Terry Francona Takes Over As Manager of Cleveland Indians

Terry Francona, who managed the Boston Red Sox to a pair of World Series championships, will take over as skipper of the Cleveland Indians, a team in desperate need of leadership that has won.I’m really excited,” Francona said on the air as an ESPN analyst, his job for the past season. “People who don’t know me may have thought I was looking for something different.”The Indians chose Francona over Sandy Alomar Jr., who served as the club’s interim manager for the final six games after Manny Acta was fired on Sept. 27. Francona and Alomar, who spent the past three seasons as a coach in Cleveland, were the only candidates to interview for the Indians’ opening.Alomar has been offered a spot on Francona’s staff, most likely as bench coach.After he was fired as Philadelphia’s manager, he worked in Cleveland’s front office as an adviser in 2001. He also spent a portion of the 1988 season on Cleveland’s major league roster and his father, Tito, played with the Indians from 1959-64.Francona has stayed close with Indians president Mark Shapiro and general manager Chris Antonetti over the past decade. He said the chance to work with them again is what intrigued him most about the Cleveland job, which will have its challenges because of a much smaller payroll than he enjoyed in Boston.“It’s a good story, almost a family feeling,” Francona said after his interview on Friday. “I don’t think you can take a job because of that, but it still means a lot to me. Because of Chris and Mark and my relationship, I am excited to try to tackle, or attempt to tackle, every challenge that comes our way and do it together.”There are some major challenges in Cleveland, where fans have been waiting for a World Series winner since 1948.The Indians were a major disappointment this season, going 68-94. They were within 3 1-2 games of first place on July 27, but went 5-24 in August — the worst month in the franchise’s 112-year history — and finished 20 games out in the AL Central. Acta didn’t get to finish his third season with the club.“We have better talent than our record shows,” Antonetti said earlier this week. read more

LeBron James Mike Brown Did Not Receive Fair Shake

The Los Angeles Lakers did not give fired coach Mike Brown a “fair shake,” according to LeBron James, who played under Brown with the Cleveland Cavaliers for five years.“I think it’s unfortunate,” James said Friday after the Heat’s win in Atlanta against the Hawks. “I just don’t think he got a fair shake, honestly. With the shortened season last year, and five games into this year, he didn’t really get a full season.”Fair shake or not, the Lakers move on with their search for a replacement, apparently centering on Phil Jackson and Mike D’Antoni, according to ESPNLosAngeles.com.“It’s neck and neck,” the source said. The Lakers intend to call Jackson on Saturday to gauge his interest in returning to the sideline.If the initial conversation with Jackson goes well, the Lakers are hoping to meet with him this weekend. While the Lakers have focused on Jackson, it would have to be a “philosophical match,” according to sources. Issues such as how much control over personnel decisions Jackson will want and whether he would travel to all games — issues that became problematic during Jackson’s last stint with the team — will surely be raised.The Lakers also have made initial contact with D’Antoni’s agent, sources said. D’Antoni already is stumping for the job.“If they offer it, I’d love it. It’d be a perfect fit,” D’Antoni told Fox Sports Southwest and DallasBasketball.com in the hours after Brown’s firing.The Lakers would like to move quickly through this process, as interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff has committed to working only a few games.Jackson is open to returning to the NBA sideline, multiple sources with knowledge of the Hall of Fame coach’s thinking told ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Dave McMenamin.Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak told reporters Friday afternoon that the team’s brain trust — Kupchak along with Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss and executive vice president of player personnel Jim Buss — already has put together a list of potential replacements for Bickerstaff. Among the “four or five” names on that short list is Jackson, according to a league source. read more

The Warriors Are Making A Mockery Of The NBA Salary Cap

Just when you thought competitive balance in the NBA couldn’t be worse, the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors swooped in Monday night, stole the thunder from LeBron James’s coronation in Los Angeles and signed DeMarcus Cousins (the best big man still available in free agency) for well below market value. Now, what already felt like the biggest foregone conclusion in sports — yet another Warriors championship — seems even less in doubt, somehow.Doesn’t the NBA have an incredibly complex set of salary-cap rules to prevent this kind of thing from happening? In theory, yes. But from Kevin Durant’s discount contract to Klay Thompson’s talk1Which his father, former NBA player Mychal Thompson, later downplayed. of leaving millions on the table to remain with Golden State (not to mention the coups the team scored with veterans like David West), the Warriors have a long history of convincing stars to take less money for the sake of the dynasty. Cousins is just the latest example — and maybe the most shocking, since he signed for less than Aron Baynes, Marco Belinelli or Mario Hezonja will reportedly make next season.The Warriors were able to sign Cousins as a free agent despite being tens of millions of dollars over the cap thanks to one of the NBA’s many salary-cap loopholes: in this case, the mid-level exception, or MLE. The MLE comes in several different varieties depending on how far past the cap a team’s payroll is, but the Warriors used the so-called taxpayer MLE to give Cousins his $5.3 million next season. It’s all legal, at least according to the letter of the salary cap rules. (As for the spirit? Not so much.)The MLE was introduced in the NBA’s 1999 collective bargaining agreement as a way for capped-out contenders to still be able to add quality role players in support of their stars. Perhaps the best examples of the MLE working as originally intended are Shane Battier, who joined the Miami Heat in 2011 and played a vital role on two title squads, and Shaun Livingston, who signed with the Warriors before the first of their three championship runs over the next four years. Those are the kind of guys who are supposed to be available via the mid-level exception — solid players, not stars.Cousins, however, is much, much better than your typical MLE pickup. Sure, there are questions about how he’ll fit on Golden State’s roster. But he also made the All-NBA second team as recently as 2016, and has generated 11.2 points of value over replacement player (VORP) — worth roughly 30 wins — over the previous three seasons according to Basketball-Reference.com, a tally that ranks tied for 16th best in basketball during that span.Using archives of Basketball-Reference’s database of contracts going back to the 2012-13 season, I identified 175 instances of the MLE (or one of its variants, including the taxpayer/“mini” mid-level and the so-called “room exception”) being used to sign a player in recent years, prior to the summer of 2018. In that group, the average MLE signee had generated 1.2 VORP in the three seasons leading up to his contract — meaning Cousins was worth about 27 more wins (!) than the typical MLE-worthy player in the years before signing his new contract. No other MLE pickup in our data set was even remotely close to as valuable going into his new deal as Cousins was: It’s probably clear by now just what a steal Cousins is at $5.3 million, but here’s one more note: Our CARMELO projection system, which spits out fair dollar values for every player’s production, thinks Cousins should be worth about $46.1 million next season. The NBA’s maximum salary rules preclude him from getting quite so much, of course, but he still figures to be worth far more than the mid-level pittance Golden State is doling out for his services.From Cousins’s perspective, it does make some sense to cut this particular deal. He’s coming off a major injury last season, and he may not be available to the Warriors until after the 2018-19 season begins. The Pelicans’ unexpected surge without him during the playoffs reinforced old questions about Cousins’ ability to win, and the market for bigs was looking cash-poor anyway this summer, with the repercussions of 2016’s wild spending spree crashing down on teams’ cap and luxury-tax budgets. According to The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears, Cousins didn’t receive any “significant” contract offers when free agency opened up. So instead, Cousins is gambling that he can fit in with the Warriors’ legendarily unselfish group for a year, produce solid numbers, ease back into health, win a ring — and in the process, ditch his longtime label as a me-first malcontent. If all goes according to plan, he’ll be due for a much bigger payday next summer than he could’ve gotten had he played the normal free-agent game this summer.But even if things work out well for Cousins, it will have meant dealing another blow to whatever competitive balance is left in the league. For a brief while, things seemed to be taking a turn toward increased excitement: The Rockets spent a season suggesting the Warriors weren’t as unbeatable as they seem — coming within a Chris Paul injury and some historically cold shooting of possibly proving it in the playoffs — and James is just starting to form his own Western Conference challenger in LA. But then, Golden State strengthened their grip on the NBA with another deal that turned the salary cap’s rules against their own underlying purpose. The Warriors proved once again that the most exciting time on the pro basketball calendar is during the summer free-agent frenzy — when no games are played, but the fate of the following season is sealed. read more

The 53 Best Franchise Players In The NBA 201617 Edition

14K. PorzingisNY22PF+0.0D. NowitzkiY. Jianlian39.7 7Anthony DavisNO24PF+1.8K. GarnettD. Favors45.6 PLAYERTEAMAGEPOS2017 +/- VS. PROJ.BEST CASEWORST CASEUPSIDE WAR A few years ago, Kevin Love would have ranked much higher on this list. But a couple of good-but-not-great seasons since joining the Cavs have dropped his standing within the league significantly. Ditto Blake Griffin — though Griffin’s problems have largely been the result of injuries, not underperformance. Griffin’s strong start to 2016-17 suggests he might be moving up the rankings soon. Also, check out Minnesota, with two point guards in this group. Ricky Rubio has always been a tantalizing player for statheads, but often a disappointing one; even this year, he’s been injured and played poorly in the two games he did suit up for. Kris Dunn is younger, but still a rookie, and he’s also been uneven in 2016-17 thus far. How he, Rubio and Wiggins perform will go a long way toward determining whether the T-Wolves live up to the playoff-bound expectations CARMELO set for them in preseason. We’re starting to enter the territory of elite players. Then again, the NBA is a notoriously top-heavy league, so all of the names in this group are still probably too young (Hi, Aaron Gordon), too old (Kyle Lowry) or too otherwise flawed to be the No. 1 player by value over the next six seasons. But this portion of the list features some fascinating possibilities for future league leaders, including John Wall and his breakneck speed, Damian Lillard and his endless range, and Kristaps Porzingis and Ben Simmons, who both have freakish star potential. (Though we won’t really see what Simmons can do this year until he returns from a foot injury.) And although Chris Paul slipped down to No. 12 from eighth place last year, he’s played like a man possessed in the early going this season. (Maybe the Clippers can win a ’chip with a star point guard after all!) Based on “upside WAR” — wins above replacement with negative seasons zeroed out — over next 6 seasons. 25Marcus SmartBOS23PG-7.7D. HarperJ. Givens32.3 6-YEAR PROJECTION 46Nicolas BatumCHA28SF-1.1A. EnglishR. Davis21.4 6-YEAR PROJECTION 51A. WigginsMIN22SF-1.9S. A.-RahimM. Beasley19.9 49Gorgui DiengMIN27C+2.1J. NoahS. Pollard20.2 PLAYERTEAMAGEPOS2017 +/- VS. PROJ.BEST CASEWORST CASEUPSIDE WAR 16Damian LillardPOR27PG+1.5R. AllenB. Roy39.2 36Blake GriffinLAC28PF+5.5P. GasolB. McAdoo24.2 Two weeks into the NBA season, it’s still too soon to come to many sweeping conclusions about the state of the league. Maybe the talent-stuffed Warriors will continue to underperform like so many superteams have before them; maybe they’ll click and start dominating. Maybe the Clippers really are the best team in basketball; maybe they’ll still have to reckon with the trend of point guard-led teams underperforming in the playoffs. Bottom line is, there’s a lot of basketball left to be played.In some ways, then, it feels more relevant at this stage of the season to check in on the state of the game at the player level. So we thought we’d use our CARMELO projections to update an analysis we did last year: finding the league’s top 50 (or thereabouts) franchise building blocks. These rankings are based on preseason projections, ordered according to how much value each player is expected to produce1Specifically, how much positive value; we quantify a player’s upside by adding up his wins above replacement and zeroing out negative seasons. over the following six seasons (including 2016-17). But for each player, I’ve also listed how much a player is exceeding (or underperforming) his preseason projected box plus/minus so far this season. We’re only a few games into the NBA’s infamously long regular season, but some players could play themselves up or down the list based on how they’ve performed thus far.In keeping with last year’s 53-player ranking, here are the 53 best franchise players in the NBA for 2016-17, according to CARMELO: 6-YEAR PROJECTION Top NBA franchise players: Nos. 53-41 26Kyrie IrvingCLE25PG-4.1S. CurryB. Gordon32.0 11Dr. GreenGS27PF+1.3L. NanceR. Reid43.1 13Ben SimmonsPHI20PF—C. BoshA. Bennett42.0 39Ricky RubioMIN26PG-7.0J. KiddA. Hill23.8 20Aaron GordonORL21PF-1.4L. DengM. K.-Gilchrist34.0 PLAYERTEAMAGEPOS2017 +/- VS. PROJ.BEST CASEWORST CASEUPSIDE WAR 34Kris DunnMIN23PG-1.5D. LillardL. Jackson26.0 Top NBA franchise players: Nos. 30-21 22Jimmy ButlerCHI27SG+2.4D. MajerleJ. Howard33.7 37Joel EmbiidPHI23C-0.1J. NoahM. Bradley23.9 44K. C.-PopeDET24SG+1.9H. HawkinsH. Barnes21.5 2R. WestbrookOKC28PG+6.2M. JordanG. Hill63.1 40J. WinslowMIA21SF-3.3K. GarnettM. K.-Gilchrist23.7 Based on “upside WAR” — wins above replacement with negative seasons zeroed out — over next 6 seasons. PLAYERTEAMAGEPOS2017 +/- VS. PROJ.BEST CASEWORST CASEUPSIDE WAR 41D. ValentineCHI23SF-6.1K. HinrichR. Gaines23.2 35Kevin LoveCLE28PF-3.4J. SikmaS. A.-Rahim25.3 6LeBron JamesCLE32SF+0.5K. MaloneD. Wade50.0 Top NBA franchise players: Nos. 20-11 47B. IngramLAL19SF-0.2C. BoshA. Wiggins21.3 Based on “upside WAR” — wins above replacement with negative seasons zeroed out — over next 6 seasons. 43A. DrummondDET23C+0.7S. KempA. Biedrins22.2 Top NBA franchise players: Nos. 40-31 21D. CousinsSAC26C+1.6K. MaloneB. Griffin33.7 27G. HaywardUTA27SF+0.1C. MullinB. Roy30.1 24Kemba WalkerCHA27PG+3.8J. TerryE. Johnson32.6 33Otto Porter Jr.WAS24SF+4.3R. McCrayH. Barnes26.4 1Stephen CurryGS29PG-4.5L. BirdT. Porter73.0 23Paul GeorgeIND27SF-2.1D. WilkinsL. Hughes32.9 12Chris PaulLAC32PG+11.9J. KiddK. Johnson42.0 42Elfrid PaytonORL23PG-4.3B. DavisL. Wright22.9 8Kevin DurantGS28SF+0.4K. MaloneB. Daugherty45.1 28Nerlens NoelPHI23C—J. SikmaS. Swift28.6 6-YEAR PROJECTION Based on “upside WAR” — wins above replacement with negative seasons zeroed out — over next 6 seasons. 9G. AntetokounmpoMIL22PG+6.2K. GarnettR. Gay43.6 Based on “upside WAR” — wins above replacement with negative seasons zeroed out — over next 6 seasons. 15Rudy GobertUTA25C+0.2J. NoahD. Causwell39.5 In this neighborhood of the rankings, you’ll find a number of really solid players either entering or already in their primes, though not all of them have met expectations in the early going. Boston’s Marcus Smart, for instance, was a CARMELO favorite in 2016, but he didn’t have the star turn the algorithm expected and he’s been downright bad so far this season. (Unsurprisingly, Boston has also failed to meet preseason projections as a team this year.) But Charlotte’s Kemba Walker has been a pleasant surprise: His individual numbers have beaten CARMELO’s forecast,2He has a +6.6 BPM, compared to his projection of +3.0. and his Hornets are off to a 6-1 start. It could be another career season for a player who’s improved his BPM every year of his career. 17John WallWAS26PG+1.2J. KiddT. Evans38.0 19Kyle LowryTOR31PG-2.2G. PaytonG. Williams36.3 18D. JordanLAC29C-2.2B. WallaceE. Okafor36.6 53Jae CrowderBOS27SF+0.7D. MajerleH. Pressley19.4 5Kawhi LeonardSA26SF+5.1C. DrexlerW. Davis51.0 32D. RussellLAL21PG-0.1R. WestbrookZ. LaVine27.0 52Ed DavisPOR28PF-5.4D. DavisT. Battie19.4 30Victor OladipoOKC25SG-3.2R. AllenO. Mayo28.2 50Al HorfordBOS31C-1.3P. GasolT. Gugliotta20.0 PLAYERTEAMAGEPOS2017 +/- VS. PROJ.BEST CASEWORST CASEUPSIDE WAR Top NBA franchise players: The top 10 3James HardenHOU27SG+5.9L. JamesG. Hill62.7 4K.-A. TownsMIN21C+1.2K. GarnettJ. Smith59.4 31Paul MillsapATL32PF-1.5K. MaloneD. Roundfield28.2 45Eric BledsoePHX27PG+0.4K. LowryL. Drew21.4 38Steven AdamsOKC24C+1.7V. DivacJ. Valanciunas23.8 6-YEAR PROJECTION 29Derrick FavorsUTA26PF-5.2P. GasolS. Swift28.4 10Nikola JokicDEN22C-1.3S. KempZ. Pachulia43.2 48M. PlumleePOR27C-0.8J. NoahC. Johnson20.6 Al Horford at No. 50! That’s probably not what the Celtics were hoping for when they inked him to a $113 million contract, but he’ll also turn 31 in June and his reputation has always (slightly) exceeded his numbers. Meanwhile, Andrew Wiggins is an old hobbyhorse here at FiveThirtyEight, and — although his breakout season hasn’t quite materialized yet — CARMELO thinks he’ll start to show his true skills during the 2016-17 season. He’s not alone among the talented-but-kinda-raw perimeter types in this group, which also include Elfrid Payton, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and rookies Brandon Ingram and Denzel Valentine. CARMELO has been particularly high on Payton for a few years now, though he (like Wiggins) hasn’t shown many signs of turning that potential into production thus far. Finally, the top 10. And first, the surprises: Nikola Jokic at No. 10? (Twenty-year-old big men don’t put up the kind of season he had last year very often.) Giannis Antetokounmpo at No. 9? (His youth and versatility are great indicators for the future, and he’s playing even better so far this season.) Kevin Durant down at No. 8? (CARMELO is still cautious after KD’s injury-plagued 2015 season.) Anthony Davis, last year’s No. 1, dropping to seventh place? (You can read our analysis of AD’s down 2016 season here and here.) Defending NBA champ LeBron James below up-and-comers Kawhi Leonard and Karl-Anthony Towns? (This one depends how gracefully LBJ ages.)But at No. 1, we’re rolling with longtime FiveThirtyEight favorite Steph Curry. Although Curry is off to a weaker start than projected this season, his revolutionary 2015-16 season was one of the greatest performances in league history. Russell Westbrook is the greatest triple-double machine known to man (and has only added to his legend so far this season), so we’ll have to keep an eye on the Steph-Russ derby all season. But for now, Curry projects to contribute the most value of any NBA player over the next six seasons, to go with all the other Warriors high up on this list.Check out our latest NBA predictions. read more

The Knicks Cant Even Get The Draft Lottery Right

Update (May 16, 9:20 p.m.): After the NBA draft lottery Tuesday night, the Knicks are now slated to pick eighth; they would have gotten the seventh pick if draft order were decided by record alone.When the NBA holds its annual draft lottery tonight, the New York Knicks will have a 5.3 percent chance of winning the top pick in next month’s draft and an 18.3 percent chance of landing in the top three. Their fans will be keeping their fingers crossed for a little good news — for once.Since trading franchise icon Patrick Ewing before the 2000-01 season, the Knicks have won one playoff series and amassed the league’s third-worst regular-season record.1Through the 2016-17 season. Coming into this season, the Knicks had the 4th-worst regular-season record since 2000-01. Fans of dreadful teams can usually cling to the likelihood of high draft picks and the hope for the future they bring. But the Knicks have managed to bungle that too.I compared teams’ regular-season performance2In terms of average regular-season rank at season’s end, which is the primary basis for determining draft order. For the first four seasons of my analysis, the NBA had 29 teams. I adjusted those ranks to 30-team equivalents. I adjusted for ties too; if two teams were tied for the 5th-best record, for example, I assigned both a rank of 5.5. These adjustments help normalize rankings. to their average position in the drafts following each of the 16 seasons from 2000-01 through 2015-16.3Based on which team officially made each selection on draft night. Team averages include drafts in which they had no first-round picks, either because of trades or violations. I captured franchise history according to official records, so the Hornets’ 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons belong to Charlotte, not New Orleans. I assigned the 2002 draft to New Orleans. As a result, Charlotte has 14 seasons and 14 drafts from the 2000-01 season through the 2016 draft, while New Orleans has 14 seasons and 15 drafts. All other teams have 16 seasons and 16 drafts. In general, good teams should have bad picks and bad teams should have good picks. That’s how the system’s designed, after all. If your team stinks, at least you have a shot at the best players in the draft.As one of the worst teams in the NBA since 2000-01,4In terms of average rank at the end of the regular season, the Knicks were worst in the NBA from 2000-01 through 2016-17 and 3rd-worst from 2000-01 through 2015-16. (As noted, ranks are adjusted for ties and number of teams.) the Knicks should have had one of the best average draft positions. Instead, New York’s front office fumbled its way to the 6th-worst average in the league, combining on-court ineptitude with draft-night hopelessness. Let that sink in for a moment. Over the past 16 years, the only teams with worse average draft position than the Knicks were the Spurs, Mavericks, Heat, Lakers and Pacers. These are all successful teams that generally picked late because they were good at basketball. Not surprisingly, the Knicks own the largest average discrepancy between where they should have picked in the draft and where they actually picked.Bad lottery luck has played a part. Since winning the Ewing sweepstakes in 1985, the Knicks haven’t moved up a single draft spot via the lottery — that is, when they’ve been one of the teams in the lottery, the drawing hasn’t led to them picking any earlier than they would have if draft order were determined by record alone. They fell four spots in 1986, three in 1987,5This knocked New York out of the top three, which, under the terms of a previous trade agreement, enabled Seattle to swap first-rounders with the Knicks and draft Scottie Pippen. one in 2008 and two in 2015. The only other time a pick that would have belonged to the Knicks landed among the top three in the lottery, New York had given Chicago the rights to that spot under the terms of the Eddy Curry trade. (The Bulls selected LaMarcus Aldridge second overall in 2006.)And that’s really the bigger problem. Most of the damage the Knicks have suffered was self-inflicted. In the 16 drafts since the infamous Ewing-to-Seattle deal in 2000, the team has worsened its own position eight times by either trading away the rights to its top pick or allowing another team to swap first-round spots.6This includes drafts in which the Knicks still picked in the first round but the terms of a deal caused them to pick later than they would have otherwise. Houston had the option to swap 2011 first-round picks with the Knicks via the Tracy McGrady deal but did not do so, so that is not included. In five cases, the pick New York gave up became a lottery spot, including the pick the Bulls used to draft Aldridge in 2006. And even when the Knicks hang onto their first-round pick until draft night, they can still manage to lose it: In 2002, they drafted Nenê with a lottery pick, then traded him away that same night for Antonio McDyess, who delivered the Knicks 0.6 win shares over 18 games before being packaged for Stephon Marbury.7Nenê, meanwhile, has produced 69.3 regular-season win shares over 15 seasons.The Nenê trade isn’t the exception, either. For the most part, all this wheeling and dealing has left New York no better off than they were when they started. *All trades involved multiple players.**The Knicks gave Denver the right to swap 2016 first-round picks in the Anthony trade. They traded away the pick entirely in the Bargnani trade.Source: Basketball-reference.com 20109Stephon Marbury28 20062Eddy Curry9 When the Knicks actually make picks, they tend to draft pretty well. They’ve made 12 first-round selections since 2001, and many of them, including Nenê and Kristaps Porzingis, have turned out to be pretty good or even great picks. But the Knicks traded a lot of those guys away and got relatively little in return.Holding onto picks before the draft is one step out of this downward spiral for the Knicks. Holding onto them after will be another. In the meantime, a little bit of luck with the pingpong balls at tonight’s lottery won’t hurt.Check out our latest NBA predictions. The Knicks have stunk at trading first-round draft picks since 2001 200416Stephon Marbury28 YEARORIGINAL PICKKEY PLAYER*PLAYER WIN SHARES WITH KNICKSPLAYER STILL WITH KNICKS? 201412Carmelo Anthony44✓ 20027Antonio McDyess1 200118Glen Rice6 20079Eddy Curry9 20167Andrea Bargnani**2 201216Tracy McGrady0 PICK TRADED FOR … read more

The Next Phase Of NBA Superteam Technology Creating One From Scratch

2013LakersKobe BryantPau GasolDwight Howard2 Tyler Ennis2416-1.1-0.7-1.8 YearTeamStar 1Star 2Star 3prev. Stars YearTeamStar 1Star 2Star 3prev. Stars Injury status notwithstanding, superstars like Leonard don’t come up for grabs on the trade market often, and where they end up landing can often shape the destiny of the league. If Leonard does ultimately team up with James and George, the resulting Big Three would indeed reshape the NBA championship picture for years to come. The financials of such a deal are tricky, though doable. What’s unknown now is the desire of Leonard, James and George to play together — a necessary component, since the latter two are free agents — and whether the Spurs would be willing to trade their star to a rival team in the West. In other words, this Big Three is unlikely as the situation currently stands. But just the same, we’ve seen stranger things than this happen during the NBA’s summer silly season. Stay tuned. 1983LakersK. Abdul-JabbarMagic JohnsonJames Worthy2 2018ThunderR. WestbrookC. AnthonyPaul George1 PFLeBron James3436+5.4+0.8+6.2 21 2004T-WolvesKevin GarnettLatrell SprewellSam Cassell1 2015CavaliersLeBron JamesKevin LoveKyrie Irving1 1997RocketsH. OlajuwonCharles BarkleyClyde Drexler2 A Kawhi-LeBron-PG-13 Big Three would be uniqueNotable NBA Big Threes since the 1976 ABA-NBA merger, by year formed and number of stars who were already on the team’s roster 2011HeatLeBron JamesDwyane WadeChris Bosh1 Ivica Zubac2114-2.0+1.0-1.0 2004LakersShaquille O’NealKobe BryantGary Payton2 1996BullsMichael JordanScottie PippenDennis Rodman2 tot. TORDeRozan12Anunoby22Siakam11 2019Lakers (?)LeBron JamesKawhi LeonardPaul George0 PosPlayerAgeMPGOffensiveDefensiveTotal When healthy, San Antonio Spurs swingman Kawhi Leonard is a card-carrying MVP candidate and one of the game’s premier all-around talents. But here’s the thing: Leonard hasn’t really been healthy since the 2017 playoffs, when he landed awkwardly on Zaza Pachulia’s foot in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals. Between that season-ending ankle sprain and a mysterious quad injury that sidelined Leonard for all but nine games of the 2017-18 season — fueling rumors of a growing rift with the Spurs organization — most of the recent headlines about Leonard have been over rehab schedules and locker-room turmoil, not his on-court brilliance.Friday’s report that Leonard wants a trade out of San Antonio was the latest (and most significant) piece of news in that department yet. According to ESPN’s Chris Haynes and Adrian Wojnarowski, Leonard would prefer to be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, which might help lay the groundwork for a superteam featuring Leonard, LeBron James and Paul George. These rumors were enough to cause a spike in the Lakers’ playoff futures, where they now have 6-1 odds of winning the 2018-19 title — after winning just 35 games last season. But while that development would shift the paradigm, would this Big Three really be able to challenge the Warriors for supremacy in the West? And are the Lakers even the team that can offer the best package in return for Leonard?If L.A. does manage to reel in the trio of stars, it would finally replenish the Lakers’ supply of future Hall of Famers, a resource the franchise mined for championship runs almost continuously from the 1940s through the 2000s (before Kobe Bryant retired to become an Oscar-winning filmmaker). It would also represent a brand new kind of Big Three, one made entirely from scratch. Up until very recently, history’s top three-star arrangements came together at least semi-organically, with one (if not two) of the members already on the roster before the third piece of the puzzle was added. Even in newer cases such as the 2010-11 Miami Heat, you usually needed at least one existing player on the roster to play Dwyane Wade’s role and help recruit other stars to join up.To illustrate this, here’s a list of just about every notable1I realize I am stretching that definition by considering, say, the 2004 Timberwolves’ combination of Sam Cassell and Latrell Sprewell with Kevin Garnett as a Big Three. NBA Big Three since the ABA merger, along with how many of its members were already on the team before the final member joined: 1988BullsMichael JordanScottie PippenHorace Grant1 Josh Hart2324+0.5-0.7-0.2 2010ThunderKevin DurantR. WestbrookJames Harden2 16 40 Includes Big Threes formed by adding players through the draft.Source: Basketball-Reference.com teamPlayers 1994MagicShaquille O’NealPenny HardawayNick Anderson2 Projected Plus/Minus What a Lakers superteam might look likeProjected depth chart for the hypothetical 2018-19 Los Angeles Lakers, with CARMELO player projected plus/minus Replacement-level players23-1.7-0.3-2.0 CARMELO would expect that team, with a projected efficiency margin of plus-5.9 points per 100 possessions, to win about 54 games next season, even with stray waiver-wire pickups logging 10 percent of the team’s available minutes. The team would also have the star power of a bona fide championship contender, with James arguably ranking as the best player in the league,2CARMELO projects him to finish a close second behind Russell Westbrook in total value next year. Leonard capable of snagging MVP votes and George checking in as a five-time All-Star by the age of 28. There would be questions about fit — since James, Leonard and George overlap in both position and skill set — and no guarantees about Leonard’s health. But this Big Three would certainly vault L.A. back into the championship conversation, where it hasn’t resided in a while.However, before these Laker bros start making plans for a parade down Figueroa Street next June, it’s fair to ask whether the Lakers are really the most likely destination for Leonard. Although Leonard may want to play in L.A., he’s also still under contract with the Spurs for one more season, so San Antonio still controls where he’d eventually end up landing. And if they can help it, I’m guessing Gregg Popovich and R.C. Buford would prefer not to set a superteam up for the franchise that’s faced the Spurs in 34 playoff games since San Antonio’s dynasty began in the late nineties.Moreover, Los Angeles may not even have the best package to offer the Spurs in a deal for Leonard. Our colleagues at ESPN.com put together their seven favorite potential Leonard trades, including the Lakers’ Ball/Kuzma/Deng swap mentioned above. For each of those scenarios, I added up CARMELO’s five-year upside values, which project a player’s wins above replacement over the next five seasons with negative-value comparable players zeroed out.3This is done in order to keep a player from being penalized for a historical comparable who was penciled into the lineup despite poor play — which was presumably more the coach’s fault than the player’s. According to that measure, L.A.’s deal is among the best San Antonio might be able to get — but it has competition from Miami, Toronto, Philadelphia and others:4For the values of draft picks, I used the five-year expected value of a pick found here. For Portland’s 2019 pick, I arbitrarily assigned it the value of the No. 20 overall pick. (The Blazers pick 24th this year.) SGPaul George2836+2.0+0.5+2.5 Assumes Lakers sign LeBron James and Paul George with cap space, trade with San Antonio for Kawhi Leonard and use a salary-cap exception to sign a big man (such as Nerlens Noel).Age is as of Feb. 1, 2019.Source: ESPN.com PHICovington24Fultz810th pick9 With Leonard coming from San Antonio, James from Cleveland and George from Oklahoma City, this would be the first Big Three we could find that formed with three newcomers all meeting in a new city. Things have been trending in that direction for a while: Although the vast majority of Big Threes in the 1980s and ’90s were formed by adding a third star to a two-man core, plenty of recent Big Threes have seen two new faces joining one existing star’s squad. But this would be a new Big Three experiment that pushes the boundaries of how they can be formed even further.If the Lakers do manage to haul in Leonard, George and James, their new team would instantly be good enough to at least give the Warriors some competition in the Western Conference next season. Let’s mix our CARMELO projections, which use historical comparisons to model out a potential career arc for each current NBA player, with the L.A. superteam scenario detailed here by my colleague Kevin Pelton. In it, he assumes the Lakers sign James and George with their cap room, and that San Antonio accedes to a trade that sends Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma and Luol Deng’s onerous contract to the Spurs in exchange for Leonard. Here’s how CARMELO thinks that team looks on paper: PORMcCollum12Rd 1 pick4 1981CelticsLarry BirdRobert ParishKevin McHale1 2012ClippersChris PaulBlake GriffinDeAndre Jordan2 CNerlens Noel2420-2.3+2.8+0.5 Who will teams offer in exchange for Kawhi?Five-year CARMELO upside* values for selected trade packages involving Kawhi Leonard, according to ESPN.com’s Insiders Thomas Bryant2112-1.4-0.1-1.5 LALBall37Kuzma10Deng1 45 2008CelticsKevin GarnettRay AllenPaul Pierce1 2003SpursTim DuncanManu GinobiliTony Parker2 SFKawhi Leonard2728+2.1+1.3+3.4 198376ersJulius ErvingMoses MaloneBobby Jones2 47 2017WarriorsKevin DurantStephen CurryDraymond Green2 PGBrandon Ingram2131-0.3-0.5-0.8 1987PistonsIsiah ThomasAdrian DantleyBill Laimbeer2 2018RocketsChris PaulJames HardenTrevor Ariza2 1994JazzKarl MaloneJohn StocktonJeff Hornacek2 * CARMELO’s “upside” measurements are a version of our ratings in which comparable players who project to have a negative value are zeroed out instead.Numbers may not add up because of rounding.Source: ESPN.com 27 BOSHayward7Rozier14 MIADragic5Richardson14Winslow11Adebayo1748 BOSIrving2427th pick3 2008LakersKobe BryantPau GasolLamar Odom2 Team total240+3.7+2.1+5.9 read more

Why The NFL Cant Rely On Defense

Philadelphia led the league in QB hits but not sacksTotal quarterback hits, sacks and expected sacks for teams’ defensive lines in the regular season, 2018 Chicago954941.3+7.7– Green Bay714330.9+12.1– Defensive performance is unpredictableShare of performance across various team-level metrics predicted by the previous season’s performance in the regular season, 2009-2018 Total defensive DVOA9.7 Source: Football Outsiders High-impact plays on defense turn out to be the least predictable. And while we’re by no means great at identifying which teams will succeed on offense, offensive DVOA is about twice as good at forecasting future performance as defensive DVOA.4Based on data from 2009 to 2018.For teams like the Chicago Bears, who won 12 games despite fielding the 20th best offense in the NFL, this has major ramifications. The Bears were third in the league in turnover margin and third in sacks — feats we shouldn’t expect to repeat based solely on this season’s results. (Just ask the Jags.) Casting even more doubt on their ability to field an elite defense in back-to-back years, Chicago also lost its defensive coordinator, Vic Fangio, who left to become the head coach in Denver, further destabilizing the strength of the team.Still there is some hope for lovers of the three-and-out. While rare, there are plays a defense makes that do tend to carry over from year to year. One of the most stable defensive stats is hits on the quarterback, which has a relatively impressive year-to-year r-squared of 0.21 — better even than total offensive DVOA, which is the gold standard for stability in team metrics. Quarterback hits include sacks — 43.5 percent of QB hits end in a sack, and those by themselves tend to not be predictive — but also plays in which the passer is contacted after the pass is thrown, and that contact is incredibly disruptive to a passing offense. Baltimore964341.8+1.2– Jacksonville903739.1-2.1– Tennessee803934.8+4.2– Cincinnati803434.8-0.8– Washington914639.6+6.4– New Orleans954941.3+7.7– Miami733131.8-0.8– Offensive rushing DVOA9.7 Atlanta733731.8+5.2– N.Y. Jets1093947.4-8.4– Indianapolis743832.2+5.8– Carolina683529.6+5.4– Tampa Bay883838.3-0.3– Pittsburgh1105247.9+4.1– L.A. Rams994143.1-2.1– Philadelphia1234453.5-9.5– Defensive passing DVOA10.0 When a quarterback is hit, his completion percentage is affected on a throw to any part of the field.5When the hit isn’t a sack, obviously. Teams that can generate pressure that ends with contact on the opposing QB greatly improve their chances of causing incompletions and getting off the field. And best of all, teams that are good at generating hits on the quarterback tend to stay good at it. We shouldn’t be surprised that great offensive teams have made it this far. Teams are more reliably good — and bad — from game to game and year to year on offense than on defense. Individual defenders often have wild swings in performance from season to season, and defensive units forecast to be dominant often end up being merely average. The Jacksonville Jaguars’ defense took them as far as the AFC championship a year ago, but that same defense led them to five wins this season. Meanwhile, performance on offense is generally easier to forecast, making investments on that side of the ball more reliable.Even then, football is largely unpredictable. When an otherwise sure-handed Alshon Jeffery2According to Pro Football Focus, Jeffery had just five drops for the season on 70 catchable targets. lets a well-thrown Nick Foles pass sail through his fingers for an interception to end the Eagles season, or when Cody Parkey double-doinks a partially blocked field goal to end the Bears’ playoff hopes, we are essentially cheering, or bemoaning, randomness. Most vexing for forecasters and league observers trying to make sense of things is that the plays that matter the most in football are often the most unpredictable. But again, this is particularly true on the defensive side of the ball.Turnover margin is the canonical example. Teams that win the turnover battle go on to win their games at a very high rate. Home teams win about 73 percent of their games when they are plus-1 in turnover differential, according to data from ESPN’s Stats & Information Group, and the home team win rate climbs to more than 86 percent when it’s plus-2 or better. metricShare predicted Oakland481320.9-7.9– Sacks3.6 L.A. Chargers773833.5+4.5– Buffalo833636.1-0.1– Houston864337.4+5.6– Cleveland833736.1+0.9– Teamqb hitsSacksexpected sacksDifference Offensive passing DVOA18.8 The Eagles, Jets and the Seahawks all appear to have better days ahead of them on defense. Each team racked up more than 100 QB hits in 2018. But they also experienced bad fortune, converting their hits into sacks at a rate below what we’d expect. If these teams generate similar pressure next season, we shouldn’t be surprised to see their sack totals rise just based on reversion to the mean. Meanwhile, Chicago, New Orleans and Kansas City experienced good fortune in 2018, converting their QB hits at a rate higher than we’d expect. Assuming the defensive lines return largely intact, we probably shouldn’t be surprised to see their sack totals dip next season.Stats like QB hits are rare to find on defense. And because of the high variance in defensive performance, teams built with a defense-first mindset end up controlling their own destinies less than we might expect. When it comes to team-building, this suggests that investments on offense are better long-term bets for stability. The results this year are particularly encouraging. Lighting up scoreboards by focusing on scoring points instead of preventing them has proved to be both successful and incredibly entertaining to watch. For this season at least, defense isn’t winning anyone a championship.Check out our latest NFL predictions. San Francisco853737.0+0.0 Arizona834936.1+12.9– Denver864437.4+6.6– Dallas923940.0-1.0– New England933040.5-10.5– Defensive rushing DVOA8.3 Show more rowsSources: NFL, Elias Sports Bureau Yet despite their clear importance, the number of turnovers a team creates in one season has no bearing on how many turnovers the team will create in the next. Both interceptions and fumbles are completely unpredictable from season to season at the team level. And this pattern holds true for defense in general. If we measure the stability of defensive stats from one year to the next,3Stability measures tell us how well a stat predicts itself over a period of time. Year-over-year r-squared of a metric tells us what percentage future performance, or variance, can be explained by past performance. we find that compared with offensive performance, most defensive stats are highly variable from year to year. Interceptions2.4 N.Y. Giants813035.2-5.2– In an NFL season marked by historic offensive production and a championship round that was conspicuously absent a top-10 defense,1According to Football Outsiders’ defensive Defense-adjusted Value Over Average. aficionados of low-scoring rock fights, filled with punts and field goals, have been left disappointed. The best defensive teams to make the playoffs were eliminated early in the tournament, with the Bears, Ravens and Texans all losing in the wild-card round. A week later, Joey Bosa and the emerging Chargers defense were dismantled by the Patriots, and the Cowboys — perhaps the best defensive team left in the divisional round based on their end-of-season play — lost to the Rams. Extracting the strong defensive teams with relatively weak offenses led to historically exciting playoff football, producing two overtime games in the championship round for the first time in NFL history. Now we have a Patriots and Rams Super Bowl pitting perhaps the greatest QB of all time in Tom Brady against the hottest young offensive mind in the league in Sean McVay. Kansas City1015243.9+8.1– Seattle1054345.7-2.7– Total offensive DVOA18.9% Fumbles1.6 Detroit744332.2+10.8– Minnesota864937.4+11.6– read more

LeBron James to be on Ohio State sidelines for Virginia Tech game

2013 NBA Champion for the Miami Heat and Akron, Ohio native LeBron James stands on the sidelines at the Wisconsin football game Sept. 28 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 31-24. Credit: Lantern file photoThe King is set to make another return, this time to the Ohio State sidelines.Cavaliers forward LeBron James is expected to be on the sidelines for OSU’s matchup with Virginia Tech on Saturday night, and is set to address the Buckeyes prior to kickoff, OSU athletic director Gene Smith confirmed in an email to The Lantern on Friday.“He is planning to come and we have made arrangements for him,” Smith said in the email.It’s unclear whether or not this is becoming an annual tradition for No. 23, but James has been seen in the Buckeyes’ locker room and on the sidelines of Ohio Stadium at an OSU night game before.On Sept. 28, 2013, just as he is scheduled to on Saturday, James addressed the Buckeyes before they kicked off against Wisconsin and was seen roaming the sidelines in a scarlet shirt. OSU defeated the Badgers by a final score of 31-24 in that game.While James is the only one of his Cavaliers teammates that is scheduled be in attendance on Saturday night, the rest of the team is set to follow the superstar to Columbus as the Cavaliers are scheduled to play an exhibition game against the Philadelphia 76ers on Oct. 20 at the Schottenstein Center.Tickets for that game are set to go on sale on Sept. 12 at 10 a.m., according to the Schottenstein Center box office.The Buckeyes are set to take on the Virginia Tech Hokies on Saturday at 8 p.m. read more

How a facelift can aid success and even help you escape a

first_imgWhen Sarah Parish, the actress, recently admitted to undergoing a non-surgical face-lift to boost her career, she raised eyebrows.But a new study suggests that women who embark on cosmetic procedures to look younger and more attractive really do help themselves become more successful.Researchers asked hundreds of people to rate women before and after face-lifts. They found that a nip-and-tuck wiped an average of four years off their age, increased attractiveness by 18 per cent and made them appear 16 per cent healthier.The women also appeared 10 per cent more successful after the operation.The researchers from Johns Hopkins University say that cosmetic interventions which lift the features to improve appearance may produce a ‘halo effect’ – a phenomenon whereby people automatically view those who are more attractive as virtuous, trustworthy and happier. Kylie is a fan of non-invasive ‘radio frequency’ facials  Sarah Parish admitted to a non-surgical face-lift claiming crews found her difficult to light Credit:Andrew Crowley  They could even help people avoid a speeding ticket, as researchers say the halo effect often results in ‘judicial leniancy.’“Our results reveal that patients after face-lift surgery have improved attractiveness and perceived success,” said lead author Dr Lisa Ishii, and assistant professor of facial plastic and reconstructive surgery.“Individuals considered more attractive experience what is often described as a halo effect.“Attractive individuals are assumed to possess more socially desirable personalities, live happier lives, and experience more success compared with less attractive individuals.“Furthermore, individuals perceived as more attractive are more likely to be hired for a job, receive judicial leniency, and be elected as political candidates.“Although preliminary, these findings suggest that the overall effect of face-lift surgery has the potential to improve perceptions across many aspects in social interaction with a conceivable effect on occupational outcomes.” Celebrities such as Kylie Minogue, Amanda Holden and Nicole Scherzinger are all reported to be fans of non-invasive ‘radio frequency’ facials which plump up the skin by zapping molecules beneath the surface.Previous small studies have found that younger and lifted faces increase perceptions femininity, likeability and  social skills.The new study asked 483 observers to rate 13 female patients before and after face-lift surgery and found widespread benefits in perception by others. The authors say that it will help doctors give more information about what a patient can expect after a procedure.New legislation to ensure that all those carrying out invasive cosmetic procedures are trained and registered is currently going through the House of Commons.The Royal College of Surgeons is also compiling a new register of ‘certified surgeons’ who can carry out cosmetic procedures. To make the list they must prove they have appropriate training, experience and insurance to practice in the UK. An example of one of the face-lift images used in the study  Kylie is a fan of non-invasive ‘radio frequency’ facials  In an interview Parish, who is known for her performances in Cutting It and Mistresses and W1A, said chose to have an Ultratherapy procedure because it was ‘becoming increasingly hard to light me in certain ways.’ Sarah Parish admitted to a non-surgical face-lift claiming crews found her difficult to light  She admitted ‘becoming a bit jowly’ but said she had shied away from ‘scary needles or knives’ Although the procedure was non-surgical its makers claim it gives the same effect as a regular face-lift.Recent data from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) found that the number of cosmetic operations last year dropped 40 per cent since reaching record-breaking heights in 2015.Face and neck lifts fell by 53 per cent last year to just 3,453, from 6,402 in 2015. Eyelid surgery was also down 38 per cent.BAAPS said that non-surgical options such as chemical peels and microdermabrasion were taking over from the traditional nip-and-tuck. The new research was published in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery. An example of one of the face-lift images used in the study Credit:Johns Hopkins University  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

400000 extra phone masts needed to bring 5g network to rural Britain

first_imgEE are considering using a blimp to improve the signal at the Glastonbury Festival  Rolling out high speed mobile phone coverage and internet to the forgotten corners of rural Britain will require at least 400,000 extra masts, many of which will need to be 80ft high, experts have predicted.In this month’s budget Phillip Hammond, the Chancellor, pledged to invest £1.1 billion the development of a 5g network which will bring faster and more reliable mobile broadband and phone coverage to the UK by the early 2020s.But a recent report by consumer watchdog Which? found that mobile users in half of England cannot even access 4g, while in Wales the fast signal is available for just one third of the time.Expert from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), King’s College London, and the universities of Surrey and Sussex, warned that people living the countryside may have to accept 80 foot (25 metre) masts if they want to catch up and enjoy the faster service.More than 10 times the number of masts and base stations, will be needed for full coverage across the country, but super-fast 1-2 gigabits per second speeds will always be confined to cities, they warned. Many people struggle with their signal even with the most up to date phones Credit:AP Professor Will Stewart, of the IET said: “There is nowhere near enough capacity to deliver what we think the system needs, there never has been.“The crucial thing is you need to be shorter range to deliver the extra capacity, that means more base stations, at least ten times more, maybe 100 times. There are between 30,000 and 40,000 masts now.“The coverage is enormously important. It’s not just ex-Prime Minister’s who are concerned that they can’t get coverage in Cornwall. We need services to always work, we see them now as a utility.“One of the things you are going to see in five years is the masts getting taller, to get more coverage. 25 metres is what the mobile operators are asking for. The UK has got the shortest masts in Europe. We’ve done something really stupid, we’ve kept the masts below the treeline, but the trees grow taller every year.”According to an HM Treasury report released this week, 5G will open the doors “to potentially revolutionary technologies such as automated cars and advanced manufacturing, as well as enabling the many thousands of connected devices, such as smart energy meters, that are predicted to enter our everyday world as part of the Internet of Things (IoT).”However the current signal in some rural areas is currently so bad that EE is preparing to launch a mobile mast suspended from a helium blimp as part of its effort to improve coverage.4G replaced 3G internet as a mobile communications standard several years ago and was designed to provide wireless internet access at a much higher speed, allowing customers to watch videos and use social media on the move. Many people struggle with their signal even with the most up to date phones center_img EE are considering using a blimp to improve the signal at the Glastonbury Festival  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. But even in London most people can only access a 4G signal 69.7pc of the time and the capital has one of the worst downloads speeds in the country. And  fewer than half of mobile connections were made on a 4G service at the end of last year according to Ofcom.Mischa Dohler, Professor of Wireless Communication at King’s College said: “The rural coverage problem is a big headache. If coverage wasn’t there in 4g it won’t be in 5g.“The real problem is the cost to put up the base station in rural areas. So one recommendation is to deregulate street furniture. That’s what we really need. Then you can roll our the base stations you need.”Tom Fyans, director of campaigns and policy at the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), said networks should consider siting base stations on churches or farm buildings to avoid the need for intrusive masts.“Super slow speeds continue to frustrate communities in more remote areas. Yet we need to ask whether we can deliver the type of coverage being suggested here without markedly harming the character of our precious landscapes.“Rather than building thousands of ever higher masts at the behest of industry, we need to maintain strong planning protections and help local communities add new infrastructure to existing buildings. Churches or farm buildings can provide the right structure, if damage to their heritage value is prevented.“Creative efforts that engage local communities will make sure rural areas are not left behind and protect the countryside.”Some communities are even being forced to pay for their own masts, or run fibres to nearby villages which do have coverage to pick up a signal.Prof Stewart, who clubbed together with locals in his village to pay £25,000 for internet link up to his village said: “We did it, and several villages around me have done so as well.“Since we did it BT has decided to come in to the billage, but it works our cheaper to do it through the community. BT charges £30 a month, but our community network is only £10 a month. So why would anyone ask for BT?”Prof Stephen Temple, of the Institute of Communication Systems at the University of Surrey, added: “The biggest headache for policymakers is going to be coverage over the next 20 years.”last_img read more

Britains most complained about advert is a rapping chicken which enraged vegans

first_imgThe TV ad showed parents telling their children that they would like to celebrate Christmas “traditionally” by sitting by the fire, singing carols and having long conversations. The mother then laughed at the visibly upset children and explained it was a jokeCredit:Advertising Standards Authority/PA The ASA ruled that the ad did not ridicule or denigrate Christians or Christianity, so was unlikely to offend on those grounds.8. Telefonica (O2). 125 complaints. Not upheld.O2’s ad about free screen replacements attracted complaints when it featured two men kissing and breaking one of the couple’s phone screens when he was pressed on to a table by the other man. Complainants believed it was too sexually explicit and scheduled inappropriately at times when children were likely to be watching. Some also felt the portrayal of a same-sex relationship was offensive to their religious beliefs.The ASA said the scene in question was brief and did not contain any graphic or overly sexual imagery, ruling that it did not require a scheduling restriction and the depiction of a gay couple would not cause serious or widespread offence.9. Macmillan Cancer Support. 116 complaints. Not upheld.The TV ad showed a father talking to his daughter, receiving chemotherapy, vomiting in a sink, sitting slumped in a bath and crying in a car before being comforted by a nurse. People complained that the imagery was overly graphic and distressing to viewers.The ASA found that the scenes served to illustrate the reality of living with cancer and addressed the serious nature of the illness appropriately. 10. Mars Chocolate UK (Maltesers). 92 complaints. Not upheld.This ad appeared in the top 10 for the second year, with complainants believing the woman’s description of having a spasm during a romantic encounter with her boyfriend to be offensive and overly sexual. Some also felt it was offensive to portray the woman, who was in a wheelchair, in this manner.The ASA found the woman’s conversation to be light-hearted and did not believe it would cause serious or widespread offence. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled it was unlikely that the ad would cause distress or serious or widespread offence, as there were no explicit references to animal slaughter.2. MoneySuperMarket.com. 455 complaints. Not upheld. The top ten most complained about adverts of 20171. Kentucky Fried Chicken. 755 complaints. Not upheld.KFC’s ad featuring a chicken dancing to a rap soundtrack as it headed to slaughter attracted complaints that it was disrespectful to chickens and distressing for vegetarians, vegans and children. The fast food chain issued an apology and pulled the adsCredit:Advertising Standards Authority/PA Many complainants found the ad to be offensive on the grounds that it was overtly sexual and possibly homophobicCredit:Advertising Standards Authority/PA The fast food chain issued an apology and pulled the ads 5. McDonald’s. 256 complaints. Not investigated, ads removed. Britain’s most complained about advert in 2017 featured a rapping chicken which enraged vegans, the Advertising Standards Agency has revealed. The campaign for fast food chain KFC, attracted 755 complaints that it was disrespectful to chickens and distressing for vegetarians, vegans and children.However, the ASA did not ban it after deciding it did not include any explicit references to animal slaughter and was therefore unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.The ASA received a total of 29,997 complaints about ads last year.Only two of the 10 ads that attracted the most complaints were removed from media – one for Dove, discussing breastfeeding in public, and the second for McDonald’s, featuring a boy and his mother talking about his dead father – with both companies swiftly cutting short the campaigns themselves in response to public outcry.Video: KFC dancing chicken advertcenter_img Many complainants found the ad to be offensive on the grounds that it was overtly sexual and possibly homophobic The ad featuring a boy and his mother talking about his dead father, and her disclosing that both father and son loved a McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish burger, drew widespread criticism that it trivialised grief, was likely to cause distress to those who have experienced a close family death and was distasteful to compare an emotive theme with a fast food promotion.The fast food chain issued an apology and pulled the ads.6. RB UK Commercial (V.I.Poo). 207 complaints. Not upheld.A fictional Hollywood starlet shares her secret on how to maintain good toilet etiquette, by using the V.I.Poo air freshener.Many people found the ad unsavoury. The ASA ruled that the campaign was a light-hearted way of introducing the product and did not consider its reference to the “devil’s dumplings” likely to break rules on offence.7. DSG Retail (Currys PC World). 131 complaints. Not upheld.The TV ad showed parents telling their children that they would like to celebrate Christmas “traditionally” by sitting by the fire, singing carols and having long conversations. The mother then laughed at the visibly upset children and explained it was a joke. Complainants believed the ad was offensive because it promoted materialism and equated Christmas with watching TV instead of Christianity. The TV ad showed parents telling their children that they would like to celebrate Christmas "traditionally" by sitting by the fire, singing carols and having long conversations. The mother then laughed at the visibly upset children and explained it was a joke. The ASA decided that each of the remaining eight ads had not crossed the lineon offensiveness and so did not uphold the complaints.Two of the most complained-about campaigns also featured in 2016’s top 10 list – a Match.com ad showing a lesbian couple kissing passionately and an ad for Maltesers featuring a woman who described having a spasm during a romantic encounter with her boyfriend. This MoneySuperMarket.com campaign also appeared in the ASA’s top 10 list for 2015 and 2016, and once again featured the two #epicsquads – the strutters and the builders – and a new female character.Many complainants found the ad to be offensive on the grounds that it was overtly sexual and possibly homophobic.The ASA ruled it was unlikely to condone or encourage harmful discriminatory behaviour.3. Unilever UK (Dove). 391 complaints. Not investigated, ads removed.Dove produced a series of ads that contained statistics and opinions about breastfeeding in public. Complainants said the language, such as “put them away”, might encourage criticism of breastfeeding and some were concerned that the ads might encourage neglecting crying babies.Dove issued an apology and subsequently pulled the ads and amended their website.4. Match.com. 293 complaints. Not upheld.The ad featuring a lesbian couple kissing passionately also appeared at number three on 2016’s list, and had attracted almost 1,200 complaints over the two years.The ASA ruled that it was not too sexually explicit for children to see. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. MoneySuperMarket.com appears in the top 10 for the third year running with its campaign featuring twerking builders, with 455 complaints that it was overtly sexual and possibly homophobic making it the second most complained-about ad of 2017.Others making the top 10 featured a fictional Hollywood starlet using the V.I.Poo toilet air freshener, an ad for Currys PC World which drew complaints that it equated Christmas with watching TV instead of Christianity, an O2 ad featuring two men kissing, and a Macmillan Cancer Support campaign that showed a father receiving chemotherapy, vomiting in a sink and crying in a car.ASA chief executive Guy Parker said: “Tackling misleading ads continues to be the bread and butter of our work, but 2017 again showed that it is ads that have the potential to offend that attract the highest numbers of complaints.”But multiple complaints don’t necessarily mean that an ad has fallen on the wrong side of the line. We look carefully at the audience, the context and prevailing societal standards informed by public research before we decide.”last_img read more

Bullingdon Club has no place in the modern party says Oxfords Conservative

David Cameron and George Osborne were both members of the Bullingdon Club  Famous for its wealthy members and boisterous rituals – such as vandalising restaurants or College rooms before leaving a cheque to pay for the damage – the private members club has fallen out of favour in recent years.Last year an Oxford College passed a motion stating that Junior Common Room (JCR) executive members are not permitted to simultaneously be members of dining societies which are “secret and exclusive”.  “The presence of exclusive societies like these reinforces the idea that Oxford is not an inclusive space,” students from Queen’s College said at the time.”We think it’s important we pass this motion to show that this JCR at the very least stands for inclusion. This motion is targeted specifically at the exec because we believe we as exec members need to set the standard and embody the values of the rest of the JCR.”  The Daily Telegraph reported in 2016 that the Bullingdon Club was facing up to the real prospect of dissolving, as students have started turning down invitations of membership.One Oxford student explained this was because that “people don’t want that ostentatious wealth celebration anymore.”Another said: “Every reasonable person thinks it is a joke. People think it is elitist and exclusionary and if anyone is ever mentioned as being in the Bullingdon the instant reaction of everyone hearing it is, ‘what a loser’.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. It was reported in 2004 that members of the club had trashed a pub in Oxford, while it has been said that one member burned a £50 note in front of a homeless man as part of his initiation into the group. For over 200 years, it has been regarded as one of the most exclusive clubs in the country with invitations to join seen as an indicator of social prestige.But the all-male Bullingdon Club has now been officially shunned by Oxford University’s Conservative Association (OUCA) as they say the club has “no place in the modern party”.This week the OUCA added the club – whose former members include David Cameron, George Osborne and Boris Johnson – to its list of proscribed organisations.This means that Bullingdon Club members are now banned from holding office in the university’s Conservative Association.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––Ben Etty, the OUCA president, told the student newspaper Cherwell: “The banning of members of the Bullingdon club from holding office in the association – a club banned by the university and whose values and activities have no place in the modern Conservative Party – will I hope show that we are moving towards a more open, welcoming, and tolerant environment for all.”  It is the latest blow to the Bullingdon Club and follows a series of scandals and satirical productions, with the most recent being the play Posh by Laura Wade, which was adapted for the film screen as The Riot Club.   David Cameron and George Osborne were both members of the Bullingdon Club read more

Stephen Poliakoff says it is striking how few Jewish characters are portrayed

“Anti-Semitism does recur through this piece and there is an important plot development that involves it and I wanted it to be subtle initially,” he told an audience at the BFI and Radio Times Television Festival in London. “There are very few Jews in British drama. Since the death of the great Jack Rosenthal [the playwright]… Launching his new BBC drama Summer of Rockets, which stars Keeley Hawes and Timothy Spall, Poliakoff spoke of his concern over the rise of anti-Semitism, a theme that runs through the series. Television dramas are lacking in their representation of Judaism and it is “striking” how few Jewish characters are portrayed in British dramas, playwright Stephen Poliakoff has said.

Britains strictest schools first GCSE results are four times better than national

Children get their results at Michaela Community School “If a school is too permissive, allowing too many exceptions, it risks creating helplessness, selfishness or dependence in its pupils rather than responsibility, consideration and agency. If a school reduces its standards for poorer pupils because of their poverty or difficult home life, it does them a disservice; frankly, it doesn’t believe in them enough. ” Children get their results at Michaela Community School Britain’s strictest school has received its first ever GCSE results after opening five years ago – and they are four times better than the national average.At Michaela school in Brent, North London, 18 per cent of exams were graded a 9, compared to 4.5 per cent nationwide. 54 per cent of all exams were graded a 7-9, which is an A or A* under the old system.Headteacher Katharine Birbalsingh has come under criticism in the past for her “strict” methods at the free school, which aim to instill private school-esque order in state school children.The school has a number of unusual rules, including silence in the corridor and it has a strict “no excuses” policy where pupils are given detention for coming to school one minute late.They are also penalised for not completing homework or if the work is scruffy, for not having the correct stationery , or for tutting, rolling eyes, or “persistently turning around in class”.Its policy is based on “tough love”, and the school rules state: “We expect every pupil to move swiftly and in single file lines between lessons, so that children are hardly ever late to lessons. We expect every pupil to greet teachers and guests with eye contact and a polite, cheerful, ‘morning, sir!’ ‘afternoon, miss!’ The teenagers were pleased with their resultsCredit: Eddie Mulholland Tom Bennett, the founder of researchED, added: “I’ve been to this school several times and I’m not surprised by this. It’s a beacon of routine, consistency and professionalism- but what many people don’t see is its commitment to kindness, manners and altruism. There’s a lot to be gained by reflecting on their example” The teenagers were pleased with their results Daniel Hannan MEP, who has supported her free school since its inception, said: “Take a moment to think of what Katharine Birbalsingh  has achieved.”She fought the bureaucracy to establish a free school. Many of her intake came from disadvantaged backgrounds. She put her trust in old-fashioned teaching methods. Now, five years on, this is the result.”The headteacher had previously vowed never to teach in the state sector again and said at the Conservative Party Conference in 2010 that working in the state sector had turned her into a conservative.She said at the time: “In schools and in society, we need high expectations, of everyone, even if you’re black, or live on a council estate – Why can’t they sit exams at the end of the year?”We need to rid the classrooms of chaos by unshackling heads and setting our schools free.” Ms Birbalsingh named the school after her former colleague Michaela Emanus, who died of cancer in 2011.She said after getting her school’s first set of results: “Michaela was my old-school colleague for many years. She believed in rigour, old-fashioned values, in kids being allowed to be kids abd in adults leading the way.”Sadly she died of cancer in 2011. She would have been so proud of our school and what we have achieved.”She posted a video on Twitter of herself celebrating with parents, writing: “Nothing nicer than parents saying, ‘We trusted you and we you did it!’ ‘TOGETHER! I say! We did it TOGETHER!’ Parents matter!!”Suella Braverman MP said: “Huge congratulations to all staff & pupils for AMAZING GCSE results today. We need more schools like Michaela Community School & more teachers like Ms Birbalsingh. Very proud of all you today. We can create more free schools.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Derrick Patterson pleads guilty to cocaine trafficking

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedMinister Patterson’s brother charged with trafficking cocaine in GrenadaMay 15, 2018In “Court”If found guilty he must face the consequences- Minister Patterson on brotherMay 18, 2018In “Crime”Cocaine trafficking: Jagdeo calls on Gov’t to launch investigation into Minister’s brotherMay 16, 2018In “latest news” The younger brother of Public Infrastructure Minister, David Patterson, was on Thursday given the option of paying a hefty fine or being jailed for 3 years after he pleaded guilty in a Grenada Court to the charge of cocaine trafficking.Derrick PattersonDerrick Patterson, 47, of Guyana, confessed to the crime when it was read to him by Magistrate Tamara Gill at the St George’s Court in Grenada.Patterson was ordered to pay EC$75,000 (GYD$5.789M) or serve three years in jail, if he was unable to fund the fine.INews had previously reported that Patterson, was visiting Grenada and residing at Captain Harris apartments in Grand Anse, St George.However, on May 2, 2018, officers attached to the Drug Squad of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) intercepted a vehicle travelling in the vicinity of Springs in which Derrick Patterson was the driver.The vehicle was searched and the drugs – a total of 2.325kgs of cocaine, worth approximately $232,500- were found inside of a plastic bag.Meanwhile, back in Guyana, the Public Infrastructure Minister made a public statement noting that if his brother is found culpable of the offence, he will have to bear the brunt of his actions.“Our position is that Derrick [Patterson] is a matured adult of 47 years and he must bear full responsibility for the consequences of his actions. Neither I nor any other member of my family can take responsibility for his own, deliberate actions,” the Minister said in a public statement made on Facebook.The Minister further explained that his family’s initial reaction at the news was that of shock, and while they remain deeply distressed and concerned, there is some hope that the law enforcement officials in Grenada may have made a mistake.Nevertheless, he emphasised in his post that his younger brother must face the consequences if he is found guilty in the court of law.“We have no reason to believe that he will not be treated fairly by the Grenadian legal system. As a family, we will give him all support we legally can, but we will not condone any proven illegal conduct,” he said.Moreover, Opposition Leader, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, had later called on Government to have a full scale investigation launched in Guyana to ensure that ‘our security was not compromised,’ given that the accused in a family member of a Government Minister and would have been granted certain “VIP treatment.”“This is where the Government should launch a full investigation into it since this is a clean Government that doesn’t tolerate drug dealing” he had stated. read more

Indonesian teenager raped by brother jailed for abortion

Message Name(required) Submit Email(required) (CNN) A 15-year-old girl has been imprisoned for six months for having an abortion after her brother repeatedly raped her, according to an Indonesian court official.The girl was given the custodial sentence last week, according to Listyo Arif Budiman, one of the judges in the case and a spokesman for the Muara Bulian District Court on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.The victim’s 17-year-old brother, who raped her eight times in the last year, was given a two year sentence for sexual assault of a minor, Budiman said. The prosecution had originally petitioned for a one year sentence for the girl, he added, who had the abortion six months after becoming pregnant.The siblings, who were both represented by government lawyers, will see out their sentences in a juvenile rehabilitation institute, the spokesman said. They will receive job training to help them integrate back into society, Budiman added.According to Budiman, neighbors discovered the headless fetus and immediately reported the discovery to the police, who began an investigation. The girl admitted that the fetus was hers after the investigation began.The siblings’ mother is currently being investigated for facilitating the abortion.The girl should not be imprisoned because she is a victim, according to Maidina Rahmawati, head of research for the Institute for Criminal Justice Reform, an independent legal organization which aims to protect the rights of citizens.She added that while abortion was still a criminal offense in the country, court guidelines require judges to “carefully examine cases involving women, specifically in cases of sexual violence (due to) its complexity.”She told CNN that that it “is clear that the judge involved didn’t really examine this case…. they don’t look deeper into what things were really happening behind the case.”She added that the prosecution had sought a seven-year sentence for the girls’ brother, and that the state could still appeal the sentences. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedBrothers given life sentences for raping 10-year-old niece in IndiaNovember 3, 2017In “World”Qatar convicts ‘raped’ Dutch woman – for having sex outside marriageJune 13, 2016In “World”Argentine 11-year-old’s C-section sparks abortion debateFebruary 28, 2019In “latest news” Website read more

Minster Henry visits relatives of dead head teacher

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedEducation Ministry commissions Mobile Counselling Unit for studentsNovember 5, 2018In “latest news”‘Keep pushing forward, working hard’-Top awardee Aadilah AliOctober 27, 2018In “latest news”Teachers’ strike: Education Ministry seeking support of retired teachers, CPCE students in interimAugust 28, 2018In “latest news” Minister, Nicolette Henry and Chief Education Officer Marcel Hutson with relativesEducation Minister,  Nicolette Henry accompanied by Chief Education Officer Marcel Hutson and other Senior Education officials of Region Four (Demerara Mahaica) visited the grieving relatives of Carlotta James who died in an accident involving a truck on Saturday morning.James, of Buxton, at the time of her demise was the Headteacher of Dorcas Nursery School, Plaisance, East Coast Demerara.In her engagement with the grieving family Minister Henry offered her condolences on behalf of the MoE and the Government of Guyana and pledged her Ministry’s support during this difficult period for the family.James, called Abigail, of Lot 27, Middle Walk, Buxton, East Coast Demerara reportedly died after the car she was driving slammed into the back of a lorry along the Good Hope Public Road, ECD in the wee hours of Saturday.Dead, Carlotta JamesThe driver of motor lorry GPP 143, a 31-year-old resident of Mahaicony, ECD, reportedly told investigators that he had slowed down the vehicle and had indicated he was about to turn south across the Good Hope public road when the car being driven by the 45-year-old James ran into his rear.Initially pinned in her vehicle, James was subsequently removed therefrom, placed in a Police pickup, and rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital, where she was pronounced dead on arrival. read more

Vendor busted with guns cash 5 kilos of cocaine by CANU

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedCosmetologist gets 4 years jail, fined $14M for Soesdyke cocaine bustJanuary 22, 2018In “Court”$550M cocaine bust: Implicated persons charged- CANUMay 31, 2017In “Crime”3 men remanded on cocaine, illegal gun possession chargesOctober 5, 2018In “Court” A vendor is now in the custody of the Custom Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) after some five (5) kilograms of cocaine were found in his Diamond, East Bank Demerara (EBD) home.The man, Andre Singh, was reportedly escorted to his house by the agents on Wednesday night at around 22:30h after they received a tip off.INews understands that Singh was intercepted at the Kingston Seawall where a search was carried out on his white Toyota Premio motorcar.It is being reported that two firearms, one pistol and a revolver, were discovered hidden under the seat of the car.Following this discovery, the ranks escorted him to his Diamond residence where the drugs were reportedly found hidden in a bedroom along with US $5000 and GYD $3M.Moreover, some thirteen rounds of ammunition were reportedly discovered in another section of the house.Singh was taken into custody where he is said to be assisting with the investigation. read more

Police Officers to be trained in foreign language

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedAbused Venezuelan migrants to get Govt supportJune 14, 2019In “Health”Police Force adds 143 new recruits to bolster crime fighting capacityJune 14, 2017In “Crime”Public officers undergo training in best practice to deal with Venezuelan migrantsSeptember 6, 2018In “latest news” A Spanish class in sessionThe Guyana Police Force (GPF) in its mandate to improve the quality of services being provided to the public especially migrants from Venezuela will now be offering Spanish courses for its officers.The language will now be implemented into the curriculum of the Officers training.The initiative which commenced in July of this year is being thought by local and foreign lecturers.The syllabus will focus on the fundamentals of Spanish and will be taught throughout the duration of the recruit training.According to GPF, this will now enable the Officers to better communicate with migrants which currently is proving to be difficult.The force noted its responsibilities to the migrants who are more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.GPF’s Training Officer, Fizal Karimbaksh as well as Felix Austin Police College Commandant, Shivpersaud Bacchus in their brief deliveries reiterated the importance of the addition to the curriculum.It was revealed that since the Officers were placed at a disadvantage at various borders when dealing with the foreign nationals, something needed to be done. read more

URS to Acquire Washington Group International

first_imgA deal that will combines leaders in engineering, construction and management services to create a huge diversified ‘Single Source’ E&C company has been struck between URS and Washington Group International (WGINT). They had combined 2006 revenues of $7.6 billion, more than 54,000 employees and both are well known in mining.URS and Washington Group International have signed a definitive agreement for the acquisition of Washington Group by URS in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $2.6 billion. The transaction will expand the capabilities of both firms and capitalize on their positions in important high growth sectors, such as mining and environmental management. That combined 2006 revenue of $7.6 billion, would have ranked the fourth highest among US publicly-traded engineering and construction companies. Based on previously issued guidance, the companies would have combined 2007 revenues of about $8.6 billion. In addition, the companies would have had combined 2006 EBITDA of $425 million and total backlog exceeding $11 billion, as of March 31, 2007. The combined company would have projects in over 50 countries.The combined company will offer a full range of engineering, construction, operations and maintenance services for both fossil fuel and nuclear power plants globally. The combined company also will have one of the largest teams of nuclear scientists and engineers in the industry, as well as a leading nuclear decommissioning and remediation business, enabling it to meet the anticipated resurgence in the nuclear energy market. In the infrastructure market, the combined entity will be positioned to meet growing demand for comprehensive services on large, complex transportation and water/wastewater projects around the world. In addition, the combined company is expected to be a major contractor to the federal government, including a top five provider of technical services to the US Department of Defense and a top provider of engineering, management and environmental services to the US Department of Energy.Martin M. Koffel, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of URS, said, “URS has a history of anticipating change in the industry, and this transaction is the next logical step in building for future growth. Through this combination, both companies will be better positioned to capture growth from favorable trends across the engineering and construction sectors, including the increased investment in infrastructure projects, the focus on emissions reduction and energy independence in the power market, and the increased use of outsourcing by federal agencies, such as the US Departments of Defense and Energy. Together, we will have the resources to meet increasing client demand for a single firm that can provide the full range of engineering and construction services required for large, complex projects in these high growth markets, both in the US and abroad. In addition, our clients will benefit from the combined firm’s expanded capabilities in mining and [other] sectors.”last_img read more