Whining gets you nowhere when you want to feel good about your team, especially when you realize they’re on the decline

Whining gets you nowhere when you want to feel good about your team, especially when you realize they’re on the decline

As the NBA season has yet to get into full swing there are now a number of situations beginning to unwind concerning the frailities of a number of teams. In something of a debate, but though a little contentious , a patron on a site suggested that the Dallas Mavericks, a perennial contender was perhaps one of the best franchises in the NBA. All true, as the Mavericks have indeed won an NBA Final where Dirk Nowitzki won the Finals’ MVP in leading the team in a surprising victory over what was then an overrated Miami Heat team led by LeBron James.

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Mark Cuban , the always none too shy, self publicity seeking owner of the Dallas Mavericks, as ever opinionated makes the statement he would like to see the Oklahoma City Thunder “tank” their season . With two of their most senior and best players sidelined by injuries , Oklahoma has made do without both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. I get the feeling, Cuban sees this as the best opportunity for the Mavericks to gain a postseason berth because his team has very little chance of winning what has always been a very competitive Southwest Division within the Western Conference.

Off to a 4-3 start to the season Rick Carlisle and his coaching staff will certainly know this will almost certainly be Dirk Nowitzki’s last season in a Mavericks’ uniform. The center’s career with the franchise has indeed made him the face of the Mavericks during his tenure and a likely Hall of Fame inductee having met the eligibility requirements. Nowitzki leads the team in many of the relevant statistical categories which matter the most .

Coming off a 105-96 loss to the Miami Heat where Monta Ellis led the scoring drive for the Mavericks in this contest. Nowitzki had a solid all-round game but not one where you could state he made a difference with the result. The flaws on the Mavericks are there to be seen, with their being very little resilience from this team with regard to theirdefensive capabilities. Dallas may well be able to outscore their opponents, but clearly defensively , the team cannot defend when a game is on the line and it will continue to be the ‘Achilles’ Heel’ for the Dallas Mavericks.

Next up for Dallas will be the opportunity for the team to gauge themselves against DeMarcus Cousins and a good Sacramento Kings’ team looking to make a clear statement they are ready to compete with the very best the conference and NBA has to offer this season.

DeMarcus Cousins is now growing into his own as a player , albeit, his stature is not where it should be for a player with a great deal of talent and who has repeatedly failed to show the maturity sought by the Kings’ coaching staff and front office and team owner Vivek Ranadive .

You certainly don’t need to be a rocket scientist to realize the New York Knicks are struggling in the NBA this season. Head of Basketball Operations & SVP Phil Jackson was induced to return to the franchise where he made a name for himself as a player and won an NBA title with the franchise . This season the Knicks have been anything but consistent as the team led by Carmelo Anthony seeks to get over their early struggles. A six-point loss , 91-85 to the Atlanta Hawks was the Knicks’ third consecutive defeat suffered by team as they fall to 2-6 within the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference.

New York cajoled and plead with Carmelo Anthony to remain with the Knicks, on the premise they would build a competitive lineup to complement his talents as a player and the New York Knicks’ leading scorer this season. It is pretty much safe to say the Knicks are failing miserably and thought their year is somewhat of a microcosm of what was witnessed last year doesn’t provide the fans with a great deal of confidence. While attendance at Madison Square Garden in New York City , New York remains healthy , you have to wonder at what point these fans are likely voice their displeasure with the team and the coaching staff of Derek Fisher.

The Knicks if they are to succeed, in spite of the belief of their fans that this season could be the year where they are primed to make a deep playoff run in pursuit of their first NBA title in over four decades. Derek Fisher in his first season as a rookie head coach must be wondering if his mentor Phil Jackson ever had these type of struggles at any point during his career. Other than Carmelo Anthony there is not a bona-fide superstar on the Knicks’ roster. Amare’ Stoudemire is on the downside of a rather disappointing career , along with a thirty-seven year old Argentinian guard Pablo Prigioni , JR Smith, Andrea Bargnani and Samuel Dalembert are seen as the mainstays of this Knicks’ team. Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher know there are teething problems concerning the New York Knicks and their next five games will tell us a great deal about the franchise and the inner workings of the organization owned by James Dolan .

With a net worth of over $1.2 billion the New York Knicks remain the most valuable NBA franchise in spite of the exorbitant price of $2 billion paid by Steve Ballmer in his purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers . While Ballmer strives to make the Clippers a more recognized brand around the league, the Knicks have no such worries , with the franchise perhaps one of the most recognizable names in the NBA and one of the most revered sports’ franchises in North America . The Orlando Magic will be the guests of the New York Knicks on Wednesday when the two teams meet in the first of the scheduled meetings this season. Ballmer has seen the Clippers get off to an indifferent start with a 4-3 mark , seated fourth within the Pacific Division of the Western Conference 1 1/2 games behind division leaders the Golden State Warriors (5-1).

In their most recent game the Los Angeles Clippers’ fall to the San Antonio Spurs, where the reigning champions witnessed the trio of Tim Duncan , Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker combine for their five hundredth victory together as teammates. A singular feat , likely to go down in history but not necessarily lauded by the print and television media where even the NBA Network have been slow to laud the feat , but the network’s constant obeisance and ass kissing of the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks have become bile inducing beyond anyone’s scope and comprehension. Doc Rivers has his own trio of stars with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan laying swath to their opponents this season, but the real issue, has to be , can the coach get his team playing defense with a great deal more resilience ?

In the aftermath of the Donald Sterling fiasco the Los Angeles Clippers have shown they are ready to move on and put that lamentable chapter behind them . Unfortunately, were it not for the incompetency of the hierarchy’s handling of the issue , this matter might not have been so prolonged and a complete embarrassment to the league. As the Clippers’ ascent continues the fast spiraling descent of the Los Angeles Lakers continues abound.To date , Kobe Bryant has yet to show his anger or direct his angst towards his teammates or front office executives Jim Buss and GM Mitch Kupchak who in recent years have blundered with their acquisition of free agents and through a number of their recent draft classes .

Bryant as a multi- time time All Star has seen the Los Angeles Lakers’ season flounder with the loss of Steve Nash and rookie Julius Randle. Add in the fact head coach Byron Scott and the coaching staff are struggling to find their best lineup much get something from the roster in terms of depth . The Lakers got their first victory of the season with a 102-97 win over the Charlotte Hornets in game where Kobe Bryant and Jeremy Lin led all scorers for the Lakers in the contest and for the Hornets , Michael Kidd-Gilchrist leading the way for the for the visiting team. I am not so sure Bryant will be able to pull the Lakers out of their current abyss, not with a team that seems to lack a competitive edge and nature . Nonetheless , it will be interesting how they fare over remainder of the month and then throughout December as the NBA season gets into the heart of its schedule.

As the youngest League MVP in NBA history the Chicago Bulls’ (6-2) point guard Derrick Rose has seen his career take a meteoric trajectory . Rose at his very best happens to be one of the most electrifying players in the league and almost certainly among the top-five point guards playing the game today. The issue however, remains keeping Rose healthy where he can play an entire season for this team . Without him the Bulls tend to struggle as does provide the bulk of the team’s offense . Head coach Tom Thibodeau knows Rose remains the one asset , his team can do without and though over the past two postseasons the Bulls had admirable runs , those failures can point to the fact they were without their best player.

Chicago’s 6-2 mark is one of the best in the Eastern Conference and one of the best in the entire league . GM John Paxson was heavily criticized last season with the trading of Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers , but Deng now finds himself as the centerpiece of a revamped Miami Heat roster in the aftermath of the departure of LeBron James. The Bulls do not seemed to have missed a beat and their play this season has been scintillating at times , leading me to believe they might provide the biggest threat to the Cavaliers and James’ quest to bring an NBA title to Cleveland this season , which would be to the delight of team owner Dan Gilbert . James will be looking to add to his legacy and that of the Cleveland Cavaliers .

If there is one sport where the players feel theirs is a right to entitlement, the world of professional basketball would be it. Where else can the players be rewarded so highly , while leaving their peers within the NFL , and hockey its wake ? The demented lunacy that continues to exist within Major League Baseball (MLB) and the imbalances to be seen from a financial aspect , has me wondering how soon before that particular ” House of Cards” begins to fall ?

The NBA hides behind the idiocy of a “soft ” salary cap ($63.1 million) , while David Stern and his successor Adam Silver have repeatedly failed to rein in the expenses of the teams in terms of their payroll . Adam Silver as the NBA Commissioner , is not unlike Bud Selig , in his failing to address and admit his sport, has a major economic problem , even in spite of the countless, millions of dollars in annual revenues . Yes, while the burgeoning television contracts and team revenues continue to escalate , the NBA finds itself within its own personal Utopia . There still remains the question of trying to address declining viewership and in some cases the fall in attendance for teams around the league.

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Mikhail Prokorov and Paul Allen as the owners of the Brooklyn Nets and Portland Trailblazers had their teams entering this season with the highest payrolls in the NBA . Money is obviously of no issue for two of the wealthiest individuals in all of professional sports, with Prokhorov and Allen having a combined net worth exceeding $30 billion . Their teams are likely to become intertwined over the course of this season as both the Nets and Trailblazers seek to make their mark on the year. The first of their regular season meetings come on the 15th November when the Portland Trailblazers will play host to the Brooklyn Nets at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon,.

Portland will be looking to their combo of LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard to lead the way as they take on Deron Williams, Kevin Garnett and Brook Lopez of the Nets. Garnett the wily veteran of this Brooklyn team has long felt he can still be productive during the latter stages of his career. He has been as good as his word , giving given this roster some stability where it is needed and the coaching staff of Lionel Hollins have benefited from Kevin Garnett’s experience and leadership. Among active players, Garnett’s statstics weigh up favorably and it has been one of the defining points of his career with his durability and willingness to lead.

There is no denying , playing in a weak Eastern Conference does create the illusion great basketball is alive and well within the conference. In reality , nothing could be further from the truth with their being little to suggest the Eastern Conference is at all competitive . The hyperbole which surrounded the Miami Heat quickly brought a number of analysts and fans back down to earth, because they bought into the idiocy that LeBron James could carry the Heat though the postseason without really being assisted his supporting cast. When you consider the cast in question barely showed up during the NBA Finals , you have to wonder how anyone in their right mind favored the Heat , never mind the fact , they completely underestimated the San Antonio Spurs and their coach Gregg Popovich .

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Picture gallery .

With the NBA season still in its infancy , has there been an event or game which you feel is reflection of why the league remains pedantic ? Also which teams by your estimation are already in danger of seeing their season being flushed down the tubes ? Just leave a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support of this site, as it is gratefully appreciated !

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Picture and slideshow gallery below .

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(1) From left to right , 2011 Finals’ MVP Dirk Bowitzki is seen alongside teammates, Jason Kidd and Shawn Marion after the Dallas Mavericks’ triumph over the Miami Heat in the series to win their first championship in the franchise’s history.. Team owner Mark Cuban has not been afraid to spend money capriciously , but with Nowitzki likely to retire from the game, it will be interesting to see the lengths GM Donnie Nelson will go to , in rebuilding the team. AP Photo / Mike Carpenter …

(2) Mark Cuban left , owner of the Dallas Mavericks is seen here with the team’s head coach Rick Carlisle . The two will have a great deal of pondering to do at the end of this season , should the Dirk Nowitzki make the decision to retire from the game and the franchise where he has spent his entire NBA career . Getty Images North America / Moses Carter ..

(3) Reigning League MVP Kevin Durant shows a great deal of humility and humbleness, as he accepts his MVP Award. Durant is currently missing from the Oklahoma City Thunder lineup due to an injury that will keep him sidelined for at least two months, hampering the team’s chances of making a successful defense of their divisional crown . Head coach Scott Brooks hopes to see Durant back in a Thunder uniform by late December or early January , Also missing from the starting lineup is point guard Russell Westbrook . The duo are two of the league’s most potent offensive players accounting for over 63% of the team’s offense this past season . AP Photo/ Larry Mason …

(4) Phil Jackson now a senior executive within the New York Knicks’ front office has been entrusted with the decision making process for all personnel moves for the franchise. The former Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers’ head coach hired Derek Fisher to coach the team . Off to an inauspicious start Fisher and his coaching staff will have to make good on the wishes of their fans to make the postseason for the first time in three years . At their present rate the projected wins’ total for the Knicks seems to be no more than twenty-eight games . A record , unlikely get them a berth for the NBA Playoffs based on the last two years . AP Photo / Matt Turner …

(5) Former Microsoft Chairman Steve Ballmer is seen here with Los Angeles point guard Chris Paul , (right) at a Los Angeles Kings’ game . Ballmer purchased the Clippers for a record $2 billion , and with that an appreciation in the value of the NBA’s other twenty-nine teams is likely to take place . Getty Images North America …

(6) From left to right , Manu Ginobli, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker are seen here on the bench during a game. The combo were part of the team’s lineup during which they won their five-hundredth game together as a trio. Duncan has been part of all five team triumphs in the NBA Finals with his two teammates each winning four titles . The Spurs hope to make it a sixth this upcoming season and they are off to mild start to their schedule . Head coach Gregg Popovich seeks his six title as coach and third NBA Coach of the Year Award during his illustrious career . Peter Holt and GM RC Buford have presided over the franchise’s success over the past eighteen years. AP Photo / Paul Holland ..

(7) Four-time League MVP LeBron James whose return to the Cleveland Cavaliers have seen an increase in the Cavaliers’ attendance at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland , Ohio . James for his part leads the team in the most pertinent offensive categories this season . Cleveland is seen as the leading contender for the Eastern Conference title this season and James hopes to make that a reality for the franchise. Team owner Dan Gilbert was ecstatic at the return of the player who was drafted by team and as a rookie started his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers . AP Photo / Manny Velazquez …

(8) Brooklyn Nets owner , Mikhail Prokhorov is seen here with the team’s point guard Deron Williams . Beyond his ownership of the franchise , Prokhorov owns the a majority (85%) stake, which encompasses the Nets’ venue the Barclays Center , in Brooklyn , New York and real estate enterprise surrounding the arena. AP Photo / Barry Marshall …

(9) Chicago Bulls’ point guard Derrick Rose is seen on the sidelines discussing a play with head coach Tom Thibodeau during a game. The player has missed a significant number of games over thelast two seasons due to injury and already this early into Bulls’ 2014 season, Rose has once again been sidelined due to injury . AP Photo / Anglela Hart …

(10) Luol Deng (9) of the Miami Heat , who in a recent outing for the team scored a season high thirty points against the Dallas Mavericks , which the Heat won with ease against a Mavericks’ team, who showed poor defensive qualities . Deng signed with Heat after being part of a mid-season trade in during the 2013 season which saw him being dealt by the Chicago Bulls to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Signed as a free agent this off-season by the Heat , Deng has become a solid member and performer for the team this season , leading the Miami Heat to one of the best records in the Eastern Conference. Getty Images/ Matt Jones …

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Pop Goes The Weasel ……………..

Pop Goes The Weasel …..

Well it is now being widely reported that the NFL in conjunction with the NFLPA have gotten an accord wherein an agreement has been reached between the two sides. From what I’ve been led to believe it will be that the union and Commissioner Roger Goodell on behalf the team owners have suddenly had their wits about them. It took the two sides just over 100 days to suddenly realize that neither side can do without the other . At the same time I do believe that Federal Court Judge Arthur Boylan simply made both sides an offer that neither could refuse ! Either they reached a compromise or Boylan would render a decision that would most certainly have some serious repercussions for both sides.

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If the teams now get back to full practice mode with them all returning to their training facilities then quite possibly a preseason and some form of a regular season will proceed as planned . From my own perspective I think it is more liable that we will see a preseason of 2 games with regular season of 16 games as planned, kicking off on time on the 8th September . As to what this says about the NFL and in particular for the players of the NFLPA , it may well all come down to wanting to save face rather than being forced into a situation where they may have to come off on the wrong side of a legal verdict .

DeMaurice Smith as the NFLPA Executive Director now knows that he and his members face something of an uphill battle in assuring the player representatives that this is now all in their best interest. Other the flip side of this coin , Goodell’s legacy may well appear to be in tact knowing that he dodged a bullet . And for the fans of the NFL well let’s just say that there are some amongst us who feel that it’s great that the league will be back in action . I simply hope that the news that is now coming down the pike concerning the NFL has some real veracity to it and that the new CBA is equitable and amenable to all of the parties concerned !

If the actions of the NFL doesn’t have a bearing on the NBA and their own situation then quite possibly we could very well see the two sides there reach some sort of a compromise. But herein lies the caveat , NBA Commissioner David Stern as the league’s highest ranking official has ruled the NBA as if it were his own personal fiefdom . Stern’s autocratic rule would make a third world despotic tyrant feel proud of their own accomplishments and achievements. In the case of David Stern he now appears to be fighting his toughest battle yet . The NBPA in all likelihood will most certainly be against making any concessions that has them appearing weak and at the same they are not prepared to lessen their grip on the league revenues which sees them receiving a 53/47 split of the $3.95 billion that comes into the league’s coffers each season .

One wonders how it is that repeatedly when such instances arise in the wake of a hierarchy induced stoppage how it is that no foresight is shown wherein a collective bargaining agreement that the two sides prior to that expiration the two sides don’t start negotiating in advance ? That was most certainly the case with the NFL and also once again here with the NBA ! It would appear reasonable to suggest that they ought to have done that in the first place ____ starting off in good faith rather than the intense , sometimes rather animated and infantile exchanges that are said to have taken place during these negotiations between the NFL , NFLPA and now between the NBA and NBPA. Kind of makes one wonder who actually is the child here and who if anything is the adult overseeing this all ? It may well be that things will indeed have to take a real turn for the worse before any semblance of common sense is actually shown. I’m sure that Stern or his union counterpart Billy Hunter surely are not willing to have the FMCS (Federal Mediation & Conciliation Services ) or the US Federal Court intervene in this matter because should that occur then no party comes out in the end looking like a winner under any circumstance.

Now there’s a great deal to be said about the utter stupidity that has shown by the team owners , league hierarchy and in particular the general managers of the teams in the NBA . And now with a number of players now seeking to ply their trade elsewhere knowing that while a lockout remains in force they know that they are not covered in terms of insurance coverage during a league enforced lockout. Salaries , well it’s obvious that those won’t be paid at all so for the players who choose to play in Europe or elsewhere so that they can then earn a sizable sum in the midst of the stoppage and at the same time remain relatively fit is of benefit to themselves and their financial well being .

I find it somewhat naive of the fans are of the opinion feel that the league isn’t losing money but then again it all boils down the league showing very little by the way of transparency . They certainly are averse to opening their books for public scrutiny and it certainly has made David Stern look the complete idiot , when he , himself has sold the golden goose as a brand that simply was all in good standing. In the last two years Stern has made sure that teams around the league have been the financial recipients of over $600 million in loans , all of which the commissioner stated wasn’t to be viewed as a bailout . Somehow in the midst of this all David Stern is now finding out that all that glitters simply isn’t gold . Admittedly the ratings for this past season’s NBA Finals were a bonanza for ABC but the attendance for scheduled regular season games around the league saw a marked decline . Much of which has led to part of the financial instability for a number of teams. Owners such as Mikhail Prokhorov , Dan Gilbert , Joe Lacob and Peter Guber vastly overpaid for the respective franchises purchased but herein lies the caveat as in the case of Gilbert he’s amongst a number of team owners who are now cash strapped in more ways than they would actually care to admit . Nowhere is this more self evident than in the case of the Sacramento Kings and the ownership group led by Joe and Gavin_Maloof as they’ve simply looked to seek financial aid courtesy of the league hierarchy and advantageous tax exemptions from the city of Sacramento .

The plight of the Kings is by no means clear albeit that they will remain in Sacramento for one more year . Do not be surprised were the Maloofs to take off like thieves into the night with their bags packed and the city of Sacramento is left without an NBA franchise . One simply has to remember what took place with the Seattle Supersonics and their move from that city to Oklahoma City and the lies that permeated through the decision to move all orchestrated by David Stern and the Thunder ownership group led by Clay Bennett . Money may well have exchanged hands to finally facilitate the move but the city (Seattle) remains without a franchise and that simple feeling that they had been duped all along by the NBA . That once again is liable to happen with the city of Sacramento and the Sacramento Kings when it’s all said and done .

Falling attendances in an economic downturn is one thing but when the teams choose not to rein in their expenses and Stern seems to be adverse to actually initiating a hard salary cap rather than insisting that a soft cap now works for the teams. This has proven to be misplaced and even more so given the fact the commissioner has admitted that teams are hemorrhaging red ink like a corpse exsanguinate blood after receiving a nasty abdomen wound from a shotgun. I personally believe that the league hierarchy , the general managers and owners around the NBA have simply lost touched with reality . And the union and its executive committee are not that far behind in this whole asinine charade as they each look to one up each other. The league hierarchy wants to hold on to what little power it still has whereas the union simply wants the status quo to remain as is or perhaps get an even slightly larger slice of that pie.

This stoppage may well be the wake up call that this image enriched league needs to bring it back to reality. And the case can be made that much of this was simply brought about by the ambition of David Stern as he viewed that the best way to market the league was through its stars rather than the marketing of the teams . This scenario worked well when the league was in need of real vibrancy and they found it in a marketing and basketball phenom in Michael Jordan . And the rest as we say is history as the league and Jordan had some rich and wonderful years that have benefited both financially beyond their wildest dreams. Since the six time championship winning player retired from the game it has to be said that the NBA hit some lean years from a fan and attendance standpoint. Competitively the NBA is has had its ups and downs but the teams we expect to see make the NBA playoffs usually do , with there being one or two surprises along the way.

As I have alluded to earlier the league hierarchy simply are averse to any real transparency as to the their business practices and how they actually conduct their operations . The asinine situation remains is the very fact that there are fans out there who simply believe that the league can’t hit upon hard times. If they believe that to be so then simply look at the problems we now see befalling such teams as the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets are not mere hiccups . If only these fans would care to look beyond what takes place on the field of play and look to what is actually going on in the boardrooms of the teams then they would actually understand what is happening. Many of the thought processes I’ve heard _____ “we have a horrible owner and he needs to sell the team then we’d be much better off “ .

Given the situation with the economy and the asinine belief of some fans that billionaires such as Mark Cuban , Larry Ellison , Carlos Slim Helu and Eli Broad would even be interested in overpaying for a franchise that simply has seen its profits decline and many of its streams begin to dry up with the seller seemingly seeking prices that are inflated and not based on being anywhere near being realistic . Buyers simply don’t buy a sports’ franchise on a whim, they look to make sure that the purchase will be of benefit to them and that there is most certainly a chance of success before they would even consider plowing their money into such a venture . But then again that may not have been the case with the purchase made by Frank McCourt of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the sheer ineptitude shown by the team owners and baseball hierarchy in approving the deal to begin with for the sale of the team. Most certainly due diligence can’t have been used by the league hierarchy and anyone who simply believes that to have been the case has to be an idiot to begin with ! This very same hierarchy and owners voted against McCourt when he originally sought to purchase the Boston Red Sox but a mere three years later they saw fit to vote him in amongst the team owners’ fraternity by approving his purchase of the Los Angeles Dodgers . Somehow words escape me as to the mere ineptitude that has been shown by Bud Selig , the league hierarchy and in fact the team owners of Major League Baseball !

Dan Gilbert though a multi millionaire is now finding out the hard way having seen the marked decline in the value of the Cleveland Cavaliers but at the same time he’s having to pay down the principal and interest having purchased the team by way of a loan from a major financial institution. This could very well be one of the numerous reasons why we are now seeing a number of owners beginning to voice their disapproval with the way that Stern has handled the matter but somehow they remain steadfast in their support of the commissioner and league hierarchy for now. Long time owners having bought their teams relatively cheap simply haven’t that much to worry about in large part but there are those recently new team owners that have spent hundreds of millions in their purchase that have yet to see anything tangible from that purchase by way of success or in the form of a profitability standpoint.

So apparently as one door closes another is still left ajar as the NBA continues with its own form of infighting . It will be interesting to see what now permeates between the two sides and how each looks to make their presentation of their case for the public’s consumption. I doubt that the vast majority of the league’s fans actually favor one side or another but they would simply be rather content to see both sides reach an agreement rather than what could turn out to be a rather bitter dispute between the two parties . It’s bad enough that the public has to endure that same sort of stupidity with the members of the House and Senate up on Capitol Hill without it now having to be shown of all places within the domain of big time professional sports . But this simply has become a microcosm of our society and when greed rather than common sense gets in the way of a real issue then for all sense and purpose stupidity sets in and ‘pop goes the weasel ‘.

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If the related news is said to be true are you happy that the NFL will be back in full swing with a scheduled formatted season of games to be played ? And what are your own thoughts on the NBA’s self imposed lockout and how do you see that scenario ending ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts and as always thanks for the continued support .

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

NB : At the time of writing this piece the news concerning an agreement having been reached between the NFL and NFLPA _ no formal statement had yet to be issued , so as of now things still remain as they are .

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(1) Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert talks with the media at a press availability at the Cleveland Clinic Courts in Independence, Ohio on Tuesday, June 8, 2010. AP Photo/Amy Sancetta …..

(2) Larry Ellison, chairman and CEO of Oracle Corp., talks about his company during an interview Monday, May 8, 2000, in Dallas. Ellison, who unveiled a $199 Internet machine before an audience of students at a performing arts high school, said Oracle will donate more than 1,100 of the machines to 23 Dallas schools. The machine, which lacks a hard drive, is targeted at the education and consumer markets. Ellison the founder of Oracle is an ardent basketball fan who lost out in trying to acquire the Golden State Warriors earlier this year. AP Photo/Tim Sharp ……

(3) Billionaire real estate mogul and philanthropist Eli Broad . Courtesy of Forbes Magazine / Joe Puglise @ all rights reserved copyrighted material …

(4) David Stern (left) and Oklahoma City Thunder principal managing partner Clay Bennett are seen here at an NBA game in Oklahoma City , OK. AP Photo / Gabriel Barnes …….

(5) NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, left, and National Football League Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith speak to reporters outside the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Sarasota, Fla., after speaking at the NFLPA’s rookie symposium, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. AP Photo/Brian Blanco ………

(6) (L-R) Brothers George Maloof, Gavin Maloof and Joe Maloof watch a preseason game between the Sacramento Kings and the Los Angeles Lakers at the Thomas & Mack Center October 13, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Lakers won 98-95 . Getty Images North America /Ethan Miller ……

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It’s The Results That Matter …………………

It’s The Results That Matter

Well the baseball season is slowly unfolding and as it to be expected the highs and low of the season are to be expected . The Minnesota Twins it appears is on its way to becoming synonymous with mediocrity within baseball for this season . It will be interesting to see if the team does indeed end up with the worst record in baseball at season’s end. And for Twins’ manager Ron Gardenhire this can’t have been what he expected for his team and the very fact that their All Star catcher Joe Mauer was lost to the Twins for a prolonged period. The Minnesota Twins for their part have made Target Field in Minnesota something of an elephant’s graveyard with the mediocre play and lack of the real cohesion as a team .

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It would appear having got back to winning ways of sort in defeating the Texas Rangers —- 8-1 one would have thought that victory would enough to provide the Twins’ fans with some form of relief but nothing could be further from the truth. The Minnesota Twins are languishing at the bottom of the NL Central with a 25-39 record , some 10 games behind the division leading Cleveland Indians (34-28). Having won 8 of their last ten games the Twins continue to struggle and one would be hard pressed to believe that over the remainder of the season they could prove to be serious challengers not just for the division but also for a wildcard berth within the AL .

The month of June will tell us a great deal as to the directions that a number of teams will be taking . From a personal standpoint although I just can’t see the Twins making any sort of change that would have me believing that they can actually turn things around . This team appears to be lacking in confidence and I doubt that Gardenhire and his coaching staff can now coax this team to play with any level of consistency in spite of their last ten games. This has been a season thus far that I believe that the Twins’ fans and players would rather forget as they simply move systematically back and forth in terms of an uneven season .

The CONCACAF Gold Cup has started and no doubt Team USA under the management of coach Bob Bradley was hoping to see the team show some improvement as a sign that they are heading in the right direction in lieu of the FIFA —- World Cup (2014) in Brazil in 2012 . The team is off to an inauspicious start in Group C having played three games , winning one , a draw and a rather embarrassing 2-1 loss to Panama . If anything this result shows that Bradley faces a stiff challenging a team that will have the right traits not only to qualify for the World Cup but also have some semblance in winning the Gold Cup.

Viewed as a pre tournament contender and favorite alongside Mexico the team still stands a good chance of making out of the group qualifying rounds before the format of the tournament then becomes a knockout competition . Starved of an out and out attacker with formidable goal scoring talent this has simply been the Bradley’s biggest lament . In the tournament the team’s joint top scorers are Clint Dempsey are Clarence Goodson with one goal apiece . I have always maintained that the real problem with the game of soccer resonating amongst the large majority of the fans here comes from the very fact that it is merely viewed as a recreational pass-time . And even though MLS a divisional endeavor is up and running the league itself still struggles to create any form of a seismic rumble amongst fans . Granted with the number of international stars acquired to add some glamor to the league it really hasn’t helped given the fact that the likes of Thierry Henry , David Beckham and Maicon Santos are either players who were unable to establish themselves domestically in their respective countries or in the cases of Henry and Beckham their best is simply now a thing of the past.

This Gold Cup was obviously viewed as a precursor for the upcoming World Cup and with Bradley obviously wanting gain some semblance of consistency instead he now has a team that is bereft of creativity and ideas in light of this rather humiliating 2-1 loss to Panama a team that seven times out of ten they should beat handily .

The team now faces a stern test in their next game to be played with Group C against Guadeloupe on the 14 th June . A win is a necessity if they’re to not only qualify from the group but also gain a favorable match-up in the knockout phase of the competition . It remains to be seen whether or not Bradley will be able to regroup his players and have them ready in time for the match .

At the start of the NBA season it seemed that in large part the vast majority of fans were already prepared to anoint the Miami Heat as NBA champions even before the season had started . With the acquisitions of Chris Bosh and LeBron James to add alongside Dwyane Wade it appeared that all the Heat had to do was to simply waltz their way through their schedule and lay waste to the opposition during the postseason . Well as stories go this was a script that was still being written for the drama that would be played out in the NBA Finals .

The Dallas Mavericks may well be viewed as the underdogs coming into this series but if anything only a fool would actually have felt that way and there’s a reason why Vegas simply lured the suckers in with the odds favoring the Heat . Up 3-2 in the best of seven game series and with the final two games being on the Heat’s home-court of AAA Arena , Miami , Florida in order to close out the series . The Heat players in particular James and Wade knew exactly what was on the line for them not only in terms of the team players but the franchise as a whole . Team President Pat Riley and team owner Micky Arison’s master plan had been put into effect. An assortment of role players to surround their trio of superstars and all that had to be completed would be the defeat of the Mavericks to justify the whole experiment and season as a whole .
If only the Heat players and in particular James , Wade and Bosh had left their enormous egos at the door ! Instead we saw how complacent all three had become and the classness of their demeanor throughout much of the series . And for Erik Spoelstra one has to wonder whether or not some of the blame will be layed at his door beyond that of the players and in particular the triumvirate of superstars ?

Contempt and ignorance when it manifests itself in a team , then more often than not it tends to lead to disaster and it became a reality for the Miami Heat as their hold on what they believe to be rightfully theirs was taken right out of their presumed grasp by a Mavericks’ team that simply hungered for the title even more so than their opponent . Dirk Nowitzki along with Jason Terry and JJ Barea simply showed why at times it’s great to see the good guys actually win ! The trio led the team by example and outplayed the Heat when it mattered most and by securing the deciding game six victory 105-95 the Dallas Mavericks would secure the organization’s first NBA title . And for the victorious team owner Mark Cuban this had to be the most relishing moment in his tenure as the owner of the basketball club .
Perhaps the most heart warming moment after the Finals had ended was in knowing that seasoned veterans Jason Terry , Nowitzki and Jason Kidd could finally acknowledge that they can indeed now be looked upon as being champions .

Dirk Nowitzki justifiably so , was named Finals MVP with his stellar play throughout the postseason and the Finals itself . On the flip side of the case that will now be made ……….. was the hyperbole over the Heat simply worth it considering how lackluster this team’s performances were ? We had James and Wade mocking Nowitzki’s illness prior to game 6 and even if it were meant in jest it showed how lacking in class the duo were ! Pretty much sums up how best to describe a bunch of self absorbed athletes who simply believe that the entitlement mentality and adoration makes them the persons that they are ! From my own perspective I am thoroughly enjoyed the spectacle of seeing the Heat being hoisted on their own petards in front of their home crowd . It makes that defeat all the more embarrassing not just for the fans but the whole organization as a whole . Perhaps after this James and Wade will have at least learned some civility rather than the odious behavior that they’d shown throughout much of the regular and postseason. The results matter but so too does the demeanor under which a team carries themselves during a sporting event and that simply wasn’t shown here with the Miami Heat. Decorum was never within their sphere as they simply strolled around without any deference to anyone at all !

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

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

Alan aka tophatal ……………………

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

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(1) MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JUNE 11: Arthur Rhodes (53) of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Minnesota Twins during the eighth inning of their game on June 11, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Rangers 8-1. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images …..

(2) Delmon Young (21) of the Minnesota Twins singles against the Texas Rangers during the first inning of their game on June 11, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Rangers 8-1. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images …….

(3) Ben Revere (11) of the Minnesota Twins steals second base as shortstop Elvis Andrus (1) of the Texas Rangers catches the ball during the fourth inning of their game on June 11, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Rangers 8-1. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images ………..

(4) MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JUNE 11: Alexi Casilla (12) of the Minnesota Twins hits an RBI single while Mike Napoli (25) of the Texas Rangers defends home plate during the fourth inning of their game on June 11, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Rangers 8-1. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images ….

(5) Clarence Goodson (21) of Team United States celebrates his goal against Team Panama during the CONCACAF Gold Cup Match at Raymond James Stadium on June 11, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. Getty Images / J Meric ……..

(6) Jozy Altidore (17) of Team United States advances the ball against Team Panama during the CONCACAF Gold Cup Match at Raymond James Stadium on June 11, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. J Meric / Getty Images North America ….

(7) Team Panama celebrates their victory over Team United States during the CONCACAF Gold Cup Match at Raymond James Stadium on June 11, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images North America ……

(8) Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban carries the NBA Championship basketball trophy as he leads the team off the jet after their arrival at Love Field in Dallas, Monday, June 13, 2011. The Mavericks beat the Heat to win the championship. AP Photo/LM Otero ….

(9) “I am not a pussy . ” LeBron James (6) of the Miami Heat looks on dejected against the Dallas Mavericks in Game Six of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena on June 12, 2011 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images …..

(10) Tyson Chandler (right) of the Dallas Mavericks attempts a shot against Miami Heat in the Game Six of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena on June 12, 2011 in Miami, Florida. AFP PHOTO / POOL / David J. Phillip ……

(11) TOPSHOTS : Dirk Nowitzki(notes) (R) of the Dallas Mavericks shoots before Chris Bosh(notes) (L) of the Miami Heat during Game 6 of the NBA Finals on June 12, 2011 at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Florida. AFP PHOTO / DON EMMERT ….

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MLB news

MLB Standings

MLB wildcard standings

MLB Schedule 3 days at a glance

MLB Probable starters

MLB scoreboard & results 12th June 2011

CONCACAF News

Gold Cup Schedule & results

Gold Cup Group Standings

CONCACAF Gold Cup Teams

NBA Finals

NBA News

Dallas Mavericks news

Miami Heat news

My How Times Fly And Things Change ……………….

My How Times Fly And Things Change ……………….

Was he pushed or did really go of his own free will ? That’s the question that will now be asked as it relates to the upheaval in the front office of the Texas Rangers as managing partner a Chuck Greenberg chose to resign from the organization . One thing is certain Greenberg who along with Nolan Ryan did more instigate the successful purchase of the team beating out billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban and Houston businessman Jim Crane with their successful $593 million winning bid for the bankrupt organization. Having done so, the duo would with their partners seek a cash infusion into the Rangers which includes a two decade $3 billion tv deal that sets up the organization and its immediate future.

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Slide show for your perusal .

For the Rangers this past season m was something of an unexpected one filled with highs and lows but nothing more surprising than their AL pennant defeat of the New York Yankees (4-2) only then to succumb to the San Francisco Giants in the World Series with some ease 4-1 . The team then in the offseason would lose Cliff Lee through free agency as he would return to the Philadelphia Phillies .

Courtesy of AP Sports & Yahoo

Rangers CEO Greenberg leaving organization

By Stephen Hawkins , AP Sports Writer

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—It didn’t take long for Chuck Greenberg to become a very visible figure for the Texas Rangers, buying the team in a dramatic bankruptcy court showdown and then taking on the role of CEO and managing partner before the team’s first-ever World Series.

On Friday, seven months after his investment group bought the team, the AL champion Rangers abruptly announced that Greenberg was leaving the organization. The move came three weeks before the season opener.

Growing differences between the charismatic CEO, team president Nolan Ryan and board co-chairmen Ray Davis and Bob Simpson had been an ongoing issue out of the public eye.

“In reality, management styles and chemistries sometimes don’t fit together. That was the situation with Chuck and the board and Nolan,” Davis said. “Chuck made a huge contribution and we wish him all the best success in the world in whatever he endeavors to do.”

The ownership group has already bought out Greenberg’s small financial stake in the team. Simpson said Greenberg turned down the opportunity for another position in the group, one “not in the full role that he was enjoying.”

Ryan will add the title of CEO and oversee baseball and business operations, reporting directly to the team’s board of directors. The Hall of Fame pitcher, who finished his 27-season playing career with the Rangers, became their team president in February 2008.

Davis and Simpson, the largest investors in the ownership group, wouldn’t get into specifics about the differences with Greenberg in what was their first formal news conference since taking over the team last year. Neither would Ryan.

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Though the loss of Chuck Greenberg isn’t seen as catastrophic it has to be said that will have taken the baseball world by surprise. GM Jon Daniels has said the loss of Greenberg though felt within the club things will very much go on as before in a positive direction and the success they’re all looking to achieve isn’t a target that is beyond their reach. However, there has to be continuing speculation as to why Chuck Greenberg would make such an abrupt departure from the ball-club. There may well have been some form of internal struggle within the front office as to a power struggle and the shaping of an identity to this team. Nolan and Chuck Greenberg were essentially seen as the faces of the franchise from an image and business standpoint with Ryan’s solid know how , his vast experience within the game and Greenberg’s business acumen and as former attorney with noted law firm Pepper Hamilton LLC and then as a noted sports agent. The two brought a wealth of experience to the team and were it not for them I do believe that the Rangers would now be in the hands of rival bidders at the time Mark Cuban and Jim Crane. And though some have questioned the bidding process overseen by a bankruptcy court judge there was a feeling also that the MLB hierarchy was heavily behind the bid of Ryan and his syndicate partners . As to what this says about the impartiality of the game’s hierarchy in such a process , well as such , it does smack self indulgence if anything ! I can only surmise that MLB Commissioner Bud Selig was extremely happy with the outcome .

The task for the Rangers this season is to rebound from the loss in the World Series to the San Francisco Giants . Players such as Josh Hamilton , C J Wilson , Adrian Beltre and Michael Young along with the rest of this roster that they are capable of mounting a serious challenge within AL West in taking on the likes of Seattle Mariners , Oakland Athletics and the Anaheim Angels . The division itself I’ve never really thought of as being extremely competitive given the fact that the teams other than the Angels have tendered to waver as to their consistency . I do however believe that Ron Washington and his coaching staff will be able to get the best out of his team and be just as competitive as last year. If they’re able to do that then there’s the possibility that the Rangers can also be viewed as a serious challenger within the AL and a contender for the World Series itself .

As to Nolan Ryan with the departure of his once former associate it now gives him greater hands on powers with the regard to executive decisions to be made within the organization. And I’ve no doubt that he’ll work closely together with Jon Daniels as it relates to personnel and coaching matters. His relationship with Ron Washington is said to be a close and fruitful one and one should bear in mind that in the midst of last season when Washington’s future was said to be in doubt after the revelations of his cocaine addiction it was Ryan who steadfastly stood by his beleaguered manager. And the rest as they is history as with regard to rest of that memorable season for the Texas Rangers.

This season within the game promises to be a very entertaining one and I do believe that it might well be one of the best in recent years. I don’t believe that there’s a distinct clear cut favorite albeit that the Phillies with that intimidating starting rotation led by Cliff Lee , Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt will prove hard to beat . But as we saw with last year’s postseason you don’t need the mighty swing of an axe to chop down a a really large oak tree as you merely have to chip away at it before it suddenly falls . The proof was simply there for all to witness as the San Francisco Giants knocked down the Phillies’ tree in NL pennant title game . Could it happen again ? I don’t see any reason why not given the right set of circumstances but I’d dare say that Phillies’ manager Charlie Manuel isn’t about to let his ; team forget that experience and they’ll no doubt be prepared than they were last year should the same scenario rise once again.

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Picture gallery for your perusal.

What thoughts if any do you have on the abrupt departure of Chuck Greenberg from the Texas Rangers ? Do you believe that he went of his own volition or that he may well have been forced out by forces beyond his control ? Simply chime in with your thoughts on this and any other matter as it relates to the upcoming season within baseball .

Picture and slide show details below.

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(1) Yorvit Torrealba(8) of the Texas Rangers high fives manager Ron Washington after scoring against the Cincinnati Reds during the second inning of the spring training game at Surprise Stadium on March 11, 2011 in Surprise, Arizona. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images …………..

(2) Josh Hamilton (32) of the Texas Rangers sits in the dugout during the spring training game against the Cincinnati Reds at Surprise Stadium on March 11, 2011 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images ……

(3) Joey Votto (19) of the Cincinnati Reds hits a double during the third inning of the spring training game against the Texas Rangers at Surprise Stadium on March 11, 2011 in Surprise, Arizona. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images ………

(4) Texas Rangers part-owner and new CEO Nolan Ryan arrives for a news conference in Arlington, Texas, Friday, March 11, 2011. Ryan has replaced Chuck Greenberg as team CEO. AP Photo/LM Otero ……….

(5) Managing Partner & CEO Chuck Greenberg of the Texas Rangers looks speaks with the media during batting practice against the New York Yankees in Game Five of the ALCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Yankee Stadium on October 20, 2010 in the Bronx borough of New York City. According to reports on March 11, 2011, Greenberg will be leaving the Rangers organization as their CEO and managing general partner, with Nolan Ryan expected to become the new CEO. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images …..

(6) Chuck Greenberg (left) is seen here with GM Jon Daniels (center) and Nolan Ryan celebrating after the Texas Rangers defeat of the New York Yankees to win the ALCS pennant in 2010 . The team would go on to lose the World Series to the San Francisco Giants . Sue Walters /AP/ Reuters ……..


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Alan aka tophatal

MLB News

Texas Rangers profile

Texas Rangers history

Texas Rangers news

Texas Rangers’ front office

Rangers’ coaching staff

Texas Rangers active roster

Rangers’ 40 man roster & …….. depth chart

Team injury updates

Team transactions

Minor League Affiliates

Rangers’ schedule Spring Training ———— Regular Season 2011

Spring Training Standings AL ——- Cactus League

Team Statistics

Teams Statistics 2010

Rangers Ballpark Arlington , Texas

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Jeny Romero

Selena Silk

Selena Silk

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2 Pac …… feat’g …….. Jodeci ………”How Do You Want It ”

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David Stern Proves Why He’s An Ass !

David Stern Proves Why He’s An Ass !

It seems unusual that NBA Commissioner David Stern would seek to punish with impunity through a fine any mention of LeBron James with regard to his impending free agency. By perception alone if any team or team executive should make a statement regarding the player’s status it would be viewed as tampering by the NBA hierarchy . This same edict also applies in the NFL , NHL and MLB .

It would appear that Stern sees fit to show his autocratic power in a number of ways that would give cause for concern. Far too often Stern much like his NFL counterpart , Roger Goodell , tends to fight the battles he presumably can win.

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Slide show for your perusal . Click arrowed indicator to move the slide show in the direction that
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It is now being widely reported that the Chicago Bulls are in the midst of hiring the Boston Celtics’ assistant coach Tom Thibodeaux. Now pardon me for saying this but with the Celtics being in the NBA Finals where they’re undertaking a highly anticipated contest against the Los Angeles Lakers . Now from where I sit the Bulls are tampering in making overtures in looking to hire Tom Thibodeau while his team are still in the playoffs , which by the NBA’s own mandate would be viewed as tampering. Somehow the league and in particular Stern seems to have overlooked or chooses to overlook this matter. In light of that it would seem somewhat strange that Stern would seek to fine Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban with impunity, $100,000 for the owner merely expressing an opinion as to where he thought that LeBron James might end up concerning his impending free agency status. At no point did the owner expressly make a statement that he’d be seeking to lure the player to his franchise. But yet somehow he gets punished for this ?

Courtesy of Washington Post

Report: Boston Celtics assistant coach Tom Thibodeau to coach Chicago Bulls next season

By Michael Lee , Washington Post

El Segundo , Calif. Boston Celtics assistant and defensive coordinator Tom Thibodeau accepted a three-year deal to become coach of the Chicago Bulls, according to multiple reports on Saturday.

Thibodeau was also a candidate for the vacancy in New Jersey and was offered the New Orleans head coaching job, which was reportedly filled by Monty Williams. The Bulls don’t plan to consummate the deal or make a formal announcement until after the NBA Finals.

Celtics Coach Doc Rivers was unable to confirm the reports, but said that he “hopes it’s true” because “I think he’s the best candidate out there. I’ve said that for three years now.”

Thibodeau joined the Celtics’ staff in 2007-08 after first accepting and leaving a similar job with the Washington Wizards. He devised the defensive strategies that led to the Celtics claiming the franchise’s 17th NBA championship in 2008.

“Tibs brings a passion for defense, I think,” said Celtics forward Kevin Garnett, who won the defensive player of the year award in his first season with Thibodeau.

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Now if Stern purports to be the person he believes and claims to be, as being a dutiful custodian of the game. Then he had better begin to show some semblance of intelligence and stop spewing up this asinine notion that the game of basketball is above reproach. Because if this matter goes down wherein, Thibodeau is hired by the Bulls and there’s no investigation as to how this potential hiring came about . The Bulls front office if it is believed that they approached Thibodeau while his team still remain in the playoffs. Then that act alone by the Bulls can be viewed as an act of tampering.

With its showcase event now in full motion and the world watching . This is the last thing that Stern would want to address. But then again as I alluded to earlier the perception is and has always been about what makes David Stern looks good in the eyes of the fans and public alike !. And one thought that politicians were the only “pompous narcissists” out there ? Meet David Stern perhaps the most pompous of all the four major sports‘ commissioners .

David Stern for all of his supposed business acumen is now facing a situation where the NBA this year alone will lose in excess of $400 million . That averages out at $12,500,000 per team . With declining gates, in terms of attendance at all games and declining viewer-ship in North America. But globally the game has seen a spike in its popularity, in particular in Europe and the Far East. The worrying thing is that Stern and the NBA hierarchy are oblivious to the fact but the real problem is that they appear to have no notion as to how deal with the situation and address it in the appropriate manner.

Courtesy of NY Daily News

Rejection! David Stern sings financial blues but NBA players not listening

By Mitch Lawrence , NY Daily News

NBA players are planning to respond within the next few weeks to the league’s last contract proposal, which calls for a major overhaul to the current economic system and would drastically reduces salaries.

When the players respond, they are expected to reject David Stern’s contention that the league is going to lose $400 million this season. Since Stern brought up that figure — around twice what the league has lost annually over the last few seasons — at the All-Star Game last month in Dallas, the players union has not officially responded. Union officials say they are still conducting their own financial analysis, but more than a few players think that the commissioner has engaged in a negotiating ploy, with the current collective bargaining agreement entering its final season in 2010-11.

“I’m sure there are some owners who are not doing great these days,” said Denver’s Chauncey Billups. “But we’re not totally buying that figure. It’s a negotiating tactic, absolutely. Through our own investigations and due diligence, we have found that not to be 100% true.”

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The commissioner for all of his bombastic attitude you just can’t help to dislike his demeanor and presence as a person. Could he the most despised person in all of sports amongst the executives ? We know that the athletes themselves are continually in awe of the pedestal that they’re placed upon by the fans and press alike. But rarely are they prepared to reciprocate by showing themselves in being supportive of the fans. Moreover, they’re prepared to just sell that their wares rather than showing the fans the respect that they’re undoubtedly due. Similarly the same can be said of David Stern and his attitude towards the fans and press alike.

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Picture gallery for your perusal.

What thoughts if any do you have on the situation and how do you feel that Stern should address the matter concerning the potential hiring of Tom Thibodeau ? Chime on in with a comment on this matter and any other observations that you may have on the world of sports.

Alan Parkins aka tophatal …………………

TI ………………..”Rubber Band Man”

Big Pimpin’ Dallas Mavericks’ Style ……….Bitches That They Are !

Big Pimpin’ Dallas Mavericks’ Style …….Bitches That They Are !

I don’t know of any other way to suggest this but in watching the Dallas Mavericks lose to the Golden State Warriors, who only had six physically healthy players suited up. Well, it suggests everything that I’ve come to think about the Dallas Mavericks. They’re an extremely soft team, not only physically but also mentally as well. And this is epitomized by the attitude of their owner, Mark Cuban . Egotistical , narcissistic but above all critical of others when they’re not all in agreement with his thought process.

Dallas-November 24th 2009: Monta Ellis (8) of the Golden State Warriors goes up and under against Dirk Nowitzki (41) of the Dallas Mavericks during a game at the American Airlines Center on November 24, 2009 in Dallas, Texas.  picture appears  courtesy of  NBAE/Getty Images/  Glenn James  .............
Dallas-November 24th 2009: Monta Ellis (8) of the Golden State Warriors goes up and under against Dirk Nowitzki (41) of the Dallas Mavericks during a game at the American Airlines Center on November 24, 2009 in Dallas, Texas. picture appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Glenn James .............

This Mavericks’ team is resplendent with a plethora of stars but little in the way of leadership. And that is with seasoned veterans such as Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd , Jason Terry and Shawn Marion. To make matters worse, the the team is highly overpaid and has given little back in return by way of anything tangible in terms of success. This club has continually underachieved despite all of the lavish spending and the perception that it is one of the marquee teams in the NBA. The fact of the matter is, they’re a good regular season team but come the postseason they become doormat that many of the elite teams in the NBA choose to wipe their feet on.

Kris Humpheries of the Dallas Mavericks goes up for the dunk in the game against the Golden State Warriors. The Mavericks would go on to be defeated by the Warriors 111-103 in the game played at the American Airlines Center in Dallas ,Texas, on the 24th November,2009. picture appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Glenn James …….

Last night’s game between these two Western Conference team saw the Golden State Warriors with eight players on the bench of the mandated twelve but only six ready to play. The Warriors and the Dallas Mavericks set out to play a game and let every ardent fan of the game see what the NBA will be proffering up to their patrons for the season. Well, the Warriors did little to disappoint as they completely overwhelmed the Mavericks with their resiliency and resolve as a team. Unfortunately,for the Mavericks they had no answer for the Warriors’ Monta Ellis, Anthony Morrow, Vladimir Radmanovic or their rookie sensation Steph Curry. As they went about decimating the Mavericks’ defense and made them look like very much like a D-league NBA representative
team.

Now pardon me for saying this, when your franchise is said to be worth
in excess of $ 400 million and on appearance it seems to be worth not more than a plug nickel . Then there’s a great deal to be said for the pomp and bloviated opinions of Mark Cuban and the persona of his franchise. They’ve become more accustomed to being beaten up on, more than a hooker is by her pimp ‘for not turning enough tricks’. And ‘tricks’, it appears to be something that the Mavericks haven’t been able to turn in quite some time. OK, so they made it to the postseason last year and they beat a San Antonio Spurs’ team that was missing several of its top players. But having done so, in the conference semi finals they melted like butter against a hot knife.

Stephen Curry (30) of the Golden State Warriors celebrates a win against the Dallas Mavericks during a game at the American Airlines Center on November 24, 2009 in Dallas, Texas. picture appears  courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/  Glenn James .......
Stephen Curry (30) of the Golden State Warriors celebrates a win against the Dallas Mavericks during a game at the American Airlines Center on November 24, 2009 in Dallas, Texas. picture appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Glenn James .......

Courtesy of Associated Press and Yahoo Sports


Ellis, Morrow lead Warriors past Mavericks 111-103

DALLAS (AP)—Golden State was down to eight healthy players—and used only six. Warriors coach Don Nelson wasn’t with the team as he recovers from pneumonia. Still, Monta Ellis(notes) and Stephen Curry(notes) wouldn’t let injuries or sickness become an excuse.

Ellis scored 13 of his season-high 37 points in the fourth quarter, Curry added 11 of his 18 points in the final 4 minutes and the Warriors ended Dallas’ five-game winning streak with a 111-103 victory over the short-handed Mavericks on Tuesday night.

“Coming into this game, we had nothing to lose,” said assistant coach Keith Smart, who filled in for Nelson. “The worst case is they blow us out and we move on to (Wednesday night’s game in San Antonio). But our guys have a lot of character. They played hard together and made the right decisions.”

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Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41), of Germany, loses the ball to Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009, in Dallas. The Warriors won 111-103. picture appears courtesy of AP/Photo/ Sharon Ellman  ...........
Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41), of Germany, loses the ball to Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009, in Dallas. The Warriors won 111-103. picture appears courtesy of AP/Photo/ Sharon Ellman ...........

This season, the Dallas Mavericks appear to have started off strong but their inconsistency is already beginning to set in. The Golden State Warriors for their part are looking to take the next step and place themselves amongst the elite teams within the Western Conference. And in doing so, it would further suggest to their fans that they’re ready to show them what they’ve been missing out on for such a long time. In place of Don Nelson as coach of the team last night , there on the sidelines was his assistant, Keith Smart. Nelson was unable to participate as he was sidelined with a bout of pneumonia. His return isn’t anticipated for another week or two. Smart, for his part showed that he may well be the coach in waiting, once Nelson is ready to step down from his position as coach of the team.

The Mavericks for their part, to my mind are no closer to winning an NBA title than the Democrats are about the direction that the party now seems to be heading in.The Dallas Mavericks as an organization give all the semblance of being an organized and efficiently ran organization. But in essence,they’re only playing at being that. They’re a complete mess but Mark Cuban would rather not have you see the warts and all mess,that there is inside of his franchise.

And for Mavericks’ coach, Rick Carlisle and his assistant coaching staff of Terry Stotts, Dwayne Casey and Tom Sterner. This was hardly the type of response they’d have expected from this team with the resultant 111-103 loss to the Golden State Warriors. But it seems to be something that’s emblematic of the team and their inconsistency. They either play down to the level of an opponent or at times they’re able to play with a high degree of efficiency.There does not appear to be a happy medium for the Mavericks. Is it any wonder that they’re viewed as one of the softer teams around the NBA ? And that’s not just from a physical standpoint but also when it comes to the mental aspect of their game. It’s now becoming a view that’s being widely shared across the NBA and amongst the fans, themselves.

And for the Golden State Warriors ,though on the face of it the win might not seem that much. But having been able to defeat a team with just six healthy players from its entire roster shows that they’re not at all prepared to bow down and become one of the lesser beings within the NBA fraternity. That’s left to the likes of the Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks, New Jersey Nets and the Charlotte Bobcats. For those particular franchises, mediocrity nowadays goes hand in hand, just as much turkey and Thanksgiving are part of a solemn festivity that we can all feel comfortable with.

What do you think of the Dallas Mavericks as an NBA franchise ? Good, bad, indifferent or just simply overrated just as their counterpart in the NFL – the Dallas Cowboys ?

NB Take time to participate in the poll below.

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‘Big Pimpin’ by Jay-z feat’g UGK .

The Writing Was On The Wall ……Somehow Some Didn’t Heed The Warning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Last   night   the  San   Antonio  Spurs   were   unceremoniously    dumped  out  of  this   year’s   playoffs  in the   NBA.   Having  succumbed at the  hands  of  their  instate   foe  divisional   rival  the Dallas Mavericks.  It  has to   be   said  that    this   was  all   foreseen    the  very  moment   they   lost  their indomitable  super   sub   Manu   Ginobli   before  the start of  the  playoffs.   If  nothing   else   this was   as much  a   gut  wrench  to the  team  as  it  was   for   their   fans.

 

 

    Josh Howard  of  the  Mavericks  dunks the  ball while the  Spurs'  Michael  Finley   looks  on  in   game 5 of  the  playoff  series between  the two teams.
Josh Howard of the Dallas Mavericks dunks the ball while the Spurs' Michael Finley looks on. The game was played on the Spurs' homecourt of the AT&T Center in San Antonio ,Tx. The Mavericks would end up winning the game (106-93) and close out winning the series 4-1. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ D Clarke Evans ................

 

 

However  in  losing  the   series   outright  (4-1)   and   the  result of  the   game  last  night  being   so  conclusive  with  an  emphatic   106-93  win.   The  Dallas  Mavericks   move  on   with a   no  doubt   happy   owner  in Mark  Cuban   smiling  from  ear to ear. For  the  San  Antonio  Spurs  the   ride  while   it  lasted  was a  pleasant  one   for  their  fans  and   the  community  at   large.

 

 

 

 

However it  can’t  hide  the  fact  that   the   team    underperformed.  And   much of  that  responsibility   rests   squarely  on the  shoulders   of  coach  Gregg Popovich  and   that of    his  bench  players   who   failed to  show   up.  It  was  left   to the    team’s   erstwhile duo  of  All  Stars   in   Tim   Duncan   and   Tony  Parker   to  try  and  carry   the  team   on  their   shoulders.     And  as  gallantly   as  they   both   performed    the   task   was  made   all   the  more  insurmountable   by  the  ineptitude  shown   by  the   duo’s  supporting   cast.

 

 

Erick  Dampier  of the  Mavericks  and the  Spurs'  Tony  Parker  contest  a  loose  ball.
Erick Dampier of the Mavericks and the Spurs' Tony Parker contest a loose ball during the game. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Eric Gray ....................

 

 

 

 

Popovich   in  large  part   was   outcoached   by  his   counterpart  Rick Carlisle  throughout   much  of this  series.  But  then again   the  Mavericks’  players  also   stepped  up  to  the  plate  and   answered  the  call  of their   coach  to   go  out  there and   execute.  And   nowhere  was   this   more apparent   than  with  the  play   of  Josh  Howard     who   proved  to  be  the   catalyst    for  the  Mavericks    through  much  of  the  series  when  it  mattered   most.    There  were  also    valid   contributions  from  Dirk Nowitzki  and  Jason  Kidd.  For  Nowitzki  he  may  well  be   now  cast  off  that   name  tag  of   being  considered    just  a  regular  season  player,  instead of   being   a   postseason performer.

 

 

 

 

 

And that if  anything   has   proven  to  be  the   difference  between  the  two   teams.   When   asked  for  the  contributions  to be   made  in whatever   way   possible   it   was   the   players  of  the  Mavericks   who  stepped  and   answered the   call.   For   the    Spurs  it  was   the  complete    opposite   but   for  the  exceptions   of  Duncan and  Parker.   The  Spurs  were   languid  and   slow  to   the   touch   and   but   for   their  sole   victory  in game   2 of  the   series.    This    would   definitely   have    been a  blowout    for the  Dallas Mavericks.  The  heroics  of   Tony   Parker  in that  105-84  triumph   cannot    be   underscored.   Parker   himself   single  handedly    willed  the  team  victory  and   ended   up  scoring  38 pts  in  his   team’s  triumph.

 

 

Tony  Parker  of  the  Spurs  tries to  evade the  much  larger  presence  of  the  Mavericks'  Dirk  Nowitzki.
Tony Parker of the Spurs tries to evade the defensive presence of the Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki during the game. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ D Clarke Evans ..................

 

  

The  thing  now   everyone may  well  be  asking    is  what  now  happens to  the  San Antonio  Spurs  ?   Having   won   four   NBA  championships    in   the  decade.   They may  well  have   been  considered   a   modern  day   dynasty.   And   if   nothing  else theirs  is  a   consistency   that’s  not   often  seen   in the  game   over  the  decade  in  question.  However  with   Duncan   now   viewed as   an  aged   veteran    no  longer  being  able  to  perform   like   the   player   he   once  was in  his  halcyon days.  It  has  to  be  said  that this   is  no  longer  the   team    that  once    performed   so  methodically and   whom   about   everything  was   admired  as  an  organization  within the  NBA.    Never    viewed  as  one   of  the   more  glamorous  franchises   within the  NBA.   That  spotlight   is  often  shone  on the  Los Angeles    Lakers , Chicago Bulls  (Jordan  era) and  Boston  Celtics   because of the  renowned   history. Though   now  there  are   fans   who  believe  that  the Cleveland  Cavaliers   ought  to be   added  to  the  mix.   I  beg  to   differ  as  having   perhaps  the  game’s  most  celebrated   player   in  LeBron  James  at  present   doesn’t  give   you   legitimacy  for staking  that particular   claim. You  have to  win something  first   be  considered  a  perennial  contender   amongst  the  game’s   elite.

 

 

  Continue reading “The Writing Was On The Wall ……Somehow Some Didn’t Heed The Warning”

I’m Not Stylin’ I’m Just Wild About My Team ………………

 
 
 

I’m Not  Stylin’  I’m Just Wild   About  My  Team  …..

 

 

 

Is  it  appropriate that  an  owner   ought to be   calling  his  team  out in   public ? Even  if  they’re  playing well  or  not  ?   I  was  always  under  the  impression   that    sort  of  things   is  best  left  to  the  coaching  staff. Or  if anything   the  right  course of action  to  be  taken  is for  the   owner  to  speak   with  the  coach   and  his  staff  and   relate  to   them   his concerns.

 

 

Dirk  Nowitzki  of  the  Dallas  Mavericks drives to the  basket  whilst   trying  to  evade the defensive play  of the Hornets'  David West .
Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks drives to the basket whilst trying to evade the defensive play of the Hornets' David West. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ Layne Murdoch ............

 

  

My  reasons   for  asking  the   questions   pertain  to  the  actions  of  Dallas  Mavericks’ owner Mark  Cuban.   In   doing   so   once   again   he   embarrasses   himself   and  the  organization.   OK  so they   lost   a    game  where  their    performance  was  less  than  adequate.   And   he  may  well   have  a  right   to  be  perturbed.   As  too  have  the   fans  but   in  all  honesty   denigrating    his   players   whilst    not  apportioning  any of  the  blame   on  the   coaching  staff    does    rather  smack   of   stupidity  and  a   great   deal  of  immaturity  as  well.  One   statement   that  can  be  attributed  to   Cuban   directly    was  that    if  the   team   continued  to   play  in   such  a  similar   vein   then  he’d  go  ahead  and  gut the  whole   roster  rather   than  have the  fans   endure  anymore  of  the  same”.

 

 

82991457LM000_MAVS_HORNETS
David West of the New Orleans Hornet grabs the defensive rebound and deprives the Mavericks' Jose Barea of the offensive play. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/Layne Murdoch ..........

 

 

The  lingering   doubt   that   has   always   concerned  the  Dallas  Mavericks   is  their  lack  of    heart.   They’re   often    viewed  as   one   of  the more  softer  teams  within  the  NBA.   And  it  certainly   hasn’t   been   lost   on  many   who’ve   witnessed  their   play  over  the  years.   They’re  gifted   in  the    fact that    they  may well  possess  two  of  the  more marquee   players   within   the  NBA  in    Dirk  Nowitzki  and    Jason  Kidd.   However   the  team  as  a  whole    though    not   physically   imposing  can   play   with a   great deal  of aplomb  when  they  set    their    minds  to  it.   However  the  fact of  the  matter  is that   much  of  the  time   they’re  all   too   inconsistent   in their   play.   And  it  certainly   hasn’t  helped   their  cause as   of  late  that  they’ve    seen  a  resurgent   San  Antonio Spurs  and     a  New  Orleans  Hornets  teams   that   has   rediscovered  its   desire.   And   within  the  Southwest  Conference  standing   this   hasn’t  exactly   bode  well   for  the  Mavericks  at this   juncture.   They  sit behind   the  Spurs , Hornets and  the  Houston  Rockets at  present. 

 

 

Hornets'  point  guard  Chris Paul who once again led his  team  to a win and who  had  an  exhilerating   night  terms  of  his  play and  productivity.   picture appears  courtesy of  nbae/getty images/ Layne  Murdoch .........
Hornets' point guard Chris Paul who once again led his team to win and whose own performance on the night in the team's victory over the Mavericks was exhilerating. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ Layne Murdoch ............

 

 

 

Though   now  seated  as  the  eighth   seed   in   the  Western  Conference  standings.  Were  the  playoffs to  start  today    their   fortunes  as it is  would  lay  in their  own  hands.  But  having   to  take   on the   presumptive   favorites  within  the   conference     in  the  Los  Angeles  Lakers   would  undoubtedly   prove   to  be  an   ominous   task. As  well as  they’re  thought  to  be  playing    Cuban   has  felt   that    they’ve  just   not   been    playing  well  enough.  If anything   he   should  be questioning   the    approach  of  the  coaching   staff and  their    failure   to   communicate    with   the  players. \

 In  Rick  Carlisle   he    possesses   one   of  the  better   but   yet   one   of  the  more   understated   coaches   within  the NBA.   His  pedigree  is  one  where   he’s  coached   in Indiana   and  in Detroit .  And   as  a former   player   in  the  NBA  he   does  know  what  it   takes  to  play  at  the  highest  level   within  the  game.  They   say  that  a  team  does   tend  to   take  on the  persona  of  its   coach.  So  if that  is   indeed the   case  then  Cuban’s  tirade   if  anything    ought  to  be  directed  at  his  coach.   Albeit  that   it  is the   players   who  are  on the  court   playing   the   game.  It’s   from the   coach   that the  players   indeed   get their   instructions  and  the  strategy  that’s entailed  for   a game.  And   even  if  the  players aren’t   always   held   accountable    for the  results .  All  too   often   in the  end   it’s  the coach   that  often   ends    up  baring  the   brunt   of  the  blame. 

 

 

 

Jason  Terry of  the Mavericks  attempts to  drive  past  the Hornets' Devin Brown .........
Jason Terry of the Dallas Mavericks attempts to drive past the Hornets' Devin Brown. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ Layne Murdoch ..............

 

 

 

Mark   Cuban   has often     been   known   to  direct     his  animus   at   the   officials   and  at times    directly  at the  game’s  hierarchy.  And   the  fines   borne   by  him  over the years  have  been   enough   to  build  several  large    family  homes.   And   to  a  billionaire   like  Cuban   money   is   afterall   no   option.  When  you’re  said  to  be  worth   in  excess  of   $2.6bn   and   ranked   at   #161  of  Forbes’  400 Richest  Americans.  A  paltry  fine  of   a  couple  of  hundred  thousand   is  minimal  when  it’s  all   said  and  done.  And  as  his  tirade   isn’t  directed at  anyone  within  the   game’s   hierarchy   this  time   around   he  hasn’t    really   anything   to  worry  about  .  Other  than   that  of  his   own   gigantic   ego  and   how  he’s   viewed  as  a  whole   by  the   fans  and   public  at  large.  But  in  reality   Mark  Cuban   has  never   really   been  all  that  worried   what  anyone   thinks about  him.   His   concerns    are  directed  at   the  things that  he  can   control  and  the  empire   he  purveys.  And  if  nothing   else   in Cuban’s   fiefdom   his  word  is  final   mo  matter  whether or  not   he’s   right   or  wrong.  The  narcissist   in  him  wouldn’t   have  it  any  other  way.

 

 

Hornets'  point guard  Chris Paul  drives  past   both  Jason Kidd  and Dirk  Nowitzki   of  the  Mavericks  as  he  makes  his  way  to the  basket  with  the  layup . The   Hornets  would  go  on to  win the  game  decisively  104-88  in the  game  played  in the New Orleans Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana .  picture  appears  courtesy  of nbae/getty images/ Layne  Murdoch .............
Hornets' point guard drives past both Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki of the Mavericks as he makes his way to the basket for the layup. The Hornets would go on to win the game decisively 104-88 . The game itself was played in the New Orleans Arena , New Orleans, Louisiana . picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/Layne Murdoch ..............

 

 

 

  Continue reading “I’m Not Stylin’ I’m Just Wild About My Team ………………”