Kobe Bryant’s quest for another title a lost cause

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Now, Kobe Bryant, the farewell tour.There are some things that Kobe Bryant didn’t foresee when he signed that $48.5 million extension… starting with this lost season.His farewell tour, originally scheduled for next season, has already started, owing to the absence of any other meaning in this one.The Lakers aren’t close to turning anything around. Passing Mike in titles was something else. Kobe would give all he has achieved for two more to edge MJ, 7-6.(The first words Bryant said after getting No. 5 in 2010 was, “One more than Shaq!” Yes, Shaquille O’Neal has but four.)Bryant says he intends to retire after this contract … meaning that if hope remains, Kobe, who could create any reality he chose, can’t see it from here.After spending his first 17 seasons in headlong pursuit of titles, this is Bryant’s “Paradise Lost.”If management hoped to keep him around longer, the Lakers are now resigned to the worst.“All indications are to me, from him, that this is going to be it,” GM Mitch Kupchak said.“If somebody’s thinking of buying a ticket three years from now to see Kobe play, I would not do that.”Johnson who blasted Coach Mike D’Antoni last spring, and now has his guy, Byron Scott, on the sideline, formally abandoned hope (“I hope the Lakers lose every game because if you’re going to lose, lose. And I’m serious.”)Then the top blew off Mt. St. Kobe.After skipping practice to conserve precious resources, he rejoined his teammates in El Segundo. In a set-piece tirade in the full knowledge the press would be filming away, he launched an expletive-filled rant. (“Now I know why we’ve lost 20 … games! We’re soft as Charmin!”)“That might be par for Kobe’s practices,” said ESPN’s Jeff Van Gundy, “but I’ve never seen anything like that before.”Amazingly, the Lakers then pulled their shocker in San Antonio. The Spurs were lucky to survive with Coach Gregg Popovich, bristling at their casual attitude, looking like he might choke someone.What motivation? The Lakers, No. 24 in 3s, went 12 of 24 from the arc. On the other hand, there’s no denying it changed the ambience.Nor is there any denying that it’s likely to change the basic equation.The Lakers aren’t doing badly – for them – having gone 6-7 since their 1-9 start.They may have even found a piece to the puzzle – Bryant at point guard, where Scott put him late in the game.Because of that, or the heat Kobe had brought down on his head, or the fact that he couldn’t hit water from a boat, he began passing out of double-teams, nine assists’ worth.Refreshingly, Bryant then joined the people rolling their eyes at his tirade, telling ESPN’s Izzy Gutierrez, “Really when I see it myself, it makes me uncomfortable. It’s not something I’m particularly proud of but that’s just the way I compete. That’s just the way I challenge my guys.”Unfortunately, a 30-29 finish – a Herculean accomplishment for the Lakers – would get them to 37-45. Barring a lucky draw in the lottery, they would have to turn over their top-five protected No. 1 pick to Phoenix to complete the Steve Nash trade.With anguish ending in triumph, it was a week like a lot of others in Lakerdom where, as Bryant, Scott and Jeanie Buss noted, tanking is unthinkable.Unfortunately for them, losing remains unavoidable.Mark Heisler has written an NBA column since 1991 and was honored with the Naismith Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Award in 2006. His column is published Sundays for Los Angeles News Group.center_img Tanking, the smart play, is only viable to people like Magic Johnson who aren’t involved in the day-to-day.If this is all there is, it will be hard enough for Bryant to return next season, as it will for his teammates with no money guaranteed, including Jordan Hill, Jeremy Lin, Carlos Boozer, Wes Johnson, Ed Davis and Ronnie Price – everyone else who has started a game.Of course, there are the landmarks!Bryant needs nine points today in Minnesota to move ahead of Michael Jordan as the No. 3 all-time scorer.Nice as it is, it was never on Bryant’s to-do list.last_img read more

Three Warriors pieces that will be defined by this Finals

first_imgClick here if you are unable to view this gallery on a mobile device.TORONTO — When the 2019 NBA Finals tip off Thursday, the Warriors will be taking on more than the Toronto Raptors, they’ll be taking on history.The Warriors have already become the first modern-era team to go to five consecutive NBA Finals, but now, they have a chance to win four titles in five years — something that has not been done since the Boston Celtics did it in the 1960s, when the NBA consisted of eight teams.Win …last_img read more

Eskom still cheaper than most

first_imgKoeberg in the Western Cape is South Africa’s only nuclear power station. (Image: Bjorn Rudner, Eskom)Janine ErasmusSouth Africa’s electricity supply has been the subject of much heated debate in recent months. Now disgruntled consumers may be surprised to learn that according to a new survey, electricity tariffs in South Africa are among the cheapest in the world and will remain that way, even if proposed increases of more than 50% come into effect.South Africa’s state power utility Eskom said in early April 2008 that electricity prices needed to double during the next two years if it was to deal effectively with the current power crisis. However, at a summit held in Johannesburg in May, the embattled power utility was informed that any increases would have to be phased in over five years to protect the poor.While this is disheartening for consumers, a survey released in May 2008 by leading utility cost management consultants NUS Consulting Group, reveals that in global terms South Africans have little to complain about. Even if the proposed increases are brought into effect local tariffs will still be among the cheapest in the world.The report focused on 14 countries and reveals that, with the exception of Canada, all countries surveyed underwent an increase in electricity pricing. This was attributed mainly to the effects of rising oil prices and speculation of the commodity on the largely deregulated world electricity market. In deregulated markets variations in electricity prices tend to mirror those of oil.Among the European countries surveyed, the most expensive is Italy while the cheapest is France. Swedish consumers have to contend with a whopping 40% increase in their electricity tariffs, the biggest annual increase among the surveyed countries.European electricity markets have also reported great volatility and the trend is expected to continue. Over a five-year period UK consumers are now paying almost 136% more for their energy. By comparison South African tariffs have increased by just under 23% over the last five years.Of the rest of the countries surveyed, Canada is the only one that actually decreased its electricity pricing. Increases in the US were on a par with that country’s inflation, and came in at slightly below the latest figures. Australia’s prices increased by 6,8% and South Africa’s by a more modest 4,8% in the 12 months to April 2008, although larger increases are in the pipeline.The current tariff in South Africa is US$0.034 per kilowatt-hour, not even half that of the next cheapest country Canada, which comes in at US$0.070. So even if prices double, South Africa’s electricity will still remain amongst the cheapest.A 2007 survey released by the International Energy Agency shows that Denmark has the highest household electricity prices in the world.Managing energy more efficientlyMuch of the debate around electricity in South Africa has centred on the fact that although Eskom has struggled to meet national demand, resulting in rolling blackouts across the country, it is still demanding price increases from already hard-hit consumers. Reasons for the increase include rising coal prices and implementation of an accelerated demand-side management (DSM) programme.DSM refers to programmes put into place that influence the way consumers use energy. Some of Eskom’s DSM interventions include the promotion of solar water heating, the installation of energy-efficient motors in industry, and residential load management that includes, for instance, remote switching off of geysers at measured intervals.Regulating the industrySouth Africa supplies two-thirds of Africa’s electricity and according to the Government Communication and Information Systems’ handbook for 2007/2008 is among the four cheapest electricity producers in the world.South Africa’s electricity is regulated – that is, all aspects of the industry are controlled by a single body, from production and supply to transmission, distribution, servicing and administration. The National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa), established in 2005 under the jurisdiction of the national Ministry of Minerals and Energy, regulates prices, not only in the electricity industry but also in the petroleum and piped gas industries in terms of the Electricity Regulation Act of 2006.Eskom must apply to Nersa for any increase in tariffs. Nersa approved a 14,2% tariff increase which came into effect in April 2008, although this is not reflected in the NUS survey. However, in March 2008 Eskom re-applied to Nersa for a gigantic 53% increase, which is now under consideration by the regulator. Opinions about electricity increases vary, with some for and some against, and many say that increasing prices is an effective way to motivate people to be more economical – but the increases must be applied fairly, to big industry as well as household consumers.Energy comprises about 15% of South Africa’s gross domestic product and creates jobs for about 250 000 people. Eskom’s total electricity sales stood at 218 120 gigawatt/hours (GWh) in March 2007.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Janine Erasmus at [email protected] linksInternational Energy AgencyEskom Demand-Side ManagementNersaDepartment of Minerals and EnergyEnergy Crisis South Africalast_img read more

BBC spends big bucks on SA studio

first_imgCape Town is to be the home base forthe BBC during the 2010 FIfa World Cup.(Image: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. Formore free photos, visit the image library) MEDIA CONTACTS • Delia FischerFifa media office, Johannesburg+27 83 201 0470Janine ErasmusThe BBC is planning to spend around £1-million (R11-million) on building a brand new broadcast studio in Cape Town, and will use it as its base for the duration of the 2010 Fifa World Cup.Despite most media companies’ decision to be based in Johannesburg, the main transmission hub for the tournament, the UK broadcaster has opted for the Mother City, some 1 600km to the south.Eight of the 64 matches will be played at the magnificent Cape Town stadium, although the English team is guaranteed only one game there when it faces off against Algeria on 18 June. But there’s a good chance the team will be back for a semi-final.Most media, including BBC rival ITV, will be headquartered at the state-of-the-art International Broadcast Centre, situated next to the recently completed Soccer City stadium in Soweto. This is also just 75km from the English team’s base in Rustenburg, North West province.The centre will accommodate thousands of media professionals and will feature the most advanced technology when it opens its doors. In terms of telecommunications infrastructure, it will set the standard for Africa.The BBC has declined to hire a studio at this cutting-edge broadcast facility. UK newspaper Daily Mail reports that, with the help of the Cape Film Commission, the corporation has secured space on the roof of the six-storey Somerset Hospital in Green Point, just a few hundred metres away from the new Cape Town stadium.Here it will set up a pentagonal glass-walled studio. Construction is reported to be already underway.From this vantage point reporters will have spectacular views of Table Mountain, World Heritage site Robben Island and the football venue.The cost of the studio, extra fees for satellite transmission from Cape Town, and the rights to use the hospital’s roof space is together expected to total around R11-million.Beautiful vistasReports say that one of the reasons for the decision is because Cape Town is more attractive visually and will provide a better backdrop for presenters than the stark Johannesburg skyline. But Cape Town’s notoriously rainy and foggy winter weather may have the last say.In February the BBC came under fire because of lavish spending, deemed by the National Audit Office to be unnecessary and poor value for money. The Parliamentary committee for public accounts also got a word in, criticising the media corporation for its “casual approach to spending licence payers’ money”.Among other cases investigated, the BBC splurged on a £250 000 (R2.8-million) studio in Vienna for coverage of the Euro 2008 football tournament – because the background view from the original studio in Vienna’s own International Broadcasting Centre was not picturesque enough.The Cape Town announcement has drawn mixed reactions, with some echoing the sentiments of the National Audit Office, while others feel the BBC should do whatever it takes to make the World Cup experience of its audience of 200-million a memorable one.One of the reporters who will soon find himself cocooned in the new-age studio is former England striker Gary Lineker, now a sports presenter for the BBC. Lineker is renowned for never having received a yellow card once during his professional career and holds the record for the most goals scored by an England player in a World Cup, 10 in total.He will be accompanied by the likes of Alan Shearer, also a retired England striker, and Scottish footballer Alan Hansen, capped 26 times for his country.Some 280 BBC staff will fly to South Africa for the World Cup, slightly down from the complement of 336 who visited Germany in 2006. They will broadcast 32 games live for television, radio and news, and show highlights of all the others from the new studio.A note on the blog of BBC’s executive football producer Phil Bigwood said that once the World Cup is over the studio will be packed up and shipped off for potential use at other events around the world.“Our production set-up in Cape Town will be our biggest to date, taking into account previous football World Cups. We are extremely fortunate to have been able to base ourselves here in Cape Town,” said Bigwood.• Delia FischerFifa media office, Johannesburg+27 83 201 0470last_img read more

On Volume Discounts

first_imgLet’s say I have a one acre yard. I offer you $30 to mow the lawn and trim around the edges. You agree, accept my offer, and begin working. It’s a pretty big yard, and it takes time and effort.You do an excellent job, and I decide to reward you by giving you more of my business. I offer to let you mow the adjoining acre of land, suggesting that I pay you an additional $20 to mow and trim that acre. You are already mowing the first acre, and you can just keep mowing in a straight line. Plus you don’t have to drive anywhere, and it’s really like having two customers. You’re grateful for the additional work, as it means you need to acquire one less customer.I didn’t yet mention that I have a 3rd acre. I offer to allow you to mow the third acre, and since I am giving you so much volume, I offer to pay you $15 for the third acre. It’s really not going to take you that much longer. And look at the volume I am giving you! I’m likely your biggest customer. Now you are getting $65 for the one stop on your weekly route.The first acre is worth $30. The second acre, which is exactly the same size as the first acre and takes just as much time and effort to mow and trim is somehow worth 30% less for the same effort. The third acre, through the sheer magic of volume discounts, is now worth only half of the 1st acre.How much should I pay you for the 4th acre?I am exaggerating to make a point. The effort that it takes you to do some work doesn’t change just because you have more work to do. The investment of time and energy doesn’t change either. Some work doesn’t really provide economies of scale, nor does it lend itself to volume discounts. Sometimes more work is just more work.In the time that it takes you to mow the three acres, you should have earned $90 instead of $65. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Consolidated Bank pull greatest comeback

first_imgKPL Consolidated Bank pull comeback in Left Foot league Seth Willis Last updated 2 years ago 13:21 10/24/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Left Foot. Left Foot. KPL Sofapaka v Zoo Kericho Sofapaka Zoo Kericho GreenZone Property had raced into the lead with goals from Musa Ouma and Victor Ashaba before the bankers recovered Consolidated Bank pulled a great comeback to stun GreenZone Property 3-2 in a Division One match of Left Foot league played over the weekend.GreenZone Property had raced into the lead with goals from Musa Ouma and Victor Ashaba before the bankers recovered in the second half with goals from Kennedy Okanda (2) and Kennedy Maina to carry the day.In another match, Bethel FC managed a 1-1 draw against Strath FC while in Division Two; Schindler FC hammered All Saints Cathedral 6-1. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Another entertaining match was in Division Four where DGM Kenya Limited scored late to gun down Vitambii Viishe 5-2 in a seven goal thriller. Sea Com Limited lost 2-0 to Harleys Limited; Advert Eyez beat KCB 3-2 while Tropical Kenya won 2-0 against Harleys Limited.In Division Five, South C Academy won 2-1 against Cuber Movers Limited while Letshego Limited suffered a humiliating 4-0 defeat against Senti Milan.In the Mombasa corporate league, Total Kenya won 2-0 against Kitchen King, Maersk Group hammered Consolbase 5-1, Bamburi Cement lost 5-2 to Tradewinds while Texas Alarms drew 1-1 with Sea Bulk.last_img read more

Position Vacant: Sport Operations Manager

first_imgIf you are looking for a thrilling career in one of the biggest participation sports in the nation, we have the role for you!We are seeking a Sport Operations Manager in our Australian Capital Territory Office.The successful applicant will be responsible for leading participation growth at all levels of the game, developing a representative pathway as well as the provision of education and training for coaches and referees throughout the Touch Football ACT community.If you would like to be considered for this position, candidates are requested to provide a Curriculum Vitae and a two page letter of introduction addressing the role’s selection criteria. Please note that a strong desire to work in the sporting industry and any supporting comments aligned to the position description, will be highly regarded.For further information and to lodge your application for this career opportunity, please email [email protected] close Tuesday 7th February 2017 at 9am AEDT. For any questions call 02 6212 2800.last_img read more

Montreal teen dies about a week after being found at bottom of

first_imgMONTREAL – A Montreal teenager has died about a week after being found at the bottom of a swimming pool following his high school gym class.The mayor of the borough where the incident occurred last Thursday issued a statement on Wednesday to announce the death of the 14-year-old boy.“Our most sincere condolences and thoughts go out to the boy’s family as well as his friends and classmates,” said Francois William Croteau.“Today, the entire borough is in mourning and has been shaken by this human drama.”He said investigations are underway to determine what happened.“I understand that the family and residents have many questions and want light to be shed on the circumstances surrounding this tragic event. For this to happen, we must let public authorities continue their work.”No one noticed the Grade 8 student’s absence when his class left the pool deck and it was the next group that found him.A school board official said both a teacher and a lifeguard were present along with between 20 and 30 of the boy’s classmates.The boy had been in critical condition since the incident.Police previously said there was no criminal investigation.last_img read more

Report Ohio State AD Gene Smith appointed to College Football Playoff committee

Ohio State Vice President and Director of Athletics Gene Smith announces a $42-million renovation project to Ohio Stadium during a press conference at the Ohio Stadium Recruit Room on March 29. Credit Michael Huson | Campus EditorOhio State Senior Vice President and Athletic Director Gene Smith has reportedly been named to the College Football Playoff committee. According to Heather Dinich of ESPN.com, Smith will replace Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez on the committee.Smith also currently serves on the NCAA Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee, starting in 2015 through 2018.From 2007-2011, Smith served on the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament selection committee, and was chairman of the committee his final year of 2011.Smith has served as OSU’s athletics director since 2005. Alvarez, along with former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former Furman and Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson.Smith is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, and played football at Notre Dame University. He won an Associated Press national championship in 1973 with the Fighting Irish. He was also on the coaching staff for the 1977 national championship team. read more

Ohio State mens soccer preparing for test against No 8 Louisville

OSU junior midfielder Zach Mason (7) plays the ball during a game against Akron on Sept. 24 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU lost, 3-1.Credit: Ben Jackson / For The LanternExperiencing an extended losing streak is less than ideal for any team. For the Ohio State men’s soccer team, a trip on the road to take on a top-10 team could make that situation even worse.OSU (2-3-3, 1-1-0) has dropped three straight games after beginning the season undefeated through its first five. The team is scheduled to travel to Louisville, Ky., to take on the No. 8 Louisville Cardinals (5-1-1) on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.A struggle to score goals has been at the forefront for the Buckeyes, who have only scored one goal in their three consecutive losses.“The ability to score goals has been lacking so far,” redshirt-senior goalkeeper Alex Ivanov said. “We’ve addressed some of the issues and dissected our play from the last few games, and we’re really looking forward to the opportunity (Tuesday night).”The team has worked in practice and in film studies to reverse the offensive troubles by changing the attacking mindset.“We’re going to try to possess the ball as much as we can and build up the attack, instead of playing so direct, playing 50-50 balls that we’ll lose and putting so much responsibility on one particular player,” Ivanov said. “Just having everyone have that same collective responsibility going forward so that we can have good chances and capitalize on those chances.”Despite the losing streak, OSU coach John Bluem said he does not feel like his players are letting the lack of success affect the team’s morale.“I don’t have any problem at all with the guys’ effort, and I don’t think they were that upset about (Saturday’s loss to Dayton), either,” Bluem said. “I mean, nobody likes to lose, but I think coming out of the last two games we’ve felt good about how we’ve performed.”Junior midfielder Zach Mason said as one of the team’s co-captains, he has a responsibility to prevent his teammates from beating themselves up over the losses.“My job is just to keep everyone’s eyes looking forward, staying together and trying to set the right example, just make sure everyone’s on the same page,” Mason said. “I think we have a team full of leaders, so I don’t think it’s difficult to keep this team together, but that’s just what I’m trying to do.”Though Louisville is probably not the team they want to be facing in the midst of a losing streak, Bluem said he feels his team should not be counted out against the Cardinals.“When you have the opportunity to play against these top teams, it’s good to go into the game as an underdog,” Bluem said. “It’s good to be on the road, and the expectations aren’t too high for you from the group that’s down there. We should be relaxed, and I think we are. It’s going to be a fun opportunity.“They have a very, very good program, a highly ranked team, with a great facility and a big crowd there to root against you, it fires you up,” Bluem said. “Hopefully the guys will be fired up.”The Cardinals have not experienced the same struggle to score goals that the Buckeyes have. In its last four games, Louisville has scored a total of 14 goals. In comparison, OSU has only managed seven goals in eight matches this year and just three in its past four.“(Louisville has) always been just a really difficult team to break down their pressure,” Bluem said. “You have to pass quickly and accurately, and you have to get out of your end of the field in possession of the ball, and that’s not easy to do against them. Once you break the pressure, though, then they become a team just like anyone else.”After the matchup with the Cardinals, the Buckeyes are scheduled to return home to face No. 14 Michigan State on Saturday at 7 p.m at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. read more