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Don't Let the Door Hit Ya on the Way Out

Anthony DiMoro

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It was announced today that the NBA has cancelled games through December 15th, the latest heavy blow dealt to fans. In the same news story we were told that various players were now filing class-action antitrust lawsuits against the league.

As the news panned over my screen utter disgust settled in and as sad as I am not to see my NBA this season I can’t help but say to myself “Good Riddance”.

As fans, we are left powerless when the rich and wealthy bicker. We are ignored and voiceless despite being the fuel for the league. It is, in all actuality, our money that they are fighting over. We fuel the league, we keep the greedy selfish players living in lavish houses by buying their shoes and this is the thanks we get.

Now by no means am i ignoring the role the owners play in this. But let’s be realistic. Owners are acting as owners do and are conducting themselves as businessmen. Does it excuse their greed? Most certainly not. But I don’t see kids walking around sporting a pair of “Air Dolan’s” or a wearing a Mark Cuban jersey.

To be completely honest, I really believe the owners have made a ton of concessions in an attempt to get a deal done. The last CBA was signed in 1999 and expired this offseason. It called for a 57/43 revenue split for the players, but owners realized they were losing money and sought for a fairer share. And here we are.

Owner’s originally wanted to give the players a percentage in the early to mid 40 percent range, but later met the players in the middle by offering a 50/50 split. An offer the players deemed “unacceptable”.

The owners again made concessions, and offered the players 51%, giving them the majority of a revenue “split”, again the players balked.

One of the big sticking points has been the owners hard line stance on a “hard cap” which would install a brand new salary cap that would greatly impact the league. Something the players can’t seem to entertain.

Why? Who really can say it’s anything but greed. A salary cap has been a big “need” for the NBA for years. In fact it’s the state of the current cap that makes trades a joke and why we see teams getting hosed when dealing superstar players. It’s why we see teams dealing player contracts for players who haven’t played in at least a year (if not more). It’s the reason why if you’re a fan of a small-market team you probably have no shot of retaining or obtaining a superstar to bring your city a championship.

So essentially, the players are not only saying “no deal” to the owners, they are saying “screw you” to the fans.

Disregard all the hard workers who bust their asses at the arenas and concession stands during your games. Screw them. Disregard the diehard fans that you only claim “you love” when you’re hawking a new shoe or new fashion line. Screw them. And screw the fans who have supported you, paid to see you play, bought your jersey and products despite the fact that they did all of this in a horrible economy where most are losing their jobs or can’t find a job. Screw them right?

No, the players deserve better. I mean, the average annual salary in the NBA is around $5 million. The players want something more towards $8 million. Who are we to get in the way of their needs?

While we struggle to find and keep jobs that pay us $20,000 salaries, these jerks are griping about $5 million.

What about what the players owe us? Why not take some money out of your pockets to help make the game more affordable to the fans? Help find solutions to reduce ticket prices, put your finances into helping establish more TV deals so fans can see you play, just a few ideas fellas.

I have loved the NBA since 1992 when Charles Barkley was traded to the Phoenix Suns. That’s close to 20 years of suffering through this garbage. Since the likes of Barkley, Jordan and others filtered out of the league the game of basketball has been harder and harder to watch.

Selfish players, gangster attitudes and the devolving of our game. A game that once was one of the most beautiful team games to watch has become a one man show and a display of “me, me, me”. All about the highlight films, self promotion and the branding of a persons name more than upholding a respectable image for the NBA.

You’ve turned our league into a disgrace with your selfish attitudes, selfish play and now this spit in the face to fans. And despite this slap in the face you still want our sympathy?! Even when you show us none.

So where is our power to say “enough is enough”? When can we push Derek Fisher and Billy Hunter aside from the podium and say “you guys, go home and don’t come back”?

Because I no longer want to see this sorry excuse for a basketball game. I no longer want to be told that because some guy can windmill dunk a basketball he deserves to be rated a better basketball player than a player with a great mid-range game. I’m sick of track meet games that show no signs of ever hearing the word “defense”. Sick of it.

I’m sick of the new teams that I don’t care about and never hear about. I’m still sick over the Seattle SuperSonics too!

I’m sick of players like Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh all using the Olympics as a platform to discuss forming a millionaires alliance in the NBA so they can win rings easy and sell product quicker, as opposed to just making our country proud. The same goes for you Carmelo and Chris Paul.

For years it’s been all about the easy way to do things and all about the dollar. And i’m sick of paying for it. I’m sick of fueling the machine that is the pampering of these arrogant, selfish, egotistical liars.

Sick of the lies of “we only want to play basketball”

Sick of the lies of “we want a fair deal”

Most of all, sick of the insulting lie that “we want to do what’s best for the fans”.

Truthfully, you are all guilty of stealing our game from us. You’re guilty of using it as a platform to hawk your shoes, your brand and other ways to take more money out our pockets.

Although I am not happy there isn’t an NBA season I’m happy these players are being seen for who they are, who they really are.

And while they are holding our game hostage while they decide what amount of money it will take for them to give us the “honor” of playing it again, while they are preventing blue collar Americans from going back to their job at the arenas and while they are going overseas and taking roster spots from people who need the money far more than they do remember this…. more lies are to come.

Eventually when a deal gets done, Derek Fisher, Billy Hunter and some other players will stand at a podium with millions of our dollars in their pockets, smiling in their $100,000 suits and wearing their new line of sneakers they will lie again and say “we are just happy to play for the fans”.

Spare me the bullshit.

Spare me the bullshit of hearing you try to invoke my sympathy as well. Because I cannot relate to you. I don’t know what it’s like to only work half of a calendar year. I don’t know what it’s like to get paid millions to play a game. I don’t know what it’s like to argue over millions of dollars and i don’t know what it’s like to earn millions of dollars and be upset.

What I do know is how to live in a horrible economy where it’s impossible to attend games regularly. I do know the struggles of hard working fans like myself to find a job to support their families. That’s what I know!

Most of all, I know I am sick of supporting this “NBA”, this isn’t the NBA I want, remember or even want to tune into. No more.

I’d rather see people who care about basketball and the fans playing. The men who are just honored to be doing what they love regardless of pay. The people who wouldn’t bicker about having to dress professionally to go to work, like the rest of us. The people who truly appreciate us fans and what we mean to the game. The basketball players who work on a sweet jumper instead of a dunk. The players who don’t hold press conferences to announce their “decision”.

Frankly speaking, the current crop of NBA players can take their “game” and shove it. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

 

 

 

Anthony DiMoro is the creator of Sports Rants and the CEO of Elite Rank Media. Anthony DiMoro is a Contributor for 'Forbes' where he talks Sports, SEO, Social Media and Internet Marketing. Anthony also hosts the 'Forbes SportsMoney Podcast' and is a Contributor to the Huffington Post where he covers sports

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Boxing

25th Annual Muhammad Ali Celebrity Fight Night, A Charity Knockout Event

Albert Alvarez

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Photo Credit: Monica Alvarez

The stars came out last night to give, show support, perform, and to continue to raise money and awareness in hopes of one day find a cure to knockout Parkinson’s disease.

Going back to year number 1, The first ever event was held at the Ritz-Carlton operated on a much smaller scale than today, which is now held at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa.

At the very first Celebrity Fight Night With the help of Phoenix Suns Charles Barkley, Dan Majerle, and the valley of the sun’s very own Louie Espinoza, Tony Baltazar, and boxing champion Michael Carbajal who by the way fought in the ring with over sized boxing gloves.

The ”Puttin on the Fists at The Ritz” first Celebrity Fight Night scored a knockout win and is STILL punching on through today for the Greatest Of All Time, The late great Muhammad Ali.

Last night I was honored to attend and speak to a few of the stars, one was NFL legendary kicker Nick Lowery, Mr. Lowery now spends most of his time at charitable endeavors and advocating for alternative medicine research and is also a spokesman for Kannalife, Inc to raise awareness for CTE and players safety in hopes of one day having intercellular “helmets,” like Kannalife’s CBD and KLS-13019, is so important to potentially treat the brain.

I asked Lowery what is his favorite Ali memory, and Lowery’s response: ” Taking Ali to the NBA All-Star game one year as we sat behind Jay-Z and Beyonce and watching Beyonce wave to Ali, Beyonce spoke to us, she is the sweetest person. Also taking Ali to the locker rooms and watching Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, and all the other all stars turn into children at the sight of seeing their hero the greatest of all time Muhammad Ali walk through the doors, what an experience that was.”

In asking the very same question to R&B Singer Brian McKnight, ”I have so many Ali memories but my favorite was watching Ali knockout George Foreman at home with my dad. The odds were against Ali and Ali being the great fighter that he was he beat the odds and stopped a much younger powerful puncher in Foreman. You know, I am still a big boxing fan today, I enjoy watching Tyson Fury out of the current heavyweights.”

And what did legendary former champion boxer, Micheal Carbajal have to say? ”It’s truly an honor to attend this great event, at the very first one proceeds went to my 9th street boxing gym and now 24 years later it’s still going strong, a great charity”. Mr. Carbajal went on to talk some boxing with me,

Carbajal- ” You see Spence/Garcia?”

Me- ” Yes, it was brutal, what did you think?”

Carbajal- ” Not good for Mikey Garcia at all, but he is still my favorite current boxer, and he beats everybody at 135 pounds if he can make the weight there. Mikey would knockout Lomachenko in 4 rounds at 135.”

Me- ”Wow, you really think that? Both are great technical boxers but I can’t see a 4 round fight between them, so you really think it would only take Mikey 4 rounds to stop Lomachenko?”

Carbajal- ” I KNOW so!”

Special honorees for the evening include fabled American music producer and 27-time Grammy Award-winner Quincy Jones, Arizona State University President Dr. Michael Crow and Dr. Abraham Lieberman, the medical director of the Movement Disorders Clinic at Barrow Neurological Institute and Renee Parsons of the Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation.

“For 25 years, we’ve treated Celebrity Fight Night audiences to the world’s greatest entertainers and this year will be no different as we welcome Barry Manilow,” said Jimmy Walker, Founder of Celebrity Fight Night. “With the help of our celebrity friends and incredibly generous donors, we are once again excited to raise millions of dollars and make a difference in the lives of those who need our support.”

Individual tickets for Celebrity Fight Night start at $1,500 – $10,000.  To purchase tickets or to get more information on the event, please visit www.celebrityfightnight.org, or call (602) 956-1121.

About Celebrity Fight Night
Celebrity Fight Night has gifted more than $86 million over the past 24 years benefiting the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, as well as several other worthy charities.

The black-tie event features a cocktail reception, silent auction, elegant dinner, and an exciting live auction including one-of-a-kind luxury items and experiences. Celebrity Fight Night Foundation is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1994 by Jimmy Walker and supports the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, as well as numerous other charities. For more information, visitwww.celebrityfightnight.org.

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Olympic Cyclist Kelly Catlin Dead at 23

Anthony DiMoro

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Olympic track cyclist Kelly Catlin, who competed in the 2016 Rio Janeiro Games, was found dead in her California home this past Friday due to an apparent suicide, according to an announcement from her father, according to Reuters.

“There isn’t a minute that goes by that we don’t think of her and think of the wonderful life she could have lived,” her father, Mark Catlin said, according to VeloNews. “There isn’t a second in which we wouldn’t freely give our lives in exchange for hers. The hurt is unbelievable.”

Catlin, 23, took the silver medal in Rio and was part of the teams who took home the gold in 2016, 2017, and 2018 World Championships.

Catlin had reportedly struggled with mental health in the past and her sister, Christine Catlin, said that Catlin was “a really special person – kind, funny, empathetic, and talented at literally everything she did, per the Washington Post. She just felt like she couldn’t say no to everything that was asked of her and this was her only escape.”

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Kansas City Chiefs

Tom Brady And Pats Play Record 8th AFC Championship Game, Seek 6th Superbowl

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It’s Championship Sunday and one of the NFL staples remain atop the league. The New England Patriots are appearing in their record 8th AFC title game in hopes of competing for a sixth title.

A season that most organizations would be happy with, was one of challenge for the Patriots. Usually a top tier team, they suffered bad losses to the Jaguars, Titans and Dolphins. However, in Patriot fashion along a weak AFC East, the Patriots finished 11-5, won a 10th straight conference title and secured a first round bye.

Kansas City will host New England in the AFC Championship game in what is a rematch from week six. That game featured an offensive clinic ,  As reported by CBS Boston, Brady went 24-35 passing for 340 yards and touchdown in that game; Mahomes went 23-36 passing for 352 yards and four touchdowns. The AFC Championship could very well play out the same way.

The Chiefs will be a tough out, They won their first home playoff game in 25 years last week against the Colts and are riding one of the most prolific offenses in history behind quarterback whisperer Andy Reid and phenome Patrick Mahomes who is arguably the NFLs best young QB.

In what is a David and Goliath matchup, Brady seems to imply they are the underdog. As he told CBS’s Tracy Wolfson, “I know everyone thinks we suck and, you know, cant win games,”.  Will the dynasty continue? Or will Reid and Mahomes hoist the Lombardi?

I’m leaning towards the game plan of Bill Belichick and veteran experience of Tom Brady in this one. I think a Patriot/Saints matchup is in order. Either way, it will undoubtedly be one for the ages.

Game Time: Sunday January 20th at 6:40ET/5:40CT on CBS.

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