Sports Outside the Beltway

NBA suspends training camps indefinitely

File this under not surprising news-

NEW YORK — The lockout has started doing real damage to the NBA’s calendar.

Players won’t report at the usual time. The preseason won’t start as scheduled.

And more cancellations could be necessary without a new labor deal soon.

Out of time to keep everything intact, the NBA postponed training camps indefinitely and canceled 43 preseason games Friday because it has not reached an agreement with players.

All games from Oct. 9-15 are off, the league said. Camps were expected to open Oct. 3.

“We have regretfully reached the point on the calendar where we are not able to open training camps on time and need to cancel the first week of preseason games,” deputy commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “We will make further decisions as warranted.”

The players’ association did not comment.

I don’t expect their to be another NBA game this year. This kind of labor conflict is usually protracted and nothing will get done till the season is on the verge of being lost. As NHL fans know from 2004-2005, even then the dispute can go over the cliff taking a whole season with it.

I have no sympathy for either owners or players. The players are rich and overindulged, the owners of small market NBA teams had to know when going in that they had little chance of making the franchise they were purchasing into NBA Championship contenders/moneymakers.


Ticking clock- Miami beats New Jersey 99-89

The Nets lost their 8th straight game tonight. From AP-

Dwyane Wade had 27 points and 12 assists, and the Miami Heat continued their good play in March with a 99-89 victory over the free-falling New Jersey Nets on Monday night.Mia-NJ

Jermaine O’Neal added 25 points as the Heat improved to 8-3 in the month that has seen them climb to sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Michael Beasley added 16 and Carlos Arroyo 12.

Brook Lopez had 26 points, but the Nets (7-63) lost their eighth straight as they possibly head toward the worst record in NBA history. New Jersey has to win three of its final 12 to avoid breaking the Philadelphia 76ers’ mark for futility (9-73), set in 1972-73.

Actually the Nets need to win only two games to not break the record. With 2 victories they will equal the mark. At this point in time I expect the Nets to do no better than 9 wins. They haven’t won two games in a row all season.


New Jersey Nets newest fan promotion- free tax preparation

Is everyone sure this is major league basketball team. From ESPN-

The New Jersey Nets will do anything to sell tickets … except win.

In the wake of their NBA-worst 6-53 record, the Nets have come up with yet another ploy to fill seats — free tax returns.

The team has partnered up with Roni Deutch Tax Center to give every New Jersey resident 18 years or older a coupon for a free state tax return if they attend the Nets’ game against the Orlando Magic at the IZOD Center on Friday, March 5.

Fans in attendance will also receive a discount on their federal tax returns if they choose to have Roni Deutch prepare them, as well.

The Nets are dreadful this year(They haven’t won 2 games in a row all season) and are trying to bring in fans any way they can. I don’t really think this is a dumb fan promotion but at the same time believe it won’t bring more fans to see a New Jersey game.


New Jersey Nets to play games in Newark starting with the 2010-11 season

How much does it cost to go from East Rutherford to the Presidential Center via the New Jersey turnpike? From AP-

The New Jersey Nets are going to play in Newark, at least for the next two seasons.

The NBA team reached a deal with the state to move their regular-season games to Newark’s Prudential Center until their new arena is built in Brooklyn.

Under the deal, the Nets will pay a $4 million penalty over two years to get out of their lease at the Izod Center in the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, their home since 1981.

The Nets plan to finish the current season at the Izod Center and move to “The Rock” in downtown Newark for the 2010-11 and the 2011-12 seasons.

Few people remember this, but in the last days of the Brooklyn Dodgers, the team played seven home 1956 or 1957 home games in Jersey City rather than Brooklyn. A sports team is taking the reverse path back to that New York borough and I find that interesting.


Streaks of one- Miami beats New Jersey 87-84

Are the 2009-10 Nets the worst team in NBA history? From AP-

Michael Beasley had 23 points and 11 rebounds and the Miami Heat overcame the early loss of All-Star MVP Dwyane Wade in beating the New Jersey Nets 87-84 on Wednesday night for their season-high fourth straight victory.

Jermaine O’Neal, who strained his lower back in a first-quarter fall, hit three free throws and had two blocks down the stretch as the Heat used a game-closing 13-4 spurt to prevent the Nets from winning consecutive games for the first time this season.

Wade strained his left calf sometime in the opening 7:26 and did not play again. He finished with eight points, snapping his streak of 148 straight games in double figures, the second-longest active streak in the NBA behind LeBron James (255).

Quentin Richardson added 16 points — including a tying 3-pointer with 1:52 to go, and a game-high 14 rebounds for Miami.

Brook Lopez had 26 points and 10 rebounds for the Nets, whose only basket in the final 4:56 came on a goaltending call at the buzzer. Devin Harris added 18 points.

The Nets appeared to headed for their sixth win of the season when Keyon Dooling (14 points) converted a three-point play with 4:56 to play to put them ahead 80-74.

The prospects looked even brighter when O’Neal missed two free throws on the Heat’s ensuring possession.

However, the Nets went ice cold and Miami just kept on coming.

I do think the answer to my question is yes. New Jersey isn’t just 5-49 right now but also unable to win two games in a row at any time this season. They would have gotten to two with a win tonight. Dwyane Wade gets injured, the Nets get a six point lead with less than five minutes to go in the game and the team still finds a way to lose. New Jersey is the worst. They will not get to double digits in wins this year. There are 28 games left in the season and gaining their getting six wins will nothing short of miraculous.


One at a time- Washington defeats New Jersey 81-79

The last time New Jersey won two games in a row was April 11 and 13th of last season. From AP-

Two days after the NBA suspended their leading scorer and another teammate, Earl Boykins and the Wizards’ reserves gave Washington a much needed lift, if only for a night.NJ-Wash

Boykins hit a jumper with 0.4 to play and Washington defeated the New Jersey Nets 81-79 on Friday night, the Wizards’ first game since guards Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton were suspended for the remainder of the season for bringing weapons into the locker room.

“You have to stay resilient,” Wizards forward Caron Butler said. “You know, this has been a tough and trying period for all of us mentally and physically, but you have to try to find a positive. That’s what we have been doing, trying to stay afloat, stay positive and keep pushing. Fortunately the city has been behind us and we have been moving forward.”

Boykins was the main reason the Wizards ended a four-game losing streak and prevented the Nets (4-41) from posting consecutive victories for the first time this season. New Jersey beat the Clippers on Wednesday to end an 11-game losing streak.

When will sports writers begin referring to single Nets wins as ‘streaks’? Will the team’s fans begin wearing bags over their heads?

I predicted the Nets not to break the worst ever record for a NBA team(9-73). Right now, I think my prediction stands a very good chance of being wrong.


NBA Forward Shawne Williams indicted on felony drug charges

He was also released by the New Jersey Nets today. From AP-

Former NBA and Memphis player Shawne Williams has been indicted on felony drug charges.

Prosecutors said Friday that Williams was indicted Tuesday by a county grand jury on eight counts for possession and conspiracy to sell a codeine-based syrup.

Williams was jailed with bond set at $16,000. It was not immediately known if he had a lawyer.

Earlier Friday, the New Jersey Nets said they had waived Williams, a 23-year-old forward, after acquiring him earlier this week from Dallas along with Kris Humphries for veteran forward Eduardo Najera.

Man, it sure isn’t Shawne Williams week. He got arrested for a felony and released by the worst team in the NBA this year.

Williams, a former first round pick of the Indiana Pacers, hasn’t played in a NBA game this season. Lets hope he pulls his life together.


New Jersey Nets ban gambling on team plane

The new policy is a result of the Gilbert Arenas incident, From AP-

All bets are off on the New Jersey Nets’ team plane.

A team spokesman confirms the Nets have decided to ban gambling on their flights, not long after it apparently led to the locker room incident involving Gilbert Arenas and his guns.

The ban was first reported by The New York Times, which said players were informed Wednesday. Team president Rod Thorn told the newspaper that the Nets have never had a problem with gambling, but “obviously, you can see what can happen.”

It’s well known NBA players gamble when they fly. Will a ban prevent an Arenas incident? I see what happened there as a breakdown, but not one due to gambling. How many people failed to note Arenas bringing guns into the arena? Security, Washington Wizard management etc. If these people don’t do their jobs, gun incidents can happen no matter what the underlying issue happens to be.


Things are looking up? Cleveland beats New Jersey 94-86

After gaining their 3rd win of the 2009-10 NBA season, the Nets went back to their losing ways. From AP-

LeBron James had 28 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the New Jersey Nets 94-86 on Saturday for their seventh straight victory.Cle-NJN

Mo Williams added 18 points for the Cavaliers, who have won 12 of 13. They have defeated some of the NBA’s top teams during their winning streak, but struggled against the league’s worst for much of this game, leading by only four with 4 1/2 minutes left.

James then put it away, throwing down a dunk and setting up Daniel Gibson for a 3-pointer and an 86-77 lead with 3:05 remaining.

New Jersey’s highest scorer was Devin Harris with 22 points. The Nets were also hoping this game would mark the return of F Jarvis Hayes who has missed over 30 games but coach Kiki Vandeweghe decided Hayes needed more time.

Now for the part of the article that I found amusing.

The Nets fell to 3-30, but the good news is it’s finally 2010, when they’re hoping to be able to transform the franchise. They could have the most money to offer this summer’s free agent class, expected to be highlighted by James, and they hope that, along with his friendship with rapper and part-owner Jay-Z, plus a planned new arena in Brooklyn, could get them in the running for him or one of the other All-Stars who could be available.

James will come play for the worst NBA team(Who hasn’t been able to win 2 games in a row all season) and because one day he might be able to strut his stuff in Brooklyn. Sure, and Associated Press will hire me to be its national golf writer.


Crystal Ball Time

My annual sports predictions for the upcoming year. Due to some unknown reason, I skipped doing this a year ago. What matters is I came back, right?

1 Cleveland beats the LA Lakers for the NBA Championship
2 Indianapolis defeats Arizona in the Super Bowl Crystall ball
3 San Jose defeats Washington for the Stanley Cup
4 St. Louis beats the Los Angeles Angels in the World Series
5 Tiger Woods returns to golf, wins at least one tournament but no major championships. That is a risky prediction in light of the fact that Tiger has won majors on 3 of this year’s host courses.(Augusta National, Pebble Beach, St. Andrews)
6 Phil Mickelson wins the US Open
7 Michelle Wie wins at least two tournaments, one of which is a major championship
8 Ji Yai Shin is LPGA player of the year
9 A non-Korean golfer will be LPGA rookie of the year
10 Yu-Na Kim wins figure skating gold at the 2010 Olympics
11 The Miami Dolphins don’t make this year’s playoffs but have a winning 2010 season
12 The Miami Heat make the playoffs but lose in the 1st round
13 The Florida Marlins have a winning record but don’t make the playoffs
14 Urban Meyer doesn’t return as coach of the Florida Gators
15 Joe Paterno announces his retirement after the 2010 Penn State season is complete
16 The Florida Panthers don’t make the playoffs
17 The Florida Panthers trade Goalie Tomas Vokoun
18 Manny Pacquiao loses to Floyd Mayweather
19 Kansas defeats Purdue for the NCAA Basketball Championship
20 Texas defeats Alabama in the BCS Championship game
21 Army has a winning football season and gets a bowl invitation
22 Washington Redskins fire Coach Jim Zorn
23 Serena Williams wins at Wimbledon
24 Versus and Directv finally settle their dispute
25 A North American horse racing track closes its doors.
26 Sebastian Vettel wins the Formula World Drivers Championship
27 New York Rangers fire Coach John Tortorella
28 The New Jersey Nets don’t finish with the worst record in NBA history
29 Connecticut defeats Tennessee for the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship
30 At least half these predictions are wrong

We’ll come back on December 31st 2010 and see how I did.


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