Dream Team Joins Hall Of Fame

Scottie Pippen and Karl Malone are joining the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as individual NBA players on Friday. They also were part of the legendary Basketball Team U.S.A. of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, also more popularly known as the Dream Team. This once in a lifetime team was composed of Naismith Basketball Hall of Famers like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Scottie Pippen, John Stockton, Charles Barkley, David Robinson, Karl Malone, Patrick Ewing, Clyde Drexler and Chris Mullin.

On Friday night, these individuals reunite as a team to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

This Dream Team was the first ever basketball squad assembled composed of NBA players plus then collegiate standout Christian Laettner. The team was created to seek redemption after the loss of university players in the 1988 Olympics.

What made the Dream Team special was it was composed of legitimate NBA superstars. In fact opposing players watched them in awe as they displayed far superior basketball skills at the Olympics, winning by an average margin of more than 43 points.

The Dream Team reunites on Friday with their assistant coaches. Their head coach Chuck Daly died away last year.

Michael Jordan Presents Scottie Pippen To Hall Of Fame

It is so fitting to have Michael Jordan present Scottie Pippen, his former teammate and fellow NBA champion with the Chicago Bulls, to the Professional Basketball Hall of Fame. Jordan and Pippen were the acknowledged Batman and Robin tandem of the Bulls that dominated the 1990s winning six NBA titles.

Pippen throughout his playing career with Jordan and the Chicago Bulls was often overlooked with Jordan being at the forefront. Statistically, his career scoring average of 16 points may be just about half of Jordan’s 30 points per game but they pretty much have identical averages in other areas. Jordan has career averages of 6.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.3 steals while Pippen has 6.4 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 2 steals per game.

Jordan was considered the best player who played basketball while Pippen was a coaches’ dream with his excellent defense and all-around play. Pippen was known to be the toughest perimeter defender, being an 8-time All-Defensive Team member.

Jordan and Pippen won six titles together but they never won a title without the other.

As Pippen decided who should introduce him to the Hall of Fame, it was the easiest decision for him as he chose his Batman.

Tiger Woods’ First Round: Three Shots Off PGA Championship

Tiger Woods fired a decent round on Thursday at the PGA Championship. His one-under par 71 placed him tied at 24th and three shots behind first day leaders Bubba Watson and Francesco Molinari. Many players have not completed all 18 holes of the first round due to fog. Friday forecast is just as foggy with expected rainshowers later in the day.

World number one Woods started off with three birdies in his first four holes. He faltered to finish at 71 in a first round that has been delayed by weather. Players who have not completed the first round are starting early on Friday, making the afternoon schedule uncertain given the weather forecast.

Phil Mickelson has not completed his first round on Thursday but he is tied at 24th spot with one-under par after eleven holes. He has a shot at taking over the number one spot after the PGA Championship.

This is the last major for the season. Although Woods has been at number one for five years now, he has not won a major this year. Woods and Mickelson started out as odds on favorites. Woods has never been the same after news about his infidelities came out and scandals hounded him. Mickelson on the other hand is suffering from arthritis which can hamper his performance.

HR 4213 Bill Passed Senate Vote, House of Representatives’ Vote to Follow

Unemployment Extension July 22, 2010 Update: HR 4213 Unemployment Extension Bill Passed Senate Vote, House of Representatives’ Vote to Follow – This is the latest unemployment extension news. Things are moving slowly but surely for those unemployed Americans. Yesterday, we saw that the first Senate vote to counter the Republican filibuster happened. With the help of Senator Carte Goodwin who replaced the late Robert Byrd from West Virginia, Democrats ruled the Senate vote closing at 60-40 vote for the much awaited passage of unemployment extension bill.

Last night, we witnessed the final Senate vote as shortly after 7 p.m., the “motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to the bill with Reid Amendment No. 4425” passed the Senate gathering the needed “yes” votes of 51 on a vote of 59 to 39 sending it one step closer to U.S. President Barack Obama’s desk.

During the Senate session, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that: “Nevada families struggling to make ends meet have endured more than their share: after losing their jobs through no fault of their own, they were forced to wait weeks for an important safety net that was supposed to be there.”

Now, the next and final step for this Unemployment Extension Bill is the vote from the House of Representatives which will happen tomorrow. The amendments made in the Senate need to be approved by the House. After this final vote, the bill will now be send over to Obama for his signature to finally and officially become a law. Once the bill becomes a law, it is expected that state labor departments will immediately begin implementing it and sending out unemployment benefits to help the millions of unemployed Americans. It is expected that this bill will go into effect as early as Thursday or the latest before the week ends.

For the record, this unemployment benefits extension bill is particularly known as H.R. 4213. Initially named as the “American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act”, the bill has now been renamed to as the “Unemployment Compensation Extension Act” to reflect the extension of unemployment benefits for Americans who have been out of work for 6 months or longer. Originally a $141 billion, 426-page government stimulus package for the unemployed Americans, the bill is now down to $34 billion and 36 pages after amendments.

As previously mentioned, it is important to reiterate that this is not the Tier 5 that most unemployed Americans are clamoring as it would not create additional weeks of unemployment benefits. 99 weeks would still be the maximum amount of time an unemployed American could receive unemployment benefits for states with 8.5% and above unemployment rates and 86 weeks would still be the maximum time for those who are located in states with below 8.5% unemployment rates.

This bill would also extend the filing deadline for unemployment insurance benefits which expired last June 2 to until November 30, 2010 allowing unemployed individuals to file and move into their next tier of unemployment benefits. However, the Federal Additional Compensation Program providing an extra of $25 per week of unemployment benefits payments would not be extended under this bill. In addition, COBRA will not be extended in this bill.

UPDATE: Obama Signed Unemployment Extension Bill into Law

Houston Rockets Let Go Of Trevor Ariza For Courtney Lee

An offseason trade between four NBA teams and five players resulted to the departure of Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza and former New Jersey Nets shooting guard Courtney Lee joining the Rockets. It appears to be a cost cutting measure for the Rockets, freeing up $28 million of Ariza’s contract.

The Rockets just re-signed Luis Scola and Kyle Lowry, then picked up Brad Miller from free agency. Now they have a young talented player in Lee for what seems like a good bargain. For a young player who can play three positions, the Rockets are paying Lee $1.35 million this coming season. The team option on Lee in the 2012 season is worth $2.23 million. This is real value for money!

Although Lee is not as good a defender as Ariza, he gives the Rockets more options as he can play both guard positions and on some occasions the small forward as well. Kevin Martin can also take the small forward position too. Shane Battier will continue to defend well from the perimeter.

Overall, the Rockets lost an athletic player in Ariza but they got a young talent in return, for much less money.

Lawsuit Against Paris Hilton for Wearing Wrong Hair Extensions

It may sound odd but the lawsuit is true. The socialite Paris Hilton was sued for wearing wrong hair extensions. Hairtech International Inc filed the case and said that Hilton breached her contract to wear and promote their product after wearing its competitors extensions in 2008.

All in all, the company wants to be paid with $35m (£22.4m) for damages. Sad to say, this amount is 10 times what the socialite was originally paid. In addition to this, she also missed a launch party to celebrate the line in hair extensions back in 2007 because she was in prison, causing the company to lose $6.6m (£4.2m). This was the time wherein Paris served 23 days after she was twice caught driving on a suspended licence while on probation for reckless driving.

This is not the first time that Paris was sued due to her promotional duties. Way back in 2008, she was also sued by the producers of National Lampoon’s Pledge This! sued the star for failing to properly promote the comedy.

It seems that Paris has been too busy to think about her obligations better yet she should be responsible on what she’s been up to. It pays to be rich and famous. You’ll get a lot of promotional offers but along with it is a big responsibility that you need to put in mind.

The Wizard of Oz 71st Anniversary Celebrated in Google Doodle

The Wizard of Oz Anniversary Celebrated By Google Doodle – Perhaps you are puzzled on today’s Google Doodle in Google’s homepage. Apparently, the image points to the 71st anniversary of the Wizard of Oz, the 1939 American musical fantasy film directed primarily by Victor Fleming based on the 1900 novel of the same name “Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum.

Wizard of Oz features Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale, a 12-year old Kansas farmgirl who are ultimately transported to the magical Land of Oz, where she sets out on the yellow brick road to the Emerald City to ask the Wizard of Oz to return her to his original hometown Kansas. In her journey towards the Emerald City, she met her friends Scarecrow, Tin Man, and a Cowardly Lion who joined her to receive the needed change namely a brain, a heart, and courage, respectively.

The Google Doodle below is a scene in the Wizard of Oz where Judy Garland portraying “Dorothy”, together with his friends “Scarecrow”, “Tin Man”, and “Cowardly Lion” first see a glimpse of the capital city of the Land of Oz, Emerald City. The word “Google” is written in the landscape. Notice the difference from the original scene in the Wizard of Oz right after it.

Initially, the Wizard of Oz only made a small profit because of the huge expenses associated in making it. It received several Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. However, since the film was shown in television, it quickly gathered a huge audience. In fact, the Library of Congress named “The Wizard of Oz” as the most-watched film in history.

It has been seven decades since Wizard of Oz was filmed. However, the reason this movie remains one of the most beloved of all Hollywood films is because of its uniqueness among motion pictures in that it mirrors our longings and imaginations as children. The dreams that Dorothy sings about and the adventure that follows in the Wizard of Oz seem to mirror our yearnings as children. She imagines a bigger place where her problems don’t linger and she is free to explore them. She imagines a place where there isn’t any trouble and people actually listen to what she has to say.

Happy 71st birthday Wizard of Oz! Thanks to Google for commemorating such a great film!

Toyota ends Car Exports to Iran

Due to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, one of the worlds leading companies in the car industry, Toyota halted its export car trade to the country. There has been international moves to put financial and commercial pressure to Terhan, Iran’s capital city.

Toyota has confirmed the news Thursday and according to Keisuke Kirimoto, Toyota spokesman, the company has been holding the shipments of its popular land cruiser model and as to until when will this halt would be, he said it is infinite. “We plan to continue to closely monitor this sensitive international situation,” Kirimoto added.

Toyota is just following the U.S. and United Nations sanctions on Tehran that was made last June. Toyota exported just 222 vehicles to Iran through May of this year, and a similar number in all of 2009 as what has been posted in CNN.

The US and the United Nations has imposed a sanction to the country last June believing that the country is having an atomic energy program aiming to produce nuclear weapons. Iran has been denying the allegation up to this time.

No one really knows who has been saying the truth. Thorough and complex investigation has been made to clear out everything. In fairness to Iran, if all these things are just hoax, their economy would be greatly affected as to the world has been shutting their doors to them.

JetBlue Flight Attendant Steven Slater Free on Bail

Steven Slater left on Tuesday night the Bronx detention center we was incarcerated in. It will be remembered that he gained internet “fame” after his altercation with a passenger landed him in jail for charges of criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and criminal trespass, according to the Queens District Attorney’s Office. He was released on a $2,500 bail.

Diane Slater, Steven’s mother, defended him in an interview saying, “I don’t think he’s going to be in trouble very long. I think he just had a very small meltdown, and I think he deserves to be able to have that meltdown if you saw the egg on his head where he got smacked.”

Slater had a scratch on his forehead, but has declined to say whether he got it during his now internet (in)famous altercation with a passenger on the flight, who has only been identified as being a woman.

As Slater exited the jail, he told CNN-affiliate WABC that, “It’s been very, very appreciated. And it seems like something here has resonated with a few people and that’s kind of neat.”

Judge Marsha Revel Quits Lindsay Lohan’s Case

I am pretty sure this is one piece of news that Team Lohan will be very happy about.

Judge Marsha Revel has decided to remove herself from handling Lindsay Lohan’s case following the request of the prosecutor. She will be replaced by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Elden Fox, according Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office.

According to Robison, Prosecutor Danette Myers objected last week to several communications that Revel had with parties involved in the case without notifying the district attorney’s office.

Although this has no direct effect on the 90-day rehabilitation sentence handed down by Judge Revel which Lindsay Lohan is now undergoing, Lohan’s defense team, sources said, are pleased upon getting wind that the judge has been replaced.

Aside from the 90-day rehab stint, Judge Revel sentenced Lindsay to a 90-day jail stay (which she did not actually serve, staying only until August 2) and also ordered the actress to wear a SCRAM bracelet prior to her parole violation hearing which led to her incarceration.