Miller: NBA’s offseason intrigue more riveting than regular season

first_imgKevin Durant made the cover of Sports Illustrated this month simply because he switched teams, pro basketball’s transition game again yielding in significance to its transaction game.I have to be honest, until he signed with the Lakers, Timofey Mozgov seemed about as relevant in the NBA as a Zamboni. Then, in an instant, he couldn’t have been more popular on social media had his name been Timofey Kardashian.Where players once were celebrated for breaking their opponents’ ankles, they now are recognized more for breaking their fans’ hearts.LeBron James “The Decision” is still more jarring than LeBron James “The Block,” the former also leading directly to two championships compared to only one for the latter.What these players might do in the first week of July is now undeniably titillating, particularly when compared to what they might do in the first quarter of a game in January. The TV ratings for this season’s NBA Finals were down from a year ago until Game 7 produced the highest number since Michael Jordan was making history happen for the Bulls.Yet, no one, at least based on the sheer volume being produced by various media outlets, can consume enough speculation about who’s coming, who’s going and who’s staying put.Just take Blake Griffin, who, given the rumors, is doing all three of those things and probably at the same time.Last week, the story was about the Clippers trading Griffin to Boston, perhaps at any moment. This week, the story was about Oklahoma City signing Griffin next summer to pair with Russell Westbrook.The second report ran in direct contrast to the report that had Cleveland pursuing both Griffin and Westbrook, assuming the report that had Chicago preparing to trade Taj Gibson and Nikola Mirotic for Griffin doesn’t happen first.At this rate, by the end of July, about the only team not linked to Griffin will be the Clippers, and they’re the ones who actually have him and, in all likelihood, will still have him when the 2016-17 season opens.Doc Rivers, who not only coaches the Clippers but also makes pretty much every important decision about the franchise not relating to Chuck the Condor, has made a point in the past of emphasizing his desire to keep Griffin.It is a well-reasoned stance, seeing how Griffin is really good at basketball and the Clippers are interested in remaining really good at basketball, too.According to those who know these things, the Clippers are focused on adding stars – that is the trend in the NBA, you know – not subtracting them.But, I will admit, we can’t be 100-percent certain about any of this stuff anymore, the only evidence needed being all those stories about how Durant was going to remain with the Thunder.There has been speculation about Griffin and the Clippers parting ways going back to the NBA trade deadline in February, when his potential landing spots were rumored to be Atlanta, Boston, New York and Denver.Eventually, someone is bound to be right about Griffin leaving, even baseball’s worst hitters – by which I mean everyone who has attempted to play left field for the Angels since 2014 — manage a batting average above .000.Until then, we must rely on the insight of “sources,” some of whom have insight that isn’t terribly insightful at all.I know The Oklahoman employs plenty of quality journalists. So I’m not sure why the newspaper felt the need to, in a story about Westbrook, report the following: “One source described him as ticked off about the Kevin Durant departure.”Really? No way. I’m pretty certain everyone else assumed this fact without consulting their sources. I mean, being abandoned in Oklahoma is bound to tick off anyone who, legally speaking, can’t be classified as livestock.But I don’t blame The Oklahoman for chasing every story angle when it comes to the Thunder. This is summer, after all, a time when the NBA is free to fascinate us without also burdening us with actual games.It is the greatest example yet of the proliferation of fantasy sports, reality having no place in a world where a player the quality of Blake Griffin, who once jumped over a car to dunk, can be passed around like an old trade-in.Yeah, so many of these rumors seem like long shots, but long shots sometimes do go in. Who knows? Soon enough, the longest of them could even be worth four points. No one knows basketball success quite like Phil Jackson, who can’t even wear all his NBA title rings simultaneously unless he pierces his ears with two of them and sticks the 13th through his nose.So it was notable recently when Jackson suggested the league could increase its appeal by adding a 4-point shot.Like the idea or not, you have to appreciate Jackson trying to come up with a way of making things more interesting.Frankly, these days, the NBA offseason is way more entertaining than the NBA in season; the games are helplessly definitive while the off-court possibilities are limitless – in both number and intrigue.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Masahiro Tanaka doesn’t want universal DH despite injury

first_imgThis may be surprising to fans in New York because Tanaka missed a month of the season last year after he hurt both of his hamstrings running the bases at a National League ballpark where there is no DH. Tanaka finished the season 12-6 with a 3.75 ERA with 159 strikeouts in 156 innings.Tanaka is a career .038 hitter with one hit in 26 at-bats. He has one sacrifice bunt, one run scored and one walk. Didi Gregorius injury update: Yankees SS (elbow) begins throwing program, big step in rehab MLB is considering the use of a universal DH in upcoming seasons. It has been reported that the possibility is becoming more and more likely. Related Newscenter_img This might come as a surprise to Yankees fans but Masahiro Tanaka doesn’t want the designated hitter spot to be universal.”When you look at it I grew up where baseball was played by nine guys, meaning basically the pitcher would hit also, and I really enjoyed that baseball,” Tanaka told reporters through a translator at spring training on Tuesday, via ESPN. Manny Machado rumors: Yankees remain in play; Padres have been ‘very aggressive’ with offerlast_img read more

NEBC Expansion project needs environmental assessment certificate to carry on

first_imgA pipeline project that would extend to just north of Wonowon from the existing terminal in Taylor will have to receive a positive environmental assessment to go ahead.Project Assessment Manager Ricardo Toledo signed off on paperwork on Monday, where he wrote that the project “may have a potential significant adverse environmental, economic, social, heritage or health effect,” and Pembina would need to take into account reducing and eliminating risks.As far as environmental concerns go, Parent company Pembina assures that their pipeline would eliminate the need for over 100 trucks on the road per day – and that the pipeline would not interfere with Caribou, or any provincially-protected wildlife habitats.- Advertisement -The purpose of the Project is to serve as transportation for the Montney formation, where some argue growing development and a lack of liquid transportation has created a strong demand for a pipeline.The proposed expansion consists of approximately 160 km of 323.9 mm diameter pipe, with a base capacity of up to 75 thousand barrels per day. The planned route from Taylor to Blair Creek bypasses Fort St. John north of the city.In the project proposal, Pembina says it is expected to create numerous jobs – approximately ‘200 person-years of construction-related employment and approximately 150 person-years of operating employment,’ over the projects life span.Advertisement The estimated capital cost of the NEBC expansion is about $210 million.last_img read more