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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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, Football, MLB, NBA, NFL, Sports

PTI Inquiring Minds Need To Know


Unless I’m mistaken but have the Los Angeles Dodgers (83-58) suddenly forgotten how to play baseball ? Merely a little over a month ago this team had a 7 game lead on their nearest rivals within NL West, within the division . And they almost certainly had the best record in baseball. And now all of a sudden they’ve become about as welcoming a sight as the President is,to those who oppose his health-care reform package. Well, that’s in terms of their competitiveness of on the field of play. Which at this moment in time can be best described as being lackluster.

Arizona Diamondbacks'  Trent Oeltjen (right) walks  in the  winning  run  against  the  Los  Angeles   Dodgers  on the  team's  4-3  defeat of  the  NL  West  division leading  team.  In  the  foreground  is   the  Dodgers'  catcher   Russell  Martin   , leaving  the   field  as  the  game  has  reached   its  finale.   picture  appears  courtesy  ap/photo/ Matt  York  ....................
Arizona Diamondbacks' Trent Oeltjen (right) walks in the winning run against the Los Angeles Dodgers on the team's 4-3 defeat of the NL West division leading team. In the foreground is the Dodgers' catcher Russell Martin , leaving the field as the game has reached its finale. picture appears courtesy ap/photo/ Matt York ....................

Seemingly now the Dodgers have the Colorado Rockies (81-60) breathing down their necks. And those within the Dodgers’ organization and their fans would have you believe that they’re not overly concerned with the situation. Unless I’m mistaken anyone within the Dodgers’ shoes ought to have a great deal to worry about at this juncture. It’s not as if their play of late has reflected a team playing with a great deal of confidence to begin with. At the same time the Rockies have merely thought “….. what the hell , let’s give it a go and see where things take us ?” And if that’s not enough of a warning for the Dodgers . When one considers that this team has performed underperformed in their last ten games , going (5-5)against that of the Rockies’ impressive 9-1 . One can well understand why it is that all of a sudden the impression of the Rockies creeping up and then perhaps supplanting the Dodgers atop of the NL West isn’t as outrageous as it’d first appear.

Manny  Ramirez  of  the  Los  Angeles  Dodgers  watches   his  solo  home  run  in the  fourth  inning  of the  game   played   against the  D'backs   in  Phoenix,  Az,  on  Wednesday.   picture   appears  courtesy  of   ap/photo/ Matt York   ............................
Manny Ramirez of the Los Angeles Dodgers watches his solo home run in the fourth inning of the game played against the D'backs in Phoenix, Az, on Wednesday. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Matt York ............................

Dodgers’ fans be afraid , be very, very afraid . Because should your season go up in flames as to your aspirations of the winning the division. And then for your team not to regain its composure and then contend in the playoffs. Be prepared to become the butt of so many jokes across MLB . Perhaps even more so, than for the likes of the Mets, Cubs , Pirates , Nationals and Royals’ fans.

The Dodgers’ struggles haven’t just been at the plate but their once stellar pitching has all of a sudden become pedantic. For the moment we can but only take the wait and see attitude as to the team’s plight. As to the excuses that may well be forthcoming from their fans . Well, who knows what they might be should things not fare well at all ?

Madden  (left) the  former  co-host   of  NBC's  live  coverage  of  the  NFL  is  seen  here   alongside   Al  Michaels , seated   right.    picture  appears  courtesy  of  nbc.com/sports  ...........
Madden (left) the former co-host of NBC's live coverage of the NFL is seen here alongside Al Michaels , seated right. picture appears courtesy of nbc.com/sports ...........

So it’d appear that all of a sudden , the now under siege commissioner of the NFL , Roger Goodell , thinks it prudent to hire former NFL coach and analyst, John Madden as a special counsel ? Madden will provide, it’s been assumed – Goodell, with much needed advice as to issues that the league now faces. As well as meeting with the general managers around the league to discuss various problems they no doubt feel pertinent. The former coach will also keep the commissioner up to date with weekly calls .

Granted , on the face of it this seems like a wise move. But with the ensuing upcoming round of meetings that will no doubt be taking place between the league and the NFLPA and its senior representative , DeMaurice Smith. These meetings are bound to be very contentious as the two sides invariably discuss the renegotiating of the collective bargaining agreement. One has to remember that the NFL chose to opt out of this – much to the dismay of Smith. And the league takes the standpoint , that in light of the change in the economic environment – changes had to be made. However, one has to also remember that this agreement wasn’t set to become void until the end of the 2010-11 season.

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports and AP :

Madden to serve as special adviser to Goodell

NEW YORK (AP)—Hall of Fame coach John Madden will serve as a special adviser to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

The league said Thursday that as part of his unpaid position Madden will chair the coaches group in the competition committee. Madden will also participate in meetings of a general managers committee and be part of a weekly call with Goodell or another NFL official to discuss issues from the previous week’s games.

Madden retired from broadcasting in April. He says the new role allows him to stay active in football. Goodell says that when Madden suggested helping out, “it was an offer we couldn’t refuse.”

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Wise , aged and presumably viewed as something of a sage when it comes to the NFL and the game itself. I personally, can’t envision Madden being something of an enforcer . Much less, a Mafia consigliere in the mould of a ‘Tom Hayden’ , or that of Al Capone’s enforcer Frank Nitti. Madden may well bring with him a great deal of respect to the table. But in all honesty , if anything he’s more now known as a celebrity and NFL analyst.
Albeit , that as an endorser of EA Sports’ Madden NFL 10 . The game which bears his name and which has made him immeasurably wealthy. We can only surmise that Madden clearly believes that he still feels he has a role to play within the NFL. As to the pretense that he can work with the likes of Goodell and provide him with sound advice , heed the thoughts of the owners and GM’s alike. It could very well happen, but I, for one, seriously doubt it ! Madden may well have an instinctive mind and his analysis and commentary of the game can at times , be insightful. One doubts that when it comes to the business aspect of the NFL’s workings, he can provide Goodell with anything worthwhile.

The game has changed immensely since Madden stepped away from it as a coach. And while the players and their attitudes have invariably become more business like. And there’s also now more of a ‘me’ mentality as to their persona , for many of them . Whatever Madden and Goodell hope to achieve had better be tempered about as what’s perceived to be best for the game and that of its most loyal fans. Issues asides, can we actually now expect Madden to proclaim there to be a ‘Brett Favre Day’ within the NFL , anytime soon ? I mean after-all he’s been the biggest Favre supporter of them all , throughout the years. His wanderlust for the player has never been abated. And now with Favre’s return to the NFL , one might wonder whether or not he returned to that inner sanctum in order to be closer to his hero ?

What is it now with social networking and everyone wanting to Twitter ? I mean, you know things have got to be bad when the likes of Paris Hilton , Sean ‘P Diddy’ Combs feels it necessary to let you know how their day is said to be going. Where’s the rhyme and reason behind it all ? Is there no longer the need to hold a conversation with a person face to face ? But perhaps , it’s just me !

Allen  Iverson  is  greeted   by  fans  of  the  Memphis  Grizzlies   .  The  veteran  player  has   signed  a  one  year  deal  with  the  team    and   will  be  with  them  at   the  start  of   training  camp  in  October.    Iverson   states  that  he   hopes  to   contribute  to  the  team  and   assist  the  rookies  improve their overall   game ,  leading  by  example .   A  commendable  thought   by  the  player  but  let's  first   see  how  things  will   fare   for  both  parties .  picture  appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo/  Lance   Murphey   ............................
Allen Iverson is greeted by fans of the Memphis Grizzlies . The veteran player has signed a one year deal with the team and will be with them at the start of training camp in October. Iverson states that he hopes to contribute to the team and assist the rookies to improve their overall game , leading by example . A commendable thought by the player but let's first see how things will fare for both parties. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Lance Murphey ............................

Well Allen Iverson has let it be known that he’s finally found a place where he’ll be domiciled professionally. The player ‘tweeted’ that he’d be joining the Memphis Grizzlies. Laugh if you must , but at least it’s not the Los Angeles Clippers. All fooling asides, it’s sad to see a player of Iverson’s undoubted talents fall so far in such a short space of time. But the player has signed a one year deal with the team in the hope of leading them to some semblance of success. And for a team that’s never been in contention for anything within the NBA , other than being steeped in the depths of mediocrity. It’s hoped that in some way he can fulfill those aspirations for the franchise and its fans.

I’ve longed maintained that some athletes tend to remain in the game far too long. Even when their skills are on the decline and they can no longer contribute to a team. And that becomes even more glaring when an athlete performs as an individual within the sporting arena. We’ve seen it with the likes of Muhammad Ali, Oscar De La Hoya , Joe Namath and most certainly Brett Favre ! But you’d be hard pressed to tell even Favre’s most erstwhile fans that. Many of whom believe, that he’ll be able to work miracles there in Minnesota , with the Vikings.

Allen  Iverson  of the  Memphis  Grizzlies  seen  here  suited  up   in  a   Grizzlies' uniform   for  a  team  publicity  picture.   picture   appears  courtesy  of   nbae/getty images/  Joe  Murphy   ......................
Allen Iverson of the Memphis Grizzlies seen here suited up in a Grizzlies' uniform for a team publicity picture. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ Joe Murphy ......................

As to Allen Iverson , he may well be able to change some of the thought process there within the franchise. But it’s clear that this is just being done as a maneuver to lure Grizzlies’ fans within the Fedex Forum their home arena, in Memphis. Of late it has been sparsely attended for NBA league games. And with Iverson within their midst , it’s hoped by the franchise’s owner Michael Heisley , GM Chris Wallace and team coach , Lionel Hollins that the player can bring some luster back to the franchise. And as to the form that the luster might take, is anyone skeptical as to its apparent form ?

So please pardon the interruption as this inquiring mind needed to know what your thoughts might be on this particular subject matter ? Any answers at this juncture ?