Hashish Is The Spice of Life …………

Hashish Is The Spice Of Life So Says Deron Williams

Let’s get one thing clear and stop with the utter stupidity that the statement in which New Jersery Nets’ point guard Deron Williams whose choice to pursue and offer his talents to top Turkish basketball side Beseitkas BC is all about money. The player who left the Utah Jazz in a trade transaction that was a multi player deal to make his home with the Nets . Multi billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov and the front office had to have given his blessing for this deal even with the advent of the NBA mandated lockout. The vested interest that the organization has in the player and the fact that GM Billy King knows that they would rather have a happy player rather than a discontented one .

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Williams simply doesn’t need the money as he’s the thirteenth highest paid player in the league and has sizable endorsement contracts that simply gives the player all the money he could simply ever wish for. What most patrons who’ve proffered up a commentary on this issue fail to understand is that the NBA players are not covered their teams’ insurance coverage during a labor stoppage so it makes prudent financial sense for a player to seek plying his trade elsewhere. The caveat being however , it does give an NBA team the right to void the player’s contract should they have a serious injury that could curtail their career during their sojourn. In the case of Deron Williams he will be financially rewarded with a $ 5 million one year contract , an assistant , the lease of a brand new car , a luxurious home for the player , his immediate family , round the clock security and all of his living expenses will be paid for by Beseitkas during the player’s stay in Turkey. The team itself is one of the top club sides in Europe alongside Maccabi Tel Aviv of Israel .

Nets’ team owner Mikhail Prokhorov is seen here with minority equity stake partner Jay-Z . The two will combine their resources in bringing the team to the Barclay Yard Development in Brooklyn , New York in two years . Courtesy of NESN.com copyrighted material @ all rights reserved ….

Now with Williams’ wish to play abroad it remains to be seen whether or not any of the league’s marquee stars will seek to ply their trade abroad . With all of the rumors currently circulating that Kobe Bryant is said to be interested in playing in Italy , I for one find that premise somewhat misleading with the mere fact with the player coming off surgery , it is highly unlikely that Bryant would seek to have a re-occurence of injury while playing abroad . If anything the player is more liable to rest and recuperate while awaiting an outcome of this work stoppage initiated by the league hierarchy at the insistence of the NBA team owners .

Courtesy of Foxsports

NBA stars going overseas a bad sign

By Dan Wolken

So Deron Williams wants to play in Turkey if the NBA season doesn’t start on time, which is certainly his right. In theory, it’s a decent way to spend a few months: Hang out in Europe, make money and play basketball while the NBA bickers its way through a lockout. It sounds so good, in fact, that within minutes of Williams’ agent confirming the agreement, superstars ranging from Carmelo Anthony to Kobe Bryant indicated an interest in joining him overseas.

But just by entertaining the idea of a European exodus, NBA stars are already showing the kind of selfishness and greed that will ultimately undermine the Players Association in what could be a long, ugly labor war.

A number of basketball people reacted the same way to the news Williams had agreed to play for Besiktas: They’ll believe it when they see it. But even if Williams never makes it to Turkey, the mere notion of it has already caused problems for players on the margins of the NBA.

With the possibility that legitimate NBA players and even some All-Stars could sign for the duration of the lockout, there are some early indications that players who typically go overseas may be squeezed out until European teams see who they can get.

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With that in mind this can’t sit well with the owners knowing that their players would seek to ply their trade elsewhere while the league itself is in the midst of a labor dispute . But so asinine has been the situation that it is hard to see how David Stern , Adam Silver as Deputy Commissioner can seek to resolve this situation when the league hierarchy and the NBPA are so far apart in renegotiating the collective bargaining agreement which expired on the 30th June.
The union’s Executive Director Billy Hunter along with union president Derek Fisher and its <a href=”http://npba.org/leadership”&gt; executive committee are insistent they have no wish to accede and make any concessions to the league unless the owners and hierarchy are prepared to acquiesce and reciprocate in kind. That at present doesn’t, appear to be an option but it remains to be seen over the ensuing days and weeks how things will work themselves out . This much is certain if the hierarchy and players aren’t on the same page by the time by the mini camp and preseason starts , we could well be seeing a prolonged stoppage with the possibility that the 2011-12 season not starting on time until either January of 2012 or perhaps the season being completely abandoned altogether .

The NBA’s teams at present are hemorrhaging money with more than half the teams in the league now said to be incurring multi million dollar losses . A patron of my site tried to allude to the fact that much of what is being stated concerning the teams’ losses is mere subterfuge on the part of the NBA and the fact that there are clear indications that the teams are in fact making millions . A recent article in noted financial publication Forbes Magazine states that much of the NBA hierarchy’s claims are a fallacy but herein lies the caveat with regard to those claims , it is merely that the contributor of that article merely remarked about the fact that much of the revenues derived by the teams are in fact from season and general admission ticket sales and that of concessions during regular season games . Not much was made with regard to revenues streams derived from the NBA’s own marketing and branding operations . Now inasmuch as I’ve a great affinity for Forbes Magazine and what it at times bring to the table I found the article on the NBA’s finances something of a faux pas on their part ! The article failed to touch on the very fact that in 2009 and 2010 respectively the league received cumulatively in excess of $550 million in loans which was shared amongst 22 teams around the NBA . If that is not indicative of a league that is said to be in dire straits then can someone please explain to me what is ? David Stern in his formal statement in 2009 concerning the first series of loans made the suggestive statement ….. ” that this should not be viewed as a financial bailout of the teams in question but merely a way of assisting them in their financial difficulties”. Over this last decade the league’s teams have borrowed in excess of $1.6 billion from major financial institutions across the nation. Clearly a situation that the league now needs to address as to the financial acumen of its teams and their general managers .

After a nine year career much of it filled with a great deal of disappointment Houston Rockets’ center Yao Ming we’re told will make a formal announcement stating that he will retire from the game. Recurring injuries and ill health throughout much of his career led to this decision where the 7′ center feels it necessary call it a day. Drafted in the 2002 NBA Draft first overall by the Rockets Yao Ming would make his home in Houston leading the team in a number offensive categories over much of his career .

The faith shown in Yao Ming by general manager Daryl Morey and owner Leslie Alexander has been implicit but it has been the growth of the game in Yao’s homeland of China that must first be appreciated . Granted , the population (1.6 billion and counting) may well have known about Michael Jordan through jersey , other sports apparel sales and the presence of Nike Inc which has several manufacturing plants dotted all over the country gave a heighten awareness to the game and NBA brand in the Far East.

With Yao’s apparent wish to step away from the game it has to be said that league hierarchy will see this as something of a sad loss . Commercially the player had the second highest jersey sales in his native land behind Kobe Bryant but without the Chinese native’s rise to the top of the game and the legions of fans within China that now follow the NBA , this has all been due to his presence within the professional ranks in North America.

Success though fleeting for the Rockets with Yao’s arrival and the awareness of the Sino American community within the state of Texas and in particular within the city of Houston laid the foundation for the organization and its selling of the player to the community at large . Yao Ming played his role in that task and it became clear that the Houston Rockets and NBA at large would profit greatly from this endeavor. And though it is questionable as to how Yao Ming’s career will be viewed by the fans and analysts at large . A great player in his own right on both ends of the court it has to be said there will be those who will debate overall whether or not he has actually been a success in the NBA . Debate it at will but there will be those who come out in favor of the player and those who will also question where he stands within the game. The preeminent centers within the game as Yao’s peers were Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard once he became a force in the league but it has to be said the thinning of the position with O’Neal now retiring leaves us with not much by way of the prototypical center within the NBA.

From my own perspective with the retirement of Yao from the game it now leaves a large gap of what I believe to be truly good centers within the NBA ! Certainly amongst the centers now playing the game Dwight Howard immediately comes to mind and that of Andrew Bynum with the latter yet to refine his game and live up to the perceived expectations as to how good he can really become. I think that comes more out of conceit on the part of Bynum , the fact he is self absorbed and believes himself privileged . And if the Los Angeles Lakers are to be resurgent once again then he will have to raise the level of his play.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

In your opinion do you feel that the departure of Deron Williams to play in Europe will be sign that other marquee players will seek to ply their trade elsewhere ? Also with what is said to be the imminent retirement of Yao Ming what thoughts if any do you with regard to play of the centers that are now playing in the NBA ? Do you believe that it is on the decline or is it your opinion that this is merely a cyclical situation and we will once again see a dominant player at the position ? Simply chime with a comment as you deem fit .

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

Picture and slide show details below.

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(1) FILE – This Feb. 24, 2011, file photo shows New Jersey Nets’ Deron Williams posing in front of his poster at a news conference, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Turkish team Besiktas says it is close to reaching a deal with NBA All-Star guard Deron Williams. The New Jersey Nets say they can’t comment because of the lockout. AP Photo/Bill Kostroun ……

(2) New Jersey Nets draft pick Jordan Williams speaks during an introductory NBA basketball news conference as Marshon Brooks looks on Monday, June 27, 2011, in East Rutherford, N.J. AP Photo/Bill Kostroun ….

(3) New Jersey Nets general manager Billy King speaks during an introductory NBA basketball news conference as draft pick Bojan Bogdanovic , left, looks on Monday, June 27, 2011, in East Rutherford, N.J. AP Photo/Bill Kostroun ……

(4) Nets’ team owner Mikhail Prokhorov is seen here with minority equity stake partner Jay-Z . The two will combine their resources in bringing the team to the Barclay Yard Development in Brooklyn , New York in two years . Courtesy of NESN.com copyrighted material @ all rights reserved ….

(5) This file photo taken on June 27th, 2011 shows NBA Houston Rockets’ Chinese basketball star Yao Ming listening to a question during a press conference in Taipei. Chinese media was rife with speculation on July 11, 2011 about what basketball icon Yao Ming might do next, after reports the country’s most famous sporting export is set to retire. AFP PHOTO /Getty Images / FILES / Sam YEH …..

(6) LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 26: Yao Ming (11) of the Houston Rockets looks on during their opening night game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on October 26, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images …..

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My Horse My Horse My Kingdom For A Horse

My Horse My Horse My Kingdom For A Horse

Well the NBA ___ preseason will start within the next three weeks and all signs point to the fact that all of the power will return to the Eastern Conference. I could well be wrong in my interpretation but with the possible move of Carmelo Anthony moving from the Denver Nuggets to the New Jersey Nets . It would appear that the conference could see a re-emergence in terms of supremacy.

No doubt with the Miami Heat with its trio of stars corralled by Heat President Pat Riley , his three musketeers in the guise of LeBron James , Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh will look to be the dominant team within the conference. However with such teams as the Orlando Magic , Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics all looking to make the Heat the pretenders to the crown that's still in the possession of the Los Angeles Lakers. And until the champions are knocked off their pedestal then all homage has to be paid to the Lakers.

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Courtesy of The New York Daily News

Donnie Walsh regrets using draft pick for Tracy McGrady, which may help Houston land Carmelo Anthony

By Frank Isola

Donnie Walsh admitted Wednesday that he second-guesses himself for including a first-round pick in last year’s Tracy McGrady deal.

In fact, the Houston Rockets are dangling that 2012 first-round pick in a potential deal for Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony, a player the Knicks are also heavily pursuing.

“I’ll second-guess myself forever on that,” Walsh said of including a 2012 first-round pick in the McGrady trade. “I’ve always wondered about that. I didn’t like it when we did it.”

On Feb. 18, 2010, McGrady was traded to the Knicks as part of a three-team deal involving Houston and Sacramento. The Knicks and Rockets exchanged 2011 first-round picks in the deal, and because the Knicks added their 2012 first-round pick, they are prohibited by league rules to trade their 2013 first-round pick.

In fact, Walsh revealed that he is trying to acquire a first-round pick that he theoretically could include in a deal for Anthony.

Both Walsh and coach Mike D’Antoni believed the McGrady trade helped the Knicks because it created enough salary-cap space to sign free agents Amare’ Stoudemire and Raymond Felton over the summer.

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Now while it's yet to be confirmed that the trade will go down it's expected that Anthony could be looking to land with a team that has the potential to be considered a contender not just within the conference but quite possibly as a title contender . And while there's every belief that a trade will happen , I'm not entirely sure that the player will go to the lowly Nets spite of the team now being owned by Russian multi-billionaire entrepreneur Mikhail Prokhorov. This much we do know Prokhorov is an ambitious owner who wants to set his seal of approval within the NBA. I'm under no illusion about Prokhorov, that he is serious about making the Nets a contender but this team is at least two years of actually being considered a contender within its own division much less the rest of the Eastern Conference. And while there's burgeoning talent there in terms of Derrick Favors, Brook Lopez and Devin Harris beyond that there's very little there to suggest that with the addition of Carmelo this team would make a sizable gain in terms of wins when measured against last season's total of 12 wins.

And while no one might view this as significant I'm in agreement with ESPN's NBA analys and writer Chris Broussard that either Chicago Bulls or the Houston Rockets could very well make a play for Carmelo Anthony. They have the contracts that are coming to a close an end and a number of players that are surplus to their needs. Acquiring Anthony would be of benefit to the team and Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey being as insightful as he is , he knows that obtaining a player of this magnitude would be of benefit not only to the organization from a business standpoint as it would help the bottom line of a franchise that has struggled eke out a profit and being seen as the lesser light within the “Lone Star State” , as the rise in prominence of the Dallas Mavericks and the four time NBA champions the San Antonio Spurs. For the Rockets they've not been viewed as a perennial contender since the halcyon days of Hakeem Olajuwon and the coaching pedigree of Rudy Tomjanovich.

What we do know is that the Western Conference is still the weighted conference in terms of quality laden teams. The talent is there and with the emergence of the Oklahoma City Thunder and two truly rising stars in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook we could well see the further dominance of the NBA by Western Conference teams. Now there are those fans within the Eastern Conference who view the Heat and their trio who are looking to bring back some prominence to South Beach. And while no one is under any illusion that the Heat are expected to have a dominant season it has to be said anything short of winning the title will be looked upon as a complete failure. There's a reason why Heat owner Micky Arison , team President Pat Riley, coach Erik Spoelstra and his coaching staff has set this all in motion. The franchise needed a boost and with declining revenues and the fact franchise's bottom line had shown a steady decline over the last four years something had to be done. And now with general ticket sales on the rise , that of the executive suites and memorabilia it could mean all or nothing for the club.

I'm under no illusion that the Heat are presumptive favorites I do feel that we ought not to overlook teams such as the Celtics , Lakers , Magic, Spurs and Thunder. The latter I've stated because to my mind I view them as contenders who could very well upset the apple cart. On the other hand I'll be looking to see whether or not the Dallas Mavericks can prove me wrong by showing that they can actually play with some heart. To my mind this team has always built on the premise that if they have a good regular season that's enough to satisfy their fans . Mark Cuban to my mind while he's demonstrative and highly opinionated his greatest problem is that the talent of the Mavericks isn't as good as he believes it to be. And unfortunately while Dirk Nowitzki is a year older the talent around him simply doesn't show that they can play with a passion and can be physical when needed to be. A closet full of "queens" (homosexuals) show more passion and physicality than the Mavericks have shown. Less we forget their sole appearance in the NBA Finals led to them having their asses handed to them on a silver platter. And at present there's nothing that'd lead me to believe that the same outcome isn't liable to happen again. Rick Carlisle as the team's coach hasn't the wherewithal to have the team batten down and the hatches when adversity stares them in the face. If anything as we've seen repeatedly over the years they've buckled under the weight of expectation. Is it liable to happen again this ? Well I think that will the case and there's not much that can dissuade me to think otherwise.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Are you as a fan looking forward to the upcoming season in the NBA and how do you see things panning out for the Miami Heat ? Are they capable of usurping the Lakers and bringing the championship back to the Eastern Conference and in particular to South Beach ? Chime on in with your thoughts and observations and as always thanks for the continued support .

🙂 _ 😦

Alan aka tophatal

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Russian model , actress and former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko .

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Less is more as they say and the more of Olga that we see the better off we are !

And The Winners Are

And The Winners Are

Well now that we know that LeBron James will resume his professional NBA career elsewhere there are now bound to be winners and losers amongst this all. Obviously the biggest losers here are the Cleveland Cavaliers’ organization , the city of Cleveland and the team’s now once again emotionally stricken fans. The team hierarchy of Dan Gilbert gave it his best shot but it became abundantly clear that he and GM Chris Grant were out of their depth and faced an uphill battle to entice the player to remain with the team. They’d done nothing to assure the player that they were serious in acquiring the talent to make the team better! . And the hiring of Byron Scott was too little and much too late .

The fallout from this is now clear as James will be now viewed as a pariah by the fans who many of which will have felt that he betrayed them. Furthermore for the businesses in the city of Cleveland this will come a boon to them with the thought that James will no longer be there. Especially given the fact that at home games at Quicken Loans Arena ___ business was brisk for businesses there that catered to the fans. The ramifications now will be devastating for all within the sector.

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With James having made his decision known in a public interview granted to ESPN last night. Let’s just say that once it became formal, a weight had been lifted off the shoulders of Art Modell , long felt and often thought of as the most reviled and despised person in the history of Cleveland area sports. In the space of thirty seconds last night, once LeBron had uttered the words “I’ll be leaving Cleveland to sign with the Miami Heat those words were like a dagger to the heart of the Cavaliers’ fans . Never mind the fact that another half a dozen teams around the league may have felt that they were in with a chance of signing the player.

Courtesy of USA Today

LeBron adds to history of Cleveland sports setbacks

By Nichole Auerbach , USA Today

Cleveland’s sports history took another hit Thursday when LeBron James announced he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat. Cleveland fans remember these events all too well:

PHOTO GALLERY: LeBron James in pictures
GAME ON! LeBron vs. Modell
NUMBERS: LeBron’s career stats

The Drive: The Cleveland Browns were less than six minutes from a 20-13 victory in the AFC Championship Game and the organization’s first trip to the Super Bowl, in January 1987. The Denver Broncos muffed the kickoff, and quarterback John Elway took over at the Broncos’ 2-yard line.

Six passes, three rushes and a couple of Elway scrambles later, Denver had tied the score with 37 seconds left. The Broncos won in overtime with a field goal.

The Fumble: A year after The Drive, the Broncos had a seven-point lead with four minutes to play in the AFC Championship Game vs. Cleveland in January 1988.

The Browns moved the ball to the Broncos’ 8-yard line with 1:12 left in the game. Running back Earnest Byner got the handoff, took off for the end zone but was stripped by Jeremiah Castille and fumbled at the 2-yard line.

Denver recovered, gave the Browns an intentional safety and won 38-33.

Cleveland is one of four NFL teams never to have reached the Super Bowl.

The Shot: In the fifth and deciding game of the first round of the 1989 NBA playoffs, the Cleveland Cavaliers had a 100-99 lead against the Chicago Bulls with three seconds left.

Michael Jordan got the inbounds pass and shot over defender Craig Ehlo. The basket counted at the buzzer, leaving the Cleveland crowd stunned, the first of many such game-winning shots in Jordan’s playoff career.

The Move:Art Modell, who owned the Browns for 35 years, had promised he would never move the team from Cleveland. But after the 1995 season, he began secret discussions with the state of Maryland about placing a team in Baltimore, which had lost the Colts to Indianapolis in 1984.

When the move was announced, fan reaction was overwhelmingly negative. Cleveland sued for breach of the stadium lease. The Browns franchise was ultimately deactivated for three years. With the 1999 season, the NFL gave the city an expansion team, which took the Browns name and colors.

The Collapse: The Cavaliers were the top seed in the Eastern Conference this past season after 61 wins. Led by James’ 31.8 points a game, Cleveland cruised through the first round vs. the Bulls.

In the second round, the Cavs took a 1-0 series lead on the Boston Celtics. Boston won Game 2 on Cleveland’s court, but the Cavaliers buried the Celtics 124-95 in Game 3 in Boston. The series seemed all but over.

Inexplicably, the Cavs came out flat the next three games and couldn’t score more than 88 points in three consecutive losses. James, at times, looked uninterested. The conference’s top team was knocked out, leaving James still looking for his first championship and Cavaliers fans wondering if they had seen the last of him in a home uniform.

The Decision: Or, as Cleveland fans will see it, The Failed Decision.

ESPN’s one-hour special, The Decision, sent Cleveland fans into a frenzy before James revealed where he would next play. He not only angered them by abandoning his hometown team but also humiliated them in what they saw as an over-the-top, prime-time debacle.

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For Pat Riley team President of the Miami Heat and their multi billionaire owner Micky Arison this must have felt like Christmas had come early and for the fans of the Heat and especially those in the luxurious enclave of South Beach , this just further adds to the visibility and vitality of the area. For Dwyane Wade , Chris Bosh to now have James as a teammate this now makes the Miami based team the presumptive favorites within the Eastern Conference for the upcoming season. Anyone of the belief that the addition of James doesn’t immediately impact the odds of that statement had better seek psychiatric help . And for the team’s instate rivals the Orlando Magic whose lone move in the free agency market has been to sign backup point guard Chris Duhon from the New York Knicks . In due deference they might as well have signed the female who does the Pine Sol ads on television for all the good that will do. Magic GM Otis Smith is either naïve or he clearly believes to remain as they are will still make the team a contender. Given the lack of tenacity shown by the likes of Rashard Lewis , Vince Carter and the rare glimpses of brilliance shown by Dwight Howard in the NBA playoffs one seriously doubts that the Stan Van Gundy coached team will genuinely have what it takes to take down a newly revamped Miami Heat team.

While the immediate fallout hasn’t been lost on the fans the hierarchy of the NBA must have been rubbing their hands in delight knowing that this subject will become the water cooler topic of discussion for months to come in the off season until the new season resumes.Think of it as the NBA’s own version of the ongoing Brett Favre saga , only it‘s not about “will he or won‘t he “ ? But in actuality it‘s how the hell did that happen and how did the Heat pull off this coup d’etat ? In actuality this outcome was in the making the moment that all there players, Bosh , James and Wade sat down and broke bread together discussing their immediate future. And all of the subterfuge created with their multiple meeting with different teams was merely to keep the writers on their toes and build up the suspense for James’ announcement last night.

The New York Knicks for their part under GM Donnie Walsh thought that they were in with a very good shot of signing LeBron but given the fact that the nucleus of the team they had about as much synergy as oil and water mixing. Mike D’Antoni while being an admirable coach just doesn’t seem to be a person that a character such as LeBron James can learn a lot from, much less have respect for. And for spirited Knicks’ fans, think of the experience as something that you can learn from. If it hasn’t been enough with the moronic belief that because you were in the biggest market you gave the player the best opportunity to win an NBA title. No, the only opportunity being offered was the lure of Madison Ave to the player. Common sense would tell you that from the beginning but then again are they are any enlightened Knicks’ fans about ?

The New Jersey Nets were never in with a really serious chance of landing James despite his close friendship with rapper Jay-Z . So unless LeBron is interested in the pursuit of a rap career at some point in his future , then that baby has just been laid to rest once and for all !

It was felt that other than the Cavaliers __ the Chicago Bulls were the best bet to land the player. And given the proactive moves made by team executives John Paxson and GM Gar Forman with the team were some $30 million under the NBA salary cap. Everything seem to have pointed to the fact that an aggressive pursuit would be underway to land the talented league MVP . But things don’t always go as planned and with a wily veteran such as Pat Riley waiting in the wings . Let’s just say it was like watching an anaconda survey its surroundings before devouring its prey while everyone else watched. Unfortunately the Bulls are now left with little more than their pride intact and not much else to show for their pursuit. Michael Jordan isn’t about to walk back into the United Center to suit up anytime soon as he’s got the Charlotte Bobcats now to deal with. Ergo Chicago , you’ve just been punk’d !

You have to hand to it Pat Riley , he’s not only a move and a shaker but the guy can make it rain. How else can you explain it wherein he signs the three of the biggest free agents on the market at reduced salaries with little more than a three to five year commitment ? Screw that, Barack Obama should hire him in some capacity within his administration and to hell with the likes Tim Geithner and Ken Salazar . That duo is led with the responsibility of one, trying to reverse the economic downturn and the other to deal with BP Gulf oil spill disaster. And I’d hazard a guess if push came to shove that Pat Riley could pull a rabbit out of his ass and it wouldn’t hurt in the slightest ! Which begs the question what’s happening in the Gulf and is there an end in sight ? Does anyone really know ?

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OK so it now comes down to this, how long will it take for the Cavaliers’ fans to perhaps forgive and forget ? And if they do, will they be comfortable in the fact that while LeBron James was with the team they all enjoyed a glorious ride ?. Unfortunately, what the future now holds for the team doesn’t appear to be a pleasant one and it points to a situation where they could now go into free fall and become one of the more inept teams within the NBA. As a dispassionate observer on the outside looking in, my condolences go out to the Cavaliers’ fans but at the same I think that they were somewhat naïve to think that the player wasn’t going to come to the decision that he did. I mean , what were meant to be the pointers to suggest that he was about to remain with the team ? Does anyone care to evaluate and then offer up an answer ? Chime on in with a comment and thanks as always for the continued support as it has always been gratefully appreciated . Thanks once again !

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………………

Rick Ross ………………………. “Push It”

Reality tv star Shay aka “Bucky”

The Other Lopez Boy ………………

The Other Lopez Boy

Well now that we know the New Jersey Nets won’t be making the postseason . Lets look at what the other Lopez is doing in the NBA ? It’s not often that you have siblings competing in the same sport at the same time. Though it’s not a rarity but seldom does it happen where the siblings are said to be comparable in talent. In the case of Brook and Robin Lopez , such was the scenario. case.

Brook  & Robin  Lopez
Brook & Robin Lopez of the New Jersey Nets and Phoenix Suns. Both were drafted in the first round of the 2008 NBA Draft by their respective teams out of Stanford University. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Robin Truman ...............

Both were drafted out of Stanford , with Brook going to the Nets and Robin going to the Phoenix Suns . Both were drafted in the first round of the 2008 NBA Draft by the aforementioned teams. Each has had their share of struggles acclimatizing with their respective teams and to the rigors of the NBA. Now in their sophomore season they’ve begun to make strides and are contributing to their teams. Though in the case of Brook and the Nets those contributions won’t be recognized in terms of anything tangible by way of on-field success for the team . For Robin on the other hand , he and the Suns are proving to be major threat in the Western Conference of the NBA, as they strive for a playoff berth.

Courtesy of New Jersey Record Herald & News

Nets shock first-place Celtics

By Al Iannazzone

Boston- As the Nets exchanged high-fives and patted each other’s back after an unexpected job well done, Rasheed Wallace removed his headband and slammed it to the floor before walking off in disgust.

The Celtics didn’t want to be that team, but they were. The Nets were going to break through at some point and get a victory over a good team and that time came Saturday afternoon and that team was the Celtics.

Showing tremendous and surprising poise, the Nets didn’t buckle under the pressure of Boston’s fourth-quarter comeback and a deafening arena. The Nets stood tall down the stretch and finished off a stunning 104-96 victory inside TD Banknorth Garden.

“To finally break through against a good team like this shows us what we’re capable of,” Brook Lopez said after leading the Nets with 25 points.

“This is a big win for us,” said Devin Harris, who celebrated his 27th birthday with 23 points. “Hopefully it’s a building block for us.”

In the other locker room, there was frustration, a feeling the Nets know all too well.

“I got nothing to say,” said Kevin Garnett, who scored 26. “I feel disgusted.”

The Celtics (36-21) were humiliated Thursday, losing by 20 here to Cleveland on national TV, but this tops that.

Playing without Paul Pierce, the Celtics opened a 12-2 lead. They were outplayed badly from there as the Nets (6-52) were more aggressive by far. The Nets took the lead at the end of the first quarter and never relinquished it, building an 18-point edge in the fourth.

Last week, the Nets squandered an 18-point lead in a loss to Memphis, and fourth quarters have been their enemies lately. But they wouldn’t let up this time. Their assertiveness showed from the line, where they took 41 foul shots, 30 more than Boston.

The Nets go for their first two-game winning streak this season – a real possibility – tonight with Washington visiting Izod Center. Four wins in their remaining 24 games and the Nets will avoid matching or setting the record for the most losses in NBA history.

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New Jersey Nets center <strong> Brook Lopez </strong>(11) slaps hands with teammate Chris Douglas-Roberts during the fourth quarter of their <strong> 104-96</strong> win over the Boston Celtics in an NBA basketball game in Boston Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010. photo appears  courtesy  of  Associated Press/ Winslow Townson....
New Jersey Nets center Brook Lopez (11) slaps hands with teammate Chris Douglas-Roberts during the fourth quarter of their 104-96 win over the Boston Celtics in an NBA basketball game in Boston Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Winslow Townson....

For the Nets and their entire front office this has been a season which they’d rather no doubt forget. Losing their first 17 games , the team now sits with a 6-52 record within the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. Atop of the table within the division are the Boston Celtics (36-21) . For Nets’ President of Basketball Operations Rod Thorn and the team’s GM Alex Diaz , this can’t have been what they had envisaged for the team at the start of the season. And it certainly hasn’t helped their cause that the organization is said to be financially ‘cash strapped’
because of the development of the development of the commercial venture which will house the team when they proceed to move to Brooklyn, New York. Bruce Ratner the one time team owner and now a minority stake partner in the team, has done as much as he can to bring the franchise on par with the likes of the New York Knicks , Los Angeles Lakers , Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics as a competitive and financial powerhouse within the NBA. I ought to take that back with regards to the Knicks as they couldn’t spell the word competitive much less play competitive , if you spotted them the letters ‘C’, ‘O’, ‘M’, ‘E’, ‘T’, ‘I’ and ‘V’ ! For Russian energy tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov , who recently acquired a majority stake in the New Jersey Nets, he wants nothing more than success for the organization. And he’ll no doubt do whatever it takes to make sure that becomes a reality for the organization and for its fans.

Nets’ coach Kiki Vandeweghe has struggled to gain any semblance of cohesiveness from the team. And with that ‘ 6-52’ record now becoming a yoke around the team’s very neck.. It’s hard to see what else Vanderweghe and his coaching staff can do at this juncture. There’ve been very few bright spots for the team and the fans to be proud of ! There have been glimpses of what one could expect from the team in the future in the play of Brook Lopez, Courtney Lee, Chris Douglas-Roberts , Josh Boone and perhaps the team’s best player , Devin Harris . But it is the immediacy of the ‘here and now’ that is really of importance and not about ‘what might be’, as to the team’s impending future. They may well choose to become a part of the ‘LeBron James’ sweepstakes, once that particular show gets on the road this upcoming off-season. No doubt Lebron will be willing to listen to all offers that’ll be forthcoming his way. One has to remember that, ‘LeBron’ now sees his himself as something of a ‘global commercial icon’ first, rather than as a ‘basketball player’ in the NBA. And if he’s to truly maintain that status, though Cleveland has served him well, it doesn’t match the bright lights and big city atmosphere that can he had in New York and at the same time ‘catch the eye’ of the corporate behemoths of Madison Avenue.

While the malaise of the Jets continues , the Phoenix Suns have quietly gone about their business within the Pacific Division with unassuming confidence under the guidance of their coach Alvin Gentry . And should the team make the playoffs , as I fully feel that they will ! Then it is my belief that Gentry ought to be considered one of the prohibitive favorites for the accolade of NBA Coach of The Year . Quite surprisingly he seems to now have the team playing not only with confidence but showing at times that as and when needed, they can play a modicum of defense. Which has always been the ‘gripe against the team’. It’s one thing to put up 100 points on the scoreboard but it doesn’t help when your opponents put up anywhere between 110-120 points and ends up winning the game. It certainly doesn’t serve you well as the losing team. And it’s something that Gentry’s predecessor Mike D’Antoni didn’t seem to understand.

<strong> Robin Lopez </strong> (#15) of the Phoenix Suns puts a shot up against the Los Angeles Clippers in an NBA Game played on February 26, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona.  The  Suns   would   go  on  to  defeat  the  Clippers  <strong> 125-112 </strong>  . photo appears  courtesy  of   NBAE/  Getty  Images/  P Molumby ...........
Robin Lopez (#15) of the Phoenix Suns puts a shot up against the Los Angeles Clippers in an NBA Game played on February 26, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns would go on to defeat the Clippers 125-112 . photo appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/ P Molumby ...........

The biggest surprise to my mind as far as the Suns’ organization goes. It may well be with the firing of D’Antoni and the installing of Gentry as the team’s coach . Steve Kerr as the team’s general manager may not only have saved the Suns’ season but his very own position within the organization. As I felt sure that were they to fail then owner , Robert Sarver , would have ‘no choice’ but ‘to fire’ the much beleaguered executive. Now with the team playing as they are and with wily veteran and two time league MVP, Steve Nash playing as he has been. Then there’s every reason to believe that the team could make some noise in the playoffs. ‘And as Nash goes, so does the team’ .

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

Lopez leads streaking Suns past Clippers

Phoenix (AP)—Robin Lopez went to the free-throw line two points from tying the family’s single-game scoring mark.

He didn’t get it, but his career-best 30 points and 12 rebounds were more than enough to help the Phoenix Suns beat the Los Angeles Clippers 125-112 on Friday night for their fifth straight victory.

“I wasn’t even aware of it,” said a smiling Lopez, whose twin brother, Brook, leads the fraternal competition with a 32-point game. “I was just trying to catch (teammate) Goran Dragic’s 32 points.”

Lopez made 13 of 16 shots for the Suns, who beat the Clippers for the seventh straight time.

“To shoot that efficiently tells me I’m doing my job out there,” Lopez said. “That shows how much faith my teammates have in me and my coaches have in me.”

Amare Stoudemire added 20 points and Grant Hill had 18 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Suns, who won for the sixth time in seven games since the All-Star break. Phoenix has won 12 of its past 14 overall.

Eric Gordon scored 25 points, Travis Outlaw had 16 and Craig Smith had 16— 14 in the first half—and for the Clippers, whose three-game winning streak ended.

“They stretched us out pretty good,” Gordon said. “We were playing good defense, then they stretched us out and started knowing down a lot of 3s. We just couldn’t score as much as they did.”

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And while Nash has been playing his customary role , it’d be remiss not to mention that both Amar’e Stoudemire and Robin Lopez have been playing very well for the team. Some might even view Lopez as the ‘heir apparent’ to Stoudemire, should the veteran no be re-signed by the team in the off-season. He becomes a a free agent and can opt out of the final year of his contract which pays him an ‘understated’ $16.97 million . But that asides , it has been the surprising play of the former Stanford Cardinals’ player that has the Suns’ fans rejoicing and hoping that finally this might be their year. As to what might transpire during the postseason , we can only wait to see. But as things are now proceeding it appears that it is the other Lopez boy who seems to be having his day sun while the other seems to be languishing in the Nets own personal form of hell and purgatory all rolled into one.

Somehow this might all seem unfair to some ? One sibling is having the time of his life , while the other can only wish that the Nets could have a life , rather than one of sheer embarrassment and ridicule. At the end of the however , it is what you tend to make of it that in essence defines your character and you also as a person.

Alan Parkins aka tophatal

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Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes …….’If You Don’t Know Me By Now’

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Both  Sportschump  &  I  <strong> love  our <em> 'milque-toast' </em>  as well  as   Denise  Milani  !</strong>   And   there  ain't   nothing   wrong  with  that  at  all  !
Both Sportschump & I love our 'milque-toast' as well as Denise Milani ! And there ain't nothing wrong with that at all !

It’s All In The Details ………..The Continuing Woes Of The New Jersey Nets ………… And Then Some …………………

It’s All In The Details ………..The Continuing Woes Of The New Jersey Nets ………… And Then Some …………………

It doesn’t seem all that long ago that the New Jersey Nets were once ‘the darlings’ of the Eastern Conference and thought to be well positioned to become something of a modern day dynasty within the league. Having been coached to two consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals, under their former coach, Byron Scott. The team has simply succumbed to complete and sheer ineptitude. You’re more liable to have more laughs watching the Nets than anything that could be elicited from watching that fame hungry chasing duo of Spencer Pratt and his ‘skank’ of a ‘wife’ Heidi Montag ! Someone ought to take the both of them and ship their asses off to inner Siberia . But alas, the likes of People and OK ! Magazine seem to wait on their every word with baited breath to hear whatever else this asinine couple might have to say . Both are ill educated and are of no use to mankind whatsoever ! Heaven forbid , that they should ever think about having children !

Russian  billionaire   industrialist <strong> Mikhail Prokhorov</strong>,  a  majority   stake  owner  in  the  NBA' s  New Jersey  Nets.     photo  appears   courtesy of  <strong> Reuters</strong>/  Aexander  Thompson  ...........
Russian billionaire industrialist Mikhail Prokhorov, a majority stake owner in the NBA' s New Jersey Nets. photo appears courtesy of Reuters/ Aexander Thompson ...........

Having now posted a 4-48 record within the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference, ‘the team’ still possesses the worst record in the entire NBA. They now sit some 29 games adrift of the division leading Boston Celtics (32-18) and are in danger of making the 1972 9-73 worse regular season posting performance by the Philadelphia 76ers, seem something of an aberration. If things carry on as they now are. Then the New Jersey Nets would be on pace to post a similarly horrific ’10-72′ at best, or ‘6-76’ record at worst. As to how their fans might well be feeling about that scenario ? One could surmise that they would be none too pleased by it at all . And with Russian billionaire, Mikhail Prokhorov having made a sizable investment in the franchise, by purchasing a 51% majority stake in the franchise from Bruce A. Ratner. One hardly believes that the Russian is entirely happy with the situation , nor is he prepared to put up with it for much longer.

Things weren’t made any better, when Team President, Rod Thorn and General Manager, Alex Diaz saw fit to fire Lawrence Frank from the position of head coach and then have Kiki Vanderweghe , firstly, be installed as interim coach and then to assume the position on a full time basis. Things have simplly gotten from bad to worse and they now signs of abating whatsoever ! Furthermore , whatever predilections that Van Der Weghe may have had that indicated to him, that he was the best option that the front office had , hasn’t been borne out by the team’s display or the results arrived at , so far. The team has a 1-9 losing streak and they have abysmal 15 game losing streak on the road. H0w anyone can feel that this constitutes or has shown signs of improvement , has to be viewed with a great deal more than just skepticism. If anything this has been downright insulting to the Nets’ fans but even more so to opposing fans who have to witness this mediocrity within their own home venue.

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports

From Russia, with love: Nets eye Coach K?

By Adrian Wojnarowski , Yahoo Sports

For much of the past week, New Jersey Nets officials and Rick Pitino’s network of confidants and cronies had increasingly discussed the Louisville coach’s not-so-secret angling for a job that he had years ago leveraged and turned down.

Only this time, circumstances dictated a dramatic difference: Pitino’s professional and personal stature has been severely damaged, and the Nets were no longer chasing him. Pitino was chasing them, just like Yahoo! Sports had reported he had done with the Sacramento Kings in May.

Pitino understood that new Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, the Russian billionaire, wants to hire an immense figure to coach the franchise. Pitino mistakenly believed he could still be packaged as a transformative A-list hire in the New York market. Those days are over, and Pitino is seen as something of a desperate and diminished figure. Everyone knows he wants out of college and treats his denials for what they are: a mechanism to protect his recruiting, to deflect the embarrassment of appearing unwanted.

Nets president Rod Thorn was never hiring Pitino, sources say, and Pitino isn’t who’s foremost on organizational minds as Nets officials trek to Dallas for a telltale meeting with Prokhorov this weekend.

Here’s the possible scenario that has some within the Nets franchise uneasy about their futures: After the Toronto Raptors ownership exercised the 2010-11 option on general manager Bryan Colangelo’s contract this week, there’s a growing belief that Prokhorov could be turning his gaze toward Colangelo’s father, Jerry, to hire as New Jersey’s president.

The reasoning would be simple. This way, Prokhorov could have the executive capable of delivering him the biggest, shiniest coach available to the Nets: Duke’s Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski. The plan, sources say, would be to make him GM and coach.

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<strong> Bruce  Ratner </strong> (right) (former  principal partnership  owner of  the New Jersey  Nets) seen here   alongside  New York Mayor <strong> Michael  Bloomberg</strong> (left)  in  the  background  .  Also  pictured  is <strong> rapper  and  <em> entertaiment  mogul </em>  Jay-z </strong> ,  a  minority   stakeholder   in  the   NBA  franchise.   photo appears  courtesy  of   Associated  Press /   Matt  Richardson  .................
Bruce Ratner (right) (former principal partnership owner of the New Jersey Nets) seen here alongside New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (left) in the background . Also pictured is rapper and entertaiment mogul Jay-z , a minority stakeholder in the NBA franchise. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press / Matt Richardson .................

When one surveys the roster of the New Jersey Nets , the first thing that one can conclude, is that the franchise is lacking in leadership . And though its nucleus is that of a young team building towards the future. One can’t but help think that Rod Thorn and Alex Diaz’s mindset has been built around luring possible prospective free agent LeBron James to the franchise. And if they’re of the opinion that James is the one missing link to this particular jig-saw puzzle. Then the entire front office of the organization is sadly mistaken and completely out of touch as to the real inherent problems on this team ! Devin Harris , Courtney Lee , Brooke Lopez, Yi Jianlian , Chris Douglas Roberts and Josh Boone. While on the face of it, they might look as players, if they’re allowed to play together as a unit, will over time, improve. The fact of the matters is , that as of now, the signs have of that happening has yet to be exhibited. Never mind , that even with veterans on the roster, such as Keyon Dooling and Tony Battie . They still aren’t complemented by the experience or play of the veteran duo. It were as if the current roster had been assembled by the partially sighted. There’s absolutely no cohesion on this team whatsoever ! And on either ends of the floor, the team’s play can be best described as being woefully anemic and inept. Not only is this team lacking in confidence , it’s also lacking in all-round ability and a coaching staff that is completely out of its depth !

Rumor has it Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino is said to be interested in coaching the New Jersey Nets. Although it’s been said that he’s been lobbying vociferously behind the scenes and sending out ‘feelers’ to the Nets’ front office to gauge their interest in him. It is thought that the person that Rod Thorn desires and is willing to go all-out to lure from the college ranks, is that of Duke University’s (Blue Devils) Mike Krzyzewski. If one remembers, Krzyzewski was lured once before by the Los Angeles Lakers after Phil Jackson departed from the team the first time. The Blue Devils’ coach would turn down the lucrative offer from the club and the thought of coaching Kobe Bryant. This time around it is also being mentioned that he would be given full autonomy in the hiring of his personnel and that of additional responsibility of being the General Manager and Vice President within the organization.

New Jersey Nets coach Lawrence Frank, left, owner Bruce Ratner, and president Rod Thorn, right, pose with Vince Carter at a news conference after Carter signed a new multi-year contract with the basketball team Friday, July 13, 2007 in East Rutherford, N.J. photo  appears  courtesy of  Associated  Press/  Bill  Kostroun  ...........
New Jersey Nets coach Lawrence Frank, left, owner Bruce Ratner, and president Rod Thorn, right, pose with Vince Carter at a news conference after Carter signed a new multi-year contract with the basketball team Friday, July 13, 2007 in East Rutherford, N.J. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Bill Kostroun ...........

There’s no indication that Krzyzewski is willing to listen to the Nets’ offer, assuming that there’s one to be made to the Blue Devils’ coach. But given the fact that Rod Thorn is rumored to have approached Jerry Colangelo to speak with Mike Krzyzewski , there’s an indication that this is not just an indication that this is PR stunt on the Nets’ behalf. But the mere fact that Colangelo is a close personal friend and who as Managing Director of USA Basketball also worked closely alongside with Krzyzewski in the assembling of the roster for the US gold medal winning men’s team (coached by Krzyzewski), gives every indication that the Nets want to be taken seriously in their approach. My own thoughts are that with his the success attained with the Blue Devils’ program and his continued philanthropic work locally. I think it’s highly unlikely that Mike Krzyzewski is willing to leave the program after all these years. Not when he’s still beloved by the Blue Devils’ fans and the public alike, in the Chapel Hill area.


Given the fact that Pitino’s success within the professional ranks of the NBA has been limited at best. But given his failures in his last tenure , which was with the Boston Celtics . It’s a reach at best, that any other NBA franchise would be willing to hire Rick Pitino , much less the lowly and woefully inept New Jersey Nets. But stranger things have been known to have happened within the NBA. And more likely than not they will continue to happen for the foreseeable future. As to the Nets’ own immediate future they have the ignominy of having to stave off what would be the less than desirable mantel of being anointed the worst franchise record wise , in the history of the NBA. A ‘complete free-fall’ from an organization that little more than seven years ago played in consecutive NBA Finals. Albeit, that they would end up losing both. Sad times indeed , for the New Jersey Nets and their long suffering fans.

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………….

Naughty By Nature ‘Hip-Hop-Hooray’ released on Tommy Boy Records.

<strong>  Nicole  <em>'Hoopz' </em>  Alexander </strong>  tv  show  reality  star  whose   claim to  fame   was  appearing   on  the   VH1 reality  show 'Flavor  of  Love'  starring Buster  Drayton  aka  Flav-a-Flav.
Nicole 'Hoopz' Alexander tv show reality star whose claim to fame was appearing on the VH1 reality show 'Flavor of Love' starring Buster Drayton aka Flav-a-Flav.

Jim Cramer’s Mad Money …………Buys, Sells And Holds ………..NBA Style …..

Former hedge fund manager and now CNBC stock tipster and analyst Jim Cramer has always had his own style and presentation on television. That being said, he’d be the last person I’d be taking advice from on anything to do with the indices of the stock market. Or anything else when it comes to financial analysis or any information involving the companies listed on the NSYE.This is the same guy, who was dishing out advice to his avid viewers that they ought to invest their savings in the now disreputable companies, AIGand Bear Stearns. Now, to say that Cramer isn’t deserving of having his testicles removed and served up to him in the form of a meal wouldn’t be doing the people who lost money from his advice any justice whatsoever ! But such are the benefits to those who choose not to seek due diligence when taking advice from an individual , who despite his immense knowledge , comes across as nothing more than a charlatan.

You’ve got to hand it toComedy Central’s Jon Stewart for pointing out something that not even the so called knowledgeable pundits at Fox Business Channelwould’ve thought newsworthy.But then again when have Fox ever been known to be informative to begin with in terms of being a news channel ? And for those of you still seeking out the advice of Jim Cramer ? I wish you well , well about as well as leper who’s now beginning to realize that what the doctor prescribed just isn’t working. And Cramer’s own asinine assertion and suggestions as to what he did or didn’t say, shows you what a complete asshole he really is to begin with !

The NBA at present is filled with teams whose very prowess on the court can at present be measured by the volatility shown by the Dow Jones Index (DJIA). And were a number of the franchises of the NBA placed within the DJIA. I wonder what price and recommendations there’d be forthcoming from those covering the game ? Again I’d preface this by saying that the likes of Stephen A. Smith,Tim Legler,Ric Bucher and Skip Baylesswouldn’t be the guys I’d be looking to for comfort , advice or any form of solace when it comes to the NBA or otherwise. Whatever insight they’re liable to provide is about as welcoming as be told by your proctologist that he’d like to give you that customary finger wave of your rectum,merely to elicit having some fun on his part. Pretty safe to say that one finger wave too many a year is one finger less welcomed.

New Jersey Nets team members from left, interim coach Tom Barrise, assitant coach Doug Overton, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Devin Harris, Josh Boone and Trenton Hassell look on during the second half of their NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009, in Los Angeles. The Nets matched the worst start to an NBA season with their 17th straight loss Sunday night in the Lakers' 106-87 victory.picture appears  courtesy  of AP/Photo/Mark J. Terrill ..........
New Jersey Nets team members from left, interim coach Tom Barrise, assitant coach Doug Overton, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Devin Harris, Josh Boone and Trenton Hassell look on during the second half of their NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009, in Los Angeles. The Nets matched the worst start to an NBA season with their 17th straight loss Sunday night in the Lakers' 106-87 victory.picture appears courtesy of AP/Photo/Mark J. Terrill ..........

Straight out of the gate, some of the teams have performed exceptionally badly. And for beleaguered Lawrence Frank and the hapless, New Jersey Nets. At this juncture there’s absolutely no chance of a do-over whatsoever ! What may well have started out as a season of promise has slowly fallen apart and become an absolute nightmare for Frank, his players,ownership and no doubt the fans, in particular. I’d hate to think what’s now going through the mind of principal partner,Bruce A Ratner ? Especially as he sees this team sink into the abyss of sheer ineptitude. Any thoughts that they might’ve had of luring LeBron James to Brooklyn in 2010 , has to be shelved at this time. Not with this team in need of a backbone and so much more ! At 0-16 and on the cusp of NBA infamy in terms of successive games lost to start a NBA regular season schedule the Nets seem to be just one loss away of equalling that dubious record. My recommendation : Sell !

Can someone explain to me what fate the basketball gods has in store for the New York Knicks ? Needless to say, after the abrupt departure of former coach and executive Isiah Thomas. It was felt that the organization was stepping in the right direction with the hiring of Mike D’Antoni, as their coach. Also,the bringing in of Donnie Walsh, to oversee the basketball operations,in terms being the general manager of the Knicks. Needless to say, the Knicks are no further along in their progression, as the coalition forces are in finding Osama bin Laden. And for those of you who’d rather be up in the Tora Bora mountain range on the Pakistani , Afghani border ,rather than watching the Knicks play. Reserve me a seat , as I’d no doubt would want to join you in that particular exercise. Not only have the Knicks become worse under D’Antoni, they’re a complete embarrassment to the NBA ,as a whole ! Commissioner,David Stern, is there no chance that we can have some contraction within the NBA ? As there are now one or two teams that are making a mockery of the game and how it ought to be played. And the New York Knicks is undoubtedly one of those very teams ! My recommendation : Sell ! Not to hold, just damn well , sell !

Detroit Pistons center Ben Wallace (6) takes a shot over Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith (5) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009, in Auburn Hills, Mich. Wallace scored 10 points and pulled down 18 rebounds in the Pistons' 94-88 win. picture appears courtesy of  AP/photo/ Duane Burleson  ..............
Detroit Pistons center Ben Wallace (6) takes a shot over Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith (5) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009, in Auburn Hills, Mich. Wallace scored 10 points and pulled down 18 rebounds in the Pistons' 94-88 win. picture appears courtesy of AP/photo/ Duane Burleson ..............

I not saying that the Detroit Pistons have fallen on hard times. But their fall from grace , makes the demise of Michael Jackson seem like an act of overt kindness. OK , so we can dispute the facts that’ve led to the untimely death to the one time ‘King of Pop’. What no one can doubt however, is that Jackson apart from being a mild neurotic was enabled by family members and others amongst his entourage to keep up his absurd behavior. And along with that came an assortment of medical professionals who proffered up whatever medication of the day was the norm for Jackson. What of the ‘hippocratic oath’ for these doctors ? First do no harm ? Somewhere along the lines it must’ve been blurred for them from the sight of the money that Jackson was needlessly spending on their services !

As to what Pistons’ GM Joe Dumars, was seeking to do,when he traded All Star point guard Chauncey Billups to the Denver Nuggets,in exchange for Allen Iverson. Well, let’s just say that experiment was about as worthwhile as sticking your arm into the mouth of a hungry crocodile waiting and then waiting to see what the outcome will be.And with Iverson, now said to be mulling retirement , after not being able to find a franchise willing to take him. One might clearly think that at the time Dumars was merely flying by the seat of his pants in thinking that Iverson could provide the team with a much needed spark. In essence, the Pistons had become an old team spoilt on its earlier success and who weren’t willing to make the necessary changes need at the time, in order to build for the future.

Now with the departure of Rasheed Wallace to the Boston Celtics, the team is nowhere nearer to being one of the once dominant franchises with the NBA’s Eastern Conference. Dumars and the team’s coach, John Kuester, now have their work cut out for them, if they’re to turn things around make this team be one with a presence, not just within their division but throughout the NBA as a whole. The window of opportunity for the Pistons has closed and they’re not about to scale back to the heights of prominence ,which they once held. It’s now far too late for that , despite the appearance of youth on the tea’s roster. They now lack a true leader and a proven and consistent scorer on their roster. And it is something that will become their undoing. My recommendation : Sell !

In the Western Conference where it’s presumed the star talent of the NBA is reserved and perhaps the better of the teams throughout the league on the whole are domiciled. We all know that at the end of the day it’s very competitive within the conference. With the reigning champions, the Los Angeles Lakers looking to successfully defend their crown. The bullseye is now comfortably placed upon their back. And with the likes of the San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets, Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trailblazers, Utah Jazz , Houston Rockets and a newly revitalized Oklahoma City Thunder all looking to take them down. One would suspect that the Lakers and in particular Kobe Bryant and the team’s coach ,Phil Jackson are relishing the challenge of defending their NBA title.

You’ll know doubt get some criticism from those in the Eastern Conference who’ll state that the play and talent there is somewhat better than their counterparts in the West. But I’d view that as something of an anathema at this juncture. Teams in the Eastern Conference tend to play a much more conservative type of basketball and where defense is their mainstay. Whereas, in the West much of the play there is most definitely predicated upon offense. Although the likes of the Spurs and Jazz would beg to differ in that context.

Los Angeles , California , November 29th,. Jordan Farmar (1) of the Los Angeles Lakers goes up for a shot against the New Jersey Nets at Staples Center on November 29, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  picture appears  courtesy  of NBAE/Getty Images/ Noah Graham ..........
Los Angeles , California , November 29th,. Jordan Farmar (1) of the Los Angeles Lakers goes up for a shot against the New Jersey Nets at Staples Center on November 29, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. picture appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Noah Graham ..........

Of the three pre-eminent teams in the Eastern Conference ,in no discerning order, we have the Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers and the Orlando Magic. The most well balanced and deepest in terms of their roster , may well be Stan Van Gundy’s Magic team. Of the three teams also, I do believe that the Magic by their play as of late, is the most improved. The additions of Brandon Bass, Vince Carter and Jason Williams has proven to be fortuitous.And General Manager,Otis Smith, might just be one of the least celebrated if not the most astute front office executives in the NBA at present. If nothing else it gives the Magic’s center, Dwight Howard, room to do what he does best and that’s to pound the boards and show off his defensive and offensive prowess. My recommendation : Buy and buy strong.

Besides the Magic in the Eastern Conference , the really only other noteworthy teams one ought to look at, are the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics. The Cavaliers for their part, with the addition of Shaquille O’Neal to complement with the undoubted talents of LeBron James , might just well give the team its best chance of making another appearance in the NBA Finals. But here’s the caveat with regard to the team , when they face real adversity they’re not always able to handle it well. And that could once again become their undoing.That’s in light of having the experienced veteran presence of O’Neal on this roster. My recommendation: Hold . If things fall their way,they could just go out and finally achieve the winning of that elusive ring for James.

Denver Nuggets guard Chauncey Billups, left, drives for the basket as Minnesota Timberwolves center Al Jefferson defends in the fourth quarter of the Timberwolves' 106-100 victory in an NBA basketball game in Denver on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009. The victory broke Minnesota's 15-game losing streak. picture  appears courtesy of  AP/photo/David Zalubowski ............
Denver Nuggets guard Chauncey Billups, left, drives for the basket as Minnesota Timberwolves center Al Jefferson defends in the fourth quarter of the Timberwolves' 106-100 victory in an NBA basketball game in Denver on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009. The victory broke Minnesota's 15-game losing streak. picture appears courtesy of AP/photo/David Zalubowski ............

The Boston Celtics for their part has the experience and with seasoned veterans , such as Kevin Garnett, Paul Piece,Ray Allen and now Rasheed Wallace. This is a roster, whose coach Doc Rivers, knows how to win games and how to motivate his team. Added to the fact that they now have a point guard of note in, Rajon Rondo, they would be viewed as the presumptive favorites in the conference to win it all. My only concern with the Celtics however, is their health, especially when it comes to the question of their main quartet of players. That issue alone may well be enough to make on hedge their bets as to the overall chances of the team winning a second title for the organization with Rivers at the helm as their coach.
My recommendation here : Again a Hold. Down the stretch run of the regular season if the quartet is healthy , then there could be everything to play for with the Boston Celtics being added into the mix.

As the reigning champions ,the Los Angeles Lakers have added by subtraction. In losing Trevor Ariza to the Houston Rockets and obtaining free agent,Ron Artest. One could say, that they’ve become a much better team ? They’ve added a defensive presence in Artest and an additional scoring option behind Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. And that’s with no disrespect to either,Lamar Odom or Andrew Bynum. But the addition of Artest does make a great deal of sense , if one takes away the baggage that he brings along with him. Here’s a player that brings along with him mental toughness and a willingness to do the dirty work required on either end of the floor. The same can’t be said of certain players on this Lakers’ roster. My recommendation on the Lakers : Buy, a very strong buy ! They’re the team to beat in the Western Conference. As defending champions and with Bryant as the ever present catalyst . How can you bet against them ?

San Antonio, Tx, November  29th. Richard Jefferson (24) of the San Antonio Spurs shoots against Samuel Dalembert (1) of the Philadelphia 76ers on November 29, 2009 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: picture appears courtewsy  of  NBAE/Getty mages/D. Clarke Evans .........
San Antonio, Tx, November 29th. Richard Jefferson (24) of the San Antonio Spurs shoots against Samuel Dalembert (1) of the Philadelphia 76ers on November 29, 2009 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: picture appears courtewsy of NBAE/Getty mages/D. Clarke Evans .........

Besides the Lakers in the Western Conference , if anyone is to challenge their supremacy within the conference. Then, the challenge well come from the San Antonio Spurs,Denver Nuggets, Dallas Mavericks and the up and coming Portland Trailblazers. Now where would should one start ?

First off , the four time NBA champions, the San Antonio Spurs seem finally to began to have realized that they can’t simply rely on the aging triumvirate of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker to lead this team. As great as they’ve been over the years , last year was a telling one for the franchise . They simply plugged away but with recurring injuries to each of the triumvirate, you knew it was only a matter of time before the wheels on the bus would continually happen to go flat.

Coach,Gregg Popovich, and the team’s GM, R. C. Buford, sought to bring in Richard Jefferson from the Milwaukee Bucks via a trade. Added to that they’d re-signed veteran Antonio McDyess to a three year deal and they’ve now got another creative play-maker in Roger Mason on the roster. This could prove to be a resurgent year for the Spurs. But much of that will no doubt be predicated upon the fitness of their triumvirate throughout the season and of course into an extended playoff run. And no doubt with the added depth of the team. Coach Popovich will make sure that his players are well rested and free of those worrisome and niggling injuries. My recommendation on the Spurs: Buy !

As good as the Denver Nuggets have looked this season, I can’t help but wonder if their heartbreaking loss of a series in the conference finals of last year wasn’t their one and only opportunity that they’ll have with George Karl, leading the charge as their coach ? The team is resplendent with stars such as Carmelo Anthony,Kenyon Martin, Chauncey Billups,J. R. Smith and Nene’. Built primarily around speed, athleticism and a great deal offensive prowess, the team has now seen that offense alone can’t be their only virtue. And with All Star point guard , Chauncey Billups providing much of that much needed efensive grit and presence. The team has now found a new sense of urgency and acceptance of the task at hand. As to whether or not they can usurp the Los Angeles Lakers remains to be seen. But if there’s one thing that we’re no doubt sure of , it is that the Nuggets are not prepared to lie down and be walked all over. My recommendation : A buy.

If there’s a team that I’ve come to admire in the Western Conference . Then that would have to be the Portland Trailblazers. For so long, they were often seen as a the pariahs of the NBA. In some respects they were more noted for their off the field problems, far more than they were known for anything that they were trying to achieve on it. And it took a turnaround in the mindset of owner, Paul Allen and that of the Trailblazers’ front office in making the drastic changes needed to right this listed ship. General Manager, Kevin Pritchard and Head Coach, Nate McMillan, saw fit to build from the ground up, uprooting the roster of the malcontents and ill fitting parts to a team that had continually underachieved.

Now in its place the Trailblazers have a young, competitive and desirable team that is the envy of the NBA. They’re led by such aspiring stars as Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, Rudy Fernandez, Steve Blake and now it’d appear to be fully fit and resurgent center,Greg Oden. The latter of whom, has begun to justify the team’s faith in him, having missed his first season in the league ,due to a sever knee injury and then surgery.

You’d be highly mistaken in thinking that because the Trailblazers on the face of it are very much a young and inexperienced team, that they wouldn’t have what it takes to pull of an upset. But this is very much a team that knows how to play to its strengths and negates much of the weaknesses that others think that they often see. And in their coach, Nate McMillan , they have someone whose coaching philosophy is being listened to by his players and being heeded all too well. My recommendation on the Portland Trailblazers : Hold !

For me , I very much placed both the Dallas Mavericks and the Phoenix Suns in the same boat. As time goes by, their window of opportunity to win an NBA championship continues to close ever so rapidly. And if they’re unable to do it now, then they’re not going to be able to do it at any time in the near future. On both counts they’ve something of an aging roster and though in essence neither team can ever be viewed as being out of the picture. The fact of the matter is, that each time when they’re called upon to take that final step forward. They appear to be only all too willing to fall flat on their proverbial behinds,when trying to take that step to the next evel. One wouldn’t mind if it wasn’t for the fact that their front offices, in terms of the respective general managers have continued to make considerable mistakes concerning personnel decisions.

And in both,Steve Kerr of the Suns and Donnie Nelson of the Mavericks, you may well have two of the worst GM’s in all of the NBA. But then again I may well be overlooking the once terrific job that was done by then GM, Elgin Baylor for the Los Angeles Clippers ? Let’s just say that Baylor’s knowledge of player personnel as it regards the NBA game of today,ranks up there alongside the intelligence quotient of both Paris Hilton and Tara Reid, combined. And in this case both Kerr and Nelson aren’t that far behind him in that dubious distinction !

As good on paper as both teams might appear to be what they both lack in mental toughness and leadership. Dirk Nowitzki and his cast of teammates of the Dallas Mavericks are about as scary,as Clay Aiken trying to show his masculine side by claiming to be an all-out action star. The thought of which makes you wonder what it is that Aiken does in his down time ? Please no salacious answers to the question ? How else can one explain the Mavericks’ recent 111-103 loss to an undermanned Golden State Warriors’ team, that could only field eight fully fit players for the game ? Needless to say the answers forthcoming will as diverse as usual ! My recommendation for the Mavericks: Sell ! They’re just simply not worth it at this juncture !

The Phoenix Suns for their part can only go as far as the ageless wonder, Steve Nash can take them. With the ‘Shaquille O’Neal experiment’ now long gone. It’s back to the up-tempo basketball that they were once known for. That being said one doubts that their game that’s very much predicated upon primarily offense , will stand them in good stead come playoff time. Especially when given light to the fact for the Suns to play defense is like asking a crack addict to give up his crack pipe for 72 hours. It simply can’t be done without them going ‘cold turkey’. And that in essence is what one simply sees,when viewing this team. My recommendation with regard to the Phoenix Suns : Sell !

Now comes the easy part as to the bottom feeders at present in the Western Conference. The Golden State Warriors. My recommendation : Sell !
The Los Angeles Clippers my recommendation : Sell . The Minnesota Timberwolves,what more can I say, but sell !
The New Orleans Hornets and Memphis Grizzlies sell !

Bottom feeders in the Eastern Conference ? Well, the New Jersey Nets have seen fit to get rid of Lawrence Frank and that still hasn’t stop the losses. Enough said ! Sell ! As with the sentiment concerning the Buffalo Bills. No one knows of better ways of losing, than the New York Knicks. Sell the whole damn lot of your allotted stake in this sorry ass team ! You’ll thank me in the long run for suggesting that !
Washington Wizards and Indiana Pacers ? Someone suggested to me that there’s optimism there concerning the Wizards ? Well , I’ve got a suggestion for that certain individual, look at their damn record at present and tell me where you see them progressing to ? The Indiana Pacers and their GM , Larry Bird are simply now treading water, awaiting some sort of divine intervention. The sad part to this all, is that the Pacers’ Danny Granger is now languishing on a team, whereby the talent he’s surrounded by is no better than that of a D-affiliate of an NBA franchise. My recommendation: Sell both !

NBA Standings By Conference click here ……….

Eastern

Team Record

New Jeresy Nets 0-16

New York Knicks 3-13

Indiana Pacers 6-8

Detroit Pistons 5-11

Washington Wizards 5-10

Western Conference

Team Record

Minnesota T’wolves 1-15

Los Angeles Clippers 7-10

Golden State Warriors 5-10

New Orleans Hornets 7-9

Memphis Grizzlies 6-10

NB: Financial Services company, AIG, was bailed out by the government to the tune of $150 billion of taxpayers’ monies. And at present they’re still on the edge of a financial precipice. Bear Stearns was taken over by investment bank J P Morgan & Co.. This was done after the company had racked up in excess of $81.6 billion worth of debt, for which it had less than $8 billion of liquid assets. J P Morgan was in receipt of $25 billion of Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) monies, courtesy of the Federal Government. Of which part has been repaid, the remaining outstanding balance due is less than $ 6 billion.

One Man Doesn’t A Team Make ………So Here’s Looking At You Kid …………

I can’t help but feel sorry for the New Jersey Nets’ coach, Lawrence Frank at present. His job at present is a thankless task, as the team has the worst record currently in the NBA.

East Rutherford , NJ - NOVEMBER 21: Mike D'Antoni speaks with Wilson Chandler (21) of the New York Knicks during a game against the New Jersey Nets on November 21, 2009 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.   picture appears  courtesy  of NBAE/Getty Images/ Jeyhoun  Allebaugh   ......................
East Rutherford , NJ - NOVEMBER 21: Mike D'Antoni speaks with Wilson Chandler (21) of the New York Knicks during a game against the New Jersey Nets on November 21, 2009 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. picture appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Jeyhoun Allebaugh ......................

And with that the team record (0-13) within the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference, looking congruously sustainable , given the fact that they’ve been woefully inept in all aspects of the game. One can only that their first win of the season will come about very soon. They already fast a tough task within their own division with the likes the likes of the Boston Celtics (10-4),Toronto Raptors (6-8),Philadelphia 76ers (5-8) and the New York Knicks (3-10) ahead of them of the standings-within the divsion. And with barely one sixth of the season having passed. It certainly doesn’t at all bode well for the team. If they maintain their current pace of futility, they’ll be one pace to attain no more than 4 wins against 78 losses. And that’s hardly liable to happen but they could although set a record of some kind in abject futility.

East Rutherford , NJ - November 21: Lawrence Frank of the New Jersey Nets argues a call against the New York Knicks on November 21, 2009 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Frank received a technical foul as a result of the play.
East Rutherford , NJ - November 21: Lawrence Frank of the New Jersey Nets argues a call against the New York Knicks on November 21, 2009 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Frank received a technical foul as a result of the play. picture appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/ Jeyhoun Allebaugh .............................

Courtesy of NBA.com

FCRC Statement on NYS Court of Appeals Ruling on Eminent Domain Lawsuit Filed by Opponents of Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn
Courts Again Side with Atlantic Yards:
Jobs and Affordable Housing to Come to Brooklyn
November 24, 2009

BROOKLYN, NY—Bruce Ratner, CEO and Chairman of Forest City Ratner Companies, issued the following statement today regarding the NYS Court of Appeals ruling in favor of the Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn.

The Court’s ruling upholds the State’s right to use eminent domain given the public benefits associated with the Atlantic Yards Development inBrooklyn.

“Once again the courts have made it clear that this project represents a significant public benefit for the people of Brooklyn and the entire City,” Mr. Ratner said. “Our commitment to the entire project is as strong today as when we started six years ago. Today, however, this project is even more important given the need for jobs and economic development.”

Mr. Ratner said construction activity on the yards will continue, with the intent that the Nets will play ball in the Barclays Center in the 2011-2012 NBA Season.

In addition to Barclays, which has the exclusive naming rights, eight companies have signed on as founding partners for the arena.

The courts have ruled consistently in favor of the development. Mr. Ratner explained as well that the arena and larger development are expected to create 16,924 union construction jobs and over 8,000 permanent jobs. The tax revenues that will be generated for the City and State during the construction period are expected to exceed $240 million and after construction reach approximately $70 million a year.

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In large part the team is made up of seasoned veterans , sprinkled in with some youth. But with players such as Vince Carter , Kenyon Martin and Jason Kidd no longer a part of this team. They’re now a long ways off from when they were viewed as being one of the powerhouses in the Eastern Conference. At that time they were being coached by Byron Scott, the recently fired former coach of the New Orleans Hornets.

 Devin Harris (34) of the New Jersey Nets shoots against Al Harrington (7) of the New York Knicks on November 21, 2009 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.   picture appears  courtesy of  NBAE/Getty Images/  Jeyhoun  Allebaugh ..............
Devin Harris (34) of the New Jersey Nets shoots against Al Harrington (7) of the New York Knicks on November 21, 2009 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. picture appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Jeyhoun Allebaugh ..............

The best player on the team is considered to be their guard, Devin Harris. And with team owner, Bruce Ratner,Team President, Rod Thorn and General Manager, Kiki Vanderweghe looking to position themselves as major player in the LeBron James’ sweepstakes in 2010. One can’t be seemingly sure what attitude should be taken as to the ambitions of the organization. All we are keenly aware of is, that they’ll leave no stone unturned in their quest to acquire the player.

And with James being reticent as to what his real plans are once the ’09-10 season reaches its pinnacle. Fans of the Cleveland Cavaliers, as well as James’ newest teammate, Shaquille O’Neal will hope that the player remains in Cleveland. A hard court press is being made by all vested parties in Cleveland. From the team’s principal partner Dan Gilbert, to general manager,Danny Ferry and the Cavaliers’ fans, themselves. They all want the player to remain in his hometown city. However, much of that will be predicated upon the success that they achieve this season. And the ultimate goal there is to win an NBA championship.

A number of teams are obviously interested in acquiring LeBron James. And why not , he might just be the most dynamic player in the NBA at present, with the exception of Los Angeles Lakers’ guard Kobe Bryant. And from there, all comparison ought to end ! And with teams such as the Miami Heat, New York Knicks, as well as the New Jersey Nets all vying for James’ service. One can well understand the reason why it is that the Nets are said to be interested in the player. And with the Heat’s Dwyane Wade having said that he’ll make it his goal of trying to lure James to South Beach and to the team. You can see that the Nets’ fans have got to be hoping that serendipity will somehow play a part in the decision to be made by LeBron.

As to the season thus far for the New Jersey Nets. They’re under an ever growing pressure as the losses continue to mount up. With the fans now becoming ever more indifferent as to the team’s plight. The attendance for home games has continued to slide. And with Bruce Ratner’s wish to relocate the team from New Jersey to Brooklyn, there’s an urgency for the team to perform somewhat better than they’re now presently doing. Growing unrest will only add to the tension and with the hundreds of millions of dollars on the line, in terms of the redevelopment of the new site that will house the Nets, alongside commercial and residential properties. The organization requires the right type of PR and publicity to create a fervor around the team and the development , itself.

 Al Harrington (7) of the New York Knicks drives the lane  against Trenton Hassel (44) of the New Jersey Nets on November 21, 2009 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.   The  New York  Knicks  would   go  on to  defeat  the New Jersey  Nets  98-91  .    picture appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/  Jeyhoun  Allebaugh  ............
Al Harrington (7) of the New York Knicks drives the lane against Trenton Hassel (44) of the New Jersey Nets on November 21, 2009 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. picture appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Jeyhoun Allebaugh ............

Roster wise, as I’ve alluded to earlier,the team is made up of youth and seasoned veterans.However,the team is really lacking a veteran leader and a proven scorer. And that may well be one of the drawbacks for the team at present.Defensively, they’ve struggled and on the offensive side of things there too, the team has struggled greatly this season. And there too, there appears to be no respite at hand for the team or its beleaguered coach, Lawrence Frank.

With the presumptive thinking being that in having LeBron James added to the roster , there’ll be an immediate change in fortune for the team. Well, much of that’d be predicated upon the fact that James would be complemented with players that are commensurate with his skill and mindset. And that doesn’t appear to be the case with the current New Jersey Nets’ roster at present ! Whatever changes that’ll be needed to improve the team will definitely have to be monumental. A major roster upheaval will be needed, if this team is to improve along the lines that both Rod Thorn and Kiki Vanderweghe may well have envisaged. One man doesn’t a team make but if you get the right man and complement him with the right cast as teammates. Then the future of the team can presume to be bright.

New Jersey Nets 2009-10 roster

Nets Roster

2009-10 Roster
NUM PLAYER POS HT WT DOB FROM YRS
1 Rafer Alston G 6-2 175 07/24/1976 Fresno State 10
7 Tony Battie C-F 6-11 240 02/11/1976 Texas Tech 11
2 Josh Boone C 6-10 240 11/21/1984 Connecticut 3
55 Keyon Dooling G 6-3 195 05/08/1980 Missouri 9
17 Chris Douglas-Roberts G 6-7 210 01/08/1987 Memphis 1
34 Devin Harris G 6-3 190 02/27/1983 Wisconsin 5
44 Trenton Hassell F 6-5 227 03/04/1979 Austin Peay 8
22 Jarvis Hayes F 6-8 228 08/09/1981 Georgia 6
6 Courtney Lee G-F 6-5 200 10/03/1985 Western Kentucky 1
11 Brook Lopez C 7-0 265 04/01/1988 Stanford 1
14 Eduardo Najera F 6-8 235 07/11/1976 Oklahoma 9
21 Bobby Simmons F 6-6 230 06/02/1980 DePaul 7
51 Sean Williams F-C 6-10 235 09/13/1986 Boston College 2
8 Terrence Williams G-F 6-6 220 06/28/1987 Louisville R
9 Yi Jianlian F 7-0 250 10/27/1987 Shenzhen, China 2

HEAD COACH
Lawrence Frank (College – Indiana)

ASSISTANT COACHES
Tom Barrise (College – Fairleigh Dickinson)
John Loyer (College – Akron)
Doug Overton (College – LaSalle)
Roy Rogers (College – Alabama)

ASSISTANT COACH and STRENGTH-AND-CONDITIONING COACH
Rich Dalatri (College – Louisiana Tech)

ATHLETIC TRAINER
Tim Walsh (College – Upsala)


NBA Standings Atlantic Division Eastern Conference

Team W L PCT GB CONF DIV HOME ROAD L 10 STREAK
Boston 3 10 4 0.714 0.0 6-3 3-0 5-3 5-1 6-4 W 1
Toronto 6 8 0.429 4.0 4-2 0-0 4-2 2-6 4-6 L 1
Philadelphia 5 8 0.385 4.5 5-5 3-1 3-4 2-4 3-7 L 2
New York 3 10 0.231 6.5 2-8 1-2 1-7 2-3 3-7 L 1
New Jersey 0 13 0.000 9.5 0-11 0-4 0-6 0-7 0-10 L 13

Flattering Or Unflattering I’ll Let You Be The Judge Of That ………

They say that ‘justice is blind’ and meant to be ‘impartial and fair to all’ of the parties involved . From the defendant who seeks his acquittal for a crime. And for the prosecution working on behalf of the state and primarily for the rights of a victim or victims as the case may be.

And as much as we’ll take pride in our judicial system with its scales of justice presided over by a judge and a jury of one’s peers. There are still some flaws to a system where in some cases the rights of a defendant far outweighs those of the victim. And especially those where the victim is one of a violent crime.

New Jersey Nets  ....Jayson Williams ...........

Williams seen here in happier times alongside his then New Jersey Nets’ teammates. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Eric Metcalfe ……………..

You all know doubt remember the circumstances behind the case of former New Jersey Nets’ star Jayson Williams ? Five years ago he was charged aggravated manslaughter wherein he shot and killed his former limo’ driver Costas ‘Gus’ Christofi on the estate of his palatial New Jersey mansion in the Alexandria Township. A rather upscale community of luxury built abodes .

Continue reading “Flattering Or Unflattering I’ll Let You Be The Judge Of That ………”

The Russians Are Coming The Russians Are Coming ………….

Now that the ‘Cold War’ has ended , though there’s still said to be some distrust, disquiet , between the two former adversaries and by those who claim to be in the know. There’s an interesting anomaly that seems to be arising in the world of sports. In particular as with regards to the sports horizon in the United States and its landscape.

In Major League Baseball (MLB) there are two foreign owners of a major league franchise. In this case it is the Seattle Mariners . They’re owned by Nintendo of America Inc. who are part of the Japanese multi-national company, Nintendo Co,. Ltd . And there’s also the Toronto Blue Jays , owned by the wealthy but reclusive Rogers family. In the NHL , – well obviously there are the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs .

The NFL for all of its history and legacy does not possess a foreign owner , much less an ethnic minority owner in any of its 32 franchises. And this from a sport with burgeoning ambitions to become a global brand. It remains the one sport that despite its appearance would rather at ownership level remain and keep the status quo as it is. Essentially an ‘old boys network’ filled with a certain type of owner .

Russian  tycoon  Mikhail  Prokhorov  listed  as  Russia's  wealthiest  person  and  at   #40   Forbes'   list   of the  world's wealthiest  individuals   for   2009.   Prokhorov   has  made  a  detailed    offer  to   purchase a  majority  stake  in the  New  Jersey   Nets   along  with  a  capital  infusion   provided   for  the  development  of  the  Atlantic  Yards  project.  An  area that will   encapsulate   residential    as  well  commericial   properties   with  its  centerpiece  being   the  Barclay  Center-  which  will  become  the  new  home of the  New Jersey  Nets.     The  development   will  be  situated   in Brooklyn,  NY,.      picture appears   courtesy  of   ap/photo/  Mikhail Metzel   ......................................
Russian tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov listed as Russia's wealthiest person and at #40 Forbes' list of the world's wealthiest individuals for 2009. Prokhorov has made a detailed offer to purchase a majority stake in the New Jersey Nets along with a capital infusion provided for the development of the Atlantic Yards project. An area that will encapsulate residential as well commericial properties with its centerpiece being the Barclay Center- which will become the new home of the New Jersey Nets. The development will be situated in Brooklyn, NY,. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Mikhail Metzel ......................................

The NBA now but down to one foreign owned franchise, in the form of the Toronto Raptors . They’re now said to be on their way into possessing a second . It is widely being speculated upon that Russian tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov will formally make a bid to buy in part , the New Jersey Nets. It is said to already have the blessing of NBA commissioner David Stern. Though the formal announcement has yet to be made as it await the NBA’s Board of Governors’ approval. It is not thought that there will be dissenting voice or vote in the process. And certainly with the most recent maneuver whereby the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ owner Dan Gilbert sold a minority stake in the franchise to a Chinese entrepreneur.

The  Barclays  Center    as   the  projected   future home  of  the  New  Jersey   Nets  .  The  design  is   by  architectural   firm  Ellerbe  Beckett .  picture appears courtesy of  curbed.com/archives/ barclays  center  ......................
The Barclays Center as the projected future home of the New Jersey Nets . The design is by architectural firm Ellerbe Beckett . picture appears courtesy of curbed.com/archives/ barclays center ......................

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports and AP

Russian tycoon to buy Nets, move team to Brooklyn

By Tom Canavan AP Sports Writer

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)—The NBA has truly gone global.

Russian tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov reached an agreement Wednesday to buy 80 percent of the financially strapped New Jersey Nets and nearly half of a project to build a new arena in Brooklyn.

The only thing that stands in the way is a nyet from the league’s board of governors, and that doesn’t seem likely with NBA commissioner David Stern already giving the deal his initial blessing.

The proposed blockbuster deal would give the Nets’ current principal owner, Bruce Ratner, the needed cash to move forward with the Barclays Center, the centerpiece of his Atlantic Yards development, which includes plans for retail and residential projects.

It would make Prokhorov, a billionaire and former amateur basketball player, the NBA’s first non-North American owner.

It would also mean the Nets really do seem headed to Brooklyn, a New York City borough without a major pro sports franchise since baseball’s Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1957.

“Interest in basketball and the NBA is growing rapidly on a global basis, and we are especially encouraged by Mr. Prokhorov’s commitment to the Nets and the opportunity it presents to continue the growth of basketball in Russia,” Stern said in a statement.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, too, is ready to welcome Prokhorov to the NBA.

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In order to read Tom Canavan’s article in its entirety just click on the link provided.

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The New Jersey Nets’ principal partner Bruce Ratner , whose paramount issue at present is the relocation of the franchise from New Jersey to New York City (Brooklyn). And it is felt with the cash infusion provided by Prokhorov. It would facilitate the finishing of the project known as the Atlantic Yards project. At the center of this all will be the Barclays Center , which will become the new home of the New Jersey Nets. The project itself is multi-billion dollar undertaking. And it envisaged as an area of residential as well as commercial properties with the Barclays Center as its center piece.

Bruce  Ratner seated  left   of movie  star  Bruce Willis   is the  principal  partner   in the  ownership   group of  the NBA's  New Jersey  Nets.   Ratner  and  his  ownership   group  are  awaiting the NBA's   blessing  to  sell  in  excess of  80%  of  the  franchise  and  other  assets  to Russian  tycoon   Mikhail  Prokhorov.  picture appears courtesy  of  getty  images/   Richard   Hauser .......................
Bruce Ratner seated left of movie star Bruce Willis is the principal partner in the ownership group of the NBA's New Jersey Nets. Ratner and his ownership group are awaiting the NBA's blessing to sell in excess of 80% of the franchise and other assets to Russian tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Richard Hauser .......................

With this now comes the perception that this won’t be the last big undertaking by the Nets’ ownership. It is widely thought that with impending free agency of the Cavaliers’ Le Bron James at the end of the 2009-10 season . The New Jersey Nets will make a solid push to obtain the player. Certainly the Nets won’t be the only team looking to lure the player to ‘The Big Apple’, as it’s also thought that the New York Knicks will most certainly make the player a very lucrative offer. And it is thought the Cleveland Cavaliers will move heaven and earth to insure that James remains in Cleveland.

Rap star , music mogul and business entrepreneur Jay Z , who’s also a minority owner of the New Jersey Nets. Here he speaks with fellow rap star and record producer Jermaine Dupri and his ambitions to bring the Nets to Brooklyn. It’s also believed that he may well sway the decision that’s yet to be made by LeBron James and whether or not he’ll leave the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Certainly should this deal be approved by the NBA . Then it would most certainly change sporting landscape within the United States. The NFL in large part sees itself as a burgeoning brand on the international market. But essentially they’ve been somewhat haphazard in their marketing of their brand and product to the outside world. And while the game is growing in popularity across the globe. The resonance that it has sought , has yet to reach the levels attained by the NBA. This only adds to the dilemma that it now faces. And for the NBA , the acquiring of a foreign based owner in the guise of Mikhail Prokhorov will be seen as a boon for them and a ‘grand marketing idea’ that they can build around to further their already established brand on a global scale.

Cavaliers'  player  LeBron  James   signs  copies   of  book  'Shooting  Stars'  at  a  book  signing   at  a Borders  bookstore in  Westlake  ,  Ohio.   The   player    seeks   impending  free  agency   after  the  2009-10  NBA   season.   And  it's  believed   that  there'll  be  a  fullcourt  press  by   both  the New  York  Knicks  and  New  Jersey  Nets  to  acquire  the  player.   The  book   is  James'   first  take  at   writing   and  he was  assisted  in the process  by  noted   author  Buzz  Bissinger , who   wrote   'Friday  Night  Lights'  .   picture appears  courtesy  of   ap/photo/  Amy  Sancetta  .......................
Cavaliers' player LeBron James signs copies of book 'Shooting Stars' at a book signing at a Borders bookstore in Westlake , Ohio. The player seeks impending free agency after the 2009-10 NBA season. And it's believed that there'll be a fullcourt press by both the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets to acquire the player. The book is James' first take at writing and he was assisted in the process by noted author Buzz Bissinger , who wrote 'Friday Night Lights' . picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Amy Sancetta .......................

Well one can surmise to invest in an NFL franchise is a considerable one. Given the fact that the average price of an NFL franchise is slightly more than a $1 billion . And if you were of the opinion what it would indeed cost to be new starting franchise in the NFL. Well unless you can come up with rights’ fees and then have at least another $1 billion dollars in financing for a stadium and other ancillary costs . Then the NFL isn’t the business you really want to be getting into. And that’s even with the over inflated price tags of their franchises. The revenues garnered by way of the tv rights and marketing , may well make it on appearance a lucrative investment. But for every dollar invested what is the return on that particular investment ( roi ) ?

I for one think that with the impending addition of Prokhorov as an owner within the NBA. It can only be of benefit to the game , domestically as well as on the international front. It adds to the ambitions of the game’s hierarchy. And in essence it gives the impression that there’s also a favorable environment for an aspiring sports franchise owner to invest here in an identifiable product and brand. At present the same can’t necessarily said of the NFL. It’s still looking for its first ethnic minority owner , never-mind one from the international arena. And that’s something that the NFL hasn’t really pursued at any level , in reality. If they’re of the opinion that the ‘Rooney Rule’ fixes anything, then they’re sadly mistaken.

Roger Goodell, nor his predecessor, Paul Tagliabue , had gone far enough to ingratiate the thought of even having a minority owner of a franchise within the NFL. It has been something of an eye opener to many and nearly not enough for a number of people who’d obviously like to have seen a genuine effort from the NFL.