L.A. flirting with an identity crisis

first_imgSo what did you expect? That’s what it really comes down to with these Lakers, isn’t it? So when they go on an eight-game road trip and struggle, like the Lakers just did, it shouldn’t come as any great surprise there are a couple of minor incidents on the bench – Lamar Odom shouting at Sasha Vujacic, and Brian Cook getting into it with Phil Jackson and Brian Shaw. The Lakers are understandably frustrated by their current play, almost victims of their own raised expectations and flirting with an identity crisis. They threaten to become a head case only a NASA psychologist could approve of. They’ve now lost three consecutive games at home. They’ve lost 10 of their past 14 overall. They’ve lost a good feel for who they are. “Sometimes there’s an All-Star malaise, a point in the season when things happen like this,” Jackson said. “We’ll just have to come out through the other end of it and keep playing. “We’ve had some close wins earlier in the season. We’ll have some close ones at the end.” The Lakers enter a key stretch after this weekend’s All-Star Game. The final third of the season will determine whether they come together and again become the team they believe they are, or limp into the postseason poised for another first-round fade. This will prove to be a season-defining time. “I think we’ve done well considering our injuries,” Kobe Bryant said. “Our starting frontcourt was out for a while and we had to put a bunch of new pieces in there. “We had Luke (Walton) go down, who’s an integral part of this team. Considering the injuries that we’ve had, I think we’ve done an excellent job.” The Lakers have certainly had their share of injuries. Center Chris Mihm has been out all season. Center Kwame Brown has played in less than half their games and will be out at least another month. Odom missed 21 games. Walton has missed the past 10 games and won’t return until after the break. Healthy Lakers were getting as rare as the congressman who hasn’t declared himself a presidential candidate. When the Lakers were robust, and playing mostly at home, they were a team that could beat anyone, that allowed itself to dream big, to believe a corner had been turned. Kobe is certain he understands the difference between the team that started the season so impressively and the one now reeling. “I think we were healthy,” he said. “When we had everybody out there on the floor, we played extremely well because our team is built on chemistry. People who have that experience of playing together, understanding each other, because we’ve been together for awhile. “Now you take some of those pieces out, you put new pieces in, you have to build that chemistry and that rhythm again.” Injuries, however, are an easy and dangerous excuse. Every team experiences its share. There are other, current issues with these Lakers that are unmistakable. Odom has not played at the same level since returning from his knee injury. Teams are doubling Kobe and daring Smush Parker to beat them. Walton’s play had slipped before he sprained his ankle. The young players who had stepped up so impressively during the injury wave – Andrew Bynum, Jordan Farmar, Ronny Turiaf – have started to look like the long season is wearing them down. Bynum in particular has lacked his previous energy. “Without a doubt,” Jackson said. “He’s a 19-year-old kid. I mean, Jordan Farmar, who has gone through some longer UCLA seasons, had also hit the wall. But they’re starting to come back.” Yet the Lakers lack a consistent defensive effort. Guards allowing penetration, opposing post players meeting little resistance inside. Teams that can’t count on their defense struggle to win close games, to close out teams they should beat. And that has been a particular Lakers problem of late. When the Lakers need to, they’ve proved they can raise their game and beat a Dallas or Phoenix or San Antonio. But they just as easily slink to the level of a Charlotte or Milwaukee & or New York. “We’re not that experienced a team yet,” Jackson said. “This team rises emotionally to front-level teams because they know they have to play at a certain level. “A lot of our younger players don’t know they have to bring a certain sense of desperation to every game.” On their 3-6 trip, the Lakers looked like an edgy team, frustrated with the continued struggles – Cook unhappy over his shrunken playing time, Odom probably with his own play. This is officially the low point of the season for the Lakers. Kobe said before Tuesday’s game they needed to win to stop the bleeding. After the loss he said they needed, “sutures.” The Lakers expect better, of course. Now the next eight weeks will determine how realistic their expectations are. Steve Dilbeck’s column appears in the Daily News four times a week. [email protected] (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Did you think they’d show modest improvement over last year’s 45-win season, maybe push their way into the second round of the playoffs? Or were you expecting a jump so dramatic that they’d suddenly join the NBA’s elite? center_img The team that started the season 15-6 & or has gone 15-17 since? Few probably expected the Lakers to return home Tuesday and continue their slide by falling 107-106 to the Knicks for their first four-game losing streak this season. These current Lakers are actually of the mediocre variety, which, given their fast start, has them feeling a bit chippy. It has to be remembered that the impressive start coincided with 15 of their first 20 games being played at home. Still, they beat some top teams along the way, and their confidence swelled and expectations rose. It seems a long time ago. last_img read more

Read More »

Large crowd expected for Glenswilly GAA annual 5K

first_imgThey’re under starter’s orders for the annual Glenswilly GAA 5k.The event takes place on Tuesday evening next, June 18th, with the event once again promising to attract a large field of runners and walkers.And with the club’s famous post-race refreshments on offer once again, it’s no wonder! Registration for the fun run and walk takes place on both Monday night from 7-8pm and from 6pm on the evening of the event.Can anyone topple the club’s young running star Sean McGinley on the night?This is a fast course with chipped timing for anyone looking to get an accurate idea of how their training is going.The word is that even former club treasurer Bryan Faul is coming out of retirement for this one (or maybe he’s making the tea!) Entry fee is €10 for adults, €5 for children and €25 for a family.The race starts at 7.30pm but participants are advised to be there in plenty of time for the starting hooter.All funds raised on the night will go directly towards the development of the underage teams in the club.See you all at the finish line for those famous buns and tea!Large crowd expected for Glenswilly GAA annual 5K was last modified: June 11th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:5kglenswillylast_img read more

Read More »

Calling all 2009, 2010 volunteers!

first_img1 September 2008Ordinary South Africans, as well as people with specialist skills, now have the chance to be part of the world’s most popular sporting event.South Africa’s 2010 Local Organising Committee (LOC) has taken applications for 5 000 local volunteers for the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup – the first step towards the recruitment and training of around 15 000 volunteers for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.Applications for 2009 Confederations Cup volunteers closed on 31 August 2008Thousands put up hands for 2009Applications for 2010 World Cup volunteers – which will also include some volunteers from the rest of Africa and the world – will open in July 2009.Volunteers ‘crucial to success of 2009, 2010’“The World Cup will call on us to step beyond our boundaries and experiences and cater to the whole world,” says LOC volunteer programme manager Onke Mjo. “Volunteers will be crucial to that process.”Mjo believes that volunteers will “make or break” the Confederations Cup and World Cup programmes.“People will remember the service and support they get in South Africa – that’s why volunteers are so crucial,” Mjo says. “People will interact with the volunteers … How they are received when they’re in the parking lot, at the stadium, at airports or hotels – that’s what will make them feel it was worth their while coming to South Africa.”For prospective volunteers, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions:What kind of people is the LOC looking for?The LOC is looking for ordinary people – including students, unemployed youngsters and retired citizens – as well as specialists in various fields to work as volunteers.General volunteers will be needed in areas such as team liaison, accreditation, spectator services, fan parks, transport, information services, hospitality and logistics.Specialist volunteers will include medical practitioners, translators, people from the legal fraternity, and information technology experts. Volunteers will also be required with good technical sporting knowledge, language and media skills.According to Mjo, the most important thing the LOC will be looking for in volunteers are “people who are committed to helping us successfully host the World Cup … We’re looking for open-minded, pro-active South Africans who will always be willing to assist an individual who needs help with anything.”Is there an age requirement for volunteers?Yes. In order to be a volunteer, you must be at least 18 years old by March 2009 for the Confederations Cup, and by March 2010 for the World Cup.Will I get paid for volunteering?No. The volunteer programme is an opportunity for South Africans to participate in the World Cup by offering their time and services to the Local Organising Committee for free.You will get a travel allowance, however, as well as training, work experience, official World Cup volunteer clothing – supplied by Adidas – acknowledgement in the 2010 Fifa World Cup brochure – and an opportunity to be part of the world’s biggest single-code sporting event.What sort of training will I get?Volunteers will go through a training programme that focuses, among other things, on understanding the game of football and its culture. “Understanding the environment – including understanding Fifa and the World Cup itself – will be crucial to this World Cup,” says Mjo.“Volunteers will be trained in customer services, taught how to deal with irate spectators, and also to understand the behaviour of fans from different places around the world.”Volunteers will also be given venue- and job-specific training.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Read More »

Scotland rebels on aviation passenger tax

first_imgA blow has been struck against the world’s biggest travel tax, with Scotland resolving to half the controversial Air Passenger Duty, which slugs visitors to the UK up to £73 per head ($US91.25) – and double that in premium economy, business class or first class.The governing Scottish National Party has announced it will cut the APD in Scotland by 50 per cent from April 1, 2017, and aim to abolish it completely “when resources allow”. The move is also supported by the opposition Scottish Conservative Party and has been welcomed by the airline industry, which has long claimed that the APD is a tourism and jobs killer.However, one of the consequences of the Scottish move is that it will encourage a “chicken run” across the border when airlines landing in Scotland have to charge travellers only half the tax they pay England. “This is a major step towards the complete abolition of this stealth tax that hinders economic growth, tourism and jobs,” said Willie Walsh, chief executive of IAG, the holding company that owns British Airways. “However, the piecemeal reduction of APD will only serve to undermine airports in the north of England as passengers will rush across the border to get cheaper flights. “This will create a domino effect across the whole country which is not sustainable. The Treasury must acknowledge that partially scrapping APD will not work and that the solution is simple.”Walsh said that UK GDP would gain 1.7 per cent and create 61,000 new jobs over the longer term if the APD was abolished – a finding also supported by Edinburgh Airport.An Edinburgh Airport report estimated that the 50 per cent cut in APD would create nearly 4000 jobs and add £1 billion ($US1.25 billion) to the Scottish economy by 2020. When it was introduced in 2007, the APD was characterised by the then British Labour government as an environmental tax designed to reduce aircraft emissions.However,  it has since grown into the world’s biggest travel tax. The lowest amount paid, by an economy-class passenger on a flight of less than 2000 miles (3220 kilometres), is £13 ($US16.25) and can rise to as much as £146 ($US182.50) for a passenger in a premium-class cabin travelling more than 2000 miles.Even in economy class,  the impost for long-haul travellers is $US365 for a family of four. “This is an important moment in the ongoing debate around APD, as it is clear that there is now cross-party support for reductions in the tax to take place in Scotland from April 2018,” said Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, the trade association representing UK airlines.Edinburgh Airport’s chief executive, Gordon Dewar, said cutting the travel tax by 50 per cent was vital for Scotland’s international ambitions by increasing direct flights and would make holidays abroad more affordable for Scottish families. “The case against freeing up Scotland from this regressive tax is flimsy,” he said. “It is one-dimensional and completely ignores the economic benefits of more spending and more jobs.”Meanwhile, airlines have hit back at claims by a company specialising in compensation payouts that they are using “dirty tactics” to avoid reimbursing customers for delays and cancellations. EUclaim – one of a raft of companies established in recent years to chase claims under EU261, the European Union rule that awards  passengers compensation of up €600 ($US630) for delays — said it had employed university graduates to go through the claims process on airline websites and that, in some cases, it had taken them up to 15 minutes to even find the correct form. It said British Airways, Jet2, Virgin Atlantic and Ryanair, as well as holiday charter airlines Thomson and Monarch, had tried to shirk their responsibilities. EUclaim manager Tjitze Noorderhaven accused BA of trying to confuse passengers with “legal gibberish” and criticised Thomson’s claim response time of up to 56 days. However, many of the company’s claims were disputed by independent British travel journalists and were criticised by the airlines.”Along with other airlines, we would strongly question the validity of this report,” a spokesman for Virgin Atlantic said. “We do everything we can to respond as quickly, clearly stating how and where our customers can apply.” Ryanair, which was accused in the report of changing its terms and conditions to illegally limit passengers’ rights, said the claims were untrue. “Ryanair’s terms and conditions are perfectly legal,” a spokesman said. “We wish to ensure that all Ryanair customers will receive 100% of their EU261 compensation without deduction of claims chaser fees, which can amount to 50 per cent of the compensation payable to the passenger.”Since Ryanair customers can claim this compensation directly from us with no fees, these ‘claims chasers’ provide no useful service whatsoever. Claims chasers don’t like our terms and conditions, because they are designed solely to protect our customers and ensure they receive 100 per cent of the compensation they are due.”last_img read more

Read More »

NU Bullpups rule PSSBC tourney

first_imgView comments TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion BREAKING: Corrections officer shot dead in front of Bilibid Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? Members and supporters of the NU Bullpups celebrate after the championship game.National University lived up to its growing reputation by ruling 7th Philippine Secondary Schools Basketball Championship Rain or Shine Cup with a 107-87 rout of La Salle Greenhills on Thursday at the SGS gym in Quezon City.All it took was an explosive third period for NU to retain its label as one of the best high school programs in the nation.ADVERTISEMENT Eala named Europe’s best foreigner SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Batang Gilas standout Gerry Abadiano, Terrence Fortea and Kevin Quiambao starred in NU’s 34-point rampage in that period while helping limit the Greenies to just 20 points there.Fortea and Abadiano shared the Finals MVP honors after delivering 28 and 27 points, respectively, while Quiambao, who finished with 21 points and 19 rebounds, emerged as the tournament MVP.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSan Beda took third place after nipping Far Eastern University, 78-76.last_img read more

Read More »

Parents Urged to be Main Influencers in Children’s Lives

first_img The National Parenting Support Commission (NPSC) is imploring parents to become the primary influencers in the lives of their children, in order to create more positive outcomes for their future.Speaking at a recent JIS Think Tank, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NPSC, Kaysia Kerr, said that the responsibility of the parent is a major one, which cannot be taken lightly.She said that there has been a gradual shift in responsibility, which has contributed to a decline in values, accountability and integrity in the society.“We encourage parents not to give up the reins of leadership to external individuals or entities. We must recognise that we are the first role models for our children and they depend on us for guidance,” said Ms. Kerr.She argued that the danger of reneging on one’s role and responsibility as a parent is that an avenue opens up for negative forces to become the role models for children.“We have seen where young people are increasingly idolising and emulating a number of players in both local and international popular culture, some of whose values may be questionable, and the effects are being felt in the display of deviant behaviour within our society,” she pointed out.Ms. Kerr said the NPSC is committed to empowering parents with the necessary information and guidance to ensure that they are fully equipped to lay the proper foundation for the development of their children.“We want to remind parents that the concept of leading by example is not just a cliché. If we are going to make any inroads into addressing some of the existing social ills, we must begin at home by modelling ideal behaviour patterns for our children,” she pointed out.The NPSC is making preparations for Parent Month in November, during which a number of activities will be held under the theme ‘Be the Influence’.Among them are parent villages in Kingston and Montego Bay, a national church service as well as sensitisation sessions in several communities across the island. The National Parenting Support Commission (NPSC) is imploring parents to become the primary influencers in the lives of their children, in order to create more positive outcomes for their future. The NPSC is making preparations for Parent Month in November, during which a number of activities will be held under the theme ‘Be the Influence’. Ms. Kerr said the NPSC is committed to empowering parents with the necessary information and guidance to ensure that they are fully equipped to lay the proper foundation for the development of their children. Story Highlightslast_img read more

Read More »

Randy Moss Says His Time With 49ers Is Over

Wide receiver Randy Moss said his time with the San Francisco 49ers has come to an end.“Wished we could’ve finished the job!! Thanks for the opportunity an good luck in the future 9ers,” Moss tweeted Saturday evening.There was no specific reason of given for why the 49ers did not wish to retain the services of the future Hall of Famer, but comments made by Moss before the Super Bowl may have added to the organizations decision to go their separate ways.Moss said then that he was dissatisfied with his role on the team.“I don’t like my role. I don’t,” Moss said. “I like to be out there playing football.”San Francisco general manager Trent Baalke gave a slight hint during the NFL Combine that the team had already reached a conclusion about Moss not returning to the team for the 2013 season.“We’re certainly happy that he was in [in San Francisco],” Baalke responded when he was asked about Moss’ future with the team. “Is he going to return this? I don’t know that yet.”Apparently, the 36-year-old Moss, who signed a one-year deal with the 49ers last March after returning from a one-year retirement, received word that he will not be back.Moss played in all 16 games and 28 receptions for 434 yards and three touchdowns in the regular season, making two starts. In the 49ers Super Bowl loss to the Ravens, he caught two passes for 41 yards.Despite Moss and the San Francisco parting ways, he told some of his 49ers teammates that he still can play at a high level, according to CBSSports.com.Moss had become a fixture in the 49ers locker room, even for starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick.“He was great to me,” Kaapernick said in an interview with the NFL Network on Feb. 28. “He made sure I knew what the defense was doing. He was someone that helped me a great deal and I hope he’s back with us.”Now that it is clear that Moss will not return, he will hit the free agent market on March 12, with the hopes of finding a suitor.Moss will be looking to add to his 982 catches for 15,292 yards and 156 touchdowns, but hopefully with a Super Bowl contender. read more

Read More »

Fears of foul play force police investigation in Kevino Smith case

first_img Related Items:investigaTION, kevino smith, police Police get wanted man; Magistrate Court back open Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 26 Mar 2015 – Four police officers have been dispatched to Grand Turk with the intention being to investigate the disappearance of 25 year old Kevino Smith. Smith has been not been seen since March 4th, and it appears the constant appeals including those made in the House of Assembly have forced the police to change their handling of this case. Initially, media received a wanted poster for Kevino. There is real and growing concern that Smith may have been harmed, that he may be a victim of violence. Residents of Grand Turk had launched their own search; during many of those presentations in the House of Assembly there was criticism for the handling of the matter. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Update: Women robbed while exercising (21 year old Arrested) Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force’s mission to combat abusive images of children online Recommended for youlast_img read more

Read More »