Tag Archive | "celtics"

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 28 May 2012 by WNST Staff

Honorable Mention: Boxing-Antonio Tarver vs. Lateef Kayode (Saturday 9pm from Carson, CA live on Showtime), Gabriel Rosado vs. Joel Julio (Friday 9pm from Bethlehem, PA live on NBC Sports Network); WNBA: Minnesota Lynx @ Washington Mystics (Wednesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet); Pro Lacrosse: MLL Chesapeake Bayhawks @ Denver Outlaws (Saturday 9pm from Denver live on ESPN3.com)

10. Zac Brown Band (Thursday 5:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Capital Jazz Fest feat. Indie.Arie, Bill Cosby (Friday-Sunday Merriweather Post Pavilion); Radiohead (Sunday 7:30pm Verizon Center); Miranda Lambert/Jerrod Niemann (Sunday 4pm Jiffy Lube Live);  City and Colour (Wednesday 7pm Rams Head Live); Smile Empty Soul (Saturday 5pm Recher Theatre); Crossfade (Monday 7pm Baltimore Soundstage); Dandy Warhols (Tuesday 7pm 9:30 Club); The Used (Wednesday 7:30pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Victor Wooten (Thursday 8pm Howard Theatre); Dr. John (Friday 7:30pm Birchmere); Rhett Miller (Monday 8pm Jammin Java)

I’d watch ZBB do just about anything, but this was as good as anything I’ve seen them do…

My favorite tune from Thom Yorke and the boys?

For more traditional country folk, I sorta dig this Jerrod Niemann tune…

I wish I didn’t have to admit to digging this tune…

9. Great Grapes Wine & Food Festival (Saturday & Sunday 12pm Oregon Ridge); Guy Torry (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Corey Holcomb (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); “Man on a Ledge” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Glenn Clark’s first ever “Hogfest” (Saturday)

That’s right. For the first time in my (still?) young life, I will be roasting a pig Saturday. It’s all thanks in part to ABC Rental Store in Rosedale. A talented young man I listen to on the radio is always talking to me about them. I think his show is called “The Reality Check.” I PRAY my results make me as happy as George W. Bush…

Also, I will be hosting a qualifier for the Olympic KanJam team Saturday (more on Twitter @OlympicKanJam). I expect the day to look much like this…

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Depleted Celtics Still Enough to Beat Wizards

Posted on 25 March 2012 by WNST Staff

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Hall of Famer Frank Robinson leaves Lakers-Celtics game after dizzy spell

Posted on 12 March 2012 by WNST Staff

Attending a Lakers-Celtics game at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Baltimore Orioles legend Frank Robinson left early after experiencing dizziness.

The 76-year-old Hall of Fame outfielder received medical attention but was not taken to the hospital. Robinson was resting comfortably at his Los Angeles-area home after leaving the arena, according to a Staples Center spokesman.

Winner of the 1966 Triple Crown, Robinson led the Orioles to their first World Series title against the Dodgers in his first season in Baltimore.

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Former Terp Johnny Rhodes Named ACC Legend

Posted on 09 February 2012 by WNST Staff

Johnny Rhodes Named An ACC Tournament Legend

Former Maryland guard one of 12 players selected to 2012 class

    GREENSBORO, N.C.— Johnny Rhodes, one of the most versatile players in Atlantic Coast Conference history, who helped lead Maryland back to national prominence in the mid-1990’s, has been selected to the 2012 class of ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Legends.

    The 12-man class was announced Tuesday by Commissioner John Swofford and includes a member of the ACC’s 50th Anniversary basketball team, a National Player of the Year, three former All-Americas, six former All-ACC selections, ten former NBA Draft selections – including six first-round selections – and eight players who combined for 38 years of NBA experience.

    Rhodes, a native of Washington, D.C., is the ACC’s career steals leader and helped Maryland make three NCAA Tournament appearances in his four-year career. He is the only player in ACC history to score over 1,700 points (1,743) with over 700 rebounds (704), 400 assists (437) and 300 steals (344).

    Joining Rhodes in the class are former Wake Forest All-America Randolph Childress (Washington, D.C.), who led the Deacons to the 1995 ACC Championship, and former North Carolina All-America Kenny Smith (Queens, N.Y.), who led the Tar Heels to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances and was named the National Player of the Year by Basketball Times in 1987.

    Also in the class are Boston College’s John Bagley (Stratford, Conn.), who was named a third-team (NABC) All-America in 1982; Clemson’s Sharone Wright (Macon, Ga.), a powerful post player for the Tigers who earned All-ACC honors in 1993 and 1994; Duke’s Kenny Dennard (King, N.C.), one of the key cogs of the Blue Devils 1978 Final Four team who helped lead Duke to ACC titles in 1978 and 1980; Florida State’s James Collins (Jacksonville, Fla), a high-scoring wingman who was a three-time All-ACC selection in 1995, 1996 and 1997; Georgia Tech’s Malcolm Mackey (Chattanooga, Tenn.), a powerful post player who helped lead Georgia Tech to ACC Championships in 1990 and 1993.

    Completing this year’s ACC Legends Class are Miami’s Ron Godfrey (Coral Springs, Fla.), an Honorable Mention All-America forward for the Hurricanes in the 1960’s who also served as head coach for four seasons; NC State’s Todd Fuller (Charlotte, N.C.), a prodigious presence in the paint for the Wolfpack who earned All-ACC honors in 1994, 1995, and 1996; Virginia’s Lee Raker (Louisville, Ky.), a versatile forward who helped lead the Cavaliers to the 1981 NCAA Final Four; and Virginia Tech’s Dale Solomon (Annapolis, Md.), a high-scoring forward who helped lead the Hokies to two NCAA Tournament appearances and one NIT berth.

   The Legends will be honored at this year’s ACC’s Men’s Basketball Tournament at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Ga., March 8-11. They will be feted at the annual ACC Legends Brunch, which will be held Saturday, March 10, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel, and, later that day, will be introduced to the Philips Arena crowd at halftime of the first semifinal game. Ticket information for the ACC Legends Brunch is available on the ACC website at theACC.com.

   Rhodes (1992-96), the ACC’s career leader in steals, started four seasons for coach Gary Williams at Maryland, leading the Terrapins back to national prominence. An extremely versatile guard who played point or wing guard, Rhodes is the only player in ACC history to score over 1,700 points (1,743) with over 700 rebounds (704), 400 assists (437) and 300 steals (344). He helped the Terrapins post a 73-49 overall record during his four seasons in College Park, including three straight (1994, 95, 96) appearances in the NCAA Tournament. He was named to the 1993 ACC All-Freshman team, then earned 3rd-team All-ACC honors as a junior and 2nd-team All-ACC accolades as a senior in 1996. He still holds the ACC career record for steals per game (2.82), and his 110 steals and 3.7 steals per game in 1996 are still league standards. He totaled 704 rebounds in his career, the third-best mark by an ACC backcourtman, trailing only Georgia Tech’s Bruce Dalrymple (744) and Florida State’s Bob Sura (714). A native of Washington, D.C., Rhodes owns his own construction firm, Rhodes Construction, in the D.C. area, and is working towards starting the Johnny Rhodes Foundation.

   Bagley (1979-82), one of the top playmaking guards in Boston College history, played three seasons for the Eagles for Coach Dr. Tom Davis and led BC to a 64-27 record and one NIT and two NCAA tournament appearances. The first Eagle to earn Big East Player of the Year honors (1980-81), Bagley was an explosive scorer who averaged nearly 18 points per game and led BC in scoring in each of his three seasons at the Heights. A two-time All-Big East selection, he averaged 20.4 points per game in leading the Eagles to the 1980-81 Big East regular-season championship and the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16. The following year, Bagley upped his production to 21.1 points per game and led BC to the NCAA Tournament’s Elite Eight. He was named to the NCAA all-tournament teams for both the 1981 Mideast Regional and the 1982 Midwest Regional. Bagley left BC after his junior season and was the 12th overall pick in the first round by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1982 NBA Draft. He enjoyed an 11-year career in the NBA for the Cavaliers, the New Jersey Nets, the Boston Celtics and the Atlanta Hawks. Inducted into the Boston College Varsity Club Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995, he currently resides in Stratford, Conn., and is working to reintroduce athletics into the middle school system of his hometown, Bridgeport, Conn.

   Wright (1991-94), a dominating 6-11 presence in the low post for the teams of Coach Cliff Ellis in the early 1990’s, still ranks 5th on the ACC’s career list for blocked shots per game (3.13). An Honorable Mention All-America (AP) in 1994, he was one of 20 nominees for the Naismith Award that year. He led the ACC in blocked shots in 1992 and 1993 and finished 3rd in 1994. He ranked 6th on the Clemson career list for rebounds and 4th in rebounds per game. He still holds the Clemson single-season record for blocked shots (124) and was the only player in the ACC to average in double figures in points and rebounds in both 1994 and 1995. Named a Freshman All-America by Basketball Weekly in 1992, he was named a 3rd-team All-ACC selection in 1993 and 2nd-team honors in 1994. As a member of the U.S. team which participated in the 1993 World Games, he shot 73 percent from the field and averaged 10 points a game in leading the U.S. to the gold medal. He was the first Clemson player to declare early for the NBA Draft and was the 6th overall selection on the first round of the 1994 draft by the Philadelphia 76’ers. He played five seasons in the NBA with Philadelphia and Toronto and was named to the 1994-95 NBA All-Rookie team. His NBA career was cut short by a severe auto accident early in his fifth professional season. Wright currently resides in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., where he is involved in various basketball coaching projects.

   Dennard (1978-81), a versatile 6-8 forward who was effective inside or outside for the Duke teams of Bill Foster and Mike Krzyzewski of the late 1970’s and early ‘80s, helped lead Duke to the 1978 NCAA Final Four and two ACC Championships in 1978 and 1980. Dennard helped the Blue Devils compile a 90-37 record in his four seasons in Durham, including three NCAA Tournament appearances and one NIT berth. He was named to the 1978 ACC All-Tournament second team in his freshman season. Dennard played three seasons for Bill Foster (1978-80) and one for Mike Krzyzewski and was named team captain in his senior season. Drafted in the 4th round of the 1981 NBA Draft by Kansas City, he played three seasons in the NBA for Kansas City (1982-83) and Denver (1984). He finished his career shooting 51.3 percent from the field and is one of seven Duke players who have totaled over 1,000 points (1,057), 650 rebounds (671) and 200 assists (232) in his career. A native of King, N.C., Dennard is the managing partner at Dennard, Rupp, Gray and Lascar, an investor relations firm based in Houston, Texas. He will be a 30-year cancer survivor this coming September and has served on the Coaches vs. Cancer National Council since 1996. He has been married to his high school sweetheart, Nadine, for 27 years and they have a son, Mason (17).

    Collins (1993-97), a high-scoring wing guard for the Florida State teams of Pat Kennedy, was a three-time All-ACC honoree. Collins was named 3rd-team All-ACC in 1995 and 1996 and garnered 2nd-team honors as a senior in 1997. That year he led Florida State to a 20-12 record and to the finals of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) where they lost to Michigan. He completed his career as the third leading scorer in school history with 1,793 points. He also still ranks in the FSU all-time Top 10 for field goals (645), field goal attempts, three-point field goals made (255) and three-point field goals attempted (686) and made 37.1 percent of his shots from three-point range. Collins was drafted as the 36th overall pick by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2nd round of the 1997 NBA Draft. He played one season in the NBA with the Los Angeles Clippers (1998) and spent one year (1999) in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) before playing professionally nine seasons in Europe. A native of Jacksonville, Fla., he currently is the head basketball coach at his high school alma mater, Andrew Jackson High School in Jacksonville.

   Mackey (1990-93), Georgia Tech’s all-time leading rebounder who was a low post force for the Jackets both offensively and defensively, helped lead the Tech to a four-year record of 87-43 which included four NCAA Tournament appearances. Mackey completed his career with 1,205 rebounds, a total which ranks 11th-best in ACC history. He also had 199 career blocked shots, which ranks 26th on the ACC career list.  Mackey was named 2nd-team All-ACC in 1993 and 3rd-team All-ACC  in 1992. An Honorable Mention All-America in 1993 by United Press International, he was also a 2nd-team All-District in 1993 by the NABC. Mackey remains Tech’s career leader in rebounds (1,205), games played (130) and games started (127). He was named to the ACC All-Tournament teams in 1990 (3rd team) and 1992 (2nd team). He is the only Tech player to start for two ACC championship teams (1990,1993). The 27th overall pick in the first-round of the 1993 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns, he played one season in the NBA and 11 seasons professionally in the CBA, Europe, China and Puerto Rico. A native of Chattanooga, Tenn., he currently is the Internet Sales Manager at Hennessey GMC Buick and is also serving as a landlord for several properties in McDonough, Ga.

   Godfrey (1958-61), one of the finest forwards to play at Miami, was an honorable mention All-America as a senior in 1961. He finished his career ranked in the Top Ten in seven career categories in the Miami record book including 7th in points (1,384), 7th in field goals made (518), 6th in free throws made (384) and 7th in rebounds (767). Godfrey’s totals of 159 free throws made and 207 free throws attempted in 1960 still rank 5th and 6th in the Hurricane career lists. His total of 22 made free throws against Oklahoma City in 1960 is still tied with Rick Barry for the most made in a game by a Miami player. For his career, he averaged 17.5 points a game. Playing alongside former Miami All-America Dick Hickox, Godfrey helped lead the Hurricanes to their first-ever NCAA tournament bid in 1960 as the Canes finished with a sparkling 23-4 record. In his senior year, Godfrey led Miami to a 20-7 mark and a berth in the National Invitation Tournament. In his three varsity seasons, Godfrey helped the Hurricanes to a 61-18 record. As a coach, he guided Miami for four seasons, leading the Hurricanes to championships in the 1967 Hurricane Classic and the 1968 Marshall Tournament and was inducted into the Miami Sports Hall of Fame in 1988. A native of Martins Ferry, Ohio, he now resides in Coral Springs, Fla.

   Smith (1983-87), one of the top point guards in North Carolina basketball history, Smith ended his career second in ACC history only to Wake Forest’s Muggsy Bogues in career assists with 768, averaging 6.1 per for each of his 127 career games. His assist total still ranks ninth on the ACC’s career list.  Coached by the legendary Dean Smith, he helped lead North Carolina to a 115-19 record during his four varsity seasons. Smith also helped North Carolina to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, reaching the Elite Eight in both 1985 and 1987. He was named the National Player of the Year by Basketball Times in 1987 and also earned consensus first-team All-America honors that year. He was a 2nd-team All-ACC honoree in 1985 and 1986 and earned first-team honors as a senior in 1987. The 6th pick in the first round of the 1987 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings, he played 11 seasons in the NBA for Sacramento, Atlanta, Houston, Detroit, Orlando and Denver. A member of the 1988 NBA All-Rookie team while with Sacramento, he was a part of two NBA Championship squads (1994, 1995) while with the Houston Rockets. He scored 9,397 points (12.9 avg.), grabbed 1,424 rebounds (2.0 avg.) and passed out 4,073 assists (5.5 avg.) during his NBA career. In 1998, he joined Turner Sports and has since served as a basketball TV analyst for Turner Sports, NBA TV and CBS-TV for the NBA and for the NCAA Basketball Tournament. A native of Queens, N.Y. who attended Archbishop Molloy High School, he now resides in Atlanta, Ga.

   Fuller (1992-96), a strong low-post presence for the NC State teams of coach Les Robinson in the mid-1990s, led the ACC in scoring as a senior in 1996, averaging 20.9 points per game. The 6-11 center finished 4th in the ACC in rebounding in 1995 and 5th in 1996. He earned first-team All-ACC honors in as a senior in 1996 and was a third team choice as a sophomore (1994) and a second-team selection as a junior (1995). Also an excellent student, he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree from NC State in 1996 in Applied Mathematics. He was named to the All-ACC Academic team in each of his four seasons and he was a two-time first-team Academic All-America, earning that honor in 1995 and 1996. He declined to accept the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship in order to play professional basketball. He was the 11th overall pick in the first round of the 1996 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors and went on to play five seasons in the NBA with Golden State, Utah, Charlotte and Miami. He also played professionally six seasons in Spain, Poland, Greece and Australia. He sponsors an annual mathematics competition for Raleigh, N.C., area high school students through NC State, called the “Todd Fuller Math Competition.” He also has a scholarship fund arranged through the NC State Physical and Mathematical Sciences college. In 2007, the Wolfpack honored him by hanging his jersey, number 52, from the roof of the RBC Center.

   Raker (1977-81) combined with high school teammate Jeff Lamp and Virginia All-America Ralph Sampson to lead Virginia to two of the most successful seasons in school history in 1980 and 1981 for coach Terry Holland. An excellent shooter, defender and passer, Raker helped lead the Cavaliers to a 24-10 record which included the championship of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) in 1980. UVa followed that up with a 29-4 record in 1981, including a 13-1 mark in the ACC and first place during the regular season. UVa advanced to the NCAA Final Four, garnering 3rd-place national honors with a win over LSU in the consolation game. At one point, Raker helped the Cavaliers win eight consecutive post-season games, still a school record. Virginia finished the 1981 campaign ranked 5th in the final AP poll and 3rd in UPI. During his four collegiate seasons,  Raker helped lead Virginia to a 92-32 overall record, averaging in double figures in scoring each year, and shooting 50.3 percent from the field for his collegiate career. He completed his career with 1,423 points, which still ranks 20th on Virginia’s career scoring list. He also led the 1979 squad in field goal percentage and was named a 2nd-team All-ACC selection that year. An excellent student, Raker was twice named to the All-ACC Academic Basketball squad (1980, 1981) and earned first-team Academic All-America honors in 1981. He was selected in the 4th round of the 1981 NBA Draft by San Diego. A native of Louisville, Ky., he is now the Head of Investor Relations with Camber Capital Management LLC and lives in the Boston, Mass. area.

   Solomon (1978-82), one of the best basketball players in Virginia Tech history, was a 6-9 center-forward who combined power with a soft shooting touch. He helped the Tech teams of Charlie Moir to a four-year record of 78-41 which included two NCAA Tournament appearances and one NIT berth. Solomon led Tech in scoring in each of his four  seasons and ended his career with 2,136 points which still ranks 4th on the Hokies’ career scoring list. Solomon’s career scoring average (18.4) is Tech’s 9th best. His career field goal percentage of .567 is the second best in Tech history and his 856 career rebounds rank 7th. He was named to the first-team All-Metro Conference in each of his four seasons. Solomon was named the Metro Conference Tournament MVP and Freshman of the Year in 1979, leading the Hokies to the Metro Conference championship. Solomon was selected in the 3rd round of the 1982 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers but did not play in the NBA. He did play professionally in Italy for 12 seasons. A native of Annapolis, Md., Solomon is currently living in his hometown.

   Childress (1991-95) turned in one of the spectacular performances in the history of the ACC Tournament in his senior season, as the sharpshooting guard led Wake Forest to the 1995 ACC Championship by averaging 35.7 points and 7 assists per game in the Tournament’s three contests. That year, Childress, playing for coach Dave Odom, saved his best for last, scoring 37 points and passing out 7 assists. In that title game, he connected on the game-winning jump shot with only four seconds remaining in overtime as Wake defeated North Carolina, 82-80. For his efforts, he was named the winner of the Everett Case Award as the 1995 Tournament’s MVP. He also was named the winner of the McKevlin Award as the ACC’s Overall Athlete of the Year for the 1994-95 school year. A second-team All-America selection in 1995, he was named first-team All-ACC in 1994 and 1995 and 2nd-team All-ACC in 1993. He scored 2,208 points during his career, which still ranks 18th on the ACC ‘s career scoring list, and he made 329 three-point field goals, the 5th-highest total in ACC history. He helped lead the Demon Deacons to a four-year record of 85-39 which included four appearances in the NCAA Tournament and two trips to the NCAA Sweet 16. He was twice named to the ACC All-Tournament team in 1994 and 1995. Childress ranked 3rd in scoring in the ACC in 1993 and 1994 and finished 2nd in 1994. Selected as the 19th overall choice of the Detroit Pistons in the first round of the 1995 NBA Draft, he played two seasons in the NBA with Detroit and Portland. He then played 14 professional seasons in Turkey, France, Italy and Australia. In 2002, he was named to the ACC’s 50th Anniversary Basketball Team as one of its Top 50 basketball players. A native of Washington, D.C., he recently returned to Winston-Salem to serve as an Assistant to the Athletic Director of Wake Forest.

LEGENDS BRUNCH

   The Legends will be honored at this year’s ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament in Atlanta at the annual ACC Basketball Legends Brunch, which will be held on Saturday, March 10 beginning at 10 a.m. at the Marriott Marquis Hotel. Hosted by television personalities Tim Brant and Mike Hogewood, tickets for the ACC Men’s Basketball Legends Brunch are priced at $35 each and tables of ten are available for $350 each. Information on purchasing tickets may be obtained at the official ACC website—www.theACC.com/ACCtournament.

   2012 ACC BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT LEGENDS ROSTER

   Name School Years Position Hometown (Current Hometown)

   John Bagley   Boston College 1979-82 Guard Bridgeport, Conn. (Stratford, Conn.)

   Sharone Wright Clemson 1991-94 Center Macon, Ga.  (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.)

   Kenny Dennard Duke 1977-81 Forward King, N.C. (Houston, Texas)

   James Collins Florida State 1993-97 Guard Jacksonville, Fla.. (same) 

   Malcolm Mackey Georgia Tech 1989-93 Forward/Ctr. Chattanooga, Tenn. (McDonough, Ga.)

   Johnny Rhodes Maryland 1992-96 Guard Washington, D.C. (same )

   Ron Godfrey Miami 1958-61 Guard Martins Ferry, Ohio (Coral Springs, Fla.)

   Kenny Smith North Carolina 1983-87 Guard Queens, N.Y. (Atlanta, Ga.)

   Todd Fuller NC State 1992-96 Center Charlotte, N.C.. (same)

   Lee Raker Virginia 1977-81 Forward Louisville, Ky. (Boston, Mass.)

   Dale Solomon Virginia Tech 1978-82 Forward Annapolis, Md. (same)

   Randolph Childress Wake Forest 1991-95 Guard Washington, D.C. (Winston-Salem, N.C.)

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Details Emerge For NBA Superstar Showdown in Baltimore Tuesday

Posted on 29 August 2011 by WNST Staff

A team of Baltimore NBA superstars and friends of Towson Catholic’s own Carmelo Anthony will face Kevin Durant and a team of Washington, DC superstars in a basketball battle Tuesday night at Morgan State University’s Hill Field House.

The details on the event have been sketchy, but the Washington Post’s Michael Lee was able to nail down some specifics from former Towson University star Kurk Lee, now the athletic director of the “Melo Center” here in Charm City.

The Baltimore team will feature Anthony (New York Knicks F), Miami Heat F LeBron James, New Orleans Hornets G Chris Paul, San Antonio Spurs G Gary Neal (Towson/Calvert Hall/Aberdeen), Sacremento Kings F Donte Green (Towson Catholic), Memphis Grizzlies G Josh Selby (Lake Clifton), Los Angeles Clippers G Eric Bledsoe and former Knicks F/C Eddy Curry.

The DC team will feature Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder F), Boston Celtics F Jeff Green, Sacramento Kings C DeMarcus Cousins, Milwaukee Bucks G Brandon Jennings, Denver Nuggets G Ty Lawson, Washington Wizards F Trevor Booker, Detroit Pistons F Austin Daye, Los Angeles Lakers C/F Ater Majok, former Syracuse C Arinze Onuaku and Goodman League players Anthony “Gumby” Williams & Omar Weaver.

Lee reports tickets will be available first-come-first-served at the door. Tickets $40 for general admission, $100 for reserved floor seats. Doors will open at 6pm with the game starting at 7pm. Ticket revenue will go to support various charities.

There will be no television/radio broadcast of the event. WNST plans to cover the event via Twitter (@WNST), WNST.net and WNSTv.

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Ravens Lose The Game …. But, Tom Brady Loses My Respect

Posted on 06 October 2009 by Rex Snider

As I grow older, I’m getting wiser ….. I’m absolutely convinced of it. And, as I begin to scratch the surface of the Ravens contentious loss to the Patriots, I’m glad that I’ve relied on that acquired technique of thoroughly absorbing a situation before putting my feelings in writing.

This doesn’t mean I remained stoic and silent as a potential victory bounced off the chest of Mark Clayton and through the fingers of the Baltimore Ravens, on Sunday. In fact, I suffered a behemoth meltdown of personal conduct, to the witness of several dozen Fells Point Festival Fans.

Trust me, if Andrew Dice Clay, Robert Deniro and Joe Pesci saw my very animated, yet very real explosion of emotion, they’d look at each other and say “Damn, that F@#&*ng guy can curse.”

I can’t help my weakness – watching football and rooting for the hometown team brings out an emotionally charged reaction in me and YOU.

And, this same rabid, infuriating streak – which cannot be found in the typical baseball, basketball or hockey fan – is exactly what fuels my dissection of the NFL’s hellbent mission of protecting CERTAIN QUARTERBACKS.

I’m not disparaging fans of other sports …..

We’re those same people. But, we behave differently when the passion is football. We anticipate pain. We relish defense. And, we expect brutal, hard efforts.

It’s football.

So, as I went through my normal Monday routine, I reminded myself of a custom I haven’t experienced, since January 19th ….. I stay away from everything related to the Ravens on mornings following a loss.

It’s hard to digest the bitching and griping. The negativity runs deep on a morning after the Ravens lose. It’s rarely productive and such drama usually just leads to a bad freakin’ start of the week.

As if I need a reason – the Ravens just lost !!!!

Yesterday, I was out of practice. The Ravens haven’t lost in nearly 9 months …..

And, by the time I heard the first caller pleading for a BIG TIME RECEIVER to replace Mark Clayton, followed by a Congressional Inquiry into the NFL’s preferential treatment of Tom Brady, I was ready to take hostages.

Along with this propaganda, I heard a peppering of valued insight. I have no doubt a degree of fact and sobering truth was imbedded in a couple blogs, as well as on-air disclosures by hosts and callers.

I heard and read a few visions regarding the NFL’s stance on ensuring the quarterback is protected, to the greatest extent, while in the pocket. I understand the reasoning – quarterbacks typically control the immediate destiny of a team.

I’m not certain I agree with that concept, but it’s a fair and intelligent argument. Yeah, this is my way of saying it’s not ranked with UFO spottings, pro rasslin’ results and other phony baloney conspiracy theories.

I further understand the NFL’s stake in ensuring the most marketable names are standing on two feet next week – AND enjoying their place on highlight films around the sports world.

In fact, I think the suspicion that the 32 guys comprising the POSSE (Paranoid Owners Seeking Some Earnings) care about the bottom line far more than the competitive integrity of the product is a virtual realism.

“Just Win Baby” has become “Just Sell Baby” …..

I’m sure the ownership groups representing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, St. Louis Rams and San Francisco 49ers have little interest in seeing Tom Brady, Brett Favre, Ben Roethlisberger or the Manning brothers win another Super Bowl.

However, I’d bet they’re hoping to be in the position of one of those teams within the next decade, and they would like to ensure their most marketable name is on the field – selling jerseys and tickets.

The NFL is a different world than other sports …..

In October, 2019, the Yankees and Red Sox will be playing playoff baseball. The same can probably be said for the Lakers and Celtics and their postseason. But, ten years ago, the Colts were just enjoying their first dominating season, in Indianapolis. And, the Patriots had ZERO Super Bowl rings.

A lot of things change in a decade. So, I can see the financial hope and speculation in supporting rules that ensure the game’s biggest stars remain stars, from a marketing perspective. If the Jacksonville Jaguars land the next Peyton Manning, he could make them a viable moneymaking entity, IN JACKSONVILLE.

Okay, the Jags might head for L.A. within the next couple years. But, I’ll guarantee a quarterback of Peyton Manning’s magnitude would appeal to football fans, in Southern California, too.

I have absolutely no doubt the NFL’s owners are driven by greed and money-making potential when instituting these rules that make the quarterback nearly as insulated as the President of the United States.

Surely, I exaggerate. But, you get it, right?

I will respectfully disagree with some of my colleagues – I don’t think the owners are so inspired to protect the quarterbacks, at all costs, in the name of winning. And, I have a few examples to support my argument.

It’s difficult to imagine any team is so dependent on ONE PLAYER …..

The New England Patriots won 11 games, last year, with the hands of a kid at quarterback who never started a game, since high school. The 2007 version of the Cleveland Browns amassed 10 wins with a guy who was cut by a division rival.

A very competent veteran in Jeff Garcia has started and won games for 6 NFL franchises, over the past 7 seasons.

NFL teams don’t need BIG NAME quarterbacks to be successful.

But, the BIG NAME quarterbacks do promote the NFL product. They’re the faces of the league and the blunt reality is this ability to spawn profit is obviously more important than the integrity of what happens on the field.

If you doubt me, consider this …..

A quick glance at Sunday’s recaps evidenced ZERO “Roughing The Passer” penalties in the Redskins/Bucs & Titans/Jaguars games. Now, I’m not going to comb through every single play of every single game. But, I’m pretty sure you know where I’m headed …..

Should I simply assume no defensive players brushed-up against Jason Campbell, Josh Johnson, Kerry Collins or David Garrard? Or, maybe, these guys didn’t jump up and down like Arnold Horshack, from Welcome Back Kotter fame – while crying “he touched me !!!!!”

How masculine of Tom Brady, huh?

Instead of inspiring and rallying his teammates with a cool demeanor, he was flailing around like some baby’s mama hailing a hack, on a North Avenue corner. Real cool, Tom.

And, I’m not buying the “hey, it worked – he got the yellow flag thrown.”

After four games, I’m pretty convinced Tom Brady is very worried about that fragile knee and less worried about 45 feet of free real estate and a new set of downs. He’s doing everything possible to avoid getting hit.

There was a time when I really appreciated the surgeon-like capabilities of Tom Brady. These days, I see a guy who specializes in scolding his teammates for the world to see, while doing anything to avoid a short trip to the ground.

In wrapping this up, I’m inclined to finally clarify my feelings on the outcome of Sunday’s loss. I cannot fathom hanging the balance of any game on one single play. But, I also don’t subscribe to the suggestions the referees’ poor calling didn’t impact the outcome, either.

That’s just not accurate.

They made plenty of calls that extended scoring drives for the Patriots. This absolutely matters. The result cannot be changed, but the referees had a hand in the circumstances of this loss.

That’s it, I’m done with it. I’m ready for the Bengals.

But, I won’t forget Sunday’s debacle. I behaved like an ass. Tom Brady behaved like a baby. And, the referees ….. well, they behaved like a group of guys who’d never done their jobs, at such a high level, before.

Enough said, and lets just hope Carson Palmer hasn’t joined the NFL’s “Endangered Species” list, too ……

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STARS STEPPING UP IN NBA PLAYOFFS

Posted on 25 May 2009 by Vince Fiduccia

If you have watched any of these amazing NBA playoff games, it is apparent that to win you have to have not only stars, but superstars.  To win the NBA championships, your superstars must produce when it matters most.  This year’s playoffs are the epitome of this statement.  Between the play of LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony, the NBA has a quartet of stars that are performing at the highest level not seen since the retirement of Michael Jordan or during the league’s heyday in the 1980s.  Each night they seem more determined to one up each other. 

 

Take Anthony’s performance in game two on Thursday night in LA; then how about James’ buzzer beater on Friday to led Cleveland over Orlando.  On Saturday Bryant, not to be outshined, responded with 41 points in 41 minutes as the Lakers won game three on the road in Denver.   Lastly, Howard, who has become the NBA’s most dominating inside player, led the Magic to a game three victory.  The Magic wouldn’t be up 2-1 in this series if Howard had not stepped up and destroyed the Celtics in games six and seven of the Eastern Conference semi-finals.  

 

These players are bringing back memories for me of Julius Erving, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson who all played like this on a regular basis in the early 80s.  Those were great springs and summers, and so is this one.

 

The best part of this new generation of stars is that their Olympic experience last summer made them hungry not for personal glory, but for team success.  That experience taught them sacrifice and gave them all a taste of winning.  Now Howard, James and Anthony are hungry for what Bryant has–NBA rings.  Bryant is obviously motivated by winning without Shaquille O’Neal.  Another championship would cement his legacy. 

 

All except Bryant are young and we can look forward to many great years ahead.  I can see these four teams battling repeatedly over the next few years, if all the superstars stay in place and stay healthy. 

 

Who tops who next?  Stay tuned and fine out.  These series seem destined for seven game battles and we are watching the next great chapter in NBA history.

 

 

 

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Ridiculous story of the night

Posted on 12 May 2009 by Luke Jones

I had to share this one.  An Orlando Magic fan is demanding that Boston’s Glen Davis apologize for bumping into his 12-year-old son after hitting the game-winning shot on Sunday night.

I’ll let you be the judge of this one, but Davis shouldn’t be losing any sleep over this.  If the 289-lb big man didn’t even knock the kid off his feet, how hard could the bump have been?  If the father is truly concerned about what happened, perhaps he should reconsider buying tickets for his son to sit at courtside.  The league should ignore this ridiculous demand.

If I were the father, I’d be demanding an apology from Big Baby for stealing the momentum of the series back in the Celtics’ favor—not for barely making contact with my son.

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NBA AND NHL PLAYOFFS ARE DELIVERING QUALITY PERFORMANCES

Posted on 02 May 2009 by Vince Fiduccia

“Where Amazing Happens” is the NBA’s marketing slogan; the series between Bulls and Celtics has more than lived up to this moniker.

 

Overtimes, buzzer beaters, and incredible individual performances have added up to one of the greatest series in the history of sports.  Seeing players step up has made it so much fun to watch.  Whether it’s Ben Gordon of the Bulls or Paul Pierce or Ray Allen of the Celtics, players are making great plays when it counts most.  It’s been fun to watch, and having Doug Collins and Kevin Harlan call the action for TNT has made it perfect.  Somehow, I wish the series would be best of 11 or 13, because it’s been that good.

 

When played at maximum intensity there are few things as good the NBA.  Too bad the long regular season doesn’t allow us to see quality that often during the season.

 

Speaking of quality performances, where would the Capitals be without the play of rookie goalie Simeon Varlamov?  How good has this kid been?  The phrase “standing on his head” is used way too much by analysts when they talk about NHL goalies.  But in this case, it is more than justified.

 

If the Capitals do finish this ride and win the Stanley Cup, Head Coach Bruce Boudreau benching of Jose Theodore after game one of the playoffs series vs. the Rangers may go down as one of the boldest and best moves in coaching.  He put a rookie in the high pressure situation of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the kid has come through; if you asked Boudreau, he probably would tell you it was a hunch or a gut instinct.  Whatever you call it has been great.

 

Here is the best news of all: we still have a month of playoffs left in both sports.  Enjoy the wild ride; I have a feeling it’s just starting to get good.

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5 Ws and 1 H

Posted on 30 April 2009 by Luke Jones

Here are the 5 Ws and 1 H floating around in my head on Thursday night:

1. Who will be the Ravens kicker this season?

Steve Hauschka performed well kicking off last season but only attempted two field goals, making a 54-yarder and missing the other from 52.

Rookie free agent Graham Gano has a huge leg and had a brilliant season at Florida State, hitting 24 of 26 field goals.

It was clear Matt Stover lost a great deal of range last season, but you always knew what you were going to get from him.  Anything inside 45 yards was automatic.  For a team with visions of a Super Bowl, a kicker can make or break the season.  Just ask the 2000 Tennessee Titans.

The battle between Hauschka and Gano will be unlike anything we’ve seen in the 14-year history of the team, as the Ravens will search for their second starting kicker in franchise history.

2. What was the original purpose of the dirt path between the pitching mound and home plate in early-1900s ballparks?  For nostalgia, you’ll find the dirt strip at Comerica Park and Chase Field.

I was watching the Yankees-Tigers game last night when the question was posed to me.  After researching, I found a variety of possible explanations ranging from making infield maintenance easier for the grounds crew to being made to resemble the “pitch” area in cricket.  As someone who loves baseball history, I’m curious to find a definitive answer from a source other than a message board or Wikipedia.

3. Where will Alex Rodriguez play his first game this season, and how bad will the reaction be?

Considering A-Rod wasn’t exactly a fan favorite before the steroid revelations, it could get pretty ugly.  Generally, most fans seem to have tuned out the steroid talk, but I think they’ll make an exception for Rodriguez.  It makes sense for him to return at home before he faces the heckling in other ballparks.

We might be viewing Mark Teixeira’s reception at Camden Yards as downright cordial compared to what Rodriguez could hear on the road.  I won’t worry too much about a guy with a $275 million contract—he can probably afford the tissues to dry the tears.

4. When will we learn where Lance Stephenson will play his one season of college ball?  I’m all for an 18-year-old kid taking his time in choosing the right place to play (and attend school?), but this is getting ridiculous.

He would be a lightning rod of attention for the Terps, but there comes a point where you just have to think he doesn’t really want to be in College Park.

5. Why did Nolan Reimold waste a year playing right field last season at Bowie?  Knowing Luke Scott and Jay Payton weren’t long-term answers in left last season, Reimold should have been playing there with the Baysox.

Then again, if it weren’t for this, what excuse would the Orioles really have to keep him in Triple A after the great spring and hot start with Norfolk?

6a. How well does Felix Pie have to perform for the Orioles to keep him in the starting lineup beyond the end of May?

As putrid as he’s looked at the plate and even in the field, you cannot give up on the experiment after 51 at bats.  Then again, Reimold hit his seventh home run of the season tonight and is hitting over .400 for Norfolk, so it’s going to be difficult to ignore his play much longer.

Pie needs to be hitting at least .200 and looking more fluid in the field by the end of May to justify keeping him in the lineup—or even on the roster.  Though it’s a very superficial comparison, Nick Markakis was hitting .182 at the end of April in his 2006 rookie season; Pie is currently hitting .157.  The difference is Markakis was managing to pass the eyeball test while Pie is not.

If he wants to stick with the Orioles, it’s time to start showing some of the ability that made him the No. 1 prospect for the Chicago Cubs.

6b (Another “how” just came to me as I write this).  How incredible has the Celtics-Bulls playoff series been?  Four of the six games have gone to overtime.

Physical—and even dirty—play.

Playoff basketball.

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