Cease and desist ………..

Cease and desist

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Picture gallery

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

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Picture and slideshow gallery details below .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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tophatal ……………… 09/30/2013

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

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2012-13 NBA standings (division) and conference standings

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

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

For all the Marbles and whatever else you can think of

For all the Marbles and whatever else you can think of

Well now that the NBA Finals` parings are set with the San Antonio Spurs representing the Western Conference , where their opposition, are the highly favored Miami Heat of the Eastern Conference . Led by reigning four-time League MVP Lebron James , the Heat will be looking to make a successful defense of their NBA title . This might not be the postseason finale that everyone had hoped for amongst the throng of NBA fans , as a more lucrative finale might well have been envisaged , with a Miami Heat match-up against the Oklahoma City Thunder or Los Angeles Lakers within the Western Conference , being the desired option .

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The two opposing coaches could not be more diametrically opposite , with a seasoned veteran in Gregg Popovich , and his opposing number being , Erik Spoelstra , seeking to add a second title to is resume` . For Spoelstra , the additional factor , beyond his knowledge of the game , is that his mentor and team President Pat Riley will be presiding over this series with the demeanor of an individual who is proud of his young protege . There is no doubt that the Miami Heat were by far the best team in the NBA this season , without reflecting on their overall record or the idiocy of the New York Knicks` fans bemoaning the fact that having beat Miami during the regular season and taking their regular season series (3-1) . It is quite clear that within New York and perhaps farther afield , fans of the franchise are not all that bright . Suffice to say , what happens in the regular season simply counts for nothing , or simply paraphrasing ___ “ what happens in Vegas , stays in Vegas “ .

Now while LeBron James seeks to add to is already glowing career, this future Hall of Fame player , has simply excelled this season , far surpassing his exploits of the previous season . One has to wonder , where Miami would be without James` exploits over the regular season and into this postseason . He has led this Heat team in almost every offensive category that matters , and LeBron James has proven to be a defensive stalwart on a roster , that during the postseason , has not been all that exhilarating . Contributions from Chris Bosh , Ray Allen and Dwyane Wade can best described as somewhat anemic , if not downright dire at times . There is no denying that the bench or should one say the presumed role players on the Miami Heat roster will have to step up their game against a San Antonio Spurs` team that in should no way be underestimated . There is a damn good reason that Popovich has been behind and the main architect of a franchise , which he has successfully , led to four NBA titles over the course of his now historic reign .

Players such as Mario Chalmers , Norris Cole , James Jones , Chris Anderson , Shane Battier , Mike Miller , Juwan Howard , Rashard Lewis , will be called upon at various points in this series to make various contributions . Erik Spoelstra will make demands of his players and quite rightly so , as failure to be even competitive against San Antonio , could very well lead to dire consequences .

James , Wade and Bosh , are meant to strike to fear into the hearts of rivals and foes alike. Yet somehow , in the Eastern Conference Finals , against the Indiana Pacers , a series that went to an astonishing seven games , came as a great surprise to analysts fans alike . Miami never really had an answer for Roy Hibbert , David West and Paul George , and were it not for the postseason inexperience of a young Pacers` team , this conference finals` series could very well have provided us with the privilege of seeing Miami dethroned as the defending conference champions in such a surprising manner .

If LeBron James` career can now be described as being or approaching a description of being Jordanesque . Then the career of Tim Duncan has to be one , that would place the power forward on the Mount Rushmore of the titans to have played that coveted position in NBA history . Duncan played alongside one of the great big men of the modern-day game , in David Robinson . The Master and student coexisted and led to the franchise to the first of their four titles in 1999 . Duncan a first round draft pick by San Antonio in the 1997 NBA Draft . The series` victory …. over the New York Knicks proved to be an apt finale of Robinson`s now illustrious career , as he bowed out , riding off into the sunset and retirement , as an NBA titlist and Hall of Fame inductee , a few years later .

In the subsequent years the NBA Draft would prove to be fortuitous for the San Antonio Spurs as Gregg Popovich and his staff would proceed to acquire some extremely productive players , while also attaining players notably seasoned veterans via free agency or the customary off-season trades . The addition of Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker can only be seen as momentous events in San Antonio`s history as an NBA franchise . With the Argentinian and French man simply bringing along their extraordinary skill-set to a mid-market NBA team that was always seen , as being well ran , under the auspices of team owner Peter Holt and GM R C Buford . They may well do things big in Texas , but in San Antonio , this has been a franchise that has gone about doing it all , the right way , without the need to cause a big splash or make complete of fools of themselves in the process . Please take a hint Mark Cuban , Jerry Jones , Tom Gaglardi and Nolan Ryan . In recent years other than the Dallas Mavericks` triumph in 2011 , there really has not been much that as been really achieved by your respective professional sports` franchises , that you seemingly parade about as a bastion of opulence , rather than attaining actual tangible success .

Parker and Ginobli have been great complementary pieces to Tim Duncan over the years , with the trio providing some of the richest moments for the San Antonio Spurs over the past decade . Three titles together , has proven to be a greater reward than even most observers would have come to expect from this triumvirate , with each player having distinguished themselves at the highest levels possible on the NBA` s greatest stage , its postseason finale .

Gregg Popovich will seek some solid production from the likes of Kawhi Leonard , Dajuan Blair , Boris Diaw , Matt Bonner , Danny Green , Tiago Splitter and Gary Neal throughout the course of this series . One of the stranger stories to have taken place with regard to the Spurs , was Popovich`s decision to sign veteran Tracy McGrady . The fifteen-year career veteran , a two-time scoring champion and multiple with All Star appearances , one now has to deem it , McGrady , is now the process of winding down his career , seeking to win that all too elusive first NBA championship ring . Whether or not McGrady ascends to those heights of acclaim , while providing the Spurs with a much-needed lift , remains to be seen over the course of the NBA Finals . Game one kicks of what hopefully, will be a seven game series, if merely to whet the appetite of the fans and the NBA hierarchy .

One of the few things that the NBA cannot afford to have happen during this NBA Finals would be for the series to be a lopsided series of uncompetitive games. LeBron James will undoubtedly seek to impose his will upon this series , while hoping to maintain his postseason scoring average .
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Picture gallery .

Whatever, the outcome of the NBA Finals , this series should prove to be historic , for a number of reasons . LeBron James comes away with his second title in three years . A San Antonio Spurs` victory adds to that franchise`s already impressive history , and that of their Big Three , and their well-respected head coach. The true NBA fans , should be in for a real treat and a feast of exhilarating entertainment . Your thoughts on this upcoming series ? Leave a comment as you see fit .

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Picture and slideshow details below .
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(1) Tim Duncan , left, is seen here with teammate David Robinson . Two years after being drafted by the San Antonio Spurs Duncan would make his first appearance in an NBA Final . The duo would lead the franchise to their first NBA title , with a series` victory over the New York Knicks in the 1999 NBA Finals . AP Photo / Mark Jameson ….

(2) MIAMI – JULY 09: LeBron James (6) , Dwyane Wade (3), and Chris Bosh (1) , of the Miami Heat show off their new game jerseys before a press conference after a welcome party at American Airlines Arena on July 9, 2010 in Miami, Florida. Architect of the move , team President Pat Riley and approved by team owner Micky Arison , the trio and their teammates were assembled not only to win multiple titles but to also make Miami Heat franchise a more profitable and lucrative concern for their billionaire owner . Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images …

(3) Gregg Popovich, left, a four-time winning NBA title coach , seeks to add a fifth Finals` series victory to is resume` . Whereas, is opposite number Erik Spoelstra seeks to add what will be his second title in his third consecutive appearance in the NBA postseason finale . Courtesy of NBA.com @ copyrighted material all rights reserved ….

(4) Miami Heat’s LeBron James , left, talks with Chris Andersen , right, during NBA basketball practice, Wednesday, June 5, 2013 in Miami. The Heat play the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday. AP Photo/Lynne Sladky …

(5) Tim Duncan (21) , center, is seen here alongside teammates , Manu Ginobli (20) and Tony Parker (9) in a game played against the Phoenix Suns this season . The Spurs would prove to be victorious defeating the Suns .on their way to a 58-24 record in the Western Conference placing as the second seeds , yet once again winning their division all too convincingly . Getty Images North America / Adam Knox ………….

(6) San Antonio Spurs power forward Tim Duncan , left, and shooting guard Tracy McGrady celebrate on the bench during the fourth quarter of Game 6 of a Western Conference semifinal NBA basketball playoff series against the Golden State Warriors in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, May 16, 2013. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez ….
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tophatal ………. 06/05/2013

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