Given the recent events in Portland, do you think there’s a chance the helpful persons at NBA.com might decide to pull the plug on Maurice Cheeks and John Nash’s somewhat less than scintillating blog? That is, unless the next edition has something substantial to say about Darius Miles?
(though Mo struggles to maintain the respect of his players, he’ll forever have the friendship of the stage-struck and tone-deaf).
Following his appearance in the acclaimed “Stop Snitching” DVD, image-conscious Nuggets G Carmelo Anthony (above, right) has agreed to lend his voice to a government anti-drugs campaign. No word yet as to when Anthony’s teammates will assist production of the “Stop Hiring George Karl” video, but I give it 9-10 months.
In other news, the 2nd season of “The Wire” is now available on DVD.
Ronnie Moore’s 8 year tenure at Rotherman has come to a close, the veteran manager (above) leaving by “mutual consent” this afternoon. Rotherham, facing likely relegation to League One, have appointed youth team coach Alan Knill as caretaker manager.
QPR’s Chris Day will face heavy competition for a place in the side, as Rangers have signed goalkeeper Generoso Rossi (above) to a short term contract. Rossi, who has Serie A experience with Venezia and Siena, can’t play until February 15 as he’s currently banned following betting allegations.
Tottenham have signed midfielder Andy Reid from Nottingham Forest.
Craig Bellamy, at war with Newcastle management, has gone to Celtic on loan.
Toronto’s Rafer Alston is in Sam Mitchell’s doghouse again, and the Star’s Dave Feschuk writes that the Raptors shoudn’t be surprised at how things have turned out.
He’s the same guy who was kicked off his junior-college team after he, according to a 1997 report in the Los Angeles Times, dropped a weight on the groin of a sleeping teammate with whom he had argued.
He’s the same guy who faced misdemeanour battery charges twice in the late 1990s, once for beating up a neighbour who complained Alston’s music was too loud, another time for striking a former girlfriend outside the weight room at Fresno State University.
He’s the same guy who spent a month in county jail after he refused to complete the anger-management course that was a condition of his parole in one of those cases; who spent the 1998-99 season on the NBA’s suspended list because of his prolific entanglements with the justice system.
So if you’re of the belief that people rarely change ” and that coddled street-ball superstars who’ve been heralded as legends since puberty have almost no impetus to play by the rules of society ” this season’s Alston-centric turbulence isn’t exactly a shocker.
Raptors GM Rob Babcock, when asked earlier this season about Alston’s many transgressions, sloughed them off as ancient history. He said Alston’s a changed man, a “character guy,” even. But perhaps that’s because Alston never had a long-term guaranteed contract until he landed in Toronto this summer. Perhaps that’s because now that Alston is a guaranteed multi-millionaire ” unless, that is, he does something crazy and quits the league ” there’s little incentive to snuff his short, short fuse.
One night in Boston last month, Alston threatened to quit the NBA after Mitchell benched him for taking an ill-advised technical foul. It wasn’t a heat-of-the-moment threat. The next morning, Alston was still simmering, still talking as though he was considering a career on another continent and the forfeiture of millions.
You could almost see his side of the argument. He pointed out he was one of a short list of Raptors who was actually busting his butt, and he was right.
But that message got lost in Alston’s I’m-outta-here hyperbole. It was only a couple of weeks later that he finally admitted his words had been “irrational.” But Alston had already embarrassed the club, not to mention himself, on that occasion. Now he’s done it again. And if you’ve been following his career for the past decade, can you really claim surprise?
…and I say this without wishing to sound cavalier about AIRLINE SAFETY, but at least it wasn’t Peter Buck.
This idea by the former Reds GM makes almost as much sense as my proposal to Commissioner Kuhn that MLB realign its divisions according to alphabetical order.
And never mind that revenues change over time —- how much loot do the contemporary Seattle Mariners generate compared to the M’s of the ’80′s?
On the pitch, Chelsea’s hopes of winning an unprecendented 4 trophies in one season stayed alive with Sunday’s 2-0 4th round F.A. Cup Victory over Birmingham. Off the pitch, they’re about to declare staggering losses that highlight their dependence on Roman Abramovich’s billions. From The Scotsman’s Colin Stewart :
With Chelsea reportedly set to announce record pre-tax losses for a British club of £88million, Kenyon told the BBC: “Two years ago we were seen as streets paved with gold – that is over. Chelsea is now being run properly, it is being run as a business.”
The club™s accounts for 2003-04 will be lodged with Companies House today.
They will reportedly show Chelsea – bankrolled by Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich (above) – spent £175million on new players last season, more than doubling their annual payroll to £115million.
With wages said to have accounted for 76 per cent of Chelsea™s total income last year, the club relied on a loan from Abramovich to cover the bill.
Fans fear Chelsea will be in financial ruin should Abramovich leave, but Kenyon has told supporters not to worry.
“Roman is at Chelsea for the long run. He has bought in completely to the vision of making this club one of the biggest and best in Europe,” he said.
“This was not a vanity purchase for the owner. It is a serious investment with a long-term business plan.”
As well as increasing income, Kenyon will set “some aggressive targets” for reducing the club™s payroll.
Manager Jose Mourinho is happy to work with a squad of 24 players and Kenyon admitted: “Our squad was too large and too expensive.”
These comments would seem to dull speculation on whether Liverpool™s influential midfielder Steven Gerrard is ready to join Chelsea in a £30million deal.
From last Thursday, the Orlando Sentinel’s Jeff Kunerth on an unexpected casualty from the advent of text-message mania. (link courtesy Textually)
Throughout the nation, deaf clubs are on the decline. The younger deaf are eschewing the deaf clubs of their parents for the Internet, text-messaging and e-mail.
“There is a big fear we are going to lose deaf culture because of technology,” said Rosanne Trapani, coordinator of Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services at Valencia Community College.
Those who consider themselves part of the deaf culture use American Sign Language as their primary means of communication. Based on national studies of the deaf who are proficient in sign language, the deaf community in Florida is estimated at 38,400 people.
About a fifth of those — 7,300 — live in Central Florida.
But at the Orlando Club for the Deaf, which has been around since 1949, membership numbers less than 30.
At a recent gathering, middle-aged and elderly deaf members sat at long tables, eating egg-salad sandwiches and playing bingo. A strobe light signaled the winner.
Efforts to expand the club’s membership have been futile.
“We tried for the last three years to pull the youth in here, but when they see the old people, it’s not their thing. They can’t relate,” said club historian Tim Wata, a 50-year-old Lockheed Martin engineer.
Schooley blames it on technology. Televisions come with closed-caption devices. Hollywood movies can be ordered with “open caption” subtitles. There is e-mail and Internet chat rooms for the deaf. A hand-held text-messaging device is growing in popularity. And a new system called video relay allows a deaf person to communicate visually with another deaf person or interpreter through a TV set.
“Most of them stay home — just like the hearing people,” said Schooley, 70, who worked in graphic arts.
Check out Omar Minaya’s editorial “Putting A New Face On The Mets and Burying The Low Profile” (“as told to Dave Campanaro, the public relations director for the Brooklyn Cyclones”) in today’s New York Times. If you’ve got a pulse, you’ll be wondering why the Paper Of Record chose to publish a blatant piece of self-promotion that’s far less revealing than Minaya’s periodic e-mails to season ticket holders.
At a time when the Mets have lost Carlos Delgado to a division rival and will start the season with few improvements to their bullpen and big question marks reamin in right and left field, Omar’s ghostwriter has done little to improve the team’s credibility. .
Thanks to our anonyomous East Coast contributor (whose initials are not J.S.) for passing along the following item. Though it is somewhat reminiscent of a similar ad that ran during the 2004 Republican National Convention, perhaps one of CSTB’s nearly half dozen female readers might want to check this out. Or perhaps not.
from Craigslist :
I WANT TO HATE FUCK A REPUBLICAN WOMAN – m4w 28
You know that under that super conservative Ann Taylor suit lies a dirty little whore that’s dying to come out. Ann Coulter is a hero of yours, and I’m the enemy.
I’m not a liberal, I’lm a fucking human being. Enough of this bullshit – start talking about the no child left behind initiative and watch me shove my cock down your throat. Start spewing bullshit about lazy immigrants and feel me rip those panties off…I think you get the idea.
From the Chicago Tribune’s Dave Van Dyck :
GM Jim Hendry had no comment Saturday because, legally, the Sosa trade is not completed. But it is clear the Cubs somehow have to make up the 74 homers and 186 RBIs they are losing from Sosa and the departed Moises Alou, their third and fourth hitters much of last season.
Replies Ben Schwartz,
No comment, because vacuums don’t make much noise. Now that everyone’s cheering Sammy on his way out the door, I was hoping to hear a little bit about the Cubs making up for those two bats. I hoped that Hendry had this in mind all along, which is why he was holding Sammy’s deal back until the Beltran decision. So, unless they plan on getting Barry Bonds sometime soon or will be holding down the opposition to 1 run games and shut outs all year– I’m wondering if this was all Hendry’s master plan or just the Tribune closing the wallet because of their stock dropping.
The Chicago Sun-Times’ Jay Mariotti is equally dismissive of the Cubs’ off-season moves.
Alas, as of today, your right fielder is Todd Hollandsworth. And your left fielder, to replace the bigger numbers of Moises Alou, is either newcomer Jerry Hairston Jr. or unproven farmhand Jason Dubois. And you likely can forget about Magglio Ordonez, who reportedly has been offered a five-year deal worth between $55 and $60 million by the free-spending Detroit Tigers — way too much for the Tribsters. If Ordonez has a healthy, productive season, he’ll make the White Sox AND Cubs look foolish. The one remaining slugger is well-traveled Jeromy Burnitz, who managed 37 homers, 110 RBIs and a .559 slugging percentage in the Coors Field pinball machine last season. If the numbers look great, be certain they won’t carry over to Wrigley. The man will be 36 in April, Sosa’s age. He said something last year about not wanting to play east of Denver. He tends to whiff like a madman and kill rallies. And the sense is that last season was a thin-air aberration after a terrible year with the Mets in 2002 and a brutal stretch run with the Dodgers in 2003. If Burnitz is such a terrific find, why hasn’t anyone else signed him yet? Hendry should book a flight to California, where Ordonez will be available for workouts next week. Once and for all, he will demonstrate whether his surgically repaired left knee is ready for spring training.
But, hey, Burnitz is cheaper. Never mind the extra 1,900 bleacher seats at another $30 bucks or so a pop, multiplied by 81dates every year. Never mind those expensive seats behind home plate. The Cubs have to recoup their Sosa bucks or Andy MacPhail won’t get his holiday bonus.
..and make way for Baseball Musings’ David Pinto, who writes :
Mike Piazza was married Saturday to Alicia Rickter of Playboy and Baywatch fame.
I guess this means he’s not gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Indeed, there could be no more irrefutable evidence of a man’s heterosexuality than his getting married to a lady, especially in a highly publicized ceremony.
The bulk of Peter Vescey’s column in Sunday’s New York Post concerns Portland’s handling of the Darius Miles situation, but Mr. Hoops Du Jour did leave enough room for the following :
Hubie Brown forfeited the remainder of this season’s salary when he resigned as Memphis coach. Yet the Knicks plan to pay Lenny Wilkens $6M plus for this year and most of next. If that contrast doesn’t put an end to the pretenses he left on his own volition, nothing will.
Oh, sure, James Dolan is going to allow Wilkens to quit with dignity but Don Chaney was fired and disgracefully escorted out of the Garden after years of loyalty. Does that make sense?
Wilkens’ 90-year-old mother is gravely ill, but as far as I can tell, she was 89 when he took the job and not in the best shape of her life then. If Wilkens really wanted to be with her more, he’d be burrowing into Brooklyn instead of slipping off to his home in Seattle.
Rather than discuss anything specific to last night’s thorough embarrassment of the New York Knicks at the hands of the defending champs, let us instead focus on the inevitable fallout from Detroit coach Larry Brown calling the Knicks post his “dream job”. From the New York Daily News’ John Dellapina :
Larry Brown might very well succeed in talking his way out of Detroit. But it could cost his dream team dearly: That team being the Knicks, of course.
Rather than politely decline to discuss the speculation for any number of valid reasons – not the least of which being that he still has 3-1/2 years to run on a $6-million-per contract to coach the Pistons and that the Knicks currently have a coach – Brown continues to fuel it by reiterating his life-long desire to coach the Garden’s team.
According to a league source, such public pining has the Pistons’ front office livid and many of the team’s players ticked. As any member of the ’94 Rangers can attest, it can be disturbing having a head coach either negotiating with another organization or discussing the merits of one while you’re trying to win a title or defend one.
But while Detroit owner Bill Davidson and GM Joe Dumars might be inclined to say “good riddance” to Brown, they’ll want the Knicks to pay a heavy price.
And not in dollars, which the wealthy Davidson does not need. According to the source, the Pistons would demand stiff compensation in the form of current players and draft picks.
Of course, there might be a way for native New Yorker Brown to make a clean getaway that doesn’t damage his new franchise. That would be to resign as Pistons coach, claiming health reasons, and then declare himself reenergized in time to take over the Knicks next season.
The Tennessean’s Bill Byler on the drama surrounding the ABA’s Nashville Rhythm.
A 110-109 Nashville Rhythm win over the visiting Kansas City Knights last night was overshadowed by the firing of Coach Ashley McElhiney.
Rhythm co-owner Sally Anthony fired McElhiney following an on-court disagreement between the two regarding former Vanderbilt star Matt Freije’s playing time.
”I called my coach a couple of hours before the game and said I don’t want him playing,” Anthony said. ”She ignored me. I walked up to her. I walked onto the court and said I’m her boss and she needed to bench him.”
The discussion began during the third quarter. Anthony (above) came onto the court during play and attempted to remove McElhiney as coach of the team. Anthony was eventually restrained by security guards and taken off the floor.
The distraction drew the attention of several fans, and Rhythm Assistant Coach Scott Flatt was drawn away from the bench to assist in the matter. McElhiney, meanwhile, shrugged off the incident and went on to coach the Rhythm to victory.
Anthony said her actions came in her attempt to protect her players.
”My co-owner (Tony Bucher) and my GM (Daniel Bucher) decided to pay Matt Freije to have the name there,” Anthony told The Tennessean after the game. ”He came in for two games. Our players are struggling financially.”
Freije, who according to Anthony earned $10,000 for the two games, started and played most of the game last night. Anthony said it was McElhiney’s decision to play Freije.
”She looked me right in the face and said she wouldn’t do it,” Anthony said ”She’s fired as of now. The thing with us has always been women can do it just as much as men can. She will answer to no man, but she won’t answer to me either.”
After the game, Anthony also got into a conflict with Jason Sonn ” the brother of injured Rhythm player Adam Sonn.
Anthony shoved Jason Sonn, used foul language, and directed an inappropriate hand gesture toward him.
”She’s delusional and she thinks she’s bigger than she really is,” Jason Sonn said of Anthony.
The Oregonian’s Jason Quick reported Saturday with greater detail on the sorry scenes at Blazers practice this past Thursday.
Blazers head coach Maurice Cheeks said Darius Miles hurled racial slurs at him “at least 20 times” and told the coach he didn’t like him during their heated confrontation before Thursday’s practice, which resulted in the Trail Blazers’ suspending the 23-year-old forward for two games.
The confrontation flared when the Cheeks continued a line of criticism directed at Miles during the team’s review of Wednesday’s game with Dallas. The argument escalated when neither party would back down, and accounts of the argument include Miles telling Cheeks he was going to be fired, and when Cheeks told Miles to leave, Miles said that Cheeks would have to call the police to make him leave the building.
Several players said the incident will blow over, and won’t create a divide among pro-Cheeks and pro-Miles camps. They all said they were a team, and would remain a team.
“We support Cheeks 100 percent and the same with Darius,” center Joel Przybilla said. “It was just an instance of two guys having different views. I have seen worse. I was in Milwaukee with Anthony Mason, and this was nothing. We just need to move on. Shoot, we are already past it. As soon as Darius is back, we will be waiting for him.”
The situation continued when Cheeks dismissed the team and began leaving toward general manager John Nash’s office, when Miles chided him with the comment, “That’s right, run to your daddy.” When Cheeks did go to Nash’s office, Miles burst in, and another argument ensued.
(Portland’s Theo Ratliff blocking LA’s Elton Brand, Friday night at the Rose Garden)
Led by a 22 points from Damon Stoudamire, the Blazers won the first of Miles’ two suspended games on Friday night, beating the Clippers, 90-86.
Solid stuff from Jon Heyman in Sunday morning’s Newsday on Omar Minaya’s reluctance to deal for Sammy Sosa, and the continuing adventures of fledgling super-agent, David Sloane.
Just when I thought I’d received the last of too many e-mailed rantings from David Sloane, the publicity-infatuated agent for Carlos Delgado, he checked in with a response to Wednesday’s column, in which it was pointed out that he’s “a menace.”
Sloane responded: “Tomorrow, your column will line a bird cage. The work I did for my client lives on. Nice knowing you.”
It’s true that Delgado looks thrilled to be in Florida rather than New York. But how long will he stay there? The failure to get a no-trade clause means he could be dealt anywhere after a year, and will likely be dealt somewhere so he can DH eventually.
Sloane told the Mets that one thing Delgado absolutely needed was stability. So he signed with Florida, which could move any year now, and he got no protection against a trade. Nice stability.
Michael Jackson is accused of evil sex acts with children, some of whom were lined up by parents/pimps outside his bedroom door. Elvis Presley had a (female) child ensconsed at Graceland, and we put the King on a postage stamp. So how’s this for a compromise ; Michael gets a postage stamp (proper U.S. version, none of that Grenada shit) and a suspended sentence,, the parents get life in prison and Paul McCartney gets his publishing back.
Thus leaving us with the requisite time to focus on the Robert Blake trial.
A big Gatti left hook leaves Jesse James Leija seeing stars (and I don’t mean Harrison Ford and Greg Kinnear). One of these days, Arturo Gatti will be too old and slow to dish out the punishment, and when that day arrives, the human race will be much poorer for it.
You can always measure Super Bowl hype by the number of times the consensus favorites are accused of inappropriate touching. From Nick Cafaro in today’s Boston Globe :
Mike Vrabel just shook his head and smiled.
“Never happened,” he said. “Never happened.”
The last time the Patriots played the Eagles, Week 2 of the 2003 season, Eagles linebacker Ike Reese said in a Sports Illustrated article, “Brian Westbook fumbled a punt, and we were all down there scrambling for it. Mike Vrabel had my testicles in his hand, and he was squeezing them. Where the football ends up depends on who has the strongest will or the strongest hands. Guys reach inside the facemask to gouge your eyes. But the biggest thing is the grabbing of the testicles. It’s crazy.”
Vrabel (above) said, “It’s the NFL and there’s a lot of stuff that happens on the field. As NFL players you don’t come into the locker room and start talking to the media about it. I’ve had everything — you name it — done to me out there. But you don’t start saying this guy did this or did that.”
Congratulations to the struggling New York Knicks, who last night finally found a foe even more clueless in the final moments of regulation, in the form of the LeBron-less Cavaliers.
New York improved their record to 2-11 since Stephon Marbury declared himself the best point guard in the NBA.
Much-traveled Pistons coach Larry Brown, hosting the Knicks tonight at the Palace, has told the New York Post’s Marc Berman that jumping in Lenny Wilkens’ still-warm shoes would be “a dream job”. Keep in mind that Brown isn’t two seasons into a 5 year, $25 million deal. The next time Peter Vescey implores the league to do something about players refusing to honor their contractual commitments, hopefully the same concerns will extend to the coaching fraternity.
(if Carlos Arroyo ruined your summer, you wouldn’t look very happy, either)
Southampton 2, Portsmouth 1
Southampton are through to the 5th round of the F.A. Cup after a hotly contested Peter Crouch penalty in extra time spared Saints manager Harry Rednapp a return leg at Fratton Park. The winner also provided some measure of revenge for former QPR striker Crouch (above), whose own exit from Portsmouth seemed designed to provide his new club with some semblance of cover when James Beattie was sold to Everton.
The England F.A. are said to be bowing to Sven Goran Erickson’s plea for a month’s break in the domestic schedule prior to the 2006 World Cup.