Friday, May 06, 2005

MVP eh?


Steve Nash is wicked.

Steve Nash is the NBA MVP.

Capitalize on that. All of it.



(It's too bad Shaq "lost", so to speak. But it's still wicked.)


"Does us all proud 'bye, in these cold wintery lands we call home, to see at least one of us make it out of these here igloo hood projects. You remember what the great Biggie Snowballs used to say (God rest his soul): "Either ya slingin' flapjacks, or you got a wicked jump shot!" Because really, they are quite similar..."

Sources say Nash has won NBA's MVP award

By CHRIS SHERIDAN, AP Basketball Writer
May 6, 2005

Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns has won the NBA's Most Valuable Player award, sources told The Associated Press on Friday.

The award will be announced Sunday, and the league office has been silent regarding any details of the announcement. Two sources close to Nash, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they had been notified that the Canadian star had won.

Nash becomes the first Canadian MVP and only the sixth guard in league history to win the award, joining Bob Cousy, Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, Allen Iverson and Michael Jordan. Nash's selection as MVP was first reported Friday by


(so the story is out and the NBA is "being silent"? what gives? who acts like this to a news leak like that? any "national security" involved? naaah. but who are those "sources" leaking to ESPN and AP? is the NBA gonna kick their asses?)

(...then again, i guess everyone involved is happy for what one might call "a scoop" on the story, even the NBA, who probably doesn't mind that the media is treating it like "a scoop"... even repeating it being "reported" twice in one day... and then the league keeps it a scoop by "being silent"...)


(i love you david stern: you portly mad genius! you're not 100% perfect 100% of the time, with a 50-game season in '00 - '01, PJ (Post Jordan), but i can say by'n'large double-breasted suits, that you've done quite well.)

(can you clone all of that diabolically disciplined dignity and save hockey? i mean, thanks for this and all... and we're gonna watch the press conference or highlights with pride... and you do have labour talks of your own coming up you've been working on to ensure stability for years... but dude... i swear... there's at least a case of Moosehead in it for ya...)


(wow. they really wrote a lot about something you haven't even confirmed or sent out a press release for. why david stern, you're wicked too! :)


The 31-year-old guard, who joined the Suns last summer as a free agent after spending six seasons with the Dallas Mavericks, led Phoenix to a league-best 62-20 record while averaging an NBA-high 11.5 assists.

The Suns, who were 29-53 last season, were only the second team in NBA history to win 60 games after losing 50. They swept the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs and are awaiting the outcome of the Dallas-Houston series to learn their next opponent.

``It's exciting to be mentioned, (but) the game is so important for us on Monday that it's a hard time of year to get excited about MVP,'' Nash said after practice Friday.

Nash becomes the first player since Dave Cowens of the Boston Celtics in 1972-73 to win the MVP award without leading his team in scoring. The only others to accomplish that feat were Wes Unseld, Bill Russell and Cousy.

According to a poll conducted by The Arizona Republic, Nash and Shaquille O'Neal were locked in a near dead heat. The newspaper surveyed 106 of the 127 writers and broadcasters who voted for the league's 50th MVP award and found that Nash had 53 first-place votes while O'Neal had 51.

O'Neal would not talk to reporters Friday after the Heat's practice in Miami. Teammates suggested his mood may get even worse.

``Oooh, that would be scary. If he doesn't win it, it's going to (make him angry),'' said Alonzo Mourning, who finished second in the 1999 MVP voting and third in 2000 when O'Neal was chosen as the top player. ``I don't want to play against him if he's (angry). Glad he's on my team.''

O'Neal averaged 22.9 points and 10.4 rebounds on a league-best 60.1 percent shooting this season.

Nash, averaged 15.5 points and made more than 50 percent of his shots -- a rarity for guards. He also made 94 3-pointers as the high-scoring Suns set an NBA record for most 3-pointers in a season with 796.

One factor voters often look at is how an MVP candidate made those around him better.

Nash, with his unique dribbling and passing style, helped vastly improve the statistics of teammates Amare Stoudemire, Shawn Marion, Joe Johnson and Quentin Richardson. The Suns' season scoring average of 110 points was the NBA's highest in a decade.

``Shaq is more dominant, but I think Steve has had more impact on a basketball team,'' Johnson said.

Nash and O'Neal both changed teams last summer, and both clearly made their new teams better. With O'Neal, Miami added 17 more wins to its total from 2003-04, plus earned the No. 1 seed for the East playoffs.

One critical difference, Miami coach Stan Van Gundy argued, was seeing how O'Neal's and Nash's former teams fared in their absence.

With O'Neal, the Los Angeles Lakers were Western Conference champions in 2004; they were 34-48 and finished 11 games out of a playoff spot this year. Meanwhile, Nash's former team, Dallas, improved its record without him, going from 52 wins to 58.

``Steve Nash left and Dallas got better. The Lakers did not get better,'' Van Gundy said. ``I think that's the difference between the two of them when you come down to the voting. And I'm certainly a great admirer of Steve Nash.''

AP Sports Writer Bob Baum in Phoenix contributed to this report.

Updated on Friday, May 6, 2005 8:47 pm EDT


SOURCE -;_ylc=X3oDMTBpYTg2ZTBwBF9TAzk1ODYxOTQ4BHNlYwN0bQ--?slug=ap-suns-nash-mvp&prov=ap&type=lgns

Thursday, May 05, 2005

"I'm Telling You For Palast Time!!!"

Katherine Harris calls Greg Palast, 'twisted and maniacle.' But Michael Moore calls his reporting for BBC television 'courageous.' And Noam Chomsky says: Greg Palast "upsets all the right people."

In England, Palast is known as, "the most important investigative reporter of our time…" (Tribune Magazine, UK). But, his award-winning investigative reports for BBC television have been banned from us airwaves. His writings for Britain's Guardian have been stopped at the border.

Greg Palast is the author of the book, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy -- nearly one year on the New York Times best seller list - the special elections edition is released this month.

Palast is best known in the USA for his reports on the theft of the election in Florida and the connections between the Bush family and the Bin ladins which form the basis for Michael Moore's latest film.

" No one has uncovered more about the bush dynasty than Greg Palast … and lived to write about it…." (Baltimore Chronicle).



Special to BuzzFlash
Thursday, May 5, 2005

By Greg Palast

Here it is. The smoking gun. The memo that has "IMPEACH HIM" written all over it.

The top-level government memo marked "SECRET AND STRICTLY PERSONAL," dated eight months before Bush sent us into Iraq, following a closed meeting with the President, reads, "Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam through military action justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

Read that again: "The intelligence and facts were being fixed...."

For years, after each damning report on BBC TV, viewers inevitably ask me, "Isn't this grounds for impeachment?" -- vote rigging, a blind eye to terror and the bin Ladens before 9-11, and so on. Evil, stupidity and self-dealing are shameful but not impeachable. What's needed is a "high crime or misdemeanor."

And if this ain't it, nothing is.

The memo uncovered this week by the Times, goes on to describe an elaborate plan by George Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair to hoodwink the planet into supporting an attack on Iraq knowing full well the evidence for war was a phony.

A conspiracy to commit serial fraud is, under federal law, racketeering. However, the Mob's schemes never cost so many lives.

Here's more. "Bush had made up his mind to take military action. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbors, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran."

Really? But Mr. Bush told us, "Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised."

A month ago, the Silberman-Robb Commission issued its report on WMD intelligence before the war, dismissing claims that Bush fixed the facts with this snooty, condescending conclusion written directly to the President, "After a thorough review, the Commission found no indication that the Intelligence Community distorted the evidence regarding Iraq's weapons."

We now know the report was a bogus 618 pages of thick whitewash aimed to let Bush off the hook for his murderous mendacity.

Read on: The invasion build-up was then set, says the memo, "beginning 30 days before the US Congressional elections." Mission accomplished.

You should parse the entire memo -- reprinted below -- and see if you can make it through its three pages without losing your lunch.

Now sharp readers may note they didn't see this memo, in fact, printed in the New York Times. It wasn't. Rather, it was splashed across the front pages of the Times of LONDON on Monday.

It has effectively finished the last, sorry remnants of Tony Blair's political career. (While his Labor Party will most assuredly win the elections Thursday, Prime Minister Blair is expected, possibly within months, to be shoved overboard in favor of his Chancellor of the Exchequer, a political execution which requires only a vote of the Labour party's members in Parliament.)

But in the US, barely a word. The New York Times covers this hard evidence of Bush's fabrication of a casus belli as some "British" elections story. Apparently, our President's fraud isn't "news fit to print."

My colleagues in the UK press have skewered Blair, digging out more incriminating memos, challenging the official government factoids and fibs. But in the US press … nada, bubkes, zilch. Bush fixed the facts and somehow that's a story for "over there."

The Republicans impeached Bill Clinton over his cigar and Monica's affections. And the US media could print nothing else.

Now, we have the stone, cold evidence of bending intelligence to sell us on death by the thousands, and neither a Republican Congress nor what is laughably called US journalism thought it worth a second look.

My friend Daniel Ellsberg once said that what's good about the American people is that you have to lie to them. What's bad about Americans is that it's so easy to do.


Greg Palast, former columnist for Britain's Guardian papers, is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. Subscribe to his columns at Media requests to contact(at) Permission to reprint with attribution granted.


[Here it is - the secret smoking gun memo - discovered by the Times of London. - GP]


From: Matthew Rycroft
Date: 23 July 2002
S 195 /02

cc: Defence Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Attorney-General, Sir Richard Wilson, John Scarlett, Francis Richards, CDS, C, Jonathan Powell, Sally Morgan, Alastair Campbell


Copy addressees and you met the Prime Minister on 23 July to discuss Iraq.

This record is extremely sensitive. No further copies should be made. It should be shown only to those with a genuine need to know its contents.

John Scarlett summarised the intelligence and latest JIC assessment. Saddam's regime was tough and based on extreme fear. The only way to overthrow it was likely to be by massive military action. Saddam was worried and expected an attack, probably by air and land, but he was not convinced that it would be immediate or overwhelming. His regime expected their neighbours to line up with the US. Saddam knew that regular army morale was poor. Real support for Saddam among the public was probably narrowly based.

C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.

CDS said that military planners would brief CENTCOM on 1-2 August, Rumsfeld on 3 August and Bush on 4 August.

The two broad US options were:

(a) Generated Start. A slow build-up of 250,000 US troops, a short (72 hour) air campaign, then a move up to Baghdad from the south. Lead time of 90 days (30 days preparation plus 60 days deployment to Kuwait).

(b) Running Start. Use forces already in theatre (3 x 6,000), continuous air campaign, initiated by an Iraqi casus belli. Total lead time of 60 days with the air campaign beginning even earlier. A hazardous option.

The US saw the UK (and Kuwait) as essential, with basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus critical for either option. Turkey and other Gulf states were also important, but less vital. The three main options for UK involvement were:

(i) Basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus, plus three SF squadrons.

(ii) As above, with maritime and air assets in addition.

(iii) As above, plus a land contribution of up to 40,000, perhaps with a discrete role in Northern Iraq entering from Turkey, tying down two Iraqi divisions.

The Defence Secretary said that the US had already begun "spikes of activity" to put pressure on the regime. No decisions had been taken, but he thought the most likely timing in US minds for military action to begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the US Congressional elections.

The Foreign Secretary said he would discuss this with Colin Powell this week. It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.

The Attorney-General said that the desire for regime change was not a legal base for military action. There were three possible legal bases: self-defence, humanitarian intervention, or UNSC authorisation. The first and second could not be the base in this case. Relying on UNSCR 1205 of three years ago would be difficult. The situation might of course change.

The Prime Minister said that it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN inspectors. Regime change and WMD were linked in the sense that it was the regime that was producing the WMD. There were different strategies for dealing with Libya and Iran. If the political context were right, people would support regime change. The two key issues were whether the military plan worked and whether we had the political strategy to give the military plan the space to work.

On the first, CDS said that we did not know yet if the US battleplan was workable. The military were continuing to ask lots of questions.

For instance, what were the consequences, if Saddam used WMD on day one, or if Baghdad did not collapse and urban warfighting began? You said that Saddam could also use his WMD on Kuwait. Or on Israel, added the Defence Secretary.

The Foreign Secretary thought the US would not go ahead with a military plan unless convinced that it was a winning strategy. On this, US and UK interests converged. But on the political strategy, there could be US/UK differences. Despite US resistance, we should explore discreetly the ultimatum. Saddam would continue to play hard-ball with the UN.

John Scarlett assessed that Saddam would allow the inspectors back in only when he thought the threat of military action was real.

The Defence Secretary said that if the Prime Minister wanted UK military involvement, he would need to decide this early. He cautioned that many in the US did not think it worth going down the ultimatum route. It would be important for the Prime Minister to set out the political context to Bush.


(a) We should work on the assumption that the UK would take part in any military action. But we needed a fuller picture of US planning before we could take any firm decisions. CDS should tell the US military that we were considering a range of options.

(b) The Prime Minister would revert on the question of whether funds could be spent in preparation for this operation.

(c) CDS would send the Prime Minister full details of the proposed military campaign and possible UK contributions by the end of the week.

(d) The Foreign Secretary would send the Prime Minister the background on the UN inspectors, and discreetly work up the ultimatum to Saddam.

He would also send the Prime Minister advice on the positions of countries in the region especially Turkey, and of the key EU member states.

(e) John Scarlett would send the Prime Minister a full intelligence update.

(f) We must not ignore the legal issues: the Attorney-General would consider legal advice with FCO/MOD legal advisers.

(I have written separately to commission this follow-up work.)


(Rycroft was a Downing Street foreign policy aide)