Pat Riley is good for business

riley_650x440Update #1 01/18/14: Magic Johnson:

… Look what Pat Riley did in Miami … If Pat Riley’s not there, you don’t get LeBron to buy in.

The Miami Heat and Pat Riley don’t do WTF’s. For them, it’s more about the ETF’s.

The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson reported on an interview Pat Riley gave recently to Index Universe [see it here], his first since June 2013. Great I thought, as a degenerate Heat fan I need … wait … who … why Index Universe?

Here’s the who. Index Universe is a company designed to promote exchange-traded funds. ETF’s are sold mainly to large broker-dealers, institutional investors, the big boys. They have an annual conference coming up. Un-coincidentally, Pat Riley will be a speaker at that conference.

Here’s the why. The Heat are owned by the same family [Arison] which owns Carnival Corporation [CCL], the largest bank in Israel [Hapoalim Group] and Ecuador [kidding about EC, I think]. Due to the bad publicity associated with the problems on their cruise ships, Carnival has much work to do to repair their brand name.  Enter Pat Riley and likely good vibes for Carnival among the type of people who decide whether CCL is part of their managed mutual funds portfolio.

Not unlike the good vibes Riley generated in a Cleveland meeting circa 2010.  And of course, there was the heretofore unreported Wade meeting in Schenectady which made it all possible. Many people have seen the light in Schenectady.
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BS Sports Guy living up to name

Update Jan 15, 2014: Read how Tom Haberstroh agrees with me.
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I am a fan of Bill Simmons. I enjoy his writing and podcasts. But as would be expected, the downside of his ESPN ubiquitousness is that he now has to go on record about the type of things he used to be able to poke fun at after the fact. Just google David Kahn for a sample.

Miami Heat and Dan LeBatard radio show fans have long enjoyed their various rants based in part on the “gasbags/experts” who have been predicting the Heat’s demise with impressive persistence and inaccuracy. Simmons can be considered the ring leader of those efforts, hilariously extrapolating the body language he supposedly observes when attending NBA games to fit the point he is attempting to make. Simmons has never made it clear the distance at which body language observation would be better served by an HD TV roughly the size of an area rug. [Perhaps Stub Hub is the next jewel in his empire?]

On last Friday’s NBA Countdown show, Simmons attempted to agree with Doug Collins that there were no “franchise players” or “LeBrons” coming out in the 2014 NBA draft. The show’s moderator, Sage Steele, playfully called out Simmons for flip-flopping on that point within just a few weeks.

At which point Simmons did something surprising. He attempted to weasel his way out of appearing to flip-flop by noting that what he said was that “the draft was deep, not great.” To which Steele, God bless her, read the quote back to him where he described the draft as “great.”
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Erik the Viking, Goliath and Jonathan Martin

The family of the giant Philistine warrior beheaded by David, Goliath from Gath, filed suit today in the International Criminal Court at The Hague against the past King of Judah and Israel under a crime of aggression statue. The family’s press release read in part:

… Today under the statue of William the Silent, we can be silent no more. Given the recent developments in North American football involving Sir Jonathan Martin, formerly of the Miami-Dade Dolphins, we believe the time is right to address historical prejudices against those whose outward appearance and chosen profession suggest great strength, mental toughness and courage. At our upcoming hearing, thanks to the ground-breaking work of Malcolm Galwell, we will prove that Goliath was a helpless victim in one of the most brutal attacks documented in the Old Testament.

We understand that most have focused on Goliath’s size [6'9"] and his complete ensemble of warrior gear; a coat weighing 5,000 shekels [125 lbs], along with a matching bronze helmet and javelin. [FYI - The shield-bearer who went before him and managed to escape unharmed was not a party to the suit].

David-vs-Goliath But how many ever looked past all that to the inner Goliath? The one who wept during the 1st course of his meals following his ‘Duel to the Death’ matches across the island of Crete. How a portion of his proceeds from the matches were occasionally forwarded to the orphans of his vanquished foes. How many were aware of the dozens of women he declined to rape given his exhaustion following those matches.  Everyone was so focused on the looting and pillaging, that no one noticed the broken heart under the shield, albeit one covered with the splattered body parts of his victims.

The press release concluded by noting that Goliath’s threatening remarks to the Israelite’s, delivered every morning for 40 consecutive days prior to the day of David’s attack in the Elah Valley, were taken out of context.

martinThe family of Sir J. Martin are said to be closely following the Goliath suit in The Hague.

Sir J. Martin himself is also said to be closely following; Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, Last of Us and the ‘super’ anticipated release of PS4.

Emerging from a recent Terry Jones film festival which featured Erik the Viking, Martin could be heard repeating a quote often associated with Lincoln, ‘oh what a joy to be comprehended.’

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10/01/47 – Connie Mack weighing return

October 1, 1947

This 1947 team picture almost never happened

The world will never know how close this 1947 team photo came to never happening

It was thought to be a mere formality, but Connie Mack threw Philadelphia Athletics supporters a real curve yesterday by declaring that his return for his 48th consecutive season as manager was not a sure thing:

“It comes down to family,” Mack said. “They are first, and whatever is best for the group of us — not one individual, not just me or my wife. I’m talking kids, grandkids, great-grandkids and the best damn neighbors you’ve ever met — whatever is best for us as a group, that’s what we’ll decide to do.

“And that’s something I’ve put some thought into and I’m going to have to think about a lot of the next few days. But that’s a decision that we’ll sit down and make and decide what’s best.”

H/T to the unselfconsciously insufferable Joe Girardi.

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Say they ain’t Socialist, Joe

Joe Posnanski provides some great insight on how to pick a team to become a fan of in the English Premier League [EPL].  But Joe’s not from Miami by way of Havana during the time bracketed by the Bay of Pigs and the fall of the Berlin Wall, so I had to slightly alter his approach.

I took a look at EPL team owners to avoid selecting a team associated with any communists, socialists, mobsters, pornographers and the Boston Red Sox. A quick rundown of the 20 EPL teams listed alphabetically:

  1. Aston Villa – Randy Lerner – £1,100 million – American who inherited wealth. Sold NFL Cleveland Browns after his father died. The first of four EPL ownerships which overlap with [mediocre] NFL franchises. Given that inherited wealth is practically guaranteed to disappoint [second only to drunken gamblers], pass on Aston Villa.
  2. Arsenal – Alisher Usmanov – £13,300 million – Minority owner a Russian billionaire mobster. Majority owner is Stan Kroenke – £2,580 million – Kroenke Sports Enterprises owns teams in almost all American sports leagues: NFL Rams, NBA Nuggets, MLS Rapids, NHL Avalanche. While I love Stan Musial, who Kroenke is supposedly named after, this Stan reminds me more of Junior Soprano, boss in name only.  On the plus side, interesting read on their new self-financed facility.  More on the mobster Usmanov.  Ugh, pass on the House of Usmanov.
  3. Cardiff City – Vincent Tan – £757 million – Malaysia-based company which controls a wide array of businesses, including resorts, gambling, and property. Option #1
  4. Chelsea – Roman Abramovich – £9,300 million – Another Russian mobster.  Abramovich described as “one of a small group of businessmen who opportunistically seized control of the country’s vast natural resources.”  While not dispositive, name association with the sordid clan from Arkansas not helpful.  Then there’s this.  Multiple passes on, not to, Chelsea.
  5. Crystal Palace – CPFC 2010 was established by a consortium of four British businessmen, Steve Parish, Martin Long, Stephen Browett and Jeremy Hosking [£193 million], each owning a 25% share of the company.  Option #2.
  6. Everton – Robert Earl – £270 million – London-born businessman founded the Planet Hollywood chain and was president of the Hard Rock Café.  Minority owner Bill Kenwright – £30 million – Former actor and now theatre producer.  Kenwright is the son of a Liverpudlian builder and tells stories of his schooldays with Paul McCartney and George Harrison. See this is what I was expecting more of.  A front runner emerges at option #3.
  7. Fulham – Shahid Khan – £1,100 million – Pakistani-born American billionaire businessman. Owner of the NFL Jacksonville Jaguars and an auto parts manufacturer.  Let’s be frank, the wrath of Ricardo Montalban and Bill Simmons have ruined the Kahn brand name.  Pass on Fulham.
  8. Hull City – Assem Allam – £650 million – Yorkshire-based, Egyptian-born businessman, owner of Allam Marine, an industrial generator manufacturer. Rags to riches story, studied economics, became an accountant and took a risk on a company he was employed with.  Option #4.
  9. Liverpool – John Henry – £968 million – Just another former MLB Marlins carpetbagging owner who now owns the Boston Red Sox.  In addition, their fans ripped the just deceased Thatcher.  Even a LeBron James minority ownership cannot make up for Henry and his band of hooligans. I don’t just pass on Liverpool, I would not oppose a non-lethal flood washing away any remaining Beatles memorabilia within city limits.
  10. Manchester City – Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan – £12,000 million – While not THE Sheik, still a Sheik.  This on a top team, in the top league, in a country who gave rise to the term hooligans and then made that term relevant in the sports world.  How didn’t this make the AMEX ‘priceless’ ad campaign?  In addition, the town of Manchester is known to be dominated by socialist faction.  Wow, I pass on the club and the whole damnable city.
  11. Manchester United – Malcolm Glazer and family – £2,800 million – NFL Tampa Bay Bucs owner with family assigned to key positions with both franchises. Familiar scenario with predictable results, see Los Angeles Lakers post-Buss denouement.  In addition to corrupt town, the Team manager is also a socialist. May all matters Manchester be cursed.
  12. Newcastle United – Mike Ashley – £2,300 million – English billionaire retail entrepreneur in the sporting goods market. Option #5.
  13. Norwich City – Delia Smith and family – £20 million – Celebrity chef who left school at 16 to work as dishwasher. Later became a food columnist and eventually a book writer.  Option #6.
  14. Southampton – The Liebherr family – £4,000 million – Inheritance from a German-born, Swiss-based industrialist. See Aston Villa inheritance rule.  Pass on Southhampton.
  15. Stoke City – Peter, Denise and John Coates – £925 million – Peter Coastes was the son of a miner and the youngest of 14 children. He worked as a clerk in a pottery store and made much of his fortune from Bet365, the online gambling company. If selected, would take a herculean effort not to make allusions to ‘being stoked.’ Pass for now.  Open to reconsideration if Pete Rose named manager.
  16. Sunderland – Ellis Short – £850 million – American equities trader who was the subject of an arrest warrant by South Korean authorities after allegations of stock manipulation over the purchase of Korea Exchange Bank in 2003. Yeah, pass on Sunderland.
  17. Swansea City – Martin and Louisa Morgan – £50 million – Rags to riches story. Martin Morgan left school and sold linen Later worked as a welder, then as a travel rep at resorts across Europe before launching a travel agency with his wife.  They became millionaires when they sold it to Thomson. The couple have helped to regenerate the city of Swansea.  Option #7.
  18. Tottenham Hotspur – Joe Lewis – £3,200 million – Currency speculator with ties to lefty George Soros and a resident of the Bahamas. Further research unnecessary here, could never have rooted for a Hotspur anyways. Pass on Tottenham.
  19. West Ham – £400 million – David Gold & David Sullivan – Porn industry fortunes. Pass [or psst] on West Ham.
  20. West Bromwich Albion – Jeremy Peace – £50 million – English schoolboy and  stockbroker who worked his way up at a company called Quadrant Group. Early investors in the UK telecommunications market in the 1980′s. Option #8.
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Taking sides and the points in the culture wars

The Supreme Court has ruled that the traditionalists side in the culture wars were motivated by a “bare … desire to do harm” and struck down the Federal Defense of Marriage Act [DOMA].  Justice Scalia’s dissent puts it in context:

… to defend traditional marriage is not to condemn, demean, or humiliate those who would prefer other arrangements, any more than to defend the Constitution of the United States is to condemn, demean, or humiliate other constitutions…. In the majority’s judgment, any resistance … is beyond the pale of reasoned disagreement. To question its high-handed invalidation of a presumptively valid statute is to act (the majority is sure) with the purpose to “disparage,” ”injure,” “degrade,” ”demean,” and “humiliate” our fellow human beings, our fellow citizens, who are homosexual.

All that, simply for supporting an Act that did no more than codify an aspect of marriage that had been unquestioned in our society for most of its existence—indeed, had been unquestioned in virtually all societies for virtually all of human history. It is one thing for a society to elect change; it is another for a court of law to impose change by adjudging those who oppose it … enemies of the human race.

Then there was one

Today, only the Catholic Church stands in the way of the Federal government’s Executive and Judicial branches–and its non-Fox media affiliates–efforts to redefine morality.  As with all important contests, I attempt to examine the latest trends, strengths and weaknesses and the players involved in this latest chapter of the culture wars from the perspective of my Catholic team:

Con(s):

  • Catholic membership frighteningly ignorant. Routinely beaten like rented [consenting] mules in public square exchanges.  Many admit to nightmares involving having to face Glenn Greenwald after his daily haircuts and any recording devices.
  • Cultural Catholics, i.e. people who identify as Catholics because they were once dragged to a baptism, but have never actually practiced their faith, are frequently trotted out to provide the Catholic perspective.
  • Justice Kagan barred from WNBA games for rest of this chapter in the culture wars.
  • Project to sanitize the image of the average homosexual male’s lifestyle remains impressively on message.
  • Al Pacino is now claiming that his character in the movie ‘Cruising’ was portrayed by a body double given that he came down with mononucleosis just before filming, but did not want to endanger the movie financially. NAMBLA and LGBT organizations are weighing his appeal.  Al remains hopeful and recently offered to ‘smoke’ Paula Deen if necessary.
  • Bathhouses scenes in ‘And the Band Played On’ missing from the director’s cut version.
  • Bathhouses in general, now portrayed as a huge misunderstanding.  The NAMBLA and LGBT governing bodies are testing the ‘Roger Ailes was falsely advertising the locations as adoption centers’ storyline with focus groups.
  • Any remaining politically incorrect studies which suggest steroid-like levels of promiscuity involving homosexual males will soon feel the full weight of the Oprah — I refer to her network, this blog does not endorse physical torture — brought to bear on them.

Pro(s)

  • Justice Ginsburg’s expiring [life] contract.
  • Opponent’s fertility rate 0.00 [rounded to nearest miracle].
  • Lord and savior signed through eternity, or until Michael Jordan’s first winning season as an executive.

Prediction: Catholic Church in 5

See the conclusion of Scalia’s dissent at end of post:

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Not a beautiful day in Venezuela

You thought you’d found a friend to take you out of this place
Someone you could lend a hand in return for grace
U2, Beautiful Day

250px-Embalming_fluidVenezuelan socialist authorities are learning that their incompetence knows no earthly limitations.  Party loyalists whom were entrusted with the task of embalming their favorite dictator were, to put it mildly, ill-prepared.

A recent surprise visit to check on their progress led to a rather nauseous and messy discovery.

After the flood all the colours came out …

It turns out that it matters a great deal that the arterial and cavity embalming steps not be combined to save time when too much time is spent on grooming.  It turned out to a very “big deal” that the embalming fluids of formaldehyde and methanol not be replaced with a generic industrial strength household cleaner.

You’ve been all over and it’s been all over you …

Critics were quick to point out that this was the same crowd who violated the first rule of petro-dictatorships.  Don’t run your petroleum production into the ground.  Speaking of the ground, attempts to literally bury this problem were put on hold as government officials turned, as a last gasp, to competence.

You’re out of luck and the reason that you had to care …

In an effort to save their carcass, the boys from Caracas reached all the way to Ireland.  Acknowledged as the LeBron Jamesians of embalming, the 2 Dead Crew were brought in to attempt to undo the damage.  Project leader Paddy Downs, indicated that while this was obviously their highest profile case, it was not close to being their most challenging.

Touch me, take me to that other place …

That distinction came five years ago amidst the monsoons of Southeast Asia.  2 Dead Crew were able to restore the body of a wealthy Saudi prince–who came to be affectionately referred to as the Sultan of Swath–whose body had been incorrectly labeled during an inventory and had been shipped out with cargo used to construct the first Goony Golf course in Brunei.  ‘Those terrible rains,’ Paddy added wistfully, ‘saved an afterlife for a change.’

You don’t need it now, you don’t need it now …

The complete lyrics to Beautiful Day are copied at the end, my friend, the end.

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Audience videos of U2 concert in Miami – June 2011

Audience videos to document the U2 Concert in Miami on June 29, 2011

Recall the times that someone communicated to you about having seen a legendary band play a few years back. Imagine if they were able to say, “take a look.” While the quality’s not great, it’s intended for those who were there to recall the excitement there that evening. So the ideal viewing date for this blog post is 2021, after LeBroncito’s 10th consecutive championship.

Insider blogging note. It was very time consuming and great fun to put together.  In the hopes of doing a little more research to have a video for each song, I would search every so often. Then I just stopped.  By now, 2 years later, I just got tired of seeing this in my drafts.

The 19 videos cover the 2.5 hours of concert that evening. Page will load much slower than usual.

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If Bizarro NBA season continues …

ClassicBizarroEntering game 6 of the NBA Finals, I recap, in honor of Seinfeld and Sgt. Friday, some bizarro facts, ma’am:

  • Defending NBA champions
  • Considered by opponents, ‘Hollywood as hell’
  • Head coach turning 43 years old during year
  • Team featured 3 certain Hall of Fame players
  • One player on team with 18 years experience
  • Ranked 5th in the league in points per game
  • Ranked 2nd in league in offensive rating
  • Ranked 9th in league in defensive rating
  • Swept 1st round opponent
  • Pushed to 7 games in the Conference Finals
  • Joe Crawford would officiate 2 games in Finals
  • Assistant coach Ron Rothstein sat courtside in Finals
  • Undisputed best player in Finals on team
  • Opponent’s best player a point guard
  • Lost Finals opener at home
  • Routed in 1st Finals road loss
  • Lost Finals game 5 on road by 10
  • Each road team had won once in the Finals

How things ended for the 1988 Los Angeles Lakers.

  • Won game 6 at home by 1 point
  • Won game 7 at home by 3 points
  • Best player was not Finals MVP

Below, see a re-post from July 2010. How Pat and Dwyane plotted the current Heat dynasty, aka The Meeting That Made The Decision Possible

DISSOLVE TO: A garden, somewhere outside Schenectady:

PAT O’RILEY:
So … Reinsdorf will move against you first. He’ll set up a meeting with someone that you absolutely trust … guaranteeing your ability to speak freely. And at that meeting, you’ll be setup over this whole tampering business [Pat drinks from a glass of wine as Dwyane watches him]. I like to drink wine more than I used to, anyways not as much as that Barkley fellow, but I’m drinking more….

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Are eventual NBA champs ever routed in Finals?

RrsRe.St.56A great friend and loyal Heat fan texted me the following after the Spurs crushed the Heat [PG version]:

Shameful day for Heat fans … impossible to win by 20ish and then lose by 30ish … real champions would never lose like this … need to use my time more wisely than following sports

That last line hit me in my David Allen / GTD / 43Folders.com soul.  So while I share the dismay–23 minutes after I had been assuring all in range that we were going to make it a game in the 4th–I’m keeping my mouth shut and doom in check given my abysmal track record of predictions about teams I’m rooting for or against.

So once again I turn to the NBA Basketball-Reference web site for a sliver of hope.  Considering a rout a loss by 20 or more; How often are eventual NBA champions routed in the same Finals?  Gulp, not often.

magic-mcgee-rileyAs would be expected, all the teams which suffered routs experienced them on the road.  You have to back to 1984 & 1985 for a series in which the eventual champion was down in the series after the rout, as Miami is now.

Bizarrely, Pat Riley was involved on both sides of the rout scenarios in 4 out of the 7 years between 1982 and 1988.

Examples of NBA champions who were routed in the same Finals:

  • 2005 – San Antonio lost game 4 to Detroit by 31, which tied the series 2-2. They won the series in 7.
    2000 – Los Angeles lost game 5 to Indiana by 23. They were still up 3-2 and won the series the next game.
    1996 – Chicago lost game 4 to Seattle by 21, however that still left them up 3-1. They won the series in game 6.
    1988 – Los Angeles [Pat Riley] lost game 4 to Detroit by 25 which tied the series 2-2. They won the series in game 7.
    1985 – Los Angeles [Pat Riley] lost game 1 to Boston by 34.  This game was referred to at the time as the ‘Memorial Day Massacre.’ The Lakers won the series in game 7. Only 1 game in that series was decided by less than 7 points.
    1985 – The 1st year of the 2-3-2 format.
    1984 – Boston lost game 3 to Los Angeles [Pat Riley] by 33, which put them down 2-1. They won the series in 7.
    1982 – Los Angeles [Pat Riley asst coach] lost game 5 to Philadelphia by 33, which left them up 3-2. They won the series in game 6.

Close but no cigars:

2010 – Boston came close. After losing a potential close-out game 6 by 22, they lost game 7 by 4.
1998 – Utah sorta came close. After losing game 3 to Chicago by 42, they eventually lost in 6. However, game 6 was a 1 point loss [Jordan push-off] at home with a potential game 7 awaiting at home.

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