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UkraineEURO2012

UEFA: Ukraine does not have any problematic objects posted by UkraineEURO2012

Over three hundred days before the start of Euro 2012 and Ukraine nas no building objects problems.

This was stated by the leaders of UEFA, Michel Platini, Gianni Infantino, according to Channel 5.

Olympic Stadium Renovation completed at 90%. Work in the Lvov stadium scheduled for completion in October. At the same time open and complex in Kiev.

Sports arenas in Kharkiv and Donetsk for two years as ready to receive visitors.

Also before the end of the year and expand the country's air gates - the airport "Borispol". The new terminal is to increase passenger numbers by half - to 12 million people a year.Continue reading "UEFA: Ukraine does not have any problematic ..."


Todd F. Dixon

Free Agency: Who the Redskins should and shouldn't sign posted by Todd F. Dixon

Okay, now comes our only "successful" part of the season as history has gone.  The Redskins always make a big splash in free agency and usually strikeout.  There have been a couple years when they took the year off and didn't do a whole lot (last year) but they are poised to make some big moves this year according to most credible sources.  As usual they are linked to many big-name free agents and will spend a lot of money unless they listen to me!

Nnamdi Asomugha - The Raiders free agent corner has been linked to so many teams and is widely regarded as the best free agent on the market.  He will be comanding 16-18 million a year and on the wrong side of 30 is a big thumbs down for me.  He is not a big turnover machine and is only good on one side.  He would not be good with our scheme nor opposite DHall.  We could get a few players for that price that would contribute and I want us to STAY AWAY!!

Santonio Holmes - He is a mold of Santana Moss and yes he is younger and a little more dynamic but he will command high dollars and is a locker room bane.  He also has off-the-field issues and would be a wasted of money.  The Skins have said he is their "Top" priority but they should just bid up and let him go back to the Nets, errr Jets.

Braylon Edwards - The other Jets free agent WR has also been linked to the Skins.  He also has problems off the field and has a history of not hanging on to the ball.  We do not need him at all, and it would be another waste of money.

Randy Moss, Ochocinco, and T.O. - Um.......hell no!  Fast fact: Vinny Cerrato actually offered 2 first round picks for Chad Ocho, so glad he is not with us anymore.

Continue reading "Free Agency: Who the Redskins should ..."


UkraineEURO2012

Ukrainian team will prepare for the Euro 2012 abroad posted by UkraineEURO2012

On the eve of starting the finals of Euro 2012 Ukraine national football team will hold a short training camp in Austria or Germany.
As part of this planned series of friendly matches, in particular, meeting in Vienna against Austria on 1 June.

This was told by the vice-president of the Football Federation of Ukraine Vladimir Lashkul. According to him, this is due to the requirements of UEFA, according to which national teams can not hold friendly matches in the host country for three months before the start of the tournament and a month after his graduation.

Recall that the coming friendlies team will play Ukraine on June 1 against a team of Uzbekistan in Kiev at the Dynamo stadium name Lobanovsky and June 6 against the French in Donetsk Donbass-Arena.Continue reading "Ukrainian team will prepare for the ..."


Les Leonard

Big Daddy Rides Brees’ Avalanche to the Bottom posted by Les Leonard

     What emotion described your mood after Sunday’s Superdome debacle? Did you feel disappointed, humiliated, angry, or betrayed? Big Daddy felt so humiliated by the Saints half-hearted effort. Only Brett Farve understood Saints fans embarrassment after his wood-stroking photos surfaced on the internet. Several of Big Daddy’s co-workers revisited the Madden Curse theory, citing Drew Brees’ God-awful performance in which 2 of his 4 interceptions resulted in pick-sixes. Others wondered if Cleveland Head Coach Eric Mangini instructed former Saints Scott Fujita and Mike Bell (two integral pieces to last year’s Super Bowl Championship team) to hire a Voodoo priestess to cast an Early Halloween spell on Drew. One thing is certain, the Browns’ coach unleashed his bag of tricks on the Crescent City, soundly out coaching Sean Payton all afternoon. Saints fans can only pray that the Black ’n’ Gold will collect tons of treats come Halloween night when Pittsburgh comes to town. In this edition of the Section 645 Saints Beat, Big Daddy tailgates in Champions Square, reports live from Section 645, recaps the Cleveland game, watches the New Orleans Hornets season opener, attends legendary Martinque chef Nat Carrier’s Birthday Bash, and releases his World Famous Pregame Information.

     Saints fans had Champions Square jam packed by 10 am. Some listened to the pregame concert, while others watched CBS’s coverage of the NFL Today on the big screen. No matter which option the Who Dat Army soldiers choose, they all munched down funnel cakes, hot dogs, and pretzels, watching down their tailgating eats with semi-cold $5.00 draught beers prior to entering the Superdome, where buying drinks smarts worse than a nun’s 3-sided ruler in parochial school. Once Big Daddy’s posse temporarily quenched their thirst, our group huddled around WWL’s Saints radio broadcast outside Gate C to catch some of Bobby Hebert’s, Deke Bellavia’s, and Mike Detillier’s pregame thoughts before ascending to hallowed Section 645 grounds near the summit of the Big Easy’s coolest man made mountain.

Continue reading "Big Daddy Rides Brees’ Avalanche to the Bottom"


Colin Linneweber

Chicago's Rain Man Picks Purdue To Win The National Championsip posted by Colin Linneweber

An autistic teenager from Chicago has incredibly assembled a flawless NCAA Men’s Tournament bracket as the Sweet 16 is set to commence tonight.  

Despite the myriad of shocking upsets, Alex Hermann has somehow selected all 48 games correctly. 

The website www.BookofOdds.com reported that the betting chances of having an unblemished bracket entering the Sweet 16 are one in 13,460,000. 

“It’s amazing,” Hermann, 17, told Chicago’s NBC affiliate. 

Hermann managed to comprise his perfect bracket by studying numbers to find an ideal combination. 

However, Hermann veered from his strategy when he selected the Purdue Boilermakers as the eventual winners of the national championship. 

Hermann predicted that the Boilermakers will ultimately take scissors to the nets in Indianapolis because his older brother, Andrew, attends Purdue. 

The fourth-seeded Boilermakers next game is scheduled for Friday night against the top-seeded Duke Blue Devils.  

The Autism Society defines autism as “a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first two years of life and is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain, impacting development in the areas of social interaction and skills.” 

Hermann’s story is the most intriguing one regarding autism since the Oscar-winning movie Rain Main premiered in March 1989. 

If Purdue does capture the title, Alex Hermann’s account will be this year’s

Continue reading "Chicago's Rain Man Picks Purdue To ..."


Andy Charles

Collinson gets his big chance posted by Andy Charles

That collective sigh you heard was the one coming from New Orleans Hornets fans when they learned that All-Star point guard Chris Paul would be missing for maybe as long as two months in the wake of knee surgery.

Paul needs arthroscopic surgery for a cartilage tear in his left knee, an injury suffered in freak fashion seconds from the end of the loss to the Chicago Bulls last week when he collided with a photographer on the baseline as he went to retrieve an errant shot.

Results of a scan showed that Paul had a partial tear of his meniscus, an injury that really cannot be played through and could develop into something serious if left untreated for a long spell of time.

But maybe, just maybe, Paul’s absence will not be felt as badly as some NBA Predictions first thought, based on the performance of his replacement Darren Collinson in the 109-102 overtime win over a decent Memphis outfit on Saturday night.

Collinson played all but a few minutes of regulation and ended the game with 17 points and a superb Paul-esque 18 assists, working well in tandem with fellow rookie Marcus Thornton in the backcourt.

But is playing two rookie guards, with very little depth to come off the bench, what the Hornets need in the middle of a fierce playoff race that sees eight teams covered by only three-and-a-half games (as of Monday).

Sure the Hornets have plenty of experience further up the court in David West, Emeka Okafor and Peja Stojakovic, but another injury among their current starting five would put them in deep trouble with most NBA Bets and there isn’t really much coming off the bench that could be traded for an established veteran to help out.

Continue reading "Collinson gets his big chance"


Les Leonard

Big Daddy Feels Turbulence on Cloud 9 posted by Les Leonard

     New Orleanians began their work week all smiles again Monday morning courtesy of the Saints’ record-setting 9-0 start. Even though our wallets were decimated for the ninth straight game, Saints fans ain’t complainin’. As the Saints aim to complete their second of three triumphant visits to the Sunshine State Sunday, Big Daddy mentally prepares to go where Who Dat has gone before. In this week’s edition of the Section 645 Saints Beat, Big Daddy congratulates former U.S. Representative from Louisiana’s 2nd District William “Dollar Bill” Jefferson, reports the action live from the Kingpin, recaps the Tampa Bay game, examines recent Saints scares, forecasts the New Orleans Hornets season, and releases his World Famous Pregame Information.

     Who wasn’t relieved when U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III made his wise decision? Wednesday Ellis ruled that William Jefferson will remain free while he appeals his 11 count federal conviction. Obviously, Dollar Bill isn’t a flight risk because he’s such a devoted God-fearing family man. Bill’s ability to spend priceless family time during Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Mardi Gras, and the Saints first Super Bowl with his wife and kids has to be the feel-good story of the year. Do you think Lifetime will make a syrupy holiday special depicting the Jefferson’s tight-knit family? Perhaps the made-for-TV gem would teach struggling Americans how to afford Ivy League educations for their offspring like the Jeffersons did with their five amazing children. Since locals love “making groceries,” the movie could show people where to find those special frozen pie crusts that chemically react when ordinary freezers transform them into extraordinary devices that produce cold hard cash.

Continue reading "Big Daddy Feels Turbulence on Cloud 9"


Andy Charles

posted by Andy Charles

Allen Iverson’s sometime glittering career in the NBA could just be over after he left the Memphis Grizzlies early into his tenure with the franchise.

Although Iverson was given permission ‘to leave to attend to personal business’ late last week, his time in Memphis had already started to become a sideshow with more talk about him being asked to come off the bench than anything else.

Iverson had only played three times for the Grizzlies before leaving ahead of Saturday’s clash with the Los Angeles Clippers, and had not played badly in averaging 12.3 points and 3.7 assists despite his displeasure at not being in the starting line-up as Memphis preferred to start Mike Conley and O.J. Mayo in the backcourt.

The 34-year-old also complained at a lack of communication with coach Lionel Hollins, as he revealed: “It’s probably going to always be hard for me and him to see eye-to-eye, because we’ve never even talked to each other. Obviously that’s what you do if you’re trying to accomplish the same goal.”

Hollins was non-committal about Iverson returning to the team, issuing a ‘no comment’ and admitting he had no idea if he would be back in the short or even the long-term.

Memphis had been anticipated as one of the league’s improvers this season but have started the campaign just as in most recent years with their 1-6 record the joint worst in the Western Conference and better than only the injury-hit New Jersey Nets overall.

But it is Iverson’s future dominating the sports pages, with retirement the latest word to rear its ugly head despite comments from owner Michael Heisley that Iverson had not intimated to him that he was thinking about calling it a day.

Continue reading ""


Scott Shepherd

First Impressions posted by Scott Shepherd

The NBA season is officially underway (unless you live in Chicago or Milwaukee).

 

After several hours parked in front of the NBA League Pass for the past two days, it’s time for some first impressions.

 

The Good

 

Ty Lawson

 

How good was he last night? I predicted the Denver Nuggets to be the third best team in the West this season, and that was assuming that Ty Lawson would play like a rookie point guard.

But his 17 points, six assists, and four rebounds, plus very solid fourth quarter minutes in a close game against a decent Utah team, shows that he may be a real X factor for this team moving forward.

 

Brook Lopez

 

Lopez was a monster last night, finishing with 27 points, 15 rebounds, five blocks, and four assists. Of course, the Nets lost, mainly because they couldn’t hold off the mighty T’Wolves down the stretch, but it certainly wasn’t because of Lopez.

 

Los Angeles Lakers

 

I know they were playing the Clippers, but the champs didn’t miss a beat. This could have been the most lopsided seven-point game I’ve ever seen.

 

If it hadn’t been for the extended period in the second quarter where D.J. Mbenga tried to show his limitless range the Clippers would have lost by 20.

 

The Lakers starters (minus their second best player, Pau Gasol), were nothing short of dominant all game. They just toyed with the Clippers for most of the game, and clamped down where it mattered most.

 

Boston Celtics

 

Continue reading "First Impressions"


Chad

The NBA, Where Desperation Happens posted by Chad

So, things aren't looking good for the NBA right now.  There are a lot of reasons, the economy, it struggles compared to the other sports anyway, superstar bailout calls, the "thug" image, and mainly the fact the refs don't really know how to call the game.  I have a hard time watching somebody get 4 steps through the lane and a 4 second later continuation call; sorry, but that's not basketball.  Toss in the fact that these refs that don't apparently enforce the rules are going to go on strike and they also gamble on basketball.. things aren't looking good.  Teams are desperate to pack the stands.

Don't worry fans!  The Nets have an amazing, really incredible, inspiration, and entirely chaotic way to get fans in teh stands.  Only good things can happen here, and that's a promise.  If you fork out 25g's for 10 games of the team's best seats you can put in a list of players that you want to come hang out with you for an hour.  You can have them at home, a birthday party, the office, or anywhere else you'd like to go.  No word on bachelor parties, hanging out at their house, or even the Gold Club all the guys love so much down in the ATL.  Patrick Ewing knows what I'm talking about.  So, lets say you have the cash and the desire to do this.. you really need to consider your options.  I'll help you take a look at the Nets top guys:

1.  Yi.  How could he not be #1?  The possibilities are endless!  Does a translator come with or do you just have to akwardly try to teach him English in that hour?  Where would you go with the guy.. the zoo?  Your crib?  What if you want to drive somewhere, does that mean you get to ride in his car since he can't fit in yours?  Does you have a lazyboy at home?  If so, you might be able to tape him going one on one against it.  My money says put it on Yi; it wouldn't be the first time he's knocked a chair to the ground in victory.  I'd love to see it.

Continue reading "The NBA, Where Desperation Happens"

New Jersey Nets News

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Joe Dumars is stepping down as Detroit Pistons general manager (Ball Don't Lie)

There was a reason why Joe Dumars was able to hang on for so many years as Detroit Pistons general manager. He was beloved as a player; the 1990 NBA Finals MVP was the only member of the Bad Boy Pistons for whom outsiders could stand to root, kind of like the opposite of an aerial view. It wasn’t that distinction that made him so workable, though, so un-fungible. Dumars, who stepped down from his post as Pistons personnel el jefe on Monday, actually used to be damn good at his job. And people unfortunately tend to forget this. The whiffs are notorious. This is the man who signed and dealt for both Josh Smith's and Brandon Jennings’20-foot jump shots last summer. He signed Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva in 2009 –to big contracts to actually start for his basketball team. He drafted Darko Milicic with, wait for it, the second pick in the 2003 NBA draft, when everyone knew that Chris Kaman or Travis Outlaw (or Dwyane Wade or Carmelo Anthony or Chris Bosh or whatever) would have been a better selection. The man hired Maurice Cheeks to coach an NBA team. In 2013. In the early years of his run, though, Joe Dumars was ahead of his time. The former Bad Boy understood depth, and though he watched an Allen Iverson-led 76ers squad chuck and defend its way to the NBA Finals in 2001, Dumars knew that a Jerry Stackhouse-led Pistons rotation couldn’t do the same in spite of featuring a points-per-game standout. Joe D had sat on the sidelines for a year as a deputy in 2000-01, watching Stackhouse pile up the big stats with little win/loss reward, and by the time the 2001 offseason hit, with Dumars taking the lead role as personnel chief, Joe D seemed primed for a different approach to roster building. His work during that summer may not come off as flashy or brilliant some 13 years later, but that wasn’t the point. The idea was to utilize previously unutilized aspects of the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement to gain an advantage. Dumars plotted with trade exceptions. He took advantage of sign-and-trade rules. He sent expiring contracts to other teams to take on what were considered onerous contracts. He used the midlevel exception expertly. And while names like Corliss Williamson, Jon Barry and Clifford Robinson may not strike you as killer pickups in 2014, they did help turn Dumars’franchise around. With Rick Carlisle running things as coach, Dumars’team improved from a 32-win joke to a 50-win contender in 2001-02. Joe D terribly screwed up in his first draft, taking swingman Rodney White ahead of several preferable options, which was an unfortunate telling sign of things to come –White was a private workout stud, someone that shined while running through drills, a talent whose skills did not translate to game action. Still, Dumars more than made up for that pick by selecting Tayshaun Prince in the first round in 2002, following that up by selling high and milking Richard Hamilton out of an impatient Washington Wizards boss Michael Jordan in exchange for Stackhouse. The Pistons nearly made the Finals the following season, coming close to toppling the New Jersey Nets with Prince coming on late in the postseason, setting the stage for a potential Piston dynasty. Dumars was clearly itchy, though. Carlisle had done excellent work as coach in Detroit, working two 50-win seasons, but Dumars dumped his first appointed head coach for noted vagabond Larry Brown in the summer of 2003, soon after his team was eliminated in the Eastern Conference finals. That hire came just a few days before Dumars’most notorious misstep, one that didn’t mar his team’s chances at a title, but one that possibly denied Detroit’s chances at several championships. Dumars fell victim to personal workout shine once again, selecting Darko Milicic second overall in one of the deepest NBA drafts in league history. The Pistons had lucked into a high lottery pick in spite of the team’s 50-win 2002-03 campaign due to a 6-year-old trade involving former malcontent Otis Thorpe. Dumars reasonably surmised that he should probably swing for the fences in selecting a prospect over a known quantity. Milicic had just turned 18, he could jump through the roof and had obvious potential as a two-way standout, someone who could learn under the Pistons’core of solid big men. He was a talent who, Dumars posited, could be hitting his prime just as Detroit’s older crew fell off. Darko would have to learn under Larry Brown, though, a limiting aspect that Dumars appeared to have never considered. Brown remains the ultimate pound-foolish coach, not one to waste crucial on-court time on playing un-ripened talent, and Milicic played just 159 minutes in his rookie year. That rookie year, it should be noted, was Dumars’top turn as an executive –his Pistons worked off of depth and defensive know-how to peak at the absolute right time, beating out several Western standouts and taking home the 2004 NBA title. Dumars’2003 offseason signing of Chauncey Billups and his February acquisition of Rasheed Wallace pushed the team over the top. Those Pistons remain to this day the shining example of how to win with the midlevel exception and NBA trade deadline, and a group that stands as the rare star-less NBA champion in league history. Detroit got its breaks along the way –crucial injuries to the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves help hand the Pistons their first title in 14 years –but this was not a squad built on fits and flukes. Dumars’team would make the Finals again in 2005 and the conference finals again in 2006, 2007 and 2008, though it couldn’t break through to capture a second ring. This could have been helped by the presence of another star, but Dumars had passed on Anthony, Wade and Bosh in the 2003 draft, and he had to sell low on Darko in 2006, dealing him to Orlando for a draft pick that later turned into Rodney Stuckey. Brown was gone by that time, replaced by Flip Saunders in a move that seemed tailor-made for Saunders’zone-heavy defensive style. Rasheed Wallace tuned out Saunders late into his first season, and the rest of the team soon followed suit. Dumars fired Flip in order to hire Michael Curry in 2008, but that was no help, as the buttresses started to crumble. In what seemed like a sound business decision, Dumars dealt Chauncey Billups to the Denver Nuggets for Allen Iverson and his expiring contract in the fall of 2008, a move that seemed to foreshadow a rebuilding effort with cap space in hand. Dumars strangely extended Hamilton’s contract just days later, though, killing any potential massive cap space potential. In the end it just looked like Joe D was trading for Allen Iverson the player, and not the expiring contract. Iverson predictably quit on the team late in the season, and what cap remnants Dumars had to work with in the 2009 offseason were wasted on Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva. That crew, headed by former Cleveland assistant John Kuester, won just 27 games in 2009-10. Dumars claimed that ownership frustrations (longtime Pistons owner Bill Davidson passed away in 2009, current owner Tom Gores didn’t take over until 2011) got in the way of him making significant moves, but in reality he was allowed to make personnel changes with both his roster and coaching staff in the intervening years, to little on- or off-court acclaim. Gordon and Villanueva were no help. Rodney Stuckey was no player to build around. The draft picks, outside of Andre Drummond, failed to live up to expectation. And in 2013, Dumars seemed to sadly live up to expectation by signing Smith and trading for Jennings. He hired Cheeks to coach his team, the fifth coach to run the squad since Brown left in 2005. Gores fired Cheeks midseason, with the Pistons struggling. The writing was on the wall, and on Monday Dumars stepped down. It’s important to note that Joe was good for a while. Even if his Pistons hadn’t won the 2004 title –again, quite a lot had to go wrong in the Western Conference bracket for Detroit to field a champion –he still would have been known as smart executive who worked the league over quite a bit. Detroit made the third round of the playoffs or better for six straight seasons, and Joe Dumars was the reason why. He’s also the reason why the team hasn’t made the postseason since 2009, and hasn’t fielded a winning team since 2008. He is the reason why the new general manager in Detroit will have to work out of quicksand, attempting to remove players like Smith and Jennings with their league value at an all-time low. That’s probably worth the payoff, though. Joe Dumars gave Detroit another ring during his reign. That’s not to be taken away. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


This could be the last we see of the great Rick Adelman (Ball Don't Lie)

On Wednesday, the Rick Adelman-led Minnesota Timberwolves fell to the Chicago Bulls by a 102-87 score . The loss dropped the Wolves to .500, a record that in most years prior to the post-Jordan era would earn a Western Conference team a playoff berth, and a mark that would easily slide Minnesota into the eighth spot in this year’s Eastern playoffs bracket. Minnesota will not be making the playoffs this year, though. Wolves forward Kevin Love hyper-extended his right (shooting) elbow during the game and suffered through a 7-20 night, Bulls center Joakim Noah abused both Love and impressive Minnnesota rookie big man Gorgui Dieng for a 15-point, 13-rebound, 10-assist triple-double, as the Timberwolves (who were officially eliminated from the playoffs earlier in April) continued to play out the string. Which is a shame, on so many levels. For one, it will deny NBA fans the chance to watch the brilliant Kevin Love play into the postseason. It will leave one of the NBA’s most fluid and entertaining offenses, even if that offense’s shots aren’t falling, from playing playoff ball, and it will call into question the mettle of a roster with a point differential that typically results in a 50-win season, instead finishing a year with a mediocre win/loss record. It could also sign off on the idea that coach Rick Adelman, who has been rumored to want to walk away from Minnesota following this season, could be coaching his last week in the NBA. Adelman hasn’t signed off on any such notion, he’s not the type that would want the go-to rocking chair ceremony to hit during a meaningless regular season game in mid-April, but he’s also nearing 68 years of age, and he has the health of his wife to consider. Rick has missed one game this season and had to leave the team for 11 games last season to help attend to his wife Mary Kay, who has struggled with seizures, and it would make complete and total sense for Adelman to decline to opt in to the final year of his four-year contract. The Timberwolves and Adelman have until the end of April to determine if either side wants to continue with the partnership, a duel coach/team contract option that has the hallmarks of former general manager David Kahn all over it –because every coach of any age, no matter the context or even sport, wants to walk away from the gig just a fortnight after a long, grueling season. The firing of Kahn in 2013 would seem to have brightened things from Adelman’s prospective, but the ascension of the winningest coach in Wolves history –new’ish Minnesota president Flip Saunders –has left some wondering whether Saunders will want to work as a band-aid coach in 2014-15 in order to make one last effort to keep potential 2015 free agent Kevin Love in the fold. Adelman’s time with the Timberwolves has yet to produce a playoff appearance, and in the postseason’s absence we’ve seen a seemingly incurable strain of strangeness surrounding this team. Kahn’s era produced heaps of blown high lottery picks (Love’s 2008 NBA draft selection was by former coach/GM Kevin McHale), and though Saunders’contract extension of solid offensive center Nikola Pekovic (also a McHale pick) and signing of Kevin Martin last summer looked good on paper, injuries and inconsistency have rendered the Wolves lottery participants yet again. Which means Rick Adelman could go out without having won a championship as a coach, while spending his last three NBA seasons minding the sideline store of one of the oddest NBA clubs in recent memory. Absolutely no way to go out, though this may have to be the case. It could be yet another hallmark of one of the more sadder aspects of Adelman’s coaching career, because while the Loyola Maramount product and seven-year NBA playing veteran has had his moments in the sun, those years have also included terrible timing and unfortunate luck in spite of the talent of the players and coaching staffs involved. Adelman became Portland Trail Blazers head coach in 1989, and took one of the great teams to have never won a championship to the Finals in 1990 and 1992, only to lose to Isiah Thomas’Detroit Pistons (though Joe Dumars was the star of that series) and Michael Jordan’s Bulls in those respective years. Adelman watched as the Blazers dealt Clyde Drexler to the Houston Rockets for serviceable but non-All-Star forward Otis Thorpe in 1995, only to witness Drexler help those Rockets win their second consecutive title a few months later. Adelman joined the Golden State Warriors during the 1995 playoffs to act as their head coach, hoping to settle a team that had been rocked by the rift between former coach/GM Don Nelson and Chris Webber in the years prior. The new coach watched as GM Garry St. Jean drafted Joe Smith tops in the 1995 draft, dealt Tom Gugliotta (the forward acquired for Webber who would later go on to be an All-Star) for Donyell Marshall, traded Tim Hardaway for the aging Kevin Willis, and drafted Todd Fuller in the 1996 NBA draft. The coach was fired over the 1997 offseason; and in a rare stroke of good timing, it took place just before Latrell Sprewell hit his breaking point, as Sprewell attacked Adelman’s successor P.J. Carlesimo during an early season practice in 1997-98. Hired by Princeton devotee Geoff Petrie to guide the Sacramento Kings in 1998, Adelman immediately set to work with a re-jigged Kings club that had added Webber, Vlade Divac, Jon Barry, Peja Stojakovic and Jason Williams over a tumultuous 1998-99 offseason. The team nearly toppled the top-ranked Utah Jazz in the first round of that year’s playoffs, almost becoming the second eighth seed in NBA history to beat a No. 1 seed at the time, and struck the same fear into the Los Angeles Lakers during the first round in 2000. By 2001 and 2002, though, the Kings had grown into championship contenders under Adelman. And though Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant were dominant, Allen Iverson was inspiring, and San Antonio’s Tim Duncan was rock steady over this spell, the up-tempo Kings were the only team anyone wanted to watch during one of the low points in the NBA’s history. Part of this was on Rick Adelman going against the grain, and pairing a willingness to let his team run with his own Princeton-movement instincts. With former Princeton Tigers coach Pete Carril watching from the sidelines as Kings assistant coach, the Kings were barely toppled (and some would say robbed) in a 2002 Western Conference final that was far more competitive and telling than that year’s dreary NBA Finals between the Lakers and outclassed New Jersey Nets. Chris Webber injured his knee in the 2003 playoffs, though, necessitating a microfracture surgery that would just about destroy his career. The addition of Brad Miller turned the Kings into a championship contender in 2004, but the team lost to a top-seeded Minnesota squad in the last year that the Timberwolves would make the playoffs to date. The Kings traded Webber midway through 2004-05 for a rotating cast of lesser players with even worse contracts, and Adelman and Sacramento parted ways in 2006. Houston general manager Daryl Morey latched on to Adelman in 2007, hoping his fluid offense could help turn a team led by Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady into a champion, but both players would succumb to injury soon enough, even if Adelman’s offense and deft touch with player personnel helped the Rockets win 22 consecutive games in 2008. Three more solid seasons followed, as Adelman circled the wagons while Morey acquired the assets that would spark up a Houston turnaround long after Adelman left the team. The partnership ended as Adelman moved to Minnesota to help clean up the disastrous turn by former Wolves coach Kurt Rambis, while making sense of the flotsam and jetsam that Kahn had provided for him. Obviously, it hasn’t turned out. Rick Adelman’s time in Minnesota has been undercut by the after effects of four badly failed drafts in a row by Kahn, Ricky Rubio’s inability to develop a shooting or finishing touch (something that was in place years before Kahn drafted him), the impossibly strange late game failures for the squad in 2013-14, and crucial injuries throughout. Rick Adelman may have a week left, and he probably doesn’t want a party to be thrown for him in his honor as he walks away. Defy the man’s wishes, NBA fans. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Bobcats launch 'Big Al's Paint' promotion to push Al Jefferson for All-NBA consideration (Ba

The end of the NBA's regular season brings with it not only the start of the playoffs, but also voting for the league's slew of annual awards — Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year, etc. — and the three All-NBA teams that recognize the top forwards, guards and centers from the just-concluded campaign. Each year, teams' public-relations departments and promotional arms take it upon themselves to come up with fun, quirky ways to raise their players' profiles with prospective voters — think of the "Bruise Brothers" LP that the Minnesota Timberwolves sent coaches to try to get Nikola Pekovic added to the Western Conference All-Star team, or the then-New Jersey Nets' "Incredible Hump" promo to push Kris Humphries for Most Improved Player. This season appears to be no exception, with the Houston Rockets shipping out Superman-inspired press packages and beard-grooming kits to push the MVP candidacies of Dwight Howard and James Harden, respectively. (They're pretty clearly fighting for third place , just like everybody else not named LeBron James or Kevin Durant, but it's still fun to make things.) The early leader in creativity and execution among this year's crop of award promotions, though, is "Big Al's Paint," a multimedia campaign launched by the Charlotte Bobcats to advance the notion that Al Jefferson should be included as the center on one of the three All-NBA teams. The idea's brilliant in its simplicity: nobody owns the painted area (shouts to Hubie) quite like the 29-year-old behemoth, so let's pitch him as the owner and operator of North Carolina's premier painting companies. Charlotte kicked it off by sending voters a Big Al-branded paint can jammed with tonally appropriate goodies: [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Bobcats launch 'Big Al's Paint' promotion to push Al Jefferson for All-NBA consideration (Ba

The end of the NBA's regular season brings with it not only the start of the playoffs, but also voting for the league's slew of annual awards — Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year, etc. — and the three All-NBA teams that recognize the top forwards, guards and centers from the just-concluded campaign. Each year, teams' public-relations departments and promotional arms take it upon themselves to come up with fun, quirky ways to raise their players' profiles with prospective voters — think of the "Bruise Brothers" LP that the Minnesota Timberwolves sent coaches to try to get Nikola Pekovic added to the Western Conference All-Star team, or the then-New Jersey Nets' "Incredible Hump" promo to push Kris Humphries for Most Improved Player. This season appears to be no exception, with the Houston Rockets shipping out Superman-inspired press packages and beard-grooming kits to push the MVP candidacies of Dwight Howard and James Harden, respectively. (They're pretty clearly fighting for third place , just like everybody else not named LeBron James or Kevin Durant, but it's still fun to make things.) The early leader in creativity and execution among this year's crop of award promotions, though, is "Big Al's Paint," a multimedia campaign launched by the Charlotte Bobcats to advance the notion that Al Jefferson should be included as the center on one of the three All-NBA teams. The idea's brilliant in its simplicity: nobody owns the painted area (shouts to Hubie) quite like the 29-year-old behemoth, so let's pitch him as the owner and operator of North Carolina's premier painting companies. Charlotte kicked it off by sending voters a Big Al-branded paint can jammed with tonally appropriate goodies: [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Bobcats launch 'Big Al's Paint' promotion to push Al Jefferson for All-NBA consideration (Ba

The end of the NBA's regular season brings with it not only the start of the playoffs, but also voting for the league's slew of annual awards — Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year, etc. — and the three All-NBA teams that recognize the top forwards, guards and centers from the just-concluded campaign. Each year, teams' public-relations departments and promotional arms take it upon themselves to come up with fun, quirky ways to raise their players' profiles with prospective voters — think of the "Bruise Brothers" LP that the Minnesota Timberwolves sent coaches to try to get Nikola Pekovic added to the Western Conference All-Star team, or the then-New Jersey Nets' "Incredible Hump" promo to push Kris Humphries for Most Improved Player. This season appears to be no exception, with the Houston Rockets shipping out Superman-inspired press packages and beard-grooming kits to push the MVP candidacies of Dwight Howard and James Harden, respectively. (They're pretty clearly fighting for third place , just like everybody else not named LeBron James or Kevin Durant, but it's still fun to make things.) The early leader in creativity and execution among this year's crop of award promotions, though, is "Big Al's Paint," a multimedia campaign launched by the Charlotte Bobcats to advance the notion that Al Jefferson should be included as the center on one of the three All-NBA teams. The idea's brilliant in its simplicity: nobody owns the painted area (shouts to Hubie) quite like the 29-year-old behemoth, so let's pitch him as the owner and operator of North Carolina's premier painting companies. Charlotte kicked it off by sending voters a Big Al-branded paint can jammed with tonally appropriate goodies: [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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