Should domestic abuse get more attention?

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By Charles Glover, Jr.

I believe that the current US system in place for dealing with domestic violence is broken and needs to be fixed. It is a complex and at times difficult to address domestic violence, but our country goes overboard to address issues it deems serious. Can we honestly say our country is doing the best it can to combat domestic violence?

Unites States Attorney General Loretta Lynch has been vocal about putting an end to domestic violence.

Unites States Attorney General Loretta Lynch has been vocal about putting an end to domestic violence.

The United States Department of Justice defines domestic violence as “a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person.”

The expansive definition of domestic violence should help illustrate the complexity of coping with such a widespread issue. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the concerns regarding the system currently in place to deal with domestic violence seem to be rising.

New York Giants kicker Josh Brown, who was suspended 1 game to begin the season for domestic violence, is having his case reexamined by the NFL after more information surfaced regarding domestic violence against his now ex-wife.

New York Giants kicker Josh Brown, who was suspended 1 game to begin the season for domestic violence, is having his case reexamined by the NFL after more information surfaced regarding domestic violence against his now ex-wife.

Another NFL player, this time New York Giants kicker Josh Brown, is in the headlines following the release of reports of domestic violence claims from his now ex-wife. The NBA regular season will start in a few days, but Sacramento Kings guard Darren Collison will not be available for the first 8 games as he serves his suspension for domestic violence against his girlfriend. And as excited as Chicago Cubs fans are to be in the World Series, it is possible the last outs of the series could be recorded by their closer Aroldis Chapman, who began this season serving a 30-game suspension for allegations of domestic violence against his girlfriend.

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These athletes garner extra scrutiny for their acts of domestic violence but the issue itself is unfortunately still viewed as a task too large to handle. While the question on many people’s minds is how do we put an end to domestic violence, the greater question is why don’t we treat domestic violence the way we treat child abuse and neglect?

Attorneys and law enforcement officials often assert that their greatest challenge in prosecuting alleged perpetrators of domestic violence is lack of evidence or cooperation from the alleged victims. This is an understandable roadblock, however what is incomprehensible is that the federal or state government has not found a way to circumvent this obstacle. We have countless examples in this country of people finding a way to address serious concerns.

Mary Ellen McCormack, showing visible scars of abuse at age 10 in this picture, was the nation's first widely recognized case of child abuse.

Mary Ellen McCormack, showing visible scars of abuse at age 10 in this picture, was the nation’s first widely recognized case of child abuse.

Take for example the case of Mary Ellen McCormack. Mary Ellen was born in 1864 in New York City, but due to her father’s death and mother’s inability to care for her, became a foster child at the age of two. Her foster-mother Mary Connolly, was eventually investigated and convicted for abuse of Mary Ellen which included daily beatings, malnutrition and numerous malicious and neglectful actions. This landmark case in 1874 for child abuse was largely made possible because of laws that existed against the inhumane treatment of animals. That’s correct.

Henry Bergh and Elbridge Thomas Gerry of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) helped ensure that Mary Ellen was removed from her foster home before the trial and handled her legal case as well. After having success with the case, and having formed the ASPCA in 1866, they helped form the first child abuse and neglect agency in the country, the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NYSPCC).

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This story highlights the struggles America has had in providing systemic protection for those in need in our country. The formation of the NYSPCC in 1874 was a positive step for beginning to deal with child abuse but it would take another century for the federal government to enact legislation on the issue with the passing of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act in 1974.

There is no disputing the difficulties associated with trying to help people dealing with domestic violence but there needs to be greater urgency in the matter. For those brave enough to seek help, they are faced with limited options. A restraining order is not accompanied by around the clock police surveillance or protection. Shelters and hotlines are helpful but they require the victims to assume all of the initial risk in seeking assistance.

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There should be a statewide agency for domestic violence that is modeled after each state’s child protective services to allow the community to be better equipped to assist those in need. These agencies should investigate, monitor, and take action against allegations of domestic violence in the same manner they are supposed to for child abuse. It is clear the criminal justice system alone is ill-equipped to make the strides necessary to drastically reduce domestic violence. The time has come to move past creating awareness and start creating solutions.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a senior writer for OnPointPress.net and aspiring author. Follow me on Twitter @GloverIsGood.

Flip Saunders, Timberwolves’ coach/president of basketball operations, has died

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By Charles Glover Jr.

Phil ‘Flip’ Saunders, the head coach and president of basketball operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves, has died from cancer at age 60. His death has prompted an outpouring of grief across the NBA, with his two main teams, the Timberwolves and Detroit Pistons, and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver releasing statements, which appear below:

“It is with tremendous difficulty and deep sadness that the Timberwolves acknowledge the passing of our President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach, Flip Saunders. Flip was a symbol of strength, compassion, and dignity for our organization. He was a shining example of what a true leader should be, defined by his integrity and kindness to all he encountered. Today is not a day to reflect on Flip’s accomplishments in basketball or what he brought to us as an organization on the court, but rather to indicate what he meant to us as a co-worker, friend, member of the community and the basketball world at large. We as an organization are devastated by his passing, and our hearts and prayers go out to Debbie and the entire Saunders family as they endure this extraordinary loss,” the Timberwolves’ statement read.

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“It is with tremendous sorrow that the Detroit Pistons organization acknowledges the passing of Flip Saunders. He will be remembered by Pistons fans as one of the franchise’s most successful head coaches – leading the club to three consecutive Eastern Conference Finals appearances and a franchise-record 64 wins in 2005-06. Flip was a great ambassador for the Metro Detroit community and had a positive influence on those who had the opportunity to spend time with him. We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Debbie, his children Ryan, Mindy, Rachel, Kimberly and all his friends throughout the extended Detroit Pistons and NBA family,” the Pistons’ statement read.

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“The NBA family is mourning today over the tragic loss of our friend and colleague, Flip Saunders. With more than 40 years around the game, 20 of them in the NBA, Flip’s untimely passing has left a gaping hole in the fabric of our league. Flip was a beloved figure around the NBA, nowhere more so than in Minnesota, demonstrating a genuine and consistent passion for his players, his team and the game. On behalf of the NBA, we offer our most sincere condolences to Flip’s wife, Debbie, their four children and the entire Minnesota Timberwolves organization,” NBA Commissioner Adam Sliver’s statement read.

The entire NBA family and fans mourn the loss of Saunders’ talent and legacy—-OnPointPress.net.—

Lamar Odom’s cry for help illustrates value of mental health care, coverage

There is a greater emphasis on recognizing and receiving treatment for issues such as grief, anxiety, and depression, all of which fall under the umbrella of mental health.

There is a greater emphasis on recognizing and receiving treatment for issues such as grief, anxiety, and depression, all of which fall under the umbrella of mental health.

Lamar Odom is in critical condition in a Las Vegas hospital after reportedly losing consciousness while indulging in a weekend filled with drugs, all while battling untreated mental illness.

Lamar Odom is in critical condition in a Las Vegas hospital after reportedly losing consciousness while indulging in a weekend filled with drugs, all while battling untreated mental illness.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

As people flock to social media to offer prayers for former NBA star Lamar Odom, who won two championships with the LA Lakers and is now fighting for his life in a Las Vegas hospital, his struggles with drug addiction and untreated mental illness have surfaced.

 

Mental Health Awareness week was October 5 – 10, but the importance of receiving the necessary treatment for mental health issues cannot be understood in a week. There have been concerted efforts by many advocates and associations to preach the significance of addressing issues that impact mental health and encourage individuals to seek help, instead of suffering in silence.

Mental Health awareness week may have just ended but the issue of dealing with mental health issues is a daily struggle for many.

Mental Health Awareness Week just ended but the issue of dealing with mental health issues is a daily struggle for many.

One of the major impediments to receiving mental health treatment is the perception that the treatment is too expensive.

Many people are unaware that most health insurance plans now include mental health care as part of the basic plan. In fact, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, mental health can no longer be used to exclude individuals from coverage.

new adAccording to Healthcare.gov, “all Marketplace plans cover mental health and substance abuse services as essential health benefits.”
All healthcare plans must cover:
•Behavioral health treatment, such as psychotherapy and counseling
•Mental and behavioral health inpatient services
•Substance use disorder (commonly known as substance abuse) treatment

These inclusions are designed to reduce the financial impact of receiving treatment for many issues that fall under the umbrella of mental health. Among those issues that qualify as mental health concerns are grief, anxiety, and depression as well as other more severe diagnoses.

A list of diagnoses covered under mental health.

A list of diagnoses covered under mental health.

The other huge impediment to receiving mental health treatment is the stigma many feel is associated with being diagnosed with a mental illness.

This concern is recognized as being a considerable problem in the African-American community which is why education and awareness is so vital with this issue. Untreated mental health conditions can lead to suicidal and homicidal thoughts and actions.

Acknowledging that there are personal problems that are beyond your understanding is a good step in the right direction. The next step is to contact your insurance advisor and make sure you have a plan in place to deal with mental health concerns.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr., your Insurance Advisor, is a senior writer at OnPointPress.net and a Licensed Insurance Professional working with HealthMarkets. 

Contact me directly at (646)309-1938 for your health insurance questions and concerns

Former Knick, NBA star, Anthony Mason, remembered fondly in death

Anthony Mason passed away early Saturday morning at the age of 48.

Anthony Mason passed away early Saturday morning at the age of 48.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

Saturday morning February 28, word spread about the passing of former NBA player Anthony Mason, weeks after he suffered a massive heart attack and underwent several surgeries. During his NBA career, Mason, 48, connected with fans, teammates, and competitors alike using a blend of power and agility in a stout 6’7 ‘ frame.

The versatile and rugged forward made his name as part of the New York Knicks in a career that spanned 13 years, starting in 1993. During his five seasons with the Knicks, Mason played alongside Patrick Ewing, John Starks, Charles Oakley and Derek Harper, making it all the way to the NBA Finals in 1994.

Mason (r) would play a vital role in helping Patrick Ewing (l) lead the Knicks to the NBA Finals in 1994.

Mason (r) would play a vital role in helping Patrick Ewing (l) lead the Knicks to the NBA Finals in 1994.

Former Knicks teammate Patrick Ewing, who is an assistant head coach with the Charlotte Bobcats, shared a statement on Saturday, reflecting on the feeling of sadness he feels as he mourns the death of his former teammate. Ewing said:
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Mason attended high school in Queens, New York so it was fitting that the Knicks would provide him with the opportunity to become a star. Pat Riley was the head coach of the Knicks at the time and would later sign Mason with the Miami Heat where Mason made his only All-Star appearance in 2001. Riley’s statement on Mason’s death was profound:

Mason would have his best individual season in 2001 for the Miami Heat, being named an All-Star that season.

Mason would have his best individual season in 2001 for the Miami Heat, being named an All-Star that season.

“News like this is not only sad, but it’s tragic. Anthony Mason was a very young man with a great family and friends. To lose him so quickly during his journey, especially to those of us that knew him, hurts. We had a great season in Miami experiencing Anthony as an All-Star with the HEAT, and I also had the privilege of coaching him for four years in New York, where he helped take us to the brink of a championship. There were so many great moments that we shared that I will never forget. Our prayers and sympathies are with his family. May God bless his soul,” Riley said.

The NBA honored Mason’s death and the Knicks held a moment of silence at Madison Square Garden before their game against the Raptors. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released a statement outlining Mason’s character and passion for the game:

Mason will also be remembered for his unique haircuts.

Mason will also be remembered for his unique haircuts.

“Anthony Mason exemplified perseverance for all players fighting for their chance in the NBA. With a gritty style of play and a distinctive skill set, he blossomed from a third round draft pick into a Sixth Man Award winner, All-NBA selection and, at age 34, an All-Star. NBA fans and players around the league admired the tenacity on defense and playmaking on offense. Our deepest sympathies go out to the Mason family during this difficult time,” Silver’s statement read.

Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced as the Mason family mourns. Mason’s sons, Antoine and Anthony Mason, Jr., both played basketball in college. Mason, Jr. played at St. John’s University in 2010 while Antoine is currently enrolled at Auburn University. Mason, Jr. released a statement on behalf of the family which read:
“First, I want to thank all those who offered prayers and well-wishes for my Father, our family really appreciated it.

Mason's sons Anthony Mason, Jr. (l) and Antoine Mason (r) have followed in their father's footsteps as basketball players in their  own rights.

Mason’s sons Anthony Mason, Jr. (l) and Antoine Mason (r) have followed in their father’s footsteps as basketball players in their own rights.

“Overnight New York City and the world lost a legend, a friend, a brother..but more than anything our father, Anthony Mason. As you all would expect our father — Big Mase — put up an incredible fight dealing with a severe heart issues. I’m wishing this was something else I was writing, but Pops we’ve got to let you know we love you and know you’ll always be with us.

“I ask at this time that you respect our family’s privacy with regard to questions as our family takes the time to mourn.”

Peace and blessings go out to the Mason family, friends and legion of fans who remember Mason’s hard work and fierce style of play that made him a joy to watch on the court..–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a training/benefits consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com. For business inquiries contact (646)309-1938.

Recent NBA Finals show good offense, not defense, wins championships

While defense is always important, these champions have used offense to reach the ultimate goal. (clockwise from top left) LeBron James, Paul Pierce, Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki.

While defense is always important, these champions have used offense to reach the ultimate goal. (clockwise from top left) LeBron James, Paul Pierce, Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

With the NFL playoffs underway, the old adage “defense wins championships” will be repeated ad nauseam by commentators and analysts. While that may apply to other sports regularly, the NBA has seen a trend of offensive excellence in recent NBA champions. While contributors at sportingcharts.com may have concluded, “Having an efficient defense is more important than an efficient offense,” it seems a great offense is better than a great defense.

The 2013-14 San Antonio Spurs showed true offensive dominance during their championship run last season.

The 2013-14 San Antonio Spurs showed true offensive dominance during their championship run last season.

Case in point, the 2013-14 San Antonio Spurs put forth one of the most dominant shooting displays en route to a 4-1 route of the Miami Heat. According to ESPN Stats and Info, “All four of the Spurs wins came by at least 15 points, outscoring the Heat by an average of 14 per game for the series. That’s the largest points per game differential in NBA Finals history, breaking the record of +12.6 PPG by the 1964-65 Celtics in their victory over the Lakers.”

Both Tim Duncan (l) and Kawhi Leonard (r) have been NBA Finals MVP. They were both excellent defensively but also efficient offensively when they won the award.

Both Tim Duncan (l) and Kawhi Leonard (r) have been NBA Finals MVP. They were both excellent defensively but also efficient offensively when they won the award.

The Spurs had 4 regular rotation players shoot 50 percent or better from the floor and 35 percent or better from the 3-point line for the playoffs. In the NBA Finals their team shooting was even better with 6 regular rotation players shooting 50 percent or better and 6 different rotation players shooting 35 percent or better from the 3-point line.

(left-right) Kyle Korver, DeMarre Carroll, Jeff Teague, and Al Horford have helped the Atlanta Hawks to one of best records in the NBA with their offensive efficiency. Can they sustain this high level into the playoffs?

(left-right) Kyle Korver, DeMarre Carroll, Jeff Teague, and Al Horford have helped the Atlanta Hawks to one of best records in the NBA with their offensive efficiency. Can they sustain this high level into the playoffs?

Excellent shooting has become the deciding factor for NBA champions for the last decade now. Since 2005, every NBA champion has had at least 2 regular rotation players shoot at least 50 percent from the field and at least 3 regular rotation players shoot 35 percent or better from the 3-point line. Efficiency has become essential offensively as teams have transitioned away from the ground and pound style of offense that tended to be predictable to defend.

Could this be an NBA Finals preview? Stephan Curry (l) has the Golden State Warriors at the top of the Western Conference. Meanwhile, Kyle Lowry (r) has helped lead the Toronto Raptors to one of the best records in the East.

Could this be an NBA Finals preview? Stephen Curry (l) has the Golden State Warriors at the top of the Western Conference. Meanwhile, Kyle Lowry (r) has helped lead the Toronto Raptors to one of the best records in the East.

As the NBA season nears the halfway point, a handful of low-seeded playoff teams have become top seeds in the conference. Though it is still early in the season, comparing teams by offensive efficiency might be the best way to determine which teams will have long playoff runs. As of today, only the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors meet the 50 or 35 percent field goal/3-point threshold common in the last ten NBA champions with the Atlanta narrowly missing the criteria.

New York Times writer Rodger Sherman recently stated during last season’s playoffs, “Being the staunchest, stingiest squad on paper does not mean as much as an old saying might make it seem.” As the season continues, it seems efficient offenses, not stingy defenses, will be the best way to determine the next NBA champion.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and training/benefits consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com. For business inquiries contact (646)309-1938.

NBA stars Dwight Howard and Joe Smith clash with their reality TV exes

Houston Rockets center received news today that he will not be facing charges stemming from child abuse allegations made against him.

Houston Rockets center received news today that he will not be facing charges stemming from child abuse allegations made against him.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

Dwight Howard may be known for his defense in the NBA but it was his attorneys who provided the assist as he defended himself against allegations of child abuse. In a case that is very similar to allegations against NFL star Adrian Peterson, Howard, former #1 overall draft pick in 2004, and current center for the Houston Rockets, allegedly beat his 6 year-old son with a belt, causing visible marks on the child’s rear end and legs. The allegations were brought to light by the mother of the child, former Basketball Wives cast member Royce Reed.

Howard and his ex-girlfriend Royce Reed have a lengthy record of public disagreements since their break-up. Many of the issues surround their now 6 year-old son.

Howard and his ex-girlfriend Royce Reed have a lengthy record of public disagreements since their break-up. Many of the issues surround their now 6- year-old son.

TMZ Sports initially posted the story about authorities clearing Howard of wrongdoing in this matter on their site this morning. Reed responded to the post on Instagram stating:

“The case is not closed and he is/was not cleared! The investigation is still open as he refuses to speak to the police. So whoever these reps are that are trying to slander me, just know the gloves are off and I’m not the one to play with when it comes to my son. That is all.”

Reed and Howard have completely different views of the matter that led to the allegations of child abuse.

Reed and Howard have completely different views of the matter that led to the allegations of child abuse.

Shortly thereafter, TMZ Sports had the following update: “We now have confirmation that the Florida Dept. of Children and Families closed the investigation, concluding, ‘The investigation is being closed with no substantiated findings of physical injuries.’ The report also states Howard was interviewed by authorities.”

No further comments have been made by Reed on the matter. Howard is yet to comment on this story.

Retired NBA player Joe Smith and his ex-girlfriend Moniece Slaughter have different views about how $109,000 ended up in the bank account of Slaughter's friend

Retired NBA player Joe Smith and his ex-girlfriend Moniece have different views about how $109,000 ended up in the bank account of Slaughter’s friend, Timothy Clayton Carr.

News outlets also reported on the challenge ex-NBA player Joe Smith is having with his reality star ex-girlfriend Moniece Slaughter. Smith, former #1 overall draft pick of the Golden State Warriors in 1995, alleges that Slaughter, a cast member of Love & Hip Hop Hollywood, swindled him out of $109,000 by writing several phony checks while the two were dating.

Between 0ctober 2011 and March 2012, Smith claims that 9 different checks were written on his behalf to a man named Timothy Clayton Carr, without Smith’s knowledge or consent. Carr is Slaughter’s friend and has explained that he was unaware of the checks being stolen but had cashed them to help Slaughter who did not have a bank account at the time. Whatever the explanation, Smith wants the case to be prosecuted and is ready and willing to press charges.

Joe Smith was the #1 overall draft pick in 1995 by the Golden State Warriors. Smith played 16 seasons in the NBA, his last team being the Los Angeles Lakers in 2011.

Joe Smith was the #1 overall draft pick in 1995 by the Golden State Warriors. Smith played 16 seasons in the NBA, his last team being the Los Angeles Lakers in 2011.

Police reported to TMZ Sports that the case is still open and actively being investigated, which is of little relief to Smith, who is anxious to bring this matter to court after waiting almost three years. Smith tells TMZ Sports that he is “frustrated the case remains unresolved and feels police have been giving him the runaround.”–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover Jr is a sports aficionado and a training and benefits consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com. For business inquiries contact (646) 309-1938.

Veteran’s Day holds a special place in the annals of NBA history for centers

(l - r) Shaquille O'Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Patrick Ewing all reached NBA milestones on November 11.

(l – r) Shaquille O’Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Patrick Ewing all reached NBA milestones on November 11.

By Charles Glover, Jr

On November 11, when Veteran’s Day is celebrated, three of the NBA’s best centers reached noticeable milestones. Shaquille O’Neal, Patrick Ewing, and Hakeem Olajuwon all had key accomplishments on that date in NBA history.

Shaquille O'Neal had a good start to his NBA career with a victory and a double-double.

Shaquille O’Neal had a good start to his NBA career with a victory and a double-double.

In 1992 on November 11, Shaquille O’Neal made his NBA debut for the Orlando Magic. In what would become an eventual Hall of Fame career, O’Neal would score 12 points to go along with 18 rebounds and three blocks in his first NBA action. The upstart Magic would go on to defeat the Miami Heat 110 to 100.

Hakeem Olajuwon was at the top of his game in 1995 when he reached a career milestone.

Hakeem Olajuwon was at the top of his game in 1995 when he reached a career milestone.

In 1995, Hakeem Olajuwon with help the Houston Rockets defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves 119 297. Olajuwon what’s scored 21 points in the game, making him the ninth player in NBA history to score 20,000 points and have 10,000 rebounds in an NBA career.

Patrick Ewing was doing his best to keep the Knicks as a title contender when he reached his career milestone in 1996.

Patrick Ewing was doing his best to keep the Knicks as a title contender when he reached his career milestone in 1996.

In 1996, Patrick Ewing would help leave the New York Knicks to a 92 288 victory over the Orlando Magic. Patrick Ewing which score 24 points in that game. He would become the 23rd player in NBA history to score over 20,000 points in an NBA career in that game.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover Jr is a sports aficionado and a management and employee consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com. For business inquiries contact (646) 309-1938.

The NBA learned from ‘Malice at the Palace,’ Will the NFL learn from its woes?

Before the brawl headed into the crowd, there was a dustup between Ben Wallace and Ron Artest.

Before the brawl headed into the crowd, there was a dustup between Ben Wallace and Ron Artest.

By Charles Glover Jr.

On November 19, 2004 the NBA was turned upside down with a brawl that eventually changed the view of players and the league itself. Dubbed the “Malice at the Palace,” the brawl between the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons erupted into the stands and earned recognition by the Associated Press as “the most infamous brawl in NBA history.”

The brawl spilled into the crowd as things escalated during the infamous night in Detroit.

The brawl spilled into the crowd as things escalated during the infamous night in Detroit.

Ron Artest (now Metta World Peace) was at the center of the brawl that started after Artest and Pistons center Ben Wallace got into a minor altercation. Artest then threw a drink at a fan from the crowd. Artest then charged into the stands and attacked the person that thought was the assailant. Other Pacers like Stephen Jackson and Jermaine O’neal were fierce in their support of their teammate during the melee that spread from the crowd onto the court.

The result was a prolonged stain on the image of the NBA as the fight with fans seemed to justify the concerns by some that the NBA had become too boorish and abrasive to accommodate the upscale portion of their fan-base. NBA’s commissioner at the time, David Stern, decided to institute sweeping changes to bridge the gap between NBA fans and its players. Several players received stiff penalties, highlighted by Artest’s 73-game suspension, which was the equivalent to all games remaining in the season.

David Stern was the commissioner of the NBA during the Malice at the Palace and was at the forefront of major changes that eventually benefitted the NBA.

David Stern was the commissioner of the NBA during the Malice at the Palace and was at the forefront of major changes that eventually benefitted the NBA.

The league also made changes to security measures and alcohol limits at games. Shortly thereafter, the NBA instituted a dress code, requiring the players to dress in suits when traveling for games. The dress code was geared towards changing the perception that too many players were distancing themselves from fans by embracing hip hop culture in their dress and attitude. The NBA became the first of the major sports to have such a requirement.

The four prominent participants in the Pacers - Pistons  brawl (l - r) Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson, Jermaine  O'neal, Ben Wallace.

The four prominent participants in the Pacers – Pistons brawl (l – r) Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson, Jermaine O’neal, Ben Wallace.

There were many opponents to some of the changes, specifically the dress code, as the changes seemed to be an overreaction to the “Malice at the Palace.” However, there was no doubt the NBA as facing an image problem. There was also increasing frustration with the NBA as they struggled in their representation of the USA in the 2004 Olympics and 2006 World Cup. These events provided enough of an impetus by Stern to make major changes to the way people view NBA players.

Stern has made a number of questionable decisions but the approach he took to reshape the image of the NBA at that time was a necessary one. The changes were not popular amongst everyone, including many fans. There was also renewed efforts to bring the best players to international competition. This calculated move helped bring national support to the NBA players during their gold medal run in the 2008 Olympics and thereafter.

The NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell (c) could learn from the NBA on how to change league perception following scandals involving Ray Rice (r) and Adrian Peterson (l).

The NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell (c) could learn from the NBA on how to change league perception following scandals involving Ray Rice (r) and Adrian Peterson (l).

The changes to NBA policies and initiatives were reactions to a number of negative incidents that were highlighted by the “Malice at the Palace.” Stern and NBA executives were wise enough to sense that there was enough of the fan-base that desired noticeable changes to some aspects of how NBA players operate. There are times when it is necessary to make forceful changes to make a lasting impact and the NBA was able to shift the perception in their favor.

However, the shift in perception took years to take effect. The lesson NFL commissioner Roger Goodell can apply to the current dismal state of affairs with the NFL with the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson scandal is that it is necessary to make forceful changes that address the problem. There also must be patience that is earned from operating in a matter that demonstrates that the league is as appalled by the troubles of the league and will take exceptional measures to rectify matters.

(l - r) Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, and LeBron James have helped reshape the NBA image with Team USA and by making an impact in their communities as well as for their teams.

(l – r) Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, and LeBron James have helped reshape the NBA image with Team USA and by making an impact in their communities as well as for their teams.

The NBA now has a number of stars like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Chris Paul who are noticed for their great play on the court and positive impact away from the game as well. The NBA has also seen increase in viewership and monetary growth in the 10 years since the “Malice at the Palace.” As the next 10 years unfold, the NBA seems to be miles away from the negativity that surrounded the league in 2004.will the NFL be smart enough to emulate the NBA model, which has improved the league’s image and profitability at the same time? Only time will tell.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover Jr. is a sports aficionado and a management training consultant. Follow me @OpenWindoMES on Twitter.com.

NBA expands diversity trend, hires female leaders

Michele Roberts has been named the new Executive Director of the NBA Players Association.

Michele Roberts has been named the new Executive Director of the NBA Players Association.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

The San Antonio Spurs expanded the diversity trend in the National Basketball Association (NBA) when the team hired former WNBA player Becky Hammon to be an assistant coach coach. Hammon became the first woman to be employed full-time as an assistant coach in the NBA or any other major team sport. Hammon made it clear that she does not feel her gender played a role in her hiring.

“It’s never been about the woman thing, it’s been about hey, she’s got a great basketball mind. We think she’d be a great addition to our program,” she said at the news conference announcing her hiring on August 5, 2014.

The  San Antonio Spurs hired former WNBA player Becky Hammon based on her basketball IQ.

The San Antonio Spurs hired former WNBA player Becky Hammon based on her basketball IQ.

This comes on the heels of the NBA Players Association (NBPA) selecting Michele Roberts to be their new executive director. Roberts, who is a renowned trial attorney, was named to her new position on July’ 29, 2014 ahead of 300 potential candidates. Roberts grew up a New York Knicks fan while being raised in that city. She rooted for the Washington D.C. team and worked for years in that city. Now Roberts has a new affiliation again extolling, “My new favorite team is the NBPA.”

Roberts made her name as a trial attorney in Washington D.C. and will use her skill in negotiations on behalf of the NBPA.

Roberts made her name as a trial attorney in Washington D.C. and will use her skill in negotiations on behalf of the NBPA.

 

These two new additions to the NBA family illustrate a more inclusive view towards women, yet there is still a long way to go to consider all opportunities equal. However, the NBA has taken more steps in allowing women to prove themselves in that league than in any of the other major team sports.

Violet Palmer has been an NBA referee since 1997 and remains the lone female referee in the NBA.

Violet Palmer has been an NBA referee since 1997 and remains the lone female referee in the NBA.

In 1997 the NBA hired Violet Palmer and Dee Kantner as referees amid plenty of opposition from some fans and players alike. Palmer is still a referee in the NBA and has done so for the WNBA as well. Palmer remains the lone female referee in major team sports and added another first to her resume when she refereed the 2014 NBA All-Star game.

 

What stands out even more than the opportunity to earn and prove in the NBA for these women is the authoritative positions they hold. None of these ladies hold a more powerful position than Jeanie Buss, part-owner and president of the Los Angeles Lakers. Buss recognizes the full scope of her position, sharing during an interview:

“I’m the boss, I am responsible ultimately for anything with the team and decisions that are made…I empower people that are in positions to do their jobs…But it’s up to them to make day-to-day decisions on how they operate their area of the business.”

Jeanie Buss is part-owner and president of one the most storied franchises in sports, the Los Angeles Lakers.

Jeanie Buss is part-owner and president of one the most storied franchises in sports, the Los Angeles Lakers.

Ultimately, these women provide plenty of ideas of new positions for women to strive towards and surpass. While there will continue to be a debate about women’s opportunities in male dominated fields, it is also time to appreciate the positions that women have earned through hard work and dedication.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a management training consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com.

NCAA vs. NBA draft policy: Are changes needed? (Part II)

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has made it a priority to address the issue of raising the age limit from 19 to 20.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, holds up the name of the Cleveland Cavaliers, who won the NBA Draft Lottery. Silver  has made it a priority to address the issue of raising the age limit from 19 to 20.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is down to its final 4 teams vying for the NBA Championship for this season. Meanwhile, Tuesday marked the beginning of the next season as the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Draft Lottery, giving them the chance to pick first in the draft in consecutive years. While the draft lottery creates a modicum of suspense for NBA fans, the league would be better suited making major changes to the NBA Draft that would make the teams better for the long run, analysts say.

The advent of the NBA Draft Lottery was meant to be a deterrent to teams intentionally losing so that they could have the number one pick in the draft. The main impetus for the change was consecutive years where the Houston Rockets (1983 & 84) seemingly tanked in order to land two highly touted prospects, Ralph Sampson in 1983 and Hakeem Olajuwon in 1984. The change was necessary but the overreaction to institute a draft lottery allowed for a routine in which the worst teams do not receive the best players.

The NBA Draft lottery was instituted after the Houston Rockets received the #1 pick in 1983 & '84 and used them to select Ralph Sampson (r) and Hakeem Olajuwon (l) respectively.

The NBA Draft lottery was instituted after the Houston Rockets received the #1 pick in 1983 & ’84 and used them to select Ralph Sampson (r) and Hakeem Olajuwon (l) respectively.

Contrasting this with the National Football League (NFL) model that aligns the top pick with worst record, with the exception of consecutive years, one can see why there tends to consistently be a problem with the distribution of talent in the NBA. The draft lottery system raises questions about the legitimacy of the process as conspiracy theories are constantly attached to this system. All of these issues make the questions about who should be eligible to be drafted seem minor, yet the age of the draftees continues to be an issue that’s front and center.

The hoopla surrounding this year’s draft class was focused on talented underclassmen like Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid, and Julius Randle. These young men were all freshmen when they declared for the draft. They are the latest in a consistent string of talented youngsters who spend just one year removed from their graduating high school class before declaring for the NBA draft, as is currently required by the NBA. Many are opposed to this ‘one and done’ rule in theory, yet there is more excitement surrounding this draft class than there has been in several years.

This year's draft class features highly touted freshmen  (l - r)  Jabari Parker, Joel Embid, Andrew Wiggins, and Julius Randle.

This year’s draft class features highly touted freshmen (l – r) Jabari Parker, Joel Embid, Andrew Wiggins, and Julius Randle.

Numerous opponents to the NBA’s ‘one and done’ rule make many unsubstantiated claims as to the certain improvement of the quality of the NCAA and NBA if the the rule goes away.

ESPN president John Skipper described the rule on age limits:

“The single worst violation of student-athlete relationships,” Skipper also said: “I have no quarrel with kids wanting to go play basketball. I think they should have to stay a couple or three years.”

ESPN President John Skipper is one of many who oppose the NBA one and done rule.

ESPN President John Skipper is one of many who oppose the NBA one and done rule.

Skipper is among the many who believe the indentured servitude that is collegiate sports is a better fit for the very athlete who will generate billions annually for televisions networks, advertisers, institutions, and franchises. Interestingly, Skipper is against these college players being paid.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has received greater attention from his handling of the Donald Sterling mess than for his initial agenda, which has been to change the ‘one and done’ rule.

“I’ve been a proponent of raising the age [limit] from 19 to 20 because I think it would make a better league,” announced Silver in a conference call with sports editors in April. With no data to back these assertions, Silver has repeatedly stated the importance of raising the age limit.

NBA Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson supports the one and done rule and points out the exploitive nature of the NCAA.

NBA Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson supports the one and done rule and points out the exploitive nature of the NCAA.

Inquiring minds should ask: What financial benefit would the league see if this were to occur? The simple answer is, without any other changes, an increase in the age limit would drastically reduce the average players’ earning potential. Players are far less likely to receive maximum contracts after the age of 30 and a change of the ‘one and done’ rule automatically pushes every player closer to 30 by the time of their second free agency contract. Meanwhile, there is no salary cap for coaches and executives.

As is stands, the millionaire executives paid to evaluate, draft, train, and coach the players have unlimited earning potential, with a longer period of time to do their job. However, players would have their earning potential limited and have to spend more of their physical prime playing for free. Many supporters of the ‘one and done’ rule think about current athletes and the luxurious lifestyle they are afforded.

The Cavaliers won the number one pick in the NBA draft with new General Manager David Griffin (l) receiving congratulations from Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum (r).

The Cavaliers won the number one pick in the NBA draft with new General Manager David Griffin (l) receiving congratulations from Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum (r).

They forget about the hundreds of athletes that came before them who were completely taken advantage of. They do not consider that these current NBA rules are already restrictive, considering how dependent the sport is on selling its superstars. NBA Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson points out:

“Colleges are greedy, They want to keep them [kids] in school because it helps them – it helps the coach, it helps the winning percentage.”

The NCAA’s motive is clear, keeping talent that produces billions annually for as long as possible makes sense for business. However, the NBA seems to be confused by claiming to want to put the best product on the floor. But this year’s draft class illustrates that a great number of the best players available are 19, not 20 or older. So why wouldn’t the NBA want them? Actually they do. They just realize that so many of their executives are so poor at developing these youngsters when they come into the league that they hope to get more finished products. Unfortunately for them, there is no business immune to the pitfalls of poor management, which is the NBA’s biggest problem, not age limits as the league tries to suggest..–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a management training consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com.