AFC West, Allan 'Bud' Selig, Baseball, Basketball, Florida Marlins, Football, MLB, NBA, NFL, Phillip Rivers, San Diego Chargers, Sports

2010 Was A Great Year In Some Sports And In Some Ways It Was Also An Unmitigated Disaster !


2010 Was A Great Year In Some Sports And In Some Ways It Was Also An Unmitigated Disaster !

Well there are but three days left before we ring in a year year and the start of another decade and as such 2010 will have left most sports fans enriched with the spectacles that unfolded in front of their very eyes. Now speaking as an avowed sports fan there were times when I simply wanted to turn off the television set or were it an event that I’d attended I was simply hoping for a refund after the money I’d paid out and the event itself hadn’t met my expectation. For me as such having lived in the state of Florida since 1992 , coming from the UK where I’d served in the military and then worked for several years in the financial world for a number well known international financial concerns. I would became enamored with the game of baseball and my support was fully thrown behind the local baseball team which just happened to be the Florida Marlins . South Florida was a buzz when the organization came into its inception and when that first pitch was thrown out by Charlie Hough in the team’s inaugural game it was of great comfort to the fans within the region who’d longed for a baseball franchise. In that time to now I’ ve witnessed the highs and lows of the organization , from seeing them win their first World Series (1997) and then with that team being ripped apart by then owner, businessman H D Wayne Huizenga merely to save a few million dollars at the time we were led to believe. The multi billionaire co- founder of Waste Management Inc , AutoNation and Blockbuster Inc would subsequently become the owner of the NFL’s —- Miami Dolphins having bought the team from the Robbie family.

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Having torn apart that championship winning team when a great many observers at the time felt that the Marlins could have successfully defended their title left a bitter taste in the palates of the fans in South Florida. If that wasn’t enough for the fans who now felt cheated the idiocy that took place upon the team’s sale to commodities’ broker John Henry ____ had many wondering what the hell was going on within the game and in part with the game’s hierarchy led by Commissioner Allan “Bud” Selig . Henry’s tenure as owner of the organization was short lived but it didn’t stop the ongoing insanity that was taking place at the time. A lease agreement was signed by the organization (front office) with the Dolphins to lease their stadium to accommodate the team’s games throughout the season. That contract was so imbalanced and weighed everything heavily in favor of the Dolphins in terms of revenue streams that the organization (baseball club) would have greatly benefited from. So much so that to this day I still wonder who provided legal counsel for John Henry and his partners at the signing of that lease agreement ? It’s clear that these lawyers could not have graduated from an establishment that actually taught contract law with any great distinction . And as short-lived as Henry’s tenure of the team would be there was little success on or off the field that came the Marlins’ way , be it from a competitive standpoint or a financial one for that matter.

Once Henry saw fit to divest himself of the team it was bought by the MLB hierarchy with a view to either contracting the team or looking for a possible buyer . With the Montreal Expos being disbanded and them being folded the team owner billionaire art dealer and entrepreneur Jeffrey Loria was given a sweetheart deal wherein he sold the remnants of the Expos to MLB and he would then be loaned $38 million dollars by MLB at preferential rates in order to buy the Marlins from the game’s hierarchy ($158 million) having sold the Expos to Selig and his cohorts ……….. in other words all the teams in the league were in essence also part owners of the now defunct Expos and prior to that the Marlins. Loria for his part having bought the team would revamp much of the front office bringing in his trusted aide step-son , Dave Sampson as Team President and with Larry Beinfest as President of Baseball Operations & GM. However rather than look to renegotiate the lease agreement that was in place Beinfest and Sampson sought to leave it in tact even though it was a gigantic financial burden to this new ownerhsip group . Over time it would indeed prove to be costly, albeit that there was beginning to be signs of life on the field of play. A second World Series( 2003 ) would be in the offing but alas history would again repeat itself as the front office would divest itself of the talent that got them to the game’s big show.

Come full circle in 2010 and the Marlins though competitive within the NL East it’s now being ran merely as a treasure chest that’s pillaged by Loria and his general partners while making false claims as to the team’s lack of profitability. That may well be true to a certain extent but much of the claims aren’t valid given the fact that much by way of the game’s tax sharing revenue scheme the Marlins have been able to inflate those figures while at the same time misconstrued facts and then getting the state county and local municipality to finance their new venue that will come into being 2012 on the site of the Orange Bowl in Miami. Once again taxpayer’s monies and the so called bed tax (hotel tax) increased service fees and bonds are being used to finance and construct a facility for a private enterprise that will be in part will be co-owned by a multi billionaire . And with there being little if any out of pocket expenses or escrow monies as a sign of good faith being put up by the present ownership group it has to be said that the local community and governmental agencies have again been duped. Given the economic blight within this state and the unemployment that rate that is now in line with the national average of 9.8% one wonders what the hell local and state governments are thinking when they’re in part cutting many services and furloughing if not pink slipping their staff ? They may well feel that the a new venue will be a boost to the economy but within the state of Florida the game of baseball is on life support when it comes to the interest being shown by the local residents. Spring Training asides other than when the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox are in town there’s minimal support shown for the Tampa Bay Rays much less the Florida Marlins . Hardcore support for the Rays might not even break 15,000 when they are in attendance at Tropicana Field and that figure is even less when it comes to the Marlins and the attendance of fans at Sun Life Stadium in Miami.

As spirited a season as the Marlins had it was as such an immense disappointment with the team’s lack of success as much had been expected given management’s feeling at the time. And for myself I disavowed my support of the team once it became known of the lies and complicit underhandedness of Loria and the local politicians in getting a deal done that will end cost the taxpayers and state far more than estimated albeit that proponents of the new stadium are claiming otherwise. Fredi Gonzalez is no longer the team manager and his position has been entrusted to rookie manager Edwin Rodriguez . The team itself now is but bare bones with the exception of All Star _____ Hanley Ramirez and Ricky Nolasco who was recently signed to a three year $26.5 million deal. It’d be safe to say that the aspirations of the Marlins this upcoming season will fall short of expectations as I firmly believe that the team will struggle to be competitive within its own division much less the rest of National League never mind the intra-eague games that will have been scheduled against AL teams .

The 2010 World Series itself brought about the rags to riches story some might say of the Texas Rangers and the San Francisco Giants who actually played like the champions that some wouldn’t have presumed they would be be . Throughout the postseason they set aside the egos and played as a team waylaying whatever obstacle that stood before them and their NLCS series against the Philadelphia Phillies (4-2) became so lopsided that it even had me wondering which team was star laden and had a multi million dollar payroll . Bruce Bochy’s Giants simply took care of the Phillies with consummate ease and then made light work of the Rangers with a 4-1 in a lopsided World Series victory. Enough said !

OK so the Miami Heat in its present format has become ‘the talk of the town’ but last season the team struggled to remain competitive within Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference . In the off-season ‘The Decision’ as it came to be known would bring LeBron James to Miami to play alongside his good friend Dwyane Wade . James for his part played the showman trying to say the right things but at the same time coming across like a child who’d found himself a treasure trove of new toys to play with. Along for the ride also would be Chris Bosh and it immediately created to my mind the comical trio ‘The Three Amigos’ that now cult film that starred Steve Martin , Chevy Chase and Martin Short . As to the pretense by James, that he’s on South Beach merely to win titles that may well be true but in essence it’s all about the money , albeit that he’s taking less money to sign with the Heat ___ endorsement deals will undoubtedly come pouring in once the corporate behemoths align themselves with the player . Team President Pat Riley who engineered this all in conjunction with owner Micky Arison have to be now sweating bullets because should this team fall short of expectations then it’ll not only be Riley who’ll undoubtedly be judged but also LeBron James . And given the player’s less than enthusiastic welcome at such venues as Quicken Loans Arena and Madison Square Gardens this season , is it any wonder the player himself has been somewhat conciliatory to the fans in Cleveland and elsewhere ? James is now about as welcomed in Cleveland as Osama Bin Laden would be at a synagogue while the patrons there celebrated Hannukah !

Now while the Heat as of late have been on a winning spree wherein they sit atop of their division they are by no means as such viewed as the consensus favorites to make it to this season’s NBA Finals . Oddsmakers in Vegas would have us all believe that Erik Spoelstra’s team are a shoo-in as the Eastern Conference representatives but given the play of the Boston Celtics , Chicago Bulls and in particular a revamped Orlando Magic —– team I certainly don’t think that the Heat will have things all their own way ! As good as this team looks on paper I for one don’t feel that their depth can match that of the Celtics who are the team to beat within the conference . Zydrunas Ilgauskas , Erick Dampier and Carlos Arroyo simply don’t cut it for me as front line players who need to be athletic in order to give the Heat a legitimate shot. OK, so the big three night in and night out will be asked to carry the offensive load but there’ll be nights when they will cool off or the possibility of a prolonged injury to one or two of the trio that could take place at some point in the regular if not postseason. What then one might ask and who steps up to the plate at that juncture ? David Stern may well be frothing at the mouth like a hyena who’s just seen its prey fall to the ground having taken its last breath but that envisaged match up against the Phil Jackson’s Los Angeles Lakers is by no means a certainty and as appetizing a prospect as at might be . A ratings’ bonanza yes but an NBA Finals without that marquee match-up and we all might as well watch paint dry. I mean last season’s NBA Finals between the two most storied franchises whilst appealing, wasn’t exactly suspenseful to begin with. Once the Boston Celtics took their feet off the gas pedal they essentially paved the way for the Kobe Bryant and his teammates to successfully defend their title and add a sixteenth Larry O’Brien Trophy to the Lakers’ legacy and cabinet showcase.

At what point of the NFL —- season was it that the San Diego Chargers started to play football ? Midpoint or three quarters of the way through ? Such has been this team’s persona over the past few seasons that sooner or later it had to catch up with them. Starting the season and then slowly progressing to 2-5 with injuries and off the field issues Norv Turner and his coaching staff were asking a great deal of Philip Rivers to lead this team with aplomb and take them back into the postseason . As poor as the AFC West has become in terms of the play , there were spirited signs being shown by Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders . Coach Tom Cable looked as if he had the Raiders heading in the right direction but as we’ve so often come to expect of this team oil and water just doesn’t mix . And suffice to say that’s akin to asking the Raiders to win consistently , so much so, that for the first time in almost five years they’d notched three successive victories in a season. Now if only they could’ve maintained that momentum throughout the season but alas it wasn’t to be as there was a lack of cohesiveness in the team’s play , injury issues and that seemingly problem that always arises, a healthy quarterback who could string together 60 minutes of continuous and consistent play. Bruce Gradkowski and Jason Campbell each had their part to play and at times they were extremely good but more often than not they would fall short of Cable’s and the fans’ expectations .

The AFC West now has a newly minted champion in the Chiefs and much of that credit has to do with GM Scott Pioli , head coach Todd Haley and former cast offs Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel who have the Chiefs playing meaningful football at the right time of the season. Familiarity doesn’t always breed contempt but given the fact that Pioli, Haley , Crennel and Weis are fruits that were borne of the New England Patriots’ tree under the tenure of Bill Belichick and owner Bob Kraft is it any wonder that this Chiefs’ organization is now being modeled on that Patriots’ template ? Success there starts from the top and works its way down to the coaching staff and players and beyond and it become a bona-fide success on the field of play. That’s the mantra now being ingrained within the organization by Pioli that hadn’t been apparent with the Kansas City Chiefs in years .

Kudos to Brett Favre , Randy Moss , Chad Ochocinco and Vince Young for showing us all that a narcissistic ingrate much like a leopard never changes its spots. Who could’ve foreseen that Favre would now be deemed a pariah both on and off the field while at the same time bring about the downfall of coach Brad Childress which in essence led to his firing by Vikings’ team owner Zygi Wilf ? If that wasn’t enough we had Randy Moss in the space of three months , played on three different teams during the season . Welcomed back like a prodigal son returning home to Minnesota to play for the Vikings , Moss made himself about as welcomed as Pat Robertson would be amongst a group of Haitian refugees or homosexuals. Suffice to say that the organization cut Moss without him adding anything productivity wise . From the Patriots to the Minnesota Vikings and on to the hapless Tennessee Titans where Vince Young’s relationship with coach Jeff Fisher is now about as combustible as Semtex and nitrolgycerin being placed in the same room would be . If that’s not enough of an indication to tell you how bad things have become then I don’t know what will . Young after a verbal assault on his coach has since been placed on injured reserve then unto the PUP list and was subsequently asked by Fisher to to stay away from the team until further notice . Moss for his part when on the field might as well be catching flies because he’s won’t be catching anything at all in terms of the Titans’ pass offense . Less we forget Titans’ owner Bud Adams still believes that Young has something to offer the team and the fans ? There’s a sucker born every minute and Bud Adams most certainly is one of those ! He might just be one of the worst owners in the NFL present .


When all you have to show for your NFL season are your accomplishments off it rather than for anything that you’ve achieved on it then it has to be time for you take a look at where you’re at in regards to your career. Not so for the Cincinnati Bengals’ wide receiver Chad Ochocinco who’s had perhaps his least productive year in the NFL since his entry amongst the professional ranks. Lined up alongside what was deemed to be a potent receiving duo of himself and Terrell Owens , Ochocinco has performed like a circus clown simply out for laughs ! Suffice to say that the Bengals’ season went south so fast that you’d have sworn that just like the Titanic this team had hit an iceberg. Coming into the season as the AFC North divisional champions this Marvin Lewis coached team simply didn’t live up to the perceived hype or expectations . And glaringly , both Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco had years that they’d no doubt rather forget. In the case of the always opinionated wide receiver he still talks up his exploits as a top line and being of the elite receivers in the league . Not so fast Chad because the likes of Devin Hester , DeSean Jackson , Larry Fitzgerald , Wes Welker and Andre Johnson now make you look all the more pedestrian ! And if that wasn’t enough the player and his teammate Owens now have host their very own cable talk show on Versus the non-descript sports programmer owned by cable giant Comcast . Now I’m beginning to understand the reason why the content there is so bad alongside that of their newly acquired network station NBC and its affiliated companies. The The TOcho Show is so pallid and a waste of resource that you’ve got to ask yourself which cable executive within Versuse came up with this idiotic idea and has he or she yet been fired by a superior ? Hopefully once the the show has ran its season it’ll be <b< yanked off the air faster than Jenna Jameson has been known to go down orally on an intimate companion.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

As to the NFC itself well suffice to say that beyond the New Orleans Saints , Atlanta Falcons , Philadelphia Eagles , Chicago Bears and the now rejuvenated St Louis Rams the rest of the conference itself has been less than appealing . It’ll be interesting to see which of these teams does in fact make the postseason how well they’ll fare . But I’m simply hoping that all the teams from both the AFC and NFC make this postseason an exciting one, and one to remember ! Last season’s fairy tale story of the ‘Who Dat Boys’ of the New Orleans and their Superbowl (SB XLIV) triumph (31-17) over the Indianapolis Colts was a welcome surprise and thankfully we all got to appreciate the finesse and greatness that Drew Brees as a player is all about . Can the Saints repeat ? Well we’ll just have to wait and see.

This encapsulates part one of a two part series on some of my most prominent sporting memories of 2010 . Be on the lookout for part two and then by all means chime in with a comment as to your thoughts on both pieces and what if anything was one of your sporting highlights of the year.

NB: Click on the link provided to read Pt 2 in this two part series .

https://abritishman.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/2010-was-a-great-year-in-some-sports-and-in-some-ways-it-was-an-unmitigated-disaster-part-two/

Alan aka tophatal ………………………..

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Candace

Eye candy Candace Pictures appear courtesy of Smooth Magazine

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Suelyn-Brittany

Suelyn and Brittany
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Jasmine  Black

Porn star Jasmine Black not coming to your local school hall or church anytime soon.

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Basketball, Boston Celtics, Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, Portland Trailblazers

Stripper Poles Or NBA Polls ………… Which Gets Your Direction And Immediate Attention ?


Stripper Poles Or NBA Polls ………… Which Gets Your Direction And Immediate Attention ?

I’ve never been one to really put much store in polls unless it’s pole that’s actually being adorned by an exotic dancer . Needless to say that with the NBA __ season now in full swing and but a quarter of the way through already some fans out there are already putting up their polls as to who they believe are the best in the league given the teams’ records. That may well be all well and good but anything can be read into a poll given the amount of information stated at the time. To my mind we don’t really know much about the teams until we are at least a third of the way through the season. But realistically we can as such say that a number of teams are merely now there only to make up the numbers .

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Slide show gallery for your perusal .

Unfortunately teams such as the New Jersey Nets (6-17), Washingtion Wizards (6-16), Detroit Pistons (7-17), Los Angeles Clippers (5-18), Sacramento Kings (5-15) and the Minnesota Timberwolves (6-17) are having a torrid time this season within their respective divisions . Needless to say that their fans while being somewhat disheartened are no doubt hoping for better things down the line as the season progresses. That feeling no doubt holds true also for the other teams around the NBA and of their fans also.

Here within the state of Florida where the NBA essentially comes down to the hype surrounding the trio that makes up the Miami Heat and its remaining roster of accouterments merely there to provide some sort of support and applause for Chris Bosh , LeBron James and Dwyane Wade while team President Pat Riley basks in the glory . He’s either the most despised person within the NBA or one of the most respected given the views of some across the league . I’m sure that there are a number of fans in the city of Cleveland who’d place Riley right up there alongside LeBron James at this juncture as amongst the most hated ! The Heat having got off to an ignominious start to their season now seem to be rebounding into the form many had expect. James and Wade seem to be playing up to their expected standards while Bosh just seems to be going through the motions. I’ve seen cardboard cutouts with more life than this guy seems to portray on a basketball court. But then again this was the best that Riley felt possible given the talent allegedly on the market at the time of the acquisition. You don’t say ?

The other team within the state happens to be the Orlando Magic coached by the always animated Stan Van Gundy . Now the expectations have been high for this team over the past few years and they’ve repeatedly come up short for one reason or another . To my mind it comes down to the lack of leadership shown and the very fact that this roster beyond Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson is like milque- toast , not quite tough enough to get the job done but the effort put forth at times gives you the impression that on a given night they can be world beaters but on other nights they can look extremely bad. And while I’ve no doubt that Van Gundy will find a way to will get the Magic into the playoffs I for one don’t feel that they possess the aptitude or mentality to deal with the team I believe are the favorites in the Eastern Conference the Boston Celtics. Doc Rivers perhaps the most understated coach in the NBA has a roster of veterans as well as young players that have gelled together and seem to be getting the job done and not only that but that bench of theirs might just be about the best and deepest in the league . The same I don’t believe can be said for the Magic or perhaps the perceived favorites , the Miami Heat within the Eastern Conference.

In the Western Conference while some seem to be impressed with the run of the Dallas Mavericks and their play. I’m wondering how the hell a number of people are overlooking the San Antonio Spurs ? OK so no it’s to be expected that the Spurs given their pedigree will be in there at the end and in Gregg Popovich they have the best coach in the league outside of Phil Jackson of the Los Angeles Lakers . However when it’s all said and done whatever the Mavericks are presently doing you can’t get over the fact that come the postseason this is a team that simply melts like butter off a hot knife . And I for one don’t believe that will change at all this season should they make the playoffs. Rick Carlisle I’ve no doubt is a good coach but he’s not a hard-nose coach who’ll get at his players when they’re failing to get the job done. I simply look at his resume’ as a coach in Indiana with the Pacers and it tells me all I need to know ! Now even with the Mavericks not much to my mind has really changed …… they simply are a team that essentially boils down to one thing go out and put up the numbers on the offensive end and then as they do so often struggle on the defensive side of things. And while they have had their plaudits it goes without saying that as their season progresses we will actually get to indeed see what this team is really made of.

The reigning champions the Los Angeles Lakers seem to have their own problems at present having lost four straight games for the first time under Jackson’s reign as a coach with the team. Hard to believe that such a thing has happened now for only the first time under this esteemed coach and the Lakers. And while there are some naive enough to think that this may well show some cracks in the vulnerability of the Los Angeles Lakers . You would be foolhardy to think that Jackson won’t find a way to fix things. Point being Phil Jackson knows how to win and one seriously doubts that Kobe Bryant won’t actually get at his teammates and tell them to pull their fingers out their own ass and get the job done . He’s as determined as anyone to prove those out there that he and not James is the rightful successor to assume the mantel as the face of the NBA since Michael Jordan’s departure. I think that 5 NBA titles, league MVP award and 2 time NBA Finals’ MVP awards gives him sort of credibility don’t you ? The team merely has to stop being complacent and simply play to its strengths rather than down to the level of their opponents . If they can do that then there’s no reason to believe why they cannot play themselves back into contention and make a return to the NBA Finals .

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Picture gallery for your perusal . By clicking on a frame you can view that picture in its original formatted size.


From my own perspective this season and in particular within the Western Conference we could very well see a number of surprises within the divisions . I’ve no doubt that the likes of the Portland Trailblazers and Oklahoma City Thunder can stake a claim that they ought to be feared and be a major part of the postseason if they play up to their potential. For me , the most exciting duo in the league at present is the tandem of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant . There’s something to suggest that given the right set of circumstances these two players could lift this team to unexpected heights this season . But for their inexperience in the playoffs last season they could have pulled off a major upset in their first round loss to the eventual champions the Los Angeles Lakers (4-2 ). Coach Scott Brooks and his coaching staff had to have been encouraged by what they had seen and have no doubt put those lessons learned to good use this season as his team looks to improve on last season’s showing. I for one would like to think that somehow a team like the Thunder can be the future of the NBA . They seem to be going about things in the right way and have the fervent support of their fans and the city of Oklahoma behind them.

As I’ve stated in terms of polls unless the information there is succinct and subject itself is something that is substantive I tend not to put much store by it. Polls can be made to sway or detract from an objective. Strippers adorning a pole on the other hand …… well is there a reason not to look and enjoy ? As to the NBA season so far and how it has progressed what thoughts if any do you have on what you’ve witnessed so far ? Chime on in with a comment .

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Alan aka tophatal …………………… ūüôā

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Sasha-Del-Velle

Eye candy ………. Sasha Del Velle Kicks anyone ?

Baseball, Basketball, Football, MLB, NBA, NBA Playoffs 2010, NFL, Soccer, Sports, World Cup 2010

Opening Up Pandora’s Box You Simply Don’t Want To Know What’s Inside


Opening Up Pandora’s Box You Simply Don’t Want To Know What’s Inside

As a young child were you ever told by a parent or an elder …..” never play with matches and never touch anything that doesn’t belong to you ” ? Well it’s something that I believe that in the cases of both NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and David Stern they’ve failed to heed those very warnings. Goodell seems to be delighted with the fact that the 2014 Superbowl will be held at the new $1.6 billion stadium that will be home to both the New York Jets and New York Giants in East Rutherford , New Jersey. The fact that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg seems to be clamoring over this like a young boy who’s discovered his first copy of Playboy has me even more worried. Bloomberg’s craving for the public spotlight borders if not surpasses that of the NBA Commissioner David Stern. But consider this , Bloomberg’s city will have a budget deficit approaching $1.67 billion for the fiscal year of 2011. However, he and the city’s comptroller John C. Liu hope to have the now projected shortfall reined in by 2014. However, by then it’s projected to be in excess of $4 billion . Is it any wonder Bloomberg won an unprecedented third term in office ? He’ll be creating more havoc than the pimps and drug cartel leaders could ever have wished to. You can always rely on a politician to get things done by essentially fu_king things up to begin with !

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While the NFL owners are now patting themselves on the back about this latest development. have to ask why now and why the Giants and Jets ? Merely because they’ve a spanking new edifice ? OK , so we know that the economic impact of staging a Superbpowl does mean a great deal of business for the host city and that it can garner it more publicity than it could wish , had they spent the money on marketing their city. The economic impact of staging the Superbowl can mean as much $2billion to the host city over a period of six months prior to and after the event itself. And one can well understand the reason why the cities who’ve staged the event fall over themselves and clamor to re-stage the event when given the chance. But prior to this , did you realize that NFL championship games were hosted by the team who had “the best record” from the previous year ? In the era of the Superbowl all of that went right out of the window. If anything, wouldn’t that have been more of an incentive to teams than what we’ve now witnessed ?
For Jets’ owner Woody Johnson the Jets’ organization along with his counterpart from the Giants , Steve Tisch and his organization . This has to be a more than welcoming occurrence. As it immediately gives both organizations the credibility that they seek .

Now the NFL hierarchy under Goodell’s guidance merely looks at its calendar of cities that’ve successfully staged the event and then announces the winner as they would deem fit. Surreptitiously we’re told that ballots are cast to in order to create the perception of fairness. If fairness is deemed having the owners in a room locking horns and the most influential amongst them simply holding sway , then I guess you could consider it as being fair wouldn’t you Now the ramifications of which will be that all 32 teams in the NFL will feel that they too ought to be given the chance to stage a Superbowl. If the truth be told that scenario will never see the light of day under any circumstance whatsoever ! This is a Pandora’s Box that should never have been open to begin with. But you know what frankly I hope this sh_t rains down on Goodell and the rest of these damn greedy owners to begin with ! The Superbowl whenever it has been staged has never been about the fans but more so to do with the patronage of the NFL’s many corporate sponsors and major partners. Try purchasing a ticket for the very event itself better yet try purchasing a series of tickets for a group of five or six people and see how much the cost sets you back ? Goodell and the owners aren’t and never will be the least bit concerned as to what the fans may well think or how they might feel !

Pardon me for say this but I wasn’t aware that LeBron James’ father was David Stern . For some reason the NBA commissioner is now ready to levy fines upon anyone who apparently says anything as it regards the player’s impending free agency. Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban found this out to his cost and is now $100,000 lighter in his wallet. Considering a fine of that nature, is like a ripple across a pond to someone of Cuban’s wealth. I fail to see what imposing such a fine does in the first place. Cuban, in giving a statement did not go out or seek to influence James, as to making a decision about his future. But from Stern’s mere decision and candor he thought that the owner was bringing undue influence to bear upon the player. David Stern is acting like an autocratic despotic leader whose very command must be obeyed. He’s protecting James as if he were his child. I think LeBron can defend himself as and when needs be ! And in referring to David Stern , we call the likes of Hugo Chavez and Kim Jong-Il maniacal in terms of their authority and power ? Stern makes those two despotic leaders seem like mere children at play when it comes to undue use of power !

Tonight the Eastern Conference Final ___ series resumes between the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic . With the Magic still steering elimination in the face being down 3-1 in the series . It will be interesting to see the resolve being shown by this Stan Van Gundy coached team . Their play through much of this series has been un-inspirational and lackluster to say the very least. And the fact that there’s not been much of a sighting of Dwight Howard in the series until game four’s explosive output of 32 points and 16 rebounds on the way to the team’s 96-92 victory over the Celtics. You had the impression that the team would bow inauspiciously out the conference finals , making history as the first team that swept their opponents in the opening two rounds of the playoffs and were then swept themselves. In staving off that scenario they still have to force a game five if they’re to at least have a chance of erasing the deficit and playing themselves back into contention.

The one thing we do know is that the Celtics led by Rajon Rondo and their veteran coach Doc Rivers aren’t going to let a one game slide get to them either mentally or physically. And if anything they’ll be looking to close out the series in front of their home crowd at the TD Banknorth Garden Center in Boston , Massachusetts.

If the Magic were the presumptive favorites to win their match-up against the Celtics. Then the Los Angeles Lakers had to have been considered the overwhelming favorites against their opponents , the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Finals . Now with the series tied at two games apiece. This contest has now become one of intrigue and suspense. And any thought it would be the Lakers now dictating the pace and structure of the contest. Well, let’s just say the most ardent of Lakers’ fans are by no means certain their team” will come out of this series unscathed. This is becoming a dog-fight that I’ve got to believe that the Lakers’ players and their fans want no part of ! Do you think that Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson has Michael Vick’s number on speed dial ?

So the rallying cry has begun to support the US men’s national soccer team as they begin their buildup to the World Cup . Unfortunately, the cry was lost on the players as they got off to an inauspicious start by being completely outplayed and trounced by the Czech Republic team 4-2 . What one ought to consider however , is that the Czechs failed to qualify for the upcoming event to held in South Africa. If this display is a sign of things to come then there’s a distinct possibility that the US team mightn’t make it out of the opening round of the competition.

Coached by Bob Bradley the roster of the squad set to open up their tournament play against fellow qualifiers in Group C ____ England on June 12th ,the day after the opening day ceremony. And that game is being met with a great deal of anticipation as whomever comes out of it with a victory will essence be in the driver’s seat within Group C. A great deal is expecte of the team but I think it best to be realist as it concerns the US team. Ranked 14th in the FIFA World Rankings their play of late has hardly exhibited that. And Bradley knows if they are to indeed to prevail then they’ll have to raise the level of their play on all fronts.

“Respect” is what US soccer says it is looking for . Well , before you get respect you’ve got to go out and earn it and at the same respect others on the same foreboding journey as yourselves. Thus far Bradley hasn’t instilled that into his team and the players have shown very little of that from the outset. Which doesn’t augur well for this team and its fortunes in South Africa. Suffice to say that they had better get it together before they fall at the very first obstacle placed in front of them.

Sooner or later you knew it just had to happen. And for the Tampa Bay Rays all of a sudden that streak that they were on has suddenly become yolk around their neck. Having lost their series to the Boston Red Sox . They look to take the third and final leg of the contest and put themselves back on a winning roll. Now don’t get me wrong when you’re still able to maintain a 5 game lead over the New York Yankees in the AL East , that is certainly no mean feat. The thing is , maintaining the consistency of play will be what really matters at this juncture. Any slip ups and it could prove to be costly for the team and in particular the coaching staff of Joe Maddon .

As good as this Rays’ team has been playing and they’ve been playing exceptionally well that their record (32-14) clearly bears this out and why many consider them to be the best team in the majors this season . I get the feeling that if they start to lose their rhythm and concentration then things could suddenly begin to spin out of control. Maddon and his coaching staff certainly has got the players to believe in themselves and each other. And that may well be the sole reason why we’ve not really seen the team go on a prolonged losing streak as of yet. Certainly when this happens to a number of teams we see them inexplicably wilt under the pressure. Not so as of yet for this team and I’m not so sure that we’re liable to see that scenario rear its ugly head. But for the moment we just ought to merely appreciate and relish what it is that they’re doing at present.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Opening up Pandora’s Box can fill you with either a few surprises , things to savor or things that you simply loathe. Here I’ve placed a few scenarios for you to discuss or perhaps you could suggest one or two yourself ? Either way simply chime in with a comment as to what you think as to what’s now happening in the realms of sports as you view it .

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ……………………………

Aaliyah ……………”Rock The Boat”

Basketball, Boston Celtics, NBA, NBA Playoffs 2010, Orlando Magic, Sports

I Want To Go To Disneyland Bitch !


I Want To Go To Disneyland Bitch !

What can you say about the Orlando Magic that hasn‚Äôt been said ? A wolf in sheep‚Äôs clothing by any other name wouldn‚Äôt do this team justice. They‚Äôve been poor in every aspect of the game in this series against the Boston Celtics that it has me wondering if this team has any pride much less a backbone ? They are gutless , spineless and all the excuses that can be made cannot hide the fact that this team has absolutely no character ! Now down 0-3 in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals they’ve shown about as much urgency in the series as an elephant or hippopotamus taking a mud bath on a hot day in order to avoid the heat and humidity !

And for the Magic fans out there looking to make an excuse for their poor display please forget it as it‚Äôs simply not worth it ! If Dwight Howard is “the best center in the game” then clearly there‚Äôs something wrong with the player ! Because from where I sit the Lakers‚Äô Pau Gasol makes Howard seem like a geriatric wearing “Depends” , going through the early onset stages of Alzheimer‚Äôs disease. Howard much like his teammates have shown about as much resolve as a whimpering child. The Magic rather than being a cohesive unit have essentially become team that‚Äôs simply outmatched by a Celtics‚Äô team that simply outplays this Stan Van Gundy coached team and wants and relishes the zeal of making an appearance in the NBA Finals . After all that is meant to be the ultimate goal is it not ?

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Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

Celtics cruise past Magic; open 3-0 lead in series

By Jimmy Golen , AP Sports Writer

Boston , Mass ,. (AP) РThere were still 20 seconds left in the game when Paul Pierce(notes) decided he didn’t need to see any more and headed to the locker room.

In the hallway, he repeated aloud: ‚ÄúOne more. One more.‚ÄĚ

Pierce helped the Celtics open a 16-point, first-quarter lead, then watched as Rajon Rondo(notes) and Glen ‚ÄúBig Baby‚ÄĚ Davis helped Boston coast to a 94-71 victory over the Orlando Magic and take a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals.

The most-decorated team in NBA history, the Celtics are one win away from their second trip to the finals in three years‚ÄĒand their 21st in all. No NBA team has ever lost a playoff series after winning the first three games.

‚ÄúWe‚Äôre motivated for what‚Äôs at stake. We see the big picture,‚ÄĚ said Pierce, who was the finals MVP when Boston won its record 17th NBA title in 2008. ‚ÄúWe were coming home for two games on our home court. We‚Äôre motivated. We can feel it. Guys know what its like to win a championship and play for a championship.‚ÄĚ

The Magic have to win Game 4 on Monday night to avoid a sweep and force the series back to Orlando. They’ll need a better effort than in Game 3, when they fell behind early for the third straight game. This time, they didn’t even mount a late charge to make it close.

‚ÄúThe most disappointing to me was that I didn‚Äôt have our team better ready to play,‚ÄĚ said Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, who was himself knocked over late in the game when Kevin Garnett was pushed into the Orlando bench going after a loose ball. ‚ÄúIt starts with me. It‚Äôs my job. I‚Äôm the coach of this team. It starts with me and I‚Äôm not happy with where we had our team tonight or anything I did.‚ÄĚ

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Watching this Orlando Magic team surgically and being clinically dismantled by the Celtics‚Äô Rajon Rondo was simply like watching a “maestro” conduct an orchestra . The Magic had no answer for Rondo or anyone else from Doc Rivers‚Äô coached team. And for a team that many viewed as the overwhelming favorites coming into this Eastern Conference Finals match up. The Boston Celtics has essentially made sure that the Magic‚Äôs postseason ambition is quietly coming to an end. Anyone under the mistaken impression that this Magic team can now erase a 3-0 deficit had better come off their medication. This team simply isn‚Äôt good enough to overcome the deficit much less possibly win a game in this series ! And even if they were to win a game there‚Äôs still not a hope in hell that they‚Äôll be even able to play their way back into the series. Absolutely no one on this team has the identity or character to play their way back into the series. All we‚Äôre going to hear from the players are the usual perfunctory of excuses possible. Even Van Gundy is liable to jump on that bitch and make the excuse as to why his team has under achieved .

No one wants to held accountable for their actions and it has become clear that this team simply isn‚Äôt good enough to win an NBA title. The biggest mistake was to even believe that the Orlando Magic in part was actually a team of character. Because if that were this case then the team would be playing with more passion and their effort would be great deal more than what we‚Äôve seen thus far. Prior to game two we had the Magic‚Äės power forward Rashard Lewis making the statement …… ‚ÄúI‚Äėve got to find out what it is that I need to do to contribute more to make the team better‚Äú . Well if .Lewis hasn‚Äôt realized that and no one from Van Gundy‚Äôs coaching staff has told him what in essence needs to be done. Then why the hell is he playing this game ? Only an idiot at this juncture would be of the opinion that there‚Äôs any semblance of the Orlando Magic playing like a team. They‚Äôve simply not shown it throughout this series. And though credit has to be given to the Boston Celtics. It does take two contestants to make a game something of a competitive contest . What we‚Äôve seen has been only one team willing to come to a contest and play while the other is simply somewhere else playing without heart and seemingly showing little interest in winning.

Game four of the Eastern Conference Finals resumes on Monday night and we’re liable to see the Boston Celtics close out the series and make their second appearance in the NBA Finals in the last three years. As to who their likely opponents will be for the time being , we’ll have to take it at face value that it will be the Los Angeles Lakers . That would clearly be an eagerly anticipated match up that would the envy of NBA fans everywhere and no doubt the NBA hierarchy of Commissioner David Stern .

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Picture gallery .

As to the Magic fans out there what excuse are you now going to come up with should the Orlando Magic be blown out of this series without a win ? As the title would suggest …… ‚ÄúI want to go to Disneyland bitch ‚Äú ! No chance of that apparently happening now , as the Magic made it known that although that venerable entertainment complex is within easy reach of them as a destination , they simply have no desire to visit . Much like they have now have no desire to win an NBA title at this juncture. If that were the case then we‚Äôd seen this team show us exactly what they‚Äôre made of. Instead we‚Äôve seen a team that was vastly over-rated and over hyped. But then again what‚Äôs new ? Isn‚Äôt that we tend to get when you have an alleged team of highly overpaid primadona athletes ?

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ……………………….

TLC ……………………………”Scrubs”

Basketball, NBA

Dan’s Got To Do What Dan’s Got To Do ………. !


 Dan’s   Got  To  Do What   Dan’s   Got  To  Do 

 

Well  considering  the  situation  that befronts  the   Cleveland  Cavaliers.  The   question  now  has  to  be asked   is   the  franchise’s   owner  Dan  Gilbert  looking to   line  up  all  of  his  ducks  in a  row  ?

 

Cavaliers'  owner  Dan  Gilbert in  attendance  at  a  Cavaliers'  home  game  at the  Quicken Loans'  Arena  in  Cleveland  Ohio.   Gilbert  is  a  founding   partner  in  Rock  Financial Inc.   as  well  as  Quicken Loans.   The  latter  being  one  of  the  largest  financial  services  and  mortgage  loan  companies  in North  America.
Dan Gilbert owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Gilbert is one of the founding partners of Rock Financial Inc as well mortgage and financial service company Quicken Loans Inc. The arena whose naming rights are named after Gilbert's company. Now comes word that he's prepared to sell a minority stake in the Cleveland based NBA franchise. It's purely speculation as of this moment the price that his potential investors are prepared to pay. But it is believed to be in the tens of millions for a 15% 20 % stake in the Cavaliers.

  

As  the  majority  stakeholder   in  the  entity that owns  the  Quicken  Loans  Arena  and  the  Cleveland   Cavaliers  franchise.    The   rumors  and   rumbling   concerning   Gilbert  and  the  very   fact that  he’s  prepared  to  sell  a  minority   stake  in  the  franchise  to   a   Chinese  investment   group  led  by  Jianhua  (Kenny) Huang.

 

 

It’s  rumored that  Huang  and   his  business  partners  were   in  town  as   guests  of   Gilbert   , the   successive   business  entrepeneur     who  created   mortgage   giant and   financial  services  company   Quicken  Loans  Inc.   Albeit  that  the  economy  is  in  something of  a  mess   primarily   stemming   from the  mortgage   crisis   brought   about   by  the   egregious   acts   by  not   only   the   borrowers  .  But   also the  predatory   lending  practices  of   many  of the    major   financial   institutions  that   led  to   gargantuan  debacle. 

 

 

We all  know of  AIGFP   (American International  Financial Products) and its parent  company  AIG.   AIGFP ,   the  subsidiary    company   behind  the  derivatives   meltdown  that  has  led  to   trillions  of  dollars   being   wiped  off  the   major   stock  indices    around  the  world.   Never  mind  the  fact that   for  a  number  of  employees  that’ve seen their   net   worth   diminish  rather   rapidly   in a  short  space  of   time. 

 

 

As  for  Gilbert’s  own  wish  to  have  a  cash  infusion  into  the  Cavaliers’ organization.  It’s quite understandable   given  the   fact that  he   and  the  hierarchy    within  the  Cavaliers’   inner circle  have  got  to  be  looking   ahead as  to  the  direction they  believe the   franchise  to  be   heading  in.    In   2010   they’ve  got  to  look   secure  the  re-signing  of  their   superstar  LeBron  James  .  And   if  nothing   else   bolster  the  roster   if   the  franchise  is  to  be   thought  of  as   a  legitimate  contender   for    postseason  honors,  in   terms  of   winning  an   NBA  championship.

 

LeBron James  leaves  the  court  after  his  team's loss  to  the  Orlando  Magic  in  game  three of  the  Eastern Conference  Finals  played  at  the  Amway  Arena  in  Orlando,  Florida.
LeBron James leaves the court after his team's 99-89 loss to the Orlando Magic in game three of the Eastern Conference Finals. The game was played at the Amway Arena in Orlando , Florida. Orlando leads the Cavaliers 2-1 in the best of seven games' finals.

 

  

The  postseason   travails  of  the   Cavaliers   thus   far  has   been   impressive.   But   now   it  appears  that   they’ve   ran  into  a  buzz-saw  in the  guise  of the  Orlando  Magic. With   tonight’s  99-89   loss   to the  Magic  and  the   fact that  they  now  find   themselves  in a  2-1  deficit  in the  Eastern  Conference  Finals.   It  might   suggest  Gilbert   may  well of the  opinion that  the   team   mightn’t  be  the  franchise  everyone   believed them to  be .

 

 

The   postseason  has    a  way  of   creating   something  of   an   illusion.    And   nowhere  is it  now  becoming  more  apparent   than  with  the all  too  unbelievable  fortunes  that  has   befallen  the   franchise.    What  was  seen   as  the  season  that  was  filled  with  so  much   promise.   All  of a  sudden  it   looks  as  if  it’s  all   falling   at  the  feet  of  LeBron  and  his  castmates.   But for   his    heroics   in   game  2 , we’d  be   talking   about   the  Magic  leading  this   series   3-0  and  looking  to  close  it  out   ,  in  double   quick   time.     And though the  belief  is  that   this   series  is   still   far  from  over and  there’s  still  a  great  deal  to  play.   One  can’t  but  help  feeling  that  a  further   loss.  And  indeed  the  postseason  ambitions    of the  Cavaliers  would  be  definitely   dead  and   buried   , bar  the  shouting. 

  

Now  comes  the  hard  part  how  will  this  all  be   viewed   by  the   fans  of the   Cleveland  Cavaliers  ?   Would  the  impression   be  that   Gilbert  is   looking  to  actually  sell  the  franchise ?   Could    his  financial    viability    be  teetering   on the  brink  of a  precipice  ?   Billionaire  or   not  this  is   still    a  tough  time  for  everyone  in this   financial   meltdown.  

 

Dwight  Howard  of the  Magic and   the  Cavaliers'   Dwight  Howard  share  a  few  words  during  a timeout  in  game  three  of  the  Eastern Conference  Finals.
LeBron James (left) and Dwight Howard share a few words during the game interval of their Eastern Conference Finals matchup played at the Amway Arena in Orlando, Fl.

 

 

Gilbert   is merely   looking  to   make   sure   that  his   slice  of the   pie   still   remains   the same.  And   if   anything   also   his   slice  of  the  American  Dream   still   is  in  tact.      The   fact that he  might   be  selling  to  a  foreign   investor   shouldn’t   really   be  a  cause  for  concern  should   it  ?   

 

 

Afterall  it’s  not as   if  it’s  a  major   industrial   entity that’s now   falling into  the  hands   of  a   foreign   invader  ?  Or   is it  ?

Basketball, Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Eastern Confernce, Kevin Garnett, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, Orlando Magic, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Sports

Someone Knocked One Of The Wheels Off My Bus …………..


So  at this particular  time  the argument is being made as to the  supremacy of the  Boston Celtics within the  NBA. Having raced  out  of the starting  gate  posting  an impressive record over the first  29 games (27-2). They’ve  now  fallen to earth with a thud  or  so  some  would  have  us  believe  with  an almighty bang. Now with a record of  29-8 there’s  a rumbling  and everyone  is questioning  the  team’s  resolve.

 

 

The Celtics' Paul Pierce  points to the sidelines having  been fouled by the Rockets' Ron Artest ..........
The Celtics' Paul Pierce points to the sidelines having been fouled by the Rockets' Ron Artest .............

 

 

Paul Pierce(34) points to the sidelines¬† after he’s fouled by the¬†Houston Rockets'(96) Ron Artest.¬† The Rockets however¬† would go on to win the¬† game¬†89-85. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Tom¬† McLendon…………….

 

 

 

 

Well the NBA season isn’t about  a sprint  as it’s really  a  marathon  of  sorts  played  out over a  schedule  of 82 arduous games. They  sap  the  physicality’s and  mentality  of  a  player  and  no doubt  a whole  lot  more. That being  said the  teams that  survive that  then  have the  postseason to look  forward  to.   And  that  in of itself  is filled  with  pitfalls that’ll  test the  coaching staff and  players alike. 

 

 

Garnett  tries  to  defend the  shot of the Rockets Aaron  Brooks .......
Garnett of the Celtics tries to defend the shot by the Rockets' Aaron Brooks .............

 

Kevin Garnett¬†tries to defend a shot by¬† the Rockets’ Aaron Brooks¬†during¬† the¬† game¬† played at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Massachussetts. picture appears courtesy of¬† nbae/getty images/ Brian Babineau …………..

 

 

 

In  the  Eastern Conference  at  present  we’ve seen  three  teams rise  to the top playing  as consistently as one  would deem  it possible.  And as we can all define consistency in  its  many  forms. It begs  the  question is what’s  now happening with the Celtics  really  all that  disturbing ? The  Boston Celtics along  with the  LeBron James’ led Cleveland Cavaliers and  the  Orlando  Magic  have the  best records  in the conference. Each of the teams in question have their  own  array of  stars. But it  can be said that  without their  trio All Stars last season’s triumph  by  the  Celtics  would’ve been  viewed  as nothing  more than afterthought  had it  been  another franchise  defeating the  Los Angeles  Lakers.

 

Yao Ming of the  Rockets  and  the  Celtics'  Glen  Davis pursue a loose ball......... .
Yao Ming of the Rockets and the Celtics' Glen Davis pursue a loose ball ...............

 

Glen Davis¬†chases after a loose ball that’s¬† also¬† being pursued by¬† the Rockets’ Yao Ming.¬†picture appears courtesy¬† of nbae/getty images/ Brian Babineau ….¬†

 

 

 

In Kevin Garnett , Ray  Allen  and Paul Pierce  the  team may  well  possess three  future  Hall of  Famers. But that’s a discussion  for another day. I  know  that there are  some  Celtics’ fans  who’ll be of the  opinion  that they   ought to be enshrined  immediately  upon their retirement  merely  because they  brought  a title  to  Boston  after some 25 years  in what was  thought to be the  perpetual  wilderness.  Well now  they’re back and  are  looking to  improve  upon last year’s  triumph. And if  anything  as we all  know it’s  harder to  defend a title the  second   time around  than  it  is  to  win it  the first time. That being said  it’s to be  expected that the team  would  stumble  somewhat this  season.  They’re  no longer viewed  as a  team  whose sum  is greater than  that  of its  parts.  And  if  anything  their foes within the  conference  as well  across the  rest of  the  NBA  have  finally  figured out how  to  pressurize and beat  this  team.

 

 

Yao Ming defends the paint as the Celtics' Paul Pierce drives to the basket  ...............
Yao Ming of the Rockets defends the paint as the Celtics' Paul Pierce drives to the basket ..................

 

Yao Ming of the¬† Boston Celtics defends the¬†paint as¬†the Celtics’ Paul Pierce drives for the¬† basket.¬† picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ Brian Babineau …………

 

 

 

 

At the start of the season the  play of their point guard  Rajon  Rondo was  at its  highest. But the player  himself  seems  to be in a  bit  of a lull. The sophomore point guard  appears to have hit  the  proverbial wall.  And if  the rumors are  to  be  believed then  help is  on  the  way  in the  guise of  the  New York  Knicks’ wayward child  Stephon Marbury. Suffice  to say  that  at  this  juncture  I’d somewhat  begin  to  question the  thinking  of  GM Danny Ainge  should he  follow  through with this  deal. Marbury’s  intentions as  a player  and teammate at times  has come into question.  But with  him  being  placed  within an environment  that  has the  likes  of Garnett, Allen and  Pierce  who in unison as  veterans  have made the  team better. I can  only honestly  believe  that  any  temper  tantrum  thrown  by  him  wouldn’t be  taken  on with any respect by the  trio.  Marbury, has always  been  about  him  and  him  only.  And his  desire as he says  to be part of  a team  and  play for a contender while  admirable. In  my  mind  I  find it somewhat  condescending.  Considering  his travels around the  league there has  to  be a reason why  the  player  has yet  to  find  a  place that  he can  really  call home.

 

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