March 22, 2018

Sloane Stephens and Rafael Nadal came up winners at the US OPEN; the Cavs and Celtics Kyrie Irving – Isaiah Thomas trade dissected, Brooklyn Nets sale news

In this 96th episode of What's The 411Sports, hosts Keisha Wilson and Mike McDonald, are talking about how Sloane Stephens and Rafael Nadal  slayed at the 2017 US OPEN, the Cavaliers, and Celtics trade of Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas, Danny Ainge getting thrown under the bus, Roger Goodell and the NFL on Ezekiel Elliott and Josh Brown, Seattle Seahawks' Michael Bennett's arrest by the Las Vegas police, the proposed sale of the Brooklyn Nets, the NY Yankees, Carmelo Anthony's outlook with the NY Knicks and his wife La La Anthony. Our Photo of the Week is Jeremy Lin and Caris Levert in Taiwan.


2017 US OPEN

Congratulations are due to professional tennis players Sloane Stephens and Rafael Nadal on their grand slam wins at the 2017 US OPEN. Stephens beat Madison Keys 6-3, 6-0, to win the Women’s Final. And, on the men’s side, Spaniard, Rafael Nadal, beat South Africa’s Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 to win the men’s US OPEN FINAL.

Boston Celtics – Cleveland Cavaliers Trade

Kyrie Irving has left the building. Irving is now with the Boston Celtics in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic, the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 pick by way of the Boston Celtics, and a 2020 pick from Boston.

The Courts Give Ezekiel Elliot a Reprieve

The Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliot can play for the Cowboys this season despite Roger Goodell handing down a six-game suspension to Elliot for domestic violence. The NFL Players Association took the NFL to court to get a Temporary Restraining Order over the process by which Goodell came to Elliot’s punishment, and won.

NFL Give Josh Brown a Six-Game Suspension

The NFL, after suspending former New York Giants kicker Josh Brown 1 Game for beating his wife, quietly suspended him for 6 games. The league reopened the investigation based on new info and has yet to release its findings. The NFL concluded there was a violation of its personal conduct policy and imposed a 6-game suspension which Brown accepted without appeal.

NFL Supports Michael Bennett

Michael Bennett had a run-in with Las Vegas police when he was leaving a night club. Bennett says that the officer told him he would "blow my f*cking head off"

NBA and NBA Players Association Issue Joint Statement on Social Issues

Here’s a big contrast between the NBA and the NFL. Recently, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and NBA Players Association executive director Michelle Roberts are encouraging players to speak out on social issues, stating to NBA players:

“None of us operates in a vacuum. Critical issues that affect our society also impact you directly. Fortunately, you are not only the world’s greatest basketball players — you have real power to make a difference in the world, and we want you know that the Players Association and the League are always available to help you figure out the most meaningful way to make that difference.”


Our Photo of the Week is a photo of Brooklyn Nets’ players Jeremy Lin and Caris LeVert in Taiwan.


Brooklyn Nets for Sale

Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is ready to do a slow dance to sell the team. Initially, Prokhorov wanted to sell a minority stake in the team, but because of the pace, he is willing to sell up to 49 percent and the remaining 51 percent shortly thereafter. Sources say Prokhorov is encouraged by the sale of the Houston Rockets for $2.2 Billion.

Carmelo Anthony Still with the NY Knicks

Carmelo Anthony is still a member of the New York Knicks even though both the Houston Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers have expressed interest in him. Additionally, the Knicks point guard situation isn’t knocking anyone’s socks off and the team is considering bringing in point guards Trey Burke and Jarrett Jack for training camp.

The New York Yankees in the Hunt

 Right now, there is enough space between the Yankees and the Orioles for the Yanks to get a wildcard spot in the playoffs.


Now, let’s go off topic. New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony showed up unexpectedly at the launch of his estranged wife, La La Anthony’s, new denim line at Lord & Taylor in New York City. Carmelo proudly posted a photo of La La on Instagram.

Carmelo Anthony Instagram post of the launch of LaLa Anthonys new denim line at Lord and Taylor 613x400


Video: What's The 411SportsTV Discussion about Donald Sterling

Ahead of the NBA Commissioner Adam Silver's decision about Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, What's The 411SportsTV hosts Bianca Peart and Glenn Gilliam discuss the despicable and reprehensible racist comments made by Donald Sterling.


Now that some of the dust has settled following the NBA press conference and the Clippers victory, I'd like to offer a few thoughts on the recent revelations regarding the racist declarations and unfortunate history of discrimination by LA Clippers owner, Donald Sterling and the varied responses to them.

First, what is most important and unfortunately, always under-reported when these racially charged events arise, is the connection this particular revelation has to the broader cultural context of institutional racism and plutocrat entrenchment evidenced in the real-time decision by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) last week that upheld the ban on affirmative action at the University of Michigan. The SCOTUS made this ruling while "legacy" for the rich and elite never gets touched and it also equated money to speech with the Citizens United decision.

Other issues with broader racial cultural context include: the vote on unionizing the student athletes at Northwestern University initiated by their black QB; the settlement paid by EA Sports to college football players after years of using their likeness for huge video game profits; recent election voter suppression efforts and the assault on the Voting Rights Act on its 50th anniversary; the difficulty in securing equal pay for women and by extension, blacks & Latinos; the obstacles to raising the minimum wage and fight against unions; the impediments to the President of the United States (POTUS) and Attorney General's efforts to roll back mandatory prison sentences against for non-violent drug offenders; the NFL's effort to legislate the N-word out of pro football after the Incognito vs Martin texting/bullying scandal; Riley Cooper's N-word outburst; Clive Bundy's rants about blacks and slavery; Paula Deen's racist comments; the beliefs that Mitt Romney holds that corporations are people and that 47% of Americans are freeloading, non-taxpayers that don't assume responsibility for their lives and are dependent on the government; and the continuing persecution of our first black POTUS by the right and Republicans.

Unfortunately, the list goes on and on. Occupy Wall Street, try Occupy NBA...NFL...MLB, you get the idea.

The thread that stitches all of these events together is the growing disparity between the 1% super affluent and the 99% middle and working class and poor and how race has historically been exploited to maintain the divide, increase power (economic & political) and a perpetual cheap labor underclass. Sterling represents all of these dynamics as Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor painstakingly recounted in his wrongful termination suit, "he wanted the Clippers team to be composed of poor black boys from the South, with a white head coach."

This is echoed in the comments Sterling made to his mistress, "I support them and give them food and clothes and cars and houses. Who gives it to them? As the New Yorker's Ben Greenman wrote on Twitter "It's not just Donald Sterling's ignorance that's the problem. It's the decades that ignorance has been tolerated because of wealth."

As far as what the NBA presented yesterday, while I don't share the euphoria that many expressed, including all past and present players, and Clipper fans, I'll credit the Commissioner with doing the minimum he had to do, given the global implications and urgency of enforcing some tangible punishment that would help stabilize the crisis and minimize advertiser and fan defections in the middle of their premier showcase, the PLAYOFFS. Timing is everything and I can only imagine if this recording showed up in July instead of April, during what most have observed as some of the best first round playoff basketball they can remember.


The massive assembled press, of at least 200 waited anxiously, leaning forward every time the podium door cracked open and after a prolonged delay, Silver emerged with all the stress of this first nightmare for his administration, etched on his bespectacled face. He expressed that he was outraged and distraught and said Donald Sterling is banned for life from the Clippers and the NBA. But he also curiously admitted during the Q&A, that Sterling's history of well-documented bigotry had no influence in determining the lifetime ban but the owners will include his public record of lawsuits and shameful prejudicial behavior and comments as part of their review in casting their vote to force the sale of the Clippers. Silver must have gone to the Chris Christie School of Incredulous Press Conferences, please.

Silver said he was "shocked" when he first heard the audio file and wished the audio recording was not Sterling or had been doctored and I could only conclude, that again, he appears to want to protect Donald Sterling and would assume David Stern felt the same when earlier allegations and lawsuits were filed. For Silver to say he was shocked either makes him exceedingly naïve, incompetent, or a fantastic liar only interested in maintaining the status quo and all of these are unacceptable. As written in an article for CBS Sports, Gregg Doyle makes it plain, 'Sterling's awful statements made it clear he considers African Americans beneath him and it didn't surprise anybody." Maybe if there was a black Commissioner or at least some C-Suite level blacks at the NBA, maybe there would be more sensitivity to actual discrimination that could be checked at the source early on.

"There's plenty of blame to go around. It's not only the NBA that allowed Donald Sterling to be Donald Sterling though. We did it, we accepted him. Hell, we enabled him. Every ticket you bought put money in his pocket. Every jersey you paid for. Every game that came and went without a protest outside Staple Center, by fans of the NBA, of basketball, of simple human decency. You allowed this. Every column we never wrote, begging the NBA to rid itself of the canker sore that owns the other franchise in LA. I accepted this. Every contract an NBA player and coach signed with Sterling, they enabled this."

Just as the Dow Jones winning corporations, media and by extension government lobbyist and the elected officials they control, didn't want to acknowledge or respond, except by police force, to Occupy Wall Street, so did the NBA wait until the last minute.

Going forward, fans, players, coaches, advertisers, sponsors, and guardians of the game at the Commissioner's level must not ignore the signals. We all must be well-informed, courageous, and vigilant about addressing all inequities when confronted or known. If necessary, we must protest, direct our dollars, support firms or organizations that value our community in order to make substantive progress. We draw the line in the sand here, no one-- owners, commissioners, or the so-called entitled is above scrutiny or sanctions.

Lastly (for now), I think Adam Silver owes Elgin Baylor a long overdue apology, just saying.

This commentary is the opinion of Glenn Gilliam and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of What's The 411 Networks

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Watch Video: Fans Talk About Charles Oakley's Ejection from Madison Square Garden by Knicks Owner Jim Dolan

In this video, NY Knicks fans weigh in on the former New York Knicks player Charles Oakley and NY Knicks owner Jim Dolan fiasco.

On February 8, 2017, during a New York Knicks vs. Los Angeles Clippers game at Madison Square Garden, NY Knicks owner Jim Dolan ordered Madison Square Garden security to eject Oakley from the arena.

From Oakley's radio interviews after he was tossed from The Garden, there appears to be a long-running dispute between former New York Knicks player and the Knicks owner, but no one seems to know why.

What's in dispute is was Charles Oakley behaving badly before security arrived as Dolan stated or, was Oakley's belligerent behavior caught on videotape was as a result of the way MSG security approached him to have him removed from the arena. Oakley was eventually ejected from the Madison Square Garden and arrested by NYPD.

Most NY Knicks fans find it hard to believe that Jim Dolan would treat Charles Oakley in the manner that he was treated and then almost immediately issued a press release insinuating that Oakley has problems and is in need of help.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver did try to mediate the issue between Oakley and Dolan with an in-person meeting on February 13, 2017, which included Michael Jordan by telephone. However, from interviews given by Oakley after the meeting, he needs time to process all that has happened in the last 10 days and won't be satisfied until Dolan issues a public apology.

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