LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Advertisement A TV show is primarily a visual experience, but it was words that drew lead actors Anna Paquin and Shawn Doyle to the CBC drama Bellevue.Specifically, the script for the crime mystery series, created by Jane Maggs and Adrienne Mitchell, in which Paquin stars as a detective and Doyle as her police chief boss.Allen Leech, Downton Abbey’s favourite upwardly mobile chauffeur, also stars in the series, which debuts Monday at 9 p.m. on CBC. Advertisement Facebook Paquin — best known for playing a telepathic waitress on HBO’s True Blood — read the script for Bellevue and “then I said, ‘Where’s the next one? Where’s the next one?’ . . . I raced through all four scripts that were already written and was completely invested in the world and wanted to know more, and was quite disappointed that there were no more scripts to be read that afternoon.”For Doyle, a Canadian actor whose resumé includes everything from series like House of Cards and Big Love to movies like Don’t Say a Word and Grown Up Movie Star, the script helped dispel his biggest reservation about the show: he’d played cops before and didn’t want to do a police procedural. Login/Register With: Advertisement
APTN National NewsThe family of Brian Sinclair and multiple Aboriginal organizations have withdrew from an inquest into the Aboriginal man’s death because the courts have refused to address “systemic racism” in the Manitoba healthcare system according a statement released Tuesday.Sinclair’s family said they’ll sit out “Phase 2” as they have lost confidence in the process, but will still submit closing submissions.While, Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto and Ka Ni Kanichihk both said Tuesday they will no longer be part of the inquest at all according to a statement issued by ALST.“ALST did not make this decision lightly. ALST got involved in this case because we thought it was important to provide an Aboriginal perspective and to share expertise about the experiences of Aboriginal patients to address best practices for providing care to our community. Unfortunately the inquest is now focused on patient flow,” said Christa Big Canoe, legal advocacy director of ALST.Sinclair, 45, died in a Manitoba hospital waiting room after being ignored for 34 hours in September 2008.The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs are also expected to pull out of the inquest that begins the second phase Tuesday.Big Canoe said witnesses have testified that staff at the Health Sciences Center assumed Sinclair was intoxicated and homeless.Nurses testified they didn’t see Sinclair but video evidence shows them walking by the dying man sitting in a wheelchair.To prevent similar deaths from happening Judge Raymond Wyant ruled in 2009 that racism, poverty and disability would play a large role in the inquest.Big Canoe said that changed last month when the presiding judge on the inquest made a ruling that “significantly narrowed the scope of the next phase of the inquest” by determining one witness would be address Aboriginal peoples in the Manitoba health care [email protected]
San Francisco: After the raging success of Netflix’s original interactive choose-your-own-adventure film ‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’, Google-owned YouTube is now working on interactive shows and live specials. Following the traditional format of interactive shows, the content YouTube is planning would allow viewers to make their own choices throughout the show and eventually conclude an ending of their choice. The project is under the supervision of Ben Relles, former Head of YouTube’s unscripted programming, SlashGear reported on Tuesday. Also Read – Swiggy now in 500 Indian cities, targets 100 more this year Developers who create this kind of interactive content develop multiple storylines for the same show. To keep the story flow smooth, the different storylines are made to intersect at certain points, resulting in different potential endings for a single show, which once started, cannot be paused, rewinded or forwarded. With Bandersnatch that launched in December last year, Netflix became the first content platform to attempt an interactive entertainment aimed at adults. Also Read – New HP Pavilion x360 notebook with in-built Alexa in India Because of its design to keep viewers hooked watching and playing, Bandersnatch did not come with a set run-time. However, according to information available on public domains, it lasted for a peiod of 40-90 minutes roughly before getting to the end credits. While Netflix never revealed how many accounts accessed “Bandersnatch”, the multiple endings were a trending topic on all social networking platforms, including in India. YouTube is likely to announce new programmes next month. However, details about an official announcement of an interactive show or series remain unclear as of now, the report added.
Mumbai: Jet Airways, facing its worst existential crisis in its over 25-year-old history, Friday extended suspension of its international operations till next Monday due to severe liquidity issues. Incidentally, the stake sale bid invited by the SBI- led consortium of bankers, which manages the day-to-operations of the airline, also closes by the end of the day Friday, after being extended by two days. Airline founder Naresh Goyal, the UAE carrier Etihad Airways, Air Canada and the country’s national investment fund among others are reported to have submitted bids, according to media reports. On Thursday, the airline had announced temporary grounding of its international operations for day-Jet was the largest international airline from the country till the financial crisis–when it had also suspended operations to the entire Eastern and Northeastern markets as Jet was forced to ground 10 more aircraft following default of lease rentals. This has left Jet with no large aircraft while it had just 14 planes for domestic operations as of late Thursday. “Jet has decided to extend suspension of its international operations till Monday, due to severe cash crunch,” airline sources told PTI Friday. Jet was the largest domestic carrier operating in the international sector with a hub in Amsterdam, where a cargo agent had taken possession of an aircraft this on Tuesday demanding bill payment. This led to the cancellation of the Amsterdam-Mumbai flight that day. Thursday Jet flights to London, Amsterdam and Paris from Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru scheduled were cancelled for operational reasons,” Je had said, adding it had also cancelled the Bengaluru-Amsterdam-Bengaluru flight Friday. On the domestic front, all Jet operations to and from the Eastern and Northeastern states were suspended till further notice. Following this, there would no Jet flights to and from Kolkata, Patna, Guwahati and other airports in the region, travel industry source had told PTI. Jet had also said its Mumbai-Kolkata, Kolkata-Guwahati and Dehradun-Guwahati-Kolkata flights stood cancelled till further notice due to “operational reasons.” As of Thursday, the airline had just 14 planes–way down from 123 planes in operations till a few months back. Of the 14 aircraft that it operated till Thursday evening, eight were wide-body B777s (seven) and an A330– generally used for long-haul international operations. The remaining six planes were, three B737s, which are largely used for flying on domestic routes besides on short- haul international destinations and the rest three are regional ATRs. With just 14 aircraft left for operations, aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola had told PTI that the ministry was awaiting a report from the DGCA to decide whether Jet can continue to fly on international routes. The government rules stipulate an airline must have at least 20 planes for operating international operations.
Oregon was supposed to be doomed by Chris Boucher’s season-ending knee injury. South Carolina wasn’t supposed to go deep into the tournament, especially after the Gamecocks lost their first game in the SEC tournament, a quarterfinal matchup. So how’d these two programs end up in the Final Four? In the video above, FiveThirtyEight sports editor Chadwick Matlin walks us through their journeys and talks about just how improbable they’ve been.
A new season of the English Premier League has arrived! We’ve dragged our scarves out of storage, dusted off our Britishisms and settled down at the computer to chat about the season to come.Chadwick Matlin (senior editor): Hello! I promise not to use too many cliches about the British. Before we start, let’s consult FiveThirtyEight’s new club soccer predictions, which estimate every EPL team’s chance of winning the league and making the Champions League. There’s a lot of uncertainty in which team will win — the favorite has only a 27 percent of winning as of now. But let’s start there: FiveThirtyEight’s projections say that Manchester City is likeliest to end up on top. Does that make sense, given the transfer market and how last season ended?Neil Paine (senior sportswriter): Certainly on paper, City is “supposed” to be the best team — just like they were going into last season, for what that was worth. They had the EPL’s best possession rate last season, the best ratio of shots taken to shots conceded, and the top percentage of play in the opponent’s third of the field. So you could argue that even as they finished third last season, they played the best of any team — and they still have the Premier League’s most talented roster, according to sources like the player-valuation site Transfermarkt.Tony Chow (video producer): I think “supposed to” is the key phrase here. The Citizens certainly seem to have added all the right players. They’ve splashed money on a supposed better goalkeeper in Ederson. They added key players like Benjamin Mendy and Kyle Walker to supposedly help with a spotty defense. I’m not saying City shouldn’t be listed as favorites this season. When you give a coach like Pep Guardiola one full season to get acclimated AND allow him to spend over 200 million pounds on transfers, it should be title or bust for City fans this season. But I still think it remains to be seen how all these pieces work together. It’s a lot of ifs.Chadwick: An aside: Is it rare to find a one-name goalkeeper, as Ederson essentially is? if you’re going to go one-name, I always thought you needed to score goals.Neil: Yes, flair is usually essential for a single-namer.Chadwick: Neil, get to work on your all-time ranking of one-name soccer players.Chadwick: So if Man City wins the league, they’d supplant Chelsea, which steamrolled their way to the championship last season. Our model says they have the next best chance of winning the league (20 percent), which to me reflects their so-so transfer market pick-ups. Am I — or our model — missing something?Neil: In some ways, Chelsea probably overachieved in getting to 93 points last season, so the model is probably anticipating some regression. If you believe in the possession and shot-quality metrics as good predictors of success, Chelsea was not overly impressive in that department last season. The team also had a mixed transfer window, so the predictions don’t think their talent is much improved. That said, they still have one of the EPL’s best rosters.Tony: The 20 percent chance for Chelsea surprised me actually. I’m reminded of a piece we wrote last season about Arsenal with the headline “Arsenal Stood Still While Its Rivals Got Better.” It seems like the same could be true for Chelsea this season. Yes, they brought in a promising striker in Alvaro Morata, but they lost Nemanja Matic, a key player in their title-winning season, to a rival (Man U). Also, their star, Eden Hazard, is hurt for the beginning of the season. A legitimate title defense will most likely have to wait until he returns.Neil: Hazard plays a huge role in that Chelsea offense. He was second in the EPL last season in successful “take-ons,” with 143, and his 75 percent success rate in 1-vs-1 situations was much, much higher than the overall EPL average of 55 percent.Chadwick: OK, now on to Man U, which made the splashiest signing in the Premier League this transfer window, sniping Romelu Lukaku from Everton for about 75 million pounds. Lukaku replaces Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Man U seems primed to once again make a run at glory after several years out of the top three. Our model gives them an 18 percent of winning the league — is Man U ready to be obnoxiously good again?Neil: It really has been a drought for United. They haven’t won the league since 2012-13, and in fact, over that span, they haven’t finished higher than fourth. You have to go back to the late 1980s to find another stretch quite so barren. But there’s been a lot of buzz this offseason about how Man U might be poised for a comeback.Tony: Never bet against Jose Mourinho in his second season with a team.Chadwick: Why do you say that, Tony?Tony: The guy has won a league title in the second season of every one of the teams he’s managed (Porto, Inter, Chelsea, Real Madrid and then Chelsea again). I wouldn’t be surprised if this pattern continues.Lukaku might be getting all the buzz, but Man United’s path back to glory will have to come through the former most expensive player in the world, Paul Pogba. He had a good but not great debut in the Premier League last season (5 goals, 4 assists), but the addition of Matic to Man United’s midfield should allow Pogba to have a breakout season.Neil: Matic’s passing could open up a new dimension for United. According to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group, he added 4.3 goals above average with his passing — thanks to not only a really high completion percentage on his own passes, but also a stellar success rate for teammates on plays following his passes.Tony: Yeah, that’s a scary, scary duo in midfield for the Red Devils.Chadwick: Anything’s possible without Wayne Rooney.OK, next up: the second tier of the top tier — Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool.I feel like Tottenham was all the rage in the U.S. a few years ago for people just starting to stumble their way into EPL fandom, but the Spurs never quite seem to be able to break through. They haven’t signed any starter of note, and their rivals have gotten better. The model is giving Tottenham a 13 percent chance of winning the league, but that seems somehow too high for me. You guys?Tony: Why are all new American soccer fans seemingly Tottenham fans?Neil: Blame Bill Simmons.Tony: 13 percent seems about right to me. They still have two-time Golden Boot winner Harry Kane. To me, the biggest questions facing Tottenham are how they deal with the loss of Kyle Walker to Man City and how they adjust to not being able to play at White Hart Lane while it undergoes renovations. They were undefeated at home last season (17 wins, 0 losses, 2 draws), and now they no longer have that home-field advantage.Neil: The Spurs did probably overachieve more than any other EPL team last year. They were no Leicester in 2015, of course, but they finished with 28 more points than our model projected last season, and a lot of that was on the strength of some favorable shooting and save percentages (what’s known as ‘PDO’), which are more variable stats than something like possession rate. Plus, like you mentioned, they did next to nothing of note on the transfer market. A regression could be coming.Tony: The save percentages — is that all because of Hugo Lloris, or do solid defensive players factor into that as well?Neil: It’s probably a combination of both. Lloris is pretty well-regarded, but there’s also a big luck component that will likely fall away — particularly on offense, where they took a league-high 47 percent of their shots from outside the box last season. Those generally aren’t good scoring chances.Chadwick: OK — on to Arsenal. They have a 10 percent chance of winning the league and a 46 percent chance of making the Champions League. Tony, do you need to excuse yourself because of a conflict of interest?Tony: I’m going to try my best to hide my biases, but based on my calculations, I think Arsenal is going to win the league.Chadwick: Of all the teams in the top six, Arsenal seems like the one most likely to crater. (Doesn’t mean there’s a high chance of that, though.) Alexis Sanchez may not be there in a few weeks, Arsene Wenger barely held on to his job last season and Tony’s spirit animal, Mesut Ozil, isn’t getting younger. Tony, shine your optimistic light upon me!Tony: One word: Lacazette. Wenger should be pleased with what he’s seen from Lacazette in preseason, and his performances should help mitigate any off-field turmoil and contract negotiations that are sure to dominate Arsenal talks this season.Neil: Like we mentioned with Tottenham, though, Arsenal relied on a pretty fortunate combination of percentages last season — they led the Premier League in PDO, which will probably come back down to earth, while they only ranked sixth in the ratio of shots taken to shots allowed. Having said that, they have a better talent base than the Spurs do (for now), so they might weather the regression better.Chadwick: Tony, I saw you pacing around the office on game days last season bemoaning a team you felt was going nowhere. Is it just the hopeful air of summer that has you high on them, or do you really see it all coming together?Tony: There’s a famous saying among Gunner fandom — “form is temporary, fourth is permanent” — and although they failed to live up to even that self-deprecating motto last season, I do believe they have better than a 46 percent chance of qualifying for the Champions League.Chadwick: OK on to our final significant contender: Liverpool, which seems like they still have some work to do in the transfer market if they want to make a real run at the Champions League. Depth seems to be the real issue after a quiet transfer season, and extra games are looming because of their tournament play.Tony: Depth is definitely their biggest issue. They were hampered by injuries last year to key players like Sadio Mane, Adam Lallana and, of course, Daniel Sturridge. AND Sturridge and Lallana are already injured starting this year. Plus, they haven’t really done anything this summer. Their biggest transfer is Mohamed Salah, and while he makes them probably the fastest attacking team in the league, he doesn’t add any depth to their starting 11.Neil: Liverpool were another team that slightly outplayed expectations last season, but their underlying numbers also ended up being top-notch — they were second in both possession rate and share of shots taken in their games. So who knows what exactly to make of them this season?Tony: All this is not even taking into account that their main creative player, Philippe Coutinho, could be gone by the end of this transfer season. As much as Jurgen Klopp is denying it, if this happens, that 8 percent chance of winning the league will drop drastically.Out of these six teams, any combination of four teams wouldn’t surprise me to qualify for Champions League next season.Chadwick: All right, enough with the good teams. On to the ones that might fail spectacularly. And, yes, that includes you, Everton.Tony: To be fair to Everton fans, our projections give them only a 5 percent chance of being relegated. No way that really happens, right?Neil: It would be pretty shocking — but the fact it’s that high for a team we’re projecting to finish seventh underscores how much of a gap there is between the top six and the rest of the league.Chadwick: Besides the six teams we’ve already discussed, the FiveThirtyEight soccer model thinks every other team has at least a 1 in 20 chance of being relegated. More teams have a legitimate chance of being kicked out of the league than winning it!Neil: Is that normal? Certainly the EPL isn’t usually held up as a bastion of competitive balance.Tony: Yeah, it’s not looking like there will be a Leicester City-circa-2015 this year.Neil: Although to be fair, it wasn’t looking like there would be a Leicester 2015 in 2015, either.Chadwick: Last season, our model somehow projected even more teams as having a 5 percent chance of being relegated.Neil: True. But the teams with the highest probabilities of relegation last year were still somewhat likely to stay in the EPL. Crystal Palace was the highest, at 32 percent. This season, the two most likely relegation candidates — Huddersfield and Brighton — are both more than 45 percent likely to be bumped back down to the Championship.Chadwick: And here I thought I had finally found a Premier League team to root for in Huddersfield.Tony: I thought you were an Arsenal fan, Chad?Chadwick: I’m already a Mets fan, Tony.All right, any final thoughts before we log off and Tony tries to convince me that it’s somehow coincidental that Arsenal has a coach named Arsene?Neil: It seems like all signs are pointing to another top-heavy year. I’m interested in the battle at the top: Chelsea’s title defense against Man City’s sheer talent.Tony: Both Pep and Jose begin their sophomore efforts with good teams, and it’ll be interesting to see how their successes and failures are covered and compared. It’s looking like those Manchester derbies will be incredibly important games this year.Also, COYG!! I’m allowed to say that right? Too late. COYG!!Chadwick: Tony, is that English? Maybe all too English, come to think of it.
When Lamar Odom heaved the ball down-court to drain away what seconds remained between the 2010 Los Angeles Lakers and a championship, few realized that it marked the start of a new era. The period that followed was defined by who wasn’t in L.A. that June night: LeBron James. For each of the next eight seasons, a James-led team would make the NBA Finals — a streak of contesting the championship that won’t technically end until Thursday’s Game 1 between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors.As the confetti filled the Staples Center air, there was little sense of just how profoundly the game was about to change — some changes because of James himself, others just moving on a parallel track to the game’s biggest star. With the benefit of hindsight, then, let’s take a look at exactly how many huge developments have transpired across the league since the last time we had an NBA Finals without LeBron James.From ABC News: In many ways, it’s fitting that these 2019 finals would pit two of James’s longtime foils — the Raptors (who could never beat him in the playoffs) and the Warriors (whom he could seldom beat) — against each other. James’s shadow hangs over the series in absentia, if not simply for what his vacancy signals. He may return to the championship stage again sooner than later, particularly if the Warriors’ hegemony is threatened this summer. But for now, this series marks the end of an era — and the culmination of all the many changes that have remade basketball since the last time we weren’t debating James’s chances of adding another ring to his collection.Check out our latest NBA predictions. LeBron’s GOAT turnGoing into the summer of 2010, James’s future was as uncertain as it would ever be. He had just suffered the most high-profile failure of his career, inexplicably struggling as his Cleveland Cavaliers were bounced from the second round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics. He faced a looming free-agency “decision” — would he betray his hometown Cavs? — and persistent questions about whether he could lead a championship team. Statistically, James’s career was off to a stellar start, but by the NBA’s ring-obsessed standards, his path toward GOAT status was wobbling.Nearly a decade later, James is still not universally hailed as the greatest ever. (Michael Jordan’s shadow looms large.) But he is generally placed right in the conversation with MJ. He answered postseason critics with eight straight conference titles and three rings, including one that involved: a) one of the greatest NBA Finals comebacks ever; b) upsetting the winningest regular-season team in history; and c) ending Cleveland’s 52-year championship drought. At the same time, James has climbed up the all-time statistical mountain in countless categories, including passing Jordan on points in March. If James isn’t the GOAT, he has at least become the defining player of his generation — and in some ways, he even redefined the role of a superstar and the criteria we use to judge all-time greats.The rise of the WarriorsThe 2009-10 Golden State Warriors won only 26 games and got their coach, Don Nelson, fired. (The team would go through two more coaches before finding current boss Steve Kerr.) Few vestiges of Nelson’s 2006-07 “We Believe” Warriors — the franchise’s high-water mark for postseason success since the early 1990s — were still on the roster anyway. Newcomer Stephen Curry finished second in Rookie of the Year voting but gave scarcely any clues that he’d eventually become a transformational player. Klay Thompson and Draymond Green were still 20-year-old college kids. From these not-so-promising beginnings, the single greatest dynasty in basketball history1If not all of sports history, if you compare their run to those of greats from other leagues. would be formed.Every dynasty requires a series of unlikely breaks to fall its way, but it’s difficult to overstate just how surprising it was that Golden State would barge into an NBA championship club that included just eight franchises (the Celtics, Bulls, Pistons, Rockets, Lakers, Heat, 76ers and Spurs) hoarding the 31 titles up for grabs from 1980 through 2010. Before they added Kevin Durant in free agency, the Warriors were a testament to the power of drafting home-grown stars and locking them up on team-friendly contract extensions. After inking Durant, they became the scariest collection of talent ever assembled. And it would all come completely out of the blue, from the perspective of a neutral observer in the summer of 2010.The superteam craze gets crazierIn conjunction with James’s emergence as arguably the best player ever (see above), he also helped usher in an era of star players dictating the direction of the league on their own terms. The Age of the Superteam had already gotten underway with the 2008 Boston Celtics’ title-winning team-up between Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. But James pushed the trend even further when he joined forces with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to form a trio of prime-age superstars on the 2011 Miami Heat. Ever since, most of the game’s highest-profile moves have been designed to either counterbalance or mimic James’s original flight of fancy made good.The league’s power balance, of course, has almost always been about an ever-escalating arms race between Big Twos and Threes. The difference this decade has been about who gets to choose both how and where those combinations form. Encouraged by a salary structure that prioritizes nonmonetary benefits and empowered by what strange quirks of the system do arise, superstars (and their agents) have become every bit as powerful in team-building as general managers. You can’t fault them for it, either: Rings are how players are judged, and star recruiting is the most sensible path to a title in the NBA. This was bound to happen eventually — and the past decade has only solidified the trend.Pacing and spacingThe Warriors didn’t just break the mold of dynasty-building — they helped redefine how a championship team plays the game. Before Curry and Co., the conventional wisdom was that a team who lives by the 3-pointer would eventually die by it before the playoffs ended. During the 2015 playoffs, former Lakers coach Phil Jackson famously tweeted a critique of jump-shooting teams during the 2015 playoffs; Charles Barkley voiced the same sentiment around the same time. The Warriors’ title that summer felt like a retort, invalidating any preconceived notions about what kind of great team could successfully win a title.Although the rise of the 3-point shot was set in motion long before Golden State formed its dynasty, the Warriors became its symbolic standard-bearer — even after they shifted away from small-ball lineups a bit and were surpassed by many other teams in their actual use of the 3-pointer. Whether influenced by Golden State or not, the league’s obsession with speed, spacing and shooting has intensified greatly over the past decade. Pace factor is up 8 percent since 2010, and 3-pointers per game are up 78 percent. (Huge dinosaurs still roamed the paint back in 2010; today’s game looks very different.) Offenses are the most efficient they’ve ever been, and the range at which players can reliably make threes is expanding constantly. James’s own development even mirrored these changes: Once criticized for a lack of shooting touch, he improved to eventually become one of the game’s best deep 3-point bombers by the end of the decade.The evolution of tankingIn addition to the LeBron-influenced spate of superteams, one of the league’s other primary off-court concerns this decade has been how to prevent teams from tanking — deliberately building bad (and often dirt-cheap) rosters in order to get high picks in that summer’s draft. The tactic is nothing new, but back in 2010, it still hadn’t been fully explored to its cynical conclusion — that wouldn’t truly come until Sam Hinkie took over the Philadelphia 76ers in 2013.2Perhaps the SuperSonics/Thunder of the mid-to-late 2000s could also be seen as a precursor to Hinkie’s Sixers, but even those teams were not as brazen in their tanking efforts as Philadelphia would become.Hinkie’s “Process” — designed specifically to acquire a franchise-altering talent like James — left a controversial legacy. It helped Philly eventually acquire many building blocks for their current contending squad, even after missing on a number of their high picks. It also produced some of the worst basketball ever along the way, and the results underscored the complete lack of certainty inherent in hitching a franchise’s fortunes to a randomized lottery system. Neither of this year’s NBA Finalists were built by tanking — in fact, Toronto methodically built a solid team until a superstar (Kawhi Leonard) fell into its lap. And the league readjusted its lottery odds this year anyway, flattening out the rewards for poor records and further discouraging intentionally bad roster construction. Unlike the dreadful 2002-03 Cavaliers team that drafted James, the next LeBron might not even enter the league with a team that lost on purpose to get him.The end of ‘Lakers exceptionalism’?Perhaps the starkest contrast between 2010 and the present is in the state of James’s current club, the L.A. Lakers. With a core of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Odom and young center Andrew Bynum, coached by Jackson, Los Angeles had just won its second consecutive title — and they appeared poised to contend for even more over the next few seasons. But Jackson retired from coaching in 2011; Bryant and Gasol got older; Bynum couldn’t stay healthy; Odom was traded; and the front office struggled to upgrade the supporting cast.An attempted superteam of Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Bryant and Gasol failed miserably. It also represented the last time the Lakers made the playoffs. Ever since, the team has tried desperately to replenish its once-endless supply of Hall of Famers, whether through the draft or in signing James, the game’s biggest star. But at the same time, L.A. has been hamstrung by ineffectual management, a story that extended to this week’s ESPN report about dysfunction between Magic Johnson, former president of basketball operations; general manager Rob Pelinka; James’s agent, Rich Paul; and the rest of the team and its staff. The Lakers still figure to aim for another huge star acquisition this offseason, but the era of what SB Nation’s Tom Ziller calls “Lakers exceptionalism” — the idea that L.A. is entitled to always dominate the NBA — is over, difficult as that would have been to believe in 2010.
Ohio State senior defender Tommy Parran reaches for a puck during the second period of Ohio State’s hockey game vs. Michigan on Jan. 11. Ohio State lost 2-1. Credit: Nick Hudak | For The LanternWhen thinking about the qualities of a hockey player, some may include athleticism, toughness or their ability to be a team player. While these all help describe Ohio State senior defenseman Tommy Parran, one quality is missing: service orientation. The Shaker Heights, Ohio, native is a finalist for the 2019 Hockey Humanitarian Award for his performance on and off the ice. According to hockeyhumanitarian.org, the award goes to “a student-athlete who makes significant contributions not only to his or her team, but also to the community-at-large through leadership in volunteerism.”Parran was one of 17 players nominated, including Ohio State women’s hockey senior forward Jacyn Reeves, and is the first player from the Ohio State men’s hockey team to be a top-five finalist.Parran is the director of service for the Ohio State Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, earning an Ohio State scholar-athlete and has Academic All-Big Ten honors.Parran said he is genuinely interested in helping his community, but he is not alone with this mindset.“I owe a lot to my committee members,” Parran said. “We have a great portion of the student-athlete body that consistently volunteers. I might get some of the credit for that, but I really am excited for what the future brings for the committee.” Before Ohio State, Parran was involved with community service in high school at St. Ignatius in Cleveland. On Fridays, instead of being in class, they performed community service in the mornings at nursing homes, an urban community school in the inner city and homeless shelters. Parran noted that some of his friends in high school started a group that went and ate lunch with people at the homeless shelter across from their school a few times a week. His high school service kickstarted one of the biggest parts of his life.Parran wasn’t always involved with service at the start of his career at Ohio State, but he said he “made it a point to have that as part of my life” in his junior and senior years. “I’m just really proud of him, I think it speaks volumes for what we’re all about,” men’s hockey head coach Steve Rohlik said. “We have so many things to be involved with here and Tommy’s gone out of his way to be involved in a lot of different things.”Through his involvement with service at Ohio State, Parran has had opportunities to travel to Thailand during summer 2017. He went with a group from the Ohio State athletics department and said he experienced something that was life-changing.“I had the opportunity not only to teach them English and healthy living habits, but also to show them that their athletic talents could give them things in life like education and a chance at a better future,” Parran said. Parran said that as an athlete, the amount of time spent training, even during the offseason, does not usually allow for athletes to have the opportunity to study abroad. But he said he received a scholarship to serve abroad during the summer. Rohlik said Parran cares about not only his team, but about helping others.“It’s total leadership,” Rohlik said. “Hockey’s going to end someday and the relationships he’s made and the experience he has is going to take care of him for the rest of his life.”As for what is next for the senior defenseman, Parran is focused on winning the fast-approaching championships. He is also considering professional hockey and might come back for law school at Ohio State, as he’s been studying for the LSAT. The winner for the 2019 Hockey Humanitarian Award will be announced during a ceremony on April 12 during NCAA’s Men’s Frozen Four weekend in Buffalo, New York.
As the January transfer window approaches, Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has insisted that striker Alfredo Morelos is “going nowhere”.Morelos scored a brace on Sunday as Rangers came from behind to win 2-1 at St Johnstone.Last January, Rangers rejected an £8m bid from Chinese club Beijing Renhe for the Colombian striker.After scoring 19 goals across all competitions in the first half of the season, Gerrard is gearing up for another fight to keep the 21-year-old.“He’s a top-class finisher. He must be a nightmare to play against because I see him constantly keep giving defenders tough afternoons,” Gerrard told Sky Sports.Owen reveals why Liverpool didn’t offer Gerrard a new contract Manuel R. Medina – September 6, 2019 According to Owen, the Reds wanted to sell Gerrard two years before he left the club and that’s why they didn’t offer him a contract renewal.“He comes alive in the box and at big times and big moments, he has stepped up for us.“So we’re really pleased with him. All good players around the world receive interest and bids – that’s football.“I won’t turn my phone off. I’ll listen to what (interested clubs) have to say. He’s going nowhere and that’s the message.”