irving if nothing else , is simply unhappy with the fact that the team as it is currently built does not complement his skill-set , nor does it make the Cavaliers a competitive franchise within their division or the . Eastern Conference. His reasons for shying away and not actually placating those fans who now fear the worst, seem so contrary to what has been said in private, now becomes a matter of conjecture and a great deal of speculation, while making the media simply ravenous for more concerning Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers . Though, he cannot become a free agent until 2015 , it seems highly unlikely that Chris Grant would seek a trade of Kyrie Irving, a player whose rookie scale contract is still in effect .

Coming off a thirty-one point drubbing at the hands of the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden , in New York City , New York . The Cavaliers’ next game is unlikely to do them any favors , when they face the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center in Houston Texas on Saturday evening . How Mike Brown gets his players to acquit themselves in that contest , may well play a big part in possibly determining the short and long-term future of Kyrie Irving and the likelihood of his remaining with the franchise.

The NBA 2014 All Star balloting votes , have been accounted for and we now know the conference starters , as well as the reserves for the East and Western Conferences. Suffice to say, if you did not vote , then your voice was not heard . Shall we now “Rock The Vote” for next season’s event, because of the number of snubs of players, who were simply overlooked purely through favoritism in favor of those less deserving ? I’m sorry Deandre Jordan , but mine is not to reason why, as the league’s best field goal percentage shooter , you were overlooked , even if you are playing alongside Chris Paul and Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers .The teams, will be coached by Frank Vogel for the Eastern All Stars and Scott Brooks for the Western counterparts. Fan friendly, with the league’s stars making themselves accessible in the weekend’s revelry from the 14th to the 16th February , makes this break, just past the midpoint of the season , a fun time for all of the NBA’s most discerning fans alongside all of the events being staged at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans , Louisiana , and home to the New Orleans Pelicans .

All the chips seem to be falling into place , as it relates to baseball’s marquee free agents , with many of them having signed lucrative contracts , either to remain with their current teams or to move on elsewhere . Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson , formerly of the New York Yankees , have each found themselves a new home . As the drama in New York continues, with a great deal of it, now surrounding how much of an effect will the acquisition of Masahiro Tanaka have on the Yankees and their pitching lineup . Tanaka’s deal by no means the biggest signed by pitcher this off-season was enough to have even the most fiscally prudent of individuals wondering when will baseball start to take heed and reign in their obligatory team payroll commitments . In 2013 , the combined financial outlay for the starting day payrolls of the league’s thirty teams exceeded 3 billion ($3,000,000,000) for the first time in MLB history . While, Bud Selig , continues to sing his melodic refrain as to the financial expediency being shown by the teams. I can’t help but wonder, when was the last time an in-depth audit held for each of the baseball franchises !

Projected figures, for this season’s Opening Day lineups in terms of payroll obligations are likely to come close to surpassing last season’s figure of $3 billion , with once again the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees likely to share top billing at number one and two of the league’s thirty teams.

Joe Lacob and Peter Guber , the present owners of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors have shown an interest in purchasing the Oakland Athletics (A’s) , where majority stakeholder Lew Wolff and GM Billy Beane have rebuffed what is believed to be an offer topping $675 million for the ball-club . In recent years, the A’s have been successful , having made the postseason in successive years and as two-time AL West divisional champions . Unfortunately,their progress in both postseason appearances was somewhat short-lived . Manager Bob Melvin and his managerial staff have assembled a young and experienced team , which has been a revelation recent seasons. In 2014 , the A’s are likely to be seen as the preseason favorites to retain their divisional title. Given that fact, that the Houston Rangers , Los Angeles Angels , Seattle Mariners , Texas Rangers have proven to be less than adequate adversaries over the past two seasons . It begs the question, which of those teams this season will be best equipped to truly challenge Bob Melvin’s group of players ?

In recent years , Lew Wolff has struggled in his dealings with the MLB hierarchy, in seeking their assistance in obtaining a new venue . Not surprising , when you consider that Bud Selig went out of his way to aid New York Mets , New Yankees and the Miami Marlins in the furtherance of their efforts for new stadiums , which were built at an estimated of . over $2.455 billion , much of it, being the use of public funds. The A’s are now left in an unenviable position of being a competitive franchise, but playing in a now aging and archaic venue, the O Coliseum in Oakland , California ,. Stuart Sternberg as the owner of the Tampa Bay Rays should heed the problems of the A’s in their endeavors and stop trying to appease Bud Selig and his coterie of buffoons, who make up the league’s hierarchy.

The reluctance of Lew Wolff to sell the ball-club is understandable, as he now has a winning on-field product , albeit that the A’s still struggle somewhat , in terms of attendance , which remains amongst the lowest in all of Major League Baseball . Yet, I cannot help but wonder , if a new owner with greater financial resources purchased the A’s , would it not be better for the organization overall and perhaps, further aid the A’s pursuance of a new ballpark ! Both Joe Lacob and Peter Guber , have the financial resources , with their respective backgrounds. Were they make another unsolicited bid, that would prove to be successful , then Guber would have to relinquish his interest , which he currently owns in the Los Angeles Dodgers , having been one of the several partners brought in by Mark Walter and Magic Johnson , to make that now record $2.16 billion purchase of that particular ball-club .

Commissioner Bud Selig, like his NBA counterpart David Stern,will be relinquishing their respective roles before the end the 2014 calendar year. Stern will be succeeded by his immediate deputy , Adam Silver , and it remains to be seen what changes if any , are made to how the NBA is operated , and the type of product that is displayed for the fans’ consumption. The MLB hierarchy, have yet to formally announce a successor to the incumbent commissioner, but it is widely believed that Rob Manfred will succeed Bud Selig at the time of his stepping down . Joe Torre , seen as a fan favorite , perhaps isn’t seen in a friendlier light by some who are part of the MLB hierarchical structure, that also includes the owners with their voting clout.

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Picture gallery .

What other sports’ story or stories over the past week or month, have piqued your interest and what do you feel might be the outcome , given the facts as you know them to be ? By all means do leave a comment on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter .

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Picture and slideshow details below .
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(1) Peyton Manning (18) of the Denver Broncos will face opposing quarterback Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks in Sunday’s Superbowl , to be played at MetLife Stadium , in East Rutherford , New Jersey . With a national television audience expected to 90 million viewers and a global audience of 1 billion. This is likely to be one of most eagerly anticipated watched Superbowl’s in recent NFL history . Carter Evans / AP Photo ….

(2) NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is seen here holding the Lombardi Trophy which will be contested by the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks in Superbowl XLVIII (SB48) on Sunday afternoon , when the two teams meet at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. AP Photo / Neil Sharpe …

(3) Dec 30, 2012, Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks corner-back Richard Sherman (25) celebrates on the field following a 20-13 victory over the St. Louis Rams at CenturyLink Field . Sherman has been one of the most visible players during the lead-up to the Superbowl , giving countless interviews to members of the press and fans alike . The thought being , why not “cash in” when you get the chance ? Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports …..

(4) NBA Commissioner David Stern is seen here with Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls after the team’s triumph in the 1996 NBA Finals over the Seattle Supersonics in a 4-2 series’ win . In each of the Bulls’ six appearances in the Finals , Jordan would be named Finals’ MVP. Michael Jordan’s entrance into the NBA as a first round draft pick during the 1984 NBA Draft , draft pick in that now moment in which Hakeem Olajuwon was taken number one overall , only to be followed by Sam Bowie drafted out of Kentucky and taken by the Portland Trailblazers. Jordan was seen as the likely number two choice , but dropped to number three and taken by the Chicago Bulls. His relationship with David Stern and his meteoric career are seen as the organic reasons why the NBA exploded unto the scene and then to become a global phenomenon. The NBA as a commercial entity , has grown from $400 million in revenues in 1986 to become a commercial behemoth with annual revenues exceeding $ 4.8 billion . This growth has been presided over by David Stern , but the greatest contributing factor has been Michael Jordan , his iconic appeal and ability to be seen as a commercial spokesperson for numerous Fortune 500 companies . Down the years, that mantle has been passed on from Jordan to Shaquille O’Neal , to Kobe Bryant and now LeBron James of the Miami Heat . Michael Jordan today. still ranks as one of the highest paid athletes in the world , even after having retired for the final time in 2003 , playing out that final season with the Washington Wizards , a franchise , where he was a part owner at the time along with then majority stakeholder , Abe Pollin . UPI / Getty Images / Christopher Marshall …..

(5) Boston Celtics’ head coach Brad Stevens is seen here with the team’s point guard Rajon Rondo . In a season of transition after the departures of Kevin Garnett , Paul Pierce and Jason Terry . GM Danny Ainge has seen fit to revamp the roster by way of the draft and trades . The team has got distinctively younger , but also showing a great deal of inexperience . With Rondo also having missed several games on the team’s schedule , their on-court issues have been magnified a great deal , shown by way the Boston Celtics’ record this season . Their next scheduled game will be against the Orlando Magic at the TD North Garden Center in Boston , Massachusetts on Sunday , 2nd February , 2014. AP Photo / Sara Glover …..

(6) Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers is seen here court-side at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland , Ohio , along with head coach Mike Brown as the two discuss a team play that was not executed to the coach’s satisfaction. With growing locker room dissension and Irving having stated that Brown has lost control of the team and the locker room morale. It would appear, r that there is likely to be some major upheaval within the roster prior to or at the trade deadline . AP Photo / Marcus Spears ….

(7) Joe Lacob and Peter Guber are the co-owners of the Golden State Warriors . The pairing in late 2013 made unsolicited bid to buy the Oakland Athletics from managing partner Lew Wolff and the syndicated group of managing partners . Guber and Lacob’s bid of $675 million was rebuffed by the front office of the A’s , who may well have felt that the billionaires’ offer , was far too low a price. For the moment , it would appear that intended buyers, are likely to regroup , rethink their strategy and perhaps come up with a revised offer for the AL team . AP Photo/ Andrew Garcia ……

(8) Oakland Athletics owner Lew Wolff, left, and General Manager Billy Beane watch their team warm up before the start of Game 1 of their American League Division Series game against the Detroit Tigers , Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Mich. The A’s are at present having to fend off an unsolicited bid from a prospective purchaser and it is likely that both Wolff and Beane will seek to strike a deal with Oakland Alameda County government concerning a new ballpark , something that this pairing have been working on for several years without much assistance being provided by Bud Selig or from anyone within the league’s upper hierarchy . D. Ross Cameron/Staff …….

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