Aches and still the growing pains of a league that remains out of touch

Aches and still the growing pains of a league that remains out of touch ………..

It is a strange time in the world of sports with the NBA Board of Governors now seeking a hearing, during which the league hierarchy and team owners will convene a meeting , during which, it is believed a unanimous decision will be made, to force the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers by the team’s beleaguered owner Donald Sterling. For all the false bravado, now being shown, by the NBA and their newly installed Commissioner, Adam Silver . The belief that now would be the time, to seize control of an episode in league history, that has come as a complete embarrassment , not just for the NBA , but also the teams , union , players and front office executives within the game in general. It begs the question, why now the proactive stance , when it was widely known across the league of Donald Sterling’s behavior and his views , never mind that within the Orlando Magic organization , the antics of Rich DeVos still goes unpunished but yet apathetic and idiotic fans believe that the Clippers owner’s actions warrants severe punishment. Personally, I have never had any faith in a league hierarchy , where the leadership tends to gloat , with regard to its alleged power. While in reality, it continues to allow the most egregious of actions to go unpunished, with the only thing being yearned for by the NBA, is the continued lust for money , and not a great deal much more beyond that.


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The NBA Postseason has brought about a not too distinctive change or turn of events, Conference Finals within the East and West , has left us with the four best teams in the league, that gives us a repeat of last year’s Eastern Conference Finals , where the Indiana Pacers are playing host to the defending NBA champions, the Miami Heat . Out West, the San Antonio Spurs will provide the setting at the AT&T Center in San Antonio , Texas , for the first two games of their best of seven-game series against the Oklahoma City Thunder . Scott Brooks will have done without Serge Ibaka , whose injury in the team’s series against the Los Angeles Clippers , will force the center to miss the remainder of the NBA Playoffs. As a big a blow as that might seem to be , one would be foolish to write off the Thunder , knowing that League MVP and Oklahoma’s best player in Kevin Durant , appears to be a man on a mission this postseason. Idiotic criticism of the charismatic and gifted player, bordered on sheer stupidity by several writers who cover the NBA, with some questioning Durant’s killer instinct.

A postseason within the NBA, that has already led to a fair share of melodrama now seems to have hit its stride. The firing of Mark Jackson by the Golden State Warriors’ hierarchy has led to former Phoenix Suns’ front office executive Steve Kerr rebuffing the overtures of Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks, with Kerr agreeing to a five-year $25 million deal with the Western Conference franchise. As to what this might suggest about the ongoing drama within the Knicks’ organization , will lead to ever-growing speculation. The longer that situation continues , it would seem the less likely Carmelo Anthony will come to a decision in remaining with the franchise.

Jackson and the New York Knicks will need to act with a great deal of urgency , as they seek to hire a successor to Mike Woodson , whose abrupt firing was not totally unexpected , given the well-chronicled failures of this team over the past season. Inasmuch, as everyone appeared to be of the belief that Phil Jackson’s insertion within the Knicks’ front office would lead to some semblance of discipline within the organization . The former Chicago Bulls’ first task will be to deal with a roster that is simply laden with some terribly exorbitant contracts and group of largely under-performing players. As to what this says about the previous front office executives brought in by team owner James Dolan to deal with the player personnel decisions for the Knicks. One can either judge Steve Mills , Donnie Walsh , Isiah Thomas and Glen Grunwald, as being a considerable success , while holding the position of general manager of the New York Knicks. Each, has made a colossal mistake during their tenure , perhaps none more so than Isiah Thomas , who at one point, held dual roles, as the head coach and Head of Basketball Operations, while splurging tens of millions of dollars in salary , for players who simply lacked a competitive nature .

All the bravura in the world , cannot hide the ongoing incompetency within the New York Knicks’ organization and the lack of foresight shown by James Dolan. Steve Mills was thrown in at the deep end at the beginning of the season , wherein , he was being asked to work miracles , while working in close conjunction with a coaching staff that simply lacked the aptitude to lead or having the acumen to coach. Beyond the play of Carmelo Anthony , there was simply nothing on display to believe that the Knicks would have been a legitimate contender within the NBA at any point this past season . Phil Jackson has a great deal on his plate, as miracles are being expected , with fans believing that the former Chicago Bulls’ coach can bring about the success he first achieved with the Bulls and then in his two stints with the Los Angeles Lakers . It is my belief that this off-season the roster of the New York Knicks will be totally revamped with several players likely to be jettisoned at the wayside, while seeking to rebuild through the NBA Draft and free agency .

It will be interesting to see what transpires over the coming weeks with the New York Knicks and how Phil Jackson deals with his having been spurned by Steve Kerr and the offer of coaching the Knicks. As to the available candidates , who are likely to be keenly interested in the vacant position. There might have been a time, when such a vacancy might well have been viewed as one of the premiere coaching positions within the NBA, but given the uncertainty of the franchise’s future and the less than forthright approach of Carmelo Anthony and his long-term future with the Knicks. I firmly believe, that Jackson and the organization will be in for some rough times ahead. No amount of presumptive speculation, about who the New York Knicks will be able to acquire can hide the fact that this particular franchise remains in state of complete disarray.

Far be it for me to suggest, but Mike D’Antoni’s resignation of the Los Angeles Lakers was long overdue or be seen as a further sign of Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak being at odds with the head coaches that have coached the team over the past two seasons. Mike Brown’s short tenure , was blissfully erratic and D’Antoni’s tenure, will be viewed , as an outright disaster, with his teams during his coaching stint , failing miserably at every juncture, with no progress whatsoever being made in terms of their play. Excuses will invariably be made, about team injuries, there being no leadership and the very issue of the Lakers, not having drafted anyone in the past three years that has been consistent or productive enough, to aid the franchise along the way.

In having one of their worst seasons in recent Lakers’ history , their finishing with a record of 27-55 does not belie the fact about how bad this team was said to be. Granted, Kobe Bryant was lost to D’Antoni and his coaching staff for much of the past season . It does still beg the question, how could anyone actually believe, that an aging Steve Nash playing alongside Pau Gasol , Chris Kaman , Jodie Meeks , Nick Young , Kent Bazemore , Robert Sacre and Ryan Kelly could be seen as a legitimate contender within the Pacific Division of the Western Conference Conference remains a mystery , just as much as it was an enigma ? Another coaching vacancy remains up for grabs and I am not so sure, that the current situation within the Lakers’ organization is any better than that of the New York Knicks ! Bryant is at the end of an illustrious career , with no more than a year at best , where he can look to equal the feat of his idol , Michael Jordan in winning a sixth NBA championship and championship ring . At this point , I firmly believe that the title won by the Lakers in 2010 , will be the last that we shall witness from this venerable franchise for several years to come !

If you are going to pay in excess of $500 million for an NBA franchise , you had better be sure that it is a sound investment . Inflated prices are indeed driving up the values of NBA teams around the league . The Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks are deemed to be the only three teams in the NBA said to be valued in excess of $1 billion (1,000,000,000) . That being said , as much as Adam Silver might be able to take comfort in that fact , you cannot overlook that the profits of a number of franchises are indeed unacceptable and in some cases, one could view as being precarious . Silver’s predecessor , David Stern always suggested that the franchises within the NBA were some of the most viable in all of professional team sports. If only, the former NBA Commissioner could be believed when extolling those statements to the fans , public and journalists alike. Stern has been able to sell the public a great deal of garbage , that has been bought and paid for by the fans repeatedly over the years , with some fans actually believing his idiocy and actually seeking to defend the now retired former league executive . Apathy does necessarily have its privileges , but there are some fans , who do somehow feel privileged to be apathetic and gullible.

Vivek Ranadive , may well feel, that having purchased the Sacramento Kings, he may well have been seen as the savior of the franchise . Certainly, Sacramento City Mayor and former NBA player, Kevin Johnson , viewed the change in ownership from the Maloof family to the software entrepreneur as something to be relished. Now with the season having ended and the Kings sojourn , being uncompetitive and their troubled star DeMarcus Cousins continuing to be more of a distraction and a headache without showing any real signs of maturity. It is becoming extremely difficult to see how the team in its guise can be viewed as a legitimate contender for an NBA title.

Throughout much of the season DeMarcus Cousins ran afoul of not only the officials during the Kings’ regular season , but he also proved to be a constant irritant among the coaching staff and front office hierarchy . Monetary fines and league mandated suspensions did little to curb the attitude of the troubled star. I was once told by patron, that maturity and attitude simply did not matter concerning an athlete, just as long as they could play. I beg to differ , because the player’s actions in terms of temperament and attitude are a direct reflection of how a fan or fans, perceive the player and at times, a franchise, itself. Cousins for his part, while aware of his souring image seems unapologetic and a great deal of this I believe comes down to his college career while under the tutelage of John Calipari , during the player’s tenure at Kentucky (Wildcats) . Calipari, has always been a coach, whose attitude was simply about winning, while the players under his tutelage simply ran amok, by way of their off and on-court troubles. There has been a reason why , during his collegiate coaching career , several of the programs have come in for a great deal of scrutiny by the NCAA , with a number being cited for infractions of failing to follow NCAA rules and regulations. One has to question how in such instances , it has always been the athletes and program that have to be sanctioned and punished, when there have been clear cases where the coaches themselves , have been just as guilty of the transgressions , that are said to have taken place .

Michael Malone’s rookie season as head coach, was simply one of his finding a way to navigate through the competitiveness of the Western Conference , with a team that on the face of it, would have trouble throughout the season , without ever showing any real signs of progress. As to what the future now holds for the Sacramento Kings will be entirely predicated upon the ambition of Vivek Ranadive and GM Pete D’Alessandro and whether or not they feel that the franchise can survive, while having DeMarcus Cousin as part of those ambitions. Whatever the decision, made by the front office executive and team owner, will hopefully be of benefit to the franchise , rather than having a player, who has proven to be a constant detriment to the Kings , while offering little signs of leadership or maturity.



Picture gallery .

As the NBA Conference Finals begin to take shape, do you believe that the four teams left at this stage of the proceedings, provide the best possible match-up , that the fans and league hierarchy could have sought ? Also, with the issues, now facing the Sacramento Kings and their troubled star DeMarcus Cousins, how do you feel that the franchise can best solve the problem? Leave a comment as you see fit, on this and anything else that you feel may well be relevant to the subject.


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(1) Donald Sterling , the beleaguered owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, who in his first public interview with CNN reporter Anderson Cooper , since the uproar and outrage at his racial remarks , has since further alienated himself , with his criticism of Magic Johnson and what he now states was meant to be an innocuous remark about members of the Jewish faith . There has not really been an act of contrition by Sterling for his prior actions. AP Photo / Getty Images / Harry How ….

(2) Alex Martins of the Orlando Magic is seen here with team owner Rich DeVos at the franchise’s home venue the Amway Center in Orlando , Florida ,. DeVos may well prove to be the next team owner who finds himself in the cross-hairs of the NBA hierarchy, albeit, that would prove to be somewhat prophetic and comedic, given the fact, that after repeated homophobic remarks prior to the recent outcry of the actions of Donald Sterling , DeVos has yet to feel the wrath of the NBA. AP Photo / Keith Marshall …..

(3) Boris Diaw (33) of the San Antonio Spurs drives on Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first quarter in Game One of the Western Conference Finals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on May 19, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. The Spurs would go on to defeat the Thunder in a lopsided victory to take a 1-0 lead in their best of seven games conference finals’ series . Getty Images / Ronald Martinez . …..

(4) Golden State Warriors GM Bob Myers is seen here with the team’s newly installed head coach Steve Kerr . The former Suns front office executive and NBA television analyst , snubbed the overtures of Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks to accept the position with the Warriors and a five-year $25 million contract. Getty Images / Paul Walsh …..

(5) New York Knicks’ President of Basketball Operations Phil Jackson is seen here with noted movie director and fervent Knicks’ fans Spike Lee . Jackson whose offer to Steve Kerr , to succeed Mike Woodson as the head coach was turned down , with Kerr choosing instead to accept the vacant head coach’s position with the Golden State Warriors. This off-season the Knicks’ senior most personnel executive will also have to deal with and placate his star player Carmelo Anthony , by proving to Anthony that it will be his intent to bolster the team’s roster by way of free agency acquisitions and the upcoming NBA Draft . With little wiggle room because of the salary cap ,. Jackson will be forced to seek the trade of several players or simply buyout their contracts , where the case maybe , leaving the franchise in non too enviable position overall . Getty Images / Marco Pantari ….

(6) EL SEGUNDO, CA – NOVEMBER 15: Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak , left, and coach Mike D’Antoni speak at a press conference introducing D’Antoni as the new Los Angeles Lakers head coach beneath a display of Lakers championship trophies on November 15. 2012 at the Lakers practice facility at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California. This past off-season , D’Antoni handed his resignation to the Lakers’ hierarchy led by team owner Jim Buss Mitch Kupchak, which was accepted by the executives. No definitive reason has been given by Mike D’Antoni , but it is widely believed that he did not have the full backing of the Lakers’ playing staff led by Kobe Bryant . Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images ….

(7) ) Vivek Ranadive, owner of the Sacramento Kings . is seen here with Sacramento city Mayor Kevin Johnson. After a tumultuous tenure with the Maloof family as owners, during which Gavi and Joe Maloof over the past seven years have led the franchise through an uncompetitive time-span . AP Photo / Paul Russell …..

(8) DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings whose troubled career within the NBA has been well chronicled . Getty Images / Paula Mason ….




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The boy who cried wolf …..

The boy who cried wolf

Now inasmuch as I love the game of golf and like the majority of the fans , I believe the sole reason to watch the sport, is primarily the ongoing ‘dominance’ of Tiger Woods , as he chases down with a view to surpassing Jack Nicklaus’ all-time Grand Slams’ tournament wins of eighteen Majors . Woods , the winner of fourteen Grand Slam titles , is already a four-time winner on the PGA Tour for this season , as well as leading the PGA Fedex Cup standings . Not so long ago, I read a rather asinine , yet innocuous and inane piece by a fellow blogger, who suggested Woods’ career was on the decline . Clearly , the piece was written by an individual with very little knowledge of the sport and someone who I believe, had done little research if any , into Woods’ career , let alone that of Jack Nicklaus and many of the all-time greats within the sport . It is all too easy to come out with a rationale , yet to make a statement and not have anything to back it up with , is simply asinine and completely lacking in intelligence . Leave that sort of bullshit to those who espouse it best , the lame ass politicians in Congress !


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Slideshow .

In The Players Championship , held this past weekend at the TPC Sawgrass Course in Ponte Vedra , Florida . This tournament often considered to be a “fifth Major” by PGA Tour professionals , had a great deal of thrills and excitement over the four days of competition . Nonetheless , the tournament itself , will now become more known for what has taken place off the course , rather than for any of the exceptional play that was said to have taken place throughout the four days competitive play. Long considered , two of the best players of this era , Tiger Woods and Spaniard , Sergio Garcia , have long held some might say a great deal of animus towards one another . Whereas , Woods has had a considerable amount of success worldwide as well on the PGA Tour . Garcia’s success , if anything , have been fleeting , with no one lingering moment that would indeed make you sit up and take note .

The final round of The Players Tournament would turn out to be a round full of errant play, several players in contention for the lead , with most notably both Woods and Garcia vying for the top spot on the leader-board. As the final holes of this event played themselves out , it was clear for all to see that Garcia was the player under pressure and someone who is not known to handle adversity all that well . Consider the fact that Woods, when in contention for the lead of a tournament from the third round onward , the player is a staggering 52-4 . Pressure ? I’d say that Sergio Garcia might well have been pissing and defecating in his pants , for all of the good it would do ! The Spaniard would suffer a meltdown in the final round of play , twice placing his ball in the water on the fifteenth green as well as double-bogeying that the sixteenth hole , leading to his falling out of contention for a victory . Woods would end up with the victory , his second Players Tournament Championship win and the seventy-eighth of his professional career on the PGA Tour . A mark that now leaves him four behind the all-time leading total of eighty-two wins , held by the legendary and late Sam Snead .

In the aftermath of it all , Garcia would claim that Woods’ conduct was unsportsmanlike , very much unrepresentative of the etiquette of golf . Pardon me for saying this , but since when was there anything remotely resembling the etiquette of golf , much less sportsmanship of the PGA Tour ? Consider the fact, that fairness and sportsmanship is seemingly judged by the interpretation of the rules, as seen fit by Tour Chairman Tim Finchem and members of the PGA Tour Executive Board . And if that wasn’t enough , players are now of a differing opinion , on whether or not belly-putters should be allowed to be used on the Tour by their fellow professionals . One should also not that Tour professional Vijay Singh is now seeking to sue the PGA Tour for loss of reputation and seeking punitive damages for what he says are unfounded allegations that he used a banned substance . With the R&A (Royal & Ancient Golf Club) , international governing body for golf , along with the PGA Tour are now sensitive to the issue of steroids within their sport , as well as now seeking to have te sport reintroduce to the Summer Olympics , first as an exhibition event , in 2016 , and ten formally in 2010 . One could attest to the fact that these are now sensitive times for the sport , as they seek international recognition beyond their already large international fan-base . With WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) and and the USOC (US Olympic Committee) and USADA (US Anti Doping Agency) already tackling the issue of illicit use of banned substances within the sport of cycling and the recent behavior of former seven-time Tour De France champion , Lance Armstrong , does anyone truly believe that Tim Finchem now wants to see golf , its image and the PGA Tour dragged through the mud , with its image sullied any further ? Your thoughts on this all ?

Courtesy of ESPN

Vijay Singh sues PGA Tour

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Vijay Singh sued the PGA Tour on Wednesday for exposing him to “public humiliation and ridicule” during a 12-week investigation into his use of deer-antler spray that ended last week when the tour dropped its case against him.

The lawsuit was a surprise, and so was the timing — the day before The Players Championship, the flagship event on the PGA Tour held on its home course where Singh, who has three major championships among his 34 PGA Tour victories, has honed his game for the past two decades.

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Vijay Singh’s decision to sue the PGA Tour is misguided and says a lot about the man himself, writes’s Bob Harig. Story

“I am proud of my achievement, my work ethic and the way I live my life,” Singh said in a statement. “The PGA Tour not only treated me unfairly, but displayed a lack of professionalism that should concern every professional golfer and fan of the game.”

Singh filed the lawsuit in New York, where he has a home and the tour has an office. He is in the field at The Players Championship and will start with Robert Garrigus and J.J. Henry at 2 p.m. ET Thursday.

The 50-year-old Fijian, inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2006, said in a Sports Illustrated article in January that he used deer-antler spray and he was “looking forward to some change in my body.” The spray was said to include an insulin-like growth factor that was on the tour’s list of banned substances. The tour sent a sample from Singh to be tested, and it returned small amounts of IGF-1.

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem announced April 30 that the tour was dropping its case because of new information from the World Anti-Doping Agency, which said deer-antler spray no longer was considered prohibited because it contained just minimal amounts of the growth factor.

The lawsuit claims the PGA Tour relied on WADA’s list of banned substances and methods without doing any of its own research, including whether such substances even provide any performance-enhancing benefits. Singh’s lawyers said the tour “rushed to judgment and accused one of the world’s hardest working and most dedicated golfers of violating the rules of the game.”

“We have not seen the lawsuit, just the statement,” PGA Tour spokesman Ty Votaw said. “We have no comment.”


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Singh’s character to my mind, still remains in question in spite of his worldwide career , and as an inductee into the World Golf Hall of Fame . When first questioned, on this matter , the Fijian golfer was reluctant to answer any questions on the matter . Vijay Singh is reluctant to discuss the matter in public , without the presence of a legal adviser . As to what that might suggest , I will let you be the judge of that ! Consider also, the PGA’s own rules on banned substances are ambiguous at best , and with the substance in question known to be used by Vijay Singh , commonly known as Deer Antler juice , known to have slight traces of anabolic steroids . It does beg the question how will the PGA Tour and the Royal & Ancient Golf Club address the issue on the Tour as well as on a global basis ? The spirit of the game be damned , if the ambiguity continues , then to hell with this bullshit of fairness and sportsmanship ! It is now time for Finchem and his cohorts to stop blowing smoke up everyone’s ass, in trying to suggest that golf remains the last true bastion of sportsmanship and professional course etiquette , as nothing could be further from the truth .

Well , with a number of series now about to reach a crescendo in the semifinal stages of the NBA postseason . It is now time to take stock of the teams and how they are said to be faring . If you consider yourself to be a loyal and devout New York Knicks’ fan, do you bury your head in shame by the team’s embarrassment in their continually woefully inept displays against the Indiana Pacers ? Or do you simply decry the fact that this is nothing more than an aberration that the team is now facing a pivotal game four while quite possibly being on the cusp of elimination . All season long , Knicks’ fans and many of their players , were seemingly under the impression that it would be preordained that the team would be on their way to the Eastern Conference Finals , and a potential match-up against the Miami Heat . Well as now , things are not looking so good for Mike Woodson’s players , as they seek to erase a 2-1 deficit against Frank Vogel’s all too competitive Pacers’ team .

Tonight’s game will be a true test of the intestinal fortitude of Knicks’ forward , Carmelo Anthony and his teammates when they face the Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indiana , Indianapolis . Grit and determination has been ever present, but it has been the defensive mindset of the Indiana Pacers throughout much of the playoffs . For all of the talk of the Knicks and playoffs their perceived prowess , other than their first round series victory , there has been very little to suggest in this series they are capable of erasing this deficit (2-1).

Should the Pacers prevail , tonight , then it would certainly cast a giant shadow over the Knicks’ organization . Most notably for team owner , James Dolan , GM Glen Grunwald this would be seen as a truly disappointing season , in light of franchise’s own lofty expectations . Of the remaining participants now in the now postseason , only the Miami Heat have a larger payroll than their Eastern Conference counterparts , the New York Knicks. A commitment that is just under $80 million , with the biggest outlay going to Amar`e Stoudemire , a player who has yet to make a solid contribution of any kind to the Knicks during the regular or postseason for the organization. That being said, if Carmelo Anthony is able to lead this team in erasing this deficit , then it leads to a best of three game series’ finale , in what so far has been a highly entertaining and scintillating series .

In world of theater , the saying “ it is not over until the fat lady sings “ , might just be ringing true as it relates to the Oklahoma City Thunder . The number one seed in the Western Conference , now find themselves in a horrendous hole , after last night’s inexplicable six point loss to the Memphis Grizzlies . Needless to say , that the fat lady off stage near right is simply clearing her throat she gets set to regale us will with an aria . On the other hand , it could very well be that Kevin Durant and his teammates are trying to lull us all into a false sense of security . At this juncture , my money is now definitely on the fat chic ! . Who would have thought that the Thunder would be facing a 3-1 deficit , and that Zack Randolph and Marc Gasol would have been amongst the most explosive offensive duos during the postseason ? Not I said the fly ! Likewise , even with the loss of Russell Westbrook to a season ending injury , I still felt that that Scott Brooks’ players had enough to simply withstand an all-out assault from Lionel Hollins’ players . Now all that awaits this Grizzlies’ team and a path to the conference finals , will be for them to close out their series with a rousing game five victory at the Chesapeake Energy Center in Oklahoma City , Oklahoma on Wednesday night when the two teams meet to resume their conference semifinal series . And the chances are , that will be the likely outcome given the rather inconsistent play from the Thunder over the past two games .

The series as they are now placing themselves out within the Western Conference now seems to be taking on a life of their very own . And nowhere is that now self-evident tan the series between San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors . The head coach of the Warriors Mark Jackson has simply made believers out of is doubters who were dubious of his abilities as a coach in the NBA .From my own perspective I firmly believe that Jackson was greatly overlooked in the NBA Coach of The Year balloting , but this is merely my belief , objective as it appears to be.

For the Spurs` Big Three of Tim Duncan , Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker , this might well be the trios` last hoorah . In their time together, the triumvirate have garnered several of the game`s highest individual and team awards . That in of-itself will not be enough to satisfy the most ardent of fans of the San Antonio Spurs , who simply wish to see another title brought to the franchise , whose last postseason triumph, the fourth in their history came in 2007 .

With the series now tied at two games apiece (2-2) , it now leaves Gregg Popovich in something of a dilemma , and how he makes the adjustments needed to secure a series` victory . It is clear that from a defensive standpoint , the Spurs are struggling and have struggled to negate the effectiveness of Steph Curry throughout this series . As Curry goes in this contest , then so might the Warriors` postseason foray and the franchise`s aspirations .



Picture gallery .

In light of the points raised within this article what thoughts if any do you have concerning this article ? Simply leave a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support of this site !


Picture and slideshow details below .


(1) Tiger Woods of the USA plays a shot from the 11th tee during round two of The Players Championship at The Players Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass on May 10, 2013 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Richard Heathcote/Getty Images North America … (2) Sergio Garcia of Spain plays a shot from the 11th tee during round two of The Players Championship at The Players Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass on May 10, 2013 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Richard Heathcote/Getty Images North America ….

(3) Sergio Garcia (left) and Tiger Woods shake hands on the first tee prior to the start of the third round of The Players Championship from the TPC Sawgrass Course at Pontre Vedra Beac , Pontre Vedrea , Florida , AP Poto / Micael Fletcer ….

(4) Vijay Singh (L) of Fiji talks to Robert Allenby of Australia during a practice round for THE PLAYERS Championship at THE PLAYERS Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass on May 8, 2013 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Singh has field a federal civil suit in US Courts claiming defamation of character , libel and slander in a suit filed against the PGA Tour and Commissioner Tim Finchem . Vijay Singh is claiming that suit derives from the fact that the PGA Tour knowingly leaked details concerning an ongoing investigation of his knowingly taken a banned substance . Singh maintains is innocence stating that he only takes a medical supplement known as Deer Antler juice , which does contain small amounts of anabolic steroids . The player is seeking punitive monetary damages . Many of Singh`s peers believe tat is actions will do irreparable damage and harm to the PGA`s reputation and they have called for him to halt his legal action . AP Photo /Keith Meachem ………

(5) New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony wipes his face as he leaves the court following the first half of Game 4 of an Eastern Conference semifinal NBA basketball playoff series against the Indiana Pacers, on Tuesday, May 14, 2013, in Indianapolis. The Knicks would lose game four 92-83 , and now face a pivotal game five on Thursday night , as they are now down 3-1 in the best of seven-game semifinals` conference series . AP Photo/Darron Cummings …..

(6) New York Knicks’ Jason Kidd (5) shoots past Indiana Pacers’ George Hill during the first half of Game 4 of an Eastern Conference semifinal NBA basketball playoff series on Tuesday, May 14, 2013, in Indianapolis. AP Photo/Darron Cummings …..

(7) San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan (21) is fouled by Golden State Warriors’ Harrison Barnes , left, and Golden State Warriors’ Festus Ezeli also defends during the first half in Game 5 of a Western Conference semifinal NBA basketball playoff series , Tuesday, May 14, 2013, in San Antonio. AP Photo/Eric Gay ….

(8) Steph Curry (left) is seen ere looking to defend the lane against the Spurs` Tony Parker during game three of the Western Conference semifinals played at the Oracle Arena in Oakland California on the 10th May , 2013 . AP Poto / Keith McCarron ……



Tophatal 05/14/2013 aIK

NB : As of 14th May 9:32 pm EST no results were known concerning NBA games being played .


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In the land of milk and honey ………

In the land of milk and honey

Well the NFL Draft came and went without too much fuss or ballyhoo , but yet fans are now either trying to speculate as to what now is likely to take place amongst a number of franchises around the league . The biggest story might well have been the New York Jets’ decision to waive the team’s backup quarterback, Tim Tebow . GM John Idzik in many respects , was simply being polite with regard to the player’s future and undoubtedly his deteriorating skillet . Yet , for some sense of purpose there seems to be fans around the NFL , who believe that the player is still capable of playing the game at a high level within the league . From my own perspective in spite of what Tim Tabor was able to achieve in 2011 , he is simply not good enough to play the position in the NFL . Doubt my word , then simply look at the stats which will bear this all out , most notably in 2011 and of course last season .

The pressure now seems to be on the Jets’ incumbent starting quarterback , Mark Sanchez , whose own long-term situation will be under scrutiny by the front office . Not to be left out of that equation also , will be the future of head coach Rex Ryan , whose four years with the franchise , has seen more lows than highs. Ryan it was said , was a defense minded guru of the game , but over the past two seasons, this was not borne out at all , by the team’s play . And with the team’s draft class , said to be one a mixed bag of tricks , with the biggest name of that class being West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith . As to what, this might now mean for Mark Sanchez, can now be determined in the public statements made by John Idzik . The general manager for the fans and public’s consumption has said that in essence all five quarterbacks on the team’s roster will be part of the competition , to fill the starting role for the franchise this upcoming season .

Character issues or not , the young rookie quarterback will have a great deal to prove in his rookie season , if it is his intent to beat out Sanchez , David Garrard , Greg McElroy and Matt Simms , for the starter’s role on this team .

There now seems to be a complete disconnect in the NBA between the intelligence of the players , how they view themselves and what now seems to be happening in the real world . As all know , athletes today, simply see themselves , as above the fray , above the law , and if nothing else , they will have their agents , simply create an image, that in no way reflects who these athletes , actually are . The New York Knicks in the past forty-eight hours have gone from a franchise that was one everyone’s lips as the likely contender and opposition for the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals , to a roster full of self-observed players , in which their fans are now looking to make excuses for the players’ lapse in judgment and their somewhat anemic performance in game five of their first round match-up against the Boston Celtics . A Boston team , who now seem to be playing with a great deal of emotion , in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon tragedy . As to the lapse in judgment , put that down to the juvenile mentality of a seasoned veteran , in Kenyon Martin , who seems to be having something of a rejuvenated NBA life after something of an underachieving career overall . It was at Martin’s insistence , that he and his teammates dressed in black as a show of unison , and apparently as a way of somehow imposing their will upon their opponent . Well, that idiocy seemingly backfired , with the Knicks being hoisted on their own ass , deservedly so , as they were soundly beaten by their Eastern Conference rivals .


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Slideshow .

Forced into a pivotal game six match-up , albeit , that the Knicks lead the series 3-2 , they simply cannot allow the Boston Celtics to come away with a victory tonight , when the two teams meet in a packed TD Bank North arena , in Boston, Massachusetts ,. With seemingly nothing to lose , Celtics’ coach Doc Rivers knows that with his team riding on a wave of emotion and with the fervent support of the residents of Boston , leveling the series and then setting up that series’ deciding game seven , would place the Knicks in an unenviable position . A scenario that doesn’t exactly bode well for the New York Knicks and specifically New York sports’ fans in general . The 2004 ALCS between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees , not only did that series rancor the New York fans , but it set about the spiraling out of control of every fan within the tri-state area who just happened to be a Yankees’ fan , after the Red Sox came back from erasing a 3-0 deficit to win the series 4-3 , then going to win the World Series that season .

The likelihood of that scenario now happening does seem remote , but given the uncertainty shown by this Knicks’ team and the inexperience of this current roster as it relates to postseason play. It would not necessarily be something of a surprise to see the team bow out postseason play . Yet on the other hand , it would be seen as catastrophic , given the high expectations of this organization , the coaching staff and players . It would be pretty much safe to say that after Carmelo Anthony’s spectacular season , the one thing the one thing he is likely to regret , would be for this team to dumped out of the postseason unceremoniously , while the whole NBA world looks on .

The New York Knicks’ fans may well have been justified, in suggesting that their team were perhaps the ones to beat during the regular season , with the exception of the Miami Heat within the Eastern Conference . Yet , when asked to succinctly put into words the strengths and weaknesses on this roster , it was akin to watching a child trying to speak their very first words . They were enraptured , by style over , any real substance , it was as plain and simple , as that ! This Knicks’ team lacks a great deal of heart , lacks toughness , but it overall , when it comes to real adversity , there is no one willing enough to step up to the plate and lead by example . While ESPN analyst and noted journalist Stephen A Smith gushes over the team like a high school senior out on a prom date , believing that he’s unto a sure thing . At the back of his mind , even Smith , is now having reservations as to whether or not they possess the psyche to actually get the job done .

With their being some critical game sixes on the schedule tonight , for all sense and purpose a number of teams participating , are likely to see their seasons come to an abrupt end . This much I do know , of the first round series that have taken place or that have yet to reach their finality . None has been more entertaining than that of the series between the Golden State Warriors and Denver Nuggets . Not only has this contest become one of mental attrition , it has become physical , with now an apparent dislike between the two teams and the opposing head coaches , each making their feelings felt as to the lack of sportsmanship by either . It’s time for George Karl and Mark Jackson to “ throw down “ , take off the gloves , really say what they mean and might feel .

Last night , it all came to a head when the two teams met in game six , with the Warriors looking to close out the series and the Nuggets simply looking to stay alive . Instead , the game became the “coming out party “ for Steph Curry , who this postseason , has been the most electrifying player to watch , as his stature and game has grown. . There was a sense that we were seeing the NBA’s new star , and indeed Curry may well be what the Warriors’ fans have yearned for, after all these years in the wilderness and being the butt of so many jokes around the NBA.

Warriors’ owners , Joe Lacob and Peter Guber , along with Jerry West , have steered this franchise from being a nondescript entity to one of the league’s more surprising teams this season . A season in which the franchise has shone , a great deal now is expected of this team as they proceed forward . In the conference semifinals , a second round match-up against the number two seeds , the San Antonio Spurs awaits Steph Curry and his teammates . As to the likely outcome of that series , much of that will be predicated upon the play of Curry and the coaching ingenuity shown by Mark Jackson . I get the feeling that while that series will be entertaining , the likely outcome will not be what the Warriors’ fans are hoping for !

On Saturday night , WBC and WBA light middleweight champion Floyd Mayweather (43-0,26 KO’s) will defend his welterweight title against fellow American , Roberto Guerrero in what will or should be a highly entertaining spectacle . Mayweather , long regard as the best pound for pound fighter on the planet , in reality is now fighting merely to pad record and the monetary gain. The financial rewards for the titleholder for this bout , is likely to see him , walk away within excess of $25 million , simply for defending his title, and before any residuals are added to that figure. Already , a shrewd businessman , Floyd Mayweather , along with his partner Leonard Ellerbee , through his promotion’s company , now have the financial clout to dictate when , where and whom he fights and that is all set to his own schedule.


Mayweather remains the biggest draw in boxing , and the long awaited bout that many have yearned for , is now unlikely to ever take place . With two recent losses on his record , Manny Pacquiao is now on the decline and no longer a desired opponent of Floyd Mayweather , in spite of his own claims, of having offered the Filipino fighter $25 million guaranteed , to face him at a place of their choosing . The titleholder knows how to talk up a fight , denigrate an opponent , but most of all , he simply knows how self-promote. Not since Muhammad Ali at his very best , have we seen a fighter with this much talent , simply wade through his opponents as if it were all secondary to him and simply a light workout . Granted , one might point to “Sugar” Ray Leonard and Mike Tyson at the height of their acclaim , but neither fighter had the aptitude or showmanship now being exhibited by the Michigan native .

Mayweather for is part, seeks to stake his claim , as one of the best ever in the annals of boxing history . With career earnings in excess of $ 225 million , the fighter recently signed a six-fight deal with the CBS owned Showtime Network , that will see Floyd Mayweather earn $200 million over the duration of the deal, which does not include any of the ancillary benefits normally associated with such deals. Boxing`s steady decline, in terms of viewership and the sport`s now narrow audience , no longer makes it the prerequisite destination for the average male , let alone the legion of females drawn to the bouts and the fighters .

Away from the gladiatorial arena , Mayweather, in a recent interview conducted with ESPN`s , Stephen A Smith , which sought to soften the boxers image . Smith fawned over the fighter. much like a schoolboy with a crush on a teenage girl . The interview in so many ways , was bile inducing drivel and slop , with the fighter pointing to the fact that he was incarcerated for a six-month sentence, during which he stated he missed his kids , spouse and other immediate family members . It should be noted, that the reason for Floyd Mayweather`s incarceration, was the fact he was charged with assault and battery on his spouse , children, as well as threatening a federal witness and law enforcement officer. Yet , this was excluded in the interview while Smith tried to suggest Mayweather had in fact turned over a new leaf in is life. I`m sorry but Smith , like Floyd Mayweather , were simply seeking to blow smoke up everyone`s ass with an interview that simply had no substance to it at all . Being the biggest, doesn’t always mean the best and that now is certainly the case when it comes to journalistic integrity .

One month into baseball`s long and arduous season, it looks as if we already know the teams that seem to be playing themselves out of contention without any chance of being remotely involved in postseason play . I am not about to suggest that this season is likely to be a monumental bust , but there does seem to be something of anomaly being set in this scenario. Coming into this weekend`s schedule , several games are likely to have the fans rooting wholeheartedly for their teams . The Boston Red Sox (20-8) currently have the best record in the Majors leading the AL East by a 2 ½ game margin over the New York Yankees (17-10) .

The San Diego Padres are a team heading nowhere with the team`s coaching staff seemingly at a loss , as to how best to address the woes of the organization . Far be it, for me to suggest , but having changed hands in terms of the team`s ownership , nothing seems to have changed at all in terms of the mediocrity exhibited by the ball-club .

Bud Black has been entrusted to manage this Padres` team . So far this season , things simply have not gone as planned, with the San Diego Padres rooted firmly at the bottom of the NL West with an 11-17 record . The Padres are scheduled to meet the Arizona Diamondbacks in a three-game series at PETCO Park in San Diego , California . The first of those three games are set to start on Friday , 3rd May 2013 , and somehow this contest between two struggling teams , gives credence as to what can go so wrong , when an organization has been completely mismanaged .

What thoughts if any, do you have concerning the points raised within piece ? Simply chime in with a comment as you see fit and as always , thanks for the continued support of this site !


Tophatal ……. 05/03/2013

NB : At the time this posting the series between the Celtics and Knicks was not yet final in terms of a result .


(1) Jets` GM John Idzik and head coach Rex Ryan .

(2) Stephen A Smith and Floyd Mayweather .

(3) Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (30) shoots over Denver Nuggets’ JaVale McGee (34) during the first half of Game 6 in a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, May 2, 2013. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez …

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May 3rd

There Is Always Next Year ….

There Is Always Next Year ….

tophatal ….

The NBA Finals gave us the finality to the postseason and the regular season , with no real surprise at the end of the day . LeBron James led the Miami Heat to their second title in six years , with James being named Finals MVP . Disappointment , may well have been the way game five ended , with Oklahoma City Thunder surrendering a lead , before subsequently bowing their heads in defeat , as the inevitability of their situation became all too much of a reality for Kevin Durant and his teammates .


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Slide show, for your perusal .

Scott Brooks as the losing coach can take solace in knowing that his team gave a gallant effort , albeit that in the game that sealed the Thunder’s fate we saw the coach’s players , simply over-matched . For the Western Conference franchise , this has been a team built through the NBA Draft under the auspices of Brooks and GM Sam Presti . The future remains very bright for this organization which has been very judicious in their business activities assembling players of character to represent the franchise . Team owner Clay Bennett and his partners are fully aware what this basketball franchise means to the community , especially the residents of Oklahoma City. A professional sport’s franchise finally came to the city , which was need of some vibrancy and excitement . The fans have relished the addition to their community , making the franchise one of the most eagerly supported teams in the NBA . The fans of the Oklahoma City Thunder can hold their heads high , even after the ignominy of defeat . Is there a lesson to be learned for the young players on the roster ? From this series’ loss, I genuinely believe that for the upcoming 2012 -13 seasons , we will see a much more resilient organization and a group of players who will acquit themselves well ! There is the common belief around the NBA fraternity that not only this franchise on the rise but there will be an NBA title in their immediate future.

Congratulations, to the players of the Miami Heat , and their thoroughly deserved series’ victory ! Along with this adulation comes the expectations and next , as to whether or not the team can make a successful defense of their title . There is no denying that Heat’s fans having waited long and hard for this victory would like to see the team’s venerable trio of LeBron James , Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh brings this franchise considerably more success in their immediate future . Pat Riley and Micky Arison have the intent not only make that possible of bring multiple title to the city of Miami but the duo are also looking to make this franchise one of the most profitable and valuable teams in the NBA . The addition of LeBron James has reaped dividends for organization and it is clear with that exposure , and the recent success , added business opportunities will come their way. Pat Riley , may well have been viewed as Machiavelli but at this juncture , I am pretty sure that Miami City Mayor Tomas Regalado will be giving the keys the to the city , to not only the team president but also the entire membership of this organization .

If ever there has been a hire in the game of baseball that on appearance you knew was a monumental mistake from the moment formal announcement was made . Then the Boston Red Sox’s hiring Bobby Valentine has to be one of the biggest personnel mistakes made by the front office . GM Ben Cherington and team President Larry Lucchino must now realize that this team is not only self-imploding but there is no apparent leadership forthcoming from any of the veterans of the team’s roster . Now with tirade coming from the Red Sox’s DH …. David Ortiz , you simply have to wonder whether or were seeing the events of last September repeat itself once again . During the final month of the 2011 regular season the team went 7-21 , missing the wildcard berth and the chance to be a part of the postseason . In the aftermath of that mess the departures of Terry Francona and Theo Epstein , essentially led to a great deal of blood-letting with a number of players being jettisoned .

The Boston Red Sox got off to a horrendous start to the season from which they have yet to recover . The team’s pitching has been abysmal in a series of games where the ineptitude exhibited has been beyond belief . The team’s offensive capabilities at best have been sporadic and unconvincing . Bobby Valentine and his coaching staff , have simply been unable to get a cohesive response from the players . The post-game interviews offered up by the beleaguered manager have been nondescript and filled with a great deal of banality . Should the season become more deplorable for the organization , then there is every reason to believe that the front office will consider making some major upheavals on the roster , while seeking to gauge the players from their minor league affiliates to see if they can make a greater contribution to the team . Whether or not calling up players such as Bryce Brentz , Ryan Lvarnway , Xander Bogaerts and Brandon Jacobs would be of benefit to the organization has to be based upon a great deal of conjecture and speculation .

From my own perspective , I believe that the Red Sox’s issues stem from the very fact their intent has been to spend capriciously on talent without truly assessing the team’s needs . Granted , with the use of NESN as an immeasurable tax write-off . However , that cannot explain how situations arise wherein the front office have enormous commitments to the likes of <a href John Lackey , Josh Beckett , Carl Crawford and Marlon Byrd . Players who have essentially failed to show their true worth to the team this season , even in the advent of a number the players in repeatedly being on the disabled list (DL) for one reason or another .

The Red Sox as they seek to close out the month of June , they will have to face the Atlanta Braves , in the second of a three-game series , being be played at Fenway Park , in Boston , Massachusetts . On the mound tonight for the Red Sox will be Franklin Morales (0-1, 3.14 ERA) against Randall Delgado (4-7, 4.12 ERA) . The two pitchers will seek get their respective teams back on track , while improving their own status within the respective leagues . Should the Boston Red Sox fail to make the postseason I do believe that there will be some major upheavals not just within the player personnel but also amongst the coaching staff and with the possibility of Bobby Valentine losing his managerial position .

If the Red Sox are said to be having major problems then what must we make of the current situation now engulfing the Philadelphia Phillies ? Such has been the inconsistency of this team that by season’s end there is the belief that Charlie Manuel and GM Reuben Amaro Jr are likely to be relieved of their duties by the ownership group led by David Montgomery . As of yet , there does not seem to be a great deal of discord between the players management and the front office executives . Now one has to question do the apparent direction that the team now seems to be heading in and what has to counteract the imbalance .

This team with a litany of All Stars in a number of positions , especially amongst the pitching roster . But therein lies the caveat to this all , as Cliff Lee(0-3, 3.48 ERA[GS 14]) , Cole Hamels , Roy Halladay , Joe Blanton and the bullpen have combined to give the Phillies a team ERA of 4.00 , which is amongst the worst in the Majors (MLB) . If that wasn’t enough the team’s offense hasn’t been better as there too they have struggled . Injuries asides , Charlie Manuel’s managerial acumen will be severely tested in the coming months . Hard to believe at almost the midway point of the season the Phillies at 38-33 sits at the bottom of the NL East , looking up at the Miami Marlins (33-37) , Atlanta Braves (38-32) , New York Mets (39-32) and the division leading Washington Nationals (40-28) .

The month of July will prove to be an extreme test of the Phillies but they still have to close out their schedule this month , with a series of games that will pit them against the Tampa Bay Rays , Pittsburgh Pirates and Miami Marlins . The results attained could very well determine how this organization deals with their adversity as they move forward . As we know , just about anything can happen during a short period but I do believe that time is rapidly running out for this organization to turn things around . Granted , the Phillies in recent years have had a considerable amount of success , most notably with their World Series triumph in 2008 , over the Tampa Bay Rays . World Series MVP Cole Hamels had an outstanding series not only in the baseball’s showcase event but also throughout much of the postseason of that year . As passionate and rabid as the Philadelphia Phillies’ fans are said to be their only intent has been to see their teams be triumphant . Winning is just about everything for those vociferous supporters . Losing on the other hand , and the players , coaching staff and the owner will must vilified , as the fans “call for blood” . Would you care to offer an opinion as to how you envisage seeing things ending up for the Phillies this season ?



Picture gallery .

Do you believe that the Miami Heat is now geared towards making a successful defense of their NBA title ? And are you also of the opinion that the team is capable of winning multiple titles with their current “Big Three” of Chris Bosh , Dwyane Wade and LeBron James ? The ill fortune that seems to have befallen the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies , is there a possibility that either baseball team will be capable of turning their seasons around ? Take time to leave a comment on the points raised within this piece .


Picture and slide show details below .


(1) Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant, left, and head coach Scott Brooks, right, wave to fans as they arrive at a rally for the NBA basketball team in Oklahoma City, Friday, June 22, 2012. Even after losing in the NBA Finals, the Thunder returned home to a heroes’ welcome. AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki …

(2) Miami Heat small forward LeBron James celebrates with the most valuable player trophy after Game 5 of the NBA finals basketball series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Friday, June 22, 2012, in Miami. The Heat won 121-106 to become the 2012 NBA Champions. AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

(3) Atlanta Braves’ David Ross , right, looks to the field as Boston Red Sox’s Will Middlebrooks , center, celebrates his solo home run with Cody Ross (7) in the third inning of a baseball game in Boston, Saturday, June 23, 2012. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer …

(4) BOSTON, MA – JUNE 23: Chipper Jones (10) of the Atlanta Braves watches as Will Middlebrooks (64) of the Boston Red Sox rounds the bases after his home run during the third inning of the interleague game at Fenway Park on June 23, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images …

(5) BOSTON, MA – JUNE 23: Michael Bourn (24) of the Atlanta Braves slides safely into first base beating Adrian Gonzalez (28) of the Boston Red Sox to the bag as Franklin Morales (46) of the Boston Red Sox looks on during the third inning of the inter-league game at Fenway Park on June 23, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images …

(6) ) (L-R) President and CEO of the Red Sox Larry Lucchino , Executive Vice President and General manager Ben Cherington , Bobby Valentine and Principal Owner John Henry attend a press conference announcing Valentine as the new manager of the Boston Red Sox during a press conference at Fenway Park on December 1, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. Getty Images North America / Elsa Martinez …

(7) Tampa Bay Rays’ Jose Lobaton (21) scores as Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz looks for the ball in the second inning of an inter-league baseball game Saturday, June 23, 2012, in Philadelphia. Lobaton scored from first on a two-RBI double by Jeff Keppinger . AP Photo/H. Rumph Jr …..

(8) NEW YORK, NY – MAY 30: Cliff Lee (33) of the Philadelphia Phillies looks on after giving up a two run home run to Lucas Duda (21) of the New York Mets during their game on May 30, 2012 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

(9) GM Reuben Amaro is seen here alongside Charlie Manuel after the Philadelphia Phillies’ World Series’ triumph in 2008 . However, 2012 has brought along nothing but misery for the team as labor under a 38-32 record which has the ball club rooted at the bottom of the NL East . Amaro has made it clear that if the team is not in contention for the division or playoff by late July , then there will be moves made as part of a cost-cutting exercise to pare down salary . AP Photo / Paul Mason …


MLB news

MLB results 23rd June 2012

MLB schedule 24th June 2012

MLB standings @ 23rd June 2012

NBA news

2012 NBA Finals

It’s The Big Boys Time To Shine ……..

It’s The Big Boys Time To Shine ……..

By tophatal …… 6/11/2012 11:56:36 AM

The NBA Finals’ matchup is now known with Miami Heat having overcome the Boston Celtics . They will be the guests of the Oklahoma City Thunder in game one of the best-of-seven game series . For coaches Erik Spoelstra and Scott Brooks this will the stage where they will prove themselves to be the most skilled of NBA coaches .

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Slide show , for your perusal .

And for the team owners in question Micky Arison of the , Miami Heat and Clay Bennett of the Thunder , this gives each the legitimacy of seeing their respective franchises rise to levels of expectations and ambitions that they envisaged . For Brooks’ team they were easily the convincing victor over the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals . With the litany of All Stars on display from both teams in this postseason finale , should prove to very exciting to say the very least .

Clearly , with what is at stake neither team comes into the series under the misapprehension that the NBA title is theirs by divine right . That may well have been the case for the Miami Heat last season as their complacency caused them to be defeated in the 2011 NBA Finals . The Dallas Mavericks came away triumphant while the Heat players on the Heat came away with their tails hanging between their legs .

LeBron James this season’s league MVP and a three-time winner of the award is seeking his first NBA title . Having already made two appearances in the NBA’s showcase event , once each with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat , James now seeks to add to the legitimacy of being recognized as the best player in the NBA . With two-time scoring champion Kevin Durant leading this young Thunder roster being on the opposing side , this series could be an affirmation for both players as well their respective franchises. And given the rise of the Oklahoma City Thunder , who could be looked upon now as the dominant franchise within the Western Conference . We now look to see if Durant and his teammates can presumably take that next step by defeating the very best that the Eastern Conference has to offer this season.

LeBron James will be ably abetted by teammates Chris Bosh , Dwyane Wade and the cast of role players . Erik Spoelstra knows that he is under a great deal of pressure to succeed and if he should fail at this juncture there is the likelihood he could very well meet the same fate as his predecessor Stan Van Gundy , who was fired by Heat team President Pat Riley .

I view this series beyond the customary matchups but as one strategizing by the respective coaches . With so many variables at play between two evenly matched teams , in terms of defense and offense . This NBA Finals , will come down to who desires the victory more.

I will not be making any prognostications as to the outcome of this series , having seen my beloved San Antonio Spurs succumb to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals . The franchise is now at a crossroads with an aging core but with several young and aspiring players seeking guidance from the veterans on the team . Tim Duncan after fourteen years in the NBA , his career is now on the decline . He is no longer the player who effortlessly assumed the mantle of leadership from David Robinson . And Duncan would then lead the franchise to another three NBA titles , to add to the first , won in conjunction with the Hall of Fame center . Gregg Popovich , GM R C Buford and team owner Peter Holt have a number of decisions to make during the offseason , before the 2012-13 schedule gets underway in September . I firmly believe that Tim Duncan should walk away with his head held high having achieved so much over the course of his distinguished career. It has been Duncan , Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli , who in recent years have made this franchise the success it has been .

Consider the , fact that in twelve of the last fifteen years the franchise has posted 12 consecutive seasons of fifty-plus wins and five conference finals’ appearance in conjunction with their four NBA titles . So it should come as no surprise that Thunder GM Sam Presti who served an apprenticeship under R C Buford , has molded the franchise along the very same lines as that of the San Antonio Spurs . That in of-itself should be an indication as to the aspiration of the franchise and how this ball-club has built its roster judiciously through the NBA Draft and free agency acquisitions . Long-term this franchise could very well become the dominant force within the Western Conference as they assume control of the conference and be looked upon as a perennial contender . Chances are , we are seeing the rise of Oklahoma City Thunder as a franchise , looking to take over from the likes of the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs .



Picture gallery .

As either a passing observer or an avid NBA fan, what event has been the most pleasing thing to witness this postseason ? Which team do you believe is the presumed favorite in the NBA Finals ? Do leave a comment as you see fit .


Picture and slide show for your perusal
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(1) Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant (35) and Kendrick Perkins take a break during practice, Monday, June 11, 2012, in Oklahoma City. Game 1 of NBA Finals basketball between the Miami Heat and Thunder is Tuesday. AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki …..

(2) MIAMI, FL – JUNE 09: LeBron James (6) of the Miami Heat speaks with the media after beating the Boston Celtics in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena on June 9, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images …

(3) Dwyane Wade (3) and LeBron James (6) of the Miami Heat speak with the media after beating the Boston Celtics in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena on June 9, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images ….

(4) Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (35), Thabo Sefolosha (2) , Russell Westbrook (0) talk during practice, Monday, June 11, 2012, in Oklahoma City. Game 1 of NBA finals basketball between the Miami Heat and Thunder is Tuesday. AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki ….

(5) Miami Heat owner Micky Arison receives the NBA Eastern Conference trophy from former Heat player Alonzo Mourning , Saturday, June 9, 2012, in Miami, after the Heat defeated the Boston Celtics 101-88 in Game 7 of the conference finals . AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee …

(6) Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook holds the western conference trophy after Game 6 in the NBA basketball Western Conference finals against the San Antonio Spurs, Wednesday, June 6, 2012, in Oklahoma City. The Thunder won 107-99 and move on to the NBA Finals . (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

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NBA news

2012 NBA Finals

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Miami Heat roster …. & … team stats

Erik Spoelstra coach’s bio

Oklahoma City Thunder news

Oklahoma City Thunder roster …. & ….. team stats

Scott Brooks coach’s bio



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“Baby Cham “ …. & Alicia Keys …. “ Ghetto Story “

Pick Your Poison ? The Officials ……………. Or How To Interpret The Rules ?

Pick Your Poison ? The Officials ……………. Or How To Interpret The Rules ?

What if anything are you looking forward to in the upcoming NBA playoffs ? The seedings are pretty much set with regard to the upper echelons of the divisions and the respective conferences that are the East and Western Conference of the NBA . Twelve more regular season games are due to played over the next fourteen days before the postseason begins. And this avid basketball fan is most certainly looking forward to its commencement . That being said the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament has hit full stride with the Sweet 16 now set to begin . At this time of the year is there as such , a better spectacle that can befall a basketball fan ? I think not !


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Slide show for your perusal .

A patron of my site who’s an avid college and NBA basketball fan is convinced that the NCAA has essentially made sure that a number of teams have been given somewhat of an easy passage through to the Sweet 16 and I’m not about to completely disagree with his outlook on the matter. I even question at times the whole process as to how collegiate athletics’ governing body chooses the participants for the national championship. Granted , conference champions , conference tournament champions are automatic qualifiers and so too are the respective conference divisional champions but herein lies the dilemma of those teams/programs who may well have come up short in the eyes of the NCAA . It’s then left to the competition committee to make those final arbitrary choices that can at times bring instant notoriety to a school or abject disappointment . Such are the vagaries of what we see fosters competition at the amateur level as prescribed by the NCAA.

The NBA for its part once its postseason starts , tends to be clouded with no less controversy but here it tends to be with the officiating and the complete inconsistency shown by the referees . And if you think that the performances during the regular season are grossly filled with mediocre decisions and suspect adjudication from not just the head referee and his assistants , simply look at what takes place over the course of the postseason ? I’ve always maintained that until NBA Commissioner David Stern and the league hierarchy begins to address these problems head on, we will continue to see gross errors in judgment and in the performances of the officials. Stern believes so implicitly in the officiating that any form of criticism of a referee is usually met with a hefty fine for anyone critical of an oncourt official , be it a player or a coach . And with Stern’s autocratic rule there tends to be no right of recourse even in light of when there’s found to be an error in judgment after the fact by an official . Can’t say you’re not forewarned as what to expect this postseason .

In light of that fact I’m not about to say that the teams will have to be wary of the officials but I do know this , there’s bound be a situation at some point in a game where a call will come into question during the NBA postseason . We’ve seen it happen far too often in seasons past and it has happened with an alarming regularity . And it will most definitely happen again during these playoffs , if anything it could very well prove to be the turning point in a closely competitive series between two teams that will in the end leave one on the outside looking in when it’s all said and done . And that to my mind is no way to decide a series when it comes down to human error by an official during a game ! OK , so one plays to the whistle rather than seeking a call but what happens when you know there to be an error and it’s falling on deaf ears with regard to lodging an appeal with the referee during the game ? Unfortunately the result will always stand even in the light of one being able to prove that the official may well have made a call that has cost a team a game or series.

During the NCAA Tournament itself , I’ve not as such seen any major errors by the officials but I have at times questioned one or two of their calls . I’m not about to suggest that these officials are inexperienced as many of them have a great many years of experience officiating at all levels of the amateur and collegiate ranks. And I’ve no doubt that they’re richly rewarded dependent upon their skill-set and experience. The same can also be said for the referees amongst the professional ranks and I’ve no doubt that there too they’re just as passionate about the game as their counterparts amongst the collegiate level. But at times not unlike any other NBA fan the officials will draw my ire with their mistakes that I’ve often said that even Stevie Wonder could’ve recognized were he officiating an NBA game ! The fact of the matter is , for now , this will be the best that there is to offer the fans by way of the officiating that we will all witness and it’s unlikely to change anytime soon . So as of now it’s pick your poison the officials or how to interpret the rules ?



Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts do you have on the officiating that you’ve witnessed within the NCAA Tournament and what you’ve actually witnessed by the officials within the NBA over the course of the regular season ? Also are you in agreement with me on my conclusions that there has and always will be gross standards of officiating by the referees during the NBA’s own postseason , bearing mind also that those mistakes become more heightened now than they normally are during the regular season merely because of what is ultimately at stake for the participating teams ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts on the points raised within this piece and any other thoughts you might have with regard to the NCAA Tournament and that of the culmination of the regular season within the NBA and opening of its postseason schedule .

Alan aka tophatal ……………………….

Picture and slide show details below .

(1) Utah Jazz forward Paul Millsap (24) drives past New Orleans Hornets forward David West (30) for a shot during the second half of an NBA basketball game on Thursday, March 24, 2011, in Salt Lake City. The Hornets won 121-117. AP Photo/Jim Urquhart ………

(2) Utah Jazz guard Ronnie Price bottom and New Orleans Hornets center Aaron Gray dive for a loose ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game on Thursday, March 24, 2011, in Salt Lake City. The Hornets won 121-117. AP Photo/Jim Urquhart …….

(3) Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) of Germany shoots against Minnesota Timberwolves’ Anthony Randolph (15) and Anthony Tolliver (44) during the second half of the NBA basketball game in Dallas, Thursday, March 24, 2011. AP Photo/LM Otero ………

(4) AUBURN HILLS, MI – MARCH 23: Dwyane Wade(3 of the Miami Heat gets fouled by Tracy McGrady(1) of the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills on March 23, 2011 in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Miami won the game 100-94 . Gregory Shamus / Getty Images …………..

(5) Xavier Henry stands with NBA Commissioner David Stern after being drafted twelfth by the Memphis Grizzlies at Madison Square Garden on June 24, 2010 in New York City. Al Bello / Getty Images ………….

(6) Alex Tyus #23 of the Florida Gators and Noah Hartsock #34 of the Brigham Young Cougars tip off to start their game during the Southeast regional of the 2011 NCAA men’s basketball tournament at New Orleans Arena on March 24, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images ……..

(7) Jimmer Fredette (32) of the Brigham Young Cougars reacts during their 74 to 83 loss to the Florida Gators in the Southeast regional of the 2011 NCAA men’s basketball tournament at New Orleans Arena on March 24, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images ……

(8) Ohio State forward Jared Sullinger, left, laughs after head coach Thad Matta broke his concentration during a free throw during practice for an East regional semifinal game in the NCAA college basketball tournament, Thursday, March 24, 2011, in Newark, N.J. Ohio State will play Kentucky on Friday. AP Photo/Julio Cortez …..

(9) Solomon Hill (44) of the Arizona Wildcats drives to the basket against Miles Plumlee (21) and Kyle Singler (12) of the Duke Blue Devils during the west regional semifinal of the 2011 NCAA men’s basketball tournament at the Honda Center on March 24, 2011 in Anaheim, California. Duke would fall to Arizona 93-77 in somewhat of a lopsided game . Harry How / Getty Images ………



NBA News

NBA Playoff picture

NBA Standings by Conference

NBA Schedule

Thursday night 2 games results

Minnesota T’wolves vs Dallas Mavericks 104 -96

Utah Jazz vs New Orleans Hornets 121-117

Friday 25th March 2011 13 games

Saturday 26th March 6 games

Sunday 27th March 9 games

NCAA Basketball Tournament News

NCAA Brackets

Results & Scores

Scheduled games for Friday 25th March ,2011

Ohio St —- v —- Kentucky
Marquette —- v —- North Carolina
Kansas —- v —- Richmond
Florida St —- v —- Virginia Commonwealth (VCU)

Results 24th March 2011

Elite 8

Teams in to the Elite as of Thursday night

Arizona —- vs — U Conn

Butler —- v —- Florida

Games scheduled for Saturday 26th March , 2011




Baje Fletcher

Eye candy …………………….. Baje Fletcher

Jasmine Jannay

Jasmine Jannay courtesy of King Magazine

Phil Collins ………………. ” In The Air Tonight”


Mystikal …..feat’g …….. Nivea ……………………. “Danger “(Been So Long)