NBA Free Agency Diary Todays NBA Superstars Wont Stop TeamHopping

Not every player has taken quite the same path as Dwight Howard, who ranks No. 18 in the 2010s and is now on his seventh team of the decade after being traded away from the Wizards this summer. But James, for instance, has played for three teams this decade — the Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers — while only one No. 1 player of the previous three decades — Kevin Garnett, who starred for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Boston Celtics during the 2000s — played for more than one team. The reality of today’s league is stars hop teams far more often than their counterparts did in earlier eras, controlling their own destinies rather than letting team executives slide them around like pawns on a chessboard.It’s a trend NBA commissioner Adam Silver seems keenly aware of — if powerless to change, particularly with regard to the many deals that appeared to be made before the league’s mandated free-agency period was set to begin.“My sense in the room today was, especially when it comes to free agency and the rules around it, that we’ve got work to do,” Silver told reporters last week, after the league’s board of governors meetings. “And as I said, it’s still the same principles of fair balance of power and a sense that it’s a level playing field. I think that’s what teams want to know. I think they’re put in difficult situations because when they’re sitting across from a player and whether it’s conversations that are happening earlier than they should or frankly things are being discussed that don’t fall squarely within the collective bargaining agreement, it puts teams in a very difficult position because they are reading or hearing that other teams are doing other things to compete.”Even incentives put into place to theoretically curb player movement, such as larger maximum contracts (both in guaranteed length and total money) for players re-signing with their most recent teams, have failed to stop them from packing up and leaving town. Durant, for instance, left $57 million on the table to sign with Brooklyn rather than return to Golden State. Leonard gave up at least $80 million (!!) — if not even more — relative to what he could have gotten from a supermax deal with the Spurs, and about $30 million compared with what the Raptors could have given him by signing with the Clippers.Today’s stars, as ESPN’s Rachel Nichols perfectly put it, can’t be bought. They’ve proven that they’re willing to give up mind-boggling sums of cash in order to make their own decisions.Is all of this good for the league? Judging from the reaction on social media or in search traffic — where the NBA got playoff-level attention during the first week of July — the game’s popularity has seldom been higher, and the craziness of this offseason has only helped. I’ve said before that, if you view the modern NBA through a player-focused lens, it makes the most sense as a gigantic real-life soap opera. The concept of franchises is just incidental to all that, merely providing structure for the individual drama.Of course, if you are a fan of a team, it hurts to see your favorite players leave. The Raptors did everything they possibly could to retain Leonard’s services, but they reportedly had practically no chance of re-signing him even as they were winning the title. Although the players should owe no loyalty to team owners (err, “governors”) beyond the contracts they sign, from a fan’s perspective it seems to make little sense to root for any specific NBA team. Even if a team is lucky enough to acquire a superstar, it’s far from guaranteed he would stay more than a season or two in today’s climate.But the other side of that coin is that it’s more possible than ever for downtrodden teams to land a superstar in the first place. The Nets and Clippers have spent more of their histories as laughingstocks than contenders, particularly since both were seen as the “little brothers” in their markets (behind the Knicks — LOL — and Lakers). The franchises were not traditional free-agent destinations. But as stars become more focused on setting up the right situation for themselves and the players they want to play with, even teams without a history of snagging big-name players can make themselves an attractive option. It’s a different way of doing business — but in today’s era of superstar team-hopping, it might just be the new normal.Check out our latest NBA predictions. Dear NBA Diary,Remember when NBA players wearing different jerseys was new and novel? When you’d experiment with weird trades in NBA Live’s franchise mode, knowing that nothing so crazy as, I don’t know, Russell Westbrook in a Houston Rockets uniform or Kevin Durant as a Brooklyn Net would actually happen? And when the first wave of truly wild moves — such as LeBron James joining the Miami Heat in 2010 — did actually happen, do you remember the way our minds were blown as we imagined superstar combinations we’d never seen before?All of that is old news in 2019, now that we’ve seen countless Big Threes and even Hamptons Fives. If James signing to play with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh was groundbreaking and Durant joining the Golden State Warriors still managed to shock, we’re pretty desensitized to huge names heading for new places by now. Yes, Kawhi Leonard becoming an L.A. Clipper was a big story, but mostly because of what it means for next season’s championship chase — not because the idea of him in a different jersey was all that tough to comprehend. (We’d just finished watching the longtime Spur win a title in a Toronto Raptors jersey anyway.)This is the era of player empowerment, as it’s recently been designated, and NBA players are placing a major premium on freedom of movement and choice of teammates. You can see this in the sheer number of different franchises for which top players suit up, relative to in the past. From the 1980s through the 2000s, a top 25 NBA player of a given decade (according to consensus Wins Created)1Which combines Box Plus/Minus, Win Shares and Player Efficiency Rating into a single consensus measure of player performance, scaled to absolute wins added. played for 1.99 teams during a 10-year span, on average. During the 2010s, however, the average top 25 player has played for 2.76 teams. And that bump in franchises played for holds across most of the ranking slots from No. 1 to No. 25, if we plot them out in a chart: Keep track of the chaotic NBA offseason with our Free Agency Diary. read more

Councilman Mark Kersey announces exit from 38th state Senate District race due

first_imgSTATEMENT—Recent family health issues have arisen that will prevent me from commuting to and from Sacramento on a regular basis. As such I will be ending my campaign for the state Senate. (1)— Mark Kersey (@markkersey) March 5, 2018The Republican announced his decision this morning via Twitter. He said the unspecified health issues would prevent him from commuting to and from Sacramento on a regular basis.Kersey said he will also step down from his post as vice president of the League of California Cities.“This is a very difficult decision because my broad-based support, our strong fundraising, and the polling all indicate that my path to victory in this race was clear,” he said. “However, family comes before politics, and it’s extremely tough to provide the support they need from 500 miles away.”Kersey’s departure leaves three candidates who have declared their intention to enter the race to succeed Sen. Joel Anderson, R-El Cajon. They are Democrat Jeff Griffith, a board member of the Palomar Health District; former Republican Assemblyman Brian Jones of Santee; and libertarian Antonio Salguero.Anderson is being termed out next year in the seat that represents suburban San Diego, Santee, Escondido and much of rural East County. Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — San Diego City Councilman Mark Kersey announced Monday he is ending his run for the 38th state Senate District seat, citing “family health issues.” Posted: March 5, 2018 KUSI Newsroom, KUSI Newsroom March 5, 2018 Councilman Mark Kersey announces exit from 38th state Senate District race due to ‘family health issues’ Updated: 4:52 PMlast_img read more

VW exCEO told of defeat device admission weeks before news was public

first_imgVolkswagen’s former chief executive Martin Winterkorn was informed that the car-maker had told regulators it was using defeat devices two weeks before the scandal became public, German tabloid Bild am Sonntag reported Sunday.It said it was in possession of a letter sent Sept. 4, 2015, by an unnamed manager directly to then-CEO Winterkorn that said: “In the conversation on 03.09.2015 with the regulator CARB (California Air Resources Board), the defeat device was admitted. (sic)”Volkswagen’s US CEO Michael Horn told a U.S. House of Representatives hearing in October the company had told regulators Sept. 3 it was using defeat devices.A letter pointing to the then-CEO could lend weight to the cases of shareholders planning to sue Volkswagen for compensation for the plunge in its share price, saying VW should have told the public as soon as it became aware.The law firm acting for Winterkorn, who resigned on Sept. 23, was not immediately reachable for comment.A Volkswagen spokesman said the company declined to comment on an ongoing investigation.German financial watchdog Bafin is investigating whether Volkswagen breached disclosure rules when it admitted to falsifying U.S. emissions tests in September. It said last month the probe would probably take several more months.In parallel with investigations by various authorities, Volkswagen has hired law firm Jones Day to carry out an internal probe into identifying who ordered engineers to develop and install software designed to cheat U.S. diesel-emissions tests, and who knew.The discovery of the cheating, which U.S. authorities announced Sept. 18, unleashed one of Volkswagen’s biggest-ever scandals, leading to the resignation of several top managers and likely to cost it tens of billions of dollars.The news wiped 17 percent, or more than €13 billion ($14.2 billion), off Volkswagen’s market value on the next trading day.Volkswagen is expected to present the first results of its investigation in April. It has said so far it has no reason to believe that more than a few people were involved in the cheating, and not at top level.last_img read more

Bangladesh to build roads along IndiaMyanmar border

first_imgThe Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) holds meeting on Tuesday. Photo: UNBBangladesh is going to construct ‘border roads’ in hilly areas along the India-Myanmar border with a view to ensuring better security through improved road communications.The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Tuesday approved a project titled ‘Construction of Border Roads’ involving over Tk 16.99 billion to this end, reports UNB.ECNEC chairperson and prime minister Sheikh Hasina chaired the meeting held at the NEC conference room in Dhaka.While briefing reporters after the meeting, planning minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said the road and highways department and the special works organisation of Bangladesh army have been given the responsibility to implement the project.The project will be completed in six upazilas of Khagrachhari, Bandarban, Rangamati and Cox’s Bazar districts by June 2021.The project will be implemented at Naikhongchhari upazila in Bandarban, Juraichhari, Borkol and Rajstali upazilas of Rangamati, Ukhiaupazila of Cox’s Bazar and Baghaichhari upazila of Khagrachhari.Out of the proposed 317-kilometre roads, some 40 kilometres will be constructed on the Ukhia-Ashartoli-Fooltuli route, 52 kilometres on the Sajek-Shildah-Betling, 95 kilometres on Sajek-Dokanghat-Thegamukh, and 130 kilometres on Thegamukh-Loitongpara-Thachhi-Dumdumia-Rajsthali route.Bangladesh has around 540 kilometres borders — 330 kilometres with India and 210 kilometres with Myanmar.On implementation of the project, border guards are expected to be able to ensure strict measures in hilly border areas, curb illegal drugs and arms smuggling through improved road communications.This project will also help expand trade and commerce, develop tourism facilities in hilly areas, facilitate marketing of agricultural products to boost economic activities and generate employment opportunities.The planning minister said 16 projects were approved today with an overall estimated cost of more than Tk 96.80 billion.Of the approved 16 projects, 12 are new while four are revised ones.last_img read more

ANSOM Microscope Achieves Sub 10nm Resolution

first_imgThe idea behind near-field microscopy is to offer a technique by which extremely small structures (at the nanometer level) can be measured and manipulated. However, 20 nanometers has been the best resolution accomplished. Until now. “We were able to resolve molecules when they were only 15 nanometers apart,” Stephen Quake tells PhysOrg.com. Quake and his group at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena have created a fluorescence near-field microscope that can distinguish single molecules. The results are published in an article titled “Fluorescence Near-Field Microscopy of DNA at Sub-10 nm Resolution” in Physical Review Letters.“Conventional light microscopes use lenses, and so their imaging properties are limited by the properties of these lenses,” Quake explains. “The main limitation is the wavelength of light. But for the last 20 years, near-field microscopy has provided ways to look at objects without being limited by the wavelength of light. For the most part, that has meant two to four times better than the diffraction limit.”Along with Ziyang Ma, Jordan Gerton and Lawrence Wade, Quake designed and built a microscope that worked with fluorescence near-field microscopy (ANSOM — apertureless near-field scanning optical microscope). In their Letter, the authors describe how fluorescence fluctuations and the limited number of photons available before the molecule is destroyed has created problems in imaging fluorescent molecules. However, thanks to a new phase filtering method, Quake’s group demonstrates how this new kind of microscope can be useful for any number of applications, but especially for biomolecules like DNA.In fact, Quake and his collaborators used DNA to test their microscope. “One of the most stringent tests for a microscope is to put two items together and see how close you can get them and still tell them apart.” He points out that in near-field microscopy this test is not often done. “But we wanted rigorous evidence that the resolution is as high as we claim.” Quake feels that this new kind of microscope could be valuable if commercially produced. “If a commercial manufacturer picked these up and got them into labs, it could greatly advance the frontiers of both biology and nanoscience. They could be used as tools to learn more about the function of macromolecules.”According to the Letter, the microscope’s phase filtering method can also be applied to such things a nanoantennas and supersharp carbon nanotube probes. The resolution of both of these instruments could be improved with the group’s process. Additionally, the microscope could be altered to work on a level that approaches the resolution of an electron microscope.Quake predicts that there will be more to this new fluorescence near-field microscope. “So far, we only have results from molecules in air,” he says. “The next step is to make it work in water, and we have been modifying the instrument for that purpose.” The advantages to having such a microscope are obvious. Right now, with an electron microscope (which has sharper resolution), biomolecules cannot be observed directly in their natural conditions. But this new microscope, if properly adapted, could change that. “We could image live cells, for example. Look at things in motion. Observe proteins that are on the cell surface membranes. This microscope offers a powerful new tool for imaging single molecules and nanostructures.”By Miranda Marquit, Copyright 2006 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Citation: ANSOM Microscope Achieves Sub 10nm Resolution (2007, January 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-01-ansom-microscope-10nm-resolution.htmlcenter_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more