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Archive for March, 2013


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By Dr. Boyce Watkins

 (YourBlackWorld.com)–I’ve always loved Chris Rock. I don’t respect him because he’s funny, rich or famous, everyone notices that. I respect him because he is also intelligent, progressive and courageous. He doesn’t just give Black people something to laugh about. He also gives them something to THINK about.

This week, while watching March Madness, that multi-billion dollar professional sports extravaganza that pretends to be an amateur sports league, Rock made some interesting and powerful remarks about what he was witnessing on television. Rock, a man who clearly understands the entertainment business, likely found himself confused about how a show can attract tens of millions of viewers without paying its star performers.

Speaking from his Facebook page, Rock had this to say:

“So I’m watching the Kansas North Carolina game on tv .And I notice there are 9 Black players and 1 White player btw the White player is amazing. Anyway I look in the stands and everybody is White. Since its known that college sports is big money, one could come to the conclusion that the nine Black and one White player are playing to put 100 thousand White kids though college. I know no one is getting whipped or beaten but economically college sports are no different than slavery. I know a lot of Black intellectuals will say we can do so much more than play ball and we can .But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t reap the benefits from sports, White kids that go to Syracuse and Georgetown do. These kids should be paid and allowed to get an education for themselves and their families for the rest of there lives. Black people not making money from college sports is like Arabs not making money from oil insane. We have our reparations lottery ticket right in our pocket and were not smart enough to cash it in.”

Everything that Rock says is right on point. The truth about college sports is that the exploitation runs deep, along with serious labor rights violations, in conjunction with operating practices that would be illegal in nearly any other industry in America. Whenever this many fans watch something on television, SOMEONE is getting rich. It’s amazing that those individuals are not the ones actually doing the work.

What I also love about Rock’s remark is that he wasn’t afraid to address the racial elephant in the middle of the room. Many conversations about the unethical nature of collegiate athletics are watered down, focusing solely on graduation rates in a race-neutral sort of way. But the fact is that anyone who follows college sports knows, without a doubt, that black men are typically running the show.

The wealth extraction from the Black community by the NCAA easily exceeds one billion dollars per year. This money could help address failing schools, Black unemployment, urban violence and many of the other issues that plague our community as a result of unchecked poverty and very few economic/educational opportunities. At the very least, it would get a few families out of the projects.

Sonny Vaccaro, the former Nike executive who conceptualized the Air Jordan sneaker, called to tell me about a multi-billion dollar class action lawsuit being filed against the NCAA. The attorneys were licking their chops over the numerous anti-trust violations being committed by the league, which has greedily taken athletes’ images and sold them to video game companies without compensating the players.

The lawsuit, should Vaccaro emerge victorious, could strike a tremendous blow to the toxic cash cow known as the NCAA. But an even faster route to liberation lies right in the hands of players and their families. Should blue chip athletes simply refuse to play without being compensated, then the show (and the money) will all come to a halt. As Chris Rock said, the power is in our hands.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and author of the book, “Black American Money”.

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By Tasha Nicole 

 michael jordan counter suit pamela smith

If you thought you had heard the last between Pamela Smith and Michael Jordan think again. The soon to be married basketball legend is ready to posturize Ms. Smith, after she alleged he fathered her 16 year-old son.

According to TMZ, Jordan has filed legal documents asking the courts to open the case so he can counter-sue Ms. Smith, suing her for his court cost and other sanctions that have not yet been revealed.

Good for MJ.  Groupies, attention seekers, liars, or whatever you want to call them needs to be stopped. They are able to spread such bizarre lies and since we all know athletes aren’t with the Poke every night we have to analyze it at face value. However now someone is finally fighting back. unfortunately the last person you want to be in a legal battle with is the guy who is world known and worth millions on millions, but she didn’t have any problems with suing him so now it’s her turn to take the bullet.

Revenge is like the sweetest joy next to getting… more money.

By Glenn Erby 

 kenny-anderson-basketball-prviate-school-coach

When I think of former Georgia Tech star and NBA point Kenny Anderson, my memory takes me back to that moment when Anderson as a freshman, shook Bobby Hurley up something nice.

Anderson went on to help lead Tech to a final four as a freshman, and back to the tournament as a sophomore before declaring early for the draft.

His NBA career didn’t equate to what we all thought it should have, and Anderson now is remembered for underachieving and blowing through most of his money.

These days Anderson surprisingly can be found manning the bench as a head coach.  It’s not the scenario you would imagine though.

Kenny Anderson is not back in New York City or anywhere else for that matter coaching some powerhouse program.  As the New York Daily News is reporting, Kenny Anderson is the head coach at a small 149 student, Jewish private school in Davie, Florida.

The David Posnack Hebrew Day School enrolls grades 9-12, has a tuition of $18,300 a year, has a rigorous academic program, and team lacking much talent, still Anderson says he’s happy with his life.

Says Anderson, “You want to be wanted somewhere, you know? I want to get up and go to work and be happy. You can have all the money in the world and be miserable. I was miserable for a lot of the time I was in the NBA.

“I still have a love for the game. I’m playing through my team now. It’s a challenge, but we’re trying to build it. It’s just going to take some time.”

“I’ve never run from any of my problems, and never blamed anyone for them,” Anderson says. “Did I do it? Yes. Am I proud of it? No. I take full responsibility for everything. I’ve failed. I’ve failed in marriage. I’ve failed as a father. But you know, failure is good in some ways. It lets you see what you have to build, what you have to do.

“I’m going in the right direction. I’m a better father now. I’m trying to help the youth and just live a good life.”

Anderson’s team loves playing for him, and seem to be in awe at times of learning from an all time great.

“He cares a lot about us. We’re his players,” Josh Fayne says. He pauses and talks about how committed the coach was every day at practice, without even an assistant, and how much he revels in watching highlights of his coach’s playing career.

“It’s the experience of a lifetime,” Fayne says. “I’m learning from one of the all-time greats. I would never guess this would happen, that somebody like that would come to a small private Jewish school in South Florida.”

USC Reportedly Targeting Florida Gulf Coast Coach Andy Enfield for Coaching Job

BY ALEX BALLENTINE

It didn’t take long for Florida Gulf Coast basketball coach Andy Enfield to wind up on a major program’s radar. According to Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports, USC is targeting Enfield to fill its head coaching vacancy.

Enfield’s is among college basketball’s hottest names right now. After watching his Florida Gulf Coast Eagles make history during a run into the Sweet 16 as a No. 15 seed, he’s sure to be on the top of plenty of athletic directors’ wish lists.

Enfield has been the team’s head coach for their only two seasons as a full-fledged Division I basketball program. He has gone 41-27 in those two years, including this year’s improbable run in which his team finished the season 26-10.

Enfield may boast only one winning season as a head coach (the Eagles finished 15-17 last season), but he has the NBA experience that USC has traditionally sought in a head coach. He has spent time as an assistant coach with both the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics.

USC fired former head coach Kevin O’Neill in January while the Trojans were just 7-10. They finished the season at 14-18.

USC hasn’t made it past the round of 64 in the NCAA tournament since 2009. That was in Tim Floyd’s last season as head coach.

According to Wetzel’s report, the Trojans brass are not only impressed with Enfield’s success in this year’s tournament but are intrigued by his up-tempo system. The Eagles’ impressive run was marked by their fast-paced up-and-down style that just overwhelmed teams.

If the Trojans get their man, Los Angeles may become Dunk City West.

U.S. Elite Basketball  - Day 1

Day One- US Elite Select 93 Cocoon Lissone 55

Cocoon: Pirola 6, Bolognesi 7, Merlo 10, Colombo 3, Maniero 3, Ruzzon 1, Casati 2, Mariani 0, Rovelli 8, Aliprandi 6, Caspani 3, Giustini 6

US Elite: Sky Williams 10, Josh Hart 20, Leo Svete 13, Matt Hillman 3, Drew Edwards 11, Bryce Thurston 8, Tavon Saddler 13, Chance Barnard 10, Tariq Owens 5

 Jen Floyd Engel

The student athletes from Michigan, Kansas, Florida and Florida Gulf Coast descended upon Texas on Thursday, on a school night nonetheless.

They came in private jets. They stayed in swank digs. They study film, not biology. They generate crazy money for everybody not bearing their names.

The great lie of college athletics is amateurism. And its ancillary is coaches are gods. Because the players are not professional athletes, because they switch out every year or every four years, because they are unpaid labor, the coach has been elevated to this lofty perch as the only person that matters.

It is why there is a bidding war for Shaka Smart, and why Brad Stevens turning down UCLA in a tweet feels like huge news.

We have come to believe, in college basketball, nobody is more important than the coach. We have built a Mt. Rushmore of Dean, Coach K, Bob Knight, Jim Boeheim, Bill Self, John Calipari, Rick Pitino and on and on and on while relegating the players to props they expertly move around on dry-erase boards.

This, too, is a lie. And this is the real power of Florida Gulf Coast being in the Sweet 16. Not only are they the first No. 15 seed to advance this far in the NCAA Tournament, not only did they take down Georgetown handily and now have a shot at Florida, they so perfectly debunk the lie. Their coach Andy Enfield seems to grasp that players win games and he lets them play in the opening rounds of the tournament.

“Dunk City,” as they have taken to calling themselves, is fun to watch not simply because of the underdog angle, but because this is players being allowed to play basketball. The tomahawk jams, the windmill dunks, the shrugged shoulders when something failed, the big smiles, the constant running, the lack of the coach interjecting himself into every single second of every game.

Most of what drives me crazy about college basketball is how little fun everybody looks to be having. Players look like they are miserable. And there is always the screen shot of the coach on the sideline, whoever he is, grimacing about whatever it is. This, we are told, is because coaching is very serious business. It is actually because it is big business.

With no players to pay and certain standards of Ws and dollars to be fulfilled, all of the money and prestige and pressure lands on the coaches. They become the face of the program, eagerly buying into this role as expert tactician, motivator and molder of young men because, again, this is amateur athletics.

What exactly are they being molded into exactly?

It depends on the coach, of course, but there are too many programs where what they are being molded into are props, names we never quite learn, faces we certainly do not recognize who are winning games so Coach K can do American Express commercials.

 

Some will say this is a fair trade. Others, myself included, cry bs.

The best coaches, and Self springs to mind for me probably because I saw a lot of his team in the tournament a year ago, recognize the absurdity of this. They realize a lot of their genius is really a product of whom they recruit, what houses they can get in and how much they can get out of the way.

This is not to say coaching does not matter. It does. There were shades of this in the Indiana and Marquette games Thursday. It just does not mean everything. These guys are not gods. Their players are not props. And the evidence will be playing Florida.

In the Sweet 16.

As a No. 15 seed.

With most of America hoping they win.

And that is what happens when a coach lets his kids play.

 

By GRANT HUGHES

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 With just nine games left in what could turn out to be the most disappointing season by any team in NBA history, theLos Angeles Lakers are desperately clinging to life. A mere half-game up on the Utah Jazz for the final Western Conference playoff spot, the injury-riddled Lakers are in full-on survival mode now.

L.A. has lost four of its last five games, and according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, even its most seemingly invincible hero is a little worse for wear.

 Adding to the concern surrounding Kobe Bryant‘s latest injury is Steve Nash’s new ailment, which kept him sidelined for the conclusion of the Lakers’ 113-103 loss to theMilwaukee Bucks on March 28.

Oh, and at the risk of piling on, Metta World Peace is also out for the season.

So, with the team’s performance in a tailspin and the injuries mounting, how are the Lakers going to survive the toughest test they’ve faced all season?

Danny Ainge Calls LeBron James Complaining, Embarrasing

By Terrence Payne

Following Wednesday’s loss to the Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat forward LeBron James told reporters about his frustrations with the Bulls getting away with fouls he believed should have been ruled as flagrant. Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge didn’t want to hear any complaints from James regarding foul calls during an interview with WEEI on Thursday, calling it, “embarrassing.” “I think the referees got the calls right. I don’t think it was a hard foul,” Ainge said on Salk & Holley on Thursday. “I think the one involving LeBron against Boozer, that was flagrant. I think the officials got it right. “I think that it’s almost embarrassing that LeBron would complain about officiating.” James was clearly frustrated by the Bulls’ physical style of play, which boiled over when James was hit with a flagrant foul after lowering his shoulder into Carlos Boozer. The three-time league MVP was not silent about the fouls with reporters in the postgame press conference. “First of all Kirk Hinrich in the first quarter basically grabbed me with two hands and brought me to the ground. And the last one, Taj Gibson was able to collar me around my shoulder and bring me to the ground. Those are not basketball plays. “I’m not sitting here crying about anything,” said James. “I play the game at a high level, I play with a lot of aggression, I understand that some of the plays are on the borderline of a basketball play or not. But sometimes, you know? I don’t know … it’s frustrating.” James has always benefited from foul calls, the perks of being 6-foot-8, 250 pound monster and also one of the game’s top players. So, James may not want to be the one to complain about fouls. Earlier this season, the reigning MVP had a streak of 254 minutes of action without being whistled for a foul. The NBA will likely look into these comments from James, as it does every time officials are questioned.

 By PTP Staff

jw

(Credit: deuceofdavenport.com)

The NBA today is overloaded with talented athletes. Nowhere else in the world will you see so many fast and athletic players going at it on a nightly basis. One of the more intriguing matchups of late has been the point guard battles between John Wall of the Washington Wizards and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

During a recent game between the Wizards and Thunder, Wall broke lose on a one-man fast break, and was nearly chased down by Westbrook from the other end of the floor. This got the debate going as to who actually is the faster of the two. While Westbrook has claimed more overall success thus far in his career, Wall pulled no punches about his confidence in his ability.

Via The Washington Post:

After the game, Wall was asked if Westbrook was the fastest player in the league and replied, “No, I’m going to say myself.”

Wall then flashed a playful grin and refused to bite when asked if Westbrook was at least the second-fastest player in the league. “It’s tough man,” Wall said. “There’s a couple fast guys in this league. He’s up there, Derrick [Rose] is up there, when he’s healthy. Mike Conley’s pretty quick. It’s different guys. Ty Lawson’s quick. So there’s a lot of guys, but I put myself first. Just for fun.”

In stride with the trends in pretty much every professional sport, players in the NBA are getting bigger, faster, and stronger every day. The game has really evolved in an amazing fashion, so to say he’s the fastest really says something about John Wall. Whether he is or not, we won’t know unless someone organizes a forty yard dash putting all the superstar point guards against each other. But Wall says he’s the fastest.

I won’t disagree with him.

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By Tyler Conway
 UCLA will reportedly have to look outside the greater Richmond area to hire its next head coach. According to Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel, Virginia Commonwealth coach Shaka Smart told the Bruins Wednesday that he will be staying with the Rams—for now and long into the future.

Smart, 35, will sign an extension with VCU that will keep him with the school until 2023. The contract will pay Smart $1.5 million per season, which represents a 25 percent raise from the $1.2 million he made in 2012-13. 

While the $300,000 seems like a pittance in the world of major college basketball (and it is), Smart’s extension seems heavily focused on keeping VCU’s program on its rapid ascent. According to Thamel, the rising star coach asked for improvements mostly pertaining to his staff and players:

A majority of what Smart asked VCU for was improvements for his staff and program. That includes more salary for his staff and a bevy of things like better meals for players, improved travel for the program and other perks for his staff.

Selfless as that may seem, Smart appears to be making a calculated move. He’s likelybanking on the increases in assistant salary allowing him to keep top-notch coaches and that the improvements in player amenities could lure some major talent to Richmond. 

 

Better fit for Shaka Smart’s career?

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Most of all, Smart is banking on himself to create a juggernaut in the Atlantic 10 conference. 

Just four years into his tenure at the school, Smart is already well on his way. He took over a program already on the rise under Anthony Grant and has made it one of the nation’s preeminent mid-majors.

VCU famously became the first team in NCAA history to advance from the “First Four” to the Final Four in 2011, a run that introduced Smart to the nation as a coach to be reckoned with. Running Smart’s patented “Havoc” defense, VCU has four straight seasons with 27 wins and three straight NCAA tournament appearances. 

An underrated sleeper heading into the 2013 NCAA tournament, Smart’s Rams disappointed a bit this year. They were eviscerated by Michigan in the round of 32, a game that many had pegged VCU to win.

It has been one of just a select few disappointments during Smart’s tenure at VCU, and now it looks like he’ll have many more opportunities to create positive memories at the school. 

 

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