Josh Hart eager to return to lineup and help Lakers reach defensive goals

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers“He was in the training room getting treatment this morning,” Coach Luke Walton said, “so he feels better.”Hart still had a noticeable lump on his left hand, although he said it was no longer tender. Once he is back, he said, he’ll be back.“It’s not like it’s going to break again,” he said. “I think it’s just how much I can tolerate the pain and I just won’t tell them how much it hurts if it does.”A swingman who averages 6.6 points per game and emerged as the Lakers’ best perimeter defender, Hart joked he hoped to score 40 points in each of the remaining games in homage to Kobe Bryant, who in 2004 hit the mark in a record nine consecutive games.“That,” Walton joked, “is not a good goal. If he starts playing like that he will be on the bench. He’ll be watching us play defense.” The reality is that having Hart back could help the Lakers check off the remaining goals they have this season. Without a postseason run on the horizon, Walton challenged his team at the All-Star break to be a top-10 defense over the final 25 games.“We have those type of goals set up so even though the playoffs are not within reach, there are still things we are striving for,” Walton said.Entering Thursday, the Lakers ranked 12th over that span, allowing 105.6 points per 100 possessions. On the season, they rank 13th overall, allowing 106.2 per 100.It’s notable growth for a team that ranked in the bottom two in that category each of the past three seasons.“We want to be a top 10 defensive team,” Hart said, “and that’s something I pride myself on and I want to go whenever I’m out there I want to help on the defensive end.”center_img EL SEGUNDO — With his team recently on the road for nine days, Josh Hart filled his time with video games and physical therapy. When the Lakers played, Hart watched from his living room.“It was weird because obviously I watched the games and that kind of thing,” Hart said. “But you kind of don’t feel like a part of it. … For a minute I forgot I was on the Lakers. I’m like, those guys look good out there. I forgot (that was the team) I’m on. I play for them, I’m No. 5 for them.”This week brought good news for the rookie from Villanova, who has been sidelined for the past 14 games with a broken bone in his left hand. After playing three-on-three on Tuesday, Hart was upgraded to questionable for Friday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks and could be thrown into heavy action immediately.The Lakers announced Thursday that Lonzo Ball will be questionable against the Bucks after an MRI confirmed the rookie point guard suffered a left knee contusion in the Wednesday’s win over Dallas.last_img read more

War on football? Chinese players get army drills, ‘thought education’

first_imgPresident Xi Jinping has conducted a broad campaign to bolster the ruling Communist Party that has drawn comparisons to past mass political campaigns under former leader Mao Zedong.Government departments, businesses and organisations across the country have signed up to the drive by conducting indoctrination sessions focusing on Marxist values and “Xi Jinping Thought”.Earlier this year, players for the national team began appearing in matches with bandages covering their tattoos, which the Xi government frowns upon in its purity campaign.But frustrated Chinese football fans accused the CFA of putting politics before football as it took dozens of domestic players out of action for the critical last few games of the season.Pictures subsequently emerged online of the under-25 players with buzz cuts and wearing military garb as they sat in a whitewashed room watching the senior national team’s 0-0 with India on television.A red banner at the front of the room exhorted them to be upstanding members of the public.Soccer News reposted pictures on Weibo said to be of the players baring their teeth and leaping half-naked into the snow.China’s World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi, whose final assignment with the team will be the Asian Cup in January, has not commented on the army-style initiative.As part of Xi’s efforts to make the country a footballing powerhouse, China made the 70-year-old Italian one of the best-paid coaches in the world when they hired him in October 2016.But after an initial bounce, the team have won just once in their last five games and are stewing in 76th in the FIFA rankings, two spots below war-torn Syria.Share on: WhatsApp Chinese players get army drills. AFP PhotoShanghai, China | AFP | Chinese national squads and a top league team have packed young footballers off to military camps for drills and Marxist-style “thought education” as a campaign to promote Communist Party values spreads even into the sporting world.Chinese fans have watched the militarisation of football with a mixture of anger and bemusement after pictures emerged of players getting their hair shaved and throwing themselves bare-chested into the snow.The Chinese Football Association (CFA) spirited away more than 50 under-25 national squad players in October for several weeks of intensive army drills, swapping their football boots for combat boots and military fatigues.The move, underlining desperation to improve the perennially underachieving Chinese national side, was particularly controversial because it meant some of China’s finest young players were not involved in the final games of the league season.A second batch of players was packed off in early November, and this week a national squad of under-19s was set to don camouflage and head to the barracks, suggesting that the boot camps may become a fixture.Chinese Super League (CSL) side Shanghai Shenhua — home last year to Argentine striker Carlos Tevez — followed suit with its under-19 players, combining football training with marching and other aspects of an austere military life.Under the watchful eye of the drillmasters of airforce unit 94778, the young players were subjected on Monday to “thought-education”, the club said on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform.They “examined propaganda materials, visited the unit’s hall of history, soldiers’ barracks and took part in basic military formation drills”, it said.The players were also plonked down to watch the evening news on state television — a nightly hymn to the Communist Party — before hitting their bunks.– ‘Strengthen ideology’ –The CFA has been characteristically coy on the thinking behind the boot camps, but the Beijing Evening News said: “In several previous warm-up matches, some of the national team were criticised for not working hard and having no sense of honour.”The Beijing Youth Daily, citing the CFA, said that the camps will “strengthen young players’ ideology”.last_img read more

Cats on fire, win second straight tourney in Kimberley

first_imgEn route to the title Mount Sentinel, finishing the tourney perfect at 8-0, defeated Kootenay No. 3 Fernie Falcons and the Storm, ranked No. 2.The Cats have a week off before returning to the court November 16-17 to hosts the Kootenay Final at Selkirk.”We still have  work to do before our Kootenay finals and of course before provincials,” Moreira explained.”Every time we play we notice a few short comings in our team play. This weekend highlighted a few areas that require tweaking.”The tournament title is the second championship in as many weeks for the provincially third-ranked Wildcats.Kimberley is seventh in the province while Fernie holds down the tenth spot. The Mount Sentinel Wildcats lived up to the pre-tourney hype, knocking off host Selkirk Storm in two sets to capture a high school girl’s volleyball event Saturday in Kimberley.The Cats dumped the Storm by identical 25-17 scores.”We were the “team to beat” and we needed to see how we could cope with meeting expectations,” said coach Joe Moreira.”We handled it well and in that respect we passed an important test.”The Wildcats host the 16-team B.C. High School A Girl’s Volleyball Championships November 28-December 1 at Selkirk College in Castlegar.last_img read more

Religion and Charity Evolved, Claim Darwinists

first_img“Charity begins at Homo sapiens,” quips Mark Buchanan in New Scientist, noting that only human beings exhibit “true altruism” (i.e., helping genetic strangers, such as those suffering from the Asian tsunamis) when such behavior cannot help the individual pass on his or her genes.  He evaluates the various theories that evolutionary psychologists have come up with to explain this Darwinian conundrum: why would a person in a survival-of-the-fittest world sacrifice himself for the good of others?  Some think altruism was a maladaptation – a bad mutation – an evolutionary dead end that is destined to fade (and is fading) in the unpredictable path of human social evolution.  Others try to find some evolutionary good in it.  After reviewing competing ideas without arriving at a consensus, he says,These findings suggest that true altruism, far from being a maladaptation, may be the key to our species’ success by providing the social glue that allowed our ancestors to form strong, resilient groups.  It is still crucial for social cohesion in today’s very different world.  “Something like it had to evolve,” [Herbert] Gintis says.   (Emphasis added in all quotes.)How Jesus evolved to teach that one should do good deeds in secret (Matthew 6), he does not explain.  Buchanan provides discussion notes for teachers who may be confronted by students with theological questions:3. TO PLEASE TEACHERS (AND GODS)Despite our altruism, generosity may not be in our genes.  If true altruism has evolved through competition between groups, as some researchers maintain (see main story), then it is more likely to be the product of cultural evolution.  Genetic evolution works by selecting individuals with traits that are well adapted to their environment, but it has a far weaker grip on traits that benefit the group.  So altruism is more likely to be learned.  After all, every human culture invests considerable effort in instilling children with moral norms that help further cooperation.  Often these are enshrined in powerful religious beliefs and reinforced by promises of salvation and threats of eternal damnation.Either way, genetically or culturally, charity just evolved, he concludes.  Religion is just an artifact of social evolution to reinforce the interplay of behaviors – cooperation, defection, punishment, reward – that arose by unguided processes of evolution over millions of years.    A related claim about the evolution of religion was made on EurekAlert.  The article, entitled “Nature helps create religious adults,” reports on work published in the Journal of Personality by Laura B. Koenig et al..  They studied pairs of twins to see how their “religiousness” varied over time.Religiousness was tested using self-report of nine items that measured the centrality of religion in their lives.  The twins graded the frequency in which they partook in religious activities such as reading scripture or other religious material and the importance of religious faith in daily life.  They also reported on their mother’s, their father’s, and their own religiousness when they were growing up.  They were also asked to report on the current and past religiousness of their brother.  The factors were divided into subscales— external aspects of religion, like observing religious holidays, that might be the most susceptible to environmental influence and internal aspects, like seeking help through prayer, that might be the most susceptible to heritable influence.  The external items were found to be more environmentally and less genetically influenced during childhood, but more genetically influenced in adulthood.  The internal scale showed a similar pattern, but the genetic influences seemed to be slightly larger in childhood compared to the external scale and so more consistent across the two ages.  “Like other personality traits, adult religiousness is heritable, and though changes in religiousness occur during development, it is fairly stable,” the authors conclude.Although this article does not mention evolution or Darwinism specifically, the implication is clear: “religiousness” is a heritable trait passed along either through genetic or cultural evolution.Gintis gets Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week for his sound bite, “something like it [altruism] had to evolve.”  To understand how just how absurd and self-refuting these claims are, turn the tables on the researchers.  Let’s perform a statistical study on evolutionists about their Darwinishness.  What social, genetic and family influences contributed to the centrality of Darwinism in their lives?  We could break the factors into external aspects of Darwinishness, like observing Darwin Day and telling just-so stories at evolutionary conferences, that might be susceptible to environmental influence, and internal aspects, like seeking help through meditating on The Origin of Species that might be the most susceptible to heritable influence.  Checkmate.    Apart from the highly questionable statistical validity of any study based on self-reporting by human children, who are far too complex and manipulatable to provide any sound conclusions, and the contradictory and fallacious ideas built on game theory (see 02/10/2004, 09/17/2003 and 09/05/2003 entries), these articles represent the epitome of evolution as religion – a worldview reducing everything in the universe to its philosophical assumptions.  What these researchers are claiming is appalling.  Pastors, churchgoers, missionaries, teachers and anyone with a genuine faith in God based on sound doctrine and evidence should rise up in horror over this kind of nonsense and oppose it vigorously: first, because it is false; second, because it is illogical; third, because it is elitist, and most of all, because it is dangerous.  If our deepest beliefs and desires, our most merciful actions, our most fervent prayers and our highest moral values are all evolutionary artifacts of mutations acting on genes, resulting in social glue that evolves in unpredictable ways, and if people really started believing and acting on these assumptions, not even an evolutionist would want to live in the kind of society that would result.    Not angry yet?  See also the next entry on ethics: how Darwinism is influencing the law.(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

TOUCH FOOTBALL AUSTRALIA STRATEGIC PLAN ACCEPTANCE

first_imgThe Touch Football Australia (TFA) Board of Management (BOM) accepted the draft of the reprised Strategic Plan for 2008-2011 at the BOM Meeting conducted in Sydney on Saturday 28 April 2007.This document will reflect minor changes throughout the process, however it will guide the National body throughout the ensuing period.  The feedback received from the TFA Future Directions Workshop conducted in Brisbane last month from key stakeholders, constituents, TFA BOM, and TFA Staff has formed the basis for the adjustment to the four identified Strategic Priority Areas and six linked Objectives of the organisation.   The Four Strategic Priority Areas are:Change ManagementSport ManagementSport DevelopmentOperational ServicesThe Six linked Objectives are:Substantially increase participationThrive at the elite levelProvide quality experiences for everyone involved in Touch FootballGrow the resources available to invest in the sportSubstantially raise the profile of the gameProvide best practice administration at all levelsTouch Football Australia will conduct an Operational Planning process in late May to identify the timeframes for the relevant projects listed, looking to identify the ability to achieve in these areas and the relevant parties responsible for the delivery.If further information is required on this topic, please contact the National Office branch in Brisbane on 07 32471733.last_img read more

a month agoWest Ham midfielder Declan Rice targets top 6

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say West Ham midfielder Declan Rice targets top 6by Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveWest Ham midfielder Declan Rice feels they can push for a top six finish.Rice was speaking after their 0-0 draw with Aston Villa.He said, “If you look at the players we’ve got, without a doubt we should be pushing for top six, like Wolves did so well last season.“Last season, we were going to teams like Wolves and Cardiff and we were losing and that’s what let us down, but this season we’ve started well and we could have gone third, and that was what was in all of our minds.“We’re on eight points and that’s five points better than we had after five games last season, so we see it all as a positive.” last_img read more

a month agoLiverpool boss Klopp hails Milner as ‘man on fire’

first_imgLiverpool boss Klopp hails Milner as ‘man on fire’by Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has hailed James Milner as a “man on fire”.The 33-year-old scored the opener in Wednesday’s 2-1 Carabao Cup win over MK Dons.”This man is on fire, that’s how it is,” said the Reds boss. “He helps a lot and he is a real model for the young players.”If he could play every day, Millie would be like this every day, so that is brilliant.”We could have done better in that final period but we started well as a team but then we got a bit stiff.”We had to force the goal and then you saw Millie (score). The team lacked rhythm and experience and the player with the most rhythm and experience was the best player on the pitch. It was pretty obvious.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

7 days agoPSG coach Tuchel insists Cavani a required player

first_imgPSG coach Tuchel insists Cavani a required playerby Paul Vegas7 days agoSend to a friendShare the lovePSG manager Thomas Tuchel insists Edinson Cavani is an important player for the club.Inter Milan and Manchester United are interested in the singing the Uruguayan, who will be a free agent at the end of this season.Tuchel said: “It’s too soon to speak about such things. I’m sure Edi is speaking with the club. He knows it’s his club.'”I don’t know Edi’s ideas exactly at the moment. I count 100 per cent on Edi this season. He’s been missing for several weeks and the main thing for me is to push Edi on the pitch, so we’ve got a fit and in-form Edinson Cavani. “He’s got the most goals for the club. Edi is very important,” Tuchel continued. “He’s in the group of five players I always speak with, to have an opinion from them on all things. He’s important in the dressing room and on the pitch.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

13 hours agoWarnock thinks Liverpool captain Henderson misses out in Klopp midfield

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Warnock thinks Liverpool captain Henderson misses out in Klopp midfieldby Freddie Taylor13 hours agoSend to a friendShare the loveEx-Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock believes captain Jordan Henderson could be dropped for Sunday’s clash with Tottenham Hotspur.Warnock thinks the trio of Fabinho, Gini Wijnaldum and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain provides the perfect in midfield for Jurgen Klopp.He has told BBC Sport: “It feels like there are midfield places up for grabs in this Liverpool side, more so than any other department. Klopp has to decide who best complements each other.”In their next game, at home to Tottenham in the Premier League on Sunday, who he picks might also depend on how he thinks Spurs will line up.”If Tottenham play in a 3-5-2 shape then Klopp will want someone in midfield who can get between their lines to cause problems. You would think that someone would be Oxlade-Chamberlain – especially given the form he is in.”I would expect [Georginio] Wijnaldum to come back into the team too and with Fabinho cemented in the side, that would mean no place for Liverpool’s captain, Henderson.”That would not be a message that Henderson is out of favour, though. Far from it.”When you are part of a squad at a club like Liverpool or City, you have to understand that the team is being picked to win a specific game, and if you are left out it is nothing personal.”All of Liverpool’s midfielders are going to have a part to play in the next few weeks, especially if Klopp decides to rest some of them in certain games – but I would urge caution there.”Liverpool’s next game in Champions League Group E is at home to Genk on Tuesday 5 November, before they play champions Manchester City at Anfield five days later.”There will be plenty of people who will want Klopp to put out a weakened team against the Belgians, but my mind-set would be not to take any chances.”If I were a Liverpool player, I would want to go into the City game feeling sharp and I would not want a week off beforehand.” last_img read more

Gov’t Moves to Improve Efficiency in Contract Awards

first_imgThe Government of Jamaica is moving to speed up the contract award process.Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Hon. Horace Dalley, said Cabinet has embarked on a programme through the infrastructure subcommittee of Parliament. The aim, he said, is to improve efficiency so as to facilitate completion within 120 days.The Minister, who was speaking in his contribution to the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on July 2, said that public procurement is critical to boosting local, national and regional business activities, as it accounts for 30 per cent of Jamaica’s gross domestic product (GDP).“It is generally agreed that the procurement process is too protracted and contributes to significant delays in the implementation of Government projects. We have found that from announcement of Request for Proposals (RFP) to the award of a contract, the time period can be as much as two years,” he lamented.The Minister in the meantime, informed that Cabinet has issued drafting instructions for the development of a comprehensive Public Procurement Law and Regulations, which will guide public procurement, and bind public institutions to specific standards.“The present system is managed under the Contractor Generals Act and the Financial Administration and Audit Act (FAA), neither of which offers complete coverage of the multiplicity of issues impacting procurement,” he pointed out.The Minister also reiterated plans for the separation of the National Contracts Commission (NCC) from the Office of the Contractor General (OCG).He said that the sharing of financial and human resources between the NCC and the OCG has compromised the independence of both institutions and makes it difficult to distinguish between the two.He said that the NCC will have its own staff, secretariat and offices, and will function with five specialised sector committees instead of the seven general committees that now obtain.These sector committees will be: Works; Consulting and General Services; Goods; Information Communication Technology (ICT); and Insurance Placement.Mr. Dalley informed that the NCC will continue to safeguard fairness and transparency in the contract award process, while the OCG will carry on its monitoring and investigation tasks in the award and implementation of contracts.Contact: Chris Pattersonlast_img read more