War is coming ….

War is coming ………….

Well, baseball has began its season, by way of their exhibition games throughout the month of March before the regular season commences on the 5th April , 2015.

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If nothing else this season, will likely tell us a great deal about the teams who will seek to usurp the San Francisco Giants who are the reigning World Series’ champions. Bruce Bochy and his managerial staff will be looking to get his newly revamped team prepeared for the rigors of the 2015 regular season schedule.

The Giants with their World Series’ MVP and ace starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner will be looking to replicate the form shown during the postseason . Inasmuch, as the fairy tale of the Kansas City Royals may well have provided the fans of baseball something to be really excited about , at the end of the day, the Royals simply were not good enough to defeat the Giants in the “Fall Classic” .

With NL teams such as the Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Dodgers , San Diego Padres , Milwaukee Brewers , St Louis Cardinals , Atlanta Braves , Miami Marlins and Washington Nationals likely to prove to be formidable challengers to the San Francisco Giants this season, it certainly will be interesting to witness what unfolds over the courseof the schedule in 2015.

Bruce Bochy and Giants’ GM Brian Sabean have worked tirelessly to make the franchise one of the most competitive in all of baseball and that has certainly been the case over the past seven seasons with San Francisco having won three NL Pennants and three World Series’ titles during that time-frame. Dominance has been the name of the game, along with frugal spending and drafting of players and great acquisitions by the front office . Once the regular season gets underway for the Giants, it will be interesting to see how the team fares over the course of their schedule.

If there is one player that will have something to prove in 2015, then it would have to be the three-time AL MVP and New York Yankees’ third baseman Alex Rodriguez . A year-long league mandated suspension and Rodriguez will resume his already controversial and already tarnished baseball career under the microscope of the fans, print and television media alike. The player’s somewhat less than contrite apology, may well have fallen on deaf ears , but, it has been his temerity to challenge the Yankees’ organization in seeking to void certain incentives of his contract that may well leave many in bewilderment as to the size of Alex Rodriguez’s ego and the fact he still remains in denial, concerning his misdeeds.

Joe Girardi and his managerial staff get off to a 1-1 start to the exhibition season during the month of March. The team will begin a split series against the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday, then have games against the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals to round-out their weekend schedule series of contests. It might not prove to be enough of a gauge, to judge where players might need to be, as they enter into their regular season schedule, but Girardi knows if the Yankees are to fare well and improve on last season’s disastrous showing in the AL East , then the level of their play will have to be great deal better than seen in 2014. From my own perspective I believe Alex Rodriguez will be hard pressed this season to reproducethe form , that once made him one of the best players of his generation , with or without the stain of the steroids, he is known to have to used at various stages of his well now well-chronicled career.

With the San Diego Padres having made a big splash during the off-season with the acquisition of several players. It will be interesting to how the managerial staff of Bud Black will fare with an entirely new roster of players. The Padres’ biggest acquisition was that of former Los Angeles Dodgers’ slugger Matt Kemp who is expected to be the focal pointof an offense expected to contend within the NL as well the NL West this upcoming season.

While I believe Bud Black to be a very good manager , I certainly do not believe , because the Padres’ front office have gone out to make some very ambitious moves, it will ultimately lead to success by way of their possibly dethroning the San Francisco Giants as the NL Pennant winners ! It is going to take a great deal more than a $94 million payroll to bring about the ambitions sought by the organization. Granted, with the acquisitions of Matt Kemp and Justin Upton the franchise may well have appeared to have placed themselves in something of favorable position , but as I alluded to before it will take considerably more than brandishing a near $100 million commitment to make it all a reality in terms of a World Series’ title .

The San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants will be meeting on Saturday , 7th March in all NL clash at the Scottsdale Stadium in Scottsdale, Arizona in a preseason Spring Training game as the two teams get to acclimatize themselves with baseball and something of a re-acquaintance of sorts among divisional rivals . On the mound will be James Shields of the Padres facing off against Madison Bumgarner. At this early a stage in Spring Training these type of games do not necessarily tell you a great deal about the teams as each seeks to find a rhythm with the view ahead, being the preparation for the regular season onslaught of a one hundred and sixty-two game grueling schedule, for all thirty teams within MLB.

No matter which way you seek to slice and dice it , the year-round fascination with the NFL continues unabated . Yet, this is the one time of the year , when you have to wonder , if there is any real sanity to the game . The litany of movements by way of trades to have taken place, now seem to be not only mind-boggling, but also appear to a case of desperation on the part of the teams coming to such a decision. I am still intrigued how Philadelphia Eagles’ head coach Chip Kelly believes the team will be in a better position to win without, their Pro Bowl running back LeSean McCoy , having traded the player to the Buffalo Bills within the AFC East. The move will likely benefit the Bills, who are indeed in need of a great offensive force , after their rather lackluster season in 2012, where not only did the wheels fall off their wagon but the entire was simply nowhere to be seen on the field of play, as reflected in their year-end record .

For Rex Ryan the incoming head coach who succeeds Doug Marrone , fired by GM Dough Whaley , presumably with the view the new team owner, Terry Pegula wanted to start afresh, with an influx of new faces from the coaching staff on down to the player personnel roster . Given much Rex Ryan is known to have under-achieved with the New York Jets during the final two years of his tenure. I am not so sure there will be an immediate improvement in his record or that of the Bills’ fate this upcoming season.

The Seattle Seahawks’ failure in the waning moments of this past Superbowl provides with a story from two perspectives . It is that , of the losing team, having a chance at glory , taking the gambler’s route, failing , with the head coach , Pete Carroll falling on the sword, taking the blame for an utter ridiculous decision . The other was that of the winning team seeking to redeem itself after the allegations made , and yet to be founded, that there was any concrete evidence to suggest that orders came down from on high , head coach Bill Belichick or a member of his coaching staff ordered the tampering of the game or practice balls used in this most recent Superbowl. Granted, the stains of previous misdeeds have yet to truly dissipate , but I believe it to be more out of dislike of the Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick, rather than the team itself . On the other hand, the NFL cannot hold itself up , to be a game or brand that is above reproach , especially when one continues to look at the misdeeds of not only the players, teams and executives , but also the hapless and rather idiotic edicts and comments provided by Roger Goodell as the NFL Commissioner .

Anyone who truly believes Goodell has been good for this league , must be greatly in need of psychiatric help , if nothing else. If the only thing the commissioner can point to , are the ever increasing revenues within the game as his only evidence of any meaningful success , then there is something clearly wrong within the league , itself. The alleged popularity of the NFL is said to be at an all-time high , but I would beg to differ when it comes to the demographics of its female fan-base ! If any male fan, can legitimately point to the fact, that females fans have not been disgusted by what they have witnessed by way of the behavior of players such as Ray Rice , Greg Hardy , Ray McDonald and Adrian Peterson to name but a few, and still suggest, the league still has an even greater appeal among females. Then , there has to be a great deal of apathy if not stupidity on their part !

The NFL cannot get out of the way of its continued ineptitude by way of the league hierarchy , complete lack any type of accountability by its leadership but even more so by the lack of real leadership show among the union from its highest ranks on down to the off field conduct of the players and continued asinine apathy of many of the NFL’s so-called diehard fans .

Just when you thought there might have been some semblance of sanity within the NFL , leave it to the front office of the Chicago Bears prove us all wrong . With the firing of both Marc Trestman and former GM Phil Emery , you would have the impression that the Bears would be right back on track . No, that could never be, as they are intent on proving us all wrong . Wide receiver Brandon Marshall’s tenure with the franchise has now come to an end , with the organization having sent the player to the New York Jets . All of this, while they still have Jay Cutler and his $17 million salary on a their books , with his being a complete waste of space during his entire stay with the NFC North based team .

I have always maintained , Jay Cutler was never that great a quarterback to begin with , in spite of the many great attributes claimants believed he had . If that were the case then surely the Bears’ quarterback would have led the franchise to at least moderate success. Instead , it has been Cutler simply falling short at just about every obstacle possible , and that is without taking into account Phil Emery’s ridiculous decision to make him among the highest paid players in the NFL not only by contract , salary , but also at his position . Not really all that difficult to understand why there are so many idiot front office executives within the NFL and why they have an IQ barely above that of the counterparts in Major League Baseball or perhaps a member of the Kardashian family. I would also place members member of Congress in among the idiot general managers of the NFL, but it is plain for everyone to see both legislative chambers of House and Senate , when left to their own devices , they are unique and have no need to be harangued any further because , we will always be able to gain even more mileage with their continued stupidity , no matter what the circumstance .

At the time of the NFL Draft in April , it will be interesting to see if Jay Cutler will remain a part of the Chicago Bears or dangled as trade bait as the franchise seeks to move on from his years of inconsistency and lack of positive results .

It’s nut-crunching time in the NBA as the teams begin to enter the home stretch of the season. If franchises are indeed looking to play themselves in the conference and divisional contention . Then now would be the time to let their intent be known . Now is not the time to be raising the ” White Flag of Surrender” , unless you happen to be the Denver Nuggets , Los Angeles Lakers , Minnesota Timberwolves , New York Knicks , Philadelphia 76ers , Orlando Magic , Brooklyn Nets and the Sacramento Kings .

The aforementioned teams , have not only been a drag on the league this season, but in reality, anyone trying to suggest that something meaningful can be taken out of their play and the NBA in general, has definitely been missing the fact, that the quality of the basketball overall, has been dire, particularly within the Eastern Conference , which continues to be a monstrous eyesore for anyone watching the games in that conference . Things are liable to get a great deal worse , before we are likely to view them as getting any better .

As the debate rages on , </aas to who this season ought to be named League MVP , there can be no denying that over the past fifteen games played by Russell Westbrook . The Oklahoma City Thunder point guard has been putting up astonishing numbers , a great deal of it being achieved in the absence of his teammate Kevin Durant .

Westbrook has not only willed his team to some astonishing victories , but he has led by example , being extremely unselfish in aiding the Thunder achieve their goals. GM Sam Presti and head coach Scott Brooks must feel privileged in the fact , knowing with the loss of Kevin Durant the franchise has a player who has not only assumed the mantel of leadership , but has willingly embraced with open arms and actually flourished in the role. Unfortunately , in today’s NBA, there might be less than a handful of players in the league capable of such a role. Yet, here we are as fans, now mulling over who should be the League MVP for this season ?

As the Oklahoma City Thunder continue to make their way up the Western Conference ladder. The Golden State Warriors led by point guard Steph Curry have basked in the limelight of being not only the best team in the conference but by far the best team in the NBA throughout much of the regular season , up to this point in time. Curry, alongside , James Harden , Russell Westbrook and LeBron James are considered the front-runners the league’s highest regular season individual award . It will be very interesting to see how things pan out , and how the voters go about making their decision , as to who this season’s winner of the League MVP will be .

Phil Jackson the Zen Master , has seen the New York Knicks’ season blow up in their faces and yet the continued idiotic excuses of Jackson, having a plan is not unlike, the current Congress’ views on the world and where this country stands , as the “moral beacon of light ” to the rest of the world . No substance and absolutely , no real , planned strategy of note . Unless, Jackson was of the opinion , he would be to able throw fecal matter ($hit) up against a wall, then working with what sticks. I truly believe, this has been the premise the famed head coach chose to go with ! How else can you explain the idiotic hire of Derek Fisher as the team’s head coach and then seeing the team simply make one big pratfall after the other, throughout the course of this season ?

Heading into the month of March , and still there are no signs of life with the Knicks . Granted , the loss of Carmelo Anthony due season-ending surgery , led to even further disasters, but in reality , so much burden had been placed on the shoulders of the player , there was no damn way in hell, he alone could have led this team to any semblance of success , but yet anal retentive fools, were still buying into this plan of Phil Jackson. He’s been a legendary coach , but that is all he has been. Jackson is not a great assessor of NBA talent and it is something that alleged fans, seem to be forgetting or simply have no damn idea what they trying to elicit, by way of making an argument for their premise. last victory for the New York Knicks came by way of a rather curt performance in a home win over the Toronto Raptors on the 28th February . Next up for Derek Fisher and his players will be a road contest against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center in Denver , Colorado on Monday evening. I would hazard guess and suggest is not likely to end favorably in the visiting team’s favor !

The New York Knicks may well have their eyes on the future , seeking to build by way of the NBA Draft and free agency . Generals go into battle , equipped with battle tested troops , armaments and a plan of action . Unfortunately, the Knicks entered this season, with nothing more than a a soup ladle, players not hungry or skilled enough to get the job done and coaching a staff , among the most incompetent in the entire NBA. How could anyone actually buy into the idiocy, Phil Jackson and his ego would be able to gain this franchise any semblance of success ?

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By clicking on an individual frame you can see that picture in a reformatted size along with its narrative.

As we come out of a Winter of sports’ stories, which in many ways covered the gamut of social and competitive issues. What are you most looking forward to seeing, during the coming months within the sports’ world ?

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(1) Players from the Kansas City Royals celebrate their victory over the Baltimore Orioles , which guaranteed their appearance in the 2014 World Series . It was not to be for the AL Pennant title holders , as they fell to the San Francisco Giants in a thrilling seven-game series . AP Photo / Mitch Cooper .

(2) San Francisco Giants’ GM Brian Sabean , left, is seen here alongside team manager Bruce Bochy , who looks admiringly at the NLCS Pennant Trophy , the third title won by the paring for the franchise in the last six years. Last season , the Giants would also go on to win their third World Series championship during the same time-span , leading to one of the richest eras in the Giants’ long and storied history. It remains to be seen how San Francisco will fare in 2015, but rest assured , the managerial staff will have the team prepared for each competitive adversity likely to be thrown their way. Getty Images / Danny Fisher

(3) Feb 26, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez (13) sits in the dugout as he waits to hit in the batting cage during Thursday mornings workout at George M. Steinbrenner Field . This season Rodriguez and his teammates will have a great deal to prove after a disastrous year in 2014 and rather lackluster performances by the team leading to a poor finish and record in the AL East. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

(4) SAN DIEGO, CA – DECEMBER 19: Matt Kemp (27) meets with Manager Bud Black (20) of the San Diego Padres in the clubhouse after trying on his new uniform top after being traded from the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park on December 19, 2014 in San Diego, California. Photo by Andy Hayt/San Diego Padres/Getty Images

(5) Former Philadelphia Eagles’ running back LeSean McCoy who was recently traded by the franchise to the Buffalo Bills . Getty Images

(6) Rex Ryan who has replaced Doug Marrone as head coach of the Buffalo Bills. Ryan will be expected to lead a newly revamped roster , as they seek to stop the continued recent dominance of the New England Patriots within the AFC East. The Bills have not won the the divisional title in several seasons and their last postseason appearance came in 1999 . Getty Images / Chris Thomas

(7) Seattle Seahawks’ running back Marshawn Lynch recently signed a four-year deal to remain with the Seahawks. Lynch sought a contract to make him at least one of the top five running backs in the NFL in terms of salary and contract value . A franchise tag was being bandied about by the Seahawks’ front office and in part by head coach Pete Carroll.

(8) Chicago Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler is seen here with his now former teammate Brandon Marshall . The wide receiver was recently traded by the Bears and the common consensus appears to be, the veteran quarterback will not be far behind , with his being shown the door. It is unclear however , if the front office will seek to use Cutler as trade bait for a team, in search of a veteran quarterback . Chicago for some inexplicable reason made the player one of the highest paid quarterbacks by salary and contract value . Cutler’s NFL career has been highlighted by a great deal of inconsistency and lack of postseason success . AP Photo / Mark Curry

(9) Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook is a ” man on a mission ” and that quest would appear to the the NBA title . However , over his last fifteen games the point guard has put up astonishing figures , leading the league in scoring , while being one of the leading candidates for the League MVP . Getty Images / Paul Miller

(10) In this June 10, 2014, file photo, New York Knicks president Phil Jackson smiles during a news conference in Tarrytown, N.Y. Jackson hears the question every time he walks around New York: How are the Knicks going to do? The Knicks’ President answers this way: “We believe we’re going to be a playoff team, and then we don’t know how far we’ll be able to go.” AP Photo/Seth Wenig

(11) NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 13: Head coach Derek Fisher and associate head coach Kurt Rambis of the New York Knicks look on before a game against the Toronto Raptors at Madison Square Garden on October 13 , 2014 in New York City, New York. Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

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Crunk the fu#k up ….. War ….. War is coming

A la-carte menu ? As the world turns, the NBA still meanders

A la-carte menu ? As the world turns, the NBA still meanders

Early in the season , the NBA was in awry as the return to the league of two its most high-profiled and visually recognized faces made impact-ful returns to franchises where initially their names were made. With LeBron James having left the Miami Heat after a postseason of angst and tremendous disappointment with the Heat falling to the San Antonio Spurs in five games , James felt it best to resume his career elsewhere and where better than with the franchise where he got his professional start , having been drafted as the number one overall draft pick in the 2003 NBA Draft?

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Phil Jackson’s return to the New York Knicks was treated with equal regale as the former player and eleven time championship winning head coach was introduced to the convened press fans as the Head of Basketball Operations and SVP with the New York based franchise. While this might well have been somewhat surreal , the reality has been as the season got underway for the Knicks with a new head coach Derek Fisher and coaching staff in tow , the real issues for the team this season has been the fact winning has become something of a rarity on the road or at home.

The four-time or League MVP’s return to the Cleveland Cavaliers was heralded as a coup-de’-gras for team owner Dan Gilbert and fellow executives . The fans in their appreciation , simply went out and began a feeding frenzy , as they purchased LeBron James’ memorabilia and season tickets , single-game home tickets for the team’s games at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland Ohio,.

Now at the midpoint of the season and it would be fair to suggest both the the Cavaliers and Knicks have failed miserably in meeting the expectations of the fans and NBA analysts alike and I believe it is reflected in their conference and divisional standings ! The Cleveland Cavaliers as of the 13th January have gone 1-10 in their last ten games, losers of seven consecutive. Only the New York Knicks have managed to exceed the futility exhibited during that spell .

I certainly believe the woes affecting both the Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks comes down to the fact both teams are in transition having changed their coaching staffs during the off-season , with the hire of David Blatt in Cleveland and Derek Fisher with the Knicks. While Blatt’s experience in Europe goes without question , his NBA experience has been this season’s ” baptism of fire” and the same with his New York counterpart. As to this idiocy , Phil Jackson will provide Fisher with his coaching acumen and insight , well that has failed to take place at any point during this season , as seen with the team’s record and play.

LeBron James led his teammates to their last victory on which came by way of ” downing ” the Charlotte Hornets on the 2nd January , 2015. New York with their recent player upheaval , last gained a win when they defeated the Boston Celtics on the 12th December , 2014. If there is any frustration brewing within the front offices of the Cavaliers and Knicks then it is not being outwardly shown by the respective executives.

Derek Fisher and the Knicks will continue their quest for a meaningful victory when they face what appears to be a rejuvenated Milwaukee Bucks’ team coached by Jason Kidd . LeBron James and his teammates will face a Los Angeles Lakers’ team sorely in search of something meaningful to their season. . Kobe Bryant’s presence has been as competitive as usual but his being sidelined , leaves the Lakers missing real offensive output and no one on the ready to step up and follow the veteran’s lead.

Having a billionaire owner in the NBA hasn’t done the league any harm, by way of the image of the teams or having the owners display their often outrageous behavior . As to the idiots , who have tried to suggest because of the philanthropic deeds of some , it outweighs their pubic comments , my question to those fools , what happened to common courtesy and decency ? Hiding the veils freedom of speech, without facing the fact such behavior has its ramifications, seems to be lost on those , who continually to use this premise as a proxy.

Mikhail Prokhorov , the Russian billionaire and owner of the Brooklyn Nets . For this past fiscal year the Eastern Conference based franchise has seen mounting financial losses and a team not in sync with the ambitions sought by their owner. Hard to see how the Nets can try and justify entering the season with a payroll exceeding $90.4 million and little to show for it by way of respectability within the NBA. Lionel Hollins and his coaching staff have struggled to get this team of overpaid stars playing with any semblance of credibility. A six-game losing streak has not helped the Nets’ credibility or standing in the belief the team is simply good enough to be viewed as a legitimate playoff contender , no matter how mediocre the East Conference just happens to be . Granted , injuries have plagued the Nets this season , but it should not be considered an excuse for a franchise , which in recent years has been known more for trying to outspend their rivals , rather than for their achievements on the court . As if to further emphasize how bad the Nets are , their current six game losing streak places them as the eighth seed 1 1/2 games ahead of the Charlotte Hornets and a game behind the sixth placed Miami Heat. The Brooklyn Nets’ last victory came on the road when they defeated the Orlando Magic , with a two-point road win (100-98) .

There can be no denying whoever comes out of the Western Conference as the representative in the NBA Finals will be battle-tested and ready to take on their Eastern Conference opponent. Year in and year out the teams in the West have been involved in their annual dogfight for the right to the conference representative. Last season the San Antonio Spurs posted a 62-20 record , best in the conference and then played with a great deal of resilience on their way to a fifth NBA title .This season Spurs’ head coach Gregg Popovich has the team playing with the usual type of consistency one would come to expect of the champions with the coach resting his mainline stars as he sees fit . No fines being meted out by Adam Silver , but then again , what would you expect when his predecessor, David Stern treated the league as if it were his own personal fiefdom and stomping ground , with his imbued idiocy and piousness .

To overlook San Antonio at this point of the season by , waxing on lyrically about teams such as the Golden State Warriors , Portland Trailblazers , Houston Rockets , Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks would be extremely foolish , but it does seem to be the norm at present . Nonetheless, as the season progresses, we will get to see the best of this team and the conference in general .

James Harden has proven to be an extremely productive player for the Rockets this season and even more versatile than anyone might have imagined. Harden has been by far the best player on the Rockets’ roster leaving no one in any doubt who is more pivotal on the team . Dwight Howard is simply an adequate foil for his teammate’s exploits as Kevin McHale guides Houston with the aim of making the playoffs.

Currently, the third seed in the West , with a record of 27-11 the Houston Rockets are comfortably placed to make a solid run during the second half of the season. Next up for McHale and his players will be a game against the Orlando Magic at the Amway Arena in Orlando , Florida on the 14th January , 2015.

Mark Jackson outlived his usefulness in the state of California and in particular, his tenure with the Golden State Warriors . It was one thing to try and force feed your beliefs upon the players, but it is another to then repeatedly ignore the warnings from your employer , concerning your behavior and intent . Jackson’s ideology led to his demise, without delving into the issues of his hypocrisy. Joint team owners , Joe Lacob and Peter Guber wasted no time with the hiring of Steve Kerr to succeed his predecessor and Kerr to for his part, has imparted a great deal of wisdom , player oversight, but above all a keen eye for details as well as coaching acumen , which has been of a great deal of benefit to this young Warriors’ team . Perhaps there’s room for learning for the likes of Derek Fisher and Jason Kidd, from someone with Kerr’s abilities ? The Warriors are riding high with the best winning percentage in the league and on course to break the franchise record for most wins in a season . Led by players Steph Curry , Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes this is not a team solely built around offense , but clearly under the auspices of head coach Steve Kerr, this team will also willingly play defense when called upon to do so.

Golden State’s current seven-game win streak is not their best of the season, but it does point to the fact how consistent the team has become over the course of the NBA schedule . The Warriors’ most recent game , saw the team simply trounce the Utah Jazz by an eleven-point margin and prior to that , clinically dismantled the Cleveland Cavaliers with the utmost of ease . A home game against the Miami Heat on Wednesday evening at the Oracle Arena in Oakland , California will tell us a great deal about the Warriors and their season-long quest to be seen as legitimate contenders within the NBA. I am inclined to believe this Steve Kerr team could make things extremely difficult for their conference rivals over the remainder of the season and into the playoffs !

There are no do-overs in the NBA and it is something which will not be afforded the likes of the Los Angeles Lakers with their abysmal season , they will not be offered the opportunity of reversing their tide of mediocrity on any level . With their fans pointing to the future and hopes of obtaining marquee free agents in 2016 , 2017 and 2018 , perhaps it hasn’t occurred to their myopic fans , team owner Jim Buss , GM Mitch Kupchak and SVP Jeanie Buss have failed miserably in placing a competitive product on the court over the past two seasons without taking into account their current situation . It begs the question , where is there any common sense to be found within the organization beyond the idiotic pragmatism being imbued by Jeanie Buss , in the wake of the sheer stupidity exhibited by her brother and Kupchak ? If it is her belief the franchise will be competitive three years from now , then surely , she can show a morsel of evidence to support her claims ? To paraphrase Don King ” only in America ” or in this case, only in the mind of a Lakers’ executive would you hear such absurdities .

The Lakers are likely to fix their woes by spending a great deal of money to acquire a a free agent, because they sure as hell haven’t shown the acumen to draft a player of any note over the past eight years . Yet I digress , because what use is it to point out those facts when their fans are simply oblivious to such realities ? Snooze , you lose __________ bit#hes .

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12-27 is a sold recipe for disaster and a season and it not have been concocted up any worse , even without injury woes of Kobe Bryant . The eighteen-year veteran is now on the decline and nowhere near the competitive force which once made him the most dominant player in the league. Those years are long gone and we rarely now see those moments of brilliance from the future Hall of Fame inductee. As if to further exacerbate the ongoing idiocy to be found within the Lakers’ organization, head coach Byron Scott believes it will be in the franchise’s best interests to rest their veteran guard once the team is out of playoff contention. Perhaps there is a great deal of naivete’ on my part , but at 12-27 , the Lakers’ chances of making the playoffs this season are beyond remote, when you consider the team sits 11 1/2 games out of the eighth and final playoff position within the Western Conference and they not even close to being competitive enough to challenge within the Pacific Division for the divisional title. Byron Scott must believe in divine intervention or he remains the eternal optimist at heart.

Having won just three of their last ten games , hopes of the Los Angeles Lakers being able to pull themselves out a mess of their own making, is something I have no wish to see ! This team was simply assembled from ill-fitting pieces, with no real means of assuring victory on any level , at home or on the road. A three-point home loss to the Miami Heat , shows the Lakers continue to do themselves no favors and simply in the self implosion mode as it relates to their season . One seriously doubts in their next contest they will fare any better when they face LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Staples Center in Los Angeles , California on the 15th January ,2015.

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Picture gallery .

As the first-half of the NBA season comes to a close, what do you believe to be the best the league has had to offer their fans and what do think has been the most disappointing aspect of the league this season ?

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Picture and slideshow gallery details .
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(1) Dennis Schroder (17) of the Atlanta Hawks attempts to control the ball against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center on January 13 , 2015 in Philadelphia. Getty Images / Jesse D. Garrabant

(2) LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives the ball past Alex Len of the Phoenix Suns of the NBA game at US Airways Center on January 13, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona . Getty Images / Christian Petersen

(3) Bismack Biyombo of the Charlotte Hornets goes for the tip off against Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs at the Time Warner Cable Arena on January 14, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina . NBAE/ Getty Images/ Brock Williams-Smith

(4) Mason Plumlee of the Brooklyn Nets backs up to the basket against the Memphis Grizzlies as Zach Randolph seeks to make the defensive play in the game at the Barclays Center on January 14, 2015 in Brooklyn. NBAE/Getty Images Jesse D Garrabant

(5) Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans handles the ball against Greg Monroe of the Detroit Pistons on January 14, 2015 at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills. Getty Images / Allen Einstein

(6) Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls handles the ball against John Wall of the Washington Wizards on January 14, 2015 at the United Center in Chicago. . Getty Images / Joe Murphy

(7) Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors handles the ball in a game played against the Miami Heat on January 14, 2015 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif. Getty Images / Noah Graham

(8) Cleanthony Early of the New York Knicks shoots the ball against the Charlotte Hornets during the game on January 10 , 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. The Knicks were on the wrong side of a lopsided loss to the Hornets . Getty Images/ Nathaniel S Butler

(9) Jeanie Buss and her brother Jim Buss are co-owners of the Los Angeles Lakers . The team has been through a rough season and seemingly out of contention in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference . The Lakers have also struggled when Kobe Bryant has been out of the lineup and not much has gone right for head coach Byron Scott and his coaching staff over the course of the season . AP Photo / Giles Parrish

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A year to savor …

A year to savor

In the blink of an eye the remnants of the last few monents of 2014 disappeared before our very eyes and from a sporting standpoint it was mainly a big disappointment from my own point of view. Nothing said or suggested mediocrity more than a regular NFL season so embarrassing , with the incompetence of a litany of teams. Major disappointments came thick and fast , along with the customary off-season firings and walkouts by either front office executives of head coaches. Jim Harbaugh now rides off into the sunset , assured that he will be welcomed with open arms by the Michigan faithful as he seeks to resurrect their fortunes and status among College Football’s fraternity. San Francisco 49ers’ front office executives may well have parted ways with their former head coach by mutual agreement , but if the rumors are to be believed , Harbaugh’s relationship with GM Trent Baalke , CEO , Chairman & team owner , Jed Yorke had deteriorated to such an extent , communications between the executives and Jim Harbaugh were simply cordial , professional , and nothing more than that. Off the field issues may well have also played a part in Harbaugh’s downfall beyond the complacency shown by the team throughout the course of the season, with the players simply lacking leadership and Colin Kaepernick seemingly more concerned with his growing public image and own self-importance , rather than his performing at a very high level in comparison to last season.

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The San Francisco 49ers failed to make the postseason and barely challenged within the NFC West , where they finished a disappointing third within their division, behind the Seattle Seahawks as the newly crowned divisional champions and perhaps the NFC’s surprise team of the season the Arizona Cardinals who finished in second place. Where San Francisco now goes from here will be solely dependent upon the choice made by Trent Baalke as he goes in search of a successor to fill the vacant head coaching position with the NFL franchise. There will be a litany of candidates qualified and not so qualified looking to be interviewed for the position. It’s safe to say, the question now becomes about who wants to be out on the West Coast coaching a team with a great deal of talent, but now lacking direction and a real sense of purpose ?

Having won their sixth AFC East title in succession the New England Patriots will now be looking to cement their status as the best NFL franchise over the past decade and a-half. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady remain the main building blocks of this franchise , but the Patriots’ long-term future will soon be about the younger players on the roster and the organization seeking a successor to Belichick , at the time of his choosing to ride off into retirement. As the number one seed in the AFC , New England has a bye in the first round of the postseason . Their closest rivals within the conference the Denver Broncos squandered their chance of positioning themselves to take that mantel by falling apart in the last few weeks of the regular season . Hopes of a Tom Brady versus Peyton Manning match-up is still very much on the cards, if both of these teams play to their true potential during the postseason. That very premise could take place in the AFC championship game.

The wildcard round of this postseason has some very intriguing games on the schedule, where the match-up between the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys takes center-stage among the NFC contests . In the AFC , the ongoing rivalry between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers takes off on another chapter of what has been often described as one of the most heated rivalries in the NFL and certainly one, which tends to provide a great deal of drama , if not explosive outcomes . John Harbaugh and Mike Tomlin will also get the chance to match wits against each other as the opposing coaches on the sidelines .

The drama surrounding this postseason will not be lost on the fans or the broadcast outlets alike , as they seek to pour over the events as they unfold. One can only hope the fans are not disappointed by the games or the sense of foreboding as things unfold over the course of this weekend.

Money is aid to be the ” root of all evil “ and that definitely would be the case in the world of politics, where the politicians’ greed is not only furthered by their avarice , but also by their sheer contempt of the electorate and the very fact that they believe themselves to be above reproach . That same analogy I believe can be used in the world of baseball (MLB) , where during this off-season we have seen some major moves in the free agency marketas well as a number of teams striving to either deplete themselves of talent or take on the pretext of proving to their fans they are ready to compete .

For the past two seasons the Los Angeles Dodgers have been the biggest spending team in Major League Baseball , making an outlay in excess of a half-billion dollars ($500,000,000) during the time span in question. Dodgers’ manager Don Mattingly and his managerial staff have proven to be adroit during the regular season, but in 2013 as well as last year the ball-club failed to meet the expectations of their fans and the front office , with abysmal performances during the playoffs . The decision by Dodgers’ team President Stan Kasten to hire Andrew Friedman to become the Head of Baseball Operations indicates the franchise has decided to change their philosophy somewhat, when it comes to acquiring talent and not overpaying , but taking into account, there are several players on the current roster earning in excess of $15 million a year , it is hard to see how anyone can take the Dodgers seriously as they seek to turn over a new leaf.

Don Mattingly and his team capitulated to the St Louis Cardinals in this past season’s NLDS , a series where it was inexplicable to surmise how bad the Los Angeles Dodgers were said to be on all counts . The Dodgers’ offense may well have been anemic , but their pitching by comparison was nowhere to be seen . As the Dodgers embark upon their off-season sojourn before they begin their preparations for Spring Training and then the 2015 regular season , there will be some new faces as part of the roster , after the departure of several familiar figures who were a staple of the club over the past few seasons. One of those departing faces was Matt Kemp , now a member of the San Diego Padres .

It would be fare to suggest the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants provided baseball fans with one of the more memorable World Series in recent years , with the perceived underdogs the Royals looking usurp the NL franchise . Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy and the team triumphed in a thrilling seven-game series downing the Kansas City Royals in a climactic final game . In a pitching performance for the ages Madison Bumgarner brought back memories of the postseason performances of pitching legends Sandy Koufax and Don Larsen . It seemed only fitting Bumgarner was named World Series MVP . GM Brian Sabean during the off-season replenished the team’s roster with several acquisitions likely to make the ball-club stronger at several key positions while also knowing there are a number of players within their farm system ready to make that leap up to the Majors .

The “stain” which remains part of baseball’s folklore, beyond the ” Black Sox ” scandal will forever be the “steroid era ” and the fact Bud Selig failed miserably in reining the abusers , who sought to cheat the fans and the game of baseball by smearing some of the most historic feats within the sport. With the departure of Roger Clemens and others associated with that sordid chapter , baseball still has the remnants of Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun still within our midst , albeit , both players have served league mandated suspensions for their egregious transgressions with somewhat asinine acts of contrition on both their parts. Rodriguez will make his long awaited return to the New York Yankees and to a ball-club in the midst of change with the retirement of Derek Jeter after a two-decade long career with the ball-club. In the throes of this upheaval GM Brian Cashman will be looking to several of the veterans on the current roster to assume the mantel of leadership , the role Jeter assumed for several years as well as being the team captain. If Cashman now believes Rodriguez can fit the role , then he is sadly mistaken, along with the belief the player can provide the productivity needed to challenge within the AL.

New beginnings and a resurgence of a franchise still seeking its first NBA title. This was meant to be the storyline for the Cleveland Cavaliers this season . The return of LeBron James brought back Cavaliers’ fans to the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland , Ohio in droves. The four-time League MVP brings with him his productivity and an all-round game that has become the envy of the league and erstwhile fans alike. James’ departure from the recent two-time defending NBA champions the Miami Heat shook the foundations of the organization and simply took everyone off guard including his former former teammates. Miami’s failure in last seasons NBA Finals indicated a flawed team whose over-reliance on LeBron , was simply overwhelming the player during that Finals’ series. That heartbreaking loss may well have been the straw that broke the camel’s back and led to his decision to leave the Miami Heat.

As The Prodigal Son, whose return was welcomed with open arms by the organization led to the upsurge in ticket sales , increased merchandize revenue and the appreciation in the value of the Cavaliers. This has been the impact LeBron James on the NBA and the franchise. Beyond his salary , the player’s annual income along with corporate endorsements places him among the upper echelons of international athletes and the top-paid NBA star . Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert and GM David Griffin sought to bring in also ,a wealth of experience by way the team’s roster . Point guard Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love are meant to be the complementary foils guiding the ambitions of the team this season. A rookie head coach , David Blatt and his coaching staff have struggled to gain any real semblance of consistency the Cavaliers this season .
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Cleveland’s record (18-14) places the team five games behind the the Central Division leading Chicago Bulls (23-10) . Now with the reported loss of LeBron James for two to three weeks due due to a lingering injury , this will likely put a severe dent in Cavaliers’ divisional title hopes as well as the possibility of a high conference seeding within the Eastern Conference. James in the Cavaliers’ lineup offers the team the best chance of winning , rather than his being seated on the bench . The Cavaliers without LeBron James in the lineup after the announcement of his injury , saw the team take on the Charlotte Hornets in a road game at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte , North Carolina . All hands were on deck for the Cavaliers as Kevin Love led the team in scoring as they defeated the Hornets 91-87 .

Next up for Love and his teammates will be a home game on the January 4th , when they clash with Dirk Nowitzki and Rajon Rondo of the Dallas Mavericks at the Quicken Loans Arena . This contest could one of the highlights of the games scheduled for Sunday afternoon. Dallas comes into the contest on a four-game winning streak , with Rondo’s acquisition having set the tone for the team , as they move forward . The trade of the former Boston Celtics’ point guard immediately provides an uplift for the Mavericks and gives the a facilitator who is among the best in the NBA and who will also provide them with a very good defensive presence. Mavericks’ Mark Cuban’s insistence and pursuance of this deal that acquired Rajon Rondo , has certainly made the team a lot better and an almost certainty of being among the top contenders for the number one seed within the Western Conference this season. It would take a rather foolish individual to bet against this team and its pursuit of a second title, to add to the crown won in 2011 .

I’ll fight the good fight in support of a sport , just as long as I feel it will be of benefit to the masses ! Yet for all of the showmanship and acknowledged popularity of Floyd ‘ Money’ Mayweather , I have gotten to the stage , where I find the sport of boxing to be a complete comedy of errors and tragic parody of a once proud sport , which captured the fans’ imagination and held it drawn with its excitement and intensity !. No longer can it be case or where anyone can try to justify it, as still being truly relevant. Other than the world welterweight champion, there is not really a major draw in spite of the fact his greatest rival just happens to be an aging Manny Pacquiao . These two fighters for one reason or another have never sought to face each other at the prime of their careers , instead , often choosing to face lesser opponents along the way , to pad their statistics and the pursuit of multi-million dollar payday .

Mayweather and Pacquiao have passed the pinnacle of their respective careers and the legitimacy they each now seek will not be determined by final contest between the two , because in essence it will prove nothing at all. A proposed mega-fight would likely gross well over $200 million in revenues worldwide with each fighter guaranteed a minimum of $50 million apiece , but in the end of what profit would be to a sport now dying on its knees when there are no other high-profiled boxers on the horizon with the charisma or talent to be seen as the face of the sport and its long-term future? Multiple international governing bodies preside over boxing and there is no real uniformity other than the mandatory twelve rounds of boxing for a world title fight at the international and national levels dependent upon the allegiances of the national boards of the sport worldwide.

The alphabetical melange of who’s who , and the pecking order of the IBF, IBO , WBA , WBC and WBU created this actual nonsense within the sport of boxing and even now , with the pursuit and support shown by current WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman for a unified world champion primarily within the heavyweight division . The appeal for such distinction is lost on the fans and the litany of claimants of the various versions of the crown in question . It has been almost two decades since boxing had a undisputed heavyweight champion , with the last claimant being Lennox Lewis and it should be noted there is not an undisputed champion in any of the weight categories in the sport of professional boxing . Yet , this is the sport Senator John McCain (R-Az) , by his rationale believes relevant , while denouncing its upstart rival the genre of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) as being barbaric , with their being no rules or etiquette ? McCain’s idea of barbarism should be considered a joke , while he ought to be looking at his own legacy within the Congress and its lack of productivity over the last six years .

The rise in prominence of the UFC and the sport of MMA over the past decade and half , ought to be seen as how to brand , manage and package sport , where its reach is now global and in many ways has surpassed the branding and marketability of both the NBA and NFL. NFL combined . Dana White , UFC President along with the Fertitta brothers own the UFC and its affiliated concerns , a company with an estimated value of over $2 billion ($2,000,000,00) , making the three primary partners in this enterprise , extremely wealthy individuals . Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta , were already self-made billionaires , having made their fortunes in the casino and hospitality and hotel management business . Now their primary goal is to expand the growth of the sport globally , which they have been extremely successful in doing , with a stable of fighters from around the world signed to their company , as well as having affiliated associations across the globe.

In 2015 , UFC will ring in its schedule (UFC 182) with its first major title bout of the year, when Light Heavyweight Champion , Jon ‘Bones’ Jones makes a defense against challenger Daniel Cormier . Jones , the division’s best fighter is making his record ninth defense of his title. On January 3rd , 2015 from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas , Nevada , UFC will unveil UFC 182 with an under-card of several terrific bouts, along with the marquee title title fight , with Jones’ Light Heayweight crown being on the line. Jon Jones , can be seen as the protagonist , with Cormier viewed as the antagonist , but there is the feeling the titleholder may well be looking to play ” the villain ” of the piece , because of the apparent ‘bad blood’ between he and the challenger , Daniel Cormier. Undoubtedly, Jones has become one the biggest names within the sport , with perhaps only Ronda Rousey , UFC’s most prominent female fighter, Cain Velasquez , Anthony Pettis and Jose Aldo among active fighters , considered to be extremely popular among the genre’s mass appeal of fans . The title fight itself , could be a contest, where Jones’ experience will out-match the simple bravado of his challenger Daniel Cormier . A thrilling five rounds of combative MMA should tell us a great deal about the champion and his opponent on Saturday night .

Tiger Woods remains the biggest draw in the world of golf, but he is no longer the best player in the game . I once read an asinine comment by someone, who determined because of his drawing power , it made him not only the best but also the only relevant person on the PGA Tour . Granted his having won his own version of the Tiger-Slam and having a career Grand Slam (the feat of winning golf’s four major tournaments [ US Open, PGA Championship , The British Open & US Masters]) gives him that aura of actual invincibility. Quite rightfully so, but over the past eighteen months , Woods’ game has been on the decline , he knows it and only an idiot would try and suggest otherwise , much like the buffoon and his comments concerning the former world number one ranked golfer. Tiger Woods’ legacy is unquestioned, but my question____ is beyond his off the course sexual peccadilloes , where he does he stand on social activism, his well-staged and manufactured philanthropic efforts ? Tiger Woods remains a damn hypocrite of the highest order, while trying to be a role model to young kids . Far too many of today’s professional athletes as well as those within the collegiate level, fit that very mold. Unfortunately, the media and fans alike, with a great deal apathy and naivete’ would prefer the salaciousness and candid sordid details , rather than witnessing great feats of athletic achievement . Never-mind the fact , when many of these athletes are continually caught in a lie, they will repeatedly seek to apportion blame elsewhere.

This upcoming season on the PGA Tour , it will be interesting to see whether or not Tiger Woods can wrestle away the number one ranking from Rory McIlroy , by far the greatest challenger to Woods’ once dominant presence on the PGA Tour . Phil Mickelson remains an afterthought , because more often than not , his challenges to Woods have ” petered out”, because of his missed opportunities. With over $265 million in official prize money being offered on the Tour(PGA Tour) , golf has now become one of the most lucrative way of earning a nice income from professional sports, without taking into account the enormous bye product of commercial endorsement from national and international corporate behemoths .

At the peak of his earning power, Tiger Woods earned well in excess of $100 million annually , now that figure is down to $65 million , still not bad for a player whose last Grand Slam Major victory came by way of the 2008 US Open in La Jolla, California ,. Yes, I can see why Woods is still considered a draw , with that victory , six years later , still toiling for his fifteenth Grand Slam victory , while Jack Nicklaus’ giant shadow and his own accomplishments in the Majors are simply glossed over by idiots and a buffoon with little knowledge of the sport or the African-Americans who created the legacy for Woods’ access to the game. Far be it for me to suggest this @sshole , has any damn idea what he is talking about to begin with .

Billy Horschel (three career wins) was feted , having won the FedEx Cup (2014) and with it a $10 million annuity as prize , but even with his consistency on the Tour in 2014 , the player was never a fixture or a major threat in any of the Grand Slam Majors , but yet I am being asked to be transfixed by character-less stereotypical androids who now make up the bulk of the players on the PGA Tour ? I think not !

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Picture gallery .

What sporting event of 2015 is likely to have you closely watching a performance or set of performances during this year ?

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Picture and slideshow gallery below.

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(1) Ryan Lindley (14) is here along the sidelines speaking with teammate Drew Stanton during a brief interval. A decision will be made by head coach Bruce Arians as to which of the quarterbacks is liable to be the starter for their wildcard round game to be played against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte , North Carolina , on Saturday, 3rd January , 2015 in the first of the two scheduled wildcard contests to be played on the day. Neither of the Panthers’ quarterbacks has any postseason experience playing in the NFL . The visiting Cardinals are deemed to be the slight favorites in the NFC contest. AP Photo / Keith Mitchell …

Ryan Lindley(14) of the Arizona Cardinals passes in the first quarter against the San Francisco 49ersat Levi’s Stadium on December 28 , 2014 in Santa Clara, California. Getty Images North America/ Ezra Shaw ..

(3) Former San Francisco 49ers’ head coach Jim Harbaugh is seen here on the dais having just been introduced as the new head coach for the Michigan Wolverines program by AD Dave Brandon.Harbaugh and San Francisco formally parted ways by mutual agreement , but it is rumored the head coach had outlived his welcome within the organization because of his brash behavior . The Forty Niners for their part, thanked the head coach for his contributions and the resurrection of the team’s fortunes during his tenure . AP Photo / Jenny Hart ..

(4) Tom Brady (12) and Rob Gronkowski(87) of the New England Patriots react after Gronkowski caught a touchdown pass during the third quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on December 14, 2014 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. . Getty Images / Jim Rogash ..

(5) Los Angeles Dodgers’ team President Stan Kasten , left is seen here team manager Don Mattingly ,center and senior managing partner Mark Walter . The organization in the past two years have committed in excess of $500 million on payroll , only see the team squander their chances in the postseasons of 2013 and 2014. In both cases , the Dodgers fell in those hurdles to defeat the hands of the St Louis Cardinals . The decision was made to bring in Andrew Friedman to head up the Baseball Operations of the Dodgers with Ned Colletti given a lateral move within the front office, on becoming a special assistant and adviser to Kasten. Some changes have been made to the playing personnel , where fan favorite Matt Kemp was traded to the San Diego Padres. It is unlikely this will be last major move made by the Dodgers during the off-season . AP Photo / Ted Ross ..

(6) LeBron James(23) of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts to a call by the referees during the game against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on December 30, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. James will be sidelined for a prolonged period believe to be between to two three weeks as he seeks to recuperate from an injury , leaving his teammates to pick up the slack as they contest several games in the upcoming weeks. LeBron James is not the only major NBA star to be felled by an injury , with Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks also out , adding to the Knicks’ turmoil this season and their moribund record . Getty Images /Kevin C Cox …

(7) Considered the best fighter of his generation and the linear champion within the welterweight division , Floyd Mayweather has never really shown the inclination to meet Manny Pacquiao in the ring in spite of his denials . At the same time, a proposed mega-fight between the two fighters has never taken place , because of disputes in how the purse would be split or the antagonism created by Pacquiao’s main promoter in the US Bob Arum and his continued disdain for Mayweather. In 2015 , the fight many have yearned for may well be scheduled but do not hold your breath waiting for the event to actually take place . Mayweather is likely have at least two fights placed on his schedule as he seeks to fulfill his $200 million fight-deal with cable broadcast outlet Showtime (CBS subsidiary) . AP Photo / Matt Engle ….

(8) Jon Jones ,left is seen here facing his challenger Daniel Cormier for the UFC Light Heavyweight title fight due to take place at the MGM Grand Casino & Hotel Resort Complex in Las Vegas , Nevada on the 3rd January, 2015. The main marquee event is the headliner for UFC 182. Range Finder Inc . @ all rights reserved copyrighted material …

(9) From left to right , background UFC ring announcer Bruce Buffer , Jon Jones , UFC President Dana White , Daniel Cormier and comedian and fight analyst Joe Rogan . There have repeated physical altercations between Cormier and Jones with the insults hurled at an alarming speed between the two. Whether or not this is being done to publicize the bout remains to be seen but UFC is expecting a high PPV audience for the clash . …

(10) Jack Nicklaus, left , an eighteen-time Major winner also having won a carer Grand Slam of golf’s four major tournaments (The Masters British Open, US Open and PGA Championship ) is seen here alongside Tiger Woods . The two are considered to be greatest players of their respective generations and two of the greatest players in the history of the game. Woods seeks to emulate his idol by surpassing his historic tally of eighteen Majors wins . Yet his record pales in comparison to Nicklaus not solely because of fourteen wins of the four Grand Slam tournament but the mere fact Woods has not had as many top-five or top-ten finishes in each of the four tournaments in question , albeit, Tiger Woods has yet to compete in as many Slam tournaments over the course of his career. AP Photo / Eric Messner .. ….

(11) Rory McIlroy the world number one in the official World Golf rankings is already a three-time Major tournament winner, with only the The Masters yet to be added to his resume’ of Grand Slam victories . McIlroy joined Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only players to have won the first their first three Grand Slam tournaments before turning the age of twenty-five.. The Irish player is seeking to improve on his triumphant 2014 season, where he topped the PGA Tour and European Tour winners’ list in official prize money earnings . Getty Images Europe /. Henrik Thorstvaldt .. …

(12) Billy Horschel is seen here at the 2014 Valero Texas Open at the TPC in San Antonio , Texas . The tournament was won by Steven Bowditch. Horschel would go on to claim the FedEx Cup prize and with it a $10 million paycheck (annuity) . Billy Horschel has three PGA Tournament victories to his name and over $8.2 million in career prize money earnings. AP Photo / Eric Parsons ….

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If you want to know how I feel, walk a mile in my shoes ….

If you want to know how I feel, walk a mile in my shoes ….

The NBA season is now in full swing with the often less than memorable Christmas week schedule of games either being of great interest or simply an eyesore . Ongoing stories have evolved around the worsening crisis befalling the New York Knicks (5-28) and the fact this Derek Fisher coached team simply cannot win anywhere , be it on the road or at home. Truth be told , the Knicks simply suck and they are sucking the life-blood out of their season and the league in general. It is a stunning fact one of the NBA’s most renowned franchises is stuck in a morass of its own making. The “quick fix” many felt Phil Jackson might be able to effect has not been a resounding success for a team simply bereftof talent with the exception of Carmelo Anthony whose decision to re-sign with the team must now come into question , bearing in mind he signed a max-contract with the understanding Jackson as Head of Basketball Operations would seek to improve the roster.

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Essentially, the Knicks’ front office executive has simply shown what I believe to be true and it is the fact, he simply has no idea how to assess talent and is simply a great motivator and coach, when the right pieces are in place. How else can you explain the success of the eleven titles won during his now legendary coaching reign , with players such as Scottie Pippen , Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal as the centerpieces of those championship winning teams ?

New York’s last victory came by way of a win over the Boston Celtics on the 12th December, 2014, whom they beat 101-95 at the TD Banknorth Gardens Center in Boston , Massachusetts, in a game marred by some sloppy play from both teams . Eight successive defeats has a way of indicating the lack of confidence shown by a team , but more indicative, has been the lack of leadership from any of the players, along with Fisher’s coaching staff , led by lead assistant Kurt Rambis. Add to this, the idiocy of some suggesting the assistants are experienced enough to provide Derek Fisher, a rookie head coach in his first season,with the experience needed to bring about some semblance of competitiveness. Well that premise, can be quickly put to rest , along with the belief Fisher’s learning on the job will in the end lead to success. During this run , it has been Carmelo Anthony leading the charge from an offensive standpoint. The Knicks’ continued woes are tied to the fact, they simply do not know how to know how to defend, nor are the players inclined to add the facet to their game.

Alongside Carmelo Anthony on this lightly restructured roster are Amare Stoudemire , Pablo Prigioni , Cole Aldrich , Quincy Acy, Jose Calderon , Samuel Dalembert , Cleanthony Early , Iman Shumpert and JR Smith . Suffice to say, if the rumors circulating are to be believed, with Phil Jackson having asked Carmelo Anthony to consider waiving his no-trade clause, it would suggest the Knicks are quite willing to bail on their season , while looking to build for the future. If that premise were to actually take flight , then it is clear the organization have suddenly come to the realization the team is simply not good enough to compete at the highest levels , much less gain a playoff berth for the NBA’s annual end of the regular season foray.

The New York Knicks’ next scheduled contest will be a road gameon the 31st December , 2014 when they face the Los Angeles Clippers (21-11) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, in what will be the last of the regular season scheduled games of 2014.

It was the move meant to send “shock waves “ across the NBA landscape, but instead LeBron James’ return to Cleveland and the Cleveland Cavaliers (18-12) as the ” Prodigal Son” has fallen well short of expectations . James and the Cavaliers are merely three games above.500, although they sit comfortably, as the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference and four games behind the division leading Chicago Bulls (22-9) within the Central Division. Yet , for all of the brouhaha made of LeBron James’ departure from the Miami Heat to make a heralded return to the Cavaliers, the fact remains, the four-time League MVP while impressive on the on the court, his teammates have failed to follow his lead.

The top-pick from the 2003 NBA Draft remains a prodigious talent and now the standard bearer and face of the NBA, alongside Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder . This duo, one would hope will create a rivalry which will be long-lasting and appreciated as much as many of the greatest rivalries the league has offered over the course of its history. For the moment however, questions are being asked as to why , LeBron James , Kyrie Irving , Kevin Love and the supporting cast have not been more dominant within the NBA. In their last eight games the Cavaliers 5-3, something of a reflection of the team as a whole and the inconsistency witnessed over the course of the season .

As if to emphasize the issues the Cavaliers continue to face, consider the fact they are coming off a twenty-three point home loss to lowly Detroit Pistons . If that contest was not indicative of why Cleveland cannot be currently considered one of the top teams in the NBA, then someone needs to explain to me why there has been such a hype over this franchise merely because of LeBron’s return to this organization ! From the get-go , there was this rather idiotic rationale James would single-handed, make this team an omnipresent force, but seemingly , everyone who ran with this idiocy, failed to recognize the fact, rookie head coach David Blatt was a novice to the NBA and its coaching style . Blatt , his coaching staff and the team will get the chance to reassert their presence in the Eastern Conference, while also seeking to take the lead (1-1) in their season series against the Atlanta Hawks. With the Hawks having built a solid foundation around a core of Elton Brand , Jeff Teague , Paul Millsap , Al Horford , DeMarre Caroll, Mike Muscala , Kyle Korver and John Jenkins . Tonight’s contest between these two Eastern Conference teams could go a long way in telling us the directions the these franchises may well be heading in .

I certainly believe last season’s NBA Playoffs told us a great deal about the Indiana Pacers . As the number one seeds in the Eastern Conference as the playoffs began, it was felt Frank Vogel and his coaching staff had assembled a team make things tough for the Miami Heat during their postseason foray. Instead, the Pacers capitulated under little duress , albeit, the Pacers capitulated under little duress , albeit, the Pacers played a great deal of the Eastern Conference Finals’ series lacking the offensive firepower to match Miami during the best of seven-game series conference finals’ contest.

Coming into this season the Indiana Pacers remain a flawed team without a backbone and showing very little resilience. In their last five games the Pacers have managed to gain some semblance of consistency winning three of those contests, with their last victory coming in a twenty-five point demolition of the Brooklyn Nets on the 27th December , only to follow up that win with a loss to the Chicago Bulls in what can only be seen as the ongoing weakness of the Pacers as a team. A record of 11-21 is a clear indicator as to where this Frank Vogel coached team should expect to be , with the best player on the roster this season , none other than George Hill, being ably abetted by Roy Hibbert, David West, Rodney Stuckey, Luis Scola , Ian Mahinmi and CJ Watson. Indiana will renew their regular season rivalry when they meet the Miami Heat on Wednesday evening in a highly anticipated game at the Conseco Life Field House Center , Indianapolis , Indiana ,.

Having been the NBA’s youngest League MVP, it is hard to define the career of Derrick Rose. Certainly , on his best days , he can be considered one one of the league’s elite point guards,a facilitator , prolific scorer , stout defensive player and clearly an all-round asset to a team . Yet. for all of those very traits, the question remains, can Rose stay healthy enough to play an entire season, staying injury-free, to aid the Chicago Bulls winning their first NBA title since the era of Michael Jordan being with the franchise ? Tom Thibodeau coaches a tremendous Bulls’ lineup led by Rose , but with the talented shooting guard and small-forward Jimmy Butler coming into his own this season , it would appear the Bulls might now be as talented and with even greater depth than in recent years.

If there remains any doubts about the Chicago Bulls at this juncture, consider where they now stand and then take into account how effective they have been been with the ascent of Jimmy Butler. Derrick Rose and his teammates might be in for a stern test when they face the Brooklyn Nets at the United Center in Chicago , Illinois , on Wednesday night. The Nets are in need of win , while the Bulls simply want to distance themselves from their nearest rivals within their division.

A great offense can undoubtedly aid a team’s effort to come into its own during a season. Nowhere has it been more evident than with the Golden State Warriors (24-5) and Portland Trailblazers (25-7) who continue to blow their opponents away with almost effortless ease . Leading the charge for both teams are Steph Curry and Damian Lillard . These two extraordinary point guards are providing the league with some exhilarating play and perhaps some of the richest evidence to suggest, that in the last five years this has the been richest era of the game, where these positional players have been so dominant and prominent.

Steve Kerr’s easy transition in succeeding Mark Jackson as head coach of the Golden State Warriors has made his task simple and his merely instructing his players to play with gusto has brought them to the point where they are now at, atop of division and the upper echelons of the Western Conference. Trailblazers’ head coach Terry Stotts has simply shown his coaching acumen , while GM Neil Olshey has merely put together a competitive roster ready to play for a well-respected head coach and his coaching staff .

The Warriors’ most game had them playing the woefully inept Philadelphia 76ers (4-26) , a franchise I now believe should be demoted to the NBA’s D League , simply as a matter of common decency and to stop the promulgation of mediocrity exhibited by the Sixers throughout this entire season. The fact this contest ended in a 3 forty-point blowout loss (126-86) for Philadelphia should come as no surprise, but it ought to be for the NBA hierarchy who still try to brand and sell their on-court product, as riveting and of great appeal to the fans . A blind and deaf mute, is likely to find more excitement in their own solitude, than fans of the Sixers, who continue to watch this team while trying to extol the franchise’s virtues of being a worthy diversion within the NBA. It has been these type of issues the hierarchy has refused to address, along with instances of gross misconduct by team owners , until there is known to be public outrage for such antics, but what else would you expect of sports’ entity ran by a bunch of Neanderthal Caucasian middle-aged males, who are from a bygone age .

Stotts and the Traiblazers would likely make for a formidable contender in the NBA Playoffs if they can maintain their current pace. A projected win total of fifty-six or fifty-eight victories could see them land the top seed within the Western Conference , but that would all be based upon supposition and barring any serious injuries to front-line players on the roster. A well-deserved overtime victory over the Toronto Raptors , one of the surprising stories and teams within the Eastern Conference this season is a telling sign as to how well Portland just happen to be doing at present. The Portland Trailblazers’ first game of 2015 will be on the 3rd January when they play the Atlanta Hawks . A fitting way for Portland to begin the New Year than seeking to take down an Eastern Conference foe and further emphasize the fact the East is weak , while the West is extremely competitive among their top-ten teams.

For all of the continued bellyaching by fans of the Los Angeles Lakers , it is always good to know, we are always only moments away from annually seeing the petulant and self-absorbed behavior of Kobe Bryant. I understand his need to win and to be viewed in the eyes of the fans and public alike, that he is indeed this generation’s answer to Michael Jordan . Bryant may well have surpassed the Bulls’ and NBA icon for third all-time on the career points’ list , but that is all all he is likely to achieve in comparison to Jordan. He will not win a sixth NBA ring or title , most definitely not with the Los Angeles Lakers and their current lineup, coached by none other than Byron Scott and his clueless coaching staff !

Double-digit wins, ten (10-22) in total, have been all the Los Angeles Lakers can muster, just over one-third of the way through the NBA’s eighty two game schedule. Begs the question, if the Lakers were supplanted into the WNBA , would they fare any better ? The fact the Lakers have been unable show any type type of consistency putting together only three back-to-back wins should tell you all you need to know about this team and why they are currently one of the major laughing stocks around the NBA and among the game’s fans. Never kick a dog when it’s down, flea-bitten or not, as there is a likelihood for them to jump right up and take a bite out of your @ss. Something this current Lakers’ lineup is incapable of doing . Continuously over much of the season, Byron Scott’s players have sought to play beneath the level of their opponents, rather than above them . I do not believe I can put it anymore succinctly than that !

An eight-point victory victory over the Denver Nuggets , closed out 2014 for the Los Angeles Lakers but their task will not be any easier when they open up 2015 with a game against the Memphis Grizzlies . I believe Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol are prepared to provide an outcome the Lakers players and their fans will not be entirely happy with ! Kobe Bryant may well seek to return to the Lakers next season for an eighteenth year in this league, but at what cost to the organization ? A franchise where GM Mitch Kupchak remains at a loss at this stage of his professional career knowing how to assemble a competitive team, while team owner Jim Buss continues to look bemused , non-cognizant of his actual surroundings and what is happening to the organization he presides over .

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Picture gallery .

Based upon the evidenced witnessed within the NBA , what do you believe has been the biggest surprise in the infancy of the league schedule and which players , team or teams have proven to be the biggest disappointments ? Your comments are more than welcome , so take a stab at making your thoughts known .

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Picture and slideshow details below.

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(1) John Wall(2) and Rasual Butler (8) of the Washington Wizards guard Carmelo Anthony (7) of the New York Knicks in the second half of their game at Madison Square Garden on December 25 , 2014 in New York City. Getty Images / Jeff Zelevansky …

(2) Rasual Butler (8) of the Washington Wizards shoots over Carmelo Anthony (7) of the New York Knicks in the first half of their game at Madison Square Garden on December 25, 2014 in New York City. Getty Images/ Jeff Zelevansky

(3) NEW YORK, USA – MARCH 18TH : New York Knicks introduce Phil Jackson as the new Knicks’ President at a press conference at Madison Square Garden. Also pictured are , far left , team owner James Dolan and GM Steve Mills . Jackson and Mills have seen the team struggle this season and there now seems to be growing speculation the front office will seek to trade their prized and only valuable asset , Carmelo Anthony , with the player being asked to waive his no-trade clause . Anthony is not due to become a free agent until 2019 , having signed contract with the New York Knicks prior to the beginning this regular season. AP Photo by Anthony J. Causi ….

(4) Paul Millsap (4) of the Atlanta Hawks defends against Kevin Love (0) of the Cleveland Cavaliers at Philips Arena on December 30 , 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. Kevin C Cox/ Getty Images …..

(5) LeBron James (23) and Kevin Love (0) of the Cleveland Cavaliers react after a play in the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Quicken Loans Arena on December 23, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio . Getty Images / Mike Lawrie …

(6) Jimmy Butler , left , defended by Alan Anderson , was held to eight points during the Nets’ 96-82 blowout win over the Bulls Tuesday night in Chicago at the United Center . AP Photo / Holly Anderson …

(7) Deron Williams (8) of the Brooklyn Nets moves against Derrick Rose (1) of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on January 23 , 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Johnathan Daniel /Getty Images …

(8) (L-R) Damian Lillard (0) , Wesley Matthews , Nicolas Batum and Meyers Leonard of the Portland Trail Blazers wait on the court as a play is reviewed during their game against the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center on December 22 , 2014 in Houston, Texas. Getty Images North America/ Scott Halleran …

(9) Byron Scott of the Los Angeles Lakers speaks with Kobe Bryant (24) during a time out in the fourth quarter of the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on December 14, 2014 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Lakers defeated the Timberwolves 100-94 . Getty Images/ Hannah Foslien ….

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From  left to  right ,  Kevin  Durant  ,  LeBron    James  and   Anthony  Davis .
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Looking for all of the right answers in all of the wrong places

Looking for all of the right answers in all of the wrong places

In all the fallout leading to the ongoing criticism of the NFL and its league hierarchy, it seems remarkably strange that not one owner has spoken out in criticising Roger Goodell for his handling of the Ray Rice affair . Baltimore Ravens’ owner Steve Bisciotti has been somewhat naive in his belief , he was misled in how the league would deal with the situation , albeit , he and GM Ozzie Newsome would have been within their right to suspend the running back , rather than leaving it to league to mete out its form of punishment . In light of the issue and the back and forth between the NFL and the beginning of an investigation by the NFLPA (Players’ Union) , the belief remains, the commissioner and many of his subordinates made a horrendous mistake in their handling of this affair. It also goes to the question, if the league can now ban Rice for his actions , but belief no such action is warranted after the San Francisco 49ers’ defensive player has readily admitted in an interview, he beat his pregnant girlfriend , it leads me to believe the NFL and Roger Goodell maintains a “double standard” in spite of the changes about to be made concerning player misconduct as it relates to domestic violence and spousal abuse.

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As a face-saving exercise and makeover the NFL has called upon two former federal civil servants , Robert S Mueller and Louis Freeh to conduct an investigation , start a policy to be adopted by the league and its teams , seeking to address the conduct of players and specifically the issue of domestic violence. Given the fact it has taken numerous incidents for the league to reluctantly pull their collective heads out of their own asses . I simply do not believe any measure now being taken will likely force a player to rethink their pattern of behavior . No deterrent set by the league has stopped players when it comes to misuse of a banned substance , and then collecting misdemeanor charges for DUI , or a felony for having an unlicensed firearm , but rather with a great deal of naiveté on the part of the NFL , the commissioner and a number of rather apathetic fans things are now about to change. Roger Goodell , has never looked himself in the mirror and simply address the fact he has been a poor leader and executive for the NFL , not unlike the poor stewardship seen during the final years of David Stern’s leadership of the NBA .

Three weeks into the NFL and there are few positives be taken away, as the league enters week four and then close out the first quarter of the season. The divisions have not yet provided us with a clear picture as to the likely contenders for the Superbowl , but there have been one or two surprises concerning the play of a number of players through the first three weeks of the season.

Rex Ryan head coach of the New York Jets has begun to mull over whether or not Geno Smith remains the team’s best option to win at this level within the NFL , with the quarterback already showing signs of the traits which plagued him for much of last season with his errant plays , fumbles and proclivity for throwing interceptions . Through three games for the Jets this season , Smith has now become more of a liability rather than an asset for the franchise.

A sloppy and indifferent performance against the Chicago Bears in a home loss has pretty much summed up why Rex Ryan may well seek to sit Geno Smith , given the team’s woes in terms of the offense and their passing game . Defensively , the issues for the Jets point the fact the average points per game being given up by the defense. The alternative for Rex Ryan would be to insert seasoned veteran Michael Vick into the starting lineup , but I seriously doubt at this stage of his career , Vick has very much to offer to the team , while simply seeking to enhance his status as one of the elder statesmen in the league currently playing the quarterback position.

On Sunday afternoon the New York Jets will play hosts to the Detroit Lions Lions and it will be interesting to see whether it will be Smith or Vick lined up to take the snap in the contest.

In the aftermath of the Miami Dolphins’ dour lack of competitiveness in 2013 and the franchise’s off the field issues . It seemed only natural to think the Dolphins would show signs of improvement in 2014 . Instead head coach Joe Philbin has been left wondering , how could things remains so awry , with the team still playing without any passion which is reflected in the Dolphins’ record (1-2) and their standing within the AFC East as well as the AFC .

Ryan Tannehill the starting quarterback for the Dolphins has been far from consistent for the team this season , and it places the head coach in something of a dilemma as to what he should do with the incumbent starter. Matt Moore is Tannehill’s backup , but Moore’s career in the NFL has simply been , one of not too many top-notch moments or what could be described as exhilarating plays. It has been several years since the Dolphins had an offense that would pose a threat to anyone in terms of passing or rushing game and it has to be said , neither Ryan Tannehill or Matt Moore would evoke such a memory or pose such a threat.

Dennis Allen’s …. Oakland Raiders will have the Miami Dolphins as their guests this Sunday in an all AFC clash which will both teams overlooking to overcome their very indifferent starts to the season . For the Raiders in particular , this might well be Allen’s last season as the head coach of a team which has underpeformed with their being barely any signs of life from this roster , even in spite of the spirited play of rookie quarterback Derek Carr . Team owner , Mark Davis and GM Reggie McKenzie , this off-season will likely assess the merits in keeping Dennis Allen based upon how the season pans out as well the retention of certain players on the roster . I firmly believe , we will see another merry-go-round, as another head coach is sent packing from a franchise where their average tenure over the last decade and a half has been less than three seasons.

The expectations were high but the returns now being seen have been an extreme disappointment as Lovie Smith , his coaching staff and this Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ team have performed poorly , getting off to an 0-3 start within the NFL , a record shared with the Oakland Raiders , making the two teams the worst in the league from a record standpoint . I believed Smith would have brought some discipline to a team sadly lacking in that last season , but it has become abundantly clear , the players lacked not only a great deal of discipline and there seems to be no vocal leader , much less a great player on the team willing to lead by example . Vincent Jackson no longer poses the offensive threat as one of the better tight ends in the NFL and the Buccaneers' pass attack can best described as simply mediocre. Neither Josh McCown or Mike Glennon have proven to be the answer this regular season and the signs were there to be observed during the preseason. The Buccaneers were a walking disaster in their 56-14 loss to divisional rivals the Atlanta Falcons , and it was somewhat fortunate for Tampa the Falcons missed several opportunities to build a wider margin of victory in their big win .

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a poor excuse for an NFL franchise and the issues which plague the team covers just about every facet of their game . I do not believe the team can become competitive enough where they are likely to be seen as a credible challenger within the NFC South . Tampa is certainly not good enough this moment to be defeat either the Carolina Panthers or New Orleans Saints and their return visit whereby they will play host to Atlanta Falcons in week ten could very well likely provide us with a similar result as I do not believe the Buccaneers can make that much of an improvement , given their dire situation at present.

Week four will see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers pit their wits against the Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1) at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania , this upcoming Sunday. Pittsburgh for its part will be looking for the win and place themselves into contention for what has now become a tightly contested AFC North division where the Cincinnati Bengals (3-0) maintain a slender lead.

Ben Roethlisberger is not yet back at his very best , but as long as the Steelers have a great running game and a top-five defense then this team can be considered a legitimate contender within the AFC and quite possibly for a deep run in the postseason and to the Superbowl title, itself.

I don’t know what it will take for the Jacksonville Jaguars to be taken seriously as credible NFL franchise . Years of indifference, through poor coaching and needless to say an owner who did not seem to be all that ambitious when Wayne Weaver owned the team. Now with Shahid Khan owning the Jaguars the management has been put into place with a view to making this Jaguars’ organization a legitimate concern within the NFL. Other than the era of Tom Coughlin as the franchise’s head coach, there has been little to cheer about concerning the Jacksonville Jaguars. Mark Brunell and Tony Boselli became synonymous with the franchise but over the past eight seasons , things have been very lean for the organization . With Gus Bradley on board as the head coach and
several
changes
having
been made in terms of free agent acquisitions and the drafting of Blake Bortles , the belief seems to be, things are about to change for the better.

Chad Henne the Jaguars’ starting quarterback for 2014 has proven to be very ineffective and some might say a waste of space and cap money for the franchise. Bortles was seen as a project , and likely at some point to be the team’s starting quarterback next season . Off to a win-less start , with an 0-3 record shared alongside the Oakland Raiders , Tampa Bay Buccaneers and it is now easy to understand why Bortles had his baptism of fire during the closing stages of Jacksonville’s week three game against the Indianapolis Colts , which ended in a 44-17 loss for the AFC South based franchise.

Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers will host the Jacksonville Jaguars at Qualcomm Stadium this Sunday , where the Chargers will be seeking to prove their impressive start to the season was no mere fluke. Given what Rivers has been working with over the past few seasons , it has come as something of a surprise to see the Chargers off to such a very good start. In what will likely be a very competitive AFC West division , not including the woefully inept Oakland Raiders . I believe the division could very well become a three-horse race if Andy Reid and Alex Smith can actually figure out what is wrong with the Kansas City Chiefs . The Denver Broncos remain as competitive as ever , with Peyton Manning leading the way for the team .

With a bye-week in Week four , the Denver Broncos can rest their injured players while gauging what their divisional rivals are likely to do. Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs have a potentially tough game against the New England Patriots at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City , Missouri on Monday night , part of the season of scheduled games for the Monday Night Football. A win is very much a must , for the Patriots after their labored and non-too too convincing victory over the Oakland Raiders in week three , where Tom Brady had one of his less memorable games against Oakland .

At the start of the 2014 season , many believed the New England Patriots were capable of having a thirteen win season. My only belief , was that the Patriots would not be severely challenged within the AFC East , where they have been the dominant force within the division of the past decade. I see no reason for the premise to change given the issues of the Buffalo Bills , Miami Dolphins and New York Jets. Bill Belichick remains the ” Mad Scientist” , self-absorbed, over-confident and often abrasive with the press and at times with his players with the exception of his renowned quarterback. Brady and Belichick are joined by an umbilical cord , but the cord will likely be severed in the next two or three years. The departures of Ryan Mallett and Logan Mankins shocked not only Tom Brady , but the fans of the New England Patriots and definitely members of the media . And as good as the team might seem to be , there still remains a number of deficiencies which Bill Belichick has clearly failed to address during the off-season . Jimmy Garoppolo might well be waiting in the wings to take over from the franchise’s all-time leader in a number of offensive passing categories, but I do not believe this rookie will have the type of impact seen with Brady over the past decade.

I have always maintained if you cannot provide the consumer or fan with anything insightful , then it is best to say nothing at all . ESPN /ABC has become a behemoth and monolithic sports’ broadcast entity that leaves it competitors in its wake . In terms of its content and on air presence, there are few if any real bright spots to the medium , but yet , there it is filling the airwaves and the television screens with a great deal of banality , while being hypocritical , misogynistic , sexist and without any real moral virtue. However, what makes the outlet simply tick is its economic clout as a billion dollar money-making entity for parent company , Walt Disney Company . The three other major network outlet pale into comparison as money-making entities and yes folks , that includes the upstart NBCSports Network and Fox’s almost redundant FS1 Fox Sports Network (FS1) , whose content might be just as mediocre and convoluted as its broadcast relative Fox News . CBS Sports remains something of an archaic and dated embodiment of the broadcast network in terms of its appeal and demographic skewered towards those aged fifty-five and over .

ESPN made the decision today , to suspend on air personality Bill Simmons for being critical of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Granted , the league remains one of the outlet’s primary broadcast partners with whom they have a multi-year, multi-billion dollar contract . Hate to say , but ESPN would rather not bite the hand that feeds it but would willingly kiss the ass of the NFL , even when the league is known to have acted egregiously and erroneously. In reality , some fans couldn’t give a #hit much less really care what Bill Simmons might have to say about anything, given his rather clown-like dexterity for making a complete @sshole of himself , when offering up commentary on issues concerning the world of sports. Simmons’ suspension is something of a non-story but in many ways it simply reflects the ongoing hypocrisy of a network and its willingness to cow-tow and remain in obeisance of a paymaster (NFL) which is just as complicit with its behavior and lack of morals . Unfortunately , there seems to be no one with the balls to say it about ESPN or the NFL , but I am ready to do so and will continue to do so without fear of being sought out by their blow-hard cronies or like-minded representatives.

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Picture gallery .

Where and when did you feel the league erred in dealing with the Ray Rice affair and do you believe the NFL can get its house back in order , much less regain the confidence of its fans and many of their commercial sponsors ? Three weeks into the NFL season and what has been the biggest surprise to you concerning the games and the teams ? Your comments as always are very welcomed and by all means do feel free to chime in with your own thoughts concerning not only the NFL but the world of sports in general .

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Picture and slideshow details below.

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(1) Steve Bisciotti troubled owner of the Baltimore Ravens, who in the past few days has faced mounting criticism of his and the franchise’s handling of the Ray Rice affair. Getty Images / Greg Parsons …

(2)Quarterback Geno Smith (7) of the New York Jets speaks with head coach Rex Ryan before a game against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium on September 22, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Getty Images North America / Elsa Martinez …

(3) Miami Dolphins’ quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) whose record with the franchise as a starter is not impressive (16-19-0) , going into week four where the Dolphins will face the Oakland Raiders in an all AFC match-up at the O Coliseum in Oakland , California , on Sunday afternoon . Miami Herald / Hector Nunez …..

(4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ head coach Lovie Smith , center, watches his players stretch after returning from a lightning delay during NFL football training camp in Tampa, Fla., Friday, July 25, 2014. The Buccaneers have gotten off to an awful start to the season with Smith in his first year as the team’s head coach . AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack ….

(5) May 9, 2014; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Blake Bortles (Central Florida) poses with his family after addressing the media at the Upper West Touchdown Club at EverBank Field a day after being selected as the third overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars…. John David Mercer / USA Today Sports
….

(6) Tom Brady , left , of the New England Patriots is seen here with his back-up , rookie Jimmy Garoppolo . The youngster has been learning all the tricks of the trade from the franchise’s career leader in passing statistics. As a college player, Jimmy Garoppolo had a distinguished career . AP Photo / Martin Kline

(7) Bill Simmons an editor in-Chief at Grantland.com , columnist and on air personality of with ESPN has been suspended (three weeks) by the broadcast outlet for his profanity laced rant , accusing NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell of being a liar . The San Francisco 49ers suspended their television broadcaster and analyst Ted Robinson for his rather idiotic criticism of Jenay Parker-Rice , wife of Baltimore Ravens’ running back Ray Rice . Robinson is his opinionated criticism of Parker-Rice suggested she was in part to blame for the abuse suffered at the hands of her then fiance. Clearly , Robinson has no clue or common sense when it comes to the issue of domestic abuse or domestic violence. UPI / Ross Mitchell …. …

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A higher standard of what ? More bullshit and then some ? …

A higher standard of what ? More bullshit and then some ? …

.Nothing good can now be obtained from the indifference and lack of consistency being shown by the NFL hierarchy and several of their franchises as they come under persistent attack from the media and women’s groups alike , for their lack of dealing with the issue of domestic violence and spousal abuse. Take into account this has been an ongoing situation , which the league and union (NFLPA) have failed to discuss in spite of repeated incidents involving a number of the league’s players. Commissioner Roger Goodell has remained steadfast in his opinion the league is doing enough to deal with this acute issue , having brought in several women to recommend and in working with former FBI Director Louis Freeh to come up with a credible plan to deal with the matter and further deflect the continued criticism the league has received from almost every corner of the public’s attention and view.

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Unfortunately , this is all too little , too late , when the NFL itself has repeatedly failed to punish players for their egregious behavior , while apathetic fans are calling for the matter to be dealt with purely by the justice system. In large part the US Justice System has far too often failed the victims of such crimes , especially in the numerous cases of sexual assault , where far too often , it has been left for a State Attorney General’s Office to obtain a plea deal from a defendant simply to obtain a guilty plea without having to go to trial , or when there is a judicial case , more often than not , the leniency of sentences applied to such crimes , do lead many to wonder how is justice being served ? Anger management classes and the chance the league itself will actually welcome you back , after having beaten a spouse does make this issue seem to meaningless, when it comes to the case of domestic violence.

These cases have now been highlighted by the incidents surrounding Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens who is now taking legal advice about whether or not he can appeal his indefinite suspension by the NFL. The player will be provided a lawyer by the union , as is customary in such cases, where a player seeks to appeal a suspension . The Minnesota Vikings’ running back Adrian Peterson now finds himself in the midst of a firestorm after his being charged with child abuse charges and his lawyer , Rusty Hardin now seeking to quell the latest allegations that this was not the first such incident of Peterson abusing a child . Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton (Rep- MN) has called on the Vikings to suspend the player pending the outcome of the investigation now being conducted in the state of Texas by the state’s Department of Child Welfare working in conjunction with the Texas State Attorney General’s Office . Minnesota Vikings’ owners, Zygi and Mark Wilf reinstated Peterson , having conferred with the team’s Chief Legal Counsel , but have stated the matter remains under review pending the outcome of the investigation ongoing in the state of Texas.

Greg Hardy of the Carolina Panthers having been charged with domestic violence was still allowed to take part in the Panthers’ most recent game , albeit , head coach Ron Rivera stated he felt the player warranted still being a member of the team. It is clear the league hierarchy have not given teams any indication as to how they should treat such matters and there seems to be no consistency in terms of how the league treats these incidents . To further heighten the ongoing absurdity , Jed Yorke and Trent Baalke of the San Francisco 49ers have seen fit to have Ray McDonald on the team’s roster even after the player recently acknowledged in a press interview with members of the local press in San Francisco , he had in fact been involved in an argument with his pregnant fiancée, where he is said to have physically assaulted her. Whatever else might be needed for the Niners to take some form of action after his admittance, has to leave everyone in a state of bewilderment about the sheer absurdity in the reasoning of Yorke and Baalke . I would suffice to say , the league itself has to be wondering when and where the next incident will come from, to further blacken the eye and image of the league , while apathetic fans continue to gesticulate and make prognosis as to what is still said to right about the NFL.

In trying to now justify the NFL’s stance would be in a similar vein of suggesting the Congress has been prudent in how they have dealt with the economy and pieces of cumbersome legislation passed which has left the country still in a quagmire. The Federal Reserve for all of its prudent gauging of the economy, has created a false premise under which on a daily they are selling billions of dollars in Treasury Bonds, merely to keep the government and the economy afloat while suggesting the country itself is on an even keel. Nothing could be further from the truth , as now being witnessed in the jobs’ marketplace . Federal Reserve Chairperson Janet Yellen has to sleepwalk us through the subterfuge her agency creates . The league , likewise , has created its own charade of being able to deal with its own underlying issues , when in fact it is lacking credibility , leadership and where the owners are simply looking for their lapdog , Roger Goodell to steer a course , where the only thing that matters are rising revenues , profits and to take one or two knocks to its image, while what they deem to be an image makeover is nothing more than window dressing.

Week two in the NFL brought about some highs and lows . The Seattle Seahawks were quickly brought back down to earth , suffering their first regular season loss and loss of any kind since December , 2013 . Last season’s Superbowl champions seemed almost invincible in their week one victory over the Green Bay Packers , but somehow the Philip Rivers’ led San Diego Chargers got the better of Richard Sherman and his teammates. Sherman for his part, had little to say after the team’s loss , which might suggest his bravado has been quelled for the moment. How the Seahawks recover from the defeat will tell us a great deal about the team and whether or not there is still justification for them to be viewed as a legitimate candidate to make a successful defense of their title. Seattle will play host to the Denver Broncos this upcoming Sunday in a rematch of their Superbowl duel with the AFC West based franchise.

Far be it for me to suggest , but when a head coach makes the statement , ” we need to get and play better ” . I feel it is very much a warning sign , things are very much in danger of getting worse , with the likelihood the coach’s job might be in danger ! Dennis Allen of the Oakland Raiders has seen his team get off to an 0-2 start and there seem to be no signs of life from anyone of the roster. There were great hopes that they had a player in Derek Carr capable of leading the Raiders as the franchise’s starting quarterback , but the being placed into the lion’s den as a rookie has shown that the player still has a great deal to learn , with the alternatives at the position being exceedingly thin. Veteran quarterback Matt Schaub is certainly not the answer with his best years now in a rear view mirror , rather than being ahead of him.

The Raiders’ two opening season losses have been by margins of five and sixteen points and with the team’s defense being among the worst in the NFL. If those defensive issues cannot be addressed by Dennis Allen and his coaching staff , the possibility of the Raiders being remotely competitive within their division will not be a reality at all. Never mind the fact the head coach’s position is likely to be in jeopardy. Oakland will need to find some semblance of life if they are to avoid going 0-3 through the first three games of their schedule. Dennis Allen will take the Raiders on the road in week three , where his team will face the New England Patriots (1-1) in an all AFC clash at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro’ Massachusetts ,.

Terry Pegula seems destined to become new owner of the Buffalo Bills, who are surprisingly are off to a 2-0 start within the NFL , with the team responding to Doug Marrone’s apparent coaching philosophy for this season. Whether or not these changes have come about by way of the draft or through free agent acquisitions. There now seems to be a new resolve about the team and the organization in general. Buffalo leads the AFC East , though it is still early in the season, the Bills will seek to make further inroads into the year when they play their next scheduled game , a match-up against match-up against the San Diego Charges on Sunday afternoon at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park , New York,.

A home win for the Bills would push their record to 3-0 and place them with a very good lead within the division. It would certainly place pressure on the New England Patriots , reigning divisional champions whose own regular season start has been underwhelming even with taking into account their lopsided victory over the Minnesota Vikings in week two. What this might now suggest about the Patriots will be put to the test for Bill Belichick and his players over the course of this season . For Tom Brady , as he approaches the twilight of his career , it has to be said the quarterback remains as hungry as ever for another postseason appearance with a Superbowl victory being the ultimate goal , for the three-time winning Superbowl player. New England’s contest against the Oakland Raiders will give more of an idea as whether not this team is capable of making another postseason ,for which many NFL prognosticators believe the Patriots are once again capable of achieving.

The Carolina Panthers are the only unbeaten team in the NFC South , both the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not looking anything like serious contenders within the division. I have long-held the contention that neither the Saints or Buccaneers can play consistently and both defenses on the pair of teams in question are at best , average , if not worse . Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons continue to disappoint , even if they are now 1-1 within the division. Mike Smith’s job is likely to be on the line this season if the Falcons fail to compete , a divisional title or a playoff berth has to be the goal for the team . Anything short of those goals and team owner Arthur Blank is likely to make the call for the firing of Smith along with several members of the coaching staff . GM Thom Dimitroff may well find his job will also be in jeopardy if Atlanta fails , as he and Smith have been the primary architects of the current roster through the draft and most recent free agent acquisitions .

With Cam Newton being sidelined in week one , the Panthers won convincingly and then followed up with an emphatic victory over the vastly overrated Detroit Lions . From my own perspective , I believe with the disastrous starts by the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers they will be hard pressed to make a real battle of the division and the NFC overall. In week three Carolina will take on the Pittsburgh Steelers , while the Falcons will play hosts o the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans will entertain the beleaguered Minnesota Vikings .

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This NFL season has been nothing short of ridiculous with the audacity of the league hierarchy as led by Roger Goodell and their belief by simply making a number late proactive moves the adverse publicity can be turned around. Having hired Louis Freeh to oversee an investigation and seeking advice from number of women’s groups has been nothing short of idiotic on the part of the NFL. Goodell and the owners have simply lost sight of the mere fact they have done little to truly address prior bad acts of the players , as well as dealing with numerous issues which have affected the league over the years. Do you believe the NFL can recover from the adverse publicity it is now receiving and has the league done enough to deflect the negativity it is now engulfed in ?

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(1) Roger Goodell , beleaguered NFL Commissioner , who has s to deal with the news that two major corporate endorsers are disatisfied with the league’s recent handling several scandals which has engulfed the nation’s most beloved pastime . Billion dollar commercial behemoths McDonalds and Inbev SA (makers of Budweierser Beer and several other global brands) have been extremely critical of the NFL’s handling of the Ray Rice affair and other recent headline making news deemed negative for the NFL. AP Photo / Paul Cross …

(2) Prime Vikings owners Mark Wilf ,left and Zygi Wilf see fans lining a second-floor railing Monday in the Minnesota Capitol. Having won the state legislature’s approval for new stadium the franchise now find itself beset by the episode now surrounding the guilt or innocence of Adrian Peterson and allegations of child abuse. Both Mark and Zygi Wilf have made the decision to have Peterson sit out the Vikings’ regular season schedule pending the outcome of an ongoing investigation of the allegations . The player is being represented by famed Texas attorney Rusty Hardin . Getty Images / Peter Marsh …

(3) Carolina Panthers’ defensive end Greg Hardy , who has been charged with domestic abuse and violence , and is now awaiting trial on the charges . The player meanwhile has to deal with negative publicity surrounding his actions as well as the criticism aimed at the Panthers’ franchise. AP Photo / Carol Harris ….

(4) Dennis Allen head coach of the Oakland Raiders is off to another disastrous season with his team playing haphazard football and lying at the bottom of the AFC West division. AP Photo/ Paul McGregor ….

(5) Terry Pegula , the new owner owner of the Buffalo Bills and also owner of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres . UPI / Tim Matthews ….

(6) Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ head coach Lovie Smith watches as the team’s quarterback Josh McCown makes a pass during a team practice session. The Buccaneers are win-less and struggling to make sense of their season under their new head coach. Tampa Bay Times / all rights reserved ….

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For whom the bell tolls …

For whom the bell tolls ….

The NBA is now gearing up for an emphatic season , but a great deal of off-court news has somewhat created a dilemma for the league . Granted , with sale of the Los Angeles Clippers and abandonment of the Sterling family , of which Donald and Rochelle Sterling are no longer owners of the once besieged franchise , it now leaves the NBA to start afresh , or so we thought. Atlanta Hawks’ owner Bruce Levenson for some inexplicable reason in an e-mail he sent, saw fit to go on a racial tirade stereotyping African-American players and individuals of the ethnicity in a very repulsive way. To further exacerbate the situation we then had the franchise’s general manager Danny Ferry be extremely critical of then free agent Luol Deng who chose not to sign with the Hawks during the off-season.

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Ferry’s statements attributed to an e-mail he read from , states the player was of low intelligence often seen with players of ethnicity and those from the African continent . Danny Ferry has now taken a leave of absence while offering very little by way of an apology for his remarks . Bruce Levenson sold his majority stake in the franchise with Michael Gearon now assuming control of the Atlanta Hawks. In the midst of his all , NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has not seen fit to reprimand either Ferry or Levenson for their actions , instead Silver has seen fit to issue a statement in support of the Hawks while not necessarily distancing the league from Ferry’s remarks.

The NBA’s handling of the Donald Sterling saga was a complete embarrassment for the league and the criticism of the league was more than warranted. Such incompetency and hypocrisy by the league , its owners and the union (NBPA) in general, had many questioning what the mindset was said to be within the league hierarchy, not just under the present commissioner , but also his predecessor, David Stern . The latter has been given a pass, while his legacy seems to remain intact , with this continued idiocy , Stern was of great benefit to the league, because of the rise in profits and revenues of the NBA in general and his custodianship of the league. In truth, David Stern simply fought the battles he felt would benefit his image and raise his profile even higher among his peers , the fans and public in general.

One could continue to be critical of the NBA, but it would be of little benefit because the league, like the NFL , MLB and NHL are simply bereft of leadership and creativity. It will continue to be that way, no matter what changes are proposed by the hierarchies under the existing leadership. One simply has to look at the current mess within the NFL and the poor handling by the hierarchy, as led by Roger Goodell.

The Atlanta Hawks will face a tough season in the NBA, as the team opens up their schedule with a game against the Toronto Raptors on the opening night of the league on the 29th October ,2014. The exhibition season for the franchise will begin on the 6th October , and there the Hawks will begin their preseason schedule with a game against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Philips Arena, in Atlanta , Georgia,. Head coach Mike Budenholzer and his coaching staff will be under pressure to succeed with the team that is light on experience, but is likely to play with a great deal of fortitude as the season begins. Atlanta will be looking to seasoned veterans such as Elton Brand , Kyle Korver and Al Horford to provide the team with much-needed leadership while rookies , Adrian Payne and Walter Tavares are not expected to make a great contribution in the first half of the season , while still learning the ropes at the professional level. Jeff Teague is likely to be the player with which Budenholzer is expected to see the biggest improvement as he provided the Atlanta Hawks with a great deal of leadership throughout much of last season and is expected to do the same again this year. For the moment however, this remains Al Horford’s team, as he is still by far the best player on the roster.

LeBron James is back in Cleveland, much to the chagrin of the Miami Heat and team President Pat Riley , but as they say, ” the show must go on “ .Unfortunately, for the Heat the cast is now a bunch of nondescript coupling, with an aging Dwayne Wade who is now past his sell by date , along with a very inconsistent Chris Bosh who has been in essence the ” third wheel” , as part of the franchise’s former ‘Big Three’ . As to what that now says about the current roster remains to be seen before they embark upon their preseason schedule as well their regular season sojourn. With the roster as it is, I certainly do not believe the Miami Heat will be good enough to win their division but they are likely to gain a postseason berth, if Wade and Bosh can play at an optimum level while leading the team. Erik Spoelstra will be counting the duo’s experience along with Udonis Haslem and Chris Andersen .

An eight-game exhibition season, will give the Heat head coach just about enough time to gauge how competent his players are likely to be, before their first regular season encounter when they take on the Washington Wizards at home in the AA Arena in Miami , Florida. LeBron James’ departure simply placed a monkey wrench in the plans of Pat Riley, but to my mind this departure while a surprise came about because of the executive’s unwillingness to bolster the roster in the ways needed and if it meant the decoupling of the Big Three , then it should have been done, rather than this asinine belief James could continue to carry the team on his back. He was barely supported throughout last season and during the postseason , his teammates were literally nowhere to be seen as shown in the lopsided series’ loss to the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals . Not much more needs to be said beyond that !

Steve Ballmer may well have paid for the privilege of owning the Los Angeles Clippers with his audacious bid of $2 billion , simply blowing any competing bid out of the water. Ballmer was needed more by the NBA, than they would actually care to admit because of their poor handling of the Donald Sterling affair. Nobody can yet justify the value of the Clippers was on the mark , in terms , of the final sale price , but here is what we do now know , every single owner in the NBA must be now salivating , because of the sale price and the belief the value of their respective franchises will continue to rise.

With Donald Sterling’s departure, the Los Angeles Clippers can set about re-imaging the franchise , but it will be down to head coach Doc Rivers and the two mist visible members of the roster , Chris Paul and Blake Griffin to bring about a new change in how the public view organization. The Clippers for their part last season proved themselves the better of the two Los Angeles’ based franchises winning the Pacific Division , with the Los Angeles Lakers bringing up the rear within the division. As to what this suggests about the decline of the Lakers , can be best summed up by the upheaval within the franchise with the departure of Mike D’Antoni , his being replaced by Byron Scott and the departure of several players from last season’s roster. From my own perspective , I firmly believe Mitch Kupchak has lost his touch , with Jim Buss simply being clueless about what is needed in resurrecting the fortunes of this now fast declining basketball club.

Kobe Bryant remains part of the current Lakers’ roster and the likely only chance of survival the team will have this upcoming season. Their contests with the Clippers should prove to be engaging , with the belief Blake Griffin , Chris Paul and their teammates having the upper hand in the season meetings , which was definitely the case this past year. The first of those highly anticipated games will take place on the 31st October , with the Clippers being the visiting team at the Staples Center , in Los Angeles , California , on the night in question.
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As tumultuous as the off-season was said to be for both the Los Angeles Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers, both franchises are thought to have fared reasonably well in the NBA Draft , but clearly, the Clippers are ready to be deemed contenders now , rather than later . For Byron Scott and his coaching staff , this will likely be a season where he is simply left to gauge the makeup of the roster and let things fall where they may.

The Los Angeles Clippers had a memorable season , but their postseason foray ended abruptly with a conference semi-finals’ loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder . Kevin Durant would prove to be the star of the series, leading all players in scoring average and points scored in the series . Oklahoma for its part , would fall the to the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals , where defense played its part in the Spurs’ success, but in essence it was systematically the all round play of the team , which led to the victory.

Disappointment in 2013 and 2014 , and it would seem the Thunder are found wanting , with / Scott Brooks being unable to get his teams over the hump during the seasons in question. He has the reigning MVP in Kevin Thunder and one of the most dynamic players in the NBA with point guard Russell Westbrook . There is also the defensive prowess of Serge Ibaka , but somehow the team last season was lacking the killer instinct needed to get the job done. Oklahoma was favored to come out of the Western Conference and likely to seen as a real threat to the Miami Heat , but it was all to no avail , as witnessed in the series’ loss to the eventual champions the San Antonio Spurs. This season the Thunder will be under a great deal of pressure , but Kevin Durant will be severely tested as to his acumen and appetite as he chases after that elusive first NBA title of his career. Frustration has begun to build for the player and recent statements attributed to him, suggest he would like to play somewhere else, at some point in the future. Albeit , he has not stated where , Durant is a native of Washington , DC and the likelihood of his suiting up in Washington Wizards’ uniform for the moment might seem remote , but it would prove to be a tremendous morale booster for the beleaguered franchise .

Durant will not become a free agent until 2016 , but he can opt out of the final year of his contract in 2015 , which seems to be the likely outcome for the player who is represented by the up and coming sports’ management agency RocNation Sports , home to several high-profiled professional athletes. If Durant can be persuaded to remain with the Oklahoma City Thunder, then Scott Brooks , GM Sam Presti and the franchise’s ownership group will have to move heaven and earth to prove to the player, they all share the same goal and that is to bring an NBA title to the franchise and the city of Oklahoma, where this basketball team has been well supported ever since their relocating to the city.

We have seen a marked decline in the play of the Dallas Mavericks over the past two seasons and with Dirk Nowitzki in the waning years a of an outstanding career with the franchise. It will hard to imagine how the team in its present guise can be viewed as major contender within the Western Conference. An aging roster led by Nowitzki , with veterans such as Devin Harris , Jameer Nelson , Richard Jefferson , Raymond Felton , Tyson Chandler and coached by Rick Carlisle . If the Mavericks are to succeed this season , then these veterans will have to be the leaders on the team as the likes of Jae Crowder , Ricky Ledo and Gal Mekel make their way through the season where it will be a rigorous schedule for the players. The Mavericks’ first regular season game will pit them against the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center in San Antonio , Texas on the 28th October, 2014 , opening night of the regular season within the NBA .

For the Dallas Mavericks’ owner , the larger than life Mark Cuban , he and GM Donnie Nelson can only hope this will be the season in which Dirk Nowitzki can bow out on a high note. I view this team as one which will go through the motions in trying win a second NBA title , but in reality , this group of players, will face a tough task even making it out of their division much less garnering a playoff berth this upcoming season , as the Western Conference is likely to very competitive, throughout the year.

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With the upcoming NBA season , which teams or players do you believe will have the biggest impact on the league ? Also, in light of the problems now besieging the NFL , do you think the NBA hierarchy will be able to deal with any major issue likely to affect their image should it be a problem concerning the behavior of a player ? Your thoughts on this and anything else are more than welcome concerning this article .

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(1) Donald Sterling and his now estranged wife Rochelle Stein-Sterling are now the former owners of the Los Angeles Clippers . Banished by the league , Donald Sterling having lost his case concerning the sale of the franchise to Steve Ballmer , has a civil case pending against the league hierarchy in US Federal Court in California . The former owner is seeking $1 billion in damages from the league with punitive damages on top of the proposed figure mentioned . AP Photo / Keith Morris …

(2) Steve Ballmer , former Microsoft Chairman and now the league’s newest NBA owner . The billionaire paid an astonishing $2 billion for the franchise far exceeding most expectations in the value of the Los Angeles Clippers . Getty Images North America / Steve Matthews … …

(3) Former Atlanta Hawks’ owner Bruce Levenson , foreground is seen here with team general manager Danny Ferry . The two executives have been caught up in furor concerning racial epithets and stereotypes used in something of a very derogatory way to describe African-Americans . Levenson has since sold his majority stake in the basketball franchise and Ferry has taken a leave of absence from the team. Neither individual has been punished by the NBA for their actions. AP Photo/ Christina McIntosh …

(4) Miami Heat team President Pat Riley , left, introduces the team’s draft pick Shabazz Napier to the press at a press conference. Seated center , is Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra . The Heat’s roster will have drastically changed from last season , after the departure of LeBron James and several other players. AP Photo/ Paul Mason ……

(5) Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder is seen here with head coach Scott Brooks during a game played at the Chesapeake Energy Center in Oklahoma City , Oklahoma,. Getty Images / Paul Ross ….

(6) Court-side from left to right , Rick Carlisle , Jose Barea and Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks. Getty Images/ Leon Patterson … …..
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No soliloquies needed here .

Buyer beware, caveat being, we need our racists, idiots running and blemishing the reputation of sports

Buyer beware, caveat being, we need our racists, idiots running and blemishing the reputation of sports

Just when you might have thought that the ongoing within the NBA had died down , Los Angeles Clippers’ beleaguered and disgraced owner , Donald Sterling has opposed the deal that would allow his estranged wife to sell the team. Sterling , once a practicing lawyer in the area of corporate litigation, before making a name of himself, as one of the city of Los Angeles’ biggest residential and commercial landlords, is ready for a legal battle , while he pursues the NBA , its hierarchy and in particular , present NBA Commissioner Adam Silver . The owner’s lawsuit , which will be filed in the US Federal Court, could lead to a long protracted legal battle, that is likely to show the inner workings of the league hierarchy , with a number of the league’s more inappropriate actions , likely to lead to a great deal of embarrassment for Adam Silver and his predecessor David Stern.

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The NBA Postseason now down to the final two participants, with the defending champions the Miami Heat seeking to defeat the San Antonio Spurs and win their third consecutive NBA title and the franchise’s fourth overall. This chapter for the NBA has overshadowed the postseason as it began to unwind. It certainly did not help, with the league itself, showing very little solidarity from the outset. Mark Cuban inferred, while there are stereotype approaches within sports and the NBA in particular, there remains a lack of understanding of the outside world beyond the domain that they cannot control.

Steve Ballmer’s $2 billion bid is now likely to be placed on hold , because Sterling can and will seek to have an injunction seeking to negate the sale and any action that the league would seek to fully carry out Ballmer’s purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers. I firmly believe at the end of this all, Donald Sterling is simply seeking to further embarrass the NBA , while the players , NBPA (Players’ Union) and owners should be also looking at themselves , concerning their lack of action , when it was widely known of the inclinations of the Clippers’ owner and his stance on race. Public interviews and his now being embraced by idiots within the African-American community, such as the NAACP and a number of African-American churches, cannot hide the statements made by this now disgraced owner.

As the news first came to the attention of the media and public alike, it was rather idiotic to witness, not only the press’ own reporting of the story, but also the complete apathy of the fans, with some rather asinine comments being made by fans. Perhaps I may well have missed something , but at what point has the United States advanced in terms of race relations ? Is it, because the electorate voted for a President, who just happens to be biracial? Or as a feel-good moment, they can actually say “ well, I have friends who are African –American and I have never used the ‘N’ word “ . If blame is to be apportioned anywhere concerning what has now happened within the NBA, then it falls squarely on the shoulders of the players , union , league hierarchy , and coaches in their failure to discuss the matter. The NBA, like their counterparts within Major League Baseball (MLB) , the NHL and NFL , have failed miserably, in dealing with a social issue that is now becoming an epidemic. If players such as LeBron James , Dwyane Wade , Tim Duncan and Kevin Durant failed to let their voices be heard , while respected coaches such Gregg Popovich , Doc Rivers , Rick Carlisle , Erik Spoelstra and Tom Thibodeau ” goose-stepped ” .behind the idiocy of Adam Silver and his predecessor David Stern, then it simply shows how completely out of touch the league remains. As to the owners themselves , prominent individuals such as James Dolan , Mikhail Prokhorov , Peter Holt , Jim Buss and Michael Jordan have all remained silent , while the incompetency of the league simply mishandled this mess, never-mind an owner such as Rich DeVos remains untouched after his homophobic diatribe . It begs the question , the NBA tolerates some egregious and heinous actions, while seeking to make an example of others , merely to curry favor with their fans.

I don’t profess to having all the answers concerning the ongoing stupidity of the NBA , but this belief, the hierarchy as led by Adam Sterling, has any real idea about what they are now doing . If this particular league, can continue to show as much incompetency, as witnessed throughout this monumental farce. Why would anyone now believe , that the league hierarchy, now has the wherewithal to defeat an owner they simply enabled over the years to get away with some of the most heinous actions one would have thought possible , especially when you consider the makeup of the league’s players in terms of ethnicity ? As to the damn idiocy, that David Stern has acted in the best interests of the NBA . Well perhaps, it would be the case, if your are simply considering how the revenues of the league have risen during his tenure, as anything else, would have to be considered a miserable failure

After two games of the best of seven games NBA Finals’ series , it will be interesting to see this rematch between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs . Game one , was a lopsided contest, with Tim Duncan and his teammates prevailing in that victory. Sunday and the Miami Heat rebounded from that loss with a narrow two-point win in game two , with LeBron James leading the way for the defending champions. Miami are seen as the prohibitive favorites to repeat as champions and join a select group of franchises to have won three consecutive NBA championships. Gregg Popovich is likely to try and make that premise as difficult for the Eastern Conference champions as is humanly possible. From my own standpoint, I feel that this series is far from being cut and dried , with true test coming from the determination shown by the Spurs’ bench , if the team is to prevail in this series.

LeBron James and Tim Duncan between them, have won six NBA titles , six League MVP Awards , four Finals’ MVP trophies and made a slew of All Star appearances , as well as being named to the All NBA First Team repeatedly , throughout the large part of their respective careers. As Duncan , having now reached the pinnacle of his career , he can perhaps now look back and review his list of achievements . Undoubtedly, the greatest player in San Antonio Spurs’ history, there is little left by way of feats, left for him to achieve , but, there is still more to be written in the Duncan bio. LeBron James in his brief tenure with the Miami Heat beyond rewriting the history books , he has sealed himself and his legacy as being that franchise’s greatest player and that is with due respect to Dwyane Wade and Alonzo Mourning .

Game three at the AA Arena in Miami , Florida on Tuesday night should prove to be something of a precursor about what the fans could very well expect over the remainder of this series . With the 2-2-1-1-1 revised format added to create more of a suspenseful postseason finale , it is clear that Miami will want to take both home games before having to once again embark on the road to face the Spurs at the AT&T Center in San Antonio , Texas,. While LeBron James is expected be dominant throughout the series , I believe that the pivotal players in these Finals are the bench players of both the Heat and Spurs. Kawhi Leonard , will have to raise the level of his play and it is likely that Erik Spoelstra will be aware of the fact .

Last season’s NBA Finals and the very fact the San Antonio Spurs had the series well within their grasp , only have it wrestled from their hands through their complacency and the determination shown by LeBron James. For the Miami Heat player in having won his second NBA title and second consecutive Finals’ MVP Award , it suggests that James’ will to win and to prove himself the greatest player of this era and certainly one of the best ever to play the game.

LeBron James’ intent on winning a third consecutive championship is likely to play a great deal concerning his impending future with the Miami organization. A likely target during the off-season, James is unlikely to opt out of his current contract , unless the team fails in their current attempt. A series’ win and Pat Riley will be looking to start negotiations with the player , signing him to a deal that will make undoubtedly one of the highest paid players in the NBA , in terms of a salary and contract . His teammates, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade will be in a similar position , but as I alluded to earlier, a third title , makes it but a foregone conclusion that the core of the current roster will remain intact. It seems improbable, James would seek to play elsewhere , with the Heat having achieved a great deal of success over the past four seasons. Speculation that the player could be lured to New York to play alongside his close confidante Carmelo Anthony does seem unimaginable and with Phil Jackson, yet to have found a coach to fill the vacancy left after the firing of Mike Woodson . It does seem even with the likelihood of Derek Fisher being hired to succeed Woodson , there still remains the matter of rebuilding the Knicks’ roster and making it a competitive team for the upcoming season.

Money , undoubtedly be of no object for the Knicks’ organization , yet , the question one might ask , is there any common sense to be found with this particular franchise ? If so, then please explain to me , what Phil Jackson hopes to gain by acquiring Lamar Odom and adding the veteran to the roster ?

The New York Knicks remain a franchise that has fallen upon hard times and much of it, comes from the ineptitude shown by the front office , while James Dolan has presided over this entire mess . Phil Jackson has come in and yet the idiocy still continues , with the once venerable head coach now carrying on where his predecessors have left off . Care to take an opposing view, on that particular issue , where the franchise has actually ran aground ?

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Picture gallery .

Where do you believe that the NBA has made a litany mistakes in their handling of the Donald Sterling affair ? Do you think that the league can in fact win a legal argument , in terms of their action against the plaintiff (Sterling) , with their not having seriously reprimanded him for prior bad acts ?

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(1) NBA Commissioner Adam Silver pictured left and Donald Sterling , beleaguered owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. . Sterling has filed a civil suit in US Federal Court seeking damages of $1 billion and a second suit has been filed by the real estate mogul to stop the sale of the franchise. If this legal action becomes a protracted affair , the NBA is likely to see its credibility further tarnished . AP Photo / Aidan Mitchell ….

(2) Former Microsoft Chairman Steve Ballmer whose $2 billion bid for the Los Angeles Clippers is likely to be threatened by a legal suit, with Donald Sterling looking to negate the purchase of the team. Getty Images / Chris Moore …..

(3) LeBron James of the Miami Heat looks on prior to the start of Game Two of the 2014 NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center on June 8, 2014 in San Antonio. . Getty Images/ Andy Lyons ….

(4) Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs shoots against Ray Allen (34) of the Miami Heat in Game Two of the 2014 NBA Finals at AT&T Center on June 5, 2014 in San Antonio. Getty Images North America/ Nathaniel S Butler ….

(5) The Miami Heat celebrate after defeating the San Antonio Spurs 98-96 in Game Two of the 2014 NBA Finals at the AT&T Center on June 8, 2014 in San Antonio. Getty Images / Chris Covatta …..

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I always knew that she preferred the crossover dribble to a slam dunk ! Yet , I get the impression she just wants to play with a pair of balls .

It is , all about me !

It is , all about me !

They are willing to talk the talk, but not often enough do they walk the walk. I find it rather disingenuous, when I read or hear an analyst’s or sports’ journalists using an athletes’ background or ethnicity , to suggest that they have been through a troubled life . In recent months. we have seen the hypocrisy of today’s athlete manifest itself in a some ways and following suit, have been the anal retentive fans , through their own ignorance and stupidity seeking to make excuses for the behavior of these athletes. Nowhere has this been more clear than within the NBA and NFL , where there the respective hierarchies seem to be just as idiotic as the players themselves.

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In the NBA , perhaps the player with the biggest image and profile , is that league’s four-time regular season MVP and current member of the of two-time defending NBA champions , the Miami Heat . Globally, LeBron James has become a superstar , and he might now be the closest thing that the fans have seen to Michael Jordan , since the six-time NBA champion walked away from the game for the final time. James, like Jordan, has closely manicured an image that has seen very little major controversy. Granted, Michael Jordan’s private life has seen some controversy, with his penchant for gambling and what was said to be a multi-million dollar divorce from his now ex-wife Juanita Jordan . The former NBA great and current owner of the Charlotte Hornets is now seeking to make that franchise a competitive entity within the league and so far Jordan and the reviews of his achievements have not exactly been favorable.

For much of his playing career , Michael Jordan stayed out of the political fray , choosing not make his thoughts felt on a range of subjects , even when one of his main corporate sponsors Nike Inc was facing charges of using child labor in the Far East to make apparel that bore the Nike and Jordan name . Somehow , the league and then NBA Commissioner , David Stern did not feel it proper to step in and even make a statement on the matter , even when it became abundantly clear that Nike was in fact ethically wrong, without an admission of guilt on their part.

Phil Knight over the past decade , has tried to create a much softer and socially conscious image of the company he founded , which also made him an extremely wealthy individual . Nike remains one of the most recognized names in sports’ apparel manufacturing, with a global presence on all seven continents. Their presence will be seen and felt at the 2014 FIFA World Cup , where they are one of the tournament’s major corporate advertisers. on soccer’s biggest international stage and the world’s second biggest sporting event behind the Summer Olympics, upwards of 1.7 billion people will be watching this month-long tournament to decide international soccer’s next world champion..

Today’s athlete, rarely speaks out on any type of political issue or social injustice. When they seek to do so , their response tends to be either innocuous or actually downright idiotic, almost as if, they are uninformed and lacking an education, much less being knowledgeable on a specific issue. Prior to the 2008 Beijing Olympics , LeBron James was questioned about his thoughts on the actions taken by the Chinese government at Tiananmen Square in the Chinese nation’s capital. The player’s response was befuddling and somewhat idiotic , but then again, I would not have expected anything less from someone who now espouses education and being informed. Yet , here is a player, who simply eschewed a college education , because it was widely known that he would have been sanctioned by the NCAA, coming under a great deal of scrutiny by college athletics’ governing body for what is believed to be unsolicited monetary payments made indirectly to James and a member of his family. James for his part , with his battery of advisers , tries to now represent himself as a spokesman for his peers.

In light of the recent controversy surrounding Donald Sterling , it was once again rather amusing to hear LeBron James suggest that if the league hierarchy did not take action against the beleaguered Los Angeles Clippers’ owner , he and many of the peers would take action , by simply failing to show up for the remainder of the NBA postseason . I believe the player’s bark is actually worse than his bite and his stance was nothing more than a show of strength , that in reality , his proposed action would never have taken place.

As great a player as LeBron James is said to be , he has yet to truly step into the fray and be truly vocal on any type of issue. Handing out bicycles as part of a philanthropic effort , means nothing, when on the other hand , you brazenly suggest that your biggest wish, is to become a billionaire and shower your teammates ostentatiously, while within earshot of the Miami home venue , you have over 7,500 homeless individuals, sleeping on the streets , many of them children and US military veterans. A further case can be made, about how out of touch with reality the NBA and their players are said to be. In what was known to be a very emotional case, where the justice system failed miserably , the shooting death of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman held the nation spellbound for weeks, as the trial unfolded on national television. The failure here, was not only shown by the incompetency of Florida legal system but also the complete lack of intelligence of the jury and the incompetence of the State’s Attorney prosecuting the case. Somewhat reminiscent of the incompetency shown by Christopher Darden and Marcia Clarke , in their handling of the OJ Simpson ” trial “ in Los Angeles County two decades ago. Simpson , as we now know, is incarcerated , for kidnapping and taking two victims hostage , while he and his accomplices are said to have confronted his victims , with a view to gain what was said to be his personal property. You win some and you lose some.

The NBA players’ response, in showing solidarity with the victim Trayvon Martin was to take the action of wearing hoodies and standing to attention in a moment of silence. As to what this ultimately signified , can be best left for the players themselves to answer, in particular LeBron James and his teammate Dwyane Wade , who in the aftermath of their actions could not succinctly explain what was achieved. The tragedy here was that Trayvon Martin’s slaying was just one of countless deaths that have been similar in fashion, to have taken place in the state of Florida during the past eighteen months and it should not matter concerning the ethnicity of the victim. It should be noted also , that prior LeBron James’ entry into the NBA in 2003 , David Stern saw fit to use as a sales’ gimmick the genre of gangster rap to market the NBA brand to America’s youth , while on the streets of Los Angeles , teens and gang members were being needlessly gunned down. Unfortunately, neither Stern, nor anyone from within his odious group of subordinates, saw fit to proffer up an apology. I guess even when you are an autocratic asshole , you see no wrong in your actions, even when they are lacking in taste ? Meanwhile, the players themselves , whose majority remains African-American in its makeup, did nothing, by way of any type of vocal protest against the commissioner’s actions .

The NBA remains a hotbed of controversy , ran by a bunch of incompetent buffoons , where the owners are simply about greed and wealth . Never mind , that you still have a union that remains in complete disarray. No Executive Director and no real consensus, on how they are likely to deal with a legal suit of which they are the defendants and the likelihood of a loss could lead to a multi-million dollar payout in a settlement, should they lose the case.

While LeBron James leads his teammates in a rematch of the 2013 NBA Finals as they seek to make a successful defense of their title against the San Antonio Spurs . Around the league , the coaching carousel began, with the notable rebuff by Steve Kerr , as he turned down the opportunity to become the next head coach of the New York Knicks . I guess that as impressive a head coach as Phil Jackson was said to be , as an NBA Executive he is still steering his way through the maelstrom of continued idiocy within the Knicks’ organization . Adding insult to injury , I believe was the decision to sign an aging Lamar Odom to a team that remains in disarray and where there is no guarantee that the team’s best player , Carmelo Anthony , will be a part of the playing staff for the upcoming season.

As Jackson tries to bring a sense of normalcy to the Knicks after a season of disappointment. Anyone who believes that the eleven-time championship winning head coach can bring about overnight success for one of the NBA’s most famous franchises , will have to wait for a considerable amount of time before that situation is likely to materialize.

Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown , never one not to let his voice be heard , has been extremely vocal and critical of many of today’s top athletes . He has not been afraid to call Los Angeles Lakers’ star Kobe Bryant “soft” and someone caught up in his own self-importance. Brown may well be right , but those criticisms valid or not , this is not the place where such a debate should take place, without both parties being ready to discuss the issue. Bryant for his part is something of a hypocrite by suggesting he does indeed take a great deal of interest in the issues that affect not only the African-American race , but the nation in general . Unfortunately, Bryant’s words mean nothing, when his deeds , mean little and where his own immaturity and credibility continues to come into question and under a cloud of suspicion. . Bryant after the barrage of criticism leveled at him by Brown , tried to suggest that the Hall of Fame great didn’t know what he was talking about . The Las Angeles’ guard may well have not been aware that Brown stood alongside such luminaries as Dr Martin Luther King , Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X , as the triumvirate stood up for equal rights , being at the forefront of the Civil Rights’ Movement and the fight for equality for African-Americans. Lower Merion High School in Pennsylvania, might well have fallen short in the education of Bryant , albeit , that the player has also lived abroad , in Italy , while his father , Joe Bryant sought to pursue a professional basketball career in Europe.

Kobe Bryant now lives the life of luxury and in no way can he understand the plight of the African-American , much less the economic divide between the rich and the poor in the country at present. Any thought, he understands those issues, have never been mirrored in any action that he has undertaken within the city of Los Angeles , as he has often stood aloof from many of his peers , while seeking out the press only when he believes it right, to belittle the Lakers’ organization led by owner Jim Buss and GM Mitch Kupchak , or a number of his teammates . Less than ten miles away from the Staples Center , a hotbed of violence remains and at no time has Kobe Bryant ever spoken out on the issue of gang violence, that continues to be a pandemic within the city . Brown for his part, has been front and center , in seeking to be a mediator and negotiator , in the stemming of the rising tide of gang violence , rising proliferation in the use of hard drugs . Last I looked, the likes of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, were not voicing their opinions on such issues , but merely looking to try and uphold their pristine images , while selling their overpriced wares to an unsuspecting public. Get the feeling their alleged biggest concerns have nothing at all to do with the pubic at all , but merely a facade created by their agents and litany of advisers and handlers alike ?

The now departed head coach Mike D’Antoni after his abrupt resignation, has left the Los Angeles Lakers’ franchise without a head coach for the second time in the space of eighteen months . Now the Lakers, are left in search of another coach, while the playing staff itself has become uncompetitive and old. Bryant is at the end of an illustrious career and it seems highly unlikely that he will be guiding this franchise to another NBA title anytime soon.

In the aftermath of the Jonathan Martin , Richie Incognito “affair” , it was simply amazing to witness the incompetency of the NFL , Roger Goodell and the complete ambivalence of the Miami Dolphins’ organization . Even worse were the actions of head coach Joe Philbin and his coaching staff, who claimed that they were completely unaware of Incognito’s behavior . The fact that a member of Philbin’s own coaching staff, was also subject to a torrent of racial abuse, without his knowing was simply farcical and actually comedic. With Mike Pouncey , also having joined Richie Incognito in orchestrating the abuse of not only that coaching assistant but also Jonathan Martin., leads me to believe that the Dolphins as an organization, was simply bereft of intelligence as well as accountability within the franchise . Say nothing of which, team owner Stephen Ross made the idiotic statement of his wishing to see those involved be punished to the full extent and with every measure possibly allowable by the NFL. The league’s punishment of Pouncey was soft , while Incognito’s career which now seems to be on hold , is likely to find himself back in the NFL at some point in the future . Mike Pouncey for his part, still believes he did nothing while stressing that he has put the episode behind him. As to the idiocy of those who question Jonathan Martin’s soft nature , I wonder how many of those anal retentive fans, believe that racism and misogyny is the right environment for the NFL ? Fu#k you all , with your downright stupidity , complete lack of education and intelligence.

The NFL’s elite players are often seen as their quarterbacks , running backs and wide receivers . We know that the likes of Peyton Manning , Drew Brees and Tom Brady can be seen to uphold that age-old tradition, of having the league be seen in a positive light . It must be said , in spite of the pratfalls of Roger Goodell and the league hierarchy , I am not so sure that the NFL is completely out of the woods as of yet ! Goodell has seen fit to be less than economical with the truth, in dealing with a litany of issues , none more so, than the constant rhetoric of the commissioner and his dealing with veteran players and neurological disorders. Strange as it seems , the hypocrisy does not just stop with the league hierarchy but also with NFLPA (Players’ Union) and the current players in the league , whose whole approach to this issue, remains completely mystifying. Elderly retired veterans of the NFL , are having to cry foul , on how they have been mistreated , with the denial of benefits and only now , has the NFL seen fit to discuss the matter head on . Meanwhile, the likes of Manning (Peyton) , Brady and Brees remain silent on the matter , not wanting to upset the apple cart and that of the union hierarchy. Credibility seems to be lacking all-round , in a number variety of aspects concerning the league’s conduct and practices.

I was once told that the world that we currently live in a world where things have changed and where we now have a dialog between the masses and the races that make up the country . Personally , I believe that simply to be a great deal of garbage , because, when we still have athletes owners simply wanting to behave like assholes , and their actions go unchecked , with the equal stupidity being shown by fans with their ongoing apathy. It simply shows the signs of the country having made no real advancements socially or economically at all. The voices of such luminaries as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Muhammad Ali, Tommie Smith, John Carlos , Arthur Ashe , Bill Russell and Jackie Robinson are now left hanging in the wind , while today’s athletes spoiled by wealth , have nothing meaningful to say.

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Picture gallery .

Do you believe that today’s athlete can be positive, without being seen to hurt their corporate image by simply speaking out on a social issue ? Or should that aspect of their lives, be left private and the public not be made aware of their thoughts on such matters ?

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Picture and slideshow gallery details below.

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(1) Miami Heat forward LeBron James shoots the ball during practice on Saturday, June 7, 2014, in San Antonio. The team plays Game 2 of the NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday. James leads the team in scoring during this current series against the Spurs , with things now even at one game apiece (1-1) after Sunday’s narrow two-point victory by Miami . AP Photo/Eric Gay …

(2) Michael Jordan , team owner and Chairman of the Charlotte Hornets , hopes that with a new franchise name and .logo the team can resurrect past glories while seeking to be competitive within the NBA. Getty Images North America / Jeffrey Hodges …..

(3) Phil Knight , founder of sports’ apparel company Nike Inc. With annual revenues exceeding $8 billion , the company is one of the most powerful business enterprises in all of professional and collegiate sports. Knight in recent years has tried to soften the image of the company , while also seeking to make it socially responsible. Nike is a corporate sponsor of some of the biggest names in sports across the globe . UPI / Christopher Mitchell ….

(4) Members of the Miami Heat are seen here wearing hoodies , as they show solidarity and support in the aftermath in the death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin . However , very little was achieved by the stance , with the players themselves saying little about the case or the very fact Martin’s death, was one of several, where a young unarmed African-American teen was gunned down by an assailant. The determination the Florida ” Stand Your Ground Law” has become a subject of great debate within the state , with no real consensus about how this statute can be reviewed and changed within the state legislature. Getty Images / Chris Robinson …..

(5) Phil Jackson a SVP & Head of Basketball Operations for the New York Knicks, having been rebuffed by Steve Kerr who accepted the vacant coaching position with the Golden State Warriors. Jackson now seems to be down to secondary alternatives. A person speaking in with anonymity has stated that the former Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers’ head coach has his eyes firmly set on hiring Derek Fisher currently a point guard with the Oklahoma City Thunder . Fisher is said to be keenly interested in coaching within the NBA . but there are those who believe that the Knicks might not be the perfect fit for the veteran point guard. AP Photo / Austin Pearce ….

(6) Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown , left, has been critical of Los Angeles player Kobe Bryant , pictured right . Brown’s stinging act of the player has set of a wave criticism within the print and television media who have come out in support of the NBA players. However, there are those who feel that Jim Brown’s pointed attacks are not without merit and where by comparison it would seem that Bryant and a great many of his peers would shy away from many hot-potato topics merely to appease their corporate sponsors. AP Photo/ Robert Hall ….

(7) Drew Brees , left , and Peyton Manning , two of the most revered quarterbacks now playing in the NFL . During their destined Hall of Fame careers , both players have done a great deal within their respective communities , with their philanthropic and humanitarian efforts , but have rarely placed their names or let their thoughts be known on certain political topics. Even the issue of the denial of rightful benefits to veteran NFL players , neither Brees or Manning were seen to offer their thoughts on the matter. A distinct belief , was with their union being part of the legal suit where in part the NFLPA was a co-defendant in the suit . It was best left to the legal counsel of the Players’ Union to publicly comment on the matter . Getty Images North America / Scott Halleran …..

(8) From left to right Bill Russell , Jim Brown , Muhammad Ali and Lew Alcindor, more commonly known today as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The quartet joined together to speak up vocally on the rights of African-Americans and their struggles during the Civil Rights’ era , with all four being supporters of Dr Martin Luther King Jr . Unfortunately , in today’s world of sports such voices are rarely heard being vocal on any type of real social injustice , because of the athletes not wanting to scare of their major corporate sponsors . Russell , Brown and Alcindor backed Ali , at a time when he was made a pariah for his objecting to be drafted to fight the war in Vietnam, a conflict that the boxer felt was unjust and senseless. Time Magazine …….. all rights reserved .

(9) Arthur Ashe , US Tennis player and a Grand Slam tournament winner, who during his career , became the first African-American , male or female to be ranked number one in the world. Ashe was also vocal supporter for the boycotting of South Africa at a time when the US’ policy on apartheid was favorable , while the rest of the world had began to impose sanctions on the country of South Africa . Yet the idiocy, that Ronald Regan played a part in the political change in the climate of the South African nation remains a complete fallacy and flight of fantasy of ” Reaganites” who try to portray the former President as someone who was compassionate , understood that particular conflict and situation . UPI/REUTERS/ Paul Drew …..

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You can talk a good game, but can you play one?

You can talk a good game, but can you play one?

There are some troubling times ahead for the NBA , even if the outgoing commissioner would not like to admit that fact. Three decades in charge of the league and it could be said that David Stern turned a pondering sport and its brand into a multi-billion dollar global phenomenon . With global revenues now exceeding $5 billion annually, one has to be thankful Stern, as the league’s highest ranking executive, was as successful as he was. That being said, it was not without controversy, with the league and the owners seeking to apportion blame elsewhere for many of the problems, they themselves created. With something of an imbalance and with the NBA seeking to have a soft “salary cap” , it still leaves the league in somewhat of a perilous situation. Nonetheless, the league hierarchy has sought to proceed ahead under its current guise, neither seeking to truly solve that particular issue and several others that they currently face.

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David Stern’s successor , Adam Silver , brings in a new era of leadership and likely some change, with their being something of a smooth transition with his predecessor’s departure and his ascent to the current position as the NBA Commissioner. What Silver has witnessed this season in the league, as there has been for several of the past seasons , has been steadying decline of the play within the Eastern Conference of the NBA. If things were to get considerably worse , the league’s Board of Governors might have to consider either realignment of several of the divisions or quite possibly delve into the contraction of under-performing franchises , with the league taking over those teams , compensating the owners and then seeking to re-assign the players there , unto the rosters of the remaining franchises. That might sound a bit drastic, but consider the alternatives, as they might currently stand? The play continues to deteriorate and the consumers known as the fans, are still asked to endure such mediocrity , while the league itself continues to profit financially from it all and that hardly seems fair, at all.

While the Indiana Pacers (45-15) are running away with the Eastern Conference lead and well on the way to being the NBA’s first fifty-game winner of the season. It begs the question, in spite of the dour play within the conference , can Frank Vogel’s players knock off the reigning champions in what is likely to be a repeat of last season’s conference finals ? While both the Pacers and the Miami Heat have both suffered losses this season , these two teams are by far in a way the best two franchises within the conference and amongst the upper echelons of the league’s best teams this season.

LeBron James continues to be the player we have seen , since he entered the league in 2003 , during which he has redefined his game as well coming into his own as the NBA’s best player. Already, a four-time league MVP and two-time Finals’ MVP, James, has all but answered, just about every question of by doubters , as to the proficiency of his play , with a punctuation mark, suggesting there is still a great deal more to come from the ten-year veteran. This season, what appears to be a captivating battle has begun to unfold, concerning LeBron James and the player, many believe to be his closest rival as a nemesis and what could likely be a budding rivalry for individualistic and team honors in the coming years. Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder lead the Western Conference and the player is now considered to be the leading contender for the league MVP this season . Durant and LeBron James during their tenures in the league, have provided the NBA with some classic contests, with both individuals showing why they are considered the best two players in the NBA.

Frank Vogel and the Pacers could very well now be in the driver’s seat, after what I believe to be a coup-de-gras by the front office , in acquiring Evan Turner to bolster what should already be considered a very good Indiana Pacers’ roster in terms of its depth and talent . The fact that Pat Riley of the Miami Heat , did little in terms of adding to the Heat’s roster at the trade deadline could very well come back to haunt the front office executive and the Heat’s coaching staff led by Erik Spoesltra . Coming off a narrow three-point victory over the hapless Utah Jazz , Indiana’s next opponent will be the high-powered offense of the Golden State Warriors, led by Steph Curry , whose match-up against Paul George of the Pacers should prove to be very intriguing.

9-1 in their last ten games the Miami Heat could be considered the hottest team in the NBA over that time-frame and clearly the reason why many believe them to the odds-on favorite to repeat as a three-time NBA champion . As LeBron James goes , then so does this team, albeit, with at times , some threadbare support from his teammates. Yet, it has been in the postseason, where James has excelled , as he has repeatedly led the team in their most recent postseason triumphs . Saturday’s lopsided victory over instate rivals the Orlando Magic , further emphasizes why the Miami Heat will continue to make light of their regular season schedule , as Erik Spoelstra gauges the performances of his players in the lead-up to the NBA Playoffs.

The impact that Dwight Howard was meant to have , after being acquired as a free agent by the Houston Rockets , has not been as dominant many thought it might have been. Granted, the Rockets currently have the fifth best record , in the Western Conference with a mark of 40-15 ,as of the 2nd March . Yet, many believed, that this team would be contending at least for a top-three berth within the conference. Though I do not consider it to be a major disappointment , I do believe that with Dwight Howard , what you see is what you get , in terms of a player who at times , does not fulfill the talent that he is said to have. As good a center, as is he said to be , I do not believe him to be the most dominant player at the position , currently playing in the NBA ! If anything, I believe the player tends to simply take his foot off the gas pedal and go through the motions, while allowing others around him to lead . A clear case can be made, that Dwight Howard would never have fit in with any type of team he would have been surrounded by, had he remained in Los Angeles playing for the Los Angeles Lakers . A failed experiment from the start and failed experiment in the very end !

Kevin McHale has proven himself to be an astute head coach, along with his coaching staff , in getting this Rockets’ team to play some up-tempo basketball, while gaining themselves a credible spot in the conference rankings. The team however, is fortified by the talents of James Harden , while being ably supported by Chandler Parsons , Dwight Howard, Jeremy Lin , Patrick Beverley and Jordan Hamilton . A true test of the team’s ambitions will be on view , when they play host to the Miami Heat, at the Toyota Center, in Houston , Texas on Tuesday night . That contest should tell us a great deal about McHale’s players their mindset as they head down the final stretch of their regular season schedule. Certainly, a chance to see two of the NBA’s most productive scorers , with James Harden facing off against LeBron James , should prove to be very interesting.

To my mind one of the more surprising twists of this season, has been the fact that Kevin Love still remains a player with the Minnesota Timberwolves ! They may well have an outside chance of garnering a playoff berth in the Western Conference , but at this stage of the season , I believe that it might well beyond the reach of the team ! Five and a half games out of the final playoff spot, that is currently held by the Dallas Mavericks (35-25) , the Timberwolves would have to jump ahead of the ninth placed Memphis Grizzlies (33-25) , while hoping that both the Mavericks and Grizzlies make monumental . slip-ups in their next couple of games . A highly unlikely scenario at this point of the season, when teams are not likely to be overly complacent , but then again, who could have really foreseen that the Eastern Conference would prove to be such an embarrassment as an advertising model for the NBA ? Well, the end of the season is barely a month away, with most teams having no more than twenty-five games remaining on their regular schedule. Those with intestinal fortitude, are likely to rise to the occasion, while others are likely to falter at the very last hurdle.

Kevin Love has proven to be one of the few bright spots on a Timberwolves’ team that struggled has throughout of the season, while Rick Adelman and his coaching staff have simply been outmaneuvered and out-coached at every point of the season that has mattered most to the organization. From my own perspective, I now believe that it is time for Flip Saunders , Head of Basketball Operations and GM Milt Newton to seek a trade and obtain the best possible value for their Timberwolves’ All Star power-forward , Kevin Love ! It simply serves absolutely no purpose to have the player struggle, night in and night out , all to no avail , while wasting his talents with a franchise that seems to show no signs of life or actual ambition ! These are the very same issues, that led to the growing discontent with Kevin Garnett while , a player with the Timberwolves . His subsequent departure, still did not manifest itself, by way of anything positive for the franchise.

Outwardly, Love has remained loyal to the Minnesota Timberwolves, not wanting to say anything, that might be taken out of context, as a way of showing his discontent, but if the rumors are to be believed , then this off-season a confrontation is likely to be in the offing, when the player is likely to meet with the front office to discuss his immediate and long-term future . I believe that he is likely to opt out of the final year of his contract and test the free agency market , rather than remaining in Minnesota, because I do not believe that owner , Glen Taylor or any of the front office executives possess the acumen needed to build the Timberwolves into a legitimate NBA title contender !

Monday night, places the Minnesota Timberwolves back into action, as they face the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center , in Denver, Colorado, A third consecutive win for the Timberwolves, would provide the team with a great deal of confidence, but they first have to make that a reality , rather supposition.

Not for the first time, this season, have the Sacramento Kings suspended player, DeMarcus Cousins for conduct detrimental to the team . Each and every time, he has run afoul of the organization, the front office has seemingly , given him what on the face of it seems a slight reprimand. A one game suspension for physically assaulting an opposing player , is simple idiocy ! Yet , these are the times that we are living in , where athlete misconduct on or off the court , is no longer frowned upon and the lame ass apathy of some of the dumbest mother fucking fans, is to simply excuse that type of behavior altogether or come with the rather inane statements such as “ locker room behavior “ , or ” boys being boys” . Last I looked, these were grown individuals and not middle or high school players , making complete asses of themselves ! The league hierarchy under David Stern was weak and remains weak , because the NBPA remains in an extreme position of power, not necessarily unlike their counterparts within the MLBPA , NFLPA and the NHLPA ! Anyone who believes that to be the contrary , I would now like them to plead their the case , for the opposite view !

DeMarcus Cousins as a player in college , had real “character issues” , that were never addressed by the coaching staff ,led by John Calipari , a coach known shall we say , “let things slip by him “ ? I have never really thought, highly of Calipari, in terms of his character or the litany of issues that have followed him continuously over the course of his coaching career ! Allegations of recruitment violations, players with failing academic standards, still being allowed to play on his teams, as well as possibly monetary inducements for players in terms of their of productivity. Like it or not, there had to have been a multitude of reasons, why a number of programs where John Calipari has coached , have felt the wrath of the NCAA , though not to the point where there has been an outright accusation leveled at the head coach. While Calipari’s outward image appears pristine, something ” rotten smells ” this side of Denmark , as it relates to this particular head coach !

The Sacramento Kings’ own fortunes in recent years, can be best summed up with these words “the Maloof Family , with reckless abandonment , all but ruined the franchise and in the aftermath of it all , were on the precipice of duping the idiotic members of the city’s council to bail the franchise out of their financial plight ” . All of this under the watchful eye of David Stern , who in some circles, has been viewed as the savior of the NBA. The former NBA Commissioner , simply, takes on the battles, he knows he can win outright , while apportioning blame elsewhere, for his incompetency or web of deceit , when caught in an actual lie.

With the worst record in the Western Conference , a mark of 20-39 , is a true reflection of what the Sacramento Kings have been about all season long. Long gone, are the glory days , when the high-flying Kings were a dominant force within the conference led by All Star Chris Webber and the team was seen as a perennial contender for year-end honors. Feast or famine, can best now sum up the franchise, but in reality, there has been a great deal more hunger, as the fans of the organization, yearn for years past. There’s not enough food on the table and there certainly is not enough talent on this roster , to even deem them worthy of being thought of as even a moderately average team , if that !

The Kings’ remaining regular season schedule , is not necessarily daunting, and victory over the New Orleans Pelicans may well be sign that the team is determined to go out with a great deal of determination . DeMarcus Cousins remains the best player on the Kings’ roster , but herein lies the issue, he is a troubled individual who remains immature and unable to handle the real pressure of being assumed the leader of the franchise . Other than Rudy Gay , there is absolutely no real reason to believe that GM Pete D’Alessandro can continue to believe that Cousins is a valuable asset to this team and the organization as a whole , not with the continued problems that he provides. Sacramento, may well to decide to cut their losses and seek a trade of the troubled player.

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Vivek Ranadive having recently purchased the franchise may well now be having regrets , because I personally believe he was “ sold a bill goods” , that were in no way shape or form is what he was told it would be ! Thankfully , Microsoft Chairman Steve Ballmer and his business partner , billionaire venture capitalist Chris Hansen dodged a bullet , when they failed in their bid to purchase the team , having bid a great deal more than the reputed $575 million paid by Ranadive’s consortium . With the league’s hierarchy’s, reluctance to relocate the franchise to Seattle, Washington, as was previously discussed between Stern and the potential purchasers. I can only assume , with David Stern reneging on that deal, having given Ballmer firm assurances that there would not be a problem , it simply shows that the former commissioner is really a less than honorable individual .

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The second half of the NBA season is already underway, what do you hope to see in the latter stages of the schedule ? Also, which player or group of players, have provided you with the greatest surprise over the course this NBA season ? Of the teams in contention, for a divisional or playoff berth, which do you believe , are likely to triumph and to fail ?

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Picture and slideshow details below .

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(1) David Stern is seen here handing the Larry O’Brien Trophy to Miami Heat team President Pat Riley after the team’s triumph in winning the NBA title in 2013 , having won in a tough seven-game series against the San Antonio Spurs in a thrilling NBA Finals’ series , 4-3 . Stern formally stepped down as the NBA Commissioner after thirty years as the league’s highest ranking executive . He is succeeded by Adam Silver , who hopes to make a smooth transition into his new role . AP Photo / Chris Hughes ………..

(2) Nicola Vucevic of the Orlando Magic is seen here challenging the New York Knicks’ Tyson Chandler during a game played at the Amway Center in Orlando , Florida on the 23rd December , 2013 . The Magic would go on to lose the contest 103-98 with both teams under-achieving this season within their respective divisions as well as the Eastern Conference , there is likely to be major shakeups within the rosters of both franchises during the off-season . NBAE/ Getty Images / Max Miller ….

(3) February 27, 2014 The Milwaukee Bucks gave the Pacers a formidable test on Thursday night, but Indiana made enough plays down the stretch to come away with a 101-96 win in a game played in Milwaukee , Wisconsin,. Roy Hibbert recorded a double-double (24 points, 12 rebounds), while Paul George added 18 points , eight boards, and six assists . NBAE Getty Images / Frank McGrath ….

(4) LeBron James of the Miami Heat goes up for the dunk as he rises above Kemba Walker and Cody Zeller of the Charlotte Bobcats in a game played at the AA Arena in Miami , Florida on Monday night . James would go on to score a career-high 61 points during the contest , which the Heat won convincingly. This has been the second time this season , that the Bobcats have given up more than sixty points to a player during their schedule with the first such incident , coming when they played the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden , where Carmelo Anthony torched the team a career-high , also, of sixty-two points . AP Photo / Emile Toussaint …..

(5) Kevin Durant (35) of the Oklahoma City Thunder is seen here alongside the Miami Heat’s LeBron James (6) . Both players are the leading candidates for this season’s League MVP . Their rivalry may well be the best to be seen in the NBA in several years , but not yet on the level of the classic match-ups between Larry Bird and Magic Johnson , which many purists believes set the bar for individualistic rivalries within the NBA and from a team standpoint , especially in many of their postseason contests . Durant and James have met once in a postseason series with the Miami Heat prevailing in their 2012 NBA Finals’ , with a rather lopsided series’ victory. AP Photo / Mike Patton ….

(6) Houston Rockets’ center Dwight Howard (12) looks to make the play against Miles Plumlee of the Phoenix Suns in a game played between the two Western Conference teams on the 23rd February , 2014 . The Rockets would defeat the Suns 115-112 . NBAE /Getty Images / Ross Hart ……

(7) Minnesota Timberwolves’ Kevin Love, left, drives as Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin defends in the second half of an NBA basketball game , Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, in Minneapolis. The Clippers won 102-98 . These two young players are two of the brightest young stars to have entered the NBA in the past seven seasons . AP Photo/Jim Mone ….

(8) Kentucky coach John Calipari thinks 6-11 center DeMarcus Cousins should go top 3 in this year’s NBA Draft. But GMs fear the player’s immaturity , which has been justified since his entry into the NBA as a first round draft pick in 2010 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings . US PRESSWIRE/ Mark Zereof ……

(9) Sacramento Kings’ center DeMarcus Cousins is seen here with the team’s head coach Michael Malone on court sidelines during a game at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento , California . After a recent on-court physical altercation with an opposing player where Cousins is said to have punched his opponent in the lower abdomen and then having been ejected for his conduct , he then verbally assaulted the referee , using several profane expletives , heard within earshot of the crowd . DeMarcus Cousins was fined $20,000 and suspended for one game, forfeiting his $ 44,000 game check . . Vivek Ranadive , the Kings’ owner , will meet with GM Pete D’Alessandro and Michael Malone to discuss the troubled center’s ongoing behavioral problems . All signs seem to be pointing to the fact that the franchise may well seek to trade the player this off-season rather than retain his services . This recent suspension has been the third of DeMarcus Cousins’ three-year career in the NBA and poses the question as to his lack of maturity while in college at the University of Kentucky and since his entering the NBA in 2010. AP Photo/ Chris Affeldt ……

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They’re human as well , but they don’t always show it , seeking to hide behind that veil of whatever

They’re human as well , but they don’t always show it , seeking to hide behind that veil of whatever

It is a quiet time in world of sports , albeit, that the NFL is likely to provide the fans with what is likely to be the most important pair of games of its entire schedule . The league’s AFC and NFC championship games are scheduled for Sunday afternoon , where the Seattle Seahawks will play host to the San Francisco 49ers , their divisional rivals. Whereas, the AFC provides us with just as thrilling a contest , as Tom Brady and the New England Patriots travel to Mile High Stadium in Denver Colorado to meet the Denver Broncos .

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Slideshow .

This particular AFC match-up is all the more intriguing, as it pits Tom Brady against .Peyton Manning for the fifteen time of their already historic NFL careers . Along the way, both players have provided the fans with some spectacular performances. This time around , with a Superbowl berth on the line , it would take a soothsayer to predict the outcome of this game. From my own personal standpoint as a die-hard Patriots’ fan , I am simply hoping that Brady and his teammates are able to prevail in this contest ! Anything short of that, and I will be extremely disappointed.

Away from the spectacle of this weekend’s contest, a disturbing trend continues to rear its ugly head within the game and that is the continued apparent misconduct of players off the field of play. If the allegations are to be believed, even in light of his being charged with indecent exposure , lewd and lascivious behavior, while seated in his Cadillac Escalade , where Kellen Winslow Jr was said to have been caught masturbating, in the parking lot of a Target store in New Jersey. No one can deny, that the career of New York Jets’ tight end , has been an extreme disappointment. Having to follow in the footsteps of a famous father, with a Hall of Fame career, is an extremely tough act to follow , without having your patriarch , Kellen Winslow Sr, watch your every move both on and off the field of play.

How this now all pans out for Kellen Winslow Jr , will be dependent upon the course of action sought by the prosecutors and whether they believe there is enough evidence to proceed to trial , with a case. The player suggests that , it was simply case of the witness having been mistaken and that his actions were not unlawful , with his simply stopping in the parking lot to get his bearings as he sought out a local restaurant . If your vehicle a Cadillac Escalade has GPS tracking navigation , then Winslow’s explanation, does seem somewhat dubious to say the very least. Yet somehow, his lawyers, are likely to suggest that this whole incident, is much ado about nothing , with the press and prosecution seeking to make an example of another high-profiled athlete.

As disturbing as Kellen Winslow’s situation might now appear to be , there are now allegations being leveled against NFL Network analyst and former New Orleans Saints’ defensive player Darren Sharper . Sharper has been released on $200,000 bail, on related charges of two alleged sexual assaults that took place within the space of a month. One incident is said to have taken place in December, with the second assault , in early January of this year. Darren Sharper maintains his innocence, but such has been the gravity and seriousness of the allegations made , that the NFL Network has taken action, suspending the analyst without pay .

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league hierarchy , admittedly , are almost powerless to stop the deal with the behavioral conduct of the players , never-mind the fact that Goodell’s union counterpart DeMaurice Smith of the NFLPA and the union’s executive committee do not see this as a serious issue concerning the ongoing conduct of their members. It certainly , has not helped also , by the actual conduct of the players’ legal counsel , when cases such as this arise. More often than not, they are likely to seek to paint the alleged plaintiff or victim , as a money seeker or someone of disrepute. The NFL Commissioner’s powers have become muted and his bark is now worse than his bite. A collective bargaining agreement ratified and voted upon by the union is not worth the paper it is written on , when at every turn the NFPLA seeks to challenge the authority of the league hierarchy in rendering any type of action against a player.

With the ongoing investigation and quite possibly, pending legal action against Darren Sharper. It will be interesting to see the direction this whole matter now takes and what the outcome might possibly be. As to the on-field spectacle and what we ought to expect this postseason , well that will certainly be predicated upon the play of the four remaining teams at this stage of the season.

Well, the idiocy of the Alex Rodriguez saga has now ended , with the New York Yankees’ third basemen abandoning his bid to have his suspension overturned by the US Federal Appellate Court . The fact that Rodriguez sought to go ahead with this façade ,while seeking to maintain his innocence, even when it was suggested originally that he sought to have the two hundred fourteen game suspension meted out by baseball’s hierarchy, be lowered in line with the deal offered to Milwaukee Brewers’ player Ryan Braun . Rodriguez did his co-legal counselors Joe Tacpoina and David Cornwell no favors, in choosing to disparage the MLB arbitrator Fredric Horowitz and MLB Commissioner Bud Selig , prior to Horowitz rendering his verdict.

Tacpoina and Cornwell offered no evidence , to suggest that their client was innocent , but maintained that the league’s case , was simply weak and built upon the illegal gathering of evidence , which was used to substantiate their case against Alex Rodriguez . Clearly, Alex Rodriguez could not take the stand during the arbitration hearing , because in all likelihood, he would have perjured himself and provided the league with a legal case against him, were they to choose such a route. The player’s civil suit against MLB and the New York Yankees’ chief medical physician was also abandoned, with Rodriguez issuing a public statement while in Mexico City , that he would now put the whole issue behind him , while seeking to rest and recuperate throughout the entire 2014 baseball season , reassessing the things said to be important to him , before resuming his career in 2015.

The length of Alex Rodriguez’s suspension may have been lowered to one hundred and sixty-two games, with it being the greatest penalty , ever rendered against a player for their involvement with performance enhancing drugs. However, the league still faces an uphill battle to abate the proliferating use of steroids and other illicit substances at the Major League Level , but even more so, at the Minor League Level , where it has reached epidemic proportions , with over 150 players having been ensnared in baseball’s testing protocols in the past three years, alone.

If and when Alex Rodriguez returns to the game of baseball , it is hard to simply to look at his career achievements without questioning just about every aspect of those statistics over the past ten years , if not more . The player was less than candid, concerning his involvement with steroid use , after being repeatedly being questioned by not only members of the press but also by investigators from Major League Baseball, as well as by senior officials and investigators from within the Yankees’ organization . We should also take into account Rodriguez’s actions in 2007 , when questioned on air, by CBS news’ anchor Katie Couric as to his alleged use of steroids. Then, as now , he refuted those allegations , only to do an about-face in February 2009 , finally admitting his use , while offering a less than contrite apology to the New York Yankees , Major League Baseball and to his fans. I am beginning to wonder wholeheartedly , if the fans who came out in support of Alex Rodriguez this time around , have actually forgotten the events of 2009 ? Or are they simply that naïve and stupid enough to believe that the player remains innocent of any wrongdoing , concerning the allegations made against him ? Rodriguez’s pattern of behavior, has been there for all to see and it now begs the question , what else should we continue to believe concerning the player and his new-found persona ?

As the NBA season proceeds , the consensus of opinion of the vast majority of fans , has been , who is likely to mount a serious enough challenge to topple the defending NBA champions from their throne ? The Miami Heat in their last few games may well have had a few hiccups along with the way, with some notable losses against lesser teams . Those series of defeats, are only likely to force LeBron James to show even more resilience , while seeking to lead his teammates to even greater heights .

Coming off a well-deserved victory over the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania, Miami will continue with their road schedule , meeting the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday night at the Time Warner Center in Charlotte , North Carolina , before ending that schedule with a further away game against the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday evening . I get the feeling that as the NBA’s most watched team at present by way of attendance , outgoing commissioner David Stern is seeking to maximize the Miami Heat’s exposure globally , for the sake of the NBA brand , knowing that the league’s biggest selling point is LeBron James . Michael Jordan , may well have retired from with the game , with his accomplishments and legacy unquestioned. A new era, has dawned, with James casting a gigantic shadow over the NBA , seeking to rewrite records and adding his name to list of greats within the NBA’s pantheon of greatest players .

Only time will tell, if LeBron James goes on to surpass the feats of Jordan as well Kareem Abdul Jabbar . Ten years into an astonishing career and James continues to add to his already unbelievable repertoire as a player . It was once felt, that Kobe Bryant might well have been the closest thing we would ever see concerning the skill-set of Michael Jordan. Yet, I now firmly believe that James will surpass anything that Bryant will achieve, as the Los Angeles Lakers player sees his career , begin to wind down . Bryant may well have signed a two-year $48.5 million contract to remain in Los Angeles , but unless the franchise develops talent from within, as well as making several beneficial trades, the player and the Lakers are likely to continue with their struggles .

While Miami continues to flourish within their division and the Eastern Conference , albeit, that the New York Knicks seems to have found something of a rhythm to their game . There now seems to be an issue with the team and whether or not Mike Woodson can get the players to buy into his coaching philosophy. Considering the egos , that make up the current roster and the very fact that beyond Carmelo Anthony and his continued play , there seems to be no real desire by his teammates to follow his example . In what now appears to be a heated altercation, where words were exchanged between JR Smith and Woodson were said to have gone toe-to-toe , as if both were ready have a real pugilistic bout between the pairing .

Smith, having already been suspended, once this season, for what was deemed a transgression of league rules. It now appears that he is creating an environment, where he is likely to be jettisoned by the franchise , rather their having to deal with his continued infantile behavior . The likely outcome, may well be that GM Steve Mills will seek to engineer a trade , rather than keep JR Smith on the roster. Smith for his part , suggests that he is simply an emotional player , who often lets his emotions get the better of him , while also exploding with angry outbursts , directed at those who , he believes are against him. From my viewpoint , it suggests not only a player with anger management issues, but someone who is close to being psychotic and a danger to himself as well as those around him ! It is bad enough that the Knicks have to put up with Smith’s bad behavior , and then you consider the ” poster child ” for such tirades , Metta World Peace , also just happens to be teammate of JR Smith.

A fourteen point loss at home to the Los Angeles Clippers , where the Knicks showed the defensive capability of a group of octogenarians with hemorrhoidal problems as the Clippers simply manhandled their opponent through the entire four quarters of regular play . Yet, somehow, Knicks’ fans truly believe that this team is capable of doing something special this season. If the postseason of 2012 , was anything to go by , the New York Knicks are likely to be brushed aside in the first round of play , much like dust might be swept under the carpet, in order that those with an aversion to cleaning , simply wanting to create the impression that their home is habitable and hospitable. Not unlike the Knicks and their continued aversion to playing defense in any form when it comes to the NBA.

It looks as if former seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong just cannot keep himself out of the news. Having repeatedly lied about his use of banned substances, the now retired cyclist still seeks the public’s empathy and forgiveness. To my mind, the deceit and lies while using an illness (testicular cancer) to simply solicit tens of millions of dollars millions out of corporate and public donors , shows Armstrong to be no better than a snake-oil salesman and that of a common criminal ! While we are it , how is it , that to date, neither the US Justice Department or the US Postal Service has sought to go after Armstrong and recoup the $35 million of funds used to sponsor the cyclist ? Though the Postal Service is meant to be a stand-alone for profit entity , though it comes under the oversight of the federal government and where its debts are guaranteed by the government. In other words, the US taxpayer has the privilege of paying off any debt incurred by the USPS, were they unable to meet their liabilities. Good to know that the US government can be continued to be relied upon to show its continued incompetency while seeking to show that it remains the greatest country in the world . Really? LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

Armstrong, remains a pariah and amongst his former peers within cycling, he is looked upon with a great deal of disdain . Yet, it can be said , that the sport of cycling, as overseen by the Swiss based ICU (Union Cycliste International) has done little to truly clean up the sport , including the protocols now in place by the IOC (International Olympic Committee). Cycling’s biggest event , the Tour de France, features prominently on its calendar and is viewed as the doyenne of all the road events throughout the year , including the year when the Summer Olympics are scheduled.

A patron of this site, once suggested that Lance Armstrong’s once renowned charity Livestrong , could continue and be a success without the athlete being its main spokesperson. Well, subsequent to his admission of guilt, the charity has seen donations be impacted to the extent , where they have fallen way below projected estimates . Lance Armstrong had to be removed from the board of directors, with his no longer being associated with the charity under any circumstance . One reaps what they sow, and for Armstrong, the lies and deceit have come back to bite him in the ass , in more ways than one and deservedly so. Now looking for the public’s compassion, Lance Armstrong now seeks to reinvent himself as a humanitarian and goodwill ambassador . If only , he used the intelligence given to him , to genuinely display those traits to begin with , before entering into his delusional world of make belief , while seeking to discredit those who knew of his web of lies and deceit .

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Picture gallery .

One might believe, that fact, is stranger than fiction , but consider the following, Alex Rodriguez studiously followed the issues of Lance Armstrong and the two stars became close friends . Need one suggest, that in this particular instance , birds of a feather flock together ? Enmity between two of today’s biggest frauds in the world of sports and yet , each has their legions of supporters out there, still believing that neither has done anything wrong. ? Enmity between two of today’s biggest frauds in the world of sports and yet , each has their legions of supporters out there still believing that neither has done anything wrong. It would be remiss to suggest that Lance Armstrong did not bring a slew of new supporters to the sport of cycling with his success , but now knowing it was built on a great deal of fraud , with his own posse of accomplices , I cannot help but wonder why the now disgraced cyclist never felt that his house of lies would never come crashing down , the moment he sought to harangue many of those who were once closest to him at the time! Was he really that conceited and naïve, along with showing a great deal of stupidity on his part? Unfortunately, this is all too often, is lost on the fans and various areas of the public , who continue to show a great deal of apathy when these individuals fall from grace . In light of the points raised within this article do you believe that the hierarchy’s of the various sports act with a great deal of vigilance when dealing with athlete misconduct ? Leave a comment , as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support of the site and its content , as it is greatly appreciated !

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Picture and slideshow details below .

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(1) Denver Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning is in the scrimmage of the team at Sports Authority Field in Denver, CO. Saturday, August 4, 2012 while speaking to head coach John Fox . Manning and Fox will seek a berth in the Superbowl by defeating the New England Patriots on Sunday afternoon when the two meet in the AFC championship game . This will be the fifteenth professional contest between Peyton Manning and his New England counterpart Tom Brady . Beyond being two of the most highly visible faces in the NFL , these two quarterbacks lead active passers in a number of passing categories and rank extremely high amongst the career’s list in a number of quarterback statistics. Hyoung Chang, The Denver Post….

(2) Tom Brady of the New England Patriots hands the ball off to running back Stevan Ridley (22) as the rusher makes his way for some decisive yardage during a game. Ridley and LeGarrette Blount have proven to be productive for the Patriots during the regular and postseason . Blount in particular set a franchise record for rushing and yards from scrimmage , eclipsing the mark once held by Curtis Martin . If the duo can reproduce that type of form in rushing yards, then it will certainly add to Brady’s arsenal of weaponry for their game against the Denver Broncos on Sunday afternoon. AP Photo/ Harry Thomas ….

(3) MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 29: Kellen Winslow (81) of the New York Jets warms up prior to the game against the Miami Dolphins on December 29, 2013 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. The Jets defeated the Dolphins 20-7. Winslow , having been charged with indecent exposure , lewd and lascivious behavior stemming from an incident which allegedly took place in the parking lot of a Target Superstore in New Jersey , while the player was parked in a Cadillac Escalade SUV. The female witness is said to have immediately called the police , upon witnessing the Jets’ tight end in the vehicle masturbating , a claim which Kellen Winslow totally denies . Jets’ GM John Idzik is said to have been informed of the allegations and it is believed that the player is l likely to be cut by the franchise , rather than his being retained by the team , albeit that his current contract expires this year . Hal Auerbach/Getty Images ….

(4) New Orleans Saints safety Darren Sharper is interviewed during a news conference in Miami on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010. The Saints will play the Indianapolis Colts in the NFL football Super Bowl XLIV on Sunday. Released on his own recognizance on a $200,000 bond , Sharper having been accused of two sexual assaults , now faces new allegations that he assaulted a third female victim. The player and his legal representatives are likely to challenge the foundation of the allegations and the victims themselves . In lieu of a pending trial , the NFL Network where Darren Sharper is employed as NFL analyst, have suspended the former NFL Pro Bowler without pay indefinitely. AP Photo/Mark Humphrey …

(5) LeBron James of the Miami Heat and Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks . The two players who were part of the 2003 NBA Draft class , have seen their respective careers diverge into diametrically opposite directions. James, already a NBA Rookie of the Year , four-time League MVP , two-time NBA champion and Finals’ MVP , is seen as currently the best player in the NBA. Carmelo Anthony having begun his career with the Denver Nuggets, now finds himself in New York playing for a consistently under-achieving team over the past five seasons . With the Knicks’ , the player be able to opt out of his contract at the end of this season . There are continuous rumors that he will “test the free agency market” , where the known suitors are likely to be the Dallas Mavericks , Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors and the New York Knicks, who are likely to make the strongest bid , to retain the star by offering him a max contract, ,likely to be six years $125 million. Getty Images / Bernie Pollack …..

(6) Alex Rodriguez , right , is seen here with one of his two lead attorneys , Joe Tacopina to the player’s right . Rodriguez has now completely abandoned his entire appeals’ process in seeking to have his suspension overturned . While in Mexico City , Mexico , he issued a public statement , with his intent being to rest and recuperate throughout the entire 2014 MLB season , refocusing his energies on making a full return to the game 2015 . Undoubtedly, that career he re-seeks , will be to rejoin the New York Yankees and help them pursue a twenty-eighth World Series’ title , while perhaps also seeking to break the all-time career home runs’ record . Rodriguez currently leads all active players in terms of career home runs and runs batted in (RBI’s) . Getty Images North America . Armando Jiminez …..

(7) A rather pensive Lance Armstrong , having finally admitted his use banned substances to win a record-breaking seven Tour de France titles as well as an Olympic medal , now has time to contemplate his future , while seeking an avenue now to fulfill his life , in terms of some sort of social advocacy group or philanthropic effort. Armstrong was stripped of all seven Tour wins , his Olympic medal victory and several other professional titles won over the course of his professional career. All of the goodwill built up, during his cycling career , were shattered, when the former cycling great admitted his use of steroids as well as several other banned substances . Armstrong now faces several civil suits, where his estimated $100 million fortune is likely be completely eradicated , with many of the plaintiffs seeking monetary damages running into tens of millions of dollars . UPI/REUTERS/ Tom Glennon ….

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Above, a cure for what might ail Kellen Winslow Jr , who was simply exercising his right to “beat his meat”

All good things must come to an end , eventually ….

All good things, must come to an end eventually

With NBA season still in its infancy , perhaps /the biggest story to hit the league has been the loss of NBA All Star point guard Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls . In one fail swoop , what appeared to be an innocuous contact with an opposing player led to Rose losing his balance , twisting his knee and tearing his right MCL (meniscus cruciate ligament). The Bulls prior to this unforeseen injury, were thought to be one of the teams within the Eastern Conference , deemed good enough to challenge the defending NBA champions , the Miami Heat . With Rose now out for the remainder of the season , for the second time inside of eighteen months , the player has been lost to the franchise for what appears to be an indeterminate length of time. The ramifications for the Chicago Bulls at this juncture are incalculable and any thought of them being able to mount a serious challenge within the conference , now appears to be doomed for failure.

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Bulls’ head coach, Tom Thibodeau will now have to assess, how best to utilize his roster , and somehow replace an invaluable asset such as his point guard , Derrick Rose. Try to imagine the Miami Heat without LeBron James , Oklahoma City Thunder without Kevin Durant , Chris Paul missing from the Los Angeles Clippers’ lineup or the Los Angeles Lakers , without Kobe Bryant , albeit, that at present the Lakers do appear to be competitive within their conference. Such has been the magnitude of the loss, that it has been evident with the team’s first game without Rose, which resulted in an 89-83 loss to the Utah Jazz . Chicago’s next game will be on Wednesday , 27th November against the Detroit Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills , in Detroit Michigan ,. How the Bulls now acquit themselves in terms of their resilience, will be predicated upon which players on the roster seeks the desire to adopt the role a leader on this team. Be it, Carlos Boozer , Luol Deng or Joakim Noah , someone now has to step up to the plate .

One of the more unlikely situations that now arises comes out of Derick Rose’s loss to the Bulls for the season , has to be how the front office now contemplates the franchise’s long-term future. A year away from the game , and the lengthy recuperation process leaves now leaves GM Gar Forman , owner Jerry Reinsdorf and the entire front office with a number of decisions to mull over. Is it worthwhile competitively playing out the remainder of the season or as some have suggested , would it be best for the organization to seek to rid themselves of a number of the large salaried contracts and impending free agents , thereby freeing up a great deal under the league salary cap and just rebuild , by way of the next NBA Draft and simply adding a veteran presence on the roster ? Clearly, the long-suffering Bulls’ fans would not like to see any of these scenarios being raised , but definitely something has to and must be done . Rose’s own contract has left the organization in almost untenable situation and the league hierarchy simply does not provide for a situation or solution as the predicament that the Chicago Bulls now finds itself in . Granted, the insurance rider carried by the franchise, will allow for any monetary loss by way of the contract , but I cannot help but wonder if this is likely to be the road that the Bulls would like to go down , in simply abandoning the player by buying out his contract at a high premium .

It certainly has been a long time, since anyone spoke about the Portland Trailblazers (13-2) in glowing terms . Yet here we are, and the franchise has gotten off to a tremendous start to the season . A great deal of the credit has to go to the coaching staff , led by head coach Terry Stotts , but also the two leading players on the roster , LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard , whose maturity and growth as a player from his rookie season in 2012 , has been very impressive this season, with his playing a leading role in the Blazers’ progress. Only the San Antonio Spurs (13-1) have a better record than the Trailblazers within the Western Conference , and the Indiana Pacers (13-1) within the East , overall .

It may well the early stages of an arduous NBA schedule , but consider the fact that more prominent teams within the league are currently struggling , who are alleged to have even greater depth to their rosters and also a better coaching staff. To my mind, it is best to adjudge the makeup of a team not just by the talent , but also by the coaching acumen on display. And to date, nothing I have seen exhibited by either the Brooklyn Nets (3-10) or New York Knicks (3-10) has given me the impression that either franchise knows what the hell they are actually doing ! Knicks and Nets’ fans can gesticulate and show their angst , because in reality, they tend to delve far more in the past , having not learned a damn thing to actually realize , what is going on in the present , only too willing to make excuses for the omnipresent mediocrity of the respective franchises in question.

Portland has simply been playing high intensity basketball, showing a great deal of aplomb in transition and a defensive mindset. Coming off the team’s almost willful destruction of the New York Knicks , during which Carmelo Anthony in a post-game tirade, directed a great deal of anger and venom towards his teammates , in stating that they sucked and were an embarrassment to the fans watching such a display. Only further emphasizing and reiterating my earlier remarks about the Eastern Conference based franchise and their continuing woes! New York’s almost $90 million payroll in comparison to their Monday night opponent’s $62.6 million cannot be considered to have been money “ well spent “ . The biggest obstacle now for the Portland Trailblazers, will be to maintain the momentum currently in their possession , as they approach the second half of the regular season . Next up for Portland will be a visit to Phoenix , Arizona , as the guests of the Phoenix Suns in a game to be played at the US Airways Arena , in Phoenix , Arizona ,. The team, will be seeking their twelfth consecutive win and eighth road win in their last nine games . While I believe the Portland Trailblazers to be a very good and well coached team , I am not so sure that during a seven game playoff series , they are capable of defeating notable conference foes such as the Oklahoma City Thunder , San Antonio Spurs , Los Angeles Clippers or the Houston Rockets . Yet, these are only my observations, as to skill-set of the teams in question !

With Kobe Bryant now being re-signed to a two-year contract extension, paying the guard $48.5 million over the next two season and essentially assuring the franchise’s fans and the player that his career will end with the Los Angeles Lakers . As to what this says about the Lakers’ intent for its long-term future , is simply, that they are seeking a smooth transition from Bryant ,as he hands over the reins of the team to the next marquee free agent that is likely to be acquired by the franchise . Obviously , Dwight Howard was not the right fit , in spite of the rather ridiculous pleading by senior members of the Lakers’ team, as well as many of the Hollywood A List celebrities , who all were willing to ” sell their souls “ , in order for the noted center to remain a Lakers’ player. Clearly, many of these individuals as well as members of the coaching staff led by Mike DAntoni , as well GM Mitch Kupchak and team owner Jim Buss , chose not to see the flaws in Howard’s game well as his demeanor when faced with a great deal of adversity on the court . Never mind the fact, that so-called knowledgeable Los Angeles Lakers’ fans were trying to point out that the player had the game to complement the team. If Mike D`Antoni , who at the time, was unable to figure out what his best starting lineup was meant to be during the 2012 schedule . I would hate to think what the hell, they the fans actually thought that they were able to witness from the team last season !

While Kobe Bryant may well have taken umbrage to the fact , that the Lakers were placed as no better than the twelfth best team in the conference and as a playoff contender . In truth , the team based on its current makeup, might only be two or three places higher better than many of the analysts have the Los Angeles Lakers. A 7-7 record now have the Lakers a half-game behind the eighth placed Denver Nuggets (7-6) , with the team now sitting in the eleventh position amongst the Western Conference based franchises . The revelation for the Lakers this season, with Bryant still sidelined and recuperating from an injury , has been the play of Jodie Meeks , Nick Young and Xavier Henry . With Pau Gasol , leading all players, from an offensive standpoint , the Lakers will seek to find some consistency , while waiting the imminent return of Kobe Bryant.

A recent victory over the Sacramento Kings , during which the Los Angeles Lakers give one of their best performances of this young season , added to the angst., but also delivered some excitement for the fans, though not negating the team’s plight. Even with the return of Kobe Bryant , and the expectations always high , it is difficult to comprehend how anyone can believe that the team will be good enough to not only gain a playoff berth , but also to be likely looked upon as a credible contender for the NBA title . Bryant and Gasol are aging veterans, whose best years, are now behind them . Two-time league MVP , Steve Nash , can no longer be relied upon to give the team anything more than perhaps twenty minutes per game , wherever possible. The “smart money” says that the Lakers will be hard pressed to make the postseason and if they do , it is highly unlikely , that they will be able to take down one of the more highly ranked teams within the conference.

Michael Carter-Williams , Victor Oladipo and Ben McLemore , are certainly justifying the faith shown in them by the teams who acquired these rookies during the 2013 NBA Draft . In light of that fact , their 2012 predecessors are still finding their way, with the exception I believe of Damian Lillard , who is now proving to be a very special player . As to whether or not this season’s rookies, are likely to make their respective franchises an impact this season, remains to be seen . Yet, it is clear, their early season productivity , has given the general managers in question , a great deal of satisfaction and relief, by way of their play. . Decidedly, the Rookie of the Year will come from one of the trio of aforementioned players or possibly from one of the more than fifteen players now viewed as likely contenders based on their productivity .

I mentioned this in an earlier post , because I felt it necessary given the fact that not only has the NBA hierarchy and union (NBPA) become ambivalent as to the use of performance enhancing drugs (PED’S) s , but it would appear that David Stern has a lackadaisical attitude on the whole issue, altogether . He pretty much towed the line of bumbling idiots such as Roger Goodell and Bud Selig , when all three as well as NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman each addressed a congressional committee on the use of steroids within their respective sports . As we know the NFL has yet to adopt a policy voted on and ratified by the NFLPA (Players’ Union) as far back as 2010. Major League Baseball finds itself in the midst of what has now become a farcical arbitration process involving Alex Rodriguez . In the NHL what common sense there is to be actually found , is not being imparted by anyone within the game itself, but from outsiders.

With the recent statement made by Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban that he would like to see the use of performance enhancing drugs within the NBA , strictly to aid a players’ recovery process . I would like to know why Cuban believes that action to be of actual benefit to the game ? While steroidal medicine does have its use within the field of medicine, specifically amongst those suffering from muscular atrophy. Yet, by the widespread rampant misuse within the NFL as well as baseball, it has now become a pandemic . Mark Cuban , much like his arch nemesis Donald Trump , likes to be the center of attention , no matter how ridiculous the statements that he tends to make , which are with ever-increasing regularity . When broached on the subject, as how the league would actually monitor a players’ usage of a PED, Cuban’s response , was that should be a decision, best left to the league itself. And one wonders, why no one takes either Mark Cuban or Donald Trump seriously , on a wide variety of issues ? The Mavericks’ owner is simply buying into the idiocy, that the use of a PED is the fastest way to assist a player suffering with a bad injury, without ever truly acknowledging the dangers its misuse can bring . Also , Cuban failed to acknowledge that there are other alternatives, beyond the use of what is already a banned substance by the NBA , unless a medical waiver has been obtained from the league . Either, this was overlooked by Cuban, or he has some type of asinine , nonsensical point to make. I simply believe it to be the latter at this juncture !

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

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(1) Chicago Bulls’ head coach Tom Thibodeau , left is seen with point guard Derrick Rose , center and GM Gar Forman . With the player being lost to the franchise for a second consecutive season , the damage done to the moral and psyche of the team , could very well be irreparable . A prognosis of the player’s injury, would suggest that another twelve to fifteen month layoff could be on the cards for league MVP in 2011 . Chicago Sun Times / Joe Cowdrey ……….

(2) Damian Lillard , left , and LaMarcus Aldridge are two of the primary reasons why the Portland Trailblazers currently have the second best record in the Western Conference behind the San Antonio Spurs . AP Photo / Tom Steward …….

(3) From left to right , Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers , in the foreground , head coach Mike D’Antoni , point guard Steve Nash and far right , center Pau Gasol . All three players this season and last have had their share of injury woes . Bryant is currently sidelined by an injury and hopes to make a return to the Lakers starting lineup at some point within the next two or three weeks , dependent on medical clearance from the team’s chief physician . Getty Images / Randall Carter …..

(4) LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – OCTOBER 10: Ben McLemore (16) a of the Sacramento Kings shoots against the Los Angeles Lakers in a preseason game played at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on October 10, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

(5) Two egotistical idiots, whose combined net wealth exceeds $ 4.3 billion dollars . Mark Cuban and Donald Trump are two individuals who are said to have a dislike of each other . Yet , there is a common thread between the duo , it remains their outsized egos and penchant for making outrageous statements , without ever having the facts to back up their often ridiculous premise . Gunther Barnes / Telefoto Spa ….
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NBA news

NBA results 25th November

NBA schedule 26th November

NBA standings by division

NBA player stats

NBA rookie stats scoring

This date in NBA history

Chicago Bulls’ news

Portland Trailblazers’ news

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Hot chic pic of the day , Denise Milani montage .

Milani in sexy lingerie

Does Denise Milani make you feel ‘horny ” ?

A sprinkling of pixie dust might just do the trick …..

A sprinkling of pixie dust might just do the trick …..

Just when I thought it was safe to dip my toe back in the water and have an enjoyable weekend by way of the sporting events that piqued my interest . Well, wouldn’t you know it, the whole world gets turned upside down . The New England Patriots after an exhilarating victory over the New Orleans Saints in week six , somehow find a way to make that result seem completely irrelevant by then giving one of their most inept performances of the season in a 30-27 loss to their divisional rivals the New York Jets . Far be it for me to suggest that the AFC East is now becoming as malignant a cancer as the NFC East in terms of the play of the teams to be witnessed there also . Yet in reality , this NFL season , I believe has now come down to some truly bad coaching and even worse an abundance of bad performances from players thought to be leaders.

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If postseason interviews, are a clear indication as to the mindset of a team and the coaching staff, in particular . Then a Bill Belichick interview, will either have you befuddled or simply irate in seeking an explanation as to the reasons why the team’s performance was so inadequate , and lacking passion . As a fan of the Patriots, I have always felt the head coach to be condescending , if not self-absorbed, as to his own importance. While I do not question his achievements as a coach , I do believe that he lacks humility and at times a great deal of etiquette in dealing with the press and public alike . Sunday, was simply another aspect of what makes up the psyche of Bill Belichick and how he conducts himself with the national media in a post-game interview .

Tom Brady for his part, had one of his less memorable games of the season , but in light of that, the Patriots’ defense remains a work in progress that at times can just as shaky as they can be impressive in a momentary instance . . The loss drops the New England to 5-2 within the AFC East, while sill leading the division over their nearest rivals the New York Jets (4-3) , followed by the Miami Dolphins (3-3) and the Buffalo Bills (3-4) . New England’s next game will be another divisional match-up in week eight where they will play host to the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium , in Foxborough , Massachusetts , on Sunday, 27th October, 2013 . A second successive defeat and it will not matter , how the fans or press alike felt about the return of Rob Gronkowski in week seven , but more to do with the apparent direction that the team is said to heading in at this juncture .

The return of Peyton Manning to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis Indiana , home to the Indianapolis Colts and where the revered quarterback had many of his greatest regular season successes . On Sunday , it became the site of where the player and his new team the Denver Broncos would see their unbeaten run to start the season come to an abrupt end . Manning and his successor Andrew Luck , are two players who have met many of the expectations analysts and fans alike expected of these two stars. If there are now any doubters, who believed that the Colts erred in drafting Luck in 2011 , well it now looks as if those doubts have been firmly cast aside . Colts’ head coach Chuck Pagano , and his coaching staff , have blended a very young team at its core with some veteran leadership provided in the guise of wide receiver Reggie Wayne . The fact that the Indianapolis Colts now handily lead the AFC South should not come as a surprise in spite of the missteps made of the Houston Texans , a team to my mind that is very good during the regular season , but who tend to fall flat once the postseason comes into view.

A warm welcome was given to Peyton Manning as a “ returning prodigal son ” , but that was about the only act of generosity that was availed to the player on the day , as the Denver Broncos fell the Colts 39-33 , in one of the more exciting games to take place during week seven of the NFL schedule . Manning and Luck combined for over six hundred yards of passing offense , with a another one hundred and eighty-five yards of rushing offense from the two teams combined. . With that Broncos’ defeat , the NFL is now left with one unbeaten team , with the surprising Kansas City Chiefs (7-0) , who handily took care of the Houston Texans , albeit , that the result does not seem reflective of that fact. As to that this now might do for the psyche of Andy Reid’s players and the confidence that this victory has now emboldened the team . I can only surmise, that they will be looking to push that mark to 8-0 when they play host to the Cleveland Browns at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City , Missouri during week eight , the halfway point of the NFL season .

Hapless performances , with hapless teams , usually lead to coaching dismissals and the jettisoning of players at the end of a season . I think that at this juncture it is pretty much safe to suggest that Greg Schiano and several of the players on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ roster are witnessing their season simply spiral further out of control . Schiano lacks discipline , which is simply reflective in the repeatedly abhorrent performances put up this season by the Buccaneers’ defense , never mind the woefully inept of play of the offensive altogether . Many of the patrons of this site , who I know to be ardent fans of this team , simply cannot point to one player , who they believe to be leader , much less the best player on the entire roster . As with everything else, that seems to encapsulate the professional sports’ franchises in the Tampa Bay area , theirs(fans) are lives, based on sheer optimism more than anything else . This season for the Buccaneers, has simply borne that fact out , as they once again succumbed to their sixth successive defeat of the season and pushing their record to 0-6 , leaving them firmly rooted at the bottom of the NFC South , and joining the New York Giants (0-6) as the worst team in the NFC this season.

The fact this latest loss (31-23) by the Buccaneers came at the hands of the Atlanta Falcons , a team with issues on both sides of the ball this season, beyond the injuries sustained. At several points during the contest , Schiano’s players had this game for the taking , but simply could not come up with anything of relevance, in terms of their play. Is that meant to be a damning indictment of Greg Schiano , his coaching staff and of the team in particular ? I will let you be the judge of that and simply ask you to reflect upon the team’s record at this point of the season and where they stood at the exact same point in 2012 . Tampa will not have that much time to regain its focus or composure , as this upcoming Thursday , they face divisional counterparts , the Carolina Panthers , who this season , look as if they are a team playing with a great deal more confidence , with signs of maturity also being shown by the team’s quarterback Cam Newton . Can Tampa overcome the Panthers, to obtain their first win of the season ? The more poignant question to ask, perhaps might be, is this team is simply good enough to break their current drought and play with a great deal more consistency ?

Well, we now know who the World Series’ aspirants will be in 2013 , with the St Louis Cardinals as the NL pennant winners , facing off against the Boston Red Sox in baseball’s showcase finale . Each team will be seeking to add their third World Series’ title in the last decade. An astonishing feat, but nonetheless not surprising, given the pedigrees of the franchises in question . Both managers, Mike Matheny of the Cardinals and John Farrell of the Red Sox , also will seeking their first managerial titles in this contest, and this series could give the fans of baseball the match-up they desire above all else . West Cost bias asides, the fact that the Cardinals made light work of the Los Angeles Dodgers , a team that was being touted as the outright favorites to win it all , was either a sign of disrespect to the other participants this postseason , or it simply came down to aura of the franchise as a whole and its legacy . Never mind the fact , that with a burgeoning $215 million payroll , this team had a great to prove , but it simply was not to be , as they succumbed to St Louis in a rather lopsided series’ defeat (4-2) .

David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox is proving to be a man of all seasons , during the regular and postseason play for this baseball franchise . When one considers the great players to have donned the uniform of this ball club over the years , he could very well become one of its most beloved . I certainly believe, that he is one the players to have played for the team over the past ten years . Given his productivity during that time , is there any reason to believe otherwise ? Ortiz was not the only factor , add in Shane Victorino’s heroics in the Red Sox’s dominating display in the ALCS , but he surely was one of the primary reasons why the team overcame the Detroit Tigers and put that series beyond a doubt .

Game one of the best of seven-game series begins on Wednesday at Fenway Park , in Boston Massachusetts , as the series gets underway . With the starting lineups yet to be announced , it will be interesting to see which pitchers will be on the mound to get things rolling in this contest , between these two fabled teams. . If things are projected as I believe they will be, Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright is likely to face off against Clay Buchholz in the opening series’ starter .

When NBA player Jason Collins revealed to the world in a Sports Illustrated article that he was in fact a homosexual athlete in the very machismo and male driven world of the NBA . His public announcement was heartily welcomed from players and executives alike, as he became the first openly gay male athlete to declare his sexuality (preference) in one of the four major team sports . Yet having made that public declaration , the still unsigned free agent center remains in no man’s land , admired because his openness and honesty, but somehow now disavowed by the league and its ongoing hypocrisy. It seemed not so long ago that Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson was being greatly admired for his making the public aware of the fact that he was HIV positive though yet to show full-blown symptoms of the AIDS’ virus . Granted , through his philanthropic foundation has raised tens of millions of dollars for AIDS’ research and education , it should still not hide the fact that both Collins and Johnson o were at first treated as pariahs , in this all male dominated fraternity . Yet in reality , it is unlikely that Collins is the only male player in the NBA that is likely to be homosexual , and it would appear that were there another instance , it is highly unlikely, that player would feel comfortable enough reveal himself to the public. For for all of this homogenized idiocy, that everyone is treated equally , what we now see , is a very clear evidence that the NBA wants to remain a bastion of testosterone driven athleticism , while creating a facade , that all are welcomed within its fraternity of players . It should be noted that after the public announcement , none other than former Utah Jazz and Los Angeles’ Lakers ‘ player Karl Malone showed his intense bigotry and ignorance , in publicly stating that he would not play on a court where Magic Johnson was on the opposing team .

Does anyone truly believe that Jason Collins poses a real threat to the existence of an NBA franchise in terms of the public’s view of the player and their view of that team , itself ? I mean what does it say about us as a society , where bigotry can still rear its ugly head in sports, even when the created perception within society is that there is equality and justice for all ? Furthermore , if players such as Darko Milic , Greg Oden , Hasheem Thabeet and Nazr Mohammed can still find themselves on an NBA roster , with the numbers derived in 2012 , then surely there is something wrong with the game or the NBA is showing its true colors .

It would be correct to suggest that at this stage of his career, Collins would be viewed as a journeyman within the league , and one could attest to the fact that numbers last season were far from stellar . Yet , it should be noted that on a bad …. Washington Wizards’ team anything type of stat put up last season would have to be comically viewed as a positive on an organization that simply seems to devoid of managerial as well coaching acumen .

As to why teams may seem, reluctant to sign Jason Collins , to any type, of an offer-sheet , be it a ten-day contract or a deal for the veterans’ minimum , remains a question that has yet to be answered by coaches , front office executives , team owners , players and the . union alike . No one wants to upset the apple cart , but yet it would appear , that the bigotry and ignorance prevails , albeit , that is being conducted somewhat under-handedly , without any apparent reason being given by the powers that be. David Stern and the league hierarchy but their actions have tended to reflect something totally different , but for all of the pretext , the only issue that has ever mattered to the NBA , is that it remains a league driven by profits , rather than at times seeking to ingratiate itself in dealing with a number of socially relevant issues .

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There are stories aplenty around the sports’ world at present , many of them heartwarming , while others are simply filled with a great deal of venal garbage , much of it that the media , in one way or another , will seek to skewer and spin to meet whatever need , they feel best meets the consumers’ appetite . I don’t sprinkle any pixie dust on the articles or news that may well pique my interest . I simply offer up a few pointers and then let you be the judge of the content . Take it or leave it , I am still OK with that , and I won’t whine on like an infant , whose pacifier has been taken away , because of an opposing view . So chime on in with your thoughts and views on anything else you feel may well be pertinent to the subject matter .

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(1) Bill Belichick , left , shakes the hand of his opposing number Rex Ryan of the New York Jets after the Patriots’ 30-27 overtime loss to their AFC East divisional rivals . The Patriots’ head coach took responsibility for the team’s loss but failed to point the several coaching errors made by himself and the coaching staff during the closing minutes of the game during regulation . AP Photo / Seth Wenig ……

(2) New York Jets’ quarterback Geno Smith (7) celebrates with teammates Willie Colon (66) and Nick Mangold (74) after scoring a rushing touchdown in his team’s 30-27 overtime victory over the New England Patriots at Met Life Stadium , in East Rutherford , New Jersey on Sunday afternoon . AP Photo Seth Wenig ….

(3) Brandon Bolden (38) of the New England Patriots struggles for yardage between DeMario Davis and Quinton Coples (98) of the New York Jets during their game at MetLife Stadium on October 20, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Getty Images North America / Jeff Zelevansky ….

(4) Harry Douglas (83) of the Atlanta Falcons pulls in this touchdown reception against Johnathan Banks (27) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Georgia Dome on October 20, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. Getty Images / Kevin C Cox ……

(5) David Ortiz (34) and manager John Farrell (53) of the Boston Red Sox celebrates with the trophy after defeating the Detroit Tigers in Game Six of the American League Championship Series at Fenway Park on October 19, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Red Sox defeated the Tigers 5-2 to clinch the ALCS in six games . Getty Images / Al Bello ….

(6) Adam Wainwright (50) of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Three of the 2013 National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium on October 14, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images / Stephen Dunne …

(7) NBA Commissioner David Stern, NBA player and Courage Award recipient , Jason Collins , center and GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard . GLSEN’s Respect Awards in Manhattan. Collins since his announcement earlier this year has spent a great deal of time speaking at public engagements , college campuses , middle and high schools nationwide by invitation to address individuals who face difficulties in declaring their sexuality . Photo Credit: Mariela Lombard for GLSEN. @ copyrighted material all rights reserved …..

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NFL news

NFL week seven results

NFL standings

NFL team injuries

NFL transactions

NFL week eight schedule
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MLB news

2013 MLB World Series

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NBA news

NBA standings preseason (2013-14)

NBA schedule (preseason)

It’s not always the journey , but the first step taken on the road to that destination

It’s not always the journey , but the first step taken on the road to that destination

Six weeks into the NFL season and what we have all witnessed within the league , just happens to be an abundance of bad coaching , with some inexplicable explanations being offered up by the players and coaches alike for their continued mediocrity. Far be it for me to suggest, but I have never impressed by claims that there is said to be parity in the league (NFL) . It is my belief , that there are good teams, moderately good coaches , but an abundance of talent , where in large part , a number of these players are overpaid and not particularly skilled or adept, much less be able to show signs of leadership . Unfortunately, a large part of the fan-base that tend to follow the sports’ scene, they would to rather discuss rather the more mundane topics in the world of sports rather than succinctly debate a topic of discussion .

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A recent visitor to my site made a comment that he could not have foreseen the impact made, where the Kansas City Chiefs would have started off the season at 6-0 , remain unbeaten and would now be challenging the Denver Broncos as the best team in the NFL. From my own perspective , I believe that the groundwork had already been laid , but the only things needed, were the right coaching staff , a good enough quarterback to helm the team , along with a front office , where the executives and coaches were all on the same page . Last season , none of the aforementioned criteria were in place , with Romeo Crennel as the head coach , along with his coaching staff and Matt Cassel as the team’s quarterback . The one saving grace for the franchise, might well have been , general manager John Dorsey , having replaced Scott Piolio , has seen fit to draft players who have been able to contribute immediately to the team , while acquiring players who were ready to play .

After the Chiefs’ clinical annihilation of the Oakland Raiders , the first of their two , now highly anticipated divisional match-ups against the Denver Broncos, are the games in question that the fans and the nation now awaits , with a great deal of excitement over the contests of note. Kansas will play host to the now troubled Houston Texans in week seven at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City , Missouri, a chance to push their record to 7-0 and giving the team their best start in franchise history, now seems all the more possible, given the frailties of the Texans at present on both sides of the ball. It must be said that for a number of teams, they are now simply playing for self-respect or in a number of cases, the livelihood of the respective head coaches in question. The more things are now beginning to unravel for the Oakland Raiders , it is my belief that Dennis Allen’s days with the once venerable are numbered, with GM Reggie McKenzie now seeking to make the head coach , the sixth incumbent to be fired from his position with the organization since 2005 .

College Football heads into its eighth week with the Alabama Crimson Tide (6-0) still riding high atop of the AP Poll , with the BCS rankings due to be announced later this month. Yet for some inexplicable reason , a number of analysts and outside observers or one might describe as antagonists, are now trying to suggest that Nick Saban’s team not deserving of being the top ranked team in the nation. Last I looked , Alabama remained unbeaten , albeit , that they have had a few scares along their schedule . In light of that however, their closest rivals in the rankings, the Oregon Ducks (6-0) in spite of their offensive prowess , have yet to show the nation that they are as equally adept on the defensive side of the ball . Granted, the Pac 12 has never been known as a conference where defense has been taught ,much less played to any degree , with the exception of perhaps one or two programs , most notably the Stanford Cardinals (5-1) . But in light of their recent slip up against the Utah Utes , defense , we can now surmise, is not now a prerequisite within the conference.

Alabama will play host to the Arkansas (Razorbacks) at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa , Alabama , this Saturday , as the Tide seeks to keep their unbeaten record intact , while further strengthening their position atop of the rankings and within the SEC Western Division . A J McCarron and his teammates will seek to use this game as a reminder why this team is still seen as a prohibitive favorite to win their second consecutive national title, Saban’s fifth , and the program’s fourth in the past seven seasons .

Living in the state of Florida where College Football is treated with such reverence , the choices will abundant with regard to the programs , yet the only ones that seemingly matter , are the Florida Gators (4-2) , Florida State Seminoles (5-0) and the Miami Hurricanes (5-0) . Having lived and worked professionally in the southern part of the state before moving northwards on 2003 , the program of choice , merely by way my association with several alumni who were students at the University of Miami . I was able to frequent a number of basketball and football games as their guests and rallying to their support in such instances . Granted, as of late, the Canes’ program has been mired in controversy , while it still awaits some form of punishment for multiple violations of the NCAA rules on recruiting , alleged , academic fraud and what are said to current and former students gaining monetarily from gifts in violation of NCAA edicts . University President Donna Shalala and recently installed AD