Thursday, September 17, 2009

Top NBA Players for 2009-2010

The climate has definitely changed in the NBA. There's no Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson, Dirk Nowitzki or Kevin Garnett on this list.

Here are All Net’s top 10 players for the upcoming 2009-2010 NBA season.

10). Tim Duncan, 33, San Antonio Spurs. Although tendentious hampered his knee, the NBA’s best power forward of all time kept grinding last year. Rising NBA stars like Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose are absent here because in his race with Kobe and Shaq for their fifth championship rings The Big Fundamental hungers to be first.

(Continue to All Net)

Is Perrilloux Finally Focused?

I interviewed Jacksonville State quarterback Ryan Perrilloux briefly by phone the other day just to check and see what he was thinking moving forward with the rest of his senior season.

Perrilloux, who began his college football career at LSU, returned to action last Saturday against Florida State after being suspended for the Gamecocks’ season-opening 37-17 loss at Georgia Tech. He was suspended for an undisclosed violation of team rules. Similar disciplinary problems plagued him at LSU – he was suspended at least three times – and eventually was kicked off the team by head coach Les Miles.

He transferred to Jacksonville State in the spring of 2008 and had a brilliant junior season with the Gamecocks, passing for 2,318 yards and 19 touchdowns, while throwing 13 interceptions. He also rushed for 368 yards and seven touchdowns.

(Continue to Rue's Rant)

Resolution on Horizon for Kessel

I've got a couple of quick hits while in a brief lull here at the Rangers training facility. I'll be back with another post later this afternoon about the Rangers cutting roster to 30 players, as well as the latest on Marian Gaborik's health and first scrimmage.

But I speculated yesterday, Boston GM Peter Chiarelli and his Toronto counterpart Brian Burke did meet face to face to discuss a potential Phil Kessel trade. Pierre Lebrun over at is reporting that the two met for about an hour yesterday since Chiarelli's Bruins were in town to face Burke's Maple Leafs. Lebrun says that a deal could be struck by the weekend or the middle of next week.

I am hearing---and Lebrun is also reporting---that the Nashville Predators are also in the mix for Kessel, and have offered an NHL player or two along with draft picks. Reportedly, the Leafs offer has included only draft picks, though featuring a pair of first rounders.

(Continue to Jim Cerny's Rink Rap)

High Court vs. Redskins? Maybe

It was a small story, one that didn't lead the nightly newscast the other day, create giant headlines in daily newspapers or prompt much discussion. To some, it had grown long ago into a wearisome tale; it has mostly drawn yawns from people who aren’t Native Americans.

For they have the biggest stake in this fight.

Pride fuels their fight, which centers on how others value Native Americans and their heritage. They have fought to validate that heritage, working on several fronts to erase the term “Redskins” from the sports lexicon.

(Continue to Justice Is Served)

The Customer Is Always ...

While the American public wrung their hands and wailed to the heavens about the breakdown of civility and politeness among elected officials and celebrities, they forgot once again that they have no room to talk.

In fact, just in the past three weeks, sports fans proved that they can match the very stars they blast for their anti-social behavior, outburst for outburst. It didn’t seem that way for a while, but a pair of Buffalo Bills fans closed the gap earlier this week.

These two couldn’t even wait for the rage at Serena Williams to cool down. Two days into the nationwide flogging of the 11-time Grand Slam winner for unleashing her tirade against a line judge at the U.S. Open, the “fans’’ staged an early-morning vandalism run on the home of the Bills’ Leodis McKelvin, whose late-game fumble had opened the door for New England’s comeback victory over Buffalo in Foxboro a few hours earlier.

(Continue to The Steel Drum)

Jets vs. Pats - Point/Counterpoint

Other than, "Don't fumble the ball inside your own 25 on the kickoff after a Patriots touchdown that seemed to give them a tiny bit of life late in the fourth quarter," I'm not sure the Jets could learn anything about the Patriots from Monday night's game. I mean, that had to be the Patriots looking past the Bills and getting caught in a Week 1 trap game, right? They can't possibly be as bad as they looked for the first 45 of the 60-minute game, could they? Let's go with a Point/Counterpoint to figure things out:

POINT: The Jets looked great in their win against Houston, and the Patriots looked terrible, barely getting by Buffalo. Gotta be a win for the Jets in Week 2, no?
COUNTERPOINT: I don't believe the Patriots will come out and play that flat two weeks in a row until I see it happen. I can't believe their coaching staff would let that happen.

(Continue to 200 Miles From the Citi)

Same Song for Bucs, Bills Fans

Listen to the hard-core fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Buffalo Bills and you get the feeling you're talking to the same people.

Tampa Bay fans are seeing the bright side of a 34-21 loss to Dallas that embarrassed the Buc secondary. They are talking about how great Cadillac Williams looked, they're talking about the offensive line and the running game and the 276 passing yards that Byron Leftwich racked up.

They see this glass half full, as does the Buccaneer leader -- Raheem Morris. Rah promises to clean up the mess that left poop all over the defensive backfield he once oversaw. He promises that the sins of safety Sabby Piscatelli won't be repeated. Indeed, Piscatelli was out of position often and wound up observing the rear-ends of Dallas receivers as they paraded into the Buccaneer end zone on three big plays.

(Continue to Buccaneer Bow Shots)

All Fed Up with FedEx Cup

Great minds...

On Tuesday, we laid out a simple suggestion to the brass at PGA headquarters aimed at making their confusing FedEx Cup playoffs less like chess and a lot more like checkers.
Our aim was to offer up a simple scoring system that would allow pros and high-handicappers alike the opportunity to follow the event with a real good clue of how it worked.

Basically, we advocated using good ol' golf scoring to determine the standings, rather than some point system that only Apple and Dell understood.

So today, while refurbishing the joint (we hope you like the upgrade), and busily readying for another busy weekend of football, we came across this column from Sports Illustrated's superb golf writer, Gary Van Sickle.

(Continue to The Grill Room)

Developing Themes for 2009

It is still very early, but I see two themes developing for the 2009 season that could be “game-changing”.

1. The Rise of the Mid-Major

While this may be fairly apparent to anyone paying attention, it appears that the non-BCS “mid-majors” may be on the verge of a breakthrough year after so many close attempts.

We had Boise State’s stunning OT victory over Oklahoma is the 2007 Fiesta Bowl as an opening act for this phenomena, but that could have been viewed as an aberration due to the close score. However, after a hiccup by Hawaii in 2007, Utah made an indelible impression on college football fans everywhere with their thrashing of Alabama in the 2009 Sugar Bowl.

(Continue to Saurian Sagacity)

Troy's King Barkley? Wait One Minute

Matt Barkley
Is Matt Barkley, getting a congratulatory hug from actor Will Ferrell after USC's victory over Ohio State, the best thing to arrive on the Trojan campus since sliced bread? It's clear that coach Pete Carroll is infatuated with the freshman, but reporters who cover the team were stunned when he was named the starter over Aaron Corp.

Nonetheless, the hype machine has been running 24-7 after Barkley guided USC on a 14-play, 86-yard drive for the winning touchdown against Ohio State.

But the Daily Trojan's Pedro Moura has courageously stepped up to write what insiders have been whispering for weeks: It's too early to crown Barkley the King of Troy.

(Continue to The Wiz of Odds)

USF Bulls Need a Huge Win

It is totally time Jim Leavitt's University of South Florida Bulls to quit messing around and get serious about this 2009 football season.

It's time for them to get serious and trample the last of three "warm up" opponents before things begin to heat up.

Here's the deal: a giant cupcake of a team -- Charleston Southern, will place itself in the USF line of fire Saturday night at Raymond James Stadium.

The Bulls need to unload on the Buccaneers, no, not the Pewter Pirates of Raheem Morris, but these Charleston Southern Buccaneers, the 1-AA Buccaneers. USF can't even count this game towards bowl eligibility so the Bulls better show up and fine tune their game.

(Continue to Running with the Bulls)

MLS to Break During World Cup

Major League Soccer today announced it will not play any matches during the 2010 World Cup

The World Cup will start on June 11 and the last MLS matchday prior to the tournament will be on June 10. The group phase of the World Cup is to end on June 25 and MLS also announced it will not play any matches on the days of the World Cup semifinals and championship match.

MLS also announced that the 2010 MLS season will start on March 25 and conclude with the MLS Cup final on November 21 and with the addition of the Philadenphia Union to the league, it will play a balanced 30-match schedule with each team playing against each other twice a year.

(Continue to Soccer 24-7)

Umpiring Softball ... Much Easier

Without belaboring the Serena Williams situation TOO much, because I believe she is starting on the right path to having this judged as "one of those things that sometimes happens", I'd like to put a few situations I ran into as a softball umpire out there for consideration.

There are four or five particularly relevant moments that come to mind, and up front, arc or slow-pitch softball is MILES away from hard-core NBA, NFL or even tennis tournament umpiring. When you do leagues, you *almost* become friends with the players; the greatest compliment I ever got was the player who said, "I hate the way you call the high strike, but you call it the same all the time." That's essentially what both umpires and refs of any station should be shooting for, because there is NO doubt that players will always want to question your basic fairness if you deviate slightly either direction for or against us or them. You see an NBA ref that seems to be explaining things with a coach while watching a free throw, well, sometimes you have to invest some explanation time vs. just saying, "I made the call."

(Continue to Baseline Shorks)

The Jewish Jordan Retires

Tamir Goodman, aka "The Jewish Jordan", has retired from basketball at the age of 27. For those who don't remember, Tamir received nationwide publicity after getting an oral commitment from Maryland. An orthodox Jew, Goodman insisted he wouldn't play on Saturdays. Ultimately though, Gary Williams renegged on the commitment after Goodman didn't live up to the hype in his senior year.

(Continue to Terp Ticker)
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