Basketball, FIBA World Championships (2010), NBA, Sports

Telling Tall Tales In The World of Basketball ………


Telling   Tall  Tales     In   The  World  of  Basketball

OK  so  what  is  that  makes  Stephon  Marbury feel that   he’s  still   relevant in  the   sport  of  basketball ?  It’s  not  as if  his career  was  a storied one  to  begin  with.  Having   played  alongside  future  Hall  of Famers  Jason  Kidd  and  Steve  Nash the  player  who  recently   “tweeted”  that  he’d   like  to  see   the now retired  Allen   Iverson  return  to  the  court  to  join  and  play  alongside him  in  China  .   Now   pardon  me  for  saying this  but what have  the  Chinese done  deserve such  a  fate  ?  Marbury’s NBA __ career  hasn’t  been  a   storied  one  and  it   failed  to  live  up  to  the  hype of the  ‘once prodigious’  blacktop  star.

For  Iverson  to  even  consider  returning  the   court   much  less   playing  in  China  given  the mayhem  in  his  personal  life would   leave  a  great  deal  to  be   desired.  In  the   midst  of  an  acrimonious  separation  from  his estranged wife.  The   player has  a  great   deal  on  his   plate to  deal  with  much  less  forming  something  of  an   intriguing duo of  he  and  Marbury  playing  professionally   in  China.  If  there’s  a  possibility  I’d   like to see   Iverson remain retired and   Marbury  well  let’s   just  say  should  he  return   to  play  professionally  in China then  hopefully   he’s assigned  to  a  team   in   outer  Mongolia or another remote Chinese province !

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Slide-show for your perusal.

Is  there  a   chance  that  the   triumph  of   team  USA  in  the  FIBA   world  championships will  be truly  appreciated  ? What  was  achieved  by  coach   Mike  Krzyzewski  and  his  staff  I for  one don’t  believe can be quantified and  appreciated. With   only  Chauncey  Billups  and  Lamar Odom  on  this national squad  with  previous  international  experience. The team led by  Kevin Durant went to  Istanbul Turkey  and   decisively  won  the   world  championships. Though  they  might’ve   been  favored   one    doubts  that  the  team  would   go  unbeaten  throughout the  tournament and   beat  the   host  nation  with   ease.    In  defeating   Turkey   team  USA won  the   world  championship  for  the  first  time  since 1994 .

USA  Basketball once  again can  consider itself  atop of the  basketball  world  internationally.  And  while  no one  can  deny  the  truly  astonishing  feat of  the  team  and the  praise   heaped upon   tournament MVP Durant . One   can’t  but ask  what   now  happens  in  the run-up  to  the  Olympic  Games  in   London  , 2012 ?  Major  stars   such as Dywane Wade  , __ LeBron  James Carmelo  Anthony  and  Chris  Bosh  were  not  participants   in   Ankara.  And it  has to be  said  that   the  players  mentioned  will  be   looking to  be   willing  participants  on  the  team  that   is  an  automatic   qualifier  for  the London   games.   Now  one   might look at  this venially,  with the  fact  that   such  major  stars  as   Wade  and   James   will   no   doubt   seen  as  automatic  choices  for  the  team   which  will  once   again  be  coached  by  Krzyzewski  in what  will be   his  last  international   tournament  as  a  coach.   In  high  anticipation  of  this    I’ve   no  doubt  that   USA   Director  of  Basketball Operations Jerry Colangelo  will  consult  with his much revered  coach   as  to  what   will  be  in   the  organization’s  best   interests  as  it  relates  to  the   tournament But   given  what   we  saw  from  these   players   who  in  many  respects   really dropped themselves from  consideration from  the  world  championship merely to pursue  the  multi-million   dollar contracts  of the  NBA  .   I’ve    got to  ask    will  it  be   fair  to  the   younger   players   who   played  with  passion  and   pride   for  their   country     to be quite possibly left  off the   team  for the  Olympics ?

And  the NBA  itself  isn’t without   discord  at  present   as the  league   hierarchy   headed   by   David  Stern  and  NBPA   Executive  Director  Billy Hunter are till  trying to  hammer  out a   comprehensive  collective   bargaining  agreement  in order to avoid  what   would  be a  disastrous  labor  dispute should  that  scenario  arise. NBA  Commissioner  Stern  has  been  reticent  to  discuss in public   not  only  how  the   talks are  progressing .  Hunter  for his  part   has   stated  that   he’s willing to  work  in  conjunction  with  the   commissioner  but  only  under the  terms  dictated by  his members. On  the  face  of this is simply about  two groups  of   multi-millionaires  not 
wanting to  give  any   leeway    image   wise  by appearing to look  weak
.

Given the  weak economy and the   fact  that a   number   of  NBA  teams  aren’t  exactly in  a   healthy   financial state.  One  could ask  the question  what  is  it  that   Stern and the  team owners have to hide ? Stern’s   idiotic  argument that  the   $250 million  loaned  to fifteen teams in 2009 in order curtail the =woes  of those teams shows that for all  of the grandiose statements made by the commissioner, all is not as it appears. But you’d be hard pressed to hear the majority of owners admit to the fact that their financial woes are  as acute as we know them to be. The  league  itself  lost in excess of $400 million  in  2009 and is forecast to lose in excess  of $500 millionor the 2010-11 season.Half a billion dollars in losses in an industry where revenues are in excess of  $ 5 billion has to be  a worrying picture for the NBA owners .

The the players’ union would like or us  to  believe  that  the owners have something to  hide and  aren’t  being  entirely   honest  as  to   their  revenue  streams  and  profits. And given that  the  league  is  a   private  enterprise  and  that  their   books   have   never   been  opened  for public scrutiny   it’s   hard  to  know where   the   truth  begins   and  where   false claims  come  into  play.

With  the   upcoming  season but  a  few  months  away   it  remains  to  be   seen  what scenarios  will   arise  in  the  NBA.  Quite   possibly  before  the  season   commences   we  could  well  see  a major  trade as  rumors  were  rife  that the Denver Nuggets were   prepared  to   trade  Carmelo Anthony  in  exchange for the  Chicago Bulls’  center  Joakim  Noah.    That   move   would  bring   immediate   dividends for  the  Bulls   should  the  trade  take   place  and   would  make the  team a    serious  contender  within  the  Eastern Conference  alongside the  Miami Heat Orlando  Magic  and  Boston Celtics.  Anything  that  would make the conference  all  the  more  intriguing rather  than  being  seen  as  a  coronation  in  waiting  for  the  Miami  Heat.

Courtesy of ESPN & Associated Press

Nuggets focusing on Carmelo Anthony

DENVER — Now that the Denver Nuggets have their management team in place, they’re developing a strategy to keep All-Star Carmelo Anthony in powder blue and gold.

At his introductory news conference Tuesday, Masai Ujiri, the team’s new vice president of basketball operations, said he’s been in contact with Anthony and will meet with him soon.

The Nuggets offered Anthony a three-year, $65 million extension through 2014, but if he rejects it, the team will have to consider trading the forward who has guided them to seven straight playoff berths.

“I think I’m going to convince him to be a Nugget,” Ujiri said, smiling. “No, I don’t know, I can’t make a judgment on that. Like I said, it’s a process and until he tells me that … we want him back, the city wants him back, ownership wants him back.”

There have been hints that Anthony might be thinking about moving on: his mansion in the Denver area is on the market and at his New York wedding to TV personality LaLa Vazquez this summer, there was that now famous toast by New Orleans point guard Chris Paul about reuniting with Melo in Gotham to form a super-team along with Amare Stoudemire to counter the Miami Heat’s terrific trio.

Anthony has never come out and said he wanted to be traded, however.

At his basketball camp this summer, Anthony dismissed all the speculation of his impending departure from Denver: “I’ve been hearing that for five years. I’m a Denver Nugget. I’m here, I’m with the Nuggets. I don’t become a free agent until next year, if I decide not to take that extension.”

He said then that he was just taking his time making a decision.

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Picture gallery for your perusal. By clicking on each frame you can see the picture in its original format.

What  thoughts  if  any   do   you  have   on  the  achievements  of  Mike  Krzyzewski being    the  first  national   coach  to  win  the  Olympic   gold  ,world  championship  gold  as  well  as  an   NCAA  national  championship ?   And  how  do   you   view the   upcoming  season  in  the  NBA   and   how  it will   pan   out   for  some  of  the  teams  ?  By  all  means  simply  leave  a  comment   and  I’ll   do   my  utmost  to  respond to   your  comments   in a  timely  manner .   Thanks  as  always  for  the   continued  support  as  it  has   always  been  appreciated    !

Alan  aka  tophatal _ 🙂 * 🙂

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Jessica_White

Model Jessica White . Who wouldn’t want to have a lick of her pineapple ?

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Baseball, Basketball, FIBA World Championships (2010), Major League Baseball, NBA, NFL, NFLPA, Sports

Did It Work For You ?


Did It Work For You ?

Well the NFL __ preseason has now started and a number of teams are looking to find a rhythm and sense of where they’re at before the regular season begins. Though I’ve never put much store in the preseason the way that some fans do. I do however believe that the rationale behind the league and owners wanting a four game preaseason schedule is merely being done out of greed and not much else . It’s bad enough that we have the coaches and GM’s tying their season to the fans exhibiting their wish to viiew their teams in the preseason and having to pay full price for those exhibition games and viewing somewhat of a watered down product . Now the fans may well have to put up with the fact that neither side can reach an amicable agreement in terms of an ongoing negotiation process of the league’s collective bargaining agreement . The NFLPA and Roger Goodell seem to be at loggerheads insofar as showing sound judgement .

With the talk being amped up that for the 2011-12 season there’s talk of a labor dispute and possible lockout . I’m now beginning to wonder whether or not this season could be the last of what we could see as in terms of professional football being played. Never mind that the now fledgling organization UFL enters its second year looking to make some inroads. But no one could ever view the UFL’s brand as being comparative in terms of the talent or competitiveness on display. That’s akin to comparing caviar and a meal bought from a roach mobile . Suffice to say that while the NFL is on display the earnest fans of the game will be on hand to witness the brand and cheer on their teams.

OK so the baseball season has not only heated up but there are now some teams now fighting for their very survival as the divisional races are now really on the line. Other than the AL West where the Texas Rangers now possess an 8 1/2 game lead over their nearest rival within the division the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim one can surmise that the Rangers are pretty much on their way to postseason play. As to who they’ll fare and whom they will meet is now open to a great deal of conjecture and debate. The one thing we can be sure of however is that the Rangrs under the new ownership of Charles “Chuck” Greenberg and Nolan Ryan are looking to make the team a complete success and bring some sense of respectability to the organization.

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Of the remaining divisional races I for one am not about to make any prognostications as to how things will fare for the teams said to be in the midst of those particular races. It’s one thing to see how error prone or inconsistent some of those teams have become without them being further handicapped by my own thoughts on their play. The one thing I do know however and think will have to happen and that is that the New York Mets will have to gut their team and completely start afresh. But what might be even more worthwhile is for Mets’ owner Fred Wilpon to fire not only GM Omar Minaya but also team manager Jerry Manuel and the coaching staff . If the two men in question can’t assess talent much less place a worthwhile product on the field of play. Then what use are they given the vast financial resources at their disposal ? And given the fact that the Mets have a payroll that exceeds $132 million , that ranks fifth amongst the teams in baseball . One has to ask the question where’s the so called “talent “ that the front office seems to have squandered this money on ? Depth alone and the entire roster seems to be made up of players that are either vastly overpaid or who are well past their prime.

Well having won the Olympic gold medal in Beijing and now back at the summit of men’s basketball . The stars of the NBA have assembled to represent team USA for the upcoming World Basketball Championships to be held Istanbul , Turkey , from the 28th August to 12 th September 2010. As the reigning Olympic champions the team is highly favored to win the competition outright. But this time around even with the team being coached by Mike Krzyzewski and his assistants Jim Boeheim , __ Mike D’Antoni and Nate McMillan in tow. I’m not so sure that this time around that team USA will have it as easy some might first think. Especially when in light of the fact that upon reviewing the roster the most experienced players on the team with international experience are Chauncey Billups and Lamar Odom . That being said with the coaching pedigree that’s on hand there should be no reason to believe why the team shouldn’t prove to be successful at these championships. The one thing that we don’t want to see is the sort of complacency that was seen in 2006 and and then in the two most recent Olympic games prior to 2008.

Playing in Group B and based in Istanbul the team is grouped alongside Brazil , Croatia , Iran , Tunisia and Slovenia . The team’s sturdiest opponents in the first round of group play will most likely come from Slovenia and Croatia and perhaps Brazil. But in no way should one overlook any opponent at this stage given the fact that these teams all qualified for what is the most prestigious international team event outside of the Olympic basketball competition , itself.

As the tournament progress beyond the opening stages it’s hoped that the team will be able to show its guile and skills under the coaching philosophy of Krzyzewski and his staff. The play of the NBA being what its is , it becomes a completely new ballgame at the international level literally. And instead of playing four quarters as we’re accustomed to seeing within the NBA , at the international level the game is played in two halves of 20 minutes apiece and where the NBA rules do not apply. But given what we know has been the preparation of the squad we should expect the players to adjust and acclimatize themselves to the rigors of the competition. One would coach Krzyzewski and the team can home victorious at the culmination of the event with another dominating performance and with the trophy in hand as well the applause of his peers and the other participants there in Turkey. Over the next three weeks we shall see if this all comes to fruition .

The fallout from the LeBron James’ fiasco notwithstanding it appears the player’s skin isn’t as tough as was first deemed. God knows based on his play within the NBA and the demise of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals this past season against the Boston Celtics . I’m now beginning to wonder who’s tougher ? LeBron James or the now “out of the closet” homosexual Ricky Martin ?

James is now said to be somewhat aggrieved to what he feels is the unjust criticism that he’s said to be receiving from such former NBA stars as Charles Barkley , Larry Bird to and to a a lesser extent Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen . Now as we know “Sir Charles” tends not to hold anything back when he has an opinion to offer be it on game of basketball or any other topic for that matter. But it appears that the now Miami Heat player feels that the criticism being leveled at him by Barkley is completely out of line. From where I sit I feel that James has placed himself in this predicament with the less genuine stance taken by him in granting that rather asinine interview with ESPN in announcing his decision to leave Cleveland to ply his trade in Miami alongside Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade . In two rather overly boring two hours he spent being fawned over by Jim Gray , James did more to harm his image and came of looking like a narcissistic idiot . Nevermind the fact that he had the audacity to accept $250,000 from the sports programming outlet for granting the interview. As to credibility , neither James or the outlet can lay claim that they now possess any !

And while no one doubts James’ ability as a player it would appear that in terms of maturity he still has a great deal of growing up to do. His vanity and no dobt the belief that he should be fawned over by his predecessors and fans like does give credence that he fully believes that he’s done enough where the asinine proclamations anointing him as King James ought to be believed and that he too believes it to be fact. What we now know to be a fact is that James while being a prodigious talent is nothing more than the usual self absorbed athlete we’ve now become use to . Soft demeanor and with his own personality flaws simply looking to avail himself of all the wealth and power possible but who’s yet to prove himself as an athlete and a leader within the NBA . Unfortunately this tends to come about when members of the press tend to feed the voracious appetites and egos of athletes such as this without wanting to hold them accountable .

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What thoughts if any do have on the topics mentioned within this piece ? By all means do chime in with a comment .

Alan aka tophatal ……….. 🙂