What’s Happening In The World of Sports … ?

What’s Happening In The World of Sports … ?

Well now that the MLB season is slowly progressing towards its halfway point and with the league’s midseason showcase event due in July with the All Star Game being hosted by the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field , in Phoenix , Arizona. It well be interesting to see how the teams come into the break in terms of their overall form .

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The standings at present reflect that Philadelphia Phillies seem to be intent on running away with the NL East . They currently hold a 5 game lead over the Atlanta Braves within the division and though it’s way too early to suggest that they will be playing for the NLCS during the postseason but it would appear that the only thing that can derail the Phillies’ season would be their own complacency . Within the NL Central and NL West it would appear the races there are too close to call between the top two teams within each division . Tight races tend to add a great deal more excitement to the season and there’s no doubt in my mind that’s what the fans really yearn . And that is liable to be the case at present within both of the divisions in question .

Within the AL it’s business as usual within the AL East where the Boston Red Sox are now prepared to show that their recent form isn’t merely an aberration. On a two game winning streak and winners of nine of their last ten games the Red Sox now look as if they’re look distance themselves from the rest of the division. Their 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field was certainly a hard fought win but that’s simply the mindset of what now is the most competitive division within baseball. This division to my mind will most certainly provide the wildcard entrant for AL without a doubt unless there’s a monumental meltdown by the runner up to the winner of the AL East.

As was the premise with the NL Central and NL West well once again here too the races may well be too close to call within the AL Central and AL West . What we can be certain of within both divisions is that the teams won’t be giving up until the divisions are mathematically out of their reach in terms of winning or possibly attaining that lone wildcard berth .

Now as much as I know that Commissioner Bud Selig the league hierarchy in conjunction with the team owners have proposed expanding the playoffs’ format by adding two more teams within each league . I certainly believe that the hierarchy’s biggest issue is to deal with the financial problems now engulfing a number of teams within the league rather than adding to the playoffs and further elongating the season far more than it needs to be. I mean it’s not as if Selig has actually shown the propensity for being proactive on any issue unless he’s dragged kicking and screaming , then being forced to make a decision. Simply look at the morass created by Frank McCourt with the Los Angeles Dodgers ? If that’s not enough of an indication to show mind numbingly slow Selig was in acting , given the fact that it had been widely reported that the franchise was financially troubled . Then clearly Bud Selig along with the owners and league hierarchy were in fact so naive but perhaps even more so , too damn stupid for their own good .

I’m not about to try understand the fascination with Ricky Rubio and the fact that the player now says he’s ready to play in the NBA . Granted , having been drafted in 2009 by the Minnesota Timberwolves , the player sought to forgo joining the organization and play an additional two years in Europe where the financial inducement there was far greater than the front office could have offered with a rookie contract. Team owner Glen Taylor and GM David Kahn now feel that the player having made the decision to join the team can provide them with the form and maturity that simply belies his age.

In the aftermath of a horrendous season the Timberwolves now have to deal with the disatisfaction of their incumbent coach Kurt Rambis and the mere fact that neither Glen Taylor or David Kahn have assured their beleaguered coach that he’ll be asked to return next season. With there not being a plethora of viable candidates out there to succeed Rambis should he be relieved of his duties . I would have thought that the the general manager and team owner would want to reassure the coach that his job is safe. Furthermore , with the NBA Draft due to take place on 23rd June I certainly would have thought that a coaching upheaval would be the last things that this franchise now needs . But herein lies the idiocy of how the Timberwolves have simply acted , as if in a vacuum and perhaps one of the reasons why they’ve simply had little success over the last five years. Beset by rather asinine personnel decisions made not only by Kahn but also his predecessor Kevin McHale this organization has never gained any traction in terms of success .

With the Minnesota Timberwolves having the number # 2 overall pick in the upcoming draft it will be interesting to see the decision made by the organization. As such there isn’t a genuine consensus number one pick but the thought is that the two most desirable players could well be Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams . From there , it’s anyone’s guess as to what format will be then taken in terms of the players taken in this Draft .

As the NFL work stoppage has already entered its ninetieth day I can’t help but wonder what the optimism amongst the team owners , league hierarchy and players appears to be about ! Hell, both sides have already alienated the vast majority of fans to begin with . And no amount of public statements coming from both sides concerning the progress now being made can simply hide the fact that what we have are two groups of greedy fucking bastards ! The average salary of an NFL player is $1.9 million per year with the median salary $770,000 and the average career span being approximately three and a half years . I understand that the players are entitled the highest possible salary available to them given the inherent risks of the game . But herein lies my question do they try and identify themselves with the fan out there ? I’ve heard a number of players during this stoppage state their issues are no different from that of any employee in the work place . Personally, I seriously doubt that the working fan who attends an NFL game can actually identify with the likes of Tom Brady , Peyton Manning or even Reggie Bush for that matter when their salaries run into the millions each season . Whereas as the average salary nationwide is approximately $44,000 per year , one can well understand that fan can hardly identify with a player who’s compensation package , endorsements notwithstanding can easily exceed $15 million a year.

From a fan’s standpoint , at this moment in time I couldn’t really care if the NFL starts on schedule as planned on the 8th September 2011 . Once this dispute came into being with a stoppage the NFL simply lost me and many others as long term fans . I’m of no doubt that they will however do their utmost to lure us all back with some form of inducement that we might too unbelievable to turn down . It has already began with a number of teams around the NFL in many cases offering deep discounts on for the purchase of season tickets and game day tickets in a number of instances .

So the US Open golf tournament is underway and all of this without the game’s biggest draw in Tiger Woods . The stage is set at Congressional Golf Club in Bethseda , Maryland for any one of a number of players to step into Woods’ shoes and show the fans they can become the main draw for the event . From my own standpoint the moment made the announcement that he wouldn’t be participating in the second Major of the season I simply knew that the tournament could either become a monumental disaster from spectators yearning for excitement . As it now stands the leaderboard for the tournament midway through two rounds isn’t exactly awe inspiring . Rory McIlroy leads the event with an eight stroke lead at -11 (11 under par). And to think that a patron stated that the player’s meltdown in the year’s first Major The Masters was simply because he wasn’t good enough . I guess when your knowledge of the game borders on the level of Palin’s knowledge of jurisprudence and the number of members seated on the US Supreme Court I guess you simply have to take that for all it’s worth ? Sitting solely in second place is Y. E. Yang at -3 , in third place is Robert Garrigus at .-2.

There is still two more rounds to be played in this tournament but if McIlroy is able to keep his composure with the pressure bearing down on him then it is my belief that he can win this tournament and cement his credentials as one of the best young players on the PGA Tour . Having already established himself on the European Tour as well as a member of a winning European Ryder Cup team the future bodes well for the young Irishman . In an earlier article I had intimated that I firmly believe that the US Open could be won by a foreigner as I felt that the US born players have now simply become too disinterested in their national championship and in large , the Majors themselves . With there being vast sums at stake on the Tour schedule and total prize money in excess of $ 225 million it begs the question are they actually interested in winning or merely cashing a check for a top twenty finish ?

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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 you deem fit .

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

Picture and slide show for your perusal .

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(1) Philadelphia Phillies’ Ryan Howard (6) celebrates with teammates after hitting a solo home run against the Florida Marlins in the fifth inning of a baseball game on Thursday, June 16, 2011, in Philadelphia. The Phillies won 3-0 . AP Photo/H. Rumph Jr ….

(2) PHILADELPHIA, PA – JUNE 16: PHILADELPHIA, PA – JUNE 16: during the game against the at Citizens Bank Park on June 16, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 3-0. Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images ….

(3) Outfielder B.J. Upton (2) of the Tampa Bay Rays steals second base as shortstop Marco Scutaro (10) of the Boston Red Sox is late with the tag during the game at Tropicana Field on June 16, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images ….

(4) Pitching coach Jim Hickey (48) of the Tampa Bay Rays talks with pitcher David Price (14) during the game against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field on June 16, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Red Sox would go on to defeat the Rays 4-2 Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images ….

(5) Spanish basketball player Ricky Rubio gives a press conference on June 17, 2011, at the Nou Camp Stadium in Barcelona, to announce that he was leaving the Catalan team to make his debut in the NBA next season at Minnesota Timberwolves.
AFP PHOTO / JOSEP LAGO /Getty Images …

(6) Head coach Kurt Rambis of the Minnesota Timberwolves reacts to a play against the Houston Rockets during a game on April 13, 2011 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images …

(7) T’wolves’ GM David Kahn (foreground) and the team’s owner Glen Taylor answer questions from the convened press at a team press conference. picture appears courtesy of espn.com/ ap/photo/ Martin Geshell ……………….

(8) Tom Brady and Peyton Manning shake hands after an NFL game . The two celebrated quarterbacks are amongst the highest paid players in the NFL . Getty Images/ Jim Rogash ……

(9) BETHESDA, MD – JUNE 17: The handwritten scores of Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland in the press room during the second round of the 111th U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club on June 17, 2011 in Bethesda, Maryland. Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images ……

(10) Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland swings from the bunker on the ninth hole during the second round of the 111th US Open at Congressional Country Club on June 17, 2011, in Bethesda, Maryland. TOPSHOTS/AFP PHOTO / Jim WATSON ….

(11) Y. E. Yang, of South Korea, watches his drive from the fourth tee during the second round of the U.S. Open Championship golf tournament in Bethesda, Md., Friday, June 17, 2011. AP Photo/Eric Gay …..

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What In The Wide Wild Of Sports Is Going On Here ?

What In The Wide Wild Of Sports Is Going On Here ?

Well a week from this Saturday the NFL Draft will take center stage and the talent of FBS D1 college football will take center stage. To my mind given the fact that the NFL still finds itself in the midst of mediation being president over by Federal Court Judge Susan Nelson only adds to the stupidity and the naivete of not only the league but also the NFL owners in thinking it’s business as usual . And I know that even with players still making their rounds visiting the teams I can only surmise that the league believes that there’s a remote chance there’s about to the resurrection of an off season with OTA’s , strength and conditioning as well as the current players being able to visit their respective team facilities in order to rehabilitate season injuries . That being one of the situations that has arisen with the fact that the league instigated this lockout.

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The dispute has taken on a life of its own with the fans now feeling disenfranchised and aggrieved and angry with both parties. I hasten to add that at this juncture both Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith might now be two of the most despised invididuals in all of professional sports . If you though that former big league slugger Barry Bonds was disliked then how unpopular do you feel Goodell and Smith are at this juncture ? And with Bonds now having been found guilty on one of the six charges he faced in his trial all that we now await is the sentencing recommendation of the judge in that case , Judge Susan Ilston . All signs point to the fact that the recommendation won’t be the maximum penalty of ten years but something of a narrower sentence that could be nothing more than 18 months or two years at best with the player quite possibly serving the sentence under house arrest with him electronically monitored under surveillance by the Justice Department courtesy of the Federal Bureau of Prisons . From once being one of the most beloved players in the sport to a now a guilty major felon. Could things have got much worse for Bonds over the latter stage of his now infamous career ?

My own thoughts w ith regards to the case of Barry Bonds and the very fact that the Justice Department has spent in excess of $15 million over the course of their investigation and trial all at the taxpayers’ expense leads to me to believe that the subordinates of Attorney General Eric Holder had nothing better to do with their time ! Consider this fact the government saw fit to bail out major US financial institutions and insurance companies to the tune of US$ 1.35 trillion ( US$ 1,350,000,000,000) after their malfeasance in the almost near destruction of the economy from which we’ve yet to still recover . And with there being a projected 2 million home foreclosures due to take place in 2011 alone , do you get the simple feeling that there’s still a long way to go before we see any real signs a real recovery in the economy ? In the midst of this idiocy we now have rumblings as to the fact that US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner may well have done the rounds in speaking with various states’ Attorneys Generals asking them not to prosecute any of the major banks and their executives , in light that , those actions could destabilize the economy . Excuse me ? But since when was defrauding the US taxpayer not a major felony , wherein it doesn’t warrant the arrests , indictment , trials of the perpetrators involved in the crimes in question ? And I do mean that a litany of crimes were committed here by not only these executives, in hiding the facts as to what their banks were doing but also falsifying records and misapropriating funds in the committing of those said crimes. I’ve now got to ask the question at what point is it that the electorate now feels that they can no longer trust this administration its President or the members of both legislative chambers of the US Congress , or more appropriately the House of Representatives and Senate ?. God knows if these assholes can’t even act to do what’s legally right , how the hell can we even trust them act with any sense of being morally right , more to the point have the nation’s best interests at heart ?

As to the NFL Draft itself I’ve about as much interest in this event as I’d have in a lion devouring its prey and deciding how that incident will actually end . Clearly about the only people interested in the event will be the various NFL sports agents out there who’ll be looking to represent their clients . Players such as Cam Newton projected to be taken number one overall in this draft. Whether or not the Carolina Panthers in spite of their numerous problems over the course of last season , it remains to be seen whether or not they will cast their lot with the Heisman Trophy winner and make him their franchise player of the future. I’m not about to suggest that Cam Newton can’t make it in the NFL but given what I’ve seen of former first round draft picks such as JaMarcus Russell whose ascent and fall from grace within the NFL was pretty like a meteorite falling from the sky . Could I have put it anymore succinctly than that ? I think not !

OK so we all know the NBA playoffs are about to start this weekend with the 16 teams now taking part in the postseason. And already there are rumblings as to a number of coaches being relieved of their positions . I’m not about to say I’m not surprised but given what I’ve seen of teams such as the Minnesota Timberwolves and Detroit Pistons the likelihood that Kurt Rambis and Jon Kuester will remain coaches in the NBA would come as a total shock should there be a vote of confidence to retain both. GM’s Dave Kahn and Joe Dumars have got to be disappointed with the seasons that their respective teams had but I think it even more of the general managers themselves under achieved with their performances in terms their roster decisions. You simply look at the Pistons and Timberwolves and wonder how bad they’ve performed over the course of the season .

Discontent amongst those within the locker room of the Pistons and you simply got the impression that from last season to this season the Detroit Pistions have experienced two years that they’d simply rather forget. As to the Timberwolves at what point did many of us feel that apart from watching Kevin Love’s performances over the course of the season and record setting season of double doubles . Please don’t tell me that fans were interested with anything beyond those feats of Love and the fact he was an NBA All Star this past season ? Suffice to say the Timberwolves can only hope that they’re in with a clear shot of acquiring the Huskies’ Kember Walker in the upcoming NBA Draft and perhaps their future hopes will be raised somewhat ?
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And here we are and it should it really surprise anyone that the Philadelphia Phillies are 9-3 within the NL East with Cliff Lee recently having posted 12K’s and the twenty first shutout of his career in the team’s 4-0 win over the Washington Nationals ? I’m not about to suggest that the World Series is the Phillies to lose but with the expectations being so high for the team this season if they fail to make it to the NLCS game at least their year will be viewed as a profound failure , damning indictment of the big market teams and their ostentatious spending on marquee talent .

While I know that the baseball team owners and the league hierarchy have no intentions of imposing a hard salary cap . But sooner or later the MLBPA and its Executive Director Michael Weiner will come realize that the game cannot continue down this road without there being several teams being brought to the brink of financial bankruptcy. It’s already beginning to dawn upon owners such as Stuart Sternberg , Bob Nutting and Frank McCourt whose Los Angeles Dodgers have amassed a cumulative $1.2 billion debt and have their creditors now banging at their doors looking for the Dodgers to keep up the installment payments on that debt . Is it any wonder that Dodgers’ fans are baying for the blood of Frank McCourt and the team’s front office executives ?

McCourt’s belief that the team is to do with as he pleases is more akin to a drug pusher user being allowed to sell his product to school children on school property without there being any conceivable repercussions. You simply know that sooner or later the fans will have had enough of Frank McCourt and his antics . And with the very fact that in a recent incident that led to the assault of a San Francisco Giants’ fan at Chavez Revine leads me to believe that the fans will become mutinous . The very fact that the Dodgers have issued something of a less than contrite apology for this incident and that MLB Commissioner Bud Selig or anyone from within his office has issued any form of a public statement on this incident other than to say that complete and thorough investigation will be conducted. Well if that investigation is conducted anywhere with the ineptitude shown with regard to the Mitchell Report then I conclude that the league and its hierarchy will have learned nothing from this incident ! Given the whitewash of that report without there being any blame being apportioned only on the players themselves shows me the naivete’ of Bud Selig , his subordinates , that of the players themselves and these asinine team owners !

The rest of this MLB season ought to be really interesting as it unfolds and from my perspective having not yet found a team that I’ve yet an affinity for . I’ll do my utmost to follow teams around the league with a great deal of interest .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do have on the topics raised within this piece ? And if anything what has your blood boling either in the world of sports or on the domestic scene at present ? Simply chime in with a comment as you see fit .

Alan aka tophatal ……………………….

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slideshow details below

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(1) Former Major League Baseball player Barry Bonds (4th R) arrives at federal court on April 13, 2011 in San Francisco, California. The jury is deliberating for the fourth day in the Barry Bonds perjury trial, where the former baseball player is accused of lying to a grand jury about the use of performance enhancing drugs. The player has since been found guilty on one charge of obstruction of justice that could carry a sentence of up to 10 years as a maximum under the Federal statutes. Getty Images North America / Justin Sullivan ………..

(2) Obama Delivers State Of The Union Address To Joint Session Of Congress Members of U.S. President Barack Obama’s Cabinet (L-R), Attorney General Eric Holder, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton attend the State of the Union address on Capitol Hill January 25, 2011 in Washington, DC. During his speech Obama was expected to focus on the U.S. economy and increasing education and infrastructure funding while proposing a three-year partial freeze of domestic programs and $78 billion in military spending cuts. Pool Images/ Getty Images North America ……..

(3) Cam Newton (right) is seen here with his father (Pastor) Cecil Newton . The elder Newton was caught up in much of the furor concerning whether or not his son was involved in a pay to play scheme instigated by himself with an intermediary and a number of schools within the SEC . AP Photo / Maurice Clarke ……………

(4) Carolina Panthers quarterback Jimmy Clausen (2) looks for a receiver in the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Sunday, Jan. 2, 2011. The Panthers would go on to lose 31-10 in the game . AP Photo/John Bazemore ………..

(5) AUBURN HILLS, MI – APRIL 11: Detroit Pistons head coach John Kuester draws up a play during a timeout against the Cleveland Cavaliers on April 11, 2011 at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan. NBAE /Getty Images/ John Dennis ….

(6) A fan wears a paper bag on his head during the second half of the Minnesota Timberwolves NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets Wednesday, April 13, 2011, in Minneapolis where the Timberwolves ended the season with the worst record in the NBA as they were defeated by the Rockets won 121-102 . AP Photo/Jim Mone ……..

(7) Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Kurt Rambis directs his team during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Wednesday, April 13, 2011, in Minneapolis. The Rockets won 121-102 and the Timberwolves ended their season with the worst record in the NBA 17-65 . AP Photo/Jim Mone ………… …

(8) Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee, throws a pitch during a baseball game at Nationals Park with the Washington Nationals on Thursday, April 14, 2011 in Washington. The Phillies won 4-0, with Lee allowing three hits. AP Photo/Alex Brandon ………..

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(9) Catcher Carlos Ruiz (51) of the Philadelphia Phillies holds the ball after Rick Ankiel(43) of the Washington Nationals strikes out during the seventh inning at Nationals Park on April 14, 2011 in Washington, DC. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images ………….

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MLB News

MLB Results from 16th April 2011

Scheduled games for Sunday 17th April

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NBA results from Saturday

NBA Scheduled games Sunday 17th April 2011

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Trick Daddy ……………… ” In Da Wind ”
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Records Are Made To Be Broken And Then There Are Some You Simply Want To Ignore

Records Are Made To Be Broken And Then There Are Some You Simply Want To Ignore

Well it goes without saying that the NBA — season while being an exhilarating one it has to be said it also one with some rather dubious distinctions. Not taking anything away from the Cleveland Cavaliers and their rather abhorrent record one can only imagine that team owner Dan Gilbert has to be completely embarrassed by his team’s display over the course of the season .

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At this juncture the less said about the Cavaliers and their season the better ! Which brings me to the Minnesota Timberwolves and their play this season and the very fact that perhaps the only reason to watch this Kurt Rambis coached team play is the current form of Kevin Love their All Star . Love while playing for the Timberwolves in the team’s game against the Washington Wizards notched what would turn out to be his 50th consecutive double-double of the season in the team’s loss to Wizards . In doing so he equaled the record of NBA Hall of Famer Moses Malone though he’s still short of the record in terms that particular tally for a regular season, which stands at 55.

Now while not wanting to take anything away from Love and his accomplishments having equaled Malone’s record his team’s defeat added nothing to the achievement. Had the Timberwolves won the game then perhaps one might have felt the achievement more noteworthy. But that in ofitself should not be the a reason to deny the fact that the player has had an outstanding season with an all round improvement in his play on both ends of the court . While all else around him simply has been mediocre Love has simply excelled with his prolific rebounding and a knack for scoring when the rest of the team has simply been lackadaisical .

Unfortunately for Kevin Love he’s playing on a team that simply hasn’t the knack for winning with any consistency. And for Kurt Rambis and his coaching staff their problem becomes even more magnified given the fact that they play in the highly competitive Western Conference . If anything the only reason to attend the Target Center in Minneapolis may well be to see Love play at this juncture because in reality it won’t be witness the Timberwolves starting to win , much less show any semblance of consistency , such has been the play of the team throughout the season.

And though the Timberwolves’ history has been steeped in tradition those days now seem to be long gone. The departure of Kevin Garnett , Sam Cassell and Latrell Sprewell has seen the Timberwolves fall on distinctly hard times. And from a personal standpoint I seriously doubt that things are about to change for the organization anytime soon ! The mindset to win simply hasn’t been there and I doubt that team owner Glen Taylor really has the mindset or the capacity to win ! He’s certainly shown that as an owner he simply doesn’t know what it takes to make this organization a success . He may well create the perception that he wants to win but during his tenure as the owner he’s done very little to suggest that he actually wants to win . And it seems to be inherent not just with this team but also across the landscape of professional sports wherein you tend to have team owners who’d simply rather just use their teams as a perpetual tax write off . Something that’s availed to them courtesy of the IRS and that of their antitrust exemption dutifully given to them by the House Ways & Means Committee and the Senate

The only direction is up for the Minnesota Timberwolves and their climb is about as steep as trying to make the ascent of Mt Everest . It’s not as if through the prudent assessment of talent , acquiring it and then having the coaching staff available to foster the traits of success is hard to come by . But I believe that in this case the front office of the Timberwolves have been complacent and the very fact that Rambis seems to be way in over his head. His tenure with the team has come under close scrutiny and while I don’t expect him to be fired by Glen Taylor there’s still a remote chance that could very well happen should the team’s season continue to spiral further out of control over the remainder of the season. Rambis was obviously the apparent ‘heir in waiting’ in Los Angeles while he had a brief stint as the coach of the Los Angeles Lakers but there too his abilities came into question . It’s not that Rambis cannot coach but he needs to be in the right environment to prove his worth and one can categorically state the Timberwolves just isn’t that environment .

Were the Cleveland Cavaliers schedule simply set around playing the New York Knicks then perhaps their record wouldn’t be so damn awful ! Twice in succession the Cavaliers have been able to defeat the Knicks all within the space of time that the front office has assembled this revamped team that saw them acquire both Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups from the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Raymond Felton , Danilo Gallinari and a slew of other players that GM Donnie Walsh that obsolete to the team’s needs.

While I’m under no illusions that the Knicks aren’t capable of being able to contend but if they’re to be taken seriously then the New York Knicks have to beat the teams that need to be beaten . It’d help if the Knicks weren’t so complacent and at the same time any team that’s coached by Mike D’Antoni actually showed signs that they can play defense rather than giving the mere perception that they can actually and do that . Simply put if they can’t do that then their aspirations as it relates to the postseason will be a distinctly short one .

Amar’e Stoudemire finally has a duo of teammates that can ably assist him and the Knicks in the ambitions to bring a title back to Madison Square Garden and to the long starved New York natives who have supported the Knicks loyally over the years .

This second defeat at the hands of the Cavaliers though something of a surprise shows how complacent the Knicks are and the mere fact that they succumbed to the Cleveland Cavaliers in such a fashion leads me to believe that the New York Knicks at this juncture are at this juncture a work in progress but also to an extent greatly overrated . Fans may well feel that they are relevant again but they ought not to be too quick to jump to conclusions. This team may well be great at some time in the future but the premise behind these moves made by Walsh at the behest of team owner James Dolan was in part to see win an NBA title and at the same time not play second fiddle to the likes of the Boston Celtics and in particular the Miami Heat and their triumvirate of stars LeBron James , Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade . That may well be the standard that the Knicks choose to measure themselves by because of the template set but if they truly wish to do that then they ought to be gauging themselves against a team in the true concept and definition of that word team and that would be against the Boston Celtics or Chicago Bulls . Those two teams actually play as a cohesive unit rather than a set of individuals placed together rather like an experiment in a Petri dish being conducted for research.

As to the aspirations of the Cleveland Cavaliers I’d like to think that a team with the worse record in the NBA can somehow be of relevance but given their present predicament and the mere fact their schedule simply doesn’t allow them to play the Knicks 82 times throughout the regular season I think it’s safe to say that they and their fans are entirely happy with their lot at present ! Two wins over the Knicks …. and consecutive wins I might add has got to be far better than the losses that they have garnered over the course of the season so far.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have as to the achievement of Kevin Love and that of the Cavaliers in defeating the New York Knicks twice in succession ? Merely leave a comment as to your thoughts on the matter and anything you deem fit as it relates to the NBA .

Picture and slide show details
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(1) Washington Wizards head coach Flip Saunders looks on from the sideline during a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Verizon Center on March 5, 2011 in Washington. Rob Carr /Getty Images ………..

(2) Kevin Love (42) of the Minnesota Timberwolves reacts after missing a shot against the Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center on March 5, 2011 in Washington,. The Timberwolves would end up losing the game to the Wizards 103-96 . Getty Images/ Rob Carr ……….

(3) Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Kurt Rambis looks on from the bench during a game against the Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center on March 5, 2011 in Washington. At 15-49 for last place within the Western Conference the struggling Timberwolves are finding it hard to maintain any semblance of consistency on the road or at home this season . Rob Carr / Getty Images ……….

(4) Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love (42) takes a shot against Washington Wizards’ Cartier Martin , center, and Trevor Booker , right, during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, March 5, 2011, in Washington. The Wizards won 103-96. (AP Photo/Nick Wass ………..

(5) Glen Taylor (left) is seen here alongside newly hired coach Kurt Rambis (center) the team’s GM David Kahn (right) at a formal press announcement to confirming the former Lakers’ assistants hiring. AP Photo / Neal Porter …………….

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Alan aka tophatal ………………….

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NBA News


Minnesota Timberwolves news

Minnesota Timberwolves front office

Minnsota Timberwolves roster & schedule and fifth place within the Northwest Division behind the division leading Oklahoma City Thunder (39-22)

T’wolves’ team stats

Team record 15-49 within the Western Conference

Head coach Kurt Rambis

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Eye candy …………………………………. Actress Jennifer Esposito

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Tupca Shakur …………. “Hail Mary”

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A Wasteland Of Despair And Ineptitude …………..

A Wasteland Of Despair And Ineptitude …………..

There was a time when I use to think that the ‘majority’ of the ‘really bad teams’ that resided in the NBA were in fact, in the Eastern Conference . Now I’m not quite so sure , based on last night’s performance by the Western Conference’s Minnesota Timberwolves. We can all attest to the fact that the New Jersey Nets are ‘woefully inept’ and that their impending full season record may well lead to an all-time low in the depths of mediocrity when it comes to the NBA But even the Nets haven’t given up an astounding 152 points in a regular season game.

 Jonny Flynn (10) of the Minnesota Timberwolves drives to the basket against Robin Lopez (15) of the Phoenix Suns during the NBA game at US Airways Center on March 16, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Timberwolves 152-114.   photo appears  courtesy  of  Getty  Images/  Christian  Petersen ....
Jonny Flynn (10) of the Minnesota Timberwolves drives to the basket against Robin Lopez (15) of the Phoenix Suns during the NBA game at US Airways Center on March 16, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Timberwolves 152-114. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Christian Petersen ....

The claim can be made that this might well have been the worse performance by any NBA franchise this season defensively, as the Timberwolves allowed the Phoenix Suns to amass 152 points against them in a ’38 point’ blowout loss 152-114 . The total amassed by the Suns was a league and it was the highest points total given up by the Timberwolves in a loss over the last decade.

Leandro Barbosa (10) of the Phoenix Suns drives against Jonny Flinn (10) of the Minnesota Timberwolves in an NBA Game played on March 16, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona.  photo appears   courtesy of NBAE/Getty  Images/  Paul  Molumby  ..............
Leandro Barbosa (10) of the Phoenix Suns drives against Jonny Flinn (10) of the Minnesota Timberwolves in an NBA Game played on March 16, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Paul Molumby ..............

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

Sharpshooting Suns rout reeling Minnesota 152-114

By Bob Baum , AP Sports Writer

Phoenix (AP)—It’s an NBA law of physics: Put the highest-scoring team in the league against arguably the worst defense and watch the scoreboard light up like the Fourth of July.

Jason Richardson scored 27 points and Amare Stoudemire 25, then sat with the rest of the Phoenix starters while the Suns’ reserves finished off a 152-114 rout of Minnesota on Monday night in the highest-scoring game by an NBA team this season.

Lou Amundson matched his career high with 20 points as Phoenix sent the Timberwolves to their 10th straight loss and 16th in the last 17 games.

The Suns, with eight players in double figures, shot 56 percent from the field and 15 of 31 from 3-point range to win their ninth in 12 games.

“We’re just trying to gear up for the last 15 games,” Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry said, “have a pace that we’re comfortable with.”

Corey Brewer scored 21 for the Timberwolves, who set a franchise record for most points allowed in a game.

“Well, that’s certainly what happens when you don’t play any defense,” Timberwolves coach Kurt Rambis said.

Phoenix pulled alone into sixth place in the tight scramble for playoff positioning in the West. The Suns trail No. 5 Oklahoma City by a half-game and No. 4 Utah by 1 1/2 games. It was a perfect night to rest the starters in preparation for Friday night’s home game against the Jazz.

“And you know that will be a physical game,” Gentry said.

This one certainly wasn’t.

“It was a lot of fun,” Stoudemire said. “It was so much fun when the starters were able to rest there in the fourth. We’ll take that.”

Richardson, who scored 15 in the first quarter, matched his season high with six 3-pointers. Steve Nash(notes) had 13 points and 14 assists, nine of them in the opening period.

The game matched two of the bottom three teams in terms of points allowed this season. The difference was the Suns have a lot more scorers than woeful Minnesota does.

“We weren’t making that effort. They were playing a lot harder than we were,” Rambis said. “With a team that is in synch the way that they’re in, they understand how to move the basketball, the know where their options and their outlet passes are. They’re just too good.”

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Click on the above link to read the article in its entirety

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Goran Dragic (2) of the Phoenix Suns drives for a shot past Ryan Hollins (1) of the Minnesota Timberwolves in an NBA Game played on March 16, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. photo appears  courtesy of  NBAE/ Getty  Images/  Barry  Gossage  ......................
Goran Dragic (2) of the Phoenix Suns drives for a shot past Ryan Hollins (1) of the Minnesota Timberwolves in an NBA Game played on March 16, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/ Barry Gossage ......................

For Timberwolves’ coach Kurt Rambis , he must be now wondering whether or not he wouldn’t have been better off remaining a part of Phil Jackson’s coaching staff with the Los Angeles Lakers ? Because based on last night’s evidence, this T’wolves’ team is in need of a great deal of coaching and discipline on both ends of the floor. GM Dave Kahn and team owner Glen Taylor had to have been shell-shocked from seeing their team being dismantled and completely bombarded by a Suns’ team , where all of their starters scored double figures. The Suns were led in scoring by Jason Richardson with 27 points and he was ably assisted by Amare’ Stoudemire who scored 25 points , to go along with the his usual customary defense. That asides, about the only thing that the T’wolves had going for them was the fact that the margin of victory wasn’t indeed greater. Other than the play of Corey Brewer and Ryan Gomes , there wasn’t much positive that the Minnesota Timberwolves could take away from this loss on the Suns’ homecourt at the US Airways Arena (Center) in downtown Phoenix.

Currently with a 14-54 mark, the Timberwolves have ‘the worse record’ in the Western Conference and are only marginally worse off than the Golden State Warriors who maintains a 5 game advantage over the T’wolves , with a 18-48 mark. Though it is nowhere near the abysmal total now set by New Jersey Nets and their record of 7-60 . It is easy to understand why ‘these two teams’ are now fighting for the ignominy of not ending up with the worse record in the NBA at the end of the regular season. OK, so there may well be light at the end of the tunnel in the fact one of these two teams will end up with the number one pick in the NBA Draft , dependent upon their chances in the lottery. But if the consensus is that two players coming out of that draft may well be Evan Turner of Ohio State and John Wall of Kentucky . Then things could very well be looking up for both teams in the future. Do you think that either of the team’s GM’s Dave Kahn and his Nets’ counterparts Rod Thorn , President of Basketball Operations and GM Alex Diaz will seek to ‘curry favor’ with David Stern , prior to the draft, in order to obtain a favorable showing in the NBA Draft lottery ?

 Head coach Kurt Rambis of the Minnesota Timberwolves reacts during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on March 16, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. photo  appears courtesy  of  Getty  Images/  Christian  Petersen ...........
Head coach Kurt Rambis of the Minnesota Timberwolves reacts during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on March 16, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Christian Petersen ...........

The Nets may also have bigger aspirations, as they no doubt seek to be a part of the LeBron James sweepstakes at the end of the season, should the Cavaliers’ player indeed make his wishes known as to ‘his’ impending free agency status. But much of that may well be based on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ postseason showing. A trip to the NBA Finals and a Cavaliers’ triumph , pretty much to puts to rest any thoughts of James leaving the franchise. A defeat however, and he may well seek to play in the Big Apple, in Brooklyn, the soon to be, new home of a relocated Nets franchise .

For the Timberwolves’ organization the only direction is up . But a great deal of work now needs to be done by the front office and in particular by Rambis’ and his coaching staff . They possess some good young players but in large part there’s no veteran presence or leadership. So in essence it’s left to Brewer , Al Jefferson , rookies Jonny Flynn and Wayne Ellington to lead this team back to some semblance of respectability.

T'wolves' GM David Kahn (foreground)and the team's owner Glen Taylor (left) answer questions from the convened press at a team press conference. picture appears courtesy of espn.com/ ap/photo/ Martin Geshell ...................
T'wolves' GM David Kahn (foreground)and the team's owner Glen Taylor (left) answer questions from the convened press at a team press conference. picture appears courtesy of espn.com/ ap/photo/ Martin Geshell ...................

This is something that has to happen if the franchise is to have any goodwill with the remaining supporters there in the city. If there’s continued failure, then the fans will drift away in their support of ‘the team’ and the Timberwolves’ organization as a whole. And that’s going to be a formidable task if the team doesn’t avail itself of a top flight draftee in the 2010 NBA Draft. So it’s pretty much safe to say that the current wasteland of despair and ineptitude could either be a short run thing for the Timberwolves or it could end up being the norm for the foreseeable future. The same can be said of the fate for the New Jersey Nets also.

What are your thoughts on the matter ?

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………

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Naureen  Zaim .  Who  wouldn't   mind  teaching   her  a  lesson  or   two  on   human  biology  ?
Model & Playboy playmate Naureen Zaim . Who wouldn't mind teaching her a lesson or two on human anatomy ?

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Bone Thugs N Harmony ………..”Crossroads”

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