A total of 209 land titles were distributed to residents of Mount Sinai, New Amsterdam, during an exercise hosted at the Berbice Educational Institute (BEI) on Wednesday. The titles were handed over by Director General of the Ministry of the Presidency Joseph Harmon and Minister within the Ministry of Communities Annette Ferguson.Minister within the Ministry of Communities Annette Ferguson presents Deborah Leitch with her land titleDirector General of the Ministry of the Presidency Joseph Harmon presents a land title to Simon Joseph, a resident of Mount Sinai“You will see that the distribution of these titles has nothing to do with which political party you represent, this is a distribution of titles to deserving Guyanese…We’re on the right path…this is not the end because 209 out of 1010 [land titles] is still a far way to go,” Harmon told the gathering.The distribution exercise is part of an overall Government programme to regularise the community and enhance residents’ quality of life. The Government has already provided infrastructure such as electricity and access to potable water and with the land title distribution, aims to ensure that safe, green spaces are provided for children.“I would like to see, when I go back into that area again, the children are not playing football on the street; that the little boys are not liming at the sides of the street; that we can provide facilities that will help them to live and to play in safe spaces that a developed country like ours can provide… So the introduction of street lights and lights in the homes, the introduction of water, the development of roads in the community and the fact that we will have to have some other open spaces— parks where your children can play— becomes more important,” Mr Harmon said.Meanwhile, Minister Ferguson said the distribution exercise is the realisation of President David Granger’s vision to provide housing for all.“The President has posited that his vision for housing will see a Guyana … where every citizen enjoys the right to housing … he speaks to the issue of reorientation, resources, regularisation and regionalisation… We see the first the coming together in this undertaking,” she noted.Contrary to the misinformation being published in some sections of the media, Minister Ferguson said the Government never abandoned the issuing of house lots. “What we have embarked on is to provide a mixed housing solution … We are working to provide both house lots and housing units,” she said.In an invited comment, Deborah Leitch said she has resided in the area for over 25 years and is grateful to finally have possession of her land title.“Today I must say thank God. I would like to say thanks to the Housing Minister and members of the Government and other persons who would have made it possible, who would have helped me to acquire this title,” she said.Another resident, Yvonne Mourant, said there have been many developments in the community over the past four years. “We have a lot of development because we got the water first, and then we got the lights and we are very much proud of it. We’re looking forward now to have drainage and the road,” she said.Member of Parliament, East Berbice-Corentyne (Region Six) Barbra Pilgrim; Deputy Mayor of New Amsterdam Wainwright McIntosh; Member of Parliament Donna Mattoo; Regional Executive Officer East Berbice-Corentyne (Region Six) Kim Williams-Stephen and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA) Lelon Saul also attended the ceremony.
Click HERE if you’re having trouble viewing the gallery on your mobile device.No one beats the Raiders as much as Philip Rivers. And perhaps no quarterback gets under their skin quite like the Chargers star, who was doing what he does best again on Sunday.Rivers was nearly perfect while throwing for 339 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a 26-10 win over Oakland, which included some nearly-perfect trash talk caught on television.“Nice defense, huh,” Rivers seemed to say loud enough for TV …
There’s an old saying that “any press is good press,” which for a company means it is ultimately beneficial to be mentioned in the media regardless of whether said mention is positive or negative. But there’s also a time when good press, while positive in nature, is not necessarily meaningful to the company overall. Don Rainey, investor at Grotech Ventures and author of the blog VC in DC, recently wrote about “5 Pieces of good news you should ignore,” referring to positive things that he believes are really meaningless when it comes to the success of your company.“When you’re running a company, one quickly becomes acquainted with the thought that everything matters … and in that, one is mostly but not completely right.” writes Rainey. “The surprise is that most of the stuff that turns out not to matter is good news. That is to say, positive events that don’t translate into anything additive to the company’s growth.”Three of Rainey’s five examples of when good news is fruitless include media coverage. Being written up in a local paper, placed atop a list by a trade publication or even interviewed on national television isn’t anything to get terribly excited about, he says. “Just consider it a break from the daily routine,” he adds. “You still have to concentrate on communicating your value proposition to probable suspects.”Without naming names, Rainey also advises companies to not take too much pride in trade show awards. He says we should be “profoundly suspect” of these awards which he believes go to the company that buys the biggest booth. Finally he says that companies should not be flattered by calls from what he calls “powerless” bigwigs at large corporations. “Many a small company will find itself turned on its head chasing a huge opportunity that is only [the] product of [a] bureaucrat’s search for meaning,” Rainey writes.Sure these are all positive things to have happen to a young company; being written about in a respected publication, or featured on national television is indeed an accomplishment, but Rainey warns to not become overzealous and flaunt these happenings. A pitch ultimately shouldn’t hinge on press coverage, awards and fancy endorsements when providing evidence of traction. Instead of touting your various accolades, place your trophies aside and focus on the task at hand – convincing the VCs that your product has inherent value. Tags:#start#startups 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… chris cameron
With tensions mounting among some tribes, the Manipur government has alerted all police stations and camps of paramilitary forces. Central forces are also in readiness to cope with any situation. There is genuine fear among the people, and in some government circles, that there may be a repeat of the bloody ethnic cleansing Manipur witnessed in 1992-93. Strong exceptionThe Kukis in the State had set the ball rolling by deciding to celebrate the centenary function of the ‘Anglo Kuki War’ fought in 1919. Naga organisations like the United Naga Council and the All Naga Students’ Association Manipur maintain that they had no objection to the celebration. However, the Nagas took strong exception when the Kukis decided to erect stone pillars with the inscription ‘the ancestral land of the Kukis’.The government has asked Kuki organisations to delete the words from the stone pillars, which are to be erected in most of the Kuki-populated mountain districts, but the appeal fell on deaf ears. At many places, Kuki women are guarding the stone pillars round the clock, fearful that they may be destroyed.‘Remove words’Manipur Chief Secretary Suresh Babu said, “The words should be removed as these may hurt the sentiment of other communities.” Manipur Chief Minister N.Biren said in a function in the Ukhrul district on Wednesday that he was holding talks with all stakeholders to sort out the impasse. Asserting that there was “no tension” over the issue, he said that his government shall not permit any community to hurt the sentiments of others. Some tribal intellectuals have urged Mr. Biren to not go to the Kuki function, slated for Thursday, for the erection of the stone pillar. They said, “If a Chief Minister endorses the claim, it will be an unfortunate mistake for posterity.”‘History fabricated’S. Jadumani, president of the Federation of the Haomis, said that history was being fabricated. “The majority community, the Meiteis, are blood relations of the Kukis, as their kings had married some Kuki girls. The ‘history’ further claims that the Tangkhuls, a major tribe in Manipur, are ‘foreigners’. These distortions should be looked into,” he said.Chief Minister N. Biren, who has had talks with some sections of the tribes, merely said, “The land belongs to the governments of Manipur and India. Some organisations that have been claiming the land as their own should stop doing so.” The stakeholders have so far not been taken into confidence.J. Haokip, chairman of the Anglo Kuki War Memorial Committee said, “We are merely remembering the contributions of our forefathers on the occasion of the 100th anniversary [of the ‘Anglo Kuki War’].” He further said that the State had remained silent to the “divisive and provocative” inscriptions of the words.Naga intellectuals point out that this event was not a war but merely “a rebellion by some persons” in a struggle for power. One person from the royal family had engaged some Kuki mercenaries to defeat his elder brother, who was the king; he had promised to reduce the house tax from ₹3 to ₹1.Khaimang Chongloi, president of Kuki Inpi Manipur, the highest Kuki decision-making body said, “Through this celebration, we are paying tributes to our forefathers.”1993 massacreDuring the ethnic cleansing in Manipur in 1992-93, over one thousand innocent persons, including women and children, were killed, and over 700 villages burnt to cinders.The most blood chilling massacre took place on September 13, 1993 in the Joupi and Janglaphai villages, where armed persons torched entire villages a day ahead of the deadline to leave them. Altogether 87 fleeing men, women and children were massacred using sophisticated guns. Tribal villages were raided in some other remote districts. The hands of some women were chopped and they were left to bleed to death in these hard-to-access villages.
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Arsenal captain Xhaka hits back at Evra: You speak a lot of bulls***by Paul Vegas3 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal captain Granit Xhaka has hit back at Patrice Evra’s babies taunt as “bulls**t*.Xhaka was annoyed when Manchester United hero Evra called Arsenal “babies” after their 1-0 defeat at Sheffield United on Monday because the Sky Sports pundit claims they have always been fragile. “A lot of people speak too much,” fumed Xhaka. “I hear he speaks something against us.“I have a lot of respect for him because he was a great player. But you have to be careful what you say in those situations as well.”It’s not only him, it’s a lot of people. They speak a lot of bull**** about us. It’s always the same.“For me it’s strange because they were in the same situation as us. They were players as well.“Maybe sometimes we play good, sometimes not so good.”But if you speak every weekend, every game, bulls**t like this then they will not get respect for what they say.”
The Carolina Panthers on Thursday released Steve Smith, the franchise’s all-time leading receiver, and he was snapped up Friday by the Baltimore Ravens — so it’s a good time to take stock of his career. The numbers say Smith is one of the best, and most underrated, wideouts of all time.As my former colleague Chase Stuart has repeatedly noted, Smith’s raw numbers have always understated his worth because of an unfortunate combination of injuries, a mediocre supporting cast at quarterback and receiver, and the team’s run-heavy strategy. But when Smith was healthy, he was as valuable as any pass-catcher.After the 2012 season — and before the 2013 season, when it became clear Smith had exited his prime years — Stuart found that Smith rated as the sixth-best receiver ever in two important yet under-the-radar stats: individual percentage of team receiving yards and receiving yards per team passing attempt. Neither metric is the final word on a receiver, but both reflect aspects that are central to the position.A player’s share of his team’s receiving yards is important because it represents a receiver’s market share of available statistics. As Pro-Football-Reference.com founder Doug Drinen once pointed out, receivers are the only players in football who directly compete with their own teammates for touches. (Other positions have their skirmishes, but they rarely battle while on the field at the same time.) So it really means something when a team funnels so many of its passes to one guy.Yards per passing attempt is also crucial. It accounts for how much a team throws the ball. Stuart and I conducted research last summer suggesting that when a team increases its passing attempts by 2 percent, its receivers will see about a 1 percent boost in production — a factor that can really add up at the extremes. Smith’s numbers were stunted relative to his peers because he played in rush-focused offenses that passed about 8 percent less than the NFL average over the course of his career.After we account for these handicaps, Smith looks like an all-time great. His 2005 campaign ranks extremely high in the aforementioned metrics, and his performance in 2008 stands out as one of the most commanding ever by a receiver. That year, Smith led the NFL in receiving yards per game despite the Panthers attempting the fewest passes in the league — the only time that’s happened since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970.Smith’s numbers have dropped off in recent years (no surprise; he’ll turn 35 in May), so it’s not clear how much production he’ll bring to Baltimore in 2014. But when he was at his peak, few receivers ever dominated their team’s passing game more.
The signature event of LeBron James’s first stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers was probably his 48-point outburst against the Detroit Pistons in Game 5 the 2007 Eastern Conference finals. His performance in that game said everything about the team James carried to the NBA Finals that year. In a game that was 3.1 times as important as the average playoff contest, James used 43 percent of the team’s possessions and scored 29 of its final 30 points en route to victory. He essentially rendered his supporting cast superfluous: Aside from James, the ’07 Cavs still rank among the least-talented teams ever to reach the brink of an NBA title.Upon joining the Miami Heat in 2010, James of course enjoyed a far better set of teammates, including future Hall of Famers Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen (and borderline candidate Chris Bosh). But now James is back with the Cavaliers — and back to carrying a mediocre set of teammates through the playoffs.While we speculated last August that this year’s Cavs might actually represent the best group of players James has ever taken the court with (All-Star Games and the Olympics notwithstanding), that was before Kevin Love and Anderson Varejao were lost for the postseason, and before Kyrie Irving was hobbled with a knee injury. As a result, James’s best teammates of late have been the solid-but-unspectacular trio of Tristan Thompson, J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert — a far cry from Wade, Bosh and Allen.1And truth be told, even when healthy, the Cavs were never as good as expected this season. According to statistical projections, Cleveland’s efficiency differential was in the fourth percentile of what could have been expected of the team before the season began — even after accounting for its many injuries — in part because of the diminishing returns of mashing together multiple stars on the same team.If we look at a multi-year Statistical Plus/Minus talent projection for every NBA Finals team,2Weighted by a combination of leverage index and minutes played in the playoffs through the conference final. this Cavs team ranks as the ninth-least talented NBA finalist since 1985. (By contrast, Cleveland’s opponents, the mighty Golden State Warriors, rank as the 14th-most talented.) Remove James, and things get even more dire; his supporting cast ranks as the third-worst team carried by its best player3As measured by a combination of the player’s multi-year talent rating and his leverage-weighted minutes in the playoffs through the conference final. to the NBA Finals since 1985.For James, though, this year’s supporting cast still eclipses the group he dragged to the Finals in 2007 — if barely so. Replacing James with a league-average player (rated 0.0) would drop this season’s Cavaliers from a +5.4 talent rating to -0.1. Yanking James off the 2007 Cavs would make a +6.2 team play to a rating of -0.2. James’s own rating was marginally better that year, but the 30-year-old has also relied more heavily on his teammates this season, playing 10 percent fewer minutes per game (weighted by the leverage of each game) than when he was an up-and-coming 22-year-old.Either way, these are not the types of teams Lebron took to the Finals as a member of the Heat. Then again, it also bears mentioning that his supporting cast in Miami in last year’s playoffs wasn’t much better. That team was soundly beaten in the Finals by the San Antonio Spurs — as were James’s 2007 Cavs — so there’s a reason the Warriors are favorites in Vegas this year. But it’s also a testament to James that he’s carried the load for two of the bottom three — and three of the bottom eight — Finals supporting casts of the past 30 years.
Related: Hot Takedown The No. 1-ranked Connecticut Huskies beat the 6th-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks 66-55 on Monday night for their NCAA-record 100th consecutive win. They last lost on Nov. 17, 2014, when they fell to the No. 6 Stanford Cardinal, 88-86 in overtime. That loss snapped a 47-game winning streak itself, meaning that, between March 13, 2013, and today, the Huskies have won four NCAA Championships and lost one game.Yes, once more for emphasis: Between March 13, 2013, and today, the Huskies have four times as many national championships as they have losses.This is Connecticut’s third record-breaking streak this millennium. First, between 2001 and 2003, they won 70 games in a row – the longest winning streak in NCAA women’s basketball history, and in 2008-10, they won 90 games to break UCLA’s 88-game record set in 1970-74. Here’s what being the mother of all powerhouses looks like: Who’s Going Where As The NBA Trade Deadline Approaches? Though they’ve managed to keep the streak that was built on the back of Breanna Stewart’s remarkable career going, the Huskies haven’t dominated as much as they’re used to. This is unsurprising, considering they lost Stewart and their two other best players to the WNBA draft after last season (those players went 1st, 2nd and 3rd overall). Indeed, they’re probably having one of their worst statistical seasons in several years. Unfortunately for the rest of basketball, the Huskies’ off years are the stuff most schools’ dreams are made of: The streak is likely to survive into the NCAA tournament. The Huskies have one game scheduled against a ranked opponent: Feb. 27 against 22nd-ranked University of South Florida Bulls – whom the Huskies beat in January 102-37 (no joke). But once they get to the tournament, they have a better chance than most years of losing, particularly to the Maryland Terrapins, whom they only beat by 6 points in December, or the Baylor Lady Bears, who despite also losing to the Huskies in November have been putting up Huskies numbers themselves this season. Leading by only 2 points with under 6 minutes left in the third quarter against the Gamecocks, the Huskies looked beatable — yet they won again. Such has been the story of the season so far. We’ll see if they can keep it up through March Madness.
There have been a handful of seismic shifts since NBA free agency began earlier this month — LeBron James heading west to join the Lakers, DeMarcus Cousins signing with Golden State and Spurs superstar Kawhi Leonard being shipped to Canada for DeMar DeRozan — but the dust is finally beginning to settle some, allowing us to make sense of what has happened.Two things have become relatively clear: 1) This was a lean, challenging year for players who might have otherwise taken long-term deals, as around half of the pacts this summer have been for a single season; 2) With Cousins in tow, the Warriors may be in a league of their own again when it comes to contending for the title.But that doesn’t mean we can’t give a brief rundown of the teams that have wowed, disappointed or befuddled us this offseason. Here’s our look at the good, the bad and the confusing from the past month.WinnersIndiana PacersThe Pacers were arguably the league’s biggest surprise last season, going from what many analysts figured would be a lottery team after the Paul George trade with Oklahoma City to one win away from knocking out LeBron and the Cavaliers in the first round. An enormous part of that, of course, was Victor Oladipo having a better statistical campaign than George en route to becoming an All-Star and winning the Most Improved Player award.The other element flew under the radar but was just as integral: Indiana’s offense, gladly taking what the defense gave it, went against the grain and launched far more midrange jump shots than any other club, essentially making the Pacers the antithesis of the Rockets. With a group of decent jump-shooters, the strategy worked. But as a team that doesn’t shoot a ton of threes or get to the line much (Indiana had the NBA’s fifth-lowest 3-point attempt rate and the fifth-worst free-throw rate), the Pacers could have entered the 2018-19 season somewhat vulnerable to opponents who can score in bunches more quickly and efficiently.But inking perpetual-motion sharpshooter Doug McDermott should make Indiana less predictable and more of a threat from outside. And Tyreke Evans — who has quietly shot nearly 39 percent from the arc over the past three years after shooting about 28 percent in his first six seasons — was a solid, under-the-radar pickup who should be a huge upgrade over Lance Stephenson.Kyle O’Quinn, who came over for the room exception at one year and $4.5 million, will fit right in with the Pacers’ offensive philosophy; he hit better than 44 percent of his long 2s last season. He can get himself in trouble as a playmaker, but he’ll be a more-than-adequate backup to Myles Turner or Domantas Sabonis.Almost no analyst will pick the Pacers to land a top-three seed in the East. But should the Celtics, Raptors or Sixers struggle out of the gate, it wouldn’t be that surprising if Indiana did just that. The Pacers finished just outside the top 10 last season in both offensive and defensive efficiency — a hint that they weren’t far from contention. If things break right for them this year, they could reach that level with their improved roster.Memphis GrizzliesJust when we thought we had left the Grit-n-Grind era behind us, it found its way back into our hearts and, soon enough, onto the court at FedEx Forum.The Grizzlies battled through a miserable year that included the firing of coach David Fizdale after he and center Marc Gasol failed to see eye-to-eye, and that was after losing point guard Mike Conley to a heel injury that eventually led to season-ending surgery. From the outside, a total teardown might have seemed like the best course of action. But for a small-market franchise — which has big-money deals on the books and is already dealing with attendance problems — that avenue might have been too dire, leading the club to reload instead.Memphis did so by trying to get back to what made it special a few years ago: It loaded up on solid players who aren’t the most glitzy but tend to get the job done on both ends of the floor.While they started that process at the draft with forward Jaren Jackson Jr. — a player whom FiveThirtyEight’s projection models like a great deal — the Grizzlies also landed advanced-stats darling Kyle Anderson, who ranked second among small forwards in Defensive Real Plus-Minus this past season. With his ball-handling ability and size, Anderson is a lower-scoring, better-defending version of the Grizzlies’ Chandler Parsons, who has been sapped by injuries in recent years. Memphis also picked up wing Garrett Temple, a reliable defender and 39-percent 3-point shooter this past year, from Sacramento via trade.It’s not often that a 22-win team jumps into the playoff conversation without adding a bona fide star. But merely getting healthy again after adding this many capable two-way players could let the Grizzlies improve by leaps and bounds.LosersPortland Trail BlazersSimilar to how the Raptors needed a shakeup after multiple seasons fizzled out in a similar manner, the Blazers seemingly needed one in 2017-18, too. Even after realizing they couldn’t go about things the exact same way and altering a handful of schematic details, those fixes weren’t nearly enough, and the club got swept in the first round by Anthony Davis and the Pelicans.But the beatdown didn’t bring about big changes for the West’s No. 3 seed. Instead, the Blazers brought back restricted free agent center Jusuf Nurkic (who’s highly productive when he’s not getting whacked in the face) while losing solid bench contributors in guard Shabazz Napier and reserve big Ed Davis.1Seth Curry may be able to replace Napier’s production, and the hope is that skilled big man Zach Collins can play a bigger role in his second year.If there’s a sour taste in the mouths of Blazers fans, though, it should stem from the notion that Portland could have — and possibly would have — completed a sign-and-trade for Cousins had it not been that he and Nurkic have representatives who work for the same agency, potentially creating a conflict. Such a deal would have provided the sort of shakeup that a capped-out team like Portland needs. Instead, we may see this team — one of the few that enjoyed good health last year — finish near the bottom of the playoff pool in the West.Houston RocketsAny way you slice it, it’s tough to make sense of the Rockets’ offseason. This team was one decent half away from knocking off the vaunted Warriors and reaching the NBA Finals when its players short-circuited and couldn’t make a 3-pointer to save their lives.The Rockets were close enough that you could almost understand bringing back the same team to try again. But instead, Houston lost starting forward Trevor Ariza right out of the gate (granted, for big money at $15 million this season with a young Phoenix team). Then Luc Mbah a Moute followed suit, rejoining the Clippers about a week later for just one year and $4.3 million. Both were enormous contributors to the Rockets’ vast defensive improvement, and they played key roles in the team’s switch-everything scheme, a must-have against a club like Golden State, which screens away from the ball so well.Houston’s interest in Carmelo Anthony wasn’t terribly surprising, after it pursued him the year before. Yet while there’s a chance Anthony plays far better with the Rockets than he did in a down year with Oklahoma City, it’s hard to see him being much better than either of the two aforementioned wing players, given how Anthony is frequently exploited on defense.James Ennis may help in replacing the lost production on D, and getting guard De’Anthony Melton in the second round of the draft was seemingly a steal. Still, with the gap between the Rockets and Warriors as small as it was in the postseason, you get the feeling that these moves might have widened the chasm.Somewhere in betweenChicago BullsEven if you don’t think Zach LaVine is worth the four years and $78 million that the Bulls ponied up to keep him from becoming a Sacramento King, the logic is clear: LaVine, at one point, was the centerpiece of what Chicago got in the Jimmy Butler deal last summer.What’s tougher to understand is the logic behind pairing LaVine with free agent Jabari Parker.Yes, this ACL-hobbled duo has clear scoring chops, and both are just 23. But neither can really defend on the wing just yet, potentially making life far more challenging for impressive youngster Wendell Carter Jr. than it should be this early on.“Well, I don’t know — I just stick to my strengths,” Parker said when asked about defense during a Chicago radio interview. “Look at everybody in the league. They don’t pay players to play defense. … I’m not gonna say I won’t, but to say that’s a weakness is like saying that’s everybody’s weakness. I’ve scored 30s and 20s off of guys who say they try to play defense.”The Parker deal, for two years and $40 million, isn’t awful. The second year of the contract is a team option, giving the Bulls an out if he doesn’t return to form. But the biggest challenge, and one that gives analysts around the league pause, is his defense. Statistically, Parker has surrendered2By percentage, with a minimum of 5,000 possessions against. more blow-by opportunities on D than any other NBA player over the past three seasons, according to data from Second Spectrum. Some of that, of course, stems from the head-scratching scheme the Bucks used for so long. But other times, it was a function of Parker playing out of position at small forward, where he’s not quick enough to stay in front.It’s safe to assume that someone — be it Parker, the guy he’s guarding or both — is going to score a lot next season. We look forward to seeing who gets the upper hand.Los Angeles LakersNo one is knocking the LeBron signing itself. (How could you?) But add me to the list of people who have struggled to understand the free-agent signings around him.Regardless of whether you plan to have James control the ball a ton or you prefer that he operates more from the post, he would benefit most by having a stable of capable jump-shooters to give him the time and space he needs to create scoring chances.For the better part of eight years, James’s rosters have generally featured several shooting specialists who afford him ample room to drive and kick. A number of players — James Jones, Mike Miller, Shane Battier, Ray Allen, Mario Chalmers, Matthew Dellavedova, JR Smith, Kyle Korver, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, just to name a few — have logged seasons in which they shot 40 percent or better3On 100 attempts or more. from deep when playing alongside James. By contrast, no one on this Lakers roster — outside of James — has ever logged even one season of 40 percent or better.4On 100 attempts or more.This might be an arbitrary threshold. Aside from the fact that many players on this club are in the early stages of their career, Brandon Ingram shot 39.0 percent from there last year, and Josh Hart was at 39.6 percent. And it seems a given that the team’s best young players stand to take massive steps forward by playing with a great setup man who demands so much of the opponent’s attention.The bigger question, in light of comments he made during the NBA Finals, is whether this team will possess the sort of collective basketball IQ that James feels he needs around him. We know Rajon Rondo, however combustible he might be, is set in that regard. But the additions of Stephenson and JaVale McGee were tougher to square from that standpoint.At their best, with the right surroundings, Stephenson and McGee can lead the NBA in triple-doubles and wreak havoc in pick-and-roll scenarios, respectively. At their worst, they create blooper reels. We have no idea which versions will emerge. But rest assured: LeBron and the youthful Lakers will be anything but boring as we tune in to find out.
On a sunny Sunday afternoon, high atop the president’s suite along the first base side of Huntington Park, 78-year-old Howard “Hopalong” Cassady watched as almost 2,000 bobbleheads bearing his likeness circulated throughout the ballpark. Wearing a black and white, Hawaiian-style, button-up shirt, appropriate for the 85-degree game-time temperature, the former Ohio State Heisman-Trophy winner was at the ballpark because he was being honored by the Columbus Clippers as part of the organization’s “Columbus Icons Bobblehead Series.” The special nine-game series is something the Clippers are doing to help celebrate Columbus’ bicentennial, and Sunday’s “Howard ‘Hopalong’ Cassady Bobblehead Day” was third game in which fans had an opportunity to purchase a bobblehead of a “Columbus Icon.” “We used to do bobblehead nights for Major Leaguers who came through Columbus,” said Clippers media director Joe Santry. “Fans really liked it and we thought it would be good to do for the bicentennial.” All nine bobbleheads in the series represent a specific genre of Columbus’ history, Santry said, and all of the honorees are from Columbus. At the select games throughout the season, fans can purchase the bobblehead of the “Columbus Icon” being honored for $10 at the game or can buy a special $15 box-seat ticket that includes a voucher for the bobblehead. Tickets for box seats normally sell for $12. One Clippers fan that likes the bobblehead idea is Columbus resident Dave Muir, who bought a Cassady bobblehead at the Sunday’s game. “I think it’s great to honor the city’s own with bobbleheads,” he said. “The idea of ‘Columbus Icons’ to celebrate the city’s history is a really neat idea and I’ll try to collect as many as I can.” Santry said the Clippers chose Cassady as a “Columbus Icon” to represent the professional athletes the city has produced. Cassady, who declined to comment, played in the NFL from 1956 to 1963 with the Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns. He was the first Heisman-Trophy winner born in Columbus, winning the award in 1955, his senior season with the Buckeyes. He was a two-time consensus All-American in football, helping OSU to the 1954 National Championship. He played baseball for the Buckeyes as well. Following graduation, the Columbus-native received professional offers from the NFL and MLB. Choosing to stick with football, Detroit selected Cassady third overall in the 1956 NFL Draft, and won the NFL championship a year later in 1957. After retiring from the NFL, Cassady became a special assistant in the New York Yankees organization in 1973 and was an assistant coach for the Clippers, who at the time was the Triple-A affiliate of New York, from 1992 to 2003. Santry, who spent time with Cassady as the media director for the Clippers organization, said the former Buckeye is a wonderful person. “He spent so many years with the organization, he is like a grandfather to us,” he said. “He’s a great guy.” Santry would not admit that Cassady’s ties to the Clippers gave him an edge over the other Columbus natives considered for the professional athlete bobblehead, but he said “it didn’t hurt.” Cassady is the first of three bobbleheads associated with OSU athletics. Bobbleheads of Olympian Jesse Owens and former Buckeyes football coach Woody Hayes will be available on July 29 and Aug. 12, respectively. For some fans, the bobbleheads associated with OSU ties are the most sought after. “Anytime I see a bobblehead of a former Buckeye being given out or available for purchase, I try to get it,” Larry Mitchell said. “I’ve got mostly football guys, so when I saw it was ‘Hop’ bobblehead day, I knew I had to come get one.” Mitchell, from Pataskala, said he plans on returning for the Owens and Hayes bobbleheads to add to his collection of about 40 Buckeyes-related bobbleheads that he said he started after the football team won the 2002 National Championship. “I have a lot of dust collectors,” he said with a grin. The Clippers bobblehead series honors more than just Columbus’ sports history. Non-sports related bobbleheads in the series include World War I veteran Eddie Rickenbacker, fast-food businessman Dave Thomas, the Columbus Zoo’s Jack Hanna and author James Thurber. “It’s a cool idea to celebrate not only the city’s sports history, but other aspects of our city’s rich history,” Muir said.