Basketball, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dan Gilbert, LeBron James, Miami Heat, NBA

Need A Loan ? Quicken Loans Is Definitely In Need of One …… As Are The Cleveland Cavaliers


Need A Loan ? Quicken Loans Is Definitely In Need of One …… As Are The Cleveland Cavaliers

If you’re Dan Gilbert how embarrassed must you be after your antics and the recent fact that the Cleveland Cavaliers as a team has become so much of a mess ? Gilbert as owner of the team has simply allowed this organization and team become a laughing stock around the league . And even with a seasoned coach veteran such as Byron Scott the team can’t buy a win (8-32) much less have gain any sympathy from the public and fans at large .

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The Cavaliers this season have become the team that literally no wants to see unless they’re being trampled by the likes of the Boston Celtics , Los Angeles Lakers or even LeBron James’ new team the Miami Heat . The team itself has now become the whipping post for the teams around the league other than those I’ve already mentioned . This season alone the Cavaliers have performed miserably and it has caused the fans in attendance and the Quicken Loans Arena question the direction of this team and where it’s said to be going. After James’ abrupt departure from the team it was understandable that he was viewed as a pariah around the league and by the fans in Cleveland . Dan Gilbert’s statement did nothing to make this whole situation any easier for all who observed this meltdown and whatever else has since transpired and it pales into comparison by what’s now taking place on the basketball court.

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports & The Morning Journal

Cavs coach Byron Scott wants to focus on defense in 2nd half

Bob Finnan of The Morning Journal

Even though they are 40 games into the season, Cavaliers coach Byron Scott has decided now is the time to be more accountable on defense.

Scott is laying down the law, largely because he probably can’t stand to watch his team get shredded on the defensive end any longer.

“I’m going to be a lot more demanding,” Scott said. “If you make a mistake, you should start walking over to the sideline.”

Scott had been lenient with the players, many of whom are trying to find their way in the NBA. But enough is enough.

The Cavs (8-32) are shockingly bad on defense. They are 26th in the NBA in points allowed (104.9), 28th in opponents’ field-goal percentage (48.1 percent) and 30th in opponents’ 3-point percentage (43.3 percent).

Scott and Cavs “defensive coordinator” Chris Jent have simplified their schemes.

“We’re going to keep it real simple,” he said. “The guys like that a whole lot better.

“They understand that I’m putting more pressure on them to be focused for 48 minutes on the defensive end. If you make a mistake in the coverage, on the next dead ball, you should just walk off. Just walk to the bench because I’m going to sub you any way.”

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As I alluded to earlier the team can’t buy a win nor are they able play with any sense of cohesion . And as good as I believe Byron Scott to be I don’t believe that he’s capable of turning things around within this organization. The team lacks leadership and commitment to excellence and given what we’ve seen shown by Gilbert as an owner , his demeanor shown , that he’s not entirely a conduit for attracting major free agent talent to the organization . And herein lies the caveat concerning the Cavaliers they’re going nowhere and nowhere fast !

The Cleveland Cavaliers currently led by veteran Antawn Jamison may well be looking towards the future and for a team now at 8-32 within the Central Division of the Eastern Conference they are essentially struggling to make their presence felt . I know that over the course of the remainder of this NBA season they may well fight to prove to the fans and the general public at large that they can be competitive . From my own perspective I do believe that the Cavaliers are falling off a precipice and there’s no one there to catch them . It’s becoming more of a fact that Dan Gilbert or anyone within the organization (front office) simply knows how to bring this organization back from the edge of that very precipice .

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I’d like to think that Dan Gilbert has simply learned a lesson from what’s now taking place with the Cleveland Cavaliers ! For a man who’s the founder of one the nation’s financial and mortgage concerns with Quicken Loans and the fact that he’s turned that company into a multi-billion concern Dan Gilbert as a sports owner has shown as much acumen for making the Cavaliers a relevant concern as Lindsay Lohan’s career could be described as being relevant within Hollywood ! He had to the goose that laid the golden egg and then summarily drove him out of town with his sheer idiocy and vocal commentary. Let me ask you this what owner do you having fired Byron Scott’s predecessor Mike Brown and then publicly make the statement that he doesn’t need to consult the best player on his team as to who that next coach should be ? Understandably this is basketball and the NBA that we’re talking about , it is a sport that’s star and player driven in terms of its exposure and anyone who simply believes differently simply needs to look around the sports’ landscape as a whole ?

Your thoughts on the NBA and in particular with the Cleveland Cavaliers this season and their travails this so far ? And what are you overall thoughts concerning what transpired with LeBron James in the offseason and the actions of Dan Gilbert, himself ? Simply chime in with a comment on your thoughts on this topic and anything else pertaining to the NBA .

Cleveland Cavaliers

Cavaliers’ schedule 2010-11

Cavaliers’ roster

Team stats …

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Front office staff

Head coach Byron Scott

Assistant coaching staff

Picture and slide show gallery details .

(1) Majority owner Dan Gilbert of the Cleveland Cavaliers talks to the media prior to playing the Boston Celtics in the Cavaliers 2010 home opener at Quicken Loans Arena on October 27, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio. Getty Images/ Gregory Shamus ……….

James (23) is seen here court-side as a Cleveland Cavalier with then coach Mike Brown who was summarily dismissed by the Cavaliers’ front office at the end of last season. AP / Frank Warren ……………

(3) Denver Nuggets center Nene Hilario (31) shoots in between Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Antawn Jamison (4) and Alonzo Gee (33) during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Denver on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011. AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez ….

(4) Utah Jazz’s Andrei Kirilenko, left, fights for the ball with Cleveland Cavaliers’ Ramon Sessions during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Salt Lake City, Friday, Jan. 14, 2011. The Jazz beat the Cavaliers 121-99 . AP Photo/George Frey …..

(5) Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Bryon Scott calls a play during a game against the Utah Jazz during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Salt Lake City, Friday, Jan. 14, 2011. The Jazz beat the Cavaliers 121-99. AP photo/George Frey …….

(6) James is seen here with former team coach Mike Brown and team GM Danny Ferry as the player meets with the convened press having just won his first league MVP Award in 2009. The player would follow up that feat by repeating again 2010 joining a select few players to have won back to back NBA League MVP awards. Associated Press/ Mark Hall …………..

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NB Click on the links shown for the latest on the NBA .

NBA news …..

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

NBA statstics

Alan aka tophatal …………………………..

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Eye candy lil’ Ashley Banks (NBC’s “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”) is now all grown up aka Tatyana Ali

Tatyana Ali

Enough to put make one’s manhood stand to attention .

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Stacey Dash

Actress Stacey Dash

Dash  Stacey

Oh mama ! It’s a man’s duty to want to tap that booty !
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UB40 ………… “King”

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Basketball, Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James, Miami Heat, NBA, Sports

Is There A Nigger Around With Some Common Sense Please ?


Is There A Nigger Around With Some Common Sense Please ?

Well the fallout from the LeBron James episode has created some seismic shifts but at the same time some respected African Americans have come to the fore making the most asinine of suggestions. Now don’t get me wrong in their chosen professions I’ve no doubt that they’re well respected. But when I here the likes of Jesse Jackson calling an NBA owner , a person with a slave owner’s mentality then I for one have to question Jackson’s mendacity and intelligence ! This being the very same person , who while in New York chose to disparage the Jewish community and then had the temerity to act as if he’d done nothing wrong. Now we have respected journalist and ESPN show host Michael Wilbon coming out in support of Jackson . Now had this been Jason Whitlock making that statement in support of Jackson then I’d have thought nothing of it. But given that , to my mind Wilbon being a highly respected sport’s journalist , I do believe that he of all people ought to have known better.

Now in this day and age where there are very few African American males where the young men of that race can look up to and say that’s a proud example of a man let alone an African American man. We’re now bereft of leaders and men who can actually sustain an eloquent conversation much less talk about a subject that might have a bearing on a young person’s life.

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Courtesy of Examiner.com (Tampa Bay)

Jesse Jackson: Spewing hate and his own brand of racism

No matter how we try to downplay it, cover it up, smooth it over or seek to put it in the context of what hopefully will one day be ancient history, there is simply no denying a tragic fact.

We are a civilization that uses racial differences as a weapon.

American sport and our very history is riddled with examples, most of which have become the core of our sensitivity to race and the need to treat everyone equally.

Jackie Robinson endured torrents of verbal rage and emerged an early champion of civil rights. Jack Johnson refused to “know his place” as a black man and was later jailed for preferring white female partners. His pardon waited almost a century. Countless athletes from varied walks of racial life can still remember being treated to their own water fountain, dining counter or rest room.

We are certainly not alone in fighting these stigmas. Players of color are routinely mocked with monkey chants in European soccer. One star player made no attempt to hide his use of the Nazi salute to honor his despicable brethren in the stands. A former star rugby player and current broadcaster speaks to a team and allegedly calls an opposing player a “black c***”.

Despite all this, people of intelligence, honor, wisdom and patience soldier on to stem this fetid tide of racial bile. Secure in the knowledge these are the most useful weapons one can use in fighting what remains a raging battle not only on our fields of play, but certainly in our daily existence as well.

But then, just when you think a time has come for an athlete to be judged on the merits what was earned working in that uniform instead of the skin shade underneath it, comes the one person, the one comment, the one action, that restarts the pinwheel of hate, misunderstanding, and disgusting racial examples that we are better off diligently erasing from our memory.

Jesse Jackson has in one verbal swoop inundated the fires of racism with more than enough fuel to reignite the mud-dwelling mores of those who revel in continually joking and mocking the tragic and insulting slavery of African-Americans.

“His feelings of betrayal personify a slave master mentality,” Jackson said in a statement released Sunday responding to the angry post-Lebron signing statements from Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. “(He) sees LeBron as a runaway slave.”

No one will argue, at least successfully, that Gilbert didn’t shoot his mouth off and take a chunk of foot with the blast. Following James’ departure, Gilbert became the shining example of not merely being a boorish sports baron, but of mixing in a heavy dose of petulant adolescent child to create a sad and, at the same time, laughable mutation.

Gilbert roared that James was a coward for leaving Cleveland. He quit during a handful of Cavs playoff games. And compared the holding of James accountable for his actions to that of dealing with a spoiled child. And even while being fined $100,000 by the NBA for his words, he remains adamant there was no racial connection whatsoever.

Emotional? Certainly. Insulting? Not in the least when players such as James have dealt with much worse on a nightly basis during an 82 game season. Words that mask racism? Go ahead and read them for yourself. I’ll dare you to find something even remotely connected.

But racist? Taking race into consideration as a basis for dropping the hometown hammer on this once-favored son? Considering James little more than an indentured servant who should be using a scythe to clear fields when he’s not nailing double-doubles? And taking to task the very sports league that has become the model for race relations?

While I was taught at a very young age to never use this word in describing anyone, there is no better fit for anyone making this connection.

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Let me see, Jackson’s claim to fame a follower of the late Dr Martin Luther King and whose claim that he was at his side when he was shot has since been found groundless and false. He’d met with him on that fateful day but as to him being at his side ….. that’s simply Jesse’s idea of being economical with the truth. This is also the same man also disparaged the current sitting President by using a profanity whilst on camera and we’re meant to take his claim seriously concerning his statement concerning Cleveland Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert ? Is it any wonder that young African Americans can’t identify with a generation of leaders from yesteryear who are now bereft of intelligence as they are to their ongoing reason to be a part of a legitimate political debate ? Can someone answer me this but when was the last time Jesse Jackson actually had something of relevance to say on any given subject ? Much like certain members of Congress , he’s about as useful as fecal matter would be on the sole of someone’s shoes.

Now as to the situation of James and his move from Cleveland to the wiles of Miami and the Miami Heat . Admittedly it was a surprise that he moved to the Heat when every indication might be that he would either remain with the Cavaliers or quite possibly go to the Chicago Bulls . That asides the premise I see behind the move is borne out by the fact that the Cavaliers’ management and front office were complacent but above all naïve to think that their most prized asset would remain with an organization whose idea of improving its talent was to obtain an aging Shaquille O’Neal and get a player in Antawn Jamison who shows flashes of brilliance about as often as Lindsay Lohan has been known to have a hit movie. Come to think of what was the last time Lohan had a “hit movie” and what was it ? Girl has a “rack” though, even if she’s supposedly batting for the other side .

Now come full circle and we’re now to think that Gilbert despite his child like rants against his former employee isn’t without fault ? He’s failed to look at himself in the mirror and ask himself the question what could I have done better in order to have made this situation work ? Now he’s whining like someone who has stolen something of value from him when he in the first place hadn’t made sure that the asset was secure. Somehow if this is a guy who believes that his NBA franchise will win a title before the present incumbent Heat organization does. Then for all sense and purpose I fully hope that he’s made to eat his words ! Though I’m in no way a Heat fan , I do feel that Gilbert has made a complete ass of himself and placed the Cavaliers’ franchise in almost impossible position when it now comes to acquiring players in the future. Players will see his actions and then ask themselves ….. ” is this the sort of guy I’d want to play or even work for” ? And the answer may well be a resounding …..”no” .

An opportunist like Jackson will now look for the next photo op and fire whereby he can add more fuel to it by making another asinine statement . Thankfully, on the international front he’s about as well known as “Joe The Plumber” whose brief fifteen minutes of fame were filled with about as much well meaning sound bytes as a speech by Sarah Palin on the US economy. Either way one can be thankful that Jackson is about as reliable as a ground hog on Ground Hog Day. He pops his head up for the season then disappears back into obscurity . Unfortunately , far too often it’s the times when he does pop his head up for all of the wrong damn reasons , that’s when the public sits up and takes note of the ridiculous things that he has to say. None more so than at present as it now becomes a water cooler topic of discussion. And needless to say this very statement will be discussed , analyzed and then have supporters on both sides of the argument. And the chances are that divide will be drawn along racial lines. Well just to dispel that notion as here’s one nigger who’s not buying into the bullshit that Jesse is now espousing. Let’s just say that Jesse Jackson is about as relevant to my way of life as fecal matter would be on the sole of my shoe. In other words I’ll just scrape it off and be on my merry way. Like I said when was the last time the man had anything of relevance to say on any meaningful subject that would be of impact on our way of life ?

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Chime in with a comment on the topic if at all interested and I’ll respond to your comments as best I can . Thanks once again as always !

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………… 🙂

Black Eyed Peas ……………………..“Shut Up”

Basketball, Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA, NBA Playoffs 2010, Sports

All That Glitters Isn’t Necessarily Gold ………… Why The WNBA Might Be Now More Pertinent In The City Of Cleveland ……..


All That Glitters Isn’t Necessarily Gold ………… Why The WNBA Might Be Now More Pertinent In The City Of Cleveland ……..

Well the tires on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ bus not only did they go flat but for all sense and purpose the “RV” simply wasn’t up to the task ! The long haul of the regular season might be one thing but as everyone knows , come the postseason that’s where the excitement is to be had ! Having posted an impressive 61-21 regular season record the team was viewed as the “presumptive favorites” to win it all and thereby gaining their very first NBA title .

Now there’s a great deal to be said for what a team achieves in the regular season and what they then aspire to achieve in the postseason . And usually the achievements of the regular season can at times give you a clue as what to expect. But at times it can also be very misleading . See the Dallas Mavericks postseason foray as a prime example of what one can expect of a team that was vastly over-rated by pundits and idiotic prognosticators alike , who ought to have known better ! The Mavericks had no body of work which to point to and most were simply enthralled by the dog-n-pony show and paper tiger element that they brought to the 2010 NBA postseason.

A somber looking LeBron James takes questions from the convened press after the Cavaliers' loss in game six of the Eastern Conference semi-finals to the Boston Celtics. The Celtics now go on to meet the Orlando Magic in the conference finals. AP Photo __ Charles Krupa ................

A somber looking LeBron James takes questions from the convened press after the Cavaliers' loss in game six of the Eastern Conference semi-finals to the Boston Celtics. The Celtics now go on to meet the Orlando Magic in the conference finals. AP Photo __ Charles Krupa ................

The Cavaliers for their part were expected to march through the Eastern Conference playoffs with ease. Having a two time regular season MVP award winner doesn’t make a team invincible and even if LeBron James has been anointed “The King” or as he’d become more commonly known “King James” . Until you’ve actually landed the brass ring or the leprechaun’s pot of gold. Any comparisons being made to a monarch aren’t at all justified. What’s even more derisory were the comparisons being made about the player to the likes of Michael Jordan , Magic Johnson , Larry Bird , “Dr J” and Kareem ? Each of whom were not only regular season MVP’s but had also garnered the postseason award as well in the NBA Finals. Now don’t get me wrong , LeBron James is a tremendous player and some day he may well go down as one of the all-time greats of the game. But he’s yet to achieve a body of work that can be comparable to the names mentioned !

Ray Allen of the Celtics consoles LeBron James after they defeat the Cavaliers 94-85 in game six of the conference semi finals of the NBA Playoffs. The Celtics now go on to meet the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals. Getty Images/ Elsa Martinez .................

Ray Allen of the Celtics consoles LeBron James after they defeat the Cavaliers 94-85 in game six of the conference semi finals of the NBA Playoffs. The Celtics now go on to meet the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals. Getty Images/ Elsa Martinez .................

What we can attest to is the fact that while on paper the Cavaliers looked good as a team , once the playoffs got underway they had their problems from the very start. And although they had their way with the Chicago Bulls in the first round , winning that series (4-1) with relative ease. You came away with the impression that if they weren’t being tested then they would at some point become very sloppy and complacent against a future opponent. And in their series against the Boston Celtics all the chickens would come home to roost as the Cavaliers and James were found wanting throughout much of this series . Cleveland Cavaliers’ coach Mike Brown and his coaching staff may well have had this team prepared but did he actually have them prepared to play a Celtics’ team that had been given a new lease of life ? And though the series did ebb and flow as each team sought to make its presence felt and stamp their dominance on the series. One simply knew something had to happen that would flip the script as far as the perception of how the series was meant to turn out.

To my mind the difference maker in this series wasn’t LeBron James , it was in fact the determined by the play of Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics. As he went , so did this team and what might’ve been more inspiring was the very fact that the seasoned veterans on Doc Rivers’ team fed off the young point guard’s example. To see the likes of Kevin Garnett , Paul Pierce , Ray Allen and Rasheed Wallace simply play as though they’d freshly arrived in the NBA was very inspiring.

Unfortunately,for LeBron while he may well have had a woefully inept performance in game five . His surrounding cast weren’t even marginally better than their more celebrated play-maker. That 32 point loss __ (120-88) simply sealed the fate of not only LeBron but for the entire Cavaliers’ organization . Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert and GM Danny Ferry will now have to assess the whole organization from not only player personnel aspect but also on the coaching front as well. Mike Brown may well have done all that he can as a coach for this team. Perhaps a fresh set of eyes might bring a new perspective as to what ails the Cleveland Cavaliers ? And given the fact that LeBron James now becomes a free agent on the 1st June the urgency of the situation isn’t lost on anyone within the front office of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Retaining the player must be their number one priority but so too will be the need to bring in another dynamic talent to complement the needs of this team as well as taking the burden of LeBron. He may well relish being the go to guy on the team but little went right for LeBron when it was needed most in this series against the Celtics.

Game six saw the Celtics on their home-court at a soldout TD Banknorth Garden Center in Boston ____ in essence put an end to the Cavaliers’ postseason aspirations. The Boston Celtics came away with an 94-85 victory that puts them in the Eastern Conference Finals where they will meet the Orlando Magic . And that will be a series that ought to be thoroughly entertaining and one to be relished. So close but yet so far but with a cast that had no real passion or desire to get the job done . You get the feeling that with the Cavaliers that all that glitters isn’t necessarily gold. Merely because of the presence LeBron James , complacency became the norm for this team. Winning is also about having a positive mental attitude. James may well have it but it was all too rare in this series when it mattered most.His teammates for their part showed very little of it. But it certainly didn’t help that this team simply couldn’t keep possession of the ball by needlessly turning it over at the most inopportune of moments.

James looks to make a pass while being defended by the Celtics' Rasheed Wallace in game 6 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals played at the TD Banknorth Garden Center, Boston , Mass,. Getty Imaged __ Elsa Martinez .............

James looks to make a pass while being defended by the Celtics' Rasheed Wallace in game 6 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals played at the TD Banknorth Garden Center, Boston , Mass,. Getty Imaged __ Elsa Martinez .............

There’s no real need to empathize with the Cavaliers at all. They came to play but their mind laid elsewhere as they didn’t come into this series with the mindset of dealing with the immediate task at hand. Theirs was a season that has ended with a whimper instead of an almighty bang. This may well be the last chance that the Cavaliers get to an NBA Finals should the unthinkable happen of LeBron James choosing to leave the franchise. But then again the city of Cleveland still yearns for the NBA . So why not bring in WNBA franchise within the fans’ midst ? It could very well be as close as they’ll ever get to be engaged as a participant in an NBA Final at this juncture . An off-season of indecision and decision making as the case maybe for the organization . But one thing is now sure the crown of King James isn’t as secure as some might have thought. LeBron James simply has proven to us that he’s human and by no stretch of the imagination is he anywhere near ready to be talked about in the same breath as MJ , Magic , Bird , Dr J , Kareem or even Kobe Bryant for that matter ! They’ve set about leading their respective teams to the pinnacle of NBA success. All that LeBron has done is try and make us believe that he’s ready to do that when clearly he is not ! He’s still got a long way to go before he can even match the achievements of the venerable names mentioned . Will he ultimately match those feats or even surpass them ? Who knows only time will tell . But for the moment let’s not continue to heap too much praise and expectation upon the shoulders of a young man who’s still learning what it means to play in the NBA and at the same time learning how to be a leader to others.

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So now what are your own thoughts as to the Cleveland Cavaliers fall from grace ? Do you embrace as something that was needed ? Or do you as such empathize with the team and their fans ? As and when you’re ready I’ll look forward to reading your comments and responding in kind.

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ……………………..

Bob Seger ………….. “Shake Down” one of the several hit songs from the Eddie Murphy hit movie vehicle from the 80’s “Beverley Hills Cop 2” . And though some might say “BHC 1 & 2 were all that should’ve been made. As thereafter #’s 3 &4 were simply disastrous and “bombed at the box office”. But this is the way that Hollywood works as they’re forever chasing the cash cow rather than making movies of substance and that can stand the test of time.

Baseball, Basketball, Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Cavaliers, MLB, NBA, NBA Playoffs 2010, New York Yankees, Sports

Tha Crossroads ………. See Ya’ At The Crossroads …….. So You Won’t Be Lonely ……


Tha Crossroads ………. See Ya’ At The Crossroads …….. So You Won’t Be Lonely ……

Well the “epicenter” of the sporting universe will very much this weekend be in the city of Boston . The NBA will have the continuation of the playoff series between the Boston Celtics against the Cleveland Cavaliers . And in MLB (baseball) we have the renewed and very much heated rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees of the AL East .

And for the venues in which both of these spectacles will be showcased for the attending fans and those watching on television. Expect the excitement and action to be riveting in its form and presence. Fenway Park , Boston will take center stage for what is perhaps baseball’s richest and most storied rivalry. The New York Yankees will be looking to keep astride with the division leading Tampa Bay Rays . And it’d be safe to say that the Rays are not only the “surprise team” of the division but they might just be the best team in baseball at present based on their current form. If only their “home fans” were appreciative of that fact in turning out at Tropicana Field , St Pertersburg in droves to show their unconditional support for the team . But alas, they are very much a fickle set of fans , to say the very least !

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The TD Banknorth Garden Center in Boston will play host to the Cavaliers led by their newly minted regular season MVP _____ LeBron James . And this particular series and game will be “pivotal” for both teams. Tied 1-1 James and his Cavaliers’ teammates will be looking to retake the advantage by winning the first game at the Celtics’ home venue. Not to be outdone however, Doc Rivers knows that if his team are to have a chance against this Mike Brown coached team and keeping the momentum after their ” lopsided” game two victory 104-86 over the Cavaliers. Then the Boston Celtics will have give their fans a repeat performance of their display at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland , Ohio.

And as surprising at that 18 point margin of victory was , what even be more shocking was the laissez-faire approach taken by Cavaliers in general. Mike Brown’s post-game interview was none apologetic and if anything both he and his coaching staff ought to be held accountable for such a poor display. And the fact that he was unwilling to call out his star player as well as the supporting cast makes you wonder who is in fact ruling the roost there in Cleveland ? Is it “King James” or is it the coach ?

Can we all agree the disdain and contempt that the Red Sox fans have for the New York Yankees’ fans as well as the the team borders on that spirited feud between the Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s ? If there’s a more heated rivalry both on and off the field in all of sports. Then I for one have yet to witness here in the United States ! Now don’t get me wrong there may well be one or two other rivalries that would like to lay claim that theirs is comparable to that of the Red Sox and Yankees’ rivalry. But you’d be hard pressed to convince the majority of baseball fans that is indeed the case. What one fans purports to be a rivalry one hand pales into insignificance when measured against of what we’ve all no doubt witnessed between these two teams over the course this rivalry’s existence. I know it’s not allout war but the Palestinians and Israelis could learn a thing a two from this long existing feud. Yankees’ fans can be obnoxious because their self conceived superiority complex. Red Sox fans on the other hand, now feel that after years in the wilderness and now with renewed success. Well in essence , they feel that their time is now to hell with what the Yankees’ fans might think or who the hell they are. As for their contempt of the team , well let’s just if they had a pot urine or fecal matter it would not surprise if they chose to launch it in the direction of an opposing fan or player of a fan ! Do you get where I’m coming from concerning this matter ?

Well what can the fans and viewing public expect to see throughout the series ? A Yankees’ team that’s playing well and in many ways some might say pacing themselves for the long haul drudgery of the season . The Red Sox for their part seem to be back to their winning ways . But this is a team that’s lacking in confidence and the players brought in via trades or free agency have yet to show their worth. As astute as GM Theo Epstein is deemed to be , even he must be somewhat disappointed in the form of Adrian Beltre , Marco Scutaro , Mike Cameron and in particular the team’s DH , David Ortiz . Granted, Mike Cameron is on the 15 day DL . Oh what a surprise that is ? Were he a race horse the veterinarian might well have considered euthanizing the often injured player. If there’s said to be a real disappointment however , then it has to be the inconsistency of the front-line starters in terms of the pitching rotation . Josh Beckett’s ERA of 6.31 is either an aberration or there’s a real cause for concern. I’ll let you be the judge of that if you happen to be a Red Sox fan. On the other hand, if you’re a Yankees’ fan then you’re probably rolling about the floor laughing your a_s off .

How manager Terry Francona and the team goes about contesting this series may well go a long way in telling us about the Boston Red Sox and their real aspirations for the season . His opposing number Joe Girardi knows that with the bulls eye resting squarely on their backs as World Series champions . Everyone within baseball will be looking to take them down and usurp their dominance. With a plethora of high priced stars on the team’s roster . This is a Yankees’ organization that takes “their dominance of the sport” rather seriously. Winning equates with success , which equates with making money. And no professional sports franchise makes money the way that the New York Yankees is able to do. Be it from a business or competitive standpoint their success is unparalleled and unmatched .

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Picture gallery . Click on the individual frame to view under close scrutiny.

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Well all that is left to say at this juncture , is merely to enjoy the sporting weekend and the revelry of the spectacles as they unfold. Be it in support of the Red Sox , Yankees or Cavaliers or Celtics . Just have fun and hopefully you’ll enjoy the cavalcade of sports entertainment at your disposal. For myself , it may well not so much be about these two series in question. But if anything I’ll be watching to see how the San Antonio Spurs acquit themselves in their playoff series against the Phoenix Suns . They have to erase a 0-2 deficit and still play themselves back into contention. An impossible task ? Not necessarily but given the consistency of their play against the Suns . I’m hoping that they can defend their home-court successfully in order to put my mind at ease. Thereafter, it’s then everything to play for .

Alan Parkins ………………….tophatal ………


Bone Thugs-n-Harmony ……………….. “Tha Crossroads”

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The always sultry Kerry Washington .

Basketball, Cleveland Cavaliers, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers, Sports

Is It Really That Much Of A Formality ……… ?


 

 

 

 Is  It  Really  That  Much  Of   A  Formality   ….  ?

 

 

 

It’d  appear that  the  common thinking   when  it’s  all   said  and   done .  It  will   be  the  Los  Angeles  Lakers   facing  the  Cleveland   Cavaliers   in  the  NBA   Finals   for  the   2009   season.  And  that’s  as  it   should   be   based  upon  their   regular  season  records.       

 

 

 

But  here’s the  caveat    there’s  such  a  thing  as  the  playoffs    and that’s  where  the    fortunes  and   tide  of   fate   can  be  determined   for  the teams .     If  it’s  to  be   believed   then   the   Cavaliers   shouldn’t   have    much   trouble  at   all  marching  through  the  Eastern   Conference  playoffs.   

 

 

James  addresses members of the  convened  press  in the  postgame  interview.
James addresses members of the convened press after his team's victory over the Detroit Pistons in game one in the first round of the seven game series playoffs. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ Matt Sullivan ...............

 

  

As   good  as   LeBron  James  and  his   supporting   cast   have   performed   during  the  season   attaining   a  66-16   record.    The   Los   Angeles  Lakers (65-17) have   been   equally  effective   in  marching  to  supremacy  within  the  Western  Conference.  And  led  by  last   season’s   MVP   Kobe  Bryant  the  team   has   played   well .  But   at  the  most  inopportuned  of   moments   they’ve   shown  their   frailties  as  a  team.  But   this   came   from the  inconsistency  of  their   bench  and   unwillingness  to  step   up  to  the  plate  and  be   counted when  it  mattered  most.    Now  there  are  those   amongst  us  who   feel  that  this  is  nothing   more   than   a  passing   phase   for  the  team.   However  a  passing   phase   shouldn’t  be   repeated   as often  as  we’ve  seen  from the  Lakers  as  of  late.

 

 

  

 

 

The  loss  against  the  Portland  Trailblazers   as  inexplicable  as it  was .   It   shouldn’t go   unnoticed   by  those  more   astute   in the   nuances  of  the  game  that  the  Trailblazers  have   had  the  Lakers’   number.  And they’ve  proven  to  be   the   Lakers’  nemesis   and   achilles’  heel.

 

James  of  the  Cavaliers   and   the  Pistons'  Antonio  McDyess  and   Tayshaun  Prince ..................
James seen here tries to evade the defensive presence of the Pistons' Antonio McDyess in game one of today's playoff game at the Quicken Loans Arena , Cleveland , OH. Also pictured is McDyess' teammate Tayshaun Prince. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ Matt Sullivan ..............

 

  

 

While  we  can  all   agree  that  the  events  of  the   regular  season   shouldn’t  as  such  be  an  indicator  or  precursor   of  things  to  come.    With  a  Bryant  led  team  and   all  the  marbles  to  play  for   it’s  the  Lakers  that   everyone   appears to  be   favoring  at  this   juncture.   Cavaliers’  fans   obviously   feel    differently  as  to  the   unwavering  support   as  to   the  concensus  seems  to  be  growing  for  the  likelihood  of  a  Lakers triumph  in  the  NBA  Finals.   

 

 

 

 

Those   within the  city  of  Cleveland  and   LeBron  James’  fans  across the  state   are  no  doubt    hoping  that    should  the  two   teams   meet   in the  Finals.  Then   all  of the  questions  put   forth   will  be    finally  answered   once  and  for  all.  

 

 

James  takes   the  jump  shot   during  the   game   against the  Pistons.
James attempts the jump shot in the game played against the Detroit Pistons . picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ Matt Sullivan ............

 

  

We’ve all  witnessed  the   capabilities  of   both   players this   season   with the  exploits   of   both  Bryant  and  James.   If  nothing   else  we  can   agree  on  one  thing   ,  these  two   players  have   brought   a  great  deal  of   excitement  to  the  NBA.     And  though    we’ve  seen  some   stellar   displays   by  the  Miami  Heat’s  Dwyane  Wade.    The  game’s  regular  season    MVP  award   will  come  down to  a  choice  that   will  have  to  be  made   between  Bryant  and   James.    The concensus  is   that    James  is    the pre-determined   favorite.  Rightfully  so  perhaps  at  this   juncture.

But   I’d   dare  say   that  if    it comes   down  to    a  choice   then  both  players   would  willingly  accept   not   winning  the    regular season   MVP  award  and  pursue   their   goal  of   winning  an  NBA  championship   and   ring.  

 

 

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Basketball, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA, Sports

Rip My Heart Out Why Don’t You ….? It’s All But A Done Deal ………!


 

 

  

 

Rip  My  Heart  Out  Why  Don’t  You  …?   It’s  All  But  A  Done  Deal    !

 

 

 

 

Well as  the  NBA season  comes  down  the final  stretch  of the  season.  A  number of  teams  with  playoff ambitions   are  aligning  themselves  and  jockeying   for  positions  that’d  be  favorable  in  terms  of  the  seeding.  

 

 

 

 

In the  Eastern  Conference   it’s  all  but  a  certainty  that the  Cleveland  Cavaliers (62-15) will be  the  overall  number  one  seed.    And  it’s  a  deserving  mantel  to  have   for  what  can  be  best   described  as  an  outstanding  season.  Having  already   surpassed  the  60  win  threshold   for  the  season .   The   team  is   further   looking   to  cement   its  status   as  the  league’s best   team  in  terms  of  the  overall   win total  and   number  one  seeding throughout  the  playoffs.  

 

 

83009607DCE_BLAZERS_SPURS
Roger Mason of the Spurs goes for the layup over the outstretched arms of the Trailblazers' Brandon Roy in a game played at the AT&T Center in San Antonio , Tx . picture appears courtesy of nabe/getty images/ Layne Murdoch .............
 

 

 

 

That  being   said in  the  Western  Conference   the  Los  Angeles  Lakers (62-16) are  loking  to  make  something  of   a late   run and  perhaps  derail   the  Cavaliers’  hopes. Well  that’s  unless  divine   intervention  from  up  on  high .  I  think  it’s  pretty  safe   to  say  that’s  not   going  to  happen  at  this   juncture.   And   as  much  as   those   in  the  West  would   very  much   like  to  see this   happen  .  It’s  somewhat  safe  to   say  there  are  those   who’d   rather   see someone  else  seated  atop    of   the  hill.

 

 

 

 

 

Which  now  brings  me  to  my  next   point.   As  a  long  avid   San Antonio Spurs’ (50-27) fan.  I   for  one   felt  that  this  season  there  might’ve   been  a  chance   of  at  least  of  gaining   revenge   against  our  conference   rivals  in the  Los  Angeles  Lakers. Well at  least  I  thought it  was  going  to  be  that  way.    Much   of  the  season  it   has  been   something  of   a   turnstile  of  players  being    injured   and  re-injuring  themselves. Wherein  there  was  never   any   real   continuity  , fluidity  or  cohesiveness  as  to  the  team’s  play.  And  that  has  led  to   a  great  deal  of   inconsistency    despite  them  once  again  obtaining  a  50  win  season  thus   far.   Suffice  to  say   it’s  been  other  another  remarkable  coaching  job  done  by  Gregg Popovich.    Even  if  the  carousel  ride  itself  at  times  has  flirted  with   disaster.  And  the  milestones    he’s  achieved   the  man  still  remains  almost   unflappable.  He’s   won  four   NBA  titles   as a coach  and  this  season  became  one  of  a  handful   of  coaches  to  have   attained   1,000 regular  season  wins.    Joining  a  select  few   and   most  certainly   he’ll  one  day  be   enshrined   in the  Naismith  Basketball  Hall  of  Fame . 

 

 

 

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Basketball, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA

Gunfight At The OK Corral ………….


Well last  night  the  Los Angeles  Lakers and  the Cleveland  Cavaliers met  up for  what  was  meant  to  be  one  of  the  more  entertaining  NBA  games  taking place   on MLK Day.   The  two   teams  have  been  playing   so well  and  their  superstars  in the  guises  of   Kobe  Bryant and   LeBron  James   have  basically  been  dueling  as  to  their   supremacy  and  who  really  is   the  King  of  the  NBA.

 

 

 

 

LeBron James drives  for the basket  under the  defensive presence  of  Pau  Gasol of  the  Los Angeles  Lakers ............
LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives for the basket under the defensive presence of the Los Angeles Lakers' Pau Gasol ............

 

 

LeBron James of  the  Cleveland Cavaliers drives  for the  basket  under the  defensive  presence of  the  Los Angeles  Lakers’ Pau Gasol. picture  appears  courtesy of nbae/getty  images/ Noah  Graham  ………………. 

 

 

 

 

Absolutely  no  one  doubt  either players’ talents  as  they’re  both  supremely  gifted.   And  in  light  of that  there  now  seems  to  be  a  controversy  building  up  amongst  the  fans  as  to  who  really  is  the  better player.  We  all  saw to  great  effect  what  each  was  capable  of whilst  they   both   represented  the  country   during  the  Olympics  in Beijing.  Team  USA  triumphed and  both  were  pleased to  come  back  wearing their  gold  medal.  That  being   said   gold  medals  are   not  what  they  are  judged  by when  it’s  all  said  and  done.  It’s about winning  titles  and  the  indelible  legacy that  they  leave  on the  game.    That’s  what  legends are  made  of  and  usually   how  they’re  remembered .

 

 

 

 

Well  last  night  at the  Staples  Center   we  saw   the   good  and  the  bad in  both  players.  But  then again that’s  to  be  expected  when  a  game   is  hyped  into  something  in  reality  is  completely  meaningless.   There  was  nothing   really  on the  line  other  than  a  perceived bragging  right.  And  that’s about   it.  But the  way  many  of  the  fans  in question  would   describe  the  matchup. One   would’ve believed  that  the  Earps and  Clantons  were  meeting   in  Dodge City  to  sort out their  differences.

 

 

Bryant  and  Gasol  acknowledge  each other  after a well  executed  play against  the  Cavaliers  .................
Bryant and Gasol acknowledge each other after a well executed play against the Cleveland Cavaliers ...........

 

 

Bryant  and Gasol  acknowledge  each  other after a  well  executed  play  against  the  Cleveland   Cavaliers.  picture appears courtesy of  nbae/getty  images/ Noah Graham ………………

 

 

 

 

 

The game  itself  was  bedeviled  by  some   poor  shooting  by  both  teams.  And   Bryant and  James  were  a  part  of  that  equation  also.   So make  of  that  what   you  will.  I   know that  some  excuses   will be  made   for   their   poor    output  as  far  as  their   shooting   goes.  But  then   again we’re  all  entitled  to  a  bad  night  at the  office  aren’t  we  ?   It  was  somewhat  reflective  of the  night as  a whole  as  the game stats bear this  out.  But  some  would   have  still   have  you  believe  that  was   a  thoroughly   entertaining  game  and  that   both  stars   played  exceptionally  well.  In  reality  they   were   good   but  most  definitely  not  exceptional.

 

 

 

James' jump shot over  the  outstretched  arms  of  the Lakers' Kobe  Bryant  ..............
James' jump shot over the outstretched arms of the Lakers' Kobe Bryant ..............

 

 

James’  jump shot over  the  outstretched  arms  of the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant   during  the  game  played  in  which  their  Eastern  Conference nemesis  105-88. picture appears  courtesy of  nbae/getty  images/  Noah  Graham  ……………..

 

 

 

 

The   game itself  resulted  in  a  105-88   win  for  the  Los Angeles  Lakers  and  with  none  other  than  Pau  Gasol  in a  starring role  for  the  men  in purple  and  gold.  The  player  chipped  in  with  22  points  and  played   well  on  both  ends  of  the  floor.  That being   said  for the  Lakers’   fans  this   was the  chance  to  seek    revenge against  a  team  that  has  had the    better  of  them  as  of  late.  But  I’d  dare  that  a  matchup  of  this might   would  be  more  meaningful  were  it   in the  postseason, with  everything  on the  line to  play  for  ?  But as   with  all  regular  season  games  as  such  this  merely  may  have been  a  joust  more  than  anything  else.    It may  not  have  amounted   to much   in  some   eyes.    But  to  some  it  amounts  to  a  great  deal.   As   to what  that   might be   is  open  to  pure speculation  and  conjecture . 

 

 

Bryant drives the lane against the Cavaliers' Mo  Williams .............
Bryant drives the lane against the Cleveland Cavaliers' Mo Williams .............

 

Bryant drives  the lane against the  Cleveland Cavaliers’ Mo  Williams  during  the game.  picture  appears  courtesy of   nbae/getty images/ Noah Graham ……. 

 

 

 

Last  night  instead  of  being   served  up   a  feast   it  was  merely   nothing   more  than appetizer  of  the  most   unusual  of  kinds.  Those who  sought to prepare  the  meal   clearly  forgot  to make  sure  that  the  utensils  in  question   had  to  be meticulously   polished.   As  for  the  main   course   of  the  rivalry   between   Bryan  and  James  it was  much  ado  about  nothing  at  this   juncture.  In  the end  it   pointed  to   nothing  more than  two  players    trying  to   outdo  each  other   and   coming up badly   not  necessarily  when  it  mattered  most.  It  did  little   to prove  who   really  was the  better  player  on  the  night.  And if  anything  it  merely   proves  to  us  that   we’re   creating   something   out  of  nothing.    Afterall  were this  a  real   gunfight    they’d  have both   come  out  guns a blazing  instead  of  merely  shooting  blanks.