For all the Marbles and whatever else you can think of

For all the Marbles and whatever else you can think of

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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


Picture and slideshow details below .

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

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

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

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

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

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

tophatal ………. 06/05/2013


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Speak no evil , see no evil and hear no evil

Speak no evil , see no evil and hear no evil

Well modesty forbids me to gloat , but I can’t help but feel that while the San Antonio Spurs many of the doubters of this team must now be somewhat disappointed . At the ripe of old age of thirty-seven , Tim Duncan is still proving that he remains a formidable player after all these years . Gregg Popovich , has now guided the team to their fifth NBA Finals` appearance since 1997. The franchise is also seeking to win their fifth title under Popovich`s tenure . This much we do now know , whoever the Spurs are to meet in the upcoming Finals , will be meeting a rejuvenated team with three future Hall of Fame players on the team`s current roster .


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In the unlikeliest of situations, San Antonio simply slipped by the Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference Finals in a four-game sweep of their conference counterparts . For Lionel Hollins and his coaching staff of the Grizzlies , theirs was a commendable year , where their season-high came by way of their first round defeat of the number one seeds in the conference , the Oklahoma City Thunder . Suffice to say , as the Spurs await the winners of the ongoing hard-fought series between the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers .

Now while the Heat have taken a 2-1 lead in their series , no one is saying that this duel has reached a finality by way of LeBron James and his teammates having slammed the door shut on Pacers` postseason aspirations . This still remains an unfinished and a completely unwritten chapter , a number of plot-lines and episodes that still remain unresolved .

The baseball season has become something of an anathema as the duels between the pitchers and batters remains a highly competitive one . That being said, there is very good reason to believe that if things play out as they currently are , the fans MLB analysts alike , could be in for a great deal of fun , as the year unfolds .

Last season’s Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera is ahead of last season’s pace , as he looks to possibly make history as the game’s only repeat champion in that specific category . Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers (29-20) are themselves riding high in the AL Central , with Jim Leyland’s players seemingly looking to run away with the division . However , in light of that all, the Cleveland Indians , led by new installed manager Terry Francona has the Indians a mere 2½ games behind the Tigers .

Far be it for me to suggest , but I believe that the last time Indians Tigers contended for anything in baseball , I was in the midst of a divorce , not exactly a happy time for myself and presumably the franchise at the time . Amicable as the parting was said to be , it must be said , my ex-wife doesn’t remain on my list of high priorities . In the case of the Cleveland Indians winning does remain utmost at the top of their agenda , along regaining their respectability amongst their peers within the game.

If there is likely to be a managerial casualty within the game at present , then one could possibly look no further than Bo Porter of the Houston Astros , Don Mattingly of the Los Angeles Dodgers , Mike Redmond of the Miami Marlins and Terry Collins of the New York Mets . All three managers currently have their respective teams playing sub .500 baseball , and I might, the sort of mediocre baseball , that I seriously doubt that their owners or general managers thought would be so dire .

I am not about to go into any in-depth prognostication as to why I believe that four managers in question should be relieved of their duties . Yet , there is enough evidence there to suggest that this season , neither of the aforementioned individuals have done anywhere near enough to guide their respective teams , with any great authority . Mattingly’s position on appearance alone , might appear to be all that tenuous , but you simply cannot overlook that the Dodgers , in spite of the team’s compilation of injuries , the team has performed miserably . What makes this all the more embarrassing , is the very fact that with a $200 million payroll , team owners , Magic Johnson , Todd Boehly . Peter Guber and Mark Walter , may well be putting on a brave face , while their ball-club is beset by on the field issues . Yet who would have guessed that this team would be performing so badly in the midst having been purchased with a $2 billion price tag and with the lingering odor of former owner Frank McCourt still wafting over Dodgers’ Stadium , in Los Angeles California , like rancid feline urine . It begs the question that in spite of the big splash and the bold predictions , the Dodgers have come up way short of Johnson’s own lofty expectations for this team and the season.

The Dodgers will entertain their cross-town rivals the Los Angeles Angels today in a game to be played at Dodgers Ballpark in Los Angeles , California . On the mound for the team when they face off against the Angels will be Hyun Jin Ryu against the Joe Blanton in what should prove to be a very good pitchers’ duel . For GM Ned Colletti and team President Stan Kasten , the issues faced beyond the team’s bloated payroll and the under-achievement of the players , is that there now appears to be no leadership forthcoming from either Matt Kemp or Adrian Gonzalez , two of the team’s better offensive players and likely to be amongst the NL’s prime candidates for the NL MVP .

No lull before the storm but the NFL OTA’s (organized training activities) for a number of teams , have brought about a few odd spectacles for a number of franchises . Perhaps none more so , than for the Buffalo Bills , whose playoff drought in the league has been so lean , that the fans crave it , like the air they breathe . Head coach Doug Marrone and the front office had their turmoil during the off-season, but the big surprise came with the franchise’s choice to take a quarterback in the first round of this past NFL Draft . EJ Manuel was the player who had the privilege of being the franchise’s first draft pick , player , surprising a number of fans NFL analysts around the league environment . As a draftee taken out of Florida State where he had a moderately successful collegiate career .

Signs are , with Manuel along with veteran Kevin Kolb are likely to have something of an unsettling regular season , albeit , that it might still be too early assess how good or bad this team is likely to be . Marrone will certainly be looking to see of a journeyman such Kolb , still has anything to offer a franchise at this stage of his career . Kolb has suggested that he has joined the Buffalo Bills with a view to winning and to guide the young rookie quarterbacks on the team`s roster . Last I looked , Kevin Kolb`s resume` as a player , gave nothing by way of a suggestion , that he could or would be ever considered to be a winner ! The former Eagles and Cardinals` signal caller , if anything , can be best described, as a below to moderate backup quarterback in the NFL .

Inasmuch, as I love to watch energetic and competitive football , I truly believe that the AFC East will be determined this season will be determined by the play of the New England Patriots and how Bill Belichick sets about in the preparedness of his team . As the Patriots go , then so will the destination of the divisional title . With the Bills opening their regular season a> schedule with a game against the New England Patriots at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo , New York on the 8th September, 2013 , opening weekend of the NFL regular season schedule . If the game is anything like the previous meetings between these two teams , then the fans in attendance, will be definitely be in for something of a treat . Newly installed GM Doug Whaley , in his first draft , in a capacity as a general manager , sought not to make the type of mistakes that were often associated with a number of his predecessors . That being said , it might will be the off-season free agent acquisitions , that may well stir a great deal of debate as it relates to the Buffalo Bills .

I am not about to suggest that Bills draftees , EJ Manuel , Robert Woods , Kiko Alonso , Marquise Goodwin , Duke Williams , Jonathan Meeks , Dustin Hopkins and Chris Gragg will not be able to make solid contributions for the team this upcoming season . Yet considering , the Bills` lackluster performances in 2012. By comparison to the team`s draft class of last season , was less than superlative , by way of their contributions for Buffalo , in terms of their schedule and the franchise`s final divisional and conference standings overall .

I am sorry, but after the idiotic behavior we all witnessed that went viral concerning, the now former Rutgers University men`s basketball coach, Mike Rice . and the school’s former AD , Tim Pernetti , whose incompetency was only outdone , by his sheer and utter stupidity in not having fired Rice , with cause , rather than seeking to make Rice is own personal reclamation project , even when it was known that Mike Rice was a repeat offender . I felt that there could be no way in hell that things could have gotten worse for the once distinguished educational establishment . State ran, or not, the absolute incredulity shown by all involved within the university`s administration is a clear indication why greed , and stupidity , overtakes common sense and moral expediency within collegiate athletics . And please, do not look for to any sound reasoning or common sense to be shown by anyone within the NCAA hierarchy , Most definitely not while on NCAA President Mark Emmert`s watch . Emmert has enough skeletons in his own damn closet to make a corrupt member of the US Congress blush .

Courtesy of ESPN

Julie Hermann remains under fire

By Andrea Adelson ,

Incoming Rutgers athletic director Julie Hermann, already accused of abusive behavior toward student-athletes during her time as the women’s volleyball coach at Tennessee, is the focus of another lawsuit — this one during her time at Louisville in 2008.

According to a report in The New York Times, assistant track and field coach Mary Banker approached Hermann, who was then a senior athletics administrator at Louisville, about what she thought was sexist behavior and “discriminatory treatment” by head coach Ron Mann. After taking her concerns to human resources, Banker was fired within three weeks.

According to the legal filings obtained by The Times, Hermann initially was supportive of Banker after hearing of her complaints. In an email to Banker, Hermann wrote: “Thank you … We’re lucky to have you … You’re a change agent … don’t let their limitations take you out of the game … thank god you’re here.”

According to a filing, Hermann expressed concern after Banker went to HR with her complaints about Mann.

“Hermann called Banker into her office and flat-out told her, ‘You should not have gone to HR,’ ” the filing states, adding that Hermann allegedly told Banker: “I don’t know how I’m going to restore trust in you amongst staff now,” and “I don’t know how you’re going to work downstairs after this.”

On Monday, Rutgers president Robert Barchi gave a vote of confidence for Hermann, and supporters defended her as a strong leader and advocate for women after it came to light that Hermann had been sued by former Tennessee volleyball assistant coach Ginger Hineline in the 1990s. According to the suit, Hineline accused Hermann of discouraging her from getting pregnant. Hineline was awarded $150,000 in a settlement in 1997.

Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich told ESPN, “In 15½ years, I never had one problem” with Hermann. “She did impeccable work for us. No one has said anything the past 15 years. She is beloved here.”

Joan Cronan, Tennessee women’s AD emeritus, also voiced support for Hermann, claiming in a statement that she does not “recall it being an abusive situation.”

Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich told ESPN, “In 15½ years, I never had one problem” with Hermann. “She did impeccable work for us. No one has said anything the past 15 years. She is beloved here.”

Joan Cronan, Tennessee women’s AD emeritus, also voiced support for Hermann, claiming in a statement that she does not “recall it being an abusive situation.”

“I hold Julie Hermann in high regard, and I believe she is well-prepared for her new role at Rutgers University,” Cronan wrote in her statement, according to “My recollection of the time Julie was at the University of Tennessee is that it was a very frustrating time for everyone connected with the volleyball program, which had performed far below our expectations. However, I do not recall it being an abusive situation.”

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Rutgers University President Robert Barchi has used about as much expediency while this continued idiocy has taken a familiar course along the route of ineptitude . The school recently hired Julie Hermann to succeed Tim Pernetti . Yet only now, has it come to the fore after grave doubts had been presented about Hermann`s character , honesty and integrity . In choosing to make Julie Hermann the first female athletic director of a D1 school in the last fifteen years , now poses the question , how much due diligence was used by Barchi and his subordinates during the entire interview and hiring process ? Throughout much of Hermann`s career`s in collegiate athletics , either as a coach, or as an administrator , some form of controversy has continued to followed her . Now with allegations of sexual impropriety , allegations of misleading investigators in a legal issue , as well as issues concerning her own competency in her now chosen field as an administrator . One has to wonder , why Barchi and interim AD made the decision to hire Hermann . New Jersey governor , Chris Christie has now entered the fray with reservations in part questioning Robert Barchi`s choice of Julie Hermann to succeed Tim Pernetti . Christie , conscious of this latest problem , obviously, does not want to see the state ran university fall any deeper into a quagmire of its own making .

. The nation`s children are being sent to establishments of higher learning to first and foremost , obtain an education and learn how to be productive citizens. Unfortunately , it is the faculty members who now seem to be falling way sort of what the parents and public alike expect from our state ran and private universities .



Picture gallery .

What thoughts if any , do you have concerning the points raised within this piece ? By all means do leave a comment as you see fit .


Picture and slideshow details below .


(1) SAN ANTONIO, TX – MAY 21: Mike Budenholzer , assistant coach of the San Antonio Spurs, speaks with Tim Duncan (21) and Kawhi Leonard (2) before resuming play against the Memphis Grizzlies in Game Two of the Western Conference Finals during the 2013 NBA Playoffs on May 21, 2013 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images …

(2) Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) blocks a shot by San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili (20) during the first half in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals NBA basketball playoff series in Memphis, Tenn., Monday, May 27, 2013. AP Photo/Danny Johnston …..

(3) San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan, of the U.S. Virgin Islands, left, is congratulated by Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins after Game 4 of the Western Conference finals NBA basketball playoff series in Memphis, Tenn., Monday, May 27, 2013. The Spurs defeated the Grizzlies 93-86 to advance to the NBA finals. AP Photo/Danny Johnston ….

(4) DETROIT, MI – MAY 28: Miguel Cabrera (24) of the Detroit Tigers singles to left field in the first inning of the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Comerica Park on May 28, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images ….

(5) LOS ANGELES, CA – MAY 28: Hyun-Jin Ryu (99) of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts as he watches the third out of the ninth inning for a two hit complete game shutout of the Los Angeles Angels at Dodger Stadium on May 28, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images …

(6) Quarterback E.J. Manuel from Florida State stands with the team jersey after being selected 16th overall by the Buffalo Bills in the first round of the NFL football draft , Thursday, April 25, 2013 at Radio City Music Hall in New York. AP Photo/Jason DeCrow …..

(7) Kevin Kolb of the Buffalo Bills speaks to the convened press, after recently been acquired by the team as a free agent . Kolb now seen as a journeyman quarterback will be viewed as starter for the team this upcoming season , but the prevailing thought appears to be that the job is E J Manuel`s for the taking as Buffalo`s options at the position do appear to be thin . Ryan Peters / Getty Images ….

(8) FILE – In this May 15, 2013 file photo, Julie Hermann , left, sits with Rutgers president Roberet L. Barchi, as they listen to a question during a news conference where she was introduced as the new athletic director at Rutgers University in Piscataway, N.J. A high ranking official at the University of Tennessee has voiced her support for Hermann, who is facing allegations she verbally abused players while she was the volleyball coach with the Volunteers. AP Photo/Mel Evans ……..



tophatal ………………………. 05/28/2013


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When The Rubber Hits The Road It’s Time To Step Up ……

When The Rubber Hits The Road It’s Time To Step Up ……

When the rubber meets the road it’s time to step up and it appears that the San Antonio Spurs have hit the road with a flat tire. The Memphis Grizzlies have given the Spurs all they can handle a great deal more. A 91-88 victory by the Grizzlies with Zach Randolph leading the charge in his team’s victory . When it’s all said and done a question needs to be asked ….. have Gregg Popovich’s  —- players become complacent or are the Grizzlies simply too good ? ===========================================================================

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A 2-1 series lead and it appears with their next victory this series could be the Grizzlies for the taking . At this point Popovich has to get these players playing with a great deal more zeal as the Memphis Grizzlies simply have the Spurs on their heels. It’s seems strange to see the number one seed within the Western Conference simply being outplayed not only on their home court but also in large throughout much of this series as it has unfolded . Throughout much of the season this Spurs’ team played at a high caliber  with players such as Manu Ginobli , Gary Neal , Dejuan Blair , Tony Parker and Matt Bonner stepping up to the plate. However the zeal with which we saw during the regular season has been missing as this series has taken on a life of its own as it seems to be now slipping away from the grasp of the San Antonio Spurs. . If the Spurs are to be in with a chance of reasserting themselves and regaining some sort of momentum in this series then we’re going to have to see more from the likes of Ginobli , Parker and their seasoned veteran Tim Duncan . Granted , Duncan has seen limited time throughout much of the regular season .


Clearly at this point of the playoffs the contenders ………….. ‘ the real contenders’ step up and separate themselves the pretenders’ . As an ardent Spurs’ fan I get the feeling that the Spurs rather than looking like a contender they’re now beginning to look and play like a pretender ! The four time  NBA champions are no nearer to adding a fifth title than there’s a chance of Donald Trump winning the 2012 Presidential elections based on their play in this series and in particular game three which saw them being completely outplayed by their Western Conference opponents . The credit where it’s due belongs to the Memphis Grizzlies and their belief that they’d nothing to fear in taking the game to the Spurs and forcing them to change their whole way of playing and the fact it has been this Grizzlies’ team in the driver’s seat. At some point we have to acknowledge that the league is now changing and that the so called  teams we believe to be dominant are no longer really that.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers  , Miami Heat and Boston Celtics will have their work cut out for them during these playoffs . Albeit that the Heat and Celtics have series leads as the playoffs progress these teams will face a much sterner test in the second round (conference semi finals) of the NBA Playoffs . As the playoffs unfold we’ll get to see what these teams are actually made of and how each faces adversity when stares at them from across the court . The Spurs are now in a position where they can ill afford to go down 3-1 in this series knowing full well that even on their home court they will be hard pressed to put the Memphis Grizzlies back on their heels. If anything it has been the Grizzles who have placed the Spurs back on their heels looking to stave off a series defeat and if anything what would be the shock of this season’s playoffs series so far. Zach Randolph has put this team on his back and played like a man possessed with something to prove to the doubters and naysayers who felt he’d nothing to offer . And as troubled as his career is said to have been Randolph now seems to have found a home where his talents have flourished and where the Grizzlies’ fans have no doubt shown their appreciation for all that they have witnessed from the player’s contributions on the court and within the local community . If it’s a given that the Spurs bow out of this series then I am willing to admit that I underestimated the Grizzlies but even more so I know that the the Spurs this while while their regular season was impressive if anything it created an illusion and an air of complacency that the lulled and lured their fans into thinking that this team was once again ready to contend and perhaps actually playing with a sense of purpose in marching towards the goal of winning another title .

A series loss would raise a great many questions as to this team and the direction that it is heading in. The triumvirate of Ginobli , Parker and Duncan is an aging one but the thought was that with a young nucleus of players looking to make their mark , instead it looks as if they have regressed lost in situation that in some respect is one of their own making. I certainly do believe that Gregg Popovich and GM R C Buford will have to reassess the qualities they seek in terms of the Spurs’ roster and how best to address the deficiencies that we now know that the San Antonio Spurs have. Now as the postseason plays itself out it will be very interesting to see what happens with each of the series in question . In the case of the Spurs and where a number one seed has previously faced a situation where they could be down 3-1 in the first round of a playoff series, that seed has gone on to win that fourth series game and to win that series four out of the six occasions since the playoff format came into being and where it changed from a best of five series to a best of seven game series . That if anything should be an added incentive to the team . But in reality the Spurs simply don’t need that as an incentive , what they actually need to do is to come out and play a meaningful game and series as if their very lives depended on it .

The 2011 NBA Playoffs have brought us a great deal of thrills and spills , and I must say that while I’d expected some controversy in terms of the officiating it has to be said the surprises if any, have come from the fact that certain teams we’re thought to have favored haven’t played anywhere near their true potential . And that has either been due to them either playing inconsistently or more to the fact that the lesser seeded teams in these playoffs have played well above their potential . It now remains to be seen how things will actually pan out for the teams and their loyal fans who have become engrossed in the NBA’s showcase event _ the playoffs as a precursor to the NBA Finals itself .



Picture gallery for your perusal .

What series if anything in the first round of the playoffs has been of interest to you ? And how do you see the series between Memphis Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs ultimately ending ? Simply chime in with a comment as to your thoughts on this piece and the NBA postseason as you now see it.

* NB Is there an NBA team in the state of Texas that actually has a backbone ? The Spurs are in turmoil in their series . The Dallas Mavericks in allowing the Portland Trailblazers to erase a twenty three  point deficit in game four of their series shows us why this Mavericks’ team is simply softer than a roll of Charmin tissue paper ! Mark Cuban you’ve been Punk’d bitch !

As for the heroics of Brandon Roy , it was truly exemplary ! The Houston Rockets having chosen not to seek the return of Rick Adelman  next season are now without an NBA coach . As to who Adelman’s successor will be it remains to be seen but team GM Daryl Morey will be seeking a quality oriented coach who knows how to get the best out of a young team and its players .

Alan aka tophatal ………………….. Picture and slide show details below . ——————————————————————————————————

(1) MEMPHIS, TN – APRIL 23: Zach Randolph (50) of the Memphis Grizzlies celebrates with a little dance after defeating the San Antonio Spurs in Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 23, 2011 at FedExForum  in Memphis, Tennessee. Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE /Getty Images …..

(2) Darrell Arthur of the Memphis Grizzlies against the San Antonio Spurs in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 25, 2011 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. The Grizzlies defeated the Spurs 104-86 to take a 3-1 lead in the best of seven series . Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images………

(3) Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) drives against San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (9), of France, during the second half of Game 4 of a first-round NBA basketball series on Monday, April 25, 2011, in Memphis, Tenn. Conley led the Grizzlies with 15 points and Parker led the Spurs with 23 points. The Grizzlies won 104-86 to take a 3-1 lead in the series. AP Photo/Lance Murphey  …………

(4) Memphis Grizzlies forward Leon Powe  (7) grabs a rebound in front of San Antonio Spurs forward DeJuan Blair (45) and Daniel Green (4) during the second half of Game 4 of a first-round NBA basketball series on Monday, April 25, 2011, in Memphis, Tenn. The Grizzlies won 104-86 to take a 3-1 lead in the series. Behind Powe are San Antonio Spurs forward Steve Novak (23) and Memphis Grizzlies center Hamed Haddadi (15), of Iran. AP Photo/Mark Humphrey …..

(5) Trying to instill confidence ? Maybe . San Antonio Spurs center Tim Duncan, center, talks with his teammates during the second half of Game 4 against the Memphis Grizzlies in a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Monday, April 25, 2011, in Memphis, Tenn. The Grizzlies won 104-86 to take a 3-1 lead in the series. AP Photo/Mark Humphrey …….


NBA News

Sunday’s playoff schedule

Monday’s playoff schedule

San Antonio Spurs news

Memphis Grizzlies news

NBA Playoffs 2011 .

All the series latest news and results NBA Postseason Stats at a glance NBA Stats Year 2010-11

(a) NBA Standings (Conference) (b) NBA Standings ( Division) NBA Statistics

Offense —— Defense

Player stats …… Regular season Scoring

Double doubles



Free Throws

Twice In A Lifetime ………………..

Coming off a high having beaten the Miami Heat at the AT& T Center in San Antnio ,Texas the conference leading San Antonio Spurs now had to gauge themselves against the reigning NBA champions the Los Angeles Lakers hosting them
at their home venue.


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Slide show gallery for your perusal .

That display against the Heat so clinical , decisive in its execution that the 30 point margin of victory shocked many who witnessed the game in its entirety. They say you can tell a great deal about a team by the way they can handle adversity and after this debacle it was extremely clear that the Miami Heat players , coaching staff and front office weren’t at all happy with the outcome. Hoisted on their own petard (backside) the team was completely embarrassed by their Western Conference rivals . What might be even more improbable was seeing Matt Bonner shoot the lights out having hit 8 of the team’s seventeen three pointers on the way to the Spurs’ 125-95 defeat of the Miami Heat.

I’m not about to use this one game as a precursor to an envisioned NBA Final as there’s still a great deal left to be played for either team as we now hit not quite the closing stretch of the NBA season . But it does give us some insight as to where both teams are respectively as it relates to their respective seasons. On the one hand you have the Miami Heat who with the litany of All Stars and the adoring fans of South Beach and within the locale it has to be said that for Chris Bosh , LeBron James and Dwyane Wade the expectations are extremely high. All their protracted discussions that their reason for getting together is to win an NBA title , multiple titles in fact . Failure to win this season and there’s going to be a great many questions asked of the triumvirate as well both Pat Riley , team owner Micky Arison and the team’s coach Eric Spoelstra . It may well have been the fact that the Heat were being viewed as clear cut favorites to win this season’s NBA title but let’s simply anoint this team before they’ve actually done anything as of yet.

The same proclamation was made with regard to the Los Angeleles in 2004 when that team had future Hall of Famers Gary Payton , Karl Malone , Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Byrant . And as well know that this team was completely embarrassed by the Detroit Pistons in one of the most lopsided series in NBA history with the Pistons subduing and shellacking the Lakers 4-1 in the 2004 NBA Finals . That one series spoke highly as to what can be expected when a unit becomes complacent and simply believes that they can essentially sleep walk their way through a season as well as the postseason.

The Spurs after their exhilarating victory as I alluded to earlier had to deal with the Lakers and if anything these games tend to be highly competitive and a true test for both teams. A match of wits also between two highly respected coaches Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich who between them have won fifteen NBA titles over their illustrious coaching careers. Popovich seeks his fifth title as the Spurs’ coach , and all have been won during a fifteen year span with Gregg Popovich at the helm.

The game itself in front of a soldout crowd once again at the AT& T Center and a nationally televised audience it slipped out the Spurs’ hand right away as it appeared that Phil Jackson’s team simply wanted to be no part of another embarrassing defeat at the hands of the Spurs whereby it was a collective effort by team and where Matt Bonner stood out as “the hero” from Friday night’s victory with his long range sharp shooting. Kobe Bryant essentially made sure that any thought of a repeat victory in a similar vein. The perennial All Star and former league MVP who simply is perhaps the most single minded individual in terms of psyche and his willingness to sacrifice himself in order to win. That’s something that hasn’t been seen within the league since Michael Jordan was at the height of his fame with the Chicago Bulls and leading them to six world championships as well as having won multiple league and Finals MVP awards . Bryant is now seeking to emulate his idol by winning his sixth NBA title and further enhance his legacy as one of the all-time greats of the game.

By contrast the Spurs have their future Hall of Famer in Tim Duncan and although his stats are down somewhat this year he’s viewed as the heart and soul of this team . Along with Duncan you have also the able duo of Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker who’ve been able to allow Duncan to be more of a make shift player as Popovich has sought more productivity from the younger players on the roster as well as veterans such as Richard Jefferson and Antonio McDyess . Each have played their role this season in the Spurs’ exceptional display this year contributing in all aspects of the game . And Sunday afternoon wasn’t to be the Spurs’ day as the Lakers held San Antonio in check on their way to a 99-86 victory narrowing the Spurs’ lead within the Western Conference .

There’s a great deal that one could as such take away from this game in terms of the way it was played and the resultant victory but I’d preface this by saying it’s merely the regular season and what really will count is the inevitability of each team’s performance as the postseason commences . Then we’ll be able to ascertain for ourselves which of the two teams has the greater chance of ultimately making their way to the NBA Finals . The two could very well meet in the latter stages of the playoffs and that event could make for an exceptional and highly competitive series . So make of it what you will.


By clicking on an individual frame you can see that picture in its original formatted size.


What thoughts if any do you have as to the aspirations of both teams and which of them to your mind at this juncture do you view as the favorite to win the conference title and quite possibly the NBA championship itself predicated upon their play ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts on the matter anything else you feel of relevance to the NBA .

Picture and slide show details below .


(1) San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich argues a call as the Spurs play the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half of an NBA basketball game at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Sunday, March 6, 2011. AP Photo/Bahram Mark Sobhani

(2) Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant gestures to teammates after making a basket against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half of an NBA basketball game at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Sunday, March 6, 2011. The Lakers defeated the Spurs 99-83 . AP Photo/Bahram Mark Sobhani …….

(3) San Antonio Spurs guard George Hill (3) drives past Los Angeles Lakers forward Lamar Odom during the first half of an NBA basketball game at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Sunday, March 6, 2011. AP Photo/Bahram Mark Sobhani ………….

(4) San Antonio Spurs players Manu Ginobili (20), of Argentina, and Tony Parker (9), of France, walk up court after a turnover against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half of an NBA basketball game at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Sunday, March 6, 2011. AP Photo/Bahram Mark Sobhani ……

San Antonio Spurs forward Tiago Splitter , left, of Brazil, is defended by the Los Angeles Lakers’ Matt Barnes (9) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in San Antonio, Sunday, March 6, 2011. The Lakers defeated the Spurs, 99-83. AP Photo/Bahram Mark Sobhani …………

(6)San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili, center, of Argentina, passes the ball after driving between the Los Angeles Lakers’ Pau Gasol , of Spain, and Andrew Bynum during the first half of an NBA basketball game at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Sunday, March 6, 2011. AP Photo/Bahram Mark Sobhani …………..


Alan aka tophatal ………………………

NBA News

Los Angeles Lakers’ news

Lakers’ team stats

Lakers’ team splits

Lakers’ roster

Lakers’ schedule

San Antonio Spurs’ news

Spurs’ team stats

Spurs’ team splits

Spurs’ roster

Spurs’ schedule


Eye candy ………………… Not everything out of Jamaica tends to be violent ….. aka Jamaican Coolie . Show her some love .

Oh my !

Nelly Furtado ………………….. “Say It Right”

This Ain’t No Ordinary Rodeo …………

This Ain’t No Ordinary Rodeo …………

The San Antonio Spurs (42-8) are no doubt having a terrific season and they’re winning at an unprecedented rate although they’re viewed as being under the radar. All the hype has simply been about the Boston Celtics , Miami Heat and the defending NBA champions the Los Angeles Lakers . Now for some reason the league saw fit to schedule 14 of the Spurs’ next nineteen games on the road as the team’s home venue is being used to host a rodeo.


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Slide show for your perusal.

On the face of it that hasn’t really stopped the Spurs as players such as Tony Parker , Manu Ginobli , Tiago Splitter , Richard Jefferson have stepped up to the plate. Aging veteran and four time —- NBA champion —– Tim Duncan still is capable of playing at a high level when called upon but being the cerebral player we’ve all known him to be for Duncan once the postseason comes around that’s when we’ll look to see him raise his game to the next level.

Coach Gregg Popovich and his coaching staff have to be greatly appreciative of what they’re now seeing from the team and in particular from the younger players on the roster. DeJuan Blair is proving that he’s got the game to be potent within the league and his defense has vastly improved. Certainly many around the league have woken up to the fact that these aren’t the same old Spurs who’d wilt when pressed and it’s to Popovich’s credit that he’s simply nurtured this team and then at the same time seen the veteran leadership of Duncan and Antonio McDyess come to the fore . Both of these solid veterans are deeply respected by their teammates have seen if the duo can rise to the occasion then they too can simply do the same.

Though as an avid fan of the team and with the season having reached its beyond its halfway point I like what I’m seeing from the San Antonio Spurs at present and hopefully it bodes well for the rest of their season .

The NBA All Star Game is now but a week away where the event will be staged at the Staples Center and hosted by the Los Angeles Lakers. NBA Commissioner David Stern no doubt will view this as a way of gauging the game’s intrinsic value at a time when the league hierarchy has a number of economic problems . The league’s teams are on track to lose in excess of $500 million this season if Stern’s projected figures are to be believed. And to top it all the league is still in the midst of ongoing labor talks with the NBPA . NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter and the union’s representatives led by NBPA President Derek Fisher have been reticent in the fact that they’re not prepared accede and make any concessions that they believe will be to their disadvantage. And with the union having de-certified as a way of taking that first step of challenging the league’s antitrust exemption in the Federal Court system should things fall apart during the negotiating process it gives you a clear picture as to how far apart both sides are in the process.

It’d be asinine to see the NBA have an enforced lockout and labor stoppage . The players say that they don’t want this scenario evolve into a major conflict between the two sides. And from a fan standpoint the image of the league in particular , this doesn’t bode well for what David Stern and the game’s corporate partners had envisaged for the game. Twenty five years in as the game’s highest ranked official and Stern has led the organization to untold riches but at the same time his autocratic rule has been bemoaned by many in and outside of the game. Albeit that team owners around the NBA have to appreciative for what Stern has done for the game from a financial standpoint. In the twenty five years of David Stern’s tenure as NBA Commissioner they’ve seen their franchises appreciate in value and to the point where their revenues have more than quadrupled over that period of time. The branding of the NBA product represents a $4.5 billion to $6 billion ($4,500,000,000-$6,000,000,000) a year industry for all parties concerned. And it’s easy to understand why the owners are thankful to Stern and the business acumen he’s shown over the years.

The NBA much like the NFL can’t afford to be viewed as the villain of the piece as both seek union and labor stability within their respective sports. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has been saying all the right things but he’s nearer in avoiding an unwanted lockout . But he simply knows that with hour glass petering and the sand emptying as the March 3rd deadline inches ever closer he has to have an agreement in place with the NFLPA Executive Committee before the March deadline. If that’s not available to him then look for the NFL owners to lock the gates and all hell break loose.

From afar I’m wondering what both the NBA and NFL think that they can achieve from all of this ! I find it somewhat ridiculous that the executives within both organizations and the respective unions could have simply thought that the untold riches that they’ve been in receipt of wasn’t ever going to decline ! But here again lies the fact that much like the present administration , Congress and Senate their thinking has been short term rather than long term when it comes to a business and economic template. How else can you simply explain the economic mess that the country is now in apart from the rather asinine behavior also shown by idiots on Wall St and within the boardrooms of major corporations across the nation ? And not unlike those entities we’re now hearing and seeing the excuses come about as they now try to explain many of the problems they now have within their midst. The NBA , NFL and US government has become >one big joke as they seek to absolve themselves of the problems which in large part much of it they created with their rather irrational and irresponsible behavior !


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formatted size.


What thoughts if any do you have on the San Antonio Spurs’ season ? And also chime in with your own thoughts as the NBA and NFL’s ongoing labor dispute .

Picture and slide show details .

(1) Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans , second from left, tries to the protect the ball from San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginobili, of Argentina, left, Tim Duncan, third from left, and Tony Parker, right, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, Feb. 4, 2011. AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli ……….

(2) San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili, of Argentina, right, gets treatment for a cut in his mouth from Spurs trainer Will Sevening , during the second half against the Sacramento Kings in a NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, Feb. 4, 2011. The Spurs beat the Kings 113-100 . AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli ………..

(3) San Antonio Spurs head coach Greg Popovich was called for a technical foul for arguing with official Marat Kogut , unseen, during the second half against the Sacramento Kings in a NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, Feb. 4, 2011. The Spurs beat the Kings 113-100. AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli …..

(4) San Antonio Spurs forward DeJuan Blair, right, comes up with a loose ball against Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, Feb. 4, 2011. The Spurs beat the Kings 113-100. AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli …..

(5) San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker, right, of France, drives to the basket against Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans, left, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, Feb. 4, 2011. AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli ……..

(6) Head coach Phil Jackson (left) of the Los Angeles Lakers receives his championship ring from NBA Commissioner David Stern before the season opening game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on October 27, 2009 in Los Angeles. Getty Images/ Kevork Djansezjian …..

NBA News

NBA Standings Conference ……… Division

NFL News

Alan aka tophatal ……………………..


San Antonio Spurs ….

Spurs’ roster

Team Stats …

San Antonio Spurs’ 2010-11 schedule

Coaching Staff ……. led by Gregg Popovich

Team owner Peter Holt

General Manager R C Buford

San Antonio Spurs’ history

San Antonio Spurs’ news



Summer Walker

Eye candy ……………….. Summer Walker . Hell yeah !

Summer Walker 2

Isn’t she the most interesting season of the year ? Summer Walker !


Mint Condition ………….. “Breakin’ My Heart” (Pretty Brown Eyes)


All Star ? Is This American Idol ?

All Star ? Is This American Idol ?

Well at the midway point of the NBA season teams are now jockeying for positions as the meat of the season now awaits after the game’s midseason showcase event the All Star game. Now what many view as one of the better professional staged midseason events amongst the four major sports it has to be said that beyond the MLB All Star game the NBA All Star event might just be the most popular of the four major sports.


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Slide show for your perusal

From my own perspective the game itself is about as competitive as the NFL Pro Bowl is meant to be. There’s no real incentive and it is in essence really about the multi million dollar owners —- players of the league merely to have one great big party that in essence in the end comes at the expense of the all too willing public who are in attendance at the game and the surrounding events that take place over the All Star weekend. Now the voting itself for the event borders on the insanity that we see each quadrennial when the Presidential elections take place. Do you vote for who you favor because of their popularity or from the substance of their being ? There’s more acrimony over who’s been slighted but in the end there it’s also nothing more than a popularity contest as the fans participate in this alongside the coaches of the teams participating in the All Star event. And what’s portrayed isn’t far off the non-sense we see on the ratings juggernaut reality show American Idol . Only here there’s no three panel of arbitrators offering up their thoughts of the talent on view but at times you might feel that there ought to be . I mean Paula Abdul use to show about as much insight on the show than the idiocy we’ve seen being shown as to the nominees for some of the spots on the NBA All Star roster .

The Eastern Conference may well give us starters Dwight Howard , Kevin Garnett , Amare’ Stoudemire , LeBron James and Dwyane Wade . Coaching the Eastern Conference team will be Doc Rivers but that may well change given precedence that’s normally set . Reserves for the team will be firmly adjudged with the fans’ voting and that of the input of the coach himself.

The Western Conference will throw up the usual suspects Kobe Bryant former league MVP and the likes of Steve Nash , Carmelo Anthony , Dirk Nowitzki , Deron Williams , Yao Ming who’ll miss the event due to season sending surgery . Cases are now being made for the Los Angeles Clippers’ —– Blake Griffin , and the Minnesota Timberwolves Kevin Love after the outstanding seasons that they’ve had. There are some who may well feel that neither is deserving while others who feel that there’s a possibility that one of the duo will make it unto the Western team roster while the other will be a reserve for the game.

Now while I’ve never really been enamored with the event I do think that for Commissioner David Stern the league’s hierarchy and the owners this is more of getting the NBA global brand further out there. With countless billions of dollars in revenues each season and the mere fact that the game is perhaps more widely recognized across the globe than the NFL and MLB combined. Michael Jordan was and still is the pre-eminent face of the NBA albeit that he’s retired from the game . The mantel may well have been assumed by Kobe Bryant and LeBron James as they seek basketball fame and immortality but other than the regular season and the NBA postseason the regular schedule as such provides us with nothing more than seeing the stars and team we’ve come to support .

Reigning champions the Los Angeles Lakers have had their season of ups and downs but they’ve been able to maintain their status amongst the West’s elite as they seek a three-peat with coach Phil Jackson at the helm of this team . While I’ve no doubt that they’ll be a part of the postseason parade I must admit that they do need to get more solid contributions from players such as Ron Artest , Lamar Odom and in particular Andrew Bynum if they’re to prove to be the team to beat not just within the conference but as the presumptive favorites for the NBA title.



Picture gallery for your perusal . By clicking on each frame you can view that picture in its orginal formatted size.

Well it does go without saying that glamor of the “Big Three” in Miami engineered in part by Pat Riley at the insistance of owner of Micky Arison that if they should fall short of the expected goals that many believe has been set within the organization even though no one has gone on record that winning the NBA title has been set as the target. It’s clearly evident that this is what is actually wanted by all associated with the team and organization. Should they fall short of that presumed target then questions will have been asked and answered and I’ve no doubt that James’ former employer and team owner Dan Gilbert of the Cleveland Cavaliers would be the happiest man in the world should LeBron James come up short with the Miami Heat.

At midpoint of the season there’s no denying that a number of teams have underachieved and there have been one or two pleasant surprises. The San Antonio Spurs have come flying out of the gate and have the best record in the league . Tony Parker , Manu Ginobli and Tim Duncan are still omnipresent on this team and with there being added contributions from the young players on the roster DeJuan Blair , George Hill , Tiago Splitter and seasoned veteran Antonio McDyess who are making Gregg Popovich quite possibly a shoo-in for the NBA Coach of the Year .

If there’s said to be an immense disappointment it may well be the seasons for the Sacramento Kings and that of the Minnesota Timberwolves . If nothing else both teams could be on the cards for the top pick in the NBA Draft . Jared Sullinger , Kemba Walker and Nolan Smith are thought to be the top three players liable to be the top picks in the draft. And given that triumvirates’ play this college season I’ve no doubt in my that they’d be able to contribute to the Kings and Timberwoves greatly !

At the midpoint of the season what are your impressions of the NBA and the upcoming All Star event itself as a spectacle ? And if anything are you entirely happy with how the players are voted unto the respective team rosters ? Fans’ contributions apart and that of the coaches do you believe that there’s justification as to how the votes are accorded for the NBA midseason showcase ? Simply chime in with your thoughts on the topic and as always thanks for the continued support !

Picture and slide show details …………….

(1) In this file photo taken Jan. 17, 2011, Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant rests during a timeout in a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Los Angeles. Representatives for Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood announced Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011, that Bryant will have a ceremony setting his hands and feet in cement at the theater as part of the NBA’s All-Star Weekend festivities on Feb. 19, the day before the All-Star game in Los Angeles. Bryant will become the first athlete honored with the ceremony. AP Photo/Alex Gallardo …..

(2) Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, left, dunks over Portland Trail Blazers center Joel Przybilla during the first half of their NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011. AP Photo/Don Ryan …………

(3) LeBron James (6) of the Miami Heat looks on during a game against the Atlanta Hawks at American Airlines Arena on January 18, 2011 in Miami, Florida. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images ……

(4) San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan, left, congratulates DeJuan Blair during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Toronto Raptors, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 104-95 . AP Photo/Darren Abate ……

(5) Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, below, dunks as forward Minnesota Timberwolves’ Kevin Love defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011, in Los Angeles. AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill ………..


The 2011 NBA All Star Game will be held at the Staples Center home to the Los Angeles Lakers

NBA News

NBA Scores & results …..

NBA schedule

NBA Standings ……….. Conference ………. Division ….

NBA Team Stats

NBA Player Stats

NBA All Star ballots

Alan aka tophatal …………………………………


Lenny Kravitz ………… “Come On Get It” NBA TNT theme song for the season



Eye candy ………………….. Karmen Sutra and a continued montage of the beauty .

What’s not to like ?

Karmen  Sutra

Bootylicious !

As Kravitz says in his song ‘Come On Get It” …….’come get some of this’ !


Heroes Villains & Icons

Words seem to fail me at this present moment in time. I was deeply shocked read and then hear that former Los Angeles Lakers’ great Kareem Abdul Jabbar had been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Though the prognosis is said to be good for the former player.As many sufferers from this debilitating illness can lead productive lives ,given the right form of prescriptive medication and the usual healthy diet. This form of cancer – myeloid leukemia affects the white blood cells within one’s system and is characterized by the growth in the body’s bone marrow diminishing the blood cells usefulness to the human body. In large part your white blood cells become accelerated , damaged by being over productive ,counteracting your red blood cells.

A young Lew Alcindor  listens  attentively  to his  coach  and mentor  John Wooden    on  the  Bruins  famed  basketball  court

A young Lew Alcindor (Jabbar) listens attentively to his coach and mentor John Wooden on the Bruins’ famed basketball court.picture appears courtesy time life inc/archives/ Rudy West ……………

For the 62 year old Jabbar, this comes as a shock after years of countless physical demands being placed on his body over a 20 year career in the NBA.Not to mention the illustrious collegiate career that he had under coach,John Wooden, with the ,UCLA Bruins. A three-time NCAA basketball champion with the coach. And a a collegiate career that was marked by some tremendous achievements by Kareem with coach Wooden as his guide and mentor. One doubts that two individuals so alike, were more suited for one another. They both had a passion and a reverence of basketball, marked by the success achieved by both men.

For Kareem the help of his familial unit will no doubt prove to be of great strength to him as he battles this illness . And if anything he will be fully supported by the fans and his peers alike. He , in Kareem Abdul Jabbar , one of the most gifted and respected players of his generation. And even in today’s environment of the high priced, overpaid prima-donna athletes. Jabbar represents a player of a bygone era. Though he hasn’t been without controversy over the course of his career because of his religious and social beliefs. I certainly think that Kareem is one of those players that best highlights the strengths and virtues of the game of basketball. And though,in the present generation of today’s players. There’s no one of his precocious talents or gifts playing today’s game in terms of the cerebral presence and who shares the same mindset. Though a comparison could be made with the San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan ? Both of whom bring a cerebral approach to the game and how it ought to be played.OK, so there are some of you out there saying,what about Kobe Bryantor LeBron James ? Well,Kobe and LeBron at present, are still mapping out their legacies and if anything they’re more often than not ,intent and all too willing to provide us with a human highlight reel. Whereas, Kareem was known to be an explosive offensive presence and a terrific shot blocker and defensive player. The traits that he shares with Duncan are distinctly similar and their intelligence and eloquence is off the charts.

Courtesy of CBS News :

Kareem Abdul Jabar’s ” Message of Hope

Battling Rare Form of Leukemia, Basketball Legend Says He Intends to “Continue Living”

(CBS) When you’ve spent your life as one of the best basketball players who ever lived – winning championships in high school, in college and in the pros, scoring more points than anyone else and immortalized in sports history and on film – you don’t expect to come suddenly face-to-face with your mortality.

“I started having hot flashes and sweats,” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar told CBS News correspondent Jeff Greenfield. “And I wasn’t a candidate for menopause, you know? So, trying to figure out what that was all about.”

In the middle of a busy life – best-selling author, special coach for the L.A. Lakers, parent – Abdul-Jabbar learned last December that he had a rare form of cancer.

“What I have is P.H. positive chronic myeloid leukemia, which is an aberration in your white blood cells,” Abdul-Jabbar said.

In order to read in its entirety just click on the text link shown

Success as we know can be fleeting and in the realms of sports our heroes, icons and villains are judged by the success, notoriety and adulation attained. But it’s also marked by what’s achieved by way of tangibility. And that’s where there has been an abundance of success for Kareem Abdul Jabbar. His accolades reads likes a well documented biographical feats of the game of basketball. One can savor the moments of greatness that he’s provided not only for Bruins’ fans but also fans of the Milwaukee Bucks, as well as those of the “Showtime Lakers”, coached under the auspices of Pat Riley.

Kareem   in  a  memorable scene  from the  movie  Airplane  . A monumental  hit at the  box  office  that would  provide  Kareem  with  other  roles along  the way.

Kareem seen here in a memorable scene from the box office hit ” Airplane “(1980) . The classic comedic hit would provide the former pro basketball player with some added roles along the way in Hollywood. picture appears courtesy of

And whilst nothing ought to be taken away from the achievements of Kareem on the court. His life off court has proven to be immeasurably fulfilling. Perhaps, even more so, in light of his social, political and philanthropic efforts over the years. Upon his retirement he’s made it a point to emphasize fulfillment of achieving an education . But perhaps his most glittering achievement has been his work amongst the Native American Indians and that of his literary career as an esteemed writer and historical biographer. Having written several bestselling literary works, pre and post NBA career. And it would be remiss not to spotlight his foray into Hollywood, where he achieved a modicum of success .

The famous final scenes from the action movie Game of Death ,starring Bruce Lee. Kareem played Lee’s nemesis and these scenes were said to be physically daunting for the duo at the time. And you can well understand why the scenes are considered to be an instant classic amongst martial arts enthusiasts !

In Hollywood , perhaps his most famous role was that of co-pilot Captain Roger Murdock in the box office hit disaster movie spoof “Airplane” (1980). He also played Bruce Lee‘s ruthless nemesis, an assassin in the action movie “Game of Death”(1978). It was to be Lee’s last movie and starring role. As he died tragically prior to the movie’s end of shooting. Scenes had to be re-shot with another actor bearing Lee’s likeness shooting those scenes. after-wards from a medical complication.

The  penultimate   scene  from   the  movie  as Kareem meets his  demise  at  the  hands   of Lee in the  movie -  Game  Of Death

The penultimate scene from the movie as as Kareem meets his demise at the hands of Lee’s character Billy Lo from the movie ‘Game of Death’. picture appears courtesy of arthouse images copyrighted material @ All rights reserved ……….

Kareem now serves as an assistant within the Los Angeles Lakers‘ organization at the behest of Lakers’ head coach, Phil Jackson. Whilst there , he’s honing the technique of Lakers’ starting center Andrew Bynum . As well assisting in the coaching duties of several other players on the Lakers’ roster.And if Bynum lives up to the premise expected under the tutelage of Kareem. Then Andrew Bynum will have felt privileged to have learned from the greatest player ever to have played the position. And though he was primarily seen as an offensive presence. He was quite often the facilitator for those around him as well.

The Holy  Trinity  of  The  Showtime  Lakers  Kareem ,  Magic  and   Worthy

The Holy Trinity of ‘The Showtime Lakers’ -Kareem, Worthy and Magic. Pictured from left to right, Kareem, James Worthy and Magic Johnson . picture appears courtesy of poston images/ Stan Richardson ………….

In the annals of the Lakers’ history , Kareem will go down with the very best to have donned the ‘Purple and Gold’ . His accomplishments speaks for themselves and one has only to look at the feats achieved by this prodigious player to see why he’s considered amongst the 50 Greatest Players ever to have played the game. And of the other accolades attained by Kareem Abdul Jabbar , well, those also justify and speak of his greatness as a player. So without much else to be said , I’ll end this piece by just saying thank you Kareem for providing us the most devoted of NBA fans with so many pleasurable memories ! You sir a hero and an icon ! Even if you did play a somewhat memorable villain on film. Thank you , for everything and so much more along the way !

Accolades and accomplishments of Kareem Abdul Jabbar .

Full Name: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Formerly known as: Lew Alcindor
Born: 4/16/47 in New York
High School: Power Memorial (N.Y.) College: UCLA
Drafted by: Milwaukee Bucks (1969)
Transactions: Traded to Los Angeles Lakers, 6/16/75

Height: 7-2; Weight: 267 lbs.
Honors: Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (1995); NBA champion (1971, ’80, ’82, ’85, ’87, ’88); NBA MVP (1971, ’72, ’74, ’76, ’77, ’80); 10-time All-NBA First Team; Five-time All-NBA Second Team; Five-time All-Defensive First Team; Six-time
All-Defensive Second Team; 19-time All-Star; One
of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History (1996).

69-70 MIL 82 – 43.1 .518 .000 .653 – – 14.50 4.1 – – – 3.50 28.8
70-71 MIL 82 82 40.1 .577 .000 .690 – – 16.00 3.3 – – – 3.20 31.7
71-72 MIL 81 81 44.2 .574 .000 .689 – – 16.60 4.6 – – – 2.90 34.8
72-73 MIL 76 76 42.8 .554 .000 .713 – – 16.10 5.0 – – – 2.70 30.2
73-74 MIL 81 81 43.8 .539 .000 .702 3.50 11.00 14.50 4.8 1.38 3.49 – 2.90 27.0
74-75 MIL 65 64 42.3 .513 .000 .763 3.00 11.00 14.00 4.1 1.00 3.26 – 3.20 30.0
75-76 LA 82 82 41.2 .529 .000 .703 3.30 13.50 16.90 5.0 1.45 4.12 – 3.60 27.7
76-77 LA 82 82 36.8 .579 .000 .701 3.20 10.00 13.30 3.9 1.23 3.18 – 3.20 26.2
77-78 LA 62 62 36.5 .550 .000 .783 3.00 9.90 12.90 4.3 1.66 2.98 3.35 2.90 25.8
78-79 LA 80 80 39.5 .577 .000 .736 2.60 10.20 12.80 5.4 .95 3.95 3.53 2.90 23.8
79-80 LA 82 81 38.3 .604 .000 .765 2.30 8.50 10.80 4.5 .99 3.41 3.62 2.60 24.8
80-81 LA 80 80 37.2 .574 .000 .766 2.50 7.80 10.30 3.4 .74 2.85 3.11 3.10 26.2
81-82 LA 76 76 35.2 .579 .000 .706 2.30 6.40 8.70 3.0 .83 2.72 3.03 2.90 23.9
82-83 LA 79 79 32.3 .588 .000 .749 2.10 5.40 7.50 2.5 .77 2.15 2.53 2.80 21.8
83-84 LA 80 80 32.8 .578 .000 .723 2.10 5.20 7.30 2.6 .69 1.79 2.76 2.60 21.5
84-85 LAL 79 79 33.3 .599 .000 .732 2.10 5.80 7.90 3.2 .80 2.05 2.49 3.00 22.0
85-86 LAL 79 79 33.3 .564 .000 .765 1.70 4.40 6.10 3.5 .85 1.65 2.57 3.10 23.4
86-87 LAL 78 78 31.3 .564 .333 .714 1.90 4.80 6.70 2.6 .63 1.24 2.38 3.10 17.5
87-88 LAL 80 80 28.9 .532 .000 .762 1.50 4.50 6.00 1.7 .60 1.15 1.99 2.70 14.6
88-89 LAL 74 74 22.9 .475 .000 .739 1.40 3.10 4.50 1.0 .51 1.15 1.28 2.60 10.1
Career 1,560 1,476 36.8 .559 .056 .721 2.40 7.60 11.20 3.6 .94 2.57 1.71 3.00 24.6
Playoff 237 237 37.3 .533 .000 .740 2.60 6.50 10.50 3.2 .96 2.43 2.64 3.40 24.3
All-Star 18 13 24.9 .493 .000 .820 2.20 5.60 8.30 2.8 .40 2.07 2.55 3.20 13.9

69-70 MIL 3,534 938-1,810 0-0 485-743 – – 1,190 337 – – – 283 2,361
70-71 MIL 3,288 1,063-1,843 0-0 470-681 – – 1,311 272 – – – 264 2,596
71-72 MIL 3,583 1,159-2,019 0-0 504-732 – – 1,346 370 – – – 235 2,822
72-73 MIL 3,254 982-1,772 0-0 328-460 – – 1,224 379 – – – 208 2,292
73-74 MIL 3,548 948-1,759 0-0 295-420 287 891 1,178 386 112 283 – 238 2,191
74-75 MIL 2,747 812-1,584 0-0 325-426 194 718 912 264 65 212 – 205 1,949
75-76 LA 3,379 914-1,728 0-0 447-636 272 1,111 1,383 413 119 338 – 292 2,275
76-77 LA 3,016 888-1,533 0-0 376-536 266 824 1,090 319 101 261 – 262 2,152
77-78 LA 2,265 663-1,205 0-0 274-350 186 615 801 269 103 185 208 182 1,600
78-79 LA 3,157 777-1,347 0-0 349-474 207 818 1,025 431 76 316 282 230 1,903
79-80 LA 3,143 835-1,383 0-1 364-476 190 696 886 371 81 280 297 216 2,034
80-81 LA 2,976 836-1,457 0-1 423-552 197 624 821 272 59 228 249 244 2,095
81-82 LA 2,677 753-1,301 0-3 312-442 172 487 659 225 63 207 230 224 1,818
82-83 LA 2,554 722-1,228 0-2 278-371 167 425 592 200 61 170 200 220 1,722
83-84 LA 2,622 716-1,238 0-1 285-394 169 418 587 211 55 143 221 211 1,717
84-85 LAL 2,630 723-1,207 0-1 289-395 162 460 622 249 63 162 197 238 1,735
85-86 LAL 2,629 755-1,338 0-2 336-439 133 345 478 280 67 130 203 248 1,846
86-87 LAL 2,441 560-993 1-3 245-343 152 371 523 203 49 97 186 245 1,366
87-88 LAL 2,308 480-903 0-1 205-269 118 360 478 135 48 92 159 216 1,165
88-89 LAL 1,695 313-659 0-3 122-165 103 231 334 74 38 85 95 196 748
Career 57,446 15,837-28,307 1-18 6,712-9,304 2,975 9,394 17,440 5,660 1,160 3,189 2,527 4,657 38,387
Playoff 8,851 2,356-4,422 0-4 1,050-1,419 505 1,273 2,481 767 189 476 447 797 5,762
All-Star 449 105-213 0-1 41-50 33 84 149 51 6 31 28 57 251

To read Kareem’s bio in full click here …….

NB: Books written or co-authored by Kareem Abdul Jabbar

Abdul-Jabbar is also a bestselling author, the latest of his books being On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance. His previous book, co-written with Anthony Walton, was Brothers In Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII’s Forgotten Heroes (Publisher: Broadway 2004, ISBN 0-385-50338-5), the history of the 761st Battalion, an all-black armored unit that served in Europe in World War Two.

Other books:

* Giant Steps, with Peter Knobler (1987) ISBN 0-553-05044-3 (The book’s title is an homage to jazz great John Coltrane.)
* Kareem (1990) ISBN 0-394-55927-4
* Selected from Giant Steps (Writers’ Voices) (1999) ISBN 0-7857-9912-5
* Black Profiles in Courage: A Legacy of African-American Achievement, with Alan Steinberg (1996) ISBN 0-688-13097-6
* A Season on the Reservation: My Sojourn with the White Mountain Apaches, with Stephen Singular (2000) ISBN 0-688-17077-3
* Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII’s Forgotten Heroes with Anthony Walton (2005) ISBN 978-0767909136
* On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance with Raymond Obstfeld (2007) ISBN 978-1416534884

Audio Book:

* On the Shoulders of Giants: An Audio Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance 8 CD Set Vol. 1-4, with Avery Brooks, Jesse L. Martin, Maya Angelou, Herbie Hancock, Billy Crystal, Charles Barkley, James Worthy, Julius Erving, Jerry West, Clyde Drexler, Bill Russell, Coach John Wooden, Stanley Crouch, Quincy Jones and other chart-topping musicians, as well as legendary actors and performers such as Samuel L. Jackson. (2008) ISBN 978-0-615-18301-5

Mr Fundamental …… Tim Duncan

Mr Fundamental ……Tim Duncan

He’s been called boring , he’s been called one of the alltime best to play the position of power forward and center. But quite simply put, when one uses the moniker Mr Fundamental to describe him . One simply knows who you’re talking about one of best players to have graced the basketball court of the last fifteen years. Tim Duncan is essentially that ‘Mr Fundamental’. Need one say anymore ?

Duncan  drives  the  lane  while  being  defended by the  Toronto  Raptors'  Chris  Bosh .    picture  appears courtesy of  nbae/getty images/  Clarke Patterson  .............

Duncan drives the lane while being defended by the Toronto Raptors’ Chris Bosh . picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ Clarke Patterson ……

Long considered amongst the elite players in the NBA. Duncan alongside Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant are the elder statesmen of the league. Their legacies are now etched in the annals of NBA history. And that essentially places this triumvirate amongst the very best of the best to have played in the NBA in pre and post modern era of the game. Each has four NBA rings and has been regular a season MVP and NBA Finals’ MVP. Accolades come to Duncan, much like applause comes to an opera singer after a great performance at La Scala or the New York Metropolitan Opera . Duncan consistently performs at a high level that leaves one aghast at his consistency.

The moniker of Mr Fundamental doesn’t seem to bother him at all. Other less focused players might consider it an insult or a sleight. Duncan simply lets it slide off his broad shoulders without a worry . And why not ? There are few players of his caliber to have graced the NBA stage and show the poise displayed by Duncan. The San Antonio Spurs are a better team for having him !

Often thought of  as a  cerebral  player,  Duncan  is  seen  here  alongside   the Portland  Trailblazers' LaMarcus  Aldridge   during  a  recent  NBA regular  season  game  played at the Rose  Garden  Arena  in  Portland  Oregon.     picture appears  courtesy  of  nbae getty images/  Sam  Forencich .................

Often thought of as a cerebral player, Duncan is seen here alongside LaMarculs Alridge of the Portland Trailblazers in a recent NBA game played at the Rose Garden Area in Portland Oregon. The Trailblazers would go on to defeat the Spurs 94-86 in the game between the two Western Conference teams.picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ Ross Coleman ….

He learned and honed his craft initially playing alongside ‘The Admiral’, David Robinson. And what better way for Robinson to exit stage left from the NBA courts than with an NBA championship and ring in his final season ? The torch was passed from Robinson to Duncan as a new era was set to begin in the history of the San Antonio Spurs. And throughout the next dozen or so years, Duncan and this team have been amongst the perennial contenders in the NBA. Such consistency is rarely seen in sports nowadays. Even less so in the NBA. But Duncan and the Spurs have been able to deliver that with their model of consistency under their legendary coach, Gregg Popovich. And the coach alongside General Manager R . C. Burford have been the main architects behind the Spurs’ success. During their era of their tenure with the San Antonio Spurs, 4 NBA titles in four appearances in the NBA Finals. And all four championships with Duncan in tow, have come in the past fourteen years.

Duncan having now reached the pinnacle of his career . He’s now set to see the curtain call, as the stage is being set for him to bow out gracefully with perhaps at least one more run at a championship ? In doing so they’ll have to get past the reigning NBA champions, the Los Angeles Lakers in the postseason of the Western Conference playoffs. But it’d be remiss to think that the Lakers are their only threat in the postseason within the conference. Such stalwarts, as the Denver Nuggets, Portland Trailblazers, Phoenix Suns, New Orleans Hornets and the Dallas Mavericks are looking to usurp the current champions. And this season we’re likely to have an enthralling year throughout the NBA but even more so in a contentious and competitive Western Conference. And all this sets up for a thrilling year in the NBA for the fans and in particular those of the San Antonio Spurs, with Tim Duncan in tow as their spiritual and vocal leader.

So over the course of the season, admirer or not ,watch this team and Duncan at play. It may well be the last time, perhaps that you’ll get to see this great player and an ambassador for the game at play. As the stage is being set for another pursuit of an NBA title.Few players of note, have been equally admired by his peers and fans of the NBA, alike. And that if anything, is something admirable in this day and age of the ego driven athlete . Duncan who if anything is as level headed as they come and shows little signs of being such an individual. He’s merely just a player whose graced us with his play and presence without the hint of being capricious and overbearing. He’s just simply, Mr Fundamental . He comes in and gets the job done without asking for anything in return. And that’s all, we as fans can ask of a player. Nothing more, nothing less ,wouldn’t you agree ?

The game of basketball being what it is , it’s not often appreciated by many who fail to understand many of the pleasures that it brings. When played with heightened skills and with the true essence of teamwork on display.It is one of the very few team sports that has the fans jumping out of their seats in praise. There are those who’ll look at the San Antonio Spurs and simply …” so what if they’ve won 4 NBA titles ” ? ” They’re so boring “! . But I’d ask of them what has your team done lately ? And better yet, on your team is there a player of Duncan’s caliber who has maintained the consistency that he’s shown over the past fifteen years ?

Tim Duncan’s bio :
Born 25th April 1976 College Wake Forest
Height 6′ 11″/ 2.11m Place of birth St Croix , USVI ,.
Years Pro 12

Chronological bio in part

1998-99: Named to both the All-NBA First Team and the All-Defensive First Team … appeared in all 50 games, averaging 21.7 points, 11.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.52 blocks in 39.3 minutes per contest … shot .495 (418-845) from the fi eld and .690 (247-358) from the line … was 1-for-7 (.143) from three-point land … the only player in the NBA to rank among the top 10 in scoring (sixth), rebounding (fifth), blocks (seventh) and FG percentage (10th) … finished third in MVP voting … led the NBA in double-doubles for the second straight season with 37 … scored in double-figures 48 times, with 20 or more 31 times … scored over 30 fi ve times, with a season-high 39 points – along with 13 boards and 6 blocks – vs. Vancouver on 4/1 … during the Spurs 31-5 run, averaged 22.8 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.72 blocks while shooting .512 from the field … named the NBA Player of the Month in March … named the Player of the Week for the period ending 3/8 … led the Spurs in scoring 35 times, in rebounds 31 times and in blocks 30 times … hit a pair of free throws with 3.7 seconds left to give the Spurs an 81-80 win over Portland on 4/16 … in the playoffs averaged 23.2 points, 11.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.65 blocks in 43.1 minutes … named the 1999 Finals MVP after averaging 27.4 points, 14.0 rebounds and 2.20 blocks in 45.8 minutes in five games vs. the Knicks … logged at least 44 minutes and had at least 20 points in all five games … had 33 points and 16 rebounds in Game 1 vs. the Knicks on 6/16 … in Game 4, in New York on 6/23, had 28 points and 18 rebounds in 47 minutes … in 17 postseason games, had 10 double-doubles, including four in the Finals … scored 20-plus 12 times and had 30-or-more four times, including 37 points in Game 3 at Los Angeles on 5/22.

Personal ……..

He and wife, Amy, were married in the summer of 2001 … the couple has two children … created the Tim Duncan Foundation in November of 2001 … Amy serves as the executive vice president of the organization which is set up to serve “the areas of health awareness and research, education and youth sports and recreation” in San Antonio, Winston-Salem and the U.S. Virgin Islands … since its creation the Foundation has raised approximately $1 million … through the Tim Duncan Character Champions program donates 50 tickets to each game to students who demonstrate integrity, respect, dependability, fairness, caring or civic responsibility … member of the NBA All-Star Reading Team … the winner of the 2001 Home Team Community Service Award given by the Fannie Mae Foundation and the NBA … named one of the “Good Guys” in sports by The Sporting News in both 2001 and 2002 … also supports the Children’s Bereavement Center, the Children’s Center of San Antonio and the Cancer Therapy and Research Center … received his degree in psychology from Wake Forest … didn’t play organized basketball until ninth grade … concentrated on swimming as a youngster – at one point was a top U.S. competitor in his age group in the 400 freestyle – before his local pool was destroyed by Hurricane Hugo in 1989 … known for wearing his practice shorts backwards, a trend he started while in college … has two sisters, Cheryl and Tricia … admits to being afraid of heights and sharks … favorite movie is The Crow … a video game junkie.

Career Season Averages

97-98 SAS 82 82 39.1 0.549 0.000 0.662 3.3 8.6 11.9 2.7 0.7 2.5 3.40 3.10 21.1
98-99 SAS 50 50 39.3 0.495 0.143 0.690 3.2 8.2 11.4 2.4 0.9 2.5 2.92 2.90 21.7
99-00 SAS 74 74 38.9 0.490 0.091 0.761 3.5 8.9 12.4 3.2 0.9 2.2 3.27 2.80 23.2
00-01 SAS 82 82 38.7 0.499 0.259 0.618 3.2 9.0 12.2 3.0 0.9 2.3 2.95 3.00 22.2
01-02 SAS 82 82 40.6 0.508 0.100 0.799 3.3 9.4 12.7 3.7 0.7 2.5 3.21 2.60 25.5
02-03 SAS 81 81 39.3 0.513 0.273 0.710 3.2 9.7 12.9 3.9 0.7 2.9 3.06 2.90 23.3
03-04 SAS 69 68 36.6 0.501 0.167 0.599 3.3 9.2 12.4 3.1 0.9 2.7 2.65 2.40 22.3
04-05 SAS 66 66 33.4 0.496 0.333 0.670 3.1 8.0 11.1 2.7 0.7 2.6 1.92 2.20 20.3
05-06 SAS 80 80 34.8 0.484 0.400 0.629 2.9 8.1 11.0 3.2 0.9 2.0 2.48 2.70 18.6
06-07 SAS 80 80 34.1 0.546 0.111 0.637 2.7 7.9 10.6 3.4 0.8 2.4 2.80 2.50 20.0
07-08 SAS 78 78 34.0 0.497 0.000 0.730 3.0 8.3 11.3 2.8 0.7 2.0 2.28 2.40 19.3
08-09 SAS 75 75 33.6 0.504 0.000 0.692 2.7 8.0 10.7 3.5 0.5 1.7 2.20 2.30 19.3
09-10 SAS 5 5 29.0 0.536 0.000 0.565 2.8 9.0 11.8 2.2 0.8 1.6 1.60 2.00 14.6
Career — 904 903 36.8 0.507 0.186 0.684 3.1 8.6 11.7 3.2 0.8 2.3 2.77 2.70 21.4

All Star Appearances

All-Star — 11 10 23.8 0.584 0.333 0.800 3.1 7.5 10.6 2.5 0.8 0.7 2.45 1.30 11.9

Career bio and playoff stats’ totals ……click here to view ……

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











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



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



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





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



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





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






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



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



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



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