Albert Pujols, Baseball, Basketball, Billy Hunter (NBPA), David Stern, ESPN, Football, Gregg Popovich, Jim Tressel, Major League Baseball, MLB, NBA, NFL, NFL Lockout, NFLPA, Ohio State (Buckeyes), Sports, Sports & Social commentary, Sports Commentary, St Louis Cardinals, Terrelle Pryor, Uncategorized

Are You Up For That ?


Are You Up For That ?

Ah get a litany of lawyers in a room to try and draw up an agreement between two parties as part of the resolution process in a negotiation is like extracting several teeth without the use of a pain killer . Neither side will be truly happy at all even when you’ve been told that a compromise has been reached . Inasmuch as the NFL negotiations have been going on for what appears to be in an indeterminable period of time. It’s hard to believe that the owners , league hierarchy and players represented by their union NFLPA are actually any closer to a real compromise . Granted , ESPN has made it their sole purpose of keeping us abreast of each and every whiff any move that that has taken place . But for me, this whole episode has been one complete and utter bore ! So much so , that with the NFL having already alienated much of their fan-base I seriously doubt why it is that these arrogant and pompous assholes would actually create the perception that at any time they have actually cared what the fans think !

==========================================================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

==========================================================================================================

Slide show for your perusal .

If as is to be believed that the league and all parties concerned will have an agreement in place by the 15th July at the latest then what can the NFL offer the fans this season . A slew of preseason games as usual where in large part we will see the new draftees try to show us why it is that the teams went out and drafted them in the first place . At the same time we may well get to see none other than Terrelle Pryor try and make believers out of us that he has in fact changed and is ready for the rigors of the NFL and all that it brings . Fast cars , loose women and plenty of money . Oh I forgot, Pryor was already use to that with his days served under Jim Tressel at Ohio State . So what will be new for the player ? Well first out having signed with agent Drew Rosenhaus as a client you can be sure that the ubiquitous agent will be doing his utter best to hype up his client as if he were the second coming of Joe Montana . But then again when hasn’t Rosenhaus never not been known to do that for any of his clients ? In the right environment the agent could sell oil to the Arabs right from their very own wells at a reasonable price and they would still feel happy about the transaction .

With Pryor having left Ohio State and having declared himself eligible for the NFL’s Supplemental Draft it will be interesting to see if there are any teams out there interested in acquiring the player . I am sure that there will be but as to who they might be remains to be seen .

Well the NBA Draft is almost upon us and environment is rife with a great deal of speculation as to will be the top pick in the draft . With the Cleveland Cavaliers having the privilege of that pick along with another in the top ten it will be interesting to see how Cavaliers GM Chris Grant goes about rebuilding the roster in the aftermath of LeBron James’ departure and their rather lackluster season within the Eastern Conference . From my own standpoint I do believe that Bryon Scott as the team’s coach has a monumental task to undertake as the Cleveland Cavaliers appear to be a team without a sense of real purpose . The fans within the city may well have had the last laugh in seeing the player and his team the Miami Heat succumb to the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals . But that asides it has to be said that the situation while on the face of it may well appear to bleak it could well be a number of years before we can actually view the franchise as a legitimate threat to win an NBA title .

Being an avid San Antonio Spurs’ fan I’ve read a number of blogs within this medium suggesting that GM R C Burford may well seek to trade Tony Parker or use the player as bait in moving up in the order of the NBA Draft. While on the face of it seems a reasonable thing to do . I would point to the fact that the player throughout much of the regular season was the team’s most productive player by far in terms of their offensive output . But what might be even more asinine would be for Burford to actually believe it feasible to acquire an aging Vince Carter to add to this team. The team doesn’t need to get older but simply more athletic with the younger players on this squad actually stepping up their game and actually contributing more . But given the sheer ineptitude shown by the Spurs this postseason I for one am not so sure that the fans won’t be in for more of the same should they make the playoffs this upcoming season . As great a coach as I know Gregg Popovich to be if these players aren’t motivated to get the job done then their ass ought to be kicked to the curb . And yes that includes veteran player Tim Duncan as well !

I don’t know if at this time of the season any team can really afford an injury to one of their most prominent players on their roster . In baseball this seems to be the anomaly that repeatedly tends to either add an incentive to the rest of the players or simply saps them of all of their confidence . This could very well be the case with the St Louis Cardinals and the loss of their All Star slugger and first baseman Albert Pujols for what we’re led to believe could be a minimum of six weeks due to a fractured right arm/wrist . Given the player’s productivity and what it means to the team over the course of the season any loss of this magnitude has to be profound for the organization

The St Louis Cardinals now appear to be in a tenuous dog fight in terms of seeking dominance within the NL Central . While trying to fend off the resurgent Milwaukee Brewers they also have to deal with a Cincinnati Reds team that would like to show the fans that their appearance in last season’s standings and their appearance in the postseason were by no means a fluke .

If the Cardinals are to have any chance of the team even winning the division much less obtaining the wildcard berth as the NL representative then the likes of Matt Holliday , Coby Rasmus , Ryan Theriot and Lance Berkman in particular will have to raise the level of their play over the ensuing weeks while Pujols remains on the DL . If the Cardinals can weather that storm and stay at least within two games of the division leaders then the loss of Albert Pujols mightn’t be as grave as one would have first thought . It will be however down to Tony La Russa to have his players believing that they’re still in with a fighting chance and that the loss of Pujols is not in vain .

And here was I thinking that the idiocy of the NFL labor negotiations had become a real farce ! Now I’m being proven wrong by the sheer ineptitude now being shown by the NBA team owners , league hierarchy and the NPBA (union) . Were it not for the asinine behavior continually being shown by the Obama administration of the government , the House and Senate I could have sworn that this wasn’t indeed the US but some third world country on the African continent ! Somewhere or should I say somehow , the NBA and the union seems to have found themselves in a total divergence when it comes to an according concerning their collective bargaining agreement that is due to expire at midnight on the 30th June. Suffice to say, that if an agreement of some kind is not reached then in all likelihood the fans of the NBA could see a lockout of the players . Bring on the dark days of Summer I say ! Can anything else go wrong that already hasn’t when it comes to the world of professional and collegiate sports ? I’ll leave that for you all to decide !

Courtesy of AP & Yahoo Sports

Union: Owners still demand too much in NBA talks

By Brian Mahoney , AP Basketball Writer

NEW YORK (AP )—Union officials said Wednesday that NBA players and owners are about $7 billion apart over a 10-year span in their most recent proposals, a significant gap to close to avoid a work stoppage.

So far apart in negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement that union president Derek Fisher(notes) said when players are briefed on the state of the talks, they are in “total disbelief” and ask why they even bother having meetings.

“When we put our spreadsheets up, we put it on the board, we lay it out, everybody’s at a loss for how to even begin to close this gap,” the Lakers’ guard said.

They have only until June 30, when the current CBA expires, and they’ll take another crack at it during another session Friday.

But as they continue to disagree over issues relating to the salary cap as well as the enormous gap in economics, it becomes clear how difficult it will be to avoid a lockout.

“Their demand is gargantuan and we just can’t meet it,” executive director Billy Hunter said.

Hunter and Fisher decided to meet with reporters after being caught off guard Tuesday when NBA Commissioner David Stern revealed details of the league’s latest proposal during a press conference after a bargaining session. Both sides had largely kept specifics from the media during the negotiations.

Yet Stern and Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver laid out their proposal for what they called a “flex cap,” in which teams would be targeted to spend $62 million in salary, but could exceed that number through the use of exceptions to an unspecified level before the ceiling kicked in.

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

Click on the link shown to read this article in its entirety .

================================================================================================

If what we’re being led to believe is that the two sides are so far apart , as in trying to alleviate this issue with both parties aren’t able to come to an agreement , wherein they can successfully reach an accord as to how best to equally split a projected revenue stream of $ 7 billion over the next decade then there’s something seriously wrong with the thinking of parties . Not unlike the idiocy we’re now seeing concerning Democrats , GOP and the President as they try to rein in the runaway spending and an ever deepening deficit and national debt . Can I get a what , what here ?

I’ve never really been enamored with David Stern as the commissioner of the NBA and I simply do not trust anything that has been set forth by NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter or anyone from the union’s executive committee led by union President Derek Fisher . Both sides at present would rather have a pissing contest , seeing who best can actually write their name in the sand . Can any of these bumbling oafs actually see the forest but for the trees ? Then one has to consider that should a labor stoppage now begin in earnest where does it leave the players now awaiting the commencement of tonight’s NBA Draft ?

Now as we head on into the dank dark days of summer no doubt hoping to enjoy a season of fun in terms of what sporting offers there are to be had . I’m not so sure that we are all expecting will actually be that satisfactory to begin with . I mean simply look across the collegiate landscape to see the machinations that have taken place there ? I’m sure that Jim Tressel if he had it to do all over again would have preferred to have had a tattoo on the end of his member, asking all those who view it, to pull ! But instead, it was left to Prior and several of his now former teammates to blow that bitch asunder for us to actually know that collegiate athletics has always been a complete joke to begin with ! Needless to say those devout fans of USC would like to tell us otherwise .

==============================================================================================================

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

==============================================================================================================

Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised within this piece ? Simply leave a comment as you would deem fit and thanks as always for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated !

Alan aka tophatal ……. http://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .

——————————————————————————————————————————————-

(1) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, left, hugs his wife, Candice Romo at his annual football fundamentals camp at Burlington High School, Wednesday, June 22, 2011, in Burlington, Wis. They were married May 28. Romo graduated from the school. The two-day camp is for athletes entering grades 7-12. AP Photo/Journal Times, Mark Hertzberg …

(2) Woody Johnson, left, owner of the New York Jets, talks with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft at the NFL football owners meetings in Rosemont, Ill., Tuesday, June 21, 2011. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh ……

(3) Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, second from right, and others grab a bite to eat during the NFL football owners meetings in Rosemont, Ill., Tuesday, June 21, 2011. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh …..

(4) NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a news conference at the NFL football owners meetings in Rosemont, Ill., Tuesday, June 21, 2011. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh ….

(5) Terrelle Pryor ended his silence Tuesday — for exactly 97 seconds. Pryor (right) is seen here with his agent Drew Rosenhaus and Rosenhaus associate Robert Bailey (left). AP Photo / Michael Croft ……

(6) FILE – This April 29, 2011 , file photo shows San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, right, talking with guard Tony Parker, of France, during the first half of Game 6 against the Memphis Grizzlies , in a first-round NBA basketball playoff game, in Memphis, Tenn. Parker is backing off earlier comments to French media that San Antonio realistically has no more chances to win another championship. The comments came a few weeks after the 61-win Spurs were upset in the first round by eighth-seeded Memphis. AP Photo/Mark Humphrey ……

(7) ST. LOUIS, MO – JUNE 22: Lance Berkman (12 ) of the St. Louis Cardinals double up Ryan Howard (6) of the Philadelphia Phillies at Busch Stadium on June 22, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Phillies would go on to defeat the Caridnals 4-0 . Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images …..

(8) Starter Cliff Lee(33) and Carlos Ruiz (51) both of the Philadelphia Phillies congratulate each other after beating the St. Louis Cardinals at Cardinals at Busch Stadium on June 22, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images ……

(9) St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols stands in the dugout with his left arm in a soft cast during the Cardinals’ baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies pm Tuesday, June 21, 2011, in St. Louis. Pujols will be out 4-6 weeks after being injured on a play during a game against the Kansas City Royals on Sunday. AP Photo/Jeff Roberson …

(10) NBA Commissioner David Stern, left, gestures as he sits next to Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver , following a meeting between team owners and the NBA players’ union on Tuesday, June 21, 2011, in New York. Both sides made new proposals in a 3 1/2-hour meeting on what Stern said was an important day in the league’s labor talks. The collective bargaining agreement expires June 30. AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews ……

(11) Los Angeles Lakers basketball player Derek Fisher holds a press briefing following a meeting between team owners and the NBA player’s union on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 in New York . AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews …..

(12) Billy Hunter, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, holds a press briefing following a meeting between team owners and the NBA player’s union on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 in New York. AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews …..

(13) These recent handouts provided by their respective schools or overseas team, show 2011 NBA basketball draft prospects. Top from left are Nolan Smith, Duke; Malcolm Thomas, San Diego State; Trey Thompkins, Georgia; Klay Thompson, Washington State; Tristan Thompson, Texas, and Jeremy Tyler, Tokyo Apache. Bottom from left are Jonas Valanciunas, Lietuvos Rytas (Lithuania); Jan Vesely, Partizan Belgrade (Serbia); Nikola Vicevic, Southern Cal; Kemba Walker, Connecticut, Derrick Williams, Arizona, and Jordan Williams, Maryland. AP Photo / File …….

(14) Toronto Raptors new head coach Dwane Casey , left, and general manager Bryan Colangelo pose following a basketball conference in Toronto on Tuesday, June 21, 2011. Casey was hired as coach of the Raptors on Tuesday, nine days after the Dallas assistant helped the Mavericks win an NBA title. AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young ……

====================================================================================================

MLB News

MLB Standings

MLB Standings wildcard

MLB Schedule 3 days at a glance

MLB Results & scores 22nd June 2011

NBA News

NBA Draft 2011

NBA Draft Order

NBA Draft prospects

NFL News

Allan 'Bud' Selig, Basketball, Billy Hunter (NBPA), Commissioner Roger Goodell, David Stern, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, Phil Jackson, Sports, Sports Economics, Sports & Social commentary, Sports Commentary

Speak When You’re Spoken To ……………


Speak When You’re Spoken To ……………

I find it somewhat amusing that NBA Commissioner David Stern continues to treat the NBA as if it’s his own personal fiefdom ! He seems to forget it’s the players who make the game what it is albeit that he assisted in making the brand such a global phenomenon. Stern and the hierarchy along with the team owners have seen the brand grow exponentially into a multi billion enterprise and to where the players are handsomely compensated alongside the coaches within the league .

===============================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

============================================================================

Slide show for your perusal .

Now as the postseason beckons and the 16 teams left to participate in the NBA’s postseason competitive play we now find the game’s most respected coach Phil Jackson amidst some controversy as he openly speaks his mind . The Los Angeles Lakers’ coach in a recent postgame interview which was the finale to the team’s season was asked by the convened press about his team’s chances in the postseason as well as his impending future as it regards the organization. It has long been believed that this may well be Jackson’s last season with the team that he’s coached to five NBA titles . Jackson in his response was forthcoming, saying that he felt good about the team’s prospects and that a final decision hadn’t yet been made as to his immediate future . But he coyly suggested that he may well return to the quiet life while spending more time with his family. That in of-itself would have been enough to satisfy the media there at the time but the coach went on to suggest that it is his belief that the league is now heading towards an imposed lockout because of the impasse that there now is between the NBA and NBPA (Players Union). Now this was merely Jackson’s view and as such it may not have been shared by any of his peers , so in effect it was a personal response and should not be seen as an attack on the integrity of the league as a whole.

In the aftermath of Phil Jackson’s public statement to the press on his feelings about a possible NBA sanctioned lockout David Stern saw fit to impose a $75,000 fine on the coach for his statement . Unless I’m mistaken , Jackson hadn’t contravened any of the league’s rules in making his feelings known nor was it a matter whereby he had spoken on the record as to any discussions that might be taking place between Stern and his union counterpart NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter . So herein lies my question , what was it that was said by Jackson that angered David Stern to the extent where he felt that he had to impose a fine on the Lakers’ coach ? Had he spoken derogatory about an official , player , owner or even an executive of another team ? No , that simply wasn’t the case in any of the premises mentioned . But somehow the narcissistic Stern has taken umbrage to the fact that the league’s most recognized figure in terms of a coach spoke his mind. Not in the case, where he’s being derogatory about anyone but merely from a point of offering his view as to what he believes is liable to happen between the two sides should there not be an agreement reached as it relates to the existing collective bargaining agreement.

I’ve long felt that the power that Stern has as the commissioner of the NBA makes him so autocratic and likened to dictator ! He may well be to my mind certainly the most powerful executive in any of the four major sports . He certainly has to be more powerful than NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman , most definitely more powerful than Bud Selig and in baseball and I simply know that he’s way more intelligent than his NFL counterpart Roger Goodell !

If David Stern is to have any real credibility in the league amongst the owners , team executives , players and even the referees themselves then he’ll have to know when to rein in that leash of his rather than coming across as a tyrant . His run ins with Dallas Mavericks’ team owner Mark Cuban have been well chronicled . Such has been the case to where Cuban has paid in excess of a $1 million in fines imposed upon him by the commissioner for many of his pubic utterances be they about the inconsistencies of the officiating during the regular season and postseason as well as Stern’s own inconsistencies when it comes to meting out punishment to the players as it relates to their professional conduct both on and off the basketball court . But such are the vagaries of the game and its perceived image. And that if anything has always been the premise behind Stern’s intransigence I believe and his wish to be viewed as omnipotent when it comes to the power he wields ! David Stern has always been about the image of the league but what he seems to forget is that image isn’t always everything , there also has to be substance and integrity to the game as well. And that has been in part his downfall and own making , wherein he’s created a monster that he no longer has power over. I mean how else can you simply explain the situation where the players or should I say state the ‘ marquee names’ we’ve all come to know can in essence act in such a way wherein their persona becomes larger than the game itself and to the extent that the fans can no longer identify with their teams but merely with the star on that team ?

Courtesy of Bloomberg.com

NBA Projecting $300 Million in Losses This Season, Commissioner Stern Says

By Mason Levinson

The National Basketball Association is projecting $300 million in losses this season as it approaches the end of the collective bargaining agreement with its players union, league Commissioner David Stern said.

The NBA owners’ labor committee, headed by San Antonio Spurs owner Peter Holt, has been given permission by the full ownership to make a new proposal to the National Basketball Players Association in the next week or so, Stern said today at a news conference that followed a two-day meeting in New York of the league’s Board of Governors.

The figure Stern cited for the 2010-11 season was lower than loss estimates he made earlier today on ESPN Radio for previous years. He said in that earlier interview that the NBA lost $370 million two seasons ago and $340 million last season.

NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver added that about 22 of the league’s 30 franchises are expected to lose money this season.

“Business has improved, nothing to be proud of, but we’ve reduced losses,” Silver said at the news conference. “We don’t believe, within this current system, we have the ability to move dramatically much more.”

While the NBA has had discussions with the union since the February All-Star Game, there have been no formal bargaining sessions in that time, and neither Stern nor Silver would discuss the specifics of what a new proposal might contain.

The league previously cited the need for a more favorable revenue-sharing agreement, a hard salary cap, the end of guaranteed contracts and shortening of contracts as the top negotiating points for the owners.

—————————————————————————————

Click on the above link to read this article in its entirety .


————————————————————————————–

When stars such as LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony can literally hold a team to ransom in order to get what they want it does to an extent send the wrong message about the game and what it represents. I know for the players money matters as well as well as success and long term financial security . But it’s now gotten to the stage where the marquee players around the league can earn way more off the court than they can on the court merely through endorsement deals and corporate sponsorship. OK so we have Stern , Michael Jordan and Nike Inc to be thankful for that , for without the that trio I’d dare say the game and in particular the NBA wouldn’t be what it is today ! That being said many teams are now struggling from a financial standpoint merely to remain financially viable and to an extent competitive . Something that Stern hasn’t really publicly addressed and that is even in the aftermath of the now impending move of the Sacramento Kings to now the greater Los Angeles Area . Ah well , it is what it is ! Somehow Los Angeles can suddenly find itself now with potentially a third NBA franchise almost at the drop of a hat but yet they can’t somehow entice an NFL franchise to make that city its home . Perplexing isn’ t it , wouldn’t you agree ?

As to any ongoing negotiations between the NBA and NBPA there has little that has been made public by Stern , by any of his subordinates such as Stu Jackson EVP , Basketball Operations , Adam Silver , NBA Deputy Commissoner & COO or for that matter from Richard Buchanan , NBA EVP & Chief Legal Counsel . On the opposite end of that spectrum we’ve heard rumblings of the NBPA quite possibly decertifying as a union and becoming a trade association just as in the same way the NFLPA has done in their stance , to the point where both sides are now in Federal Court trying to use the justice system to sort out their ongoing problems . The presiding judge , Judge Susan Nelson may well force the two sides to mediation but bear in mind that when they sought recourse through the FMCS that situation went about as well as the peace negotiations that have taken place between the Israelis and Palestinians !

Billy Hunter and NBPA President Derek Fisher along with the union’s Executive Committee and Players’ Representatives may well not be looking to be confrontational but the situation should it go on as is being perceived could very well be as contentious a fight as we’ve seen between two sides in a long time in the professional sport’s landscape. That being said the comedic value as to what can now be gleaned between the NFL and NFLPA couldn’t have been scripted any better had it been commissioned and produced in Hollywood . Where else can you find the two main characters such as Roger Goodell and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith come up smelling even worse than a piece of elephant dung deposited on the ground by a pachyderm ?

At this juncture should there be a lockout imposed by the hierarchy of the NBA I for one won’t be in slightest have any empathy for either side ! The way I look at it much like the NFL if you simply can’t find a way of dividing the spoils of war , which in this case happens to be billions of dollars , then the impending fate should it be a long term labor disruption is one of your own making . No one else can be blamed but the parties involved !

============================================================================

===========================================================================

Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have on the statement made by Phil Jackson and his belief that there could very well be an NBA lockout ? Do you feel also that David Stern overstepped his mark in imposing the fine upon the coach ? And should the union decertify itself and then challenge the league’s antitrust status within the Federal Court System should they be able to avoid mediation how do you see things playing out within the courtroom ? Simply proffer up any thoughts that you might have on this topic and anything else as it relates the NBA . Once again thanks as always for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated !

Alan aka tophatal …………………

http://tophatal.wordpress.com/

NBA News

😉

Picture and slide show details below .
————————————————————————————————

(1) Kobe Bryant (24) of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Western Conference shakes hands with NBA Commissioner David Stern after Bryant was named MVP for the fourth time in the 2011 NBA All-Star Game at Staples Center on February 20, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images/ Kevork Djansezian …….

(2) Head coach Phil Jackson (L) 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, California. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images North America …….

(3) NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter seen here with the convened press . Hunter and his union are trying to avert a labor stoppage this off-season . But all signs appear to be that the deliberations between the two sides could become contentious . AP Photo / Richard Musgrave …….

(4) In this picture from May 2009 the big four of American sports commissioners discussed the economics of their respective sports in New York City on Wednesday. They are, left to right, the NBA’s David Stern, baseball’s Bud Selig, the NFL’s Roger Goodell and the NHL’s Gary Bettman. AP Photo / Richard Drew ……..

(5) MINNEAPOLIS, MN – APRIL 14: Former NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith (L) and linebacker Ben Leber of the Minnesota Vikings leave a court ordered mediation at the U.S. Courthouse on April 14, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mediation was ordered after a hearing on an antitrust lawsuit filed by NFL players against the NFL owners when labor talks between the two broke down last month. Photo by Hannah Foslien /Getty Images …………

———————————————————————————————–

Mase …… feat’g …… Total ………”Tell Me What You Want From Me”

=================================================================

Abe Pollin, Basketball, Charlotte Bobcats, David Stern, Kwame Brown, Michael Jordan, NBA, Sports, Washington Wizards

#23 Come On Down ………………


#23 Come On Down ………………

I’m still trying to figure out where it is that the Charlotte Bobcats and their erstwhile owner Michael Jordan appear to be heading . This team has become increasingly inconsistent and I do believe that as an owner Michael Jordan is merely living in the moment. All this from a player who’s a multiple league and Finals’ MVP winner within the NBA . We know of Jordan’s legacy as a player and his feats with the Chicago Bulls . With the mantel now being passed on to Derrick Rose it remains to be seen whether or not Rose will be the heir apparent to Jordan with the Bulls and their home at the United Center in Chicago.

========================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

========================================================================

Slide show for your perusal .

Watching the Charlotte Bobcats I can’t but help feel that this team will struggle even if the happen to garner a playoff spot within the Eastern Conference . At 23-31 they currently hold the eighth and final spot in the conference but lie third within the Southeast Division headed by the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic . For his part Larry Brown having relinquished his position as head coach Jordan and the front office had to head in a new direction from a managerial standpoint. Brown’s successor is seasoned veteran NBA coach Paul Silas who has brought about something of a more of free flowing approach to the play of the team .

Jordan for his part relies heavily on the input given to him by Silas the coaching staff as well that of COO Fred Whitfield concerning personnel decisions with regard to the team. But in large part the final decision still remains his overall.

Inconsistency has been the problem for the Bobcats and even with the veteran experience of Stephen Jackson , Gerald Wallace and the supporting cast you simply get the impression that the this team is summarily going through the motions. I do feel that if the Bobcats are to prevail this season then much of what they aspire to achieve will come down to the decisions made by Jordan and the front office. I do believe that they need to make a trade by the deadline . But the troubling for the Bobcats would be who they’re prepared to give up on their roster in order to get an offensive threat in order to assist this team ? It’d be pretty safe to say that they’re out of the running in the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes. And that scenario seems to be spiraling from the sublime to the ridiculous .

I’ve long suspected the real reason why Jordan became so intent on being an owner stems from the fact that he failed miserably as a general manager when he ran the Washington Wizard’s organization while Abe Pollin was the owner of the team. His well chronicled ineptitude in acquiring Kwame Brown as the number one overall pick in the NBA Draft . What transpired thereafter was enough to show us that Jordan’s acumen when it came to assessing and making the right personnel decisions left a lot to be desired. This time around with the Bobcats he does have well trusted front office personnel who seem to have been making the right decisions , albeit with input from the owner.

The Charlotte Bobcats much like a number of teams around the league will struggle to contend with the likes of the Boston Celtics , Miami Heat , Orlando Magic and Chicago Bulls , the four teams within the Eastern Conference that many believe will be contesting the conference semi-finals. That quartet as of now seems to be the presumptive participants for the semis as things now stand.

With the NBA All Star Game and the surrounding events due to take place over this upcoming weekend at the Staples Center , Los Angeles , California . The midseason showcase event is the NBA’s time to shine with all of its perennial stars there to be seen by the fans across the globe. NBA Commissioner David Stern for his part along with the game’s hierarchy will do their utmost to make sure the event is presented in the best way possible .

And for his own part I’m sure that Commissioner Stern is happy that Michael Jordan still remains a part of the NBA fraternity. He still is the most recognized face in the game even with the advent of such stars as LeBron James , Carmelo Anthony , Dywane Wade , Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin . Michael Jordan has and always will be the face of the NBA and for years to come . Without the era of Jordan and the Bulls the NBA would still be playing second fiddle to the baseball . If anything in terms of their business template they might just be the most well ran of the four major sports . And although the league faces a stiff upcoming obstacle with regard to the existing collective bargaining agreement between themselves and the NBPA headed by their Executive Director Billy Hunter .

Thankfully the negotiations between the two parties doesn’t appear to be as acrimonious between the NFL and NFLPA . There the chasm between the two parties appears to be as cavernous and as wide as the Grand Canyon . Both Roger Goodell and his union counterpart DeMaurice Smith have a great deal to mull over before the deadline comes about before the collective bargaining agreement is no longer in existence. It seems somewhat ridiculous that both parties who claim to be acting in the game’s best interest have seen fit to only meet twice officially behind closed doors over the last three months to try and hash out their differences. But then again should we have expected anything different between the two sides.

Stern , the league hierarchy and Hunter’s office have met regularly and have discussed their differences over the existing agreement and the concessions each side are said to be looking for. David Stern for his part and the owners have unsuccessfully tried to convince the union that the league has reached a dangerous precipice from which there’s no return unless they are able to make concessions. Stern contends that the league on target to lose upwards of half a billion dollars ($500,000,000)for the 2010-11 season . But herein lies the caveat to this all, the league isn’t prepared to open their books for public scrutiny . And even if the NBA for all sense and purpose is a private business concern many of the league’s teams are in fact the beneficiaries of taxpayers’ monies by way of incentives given when many of these teams to build or renovate their venues. You rarely hear a fan counter this argument but what surprises me is the very fact that they’ll shout to the heavens when they see that their monies are being misspent by their city , county , state and federal government.

And even now with the Obama —- administration , House and Senate fighting over the budget and federal deficit you can’t but help not hear the cries now coming from both the right and left of the political argument. But those very same voices when it comes to landscape of sports never question the why multi-millionaire and billionaire owners are able to circumvent the rules . But then again when you have the antitrust exemption that’s given to the major professional sports courtesy of Congress , it’s easy to understand why it is that you have corporate titans willing to pay big for a sports franchise and then use that as a major tax write off .

===============================================================================

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

=============================================================================

Once the season resumes after the All Star Game it will be interesting to see how teams such as the Bobcats, Minnesota Timberwolves , Cleveland Cavaliers , Washington Wizards and Sacramento Kings proceed over the remainder of the season . We can all agree that the major contenders for the NBA title are all sitting comfortably at this moment in time but those on the lower rungs of the NBA ladder will no doubt have a hard time playing themselves into contention much less have a decent season by their own lofty standards.

How do you feel with regard to the Charlotte Bobcats and the direction that they’re said to be going under their owner Michael Jordan ? Do you feel quite possibly that they can contend within the Eastern Conference or are they still some years away from being legitimately considered to be contenders for an NBA title ? Also do you feel that the NBA will be able to have a working collective bargaining agreement in place before the existing one expires ? We do know that the NBPA has already considered decertifying themselves should there be a remote chance of a labor stoppage. As in doing so it would enable them (union)to press their case within the US Federal Court System in challenging the league’s right shut down the NBA’s operations .

Picture and slide show details below.

——————————————————————————————————–

(1) Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson yells at the officials during the first half against the Charlotte Bobcats in an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Monday, Feb. 14, 2011. Charlotte won 109-89 . AP Photo/Bob Leverone …..

(2) Ron Artest (15) of the Los Angeles Lakers reaches for the ball against Gerald Wallace (3) of the Charlotte Bobcats during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on February 14, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images ……..

(3) Andrew Bynum (17) of the Los Angeles Lakers tries to stop Stephen Jackson (1) of the Charlotte Bobcats during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on February 14, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images ……

(4) Head coach Paul Silas of the Charlotte Bobcats yells to his team during their game against the New Jersey Nets at Time Warner Cable Arena on February 11, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Streeter Lecka / Getty Images ………..

(5) Seen here from left to right Dennis Rodman , Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan in their glory days with the Chicago Bulls . The three players have combined for 17 NBA titles between them . AP Photo/ Neil Crosby ……..

(6) Kwame Brown (left) is seen here with then President of Basketball Operations for the Washington Wizards Michael Jordan. The player was taken # 1 overall by the Wizards in the NBA Draft of 2001 and has struggled to acclimatize his game within the NBA over the course of his career . Jordan and the organization at the time were ridiculed for taking Brown straight out of high school when they were other more proven players within the draft of that year. Amongst the players in the draft of that year were in the top ten at the time …… Tyson Chandler , Pau Gasol , Eddie Curry , Jason Richardson , Joe Johnson , Richard Jefferson and Shane Battier . Which would lead us to conclude that the pick made by Jordan was far from being a prudent one. AP Photo / Marcus Williams ………..

(7) Charlotte Bobcats’ majority owner Robert Johnson , left and Michael Jordan, right, manager of basketball operations listen as team president and COO Fred Whitfield speaks during a news conference at the newly named Time Warner Cable Arena on Tuesday, April 8, 2008 in Charlotte, N.C. The Bobcats reached a naming rights agreement with Time Warner Cable, and a television broadcast rights deal with Fox Sports Net South. Johnson has since sold a majority stake to Jordan who’s now the majority owner of the franchise. AP Photo/Rick Havner ….

——————————————————————————————————


NBA News

Charlotte Bobcat news

Charlotte Bobcats’ history

Charlotte Bobcats roster …..

Charlotte Bobcats’ team stats

Charlotte Bobcats’ head coach Paul Silas

Charlotte Bobcats coaching staff

Charlotte Bobcats’ front office

😉
Alan aka tophatal ……………….

========================================================================

Eye candy …….. Summer Walker

Cover to cover that’s our Summer alright !

Summer  Walker

The season of Summer never looked this good when I was a kid ! Damn !

—————————————————————————————————

Billy Paul ……………… “Let ‘Em In”

===================================================================

Basketball, David Stern, DeMaurice Smith, Football, NBA, NFL, NFLPA, Sports

Can’t We All Just Get Along …. ?


Can’t We All Just Get Along ………..

March 4th and the deadline for the current NFL collective bargaining agreement expires and one would’ve thought that the NFL hierarchy led by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would by now be closer to negotiating an agreement with Executive Committee of the NFLPA led by Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and union President Kevin Mawae . Instead the two sides are said to be so far apart that the divide makes the partisanship between Democrats and Republicans within both federal legislative houses seem like a house party.

===========================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


==========================================================================

Slide show for your perusal.

Goodell has insisted that he and the owners who feel that the players’ revenues derived of income received from the marketing and broadcasting contracts are overly excessive. Smith by his own account feels that the concessions that his union have already acceded to is enough. The economy has played its part in the situation that has been created but it simply doesn’t account for the fact that the league hierarchy has been totally complacent when addressing their expenditure. While we’ve the league negotiate with the broadcast networks ABC/ESPN , CBS , Fox and NBC multi billion dollar broadcast contracts in doing so they’ve simply not seen fit to try and rein in their expenses. The 2010 season was a year when the league operated without salary cap and when one bears in mind that the 2009 season the cap in place was one of approximately $110 million it’s easy to understand why Goodell and the owners simply saw fit to allay the process. They were under the impression that simply allowing the process to drag on and then take the stance that they would choose to opt out of the existing agreement would nullify the union.

Goodell would also have us believe that should there be a lockout this upcoming season then he’s quite prepared to forgo his annual salary and simply be paid a nominal sum of $1. Considering that he earned in excess of $12 million for the 2010 season I’m wondering how on the face of this gesture would appear to appease the NFL fans in general ?

Courtesy of USA Today

Roger Goodell to reduce salary to $1 if NFL enters work stoppage

By Sean Leahy of USA Today

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell intends to reduce his salary to $1 per year if the league’s labor skirmish erupts into a work stoppage this year.

Goodell announced the move in a letter to owners obtained by NFL.com in which he unveiled a series of rollbacks in compensation for NFL officials.

Chief NFL negotiator Jeff Pash also will slash his compensation to $1, and Goodell will hold back bonuses for league officials until April.

At that time, portions of bonuses will be held in reserve (10% for VPs, 25% for senior VPs, and 35% for executive VPs), and those balances won’t be paid until a new collective bargaining agreement is reached.

The current CBA ends in early March, and the league may enter a work stoppage if no new deal is reached. Goodell has said he doesn’t want that to happen.

But with the time dwindling on the current deal and progress between the NFL and NFLPA slow to develop, the prospect of a work stoppage is increasing.

Goodell and NFLPA leader DeMaurice Smith met last week.

===============================================================
Click on link shown to read this article in its entirety .
===============================================================

DeMaurice Smith has countered in stating the league itself in collusion with the owners sought to bring the situation to an impasse by their actions. Players’ representatives from around the league have stated their opinions and they’re siding with their union chief and committee members. However there now seems to be some dissension from within as a number of players have stepped up to make their feelings known. And nowhere has this been more expressive than with the most recent statement from New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie who suggested that the commissioner and his union counterpart should lock themselves in a room and not come out until an agreement has been hammered out. What’s at stake here is nothing more than one side not wanting to look weak on appearance in the eyes of the NFL fans and the public at large. While this all is happening certain members of Congress have been observing this all rather closely. The House Oversight Committe as well as the House Judiciary Committe have sought to intervene in some way but in reality it’d seen as overly intrusive were they to do so at this juncture.

Any type of labor stoppage would do irreparable damage to the league and its image and it certainly doesn’t help in the current economic climate. A number of teams this past season financially suffered greatly having seen a number of their scheduled home games blacked out due to league regulations. It certainly affected the home schedule of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers which saw all eight of their home games at Raymond James Stadium Tampa entirely blacked out. And for the local fans in the area’s television markets this couldn’t have happened at a worse time. In an area where the unemployment rate is said to be approaching the national average of 9.8% these are indeed some very hard times for the Buccaneers’ fans and fans in general across the league. For the San Diego Chargers it was very much the same thing for the team’s hierarchy led by Dean Spanos and GM A J Smith as the team saw them having three games blacked out from their home schedule at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California . In total some 26 games were blacked out over the 2010 season costing the league and economies in those markets tens of millions of dollars in its economic impact over the course of the year.

For the Chargers this was a season which saw the Spanos family sell a small minority stake to multi-billionaire entrepreneur Philip Anschutz the co-owner of the Los Angeles Lakers and the owner Anschutz Entertainment Group Inc (AEG Inc). Now one could allude to the fact that this might be a maneuver in the offing which could see Chargers move from San Diego to the greater Los Angeles area . But if anything that would for now take a back seat until whatever transpires between the NFL and NFLPA .

Neither Goodell or Smith have done themselves any favors at this juncture with their public statements , as it appears that with each comment becoming more venal than the previous statement uttered. For the fans in general who are now observing this they can but only ask to themselves what the hell is going on when multi-millionaire players and in some cases billionaire owners can’t even be civil towards one another ?. Never mind the fact that the idiocy that’s being continually shown by both parties if this were a peace treaty being negotiated then I can guarantee you this , both sides would now be preparing for war !

With Superbowl 45 now in the offing between the two conference representatives the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers this will be the last competitive game being played in the NFL. Granted this weekend we’ll also have the privilege of seeing the NFL Pro Bowl being played in Honolulu , Hawaii but who in reality thinks of the Pro Bowl as ever having been a competitive game to begin with ? The only incentive has been for the players participating who get to pad their already burgeoning salaries with additional incentives based on season performances for their respective teams .

Should there be a labor stoppage forcing a lockout then the alternative for the NFL fans out there will be rather meager. OK at that point of the season baseball (MLB ) will already be in full swing . That being said the NBA itself is by no means out the woods as of yet as NBA Commissioner David Stern still faces his own demons having not yet reached an agreement with NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter and the league hierarchy’s unresolved issues regarding their own ongoing collective bargaining agreement. What I’d like to know is when did the earth actually fall off its axis ? Because the idiocy that’s now said to be taking place is beyond believable .

====================================================================================

By clicking on each frame you can view the pictures shown in their original formatted size.
====================================================================================

Picture gallery for your perusal.

It remains without saying that both the NBA and NFL for all of their image conscious proclivities in trying to make their brand more accessible for their fans have as such let the fans down. And while one can apportion blame on the respective hierarchies I do believe also that the players and the respective unions aren’t without blame in all of this. But you’d be hard pressed to believe that either of these parties would be prepared to accept the fact that they’re at fault in any way. Simply look at the actions of the parties concerned for what is now transpiring ? In doing so , you can clearly see why it is we’re at the point where it seems that there might be a point of no return ! An NBA or NFL lockout will most certainly lead to irreparable harm to the image of both sports. Why can’t we all just get along ?

What thoughts if any do you now have concerning the NFL and that of the NFLPA ? And how do you view the present situation also concerning that of the NBA and the fact that there also David Stern has still not been able reach an agreement with the Players’ Union ?
Chime in with your thoughts on both topics raised within this piece and anything else that you may well feel that’s pertinent to both issues.

NB: ____ Picture and slide show details

(1) NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter (foreground) and NBA Commissioner David Stern just can’t seem to get along or agree upon the financial health of the NBA . AP / Dave Caravetta ………..

(2) Derek Fisher of the Los Angeles Lakers is seen her giving a postgame interview after the game against the the Boston Celtics in Game Three of the 2010 NBA Finals on June 8, 2010 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Fisher is also the President of the NPBA (Players’ Union) and it appears that the player and his members are prepared for a lockout should they and the league’s hierarchy not be able to resolve the issues concerning the collective bargaining agreement. Getty Images/ Chris Halpern ……

(3) NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, left, shakes hands with National Football League Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009, prior to testifying before the House Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection subcommittee hearing on “The NFL StarCaps Case: Are Sports’ Anti-Doping Programs at a Legal Crossroads?”. Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball’s executive vice president of labor relations is at center. Both Goodell and Smith recently met at the NFL’s headquarters in New York city privately to further discuss their ongoing impasse as it relates to the collective bargaining agreement. It has now gotten so vehemently acrimonious between the two sides that several players are now calling for both officials to settle this issue as quickly as possible rather than it all leading to a possible labor stoppage and the alienation of the fans who’ve long supported the game. AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari ……….

(4)NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith , right, speaks as Tennessee Titans and NFL Players Association President Kevin Mawae , left, listens during a news conference Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. AP Photo/David J. Phillip ……

Continue reading

Basketball, David Stern, LeBron James, MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, Phoenix Suns, Shaquille O'Neal, Sports

Bah Humbug …………..!


 

Bah  Humbug  ………………….

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s a  certain amount of  irreverence  meant  to  take  place  when  each  of  the  major  showcase events  take place  with  regard  to each  of  the  All  Star  events  covering  Major League Baseball(MLB), the NHL,   the NFL  and the  NBA.   Which  brings  me  to  the  real  reason  behind  this  article.

 

 

 

 

To my  mind  these  events  are  about  as  meaningful  now  as  the  voting  is  on determining  who’ll become  a  charge  on that  eponymous  reality  show  American  Idol.  The  voting  for   these  events  are  mind numbingly   boring  and  even though  the  fans  do  have  a  say.  They’re merely  voting   for their  favorite  players  rather than  voting  for the   athletes  on merit.  Much  like  it is  with the  reality  show  itself.  If  that’s  the  case  then we  might  as well  have Simon Cowell  , Paula  Abdul and  Randy  Jackson  adjudicate  who  should   or  shouldn’t  be  playing  in  the  upcoming  NBA  All  Star Game.

 

 

 

 

 

The  event  itself   will  be  held  in  the  Valley  of  The  Sun .  For  those  of  you  who are  uncertain  as  to where  that  might  be .  Well  we’re  talking   Phoenix, Arizona for  the uninitiated  out  there . There’s  already  been a  great  deal  controversy  as  to   who  has  been  voted  in  and  to  those who’ve  been  omitted.  But  at  the  end of  the  day   does  anyone  really  care  for  that  matter ?  It’s  not  as  if  the  event  itself  is  all  that meaningful  to  begin  with.   Its only   reason  for  assembling  their  stars is  in order  for  their  corporate  sponsors  to get  a  chance  to see  the  players  up close  and  personal. If it’s  for  the  benefit  of  the  fans  then  it’s  sorely  lost  on a  number  of  them.   I’d  dare  say  that the  wife  a  Fortune 500 company  executive  wouldn’t   know  LeBron  James   from  Rick  James  ?  But  she  might well  know  that  if  she’s into  the  r&b  scene  or  was once  an  NBA groupie ?  Or  quite  possibly they  might  have  children   who   are  fans  of  the  sport  in  general.   

 

 

 

Amare Stoudemire  and  teammate  Grant Hill  of the  Phoenix  Suns try  to  defend the  offensive  play  of  Golden State Warriors'  Kelenna Azubuike ..................
Amare Stoudemire and teammate Grant Hill of the Phoenix try to defend the offensive play of Kelenna Azubuike of the Golden State Warriors ...................

 

 

Amare Stoudemire and  teammate  Grant  Hill  of the Phoenix Suns  try  to  defend the  offensive  play  of the Golden  State  Warriors’ Kelenna Azubuike   ……………

 

 

 

 

 

But as  this  showcase  approaches  what  are  we   to  expect ? It’s  not  as  if  the  game  itself  has  ever  been  known  to competitive . It’s  merely  an  exhibition to  curry  favor  with the  fans. Albeit  that  the ones  benefiting  from this  all  are  primarily  the NBA and  its  corporate  benefactors.  The  fans  certainly  aren’t.   But then again  Commissioner  David  Stern would  tell  you  otherwise.   For  the  twenty  five  years that  Stern  has  been  the  commissioner    the  business  of  the  NBA has  multiplied   twelve fold.  It’s  now  become  a  multi-billion  enterprise  and  its  tentacles  reaches   right  across  the  globe.    It’s   greatest  presence   is  now  in  the  Far  East.     China  and  its 1.2  billion  population  is  the  market  that   Stern  now  seeks  to  conquer.  And  with  the  Olympics   in  Beijing  having  such  a  presence.  The  triumph  of   Team  USA  was  the  greatest  sales’  pitch  that  the NBA  could’ve   wanted.

 

 

 

 

The  All  Star  Game  that  it signifies  as  alluded  to  before  is  nothing  more  than  exhibition  for  the   game to  show of  its  wares.    The  players  themselves  are  lauded  by  the  fans .  And  it  raises  awareness  and  allegedly   more accessibility  as  on  appearance  it makes  these  superstars  approachable  and   fan  friendly.  That  may  well  be  the  case   for   many  of  these  athletes  who  are  being   millions  of  dollars    to  show  off  their   athletic   abilities.   But  then  who  amongst  wouldn’t  want to  be  in their  shoes  ?  It’s   not  as  if we  haven’t   envisaged   ourselves  at one  time  or  another  being  a  part  of the winning  team ,  hitting  the  winning   shot,  scoring  the  winning   goal.   Pipe  dream  or  not  it’s  something  that we  can  allude  to.

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading