The Ball Is In Your Court ….

The Ball Is In Your Court ….

We’re not yet a month into the NBA season and already there has been a coaching dismissal within the league when it was announced that the Cleveland Cavaliers fired Tyronn Lue from his position as the Head Coach of the franchise . Lue had coached the Cavaliers to the 2016-17 NBA Finals . Cavaliers’ team owner , billionaire Dan Gilbert and team General Manager Koby Altman have named Larry Drew as the Interim Head Coach for the rest of the season.

Six games into this season and the Cleveland Cavaliers are win-less , with the worst record in the league. Granted , the departure of LeBron James , with his joining the Los Angeles Lakers would definitely leave a gigantic chasm within the organization. Yet at the end of the day, poor decisions made by the front office has led to this debacle. It remains to be seen how the Cavaliers will seek to dig themselves out of this hole , especially as the team enters the Christmas schedule, the play tends to dictate what we would should expect over the remainder of the season.

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The next game up for the Cleveland Cavaliers will see them face the Denver Nuggets , one of the hottest teams in the Western Conference at this point of the season. That match-up will take place on the 1st November at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland , Ohio , where the Cavaliers are win-less .

With all of the bally-hoo that surrounded LeBron James’ arrival in Los Angeles, with his joining the Los Angeles Lakers. You would have thought that the whole world was about to fall off its axis. Lakers’ fans were replete with their new jerseys bearing James’ name and number. The thinking was , with James’ signing with the franchise , a slew of free agents would be willing to join him as well. It didn’t happen and if you think that Rajon Rondo is going to provide the Lakers with the offense they need, then think again. Rondo’s best years are behind him rather than ahead of him. Coached by Luke Walton , the Los Angeles Lakers have stumbled out of the gate , performing like a team lacking in direction. I understand that it will take time for LeBron James to acclimatize himself to his new surroundings , but his teammates have hardly made their presence felt at all this season.

Next up for the Los Angeles Lakers will be a game against the Dallas Mavericks at the Staples Center , in Los Angeles , California on Wednesday , 31st October. There have been rumblings with the Lakers having begun the season so languidly , calls for the firing of Luke Walton as the Head Coach have been on the rise. I seriously doubt that Magic Johnson , Head of Basketball Operations or GM Rob Pelinka would consider Walton’s dismissal at this juncture.

The Milwaukee Bucks are the only remaining team in the NBA who have yet to lose a game. Led by their All Star, Giannis Antentokounmpou , this is a team where there are great expectations for this season. . With the lineup that the Bucks have and the coaching ingenuity being shown by Mike Budenholzer , there is a very good chance this team could very well make the NBA Playoffs .

All teams will have to go through the Golden State Warriors , if it’s their belief that they have what it takes to win the NBA title for this season. Now while Los Angeles Lakers’ fans believe they will have a say within the Western Conference, they have done nothing at all to convince me that they can compete with the best that the conference has to offer. Klay Thompson might not be the best player on the Warriors’ roster , but anywhere else he might be among the top-two players on any other franchise within the NBA . Thompson chalked up another franchise and personal best in a recent game for the Warriors when he recorded fourteen three-pointers made in a match-up
against the Chicago Bulls , who appeared to be a completely listless team .

I have no doubt in my mind the Golden State Warriors are by far the best team in the NBA and their only chance of not making a successful defense of their title will come through their own complacency !

Well we’ve reached the halfway point of the NFL season and the trade deadline is about to come into play. Yet the main news’ story within the league , has been the dismissal of Hu Jackson as the Head Coach of the Cleveland Browns along with offensive coordinator Todd Haley . Gregg Williams has been made the interim Head Coach until the end of the season and could parlay the gig if he is able to lead the team to moderate finish and standing in the NFL by season’s end. Baker Mayfield who was the number one overall pick in the NFL Draft as well as the top quarterback taken , has performed inconsistently through no fault of his own. On defense as well as offense the Browns have been abysmal all season long. Suffice to say, if they don’t end up with the worst record in the NFL , then once again they could be assured of having another top-five pick in the next NFL Draft.

With a record of 2-5-1 , at least the Cleveland Browns are assured of bettering last season’s mark within the NFL. Next up for the Browns in week nine , they will face the Kansas City Chiefs (7-1) in a game that should prove to be very entertaining. Victory for the Chiefs assures them of clinching their division as well as a postseason berth within the AFC .

It wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility to suggest that Eli Manning is now treading water as it relates to his career ? Two Superbowl victories are > accommodating when padding out his career achievements, but over the last four seasons , Manning has been nothing more than a moderate quarterback at best. His and that of the New York Giants’ record for this season (1-7) is truly reflective of a really bad team on its very last legs. Odell Beckham has proven to be just a player known for spectacular one-handed catches , but when it comes showing leadership and maturity, he is nowhere to be seen . Giants’ Head Coach Pat Shurmur is on the ‘ hot seat’ and it seems unlikely he will be returning next season , given the lack of success seen this season. The New York Giants are in need of an upgrade across their entire roster.

When the Pat Shurmur prepares his team for their next outing let’s hope that the New York Giants’ performance is a great deal better than their last five games combined. The team will be facing conference rivals the San Francisco 49ers in a game where a victory is certainly needed by both teams.

While the Philadelphia Eagles caught everyone by surprise
the postseason of 2017 on the way to the franchise’s
first Superbowl victory. This season the team has fallen back to earth with a colossal thud. They’re barely competing within the NFC East , perhaps the most overrated division in all of football. . The only team with a winning record in the division are the Washington Redskins (5-2) as they head into week nine of the regular season. Doug Pederson will prepare the Eagles to face the Dallas Cowboys in week ten of the schedule , while the Redskins will be in action against the Atlanta Falcons during week nine .

The runaway leaders within the NFC are the unbeaten Los Angeles Rams (8-0) led by their quarterback Jared Goff , whose talents have been on display throughout much of this season for his team . Jared Goff has led the Rams to an eight-game unbeaten streak by far the best in the league this season as the team has the best record in the NFL. Goff’s teammate Todd Gurley might well be the runaway leader in the first half of the season for League MVP . His all-round contributions for the Rams have been impressive to say the very least. I fully expect the Los Angeles Rams to extend their winning streak to nine games when
they face the New Orleans Saints (6-1) on Sunday afternoon . This is likely to be one of the better contests taking place in the NFL that afternoon.

I’ve always maintained that with the death of Al Davis , the Oakland Raiders would never be the franchise where there would be a constant interest in . That has rang true with his son Mark Davis taking over the reins of the franchise with Reggie McKenzie still in charge as the General Manager. Unfortunately their luring Jon Gruden out of retirement hasn’t worked wonders for the Raiders this season . Bear in mind Gruden was offered a ten-year $100 million deal , making him the highest coach in the NFL . A 1-6 record at this point of the season , with the Raiders having one of the worst defenses in the league and you can well understand why there might be clamoring for something drastic to take place among the team’s lineup .

If Jon Gruden is building for the future then , it doesn’t bode well for the Oakland Raiders then his track-record should be seen as a warning sign. During his time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as well as his earlier stint with the Raiders, he has never drafted or developed a player of real note. All the optimism in the world among the franchise’s fans cannot hide the fact that this was an erroneous in the hiring of Jon Gruden. The coach will now have to muster the masses as he seeks to get the Oakland Raiders’ second win of the season when this team takes on the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night .

It might well have been the most lopsided World Series in the last decade, with the Los Angeles Dodgers (1-4) falling to the Boston Red Sox (4-1) with the utmost of ease. All of the money spent by the franchise on players since 2012 , has been well in excess of $1.6 billion and then you factor in the $2.2 billion paid by the ownership group to purchase the franchise. You simply get the feeling that there’s been more waste expended by the club than was needed. The lone factor of hope out of this all might well be that the Dodgers’ front office might have solved a glaring need when they obtained Manny Machado in a trade from the Baltimore Orioles. Machado and Walker Buehler were the only bright spots for the Dodgers through much of the postseason.

With Clayton Kershaw now said to be considering opting out of his contract , which still has two years left on one of the most expensive deals in baseball history . It would be foolish if the Los Angeles Dodgers were to allow Kershaw to leave , but at the same I can truly understand the player’s frustration with their continued lack of success during the postseason. They’re unable to play as a team and there sure as hell isn’t any leadership to be found anywhere among the players let alone among the managerial staff of Dave Roberts .

What if anything do you believe has been the most riveting piece of sports’ news of the past two weeks and please state your reasons why ?

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Revenge is a dish, best served cold … Dominance on the other hand, can take shape in different forms and guises, dependent upon one’s view …

Revenge is a dish, best served cold … Dominance, on the other hand, can take shape in different forms and guises, dependent upon one’s view …

Well the NFL season is now over and the fallout from an unbelievable end to the Superbowl (SBLVIX) still has not subsided five days after the event. Seattle Seahawks’ head coach Pete Carroll has staunchly defended offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and has suggested the decision in many respects, was Bevell’s alone and that he agreed with the coordinator’s take and final call. My question remains, if Marshawn Lynch throughout much of the game gave the New England Patriots a great deal more than they could handle, why would the Seahawks seek to change course at such a pivotal moment in the game ? Lynch, during this contest, scored a touchdown on a short yardage gain after a reception, yet this actually escaped both Carroll’s and Bevell’s notice ? Call me naive, but the head coach’s post-game explanation given during his interview, smacks of sheer stupidity and utter nonsense !

New England ascends back to the top of the NFL world, and simply cementing their dominance of this league, as a ” true dynasty, one of the most discussed, if not one of the most alienating also, in the world of professional team sports across the North American landscape over the past twenty-five years.


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Five months into the NBA season and the talk in recent weeks has been the unbelievable play of the Atlanta Hawks and their ongoing dominance within the NBA. In the month of January, Mike Budenholzer’s vastly improved team went a staggering 17-0 , unbeaten for the entire calendar month of their scheduled games. Consider the fact, the Chicago Bulls’ team of their championship winning season of 1995-96, where they went 72-10, setting an NBA franchise record for wins in a season. The team coached by Phil Jackson was never able to achieve that feat with a roster which boasted Michael Jordan , Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman among the starting lineup , which was also well-served by several role players who contributed greatly to the Bulls’ success of that season.

There is a great deal to be said, for the days of dominance once had by the Chicago Bulls, as for years the franchise was waylaid by the fact the Detroit Pistons and Boston Celtics held center-stage within the Eastern Conference, while the Los Angeles Lakers were simply extending the glare of the Showtime Lakers’ extravaganza. During that time, the Chicago Bulls grew to overcome their fears and went about beginning their historic run, which rang in a new era and perhaps the most popular reign in NBA history, most certainly from a fan and global standpoint. Michael Jordan reigned supreme, as the most dominant player in the NBA and one of most recognized athletes on the face of the planet . With it, came the wealth and acclaim, few athletes today can match. LeBron James , currently, the best player in the NBA and rightfully so, the latest NBA star, seen as the heir-apparent to Michael Jordan. Kobe Bryant’s era of supremacy is slowly winding down and with it, the Los Angeles Lakers’ most recent chapter of NBA dominance. .

As good as the Atlanta Hawks appear to be and what they have achieved has been fascinating . The true test for any NBA franchise can be judged by what they have been able to do during the NBA Playoffs. For Atlanta the type of success sought, has been fleeting for an organization still seeking acceptance as an elite franchise in the NBA. This might be the season, in which the Hawks can finally stake that claim , if they make the NBA Playoffs and then go on a prolonged run, all the way to the NBA Finals.

The Atlanta Hawks’ exceptional month of January has heightened expectations for the month of February, even with the upcoming All Star Game Weekend fast approaching. Between now and then, it will be interesting to see how this team fares as it is being led by Paul Millsap , Al Horford , Jeff Teague, DeMarre Carroll , Kyle Korver and John Jenkins . Needless to say this has been a collective effort from the Hawks’ players over the course of the season . They have been able to eke out their victories on the road as well as at home against divisional , conference and Western Conference opponents .

Having gone 9-1 in their last ten games the Atlanta Hawks are as sure a bet, as you can get, for them to make the NBA Playoffs, where if things were to remain as they are, their first round opponents would be the Miami Heat , last eat season’s losing NBA Finalists . It would be definitely be an enticing first-round contest to survey , with the Heat seen as an opponent , good enough to cause an upset.

I believe the Atlanta Hawks are good enough to make a solid run through to the end of the season , winning their division outright and making the NBA Playoffs. Where they then go from there, is anyone’s guess, because during the postseason, it then becomes about the teams and their players standing tall , excelling at critical points of a game. Recent signs show the Hawks are not yet at the standard required for them to be seen as a credible contender to win it all .

If ever there was a sign to indicate , Phil Jackson erred in the hiring of Derek Fisher to succeed Mike Woodson as the head coach of the New York Knicks. Then look no further than what has been achieved by Steve Ker, the successor to Mark Jackson as head coach of the Golden State Warriors . The Knicks continue on their season of sheer ineptitude while the Warriors have not only slain the dragon, but chopped off its head. Leading me to believe, Jackson’s ego has gotten the better of him at this stage of his career.

Golden State behind the solid play of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson have led the team to the best record the Western Conference and along the way lead the Pacific Division by healthy 7 1/2 game margin over the Los Angeles Clippers. Coming off a fourteen-point victory over the Dallas Mavericks it is becoming hard to envisage any team within the Western Conference actually challenging the dominance of the Warriors over the remainder of this season.

To comprehend how the guile and tenacity shown by Golden State this season, has been such a success, you simply have to look at the margin of victory in their games where they overpower an opponent. Next up for the Warriors will be a cross-conference game against the Atlanta Hawks on the road, where the team has been very good. It’s pretty much safe to suggest, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson will be looking have their division and conference sewn up by no later than mid-March . It gives Kerr the opportunity needed, to rest a number of his front-line starters, while assessing what his bench players are able to do before the end of the season on the 15th April, 2015

Defending NBA champions the San Antonio Spurs have slowly plodded along while the elder statesmen on the team have sought to gain some semblance of consistency to their season. Tim Duncan , Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker have been the mainstays of the franchise’s successes and one of the reasons why they have been a perennial playoff team and contender for the NBA title. Seventeen straight NBA Playoff appearances and yet when fans, tend to talk about dynasties and dominance, rarely has the name of the San Antonio Spurs been mentioned in the same sentence as the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls or the Motown Bad Boys of Detroit under the coaching acumen of Chuck Daly, as he engineered the success of the Detroit Pistons. I suppose not playing in what is deemed to be a major-market, has a tendency of taking the gloss off a team’s achievements. While many, were surprised the Spurs were able to get past the highly favored Miami Heat in last season’s NBA Finals. It should not have come as any great surprise,if the suggestion was made, LeBron James and his teammates were simply complacent and went into the postseason foray, with the expectation of simply waltzing through through a seven-game series, merely based on having defeated San Antonio in the previous season’s Finals Series.

San Antonio now has a competent lineup beyond their Big Three of Duncan , Ginobli and Parker now joined by last season’s Finals’ MVP of Kawhi Leonard , it must be said the team does have have a formidable lineup , which I believe to be among the best in the NBA for a starting five, without delving into the contributions from the bench. It would also be remiss to not take into account the coaching staff of Gregg Popovich, a staff which includes the NBA’s only lead female assistant, former WNBA player Becky Hammon. As to whether or not this league will ever have its very first female head coach remains to be seen , but I am sure, it is something Hammon will seek to achieve !

With only the Cleveland Cavaliers , Memphis Grizzlies and Atlanta Hawks over their last ten games having a better record, it indicates at present, how competitive the NBA happens to be. San Antonio’s thirteen-point victory at home over the Miami Heat was indicative of what we know to be the frailties of a weak Eastern Conference as another franchise drops a game to a Western Conference foe. The Spurs’ next game takes them North of the border to face the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. For both teams this should prove to be a fascinating contest as they seek to maintain their momentum in the run-up to the All Star Break .

A ninety million dollar ($90 million) payroll doesn’t appear to have aided the Brooklyn Nets this season as the team struggles to make sense of their failures at this point of the NBA schedule. It would be fair to suggest the Nets have been a major disappointment for their fans and the NBA alike. Personally, I believe the team to be lacking in leadership with Kevin Garnett and Deron Williams being overpaid and offering the franchise absolutely nothing on all levels at this stage of their respective careers.

For Nets’ head coach Lionel Hollins and his coaching staff at a loss for an explanation,while GM Billy King and team owner, Mikhail Prokhorov wondering if changes will have to be made before or at the trade deadline, if the franchise is to make some sense of their season. In their last ten games the Brooklyn Nets are a paltry 5-5 , simply mirroring what they represent as a team, to the NBA fans at large, being average and representing mediocrity !

Saturday night, the Brooklyn Nets will take to the court to face conference rivals the Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. This will be game, between two teams of similar ambitions, seeking to make their presence felt within the conference as well their respective divisions could very well make or break their seasons from hereon-in. The All Star festivities to be staged at the Barclays Center, home to the Brooklyn Nets will provide a timely respite for the teams as they take stock and then prepare for the second half of the season. This will be the point where executives and team owners look to make some major deals and naturally shed players for salary cap reasons.



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As the first half of this NBA season comes to a close, which team or teams have been the biggest surprise in your opinion ? During the second half of the schedule which franchise and players will play a decisive role of making a playoff push within each conference ? Also, of the teams in the league (NBA) over the past two decades, which do you believe is the most deserving to be thought of as a dynasty ? Simply leave a comment or comments as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support of this site, as it has always been appreciated ! Thank you !


Picture and slideshow details below.

(1) Marshawn Lynch (24) of the Seattle Seahawks completes a catch against Tyler Gaffney (31) of the New England Patriots in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. Getty Images North America / Rob Carr

(2) Marshawn Lynch(24) of the Seattle Seahawks runs with the ball against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. Getty Images North America / Jamie Squire

(3) John Wall of the Washington Wizards handles the ball against the Brooklyn Nets during the game on February 7, 2015 at Verizon Center in Washington, DC. NBAE/Getty Images/ Ned Dishman

(4) David Lee of the Golden State Warriors goes to the basket against Travis Wear(6) of the New York Knicks on February 7, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Getty Images / Nathaniel S Butler

(5) Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls handles the ball against the New Orleans Pelicans on February 7, 2015 at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. Getty Images / Mike Hamilton

(6) Jeff Teague of the Atlanta Hawks drives against Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors on February 6, 2015 at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. Getty Images / Scott Cunningham

(7) Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs shoots against the Miami Heat on February 6, 2015 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. Getty Images North America / D. Clarke Evans

(8) Becky Hammon , left , is seen here with San Antonio Spurs’ head coach Gregg Popovich . Hammon is the first full-time lead assistant head coach with any franchise in the NBA . The NBA might just be the most progressive of any of the four main professional team sports , with Michele Roberts also recently being named the Executive Director of the NBPA (Players’ Union) . Popovich believes Hammon due to her vast experience as a former WNBA player and now an assistant coach , could become the first female head coach in the NBA . AP Photo /Gary Ross


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Shit does roll downhill, but it is even harder to try and push it uphill …

Shit does roll downhill, but it is even harder to try and push it uphill …

It has to be either naivete’ or a complete lack of intelligence , when fans try and suggest a team “tanking” their season and then hiring a legend will actually lead to an immediate turnaround for that franchise. Rarely does that happen in the world of sports today , and much the premise is predicated upon the staff being in place and their being able to acquire the right talent to put their plan into play. In the NBA this season, we are seeing that the New York Knicks is an organization still in transition , but even more so, a complete mess in terms of their performances during the schedule. While the hiring of Phil Jackson has to be lauded, the hire is no guarantee of success down the road , in spite of his legacy and the level of success achieved during his coaching career. This current chapter of Jackson’s career is completely a new one in its entirety and we should be reminded, he will have deal with one of , if not the most incompetent owners in the NBA , with James Dolan presiding over this franchise as its senior most executive and owner. Dolan’s ineptitude can be measured in a litany of ways , with perhaps the most infamous being, the decision to hire Isiah Thomas to head the Knicks’ Basketball Operations. A chapter which failed miserably on so many counts, with Thomas himself, having assumed the head coaching position during his tenure. The less said about those episodes , the better the case can be made the franchise is now in a better position, but not by much based on their current play.


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Twenty games into the season and the New York Knicks are an abysmal 4-16, and based on their current pace this team is unlikely to win more than twenty games when it is all said an done. Granted, Jackson hired a rookie head coach, with Derek Fisher succeeding Mike Woodson into the coach’s roll, but here too, it is hard to fathom what type of coach Fisher is likely to be, given his lack of experience then assessing his staff of coaching assistants. As experienced as many of them are said to be, it is likely to Fisher’s decision and his alone likely determine the strategies we see on the court , even with the input of Phil Jackson there for him to fall back on. Carmelo Anthony remains the lone offensive threat for the Knicks, but here too the team has failed miserably , with no one else on the roster willing to step up to the plate on nightly basis for this franchise. From a defensive standpoint the team has been woefully inept at home and on the road.

In one of the Knicks’ most contests the team just hhappened to be on the wrong side of a heartbreaking loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Both Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James had less than memorable performances in the in the match-up of two of the Eastern Conference’s less than competitive franchises this season .

Derek Fisher’s team will get the chance to redeem themselves when they face the Charlotte Hornets at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte , North Carolina on Friday night , in one of the NBA’s night of scheduled contests. New York currently leads their season series 1-0 , having won their first meeting by a narrow three-point margin 96-93 on the 2nd November , 2014. Friday’s contest might not prove to be as compelling, given their present status within the conference or their respective divisions.

A one game win-streak doesn’t season make, but in the case of the Philadelphia 76ers, it could be the victory that either defines the Sixers’ season or continues their morass as the worst team in the league at this point of the NBA schedule. Head coach Brett Brown remains forever optimistic, trying to suggest his young corps of the players , the youngest in the league are still capable of being competitive. Having gained their first victory of the season, defeating the Minnesota Timbeberwolves the climb out of the depths mediocrity has just become slightly less embarrassing, but not my much.

At 1-17, it is hard to imagine how things could get any worse for the Sixers , beyond the fact the league hierarchy seems to be condoning this style of ineptitude by several teams around the NBA. Changes in the format of the NBA Draft Lottery has done little to dispel this type of ongoing charade by Philadelphia , when you bear in mind their standing at the end of last season and their draft position in the first rounds of the drafts of 2013 and 2014. Sixers’ team owner Joshua Harris and GM Sam Hinkie suggest they are showing the inclination that the franchise’s wish is to build for the future , but I find that concept hard to believe when there is no veteran experience on the roster to lead by example for young players such as Joel Embiid , Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams. Carter-Williams , last season’s Rookie of the Year has proven to be good , but not great or a leader by example. Granted , he might just be the best player on the Sixers’ lineup , yet that is by no means of any real consolation for a team that has been a constant reminder of sheer ineptitude in the NBA this and last season .

Philadelphia will have as their guests the Oklahoma City Thunder when the two teams meet on Friday evening and where Russell Westbrook will hope to lead his teammates in the absence of Kevin Durant , who remains sidelined by an injury. After an ignominious start the Thunder are back to playing some semblance of competitive basketball. The point guard has been very impressive upon his return to Thunder lineup this season. Westbrook is averaging 26.5 ppg in his last two outings, and providing the offensive firepower sorely missed by the team with Durant out of the lineup.

Currently lying in third place of the Northwest Division of the Western Conference 9 1/2 games behind the division leading Portland Trailblazers (15-4), Oklahoma City Thunder will have to make some inroad in to the lead if they are place themselves in contention a competitive assault on the second quarter and half of the season. Scott Brooks and his coaching staff will be looking to his players to remain consistent as well as competitive in what is turning out to very tough divisionand conference.

I may well be mistaken , but Flip Saunders and team owner , Glen Taylor created the mess that has engulfed the Minnesota Timberwolves this season . Saunders the Timberwolves’ head coach , minority stakeholder and Head of Basketball Operations in conjunction with Taylor, made the decision to trade Kevin Love , rather than seeking build a competitive roster around the power forward. There has been nothing at all endearing about the Timberwolves this season and with the never ending rumors as to the dissatisfaction of Ricky Rubio , it simply makes you wonder whether or not , the mercurial and talented Spaniard might be bold enough to seek a trade. Can the Timberwolves do enough to dissuade the player from leaving the franchise. It as not as if the head coach brought in any refreshing ideas that might be of benefit to the team ? Having been the first team to fall at the hands of the 76ers was bad enough, but it has been plain enough to see , Flip Saunders remains clearly out of his depth as a head coach , along with his coaching staff.

Going into Friday night’s game against the Houston Rockets the Timberwolves must be aware their season is on the line for this franchise along with its long-term well-being. A playoff berth has eluded the Minnesota Timberwolves for the past several years , with their last appearance coming during the 2003 NBA season . first-round loss to the Los Angeles Lakers sealed their fate (4-2) in the NBA Playoffs , where they were the top seeds in the Western Conference that year. Hard to imagine a decade later and the team entering into the playoffs during that season was led by Kevin Garnett, Latrell Sprewell, Sam Cassell, Fred Hoiberg, Mark Madsen , Wally Sczerbiak ,Michael Olowokandi and Oliver Miller , to name but a few.

If it is December and the Los Angeles Lakers are playing badly , then expect Kobe Bryant sooner or later to begin to harangue and chastise the organization and indirectly a number of his teammates. There is not a great that can or needs to be said about a team so lacking depth and overall talent. Needless to say, you can point an accusing finger at Mitch Kupchak and the exceedingly poor job he has done in drafting players over the last few , seasons as well as the failures of free agent acquisitions , most notably Dwight Howard . The center’s failure to acclimatize himself to the rigors and task of playing in a major market , indicated that he not only lacks the maturity to perform on the “big stage”, but the hyperbole surrounding him was never really justified , even with his having won multiple Defensive Player of the Year Awards .

A year on from his departure , Howard is now playing “second fiddle” to James Harden of the Houston Rockets’, while his former team , the Lakers continue to look for semblance of consistency , character and dare I say it , leadership ? Kobe Bryant still yearns to be viewed as a winner , but clearly this team is not going to provide him that all elusive sixth NBA ring and title . Head coach Byron Scott and his staff have their work cut out for them in having coach one of the worst defensive teams in the entire NBA. Needless to say, with Bryant supplying the brunt of the offense, while customarily throwing up more bricks than a bricklaying mason , the question has to asked, who on on the team steps up to the plate to share the load with Kobe Bryant , or are we likely to see the player repeatedly just put on a one-man show night in and night out over the remainder of the season ?

As of the 5th December the Los Angeles Lakers held the bottom rung of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference , while clinging to a mediocre record of 5-15. Pretty much sums up the Lakers’ season so far. Kobe Bryant has signaled his wish to sign on with the team for another two years , but I am not sure he is willing to offer home town discount , with his now averaging just over $24.25 million per year on his existing contract. May be , the Los Angeles Lakers can live with that type of risk-reward , but given the stage of his career where Bryant now finds himself at, there seems to be no real advantage in taking the player up on the offer at the time he becomes a free agent in 2016 and it is not as if the organization has used any type of due diligence in assembling a roster to complement Kobe Bryant over the last two seasons. A seventeen-point loss to the Boston Celtics summed up the ongoing issues the Lakers continue to face with any last vestiges of dignity, having been flushed down the crapper after another dismal display . When they face Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans at the Staples Center on Sunday , I can only hope for the sake of the Los Angeles’ Lakers fans’ sake, their team actually show them (fans), they do possess a backbone . This season, there has been little evidence to suggest the Lakers even have that amongst their artillery.

Just as the Los Angeles Clippers can be considered to be the Lakers’ bi#ch or lapdog ,whichever colloquial term you feel fits the the persona. Then, so too, do the Brooklyn Nets as it equates with the New York Knicks. Granted, neither the Knicks, Nets or Clippers have won an NBA title in the last two decades and their combined appearances in the league’s showcase finale in the time-frame mentioned , would amount to two visits , all by the Nets.

Bearing a record of 8-10 the Brooklyn Nets are struggling and for GM Billy King and team owner Mikhail Prokhorov this has already become another season of discontent , with a team payroll among the highest in the NBA. I have to believe that some drastic changes are needed for the makeup of this roster, either before the trade deadline or at the time of its being. A twenty-three point loss to the Atlanta Hawks was not only a cause for concern, with Lionel Hollins and his coaching staffobviously bewildered why this team has performed so poorly to start their season. With experienced players such as Joe Johnson, Deron Williams, Kevin Garnett , Andrei Kirilenko , Jarrett Jack and Brook Lopez there is clearly a disjoint as to why a team thought to be so talented cannot get out of the way of their own mediocrity on both ends of the court .

Personally, I have never had an inclination to believe the Nets were ever good enough to win an NBA title, even with the wealth and resources of their billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov. The Barclays Center ,home to the Brooklyn Nets and the NBA’s most lavish venue remains an extravagant edifice to opulence and a “White Elephant” . Attendance levels notwithstanding, there is little to suggest the Nets’ front office has the wherewithal to place a competitive product on the court, much less having an economic template to make this franchise a profitable endeavor beyond the value of the commercial and residential value of the entities which surround the Barclays Center, many of which are owned by the Russian billionaire , Prokhorov,through his US business holdings, Onexim Sports & Entertainment Inc and parent company Onexim Group .

Next up for the Brooklyn Nets will be a home game at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn , New York when they will have as their guests LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers . With the Cavaliers on a six-game winning streak and point guard Kyrie Irving recently scoring a season high 37 points in the team’s demolition of the New York Knicks on Thursday night in a road victory , there is every reason to believe Cleveland’s winning streak is likely to be extended against a Nets’ team completely devoid of any defensive capability. LeBron James and Deron Williams will also get the chance to renew an under-appreciated player rivalry in the NBA .


Picture gallery.

Given what you have seen up to this pointof the NBA season do you believe there can be room for improvement among the teams as they enter the second quarter of the schedule in the build up to the All Star festivities and thereon after ? Simply chime in with your thoughts as you see fit on this particular subject matter and anything else you believe relevant to the NBA.


Picture and slideshow gallery details below.
(1) Dec 5, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Hornets center Jefferson (25) shoots the ball over New York Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire (1) during the second half at Time Warner Cable Arena. Hornets defeated the Knicks 103-102. Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports ..

(2) Dec 5, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA;New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher looks on during the second half against the Charlotte Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena. Hornets defeated the Knicks 103-102. Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports ….

(3) Dec 5, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) shoots the ball over Charlotte Hornets center Cody Zeller (40) during the first half at Time Warner Cable Arena. Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

(4) New York Knicks’ owner James Dolan, left , is seen here alongside Phil Jackson who returned to the Knicks in the capacity of Head of Basketball Operations &SVP within the Knicks’ hierarchical structure . GM Steve Mills will take his lead from Jackson and cede to him all personnel decisions made concerning player personnel . During the off-season the Knicks will have several decisions to be made concerning the makeup of the team’s lineup entering into next season. AP Photo / Marty Cooke ..

(5) PHILADELPHIA, PA – NOVEMBER 5: Nerlens Noel (4) of the Philadelphia 76ers looks to pass against the Orlando Magic during the game on November 5 , 2014 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Noel along with Joel Embiid and Michael Carter-Williams it was hoped would make a solid impact for the Sixers , but instead the team has failed miserably, while having the league’s youngest roster , where the average age is twenty-two, as well as seven un-drafted making up the twelve-man roster. Even with the experience of head coach Brett Brown , formerly an assistant to Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs. NBAE Photo by Jesse Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

(6) Minnesota Timberwolves’ point guard Ricky Rubio is having an indifferent season as is the team in general . Flip Saunders might well be left contemplating the trading away of the talented Spaniard who is not due to become free agent until 2018 . There has been a great deal of indifference among the fans of the Timberwolves’ , who have seen the departure of Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers. AP Photo / Mary Morris ..

(7) Kobe Bryant (24) is seen here court-side as he and head coach Byron Scott discuss a game plan. Not much has gone right for the Los Angeles Lakers this season . The team has struggled on both ends of the court , with only the guard seemingly providing the brunt of the offense. Unfortunately, it has not been all to the benefit of the Lakers, but more so to the personal benefit of the player as he recently broke the 30,000 career points’ plateau , leading active players and ranking him inside the all-time top ten in NBA history. UPI Syndicated Press …. @ copyrighted material …

(8) From left to right , Joe Johnson , Deron Williams and Bojan Bogdanovic are seated court-side during a game this season. The Brooklyn Nets have been adisaster on the court with their being little resilience being shown with a team that is the highest paid in the NBA. Team owner , Mikhail Prokhorov for the past two years has been willing to have his franchise carry that dubious honor, while failing to gain any type of meaningful success . The Nets’ most recent NBA Playoff appearances have ended with the players showing little appetite to perform to the best of their alleged abilities . AP Photo / Chris Hendricks ….

(9) Brooklyn Nets’ head coach Lionel Hollins, left, is seated next to GM Billy King, as Hollins is introduced the convened press announcing his signing to succeed Jason Kidd as the head coach. Kidd was abruptly fired by organization after the former Nets’ player made it known he wished for more input /on all personnel decisions concerning the team . The Nets made the NBA Playoffs last season, but fell short of their goals that year . Getty Images / Amy Hughes … …

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Chicken soup for the soul isn’t always good for the masses ….

Chicken soup for the soul isn’t always good for the masses ….

The print and television media within the sports’ world tends to stoop lower than their counterparts within mainstream media , especially when it comes to the role of domestic politics. In recent days ESPN , the self-righteous and eponymous cable broadcast outlet continues to create the stories which they purport to be newsworthy. Nothing more can be putrid , than their prognostication of this season’s NBA standings and what can only be called a salacious diatribe of an interview between Los Angeles Lakers’ SVP Jeanie Buss and her views on the league’s recent free agents not choosing to sign with her team. In truth , the interview Colin Cowherd was simply looking to create another tidbit for his low-rated show on the ESPN’s radio network and cable outlet.


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If nothing else can be said about ESPN , it is while they represent what the network believes to be sports’ related content, their main being, is to simply push the envelope as far as possible on news’ content while cow-towing to their paymasters , the , MLB , NBA , NCAA , NFL and NHL . With billions of dollars in revenues , the sports’ broadcast outlet remains a cash cow and perhaps one of the most profitable units of the Walt Disney Company .

The broadcast outlets own reputation in recent years has come in for a great deal of criticism, with the behavior of many of their analysts, allegations of sexual harassment, in a number of cases proven to be true , leading to the firing or demotion of known personalities , yet the show must go on with ESPN.

The NBA for its part enters the final stretch of the preseason before the league begins its regular season schedule on the 28th October, 2014. The defending champions the San Antonio Spurs will seek to win their sixth title in the franchise’s history. The biggest story in the NBA beyond Jeanie Buss’ diatribe remains the ongoing ambitions of the Cleveland Cavaliers , with the acquisitions of LeBron James and Kevin Love , two of the biggest off-season acquisitions seen in the league .

James’ departure from the Miami Heat might well have the biggest surprise , but in reality , the Heat’s lack of competitiveness shown in the NBA Finals proved to be the final straw for the four-time League MVP , who was inadequately aided by his teammates in those now well chronicled Finals . Those favoring the Miami Heat clearly had no faith in the San Antonio Spurs simply based on the NBA Finals of 2013, with many of the Spurs’ critics coming from the less than reputable analysts of ESPN . I believe much of that , comes from their sipping from the cup LeBron James chooses to defecate and urinate in. With the less than knowledgeable NBA fans not too far behind with their at times idiotic , prognostication of the most recent finals.

Cavaliers’ head coach David Blatt and his coaching staff will lead a team that will be looked upon as the prohibitive favorites for the NBA title this upcoming season , with their likely challengers within the Eastern Conference coming from the New York Knicks , Chicago Bulls, Atlanta Hawks , Brooklyn Nets and lost but not least the Miami Heat , if Erik Spolstra can get his revamped roster up and running , playing with a degree of consistency . In the West the challenge will likely come from the San Antonio Spurs , Los Angeles Clippers , Oklahoma City Thunder , Houston Rockets and Portland Trailblazers .

Jeanie Buss’ gripe, comes from the very fact she is unwilling to point an accusing finger at her brother Jim Buss , lead managing partner , co-owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, GM Mitch Kupchak and the poor job done by the duo over the past two seasons and the Lakers’ poor play during the time-frame in question . The coaching tenures of Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoni were clearly coaches who simply did not fit in with the Lakers’ way of doing things. Buss’ criticisms of players while idiotic, was tepid in terms of the criticisms of Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak by former Lakers’ players Magic Johnson , James Worthy and Kareem Abdul Jabbar , players who have known considerable success with the franchise. If that wasn’t a clear sign of the missteps taken by the front office executives , then clearly the ownership group and their anal retentive and apathetically delusional fans have no real knowledge of how far the franchise’s descent has been . The failure of Dwight Howard to acclimatize himself as a player with the Lakers much less show any real signs of leadership was a clear pointer as to how self absorbed the franchise had become , without delving into the idiotic coaching process and strategies being shown by Mike D’Antoni.

The Lakers’ recent draft class though not overly impressive the team in its current guise will clearly have to follow in tow under the guidance of Kobe Bryant , the player whom Jeanie Buss seems to be placating, rather than seeking to be constructive in assessing the real issues within the franchise where she is a senior executive and co-owner. Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers will begin their schedule against the Houston Rockets at the Staples Center in Los Angeles California. Last season’s series between these two franchises proved to be quite entertaining. Jeremy Lin , formerly with the Rockets in now a point guard with the Lakers and likely to be the team’s starting point guard for much of the season , with the now year-long departure of Steve Nash, who will have to undergo back surgery for a recurring and long-suffering malady.

If the Los Angeles Lakers are to fare well this season , then the likes of Nick Young , Julius Randle , Carlos Boozer , Jeremy Lin , Robert Sacre and Kobe Bryant will have to be at their very best and show a great deal more consistency than seen during last season’s schedule . Granted , Bryant was unable to contribute with his being sidelined due to an injury . For the fans and the NBA in general Kobe Bryant being the on the court is a great deal better than his being away from the spectacle of the game , even with the ever present criticism which has been associated with the player throughout much of his career.

Baseball’s World Series for this season is proving to be a thoroughly entertaining series , far more exhilarating and thrilling than than last season’s postseason spectacle between the Boston Red Sox and St Louis Cardinals . The Kansas City Royals , this season’s Cinderella Team and story are proving to be the ” real deal” as they seek to upend the San Francisco Giants and stop Bruce Bochy and his team from winning their third World Series’ title in the past five seasons.

In the era of the long ball, it is great to see two teams willing to play “small ball” , so creatively and efficiently as evidenced in last night’s game four thriller at AT&T Park in San Francisco , California , in front of a raucous and sold-out venue of rabid fans. With the series now even at two games apiece (2-2), with the Giants coming back with an emphatic game four win in defeating the Royals 11-4 , with sixteen hits in comparison to their opponent’s twelve hits with only one error committed in this game . This contest pointed to the stoutness and ability shown by these two teams and the managerial acumen of Bruce Bochy and Ned Yost . Hero of the night might well have been the Giants’ Pablo Sandoval who was the World Series’ MVP in the San Francisco Giants’ last triumph in the Fall Classic which took place in 2012.

In what will be a pivotal game five both Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants will be looking to their starting aces this Sunday evening when when James Shields of the Royals faces off against Madison Bumgarner of the Giants . Both pitchers have been heroes for their respective teams over the course of the postseason. A win for the Gaints places them in the driver’s seat , with the series then heading back to Kauffmann Stadium in Kansas City , Missouri for the final two games of the World Series. Should the Royals prevail , then heading home back to their home ballpark will have the players and their fans relishing the prospect of closing out the series on their way to the franchise’s second title , with the last coming in 1985.

Away from the spectacle of the World Series, baseball’s most successful franchise the New York Yankees are looking to rebuild their lineup as well saying a final goodbye to Derek Jeter who after a two-decade long career leaves the game as one of baseball’s most revered players of the last twenty years. Missing the postseason and never in contention for the AL East divisional crown .

Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman and lead managing partner , Hal Steinbrenner will now have to assess the current lineup and then seek to try and gauge whether or not this will be another year of a exceeding $200 million , without any guarantee of success as was the case this season with the team. The Yankees have not really shown any faith in their farm system over the past four years even with their being initial praise being heaped upoin the shoulders of players such as Joba Chamberlain , Phil Hughes, Austin Romin and Jesus Montero no longer with the franchise. Call it failure on the path of the front office or simply the fact Joe Girardi and his coaching staff have not really shown the managerial acumen thought, in spite of his lone triumph in the World Series of 2009 .

The talk seems to be in a number of circles , will the New York Yankees make a huge splash in the off-season by signing a major free agent or make a trade for a pitcher , big league bat or stand pat with their current lineup ? With Brian Cashman now said to be in discussion with Alex Rodriguez and his return in 2015 and the role he is likely to play for the team, leads me to believe the organization remains bereft of creativity, let alone their being a belief that a number of players waiting in the wings will be able to contribute for the ball-club this upcoming season . Alex Rodriguez , I do not believe is a player capable of leading a team and certainly no longer good enough to produce at a high level without their being doubts as to the legitimacy of his achievements . These are the things the New York Yankees are likely to encounter over the course of 2015 as the franchise enters a year of hope , while looking to make themselves be viewed as a contender for the World Series .

If last Thursday night’s game between the San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos was anything to go by as the week eight opener of the NFL season . I would like to think Sunday’s games will provide a great deal more excitement than we have seen over the course of the year so far. Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning put on an exhilarating display of passing as the Broncos got the victory needed to place the team among the elite of the AFC franchises and the NFL .

Week eight of last season and the games were somewhat pedantic but yet they provided us with some insight about the players and the teams at that point of the year . On Sunday’s schedule of games, the best of the bunch might be the clash between the Arizona Cardinals and the Philadelphia Eagles as both teams seek to make some inroads into their divisional title challenges . Bruce Arians and the Cardinals have turned the NFC West upside down as both the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks appear to be struggling . As to what this might suggest about both NFC West occupants can be predicated upon whether not you believe the Cardinals are good enough to win the division outright.

Call me naive, but I am not yet convinced I can jump on board the wagon carrying the hopes of either the Dallas Cowboys or the Detroit Lions ! Dallas has been playing great football this season with DeMarco Murray on course to shatter the league’s all-purpose yardage from scrimmage for a single season. And while Tony Romo seems to be back at his very best , can you really believe the quarterback can carry these displays seen into the postseason ? The Cowboys will entertain the woefully inept Washington Redskins in the Monday night game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Jim Caldwell and the Detroit Lions for their part have a one-game lead over the hard charging Green Bay Packers (5-2) led by Pro Bowl quarterback Aaron Rodgers . The NFC North appears to be up for grabs and adds a little bit more excitement for the fans of those teams and the NFL . Caldwell and the Lions eked out a narrow one point victory over what now appears to be a soulless Atlanta Falcons’ team and it now certainly adds to the mounting speculation, whether not Mike Smith can last the remainder of the season?

As the season has progressed it has been interesting to witness the issues the New England Patriots have faced. Tom Brady appears to be not at his very best , based on own expectations. Yet at the same time , the usual offensive weaponry expected on field to bring out the best in the Patriots’ quarterback has not been there this season. Josh McDaniels for all of the belief of he is one of the most acute minded offensive coordinators in the game , simply plays second fiddle to head coach Bill Belichick and Brady, himself, when it comes to the team’s offensive play-calling and schemes.

New England took apart the Chicago Bears in a high scoring contest , thrashing the Bears 51-23 in a lopsided game. Perhaps the offensive onslaught we have come to expect from the Patriots is now back and rolling ?

If there were any doubts the New York Jets are having an abysmal season a then Sunday’s game was proof of the very fact. Rex Ryan’s days as the head coach of the team can sand should last much longer . He has the confidence of this team and anymore reasoning as professed to by Ryan , Geno Smith is still learning his position as a starting quarterback should now be put to rest, along with Smith’s career with the franchise. New York’s embarrassing 43-23 home loss to the Buffalo Bills put an end to the Jets’ hopes of a postseason berth. GM John Idzik cannot continue to allow Rex Ryan remain as the team’s head coach after this defeat, not with the fans’ anger now at an all-time high. No explanation from the head coach or the players can excuse excuse such a poor display by the Jets in this home defeat .

Where the New York Jets now go from here will be determined by what the front office feels, is now in the best interests of the franchise. Replacing Geno Smith with Michael Vick simply adds more fuel to the fire , given Vick’s lack of productivity first with the Philadelphia Eagles and now with the lowly Jets . It’s pretty much safe to suggest the New York Jets’ wounds this season have been self inflicted and one which is proving to be a complete embarrassment for the NFL franchise.

The NHL season has begun and though I have never been admirer of the game , much less the belief Gary Bettman and the NHL’s executive committee finally believe they are finally over their malaise in terms their labor disputes with the NHLPA (union) and franchise owners. Stanley Cup defending champions the Los Angeles Kings will be looking to make a successful defense of their and have begun to make that a reality . Off to a winning start the Kings under head coach Darryl Sutter and his coaching staff will seek to guide the franchise to their first Stanley Cup title since the 2012 season . Moving ahead , it will be interesting to see if the Kings can make it a third title in the last three seasons. An eighty-two game schedule tends to bring out the best and the worst in the teams as well as the players .



Picture gallery .

What if anything, do you find the most annoying with the regard to the sports’ media market by way of the television broadcast or those within print media ? If the NBA is to have a great season which teams do you think will have to perform at their very best to make this season a great one ? As week eight in the NFL comes slowly to a close it would appear the league is no better off this season than it was at the same point last year . Finally , are you of the opinion this postseason in baseball has exceeded your own expectations and specifically the current World Series’ contests ? Chime in with your thoughts on this and anything else believe pertinent to this article and thanks as always for the continued support of this site as it is greatly appreciated !


Picture gallery and slideshow details .


(1) Jeanie Buss is seen here alongside her brother Jim Buss who along with a younger sibling are the co-owners of the Los Angeles Lakers . As a senior executive with the franchise Jeanie Buss has been extremely critical of the free agents during the off-season who chose not to sign with the Lakers , referring to them as ” losers ” . . Unfortunately , she failed to indicate the fact last season the Los Angeles failed miserably to make the NBA Playoffs. AP Photo / Michael Archer …

(2) Dwight Howard (12) is seen here with teammate James Harden (13) during an NBA game this past season. Both will be seeking to guide the Houston Rockets to a divisional title as well as a playoff berth within the Western Conference. Howard’s tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers was less than stellar . AP Photo / Matthew Charles …

(3) San Francisco Giants’ Hunter Pence scores during the sixth inning of Game 4 of baseball’s World Series against the Kansas City Royals Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, in San Francisco. AP Photo/David J. Phillip …

(4) From left, New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman , Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner , Senior Vice President and Assistant General Manager Jean Afterman , and executive vice president Felix Lopez, listen as pitcher Mariano Rivera , who holds baseball’s all-time saves’ record , announces his plans to retire at the end of the 2013 season during a news conference at Steinbrenner Field Saturday , March 9, 2013 in Tampa, Fla. AP Photo/Kathy Willens …

(5) Preston Brown (52) of the Buffalo Bills celebrates with teammate Marcell Dareus (99 ) after making an interception in the first quarter against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on October 26, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Getty Images North America / Alex Goodlett …

(6) Quarterback Michael Vick (1) of the New York Jets looks to pass against Kyle Williams (95) of the Buffalo Bills in the first half of the game at MetLife Stadium on October 26, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Getty Images /Al Bello …



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Trust is something that has to be earned and it says a great deal about the relationship between star player and a coach …..

Trust is something that has to be earned and it says a great deal about the relationship between star player and a coach …..

In any great sporting endeavor, is it of a singular nature or from a professional team aspect and the success attained. In the end, it all comes down the trust that is said to have been placed between the head coach , his managerial staff and that of the star player or players or seasoned veterans on that team. All of the dynamics, of the great multiple team successes over the past four decades, can be attributed to this trait. And nowhere was this more prevalent, than with the championship winning teams of Phil Jackson as he presided over the dynasty with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen of those Chicago Bulls’ teams that reigned supreme during the nineties. Jackson, would once again, replicate that success with the Los Angeles Lakers , where both Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal were the centerpieces of three teams that won back-to-back to back NBA titles .


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The Miami Heat with Erik Spoelstra , seem to be on a predetermined journey to win their third consecutive NBA championship , with the team being led by the erstwhile triumvirate of LeBron James , Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh . Now, while all of the talk at present might refs be about the scintillating form of the Indiana Pacers and in particular the play of Paul George . Let’s not fall into the mistaken belief, that the defending champions are likely to relinquish their crown, all too easily. If anything, the Heat will be even more determined to prove themselves worthy champions, while seeking to make a successful defense of their title.

The NFL since the inception of the Superbowl , has seen a multiple of what one might determine as being a dynasty in terms of tangible teams’ successes , with that of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ coached by Chuck Noll , Bill Walsh and the San Francisco 49ers , Jimmy Johnson and the marauding Dallas Cowboys and perhaps in the last decade the legacy of Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots . The advent of free agency , the salary cap has truly changed the landscape of team sports and with the teams now treating their industry more like a business in some instances , it places a premium more so , on immediate success , . than it does in trying to seek longevity by way of success.

Major League Baseball for all of its nuances , on an off the diamond issues, continues to be the pastime that fans yearn for during the fall, but where they have now become tired of the complete lack of leadership from the league hierarchy , as well as the continued deceit amongst the players themselves and propensity for simply being disingenuous. . The World Series has not seen a repeat champion in over a decade , when Joe Torre was leading the New York Yankees to one of the most successful eras in that franchise’s rich and benevolent history . Yet for the sole victory by Torre’s successor Joe Girardi in 2009 , the subsequent years from that final triumph have been somewhat lean for the franchise.

As the title of this piece would suggest , it is the relationship between the coach and a star player that can in many ways determine the success of a franchise. That relationship quite obviously will be based on trust and the mutual respect and faith of the coach in the player’s abilities and likewise that also has to be reciprocated between player and coach. Michael Jordan certainly had that type of relationship with Phil Jackson , with Pippen being the lieutenant to Jordan’s on court general . The legacy of those six championships in an eight year span , might be one of the greatest eras in the NBA’s proud and rich history and I say that with all due deference to the era of the Boston Celtics’ triumphs and that also of the Showtime Lakers , led by Magic Johnson , who alongside Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy made the NBA a prime-time event , even when their adversary may well have been the Celtics on the game’s biggest stage, with the stakes being the NBA title. . Those heady days of the Lakers are their very best, had Pat Riley coaching that those great players , with the now Miami Heat executive showing his flair for the showmanship, as well gaining almost celebrity like status alongside the players on those teams. Riley’s relationship with all three of the Lakers’ legends and now Hall of Fame inductees was built upon trust, with Magic Johnson being the conduit for a great deal of that success.

Joe Torre’s relationship with Derek Jeter , was one of the mainstays behind the New York Yankees’ four triumphs, where the centerpiece of the rosters were Andy Pettite , Jorge Posada , Mariano Rivera and Paul O’Neil . Yet , if anything , with Jeter being entrusted as the team captain, it was he who led , while his teammates imply followed , all under the command and respect of the Yankees’ manager . Those triumphs are since held in high esteem , with members of the organization , teams, but most of all with the fans who were there to have witnessed those memorable moments.

Chuck Noll’s four Superbowl triumphs with the Pittsburgh Steelers are well chronicled , with the teams in question, long-held as being some of the very best to have raised the Lombardi Trophy . The list of players who were part those triumphs , now enshrined in Canton , Ohio , within the Hall of Fame are a testament to the franchise’s quest for excellence and the coaching acumen of Noll, himself. . Chuck Noll’s relationship with players such as Franco Harris , Terry Bradshaw , Jack Lambert and Joe Greene , epitomized what made not only the Steelers’ franchise and players respected , but it also brought about the fans’ even greater appreciation of the NFL as a spectacle and the Superbowl as an event.

Bill Walsh’s demeanor, beyond his success attained with the San Francisco 49ers is the stuff that legends are made . His coaching schemes revolutionized the game as we know it . Yet, it may well be his relationship with Joe Montana and Walsh being the architect of three Superbowl winning teams , and his influence on the fourth triumph achieved by George Siefert , that may well be perhaps , his greatest legacy and testament. Fans know of Montana’s exploits in the Superbowl as well as the postseason , and I believe he remains the best quarterback to have ever played the game . Albeit, that the arguments are now being made that Peyton Manning might be an even better player and quarterback. Be that as it may , four Superbowl rings, to Manning’s lone triumph , tends to paint an all too different picture, when it is all said and done .

As an avid fan of the New England Patriots and the franchise’s triumphs with Bill Belichick as the head coach , with Tom Brady helming the ball-club to each of the three triumphs in question . The memories of two stinging losses to the New York Giants and then an inexplicable AFC championship game loss to the Baltimore Ravens , last season , still leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. During the decade plus span of Tom Brady’s reign as the franchise’s quarterback , the player has simply rewritten many of the Patriots’ passing records , as well placing himself in the NFL’s records books with his own prowess . Whether or not Brady can join Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to have won four Superbowls, quarterbacking the same franchise , will be predicated by what the Patriots’ signal caller can achieve over the remainder of his NFL career. Tom Brady’s relationship with Bill Belichick has been built on a like-minded premise, that the ‘ pursuit of excellence ‘ will often outweigh all of the negatives that tend to crop within the game . That being said, Belichick has been a coach, who is often despised , though respected for his coaching acumen , but always seen as a self-absorbed individual. Image may well be everything , but for the Patriots’ head coach , it has never really meant a damn thing, just as long as his teams are winning.

The NFL this season , has seen its ups and downs , along with Gary Kubiak being the first coaching casualty of the year . Though, I do not believe he will be the last, after his summary firing by Houston Texans’ GM Rick Smith . If the swirling rumors are to be believed, then Mike Shanahan’s reign in Washington , DC as the head coach of the Washington Redskins is likely to come to an end , after a season of sheer ineptitude on the part of the coach , his coaching staff and the entire Redskins’ roster . Robert Griffin III , may well have been the number two overall pick from the 2012 NFL Draft , but his performances this season, have been woefully abysmal . Yet , it would be wrong to lay the majority of the blame solely upon the shoulders of the sophomore quarterback. His woes , much like the rest of this roster , have been built around the poor coaching of Mike Shanahan and the never-ending wide variety of excuses for the poor performances and results this season. With revelations that the head coach wanted to abandon the team last season , it begs the question , if he felt that way , then why did he not simply resign? At the crux of it all, may well be the fact that had tendered his resignation , then the $ 7 million salary due in 2014 , would be lost to him, in its entirety . Instead, it now looks as if Shanahan is seeking to play a game of “cat and mouse ” with GM Bruce Allen and the team’s billionaire owner , Dan Snyder .

Shanahan’s relationship with his quarterback , cannot be fully categorized , because so much of what has been reported concerning the two, has simply been based on mere supposition. At the same time, I was never truly of the opinion, that the Redskins’ head coach was truly aware of what he had within his midst in terms of Robert Griffin’s undoubted talents. The team’s offense this season has been a blight to the NFL and when trying to make sense of the defense , well , let us just say that there are not enough words to simply describe the sheer ” bull$hit” that has been associated with the Redskins’ secondary this season.

If Sunday’s 45-10 annihilation suffered at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs by the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field in Landover , Maryland , this past Sunday, was not enough of an indicator , as to how far this team has fallen this season. Then surely, it must now be a sign, that changes need to be made amongst the coaching staff as well as with the entire roster . Far too much dead weight on the team , and simply not enough NFL ready talent, capable of playing at the highest level, and ably coached by a good enough coaching staff.

Ah , the NBA season and you can simply see how much the brand has deteriorated down the years , when the fans of the Brooklyn Nets (6-14) 5 , Los Angeles Lakers (10-10) 10 and New York Knicks (5-14) , seek to make excuses for the plight of the respective teams in question. If only those very same fans were able to show the intelligence or actual perception to know that , you simply cannot buy your way out of a mess that was organically created by the front offices of the organizations in question. Head coaches , Jason Kidd , Mike D’Antoni and Mike Woodson between them have a combined record of 21-39 . Great if you believe that kind of ineptitude can buy the fans and observers of the NBA an actual piece of mind . It has been this sort of mediocrity that the league hierarchy has continually gift wrapped for the fans over the past few seasons , especially within the Eastern Conference in particular . Another damning indictment of the level of play within the NBA at present, where the more asinine of fans are now more concerned with highlight reel dunks , more than anything else . The IQ level of the NBA fan has been on a steady decline along with the play of the vast majority of the teams within the league . Soon to be outgoing NBA Commissioner David Stern will have this as a piece of his legacy , that should actually be etched on his tombstone .

Coming off a fifteen point loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers , you simply have to wonder when this Knicks’ team and the coaching staff will actually begin to realize the fact that the season is already in motion , and that they are not still participating in their preseason schedule . Carmelo Anthony has been surrounded by a group of disinterested teammates, simply looking to earn their bloated salaries , while serving up the New York Knicks fans a content of bile inducing basketball . Never mind the continued excuses from the always less than intelligent Knicks fans at this juncture , as if it would be worth anything of note . Head coach Mike Woodson remains at a loss, to explain his team’s woes . And I doubt that he can actually place his trust in anyone on the current roster to lead by example , if these results are anything to go by . The Knicks’ next game will be against an always tough Chicago Bulls’ team , who this season have handed the defending champions the Miami Heat , their most embarrassing and lopsided loss of the season in a 107-87 defeat , and who were without Derrick Rose , who has been lost to Tom Thibodeau and this team for the remainder of the season .

I do not believe it impolite to now suggest that both Billy King , general manager , of the Brooklyn Nets and the team’s owner , Mikhail Prokhorov are in fact imbeciles , who simply have no damn idea as to what the hell they are doing or what they sought to achieve in hiring Jason Kidd to become the head coach of the team. In spite of Kidd’s vast experience as a player, who commanded the respect of his peers during his playing career? It has become abundantly clear, that as a head coach , he has simply brought absolutely nothing to the table, whatsoever . Jason Kidd’s predecessor PJ Carlesimo was jettisoned by the organization after his brief stint as the interim head coach last season, in light of Avery Johnson’s abrupt dismissal . To suggest that the Nets have now fallen on hard times would be an understatement , but it could be best summed up by saying that the current environment within the organization is simply further evidence why the NBA has become a complete joke ,with regard to the claims by David Stern and many of his subordinates that the league is soundly ran , with a business template that sees increasing values of the franchises and their ever-increasing profits’ growth . All well and good for the teams that are actually profitable , but the commissioner and his second in command, Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver have never sought to address why the league still wishes to punish teams with impunity , with their outrageous “luxury tax” , while not seeking have the teams and owners rein in their expenses , especially as it relates to teams’ payroll .

Brooklyn’s acquisition of three aging veterans in Kevin Garnett , Paul Pierce and Jason Terry has now made about as much sense as Barack Obama’s claims that the taxpayer would not see any money lost in their investment into then bankrupt Detroit automaker GM , who recently hired female Mary Barra to run the company, in the immediacy of Daniel F Akerson stepping down from his position as Chairman and CEO. Personally, with Obama, now out of the country , seeking to prop up his popularity polling numbers, while attending the funeral of Nelson Mandela . Personally, I am wondering, if it will be left to either Vice President Joe Biden or Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew to explain how the country and taxpayer still ends up with a $10.5 billion loss in their original stake and multibillion bailout of the still troubled automaker ? I mean, Obama now simply cuts and runs , after each asinine guffaw , that he actually either promises and puts his name to , in the aftermath its failed implosion. He remains a gutless leader , much like the vast majority of the NBA hierarchy , , union and the team owners associated with the league.

Jason Kidd’s rein as head coach of the Brooklyn Nets should not be allowed to go beyond this season , because while he may command the respect of his players , I doubt that Kidd, himself, knows whom he can place his trust in on this team, to actually lead it moving forward . Deron Williams , while, a very good player, has never been thought of as a leader. Joe Johnson remains emblematic of everything that is currently wrong with the NBA and its continued idiocy of reward , while actually producing nothing of merit throughout his NBA career . Please , can someone explain to me what advantages if any have taken place in this nonsensical experiment of Jason Kidd being made the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets ? A failed exercise behind a failed franchise , that hemorrhages red ink continually, and for this the Brooklyn Nets’ fans have something to be thankful for ? Are you kidding me? Then again both New York based NBA franchises, are simply deserving of their present fates along with their herd of self-absorbed fans .



Picture gallery .

I welcome your thoughts if any, concerning the points raised within this article. Simply chime in with your comments as you see fit.


Picture and slideshow gallery details below .


(1) Chicago Bulls’ legends from left to right Scottie Pippen , Michael Jordan and head Phil Jackson . The bespectacled Jackson guided the franchise to six NBA titles during an eight-year span before guiding the Los Angeles Lakers to another five titles during his reign with the Los Angeles’ based franchise . Jordan and Pippen’s relationship with their famed head coach was built on mutual respect and trust , with Michael Jordan leading the way in the Bulls’ greatest triumphs during the NBA playoffs . AP /REUTERS/ Mitchell Hahn ……….

(2) Kobe Bryant , left is seen here with Phil Jackson , center and Shaquille O’Neal at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA , after the team’s triumph in 2000 NBA Finals . Bryant and O’Neal were the main forces behind the Lakers’ triumphs of the late nineties that brought an additional three titles to one of the league’s most illustrious franchises. Getty Images / Matthew Donaldson ….

(3) Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra is seen here with LeBron James during a game played at the AAArena in Miami , Florida this season . The relationship between the young head coach and his superstar forward is said to be an extremely close one . Spoelstra is seeking to become the youngest head coach in NBA history to have won three consecutive titles in his capacity , before the age of forty-five. The two-time defending champions remain the team to beat in the Eastern Conference in spite of the spectacular start of the Indiana Pacers this season . AP Photo / Chris Fordham …. (4) Famed Pittsburgh Steelers’ head coach Chuck Noll is seen here with Joe Greene . The two individuals are part of a famed era during the Steelers’ history , which saw the franchise’s dominance of the NFL as Noll coached the teams to four Superbowl victories . Both are inductees into the Hall of Fame in Canton , Ohio . Archived footage …… @ all rights reserved copyrighted material

(5) New York Yankees’ captain Derek Jeter is seen here with then manager Joe Torre after the one of the four World Series’ triumphs shared as a paring during one of the richest eras of the Yankees’ postseason history . Jeter remains a part of the ball-club’s current roster , as he begins to wind down his almost two decade old career , all served with the New York Yankees . Torre is now a senior league executive with Major League Baseball . AP Photo / New York Daily News / Anthony McCarron …

(6) Bill Walsh is seen here with Joe Montana (16) and their shared triumphs in the NFL postseason and in particular in four Superbowl triumphs solidified the San Francisco 49ers’ legacy in NFL history . AP Photo archives ….

(7) A young Tom Brady (12) is seen here on the sidelines with New England Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick . The two as a tandem , have been part of five Superbowl appearances having won three of those meetings and losing the other two contests both times, to the New York Giants . The quarterback and head coach hope to make it to sixth appearance this postseason , while seeking to become only the third coaching and quarterback tandem to have won four Superbowls, joining the duo of Chuck Noll , Terry Bradshaw and the pairing of Bill Walsh and Joe Montana . AP Photo / Rachel Manners ….

(8) Brooklyn Nets’ (7-14) head coach Jason Kidd is seen here talking with the team’s point guard Deron Williams prior to a game this season . The Nets are off to a horrendous start to their schedule which has seen the team flounder within their division , the Eastern Conference , in the league , both away and at home during the infancy of this NBA season . The front office has given their beleaguered head coach its backing , which most circles is ordinarily seen as the “kiss of death” for a struggling head coach seeking wins and leadership amongst his playing staff . Getty Images / Harry How …….



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You don’t want to be the guy who replaces a legend , you want to be the guy comes in after the legend’s successor is said to have failed miserably

You don’t want to be the guy who replaces a legend , you want to be the guy comes in after the legend’s successor is said to have failed miserably

Over the past two decades within professional team sports , we have seen the departures great players from the game , either through retirement or their trade to another franchise. Though not thought to be earth shattering at the time , the feeling was that Peyton Manning’s departure from the Indianapolis Colts and the organization’s handling of the matter was haphazard , incompetent and somewhat disrespectful , given Manning’s contribution and resurgence of that particular franchise. The famed quarterback’s success along with Tony Dungy’s coaching acumen brought about that success , the added profitability of the Colts and to the overall wealth of the team’s owner Jim Irsay .


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With the Indianapolis Colts having traded Peyton Manning to the Denver Broncos , the team was lucky enough to have drafted Andrew Luck out of Stanford as the number one overall draft pick in the 2011 NFL Draft . Luck’s success as a rookie and subsequent play has simply been a revelation , having led the team into the postseason in 2012 , along with his peer Robert Griffin III , who was able to achieve a similar feat with the Washington Redskins .

This season , both the Indianapolis Colts and Washington Redskins have followed different paths, with the defending NFC East champions are likely to miss the postseason , after an erratic season of missed opportunities and a great deal of finger-pointing around the organization , with the actual coaching acumen of Mike Shanahan and his coaching acumen now coming into question, along with that of his coaching staff . At the same time, Robert Griffin’s play this season has been far from scintillating , somewhat of a surprise to many, given his growth and maturity shown over the first two years of his NFL career. This season , much like the team’s, Griffin’s performances , along with the other quarterbacks within the NFC East , have been understated and amongst the most erratic in the entire NFL . Yet , if there is blame to be apportioned , then a great deal of that must be placed squarely on the shoulders of the Redskins’ secondary and the poor play exhibited over the course of the season . With the team now in preparation for their week twelve scheduled Monday night match-up against the high-flying San Francisco 49ers , in an NFC contest to be played at Fedex Field in Landover, Maryland . It will be interesting to see what steps will be taken by the Washington Redskins as they take on the NFC West divisional antagonists.

There is no denying that Andrew Luck’s success has been contagious and that it has affected the organization throughout , with the fans coming in droves to see a newly revamped team play at Lucas Oil Stadium , in Indiana , Indianapolis , all under the watchful eye of head coach Chuck Pagano and his coaching staff . Having replaced an icon and legend in Peyton Manning, it would appear that the young quarterback , Andrew Luck is prepared to lead the Colts’ into a new chapter of their history . That next phase, will begin on Sunday , when the Colts are guests of the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Tempe , Arizona, where former Colts’ assistant Bruce Arians is now the head coach of the host team . Arians and the Cardinals will be looking to see if they can secure a win , in order to leapfrog the second placed San Francisco 49ers within the NFC West , in a division that is now blossoming into a thoroughly enthralling contest between the top three teams , by way of its competitiveness .

Robert Griffin’s path of succession in following in a long line of shall we say lackluster Redskins’ quarterbacks over the past eight seasons , has been one of the numerous reasons why the franchise has failed so miserably . Reading off those list of names of nondescript individuals , would be akin to reading the recipe of ingredients from a can of soup , produced as a generic brand to be stocked on the shelves of your local supermarket. The list of Rex Grossman , a past his prime , Donovan McNabb , Jason Campbell , Mark Brunell , and Patrick Ramsey have all got something in common . They have played for a franchise, where the team owner , Dan Snyder , has spared no expense , in carrying on with the Redskins’ ineptitude, since he took the helm of the Washington Redskins in 1999, as its main proprietor .

At 3-7 within the NFC East , the record of the Washington Redskins has proven to be a monumental disappointment . In a division , where the only team above .500 in terms of a winning record are the Philadelphia Eagles (6-5) . It is a damning indictment, as to how bad the teams are said to be, in what has been repeatedly described as the “glamor division “ . of the NFL , with the brand and product having become so diluted . Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and there has been absolutely nothing glamorous about the quartet of teams much less their play over the course of this season . As I alluded to earlier , the quarterback play also has been something of an abomination and it is also, another clear indicator as to how bad things now appear to be, even in spite of a number of analysts now salivating over the play of Eagles’ quarterback Nick Foles , who may well be on the verge bringing about the abrupt end of Michael Vick’s career with the franchise . If former, Philly head coach, Andy Reid could not see it for himself, that Vick is now past his prime . Then surely Reid’s successor , Chip Kelly must now realize that fact for himself , given the rather innocuous performances from the veteran player player this season , in spite of his health issues .

One could perhaps attest to the fact that where would be something of a misnomer with regard to the title of this piece and how it relates to the NFL , may well have been the passing on of the baton from Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers and Joe Montana to Steve Young . Though not necessarily controversial at the time, Favre’s unwillingness to take a back seat to a younger and most certainly a more receptive player in Rodgers, led to the veteran being looked upon as a rather petulant individual . Brett Favre’s departure from the Green Bay Packers had its supporters and detractors. Yet, it should be noted, the all-time career touchdowns’ passing as well as career passing yardage leader , never showed the form that made him such a treat to watch after his departure from the Packers. After a fifteen career in Green Bay , the subsequent stops in New York with the New York Jets ( one year) and two years with the Minnesota Vikings were as eventful , as they were somber. No doubt, upon meeting the eligibility requirements, Brett Favre will become a first year ballot Hall of Fame inductee.

Aaron Rodgers, has all but erased the memory of Brett Favre ever existing and playing at Lambeau Field for one the league’s most revered and venerable NFL franchises . Now considered to be amongst the elite of the NFL quarterbacks, now playing in the NFL , his career has been a personification of dedication to his craft , as well as having the respect of his peers and teammates alike. Other than, Tom Brady , Peyton Manning and Drew Brees , I seriously doubt that there is a more well-liked or respected quarterback in the entire NFL !

Five Superbowl victories for an NFL franchise, tends to tell you a great deal about an organization and what they have been able to achieve over the course of their existence . The transition from Joe Montana to Steve Young did a have a few bumps in the road , but who can deny the fact that these two quarterbacks along with Jerry Rice , Roger Craig , Ronnie Lott , Dwight Clark , Jesse Sapolu and the franchise’s legendary head coach Bill Walsh may well have done more to put the San Francisco 49ers on the map , beyond Walsh’s influence on the game , through his play-calling . Montana and Young between them, account for all five of those Superbowl triumphs, with their names being etched in postseason history in terms of their respective performances in the postseason and the “big game ” itself .

After a spectacular 2012 , during which we witnessed the San Francisco 49ers make their sixth Superbowl appearance. The team would not fare as well , as in their previous forays , as Colin Kaepernick and his teammates would fall to their AFC opponents the Baltimore Ravens 34-31 in a game blighted by the incompetence of not only the NFL hierarchy , utility’s company Entergy , but also the host site, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome , home to the New Orleans Saints , operated by SMG and a venue owned by the Louisiana Expo & Sports Authority . The explanations forthcoming, as to why a power outage interrupted the NFL’s biggest spectacle were as ludicrous, as Roger Goodell’s comments that the stoppage, did nothing to take away from the event , nor did it have an effect on the end result. One more reason, why the incumbent NFL commissioner cannot be taken seriously as the league’s highest ranking executive. His communicative and leadership skills , beyond being remarkably poor, are in fact a complete embarrassment to the NFL and the teams he presides over .

I have been reading with a great deal of interest , where Hakeem Olajuwon , a Hall of Fame inductee , whose playing career with the Houston Rockets was unprecedented , has now taken it upon himself along with fellow inductee and Rockets’ head coach Kevin McHale , to assist in improving and “polishing ” the game of Dwight Howard . These two great players from a bygone era of excellence within the NBA , may well be taking on a great deal than either would care or be willing to admit . Howard may well have been, a Defensive Player of the Year within the league on multiple occasions , but his offensive prowess , as well as leadership skills and lack of maturity, has repeatedly come into question . It was self-evident and there for all to see, as the player struggled to show any signs of leadership, much less being able, to impose his will on a game , while playing for the Los Angeles Lakers last season .

The fact that Dwight Howard was acquired by the Lakers’ franchise as a long-term investment and seen as heir-apparent to Kobe Bryant , as the vocal leader of the Los Angeles Lakers, came and went as swiftly , as Howard’s decision to bolt from the Lakers , taking less money , to sign with the Rockets . If that was not indicative of the fact, that the center simply could not handle any form of adversity , then his now constant moaning , as to why he has been criticized by many of the elder statesmen of the game , is clear evidence that Dwight Howard will never be viewed as one of the best players at the position to have ever played the game. The NBA in terms of the play of the centers now within the game, are a far cry from what many of the fans have witnessed during the heydays of David Robinson . , Hakeem Olajuwon , Shaquille O’Neal , Bill Russell , Kareem Abdul Jabbar , Nate Thurmond , Patrick Ewing , Willis Reed and Moses Malone . All of whom were known to be ferocious competitors . Can the same be even remotely said about Dwight Howard , even as many now regard him as the best center , currently now playing in the NBA ?

Dwight Howard’s acquisition by the Rockets, in some circles was seen as the missing piece for a franchise with a legitimate shot of making the NBA Playoffs this upcoming season. In bolstering a roster , led by the presence of James Harden , Jeremy Lin , Ronnie Brewer , Patrick Beverley , Chandler Parsons and Aaron Brooks . The team was seen as a solid enough of a competitor to challenge the presence of the San Antonio Spurs (10-1) within the Southwest Division of the Western Conference . Coming off a narrow three-point 123-120 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night , the Rockets will face the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Toyota Center in Houston , Texas on Saturday evening , in what is likely to be a very lively contest between these two Western Conference foes.

Rockets’ owner Leslie Alexander and GM Daryl Morey, made a bold move, that will either prove to be a success or simply backfire for the organization. While, I believe Dwight Howard will be of some benefit to the Houston Rockets, I just cannot see the player as the person who will now get the team “ over the hump” that will make them a legitimate threat to the more prominent teams within the conference , such as the San Antonio Spurs , Oklahoma City Thunder , Los Angeles Clippers and what now appears to be a very talented and well-coached Golden State Warriors’ roster. I may well be wrong, but at this juncture, my observations are based on what I have seen from Dwight Howard , and the fact that he’s now being asked to fill the shoes of predecessors before him on the Rockets, who made significant progress in making the franchise more widely recognized . Hakeem Olajuwon and to an extent , Yao Ming made you aware of the franchise in terms of what they brought to the Houston Rockets . Has Dwight Howard actually been able to do that any point of his career, beyond his goofy off the court antics and winning a meaningless Slam Dunk Contest ?



Picture gallery .

Do you believe it easy, for a professional sport’s franchise to replace an iconic legend that has been associated with a team over a long period of time? Or as teams would always like to suggest “ it’s time to move on” , more often than not, because of monetary issues , rather than the athlete’s possible declining production ? Your comments are most certainly welcomed on this and anything else you believe to be of value to the premise stated this moderated piece.


Picture and slideshow gallery details below .


(1) Mar 7, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning speaks and Jim Irsay stands beside him to announce during a press conference at Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center that Peyton Manning will become a free agent. Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE ….

(2) Andrew Luck, left of the Indianapolis Colts is seen here with team owner Jim Irsay. . The quarterback, who was drafted out of Stanford as the number one pick in the 2012 NFL Draft , proved to be an immediate success with the franchise having taken the team into the postseason and the Colts now seem to be set , in terms of their long-term future with a quarterback who has proven to productive , with an immediate impact for the Indianapolis Colts from a competitive and financial standpoint. AP Photo / Garry Moss …

(3) Washington Redskins` starting quarterback Robert Griffin III is seen here with the team’s offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and backup quarterback Kirk Cousins . The team as defending champions within of the NFC East , now find themselves in almost untenable position of being at the bottom of the division and likely to miss the playoffs , having rode into the 2012 postseason riding on a sea of optimism and at the same time , projected long-term success. Instead, this season has turned out to be an unmitigated disaster , with a defense performing poorly , with alarming regularity and the same could be said of the offense . GM Bruce Allen and team owner Dan Snyder are likely to make a number of sweeping changes during the off-season concerning the player personnel and quite possibly amongst the coaching staff. Getty Images / Lance Jones …..

(4) Green Bay Packers’ teammates Brett Favre (4) and Aaron Rodgers (12) are seen here seated on the sidelines looking up at the scoreboard . The two players who have been described as not being extremely close , with Favre having been critical of the organization when Rodgers was drafted by team as a late first round draft pick in the 2005 NFL Draft . The backup would not become a regular season starter until 2008 . Brett Favre would later depart from the franchise under a cloud of controversy , with fans and detractors of the veteran , voicing their thoughts publicly , in print, via the airwaves and on television . Getty Images/ Mark Parsons …….

(5) Former 49ers Steve Young (L), Roger Craig (C) and Joe Montana (R) wait to go onto the field for a half time presentation during home opener as the San Francisco 49ers host the Seattle Seahawks at Candlestick Park September 20, 2009 in San Francisco, California. Getty Images North America / David Paul Morris ….

(6) Hall of Fame inductee Hakeem Olajuwon foreground , shows the Houston Rockets’ center Dwight Howard a few on-court drills and moves . Howard , since his arrival with the franchise has performed moderately , but the team now evolves around the play of point guard Jeremy Lin and James Harden . Olajuwon , GM Daryl Morey and head coach Kevin McHale see Howard as a vital part of the team’s offense , as they seek to make their presence felt within the Western Conference this season . AP Photo / Matt Shields ….

(7) Newly acquired center Dwight Howard , left foreground , is seen here with Houston Rockets’ great Hakeem Olajuwon and the team’s head coach Kevin McHale in the background at the team’s venue the Toyota Center in Houston Texas . Signed as a free agent in the off-season , the three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year is seeking establish himself as the premiere center in the NBA , after a somewhat lackluster year in 2012 , with Howard being unable to assist the Los Angeles Lakers during the postseason in any great depth . AP Photo / Keith Miller ….

(8) Two legendary giants of the game and some might agree a pair of centers who at the height of their careers were the most dominant players of their generation as centers . Bill Russell , left , whose career with the Boston Celtics is littered with accolades too numerous to mention , shakes hands with Kareem Abdul Jabbar , whose own career with the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers are synonymous as Russell’s with the Boston Celtics . AP Photo / Roger Pettigrew …. …….


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Cease and desist ………..

Cease and desist

David Stern enters his last season and the NBA commissioner looking for the year to be an eventful and a fully entertaining one. He has found some cordiality and a somewhat uneven truce with the NPBA (union) , who themselves will be going through a tumultuous stage of non-stop litigious to and fro , with former Executive Director Billy Hunter . The former union leader has brought about a multi-million lawsuit against the union , Derek Fisher , who until June of this year was the union’s President . With the Los Angeles Clippers’ point guard Chris Paul having won a unanimous vote to Fisher , the union will now to forge head in seeking a calmer environment , while looking to throw out the civil suit for wrongful dismissal , slander and libel action brought by Billy Hunter . From my own perspective , I believe that the union has been acting under a veil of secrecy with regard to its actions and that was most certainly true of the former executive director . At the same time, why there seemed to be no oversight in place to monitor Hunter’s alleged actions and activities has to come into question. Yet this all will be left in the hands of a jury and a federal judge to decide what will be deemed a justified outcome. One way or another, whatever the decision made, the losing party is likely to appeal the verdict .


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Slideshow .

As to the season itself , LeBron James and the Miami Heat will seek to add to their current legacy as the organizations seeks to win its third consecutive NBA title . Having won in 2012 and 2013 , this season the team is likely to be viewed as the prohibitive favorites to win it all. Will there be a worthy opponent and challengers coming from within the Eastern Conference ? Well that remains to the seen , but most certainly the Chicago Bulls , Brooklyn Nets , Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks , are the four teams thought to have the best chance of derailing the Heat’s hopes at this juncture. I believe a great deal of that will now come down to the coaching acumen shown by Tom Thibodeau , Jason Kidd , a first time head coach in the league, Frank Vogel and Mike Woodson .

Far too often I have read pieces, some of which have been written quite articulately , that tend to simply gloss over the importance of the coach and simply delving into which player or players matter the most in order to bring about a victory for the team . Last I looked , if a head coach did not have the strategy of a game-plan in place, more often than not, the victory being sought actually ended up in defeat. Which brings me to the conclusion , are Kidd , Vogel, Woodson and Thibodeau on the same level as Erik Spoelstra as a head coach ? After a difficult first season , the Miami Heat head coach has now come into his own and given his managerial style , a few more title wins and he could very well surpass his mentor and current Team President Pat Riley as perhaps an even better coach and motivator of players. Clearly , Spoelstra has been able to get his trio of superstars to buy into his philosophy , while at the same time, he has been able to get the supporting to come along for the ride, while contributing greatly to the success of the team . Two titles, says a great deal about the young coach, a third , fourth and may be a fifth , would raise the decibel levels even higher and place on the same plane, as perhaps the likes of Gregg Popovich , or dare one say it, Phil Jackson ? Now detractors could make the argument, that when you coaching two or even three superstars on the same team, you are supposed to win. Spoelstra, like Jackson have suffered the slings and arrows of misfortune of have lost to teams in the Finals , where the roster of players they were coaching at the time were highly favored. Yet complacency and immaturity on the part of the Los Angeles Lakers in 2004 led to their ultimate downfall against the Detroit Pistons . In 2011 , once again, we saw those same familiar traits with the Miami Heat , as Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks laid waste to the Heat’s ambitions that season.

In the Western Conference , we could be on the cusp of seeing the all too quick descent of the Los Angeles Lakers into a deep abyss of mediocrity. Clearly, their fans, are either that naïve or simply not educated enough to now realize that this team in its present guise , is simply not good enough to now challenge even their own neighbors at the Staples Center the Los Angeles Clippers , never mind the likes of the Oklahoma City Thunder , San Antonio Spurs , Houston Rockets and dare I say it either the Golden State Warriors or Houston Rockets ? No amount of suggestion, that while Kobe Bryant remains a Los Angeles Lakers’ player, then just about anything is possible. Unfortunately, Bryant is now on the downside of an illustrious career and cannot be asked to continually do it all by himself . The five-time NBA champion may well have been able to do it on his own three or four years ago , but not now , on aging legs and what is in all honesty an injury riddled body, when there has been little if any support coming from his surrounding teammates . It begs the question , why does he put his body through such torture when his legacy has already been assured as one of the top-fifteen players ever to have played the game and graced an NBA basketball court ? It certainly cannot be for the money !

Lakers’ fans remain delusional, while Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss seem to be intent on ruining the legacy built by Jerry Buss and the great Lakers’ players of the past, even if that is not their original intent. My question for the Los Angeles Lakers’ fans, did you ever at any time, have any implicit faith in Mike Brown ? Do you now have, any faith in the coaching style of Mike D’Antoni ? It is not as if, he has made the practice of defense a policy of or much less an aspect of the Los Angeles’ Lakers’ game since he succeeded his predecessor. Instead, all I continue to hear is a great deal of bitching and whining from the Lakers’ fans still living in the past, who are just not willing to accept the inevitable and that this team in its present guise just is not good enough to win an NBA title, and that is in spite of the false bravado coming from Kobe Bryant. That may well prove to be a motivating factor for Bryant, but he even must now realize the truth and accept it for what it is, the window of opportunity has already been shut for this team. Can we please stop it also, with this ludicrous obsession also that in 2014 , either LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony will come in riding on a white steed to rescue the damsel in distress, known as the Los Angeles Lakers ? Idiots such as Chris Broussard , Stephen A Smith , Skip Bayless and Tim Legler are paid for their stupidity and their combined knowledge of the NBA even with their breaking stories , pose just about as much of an attraction, as a group of individuals during an act of flatulence , each of whom, have eaten several plates of baked beans . They simply begin to stink up the joint .

While Miami opens up the defense of their title , starting their season with a home game against the Chicago Bulls at the AA Arena in Miami , Florida on the 29th October , when the league opens its regular season schedule . The Bulls and Tom Thibodeau will welcome back point guard Derrick Rose who missed much of the 2011-12 postseason when in the opening round the top seeded Bulls lost their opening series to the Philadelphia 76ers . The injury shook the young point guard mentally more than it seemed to have done from a physical standpoint. Rose’s seventeen-month delay seems like an eternity to the franchise’s fans , but now that long delay will come to an end when the get to see the player and his teammates return to the court in the first of several preseason opening games in the lead-up to the Bulls’ regular season opener. . The first of those preseason games will be on , Saturday , 5th October against last season’s .. Eastern Conference Finalists the Indiana Pacers. A team that many believe will be amongst the most serious challengers to the Miami Heat this upcoming season.

The Orlando Magic this past season ended the year with a league worst mark of 20-62 , with a team that was simply out of its natural environment . First year head coach, Jacque Vaughn struggled to get any semblance of consistency out of the team throughout much of last season. Never able to maintain a lead during a game , not being able to defend with any zeal , pretty much summed up the woes of the franchise. A shake up within the front office was meant to bring about changes that would be of benefit to the franchise , but yet things remain bleak for the Orlando Magic , who now have to contend with a declining attendance and a major drop-off in its overall fan-base , as well as major corporate endorsers no longer prepared to sponsor the success starved organization . As to what this will now mean to Dan De Vos , Team President Alex Martins , GM Rob Hennigan , Charles Freeman and Jim Fritz , may well mean a concerted effort on their part to try something new. The on-court product, remains the main issue, along with the lack of veteran leadership on the roster. That team will now be placed in the hands of Jameer Nelson and Hedo Turkoglu , as the presumed leaders of the Orlando Magic. A great deal also will be asked of Jacque Vaughn and his coaching staff as they embark on their reason . Orlando will begin their schedule against the Indiana Pacers at the Bankers Field House in Indianapolis , Indiana.

In a division (Southeast) where the Orlando Magic will have to contend with the Charlotte Bobcats , Atlanta Hawks , Washington Wizards and the defending NBA champions the Miami Heat. It remains to be seen how this team will be able to contend not only within their division but within the Eastern Conference never-mind the rest of the NBA as a whole . David Stern profligates the charade that the league remains competitive , but like Major League Baseball (MLB) , it now has now become a league of the ” haves ” and ” have not’s” . A ” soft ” salary cap that no one seems to be interested in abiding by , but yet we have a group of idiots still trying to create the perception that the NBA has no real underlying issues concerning its business template .

I have never been a great admirer of Mark Cuban , who apart from being a constant thorn in the side of David Stern , he has proven to be an egotistical and narcissistic asshole . Not content with those traits, it now appears that the Dallas Mavericks’ owner is about to have his day in US Federal Court , as he seeks to prove his innocence against the charges of insider trading , and profiting to the tune of $750,000 . All of this, for an individual whose net worth is estimated to be in excess of $ 2.5 billion . It makes me wonder how the mega-rich can now survive in this day and age if three-quarters of a million dollars will prove to be that much of a loss . Not content with having mocked the US Justice Department with preceding the charges against him , but Cuban has taken upon himself to suggest that the motives behind the case has been the fact that he has been politically outspoken and critical of the SEC (Securities & Exchange Commission) . That last statement might well be the most ludicrous of the claims being made by self-aggrandizing and always publicity seeking owner of the Mavericks . If he wishes to prove his innocence , then do so by appearing in court , rather than continuing to make a complete ass of himself , because he is not being judged in the court of public opinion in this case. That will ultimately take place in a Federal Court , where he will be judged by a jury of twelve of his peers , with those individuals adjudicating his guilt or innocence. After-all, is that not what the Justice System is meant to be about ?



Picture gallery

Though the season has yet to begin within the NBA , what if anything do you believe will be the most interesting or thrilling event that is likely to take place over the course the schedule ?


Picture and slideshow gallery details below .


(1) Former NBPA Executive President Director Derek Fisher , left is seen here at the dais, alongside Billy Hunter . The union’s former Executive Director is seeking punitive damages from the union for wrongful dismissal , libel , slander and damage to his reputation . Fisher and the union state that Hunter acted outside his parameters in establishing deals and the hiring of certain family members to maintain certain entities within the NBPA’s structure including its pension fund . There also allegations of misappropriation of union funds exceeding $250,000. All of the allegations in question have been vehemently denied Billy Hunter’s lawyers , who state that this essentially a character assassination attempt by the union . AP Photo / Brandon Jones ………

(2) Four-time league and two-time Finals MVP LeBron James will be seeking to guide the Miami Heat to the franchise’s third straight NBA title . In 2014 the player can opt out of his existing contract to become a free agent but it seems highly unlikely he is like to leave the franchise to play elsewhere . Getty Images / Robert Woods …

(3) Miami Heat President Pat Riley and head coach Erik Spoelstra are seen here celebrating the team’s 2013 NBA title series’ victory over the San Antonio Spurs . In a series that went to a seventh game , the Heat were pressed throughout the Finals by the Western Conference representatives . Spoelstra will seek join Red Auerbach and Phil Jackson as the only coaches in NBA history to have won three consecutive NBA titles . Getty Images North America / Paul Hanson …

(4) Los Angeles Lakers’ head coach Mike D’Antoni is seen here talking with players Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol during the interval of a game played at the Staples Center last season . Throughout much of the year the team struggled and with the departure of center Dwight Howard to the Houston Rockets as a free agent , questions arise as to how good the team is likely to be in its present format . AP Photo / Chris Marshall ……

(5) From left to right Orlando Magic executive Alex Martins , head coach Jacque Vaughn and general manager Rob Hennigan . AP Photo / Phil Coulter ….

(6) Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban seen here polishing the Larry O’Brien Trophy after the team’s triumph over the Miami Heat . The often outspoken owner will face insider trading charges having sought to manipulate the stock price of a small tech-firm while seeking to make a profit of $750,000 from the trade . All charges which Cuban and his attorneys deny . AP Photo / Kelly Myles ….

(7) Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls . The young point guard, after a seventeen-month layoff makes a welcome return for the team hoping to contribute to Bulls’ success this upcoming season . AP Photo / Paul Mayhew ….



tophatal ……………… 09/30/2013


NBA news and archived stories

NBA regular season begins 29th October 2013 and 30th October 2013

NBA head coaches

NBA team payrolls ( salary cap $58.044 million) —– Top player salaries

2012-13 NBA standings (division) and conference standings


Idle hands make for light work , so let’s get those hands doing something worthwhile .

Now that’s what I call keeping the assets perky !

Desperate times call for desperate measures ………..

Desperate times , calls for desperate measures ……

Strange as it now seems, the NBA finds itself in a quandary with the departure both the Los Angeles Lakers and now the Boston Celtics from postseason play. This now leaves the league without the two most prestigious teams in NBA history and quite possibly, what is likely to lead to a decline in viewership, for postseason play . The fact that both teams were unceremoniously dumped in the first round was not astonishing but it does lead us to question however , what is it and where will both franchises be heading , in terms of their immediate and long-term future ?


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For head coaches Mike D’Antoni and Doc Rivers , it now leaves both , questioning whether or not they can proceed along into next season , with aging rosters , and in some case , players who are essentially , either past their prime or who have simply underperformed . From my own perspective I believe it to be both and the very fact that a false sense of security led both to believe that their teams were simply good enough to make a deep playoff run during this postseason . Now we know, that has not been the case , and both teams in their current guises, are likely to be revamped by their respective front office staffs.

While many of the results of the postseason might not have come as a great surprise to a number of fans and analysts alike . It must be said , that the fashion in which a number of teams were dispatched from the playoffs did come as a surprise . Perhaps none more so than the Brooklyn Nets whose payroll is was amongst the highest in the league . The team’s three main stars , Deron Williams , Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace accounted for more than 54% of the ….. team’s $83.9 million payroll .

With Nets’ fall from grace against a short-handed Chicago Bulls’ team , where the ramifications were great and the judgment from the front office , was swift and “cold-blooded “ . GM Billy King , in conjunction with team owner , Mikhail Prokhorov have summarily dismissed interim head coach PJ Carlisimo , issuing a public statement, announcing that the coach would not be returning for next season. . Carlisimo was able to get this team playing with a great deal of resolve during the regular season , but somehow , the their postseason play was lackluster and uninspiring . As to the continued idiocy that Deron Williams is one of the premiere and “ elite “ point guards in the NBA . I would like to know what it is , that Williams is said to have done to warrant such plaudits from analysts and fans alike ? More style over substance than anything else , with the idiotic hyperbole surrounding a player who has failed to reach anywhere near his alleged potential. Williams cannot be seen as a leader , and he simply does not possess that trait , in spite of comments being made to the contrary about the player .

Pushed to a game seven , which was played at the Barclays Center , in Brooklyn , New York . The Brooklyn Nets simply did not have an answer for Joakim Noah , whose play during the game was simply outstanding . Never mind that from a defensive standpoint , this PJ Carlisimo coached team seemed to be as slow, as a group of aging geriatrics in search of a bedpan , as they sought to discharge themselves of a bodily function . Suffice to say , the stench now emanating the NBA’s newest venue had more to do with the odor of fecal matter and urine which may well have emanated from the bodies of the Nets’ players , who were ran off their home-court by Tom Thibodeau’s players .

Where this now leaves the Brooklyn Nets and the decisions that will undoubtedly have to be made as it relates to this roster , and that of the hiring of a high-profiled head coach. A great deal of that will now boil down to the mindset of the team’s billionaire owner , Mikhail Prokhorocv and the price he might well be willing to pay , to get the right man for the now , open vacancy. We already know that his desired choice , eleven-time NBA title winning coach , Phil Jackson is not available for the position . Jackson has accepted in principle , an executive position with the Detroit Pistons , having met privately with the team’s owner , Tom Gores . That now creates a dilemma and a great deal of speculation as to whether or not , the Pistons’ general manager , Joe Dumars will remain a part of the organization , in essence , becoming a subordinate of Phil Jackson , whose role within the organization will be a great deal similar to the role held by Jerry West , within the Golden State Warriors’ front office under co-owners , Joe Lacob and Peter Guber .

It is my own belief , that Dumars is likely to relinquish his role within the Pistons’ front office, having guided the franchise to their most recent win of an NBA title in 2004 , when the team coached by Larry Brown won with surprising ease , , shoving aside a star laden Los Angeles Lakers’ roster of All Stars . In the subsequent years , fate has not been too kind to a franchise that has simply labored , while making numerous mistakes in terms of , off and mid-season trades , mishandling of the rather archaic and asinine salary cap ($58.044 million) and draft classes .

Unless I am mistaken, the New York Knicks and their fans either believe that this postseason , they are meant to be a team of destiny , and supposedly the likely combatants to meet the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals . Anyone who has witnessed team’s play in their first round match-up against the Boston Celtics , will know that they were extremely luck to come through unscathed , ultimately with a series’ victory (4-2) . Yet this team was far from convincing under Mike Woodson’s tutelage . If nothing else , the Knicks’ players showed their complacency but above all , they clearly misjudged the mental approach that the Celtics brought in this series .

Now when it matter most , the Knicks are back to the ways of old , proving that they simply do not have the mental or physical toughness to play with any real grit or determination . In the opening game of their Easter Conference semifinals series against the Indiana Pacers . This Carmelo Anthony led team , was exposed , and all of their flaws were on display, for everyone to witness . Defensively incapable of stopping a much younger team at its core , the New York Knicks are said to be ” showing their age “ . Granted , with age comes experience , and along with that there should be dexterity in one’s play . Yet , somehow , Anthony and his teammates were simply unable to do that , in seeking to defend their home-court advantage in game one of this series .

Frank Vogel , his coaching staff and players have to be delighted with the fact that they fired the opening salvo , with a 102-95 victory at Madison Square Garden in front of a sold out crowd , with millions more , watching via a national television broadcast network . Now the question becomes , can the Knicks avoid going down 2-0 in a series , that will undoubtedly be defined by their presence of mind , and whether or they can defend their home-court with any sort of distinction ? Your thoughts on the matter ? The two teams will resume the series on Tuesday evening during prime-time , where Mike Woodson and his players will surely be looking to avenge that game one defeat .

It’s still early days yet in the NBA postseason , but overall , are you completely satisfied with the turn of events that have taken place ? Also , which teams do you believe are now in need of a good enough head coach to lead that franchise where they need to be ? Chime on this and anything else you believe to be pertinent to the subject matter at hand


Slideshow details below .

(1) CHICAGO, IL – MAY 02: Brooklyn Nets Head Coach, P.J. Carlesimo, addresses the media during a press conference following Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Chicago Bulls during the 2013 NBA Playoffs on May 2, 2013 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The much traveled and well-respected head coach will not be returning to the Nets next season , a decision said to have been jointly made by GM Billy King in conjunction with team owner Mikhail Prokhorov . Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images ….

(2) Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau reacts to a call during Game 6 of their first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets in Chicago, Thursday, May 2, 2013. The Nets won 95-92. AP Photo/Daily Herald, Joe Lewnard …

(3) Pistons’ general manager Joe Dumars (left) is seen here with the team’s owner Tom Gores . The franchise has brought in famed former head coach Phil Jackson in a consultancy and executive role to provide Dumars with insight on personnel decisions . However , it is being widely speculated that apart from Dumars’ role being diminished , it could very well lead to his abrupt departure from a a franchise where he has spent his entire professional career as a player and front office executive . AP Photo / Michael Ross ….

(4) Boston Celtics’ head coach Doc Rivers is seen here with the team’s general manager Danny Ainge . This off-season Ainge and senior managing partner , Wyc Grousbeck will face several tough questions , as to whether or not the roster will need to be revamped for the upcoming 2013-14 season . Veterans Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are nearing the end of distinguished careers , but their productivity was very much lacking when it was needed the most during the postseason . AP Photo/ Kirk English ….

(5) Indiana Pacers forward David West (21) drives past New York Knicks forward Kenyon Martin (3) in the second quarter of Game 1 of their second-round NBA basketball series at Madison Square Garden in New York, Sunday, May 5, 2013. AP Photo/Kathy Willens …

(6) From left to right , Avery Johnson ,former head coach of the Brooklyn Nets is seen here with team owner Mikhail Prokhorov, center , and the team’s general manager , Billy King . With a bloated payroll and simply no one on the roster capable of playing any defense , much less their being team defense exhibited by team . It became increasingly clear why the Nets were unceremoniously dumped out in the first round of the NBA Playoffs , by an injury plagued Chicago Bulls team. AP Photo /Richard Carter ….


Tophatal 05/06/2013 ………


NBA news and archived news

NBA Playoffs overview (brackets)

NBA results 5th May

NBA schedule 6th May

NBA free agents 2013 and for 2014 and future payrolls based cap-hits

NBA team salaries (cap figure of $58.044 million for the 2012-13 season)

Highest paid NBA players (overall)


Hot chic pic of the day Kate Upton

More images below . Do enjoy . I know that I will !

Buzzer beater ………………….

Buzzer beater

With the NBA season now winding down , teams are jockeying position for the divisional as well as conference berths , with thoughts of qualifying for the postseason . The Miami Heat and the New York Knicks could very well be on a collision course for a meeting at some point during the playoffs. The fans and broadcast outlets will undoubted be hoping that these two titans and avowed foes will meet in the Eastern Conference Finals .


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Slideshow .

The Eastern Conference is turning out to be quite a competitive staging point this season , but once again it would appear that injuries have played a part in the fates of a number of teams . Stars such as Rajon Rondo , Derrick Rose , Danny Granger , Kevin Love , Dwyane Wade and Amar`e Stoudemire have at some point been sidelined for all or part of the season . And for their respective teams , it has meant them showing their resilience, because of the adversity in question. While we may well choose to overlook this factor , it should be noted that the teams in question have fared well within the conference . With the Heat’s recent twenty-seven consecutive game winning streak coming to an abrupt end , with their assault on the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers’ record of thirty-three consecutive wins , is at least safe for another season. The focus now , has to be now , how does the team rebound from the disappointment of not being able to equal or surpass that feat . The eyes on the prize , has to be the bigger picture of winning the NBA title . As the defending champions , the Miami Heat knew that a target had been placed on their backs. And that might well have been further exacerbated by the fact , that the franchise , has proven to be relentless in acquiring free agent talent , as evidenced by the Heat’s acquisitions . Ray Allen and Chris Anderson to complement the franchise’s ready collection of “ high-profiled stars “ and role players on the team . And it could be maintained that Allen and Anderson are being well compensated , as contributing to the team’s , and being a part of the Miami Heats’ franchise .

Head coach Erik Spoelstra and the front office led by team President Pat Riley and team owner , Micky Arison have seen the value of the franchise rise exponentially , while remaining competitive and extremely profitable. Ever since the Heat’s acquisition of three-time League MVP , Lebron James , the expectations were and have remained high , with the evidence of that paying off with a rise in the franchise’s value and profits . It is prudent to add in the fact, that the Heat have now become the biggest and best show in town , as they have seen a rise in the attendance levels for the team’s home games at the AA Arena in Miami , Florida , since the star’s acquisition by the franchise. .

The Miami Heat for their part , will now seek cement their lead (ten games ) within the Eastern Conference over the second placed New York Knicks (51-26) and within their division . Currently, that lead within the conference is now at a staggering 10.5 games , with five games left in the regular season , it will be interesting to see how things pan out for the teams seeking to be part of the NBA’s postseason foray .

Wednesday will offer the fans ten games on the day’s schedule with the marquee match-up being the game between the Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets . The match-up could add more intrigue in the pecking order of the conference makeup , with both teams vying for the second third places within the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference . The Nets are currently the fourth ranked team within the conference , with the Celtics seated as the seventh ranked team , above the eighth ranked Milwaukee Bucks (37-40) . Both teams have had their struggles this season , and this game should go a long way in determining how both teams maintain their composure going into the postseason.

I may well have missed something but for some unknown reason Sacramento city mayor Kevin Johnson , believes it prudent to still chase after pipe-dreams , as he seeks to retain the Sacramento Kings within the state capitol. As you may well be aware, the Kings’ Maloof family have agreed in principle to the sale of the franchise to a consortium led by Microsoft Chairman Steve Ballmer and venture capital billionaire , Chris Hansen . The duo seek to relocate the team to the city of Seattle and it would appear that the duos bid of $575 million , with Joe and Gavin Maloof still retaining a minority stake in the team. Pending the NBA’s hierarchy and its Board of Governors’ approval , it does appear that the Kings will be relocated .

A last-ditch attempt is being made by Kevin Johnson to have the remain in Sacramento , but his hopes now look to be dashed , as it will be derailed , after Californian real estate mogul , Ron Burkle dropped out of a rival bidding consortium , of which Johnson ,himself, is a member . However, with the departure of Burkle, the most visible and high-profiled member of this syndicate, after some internal frustrations, an d fractured relationships , which the billionaire entrepreneur refuses to address. One might still question why, Johnson would seek to retain a barely profitable enterprise , that remains one of the NBA’s least supported franchises over the last eight seasons. I was once told by a Sacramento native and patron of this site , that the Kings remain a viable franchise , but herein lies the idiocy of that individual’s statement. Yet here are the facts , the Kings remain an uncompetitive , mismanaged franchise, without any leadership on , or off the court . From a financial standpoint, there is little to be desired or to suggest that under GM Geoff Petrie . or the Maloof family, that they would have been able to turn things around , much less where the meager fans in attendance, could hold out any sort of hope that this team could be resurgent once again.

Courtesy of CBS Sports

Ron Burkle drops out of group vying to buy Kings

By Royce Young, NBA Writer

On the surface, it seems like a major blow for Sacramento in its fight to keep the Kings. With 10 days to go before the NBA Board of Governors decides the future of the franchise, billionaire investor Ron Burkle is pulling out.

Why? Because of a conflict of interest. Via the Sacramento Bee:

Facing questions over a conflict of interest, Burkle instead will focus on redeveloping other portions of Downtown Plaza. “He’s so committed to Sacramento,” the mayor said, adding that he spoke with Burkle on Monday. “There’s a host of ancillary development opportunities that Ron will participate in.”

Burkle was going to take the lead in developing the proposed $448 million arena and would have held a small ownership stake in the team. Sacramento officials had said his presence was a huge asset in part because he successfully developed a new arena three years ago for his hockey team, the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Burkle is part-owner of Relativity Sports, which manages some NBA players’ careers.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson insists Burkle’s departure won’t hurt the city’s chances to keep the team, instead claiming other investors were going step in and fill the hole.

“I don’t look at this as a slow-up or a hiccup,” Johnson said, via the Bee. “We won’t miss a beat.”

With Burkle taking a step back, Vivek Ranadive and Mark Mastrov are going to be “lead investors” of the group. The report also says the Jacobs family of San Diego, who founded Qualcomm telecommunications, would take on a more significant ownership role.

The Jacobses didn’t join the Kings effort until late March and have kept a low profile. One of the family’s members, Jeff Jacobs, issued a statement Monday saying “we are thrilled to join Vivek and Mark in their efforts to keep the Kings in California and revitalize Sacramento.”

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has announced a new investor to help fill the role vacated by billionaire Ron Burkle in the city’s bid to keep the Kings from moving to Seattle.
Johnson also said Tuesday that Sacramento developer Mark Friedman has joined the group. Friedman will help build the planned arena downtown.

Burkle still plans on having a part in solidifying the future of the Kings in Sacramento, though, as he plans to work on developing the downtown area around the new arena.

Burkle was the original investor to step up in an effort to match the Seattle group’s bid for the Kings after the Maloofs reportedly sold the team for $525 million. He also stepped up in 2011 while the Maloofs angled for a move to Anaheim and helped shut down that.

“The Maloofs do not like Burkle,” sports-law expert Michael McCann told the Bee. “By removing him from the story … it could end up helping Sacramento.”


The Sacramento Kings, is a franchise in name only , and the sole purpose, has to be placing a public face to this issue , for the residents to witness how inept and incompetent they have been . It simply makes no sense to retain a franchise within a city that itself has its own budgetary crunch , with the mayor now seeking an assist from private enterprise , as well as using public funds in seeking to retain a beleaguered NBA franchise . Yet somehow , this, has been the rallying call of Kevin Johnson . I simply wonder if the residents in the state capitol are fully cognizant of that fact ?

Well, Kobe Bryant may well have reiterated what many of us are coming to grips with , and that is , this may well be the player’s penultimate or final season in the NBA . Now a seventeen-year veteran in the NBA , having entered the league as a draftee of the then Charlotte Hornets in the 1996 NBA Draft as the thirteenth pick overall in the first round . How different might the fortunes of both the Los Angeles Lakers and Bobcats may well have been , had not then Lakers’ GM Jerry West pulled the trigger on a deal that brought Bryant to the Lakers in exchange for some nondescript entities superfluous to that franchise’s needs . Five NBA titles , four All Star MVP awards , two NBA Finals’ MVP awards and a League MVP award , along fourteen All Star Appearances , have pretty much cemented Bryant’s legacy in the NBA and the game’s history. Granted , the one accolade that might escape Kobe Bryant should he choose to retire at the end of this postseason , will be the chance to supplant Kareem Abdul Jabbar as the NBA’s most prolific scorer in terms of career points (38,387). Bryant currently holds the record amongst active players with 31,506 points which presently places him fourth all-time in regular season career points. He also sits third all-time in career postseason points with 5,640 in the postseason , all amassed with the Los Angeles Lakers .

This season for the Lakers , after the initial managerial upheaval , there were still frailties concerning this team , in spite of the additions of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash . Head coach, Mike D’Antoni has been entrusted to run this ship , while executives Jim Buss , son of the late owner , Dr. Jerry Buss and GM Mitch Kupchak have presided over the drama and subplots , that have made up the Lakers’ soap opera season . Often critical of his teammates , Bryant has had to temper his angst , in order to produce as only he can , on a roster that really does lack cohesion , in spite of what their recent record might suggest. He remains the leading scorer and the second leading provider of opportunities in terms of assists per game for the team . If the Lakers are to prevail in the postseason , in the aftermath of Bryant’s prediction and guarantee of a playoff berth , then in all honesty every player on this roster will have to raise the level of their play over the remainder of the regular season and into the playoffs , itself. Anything short of that , and it will be all for nothing .

Tuesday night , Mike D’Antoni’s players “downed “ the New Orleans Hornets 104-96 in something of an uncompetitive game during its latter stages , without their being a genuine effort on the part of the away team ,in seeking to derail their more renowned Southern Californian rivals. Next up for the Lakers will be an away game against the Portland Trailblazers (33-44) , led by leading Rookie of the Year Candidate , Damian Lillard who will be ably assisted by teammates , LaMarcus Aldridge , Nicolas Batum , Jared Jeffries , Luke Babbitt , Wesley Matthews and J J Hickson . Blazers’ head coach Terry Stotts , will be looking for a spirited late run from his players , knowing that they have missed out on a playoff berth , with some missteps along the way during their season . With a central core built around Aldridge and Lillard , I believe that the Blazers’ front office , can acquire the players needed to place this franchise amongst the elite within the conference , with a view of making a genuine run of winning an NBA title. GM Neil Olshey certainly has the credentials to make this reality .

Having injured during the 2012 NBA playoffs , the Chicago Bulls’ , Derrick Rose , it was felt would take enough time to recuperate from what was thought at the time to be a serious injury , but not a career threatening catastrophe . Now at almost at the culmination of the Bulls’ regular season schedule , and the point guard and 2011 League MVP , has yet to suit up in a Bulls’ uniform for a game this season . With the player sidelined and unable to give a definitive time or any expectation , as to his return , head coach Tom Thibodeau is now left with the unenviable task of having to choose whether not to include Rose as part of the Bulls’ postseason roster. Rose has stated that his practices have been almost “near perfect” , with his body back to almost being in game shape. However, Derrick Rose’s issues now , might not be physical , but more psychological , as there seems to be a fear of re-injury , as it relates to his torn ACL and MCL. It would be something of a shock , were the young point guard’s career come to an abrupt end , having never fully reached the undoubted that many believe Rose has. From my own perspective , if the player is unable to play , then the coaching staff and front office need not take the risk of having him be a part of the roster as they enter into to the postseason ! That may sound somewhat cynical , but I feel given the investment made in Derrick Rose , he is seen as the heir apparent to Michael Jordan and the face of the franchise’s future . It is prudent if the player returns under his own time-frame , even if the fans and public alike , would like to see his quick return.

The Chicago Bulls were formidable enough to show the fans what they were capable of , when they derailed the Miami Heat’s quest in surpassing the Lakers’ consecutive games’ win streak , when they defeated LeBron James and his teammates’ quest for basketball immortality . A Bulls’ team showing that type of resolve and resilience is quite capable of derailing the hopes of some the Eastern Conference’s more prominent teams . A first round match-up based on the current conference standings, would pit the fifth seeded Bulls, against the fourth seed , Brooklyn Nets . It should come as no surprise that the Chicago Bulls leads the Brooklyn Nets 3-1 in their season series , in their meetings during the 2012-13 season . The Bulls also lead their potential postseason counterparts by an almost similar margin when it comes to their match-ups. Dating back to their first to their first meeting in 1998 at that stage of the NBA calendar , the franchise holds a 3-0 mark over the Brooklyn Nets.

In recent seasons the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Kevin Love has evolved into one of the best Power forwards / centers in the NBA . Love’s evolution from an awkward angular player into on an offensive and rebounding giant has made him a superstar in the NBA , as well as an Olympian and member of Team USA’s gold medal winning team in London. And Love is handsomely paid for his prowess by the Timberwolves , and he is amongst the highest paid players at his position in the NBA .

Kevin Love has been sidelined with a fractured right hand which has prolonged his stay on the sidelines this season for the Timberwolves . With his being on the bench , although he has suited up for a mere eighteen games , it has been left to Nikola Pekovic and Andrei Kirilenko , to lead this team from an offensive and defensive standpoint . With Timberwolves’ head coach Rick Adelman and his staff being entrusted to guide this team , it will be interesting to see how the franchise manages to steer their way through the remainder of the season , while looking forward to next season and the presumed imminent return of Kevin Love. Adelman recently became the eighth coach in NBA history to have won 1,000 games over the course his coaching career . The all-time NBA leader is Don Nelson with the figure of 1,335 wins over the course of thirty-three year coaching career in the league . With that in mind consider the fact that amongst active coaches of which Adelman is now the current active wins’ leader . The next coach expected to pass that milestone will be the San Antonio Spurs’ head coach Gregg Popovich (904 wins). That feat is likely to be accomplished with the franchise at some point during the during the 2014-15 NBA season .

The San Antonio Spurs may not be viewed as one of the glamor teams within the NBA , and while all of the hullabaloo tends to be about the Heat and the Knicks . Consider the fact, that , this will be the fourteenth consecutive season that the franchise has made it to the postseason , while averaging .. 50 wins per season . And yet the hype has been about the New York Knicks and their recent unbeaten run . Let’s get real for once , until this Knicks’ team has achieved something of relevance , simply don’t go overboard , because in reality the franchise has languished for four decades hoping for the “winds of change “ . And no amount regaling by the fans about past and current feats , can hide the years of inconsistency and gross mismanagement . The fans and prognosticators alike , tend to show their apathy , rather addressing both the positives and negatives concerning the Knicks’ franchise .

While the Eastern Conference has been granted with the presence, privilege and confidence of knowing that they have the reigning NBA champions within their midst . It must be said that this season, the occupants within the rival conference , the West , will try to do their damnedest to make sure that their Finals’ representative will be the best that the Western Conference has to offer . With the conference now locked with a two-way tie atop with the Oklahoma City Thunder (57-21) and San Antonio Spurs now sharing the best record in the conference, as well as within the NBA as a whole . It certainly will be interesting, to see how things play out, over the four games remaining over the course of the NBA schedule. Though the brackets have yet to be locked into place, as to who the first round match-ups will be , the prevailing thought appears to be, the way things are situated at present , will be as such, be representative of the first round series we are likely to see . With the Thunder holding the tie-break in their series this season against the Spurs , the chance for San Antonio to end up with the best record within the conference will mean the team having close out their schedule with at least three wins , with the hope that Kevin Durant and the Thunder drop at least one of their four remaining games on their schedule .


By clicking on an individual frame you can that picture in a newly formatted size .


Picture gallery .

As the regular season winds down what if anything to your mind has been the most memorable moment or team this season by way of expected or unexpected success ? And to your mind which player or players have impressed you the most , with regard to their attitude, and overall play ? Chime in, with your thoughts on this and anything else you believe to be pertinent to the subject matter .

Picture and slideshow details below .

(1) Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade , left, sits on the bench with forward LeBron James during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Tuesday, April 9, 2013 in Miami. Wade was ruled out of Tuesday’s home game against the Bucks, the fifth straight contest that the All-Star guard will miss while tending to a sprained ankle and bruised knee. AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee …

(2) WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 10: Shane Battier (31) of the Miami Heat and Ray Allen (34) of the Miami Heat celebrate a victory over the Washington Wizards on April 10, 2013 at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images …

(3) Boston Celtics power forward Brandon Bass (30) dunks over Brooklyn Nets’ center Brook Lopez (11) during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Wednesday, April 10, 2013. AP Photo/Elise Amendola …

(4) BOSTON, MA – APRIL 3: Rajon Rondo (9) of the Boston Celtics practices shooting prior to a game against the Detroit Pistons on April 3, 2013 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Rondo, who is out for the remainder of the season, underwent ACL surgery in February. The point out with a torn ACL , now looks to recuperate during the off-season , with the hope of making a comeback for the 2013-14 season . Back up point guard , Jason Terry will be asked assume the role successfully filled by Rondo for much of his career with the Celtics . However , also on the roster , Celtics’ head coach Doc Rivers does also have the privilege of the use of using Avery Bradley , Jordan Crawford , Courtney Lee and Terrence Williams . Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images …..

(5) City of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson , center , is seen here speaking to the convened , press after a hastily arranged meeting, to explain the last-minute withdrawal of billionaire real estate mogul , Ron Burkle . The billionaire investor, an avid sports’ fan is happens to be the nemesis of the Maloof Family , owners of the Sacramento Kings, the franchise which Johnson hopes to retain within the California state capitol. However, it is also being rumored that Ron Burkle also has a conflict of interest in such a proposal , as he is also involved in a consortium seeking to develop the downtown Los Angeles city area , with a view to building $3.5 billion commercial and retail project that will also house a football stadium , with a view to either luring a relocated and existing NFL franchise or with the hope adding a new Los Angelean NFL team to the NFL’s thirty existing teams . AP Photo / Keith Marshall ………….

(6) Famed real estate mogul , entrepreneur and political Democratic power broker Ron Burkle . The businessman for what are said to be , personal and professional reasons, has dropped out of a consortium that sought to lodge a rival bid , in pursuant of the proposed bid made by rival suitors Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer , who as a duo have agreed in principle to buy and relocate the Sacramento Kings and move that franchise to Seattle , Washington , state . In what will undoubtedly be seen as a last-ditch effort by the Sacramento city mayor , Hansen and Ballmer’s bid , now only seeks the NBA hierarchy and Board of Governors’ final seal of approval. NBA Commissioner , David Stern has not commented publicly on the efforts of Kevin Johnson and his attempt to retain the Kings’ franchise in Sacramento . AP Photo / Tim Marshall …

(7) Timberwolves’ head coach Rick Adelman , is seen on the sidelines talking to his star center and forward, Kevin Love . The two have a very respectful relationship , that has seen Love’s career blossom over the past few seasons . However , with the player being lost to the team for much of this season , the Minnesota Timberwolves have labored after a promising start to the year . It is hoped that Love will make a fully recovery from his wrist injury to be a part of the franchise’s off-season workouts . Getty Images North America / Christian Hernandez ……….

(8) Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant , left, drives on Portland Trail Blazers guard Will Barton during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, April 10, 2013. Bryant scored a season high 47 points , leading all scorers in the game against the Trailblazers . AP Photo/Don Ryan ….


NBA related stories : Raptors’ Valanciunas injures neck against Bulls

Chandler out, Martin back for Knicks

Wade (ankle, knee) to sit out fifth game in row

Love, to have arthroscopic knee surgery


NBA pieces within this site link provided ………….


By Tophatal …. 04/10/2013


NBA news & archived news

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NBA results 9th April

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On this day in NBA history (10th April)

On this date in NBA history 11th April

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Jenny Farley ….. aka ” J-Woww ” . And wow , her “melons ” are ripe for sucking , and are worth looking at !


Wu Tang Clan ____________ “Triumph”


Batman and Robin move over , there are a new pair of caped crime fighters in town , namely The King and D-Wade

Batman and Robin move over , there are a new pair of caped crime fighters in town , namely The King and D-Wade

As the Miami Heat slowly progress towards eking out, their own little place in history, this season . It should be noted as the team looks to surpass the 1971-1972 Los Angeles Lakers’ impressive 33 game consecutive win streak . The fact of the matter is , that Lakers’ team had its fair share of stars, as well an explosive pairing , made up of Gail Goodrich and Jerry West , and need we forget , there just happened to be a center by the name of Wilt Chamberlain ?


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Slidehow .

Bill Sharman , the Lakers’ head coach , in that historic season was blessed with a team , resplendent with stars and role players . Needless, to say their march to the NBA title , was something of a stroll as they marched the postseason with a great deal of ease , without ever being truly tested . Say what you will , good teams , come and go , but the great ones live on in our memories , are immortalized and eulogized, as part of the NBA folklore .

Fast forward , four decades later , and the Miami Heat , coached by Erik Spoelstra , under the watchful eye of the Heat President , Pat Riley , now seem to be intent , on rewriting the annals of NBA history. This Heat team hasn’t so much been cobbled together , more of an exercise of building around , not one but four superstars . Well of course , at first it was the “ Big Three” , but this offseason with the acquisition of Ray Allen , they essentially became , the “ Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” . However , this season , it has literally been about the combined play of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade . And granted , Chris Bosh and Ray Allen have contributed greatly in the Heat’s fifty two game win total. And at this juncture about the only thing that can make serious make dent in the hopes , are the team’s own complacency. I certainly don’t believe that Heat owner , Micky Arison , Pat Riley and the executives are likely to have that scenario visit the organization!

Now for all of these pious holier than thou fans of the New York Knicks, selling that franchise , as if it were a “ hot stock tip”, without ever being able to show any evidence , that this team was simply good enough to be even in with a remote chance of somehow derailing the Heat’s postseason overtures . I would like to ask you all , what the hell happened concerning the New York Knicks , a team of underachievers ? And please don’t lament, and plead the fact, of injuries have caused this latest malaise concerning this franchise . Last I looked , several of the Heat’s victories over this current run , they have played at times, without Bosh , Allen and Wade . You now, seemed to have all crawled off into a darkened room, ceasing to even have the gravitas to be intelligent enough, to answer a question, as to what went wrong. So typical of the New York fan, when it comes to their professional sports’ franchise , forever obnoxious and simply clueless! How quickly, one forgets and then seeks to make excuses . Docile and stupid!

If there has been one thing that has been abundantly clear this season within the NBA , it is the mere fact that the quality of the play at times has bordered on being absolutely diabolical on both ends of the floor . I have read a number of articles within this forum by avowed NBA fans, simply showing their bias , without divulging anything of genuine interest or being remotely informative, as it relates to basketball at the professional level and the play we have all witnessed. And with due respect , the stories we are meant to be impressed with as such , have been hardly dramatic or really that thrilling . Plainly put , we may well yearn for something exciting to be happening within the NBA at present , but in reality, there are only two stories that matter most or simply draws our undivided attention . Those are for the moment , who among the Heat’s remaining schedule will be the first to take them down ? And secondly , when the “soap opera “ that happens to be the Los Angeles Lakers , come to a fitting end , with either Mitch Kupchak seeing the light or Jim Buss finally admitting that his sister and late father , have more of a basketball acumen than he will attain or secure over the course of his life ?

The Los Angeles Lakers (36-33) are at present in something of a dogfight , with their position within the Western Conference , by no means secure or even a guarantee . As the incumbent seated in the eighth and final playoff position within the conference , the team finds itself a mere combined 3 ½ games ahead of the ninth and tenth placed Utah Jazz (34-34) and Dallas Mavericks (32-36). And with both of those teams in question having a far more favorable remaining schedule than the Lakers . It simply shows us that the for all of the prognosis made by Kobe Bryant as to the team making the postseason . The All Star guard must know and better be sure , that his teammates are prepared “to have his back” , rather than his claims , simply coming across as sheer naïveté’ . As to whether or not the Los Angeles Lakers can overcome their immediate rivals within the conference for that eighth and final conference playoff berth remains to be seen .

The paring of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, as dynamic as they have been this season , I for one don’t believe that the duo have reached their peak , and realize how good they could become ! Certainly , they could rival such famed duos , as Jordan and Pippen , Stockton and Malone , Magic and Kareem , Bird and McHale, , to name but a few of those historic and famed combinations from the NBA’s “ glorious past” .

With fifteen games to go in their regular season schedule , at 53-14 , as of the 20th March , the record that the Miami Heat would no doubt like to surpass, is that of the franchise’s best record in its history , which came during the 1996-97 season , where they were able to go an astonishing 61-21 over an eighty-two game schedule. Leading the way that season were Tim Hardaway , Alonzo Mourning , Jamaal Mashburn and Voshon Leonard , as the team played their way to what was then , their best standing in franchise history . The team would go on to the postseason , where they would ultimately end up losing to the Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen of the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals .



Picture gallery .

As to what the immediate future now holds for two of the NBA’s brightest and most accomplished superstars , now becomes a matter conjecture and speculation. Clearly , the likes of present day pairings Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant , Chris Paul and Blake Griffin , and the litany of other aspirants of this season would like nothing better than to make that premise James and Wade being the best pairing in the NBA , seem nothing more than an aberration . The question that has to be asked , is can any of the other duos in question, become the equal of the Heat’s pairing ? Your thoughts on this , and anything else you believe pertinent to subject matter ? Chime in with a comment, as you see fit .


Picture and slideshow details below .


(1)Dylan Karlovic, 11, holds up a sign before the Cleveland Cavaliers play the Miami Heat in an NBA basketball game , Wednesday, March 20, 2013, in Cleveland. Miami won 98-95 . AP Photo/Tony Dejak …

(2) Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) celebrates with guard Dwyane Wade after scoring against the Chicago Bulls during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013. The Heat won 86-67 . AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh …

(3) ” The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse ” , from left to right Dwyane Wade , Chris Bosh LeBron James and Ray Allen . The quartet account for an astonishing 73 % of the Heat’s offensive output , with James and Wade being the team’s leading scorer this season and also during 2011 . It should come as no surprise also that the duo led the team in scoring in their postseason triumph of winning the franchise’s second NBA title in 2012. AP Photo/ Marc Hall …

(4) Kareem Abdul Jabbar , left and Magic Johnson , amongst one the celebrated and famed duos to have played for the Los Angeles Lakers . At the height of their prowess the pairing might well be adjudged to be “perhaps the greatest ” in NBA history ” . Then again, beauty as they say ….. ” is in the eye of the beholder ” . AP/REUTERS/Thomas Carter …

(5) Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen , two of the most celebrated and beloved players in the Chicago Bulls’ rich history . Multiple titles , and accolades have been bestowed upon this historic pairing . AP Photo / Nicholas Hastings ….

(6) Bill Sharman receives a handshake from Gail Goodrich in front of Jerry West and Pat Riley as the 1972 NBA Championship team is honored at halftime during the game between the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on April 6, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images North America / Harry How ….

(7) Bill Russell and Bob Cousy , one of the great pairings in Celtics’ History , that was in many ways viewed as the precursor to the Bird McHale partnership . AP/ REUTERS/ Atlantic Associates / Miles Middlecomb ….



By Tophatal


NBA news and archived stories

NBA schedule 21st March 2013 and results for 20th March

NBA standings (division)

NBA standings (conference)

NBA standings by teams

NBA statistics

NBA’s top ten duos


Miami Heat profile and team news

Miami Heat schedule and an in depth schedule proviso

Miami Heat roster and assistant coaching staff Head coach Erik Spoelstra

Miami Heat team stats

Miami Heat team payroll and yearly salaries

Miami Heat team stats

Miami Heat franchise history

Miami Heat front office

Miami Heat team valuation along with revenues

NBA team values


Hot chic pic of the day Cali Lynn


Wale ……. feat’g Tiara Thomas ………………… “”Bad ”

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen …………..

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

By Tophatal

A patron of my site tried to suggest that a the presumed leader on a renowned NBA franchise was being disingenuous, in being critical of his teammates . From my own perspective, by appearance alone, when the player happens to be the best athlete and player on that team and he is expected to carry the burden of that organization upon his lone and competitive shoulders . Then he has every right to be “calling out his teammates” no matter what the circumstances , especially in the case where it would appear that the head coach takes a nonchalant and laissez-faire approach , merely seeking to make excuses for the team’s poor play and then drawing the ire and complete disdain from the fans . If you haven’t caught on by now , the team in question just happens to be the Los Angeles Lakers (25-28) and of course , the player , just happens to be , none other than Kobe Bryant .


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Slideshow .

Now while the talk of the NBA at present has been outstanding play of play of LeBron James and his six-game run of averaging 30.4 points, 6 assists and 6.6 rebounds per game . Meanwhile , James, and the Heat, hold a comfortable seven-game lead over their closest rivals within the Southeast Division , the Atlanta Hawks (29-22) . It would remiss to think that Miami Heat and their head coach , Erik Spoelstra have had this season all to themselves . At present, the team is being is pushed hard, within the Eastern Conference , by none other than the New York Knicks (32-18). Who themselves have it on their minds, if at all possible , to supplant the Heat for the best record in the Eastern Conference . With that in mind, it is clear that Mike Woodson and his players had hoped to make that a reality before the All Star Break. The Knicks’ head coach however, can feel pleased with the fact, that his team leads the Heat, in their regular season series’ meetings (2-0) , so far, as part of the duos’ regular season scheduled contests.

It has to be understood , that there are as such, for all sense and purpose only three teams that certainly matters in terms of piquing the fans’ and public’s interests when it comes to the NBA , namely those franchises are the Boston Celtics , the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat . And granted , a case can be made for the San Antonio Spurs , but for the fact that they’ve won four NBA titles since 1997 , one seriously would have thought that the Gregg Popovich coached, and Tim Duncan led franchise , would be seen as one of the NBA’s marquee franchises . And perhaps, over the last four years with the ascent of Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder , as a rising powerhouse not only within the Western Conference but the NBA as a whole .

While I am not against players showing their passion or zeal on the court for the game , away from it , I would like to think that they can hold themselves accountable for their actions. A great deal of criticism has been leveled at Kobe Bryant over the course of his career , much of if it valid , and other cases , most definitely . With Bryant’s recent criticism, of his teammates, for their lackluster efforts on the court , it could be seen that the player’s frustrations had boiled over into sheer anger and contempt. And much of that, I believe has been brought about from the mere fact Kobe Bryant no longer has any faith in the abilities of general manager , Mitch Kupchak and SVP Jim Buss , son of team owner, Dr. Jerry Buss. The duo of senior executives, have simply made a mess of the season, with some rather curious and dubious personnel decisions. And while, the pundits were singing the praises of the acquisitions of Dwight Howard , and Steve Nash and their insertion unto this team . It has to be said , that the experiment so far, has worked out about as successfully, as the 72 day ‘marriage’ of Kim Kardashian to Nets’ power forward , Kris Humpheries. All of the hoopla behind that sham of a marriage” could not hide the fact , that intellectually and emotionally, the pairing was contrived and orchestrated, simply to whet the appetite of the public’s fascination of a publicity hungry female and a moderately successful NBA player . I just hope, that you had at least one chance, to tap that ass Kris ? Just simply, tap that ass !

On a one game winning streak , but losers of seven of their last ten games , there is no denying that you would have to be simply naïve , not to understand Kobe Bryant’s frustration. The team’s head coach, Mike D’Antoni, seems to be completely devoid creativity and ideas ! And to this asinine theory , that D’Antoni would bring about a defensive resilience to this unit , that is tantamount to suggesting that Lindsay Lohan’s acting career, has been a resounding success, given all of her off-screen problems . In the case of D’Antoni , he simply, has not brought anything meaningful to the table , by way of his alleged coaching prowess. In terms of defense the Los Angeles Lakers rank sixth , in the Western Conference allowing an astonishing 100.5 points per game , while in the league as a whole they rank eighth in points allowed . And when one takes into account that Bryant has been the primary offensive weapon on a team that is devoid of leadership , beyond the player , himself , and the very fact that the Lakers are physically and mentally soft ! What would now give anyone the notion that this team is simply good enough to make a credible run deep into the playoffs , much less actually garner a playoff berth based on their current standing within the conference ? If there happens to be a loyal Lakers’ fan still pinning their hopes and beliefs that the team can somehow turn things around . Then I, for one, would appreciate a succinct explanation as to how this will come about , given the franchise’s present situation ! Anyone, surely, there is a Los Angeles Lakers’ fan with the gravitas to show their undying allegiance to this renowned franchise?

The Lakers’ next game pits them against their co-habitants of the Staples Center in Los Angeles , Los Angeles Clippers (38-17) , in what is sure to be a heated and highly contested match-up . Vinny Del Negro’s Clippers hold a 2-0 series’ lead in their head to head match-ups this season , with their last meeting ending in a five point , 107-102 victory for his team . Will the Lakers be up to the challenge or will Blake Griffin led Clippers be like marauding mercenaries laying waste to the Lakers’ slowly evaporating season ?

While the Lakers and Clippers are dueling it out , a repeat of last season’s NBA Finals will be on tap , as two of the game’s most prolific scorers and some arguably might say , the NBA’s two best players , LeBron James and Kevin Durant will face off against each other , when the Miami Heat are the guests of the Oklahoma City Thunder , at the Chesapeake Energy Center , in Oklahoma City , Oklahoma ,. It is likely that the fans in attendance and those watching the cable broadcast are likely to see a highly entertaining and offensive minded game. Two of the game’s, biggest scorers , and a pair of teams , with the players , who, are good enough , to keep the electronic scoreboard rattling along at a phenomenal pace .

I firmly believe that the NBA over the last eight years, has simply sold its very soul to the Devil ! And while it has a great brand on perception , if you simply delve beneath the surface and sift through the bull-crap , espoused by David Stern and so many of his subordinates , you will find that there is not a great deal of transparency or clearly defined demarcation points, in terms of the hierarchy’s leadership. Stern , simply eschews it all , and rules his fiefdom with a rod of iron , that the likes of Joseph Stalin and Muammar Gaddafi would have been proud of . Thankfully, the NBA does not, suborn the use of torture , life-long imprisonment, or execution by a firing squad , as a means of rendering punishment , or as a harsh deterrent for those who oppose his every whim. Be warned Mark Cuban , as I know at, $1.25 million in fines and counting , your adversarial foe (Stern) is simply looking for you to be critical of his very next idea of grandeur. As for the NBA commissioner , when will he get it into his thick skull that the wide latitude given to him , is not given in order that he belittles the fans , and the cities in which the NBA franchises are domiciled . If you think that last statement just happens to be off base , then consider David Stern’s distinct lack of aid , given to the city of Sacramento as the municipality and the fans of that franchise fought for the Sacramento Kings’ retention within the California state capitol . .

With the Kings having been sold for a reputedly exorbitant $ 525 million to a consortium led by hedge fund manager and venture capitalist billionaire , Chris Hansen, Microsoft Chairman Steve Ballmer , and a number of minority stake-holding partners , who now await the NBA Board of Governors’ approval , in relocating the beleaguered franchise to Seattle , Washington. And even with a last-ditch effort mounted by Californian billionaire , Ron Burkle , jointly with ex-President Bill Clinton with their last-ditch bid , which seems unlikely to be favored , even with the backing of Sacramento City Mayor Kevin Johnson , now leading the municipality’s efforts . This wouldn’t all be so comical and sad , when you realize that the basketball franchise is one of the NBA’s least supported teams , and in terms of competitive success , the Sacramento Kings’ last postseason appearance , came back in 2006 , that ended , with a first round series’ loss (4-2) to the San Antonio Spurs. Subsequently, things have been pretty sparse by way tangible success competitively , personnel wise and most definitely , from an economic standpoint , with the team eking out a mere $2.6 million in profits, on revenues of $96 million . A rather meager return , given the franchise’s locale and region , but yet one asinine Kings’ devotee , once suggested to me, that the franchise is a profitable concern compared to many of its peers. What this idiot failed to acknowledge because of his undoubted lack of business acumen, was that the franchise had distinct advantages over many of its rivals, but in reality, the ownership group and front office , clearly were , mismanaged the franchise and placing it on the brink of financial insolvency . All of which, he failed to acknowledge, when the evidence was placed in print for him to peruse. Well, if you can’t damn well balance a check book , then it’s clear that a financial balance sheet would be right above his intellectual being.

For the soon to be departing Sacramento Kings’ owners , Joe and Gavin Maloof , and their siblings . Well, let’s just say, that their sale of the franchise has come about at least, five years too late. During, their tenure, the Sacramento Kings have seen their fair share of highs and lows. In retrospect , I would definitely say more lows , than highs , but those are just my personal opinions ! I can only hope that with relocation and a far more resourceful ownership group , the Kings can hopefully see a return to better days ! The Maloof’s sheer indulgence and lack of forthrightness has to come into question , but so too must David Stern’s apparent willingness to let a franchise owner almost single-handed take the franchise to brink of extinction without ever once questioning the motives of Joe and Gavin Maloof. Well this should not at all come as a surprise to anyone , given the commissioner’s instincts and his own overall lack of honesty and integrity . One only has to follow the David Stern’s actions , and that of the present owners of the Oklahoma City Thunder, to fully comprehend the web of deceit and lies which took place during the sale of the Seattle Supersonics , and their subsequent relocation to their new locale , in Oklahoma City , Oklahoma .

The recent injury to the Kentucky Wildcats’ Nerlens Noel , a point has to be raised . In clearly what was a season ending injury , Noel , thought to be a consensus number one overall pick for the 2013 NBA Draft , will be sidelined for the rest of the team’ regular season schedule , with not even a remote chance of a return , for participation in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament . Wildcats’ basketball coach , John Calipari , in a somber mood , having spoken to the player after his injury , simply stated that he hoped to see the player back in a Kentucky Wildcats’ uniform next season . The chances of that happening , I e firmly believe just went up in smoke ! Should Nerlens Noel make a full recovery , and he is looked upon favorably by the draft experts , NBA coaching staffs , then it seems abundantly clear , that the player will declare his eligibility for the NBA Draft and seek to make his fortune in the professional ranks . A torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee , is the injury which has sidelined the young Wildcats’ star for what is not necessarily an indeterminate period .Surgery , and recuperation period of six to eight months is considered a bare minimum time for recovery . And this is the exact same injury that NFL running back Adrian Peterson was able to recover from in record time . Therefore, it all bodes well for Nerlens Noel, now, if placed under the appropriate medical staff for treatment. I would like to think, that the player seeks to make a return to the collegiate ranks , but everything would suggest that with the untold millions that awaits in the NBA , a young athlete of Noel’s potential would find it hard forgo the chance of that fortune .

Nerlen’s injury came in a game between the Wildcats and the Florida Gators . Billy Donovan’s , players came away with an exciting 69-52 victory , in which there were some thrilling plays from both teams . With Nerlens Noel scoring a game-low eight points in the Kentucky Wildcats’ loss. Their next scheduled game will be an interesting contest against the Tennessee (Volunteers) in Knoxville, Tennessee , this Saturday , the 16th February , 2013.

With the NBA hierarchy’s apparent intent to review eligibility status of college players , questions will arise of the intent of the league to review present rules governing the college athletes’ eligibility, of their entrance into the NBA Draft. Once again, the “one and done rule” becomes a subject of great conjecture, debate and speculation. Is it really the league’s duty impinge and deprive a potential employee a right to earn an income merely because the NBA sees it as a way controlling the apparent quality and branding of their product ? This essentially, is what this maneuver will all boil down to, should there be any anticipated changes. Fighting this, will be the agents, whose clients will be subject to this edict. NCAA President, Mark Emmert , will undoubtedly seek to offer his input with regard to this issue. This will either all come crashing down around the NBA’s ears or David Stern , will once again be able to use his power and cast aside any opposition to his authority. Your thoughts, on this all ?

Inasmuch as it pains me to say this , this an NBA season just seems to be mirroring many of their predecessors , in a great deal of the play we see being exhibited . Scoring seem to be on the increase ,meanwhile there are deficiencies on defense that fans seem to be overlooking , while they seek to gloss over these issues within the league (NBA) at present . A number of fans seem to be oblivious to this all , as they seek to make light of these obvious flaws within game , which is being ignored by David Stern , as his only thought seems to marketing a waning product to anyone willing to listen to his spiel . Suffice to say , with the NBA brand having saturated the North American market , the NBA’s need for growth , will come from the continents of Australia , Africa , Europe , and Asia .

The league’s biggest growth area will be in China , where its population of 1.6 billion people are now fans of the NBA. And with the Beijing Olympics , and the success of Team USA Men’s and Women’s basketball teams in bringing home Olympic gold, heightened the popularity of the game , even more so. Even, in light of retirement of former Houston Rockets’ , center, Yao Ming , a Chinese native , and the country’s most popular and prominent sporting export , until the recent ascent of WTA Tour player , Li Na . The female tennis professional is now idolized by young girls and women , in very much the same way , as Yao has been admired and appreciated by the country’s population. His popularity still remains high , as he now seeks to broaden the base and popularity of the sport of basketball across the country of China.

Na’s rise to prominence , has seen her become a three-time Grand Slam finalist and winner of the 2011 French Open title on the clay courts of the Roland Garros Stadium in Paris , France. Add in the fact , of her seventeen career singles’ titles , 16 doubles’ titles and over $10 .6 million in prize money , and one can fully appreciate why she’s held in such high esteem by the Chinese people and the People’s Republican Party of China. Li Na , is currently ranked fifth in the WTA rankings , with top spot held by Victoria Azarenka of Belarus . And with both sports , basketball and tennis reaching such a widespread audience globally , with each reputedly becoming multi-billion dollar enterprises , then clearly, any room for growth will be eagerly sought by the NBA , FIBA as the international governing body of the sport of basketball , and the WTA , as the custodians of the sport of women’s tennis.

Sunday, the 17th February , marks the fiftieth birthday of Michael Jeffrey Jordan, arguably , the greatest player in NBA history. Most certainly justified , as being one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players of All-time . The question now becomes, how will the NBA celebrate their most famous and universally recognized ambassador ? Jordan’s name is still revered globally , and that is in spite of the rise today’s era of stars , such as Kobe Bryant , LeBron James , Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony , Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose . Jordan’s legacy and his achievements will long be remembered after his passing and thankfully many of the accomplishments are either etched in our memories or held on film , where we can view them all for prosperity . Who can fail to remember his game winning shot over the outstretched arms of a then bewildered Craig Ehlo of the Cleveland Cavaliers , in the waning seconds , of what was a career defining play , of which he has repeated countless times over ? Yet this game winning shot, in Game 5 of the first round of the 1989 NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs , meant a great deal more than just a victory , as it elevated Jordan to a God like, deity status. Michael Jordan remains one of the most recognizable athletes on the planet , and his universal acclaim might only be outshone at present, by retired boxer , Muhammad Ali and PGA Tour golfer, Tiger Woods . And no doubt , LeBron James , would like to see his fame take that ascent into the stratosphere , but first, it will take at least another three or four NBA titles , several league MVP’s , 6 or more Finals’ MVP awards , 8 more scoring titles , an additional ten more All Star Appearances, and shall we say, 20,000 more career points as an added bonus , before the comparisons can be made to Jordan , the icon , and the player who James , models himself after ?

Comparisons, will continually be made between NBA players of the past, and those of the present. Moreover, at times it may seem somewhat at disingenuous to gauge the greatness of these players , in thinking old versus new . In reality, there are no other means , nor is there an exact science to come up with a result that will meet everyone’s satisfaction , and that would deem to be fair . In my honest opinion to best way judge the players of the past against today’s crop of stars is to wait until an NBA of today makes his formal announcement to retire . And then we can start to deliver our verdicts , as to what we determine greatness to be !



Picture gallery .

What do you believe may well be the NBA’s biggest failure as a sport’s brand ? In addition, do think that they can rectify those problems on long-term or the short-term ? By comparison , do you believe it to be justified in trying to suggest who is the better player of the two , in making a decision between Michael Jordan and Michael Jordan ? Do bear in mind that James is only now entering his tenth year in the NBA , having been drafted as the number one overall pick , from the 2003 NBA Draft. Your thoughts or comments on this and anything else you believe relevant to this article is greatly appreciated . So do take time, and chime on in .


Picture and slideshow details below for your perusal .


(1) “Faces of the NBA “ … the past and the present. Left, LeBron James holds the Bill O’Brien Trophy , signifying, his first NBA title (world championship). And right, Michael Jordan , long considered the NBA’s greatest player past or present . AP Photo / Chris Pearson …

(2) Los Angeles Lakers center , Dwight Howard , left, shoots as Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan defends during the first half of their NBA basketball game , Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, in Los Angeles. AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill ….

(3) Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) shoots as Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) defends during the first half of their NBA basketball game, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill …

(4) Left , NBA Commissioner , David Stern and the Dallas Mavericks’ owner , Mark Cuban . The two individuals have had a contentious relationship , which is said to be built on ” mutual respect” . Yet, herein lies the dilemma , over the course of Cuban’s custodianship of the Maverick. He has reputedly, paid over $1.25 million in fines rendered by the league hierarchy led by David Stern . Cuban , a billionaire , tech entrepreneur will no doubt think of the fines as a mere pittance , when by comparison his net worth exceeds $2.35 billion . Getty Images/ Stuart Gough …

(5) Houston Rockets basketball center Yao Ming attended a press conference in Beijing, China to announce a partnership deal with the Brisbane company Monster Cable Products Inc. Yao and Monster has developed a broad range of co-branded “Yao Monster” consumer electronics and lifestyle products for distribution in China. Yao Monster products include headphones, bags, 3D glasses and home theater connectivity and power products. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a portion of the proceeds will go to the Yao Ming Foundation, which builds schools for disadvantaged children in China. Courtesy of Pacific Coast News … @ copyrighted material all rights reserved ….

(6) Nerlens Noel , the Kentucky Wildcats’ guard is seen lying on court during a game between Florida and the Kentucky Wildcats . Noel tore his Anterior cruciate ligament in his right, knee and will be lost to the team for the rest of their schedule , missing in its entirety the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament . Florida would go on to defeat Kentucky 62-59 . While Noel hopes to make a quick return , it is highly unlikely that he will return for his sophomore season with the team . Nerlens Noel is considered to be a ” consensus top five pick overall “ , if not the number one pick for the 2013 NBA Draft. It seems almost a certainty that Nerlens Noel will forgo his sophomore season , declaring his eligibility for the draft , recuperating , while honing his game in the ranks of the NBA . A number of NBA coaches and scouts have seen Noel’s game and have been impressed with the player’s all-round skill-set . AP Photo / John Thorn …



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The lunatics have indeed taken over the asylum

The lunatics have indeed taken over the asylum

by Tophatal

With the NBA season now in full swing , and having reached its midway point , teams are now jockeying themselves into position divisionally , as well as within their respective conferences , to make that second half push for a playoff berth , for the NBA postseason. And already the league has seen its sheer of controversy, with the summary dismissals of Mike Brown from the Los Angeles Lakers , five games into their season , and that of Alvin Gentry from the underachieving Phoenix Suns . And while I do not believe that this will be the last of the managerial firings that will take place over the course of this NBA season , it is my belief that a number of coaches have now been put on notice , that the general managers and team owners are not prepared to put up with incompetence on the part of their head coaches .


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In the Eastern Conference , it does now look as if the Miami Heat , will not be as dominant a team as they were said to be last season , on their way to marching through the NBA Playoffs and their second NBA title . Defensively , we have seen something of a drop off from this current roster, in comparison to last season , albeit , that there have been certain changes , as to the makeup of the team. Team President and de-facto general manager , Pat Riley , has seen fit to bring in Ray Allen , Rashard Lewis, and Chris Anderson , to add what is an already formidable squad of players , with a payroll to match , which is now amongst the highest in the NBA .

When one bears in mind, that the league hierarchy , this past season , were simply asking for two-fold concessions across the board, from the NBPA (union) , while there has been “ little “ real resolve shown by the teams, to scale back on their exorbitant spending in terms of team and players’ salaries , and simply making it, somewhat asinine of a notion, that there is a “soft salary cap” of $58.044 million and a luxury tax for teams whose payrolls are above the aforementioned figure . It is at times like this , I have to question the alleged business acumen of David Stern , albeit , that he has led the NBA , for the past quarter of a century, to unprecedented success from an economic standpoint, but upon a downturn in the economy , he and his subordinates , as well as the owners ,and front office executives have not seen fit to rein in their expenses , while simply gouging the fans in terms of ticket prices , for what has essentially now become, something of a watered down and thoroughly diluted on-court product.

Heat , head coach , Erik Spoelstra , certainly has his team playing with a great deal of resolve and after their crushing and lopsided victory over the Brooklyn Nets , it is clear to see why they are at present are in a class by themselves within the Eastern Conference . Fans of the New York Knicks , however , might feel to the contrary , and would be very much willing to dispute that fact, as Mike Woodson , has his team playing some great basketball at present . . And one has to admit , that whenever these two noted franchises have met , they simply have not let the fans down , be it , in the regular season or in the postseason , as their much-anticipated and heated rivalry continues unabated . . The next scheduled meeting between these two teams , will not be until 3rd March , in a match-up at Madison Square Garden , home to the famed , New York Knicks . And with Woodson’s team currently leading the season series 2-0 , with the Knicks’ most recent victory over their arch rivals , coming by way of a 20 point shellacking of the LeBron James’ led Heat 104-84 in early December . Prior to that , in their initial meeting of the season series , the New York Knicks would have their way , with what appeared to be an undisciplined Miami Heat team. .

I am not about to suggest that David Stern , ought to consider contraction , given the poor play of a number of teams around the league . Yet, I have to ask , why should the fans be paying good money to witness the mediocrity of teams such as the Charlotte Bobcats (11-34), Washington Wizards (11-33) , Cleveland Cavaliers (13-33) , Orlando Magic (14-31) , New Orleans Hornets (15-31) and the Sacramento Kings (17-30) . About the only thing that has been continuously this incompetent , has been both legislative chambers of the US Congress , along with the present Presidential administration .

The next scheduled game for the Miami Heat, will be an away encounter against the Indiana Pacers , at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse , in Indiana , Indianapolis . The Pacers are one of the more surprising teams within the Eastern Conference this season , as head coach, Frank Vogel has the likes of Roy Hibbert , albeit , deferentially, David West , Paul George , Gerald Green and Danny Granger , playing with a great deal of confidence . Much of that , I believe has come from the presence of Brian Shaw , as an assistant head coach , providing more resolute defense from his team . This game , should provide both teams with a stern test , as each seeks to impose their will upon the other .

So at this point of the Boston Celtics’ season , is now on the cusp of imploding , as they have arguably lost their best player , point guard, Rajon Rondo , for the entire regular and postseason, should the team be in with a chance of gaining a playoff berth. Yet , GM Danny Ainge , is said to be unsure as to whether not he should delve into the free agency market and pursue a trade for a point guard . His own cupboard, within his roster, is threadbare , and looking at the options via free agency for a suitable fit . without having to break the bank , the situation overall doesn’t appear to be all that bright. It is likely that Ainge will consult with head coach , Doc Rivers , and team owner, Wyc Grousbeck , before a final decision is made .

Without a field court general and a productive point guard such as Rondo , the Celtics would quickly become a demonstratively average team , struggling to score and play in transition with any ease . >. And the team , does not seem to be helping themselves at present , with their undoubted inconsistency , due to the loss of the valuable point guard. A test of the team’s resolve will take place when they host the struggling Orlando Magic (14-31) in a game to be played at the TD Banknorth Center , in Boston , Massachusetts , on Friday night. This match-up should give both teams a chance, to gauge themselves at this point of the season and see what , if any positives they can take away from their respective situations . For first time head coach , Jacque Vauhgn of the Orlando Magic , to say that he has been made a “ sacrificial lamb” would be a great understatement , as the team is lacking in confidence . There seems to be no apparent leadership forthcoming , either on the field of play from anyone amongst Vaughn’s coaching staff , or from the coach , himself . For GM Rob Hennigan and CEO Alex Martins , the choice of Vaughn , might have been a prudent one , given the coach’s overall lack of head coaching experience .

I don’t think that at this point of the season , I can remember so many teams within the NBA playing sub . 500 basketball and wherein , the fans feel as if they are being short-changed by the on-field product . >. Yet , this is what the league hierarchy feel that they can bestow upon the consumer , fans and their corporate sponsors , while the league’s revenues increase exponentially primarily through the renegotiation of the NBA’s television contracts with their broadcast partners , such as ABC/ESPN , TNT Tv , WGN , none affiliated broadcast outlets nationally, and global network broadcast partners. The NBA has now become an annual $4.5 billion industry , and with teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks seeing their value , rise above the rate of inflation , with a number of the franchises also eking out fairly substantial profits in a down economy . It should be noted also, a number of teams are the recipients of an outmoded and archaic formula , wherein they are the benefactors of a luxury tax sharing scheme . Teams with payrolls in excess of the league’s “ soft salary cap” of $58.044 million are penalized as much as $1-00 for every dollar they are over that soft salary cap figure . The monies, derived from that scheme, are then disbursed amongst the so-called small market teams within the NBA. It does appear that even with the luxury tax in place , the teams do not appear to be showing the financial restraint one would have come to expect , albeit , that this latest CBA (collective bargaining agreement) , agreed to , between the league hierarchy , led by David Stern and the NPBA (union) remains littered with potholes and numerous dangers , that they clearly do not wish to address publicly .

The core of the Spurs’ roster , revolves around the team’s “ Big Three” , players, Tim Duncan , Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker , each of whom , has won an NBA title ring with the franchise . With four titles to the Spurs’ trophy cabinet , there would be nothing better for the organization , than for this team to add a fifth NBA championship to their treasure trove . As Duncan , Ginobli and Parker go , then so does the rest of this team , with the role players and certain youngsters coming off the bench to add to the team’s productivity . Hopefully , we can see that same sort of being shown by the players during the course of the postseason . Hopefully , we can see that same sort of being shown by the players during the course of the postseason . With the team playing host to the Washington Wizards on Saturday , at the AT&T Center in San Antonio , Texas , it will be interesting to see how the Spurs fare against a team , that as of late , has become less inspiring and more of an embarrassment to themselves as well as to the NBA . The Wizards’ organization, just seems to be crumbling under the continued weight of mediocrity .

I could well be wrong in my assumption , but I have always maintained , if a business entity cannot hold its own executives accountable for their actions , then whatever befalls them as a concern , no sympathy can be shown for that entity. In the case of the NBPA (union), and the ongoing saga , and revelations of the misappropriation of monies ($80,000) from within the organization , by family members employed by the union’s Executive Director Billy Hunter . It leads me to believe that either Hunter was simply naïve and completely unaware of these actions , or somehow he chose to turn a blind eye to the fraudulent acts committed by Alexis Hunter , daughter of the union executive , when there is a clear case of a conflict of interest , when his daughter also just happens to be an employee in a struggling bank , where the executive sought to use the union’s funds for investment purposes , but in reality those funds were being used as a precursor , to shore up that bank’s capital base . What might be even more exacerbating in this whole saga , is the very fact that Billy Hunter , may well have countenanced this maneuver without first seeking the approval of the union’s executive committee .

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports & AP (Associated Press)

NBPA executive director Billy Hunter sought union investment for bank with ties to son

On the weekend of the 2009 All-Star game in Phoenix, Pat Garrity, the treasurer of the National Basketball Players Association, walked into a conference room inside the Sheraton Phoenix determined to make one final stand in his decade of service to the union. Garrity had warned peers and NBPA executive director Billy Hunter prior to the ’09 executive committee meeting that he planned to challenge Hunter on business practices, and several players purposely steered clear of the confrontational scene.

In the aftermath of the U.S. banking crisis in 2008, Garrity had grown increasingly suspicious of an investment bank project that Hunter had been pitching to the executive committee and player representatives. For Garrity and some peers in the NBPA, the investment made no sense.

Hunter had sought a $7 million to $9 million investment from the union into Interstate Net Bank of Cherry Hill, N.J., a financial institution that federal and state banking regulators had slapped with debilitating “cease-and-desist” orders, sources said.

Garrity discovered information online that left him feeling obligated to confront Billy Hunter: Hunter’s son, Todd, had a seat on the board of directors of Interstate Net Bank.

Click on link to read in full .

Billy Hunter , has now sought a leave of absence , as he now seeks to defend himself from what could very well turn out to be serious legal action , if it is proven that he knowingly sought to countenance and misappropriate funds from the union which he presides over . For union President , Derek Fisher , this has to be a complete embarrassment , as he has always maintained what appeared to be close personal relationship with the union’s executive director. There is no evidence to suggest that Fisher , himself , may well have known what might have been going on , but clearly with a number of the union’s player representatives voicing their concerns, as to how , and why , $7 million of union funds , were being used as an investment vehicle , when no communication or a vote took place between Hunter and the executive committee, to approve such a move , has to be seen , as a real cause for concern.



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With the NBA All Star Break , a little under two weeks away (15th – 17th February) , what do you hope to see , when the second half of the season half of the season gets underway ? And what thoughts , if any , do you have , concerning what now appears to be some serious allegations that are being leveled at Billy Hunter of the NBPA ? Chime in , on this , and anything else you believe to be pertinent to the subject matter .



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Picture and slideshow gallery details below .

(1)MINNEAPOLIS, MN – FEBRUARY 1: Kobe Bryant (24) of the Los Angeles Lakers pushes the ball up the floor against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the game on February 1, 2013 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images ….

(2) Minnesota Timberwolves’ Ricky Rubio , left, of Spain, goes high to defend but Los Angeles Lakers’ Steve Nash gets off a pass in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, in Minneapolis. AP Photo/Jim Mone ….

(3) Miami Heat’s LeBron James (6) reacts to a call alongside Indiana Pacers’ Paul George (24) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013. The Heat would go on to lose the game 102-89 against the Indian Pacers . AP Photo/Doug McSchooler …

(4) BOSTON, MA – FEBRUARY 1: Paul Pierce (34) of the Boston Celtics drives to the basket against the Orlando Magic on February 1, 2013 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeated the Magic 97-84 . Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images …

(5) Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo (9) drives to the basket as Kevin Garnett blocks out New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, right, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013. AP Photo/Charles Krupa …

(6) SAN ANTONIO, TX – JANUARY 30: Tony Parker (9) of the San Antonio Spurs looks to pass the ball in game played against Kemba Walker (15) of the Charlotte Bobcats on January 30, 2013 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas . Getty Images /Greg Carmody ….

(7) San Antonio Spurs’ owner , Peter Holt , right , is seen here with the team’s head coach Gregg Popovich . The two individuals have a close and trusted relationship , which has been to the mutual benefit of the Spurs’ franchise . AP Photo / Ian Turner ….

(8) In the foreground , seen are , NBPA President , Derek Fisher , left , alongside him also, is the union’s Executive Director , Billy Hunter . The besieged union executive has voluntarily taken a leave of absence pending an investigation as to the improprieties that have taken place , with the misappropriation of union funds by a family member of Billy Hunter . The union leader has denied any wrongdoing on his part , but there does appear to be mounting evidence to suggest that Hunter did not make the executive committee or the players’ representatives or for that matter union president aware of what had taken place . With the possibility of legal action being taken against him (Hunter), as well as his daughter , Alexis Hunter , who was also in the employment of the NBPA. It seems highly debatable that can and will be allowed to retain his position as the executive director of the NBPA (Players’ Union) . Getty Images North America / Elise Amendola ……




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This isn’t a Buss thing, as it’s about winning …. something that the Lakers aren’t accustomed to at present

This isn’t a Buss thing, as it’s about winning …. something that the Lakers aren’t accustomed to at present

By Tophatal

It is extremely difficult to focus on a starting point , let alone a finishing point , as it relates to the travails of the Los Angeles Lakers this season . The franchise’s woes, have been well chronicled in the print and television media, and with the team’s best player , Kobe Bryant , now voicing his displeasure, as to the recent lackluster efforts of his teammates , you simply know that it will be only a matter of time before Bryant rails against the management and senior executives within the organization. Mike DAntoni was brought in to replace the abruptly fired Mike Brown , after GM Mitch Kupchak and Senior Vice President , Jim Buss, son of the team’s owner , Dr Jerry Buss felt that an immediate change was needed .


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If five games into the season (1-4) , the is way, in which the NBA’s front office executives can attest to judging the playing form of their teams , then quietly possible several other of Mike Brown’s peers should have met the same fate , even if those might well have had a slightly superior record at the time . Yeah , but look , this is the Los Angeles Lakers we are discussing and anything remotely concerning common sense being shown , was thrown out the window , after the retirement of Phil Jackson , with both Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak , seeking to not offer the then vacant head coaching position to Jackson’s most trusted of his subordinates, Brian Shaw . This was even done, at the behest of Kobe Bryant, who voiced his wish both privately and publicly , for Brian Shaw to succeed Phil Jackson. Somehow , this all fell on deaf ears , as it relates to the aforementioned front office executives of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Entering into Tuesday, 22nd January , the Lakers bore a record of 17-24, within the Pacific Division of the Western Conference , wherein the team sits third place within their division , 14 ½ games behind the division leading Los Angeles Clippers (32-10) and 8 ½ games behind the second placed , and some might say the now surprisingly resilient , Golden State Warriors (25-15) , who are coached by former NBA point guard, Mark Jackson . Upon reflection , it was only a matter of time before the Lakers’ season simply resembled a train wreck , with the debris simply spread all over the place , with players simply out of gas , or feigning injury or as we are now being led to believe a number of the team’s acquisitions came into camp out of shape or with slight niggling injuries . The idiocy of this all, was that the print and television media were prepared to anoint this team as the best in the conference even before the season had tipped off . The Lakers are 2-8 in their last ten games albeit, that they are currently on three game losing streak , which does not augur well , for the franchise’s hope for a postseason berth , as they currently reside in twelfth place of the Western Conference’s fifteen teams .

The acquisitions of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash , were meant to bolster the front court of this Lakers’ offense , complementing the skill-set of Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant . Gasol is now lost to the team for what is said to be an indeterminate period , and the play of Howard has been remarkably inconsistent , since starting for the Los Angeles Lakers . Another of the more troubling features of the team has been the lack defensive prowess from the players on the team , and it remains all the more asinine with claims of Mike DAntoni , that there is room for growth and toughness from his players . He and his coaching staff have “ clearly missed the boat” , as to how poor this team has been playing , and the sheer lack of determination from this entire roster . D’Antoni coached teams, have never been known for their proficiency as a defensive stalwart , and this asinine notion from the likes of current NBA analysts, Skip Bay less and Jon Barry , that the team can turn things around , as the season has now reached it’s midway point has become a cause for ridicule . I guess that both, Jon Barry and Skip Bayless are like to remain apologists for the Lakers , even when omnipresent signs of disaster are within their midst ?

Coming off a twelve-point loss to the Chicago Bulls at the United Center , in Chicago , Illinois ,. It has to be said , that seeing the team go down in an 95-83 defeat , where the effort from the Lakers’ players , was simply odious and thought-provoking. There is an increasing awareness and concern that if Mike DAntoni is not able to get this team with some semblance of cohesion and authority , then the now beleaguered coach could become the third coaching the fourth coaching casualty of the season , following Avery Johnson’s firing by the Brooklyn Nets , Mike Brown , with the Lakers , and Alvin Gentry with the Phoenix Suns . It is becoming all too clear that the hiring of the Lakers’ incumbent head coach could very well be joining his contemporaries on the tracks. Would it be too much to ask for either Jim Buss and Mitch Kolchak to now come forward and simply admit to the fact they erred in their decision to hire Mike DAntoni.

The Lakers’ draft classes in recent years have been non too impressive, and at the heart of the present roster Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol , Metta World Peace , Steve Nash and Dwight Howard , were all players acquired in a trade through free agency or in the case of Bryant , whose acquisition came by way of a trade during the 1996 NBA Draft in obtaining Kobe Bryant’s rights from the Charlotte Bobcats. The 2012 NBA Draft , saw the franchise draft , Robert Sacre , and from 2011 , Darius Morris , Andrew Goudeock and Ater Mojak . On paper alone , is there anyone who was of the belief that this team would be able to compete with any of the top teams within the conference , much less the rest of the NBA ? What the hell, are these, idiot analysts and fans actually looking at , by way of a comparison ? And should it come to a seven game series playoffs’ match-up, who amongst you, is of the belief that the Lakers , can take down the Oklahoma City Thunder , San Antonio Spurs , Los Angeles Clippers or the Memphis Grizzlies , in a seven game series during the postseason, never mind , an ultimate Finals’ meeting with the Miami Heat ?

The Lakers’ next game will be a scheduled match-up against conference rivals the Memphis Grizzlies at the Fedex Forum , in Memphis , Tennessee. The Grizzlies, who are coached by Lionel Hollins , with a team of high-caliber players , Rudy Gay , Zach Randolph , Tony Allen and Marc Gasol leading the charge for the for the franchise. And with the recent change of ownership from Michael Heisley to Memphis Basketball LLC , ownership group led by managing partner & Chairman Robert Pera and Vice-Chairman Steve Kaplan, a new era in the franchise ‘s history is now underway. Kobe Bryant and his teammates will undoubtedly be in for a stern test in tonight’s game , where another loss would hinder any progress that Mike D’Antoni and his coaching staff believes his team has. At this juncture , I would preface things by saying, I have never been convinced that D’Antoni was that great a coach to begin with , even during his reign with the Phoenix Suns , or that he was the right candidate to succeed Mike Brown !

Though, it is a growing trend amongst many of the big market franchises in all realms of professional sports , teams are beginning to exact their financial muscle , either by starting their own regional sports’ programming outlet or have a commercial tie-in with a major broadcast or cable outlet. The Los Angeles Lakers are not averse to seeking out a partner, who would be in a position to aid the franchise to maximize their exposure beyond the locale and beyond the nation , but towards a global market. Jim Buss and his sister , EVP, Jeanie Buss in conjunction with their father , team owner, Jerry Buss, have negotiated such a deal that will see the Lakers’ net an estimated $ 4 billion ($4,000,000,000) over the next two decades in a regional broadcast deal that is so financially beneficial for the organization, that , it leaves all other deals within the NBA , seemingly , trailing in the wind . Not even the mighty New York Knicks with the financial backing of parent company MSG Inc. , or team owner, James Dolan’s , patriarchy of familial holdings in Cablevision Inc could ever seek to usurp a deal of this magnitude . It now begs the question , will this be the way that the small market teams around the NBA not only seek to raise their profile but also their profitability ?

Courtesy of Forbes Inc.

Time Warner Cable Launches Two Regional Sports Networks, Lakers Reap $4 Billion

By Maury Brown , Forbes Contributor

In a continuation of the massive growth of sports programming options, the Southern California area will see the launch of not one, but two new regional sports networks through Time Warner Cable beginning today. Time Warner Cable will launch Time Warner Cable SportsNet, as well as the first-ever all Spanish language RSN, Time Warner Cable Deportes. The networks will be the new exclusive local homes of the Los Angeles Lakers, LA Galaxy and Los Angeles Sparks, as well as cover Mountain West football and basketball, in addition to soccer and boxing programming on Time Warner Cable Deportes.
The launch of the two RSNs highlights the explosion in media rights for sports over the last several years. The reported 20-year, $4 billion deal is wide-ranging and covers the rights to distribute all locally available pre-season, regular season, and post-season Lakers games, beginning with the 2012-2013 season. All Lakers games will be produced in high-definition in English & Spanish.

On-air talent for the TWC SportsNet includes former Laker great and Hall of Famer James Worthy, Chris McGee who was the Lakers’ sideline reporter at FOX SportsNet, as well as Dave Miller and Mike Trudell. That team joins Stu Lantz and Bill Macdonald who will call all Lakers games on Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Andy Adler, who joined the network in May, will serve as a studio anchor. On TWC Deportes, on-air personalities will include Ricardo Celis, Martin “El Pulpo” Zúñiga, Elmur Souza, Enrique Gutierrez and Hipolito Gamboa. Time Warner Cable Deportes will broadcast all local Lakers and Galaxy games entirely in Spanish.
Outside of basketball, TWC SportsNet will are 12 live Mountain West Conference football games and more than 24 Mountain West basketball games, making Time Warner Cable SportsNet the exclusive regional home for Aztecs, Rebels and Bulldogs.

The launch of the two regional sports networks sits against the backdrop of either new RSNs in the Southern California area cropping up, or lucrative rights extensions for the sports teams that are inking them. In mid-August, Time Warner Cable added the PAC-12 Network to their channel listing. According to the SportsBusiness Journal, PAC-12 Network has been seeking 80-cents per subscriber, which ranks higher than CNN, USA and FX. And, TWC could be positioning to land the Los Angeles Dodgers to a new deal, as well that could hit between $4-$5 billion over 20-years. Already, TWC prime competitor FOX Sports has reached a $3 billion, 20-year agreement with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Click on link to read in full .

Over the ensuing months leading up up to the NBA playoffs, which begin on the 20th April ,2013, there is no doubt that Kobe Bryant and his teammates will be under a great deal of pressure to succeed . However, I am of the opinion that Mitch Kupchak will seek to shake things up in terms of the makeup of the team’s roster , if things for the franchise are still in a quandary. The trade deadline this season falls on 21st February , which is barely a month away, so it is now incumbent upon the head coach , Mike D’Antoni and the general manager to have some intent, as to the direction that the franchise , is said to be heading . In terms of trade bait , the only viable options on the roster are, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace. Beyond that, there are no enticing pieces on the team , beyond its three preeminent stars , Bryant , Dwight Howard and Steve Nash.

After years of seemingly being in the wilderness , this season has seen a remarkable turn of events , as it relates to the Golden State Warriors (25-15) . Head coach , Mark Jackson , has this team playing an up-tempo form of basketball , that plays into the strengths of his core players , and when in transition , the Warriors just seem to be just as comfortable. The Warriors will get a further chance to assess their progress tonight, when they play hosts the Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder . In what is sure to be a high-scoring game , given the previous meeting between these two teams earlier this season, when there was a prolific output from the players on both rosters.

Leading the way for the Warriors this season , are Seth Curry and David Lee , but that would be to downplay the efforts of the duo’s teammates . And the fact that the Warriors have played themselves into a playoff berth at this point of the season , can only point to the optimism being shown not only by the coaching staff , but also by the front office led by managing partner , Joe Lacob , and indeed the franchise’s long-suffering fans. . There is a great deal that the franchise can indeed can perhaps feel contented with for the moment , they obviously have been playing in the background of gigantic shadow cast by the Los Angeles Lakers , and as of late, with the ascent of the Los Angeles Clippers , the Warriors can no longer be seen as one of the more inept franchises in NBA history. If they can simply maintain their present consistency of the remainder of their schedule , then there is every reason to believe that the franchise could very well make the postseason for the first time since the 2007 NBA Playoffs, which culminated their conference semi-finals’ loss to the Utah Jazz , after a sensational season by the franchise’s standards .

Currently, holding down the fifth spot in the Western Conference . With standings as they are currently , a first round match-up would elicit a series against the Memphis Grizzlies , the fourth seed. Again , this would be predicated upon the teams in question maintaining their consistency . So at this juncture as the remainder of the regular season schedule plays itself out .



Picture gallery for your perusal.

In light of the ongoing issues with the Los Angeles Lakers , do you believe that the team can muster up enough wins , enabling the franchise to make the postseason ? If they fail to guarantees themselves a playoff berth , are you of the opinion that Mike D’Antoni well be retained by the front office for next season ? Chime in on this , and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter and the NBA as a whole .


Picture and slide show details below .

(1)FILE – In this April 26, 2012 file photo, the Maloof brothers, Phil, left, George, center and Gavin , co-owners of the Sacramento Kings, watch their team against the Los Angeles Lakers during an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif. The only thing stopping the Kings from a sale and move to Seattle is approval by NBA owners.The Maloof family has agreed to sell the Kings to a Seattle group led by investor Chris Hansen and Microsoft, Chairman , Steve Ballmer , the league confirmed in a statement Monday morning, Jan. 21, 2013.. The deal is still pending a vote by the NBA Board of Governors. AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli …

(2) Chicago Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich (12) pressures Los Angeles Lakers guard Steve Nash during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, in Chicago. The Bulls won 95-83 . AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast …

(3) Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant walks off the court during a break in the action during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, in Chicago. The Bulls won 95-83 . AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast …

(4) Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni looks up at the scoreboard during a break in the action in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls  on Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, in Chicago. The Bulls won 95-83. AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast …

(5) From left to right , Lakers GM , Mitch Kupchak, SVP, Jim Buss , and team owner Dr Jerry Buss . With the team have reached a crisis point in their season having eight of their last ten games , it would appear that changes are in the offing for franchise amongst the player personnel , and if the rumors are to be believed , then head coach Mike DAntoni will be assessed on the team’s success between now and until the end of the season, which will be incumbent upon the Los Angeles Lakers making the playoffs. Currently laying as the twelfth seed in the Western Conference , the team is currently 3 1/2 games out of the eighth spot , held by the Houston Rockets (22-21) and are 15 1/2 games behind the conference leading Oklahoma City Thunder (33-9) . AP Photo /Martin Hill …

(6) Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (30) reaches for the ball held by Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. Golden State won 106-99 . Curry would go on to score 28 points in the Warriors’ surprisingly easy victory over their divisional rivals . AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez …

(7) Golden State Warriors’   David Lee , center, tries to keep a loose ball from Los Angeles Clippers’ <u> Lamar Odom </u> , left, and  <u> Eric Bledsoe</u>  during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Jan. 21, 2013.   AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez  ..  ….

(8) Head Coach  Mark Jackson   of the Golden State Warriors speaks as (L-R)   David Stern  ,   Rick Welts ,    Peter Guber ,    Joe Lacob  , Mayor   Edwin M. Lee  ,   Ahmad Rashad Jerry West   , and Lieutenant Governor of California Gavin Newsom     looks on at a press conference with the Golden State Warriors announcing plans to build a new sport and entertainment arena on the waterfront in San Francisco in time for the 2017-18 NBA Season on May 22, 2012 in San Francisco, California.  Getty  Images  North  America  / Thearon  W  Henderson  …..



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NBA schedule 23rd January 2013 & results for 22nd February and 21st January

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Los Angeles Lakers’ news & team history

Los Angeles Lakers overview & profile —- Lakers’ market capitalization /value & profitability

Los Angeles Lakers’ roster & team stats

Los Angeles Lakers’ schedule

Mike D’Antoni head coach’s bio & coaching staff

Los Angeles Lakers’ payroll ($100,190,168) & cap-hit

Los Angeles Lakers’ free agents


Golden State Warriors & —— team market capitalization/value & profitability

Golden State Warriors news

Golden State Warriors roster & team stats

Mark Jackson & coaching staff bios

Golden State Warriors’ team payroll & cap-hit


NBA team salaries & NBA “soft salary cap ” $58.044 million

NBA team valuations’ list


Mos Def —– “Ms Fat Booty “


Sean Paul — feat’g Sasha …… ” I’m Still In Love “

This is not what I signed up for !

This is not what I signed up for !

By Tophatal

The NBA season is moving along nicely, but for a new of teams , it now looks as their seasons could very well be over before we have reached the midway point of the 2012-13 NBA calendar . The plotlines to the season are now being played out , with Charlotte Bobcats , Cleveland Cavaliers and Washington Wizards , all three teams are seeking to redefine mediocrity , and now the fans have been witnesses this all.


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In the Eastern Conference , the three teams that seem to the setting the pace , are the Miami Heat(23-11) , New York Knicks (23-12) and the surprisingly resourceful Indiana Pacers(22-14) . While the reigning champions, the Heat are looking to make a successful defense of their title. Yet on the face of it, this team do seem to be trying to make things extremely hard for themselves with their rather inconsistent play. The NBA season, having had the first of two coaching casualties, with the dismissals of Mike Brown of the Los Angeles Lakers , five games (1-4) into their season , with a rather asinine explanation coming from GM , Mitch Kupchak , as to the reasons for the improbable decision .

The other casualty to fall , was Avery Johnson of the Brooklyn Nets , and whether or not this is pertinent , but it would appear that Nets’ point guard , Deron Williams , is now becoming known , as something of a “ coach killer” . It should come as no surprise , with the evidence being there for all to see , first with the Utah Jazz , and the departure of Jerry Sloan, albeit the famed former head coach resigned , rather than being forced out , but the tell-tale signs were there for all to see . An underperforming star , continually, complaining about his team’s play, without ever once, showing any form of leadership to his teammates . I’ll say this for Deron Williams , in spite of his play , his lack of maturity far outweighs anything that he is said to have achieved at this point of his career .

The Brooklyn Nets , with P J Carlesimo , now coaching the team on an interim basis , have made a hard push to lure famed and future bound Hall of Fame coach , Phil Jackson , out of retirement , literally offering him a King’s ransom and a rumored minority interest in the Nets’ franchise . Part ownership of a listless team, that is also without a leader , much less having any real character , is not I believe, a scenario where Jackson would be lured back into coaching ! And the same situation can now be applied to the idiocy that has now befallen the Los Angeles Lakers , another aging , uninspired franchise and team . As Kobe Bryant , recently stated, we’re getting old and heading nowhere fast “ . It is now beginning to look all the more probable that the franchise could very well end up missing the postseason , should the team continue with their ongoing season of ineptitude and inconsistency. It has now left many fans and NBA analysts wondering , how could things spiraled so out of control, so fast , without their being any inclination at the start of the season , that , it would be one , of sheer ridicule of the ownership and management ?

The hiring of Mike D’Antoni to succeed Mike Brown , is befuddling to myself , as to this ongoing belief and fascination with the paparazzi, that the career of Lindsay Lohan , still remains relevant when she has done absolutely nothing of merit over the past five years. As to D’Antoni’s resume` , well let’s just say , there’s not a great deal that one could truly say , is altogether inspiring ! I truly believe, that Mitch Kupchak and Lakers’ SVP, Jim Buss , have now erred twice in their most recent managerial hiring! If you believe my statement to be a mistake, then do take the time to explain your reasons why?

The makeup of this Lakers’ roster pivots around the play of Kobe Bryant , and as he goes , then so does the rest of the team, Granted , Bryant can go off , for forty-plus points , and inevitably given their play of the team, and they still end up losing . Yet the enigma, here , is that the team either choose not to , or has no idea , how to play a lick of goddamn defense , when it matters most ! As things now continue , with the winners of four of their last ten games , it begs the question what is the perceived direction that the team , is said to be heading in ? The Lakers now sit 12.5 games out of first place , within the Pacific Division behind the surging Los Angeles Clippers (28-8).

With Blake Griffin leading the way alongside one of the NBA’s premier point guards , in Chris Paul , it has to be said that the Lakers’ task is becoming all the more unenviable , especially when the Clippers are now seen “ as the best story happening , in the city of Angels” . Failure at this juncture , and we could very well see the franchise go through their second managerial change inside of a calendar year . Something, I would have said , was impossible at the start of the season . And this is a franchise known for its semblance of continuity , albeit , that the glitterati and paparazzi make the organization the center and focus of the NBA landscape , and that is with due respect to the residents of the “Big Apple” and “ Brooklyn” .

Now unless I’m mistaken, we were led to believe that the NBA is a brand that has become world renown , yet, I seriously doubt David Stern would have expected three teams within the Eastern Conference subjecting the fans of the league , to such abject futility! The Charlotte Bobcats (9-26) , Cleveland Cavaliers (9-29 ) , and the Washington Wizards (5-28) , this season have given a whole new meaning to the words , “ futility” and “mediocrity” , which is clearly reflected in their respective records and play.

Inasmuch , as I have admired Michael Jordan’s career as an NBA player , it has to be said his successes as an NBA front office executive is now “peppered” with a “ litany of failures” . Anyone who would now suggest that Jordan is at the forefront of his present career, as owner and de-facto general manager , should now begin to acknowledge that he might now be the NBA’s answer to Jerry Jones of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys . I am not about to suggest that Michael Jordan doesn’t accept the input of his fellow executives , in particular that of GM, Rich Cho . Yet it has become , and will remain abundantly clear, that Jordan is prepared to things his way , and is not truly prepared to accept any criticism leveled his way. And the Bobcats for their part , are not making the situation any more acceptable with the ongoing futility of this team . If there is a silver cloud to this nightmare , then it is the fact that , the organization is unlikely to end up with the worst record within the NBA at season’s end , especially when one bears in mind , the franchise’s 7-59 mark of last season , in reduced schedule of sixty-six games , from the customary eighty-two game schedule the NBA is naturally known for.

I’ve called it , and the anally retentive idiots who sought the retention of the Sacramento Kings in the California state capital , clearly have no fucking idea as to what is happening within their very midst , let alone within the front office of the Kings , altogether. I suppose that all comes down to the apathy of those fans , and what they feel is their all-knowing belief, that the NBA eats , breathes and shits , by the events take place on the West Coast, and shapes this league as a whole ! In what should not be seen as a surprising turn of events the ownership group the Sacramento Kings , led by the Maloof family , of Joe and Gavin Maloof , have agreed in principle to the sale of the NBA franchise to a Seattle-based consortium that will relocate the Kings to Washington State. For the better part of two and a half years, the city’s mayor , Kevin Johnson , himself a former NBA player , has judiciously negotiated with the Kings , primarily with GM, Geoff Petrie , but also with, Joe and Gavin Maloof.

Courtesy of USA Today

Sacramento Kings’ possible move uneasy for players, fans

SACRAMENTO (AP) — Aaron Brooks has been in an awkward spot since news surfaced that the Sacramento Kings could be sold and moved to his hometown of Seattle.

The Kings guard has no answers for family and friends who have been calling and texting for information. Even the excitement his brother, Alvertis, had when he showed up for a visit evaporated once he realized those in Sacramento might feel the same sorrow as when the SuperSonics left for Oklahoma City in 2008.

NEARING DEAL: Seattle group negotiates with Maloofs

“Seattle does need a team. But you would hate to have a team leave a city you know wants a basketball team,” Brooks said. “It’s unfortunate.”

For Sacramento players, coaches and fans, this is not an easy time.

In the first game since the latest — and perhaps most serious — round of relocation talks began, the Kings lost to the Dallas Mavericks 117-112 in overtime Thursday night, with chatter around the aging arena seemingly centering on everything but basketball.

GAME: Mavericks come back from 17 points down

Newspaper and television reporters from Seattle showed up along with an increased local media presence. Fans contemplated whether they should keep supporting a team they love. Ushers and parking attendants who depend on the team for work approached reporters wondering if they knew what might happen.

Even players and coaches admitted all the attention made it difficult to focus on the game.

“It’s definitely going to be a distraction,” said Kings coach Keith Smart. “But we’re pros. We’ve got to figure out a way how to separate the two and then get ready to play.”

Click on link to read in full .


However, it has been intransigence of the franchise’s owners and the very fact , that David Stern has failed to act as a willing intermediary and peacemaker , that has led to this actual debacle . From the very outset, it was my belief that Johnson was negotiating from a position of weakness! And this continued idiocy by a number loyal but misguided Kings’ fans that it would be in the city’s best interest to use public funds in conjunction with that of private enterprise within the city’s locale , presently shows why the state and city remains a “complete cluster fuck “ , politically and economically , with no apparent leadership or the capacity to do what is ethically right , and that is to walk away while you have the option , instead of being made to look like a complete asshole ! As of now, that can be the only way to view Kevin Johnson and the Sacramento City Council. When will these municipal politicians, learn that continually kissing the ass of a billionaire or millionaire professional sports’ franchise owner , rarely benefits a city in the long-term !

Courtesy of USA Today

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson says he’ll save Kings

By Sam Amick , USA Today Sports

SACRAMENTO — Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson swears he still has a shot to save his hometown team.

Johnson, the native son and former NBA point guard who has spent recent years trying to keep the Maloof family that owns the team from taking it elsewhere, told USA TODAY Sports on Friday night that Seattle hasn’t won this game just yet. Asked if his window had closed in light of a Wednesday report that the Maloofs and the Chris Hansen-Steve Ballmer group were finalizing a deal to bring the NBA back to Seattle and more reports on Friday that the deal was done in principle for $525 million, Johnson spread his hands wide and smiled. The window, he swears, remains open.

“(NBA Commissioner David Stern) knows that I’m going to make a request to speak to the governing board (before any Seattle deal is formalized),” Johnson said, noting that the deadline to file for relocation is March 1.

NBA A-Z: Sacramento turns out to support Kings

Stern said Thursday night that potential buyers who might keep the team in Sacramento deserve a shot, even naming billionaire supermarket mogul Ron Burkle as one candidate.

“This will be decided by a committee of owners and the NBA’s board of governors with the advice of me but not leading the way,” Stern said on Thursday night.

As was the case when he made an impassioned and ultimately successful pitch at a board of governor’s meeting in New York to keep the team from going to Anaheim, Calif., in April of 2011, Johnson — who had an agreement in principle with the Maloofs and the NBA for a new arena last February before they backed out — is confident Stern will give him the time necessary to organize his effort.

Click on link to read this article in full .


A web of lies, and deceit , have been built around this whole sale , and it is clear that the Maloofs simply sought vested parties willing to take a beleaguered and an unprofitable franchise off their hands . Now comes the hard part , how will the fans act with regard to his monumental betrayal by the ownership group , and their malfeasance ? The irony here , has been the apathy of the fans who bought into this fucking bullshit , with regard to Joe , Gavin and Robert Maloof’s intent of keeping the franchise in Sacramento . I’ve always maintained before you run , you have to learn how to walk , and before you start to talk about the economic sports, at least have the goddamn temerity to know what the hell you are talking about , and that has been the stupidity of the Kings’ fans at this juncture !

At 13-23 , there does not seem to be a great deal that the Kings seem to be offering their fan at present , no matter how you view the situation. Coming off to a tough 117-112 loss to the Dallas Mavericks at the archaic and impoverished Sleep Train Arena , one of the NBA’s more dilapidated venues , for which the Maloofs, offered no assistance in refurbishing, when this whole negotiating process began . From the very outset it was abundantly clear , that neither Joe or Gavin Maloof, intended to negotiate in good faith , yet Kings’ fans in their continued bewilderment and sheer stupidity , held out hope that an amicable agreement could be reached between the city of Sacramento and the owners of the NBA franchise. It was merely the blind, and the blissfully stupid, being led down the garden path by the Maloofs . At the end of the day , one simply knows that David Stern in celebratory mood will commending the new owners of the soon to be relocated franchise , while the city of Sacramento , are left egg on their face and a white elephant , whose only use will be to stage a number of concerts and perhaps , a number of business expositions .

Next up for the Kings, will be two consecutive home games , with the first being tonight against the Miami Heat to be followed by a meeting against the Cleveland Cavaliers , on Monday night . There is not a great deal that can be said in terms of a positive for head coach Keith Smart and his coaching staff . The team’s best player remains Tyreke Evans , who’s ably assisted by Aaron Brooks , John Salmons and the troubled enigma that is , DeMarcus Cousins , whose exploits off the court , have now become the sole reason to even take an interest in the troubled player , who just doesn’t seem capable of harnessing his abilities and being truly productive for this beleaguered franchise . Beyond that, there is not much left, that can be said !

While, I am impressed with the growing stature of the Los Angeles Clippers , and their body of work this season . There can be no denying that if this franchise is to prove itself a success , then their efforts against the top tiered teams within the league will have to be amplified and maintained over the course of the season , and Vinnie Del Negro cannot be complacent in settling for half-measures in terms of his team’s productivity . If anything , while having the league’s best record , the continued “ knock” against the Clippers , will be , until they have proved themselves in the postseason , they will just be looked upon as a very good regular season team.

If the Clippers based upon their record are deemed the best team in the NBA at present , then surely , the Oklahoma City Thunder must pose an ominous threat , along with the San Antonio Spurs , within the Western Conference ? ? The “ dark horses” within the conference are the Memphis Grizzlies , a team capable of beating the