Sports :: The NBA Final Picks

LeBron James leads this team. Yet still others feel that the top league players should take a salary cut to gain additional players if they are truly serious about winning. New players are too green to have an effect as it will take them a while to get trained and acclimated to professional basketball.

Most of the teams that are in contention have franchise players and are at the salary cap so they will not have an opportunity to draft any really good players. Even as extraordinary as LeBron may be he cannot win the playoffs by himself.

Do you have a favorite team that you are rooting for? Or maybe you just have a player that you like. He is the franchise player that skipped college basketball because of the beauty of his playing abilities. In a poll recently posed to fans 51 percent felt that the Lakers would win again in 2010. Nothing is set in stone. Unless Kobe gets hurt or something unforeseen happens they should be one of the two teams vying for the title.

The other team that is on the watch list is the Boston Celtics. Number 24 Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers have the greatest odds to win. They are the returning champions and have won numerous titles, so they are really the team to watch. No one yet knows who is going to win and the NBA picks are still too early to decide. The other time that happened was with the Chicago Bulls as Michael Jordan wanted to win so badly that he was willing to sacrifice his NBA salary since he was making more money in advertising endorsements. Many people felt that Boston has a 24.3 percent chance to win it all in 2010.

As it is still early yet anything could still happen. Many feel that the salary caps should be raised so that other teams can compete. They can only do a trade to try and lower their salary budget to bring in fresh blood. Unless LeBron James is willing to go this route the Cavaliers may never win.. Boston used to be a powerhouse in the eighties and they may rise up yet again with the right people in place. Does your team have a shot at the next NBA Finals? Usually if the team was pretty good in the previous year they will have approximately the same performance unless major players are hurt, were traded or retired. The favored team could have a really bad year. They have won a championship game in the past decade so they would need to have a few key players to step up to the plate to get to the playoffs. Your underdog team could possibly get that NBA ring.

One of the other two contending teams that might have a shot is the Cleveland Cavaliers. Though many say that LeBron is still young and hasn’t fully matured enough to win even though he is a phenomenal player. Although Shaquille O’Neal is an experienced player with four championship wins Cleveland doesn’t have enough supporting players on the team to help them win

Hollywood responds to outcry over Oscar nods

(Lee’s own movie, the Chicago gang violence hip-hop musical “Chi-Raq” – celebrated by some and scorned by others – also went unnoticed.)

“The Academy Awards is not where the ‘real’ battle is,” wrote Lee on Tuesday. Al Sharpton – who last year met with former Sony head Amy Pascal following leaked emails that some viewed as racist – on Friday lambasted the academy.

In a video message on Facebook, Pinkett Smith also said she wouldn’t attend or watch the Oscars in February. And let’s do us differently.” The video had amassed 4.5 million by mid-Monday afternoon.

“This is a difficult but important conversation, and it’s time for big changes,” she said in a statement released Monday night. Ryan Coogler’s acclaimed Rocky sequel “Creed” scored only a nomination only for Sylvester Stallone. Day, Lee – who in November was given an honorary Oscar at the Governors Awards – said he was fed up: “Forty white actors in two years and no flava at all,” he wrote. Rev. biopic “Straight Outta Compton” also failed to earn a best picture nomination, despite some predictions it would. In the coming days and weeks, we will conduct a review of our membership recruitment in order to bring about much-needed diversity in our 2016 class and beyond.”

Many awards handicappers expected nominations for Idris Elba of “Beasts of No Nation” and Benicio Del Toro for “Sicario.” The N.W.A. “It’s in the executive office of the Hollywood studios and TV and cable networks. “We can’t act?!”

But on Monday, Isaacs was more explicit and promised an examination of the academy and a more intense drive to diversify.. The Feb. “And we are a dignified people and we are powerful.”

Isaacs has made a point of presenting a more inclusive show this year. Pinkett Smith, whose husband, Will Smith, wasn’t nominated for his performance in the NFL head trauma drama “Concussion,” said it was time for people of color to disregard the Academy Awards.

NEW YORK — Amid calls for a boycott of the Academy Awards over its all-white acting nominees and Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith both announcing they would sit out this year’s ceremony, the academy’s president said it was time for major changes — and soon.

The academy didn’t respond to messages left Monday.

When Oscar nominations were announced Thursday, Isaacs acknowledged she was “disappointed” that all 20 acting nominees were again white and promised to “continue the conversation” on diversity. The gatekeepers. While we celebrate their extraordinary achievements, I am both heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion,” she said in a statement issued Monday night.

“Hollywood is like the Rocky Mountains — the higher up you get, the whiter it gets, and this year’s Academy Awards will be yet another Rocky Mountain Oscar,” said Sharpton.

In a lengthy Instagram post, Lee said he “cannot support” the “lily white” Oscars. 28 broadcast will be hosted by Chris Rock and produced by “Django Unchained” producer Reginald Hudlin and David Hill. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

She added: “Let’s let the academy do them, with all grace and love. Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs issued a statement promising more diversity, and quickly, after both Lee and Pinkett spoke out Monday.

“Begging for acknowledgement, or even asking, diminishes dignity and diminishes power,” she said. Noting that he was writing on Martin Luther King Jr. Those with ‘the green light’ vote.”

In his post, Lee made it clear the Academy Awards are only part of the problem in an industry with deep-rooted diversity issues. Whether it had any impact or not, the audience for the broadcast, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, was down 16 percent from the year prior, a six-year low.

The hashtag “OscarsSoWhite,” created last year, was quickly resurrected online following the nominations. In his Governors Awards speech, Lee said “It’s easier to be the president of the United States as a black person than be the head of a studio.”

Last year’s all-white acting nominees also drew calls for a boycott, though not from such prominent individuals as Lee and Pinkett Smith. This is where the gatekeepers decide what gets made and what gets jettisoned to ‘turnaround’ or scrap heap. Isaacs has worked to diversify membership for the academy, which a 2012 study by the Los Angeles Times found is overwhelming white and male.

“I’d like to acknowledge the wonderful work of this year’s nominees. This is what’s important. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. “The Academy is taking dramatic steps to alter the makeup of our membership. On Saturday, Rock, unveiling a new promotion for the broadcast, called the ceremony “The White BET Awards.”

© 2016 CBS Interactive Inc

Horse Racing’s National Handicapping Championship Raises Payouts to Generate More Fan Interest

An ardent fan of horse racing for years, I am extremely passionate about writing articles on adventurous topics on the lines of new developments in sports, online games as well as other fields. Michael Beychok of Baton Rouge, La.

Recent online reports have indicated organizers are considering expanding the NHC Finals next year to a three-day event. The reasoning behind the expansion is largely for television purposes. One idea being floated about is having the top performers from the first two days compete in handicapping “finals” on the third day that could provide television content for cable networks such as ESPN, much like has been done with tournament poker in the last decade.

. The tour consists of dozens of tournaments held throughout the year at a variety of racetracks, simulcast facilities and online. won the $1 million first prize and an Eclipse Award as the nation’s best handicapper when his horse came from off the pace to narrowly win the event’s final race.

For the 2012 NHC Tour, in which membership is mandatory in order for a handicapper to earn a berth in the NHC Finals, total prize money has been increased to $250,000, which includes new $50,000 bonuses for the top performers in the first- and second-half of the season.

Additionally, Tour members that win more than one sanctioned tournament will receive a $5,000 bonus for each additional win with a maximum of three.

The winner of the NHC Tour is also eligible for a $1 million bonus if he/she wins the NHC Finals in Las Vegas.

It will cost $50 to join the NHC Tour in 2012. You can find articles regarding Horse racing industries and interesting facts about the understanding of Handicapping.To know more about horse racing games online and related information log on to

Author’s Bio: 

By most any measure, the recently concluded DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC) at Treasure Island in Las Vegas was a smashing success. Some will have an entry fee, but NHC Tour members will also be eligible to compete in several free online tournaments with berths in the NHC Finals on the line.

Other benefits Tour members receive include bi-weekly e-newsletters with event recaps and tips on playing in Handicapping tournaments; and special discounts on Daily Racing Form products, including 10 percent off some of its Past Performance plans. In response, organizers announced this week that purse money is being boosted for the event’s affiliated NHC Tour in 2012 and additional bonuses will also be paid out.

The 13th annual NHC was won by less than one dollar in a thrilling finish after two days of competition among a record field of 480 handicappers