Posted Friday, May 27, 2011 09:37 AM
We’re all depressed about the poker indictments and the aftershock shutdown of a few other sites earlier this week, but are you ready for a little good news?
Maybe very little good news, but these days you take your victories when you can if the U.S. government has a hair across its backside and is coming after you.
If you’re at all plugged in to the political scene, you know that there was a special election in western New York a few days ago to fill the seat abandoned by Republican Chris Lee after Lee decided to send shirtless photo of himself to a woman he met on Craigslist in hopes of . . . well, we all know why.
Anyway, the special election to replace Lee was supposed to be a lock for Republicans, who outnumber Democrats by 30,000 registered voters. Only it wasn’t, because Republicans have scared the pants off senior citizens by voting for a House budget that would basically end Medicare as we know it. Anyone with elderly parents knows that life after 70 is about staying as healthy as possible through the Golden Years, and all the backpedaling in the world couldn’t save the GOP candidate, who lost to the underdog Democrat by 4 percentage points.
Gambling? Oh yeah.
Well, the result got giddy Democrats to thinking that they actually have a chance to rid... [More]
Posted Friday, May 20, 2011 01:15 PM
With the federal government on his back, Chad Elie is up to his waist in alligators these days. The feds arrested Elie and two others in the April 15 Black Friday online poker indictments, alleging that Elie didn’t exactly play by the rules as he was processing payments for Internet players.
Elie is nothing if not resourceful, though, and for a while it appeared that he might have figured out a way to keep Uncle Sam from seizing his assets – not the least of which was his $1.5-million Las Vegas house. He did that by marrying perhaps an even greater asset, namely former (2005) Playboy Playmate Destiny Davis.
The happy couple tied the knot at the Little Church of the West chapel in Vegas. Problem was, the marriage certificate was dated April 16, one day after all hell had broken loose, and the couple didn’t even have enough time to register at the new Crate and Barrel in Summerlin. [You would think that for an extra couple of large bills the chapel could have pre-dated the paperwork, but I guess not.]
It’s uncertain whether the house is now in his name, her name or both, but at any rate the Dept. of Justice doesn’t seem to care. The DoJ has announced its intention to seize the 7,200-square-foot home, along with five other properties that prosecutors have deemed “forfeitable.”
There is also speculation that another shoe will fall on Elie. Seems that disingenuous attempts to protect assets after the fact may also be a crime, and prosecutors do... [More]
Posted Sunday, May 15, 2011 02:42 PM
Let's see if I have this right.
Major League baseball players all claim that it's a business, and that if wearing someone's else's laundry gets them a fatter paycheck, so be it. We didn't create the system, and we didn't ask fans to get emotionally attached. You got a problem with that, email Marvin Miller.
But when a team treats it likes a business and a player's nads get squeezed a bit, it's a lack of respect -- business be damned.
Jorge Posada was so ticked off at the Yankees on Saturday night that he made believe he had a back injury and pulled himself out of the lineup. The team's egregious crime was dropping him to No. 9 in the batting order, which Posada apparently felt was humiliating, his .165 batting average notwithstanding.
The Yankees, who have enough problems with an offense that can't hit and a pitching staff that could burn out by late June, figure that Posada should pretty much do what they tell him, especially considering that they are not getting much of a return for a player who's cuffing the team for more than $13 million a season. Seems reasonable enough.
Girardi's defenders -- Boston's David Ortiz among them -- say that the team isn't treating Posada fairly. But the team is in the business of winning games, and as Posada and the players like to say, it's just business.
Posted Thursday, May 12, 2011 11:56 AM
Us Celtics fans kind of felt it coming. It just wasn't the same. Too many injuries, too many birthdays. Wade's takedown of Rondo in Game 3 finished us off, even if we still held out hope.
So the Heat advance. Or rather LeBron James and Dwyane Wade advance, because with the Spurs and Celtics starting to get mail from the AARP, James and Wade now own the league. Not the Heat. James and Wade.
What team they're on doesn't matter. They cash checks in Florida because of climate and parties on South Beach, but what uniform they wear is irrelevant. The team concept is dead in the NBA. It's all about the individual, and the way the NBA rolls today, it will be damn near impossible to beat any team that has two of the best three players on the planet.
The NBA and commissioner David Stern learned long ago that stars drive ratings and TV ad revenue. So that's the way they marketed the game. And now those stars have figured out a way to manipulate the system to their advantage, joining forces like 15-year-olds stacking AAU teams.
Michael Jordan scoffed at James just after LeBron and Wade combined in Miami. If he had trouble beating a team, Jordan said, he would just work harder. That philosophy eventually led to six titles.
Not for James, though. He'll take his titles ("Not 4, not 5, not 6 . . .") the easy way. So has he really succeeded? Yes. No. Maybe. Who knows?
Posted Sunday, May 08, 2011 07:54 PM
So it ends for Phil Jackson in the worst possible way. On his final day as an NBA coach he wakes up to the news that he has been fined $35,000 by the league for whining about the officiating, and he goes to bed no doubt still thinking about the 36-point beatdown the Mavs put on them.
He walked off the court, though, with his arrogance in tact, still feeling that he was the smartest person in the 20,000-seat arena in Dallas. The I'm the greatest coach alive look.
Jackson has always done it his way, and his way has never been to build a team from the ground up. He always coached teams that had the league's elite -- Jordan, Shaq, Kobe. Jackson never had to use coupons at the supermarket, just fill in around his go-to guy(s) of the hour, keep his stars motivated and collect rings.
Red Auerbach hated Jackson. Hated that Jackson just showed up at the dealership and drove off into the NBA schedule in a luxury car. Hated what he thought was Jackson's smarminess.
It's over now for Jackson, and Jackson's legacy of a string of NBA titles probably won't be tarnished all that much by how his players mailed it in and couldn't even lose his final game with even an ounce of class.
Down deep, though, in his quietest moments, even Jackson will concede to himself that he was not quite the coach that all those rings miight indicate.