Today’s athlete , well worth the hype, or simply, a sham ?
Perhaps , I’m wrong , but the idiocy of the fans out there concerning Lance Armstrong’s admission of guilt , is simply another cycle of what we are seeing from today’s athlete, and that is to circumvent the rules for their own financial gain . . Fans are now seeking to jump to the athlete’s defense , because , after his appearance on Oprah Winfrey’s , OWN Network in a prime-time expose` , to discuss his admission of guilt . Having been banned from cycling , Armstrong now seeks to return to competition, as a triathlete , a sport that is now seeking ratification as an event in Summer Olympics . The now, disgraced athlete, took it upon himself lie cheat and steal , in order to get ahead financially and competitively. Anyone who bore witness to this mess of an interview , has to be in complete denial, in thinking that Armstrong was being either contrite or remotely genuine .
At the center of Lance Armstrong’s stance , is that , when he was made aware that his son sought to defend him while in school , he felt it was time , to step and admit his guilt . It now seems ironic, that having retired from cycling in 2010, now of all moments, would be the time, and he sought to admit his guilt . In that time-frame the cyclist has won several monetary awards in the UK, in several high-profiled defamation and libel lawsuit cases winning awards in excess of $ 4 million. Yet these anally retentive fans, seeking to defend Armstrong, have overlooked the fact he has defrauded the defendants in those cases . And, it should now be noted , that one of Lance Armstrong’s most prominent corporate endorsers , was the USPS (US Postal Service). The Postal Service , also, was one of the three teams that the rider rode for, professionally over the course of his career. This agency , albeit a nongovernmental enterprise , the US government is a guarantor of the agency’s debt , albeit , that the US Postmaster General Patrick R Donahue , is under a great deal of pressure to downsize the postal business as a concern , while seeking to return to profitability once again .
Pardon me for saying this , but with the postal service being a goddamn mess , what business has it, in sponsoring a cycling team , when in terms of marketing and advertising , its monies could have been better spent within the print, television and radio market as a viable way of getting their brand and product more widely known to the public ? The US Postal Service has not been a profitable concern in over eight years . Armstrong signed a multi-year, $30 million deal , which was subject to a morals’ clause when this contract became legal in standing and validation. Again, another situation, that has been overlooked by the fans seeking to come to Lance Armstrong’s defense . As of yet , neither the US Postal Service or the US Justice Department have stated whether or not they will seek to sue Lance Armstrong for the return of the sum paid out to the athlete , because he has in essence broken the terms of his contract by breaching an agreement and his admission of guilt . So I say to the fans out there still jumping to Armstrong’s defense , even if you are entitled to an opinion , do you now also condone his defrauding of the US government , as well as the US taxpayer ?
Over two consecutive nights of bile inducing giddiness, Oprah Winfrey fawned over her guest , while not seeking to elicit a meaningful answer or answers from her subject . Yet the public, were meant to take this idiotic interview, seriously ? All of Lance Armstrong’s altruism has been irreparably damage from a PR standpoint , because the fallout from this all , is that we have seen a precipitous drop-off in donations to Live Strong , Armstrong’s charitable organization. Having raised in excess of $ 500 million over the past decade for cancer research, the one good thing that the cyclist has done in his life will also somehow be besmirched in light of his recent admittance .
With ever-growing possibility that he will most definitely face the legal wrath of his former corporate sponsors , do you get the feeling that the idiotic actions of Lance Armstrong show him to be a scheming and deceitful individual , Those whom he once held as close confidantes within his inner circle , whom he then cast aside , when they became defiant and questioned his the veracity of his claims that he “was clean” , the cyclist simply sought their ruination by any means necessary , with his subordinates taking the lead . Greg Lemond , multiple winner ( three-time ) , of the Tour de France winner , cycling’s most prestigious event , also questioned the veracity of Lance Armstrong’s claims , that he competed as a drug free competitor. We now know that not to be true , however , what has now come to light was the fact Lance Armstrong used his legal representatives through surreptitious means to ruin Lemond’s Trek Cycling , a company (builder of competitive mountain and racing cycles) which Greg Lemond co-founded with several business. The former champion , was simply unable to gain financing or able to gain further access to the billion dollar annual market , when Armstrong and his legal representation fired off oral and repeated written insinuations , that Greg Lemond was not someone who could be trusted . Am I mistaken , Lance Armstrong insinuates, that , Lemond could not be trusted , but he hid behind a web of deceit and lies to cover up his own misdeeds ? . At what point , are the public meant to believe the sincerity of Lance Armstrong , when even he cannot be truthful with himself , family , friends or the public for that matter ? Fuck Lance Armstrong , the horse he rode in on , along with his throng of anally retentive fans ! Armstrong with his admission of guilt has done irreparable harm to his image , that no matter he now hopes to achieve professionally or in his private , the vast majority of the public will treat with a great deal of disdain , and deservedly so !
Well, as LeBron James and the Miami Heat seek to make a quick return to the NBA Finals . The questions arises, which of the teams within the Eastern Conference will seek to compete against the reigning champions ? There was a great deal of hype made over the acquisitions made by the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks prior to the season commencing.
The Eastern Conference is not profligate with great teams, just a number of good teams , with the lone standout exception being the Miami Heat, as defending champions. And, as LeBron James goes , <a href=”http://nba.com/heat/stats/2012″> then so does this team . . The Heat (26-12) , coming into Monday , had the best record within the conference , and are closely followed by the New York Knicks (25-13) , the surprisingly resilient Indiana Pacers 25-16) and the Brooklyn Nets (24-16) . Now while there can be no denying that LeBron James is an exceptional talent , with the player first coming to the nation’s attention , with ESPN , essentially covering much of James’ high school playing career , with prime-time broadcasts , and very much the feeling , that this was simply being done , to cultivate his jump directly from high school and into the professional ranks of the NBA .
The league simply yearned for a star, that would give its image an uplift , in spite of the fact that such established stars as Kobe Bryant , Kevin Garnett , Tim Duncan , Dirk Nowizki and Allen Iverson were already providing the NBA with a great deal of entertainment and value . Undeniably, while the league has sought to market , its stars , rather than the franchises , which in essence, has led to the financial morass , we now see encompassing so many franchises around the NBA . What was really sought , was competitive balance or dare one say , a gripping rivalry within the league , it hadn’t seen since the heydays of the old …. Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers (Showtime rivalry) rivalries . And the days of Larry Bird of the Celtics going up against Magic Johnson of the Lakers , now resonates more , than a current match-up of the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers , being led by current stars , Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett .
LeBron James’ entrance into the NBA ,as the number one overall draft pick from the 2003 NBA Draft , a class , in which the player was the standout athlete and personality from the rookies of that season. Drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers , whose owner , billionaire financier , Dan Gilbert , whose virtues sought to extoll the franchise’s wishes of bringing a championship to the city of Cleveland within five years, merely because of the presence of his prodigious talent and number one draft pick. The fact of the matter was , on paper alone , one could see that the roster was not a team one could see as a posing a formidable challenge for the NBA title that season, or any other season , unless the franchise was prepared to build around the prodigious talents of LeBron James .
Courtesy of the Morning Journal
By BOB FINNAN
Say what you want about Rich Paul.
He might be young and inexperienced in the dog-eat-dog world of sports agents, but he has one very endearing quality: He’s like the Pied Piper.
Paul, 32, founded his own sports agency, Klutch Sports Group, in September. When he left Creative Arts Agency, he took an impressive list of clients with him. The most noteworthy was Miami Heat forward LeBron James.
Paul, a graduate of Benedictine High School, has begun a working relationship with Cleveland agent Mark Termini, who will oversee contract negotiations for Paul’s clients.
Termini founded Mark Termini Associates Inc. in 1986 and has negotiated more than $400 million in pro sports salaries. He has represented 15 first-round picks in the NBA and served on the Agent Advisory Committee to the National Basketball Players Association for the 1993, 1997 and 2003 NBA collective bargaining negotiations.
When Paul left CAA, several agencies tried to recruit him. He’s the hottest name in sports agents and his client list continues to grow. He recently added Wizards forward/center Kevin Seraphin to his already growing list that includes Cavaliers forward/center Tristan Thompson, Los Angeles Clippers point guard Eric Bledsoe, Wizards forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Spurs guard Cory Joseph.
Termini will continue to run his agency and represent Nuggets center Kosta Koufos and several players overseas. His existing clients will not become part of Klutch Sports. The two companies will remain separate entities.
Click on link to read in full.
As I alluded to earlier , James first caught the nation’s attention with the televising of his high school games by ESPN , while the young prodigy honed his skills at St Mary’s High School , in Akron , Ohio. A state title added into the mix , made Lebron James a top recruit , amongst the powerhouse college programs across the country , but he would eschew those choices, for the financial inducements, rewards and untold wealth that awaits in the NBA . Granted , there were rumors , unfounded to this day , that James , was already privee` to the financial backing of a benefactor , with suspicions being that it was his long-time agent and business partner , Leon Rose , allegations which have always been denied by the player and agent alike. Yet , there has always been a genuine suspicion , unfounded or not , that nothing everything was above board , as it related to James’ high school career . I firmly believe to this day, had he made the jump straight the college ranks , he would have been found , immediately ineligible , because of the alleged improprieties that surrounded his high school career ! There was a great deal that James would not divulge publicly , and while it no longer warrants speculation , it does give credence that although changes would later be made concerning the eligibility process of players entering the NBA Draft , specifically from the high school level , at eighteen . The concern has always been , even with those mandated changes agreed to, in principle by the NBA hierarchy , team owners and the NBPA , those maneuvers could not stop a youngster from seeking to make a professional basketball living , by simply playing in South America , Europe or China .
Be it for business purposes or otherwise , James has left the “uber-management” agency CAA to join the burgeoning sports’ management agency of Rich Paul of Klutch Sports (Management) Agency LLC,. LeBron James, remains a media darling, without having any major off-court controversy attached to his name or persona . His brand, has now become a global phenomenon , with a vast array of commercial interests attached to his name , which had made him highest earning NBA athlete leading Kobe Bryant , inclusive of on-court earnings and commercial endorsements .
The accolades for James have been pretty impressive , as he now enters his tenth year in the NBA , three league MVP awards , Rookie of the Year Award, Finals’ MVP , multiple All Star appearances (nine-times) , as well as being the youngest person to score 20,000 points and reach 5,000 assists all before the age of 28. However , the greatest non-controversy of his career , may well have been of his own creation in part , which led to his abrupt departure from the Cavaliers. A year removed from the Cavaliers’ lone appearance in the 2007 NBA Finals , rumblings grew out of the James’ sheer frustration of seeing the team embarrassed at the hands of Tony Parker and the San Antonio Spurs in a totally lopsided series in which the Cleveland Cavaliers were swept 4-0 .
At 10-32 , the Cavaliers are firmly rooted at the bottom of the Central Division within the Eastern Conference , with no signs of a respite on the horizon. Meanwhile , LeBron James has as such cultivated an image , in which he now might be not only be the best player in the NBA , but also its most popular player , by an enormously wide margin. Whether or not, he is able to emulate the achievements of his hero and NBA icon , Michael Jordan , remains to be seen . But it is now, becoming increasingly , that the only person who can now derail James’ own fortunes , is LeBron James , himself . LeBron James, now has the world at his feet , with the goals that he is setting for himself , as he seeks to join the legendary greats of the game . Unfortunately , the same cannot be said for a number of athletes across the sports’ panacea , who through their own sheer stupidity feel that they can either circumvent the rules of the game , or more often than not rule of law , with the ever apathetic fan , more often than not either seeking to jump to their defense ,by making the most asinine of statements without ever seeking out the details for themselves as to the athletes’ own motivations behind their misdeeds .
It seems a bygone era has past , since the sports’ world had real sportsmen parading their athleticism , on the North American sporting landscape, showing their sportsmanship both on and off the field of play. Names such as, Arthur Ashe , Bill Russell, David Robinson , Barry Sanders , Peyton Manning , Jackie Robinson , Roberto Clemente` , Sandy Koufax , Greg Maddux , Ed Moses , and Marvin Hagler graced us all with their exceptional skill-sets . We are now, being sold athletes who are gift wrapped with very little personality , invariably are moderately passable skills, in their chosen fields and who might be the possessed with the IQ to barely conversant in the English language , much less knowing how to carry themselves with some semblance of class , dignity and integrity . Make of it what you will.
Picture gallery .
Do you believe that today’s professional athlete should be looked upon as a role model , or better yet be repeatedly used in such as medium by their respective governing bodies ? Chime on this topic and anything else you believe to be pertinent on this subject matter .
Picture and slideshow details below .
(1) Lance Armstrong is seen here being interviewed by talk show host and entrepreneur , Oprah Winfrey. Over two nights with each night being set aside for what was said to be an ” in-depth interview” , Armstrong was evasive with a number of his responses , and tried to any deflect any responsibility for some of his actions. The now disgraced cyclists , seeks to make a return to the ranks of professional sports , as a triathlete . Whether or not is a a possibility remains to be seen. The sport’s governing body in North America , USA Triathlon , might not wish to be associated with the now disgraced athlete , with the baggage he still carries , in terms of his admittance and he is bound to be a defendant in a slew of litigious actions that will be taken against him as defendant in a mountain of civil suits , that could very well wipe out his estimated $100 million fortune. AP Photo/ Marc Wilson /USA Today picture @ copyrighted material …
(2) Culpable , deniability , Lance Armstrong looks pensive, as he is asked a question by Oprah Winfrey . USA Today / AP Photo / Marc Wilson ….
(3) Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) … passes over Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant during the first half of their NBA basketball game, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, in Los Angeles. The Heat would go on to defeat the Lakers 99-90 . AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill ….
(4) LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 17: LeBron James (6) of the Miami Heat rises for a dunk against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on January 17, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images ….
(5) Miami Heat’s LeBron James (6) dunks against the Golden State Warriors during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Oakland, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013. James on Wednesday became the youngest player in NBA history to score 20,000 points . AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez …
(6) Cavaliers’ GM , Chris Grant , left , is seen here , seated alongside head coach Bryon Scott at the Quicken Loans Arena , in downtown Cleveland, Ohio,. This season the Cleveland Cavaliers are struggling within the Central Division of the Eastern Conference , as they are firmly rooted at the bottom of the division. It would appear that some major upheavals might be on the way concerning the roster as teams approach the the trade deadline on the 21st February , 2013 . AP Photo / Andrew Hughes …..
(7) The 2003 NBA Draft class , showing several of the first round picks . Among the notables are # 1 overall pick LeBron James , far right , Dwyane Wade , fifth from the right , Carmelo Anthony , front row, left, and immediately behind Anthony , is Chris Bosh . This class of 2003 is said to be one of the most “impressive ” and productive in recent NBA history . Picture NBA.com archives ….
(8) Arthur Ashe is seen here alongside Jimmy Connors at Wimbledon . Ashe became the first African American male to win a Grand Slams singles’ title , as well as being ranked # 1 in the men’s rankings . Arthur Ashe, would go on to defeat Connors in the 1975 Wimbledon Men’s Singles Finals pulling off the improbable upset over the then , highly favored Connors , defeating the fellow American , in four sets , 6-1, .6-1, 5-7, 6-4. BBC Enterprises …
(9) 2005 Hall of Fame inductee , Sandy Koufax is seen here at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown , New York. . The much revered , Koufax , has been called one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history , and most certainly his stats bear this out . The player is however , admired for his integrity both on and off the field of play , and for his philanthropic and humanitarian efforts crossing all ethnic divides . AFP/ REUTERS/ Andrew McKinnon …
(10) Often called the ” greatest middleweight boxer” of the “modern era” , ” Marvelous” Marvin Hagler was an assassin in ring , but a gentleman outside the ring , leading a humble life . After his controversial loss to ” Sugar” Ray Leonard for the undisputed middleweight title in 1987 . Hagler, would quit boxing , vowing never to return to the ring again, citing the fact that, boxing had become corrupt, and filled with seedy officials at every rung of the ladder within the sport. Marvin Hagler wasn’t far off the mark in his suspicions , given the ongoing corruption , controversies and exploitation that still befalls the sport of boxing today . Ring Magazine / Boxing archives ……
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Hot chic pic of the day , Katie Price aka ” Jordan ”
Not yet the biggest export to come out of the UK , but her “assets” are well worth looking at !