Gana Diop was one of the only halfway decent things to come out of last night’s tedious basketball game at the AAC. In the first 3 quarters, the Nuggets and Mavericks waged a war of who could drive more fans away from the sport. Horrendous offense with horrible shooting and careless ball handling helped make the 1st half almost unwatchable. The Mavericks had 18 turnovers mid-way through the third quarter.
But, Diop was playing a game that was so good, some of us were wondering if his upside might propel him past Erick Dam-spare. Dam-spare put on a foul exhibition last night that was amazing, all the while without any production . 0 points, 0 rebounds, 0 assists, 4 fouls and 4 turnovers. Nice. Meanwhile, Gana was grabbing every rebound close, blocking shots, and showing some level of care.
And then, when Carmelo Anthony tried to win the game in the final seconds, there was Diop, an actual shot-blocking Mavericks center, to save the day. Well done. 37 minutes for the big fella, and they all were well spent.with 16 rebounds and 6 blocks.
He may develop into something.
Diop and Dirk save the day …
Nowitzki took charge offensively with 35 points. He had 11 in the fourth quarter – one fewer than the Nuggets.
"You saw a great player get better and take responsibility," Denver coach George Karl said.
Diop, meanwhile, anchored a defense that came alive after a complete meltdown at the start of the second half. He had 16 rebounds and altered many shots besides the six he rejected.
Congress does something worthwhile! under pressure, the player’s union caves to actual steroid penalties …
Selig got what he wanted from the union yesterday because it had nowhere to go. He and it knew that Congress was waiting with a death penalty for players who tested positive for steroids. No matter what the union proposed short of the commissioner's position, he rejected it, knowing the Congressional sword hovered over the players' heads.
Given his choice, an angry union or a threatening Congress, Selig chose to follow the representatives and senators who battered him like a punching bag at past hearings. He didn't like the blows he endured, and he was prepared to do what he thought necessary to ward off more blows.
Unlike his predecessors, who had always discouraged Congressional inroads into the game, Selig invited Congress into Major League Baseball. He would rather negotiate an agreement with the union, Selig said, but if no agreement were forthcoming, he would endorse Congressional action.
You might not want your politicians involved in sports, but in this case, I don’t think there is any question it is the only way this gets done.
Here are the actual new roid penalties …
• First positive test -- 50-game suspension, up from 10 days.
• Second positive test -- 100-game suspension, up from 30 days.
• Third positive test -- Lifetime ban, with player having right to apply for reinstatement after two years and an arbitrator being able to review reinstatement decision. Under the previous agreement, the earliest a player could be suspended for life was for a fifth positive test.
• In addition, a conviction for possession carries a 60-to-80 game penalty, while a second offense carries a 120-game to one-year penalty. A third offense nets the offender a lifetime ban. If a player is convicted for distribution, he will be suspended 80-to-100 games, while a second offense equals a lifetime ban.
Meanwhile, Ducks trade Federov in a salary dump….
…the clear objective was to shed Fedorov's $6.08-million annual salary and free up significant space under the $39-million cap.
General Manager Brian Burke didn't hide this fact during a conference call. The team had little flexibility, and Wright's salary of $947,333 and Beauchemin's salary of $500,000 will drop the Ducks' cap figure to about $34 million.
"I can't sell this as a stand-alone hockey deal, and I won't," Burke said.
Federov is another example of a supporting player in one city being brought over to lead a new team and failing miserably. Very similar to when Pippen was brought to Portland to lead a team, when he was never the leader in Chicago. Doesn’t work.
FWST Soccer Insider looks back at MLS Cup …And ways to continue to insure growth in the league…
The MLS board of governors couldn't come to a decision on the "David Beckham rule." The notion is that each club could break the bank to bring in one marquee player, such as Beckham, as long as the club paid the player's salary rather than using the league salary pool.
One day after coming off life-support is hardly the time to try and pull off a "Triple Lindy." MLS growth is inherent on single-entity, all-for-one financing.
MLS at Year 10 can ill afford to get into bidding wars on the world market, much less the big market/small market dilemma that could befall the teams. If AEG spends $10 million to get Roberto Carlos to Los Angeles, wouldn't that force Salt Lake to go spend equally as much on Michael Owen? At this point, MLS is far better served by investing in stadiums such as Pizza Hut Park rather than players who might bring short-term hype. This league was designed to give American players an opportunity. I'd rather see 100 local boys earn $100,000 each than one guy making $10,000,000.
Honestly, I cannot imagine David Beckham or Roberto Carlos would ever swallow enough pride to play here. I don’t care how old they are, they will never need the cash. I understand Becks likes the USA, but then I would advise him to buy a place in NYC…
Michael Redd buys his dad a church …
throwing in the towel ….
Philly Sucks.com …
Burger King strikes college …
William Hung sings and perhaps mispronounces a key word …
The Napoleon Dance again …
Borat angers Kazakhstan …
Let’s entertain some mid-week email:
Being the hockey authority on the ticket wanted to let you know of several Mexico Hockey teams traveling to Dallas for a local Thanksgiving tournament. There will be a Bantam, Midget and the Mexico National Hockey team.
The web site for the Mexico hockey association is listed below: Mexico Hockey.com . The web site for the tournament is Here . The Bantam and Midget team will be playing in the local tournament while the Mexico National team will scrimmage the several Midget AAA teams in the area the same weekend.
While it may not be the greatest hockey it could be some great sound bytes. Please let me know if you want to get in contact with Mexico hockey teams.
Nice. Thanks, Carl.
Wanted to share a great youth football story with you. I coached a 5th & 6th grade team for a local catholic gradeschool for 10 years. My Q-back called a timeout, came over to me and said that my tailback wouldn't be quiet in the huddle. I gave him the old one about how he's the boss on the field. The "field general". That he had to take charge when the situation got out of hand. He gives me the thumbs up and heads back to the huddle.
Normally there's a din of chatter at most of these games but I swear the entire field fell dead silent for one of those rare moments just in time to hear my fifth grade QB holler at the top of his lungs for my tailback to "SHUT TH' F--- UP!!!
About 80 sets of eyes immediately fell om my shocked beyond belief face...as if I'd instructed this child to say that.
What made this so funny is that this kid weighed about 55 lbs. and wore a Vince McMahon mask on a helmet that tilted funny because he was always losing an ear pad. Looked like that Norman Rockwell painting . I'll never forget that game as long as I live.
Needless to say the refs called a timeout to help my Q-back understand on-field-propriety a little better.
Thanks for the read,
Long time P1, Bill DeOre
That is a wonderful story! Awesome.
And then this, in response to Last Thursday’s Coach Fran Rant …
I agree that the blame for this mess does not fall entirely at RC's feet. However, there are a couple of items I'd point out about your blog stats.
1) Out of the 10 Aggies drafted from '03-05, 6 of them never played for Fran. They were drafted in 2003, and 5 of those guys were first day picks. So that is 10 picks down to 4. And I won't dwell on the fact that RC took a buttload of quality NFL prospects and went 6-6 with them.
2) RC didn't recruit Montgomery (as you mentioned), reducing 4 down to 3 in RC's tally.
3) Of the remaining 3, one was a 6th rounder (J. Taylor) in 2004 that hasn't caught a ball this year and only caught 6 last year, and another is a 5th round (Hangartner) that hasn't played at all. T-Murphy was the only quality NFL pick that was recruited by RC and played for Fran so far.
4) From 1990 to 2003, there was an average of 4.5 Aggies drafted in the first 7 rounds each year, and we averaged 2.6 first day picks (first 3 rounds) during that time. During that span, we always had at least 1 player go in the first 3 rounds and we always had at least 2 players drafted in the first 7. Those streaks magically stopped in 2004 when a 6th rounder was the only thing we contributed to the draft.
Just a little Norm stats for you, but I do think we have a talent problem with our upperclassman along - and we've got a coach that hasn't shown the ability to "coach 'em up" either.
Thank you- your points are well taken, and my math was faulty- But, it does beg the eternal question that I believe does not have a sure answer, and yet so many assume it does. Just because the upper classmen are spares, how do we know they would not be stars in some cases with the proper coaching? Did R.C. suddenly and conveniently forget how to recruit in 2001 or did the quality of the 4-5 years of college coaching those recruits should receive suddenly disappear? Again, we will never know the full answer, but I have a hard time believing that a guy with his talent track record would go in the opposite direction so suddenly-