A few good men at the right price, its baseball

A few good men at the right price, its baseball

The MLB Winter Meetings came and went, with a number of trades being initiated , with several teams coming away better off than they were last season in some respects , in terms of the makeup of their personnel. One of the biggest acquisitions made, was the signing of former New York Yankees’ first baseman Robinson Cano by the Seattle Mariners to a ten-year $240 million deal . A far cry from the desired $300 million contract that was being bandied about as the compensation package t that analysts said it would take for the Yankees to retain the player. Out of that deal, came what now can be stated as being bar, for other offensive players, by way of the deals now being set.

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The New York Yankees for their part, have made a number of moves sought to bolster what has been an aging roster that was uncompetitive and unproductive for much of last season. New York’s failure to reach the postseason was a further indictment of a number of issues that befell the team in 2013. Injuries may well have plagued the Yankees , but a lack of leadership from anyone on the roster , while Derek Jeter remained on the disabled list further emphasized what was wrong with this team on the whole. Manager Joe Girardi and his staff tried their best to motivate the players, but nothing at all seemed to work. Less we forget also, the franchise still has to deal with the issue of Alex Rodriguez and his long-term future with the organization , as he seeks to have his two-hundred and fourteen game suspension overturned by a special arbitrator appointed by the MLB hierarchy . The fallout from this all, could very well see a new change within the game should Frederic Horowitz rule in the league’s favor in upholding the player’s suspension.

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MLB CFO Jonathan Mariner is seen here with his wife Mildred Mariner at a public function . As the Chief Financial Officer for Major League Baseball, it is Mariner’s day-to-day responsibilities to deal with baseball’s $6.4 billion business concern, as well as making sure that the teams are adhering to the league’s rules , concerning their financial and fiduciary duties . Somewhere along the way Mariner was oblivious to the financial woes that befell the Chicago Cubs , Los Angeles Dodgers , New York Mets and that now seem to be encircling the Houston Astros and the franchise’s owner Jim Crane . Getty Images / Phil North ….

Rodriguez and his lawyers, David Cornwell and Joe Tacopina have sought to make this a vendetta that the MLB hierarchy has , in seeking to drive the player out of the game. Alex Rodriguez’s candor in this matter, would suggest, that he has a great deal to hide , beyond the monetary compensation he is likely to lose , were the suspension upheld. Forty-three million dollars is the estimated amount, the player would lose, beyond his now tainted legacy. It has been baseball’s mishandling of the entire “steroids’ issue “ and the apathy shown by a number of the game’s fans , that this issue and the game itself , can no longer be taken seriously on its merits, much less with regard to the integrity of the sport , itself . The vast majority of the players have remained silent , their union simply disingenuous on the matter , and less we forget Bud Selig has continued to act like a buffoon from the very start , which has now led us to the present predicament .

While, I do not begrudge the New York Yankees their immense success over the course of their existence, it should not go without notice , that a great deal of the triumphs attained, were simply availed by way of the vast financial resources and the very fact that the organization has been simply been able to outbid an opponent in order to acquire a player. Repeatedly, we have seen this become the norm , but yet , the fans and league hierarchy ignore that fact and liken it to the cost of doing business . It has probably escaped the notice of MLB CFO Jonathan Mariner , that with more than one-quarter of the league’s thirty teams failing to show an operational profit , unless aided by the luxury tax system, the financial health of baseball would be in dire straits. In reality, the game is teetering on a precipice, with the hierarchy simply failing to address the issue.

Hal Steinbrenner as the lead managing partner of the familial holding company that owns the New York Yankees, has sought to reduce the team’s payroll in recent seasons , but in reality , it has become an act of futility , as GM Brian Cashman has been countenanced to carry on with the capricious spending the organization has been continually known for. One simply has to look at baseball’s payroll and the very fact of the ten highest paid players in the game , three of the players atop of that list, just happen to be on the Yankees’ current roster .

With Jacoby Ellsbury’s defection to the New York Yankees and the signing of a seven-year $153 million deal, questions are being asked, why would they sign a player who in recent years has been more known for his health issues , rather than his on-field performances ? Granted, Ellsbury was a part of the . Boston Red Sox’s World Series winning roster this past season, where his contributions played a part of the franchise’s postseason success. As to whether or not the player can make a solid contribution to the team this upcoming season , in spite of the offensive woes that befell the team for much of 2013, beyond the lack of in-depth pitching, remains to be seen.

The New York Yankees are likely to be competitive in 2014, but I do not believe that they are the best team in the AL East , as the season gets underway . That status will remain with the Boston Red Sox, whose manager John Farrell , proved himself to be the best manager within the division as well as perhaps the most adept in getting the best out of his players, no matter what type of adversity stood in their way. . As New York’s fortunes declined this past season, to the point where it appears that Cashman , the coaching staff and the lead executives seem to have no faith in the farm system , it not only shows how reliant this ball-club is on the revenues derived from its baseball operations , but also of their proprietary cable sports’ broadcast outlet the YES Network . Without the revenues of the programming entity , one seriously doubts that the Yankees could afford to keep up their vast spending on team payroll , without adding to the fact that in the past five years the franchise has paid over to the league hierarchy in excess of $150 million in luxury tax compensation. Baseball’s idea, of taking more out of the hands of the wealthy and simply giving not necessarily to the “needy” as they see fit .

Courtesy of New York Daily News

Yankees slapped with $28 million luxury tax bill for 2013 season

Because the Yankees have been over the tax threshold at least four consecutive times, they pay at a 50 percent rate on the overage, and their $28,113,945 bill was second only to their $34.1 million payment following the 2005 season. The Yankees are responsible for $252.7 million of the $285.1 million in tax paid by all clubs since the penalty began in 2003.

By Mark Fiensand , New York Daily News

No wonder the Yankees want to get their payroll beneath the luxury tax threshold. The Bombers were hit with a $28 million luxury tax bill Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.

Since luxury tax penalties began in 2003, the Yankees have shelled out more than a quarter billion dollars, accounting for $252.7 million of the $285.1 million in tax paid by all teams in the majors.

RELATED: ROBERTS AGREES TO 1-YEAR YANKEES DEAL

The Dodgers joined the Yankees as the only teams to blow past the $178 million threshold this season, paying $11.4 million. The Dodgers’ total luxury tax payroll was $243 million — $9 million higher than the Yankees — but they were charged at only 17.5% since they were beneath the threshold in 2012. Having exceeded the threshold for four straight years, the Yankees paid out at a rate of 50%.

Should the Yankees somehow get their payroll beneath the threshold next season — that number rises to $189 million in 2014 — they would reset their tax rate to 17.5% and become eligible for some revenue-sharing refunds.

RELATED: NEW POSTING RULES HAVE YANKS WAITING

According to the AP, the Yankees’ payroll is now $177.7 million with only 15 players signed, and it appears their only hope to stay under $189 million will be a season-long suspension for Alex Rodriguez.

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The Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers might well be, two of the biggest disappointments, in terms of their respective performances throughout last season within the AL . Combined payroll for the two teams, exceeded $240 million . General managers Jerry Dipoto and Jon Daniels saw little, by way of a tangible return, with both ball-clubs failing to make the postseason . Within the hierarchy of the Rangers , former team President and a minority stakeholder, Nolan Ryan was ousted from his position by his fellow partners , with Daniels, now being given a greater say, in the day to day running of the franchise. The off-season for the franchise has proved to be eventful , with the team sending every day utility player Ian Kinsler to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for slugger , Prince Fielder . As to what that may well indicate about the Rangers’ offensive woes last season , begs the question , with Fielder not providing much aid to the Tigers’ own issues in that category, something must be awry with the mindset of Jon Daniels and the organization.

Texas now adds a burdensome contract to its payroll , while simply having not achieved anything of merit by obtaining Prince Fielder, adding to the woes of an under-achieving franchise over the past five seasons. Albeit, that with back to back World Series’ appearances , the outcome with each , was profoundly disturbing in 2010 and 2011 , with the lack of effort from the franchise. . The Texas Rangers may well be lucky enough to actually do something exciting in 2014 , but based on their showing last season , I believe that their fans will be in for more of the same !

Angels’ owner Arte Moreno may well have decided to give Mike Sciocsia one last chance to prove himself as the manager of the team . Yet I felt , that he was extremely close to being fired , in spite of his relationship with the team’s owner and general manager Jerry Dipoto ! This season may well be the last chance for Sciocsia to get it right, albeit , that the fans of the Los Angeles Angels will point to the fact that Albert Pujols was lost to the club for a large part of their season. The lone bright spot for the franchise remains the rising profile of Mike Trout , who now , might just be the best player in the American League , in spite of the achievements of Miguel Cabrera over the last two years.

Mike Sciocsia’s tenure, as one of the longest-serving managers in the Majors has come at quite an expense for an individual , who is well-respected amongst his peers. However, but for the Angels’ lone success , in 2002 , the subsequent years for the ball-club have been very lean. The last postseason appearance for Los Angeles came in 2009 and the team’s foray was extended, until they ran into the New York Yankees in the ALCS , where they succumbed to the New York based franchise in six games , losing 4-2 . The makeup of this Angels’ lineup , built up around the power-hitting of Pujols , Josh Hamilton and Mike Trout, will have to be at its very best , along with a pitching lineup that must be effective and consistent throughout this upcoming season.

The Atlanta Braves proved to be a tremendous disappointment during the postseason , falling by the wayside in the NLDS, as they fell to the Los Angeles Dodgers and their highly bankrolled roster of players . A great regular season during which the Braves laid waste to their divisional rivals within the NL East , with what appears to be the utmost of ease . GM Frank Wren , in seeking to make the Braves competitive this past season, the organization acquired both Upton brothers by way of trades, with Justin Upton leaving the Arizona Diamondbacks to make his way East , to be joined by his elder sibling BJ Upton . Adding that type of offensive firepower , to be alongside Brian McCann , Evan Gattis , Dan Uggla , Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward actually paid dividends during the regular season , but the team’s postseason was heightened by inconsistency alongside what turned out to be an exceptionally poor showing by the pitching lineup in that series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

That divisional series’ loss by the Atlanta Braves was simply indicative of what I believe to have been a great deal of complacency on the part of Fredi Gonzalez and his staff. The team, was ill-prepared and there can no excuse for such a lackadaisical approach by the players and coaches . This off-season the team saw the departure of Tim Hudson as a free agent, who has since signed with the San Francisco Giants . Several other players have departed , most notably catcher Brian McCann who signed a multi-year deal with the New York Yankees and filling that role for the Braves will be Evan Gattis. Having also acquired pitcher Gavin Floyd and Ryan Doumit , this will bolster the Braves’ lineup and giving it additional depth in a number of needed positions. However, if the Braves are to not only repeat as NL East champions next season, then there will need to be a great deal more consistency from the pitching staff .

If there is said to be a franchise in need of a World Series’ win, then it would have to be the Los Angeles Dodgers. The acquisition of the franchise for an outrageous figure of $2.156 billion , all countenanced by Bud Selig , gives even greater credence that the game has lost touch with reality. Granted, the Dodgers’ principal owners, Guggenheim Baseball Properties LLC, under that of parent company Guggenheim Partners Inc has a great deal of monetary backing ,with assets exceeding $125 billion , and a television deal in conjunction with cable giant Time Warner Inc , reputed to be worth over $ 8 billion over the next two decades. Stakeholders , such as Magic Johnson , Hollywood movie mogul Peter Guber , along senior managing partners Todd S Boehly and Mark Walter are intent on winning that elusive series . The fact that the Dodgers have not won baseball’s biggest prize since 1988 , only adds to the franchise’s allure . A quarter of a century is a long time to wait for one of baseball’s most venerable organizations to simply say we are champions . The expectations were high during 2013, during which the Dodgers’ fans were introduced to rookie sensation Yasiel Puig , who led the baseball franchise on an improbable fifty game stretch , where the team went 42-8 over that period .

The Dodgers’ ignominious failure against the St Louis Cardinals in the NLCS was as shocking , as it was simply ridiculous , in what was said to be an explosive Dodgers’ offense , that the Cardinals’ pitching simply closed the door on during the series , coming away with an all too easy 4-2 series’ victory . Don Mattingly , was clearly out of his depth , as Mike Matheny and the St Louis headed to their third postseason appearance in the past seven seasons . This off-season Mattingly , Stan Kasten and for Ned Colletti , their biggest priority , remains “inking” pitcher Clayton Kershaw to a long-term deal , albeit , that the Cy Young Award winner is likely to be rewarded with the highest arbitration salary, ever given to a starting pitcher in league history. There seems to be some reluctance on the pitcher to accept what may well be the most lucrative contract in baseball history , which is likely to top Alex Rodriguez’s ten-year $275 million compensation package and currently the highest paid pitching contract, being the deal signed by Justin Verlander , which pays him an astonishing $180 million over seven years .

Kershaw and his agent J D Smart are fully aware that the Dodgers will move heaven and earth to get a deal done, at any price, as the pitcher is by far the best starter on the team’s pitching rotation . His amazing season in 2013 , speaks volumes as to his prowess , and over the past two seasons , he has been simply been the best starting pitcher in the game .

If the rumors are to be believed, that the Golden State Warriors` CEO & Chairman Joe Lacob and his partners are likely to make an unsolicited bid for the Oakland Athletics. Lew Wolff and GM Billy Beane have not made any formal statements on this latest news concerning the franchise. If the rumors are to be believed, then Lacob’s preemptive strike and $600 million valuation of the franchise might be on the high side . Yet, given the issues that the Athletics are dealing with, and their being no aid from Bud Selig, in assisting the organization in their quest for a new stadium , now seems to be the norm , unless that ball-club just happens to be in a major ad-market .

In the A’s quest for a new ballpark to replacing the aging O Coliseum , it would appear that Alameda County and the state are noncommittal in aiding the franchise. More out of budgetary concerns and their own looming fiscal deficits , it is now time for team owners and the league hierarchy to show their alleged business acumen , instead of this continued asinine rationale that every damn sports’ venue has to publicly funded using taxpayers’ monies . Fans seem oblivious to this all , either through sheer apathy , stupidity or simply the fact that they do not understand or care . Personally, I believe it to be all of the aforementioned , given the idiocy I have witnessed and read in certain comments attributed to alleged knowledgeable fans of the Tampa Bay Rays and their idiotic sentiment that a new ballpark for that franchise ought to be paid for by using public funds. The locale barely supports the Rays, which annually ranks amongst baseball’s least supported thirty franchises, in terms of home attendance and overall support . As to the idiocy, that they are a viable brand in terms of market share for viewers. Consider the market that the Tampa Bay area covers, and that there is barely nothing else to compete with the Rays, in spite of the franchise’s limited success over the last eight years . The same can be said of the Oakland A’s and their continued struggles to compete with a number of the big market teams , but moreover with the likes of a Los Angeles Angels , Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants , in terms of their respective payrolls .

If Lew Wolff is receptive to this proposed bid, then it would mark a changing landscape within baseball , with the A’s following the sale of the Dodgers last season , which came out of that franchise having been placed into bankruptcy reorganization , because of the mismanagement of the ball-club by then owner Frank McCourt . Major League Baseball is now in need of leadership within its upper echelons , by someone who can lead , has an insight of the ever-changing economic landscape , but above all, a leader who actually is not afraid to confront the MLBPA (union) , rather than shying away from confrontation. All of the traits, that have been exhibited by Bud Selig throughout a great deal of his tenure, as the MLB Commissioner.

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Your thoughts on the points raised within this article , and what if anything, do you hope to see come out of the upcoming season within Major League Baseball ? Chime in with your comments on this and anything else you believe to relevant to the subject matter.

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(1) Robinson Cano is formally introduced by the Seattle Mariners during a news conference at Safeco Field in Seattle on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. The second baseman is flanked by general manager Jack Zduriencik , left, and manager Lloyd McClendon . Cano having left the New York Yankees as a free agent, signed a ten-year $240 million deal with the Mariners and hopes to lead the franchise to their first postseason appearance since 2001 , where they made it to the ALCS , which resulted in a loss (4-1) to the New York Yankees . Dean Rutz/ MTC ….

(2) From left, New York Yankees catcher Chris Stewart , manager Joe Girardi , shortstop Derek Jeter and first baseman Juan Rivera (54) wait out a pitching change after Girardi removed starter Andy Pettitte during the fourth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Tampa, Fla., Wednesday, March 13, 2013. The 38-year-old Jeter hadn’t played the field since breaking his left ankle in the first game of the AL championship series last October. AP Photo/Kathy Willens …

(3) MLB CFO Jonathan Mariner is seen here with his wife Mildred Mariner at a public function . As the Chief Financial Officer for Major League Baseball, it is Mariner’s day to day responsibilities to deal with baseball’s $6.4 billion business concern, as well as making sure that the teams are adhering to the league’s rules , concerning their financial and fiduciary duties . Somewhere along the way Mariner was oblivious to the financial woes that befell the Chicago Cubs , Los Angeles Dodgers , New York Mets and that now seem to be encircling the Houston Astros and the franchise’s owner Jim Crane . Getty Images / Phil North ….

(4) New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman presents Kelsey Ellsbury with flowers as her husband, center-fielder Jacoby Ellsbury , right, looks on at his introductory press conference at Yankee Stadium on December 13, 2013 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Ellsbury’s agent Scott Boras negotiated the deal for his client which puts the player almost at the forefront, in terms of the compensation packages paid for center-fielders . Getty Images North America / Maddie Meyer ….

(5) Atlanta Braves’ manager Fredi Gonzalez is seen here alongside player Justin Upton. The Braves’ preseason acquisition left the field after suffering a mild concussion in a collision with a teammate during a game played against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Ballpark in Miami, Florida ,. Atlanta would go on to defeat Miami 4-3 in the contest . AP Photo / Christine Monroe ….

(6) Los Angeles Dodgers’ starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw who was the runner-up in the 2011 Cy Young Award voting ballot , but won the prestigious accolade in 2013 , after a phenomenal year by the pitcher . Now in arbitration , Kershaw is likely to be the largest recipient of the largest offer ever made to a starting pitcher in league history. Meanwhile , the front office of the organization under the authority of Magic Johnson a minority stakeholder in the franchise has informed team President Stan Kasten that a sizable offer should be made to sign the pitcher , in what is likely to be the largest contract offer for a starting pitcher that is likely to top the $180 million contract currently in existence with Detroit Tigers’ ace Justin Verlander . AP Photo / Joe Morrison ….

(7) Golden Warriors’ CEO & Chairman Joe Lacob and Peter Guber , are two of the primary owners of the NBA franchise . Lacob a former senior partner with capital asset management company Kleiner , Perkins , Caufield & Byers LLC , is now said to mulling over whether or not it is feasible to make an unsolicited $600 million bid for the Oakland Athletics . Current A’s owner Lew Wolff has not issued a public statement concerning the issue , who along with GM Billy Beane are part of franchise’s ownership group , with Wolff being a majority stake holder. Getty Images / Paul Woodley …..

(8) Oakland A’s team President Michael Crowley , left , is seen here with Lew Wolff , center and GM Billy Beane . All three individuals have yet to issue a public statement concerning what is said to be an aggressive and audacious $600 million bid for the AL West based baseball franchise . Chronicle / Kristina Koci Hernandez ….

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It’s Image First And Then A Matter of Perception …..

It’s Image First And Then A Matter of Perception …..

By tophatal ……..

November 7th 1991 should be a day that is synonymous with the NBA because that was the day when former Los Angeles Lakers’ great Ervin ” Magic” Johnson announced his retirement from the game , having contracted HIV the precursor to the full blown AIDS virus . Johnson since his retirement has been a staunch advocate of AIDS education , AIDS research and a philanthropist to numerous causes worldwide through his Magic Johnson Foundation . Now a multi-millionaire several times over, the former NBA player is now a very successful business entrepreneur through a multi faceted corporation that now bears his name Magic Johnson Enterprises Inc . The company now employs in excess of 15,000 people nationwide and through his latest endeavor Magic Johnson in association with Detroit native Dan Gilbert and Dave Bing , have joined the mayor of the city , in seeking to redevelop downtown Detroit , Michigan.

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Now inasmuch as I have enjoyed Johnson’s career as an NBA professional and his historical matches with sometime nemesis Larry Bird that simply heightened the presence before the Michael Jordan dominated era of the mid to early to late nineties . The shock of that announcement , that he had contracted the AID’S virus with the player stating he caught to the disease through his sexual proclivity in having sex with numerous sexual partners whilst on the road with the Los Angeles Lakers . Magic Johnson , a married man with two grown children and a devoted wife in Cookie Johnson , has been extremely lucky . His wife had she chosen to , could have successfully filed for divorce and taken half his considerable fortune which is now estimated to be in the region of $750 million . Johnson is still a well respected figure in the greater Los Angeles area and perhaps one the most beloved Lakers’ players of all-time .

A five time NBA champion , multiple MVP as well as Finals’ MVP winner . Magic Johnson’s career is littered with great achievements but perhaps as the player has stated , the Olympic gold as part of the USA Dream Team simply filled him with pride and his greatest professional accolade of all. That team was perhaps the greatest assembly of NBA talent in basketball history . Amongst those on that team roster were Karl Malone , David Robinson , Patrick Ewing , Michael Jordan , John Stockton , Chris Mullin and Scottie Pippen .. The team’s win at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain , if anything raised the profile of the NBA and its global presence because stars such as Johnson and Jordan. But if anything it is the former Chicago Bulls player who is more known across the globe .

Now one could choose to ignore Magic Johnson’s formal announcement as simply one of another player simply being caught up in another scandal of sexual impropriety . But here, it was more than an act of sexual proclivity but wherein , Johnson was announcing to the world he had HIV and which in its earliest form is the precursor to full blown AIDS . In the early nineties there was little that immunologists fully understood about the disease that would go on to kill in excess of 500,000 people over the next decade and where in certain parts of the world (African continent) it is almost a pandemic . The CDC , AMA , NIH as well as the UN (United Nations) have all conducted studies of the disease and how best to treat it . Anti-retroviral drugs such as AZT along with a slew of other drug cocktails is thought to be the best treatment to abate the spread of the virus and it has been this recipe that is thought to abate the spreading of HIV through Johnson’s body.

I cannot say that I feel any empathy towards Magic Johnson but the fact that the player had been in complete denial while still having the audacity to return home to his wife and having unprotected sex with her ____ having already slept with one of his numerous paramours. Does that remind you of anybody else ? Perhaps another well known sport’s icon who also happened to be at one time the world’s number one ranked golfer ? Tiger Woods may not have contracted HIV but his own sexual peccadilloes were no different from that of Magic Johnson, as both tried to initially to apportion blame for their actions elsewhere. And now while both individuals have acknowledged their misdeeds it has been their actions since that have created our own perceptions of both athletes . Woods is still thought of as a pariah amongst the public while the NBA great seems to be more beloved than ever before .

Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden are both well respected collegiate coaches. The former Florida State coach may well have been forced out of his position as the Seminoles’ football coach . But the drama and latest scandal now enveloping Penn State and its football program might just bring about the demise of the illustrious football coach Joe Paterno. It may not well have been what the coach knew but what he might not have done in acting appropriately and with due diligence concerning his former assistant Jerry Sandusky .

If you’re unaware of the latest happenings with regard to Penn State , well it is the fact that Sandusky has been indicted by the state attorney’s general’s office on 40 counts of sexual assault , sexual battery , lewd and lascivious acts on several minors encompassing a span of fifteen years from 1992 up until 2007. Pennsylvania State Attorney General Linda Kelly in discussing the indictment against Sandusky this past Monday in Harrisburg , Pennsylvania has publicly requested the assistance of the general public asking that any other victims of Jerry Sandusky’s heinous acts come forward in that they can further pursue charges against the former coach. One such incident details in great length an attack by Paterno’s former assistant that has the assailant forcing himself on a ten year old boy in the showers of an campus locker room. The coach is said to have forcibly sodomized the victim anally in this reported incident of 2002. This event is said to have been witnessed by Mike McQueary a graduate assistant at the time , who then reported the attack to Joe Paterno. The head football coach reported this event to Tim Curley , now the former athletics’ director who is now said to be on administrative leave . Also advised of this attack was the school’s vice president Gary Schultz . The university’s vice president has now retired , but it is becoming increasingly clear that both will have to answer a number of questions concerning both administrators not taking the appropriate actions deemed necessary . Curley and Schultz failed to advise law enforcement of the attack and other incidents that are said to have taken place on the campus of the university. So egregious were the actions of Tim Curley and Gary Schultz that the duo are also now under indictment in charges filed upon further in depth investigations carried State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan’s office .

Jerry Sandusky used his foundation The Second Mile Group to procure these young boys for his alleged sexual procurement for his activities . And the very thought that the coach used the campus as a place to actually perpetrate some of his acts was deplorable . Now coming to Paterno’s defense is Matt Millen an alumni of the school , which to my mind is asinine given the allegations that have been made ! If Millen , who also sits on the aforementioned foundation , himself should be very disturbed ashamed by these allegations , rather than jumping to the defense of his former coach’s defense. If anything he ought to be perturbed and angry by the complete lack of accountability , compliance and the protection of these young adolescents . But then again this is simply what I would come to expect of an odious and self absorbed asshole to begin with ! Was it not Millen who as the former general manager and head of Football Operations for the Detroit Lions in his short tenure , simply made that organization a laughing stock within the NFL fraternity with his lack of assessing personnel only to make some considerable dubious draft selections during his sojourn with the organization .

What is also now coming into question are the actions of Joe Paterno , what he knew and what he may well have failed to have acknowledged . His relationship with his former assistant defensive coordinator is said to be a very close one , wherein Sandusky is said to be a trusted aide and confidante of the legendary coach. I have long felt that Joe Paterno should have retired from the ranks of collegiate football !. Instead he simply glided along chasing down and surpassing the records of collegiate football wins at the D1 level .While the football program of Penn State is an illustrious one and its reputation has been solely built upon the achievements and success of Joe Paterno , it has to be said that over the past few years the success under the coach has been fleeting. The school’s board of regents were said to be discussing with their legal counsel what steps should be taken in light of this latest scandal that has the school embroiled in a mounting web of deceit and callous behavior that has decimated the lives of several young innocent victims and their immediate family. If out of loyalty and an act of friendship Paterno has erred in judgment in protecting Jerry Sandusky then the only alternative the now beleaguered coach has , then it is to immediately step down from his position as head coach of a program that he has overseen for over three and a half decades.

No one can actually suggest that Joe Paterno should be allowed to retain his position as head coach of Penn State in light of these allegations . And that is even if he is not directly involved with the acts of Jerry Sandusky , what we can view this episode another case of a coach simply blinded by his own success and someone who is complete denial as to the serious ramifications of the allegations and the damage it has done in tarnishing the school’s reputation. I know that there will be a solid throng of loyal supporters , Penn State students and alumni included of Joe Paterno , but surely now even they have to realize that it is time for the veteran coach to step down ? If they cannot see that the coach’s lack of forthright action and if anything evidence of real compassion . Either these individuals are that naive or they are completely lacking an iota of intelligence !

Now there will be a number of people asking how this will affect the recruitment of future prospects for the program . My question for those individuals is who well fucking cares ? Surely what has happened to these victims is far more worthy of their attention than the rather self serving asinine stupidity in thinking that a school’s football program is far more important than the sexual assaults perpetrated numerous young victims who were far too young to comprehend exactly what they were being subjected by a callous sexual deviant ! It has been this sort of inaction and denial that we have all seen perpetrated by none other than hierarchy within the Roman Catholic church and particular within several dioceses across the country (United States) over the past two decades.

Paterno’s weekly conference wherein he discusses the program with the local and national media has been cancelled but the coach’s son Scott Paterno is said to be arranging a private conference for the print and television media , whereby his father can answer all of the questions which one would expect will encompass these allegations . From my own standpoint if the questions are pointed then there is no doubt in my mind the Paterno’s will be advised by their own legal counsel on how to respond to any question that could very well implicate the coach and the state attorney’s office and their ongoing investigation. Alas, we have another collegiate program that is teetering on the brink because of its sheer ineptitude in doing what was said to be right .

So dire and acute is the situation that NCCA President Mark Emmert is seeking a private meeting with Penn State University President Graham Spanier to discuss the matter privately . Publicly Emmert has said little on the matter other than to suggest that until all legal avenues have been totally resolved he cannot make any specific statement as to the matter of guilt or innocence concerning all of the parties involved . Once again another faux-pas within the collegiate athletic landscape that the NCAA is now left on the outside looking in . How many more catastrophes and acts of gross criminality must there be , before this specific hierarchy (NCAA) actually pull its finger out of its own ass and act appropriately instead of simply lifting up that finger merely to check which direction the wind is actually blowing ? Is that too much to ask at this juncture ?

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What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the points raised within this article ? Simply leave a comment as you would deem fit and I will do my utmost to respond with a succinct and noteworthy response ! .

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(1) Magic Johnson recounts his journey over the last 20 years, his retirement after contracting the HIV virus, during a Magic Johnson Foundation event in Los Angeles on Monday, Non. 7, 2011. Johnson shocked the world on Nov. 7, 1991, when he revealed his HIV diagnosis. In the 20 years since, the Lakers great’s strong health and tireless work in AIDS awareness have changed the world’s perception of the disease. AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes ….

(2) Magic Johnson takes questions from the media about living with the HIV virus during a Magic Johnson Foundation event in Los Angeles on Monday, Nov. 7, 2011. Johnson shocked the world on Nov. 7, 1991, when he revealed his HIV diagnosis. In the 20 years since, the Lakers great’s strong health and tireless work in AIDS awareness have changed the world’s perception of the disease. AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes ……

(3) Edison Learning President and CEO Jeff Wahl , left, and former NBA great Earvin “Magic” Johnson speak during a news conference announcing Johnson is lending his name and business prowess to an education company to benefit urban schools, Monday, Sept. 12, 2011, in Los Angeles. Magic Johnson Enterprises and EdisonLearning are forming a partnership that will concentrate on services to help urban school districts boost their performance and reduce dropout rates. AP Photo/Reed Saxon ….

(4) Johnson is seen here with his family , wife Earlitha “Cookie” Johnson , his son Eavrvin III, and adopted daughter Elisa . The former NBA star also has a son Andre Johnson from a previous relationship . Courtesy of BlackCelebs.com …. @ copyrighted material ……all right reserved

(5) Dan Gilbert, left, and Earvin (Magic) Johnson announce Thursday at Quicken Loans that Johnson has joined —- Detroit Venture Partners as a general partner. / Photos by SUSAN TUSA/Detroit Free Press ….

(6) TUSCALOOSA, AL – FILE: Head coach Joe Paterno of the Penn State ( Nittany Lions) during warmups before facing the Alabama (Crimson Tide) at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 11, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. According to reports on November 9, 2011, Paterno will step down as head coach at the end of the season amid allegations that former assistant Jerry Sandusky was involved with child sex abuse. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images …..

(7) STATE COLLEGE, PA – NOVEMBER 08 Penn State University students sing outside of the home of head football coach Joe Paterno during November 8, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images ….

(8) Penn State University head football coach Joe Paterno talks from inside his home to a large group of students who gathered at his house on November 8, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania. Behind Paterno is his son Scott Paterno . (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images ……

(9) Members of the media stand outside of Beaver Stadium after the school announced that Penn State football head coach Joe Paterno’s weekly news conference was cancelled, November 8, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images ….

(10) Penn State football Sports Information Director Jeff Nelson turns away from the media after reading a statement announcing that head coach Joe Paterno’s weekly news conference was cancelled, outside of the Beaver Stadium, November 8, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania. Amid allegations that former football assistant Jerry Sandusky was involved in child sex abuse, Paterno’s weekly news conference was canceled about an hour before it was scheduled to occur. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images …….

(11) Penn State athletic director Tim Curley walks out of the Magisterial District Court after being arraigned on charges of perjury and failure to report under Pennsylvania’s child protective services law on November 7, 2011 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Curley and Penn State university vice president Gary Schultz have resigned, and will face arraignment on charges they lied to a grand jury investigating suspected child abuse involving the university’s former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images ….

(12) Penn State university vice president Gary Schultz walks into the Magisterial District Court to be arraigned on charges of perjury and failure to report under Pennsylvania’s child protective services law on November 7, 2011 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Schultz and Penn State athletic director Tim Curley have resigned, and will face arraignment on charges they lied to a grand jury investigating suspected child abuse involving the university’s former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky . Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images ….

(13) FILE – In this Oct. 29, 2011 file photo, Penn State President Graham Spanier, left, and Athletic Director Tim Curley, center, present head football coach Joe Paterno with a plaque commemorating his 409th collegiate win after an NCAA college football game against Illinois in State College, Pa. Curley is expected to turn himself in on Monday, Nov. 7, 2011, in Harrisburg, Pa., as he has been charged with perjury and failure to report under Pennsylvania’s child protective services law in connection with the investigation into allegations former football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky sexually abused eight young men, the state attorney general’s office said Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011. Getty Images/ Martin Scott …..

(14) Jerry Sandusky and Joe Paterno seen here at Beaver Stadium , College Station ,PA. Sandusky the former defensive coordinator and a close confidante of the octogenarian coach. Jerry Sandusky is now under several indictments stemming from a sexual assault dating back to 2002. However, there is mounting evidence to suggest that the state attorney’s office will also pursue other charges against the coach . AP Photo /Phil Rasmussen …..

(15) Linda Kelly, a longtime prosecutor in the Pittsburgh office of the U.S. attorney, appears at a news conference Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011, in Harrisburg, Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett announced he would nominate Kelly to succeed him as Pennsylvania’s attorney general. AP Photo/Marc Levy ….

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You’re Only As Good As Your Last Game ……. Unfortunately If Your Last Game Was Good As The Ones That’ve Been Played By The Cavaliers and Wizards Then Than That’s Not Saying A Great Deal ………….. !

You’re Only As Good As Your Last Game ……. Unfortunately If Your Last Game Was Good As The Ones That’ve Been Played By The Cavaliers and Wizards Then Than That’s Not Saying A Great Deal ………….. !

I’m sorry but being an avid NBA fan I’ve always loved the spirit of competition and that goes through a whole litany of sports that I’ve either grown up participating in or watching from afar. At present but there’s no other way to explain it but there really are some god-damn awful teams in the league at present . And it’s clearly down to the lack of real quality coaches in the NBA and the very fact that in large part many of the players simply aren’t that good.

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At present the two worst teams in the league record wise are Minnesota Timberwolves (11-30) and the preposterously bad Cleveland Cavaliers (8-39). I’m sorry but not even Byron Scott can now coach this team out of the mess that they’re in. Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert may well have made the fans in Cleveland a promise that a NBA title banner would be raised inside the Quicken Loans Arena before LeBron James and the Miami Heat would be a led to title by the former Cavaliers’ player. And I know that as of late the Heat have had their problems in the league with a number of setbacks and the fact that their triumvirate of James , Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade have suddenly become injury prone and the very fact that the team’s —- productivity has been a little inconsistent . Well it won’t hide the fact that they’re still one of the teams to beat in the Eastern Conference .

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra I’ve no doubt is a capable coach and will right the ship and I can see them contending . The same however cannot be said of the Cavaliers as they descend into an abyss of mediocrity. There’s not been enough that can be said about this team as they have lost 20 consecutive games . And if you thought that statistic was bad then you’ve only got to simply look at the team’s statistics to see how bad things have really become for the organization as a whole. Even with a veteran such as Antawn Jamison on board the Cavaliers simply hasn’t had an answer for any of their opponents that they’ve met this season.

It goes without saying that the only hope that the Cleveland Cavaliers may now have is to go for broke and simply just “tank the season” in the hope that they can earn one of the top picks in the 2011 NBA Draft. And with there being such an abundance of talent in the college ranks namely Kemba Walker , Jared Sullinger , Darius Morris , Marcus Morris , Jimmer Fredette , and Kyle Singler amongst a litany young college players who’ll be looking to make their mark at the professional level. It may well on appearance not be such a bad thing were the Cavaliers to go down that particular path. At this juncture I’m wondering also how Dan Gilbert’s demeanor has to be doing . In an offseason where he berates LeBron James for abandoning the team , I find it mildly amusing that much of this could have been avoided had both parties involved acted with common courtesy rather than letting this idiotic play out in public for their own personal consumption !

Now while no one can deny that John Wall had a stellar collegiate career with the Kentucky Wildcats but his career thus far with the Washington Wizards (13-35) has been anything but average at best. And while praise has been heaped upon the player I can’t help but feel that they’re simply not good enough to be even competitive within the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference. A number one overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft Wall was seen as the corner piece of this team with him perhaps working in part alongside Gilbert Arenas . But alas, that wasn’t to be as the seasoned veteran was shipped off to the Orlando Magic as part of a multi-player multi-team deal .

Say what you will but the Wizards’ fans in attendance at the Verizon Center in Washington , DC can’t have envisaged this all unfolding as a spectacle in front of their very eyes. Their season has been bad enough as it is with the inconsistency playing to all facets of the Wizards’ game . And with what has taken place with the Washington Redskins and their rather mundane season under the tenure of Mike Shanahan , Kyle Shanahan and that rather mediocre coaching staff , in truth one could have a great deal of sympathy for the fans in the nation’s capitol. It’s not as if the Washington Nationals were about to provide them with any solace whatsoever. Although the fans are holding out for a change in fortunes for the team this upcoming season at the Nationals Ballpark . I’d say at this moment in time they’d be better off praying for hell to freeze over first before they can see any of the three teams in question actually turn themselves into championship contenders.

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I’m not so sure as to what needs to be done in order for the Washington Wizards to be competitive. From a coaching standpoint this young roster needs to learn as much as they can as fast as they can if they’re to show any semblance of progress . And that’s the real task that Flip Saunders is now facing even with the assistance of his coaching staff led by Randy Wittman and former NBA player Sam Cassell . If this staff cannot get this Wizards’ team heading in the right direction then to my mind then the turnaround in fortunes that they seek won’t be happening anytime soon ! And that will be to the embarrassment of the Wizards’ front office , GM Ernie Grunfeld and that of principal managing partner Ted Leonsis .

Now when these two teams meet at the Verizon Center I’d certainly like to think that the NBA hierarchy won’t have the temerity to make this part of the national broadcast or through their cable broadcast on their own in-house provider NBA Tv . As poor as the two teams have been playing I certainly don’t think that the nation ought to have to endure such garbage ! Simply put , this will do absolutely nothing to enhance the brand of the NBA , certainly not the brand and product that has given us Jordan , Kareem , Malone , Ewing , Magic Johnson , the 95-96 Bulls’ team and a slew of other NBA greats !

As an avid fan of the game just like any other NBA fan I’d prefer to see competitive games with levels of dexterity and athleticism . Unfortunately when the Cavaliers and Wizards meet on Sunday 13 th February that’s unlikely to happen ! Somehow I think at this juncture I’m sure that David Stern is looking for options if not a chance perhaps to ask that both teams simply settle the result of the game by playing checkers rather than subjecting the nation to this particular form of mediocrity on an NBA basketball court .

What thoughts if any do you have on the NBA season and the woefully inept form of the teams lumbering at the bottom of their respective divisions ? Simply chime in with your thoughts on this topic and any other as it relates to the NBA .

Alan aka tophatal

Picture and slide show details immediately below .

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(1)Memphis Grizzlies’ Zach Randolph, right, knocks the ball away from Minnesota Timberwolves’ Kevin Love in the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011, in Minneapolis. Randolph was charged with a foul on the play. AP Photo/Jim Mone ……….

(2) Minnesota Timberwolves’ Darko Milicic, center, of Serbia, crouches between Memphis Grizzlies’ Marc Gasol, left, of Spain, and Sam Young in the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011, in Minneapolis. AP Photo/Jim Mone ….

(3) Danny Granger (33) of the Indiana Pacers shoots against Christian Eyenga (8) of the Cleveland Cavaliers at The Quicken Loans Arena on February 2, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images ……

(4)Fans hope for the end of the Cleveland Cavaliers losing streak, in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011, in Cleveland. The Cavaliers continued a disappointing season, losing 117-112 to the Pacers, as the streak reached 22 straight. I’d like to think that the Cavaliers’ fans have now become very much more appreciative of the team’s losing streak and their continued mediocre effort being shown on the court ? AP Photo/Mark Duncan …….

(5)Cleveland Cavaliers’ Manny Harris shoots against Indiana Pacers’ Mike Dunleavy, right, in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011, in Cleveland. The Pacers won 117-112 to hand the Cavaliers their 22nd straight loss. AP Photo/Mark Duncan …..

(6) Cleveland Cavaliers coach Byron Scott, center, is flanked by his coaching staff, from left, Paul Pressey, Chris Jent, Jamahl Mosley and Joe Prunty , Monday September 27th 2010 at the team’s training facility in Independence ,Ohio ,. Picture courtesy of Associated Press .

(7) Alonzo Gee (33) of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives against the Indiana Pacers at The Quicken Loans Arena on February 2, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images ……

(8) Washington Wizards point guard John Wall walks onto the court at the end of a timeout in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Hornets in New Orleans, Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011. Wall shot two for 11 with four points in Washington’s 97-89 loss to New Orleans. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky ………..

(9) Washington Wizards head coach Flip Saunders reacts to an official’s call in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Hornets in New Orleans, Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011. New Orleans defeated Washington 97-89. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky ……

(10) Washington Wizards guard Nick Young, right, shoots over New Orleans Hornets forward Jason Smith during the second half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011. New Orleans defeated Washington 97-89, despite a game-high 30 points from Young. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky ……..

(11) LeBron James smiles as he’s introduced to the crowd at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School with owner Dan Gilbert, left, general manager Danny Ferry, second from the left, and coach Mike Brown, second from the right. In happier times the quartet saw untold success from a competitive and financial standpoint but the past offseason led to a tumultuous upheaval with Danny Ferry re-signing as general manager , Mike Brown being fired and as we all know James left the Cavaliers to ply his trade elsewhere with the Miami Heat. Gus Chan / The Plain Dealer ….

(12) Billionaire internet and media mogul Ted Leonsis the principal owner of the Washington Wizards as well as the NHL’s —- Washington Capitals . Leonsis and his partners bought the Wizards from the late Abe Pollin and his family . Courtesy of The Washington Post/ Getty Images/ Christian Hascher …………

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Eye candy ………………. Meet ‘Biscuits’ whose assets seem to be very well rounded wouldn’t you say ?

Continue reading “You’re Only As Good As Your Last Game ……. Unfortunately If Your Last Game Was Good As The Ones That’ve Been Played By The Cavaliers and Wizards Then Than That’s Not Saying A Great Deal ………….. !”

It Was The Best of Times It Was The Worst of Times The Rise And Fall of Isiah Thomas …………..

Perhaps it’s me but there has to be something extremely wrong in the world of sports when once a great player is said to be disliked so much by the peers of his era. The reason I say this , is having read an article in today’s edition of the online edition , sports section of Los Angeles Daily News – that it has me wondering what in God’s name could’ve brought about such a chilling relationship between two former greats of the NBA , in Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson and Isiah Thomas.

When  The Game  Was   Ours  .....   Book  written  jointly  by   Magic  Johnson   and  Larry   Bird   in  conjunction  with  Jackie Mullan  .

The cover the book which is soon to be released entitled ‘When The Game Was Ours’. The book details the rivalry and friendship that grew out of the relationship between Larry Bird and Magic Johnson from their college days through to their epic rivalriy in the NBA. The book written by Bird and Johnson in conjunction with Jackie Mullan , details also the fractured relationship that came about between Johnson and Isiah Thomas. picture appears courtesy of ap/photos ……

Egos asides , history tells us that these two players were amongst the greatest to have played the game of basketball in the NBA. And with both having climbed the game’s ultimate pinnacle, each having won an NBA title. There’s not much more that can really be said about these two superstars of the game. Other than the fact, that theirs is very much a fractured relationship. Perhaps built out of greed , envy and maybe a combination of the two ? But to have Magic tell it , this all surrounded his being diagnosed with HIV in 1991.Though it didn’t immediately bring an end to Johnson’s professional career. It did had some people questioning whether or not it was appropriate for him to still be on the basketball court playing the game.

Johnson  and  Thomas  seen  here  in   public   exchanging  a  few pleasantries   at   some  point  in   2004 .

Johnson and Thomas seen here in public ,exchanging a few pleasantries at some point in 2004. picture appears courtesy of ap/afp/photo/ James Richards …………

And the premise behind much of Johnson’s wrath and disdain laid in the fact that , he didn’t think it right that Thomas should’ve been asking others or even questioning his sexuality as he puts it. Much of the nineties hiv/aids was primarily viewed as a gay affliction , most notably amongst homosexual males. But there was a preponderance to suggest that it was also being transferred intravenously through the sharing of dirty needles through overt drug use. And it was in fact spreading amongst the hetero sexual community as well as being on the rise with the intravenous drug users. Johnson for his part, acknowledged that he caught the virus through having unprotected sex with numerous females other than his wife over the years of his playing basketball ,professionally. Which begs the question who’s really the victim here ? Magic Johnson or his wife and family ?

The  US  Dream  Team of   1992   , which went  on  to   win Olympic  gold   in the  men's  basketball   competition.  They defeated    Croatia   17-85  to  take  home  the  gold  medal in the  competition.   Their  average  margin  of  victory  in the  Olympics  was  35  points  per  game.        picture  appears courtesy of   reuters/   Alexander  Hutchinson  .................

The US Dream Team from the 1992 US men’s Olympic basketball competition of that year. They would defeat Croatia in a memorable final 117-85 to take home the gold medal in the competition. Their average margin of victory throughout the tournament was 35 points per game. And it’s arguably understandable why 12 players on the roster are amongst the 50 greatest players in NBA history. The roster for the Dream Team from left to right back row , Patrick Ewing, Earvin Johnson, David Robinson, 2nd row , Christian Laettner, Karl Malone, third row , Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, coach Chuck Daly, Charles Barkley and Chris Mullin . Front row , Scottie Pippen, John Stockton and finally Clyde Drexler . picture appears courtesy of reuters/ Alexander Hutchinson ………….

The repercussion of this all was , albeit a maneuver which Johnson fully acknowledged he engineered- was to make sure that Thomas was never going to be a part of the original ‘Dream Team’ for the 1992 Olympics held in Barcelona , Spain. The team coached by the late Chuck Daly. A team, that was filled at the time , with a litany of NBA All Stars, with the exception a young college player by the name of Christian Laettner. The lone college player on the roster and a member of the Duke University (Blue Devils) who repeated that same year as NCAA champions. It’s arguable whether or not Johnson held that much sway as to the makeup of the roster at the time. But I certainly think that Thomas as a player wasn’t at all liked by certain members of that team, at the time. As to whether or not Magic Johnson can lay claim that much of this was because of him with regard to Thomas was overlooked for the team. One can really only speculate on the subject. If anything it may well be Johnson wanting to interject himself and his ego into the matter.

Courtesy of Los Angeles Daily News:

Lakers great Magic Johnson expected strong reaction from Isiah Thomas regarding book

By Tom Hoffarth, Staff Writer

NBA: Lakers great says about long-time friend, `We both move on and keep going.’

If Magic Johnson’s fractured friendship with Isiah Thomas suffers further collateral damage by a book released this week, there doesn’t seem to be much movement for any kissing and making up in the near future.

In “When The Game Was Ours,” a book coming out Wednesday co-authored by Johnson and Larry Bird to recount their basketball rivalry- turned-brotherhood starting 30 years ago, a few egos have been stepped on when diverting to other sidelights.

Johnson writes how more than miffed he was that Thomas began asking people close to both of them whether Johnson was gay after it was revealed he had HIV in 1991. He adds that he helped orchestrate blackballing the Detroit Pistons’ All-Star guard from being picked for the 1992 U.S. Olympic “Dream Team.”

When book excerpts came out last week on SI.com, Thomas, the former Detroit Pistons All-Star guard who just took over as head coach at Florida International University, responded: “I’m really hurt, and I really feel taken advantage of for all these years. I’m totally blindsided by this. …

“I didn’t know he felt this way … What most people don’t know is, before Magic had HIV, my brother had HIV. My brother died of HIV, AIDS, drug abuse. So I knew way more about the disease, because I was living with it in my house.”

Johnson said Monday he wasn’t surprised by Thomas’ reaction to the book.

“No surprise, that’s just a part of life,” Johnson said. “Isiah’s got to worry now about his Florida team and his life going on, and I’ve got to worry about my businesses. We both move on and keep going.”

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Johnson’s and Thomas’ career paths after basketball have diverged and intersected along the way. Though not at the same time, in terms of their professional accomplishments. Both have tried their hands at coaching. Without much undue success to be shown in terms of success. Johnson for his part even had a failed late night talk show for that matter. Of which, those of us who might have been watching, must have felt that the Fox network either made a genuine mistake or they completely overestimated Magic’s appeal to a television audience. The show itself came, and went with the blink of an eye. It was indeed terrible ! As Johnson’s command of the English language and its vernacular bordered on being awful to say the very least. He has however , kept himself involved in the game behind the scenes as minority stakeholder in the Los Angeles Lakers’ franchise. And at the same time he’s become a wealthy entrepreneur in a wide range of diverse businesses. Building himself an accumulated wealth said to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. His vast business interests has over 7,000 people in its employ and generates in excess of $2 billion dollars a year in gross revenues. Much of that has brought a great deal of investment to the inner cities blighted urban decay and crime.

Johnson  seen  here  with  hjs   family  ,  his   wife  Cookie pictured next him   along   with    his   son  EJ , 17 and   daughter   Elisa 14.  Johnson  also  has an  older  son  Andre  aged   20.    picture appears  courtesy of  ap/photo/ Ross  Harrison  ..............

Johnson seen here with hjs family, his wife Cookie pictured next him, along with his son EJ ,aged 17 and daughter Elisa,14. Johnson also has an older son Andre aged 20. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Ross Harrison …………..

But it’d also be remiss not to mention his philanthropic efforts through his Magic Johnson Foundation . Set up in part to educate about aids awareness and to assist those in some way afflicted by the disease. The foundation also gives out scholarships to needy students and it also assist in community aid programs. Johnson by his own volition has gone out to set an example for others to follow.

Thomas after his stint as a coach with the Indiana Pacers. He then was tapped to take over the woefully inept New York Knicks. He was installed as the team’s general manager. And his relationship with the then coach , Larry Brown , can be best described of covering the gamut from being contentious to downright asinine and comical. Brown’s own dismissal wasn’t at all totally unexpected. But what transpired next with Thomas installing himself as the coach. Well , let’s just say that everything from thereon in for the Knicks went downhill. What Thomas brought to the Knicks as a coach, is akin to Paris Hilton being asked to teach a class in quantum physics. The one certainty that we know is that the exercise is doomed for disaster. And the same can be said for the ‘Isiah Thomas’ experiment in New York.

The fans railed on Thomas for his roster moves but even more so for the lack of competitiveness shown by the team . And much of this transpired under the watchful eye of the Knicks’ corporate parent Cablevision Systems . Which is in turn owned by the Dolan family . Money was of no object for the NBA’s wealthiest franchise in terms of value. But when it came to showing common sense and due diligence. Well, none of that was forthcoming from either party involved . In this case that would be James Dolan and Isiah Thomas. The team has been a model of inconsistency under Thomas’ reign and when added to the fact he and the organization were embroiled in a sexual harassment and wrongful termination suit. It only added to comedy of errors that as unraveling with the Knicks’ organization. If nothing else, one could only watch from afar and wonder what was about to happen next. Needless to say that the writing was on the wall once James Dolan saw that ‘enough was enough’ and that the idiocy had to be stopped in its tracks.

Dolan initially moved Thomas into a consultancy position within the Knicks’ organization and then brought in Donnie Walsh to oversee the player personnel activity within the New York Knicks as VP and Head of Basketball Operations. At a later date they sought out and hired former Phoenix Suns‘ coach Mike D’Antoni .

Thomas  seen  here  with a  young   FIU  fan  at  the Panthers'  Alumni  Basketball  Preview  .

Thomas , now coach of the FIU Panthers is seen here with a young fan , Jordi Fernandez , 13 , at the Panthers’ Alumni Basketball Preview. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Wilfredo Lee ………………

Knowing that his role was ever diminishing, Thomas left the organization citing that he was seeking out fresh business opportunities. Little did we know that those opportunities would be as a coach within the collegiate ranks of basketball. He found himself being hired by Florida International University (FIU-Panthers). He states, ….. ‘ that it’s been a life long ambition of mine to give back to the college student athlete and to enhance their lives as not only students but also as outstanding citizens as well ‘. A very commendable thought indeed, on his part ! As to whether or Isiah can make a success of it as basketball coach within the collegiate ranks. It remains to be seen but certainly he can’t do much worse than in his tenure with the New York Knicks . Or can he ?