It’s three-plus minutes of up-and-under scoop shots, drive and dishes, pull-up threes and fantastic lob passes to Yi. This is what Kevin Hart thinks he looks like when he hoops it up.
What really sets the video off, though, is the soundtrack. The background beat is a song called “Onslaught 2? by Slaughterhouse from their self-titled debut album, featuring Fatman Scoop. This will mean nothing to you if you weren’t into a particular brand of hip-hop in 2009, but it was a mid-level hit, mainly gaining popularity for its earworm worthy production. If it hadn’t come up here, I probably would have never thought about that track ever again.
FROM COLUMBUS, OH : it’s the first central TX appearance of the new look UNHOLY TWO, as well as their first foray in this territory since the release of 2014′s piledriver-onto-the-concrete, ‘Talk About Hardcore’. One esteemed Northeatern analyst opined, “In their utter barbarity, this band has found itself a workable, scalable truth, beats dents into it with a hammer, then beats them right back out. Unlike your car, or your penis, it starts the first time, every time.” Gratuitous sexism aside, I approve this message.
BURNT SKULL apparently have a new song or perhaps even new SONGS. This is undoubtedly BAD NEWS for the competition, though if they imagine this sales pitch being recited by Wayne “Bad News” Barrett, perhaps the announcement of their own obsolescence will at least seem more entertaining.
Austin guitar/drums duo INJURIES are putting the blood back in bludgeon. Their recent demo cassette on the hotter-than-shit Drug Front imprint was the recent toast of SXSW (and by that, I mean some dumb motherfucker left it on top of a plugged in toaster and now there’s melted plastic all over MY OTHERWISE SPOTLESS KITCHEN).
SPIDER SABICH features inept guitar wankery, an over-reliance on occasionally functioning delay pedals. an utter lack of beginning-middles-ends to alleged “compositions” and all the stage presence you’d associate with the late Darrell Porter kiting a check. It should go without saying that this “project” features a member of Air Traffic Controllers, but there you go. It’s been said!
While the Red Sox have launched an in-house department of behavioral health (a little too late for the likes of Foulke, Lackey and Papelbon, don’t you think?), the Nationals have appointed Rick Ankiel as their new life skills coordinator, the sort of position that might been helpful for 5 year minor league vet Adrian Cardenas. The 2B/LF, drafted 37th overall by Philadelphia in 2006, had the proverbial cup of coffee with the Cubs in 2012, but not before plenty of soul-searching about what threatened to become a somewhat joyless pursuit, one that Cardenas chronicles in part in this week’s New Yorker (“Ways To Stay Sane In Baseball”) (link swiped from Baseball Think Factory) :
Ankiel will use his first-hand experience with failure on and off the field to help mentor players in the Nationals system. He won’t replace a sports psychologist but rather will serve as a less formal outlet for coaches, managers, and players to vent. And yet, there will still be issues of trust and of showing weakness. While quitting in baseball is discussed among players, often disguised as empty rhetoric—“If I don’t start hitting the ball out there, I might as well just quit”—there can still be issues of trust and concerns about showing weakness, even for people with more promising careers than mine was. Shortly after his M.V.P. performance last year in the World Series, the San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner admitted that while in the minors, “I contemplated going home and not choosing to have this lifestyle.” During batting practice, he said, he’d stare at airplanes as they flew by, imagining himself in a seat. His mom, Debbie, said, “It was awful. He called all the time. He didn’t like baseball. He didn’t like nothing.” In the same interview, Bumgarner said, “I’ve never told anyone this story before,” but Bumgarner clearly talked to his mother; by “anyone” he was likely referring to anyone in a position to control his professional future.
I understand Bumgarner’s hesitation. In 2011, my .314 batting average in AAA led the team and I committed only nine errors all year. Still, I was not promoted to the major leagues when rosters expanded in September. From that point on I kept my mouth shut, no matter what mental struggles I was experiencing. There could have been a slew of reasons why I didn’t get the call up, of course, but I suspected that my quitting for a week the year before raised some red flags about my commitment to the game. In 2012, I made my major-league début; that was also the year that I walked away from the game for good.
A player is often aware of the possibility that a team employee—doctor or not—may divulge information to management that could put his job at risk. This “possibility problem” will not necessarily change overnight.
The Toronto Sun reports that TNT hoops analyst Shaquille O’Neal can celebrate the dismissal of a defamation lawsuit filed by a Michigan man who found himself the target of the 4-time NBA champ’s sophisticated sense of humor :
O’Neil was slapped with legal papers last summer after allegedly mocking Jahmel Binion, who suffers from genetic disorder hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia, on social media by making disparaging comments about his looks in a ’selfie’ he had posted online, which depicted the male with facial deformities, patchy hair growth and missing teeth, which are all symptoms of his rare condition.
O’Neal subsequently apologized to Binion after learning of his health woes, but it wasn’t enough and the disgruntled male demanded damages of $25,000.
However, the sports icon hit back, insisting there was nothing defamatory about his post as he only shared the image with the caption, “Smile today”. He also shot down Binion’s invasion of privacy claim because the picture was made public when he posted it on social media.
The case recently went before a Michigan judge, who chastised O’Neal for his “highly offensive” actions, but declined to take the suit any further as the defendant has no ties to the stat
Given that Josh Hamilton’s most recent substance relapse was self-reported, an independent arbitrator ruled Friday the embattled Angels outfielder would face no disciplinary measures, an edict which caused great discomfort amongst Hamilton’s employers. While writers ranging from Ken Rosenthal to an unusually reasonable Bill Plaschke took umbrage at the Angels’ public scolding of Hamilton following the ruling, the OC Register’s Todd Harmonson took an entirely different tact, instead blaming the Players Association for helping Hamilton avoid suspension.
Yes, the Players Association representatives technically did what they were supposed to do as advocates for a member, but did they really act in Hamilton’s best interests by keeping Manfred from doing anything?
Without an injury, Hamilton could be in the Angels clubhouse Friday – where his locker is being used by someone else in his absence – and subject to all the pressures of a new season.
His recovery from shoulder surgery only delays that, and without someone holding Hamilton accountable there’s nothing to make him seek the help he clearly needs. He already had backed off the use of personal accountability coaches because he thought he could handle his situation without someone by his side all the time.
Think dealing with the boos after striking out in the playoffs was tough? Try returning to face a hostile crowd that considers your contract one of the worst in baseball history.
The catch was that the couple was required to write a resume for Stella, their loveable, friendly 5-year-old Rhodesian ridgeback. Nothing too complicated, the landlord assured them. He provided them with a three-page sample resume for dogs and a word of advice. “Think about it a little more in-depth than what you would do for yourself,” Dolan recalled.
That’s when Dolan’s wry sense of humor kicked in. She put together a tongue-in-cheek resume for Stella that hit all the high points, from her pedigree to her educational achievements. Stella’s college: DePaw University, Grades K through 9. Stella confirmed that she worked as a dog during the baseball season and continued her work as a dog in the off-season. She was also listed among Oakland’s Hella Well-Behaved and Quiet Dogs and her skill set included donning a trench coat and climbing atop another dog (not like that!) in order to walk in upright to a bank and apply for loans.
Apparently, Stella’s resume did little to impress management. The couple was denied an apartment. The official reason: their vehicle was five inches taller than the garage stall provided for it.
As Texas prepares to hire a men’s basketball coach who doesn’t resemble Scott Weiland to replace Rick Barnes, The Oregonian’s John Canzano — mindful of UT Athletic Director Steve Patterson’s miserable tenure as Portland Trailblazers club president (“he pretends to know where the money is buried. He grew up in arenas, learning how to work the room. The surprise is how woeful he is once he gets control of the room,”) — warns alleged target VCU’s Shaka Smart that perhaps he could, y’know, do better?
Patterson likes to take credit for the Trail Blazers “rebuild,” but anyone who was there knows better. During a four-year period beginning in 2003, Patterson fostered an unhealthy culture inside the organization, he fired more than 100 employees, he threw what was then the Rose Garden Arena into bankruptcy, cracked down on anyone who crossed him, and plotted from his president’s office to also become the team’s general manager (2006-07).
Remember the time Patterson fined Darius Miles $150,000 and publicly scolded the small forward for berating his coach in a film session? I do. So does then-coach Maurice Cheeks. Because that act of support for Cheeks was followed by a back-room deal between Patterson and Miles in which the small forward would receive every penny of the fine back, plus interest. When I informed Cheeks of the arrangement, he said, “I might as well pack my bags.”
In Patterson’s short time in Texas, he’s talked about playing football games in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. He ran off Mack Brown from the football program like a teenager who didn’t know how to break up with his girlfriend. Rick Barnes revealed this week that Patterson told him after his NCAA Tournament loss that he’d be back for another season, then shifted course, demanding that he fire assistants or be gone himself. Also, that tidbit was leaked, in a move that had familiar fingerprints all over it.
To be clear, I am not arguing that Mike Krzyzewski should come out and stand with the LGBT community, if that is not what he believes. The man is a longtime Republican donor who in 2002 deeply upset people in Durham when he held a fundraiser on campus at the Duke Inn and called his party Blue Devils for Dole. In other words, Coach K has a number of options for how he could respond to this mushrooming controversy. He could support the school that pays him an annual $10 million salary and stand with their statement. He could support the NCAA, an organization whose artificial restrictions of what his players can earn has made him an incredibly wealthy man. He could even join the many Republicans in the state of Indiana who oppose the law and make an “I Stand With NASCAR” joke. Or Coach K could take a deep breath, hike up his big boy pants and say, “You know what? Duke and the NCAA and NASCAR are wrong. I support this law because I believe in God, freedom, and heterosexual florists. Oh, and gay weddings are overrated, and it’s about damn time America woke up to that fact!”
But instead, Coach K, like a certain fellow Nike pitchman, just gave us his version of “Republicans buy sneakers too.” It also looks particularly weak in the aftermath of the passing of Coach K’s great rival, Dean Smith. The passionately principled Coach Smith would not have only spoken out against the law. He would be leading a delegation to the statehouse to confront Mike Pence in between practices, no matter how much backlash it would have meant for him back home in North Carolina.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban faced the media Monday after S Geno Smith’s 2nd DUI bust in as many years and DT Jonathan Taylor’s 2nd domestic abuse charge in roughly the same span. Though Taylor was dismissed from the team Tuesday,AL.com’s Kevin Scarbinsky was unimpressed with Saban’s remarks, arguing the latter “spent far more time and energy defending himself, his decisions, his program and even his two players,” rather than addressing the real issues at hand.
He made sure to tell us that Geno Smith is a good person, despite his second DUI arrest in two years. Saban used those exact words to describe Jonathan Taylor – “I still think he’s a good person” – despite Taylor’s record of two domestic violence arrests in two different states while a member of two different SEC football programs in less than a year.
This is all Saban said about domestic violence during his 13 minutes at the podium:
“I certainly don’t condone that kind of behavior, especially when it comes to how females are treated. That’s something we try to create a lot of awareness for with our players. We would certainly be very cautious about any player that had any character problem but especially something like this would be something that we would be very careful about, you know, in the future.”
This is all he said about drunk driving:
“Rather than try to condemn Geno for what he did, which I don’t approve of, I don’t even drink so I don’t approve of driving and putting other people in danger when they’re drinking. So I don’t want you to think I’m condoning what he did. I don’t. We’re disappointed in it.”
It would’ve been encouraging to hear the angry Saban thunder away at the NCAA’s hypocrisy in accepting huge amounts of money from beer advertising during the NCAA Tournament while its schools battle the very real problems of underage and excessive drinking on college campuses.
Imagine the headlines today if Saban had attacked the issue of domestic violence with the same fire and fury he once turned on unscrupulous agents when he compared them to “pimps.”
“Fred has communicated that he’s going to be 79 this year, and he wants to see us win — now,” said one Mets person.
Added a longtime friend of Wilpon’s: “Fred isn’t going to stand for any more losing.”
This not-so-subtle pressure actually fits with the culture Sandy Alderson has tried to establish. Whether it was in privately discussing 90 wins last year, or talking big to the press this winter, the GM has been trying to sow a winning mentality around a team founded in Marv Throneberry punchlines. Alderson’s actions on Monday reflected that attitude, when he moved aggressively to fill a need by acquiring two lefty relievers.
On Monday, Mets people resisted the notion that Jeffrey Toobin’s New Yorker piece from 2011 begat an unofficial media embargo by Wilpon, saying there was no direct link. My own observation is that Wilpon is almost always pleasant, but approaches potential interviews in the same way that one might hop around a field of landmines.
Legalized scalpers Secondary market ticket sellers Stubhub is filing suit against Ticketmaster and the NBA’s Golden State franchise, alleging the pair’s exclusive partnership, constitutes “unfair and illegal anti-competitive business practices”. From Venturebeat’s Paul Sawers :
As per the lawsuit, Ticketmaster and the Golden State Warriors cancelled fans’ season tickets and playoff-game tickets when they elected to use StubHub and “other competitive exchanges” to resell their tickets. “Ticketmaster and the Warriors’ front office broke the law by unlawfully threatening fans with cancellation to force them to use Ticketmaster’s resale exchange exclusively,” the complaint reads.
In effect, StubHub is accusing Ticketmaster of being monopolistic — and this isn’t the first time such accusations have been levied against Ticketmaster. Before its merger with venue operator Live Nation, many bodies voiced their concern that it would reduce competition, and also lead to Ticketmaster favoring Live Nation venues over ones that elect to use alternative ticketing companies. Such actions were forbidden, however, as part of the eventual green light this deal was given in 2010.
WWE wasn’t sure what to do with him when he returned in 2012, but in the last year he has produced several memorable moments. At last year’s WrestleMania, Lesnar defeated the Undertaker – breaking the 21-0 streak that was the scripted sport’s one true record. It was probably the most shocking wrestling moment in many fans’ lives.
Putting aside for a moment whether or not the end of Taker’s streak was a more shocking moment than say, Chris Benoit’s double-murder/suicide or Owen Hart’s tragic death during a live PPV, was 21-0 really “the scripted sport’s one true record”? HOW SOON THEY FORGET BILL & RANDY MULKEY.
OK, OK, I realize that’s not really what Dime’s Jordan White had to say regarding former Warriors head coach Mark Jackson’s remarks, both recent and ancient, in which he claims he’s “praying for” others who’ve either done him dirty, or y’know, live openly as homosexuals. In White’s view, Jackson should “save your prayers…no one asked for them, and no one needs them.”
“I’m praying for you.” Like religion, that phrase can be used in many ways. It can provide comfort to the mourning and bereaved, but it can also be condescending and spiteful. This isn’t “I’m praying for you guys to have success without me,” it’s “I’m praying for your soul because how dare you fire me, Mark Jackson, who Wasn’t Even Supposed To Be Here, who, despite having Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala couldn’t design a creative offense to save my life.”
Do not mistake Jackson’s comments as one of benevolence. Jackson’s true feelings rest in what is unsaid. He’s not praying for them the way one might pray for a sick friend or for guidance. He’s praying for them the way one prays for the damned — those who do not agree with his core beliefs. It’s at once petty, bigoted, hurtful and close-minded.
As it turns out, neither Jason Collins nor Joe Lacob needed Jackson’s prayers. Collins is seen, rightfully so, as a hero. Lacob, meanwhile, is the happy owner of the best team in the NBA, thanks in large part to a head coach who employs actual strategy to win games, rather than just cultivate an atmosphere of exclusion and a trite, “Us Against The World” mentality.
“I’m going to let the authorities handle this situation, but I’ve had enough of St. Louis,” Ford said in a phone interview Thursday. “You hear about this kind of stuff happening, and I always knew it existed because of my previous experience working here in St. Louis, but you try to keep away from it, and there is just no way you can do that unless you stay inside like a hermit.
“I just want justice. It’s all I want.”
Ford, 54, said the experience has made him consider moving, even though, “I care a lot about St. Louis and I love the people here.” He added, “The people I have been involved with are all very positive and all they want to do is work and pay bills. There are very nice people here.”
St. Louis County police from the Fenton precinct arrested James Street, 37, of the 400 block of Saline Road, a white man who allegedly slugged the black former Cardinals player Wednesday after shouting racial slurs at him and telling him to “go back to Ferguson,” the Post-Dispatch has learned.
“I was sucker-punched, blindsided,” Ford said. “I was walking into the store and hit from my blind side.”
Budget cuts from 2009-2013 at Citi Field, aka Fred & Jeff Wilpon’s Monument To Avarice, Greed & Ruining David Wright’s Swing resulted in a 29 percent reduction in game day security personnel according to a report filed by 6 former Mets staffers. On the bright side, at least Fred Wilpon has proven himself impervious to post 9-11 paranoia. From DNAinfo’s James Fanelli :
“Due to the cut backs in the budget (2013) we will be unable to maintain the high quality of security that the ballplayers, guests and staff are accustom (sic) to,” a budget report reads. “In addition the greetings at the gates, exchange of pleasantries at the gates and along with the quailty (sic) of the seaching (sic) at the gates will be reduced.”
The axed event staff director, Bruce Smith, prepared the budget report for Robert Kasdon, the Mets vice president of security, according the legal filing. Smith oversaw security personnel and payroll.
The report points out in bullet form the repercussions of fewer security guards. It warns that “response time will be up,” that there will be “more alleracations (sic) with fans,” “more lawsuits,” “more complaints about service,” and that “searches will have to be cut back on to get fans in.”
The cuts also meant key sections of Citi Field would have fewer guards — and some would be completely unsupervised, according to the report.
“Beer garden cut one post which means one of the seating areas above the bullpens will be uncovered,” the report warns.
“Last year the the (sic) kids zone post was cut, where we are always getting calls there about adults staring at the kids,” the report adds. “Any additional cuts will leave the smoking area uncovered which is a big area for fights.”
Clearly, the kids zone issue is a serious one, but if the Mets are hellbent on saving money, perhaps they could simply take away Paul Lo Duca’s comped tickets?
No, not the Meadowlands parking lot, but rather the NBA franchise that represents the sole black eye (in terms of wins and losses, anyway) on his head coaching resume. In Wednesday’s Bergen Record, Steve Popper seriously suggests the best foot forward for the underachieving Brooklyn Nets would be to woo John Calipari away from Lexington, arguing the one-time Nets coach has little left to prove in the amateur ranks. More chillingly, Popper claims Calipari has remained buds with Brooklyn marketing maven Brett Yormark.
So consider this scenario — the Nets figure to have about $60 million in cap space in the summer of 2016, coinciding with a free agent market loaded with talent.
What would it take to draw Calipari from Kentucky back to save the Nets, to oversee a recruiting class on the NBA level? It’s easy to see how it benefits the Nets — an owner who promised a championship in a five-year timetable that expires at the end of this season given a star again, a second citizen in the New York market given a voice again. And for Calipari, coaching for a team in a large market with a deep-pocketed owner puts him squarely in the NBA game again.
For Prokhorov to make it happen, though, there is a path to clear. That would mean Hollins gets cut loose after one season (if it were to come this summer) or two, if they wanted to beat the free agent frenzy next summer.
To land Calipari it would likely mean that he is handed not only the coaching reins, but the keys to the franchise, too, the same ones they wouldn’t give Kidd. That means the sort of power that Stan Van Gundy got in Detroit, Flip Saunders in Minnesota and Doc Rivers with the Clippers.
It’s what Calipari has in Kentucky. It’s what sources close to him believe it would take to be the spot he will land. And all that Calipari could offer the Nets is everything they dreamed they could be.
Cosart’s troubles started last night with a gambling expert on Twitter alleging he’d direct messaged a colleague asking for betting advice. Cosart later deleted his own account as tweets piled up accusing him of gambling and speculating whether he’d ever bet on baseball, which would be a serious violation of the game’s rules.
Before jumping into the tale, it’s worth noting: The entire firestorm stems from essentially anonymous Tweets from so-called gambling experts on Twitter. In other words, these are not the most reliable or transparent sources on the internet. So take every allegation with a Marlins Park-sized grain of salt.
The claims originated with a Twitter user named @GhostFadeKillah, who Tweets regular betting advice (and, it’s worth noting, includes among his activities “also troll a bit here and there.”) New Times has messaged @GhostFadeKillah for more background on the story, but we haven’t heard back yet.
(ok, this entire post was purely an excuse to run a pic of Roland Rat)
Former BBC Director General turned Football Association chairman Greg Dyke believes the future success of England’s national side is dependent on nearly half the domestic top flight league’s rosters being filled by natives. Good luck convincing Premiership club owners to adapt Dyke’s patriotic fervor, or as the Guardian’s Greg Bakowski puts it, “with £5.1bn of TV coin heading their way and a product to sell around the world to keep their reservoir of cash at a level only marginally less than that of the GDP of a small country, Dyke will need to do some Jake the Snake-level arm-twisting.”
“My fear for the future of English football is the Premier League ends up being owned by foreigners, managed by foreigners and played by foreigners. And, I think, certainly in terms of the playing, we can make a difference,” tubthumped Dyke, as Jack Wilshere exploded with pride behind him.This is all very admirable. Mr Roy currently has a pool of English talent available to him as shallow as a conversation between Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner. The desire to give scabby-kneed kids some hope that they may even have a slim chance of making it at the club they grew up supporting is something that even the Fiver can’t help but not sniff at either.
So on Thursday Dyke will take his huge bubble of optimism and place it on the table in front of 20 stern-looking Premier League suits representing the interests of wealthy people, many of whom couldn’t give a solitary one about the England team, and dare them to burst it. He may also need a tall tale too. Because getting a bunch of clubs, some of whom are being flogged for failing at Big Cup, and who regularly bundle managers aboard the good ship Do One after a just a handful of bad games to agree to persevere with less experienced – and in some cases – less talented English players throughout a season instead of buying in foreigners, will take more than a very good finger buffet. It’s like asking a scribe to use a stick of charcoal for a few months in the hope that it might turn into a beautiful quill. Good luck with that one.
But Dyke is a man who went into a room of stern-looking suits and persuaded them that breakfast TV needed Roland the Rat, Errol the Hamster and Kevin the Gerbil. Write him off at your peril.
A fantastic example of whimsical Major League Baseball marketing from the late 1960s, used intermittently at Shea Stadium for more than 20 years. Highlights of its use include a memorable appearance at the 1986 World Series versus the Boston Red Sox and then again in 2003 when Mets Captain John Franco drove Mets legend Tug McGraw onto the field as part of the team’s celebration of the legendary 1973 team. Immortalized by its dramatic appearance at the monumental 1986 World Series Championship in which it entered the field of play following the culmination of the Game Seven win, it promptly ran out of power adding further delight to the victory celebration.
Presented in largely original condition and displaying a lovely patina throughout, it is fully operational and represents an iconic of piece of New York sports history celebrating one of the City’s most memorable and important World Series Championship wins.
…or straight to VOD or however you’re watching movies these days. Following a Hollywood Reporter item claiming “Imitation Game” director Teddy Schwartzman had acquired the rights to Roger Clemens biopic screenplay, Techonology Tell’s Stephen Silver took issue with the trade paper’s brand of biz puffery :
The Reporter story added that Warner Brothers had bid on the script- with the idea of Bradley Cooper both producing and starring, a la “American Sniper”- but were outbid by Schwarzman. It also includes an all-time terrible lede- “After tackling the true story of Alan Turing, The Imitation Game producer Teddy Schwarzman is now taking on another true-life figure tarnished during his day.” Yea, because the guy persecuted and hounded into suicide for being gay and the guy widely criticized in the media for using steroids were both “tarnished.” And only one of them was instrumental in winning a world war.
NY Post sports media critic Phil Mushnick claims the start of March Madness coincides with more eyeballs around his TV set, or to be more specific, “those who don’t normally watch basketball with us — wives, mothers, daughters, girlfriends, aunts.” Putting aside the terrifying prospect of Phil having multiple wives (girlfriends, too!), surely a man of his sophistication is not claiming women are the only viewers asking “annoying” and/or “good questions to which we have no good answers.” Either way, it’s good to know the tradition of being super upright at tattoos extends to females members of the Mushnick clan, and/or Phil’s guests.
“Why is that coach allowed to stand on the court and run up and down while the game’s being played?”
“How can these kids afford such elaborate tattoos?”
“Why do teams need four or five coaches to coach five players at a time?”
“Why is it important for refs to use TV replays to check calls with a minute left but not with five or 10 minutes left?”
“Why are coaches allowed to scream at the refs? Isn’t that setting a bad example?”
“Aren’t opposing players allowed to help each other up?”
“Why do coaches wear suits?”
“When do these kids go to school?”
“Why do the players slap hands after every foul shot, even after they miss?”
“That’s the coach’s wife? She’s too young to be his first. I’ll Google it.”