No. 20 Pittsburgh beats St. John's 63-47
Written by Associated Press
TOUGH DEFENSE--St. John's D'Angelo Harrison, left, fights for a loose ball with Pittsburgh's Durand Johnson in the first half at Madison Square Garden in New York, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)
by Jim O'Connell
AP Basketball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — The word was Pittsburgh, a program known for tough practices over the years, had a week of tough practices following consecutive losses to ranked teams.
Last Updated on Sunday, 24 February 2013 16:59
Written by Bill Neal
by Bill Neal
For New Pittsburgh Courier
:10 Stop…stop what you’re doing…stop right now! Tell your wife-woman-girl-old lady-du jour of the day-old what’s her name…tell her you’ll be right back. Why? Where are you going? The Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Edition is out mmmmaaaannnn!!!!
:09 Oh, by the way, who cares about Lance Armstrong now? Nobody that’s who. Cause nobody cares about who took what. Trust me, when I tell you. If it heals you, in ten years everybody will be taking it. And why wouldn’t you?
:08 Happy Birthday “M.J.”—Michael Jordan the 2nd greatest basketball player of all time turned 50 this week…yeah whatever. But the real deal is this. You want to keep trying to tell me that LeBron James is greater than “M.J.”—look here’s all you need to know. Jordan…six NBA Titles, six MVP’s with each title! LeBron one title, one MVP with it. Huh…what…I can’t hear ya…that’s what I thought!!! (By the way, Wilt Chamberlain is the greatest ever. I keep telling ya'll that!)
:07 Speaking of the greatest, and I was. Pay attention here Big John Marshall and the rest of you “Clairton’s Finest” you may learn something here.
The Top 10 Greatest Players Of All Time in order are:
(Because I said so!)
No. 1. Wilt Chamberlain, No. 2. Michael Jordon, No. 3. Bill Russell, No. 4. Kareem Abdul Jabbar, No. 5. Magic No. 6. Julius “Dr. J” Erving, No. 7. Kobe Bryant, No. 8. LeBron James, No. 9. Larry Byrd and No. 10. Jerry West (the Logo).
Got a better Top 10? Mail it to me. That’s right I said mail it…old school…buy a stamp man. And I’ll put it in the paper…if it’s better!
Mail it to Champion Enterprises in care of Bill Neal, 416 Springdale Dr., Pittsburgh, PA 15235.
:06 Sue Paterno and Franco Harris keep doing what you’re doing. Only the guilty should be guilty!
:05 Eddie “E.J.” Jefferies, quit fooling around man. You just want all the attention man. Get better and I mean now! (Special Note: E.J. tell Willa to tell you know who…she stills owes me! She knows who she is…yes she does…yes she does!!!)
:04 Dwight Howard to Boston for Rajon Rondo. Yeah, I am ok with it. Listen, things are so bad in L.A. right now I’d take a fat Kim Kardashian and Kanye West for Dwight Howard. That’s right I said it!
:03 If you could create the Mount Rushmore of sports figures who would it be? Here’s mine. (Again, because I said so…I don’t see your picture atop the sports column.)
No. 1. Muhammad Ali, No. 2. Jim Brown, No. 3. Hank Aaron, No.4. Wilt Chamberlain—Ok for all you 5th Ave Grads…a long long time ago this guy carved the greatest presidents in this big rock out in South Dakota and it’s called Mt. Rushmore and, and, and oh never mind.
:02 Ok, you remember the great comedy classic Harlem Nights don’t ya? (Fellas, I know you remember “Sunshine.”) Anyway, we’re bringing back the glory that was celebrated back in the day when everybody and I mean everybody went to “Harlem.” Rayco “War” Promotions and Five Starr Corporation invite you “Back to the Future.” It’s Harlem Nights every last Friday of the month. No it’s not about dressing up like they did then…it’s about dressing up. I mean really dressing up. Not because you have to, but because you want to. Dress Up—Look Good—Feel Good—Gentlemen escort your ladies—and have a really good time. Friday, Feb 22, 3 Lakes Golf Club 6700 Saltsburg Rd., in Penn Hills, free parking, cash bar, cash kitchen until 10 pm, 50/50, quality vendors, photos available, cash prize to best dressed man and woman, The War Girls, The Allure Models, and professional security. $10 advance/$15 at the door. (Please no boots, no tennis shoes, no caps—dress it up or no admission.)
:01 All I can tell you is this, some guy named Darryl scored nine in a row on the legend Tom “Bum” Coates, Mike Dean is still nursing some fake foot injury to cover up the fact that he’s slowing down, this cat Darryl—Kenny Roe Buck—James and yours truly took two out of three from Coates—Bill—Preacher and Mitch and I made 10 out of 10 at the foul line to shut out the lights…now can someone please tell me what’s not true about this…huh…somebody…anybody…haters…That’s what I thought!!!
:00 At The Buzzer…Hhhhhheeeeerrrrreeee we go!
•The Steelers will redo James Harrison’s contract and he’ll retire a Steeler. Take it to the Bank!
•Rashard Mendenhal will not be traded. If everybody swallows their egos, he’s the best we got.
•The Champions Western PA High School All-Star Basketball Classic is coming at ya Sun., April 7 at the brand new and magnificent Penn Hills Senior High School featuring the top high school seniors in the area, both boys and girls. For more information call The Champions at 412-628-4856.
• Pitt, Pirates, Pens…out of space…good luck!!
• Ok so you know those black tights that all the ladies wear, you know they’re not one size fits all don’t you? I am just saying! (Oh please, you were thinking it too, you just needed me to say it for you.)
~ Game Over ~
Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 February 2013 10:15
Jerry Buss, Lakers' flamboyant owner, dies at 80
Written by Associated Press
‘Showtime’--In this Aug. 13, 2010 photo, Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss, foreground, speaks as, from background left to right, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Pat Riley react during the enshrinement ceremony in Springfield, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)
by Greg Beacham AP Sports Writer LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jerry Buss, the Los Angeles Lakers' playboy owner who shepherded the NBA team to 10 championships from the Showtime dynasty of the 1980s to the Kobe Bryant era, died Monday. He was 80.
by Greg Beacham
AP Sports Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jerry Buss, the Los Angeles Lakers' playboy owner who shepherded the NBA team to 10 championships from the Showtime dynasty of the 1980s to the Kobe Bryant era, died Monday. He was 80.
Buss had been hospitalized for most of the past 18 months while undergoing cancer treatment, but the immediate cause of death was kidney failure, Steiner said. With his condition worsening in recent weeks, several prominent former Lakers visited Buss to say goodbye.
"The NBA has lost a visionary owner whose influence on our league is incalculable and will be felt for decades to come," NBA Commissioner David Stern said. "More importantly, we have lost a dear and valued friend."
Under Buss' leadership since 1979, the Lakers became Southern California's most beloved sports franchise and a worldwide extension of Hollywood glamour. Buss acquired, nurtured and befriended a staggering array of talented players and basketball minds during his Hall of Fame tenure, from Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal and Dwight Howard.
"He was a great man and an incredible friend," Johnson tweeted.
Few owners in sports history can approach Buss' accomplishments with the Lakers, who made the NBA finals 16 times during his nearly 34 years in charge, winning 10 titles between 1980 and 2010. With 1,786 victories, the Lakers easily are the NBA's winningest franchise since he bought the club, which is now run largely by Jim Buss and Jeanie Buss, two of his six children.
"We not only have lost our cherished father, but a beloved man of our community and a person respected by the world basketball community," the Buss family said in a statement issued by the Lakers.
"It was our father's often-stated desire and expectation that the Lakers remain in the Buss family. The Lakers have been our lives as well, and we will honor his wish and do everything in our power to continue his unparalleled legacy."
Buss always referred to the Lakers as his extended family, and his players rewarded his fanlike excitement with devotion, friendship and two hands full of championship rings. Working with front-office executives Jerry West, Bill Sharman and Mitch Kupchak, Buss spent lavishly to win his titles despite lacking a huge personal fortune, often running the NBA's highest payroll while also paying high-profile coaches Pat Riley and Phil Jackson.
Always an innovative businessman, Buss paid for the Lakers through both their wild success and his own groundbreaking moves to raise revenue. He co-founded a basic-cable sports television network and sold the naming rights to the Forum at times when both now-standard strategies were unusual, further justifying his induction to the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.
Buss was a "cornerstone of the Los Angeles sports community and his name will always be synonymous with his beloved Lakers," Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said. "It was through his stewardship that the Lakers brought 'Showtime' basketball and numerous championship rings to this great city. Today we mourn the loss and celebrate the life of a man who helped shape the modern landscape of sports in L.A."
Johnson and fellow Hall of Famers Abdul-Jabbar and Worthy formed lifelong bonds with Buss during the Lakers' run to five titles in nine years in the 1980s, when the Lakers earned a reputation as basketball's most exciting team with their flamboyant Showtime style.
The buzz extended throughout the Forum, where Buss used the Laker Girls, a brass band and promotions to keep Los Angeles fans interested in all four quarters of their games. Courtside seats, priced at $15 when he bought the Lakers, became the hottest tickets in Hollywood — and they still are, with fixture Jack Nicholson and many other celebrities attending every home game.
Worthy tweeted that Buss was "not only the greatest sports owner, but a true friend & just a really cool guy. Loved him dearly."
After a rough stretch of the 1990s for the Lakers, Jackson led O'Neal and Bryant to a three-peat from 2000-02, rekindling the Lakers' mystique, before Bryant and Pau Gasol won two more titles under Jackson in 2009 and 2010. The Lakers have struggled mightily during their current season despite adding Howard and Steve Nash, and could miss the playoffs for just the third time since Buss bought the franchise.
"Today is a very sad day for all the Lakers and basketball," Gasol tweeted. "All my support and condolences to the Buss family. Rest in peace Dr. Buss."
Although Buss gained fame and fortune with the Lakers, he also was a scholar, Renaissance man and bon vivant who epitomized California cool his entire public life.
Buss rarely appeared in public without at least one attractive, much younger woman on his arm at USC football games, high-stakes poker tournaments, hundreds of boxing matches promoted by Buss at the Forum — and, of course, Lakers games from his private box at Staples Center, which was built under his watch. In failing health recently, Buss hadn't attended a Lakers game this season.
Buss earned a Ph.D. in chemistry at age 24 and had careers in aerospace and real estate development before getting into sports. With money from his real-estate ventures and a good bit of creative accounting, Buss bought the then-struggling Lakers, the NHL's Los Angeles Kings and both clubs' arena — the Forum — from Jack Kent Cooke in a $67.5 million deal that was the largest sports transaction in history at the time.
Last month, Forbes estimated the Lakers were worth $1 billion, second most in the NBA.
Buss also helped change televised sports by co-founding the Prime Ticket network in 1985, receiving a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006 for his work in television. Breaking the contemporary model of subscription services for televised sports, Buss' Prime Ticket put beloved broadcaster Chick Hearn and the Lakers' home games on basic cable.
Buss also sold the naming rights to the Forum in 1988 to Great Western Savings & Loan — another deal that was ahead of its time.
Born in Salt Lake City, Gerald Hatten Buss was raised in poverty in Wyoming before improving his life through education. He also grew to love basketball, describing himself as an "overly competitive but underly endowed player."
After graduating from the University of Wyoming, Buss attended USC for graduate school. He became a chemistry professor and worked as a chemist for the Bureau of Mines before carving out a path to wealth and sports prominence.
The former mathematician's fortune grew out of a $1,000 real-estate investment in a West Los Angeles apartment building with partner Frank Mariani, an aerospace engineer and co-worker.
Heavily leveraging his fortune and various real-estate holdings, Buss purchased Cooke's entire Los Angeles sports empire in 1979, including a 13,000-acre ranch in Kern County. Buss cited his love of basketball as the motivation for his purchase, and he immediately worked to transform the Lakers — who had won just one NBA title since moving west from Minneapolis in 1960 — into a star-powered endeavor befitting Hollywood.
"One of the first things I tried to do when I bought the team was to make it an identification for this city, like Motown in Detroit," he told the Los Angeles Times in 2008. "I try to keep that identification alive. I'm a real Angeleno. I want us to be part of the community."
Buss' plans immediately worked: Johnson, Abdul-Jabbar and coach Paul Westhead led the Lakers to the 1980 title. Johnson's ball-handling wizardry and Abdul-Jabbar's smooth inside game made for an attractive style of play evoking Hollywood flair and West Coast sophistication.
Riley, the former broadcaster who fit the L.A. image perfectly with his slick-backed hair and good looks, was surprisingly promoted by Buss early in the 1981-82 season after West declined to co-coach the team. Riley became one of the best coaches in NBA history, leading the Lakers to four straight NBA finals and four titles, with Worthy, Michael Cooper, Byron Scott and A.C. Green playing major roles.
Overall, the Lakers made the finals nine times in Buss' first 12 seasons while rekindling the NBA's best rivalry with the Boston Celtics, and Buss basked in the worldwide celebrity he received from his team's achievements. His womanizing and partying became Hollywood legend, with even his players struggling to keep up with Buss' lifestyle.
Johnson's HIV diagnosis and retirement in 1991 staggered Buss and the Lakers, the owner recalled in 2011. The Lakers struggled through much of the 1990s, going through seven coaches and making just one conference finals appearance in an eight-year stretch despite the 1996 arrivals of O'Neal, who signed with Los Angeles as a free agent, and Bryant, the 17-year-old high schooler acquired in a draft-week trade.
Shaq and Kobe didn't reach their potential until Buss persuaded Jackson, the Chicago Bulls' six-time NBA champion coach, to take over the Lakers in 1999. Los Angeles immediately won the next three NBA titles in brand-new Staples Center, AEG's state-of-the-art downtown arena built with the Lakers as the primary tenant.
After the Lakers traded O'Neal in 2004, they hovered in mediocrity again until acquiring Gasol in a heist of a trade with Memphis in early 2008. Los Angeles made the next three NBA finals, winning two more titles.
Through the Lakers' frequent successes and occasional struggles, Buss never stopped living his Hollywood dream. He was an avid poker player and a fixture on the Los Angeles club scene well into his 70s, when a late-night drunk-driving arrest in 2007 — with a 23-year-old woman in the passenger seat of his Mercedes-Benz — prompted him to cut down on his partying.
Buss owned the NHL's Kings from 1979-87, and the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks won two league titles under Buss' ownership. He also owned Los Angeles franchises in World Team Tennis and the Major Indoor Soccer League.
Buss' children all have worked for the Lakers organization in various capacities for several years. Jim Buss, the Lakers' executive vice president of player personnel and the second-oldest child, has taken over much of the club's primary decision-making responsibilities in the last few years, while daughter Jeanie runs the franchise's business side.
Jerry Buss still served two terms as president of the NBA's Board of Governors and was actively involved in the 2011 lockout negotiations, developing blood clots in his legs attributed to his extensive travel during that time.
Buss is survived by six children: sons Johnny, Jim, Joey and Jesse, and daughters Jeanie Buss and Janie Drexel. He had eight grandchildren.
Arrangements are pending for a funeral and memorial services.
Associated Press writer Andrew Dalton contributed to this report.
Last Updated on Monday, 18 February 2013 18:10
First they closed the athletic fields…
Written by Aubrey Bruce
This communiqué is about how sometimes the same message can be misinterpreted and/or perceived based on the sole premise of who the messenger may be. Just a few days ago it hit me hard, really hard that Schenley High, (alma mater God preserve thee) was really gone. I guess, no, I know that I have been in denial because I could not nor will I ever be able to comprehend why one of the foundations of urban education not only in Pittsburgh but in America was deliberately, unceremoniously and frivolously snatched away from future generations of potential students because of the nature of the political powers that be. There are a few reasons that I am concerned not only by the lack of leadership of the Pittsburgh School Board but by quality of these “stewards” of education.
“This whole area, [Western Pennsylvania] years ago, was really redneck.” All right folks this was not a partial and misunderstood quote by the one and only Reverend Jeremiah Wright, the “man of the cloth” who almost declawed and removed all of the teeth from President Barack Obama’s first election. This caustic quote was from an experienced and learned legislator, the late Congressman John Murtha who hailed from and represented the area known by some as the “Confederacy” sitting just north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Schenley was a high school that for many years excelled both academically and athletically; well at least until some school board folks allegedly decided that mesothelioma might be in the near future of students, faculty and the general public if habitation at this potentially infected property was continued.
Redneck alert…Now I am not promoting this definition of our beloved and sanctified region, but the words of the late congressman were a sorta kinda motivating force for me. When folks come in and gut a school system like a fattened calf after slaughter, it should leave everyone, parents, teachers and the community-at-large in a very “inquisitive” state of mind.
Now closing our schools makes a lot of dough for other segments of our society. According to saveourschoolsmarch.org “The average per-pupil cost in Pennsylvania’s urban schools is $8,985; Pennsylvania’s average per-prisoner cost: $31,900.”
How many uniforms and pairs of cleats could be purchased if the funding mechanism was reversed? Could some of the funds dispensed to insure the comfort of those who may be incarcerated be utilized to build better schools and to renovate the antiquated ones and the athletic facilities within?
This seems to be a far better option than keeping a fresh coat of paint on the cells waiting for student/athletes after they drop out of school or are expelled from athletics because they fail to meet the minimum G.P.A requirements.
When ex-Pittsburgh Board of Education Superintendant John Thompson (an African-American) offered balanced proposals in regards to closing schools in various neighborhoods, not just in Black neighborhoods he was driven out of town post, haste. When Mr. Thompson’s successor Mark Roosevelt rode into Pittsburgh at the crack of dusk on his horse “midnight” not wielding a scalpel but a hatchet, he made the students, parents and citizens of Pittsburgh appear as if they were in a hatchet fight and everyone had a tomahawk but them.
On March 11, 2012 Eleanor Chute of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote, “Without a scorecard, it was nearly impossible for an outsider to tell apart the students from Pittsburgh Perry and Pittsburgh Oliver—two North Side high schools separated by just 2-1/2 miles. Seated around a group of tables in the Perry library, 18 students met to talk about the transition this fall [the fall of 2012] when they will all be from one school: Perry. In an effort to save money and offer more classes, Pittsburgh Public Schools is closing Oliver High School, built in 1924, and assigning the students to Perry, which was built in 1901. Oliver received an addition in 1987 and Perry in 1992. Oliver is among seven city public schools being closed this fall.” Listen everyone, competition builds character, character builds self-esteem and self-esteem builds excellence.
The juiced up pep rallies that used to be the highlight of the student-athletes week as Perry prepared to face arch rival Oliver or as Schenley readied it’s troops to face Peabody are no more. First they came for the athletic fields and closed them. Then they came for the schools and closed them.
Athletics in high schools are often the only shining star at the end of the bleak pitch black tunnel otherwise known as urban education. As most of you who read my weekly “opinions” well know, I dedicate a couple thousand words per year to this very subject and as long as God gives me strength I will stand up and sit up for those who society perceives have no voice; but I will certainly never stand by nor shut up in regards to the Pittsburgh Public Schools and the athletic programs that have been at the heart and soul of their existence. I will never watch these events with indifference as calloused and corrupt “bean counters” dilute and devalue one of the few positive components that inner city youth have to look forward to as some of them leave dysfunctional homes ducking gunfire, drugs and God only knows what just to get to school. See folks oftentimes it is not the message, it is the messenger.
Many young student-athletes feel that sports and or music is their only way out of the “hood” and when those options are removed without opposition; the budgetary allocations to build more jail cells become a bit more feasible. The Pittsburgh Promise will be very easy to keep because just over 50 percent of the Pittsburgh district schools remain open. It is easier to promise four children $100 per week for their allowance than being committed to passing out a “C-note” to 40 kids? See ya later, alligators…
Last Updated on Monday, 25 February 2013 15:15
Tiger Woods joins vacationing Obama for golf round
Written by Associated Press
ON THE GREEN--In this Dec. 31, 2009 pohto, President Barack Obama watches the ball after making a putt on the ninth green during his golf match at Mid-Pacific County Club in Kailua, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)
by Darlene Superville
Associated Press Writer
PALM CITY, Fla. (AP) — President Barack Obama teed it up with Tiger Woods on Sunday.
The White House confirmed that the President and the world's most famous golfer played a round at a secluded, exclusive yacht and golf club on Florida's Treasure Coast.
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 February 2013 09:39
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