B&H representative at the athletics meeting in Brugnera, Italy Amel Tuka won the gold in the 800-meter run.(Source: klix.ba)
A federal judge has ruled in favor of Walt Disney World, after a disability advocate from the Orlando area sued the company on behalf of her adult autistic son.Donna Lorman, who serves as president of the Autism Society of Greater Orlando, sued Disney in 2014 to get her son immediate access to the FastPass lines at the theme parks.“Disney Parks have an unwavering commitment to providing an inclusive and accessible environment for all our guests. We are pleased with the court’s decision,” Disney spokeswoman Andrea Finger said in a statement.Lorman filed the lawsuit came after Disney World changed its policy seven years ago in response to reports of tourists hiring people with disabilities and terminally-ill children to help them skip long lines and ride multiple times.Disney subsequently created its new system the Disability Access Service Card, or DAS, which allows people with disabilities get return times for rides, similar to a FastPass, so they do not need to wait in a line.When filing her complaint, Lorman said she wanted 10 passes to the Magic Kingdom, so her son could ride his favorite attractions quickly by getting directly into the FastPass line.Otherwise, he would have had to get an advance reservation to come back later.The extra waiting was difficult for her son, who did not understand the concept of time, according to his mother.She accused the parks of not accommodating his disability.However, Disney argued that it is not required to provide unlimited, front-of-line passes for every ride under the Americans with Disabilities Act. If disabled guests received two more re-admission passes, the standby line at Magic Kingdom’s popular Seven Dwarfs Mine Train coaster would increase by 39 minutes, from 69 to 108 minutes, the company argued in court documents.In a decision reached June 22, U.S. District Judge Anne Conway sided with Disney, ruling that it was “unreasonable” for the company to give such access to Lorman’s son. It would make Disney’s system ripe for abuse again, he wrote.“Requiring the modification, based on the history of the former system, would lead to fraud and overuse, lengthen the wait times significantly for non-disabled guests, and fundamentally alter Disney’s business model,” Conway explained.Conway said Disney could “recover its cost of action.”“To say that I am disappointed would be an understatement. I really truly believe in what I was fighting for,” Lorman wrote to a reporter after the ruling.During the trial, she testified that her son, who was 22 when she filed the lawsuit, has moderate to severe autism that makes communication difficult and following a routine essential.Otherwise, her son could melt down. For example, he needed to visit the Disney rides in a particular order, she said.In response, Disney’s defense team said Lorman should have planned her visit better, in order to adjust to the new rules.
A Namibian family with their new bed net. (Image: Malaria No More) MEDIA CONTACTS • Collins Boakye-Agyemang WHO regional office for Africa +47 241 39420 RELATED ARTICLES • Defeating malaria “within reach” • SA’s mortality rates on the decline • Malaria cases halved in SA • Top WEF award for SA singer • Holgate’s goodwill drive to JubaEmily van RijswijckEvery night at 9pm, in certain African communities, the NightWatch communications campaign reminds people, via radio, television and text messages, to get under their mosquito nets as part of the the fight against malaria.It’s a simple idea, yet one which is starting to bear fruit on a continent where about 81% of the world’s malaria incidences and 95% of all malaria deaths occur, according to the World Health Organisation.The disease, which is preventable and curable, affects the lives of almost half of the world’s population, with pregnant women and children under five most at risk.The 30-second NightWatch message is broadcast with the help of various corporate partners.Adding their voicesIn one of the messages, the familiar, soothing voice of Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour asks: “It’s 9pm. Are you and your family safe under your mosquito nets tonight?”In other voice clips and visuals, well-known personalities such as Akon, R Kelly and soccer legend Alexandre Song are featured, adding weight to the life-saving importance of using mosquito nets.More than 20 top musicians, community leaders and athletes have so far participated in the programme, which aims to tackle the pandemic head on with simple, yet pithy messages.An initiative of Malaria No More and South Africa’s Lalela Project, it was launched in Senegal in 2010 but has since rolled out in Chad, Tanzania and Cameroon.On a continent where a child still dies from the disease every 45 seconds, NightWatch hopes to act as a consistent reminder to take action.The goal of the programme is to increase mosquito net usage, minimise the incidence of malaria and thereby bring down malaria deaths in Africa.Malaria No More aims to put a stop to all malaria deaths by 2015.The main thing is to change people’s mindsets and convince them to use the bed nets, says Richard Bona, Cameroonian musician. It is estimated that about 50% of households in sub-Saharan Africa now have at least one bed net.Since its inception in 2010, NightWatch has reached more than nine-million people.In August 2011 NightWatch-Cameroon was launched, along with a campaign which saw 8.6-million bed nets distributed throughout the country. It is Cameroon’s first-ever universal mosquito net campaign in partnership with various large corporations.One of these, ExxonMobil Corporation, is also sponsoring the Nightwatch-Cameroon broadcast.International recognitionLast year the NightWatch programme was recognised by the World Petroleum Council as the most outstanding project and innovation in the oil and gas sector in the Social Responsibility category. ExxonMobil received the award, which is only given every three years, at the 20th World Petroleum Congress in Doha, Qatar, on 5 December 2011.Considered to be one of the most prestigious in the petroleum sector, the award recognises private and public companies and institutions for outstanding projects or innovations. The organisation received over 100 submissions vying for recognition.Suzanne McCarron, president of the ExxonMobil Foundation, said the programme serves as a healthy reminder every night to millions of Africans that malaria is a preventable and treatable disease.The company has channelled more than $100-million (R776-million) into the global fight since 2000.Elsewhere on the continentA number of other organisations and individuals are taking the malaria epidemic on.Africa’s leading telecommunications provider MTN, has also entered the fray, targeting five-million of its subscribers with regular bed net reminders via a text message system.And in Ghana, confectionary giant Hershey’s is using its cocoa link mobile phone network to reach cocoa farmers in the country. Some 2 500 farmers receive regular malaria prevention messages warning them of the dangers of the disease and the related decrease in productivity which results from the illness.In Cameroon the Muna Foundation, working with several renowned African artists and Malaria No More, created a catchy anthem under the K.O. PALU (knock out malaria) campaign. The song is sung in a mix of English, French and ethnic dialects, urging urge locals to fight the disease by taking their medication, going to the hospital and sleeping under the treated mosquito nets.Since the beginning of 2011 more than 16-million Cameroonians have received the encouraging message.K.O.PALU started in August 2011 and aims to increase public awareness against malaria, especially through the distribution of impregnated bed-nets, a strategy with which South Africa’s own adventurer-explorer Kingsley Holgate has become synonymous.Holgate and his family have traversed the continent in their trusty Land-Rovers, handing out impregnated nets to hundreds of families. He is a staunch activist of the global United Against Malaria campaign.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Today’s report sent shock waves to the bear. Both corn and soybean stocks were bullish and below the average trade estimate. Two weeks ago the bears thought they were in control and more downside ahead. But, Mother Nature again proved who is boss. This was a market that seemed dead two weeks ago. It just goes to show how quickly things can change. Corn stocks were 108 million bushels below expected, soybean stocks 45 million bushels below expected.Corn acres were estimated at 88.897 million acres, and below trade estimates of 89.292 million acres. Soybean acres were estimated at 85.139 million acres, with the trade estimate at 85.17 million acresShortly after the report came out, a customer asked what the grain limits currently are. Corn is 30 cents, soybeans 70 cents, with wheat at 40 cents.Just prior to the report corn and soybeans were down one cent, with wheat down four cents. At 12:40 corn is up 22 cents, soybeans up 44 cents, and wheat is up 13 cents. We have heard there was a tremendous amount of old corn that was sold last week. One report said that some grain facilities had their biggest day of buying old corn since last fall’s harvest. Other reports indicated that last week was a record volume in buying grain from producers. It is estimated that the U.S. farmer at this date has sold 80% of 2014 corn and 90% of 2014 soybeans.This report day has captured plenty of attention the past two weeks. Much has been made about soybean acres not getting planted across the Midwest. Three weeks ago the states of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska were the states with the biggest amount of soybeans yet to plant. Fast forward to today, there are still five million acres of soybeans not planted in the US. Missouri is by far the biggest state of those four detailed above. Traders are looking for soybean acres to be 85.2 million acres, up from the March intentions at 84.6 million acres. The market will quickly dismiss the acres numbers for soybeans, especially given the weather of the past three weeks. The USDA survey was done late May and early June, before all of the prolonged and frequent rains took place. USDA will not attempt to adjust those numbers with this report today. It is very likely that soybean acres will again have a survey, most likely for the August 12 USDA supply and demand report. However, do not look for all U.S. acres to have another survey done. Reports we hear are suggesting that the wettest three states would be done for the resurvey. Nothing is official yet, but it would seem those states would be Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana.June 1st soybean stocks came in at 625 million bushels, 45 million bushels below the average trade estimate. The lower than expected number was bullish and a surprise to the market. It adds validity to ideas that the 2014 soybean production may have been estimated too high. Soybean stocks as of June 1 were the most watched number going into the report. Traders estimated that number would be 670 million bushels. The range a week ago from the low estimate to the high estimate was 170 million bushels. That suggested lots of price volatility. Last night that range was down to 103 million bushels.Corn stocks came in at 4.447 billion bushels, 108 million bushels below trade estimates. Corn is once again coming to life. With all of the bird flu concerns the past several months, many had thought that corn demand would be waning, and that could push corn stocks above trade estimates. That did not happen.Last night’s weekly crop condition report had both corn and soybean good and excellent totals declining from the previous week. The corn good and excellent totals were 68%, down from last week’s 71%.Wheat has seen a huge rally this past week, up about 80 cents. Harvest has begun in central and southern Ohio. Yields are ranging from high 60’s to nearly 90 bushels per acre. The forecast has rain chances for the next week. The northern half has yet to get into wheat fields in a big way. We heard Williams county had six inches of rain. It might be two weeks before harvest is fully underway if the rains take place this week. We are hearing central Ohio grain facilities quickly moving to two wheat discount schedules, one for milling quality, the other for feed quality.The acres numbers are quickly being dismissed. Weather returns to be the dominant feature. Hang on, we are in a full blown weather market. And, a wet weather one at that.
With just over five minutes left in Game 2 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference finals and the Miami Heat trailing by three, LeBron James threw a wild alley-oop attempt toward Dwyane Wade. The ball sailed 10 feet over Wade, off the backboard and into the hands of Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert. At that point, the win probability models at InPredictable gave the Heat just a 29 percent chance of winning.Then the Heat turned those probabilities inside out, outscoring the Pacers 15 to 8 in the last five minutes of the game; James and Wade scored all 15 points.Poof! After a frustrating fourth-quarter performance by Indiana, its home-court advantage was gone. The series is tied 1-1.Maybe we should have seen this coming; end-of-game struggles have been all too common for the Heat’s opponents in these playoffs. Through Tuesday night, the Heat have outscored their opponents by an average of 14.7 points per 100 possessions in the fourth quarter, the best mark by any team in the playoffs.Miami Heat Point Differential Per 100 PossessionsThe Heat’s differential by quarter was fairly even in the regular season, although there’s a tilt toward the second half. Miami has often gotten off to slow starts in the playoffs, but, more often than not, the Heat have finished by blowing teams apart down the final stretch. If we narrow the focus to those mystical “clutch” moments (less than five minutes left in the game, neither team ahead by more than five points) the Heat’s per 100 possession point differential jumps to a ludicrous +82.1 (of course, that’s in a sample of just 14 minutes, three of which came in Tuesday night’s game).Seeking matchups to exploit in the fourth quarter has been part of a consistent pattern in the Heat’s rotations. Nine different five-man units have played at least five or more fourth-quarter minutes for the Heat in the playoffs, compared with just four such units in the first quarter. Of those nine units, six have a positive point differential. Only one of those first-quarter units does.Case in point: In Game 2, guard Norris Cole and big man Chris Anderson gave the Heat a boost of energy and defensive intensity off the bench in the first half. Seeing how effective those two were early in this game, Erik Spoelstra, the Heat’s coach, left them in for almost the entire fourth quarter. The key stretch, when the Heat turned a four-point deficit into a six-point lead, came when Cole and Anderson were playing with James, Wade and Chris Bosh. That lineup had not played a single minute for the Heat in the playoffs before Game 2.The Pacers have shown they can compete with, and beat, the Heat. But doing that four times in a series will require much more in-game consistency, because on most nights the Heat are building toward something.
When the American League takes the field in Tuesday’s MLB All-Star Game, Derek Jeter will walk out of the dugout to what is sure to be thunderous applause and take his familiar place at shortstop.That’s nothing new. Jeter, who plans to retire at the end of this season, has been named an All-Star 14 times in his storied career, starting the game at shortstop nine times. This year, though, he’s playing at nothing near an All-Star level. According to wins above replacement (WAR), Jeter has been one of the AL’s worst shortstops this season.It’s tough to get too worked up, though, about Jeter getting the starting nod — however undeserved — in the final All-Star Game of his career. Although Erick Aybar of the Los Angeles Angels almost certainly warranted the accolade instead, baseball has a long history of awarding statistically unjustified All-Star Game starts. Surprisingly, though, the worst All-Star starting bids (since 1974 — excluding 1981, due to the players’ strike — according to FanGraphs’ WAR through the end of June for the season in question) are not exclusively the realm of sentimental picks like Jeter:Forty-year-old Cal Ripken Jr.’s 2001 All-Star Game start was awarded purely out of legacy, and it’s been frequently compared to Jeter’s this week. Ripken, however, had the worst first half of any All-Star Game starter from the past four decades, having played much worse than Jeter has thus far in 2014. Ripken’s first-half triple-slash line in 2001 was .240/.270/.324 (good for a 56 Weighted Runs Created Plus); Jeter’s 2014 line is .272/.324/.322 (80 wRC+), despite playing in a more difficult offensive environment. Jeter may not be playing like a typical All-Star, but he hasn’t been as bad as Ripken was at the same age.Perhaps more interesting is the fact not all — or even most — ill-advised All-Star starting picks went to sentimental selections. Of the 50 worst starters listed above, there are more players under age 30 (18) than 35-or-older (16). For most of the prime-aged players who started the All-Star Game despite poor first halves, though, their presence can be explained by a good season the year prior. This phenomenon is fueled by baseball’s long-standing confusion over whether the All-Star Game is supposed to honor the players who played best in the first half of the season in question, those who played best since the previous All-Star Game, or simply the best players in general.Jeter falls into none of those three categories, but he will carry on the proud tradition of the legacy pick when he takes the field tonight.
Not everybody has been bought out yet. But there are a few key ones, Tony. Among them: Robin Lopez, who’s thought to be headed to the Warriors. Wesley Matthews, who sounds set on Indiana.natesilver: What if Houston traded Chris Paul for the Lakers’ young guys this summer?Not that crazy if AD goes elsewhere, right?chris.herring: I don’t think the young Lakers shoot well enough to put them around Harden.But that idea is still kind of fascinating. I don’t trust CP3 health-wise beyond this year — especially not with that money he’s making. So they would be smart to get something for him if someone is willing to give them a king’s ransom.natesilver: The 76ers really need a buyout guy. The drop-off from their starting five to their bench is about as steep as you’ll ever see.tchow: Scouring on NBA Twitter right now, and Wayne Ellington (Tar Heel!!) is another name that is being mentioned a lot.chris.herring: Yeah. Ellington def isn’t playing with Phoenix, so he’s another — maybe to the Rockets, even. He waived a no-trade clause to leave Miami, so he’d probably only join a contender.natesilver: Speaking of Philly, the Fultz move actually opens up some cap space, so they could decide to keep Harris and target another max guy if Jimmy Butler leaves.chris.herring: That Harris deal was such a big, interesting move for them.Being able to keep him as insurance depending on what happens with Butler — who isn’t my favorite long-term max option anyway — is huge. Harris is also a lot younger than people realize because Philadelphia is already his fifth team at age 26.tchow: He’s only 26???natesilver: I like it more for the Sixers than a lot of people do, in part because it gives them several different options going forward.chris.herring: Yep.natesilver: Also, if Ben Simmons is your point guard, you need forwards who can make a 3.chris.herring: I was tough on them last year, but can we circle back to the Pistons right quick? Because they are seemingly punting on this season. They gave up Stanley Johnson for Thon Maker, which I don’t mind on its own. Thon could be good. But they dealt away a very decent/good player in Reggie Bullock to the Lakers.neil: And according to our projections, Detroit has a 56 percent chance of making the playoffs!chris.herring: THAT’S WHAT I’M NOT UNDERSTANDINGneil: Same.chris.herring: Like, there’s a possibility they could be trading themselves out of the playoffs.Now, maybe that risk isn’t terrible — especially now, with what happened with the Wizards.neil: Making the playoffs is a pretty low bar, especially in the East. But Detroit has only done it once since 2009.natesilver: Top to bottom, Detroit has to be in one of the worst situations in the league. They’re stuck in that in-between zone, but without very many young assets to pull them out of it.chris.herring: As it stands, they still wouldn’t be in. And I feel like they hurt their chances, if anythingtchow: Yea, I was about to say. Detroit making the playoffs might be surprising, but if you look at the East, who else would be the 7 or 8 seed that seems more probable? 56 percent seems about right to me.neil: The Wizards basically blew everything up. (Although I was a little surprised Bradley Beal wasn’t on the move.)chris.herring: Miami. I trust Erik Spoelstra and that group more than Blake Griffin and the Blakettes.natesilver: If the Pistons decide they want to blow things up, then I wonder if they’d consider moving Blake this summer.chris.herring: I guess they probably want to build around him going forward. But yeah, Blake probably should be moved. He could make several teams really interesting.tchow: Man, I feel so bad for Wizards fans.chris.herring: Yeah. Speaking of the Wizards, I liked the Bulls jumping in on the Otto Porter situation. Some Bulls’ fans didn’t like it. But Chicago has done literally nothing to make itself more appealing to free agents this summer. So they sacrifice that space by getting Porter, who’s young. But they at least have a young vet who is decent on both ends to put around that young core.natesilver: There are so many teams with max cap slots open that some of these “bad” contracts, e.g. Blake or CP3 or maybe Kevin Love, could start to look like assets.All of those guys can still play obviously, but they get very expensive in the back half of their contracts.tchow: Aren’t all those teams waiting for the summer though, Nate?natesilver: Yeah, I think the summer is going to be totally wild. Dallas also cleared a max slot, or close to it.chris.herring: Yeah! The Dallas situation was big. Last week, when we discussed them, we talked about how they didn’t have space. By moving Barnes now, they do. Accelerates the timeline quite a bit, which you obviously want to do now that you have Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis together.chris.herring: LOL neil: I didn’t realize FuckJerry was referring to Jerry Buss.Loltchow: LOLnatesilver: But maybe the Lakers deserve some blame for that. The chemistry around the team is really weird and there are a lot of mixed messages about what their objectives are.chris.herring: Completely. I don’t think it was ever fair to assume they could get the deal done. But I do understand L.A.’s frustration if, as reported, they weren’t even getting counteroffers back from the Pelicans.natesilver: A lot of the better deals of the past few years, like Paul George or Kawhi Leonard or on a smaller scale Mirotic today, are just about teams being opportunistic.Instead of trying to call their shots.chris.herring: Yeah. It would’ve been something had Milwaukee or Toronto been able to land Davis. Probably too big of a gamble for Toronto, and maybe Milwaukee didn’t have enough outside of Giannis.But the gamble for PG paid off; especially considering OKC generally isn’t in play for the biggest free agents because of location.natesilver: It was sorta funny that AD’s list included the Lakers plus three teams that didn’t really have pieces that fit.neil: Yeah, there was another conspiracy theory floating around that that was to provide cover when eventually talks circled “back” to the Lakers.chris.herring: Yeah. It was Lakers or bust this whole time.natesilver: If the Knicks get the No. 1 pick, what are the odds they flip it for Davis? Gotta be at least 50/50, no? It just feels like a very clean transaction.chris.herring: Nate, I think the Knicks would be very well-positioned if they win the lottery. They would have the No. 1 pick (Zion Williamson), two recent lottery guys — in Frank Ntilikina and Kevin Knox — AND the future first-round picks they just got from Dallas.I don’t think too many teams can touch that. Not a whole lot in the way of players who can make a big, immediate impact. But Zion alone is something you can sell to your fans, as well as a boatload of future picks. And now that the Davis saga is being pushed out to the offseason — and with Boston perhaps being put in a weakened situation, given the lack of clarity around Kyrie — the team that wins the lotto could be best position to make NOLA an offer.tchow: Circling back to things that did happen, outside of the AD saga, the story of these trades seems to be about the moves the top Eastern Conference teams made. FWIW, this is how the top of the East looked a week ago, compared to now: neil: I love the East horse race this season! I think the favorite changed hands, like, three times in the last few days. Everyone is making their move now that LeBron is out of the picture.chris.herring: As they should!tchow: The King is gone — the throne is wide-open. It’s like “Game of Thrones” in the Eastern Conference.chris.herring: I really do like the Mirotic trade for Milwaukee. When I tweeted about it, someone said, “Yeah, but how does he help them against Golden State?” Milwaukee hasn’t gotten out of the first round since 2000. They have a real chance to make the finals now, with an elite player, offense and defense and an explosive scheme that allows them to rain threes.tchow: So. Many. Shooters.neil: Right, Ray Allen and Sam Cassell were Bucks the last time they were in a spot like this.chris.herring: Mirotic isn’t perfect. But he really helped AD and the Pelicans down the stretch last year. Can certainly help Milwaukee.tchow: All right, enough about the trade deadline. Who’s ready for the All-Star draft?Check out our latest NBA predictions. chris.herring (Chris Herring, senior sportswriter): While there wasn’t the blockbuster deal that some thought might come at Thursday’s NBA trade deadline, there were plenty of moves — and non-moves — that affected each of the top teams in the East and will factor heavily in the playoff race from here on out.And on the flipside, there are a handful of teams that aren’t in contention that made trades I liked for their future. (And one that did almost nothing, which confuses me.)This is insane, by the way: The way the Pelicans handled this whole scenario is ridiculous.neil: So petty.tchow: The NBA is the pettiest league. But that’s also what makes it the best league.chris.herring: Although the Lakers’ core wouldn’t have had me excited to make a deal, either.neil: No, and I think part of it was New Orleans feeling like planting a flag for the small-market teams of the league. The Lakers can’t just have anyone they want whenever they want.natesilver: If Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram had played, like, 20 percent better this season, everything would be so much easier.neil: That’s definitely true.chris.herring: I think the Pelicans’ social media team just called the Lakers’ offer the equivalent of the Fyre Festival. neil: Hard as it is to believe a LeBron James team misses the playoffs.chris.herring: The Clippers are interesting because even after dealing Harris, they aren’t by any means in a bad spot.natesilver: Yeah, the Clippers have a lot of guys on expiring contracts, so they have incentive to play hard.In the abstract, the Kings are not tanking, but our numbers hate Harrison Barnes, so that trade didn’t help their chances at all.chris.herring: I didn’t like that deal for the Kings.I like that they’re going for it. But I didn’t love trading Justin Jackson.The Bulls’ deal for Otto Porter was better, IMO.neil: But it also felt like the Lakers and AD overplayed their hand a little here. It felt like an orchestrated effort to bully the Pelicans into trading a generational player for less than attractive prospects. And the Pelicans didn’t blink.To hear some tell it, out of spite.chris.herring: There were a handful of things that played out today that I didn’t understand.tchow: Fellow Justin Jackson fan here, checking in.chris.herring: Toronto’s deal for Marc Gasol was interesting. He’s a former defensive player of the year but has slowed down. You deal Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, CJ Miles and a second-rounder for him. I don’t know how much better that makes the Raptors. Maybe Gasol is less of a defensive liability, but Valanciunas could beat up on second-string bigs pretty well. And I like Wright’s versatility at times.What did our projections have on that one? The way the Raps handled deadline was interesting. You kept hearing Lowry’s name floated around, etc.neil: Our projections still like Gasol quite a bit. Mainly for his defense.chris.herring: Also, to Nate and Neil’s question about the Lakers, at this point, I’m more interested in how the youngsters play from now on. Many of them had never been through this, with it being public that they’re all for sale. How they respond, how hard LeBron pushes himself and how much the Lakers push him will say a lot about whether they’re in the playoffs. It may not be totally worth it for LeBron to push himself to the limit, given how old he is and how slim a chance they have of taking out the West’s contenders.natesilver: I think literally every player on the roster other than LeBron was rumored to be going to New Orleans at some point, which can’t have helped with morale.chris.herring: Exactly.neil: Probably no coincidence they lost by 40+ on Tuesday.chris.herring: YUP.natesilver: Plus, the Lakers’ plan B isn’t that bad. Sign Klay Thompson or something this summer, give the young guys more chance to develop, and be opportunistic; there are still several ways you could end up with AD, and if you do, you’re going to have a lot more assets to surround him and LBJ with.chris.herring: Some teams surprised me by not making a deal today. I thought Atlanta — with guys like Kent Bazemore, Jeremy Lin — could have dealt away a vet to get something in return. Utah seemed to want Mike Conley, yet Memphis decided not to trade him just yet.But I love Orlando getting Markelle Fultz. They badly need someone at point guard. So I like the first-round pick as a gamble there.tchow: But our projections HATE Fultz, Chris.chris.herring: Of course. He hasn’t been good yet!neil: I don’t think anybody’s projections know what to do with Fultz.natesilver: Fultz isn’t a guy that projection systems are set up to deal with.neil: Right.chris.herring: One team that continues to confuse me some is Houston. They kind of cheaped out. Moved James Ennis for very little. Picked up Iman Shumpert, but also dealt away Nik Stauskas right after landing him in a trade. All seemingly to stay beneath the luxury tax. Those guys could’ve been useful. Maybe not great, but useful. On a team with a ton of injuries and little depth.It would be interesting to know how James Harden views that sort of thing as he’s doing everything by himself, damn-near.natesilver: Shumpert with good coaching/management could be an interesting fit. But yeah, Daryl Morey is sort of a home run hitter, and this felt like him fouling off a few pitches instead.chris.herring: True. They’ve always been bold, when it comes to certain things, that boldness pays off. They washed their hands of Carmelo Anthony a lot earlier than some would have, but they turned things around shortly after. Now the Lakers are interested in picking Melo up off the waiver wire, apparently.tchow: Speaking of Melo, Chris, in the beginning of the chat, you mentioned something about buyouts, and I keep hearing NBA circles talking about a robust or much coveted buyout market this time around. Who are some of the players that are being circled right now? I have no idea why it’s “robust.”chris.herring: neil (Neil Paine, senior sportswriter): Chris, this has to be up there with the most active deadlines ever.chris.herring: So what stood out to you all as the deadline came and went? The trades themselves are over, but a number of teams seem likely to keep an eye on the waiver wire for big names that could become available via buyout.I have to be honest: I loved Milwaukee’s trade for Nikola Mirotic.neil: Yes, a week ago, the Bucks were third-best in the East in our ratings. Now they are No. 1. (At least, in terms of full-strength rating.)chris.herring: They took four second-rounders and the spare parts they got in deals from the past couple of days to get a stretch big who fits their offense perfectly.Tobias Harris is a more complete player than Mirotic, but the fact that they could get the deal done without giving up much on the personnel side was really impressive.natesilver (Nate Silver, editor in chief): What stood out to me is that the biggest losers of the whole trade deadline period were the Lakers and the Celtics, even though they didn’t make any moves. (Well, the Lakers traded for Mike Muscala, but I’m not sure that counts.)tchow (Tony Chow, video producer): It doesn’t.chris.herring: The Sixers could have benefited from a deal like Milwaukee’s.neil: Yes, the Sixers gave up a ton in that Harris deal.tchow: The thing that stood out to me is it seemed like Toronto, Milwaukee AND Philadelphia all made moves with the assumption that their time is NOW. They all seem to believe they can win, if not the NBA Finals, then at least the East. Now, obviously, all three of them (four if you include Boston) can’t make it out on top, so it’ll be interesting to see who, if any, regrets these moves at the end of the season.natesilver: The Celtics were the biggest losers because all three of the other Eastern contenders made trades that make them much tougher outs. Obviously Philly gave up a lot more to do it than Toronto or Milwaukee did, and I agree that the Mirotic trade is the best of the three.chris.herring: That’s interesting, Nate.natesilver: The opportunity cost of not making a move is pretty high if you’re Boston.Especially if they’re now underdogs to make it out of the second round, which won’t help their case for keeping Kyrie Irving.chris.herring: I actually didn’t feel like Boston was a massive loser here. On the one hand, yeah, they didn’t change the roster. But they also seem to have played a role in Anthony Davis not being moved, which is a win in some ways, no? I guess it depends on whether you’re looking at short-term (which you probably have to, since the Celtics are a contender) vs. long-term/summer.neil: Certainly Davis staying in play for the summer is a win for Boston, although Davis’s agent and his father have said he’s not interested in signing long-term in Boston.natesilver: My thing is like: Kyrie has very openly flirted with the idea of leaving. And both the Knicks and the Clippers, two of the most attractive destinations, have totally cleared their books in way that make them very plausible fits for him.chris.herring: That’s certainly truenatesilver: The Celtics have to fade a lot of risks: AD openly griping about going there, Kyrie not leaving, the Knicks getting the No. 1 (or maybe the No. 2?) pick — in which case their offer for AD could be pretty darn attractive — and maybe none of the Lakers players having a breakout in the playoffs, which would make them more attractive trade assets, too.chris.herring: All completely fair.tchow: Yea, if the Celtics get knocked out in the first round or even the second round of the playoffs this year, I feel like they’re going to really regret not making any moves before this deadline.natesilver: Like, what if the Celtics had traded for Tobias Harris as a rental?chris.herring: Maybe I’m just of the opinion that the Celtics doing nothing AND watching AD get dealt to the Lakers would’ve been worse for them.natesilver: The weird thing about Boston is that they don’t have any obvious weaknesses, so they’re a little hard to improve unless you’re actually getting a star. But still…chris.herring: I don’t know if I would have liked them dealing for Harris, who is kind of a taller Jayson Tatum with less upside, given their difference in age.neil: Are the Lakers even going to MAKE the playoffs?tchow: Maybe? Right now, we project them to be a 9 seed.chris.herring: That’s a good question, Neil.natesilver: We have them as 2-to-1 underdogs, although they’re going to benefit from the Clippers semi-tanking. And maybe our numbers don’t account for motivation, as much.tchow:
Rangers Steven Gerrard’s men were impressive on Sunday leading to an emphatic away victory over Hearts and subsequent lead on the table but the manager says he is not carried away by the position.Steven Gerrard told Daily Mail:“It means nothing to me – and I’m not lying.”“It’s fantastic for the fans as it’s been too long. They can enjoy tonight but we have another big game in 72 hours (against Aberdeen at Ibrox) and that’s my focus.”“I said before the game it would be nice to be top, but I won’t think about that.”“All I will think about is what knocks we have, who is available for Wednesday and what am I going to do without Scott. I go straight to work for that game.”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.“I am not interested in the league (position). You get nothing for it now. We have worked hard to get there, but it’s a challenge for us to see how long we can stay there.”“People have games in hand and will breathe down our neck, but it’s a different responsibility. The players know that and we have to handle that.”“There’s no point getting carried away because we’re in early December and you get nothing for it right now.”“It was a very important result. It’s our first big win against a rival away from home and we’ll take confidence and belief from this result.”
The Argentina Football Association finally made the decision to appoint legendary Cesar Luis Menotti, to be their National Team’s Director on Monday.As the new Argentina board of directors have managed to keep the National Team a float in the last few years, they needed to make a massive point by signing someone like Cesar Luis Menotti for an important position in the federation and they just announced him this Monday.The legendary former manager reportedly declined the position as the National Team coach, he doesn’t feel like he will deliver good results given his advanced age and he is not interested on having stress problems at this point in his life.But Menotti has always been very interested in what happens to his beloved National Team, which is the reason he agreed to sign a new contract as the new National Teams’ Director and will start his new job effective immediately.The Argentina Football Association (AFA), made the announcement on Monday and posted a picture of him and chairman Claudio Tapia shaking hands while closing the deal that binds Menotti to the squad in this new position.The input that Cesar Luis can give to the younger national teams is very valuable, he will make sure that the right decisions are made in Argentina from now on.El ex entrenador de @Argentina, César Luis Menotti, será Director de Selecciones Nacionales. Comenzará su función el próximo 1 de febrero. ¡Bienvenido a su Casa, César! pic.twitter.com/Ze2O7ksNY9— Selección Argentina 🇦🇷 (@Argentina) January 14, 2019This position has only been reserved in the past for World Cup champions with Argentina according to Diario Ole, only two other figures have taken on the job before Menotti and he has some major shoes to fill.The first one to take on the role was Carlos Bilardo, the manager who took Argentine to the 1986 World Cup championship and one of the most influential managers in the country’s history.During his tenure as the National Teams’ Director, Bilardo took Argentina when Diego Maradona took the job as the manager and he didn’t really have a lot of success in the position.The other person who took the position was Jose Nestor Pekerman, he was the Director between the mid-nineties and the start of the millennium.He was the one who appointed Marcelo Bielsa as the National Team manager, he also took the youth World Cup trophies of Qatar 1995, Malasia 1997, and Argentina in 2001.It’s Menotti’s turn to take a crack at the job, which is a huge responsibility because he will be the one calling the shots with only chairman Claudio Tapia above him in the organization.Top 5 best players from the international break weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 11, 2019 After a fresh international break just came to an end, we need to talk about the Top 5 best players during this whole weekend.We…¡La reconstrucción albiceleste!🇦🇷 AFA ha anunciado que a partir del próximo 1 de febrero, César Luis Menotti asumirá como Director de Selecciones Nacionales.👏 Argentina fue Campeón del Mundo con ‘El Flaco’ en 1978 de la mano de @ESPNMarioKempes pic.twitter.com/F5gREgM6cH— Fuera de Juego (@ESPN_FDJ) January 14, 2019Now that AFA has appointed Lionel Scaloni as the National Team manager, he will have to impress Menotti within the span of the next year or he will most likely be replaced if he comes out short.After the protocol is followed with all the necessary documents that Menotti will have to sign, the position will start officially on 1 February this year but Cesar Luis has already begun to form the working team that will help him build a better structure for all the National Teams in Argentina.As far as the National Team goes, it will be Cesar Luis Menotti’s job to convince Lionel Messi that he still has a lot to give to Argentina and to let him know that he has the full support from AFA for the upcoming tournaments in which he may compete.The new Director also has big plans for the manager’s job, but he will give Scaloni the benefit of the doubt and let him work without any pressure coming from his end.However, the options Menotti has for the job are Marcelo Gallardo, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, and Diego Simeone.#Seleccion 🇦🇷 ¿Qué decía Menotti de los posibles candidatos a entrenador de Argentina? ¿A quiénes elogiaba y les veía pasta? ➡ https://t.co/KPfVYhu0Wm pic.twitter.com/z0tMZOIYAm— Diario Olé (@DiarioOle) January 15, 2019How well do you think Cesar Luis Menotti will do as the new National Teams’ Director for Argentina? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.
Former striker Andy Cole is bewildered by Unai Emery’s “strange” decision to not play Mesut Ozil at Arsenal.The German playmaker has only started half of Arsenal’s 26 Premier League matches this season amid struggles to force his way into Emery’s plans.In fact, Ozil has only featured twice for the Gunners in 2019 due to both fitness struggles and Emery’s decision to omit from matchday squads.Despite recovering from an illness this week and returning to training, Ozil was again left out by the Spanish coach for Arsenal’s 1-0 Europa League defeat to BATE Borisov in Belarus on Thursday night.And Cole, who started out his playing career at Arsenal before going on to star for rivals Manchester United, admits he can’t understand why Emery refuses to play someone of Ozil’s calibre.“It’s becoming a bit of a comedy sketch at the moment,” Cole told Sky Sports. “We know how talented he is.“The manager has decided maybe he doesn’t want him in the team, he doesn’t work hard enough or whatever, but sometimes when you have that luxury, I think some of the boys in the team would be prepared to work a little bit harder to get him on the ball to produce that magic.Liverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“Arsenal over the previous years, when Wenger was there, did that. You’ve got to play your best players when you need them, and Ozil is one of Arsenal’s best.“If you asked [Alexandre] Lacazette and [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang: ‘Do you want Mesut to play?’ they’d say yes all day long, all day long! It’s really, really strange.”On the other hand, former Celtic manager Neil Lennon expects there will be plenty of interest in the “divisive” Ozil should he leave Arsenal this summer.“You have a talent like that, and it might come down to man management,” said Lennon.“He has certainly been a divisive character over the last few years. He’s like Marmite, some love him, some don’t! For me, I love watching him play.“He does get criticised a lot for his work rate, or lack of work rate, but his stats are up there for distance covered with many other players. He will certainly find a place somewhere, because he’s got the game.”LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 29: Mesut Ozil of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Cardiff City at Emirates Stadium on January 29, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)