Come on, Congress: Sports Gambling, Not Bounties…

Shockingly, I know I am going out on a limb here. More than six million people filled out NCAA tournament brackets on ESPN.com alone. Instead of bickering and political pandering about professional sports bounty programs, Congress should do the right thing and repeal PASPA and allow states to have the option to legalize sports gambling.. These states should have the option to share in the major economic and revenue benefits that sports betting can provide.

The Final Four is taking place this week in New Orleans with four historically good programs. Following Nevada’s lead across the country in a legal, regulated and taxed way would lead to millions of new revenue, hundreds of new jobs, increased economic development, thousands of tourists from across the land, and cut down on all the illegal offshore and internet sports gambling.

The Recovering Politician’s Twelve Step Program to Survive Crisis

States throughout this country are dealing with budget problems and cuts to vital services and education. Sen. Last month the Super Bowl game garnered the prize as the highest-rated television show in United States history with an estimated 111 million people watching. Allowing states around the country to make the decision on sports gambling in their state is the right thing to do. Seriously though, Congress should only involve itself in sports-related matters on very rare occasions. Of the total amount bet on the Super Bowl in 2010, only about 1.5 percent is wagered legally. The dominos are beginning to fall and political grandstanding has already begun. The federal law is outdated and is truly discriminatory towards 46 other states. Most importantly, the National Gabling Impact Study Commission (NGISC) estimates that illegal wagers are as much as $380 billion annually. Dick Durbin (D-IL) wants to examine whether a federal law should make bounty systems a crime. Brown III, Jason Atkinson, Michael Steele, Steve Levy, Rod Jetton, Lisa Borders, Loranne Ausley, Jimmy Dahroug, Carte Goodwin, Jennifer Mann, Jason Grill

The Recovering Politician's Twelve Step Program to Survive Crisis

Sports and politics will always make strange bedfellows, but make more sense as a couple when they involve the economy. Giants game. One of those is sports gambling.

This Blogger’s Books and Other Items from…

Hello, Congress! Sports gambling and wagering is widespread and commonplace in our country and it’s being done illegally every minute.

Reports have shown that nearly half of all American adults make some sort of wager on the Super Bowl. They should have the option to put a sportsbook in each one of them. The 1992 law prohibited all but four states from offering sports gambling. This is the only sports related issue Congress should be talking about right now.

As a member of the Missouri House of Representatives, I sponsored a resolution calling on Congress to repeal the Federal Professional And Amateur Sports Promotion Act of 1992 (PASPA). This week reports have surfaced that the IRS is now poking around and monitoring the situation about the payments that were made to players. The four states exempted from this act were Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon.

Politics and sports are two things that incite strong emotions in nearly every individual in this country, but they should very rarely converge. It is estimated that nearly $75 million will be legally wagered in Las Vegas on March Madness this year. The time has come for Congress to open its eyes when it comes to sports gambling.

by Jonathan Miller, Artur Davis, Jeff Smith, John Y. Last week the Senate Judiciary Committee announced there would be an upcoming hearing about bounties in professional football and other major sports as a result of recent allegations that the New Orleans Saints employed a system in which players would receive extra cash for hits that hurt high-profile opponents. I am not a pollster, but if I had to guess I would assume more Americans are concerned with their pocket books and the economy right now than on professional sports bounty programs.

Since 2006, nearly $620 million has been legally wagered in Nevada sportsbooks on the Super Bowl, and in 2012 nearly $94 million was legally wagered on the Patriots v. Can you say unfair? Missouri currently allows 12 gambling casinos in the state. Overall, legal sports wagering in Nevada represents less than 1 percent of all sports betting nationwide. Lastly, the FBI estimates that more than $2.5 billion is illegally wagered annually on March Madness, but Nevada sportsbook operators estimate less than 4 percent of illegal betting on March Madness is wagered legally on the tournament in their state.

Are they serious? Well, yes they are

Stephen Curry is also high scorer for Under Armour

Other Under Armour athletes include New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Bryce Harper, who plays for baseball’s Washington Nationals.

The Baltimore-based company today reported quarterly profit that was twice as strong as Wall Street analysts had expected, thanks in part to a 64 percent increase in sales of athletic footwear, with Curry basketball and running shoes responsible for the gain.

During the most recent quarter, Under Armour revenue surged 30 percent to $1.05 billion, while net income jumped 63 percent to $19 million, or 4 cents per share.

For most of his life, pro basketball player Stephen Curry was a fan of Nike (NKE) and endorsed the company’s products. “When Stephen Curry decided to average 30 points this season to take the scoring title while wearing the number 30, we thought that putting up 30 percent growth on our end was the best way for us to demonstrate our pride and support of Stephen and the Warriors.”

The 22-year-old Spieth is a pro golfer with promising future, who gained notoriety recently after squandering a chance to win the Masters Tournament with poor play.

Curry remains a fan favorite, which should help Under Armour accelerate sales of his footwear, including the Curry 2.5 shoe, which debuts later this month, and the Curry 3 due to launch later this summer.

The athletic apparel maker’s other lines of business performed well during the quarter, and China was another bright spot. “By turning on the young fans, that not only leads to current purchases but hopefully will build a brand loyalty with those customers as they become older teenagers and grow into their 20s.”. All Rights Reserved. Not only did Curry’s Golden State Warriors start the season with a record of 24-0, but they ended it by breaking the league’s single-season win record — held by Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls.

“It seems like the shoe business will help them open a lot of doors and drive brand awareness internationally,” said Betty Chen, an analyst at Mizuho Securities, who rates Under Armour as a “buy.” “We also think they are likely taking share from other brands.”

“And to be clear, that 30 percent number was no accident,” said Under Amour Chief Executive Kevin Plank today in a conference call with Wall Street analysts. His stumble, though, didn’t hurt the performance of Under Armour’s golf business, which helped fuel a 20 percent gain in apparel sales during the latest quarter.

© 2016 CBS Interactive Inc.. That is, until 2013, when the largest producer of sports apparel botched its chance to re-sign Curry, paving the way for rival Under Armour (UA) to nab him — and launch a wildly successful line of Curry footwear.

Curry, 28, is considered by many sports writers to be a shoo-in to win the NBA’s Most Valuable Player Award for the second straight year. Now, Nike’s loss is clearly Under Armour’s gain.

Under Armour’s ties to Curry and other big-name athletes is getting much of the credit.

“A large part of these gains is tied to their ability to connect with and have relations with arguably with three of the most transcendent athletes that we have now in sports with Steph Curry, [pro golfer] Jordan Spieth and [NFL quarterback] Cam Newton,” said Patrick Rishe, director of the sports business program at the Olin Business School at Washington University in St.

Beaverton, Oregon-based Nike made several blunders in courting Curry, including mispronouncing his name during a business meeting, according to ESPN. According to the company, it earned more revenue in 90 days in China this year than it did in the full year of 2014.

Newton, 26, quarterbacks the Carolina Panthers and is one of the most popular players in the NFL. Louis

Research and Markets: Research Report – Global Online Gambling & Betting Market 2014

In the USA, online gambling is legal only in three states

and in many Asian countries gambling and betting is allowed only in

casino resorts.

– PokerStars

Product Information:

– 888 Holdings

– The authors provide secondary market research: By using various

sources of information they ensure maximum objectivity for all obtained

data.

The authors observe: while land-based lottery and casinos still dominate

the gambling scene, online real-money gambling and betting are growing

rapidly.

Europe has been a leader in adopting regulation regarding online

gambling, but as the activity spreads, new measures are being enacted.

In North America, online gambling was legalized in three US states by

early 2014, with online gambling revenues surging to millions in the

first months of legal operation.

In France, online gambling and betting has been legal since 2010, but

many gamblers turn to illegal sites. The

majority of Western European countries have some laws in place to

channel online gambling and betting. Research and Markets is the world’s leading source for international

market research reports and market data. Total online gambling revenue in Italy

recently reached a high number in hundreds of millions of Euros, with

poker constituting the largest segment.

– Ladbrokes

– William Hill Online

Global Online Gambling and Betting Market 2014 depicts the latest trends

and developments in the field. This ensures that the

content of the original studies is correctly interpreted.

– Paddy Power

The major trends in online gambling and betting globally are mobile and

social gambling. For example, a quarter of poker

players chose to bet on unregulated networks.

The leading online gambling and betting companies worldwide include

PokerStars, Bwin.Party, William Hill Online, each of which annually

generate online revenues of over EUR 0.5 billion.

DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/pwjr2j/global_online)

has announced the addition of the “Global

Online Gambling & Betting Market 2014″ report to their

offering.

Online gambling and betting is spreading in the Asia-Pacific region. As a result companies get a precise and unbiased impression of the

market situation.

Italy has one of the most advanced regulatory arrangements regarding

online gambling in Europe. The first

regulated online gambling website in Kenya was launched in 2013. The global online gambling market has a current value

estimated at a medium double digit number in billions of Euros, with

growth expected between +7 and 10% annually in the next few years.

Regional variations in legislation and acceptance of online gambling and

betting

The regulatory landscape on online gambling and betting is varied. We provide you with the latest

data on international and regional markets, key industries, the top

companies, new products and the latest trends.

In the largest Latin American market, Brazil, gambling and betting is

forbidden except for horse racing. In

Australia, which leads the world in terms of per person gambling, online

sports betting and gambling has been growing by over 30% annually, while

the growth of the total gambling market does not exceed 5%.

– These market reports inform top managers about recent market trends

and assist with strategic company decisions

– The analyses, statistical reports and forecasts are only based on

reliable sources including national and international statistical

offices, industry and trade associations, business reports, business and

company databases, journals, company registries and news portals.

For more information visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/pwjr2j/global_online

– Bwin.Party

– The author’s international employees research and filter all sources

and translate relevant information into English. Progress in online betting regulation in Germany is

expected in 2014, as several operators have applied for the first online

sports betting licenses.

The spread of online betting and gambling is forcing governments to act

to regulate. In

South Africa, online gambling awaits legalization in 2014.

Trends in online gambling and betting.

– Betfair Group

. Among the findings of the reports

researchers is that the online gambling and betting segment is

increasing, enhanced by the spread of smartphones and tablet computers. However, offshore gambling websites

are popular among Brazilian gamblers, who spend several hundreds of EUR

million annually on offshore sports betting sites.

Companies Mentioned

About Research and Markets

Regulation of online gambling and betting in Germany and Russia lag some

of their neighbours. In North America and major Asian

countries online real-money games are yet awaiting progress in

regulation. Mobile gambling is expected to grow at double-digit

rates and to reach over 40% of the total online gambling market by 2018,

as the number of mobile gambling users increases by a hundred million.

Online gambling is only starting to emerge in Africa

6 Tips to Remove YouTube Addiction

Yes, you don’t watch a lot of television but you’re spending too much time in YouTube. Take up a sport.

4. If you’re a dad, creating furniture and fixtures may be an exciting hobby, which may even turn into a profitable venture. A lot of websites and plug-ins can already do that for you. And if you can afford it, spend a night in the mountains camping or even travel outside the state or outside of the country. Go to the outdoors. Spend less time in front of the PC. Just block it. You don’t have to cut everything off suddenly. You can share the hobby with your kids. Choose a hobby. It also feels so good if you win competitions. This video-sharing website has garnered millions of followers all over the world, for only a very short time. Further, to make sure you don’t delete the plug-in, you can look for a tool that allows you to add passwords. A sport can be a good motivator for you to spend less time with YouTube. It’s not really surprising that you’ll end up suffering from depression and a lot of stress later. If you spend 8 hours with it, you can reduce it to 6 or 5. You won’t be tempted to watch YouTube videos if you also spend less time with your PC. In fact, it can increase your self-confidence, plus you’re forced to spend more time with your friends and perhaps your family. With so many videos to watch you can’t help but spend the rest of your day doing nothing else but that. You can no longer complete your tasks, you spend less time on productive activities, and you may even distance yourself from your loved ones. If you don’t like sports, then at least pursue a hobby, and hopefully it doesn’t involve computers.

But how do you exactly get rid of YouTube addiction? Here are seven tips:

Now just imagine how it can affect you personally. If you don’t want to watch any YouTube videos, then just block the website from your computer. . But how? Use subliminal messages.

Today, I’ll spend more time on things that make me grow.

Today, I will spend more time with friends and family.

Today, I’ll relax and spend my day with a lot of quiet and peace.

2. Have someone set it for you. There are a lot of things you can do outside of your home, but you’re missing all of them since you’re just there, watching YouTube. If you’re a mom, arts and crafts would be perfect. Encourage yourself to just do it.

6.

5.

1. Every time you check on YouTube, you’ll end up having an error page. Try being in the outdoors at least an hour a day. Besides it’s really not a good idea to spend more than 4 hours in front of your computer. Unless you have the will to get rid of your YouTube addiction, you’ll never be able to do it. Affirmations have a way of changing your present mind-set from “cannot” to “can.” The moment you wake up, say the following lines:

By The Pioneer of Subliminal Messages Online.

3

How to Bet Basketball – A Beginner’s Guide

Bettors wagering on the over would win their bets if the total combined score was 189 or greater, while bettors wagering on the under would win their bets if the combined total score was 187 or fewer points. This is how the bookies and sportsbooks make their money. Along with football, basketball use the point spread for wagering on sides (teams), as well as an over/under number. In parlays and teasers bettors must correctly predict the winners of two or more games. For a more detailed explanation of totals see Introduction to Totals.

Essentially, a total is the predicted combined score of the two teams playing. But because some teams are given a better than 50-percent chance of winning, money line wagers are made using odds, so that if you bet on the team expected to win you will be asked to risk considerably more than you stand to win. The extra dollar is essentially the bookie’s fee for accepting our wagers.

TotalsThe second most popular method of wagering on basketball is in betting totals, also known as over/unders. One is the money line wager, which is a bet on the winner of the game without the point spread. For a more detailed explanation of the point spread see Introduction to Point Spreads.

What this means is that bettors taking the Celtics are asked to put up $30 to win $10, while those believing the Knicks will win are asked to risk $10 to win $24.

Boston Celtics -300

New York Knicks +240

Parlays and TeasersThe other types of wagers involving basketball come in the form of parlays and teasers, which are sometimes called exotic bets. If I bet $11 on the Celtics and you bet $11 on the Knicks, the bookie collects $22 between us, but only returns $21 to the winner.

With the point spread, the team expected to win will be called the favorite, while the team expected to lose will be called the underdog. Many fans find that dealing with the point spread, or with totals, easier than using the money line.

continue reading below our video

If the Celtics are playing the Knicks, most bettors would bet on the Celtics to win the game. Again, if the combined score is exactly 188 points, the bet is considered a push, or a tie, and no money changes hands.

7 Steps to Organize Your Craft Room. More about money line betting can be found at Introduction to Money Lines.

The money line odds on a game will look something like:

In our hypothetical game between the Knicks and the Celtics, the over/under number might be 188. On parlays, bettors have the option of betting against the point spread or using the money line, while teasers are made using the point spread and players can adjust the point spread in their favor.

The one catch about parlays and teasers is that all of your teams must win or the entire bet is a loss. A number will be posted and bettors have the option of wagering more than the predicted total points will be scored (over), or less than the predicted total points will be scored (under).

Both wagers are described in more detail at How to Bet Parlays and How to Bet Teasers.

Betting basketball isn’t difficult and it typically ranks second in terms of betting dollars behind football. Even if you correctly pick five out of six games, a parlay or teaser wager is still a loss.

All sports betting was done with money lines at one point, but with too many people betting on the obvious favorites all of the time, the point spread was introduced and sports betting hasn’t been the same since.

When betting against the point spread, bettors are asked to lay 11-to-10 odds, which means that they risk $11 to win $10. The team expected to win gives, or lays, points to the team expected to lose for betting purposes.

How to Bet BasketballOf the four major sports, basketball is one of the easiest to bet on. But say the point spread will make the Celtics a 10-point favorite.

By Allen Moody

What this means is that the Celtics have to win by 11 or more points for its bettors to win their bet, while those betting on the Knicks would win their wagers if the Knicks won the game or lost by nine points or less. If the Celtics win by exactly 10 points, the bet is a push, or a tie, and no money changes hands.

Just as with the point spread, bettors are asked to lay 11-to-10 odds and risk $11 to win $10 on each over/under wager.

Money Line WagersWhile betting against the point spread or on totals make up the vast majority of basketball wagers, bettors also have several other betting options available to them. If you know how to bet on football, you already pretty much know how to bet on basketball.

The most common method of betting basketball involves the point spread, which is a handicap the sportsbooks impose on one team to make both teams equal in terms of betting

Zynga’s new gamble in the UK

Related: Online gambling deals boost Zynga, Glu

The gaming industry has been lobbying Congress to relax online gambling bans, arguing that games like poker are based on skill rather than chance. Players will have access to various poker, slot machine and table games such as Blackjack and Roulette. Zynga went public in December 2011.

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NMLS #1136

Zynga’s new gamble in the UK – Apr.

“Our long term vision is to offer our players the next generation of real money games on multiple platforms in regulated markets worldwide,” said Zynga’s chief revenue officer, Barry Cottle in a blog post. But investors are optimistic that an opportunity for real-money gaming may soon be possible in the U.S.

While Zynga has built its brand on Facebook (FB) games like FarmVille, the popularity of those titles has recently been waning. 3, 2013

Zynga (ZNGA), which is mostly known for its popular FarmVille game, has soared roughly 50% this year based on expectations that it would move more aggressively into the lucrative online gambling market.

–CNNMoney’s Julianne Pepitone contributed to this article

CNNMoney (New York) First published April 3, 2013: 11:21 AM ET

.

Online gambling is legal in many places around the world, but it is mostly banned in the United States. The company has shuttered over a dozen titles since October. Shares are nearly 80% below the all-time high they hit in March of 2012. Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware have all recently legalized some forms of online gambling.

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The new ZyngaPlusPoker and ZyngaPlusCasino games are being offered in partnership with London-listed bwin.party, one of the U.K.’s market leaders in online gambling. One of the slot machine games will, unsurprisingly, have a FarmVille theme.

Even though Zynga has been hot this year, its current price of about $3.50 is still 65% below its initial offering price of $10

NBA awards ballot, Part 1: More wins for the Warriors

By some measures, the dude is wrapping up one of the best all-around seasons ever for a rookie center. He’s like a five-tool center! If he’s not a top-15 player already, he’s going to be soon.

Additional apologies to: Crawford, Turner, Patterson, Thompson, Mirza Teletovic,  Jeremy Lin, Shaun Livingston, Dennis Schroder, Clint Capela, Ryan Anderson, Jrue Holiday, Darren Collison, Patty Mills, Cory Joseph, Manu Ginobili, Bismack Biyombo and Matthew Dellavedova.

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER

Advanced stats wonks have argued he should win the award, and he has a strong case to leapfrog Porzingis for the No. No team plays, and lives, with a better spirit. The drudgery of travel and in-the-moment decision-making are big parts of coaching. 8 spot with a win over the tanking Kings.

But you can’t make a case based on a single, all-in-one stat, especially one questioned by team insiders with access to the real secret sauce: analytics derived from SportVU tracking data. Most of the Clippers’ bench mobs have stunk, anyway. He finally made good. Popovich re-centered his offense around Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge without completely losing the pass-first mojo that powered the 2012-2015 versions of the Spurs borg; you especially see it on bench-heavy units. LeBron James

4. He might win, and he’d deserve it.

SIXTH MAN AWARD

1. He’s already a bright, shining plus at everything: post scoring, jump shooting, passing, defending the rim and scampering around in space. Both will make a lot of ballots, and that’s fine.

There are seven candidates for the last four spots: the four listed, plus Russell Westbrook, Kyle Lowry and Draymond Green. Kawhi Leonard

3. Even piss-poor bench lineups relying on such tough jumpers can redistribute some of those shots to other players, and not lose much. But Porzingis logged nearly 400 more minutes and did heavy lifting as the No. It’s a big reason Charlotte gradually found its footing in those minutes when Walker leads the offense without Nicolas Batum as co-pilot.

That leaves an impossible choice between Westbrook and Durant — a choice that almost seems unfair given the Thunder’s hit-or-miss supporting cast. Kristaps Porzingis

3. He stabilized the team’s iffy defense with some key midseason tweaks, including a few that nudged players into uncomfortable new challenges. We don’t do a good enough job noting the other three or four bets that come up snake eyes, leaving shooters open and hanging teammates out to dry. Westbrook’s decision-making at money time can be scattershot.

But Crawford is barely shooting 40 percent from the floor. He’s just not as good as these other guys.

So, screw it: I’m going with the blue-collar, unheralded Ed Davis — a journeyman who became essential for Portland, and has long slapped up per-minute numbers that blow away almost every other sixth-man candidate. When Stotts asked Davis to defend power forwards so that Leonard could hang closer to the hoop against centers, Davis accepted the shift out of position — and busted his butt to make it work.

Leonard might be an even better one-on-one defender, though, and he could toggle between positions more often if Gregg Popovich demanded it. Green can play up a position for entire games if need be, and that is the launch code to basketball’s nuclear bomb: the Death Lineup, with Green as a sneering, rampaging, fast-breaking center, and shooters raining death around him.

But from start to finish, Leonard had the better season, for the better team. Ian Mahinmi

I gravitate toward the squishy middle — mid-career guys who make an overall leap, or hone one key skill that unlocks other parts of their game. Evan Turner fills every gap for the Celtics.

Crawford’s limitations on defense matter even more when he plays with those guys, since that means he’s probably also playing against opposing starters — lineups that might not offer him a safe hiding spot.

The Warriors’ offense falls apart without Curry, and for the second straight season, opponents outscored Golden State — by a huge margin — with Curry on the bench. Patrick Patterson’s candidacy suffers from the same lack of raw production, but his 3-point shooting at power forward and ability to guard multiple positions make him a key part of almost every successful Toronto lineup. He isn’t the only one responsible for building it, but he was the driver, and he’s one of the few who’s powerful enough to undermine it if he ever chose.

But he has developed into the keystone of the league’s stingiest defense since Jan. But he’s plenty good, with a jumper that clicked as LeBron’s broke apart, and he has been the league’s second-best player.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

A word on the Leonard-LeBron debate: LeBron at full throttle is the better player, and perhaps still the best player in the league. Whiteside has been more diligent taking an extra step out toward such players over the past 40 games, but he’s wobbly — and vulnerable to blow-bys — outside his comfort zone.

Yeah, Iguodala will end up missing 25 percent of the season. Kanter is trying harder this season, and he can usually survive if the other team plays at least one traditional big man.

Mahinmi doubled his career assist total, nearly doubled his scoring average and obliterated almost every past statistical marker — all while maintaining his SMOTHERED CHICKEN presence around the rim on defense. What a season.

1. The Blazers don’t rise from the ashes without McCollum maturing into a borderline star.

Towns should win unanimously. He has been a two-way force with the inside-outside skill set a big-man star needs in the modern NBA. 3 spot will raise some eyebrows, especially in Miami, where Hassan Whiteside rejected everything in sight. He works as a co-point guard off the bench, defends the other team’s best wing players, drains 40-plus percent of his corner 3s when Curry is on the floor and shares a genius-level defensive mind-meld with Green.

This is partly a multiyear achievement award for Kerr and Popovich, and it should be. Towns kills by those metrics, sources tell me, and he laps the field by most other public statistical measures.

Traditionally, this is an award for gunners. Myles Turner is coming off the bench again.. Everything about the Warriors — their style, their identity, their strut — emanates from his historically unprecedented shooting.

I haven’t wrapped my head around what to do with the second type — notably Curry, Green and Leonard. Leonard doesn’t think, or pass, two steps ahead of the defense, and he’s not strong enough to bulldoze his way to the rim every damn time. Only Rick Carlisle, a confirmed warlock, and perhaps now Kerr can touch Pop’s in-game strategy and lineup optimization.

Lowry became a superstar, always in hunched motion, waiting to spring into open space when you take a breath. Curry has been the best and most valuable player in the NBA — a glitch in the system who transformed a sport. Davis has better stats across the board: 61 percent from the floor as a basket vulture, the fourth-best offensive rebounding rate in the league and much better rim-protection numbers.

Coming later this week: my picks for All-NBA, All-Rookie and All-Defense.

1. And alas, DeAndre Jordan is not quite as good as his reputation.

1. Paul can’t match Westbrook’s gaudy triple-double numbers, or turn a game on its head with 45 seconds of snarling athleticism. The Warriors would have to reinvent their entire offense, and they might not be very good.

The Blazers snagging the No. Crawford thrives with Paul, J.J. Andre Iguodala

2. Most of those chuckers can slide into a secondary role alongside starters in crunch time.

Jabari Parker and Julius Randle are basically rookies. They don’t think of him much at all, really. There isn’t much difference between them statistically, and Durant reclaimed some control of the Thunder offense once Billy Donovan started staggering the Westbrook/Durant minutes in February. Terry Stotts

Barton and Enes Kanter might represent superior versions of the classic Crawford candidacy. Not here.

Somehow, it’s already time to hand out regular-season awards. The bigs who might normally displace him have battled injuries, or slipped a bit from peak form: Joakim Noah, Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka, Rudy Gobert, Andrew Bogut, Tim Duncan, Anthony Davis and a few others. The Raptors love Casey and play hard for him. Paul Millsap

Whiteside doesn’t, though he has found another gear over the past three months. Nikola Jokic

Westbrook remains a manic gambler who submarines too many possessions with reckless choices. Some combination of injuries, infighting and confusion undid Washington, New Orleans and Phoenix. Jokic leads all rookies in adjusted plus-minus by a mile; he’s ninth in the whole stinking league, right ahead of DeMarcus Cousins! He’s an intuitive, nasty defender — better than you’d guess, given his ho-hum athleticism.

He’s still bad on defense, but not as bad as he once was. For all the angst over whether Leonard can generate offense when everything else stalls out in crunch time, he ranks among the league’s best one-on-one scorers — from both the perimeter and the post, per Synergy Sports research.

He’s not LeBron in those situations. McCollum is really a Category 1 type on a one-year delay, but unlike a lot of young guys thrust into larger roles, he’s pulling this as the second-best player on a playoff team. Cousins could crack this ballot if he tried hard all the time. Isolating a coach’s work from Halloween through tax day is a strange conceit.

The final spot came down to a bunch of guys whose teams play together, play hard and know who they are: Stotts, Dwane Casey, Brad Stevens, Steve Clifford, Erik Spoelstra, Dave Joerger, Quin Synder, Stan Van Gundy, Mike Budenholzer and Carlisle. Gentle reminder: I consider every speck of information — game film, public stats, secret stats I wrangle up, exchanges of intel with team officials — and I don’t hate your team.

I have an official ballot again this year, so these votes count. Popovich tweaks the stylistic fringes to fit every new cast, and that’s why this second-place vote isn’t just a lifetime achievement trophy. You trust Stevens’ play calling a bit more than Casey’s in crunch time.

You could give the third slot to at least two-dozen guys, but I’m going with Mahinmi, Indy’s only source of reliable front-line play over the full season. No one is. Much of that gravitates from Stotts. He has remade himself into a natural fit for Stotts’ catch-and-go system, and works hard on defense.

Green is the firing brain circuitry of perhaps the greatest team ever, nearly as important to Golden State’s top-five defense as Curry is to their all-time offense. Durant seized more possessions, dished more dimes and drove Oklahoma City to a better scoring margin in his non-Westbrook minutes than in the opposite scenario, per NBA.com research.

That left Durant, Westbrook and Paul for two spots. They are active with such synchronization; you barely notice the activity. The NBA is considered the most predictable of the four major U.S. The first type is packed: Gary Harris, Doug McDermott, Clint Capela, Rodney Hood, JaMychal Green, Jerami Grant and many more. 2 slot. That culture of openness and community held up as Kerr recovered. Draymond Green

2. Casey, Clifford and Stevens were the final, painful cuts; all of them have real arguments for the top spot.

That is why Jamal Crawford is a two-time winner and such a popular candidate as he finishes this season with a flourish of crossover goodness. He sure scored a lot, though!  Devin Booker got started too late, defended air and finished with an ugly — if understandable — uptick in turnovers. McCollum

2. He had never started more than 12 games, and he entered this season with 107 career assists; ask him to throw a quick-hitter on the move, and he was more likely to fling the ball five rows deep in the stands.

Now, he’s doing stuff like this:

There isn’t a case for anyone else. He blew them away. pro sports leagues, and at the top, that’s true. Being a low-key dude in Utah and Atlanta will do that.

Westbrook is incredible, and he might finish in the top three once the votes are in. They switch and re-switch without cracking open even the teeniest lanes. 5 or No. Green is the yapping nervous system of that defense.

He has been Portland’s best big man; he plays a lot of crunch time, and has stepped into an even more important role with Meyers Leonard hurt and Noah Vonleh fading. The Magic still don’t know what in the hell they are.

I understand if some readers might not be able to identify Jokic if he walked by them. He hit 3s at nearly a league-average rate, led fast breaks and assisted on 18 percent of Denver’s buckets while on the floor — the fifth-best mark in history for a rookie big. Post-up brutes do better against backups; dump the ball to Kanter against some second-unit sad sack, and he’s eating buckets. He empowered Curry to test the limits of his revolutionary game, sold stars on passing and cutting, convinced big names to sacrifice and gave everyone a voice in choosing strategies. Young players get better with experience, and they get to play more.

Davis’ 21 minutes drove Portland toward the unexpected. Millsap is averaging 1.7 blocks per game, by far a career high, and he’s the only rotation player in the league topping 1.7 blocks and 1.7 steals per night.

Porzingis can’t match Jokic’s advanced numbers, and he actually shot a tick worse from downtown. He can play with any lineup, and against any lineup. He loosed Isaiah Thomas without worrying about his defensive limitations, encouraged Avery Bradley to chuck more 3s and pushed Jae Crowder to test his off-the-bounce game. Chicago lost its way, and by the end of the season, the Bulls were just throwing crap against the wall on offense — lifeless possessions with no purpose. He envelopes opponents, and he’d be the captain of my Mirror Guy team for defenders who move in such exact sync with a ball handler, it almost appears as if the ball handler is dueling with a reflection.

He has also played 900 more minutes than Jokic, the equivalent of 19 full games, while shouldering a much heavier load; Jokic averages a hair fewer than 10 points per game, and sometimes looks reluctant to assert himself. 1 — a jack-of-all-trades with the speed to extinguish pick-and-rolls 30 feet from the basket, glue-trap hands that rip more steals than almost any big man in league history, and the guts to initiate an airborne collision at the rim. Stotts placed cast-offs and unknowns around Lillard and forged a playoff team in Portland.

Additional apologies to (deep breath): Barton, Crowder, Capela, Whiteside,  Kent Bazemore, Zach LaVine, Allen Crabbe, Evan Fournier, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Lance Thomas, Khris Middleton, Marvin Williams, Reggie Jackson and many other nice people.

D’Angelo Russell combined hot shooting with beyond-his-years playmaking after finally earning Byron Scott’s trust, only to betray Nick Young’s and deflate the Lakers’ locker room.

There are too many six-point, five-rebound nights for Davis to win this award, but he deserves a hard look. LeBron can be the fastest all-court defender in the league when he wishes; remember, he outperformed computerized ghost defenders programmed to be perfect!

Two broad player types give me trouble here: the second-year guy who thrives with increased playing time, and the superstar who somehow becomes even better. Other teams fear Westbrook. But Kerr was very much present during his absence, especially when the Warriors were at home.

He likes to hang back on the pick-and-roll, inviting disaster against sharpshooters like Curry and Damian Lillard, who need only a sliver to unleash pull-up 3s upon turning the corner. Stephen Curry

2. Karl-Anthony Towns

2. Iguodala laps the field as a playmaker and defender. It takes nurturing over years. He is much better than his traditional numbers suggest. Kemba Walker

3. He doesn’t take possessions off. Barton outshot Crawford despite a late-season slump, revved up Denver in transition, rebounded like a power forward and defended more reliably across both wing positions. They respect Paul, but they don’t shudder at the possibility of him smashing through their entire team — and the concept of normal basketball — for two or three pivotal minutes.

Even so: There are matchups that trouble him. No one watches the Nuggets — not even in Denver. He’s a horse on the glass, always does his job in transition and plays hard on every damn possession.

Kanter might win the damn thing, and I’d have no problem with that. He also absorbed a larger burden during Griffin’s absence.

This is like choosing between Elastic Man and a fire-breathing version of The Thing. You cannot imagine Golden State with a league-average point guard in Curry’s place. LeBron resides in another universe as a passer.

He redefined the tone of the organization the moment he walked in the door. He logs about 21 minutes per game, the same as Kanter, and half-dozen fewer than Tristan Thompson, his burlier doppelgänger in Cleveland, working the same role as a hybrid, rim-running big.

He didn’t just maintain his per-minute stats over triple the minutes. A lead ball handler polishing his long-range shot is the rare isolated skill development that ripples across an entire roster. It’s like a 60-win team pushing for 70 the next season.

I lean toward Green because of his versatility — and especially his unique ability, at 6-foot-6, to credibly guard centers. Both engineer decent shots from nothing, but only LeBron can steamroll to the rim almost whenever he wants. Opponents for years clogged Charlotte’s dreary offense by ducking under screens against Walker, walling off his driving lanes and leaving the Bobcats/Hornets heaving up junk late in the shot clock. Thompson has been great, but the Cavs would have finished first or second in the East even if he had held out the whole season. Jahlil Okafor missed 35 percent of the season, played some of the worst big-man defense in NBA history and exacerbated an internal crisis with embarrassing off-court behavior. He’s a slick passer from the post, the elbows and in transition.

He’s also a better, more versatile defender — quick enough to guard any wing, and so long, he can dart in from the strong side to snuff a drive and veer back to a sharp shooter without conceding a thing. Without further ado:

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER

Walker vowed for years he would do this. He doesn’t snap at teammates or manufacture chaos with calculated, passive-aggressive social media fits. Kevin Durant

5. Ed Davis

Still: Kanter gives back a lot of points, and the Thunder will have to cut his minutes against elite postseason offenses who target him like chum.

This was just a brutal category.

Confession: I had no idea what to do with this award once Iguodala started missing games — and with Whiteside ineligible.

1. That is remarkable. Their ascension is almost expected. When two bets in a row hit, it looks spectacular, and we laud Westbrook’s ability to bend the game to his will. Kawhi Leonard

3. Steve Kerr

2. Players embraced those challenges, in part because they thought their coach and their superstar had already embraced them.

This is why, as queasy as it makes me, I can look past the fact that serious health issues kept Kerr off the sideline for half the season. Crowder and Whiteside are matching what they did last season in more limited runs in Boston and Miami, respectively.

Stotts empowers players to stretch themselves in his whirring motion offense, knowing that if they feel involved on that end, they’ll buy into the grunt work. If you’re looking for a high-volume chaos engine, this is your guy.

The fully engaged Warriors are a perfectly coordinated swarm. An MVP sharpening skills-within-skills to transform into an historic superstar might be the hardest advance, and certainly the most unusual. Leonard and Green are the two most important, cruelest, most unfair defenders in the league, and it isn’t close. A lot of bench-heavy units are light on shot creators and need someone, anyone, to chuck when the shot clock dwindles. McCollum worked as Portland’s de facto backup point guard when Lillard rested, and the Blazers outscored opponents during those minutes, per NBA.com research. There was almost nothing in Mahinmi’s dossier to suggest he could work as the dive man in a semi-functional pick-and-roll offense. But you could imagine these Warriors playing good defense without Green; they did under Mark Jackson, using a more traditional scheme. Chris Paul

Defenders have to chase Walker over picks, and that means he can ankle-break his way into the paint — drawing help and opening up 3-point looks for Charlotte’s army of shooters. They help in one spot, bend away from another and return there before the offense even realizes anyone was open. 2 option for the Knicks. C.J. He can slide more easily between the two big-man positions, hang with guards on switches, and swat damn near everything around the basket.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

But Curry and Leonard were already so damn good, they had only so far to leap. Remember: I was touting Whiteside early in the season when commentators who didn’t bother digging into even one layer of context would robotically recite the stat showing the Heat defended better with Whiteside on the bench.

None of the league’s perimeter stoppers — including Paul George and Jimmy Butler — matched the consistency of these three studs.

COACH OF THE YEAR

He gets those numbers without gambling, and he can guard any position in a pinch. No one else should get a first-place vote.

Choosing Millsap for the No. Who doesn’t?

But on a night-to-night basis, Paul is the more calming, precise player, and he has to be on the ballot after keeping the Clippers afloat amid Blake Griffin’s injury melodrama.

The bedrock principles of San Antonio’s culture have been unassailable for 20 years. Pair him with a drive-and-kick star like Westbrook or Durant, and Kanter morphs into perhaps the league’s pre-eminent scoring mooch — gobbling up drop-off passes and offensive rebounds when his man leaves to help on a Thunder stud.

Creating a cohesive ethos that sticks is a rare thing. People don’t think of Millsap as an elite defender. They’re going to win mega-awards, anyway, and one of them will likely snag the championship.

And this:

There is more to winning basketball than shooting and scoring. There is some merit to that. Brutes with touch and the heft to get into Whiteside’s body have done damage on the block; opponents have hit 51 percent of their post-up shots against him, per Synergy Sports research, 10th worst among 72 defenders who have faced at least 75 post-ups this season.

But those teams had more continuity in talent; we knew most of them would be at least decent. Green and Curry lean on each other, and lift the team together, but the value gap between them is large enough to shove Green off this ballot.

Also: Win 72 games — and maybe 73! — and I break my long-standing rule of voting for Popovich every season.

Below that stratosphere, team identity and culture are fragile. It’s a little corny how Boston’s Stevens talks about wanting players to “soar with their strengths,” but he lives up to the motivational mantra. But no other candidate has done enough in every facet of the game to unseat him — especially given Golden State’s historic success.

Millsap’s comfort zone extends across the full court, and every playing style. Will Barton

3. Do that now, and Walker is roasting you from deep.

The only drama comes in the last four spots, which means it really doesn’t matter much for historical purposes. 6 seed after losing four starters is perhaps the happiest story of the season. Some smaller guys can fake it for a possession or two, provided some crisis — like a rebound bouncing in their direction — doesn’t happen. The better team usually wins a best-of-seven series, and the best teams with the best players win championships.

1. Both guys can defend up a position, but Durant sliding to power forward opens more lineup possibilities than Westbrook muscling a shooting guard.

Clifford reimagined Charlotte’s offense as a high-octane triple machine without conceding an inch on any of his conservative (basketball) principles: low turnovers, fast-break paranoia, and killer defensive rebounding. Jokic has more competition for minutes and touches, but it’s not as if he’s stuck in a loaded roster; the Nuggets are only four games ahead of Minnesota, and Jusuf Nurkic, one of Jokic’s main competitors for playing time, spent half the season injured and in Mike Malone’s doghouse.

Walker reinvented only one part of his game, but that single change — morphing into an above-average 3-point shooter — transformed everything for the Hornets. He became a different player.

Durant gets the nod by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin. You could build an argument for James Harden, carrying the wheezing wraith of Houston on his back, but he showed up out of shape and played zippo defense for a would-be contender about to limp into the No. Gregg Popovich

3. He would be a star anywhere. Redick and Jordan. Houston found something last season as a carefree, go-go outfit, brought back the same cast and fell apart amid chemistry issues, laziness and a staleness of spirit

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Horse Racing: Pictures, Videos, Breaking News

This year is no different, the Millennials have taken American Pharoah as their own on his trip to win the Triple Crown.

Jack Choros

I saw my first Belmont Stakes in 1972 when Riva Ridge prevailed by seven lengths. I even saw Secretariat win the Triple Crown, the Holy Grail of horse racing.

CEO of 21c Museum Hotel, Hermitage Grand Gala host, passionate contemporary art collector/world traveler, avid combined driving competitor

Photographer, writer, philanthropist, retired hedge fund manager

I love to entertain and inspire others through my stories.

Rattling around late at night in an empty Siena, I found myself curbside at the craziest horse race in the world, the Palio. An eager crowd watches in awe as she proceeds to swallow roughly a foot-and-a…

Horse racing represents the two things I hate most: animal abuse and rich white people celebrating. “I’ll be right back.” And with that, he handed me the lead rope attached to the halter of Secretariat, perhaps the greatest racehorse of all time, winner of the Triple Crown in 1973.

John Mariani

Carey Beth Elder

A woman steps into the spotlight. According to a recent global study a remarkable 87% of managers aspire to the corner office. Hold on to your gnocchi!

At some point, virtually every ambitious executive asks this question. Nevertheless, congratulations to American Pharoah on winning the equestrian Triple Crown.

Steve Wilson

Award-Winning photographer/author, in LA from NY.

Author of European travel guidebooks and host of travel shows on public television and public radio

Felix Francis is the son of the late Dick Francis, who was the bestselling author of more than 40 mystery novels.

The prized derby is this weekend in Churchill Downs and hat makers everywhere are having their yearly rush. The Kentucky Derby brings the best horses …

If it’s springtime in America, there are few places lovelier to be than Lexington, Kentucky. We went again the following year to majestic Belmont Park and every year after that for the next 15 years to see the Belmont Stakes. You just might begin to understand why the rich, famous and enlightened love it.

Jay Scott

Co-Executive Director, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation

Triple Crown winners, like Secretariat, Affirmed and Seattle Slew, are revered. Kentucky’s native spirit, bourbon, is proudly boosted around the region.

AOL Alpha marketing, editorial and content creator. The city by that name is well worth visiting, but it is in the surrounding hillsides that you find the soul of the place, especially between April and October. But it’s not just whether you think you deserve the top job, it’s whether your board of directors thinks you deserve it.

Author of European travel guidebooks and host of travel shows on public television and public radio

Danny Katz

My wife Liz and I knew nothing about horse racing at the time, but in our minds, we thought, why not? We soon learned that the owners had undersold the ability of the horse, he was more than “pretty good.”

Rick Steves

“Here, hold the horse,” said the aging groom. Queso lover, Auburn Tiger, Southern by nature, San Francisco by nurture.

Siena’s Palio is one of the most difficult and ancient bareback horse races in the world with origins dating back centuries. For him, there is no “one” subject that he photographs; he chooses to shoot what he sees.

Edward VII once described Goodwood as “a garden party with racing tacked on,” and he wasn’t far from right (the king was a frequent guest).. If you’re open-minded however, watch the Kentucky Derby this year. Held annually in July and August, it attracts thousands of Italians and foreign visitors.

Hold on to your gnocchi — it’s …

Rick Steves

Ian Spanier

Publisher of “Mariani’s Virtual Gourmet Newsletter” and award-winning author

Let’s be honest, for most people, horse racing will always be a niche, exclusive sport

Will the big game save gaming in Atlantic City?

Though 44 percent of people surveyed by Rutgers-Eagleton poll thought that sports betting was a positive for Atlantic City, another 48 percent were less sure of its value, while another 31 percent thought it would make no difference. Florida developer Glen Straub, who submitted the losing bid, is challenging the sale.

“The reality is that it’s a big deal for Monmouth Park and that’s it,” said Alan Woinski, the president of Gaming USA, a consulting firm based in Paramus, New Jersey, in an interview, referring to a struggling race track in Oceanport, New Jersey, that under the state’s new law will be able accept sports bets. For one, the decline of New Jersey’s gaming industry has been years in the making and was hastened when lawmakers in neighboring Pennsylvania, a key Atlantic City market, allowed casino gaming. . Over the past few months, operators of the Revel Casino Hotel, which at one time was touted as linchpin of an Atlantic City revival, Trump Plaza and Showboat, closed their doors. “This whole thing is a snow job.”

“I don’t think it’s going to be the lifeline for the casinos,” said Alex Bumazhny, who follows the casino industry for Fitch Ratings, adding that the credit rating agency “doesn’t think it will make a big difference” in Atlantic City.

Another obstacle is that New Jersey residents are divided over the benefits of sports betting. Atlantic City casino revenue reached a peak of $5.2 billion, and tumbled to $2.86 billion last year nearly two dozen casinos were built within driving distance of the Jersey shore gambling mecca. According to data from the American Gaming Association, a trade group, about $3.4 billion was wagered on sports at casinos in Nevada in 2012, though the total amount generated by the state’s casinos race books was much smaller. 15, 2014 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

“Nobody expected such a bizarre move,” said I.

Earlier this month, Brookfield Asset Management, owner of Las Vegas’ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, acquired Revel for $110 million, a fraction of the $2.4 billion to build. But that law comes amid a major slump in gambling in the state. Nelson Rose, a professor at Whittier Law School who has written a textbook on gaming law, adding he wasn’t sure if New Jersey’s move will survive a court challenge. Chris Christie signed into law last week, Atlantic City racetracks and casinos can start accepting sports bets.

The NFL subsequently sued to block the law, claiming that it violated an 1992 federal law that restricted sports betting to four states. There probably isn’t anything that can save Atlantic City.”

Still, sports betting is starting up in New Jersey despite ferocious competition from a number powerful interests. Supreme Court refused to hear the state’s appeal, leaving the ban in place.

Atlantic City’s embattled casino industry, which has lost thousands of jobs this year as money-losing operator shut their doors, shouldn’t expect much of a boost from sports betting, experts say.

DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images

A further damper on sports betting profits at Atlantic City casinos is the fact that it’s legal in Delaware and a handful of other states.

The reasons are many. “This isn’t going to save Atlantic City.

Second, as an economic activity, sports betting isn’t a game-changer. The AGA pegs the gross gaming revenue from sports bets at $170 million, a tiny percentage of the $10.9 billion consumers plunked down in the state’s casinos in 2012.

Under a measure New Jersey Gov. The Trump Taj Mahal has threatened to shut down next month unless it receives concessions from state officials. The state then eliminated all of its laws outlawing sports betting at tracks and casinos. Despite such concerns, Christie initially moved to permit sports betting in 2011 after voters approved a constitutional amendment to legalize it.

But State Senator Raymond Lesniak, an outspoken proponent for sports betting, pushed through a bill this that year that abolished the state’s existing prohibitions against sports betting. Casino industry experts have argued that it will be difficult for Brookfield to operate Revel as a casino because it never made a profit. and the NCAA have long opposed sports gambling because of fears it would lead to game-fixing. A federal court ruled in the league’s favor, and the U.S.

revel.jpg

A lifeguard boat sits on the beach in front of the closed Revel Casino Sept. Professional sports leagues in the U.S