#1 r when Bengals head von vv1122365 17.12.2018 06:18

On Saturday, David Sterns 30-year tenure as the commissioner of the National Basketball Association comes to a close. No man in the modern era has held the top office in one of the ‘Big Four sports longer than Stern and the NBA that we know today was largely molded under Sterns watch and his impact on the league is indelible. TSN basketball analyst Jack Armstrong on the legacy of David Stern: David Stern was a visionary who took the league through many challenges with a firm leadership style. Bringing financial stability, great media coverage, global visibility and incredible promotion of both star players and teams alike were just a few of the ways he was as big an impact player as anybody who wore a uniform. The league was a mess when he took over, but not now. Adam Silver is inheriting a league in terrific shape - an NBA poised to continue to be proactive, decisive and a trendsetter on the pro sports landscape. Stern was the best commissioner the league has ever had and, arguably, the best in pro sports history. He leaves quite a legacy. Lets look back, then, on a generation of basketball under Sterns watch and where its come from and where its headed in large part due to the man calling time on a storied career. Sterns impact on league direction did not begin with his assumption of the commissioners office in 1984, but rather with two key policies enacted while the Columbia law graduate was still the leagues Executive Vice-President: drug testing and revenue-sharing, both of which provided the framework for the two guidelines in place to this day. A lawyer first, Sterns impact on the business side of operations is obvious, both domestically and abroad. Expansion and franchise movement are hallmarks of Sterns NBA. Under the New York City natives guidance, the league has added seven teams in his 30 years (the Charlotte Hornets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors, Vancouver Grizzlies and Charlotte Bobcats) and relocated six more (the San Diego Clippers headed to Los Angeles, the Kings left Kansas City for Sacramento, the Grizzlies went south to Memphis, the Seattle Supersonics became the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Charlotte Hornets eventually became the New Orleans Pelicans and the New Jersey Nets crossed state lines into Brooklyn). Recognizing the global nature of the game, Stern sought to raise the leagues profile in two key ways. Prior to Stern assuming office, the then Washington Bullets had competed in four games against international competition (one in Israel, two in China and another in the Philippines). These were the only four games that an NBA team had competed in outside of North America. Sensing the international appetite for basketball and the potential to gain exposure abroad, Stern set in motion an initiative that, 30 years later, saw expansion into Canada and games played throughout Europe (Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the then Soviet Union, Spain, Japan, France, Georgia, Russia, Lithuania and Turkey,) Asia (Japan, Taiwan and Macau,) Latin America (Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico) and the Caribbean (Bahamas). As of Sterns retirement, 147 games, both exhibition and regular season, have been played outside of continental North America. The second prong in Sterns international plan of attack was the deployment of NBA players to international events like the FIBA World Championships and Summer Olympics, starting with the Dream Team with the likes of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird running roughshod in Barcelona in 1992. Did Sterns plan work? Well, over his 30-year tenure, players representing 69 different countries have appeared in the NBA, a stunning testament to the games growth and popularity abroad. Stern also moved the NBA into the world of the 24-hour news cycle and took advantage of the burgeoning demand for sports programming on television. Its simply impossible to believe in 2014, but prior to David Stern, the NBA Finals were aired on tape delay. Thats right, tape delay!Stern put an end to that, signing lucrative television deals over the past 30 seasons that have ensured live broadcasts in both national and local markets. Right now, the Association is in the seventh year of an eight-year pact with Turner Sports and ABC/ESPN worth $7.44 billion. Rest assured, competition for the next TV deal will be fierce and the league can expect an even more substantial pact. The impact the TV deal had on the financial health of the league is obvious. According to Forbes, the NBAs 23 teams in 1984 were worth a collective $400 million. In the magazines latest franchise valuations, the average NBA franchise is worth $634 million, up 25 per cent from last year alone and the leagues franchises on the whole are worth an estimated $19 billion. Revenue generated from the 1982-83 season, the last prior to Sterns assumption of control, was $118 million. Last season saw revenue generation of $4.6 billion. The Draft Lottery system is another advent under Sterns reign. Phasing out the archaic system of a coin toss between the leagues bottom-two teams to determine who would select first in the annual NBA Draft, Stern introduced a lottery in 1985 that would see any team who missed out on the postseason have an opportunity at the first overall selection in the draft. The process would undergo revisions over the years, but it became an effective tool to prevent out-and-out tanking by losing teams and would be adopted by Stern acolyte Gary Bettman for use in the NHL. The growth under Stern from a business perspective is absolutely stunning, but Sterns sea change was also felt on the court and the in the locker rooms. When Magic Johnson announced that he was HIV-positive in 1991 and stepping away from the game, Stern stood next to the Los Angeles Lakers superstar on the podium, literally and figuratively. Johnson would return to the league and play again in 1995, as Stern and the rest of the NBA showed a progressive stance when it came to a proper understanding of the transmission of the disease and those living with it. Former journeyman John Amaechi came out in 2007 at the conclusion of his NBA career and Stern asserted that a players sexuality wasnt of importance. "We have a very diverse league,” Stern said at the time. “The question at the NBA is always Have you got game? Thats it, end of inquiry.” He praised Jason Collinss courage when the forward revealed his homosexuality in April of 2013. “As Adam Silver and I said to Jason, we have known the Collins family since Jason and [twin brother] Jarron joined the NBA in 2001 and they have been exemplary members of the NBA family,” Stern said in a statement. “Jason has been a widely respected player and teammate throughout his career and we are proud he has assumed the leadership mantle on this very important issue.” The NBA also showed a progressive ideal that no other professional league did when, in 1997, it became the first major league to employ female officials with the hiring of Violet Palmer and Dee Kantner as referees. From a discipline perspective, Stern has never been one to shy away on tough decisions. In 1995, Dallas Mavericks star Roy Tarpley was permanently banned from the NBA for repeated substance abuse issues. Stern followed suit that same year with Richard Dumas of the Phoenix Suns. The Miami Heats Chris “Birdman” Andersen was out of the NBA from 2006-2008 due to drug violations. Though some argue that Sterns policies could be more lenient, they were praised by one of the more high profile recipients of a ban. Micheal Ray Richardson, a former fourth overall pick of the New York Knicks in 1978, had lengthy and well-documented substance abuse issues and found himself suspended multiple times over the course of his career. In 1986 as a member of the Nets, Richardson was banned for life for three positive tests. Two years later, his suspension was upheld, but Richardson tested positive for cocaine twice in 1991. At the time, the four-time All-Star vehemently disputed his positive results and vocally complained that the league was displaying a double standard in not disciplining Golden State Warriors star Chris Mullin for his battles with alcoholism. As the years have passed, Richardson, who coaches the London Lightning of the National Basketball League of Canada, now credits Stern with helping turn his life around. He and Stern made amends at an exhibition game in Paris in 1997.“I went up to him at halftime just to say no hard feelings,” Richardson told Metro London in November 2013. “He doesnt know it, but he probably saved my life.” Sterns policy of ignoring a players stature when meting out discipline extended beyond drug bans. Bit players and All-Stars alike were brought to NBA justice under Stern. Latrell Sprewell, then of the Warriors, was suspended 68 games in 1997 for throttling then coach PJ Carlesimo. Metta World Peace, then Ron Artest, received a 73-game ban for his part in the infamous November 2004 “Malice at the Palace” brawl in Detroit and three other players were suspended for 25-games-plus. After Gilbert Arenas of the Washington Wizards brought a gun into the locker room in January of 2010, the three-time All-Star was suspended for 50 games. The importance of cultivating a workable minor-league system was also recognized by Stern and implemented through the proper expansion of the National Basketball Development League, now the NBA D-League, in 2005 after its creation in 2001. For the first time, NBA teams, like their NHL and MLB counterparts, had a place where they could develop talent without taking up roster spots and use the D-League to spot talent not under NBA contract. From 2005, players with three years of service or fewer could be assigned to the D-League and in the 2011-2012 season, an agreement was reached that would allow veteran players to be assigned to the league if they chose to consent. The benefits of the D-League for the 30 franchises were obvious, but it also represented a tremendous avenue for passed over players to force teams into giving them another look. Jeremy Lin, JJ Barea and Marcin Gortat are among those who blossomed during their D-League tenures before being recalled to their parent teams, while the likes of Matt Barnes, Will Bynum and Chuck Hayes all earned NBA contracts after successful D-League stints. That same summer of 2005, Stern made another significant policy change when the league and NBAPA agreed that players would no longer be admitted into the league straight from high school. Superstars like Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Tracy McGrady headed into the Association right after high school, but a player would now have to be 19 years of age to play in the NBA. One of the main reasons for this implementation was to encourage players to head to college and pursue an education. Many see this as naïve, referring to it as the “one-and-done rule,” as many players now will declare for the NBA Draft after their freshmen years, but it nonetheless forced an issue that few wanted to talk about. On the court, Sterns watch saw new rules introduced to both improve the game and add to its integrity. The 1998 season brought with it a ban on any sort of forearm and hand-checking anywhere above the free throw line. This allowed for more unobstructed scoring and some of the games more productive players took full advantage. In 2002, instant replay was introduced to determine whether or not shots got off prior to the expiration of game and shot clocks. Its usage was expanded in 2008, when replay could be used to discern if a basket should be worth two or three points. An epidemic in soccer and hockey, Sterns NBA took on flopping in 2012. Though rules were implemented in 1997 to try to curb it, the addition of fines (albeit, monetarily insignificant ones) were meant to add in the shaming of the practice in a further attempt to eliminate it from the game. Obviously, that process is an ongoing one. It would be completely disingenuous to suggest that the Stern commissionership was all sunshine and lollipops, because it certainly wasnt. The NBA experienced times of tumult under Sterns watch, as well. In his 30 years as commissioner, Sterns NBA has seen labour disruption four times. Thats more than any other head of any of the “Big Four” leagues. With lockouts in 1995, 1996, 1998 and 2011, seasons were shortened two of the four times and revenues suffered and acrimony lingered between the league and the NBAPA. While the Draft Lottery was a novel concept, it hasnt been without its controversy, either. To this day, some insist that the 1985 lottery, won by the Knicks who then selected Patrick Ewing with the first overall pick, was rigged in favour of the Knicks as a means to get the leagues biggest television market the best available player. However, it remains a conspiracy theory. Gambling as an issue has arisen on a couple of very prominent occasions on Sterns watch as well. When the Raptors were about to enter the league in 1995, the NBA ordered that gambling on basketball must be removed from Ontarios provincial sports lottery. The league went as far as to suggest that the expansion franchise would be upheld if there wasnt complete compliance. After three months of negotiation, the leagues wishes were adhered to and Pro-Line removed NBA basketball from its games. Fifteen years later, betting on the NBA was reintroduced to that lottery. An even heavier gambling episode occurred with the case of referee Tim Donaghy. In 2007, it was revealed that Donaghy, a 14-year veteran, was under FBI investigation for gambling on games in which he was officiating and his connections to organized crime. Donaghy was arrested and eventually pled guilty to two counts of felony conspiracy and ended up serving 15 months in a federal prison. Though Stern categorized Donaghys actions of those of a “rogue official,” North American sports largest gambling scandal since Pete Rose brought with it aspersions from the media and fans alike over the integrity of leagues officials. Stern brought about tougher background checks on potential referees, but the taint associated with the episode lingered and still does to a lesser extent today. While relocation has brought with it mostly positive results, it, too, has not been without its detractors. Obviously, there is lingering resentment in markets where franchises left, but the New Orleans Pelicans (then, the Hornets) brought a special challenge to the commissioners office when the league assumed ownership of the struggling team in late 2010. The following year, Hornets star guard Chris Paul asked to be traded and in December of 2011, a three-team deal was agreed upon that would have seen Paul move to the Lakers, Pau Gasol head to the Houston Rockets and Lamar Odom to the Hornets. Stern, however, vetoed the trade for what he called “basketball reasons.” The optics here looked bad. Here was the commissioners office intervening in a trade involving a team under league ownership. This appeared to be a blatant conflict of interest on Sterns part and one resulting from pressure from the leagues board of governors to cultivate parity (in not sending another star player to the Lakers,) but Stern stuck to his guns and the deal died. Still, Sterns detractors pale in comparison to the innovation and stability brought to the NBA under Sterns watch. After 30 years, Stern can walk away from his post proud of the forward-thinking and critical leadership he brought to a league that was crying out for somebody to grab the reins and guide. On Saturday, David Stern exits a bigger, better and more entertaining NBA than the one he entered and the teams, players and fans are all better off for it. David Stern was part-maverick, part-entrepreneur and North American sports had seen few like him before. Very likely, they wont again. Real Jordans Outlet Online . Durant finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds, Jackson matched his career high with 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting and Lamb scored 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting, lifting the Thunder to a 94-88 win over San Antonio and snapping the Spurs 11-game winning streak. Cheap Air Jordan Outlet . -- Andy Granatelli, the former CEO of STP motor oil company who made a mark on motorsports as a car owner, innovator and entrepreneur, has died. http://www.outletairjordan.com/ . Last year, Islanders forward Colin Mcdonald released a "Do It For Colin" campaign to promote his teammate and friend John Tavares for the EA sports honour:The most popular sports voting video ever has to go to Chris Bosh who showcased his comedic abilities in his effort to get fans to vote him into the 2008 All Star Game:You can vote for TJ and other star players for the NHL 15 cover vote here. Discount Air Jordan . -- Orleans Darkwa ran in from 1 yard with 1:45 left, and the Miami Dolphins rallied from two scores down in the final minutes to beat the Dallas Cowboys 25-20 on Saturday night. Wholesale Jordan Shoes From China . Although head coach Randy Carlyle jokingly wondered how much actual training Bolland got done while in London. "I dont know how much training goes on when you go back to the junior team that you played for so I wouldnt read too much into that," laughed Carlyle after the Maple Leafs were put through an up-tempo practice that concluded with a 10-minute bag skate on Thursday.(SportsNetwork.com) - Ready or not, here comes Johnny Football. With their playoff chances starting to fade, the Cleveland Browns hope to get a jolt under center this Sunday when rookie Johnny Manziel makes his first career start in a home matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals. The Browns selected Manziel with the 22nd overall pick of the 2014 draft, the second of two first-round selections for the club. Despite his highlight-reel resume at Texas A&M that helped earn him the Heisman Trophy, Manziel was unable to beat out Brian Hoyer for the starting job at the start of the season. Cleveland started 6-3 under Hoyer, but his play has come under fire as of late with the Browns losing three of their past four. Manziel made his NFL debut in late relief action versus Buffalo on Nov. 30, with the 22-year-old completing 5-of-9 pass attempts for 63 yards while also scoring a rushing touchdown. Head coach Mike Pettine decided to stick with Hoyer for this past Sundays game versus the Indianapolis Colts, but the now-former starter didnt impress with just 140 yards passing in a 25-24 loss. Thanks to a pair of defensive touchdowns, the Browns were in position to win until the Colts Andrew Luck threw a one-yard touchdown pass to T.Y. Hilton with 32 seconds left in the fourth quarter. That gave Cleveland consecutive losses for the first time this season. Linebacker Craig Robertson recovered a fumble in the end zone and rookie cornerback Justin Gilbert had a 23-yard pick-six in the third quarter, his first career interception. Hoyer, though, was picked off twice and the only offensive touchdown for the Browns came on a nine-yard run by Isaiah Crowell. Obviously, very disappointed, said Pettine. When you lose a close game like that, for the most part our guys played at a high level. Pettine, though, apparently doesnt think that was the case with Hoyer, so Manziel will become the 21st different QB to start a game for the Browns since 1999. This decision is really not about Brian Hoyer or Johnny Manziel, it is about the Cleveland Browns, Pettine said. We are always going to make decisions that we feel are in the best interest of the team. Manziel, who has been plagued with questions about his off-the-field lifestyle and dedication to the position, had another chip put on his shoulder when Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis referred to the 6-foot, 210-pound Manziel as a midget during the teams radio show on Monday night. Lewis has since apologized for the remarks, but shined more negative light on a Bengals club that is coming off a 42-21 pounding at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Cincinnati had a three-game win streak halted and allowed the race for first place in the AFC North to get tighter. The Bengals lead the pack at 8-4-1, while the Steelers and Baltimore Ravens both trail at 8-5. The Browns remain in the mix as well at 7-6. The Bengals led 21-17 over the Steelers after the third quarter, but Pittsburgh outscored Cincinnati 25-0 in the fourth, a quarter in which it gained 229 of its 543 total net yards. Im sort of at a loss for words, said Bengals linebacker Vincent Rey. Let me just say that I know we can play better, myself first and everyone else, too. We start back on that road beginning this week. Andy Dalton threw for 302 yards, hooking up with wide receiver A.J. Green for an 81-yard touchdown and running for a 20-yard score. But he also lost a key fourth-quarter fumble. Green caught 11 passes for a career-best 224 yards. The pressure to win this game is just as great for the Bengals as it is for the Browns. Cincinnati must host the mighty Denver Broncos next week before ending the regular season with a rematch at Pittsburgh. Also, Cleveland has already beaten Cincinnati this season, picking up a 24-3 road win back on Nov. 6. The Browns got rushing touchdowns from Ben Tate (since waived), Crowell and Terrance West, while Dalton was picked off three times and held to 86 yards passing. It marked the Browns third victory in their last four versus the Bengals. WHAT TO WATCH FOR Many will question Pettines decision to wait as long as he did to turn to Manziel, especially given that Hoyer had just one touchdown pass to eight interceptions over the clubs current 1-3 stretch. Over 13 games this season, Hoyer has thrown for 3,196 yards with 11 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Although I am disappointed by coachs decision, I respect him and his choice and will be there to support Johnny, Hoyer said. As always, I will do whatever I can to help this team wwin.dddddddddddd Pettine hopes that Manziel can do that on the field. The flashy quarterback hasnt really had a chance to really show what he can do, but is known for his ability to create plays and will look to prove he has the arm, speed and confidence to handle the NFL. Brian has done everything that has been asked of him and he has done so as a true professional, said Pettine. Its never just any one position when a unit is not functioning at the level youd like. We are trying to get the offense to perform at a higher level. Johnny has worked very hard to earn this opportunity and it will be very important for every member of the offense to elevate their play for us to obtain our desired result. Said Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas, Im excited to see what Johnny can do. He did some good things for us in the preseason and when he was in there against Buffalo. One player who should be excited to see Manziel under center is playmaking wide receiver Josh Gordon. Gordon had a monster 2013 season with 87 catches for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns, but missed the first 10 games of this campaign due to suspension. He had a big season debut with eight receptions and 120 yards in Week 12 at Atlanta, but has been held to nine catches and 90 yards the past two weeks. Gordon made only two catches versus the Colts. Gordon had 125 yards and a touchdown on five catches the last time he faced the Bengals. Clevelands defense relies on shutting down opponents quarterbacks and the Browns lead the NFL with 19 interceptions. Cornerback Buster Skrine picked up two of his four picks this season versus the Bengals, while safety Tashaun Gipson leads the league with six picks. Gipson, though, has missed the past two games with a knee injury and is out this weekend as well. The play of linebacker Paul Kruger has helped the defense as well. Kruger leads the team with nine sacks, the most by a Browns player since Kamerion Wimbleys 11 in 2006, and has a career-high three forced fumbles. Linebacker Karlos Dansby, meanwhile, has a chance to return this weekend for the Browns from a knee injury suffered on Nov. 16. Though the Bengals have two capable runners in Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard, it will be hard for them to pass up testing Clevelands secondary again due to the presence of Green. Greens 224 yards versus Pittsburgh were the second-most in a single game in Bengals history behind only Chad Johnsons 260 in 2006. Greens previous high was 183 yards set in 2012 and he has gone over 100 yards in three of his past four games as he seems to have fully moved past a toe ailment that plagued him earlier this season. When youve got a guy like A.J., you want to get him the ball, Dalton said after the Steelers game. We had a lot of really good looks today, and we hit big plays. Down the stretch, weve got to rely on A.J. Hes such a big play waiting to happen. After getting blitzed by the Steelers offense, the Bengals are now tied for 28th in the NFL with 377.8 yards allowed per game. They also learned this week they wont have linebacker Vontaze Burfict for the rest of the season as he was placed on injured reserve Tuesday because of a knee issue that had caused him to miss the past six games. Luckily for Lewis defense, Rey has proven to be a capable option. He has made 10 starts while playing in all 13 games, with injuries opening the door for increased time. Rey has responded with a club-high 97 tackles, with 15 of those coming versus the Steelers. Vinny is a great example of the concept that its not how you get here, its what you do when you get here, said Lewis. Hes a smart player, a dedicated worker and a physical player. Hes earned everything hes gotten and we are very fortunate to have him. OVERALL ANALYSIS Though there will be pressure on Manziel given that the Browns are still very much in the playoff hunt, making his debut at home should help things a bit. The Bengals know this and Dalton said his club needs to get off to a good start. The better you are early on in the games, you can take away the crowd and all that kind of stuff, said Dalton. But we know the kind of atmosphere were going to get. So weve just got to be ready to come out firing. Cincinnati got next to nothing offensively when it last played Cleveland and would love to return to the favor this weekend. The key will be forcing Manziel into trying to do too much and a veteran coach like Lewis should have his defense ready. Sports Network predicted outcome: Bengals 23, Browns 20 Authentic Nike Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jerseys Cheap Authentic Nike Tennessee Titans Jerseys Cheap Authentic Nike Washington Redskins Jerseys Cheap Authentic Nike Arizona Cardinals Jerseys Cheap Authentic Nike Denver Broncos Jerseys Cheap Authentic Nike Green Bay Packers Jerseys Cheap Authentic Nike Los Angeles Chargers Jerseys Cheap Authentic Nike New England Patriots Jerseys Cheap Authentic Nike Oakland Raiders Jerseys Cheap Authentic Nike Seattle Seahawks Jerseys Cheap Authentic Nike Carolina Panthers Jerseys Cheap Authentic Nike Cleveland Browns Jerseys Cheap Cheap Throwback Baseball Arizona Diamondbacks Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Atlanta Braves Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Baltimore Orioles Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Boston Red Sox Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Chicago Cubs Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Chicago White Sox Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Cincinnati Reds Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Cleveland Indians Jerseys ' ' '

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