Prokhorov, King Closer To Getting Their Man : ‘Melo Approves Trade To Nets

Posted in Basketball at 7:12 pm by

The New York Daily News’ Stefan Bondy claims multiple sources have confirmed a proposed 4-way trade that would sent Carmelo Anthony to temporary Newark residents, The Nets, has been approved by the Baltimore native. Here’s some free advice for James Dolan — pay Isiah Thomas to tell elite players NOT to sign with the Knicks.  Doing the opposite hasn’t worked at all, so why not try another approach?

The proposed deal – which would also involve the Jazz and Bobcats – would have Favors going back to Denver, along with Utah’s Andrei Kirilenko and multiple draft picks from the Nets and Warriors (the Nets hold Golden State’s first-round pick in 2012).

Harris would be sent to Charlotte, while Boris Diaw would be shipped from Charlotte to Utah. Other role players are being discussed as part of the complex trade.

According to a source, the Nuggets will make a final effort this weekend to convince Anthony to return after his contract expires next summer. But after Anthony refused to sign a three-year extension that’s been on the table since June – and after he turned down an opportunity this month to express any loyalty to the Nuggets in an interview with the News – it’s unlikely the three-time All-Star will change his mind.

Anthony has approved the deal, according to an NBA source, which is important because it’s contingent on him signing an extension with the Nets.

The Nets must also worry about teams swooping in with 11th-hour offers. Chicago, a preferred destination for Anthony, could reportedly change everything by offering Joakim Noah to Denver.

Tony Dungy’s Fave TV Shows – How’d “Deadwood” Not Make This List?

Posted in Gridiron, Parental Responsibility, Religion, The World Of Entertainment at 2:14 pm by

Much as I love to take shots at the pious / anti-gay former Colts head coach Tony Dungy, his taste in TV shows isn’t all lousy. Just mostly lousy. Had I actually gone to college for more than 4 months, I’d probably have spent more hours watching “Sanford & Son”, too, and who’s to say that wouldn’t have been time well spent?

A New Candidate To Be Underminded By Jeff Wilpon Has Emerged

Posted in Baseball at 11:38 am by

Amidst rumors his voice was no longer being heard by Nationals ownership, team president Stan Kasten resigned yesterday, causing the New York Times’ David Waldstein to openly speculate if the Mets might consider the veteran sports executive to replace the lame duck general manager Omar Minaya.

There is no indication the Mets have reached out to any potential candidates yet, and that includes Kasten, since they haven™t yet resolved the future structure of the baseball department.

But they have contemplated virtually every possible scenario to revive their flagging franchise, so perhaps this idea will be discussed, if it hasn™t already been. Certainly, the indefatigable Kasten isn™t ready to retire. Speaking with reporters in Washington on Thursday, Kasten, 58, indicated he wants a shot with another team.

Because he is not strictly a baseball man, Kasten might not fit the Mets™ current models if they feel his areas of expertise are too similar to Jeff Wilpon™s job description as chief operating officer. But Kasten has a strong track record of success, and if Fred Wilpon, the Mets™ chairman and chief executive, were to consult Commissioner Bud Selig, Kasten would surely get a glowing recommendation.

Jeff Wilpon’s focus on box office considerations has been alluded to more than once recently, and with that in mind, Kasten might be the perfect man for the job. He’s already demonstrated a zeal for selling tickets to Phillies fans, who might become a very important part of Citi Field’s turnover the next few seasons.


History’s Most Puzzling eBay Auctions (Pt. II)

Posted in Rock Und Roll, The Marketplace at 4:18 pm by

Though not quite as astonishing as attempts to sell a Joe McEwing jersey, the above item poses the very common question, “what do  you get the man who has everything (including a Don Dokken guitar pick and a signed 8 X 10″ glossy of George Lynch)”?

Paging Quincy M.E. ; Giants’ Johnson Questions McKinely (Alleged) Cause Of Death

Posted in Gridiron, The Law at 3:02 pm by

While the Arapahoe County Coroner considers the fatal gunshot wound to head of Broncos WR Kenny McKinley to be most likely self-inflicted, McKinley’s former teammate, Giants DB D.J. Johnson, has his doubts, telling Newsday’s Tom Rock, “knowing Kenny and knowing what type of guy he was and then having his son up there and the way he loved his son, I don™t think he would have did it.”

œI know what the environment is like in Denver, he said. œI knew Kenny and I knew the type of people that we all hung around. You just never know. You can™t trust nobody. He™s not from there, I wasn™t from there. Nothing against Kenny at all, but when you like to have a good time and you™re a friendly person, you let people into your environment.

œIn any environment when you have guys in our position who are out having fun, and we™re going to the same environments as normal people and some convicts, however it may happen, it™s going to be an issue, he said. œWe have the financial backing to be able to go in there, have a good time, buy some bottles and stuff like that. Then there are going to be others that are going to look at it, going to see the women gravitate to that, so they™re going to try to match you. Then you get into a pissing contest. And when you get into a pissing contest, people get upset.

Johnson said when he heard about McKinley™s death “ even before suicide was mentioned “ he immediately figured that kind of œpissing match had lead to the shooting.

œThere was no ˜Did he do it?™ Johnson said. œIt was just a thought that something happened, that somebody did something fishy.

“We Gave You The Beatles And This Is How You Repay Us:” Liverpool Fans Begin Spam Campaign Against Tom Hicks

Posted in consumer affairs, Football, Money, We Aren't The World at 12:09 pm by

(if they wanna get nitpicky about it, we gave them Chrissie Hynde and Rich Hall, too)

I don’t get a lot of emails from readers of the Wall Street Journal’s Daily Fix — the freelance gig at which I write in my indoor voice about the sports stories of the day and, when possible, also camel racing. (It was possible today) I get some, generally positive but occasionally trollish and almost all of them finding a way to work some negative comment about Obama into the text. But given the decent-sized readership there, I wouldn’t say I get a lot of correspondence.

So it was sort of strange when, about an hour ago, I started getting a ton of emails through the Daily Fix address on a topic I obliquely touched on a couple days ago — how much English soccer fans just effing hate the EPL’s ultra-leveraged American team-owners. (I linked to this article by Brian Phillips in Slate, which is an enjoyable read even if you’ve been following GC’s coverage of this trend for the last few years)

The first email was impassioned and featured some experimental punctuation, but did at least earn some points for the flattering — if flagrantly erroneous — salutation “Dear USA Media Executive/Outlet” and the first line, “We gave you THE BEATLES and this is how you repay us?” The second email was the same. And the third and fourth and so on and on. Some included added commentary, all of it on-message, but most just read exactly like this:

Dear USA Media Executive/Outlet

*We gave you THE BEATLES and this is how you repay us?*

What happened to the *™Special Relationship™ *between the US and the UK?

Are you aware of how *Tom Hicks* is driving our beloved *Liverpool Football Club *into the ground?

How would you like it if a British œbusinessman came over to the USA and destroyed the New York Yankees. Or the LA Lakers. Or the Washington

Well, we are living Wayne Huizenga and the Florida Marlins all over again!

Please Google *Tom Hicks + Liverpool* to see what an embarrassment he isto the USA.

We would be grateful if you could help us by reporting our story in order that me might persuade Wall Street NOT to lend him the money he is currently trying to raise, to drive our football team into even more debt and despair.

Sorry about the mass email approach but we have tried everything else, and we feel like we are at the end of the road.

Thanks in anticipation

I’ve received 20 of these emails over the last hour or so. None of which will do anything to make me a USA Media Executive, but did at least make me feel faintly big-time over that period. Among the other recipients of the non-BCC’ed email — most of them sports columnists at the Dallas Morning News, New York Times and the Wall Street Journal — were CNBC’s resident anti-expert Larry Kudlow and notorious anti-billionaire type Sean Hannity. I don’t know if this semi-spam campaign against the (totally odious) Hicks will have any impact on his attempt to refinance LFC, but it should at least have some impact on Sean Hannity. Because if I don’t sign him up for a bunch of goth_talk listservs and novelty-item mailing lists, some other recipient of this email surely will. I’m looking at you, Richard Sandomir of the New York Times. (I will not do this, of course, and you shouldn’t, either) (Sandomir, follow your heart)

I’ve emailed a couple of the senders to see how this campaign came to be, and I’ll post a selection of their responses here, if and when I get them.


Howie Rose : Raymond Shaw Omar Minaya Is The Kindest, Bravest, Warmest, Most Wonderful Human Being

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down at 5:55 pm by

Mets GM Omar Minaya and field manager Jerry Manuel are most likely lamer-than-lame ducks, a status WFAN’s Howie Rose (above) openly admits to (“based on the results, no one could logically argue that they shouldn™t be removed”). However, the Mets’ radio play-by-play voice decries a modern tenor that routinely holds both men up to ridicule and abuse ; “read the message boards, listen to the radio, even the occasional newspaper article or column will suggest that these men are buffoons or bad people, and that™s just not the case.”

I realize that we live in an angry world, and that it™s no longer fashionable to say anything nice about anyone, but I am going to do that anyway. Omar Minaya may have left the Mets with a bunch of bad contracts that severely hamper this team™s chances for significant improvement next season, but he remains one of the nicest people in baseball who doesn™t have many, if any enemies in the game. Even Adam Rubin likes Omar, in spite of what happened last season. He™s a hard worker whose abilities in scouting and talent evaluation will serve him well in his next assignment, whether with the Mets or some other team. Quite simply, Omar Minaya is an impossible person to dislike.

I™m sorry if I™ve ruined your day with a few kind words on behalf of a couple of internet pinatas, but sometimes we need to remember that there™s more to a man than wins, losses, trades and signings. Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya will be fine, because they are fine people above all else.

Believe it or not, Rose might be onto something here. For instance, James Dolan is routinely lambasted in this space as one of the world’s owners in professional sports, but what about his dogged efforts to find spots on the Bonnaroo bill for struggling young talent? Jeff Francoeur might have shown all the knowledge of the strike zone of a latter-day Dave Kingman (sans the pop, of course), but how many of us took the time to consider his splendid public service on behalf of The Pepsi Refresh Project — possibly the most important social endeavor since the civil rights movement? Howie’s right — who really gives a shit if these incompetent boobs are shitting all over the teams we love? As long as they’re well-mannered and don’t make inappropriate allusions to “Love & Basketball”, everything’s cool.

“He’s A Very Good Young Man”, But Perhaps In Need Of A New Wardrobe

Posted in Baseball, Mob Behavior, Parental Responsibility, The Law at 5:19 pm by

Philadelphia’s Red Man, having already faced the wrath of Braves OF Matt Diaz, now contends with the wagging fingers of his parents and NBC 10 reporters.  I’m no legal expert, but if the kid had attempted such a stunt earlier this season with the Mets visiting and simply told the court he was planning to maim or murder Jeff Francoeur, no sane judge would’ve convicted him. (video link swiped from Yahoo’s Big League Stew)

Annals of Oligarch Outreach: Nets’ Billionaire-In-Chief Seeks To Tap S.N.O.B. Market

Posted in Basketball, Money at 2:38 pm by

I burned a lot of pixels a few months back puzzling over the adulation that greeted the stateside arrival of shady Russian oligarch turned Avery Johnson-hiring, Travis Outlaw-overpaying shady Russian oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov. I did this because I’m a serial pixel-burner, and because I am always willing to dump a bunch of prose on the topic of my relationship with the Nets. But Prokhorov and the reaction he evoked is stranger to me than the usual wealth-stroking/luxury-ogling response you expect from places like the New York Post (or, with longer words, the New York Times).

That’s because Prokhorov (above, left) is a different type of dodgeball billionaire than we’re used to — a creepy Chamber of Commerce glad-hander like Clay Bennett is just a different animal. Dan Gilbert breaks out the childish, comic sans outrage; Prokhorov cuts business deals with nation-destroying despots and obstructs justice and rips off his investors. His is not a Sunday Styles piece, it’s a can-you-believe-shit-in-other-countries story from the middle of the news section.

Except, of course, that it’s not. Prokhorov is proof that nothing — certainly not an abject lack of knowledge or interest in basketball — can disqualify someone from owning a NBA team except for a lack of ready funds. But he’s also proof that our broader and ever-more-baffling national cultural hard-on for the super-rich has now lasted more than six hours, and that we should definitely contact a physician. It’s baffling both because our revered domestic Lords of Capital kneecapped our economy with their abject avarice and fraudulent genius, but also because, at a personal level, there’s not a whole lot to like about paranoid, entitled plutocrats like the Koch brothers or dodgy, SkiDoo-jockey playboys like Prokhorov. Yes, it might be nice to have a yacht of one’s own or whatever, but a creep is a creep, whatever the contents of said creep’s bank account. Given that Prokhorov has shown no real aptitude for anything except spending his sketchily-obtained gains in cartoonish ways, there’s not seemingly a whole lot to admire, there.

Which isn’t to say the guy isn’t great copy while proving (and re-proving) all the above. From throwing money at the goofiest of causes — I’m talking about signing Jordan Farmar, here — to, um, continuing to throw money at the goofiest of causes, Prokhorov does at least bring the storylines. Prokhorov’s most recent innovation — which is actually a page out of The Lenny Dykstra Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ Playbook — is so goofily named that it reads like overstated Gary Shteyngart-grade satire, and so poorly reasoned, frankly tacky and massively over-budgeted that it could only have come from Prokhorov. Here’s the story, from Stefan Bondy of the Daily News:

If you™re super rich, speak Russian and live in New York City, Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is supplying you with the perfect reading material. It™s a magazine called œSNOB (that™s right, Prokhorov is richer than you and not ashamed of it) and it went on sale in the U.S. last week for a price of $8. There™s no English translation, so this is strictly for the Russian-speaking snobs who want to read about extravagant ways to spend Rubles. (In Russian, S.N.O.B. is an acronym for the Russian words accomplished, independent, educated and thriving).

According to this Bloomberg report, Prokhorov invested $100 million into this Snob project, which he hopes will attract the large population of Russian immigrants in Brooklyn to games in the Barclays Center.

If the financial crisis gave us anything — beyond a busted discourse, the ubiquity of Glenn Beck’s tiny piglike eyes, and a shocking uptick in freaked-out bigotry — it was the non-revelation that the super-rich people to whom our culture has given a decades-long handjob might not actually be as deserving of respect as we’d been conditioned to believe. That hasn’t quite sunk in yet, evidently. Prokhorov, for his part, seems intent on driving the message home, though, through his combination of outsized playboy fatuity and dedication to getting things wrong. For whatever wake-up call his ridiculousness might wind up providing, I guess, we should be thankful. And of course if he creates some journalism jobs along the way, I guess I can’t be too mad at him.

History’s Greatest Non-Wrestling Babyface Reclaims His Crown

Posted in Video Games at 11:25 am by

Mere weeks after machiavellian uber-dick Billy Mitchel recaptured the World Donkey Kong record — a mark he’d previously relinquished to humble school teacher/drummer Steve Wiebe in the documentary “King Of Kong : A Fistful Of Quarters”, Wiebe once again, pulled ahead in what’s turning out to be an Ali/Frazier for the modern age. From Tech Flash’s Todd Bishop :

Wiebe recorded the new high score of 1,064,500 points on Aug. 20, according to the group, which verified the score. That beat the previous record of 1,062,800 points, set earlier this summer by Wiebe’s rival, hot sauce distributor Billy Mitchell.

“I’m not surprised at all that the DK title has frequently changed hands of late,” Wiebe told the Examiner.. “I knew Billy would resurface and I’ve never let go of trying to recapture the record myself. There are a lot more DK kill screen players out there now, so the competition is getting pretty tough. I fully expect the title to keep changing hands until someone knocks it out of the park.”