Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Paul Pierce. Ray Allen. Kevin Garnett. After tanking the season and a worse-case scenario draft lottery, general managers and former teammates Danny Ainge and Kevin McHale pulled the trigger in revamping their losing teams. Seeing as Lebron single handedly took Cleveland to the NBA Finals last year, the Celtics have suddenly become championship contenders in the NBA's weak eastern conference. Even with a weak supporting cast, these three similar all-stars actually compliment each other quite well as Bill Simmons eloquently writes. The winning tradition of the Patriots and Red Sox have overshadowed basketball in Boston for the past decade or so, but now the city may sport the best three team combination in the world. Finally, Allen and Garnett moving to the East almost makes up for Oden and Durant going to the West. While they hate to admit it, there is a strong east coast bias in sports, and the NBA, or any other league for that matter, is simply at their best when the New Yorks, Philadelphias, and Bostons are relevant.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Bill Walsh

Bill Walsh passed away today at the age of 75 after a long battle against leukemia. Walsh is best known for the San Francisco 49ers 1980s dynasty, winning three Super Bowls with Joe Montana quarterbacking a West Coast Offense that revolutionized football. Walsh's brilliant strategies and tactics are evident up until today, as many members of his staffs have gone on to become head coaches in the league, including four who have won Super Bowls in Tony Dungy, Brian Billick, George Seifert, and Mike Holmgren.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

NBA Needs Sports Gaming

While the mass media continues to question the NBA's integrity,

The fundamental truth is the NBA needs sports gaming more than the sports gaming industry needs his league. One of the worst things that could happen to Stern would be if people stopped betting on his games. It would be a symptom of mortal apathy for the NBA.

When fans are excited about a league, they bet on the games. It's a fact of life for the NFL and March Madness. None of the sports commissioners will admit it publicly, but all of them want their leagues to encourage fans in large numbers to place bets -- because it is a sincere expression of interest to put down money on a game's outcome.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


David Beckham made his long anticipated debut last night here in the entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles. In attendance were icons Victoria with Katie Holmes and baby Suri, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Eva Longoria, Drew Carey, Kevin Garnett, and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Tao Las Vegas did $55.2 million in business in 2006, a cool $16 million more than their distant number two in terms of top earning restaurants in the United States. Anyone down for a road trip to Sin City before summer ends?

The Burj Dubai is the new world's tallest building. Once it is completed next year, the 2,275 foot skyscraper will more than 160 floors, 56 elevators, luxury apartments, boutiques, swimming pools, spas, exclusive corporate suites, Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani's first hotel, and a 124th floor observation platform. The rapidly growing city of Dubai, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is a represenation of the economic boom occuring in the Middle East due to, of course, oil.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


I did not think this would last to write one hundred posts, but here it is. At first this thing started as a simple to to quit repeating myself and actually articulate some good sports talk with friends. Then it evolved into a short but fun stint as a newspaper and website sportswrite. Now I am back to simply enjoying writing random thoughts...
  • The Michael Vick dog fighting situation is going to seem more and more similar to Kobe Bryant's sexual assault charges a couple years back as we will be reading and hearing about it for a considerable amount of time. Goodell has stated that he will let the law play its course for a player without any criminal history before acting on any suspensions. Hints have been made about the Atlanta Falcons giving Vick paid leave as to avoid making the upcoming season a media circus full of distractions, but that is no longer such an attractive scenario with Matt Schaub traded away and Joey Harrington the new backup.
  • Which sickens you more? Kobe cheating on his wife or Vick staging dog fights to the death at his own home? I am more sickened by the fact that these two superstars have been and probably will remain idolized by sports fans regardless of what they do. Each has had the number one selling jersey in their respective sport for lengthy periods of time.
  • I love ESPN as much as anyone, but I am already tired of David Beckham and he has not even played a game yet. Besides, I find Tony and Eva to be the hotter couple right now...
  • This has been one of the most intriguing NBA offseasons in recent memory. Numerous teams are scrambling to make adjustments while the champs stay silent. The Kobe and Garnett trade rumors seem to have all been for naught.
  • The Houston Rockets may have quietly made the best move of the summer in signing their former all-star Steve Francis. He clicked well with Yao several years ago and can definitely be a superb number three man in new coach Rick Adelman's aggressive offensive style.
  • While the arena situation lingers on, the Seattle Sonics acquired Kurt Thomas and his one year expiring contract along with TWO future first round picks from the Phoenix Suns for the trade exemption from the Rashard Lewis trade with Orlando. The more moves new youngun general manage Sam Presti makes, the more impressed Seattle fans become. Remember, this is the fellow who discovered and pressed the San Antonio Spurs to sign NBA Finals MVP Tony Parker.
  • The Orlando Magic will contend for and may win a championship in the next few years if (1) Dwight Howard develops as a low post scoring threat and (2) J.J. Redick or someone else establishes themselves as a consistent number three option behind Howard and Rashard Lewis.

Friday, July 20, 2007

FBI Investigating NBA Refs

Huge top story today as the FBI is investigating 13 year veteran official Tim Donaghy as part of a Mafia gambling ring. Even if this story turns out to be nothing, at best case scenario, the NBA's integrity is still badly damaged, and at worst, the last two seasons' results could be seriously tarnished.

Sports Illustrated's Marty Burns writes:

How many times have you heard people say, 'Oh, I don't care for the NBA. The superstars get all the calls,' or 'The league wants to see LeBron or Shaq or a team from the larger market make it to the Finals,' or even, 'Gee, it's amazing how often a late, meaningless basket or free throw puts a team over or under the spread"?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Ichiro $uzuki

Check out the details of Seattle Mariners icon Ichiro Suzuki 5-year $90 million contract extension that runs until 2012...

From the Associated Press:

Suzuki, MVP of last week’s All-Star game, gets a $5 million signing bonus and annual salaries of $17 million from 2008-12 under the terms of last Friday’s deal.

The All-Star outfielder’s new contract extension calls for the team to defer $25 million of the $90 million he is owed, money that the team will not have to fully pay until at least 2032.

Seattle will pay $12 million in salary each year and defer $5 million per season at 5.5 percent interest. Suzuki, who turns 33 in October, will receive the money in annual installments each Jan. 30 starting with the year after his retirement from the major leagues.

Because of the deferred money, the average annual value of the contract is discounted to $16.1 million under the provisions of baseball’s collective bargaining agreement.

In addition, he gets a housing allowance of $32,000 next year, an increase of $1,000 from this season, and the amount will rise by $1,000 each year. He also will be provided with either a new jeep or Mercedes SUV by the team, which also gives him four first-class round trip tickets from Japan each year for his family. Provisions for the Mariners to give him a personal trainer and an interpreter were continued.

Suzuki has an impressive career average of .333. Ichiro's rookie year in 2001 sparked a record setting 116-win season for the Mariners. He also set the single season record for hits with 262 in 2004.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sam Presti

SI's Ian Thompson checks in with an article reviewing the moves of the most active NBA team this offseason, the Seattle Sonics. Seattle's new 30-year old general manager Sam Presti is garnering a lot of attention, and his decisions to trade Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis will forever be etched in the minds of Seattle (Oklahoma?) fans.

The Ray Allen trade seems to make good business sense. At age 31, the laws of the NBA say that shooting guards tend to decline. Allen's contract is backloaded with $51 million due to him over the next three years. While Ray was a stud offensively, word has it that his lack of defensive effort spread throughout the team after Nate McMillian's departure. Throw in the fact that skinny 19-year old Kevin Durant is going to take a couple years to develop and peak in the NBA, and there is no use for the Sonics to overpay a declining superstar coming off double ankle surgery. The arena situation in Seattle is looking dire, so management is better off trimming salary now and building a team capable of winning more later on into the future, even if it is in another state.

The Orlando Magic have signed Rashard Lewis signed for six years and $126 million, thanks to a sign and trade deal with Seattle. The Sonics receive a trade exemption and a future second round pick. Sam Presti has actually received even more praise on this one. For comparison's sake, there are 21 other NBA players who are currently playing out max contracts, including the likes of Lebron, Dirk, Melo, AI, T-Mac, O'Neal, Brand, Kobe, Shaq, Wade, Garnett, Marion, Bosh, and Duncan, all of whom are more talented and effective than Lewis. While the future looks bright for Stan Van Gundy in Orlando, the Magic have definitely overpaid for a scoring forward that does not play defense, bang it out for some boards, or create plays for others.

Of course, Sam Presti's daring moves may look smart now, but let us see what happens when the Sonics fail to reach the playoffs for the fifth time in six years while the Celtics and the Magic tear them apart in their four combined meetings and make the playoffs in the much more forgiving eastern conference. Just keep in mind that the Sonics are not aiming to win so much now as they are investing in the future several years down the road.

Friday, July 06, 2007