The hack is whack — NBA needs to fix fouling abomination

first_imgI think what he was really saying was:We need to bar this stuff but the owners will be the ones to decide.If Silver is off to a happy start, no small accomplishment these days, he doesn’t rule with an iron hand as David Stern did in a happier, if less prosperous, age.If Stern made an egregious error or two — like rejecting the Lakers’ Chris Paul trade in a classic conflict of interest as commissioner and de facto New Orleans owner — he ruled absolutely with a league-wide interest.Despite assertions to the contrary, Stern was even-handed enough to draw down on his marquee teams.Ask the Lakers, who lost Paul. Ask the Knicks, who lost a 1997 series with Miami that they led, 3-1, after Stern suspended five of them, who had to serve their penalties in shifts in Games 5 and 6 in order for New York to have enough players.By the end of Stern’s 30-year reign in 2014, there were enough insurgent new owners to make Dallas’ Mark Cuban mainstream. That’s why the NBA took such a hard line in the 2011 labor negotiations, which slashed the players’ share of revenue from 57-43 to 50-50.It’s also why the union and its new director, Michelle Roberts, are girding for another knockdown, drag-out fight in 2017, with both sides expected to opt out of the current agreement.Barring hacking would be easy: Just adopt the same rules on fouling off the ball for the first 46 minutes that they use in the last two.If not, there’s no telling how far someone like Popovich will take it.As a basketball term, hacking came in with Shaquille O’Neal, whose name and giant teddy-bear perona lent themselves to constructions like “Hack-a-Shaq.”Happily for the Lakers, it was more of a chic term than a weapon.Nobody did it to O’Neal much, not even Pop. If he had, the Lakers might have one or two fewer titles.Popovich said he did’t think it was right. To his credit, he never changed his tune, even as his team got old and he was obliged to grasp for any gimmick to keep it afloat.With his team back on top, Pop kept hacking away, as needed. It had become a principle with him; anything less seemed like not doing all he could to win, however unseemly.“I’m torn in the sense free throws are part of the game,” Popovich said in March. “Just like if another team doesn’t play good defense, you try to take advantage of it. If they have people who don’t shoot free throws, you try to take advantage of it. The goal is it to win.“Does it look bad? Does it look ugly? It looks awful. There you have it.”Whatever it is, the tactic has turned this series.The Spurs tied the series by pulling out Game 2 in overtime after putting Jordan on the line 17 times, to make six.In game 5, with the series tied and nothing going right — the Spurs starters were a minus-30 in Tuesday’s first half — San Antonio brought the Clippers to another screeching halt, putting DJ on the line 16 more times.Jordan made seven but it hardy mattered. The more he hit, the more likely Pop figured he would miss the next one.When DJ made three of four in one stretch, Pop had Patty Mills foul him again. This time, Jordan missed both.Riveting as this may be, it’s not basketball the way I conceive of the game.I’d like to think this is hacking’s swan song.On the other hand, I’d like to see it go out in style with Pop hacking, say, Cleveland forward Tristan Thomas (64% at the line this season) down the stretch of Game 7 of the Finals, prompting cries of agony they can’t keep out of the league offices if they soundproof the place. By (jump) hook or by crook …To be sure, the Spurs have done nothing illegal or immoral to take a 3-2 lead over the Clippers.On the other hand, this series may be the farce that finally prompts the NBA to pull its thumb out of wherever it has been and bar the abomination that “hacking” has become.There are valid arguments on both sides of the issue. Before Game 5, a Clippers staffer I talked to argued in favor, asserting the principle of not legislating to protect players’ weaknesses. On the other hand, the fans hate it — appropriately, in my mind.That means the TV people — the ones who’ll soon be putting up $2.7 billion a year — hate it, too.And that, one can hope, should take care of that. Next case.When Commissioner Adam Silver tweeted that Game 2 was “bad television,” adding that he, himself, was “on the fence,” the significance lay in the fact that he had chosen to acknowledge the issue at all.Going farther, Silver promised “full-throated” discussions.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Fantasy Football Injury Updates: Julio Jones, Adam Thielen, Golden Tate, more impact Week 14 WR rankings

first_imgWEEK 14 NON-PPR RANKINGS:Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | KickerIs Julio Jones playing Week 14?After Dan Quinn said earlier in the week that Jones’ Week 14 availability was “trending upward,” Jones got in a limited practice Wednesday as he attempts to return from a shoulder injury that held him out of game action on Thanksgiving. The Falcons play at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday against the Panthers.Jones’ return would knock each of the remaining Atlanta receivers down a notch in the pecking order, with Calvin Ridley becoming a boom-or-bust WR3, Russell Gage dropping to a PPR FLEX option, and Christian Blake falling out of fantasy consideration.WEEK 14 DFS LINEUPS:DK Cash | DK GPP | FD Cash | FD GPP | Y! Cash | Y! GPPAdam Thielen injury updateAfter Thielen practiced in limited fashion in Week 13 but then missed Monday night, it appeared his hamstring injury may have gotten worse. He missed practice both Wednesday and Thursday and looks in doubt for Week 14 against the Lions.The biggest beneficiary of Thielen’s absence remains tight end Kyle Rudolph, who’s a borderline fantasy starter whenever Thielen doesn’t play. Stefon Diggs remains the only Minnesota WR worth using if Thielen is out Sunday.WEEK 14 PPR RANKINGS: Running back | Wide receiver | Tight endGolden Tate injury newsPat Shurmur said Wednesday that Tate is “trending up” in his quest to be available for Monday Night Football in a revenge game against the Eagles. Tate missed Week 13 due to a concussion. He was a full participant in Thursday’s practice, so assuming his concussion is a non-issue protocol wise, he should be good to go for Monday night.The Eagles have a bad secondary, which makes Tate appealing, but Eli Manning is likely to start for Daniel Jones. It’s not obvious whether that’s an upgrade or downgrade, but it adds a layer of uncertainty after Tate’s fantasy owners knew Jones would feed him the ball. Tate is still worth playing in PPR leagues if he’s active, and Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton should both see around seven targets targets, as well.MORE WEEK 14:Waiver pickups | FAAB planning | Stock watch | Snap counts | Fantasy playoff SOST.Y. Hilton injury updateHilton said Wednesday that he’s unsure if he’ll make it back this season, but that he’s “doing everything (he) can.” The Colts play Sunday at 1 p.m. ET against Tampa Bay’s weak secondary as Hilton battles a calf injury.Hilton’s comments at least make it sound like he’ll be out another week, pushing Zach Pascal into No. 1 duties again coming off an 100-yard game. Against the Bucs, Pascal can be used as a WR3. It looks like Parris Campbell might be back from injury to take over No. 2 duties from Marcus Johnson.MORE WEEK 14 DFS: Stacks | Values | Lineup BuilderIs JuJu Smith-Schuster playing Week 14?Smith-Schuster told reporters Wednesday that he considers himself “week-to-week.” He added that he’s running but not cutting yet. The Steelers play in Arizona at 4:25 p.m. ET on Sunday.It sounds like JuJu will miss at least another week. In his absence, James Washington will remain the only playable Pittsburgh wideout. Consider him at least a FLEX option in a favorable fantasy matchup with the Cardinals. MORE WEEK 14: Sleepers | Busts | Start ’em, sit ’emParris Campbell injury newsCampbell (hand) was a full participant in Colts practice Wednesday. He hasn’t played since Week 9, but looks likely to return to face Tampa Bay on Sunday while Hilton will probably be out.Campbell’s last game was his best (five catches for 53 yards in Week 9). He likely slots right in as the No. 2 WR behind Zach Pascal (although Marcus Johnson could still maintain that role), making Campbell at least an interesting DFS play against such a bad pass defense. It looks like only one of the three top-10 WRs dealing with injuries for Week 14 is likely to play, and that’s Julio Jones. Both Adam Thielen and T.Y. Hilton have arrows pointing downward as we get closer to the weekend. The wide receiver rankings will also be affected by the statuses of Golden Tate, JuJu Smith-Schuster and rookie Parris Campbell, and we have updates on all of them below as you get ready to make your crucial fantasy start ’em, sit ’em decisions for the first round the playoffs.For updates on banged-up TEs Evan Engram, Greg Olsen, Gerald Everett, and David Njoku, click here; for news on injured RBs Dalvin Cook, Josh Jacobs, Marlon Mack, and more, go here. Follow us on Twitter for more news and updates @SN_Fantasy.last_img read more

Lack of finances hinders work of EPA – Director

first_imgExecutive Director of EPA, Dr Vincent AdamsAlthough air pollution is a “major concern” for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which falls under the Natural Resources Ministry, the Department is not equipped with the necessary tools to test air quality owing to the lack of finances.In an interview with Guyana Times on Wednesday, EPA Executive Director, Dr Vincent Adams complained that the body was unable to function at its full potential, as funding for critical aspects such as capacity building was unavailable.Speaking on the occasion of World Environment Day, which focuses on air pollution this year, Dr Adams stated: “We are looking at some statistics and the air pollution, I think, it says nine out of ten persons in the entire world is somehow exposed to air pollution. I think one out of every eight deaths occurs from air pollution directly or indirectly.”But although this is the case, he admitted, the EPA cannot test air quality. “So it’s a major concern and the problem is we do not see what’s in the air; it’s there, but we are not aware of it and that’s why the EPA is so important, because we are supposed to be equipped, even though you can’t see it, it’s to understand what’s out there and to mitigate against any health defects that come to the public,” Dr Adams explained.He is hoping that the Government considers the Agency in its next budget.“In my budget that I am going to be proposing for 2020, we are going to be proposing all of that, all of the requirements in the upcoming budget, but this here is really important and as a matter of fact, we have been taking it very, very seriously,” the Director assured.In addition, he stressed that the staffers of the EPA required training if they were to carry out their duties in a more effective manner, especially now that the natural resources sector is being broadened with oil production.“We need lots of resources, we need personnel who are trained, but we are not there yet. As a matter of fact, to be very candid or honest with you, we’re not even close to being there, so we’re putting a plan in place and next year’s budget is probably going to be the budget that really identifies all of the gaps,” Dr Adams posited.In the meantime, he said, the EPA has been conducting gap analysis to identify exactly what materials are needed. The Director referenced the fact that Guyana, with its diverse topography, required special vehicles to visit places such as the interior regions where mining was often conducted.He explained, “We have on the books currently over… I think it’s like 1200 permits meaning that we’ve got 1200 operations out there that we have permitted to operate, so we are supposed to oversee these things and not only issue permits but to go out there and monitor and make sure they are in compliance with these permits to protect the environment’s health and safety so we need equipment, we need lots of resources, we need personnel who are trained, but we are not there yet.”The EPA was established by the Environmental Protection Act in 1996. It is tasked with undertaking the necessary measures to manage, conserve, protect, and improve the local environment.It specifically handles matters such as air quality and noise, freshwater, waste, biological resources, land resources, research and development, ecological and human health risk, education, communication and awareness.last_img read more