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South Africa ‘event destination of choice’

first_img29 February 2012 South Africa is fast becoming one of the world’s favourite destinations for big events, meetings, conferences and exhibitions, Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk told delegates at the Meetings Africa expo in Johannesburg on Tuesday. According to Van Schalkwyk, the country has already secured over 200 international conferences over the next five years, which are expected to attract around 300 000 delegates and provide an economic boost of more than R1.6-billion. “We will encourage business travellers to stay longer to explore our country’s tourist offerings and, of course, to return with their families,” Van Schalkwyk said. Van Schalkwyk said South Africa’s capability and infrastructure for business tourism was superb. “Besides the three big national convention centres in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, our destination is home to numerous other facilities that give the world’s meetings and conference organisers the same quality, variety and choice that South Africa offers across the larger tourism sector.”National Convention Bureau of South Africa Meetings Africa is the biggest business-to-business tourism exhibition on the continent. This year’s event introduces the industry to the National Convention Bureau of South Africa, an entity that will give the larger industry a strategic and operational platform from which to boost the country’s business tourism global competitiveness. The National Convention Bureau, which starts operating in April, will be central to South Africa’s ambition to leverage the global opportunities to remain Africa’s number one host of meetings and conferences. Established in November and headed up by executive manager Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, the Bureau will act as a “one-stop shop” for independent information and assistance, giving neutral advice on all aspects of hosting and organising any business tourism-related event in South Africa. The Bureau has set a target for 2012/13 of supporting at least 30 bids for new international meetings, with a potential of 18 000 delegates and R162-million in direct economic spend. More than 200 international hosted buyers are attending Meetings Africa this year, engaging with the South African and regional industry to conclude deals which seek to grow business tourism arrivals. The buyers, hosted by South African Tourism, come from 18 markets which include the United Kingdom, USA, Australia, Kenya, Germany, Netherlands, China, Brazil and Nigeria. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

From flying planes to finding caches — Interview with cache owner Cliptwings

first_imgGeocaching HQ: What keeps you engaged with the game?Cliptwings: Paying it forward in two ways gives me the most satisfaction these days. First, I try to make the caches I hide as interesting as possible. I give finders a fun puzzle to solve to get inside the container, or make the cache something they have never experienced before, such as an audio or video cache. Second, I do a weekly “Introduction to Geocaching” presentation at our local State park. I love introducing the activity to people who don’t know anything about it. I end the presentation with a hunt for three nearby caches, and it’s great to see a smile on their faces when they find their first geocache. Geocaching HQ: For you, what makes a quality cache?Cliptwings: For me, a quality cache is one in which the cache owner obviously put some thought and effort into making it. It can be an LPC or an ammo can or something totally unique. If the experience leaves you with the feeling of wanting to find more of the same, then I think it’s a quality cache.Geocaching HQ: What’s the best approach to creating a geocache?Cliptwings: I think it depends on what the cache owner wants to convey to the finder.  Are they taking you to a pretty, interesting, historic place? Then a magnetic micro on a stop sign is good enough. A good Mystery cache can be placed lots of places because the object is to challenge the geocacher’s intellect. By the way, I generally stay away from geocaches that force you to think – it makes my head hurt! Generally, I look for a safe, pleasant place to hide a cache, one which gets lots of foot traffic but also has plenty of hiding places.Geocaching HQ: If someone reading this was looking for inspiration, what words of advice would you give them?Cliptwings: I tell the folks in my presentation to start the easy (and cheap) way. Download the Geocaching app® to your smartphone (everyone has one of those, right?) and use the free membership to start. Go for the one and two star difficulty caches until you get comfortable with the process. I don’t think there’s anything more frustrating than spending hundreds on a GPS receiver and failing to find those five star bison tubes. When you find those first few easy ones, I think you’re inspired to try more difficult hides, with better equipment, with a Premium membership. Geocaching HQ: You have a number of complicated and intricate caches. Do you find it difficult to provide maintenance on them?Cliptwings: Most of the time the only real maintenance I need to do is to replace the battery every eight to twelve months. The computer in my Arduino caches is simple and robust, and I try to build in reliability wherever I can. That doesn’t mean they are all fool-proof. I loved building a cache called “Cut the Cheese,” GC6ZHJ7. It was an Arduino cache that sensed methane, the kind of gas people “pass.” Once the gas was “smelled,” a servo would unlock the lid to the container. But I had to archive the thing because people kept sitting on it and busting the container! Here’s a YouTube link.Geocaching HQ: Have you ever had an idea that you thought was impossible?Cliptwings: Not that I can recall, but I set the bar pretty low! I get most of my ideas from the internet. There are hundreds of 10 year old kids out there who come up with brilliant ideas and write the software programs to execute those ideas. I just borrow their talent and adapt them to geocaching.  Geocaching HQ: Do you have a favorite hide of your own active caches?Cliptwings: I have two favorites because they are so different from each other and from others that I’ve found. The first is “The OroValleyan,” GC6G639, based on the book and movie “The Martian,” played by Matt Damon. You are an astronaut stranded on the desolate planet of Oro Valley (my town in Arizona). The only way out is to contact your home base using an old explorer spacecraft, which is stage one. When you activate the “spacecraft,” headquarters sends you the coords for the rescue ship. The spacecraft points to  hexidecimal characters that you then need to translate into coordinate numbers using an ASCII table. The “rescue ship” is the second and final stage. It was really fun to make and was the first Arduino gadget cache where I did the programming myself. Here’s a YouTube link. My other favorite is “Walk With Me,” GC42MWP.  First thing you do is download an mp3 file which is in the description, and upload it to your phone or player. Then go to the set of coords listed in the description. This is your starting point. From there, the mp3 recording will tell you where to go and what to look for. I tell you some stupid jokes along the way and add in some inspirational music from the Indiana Jones movies. You end up at an object that will provide you the numbers for the final stage coords. It was a blast to make and I love reading the comments from the finders’ logs.We love hearing about local cache owners who put a creative twist on their caches! Let us know your favorite geocache creators in the comments below!Share with your Friends:More For cache owner ‘Cliptwings’ geocaching isn’t just a hobby, it’s a new opportunity to realize that even if he can’t fly anymore, the wings of passion prevent him from being cooped up. A former Airforce and commercial airline pilot turned creative gadget cache engineer. Travelling the world on planes Cliptwings says there wasn’t a place that didn’t have a cache nearby. First introduced to the game by his wife, Princess Pooh Pooh, who thought of him when a geocacher explained the game to her. They went out to find a cache in a park and got hooked. To him, it felt powerful to have GPS technology in his hand because airlines still used ground-based navigation at the time. Since then Cliptwings has hidden a number of amazing caches that take some time and creative juice to create. Geocaching HQ: What’s your background outside of geocaching?Cliptwings: I flew C-130 and Gulfstream aircraft for the US Air Force for 26 years, then I flew for American Airlines, in many places and airplanes, for 16 years. Now I’m retired.  There wasn’t a place I visited that didn’t have some kind of cache nearby!Geocaching HQ: How and when did you hear about geocaching? Cliptwings: My wife, Princess Pooh Pooh, was a Flight Attendant with America West Airlines. She flew with a Captain who would run off as soon as the crew arrived at their layover hotel. Being naturally curious, She asked him what he was doing with his spare time. He explained the concept of geocaching to her, and she thought to herself, “Hmm, what a nerd! My husband would LOVE this nerdy stuff!”Geocaching HQ: Which cache got you hooked?Cliptwings: My very first find! It was just a standard hide in a local park, but to me there was just something magical about satellite navigation. At the time we still used ground-based systems to navigate the airplane, so to have a tool in your hand that could get you within ten feet of a 35mm film canister was unbelievable! I know how Dave Ulmer must have felt. After that, the ability to visit interesting, historic, or beautiful places by geocaching really got me interested.  Geocaching HQ: What is the story behind your username?Cliptwings: I was briefly laid off from American Airlines after the tragedy of September 11, 2001. I was looking for something to do while searching for another job, and my wife came up with the geocaching idea. Since I was no longer flying, my “wings” were “clipt.” I thought it was a natural fit, so I became Cliptwings. It’s not very imaginative, and certainly not as good as many I’ve seen out there. Geocaching HQ: What are your favorite caches you’ve found?Cliptwings: I have two, both found while on flying layovers. Both are virtuals, and I forget the GC numbers. The first was in downtown Baltimore, and the GPSr took me to an old cemetery among the tall buildings. To log the find, I had to identify a particular resident of the cemetery at the GZ. Lo and behold, when I arrived at the tombstone, I was looking at the grave of the famous author Edgar Allen Poe! I never would have known he was there without geocaching taking me there. My other favorite was in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The cache took me to a beautiful park right along the shore of the bay.  To log the find, I had to identify an “out of place” object at the GZ. Well, my GPSr took me to the corner of a very old, red brick church. As I looked up at the corner, I noticed a cannonball wedged in between the bricks! It seems that during the War of 1812, the British bombarded this area from their ships, and one of the cannonballs landed in the wall of the church! The people of the parish just left it there. Now that’s some interesting history!   SharePrint RelatedVom Fliegen bis zum Finden von Caches – Interview mit dem Cache-Besitzer CliptwingsJuly 19, 2019In “Deutsch”Van het vliegen van vliegtuigen naar het vinden van caches – Interview met cache-eigenaar CliptwingsJuly 19, 2019In “Local stories”The OroValleyan — Geocache of the WeekJuly 10, 2019In “Geocache of the Week”last_img read more

Quick Tip: Fixing a Crooked Horizon in Premiere Pro

first_imgSet your horizons straight with these quick, savvy tips for effectively correcting crooked footage in Adobe Premiere Pro.An age-old problem for both videographers and photographers alike — that tricky, straight-line horizon. While the human eye really does enjoy and is drawn to perfectly straight lines, it can be rather annoying when said straightness is even a little bit off-kilter.When shooting video against a backdrop that includes a horizon, the safest way to ensure your horizon will be perfectly symmetrical is by using the following:Limited movement (especially rotations of the camera)Mount a tripod or solid stand (or a perfectly calibrated gimbal)Use a level (which certain tripods do include)However, this isn’t always the case for every video or film shoot. And, even when it is, you’ll be surprised how often you make it to the edit only to find that the horizon still looks just a little bit off. Luckily, however, it’s not that hard of a fix.Here’s a quick tip breakdown on how to easily fix a crooked horizon by using some of the basic settings in Adobe Premiere Pro.1) Zoom InLet’s take a look at a clip from a recent short I shot. This is from a comedic series I’ve been working on called Chris Stares At You While Eating A Plate Of Nachos (yes, that’s the whole concept). We shot this while traveling, so we didn’t have a big setup. We had to use a makeshift stand for the camera, so going in we knew the horizon would be slightly crooked.However, right off the bat, we tried to compensate and prepare for this by intentionally shooting the scene wider than it needed to be, knowing that we’d eventually have to zoom in once in the edit.Zooming in will start to give you the room you need in the image to rotate. In Premiere Pro, you simply select the clip you wish to edit and go to the Effects Controls tab in the top left. From there, you can find the Scale option. Without setting any keyframes, just change the scale from 100 percent to something like 110 percent to start (you can adjust it higher later, if needed).2) Adjust the RotationAfter you’ve given yourself a little room, you can adjust the Rotation controls, which can be found a few lines below the Scale option. Other programs or techniques might give you a bar-line option to trace points to auto-create a line, but I’ve found that in Premiere Pro, this is the quickest way, allowing you to give it a true eye test.Change the Rotation by a few degrees from 0.0 to 2.0 or -2.0. Using positive numbers will rotate the image to the right, while negative numbers will rotate the image to the left. Once you get it close, you can adjust it minutely by going decibel point by decibel point with 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, etc.It’s a trial and error process. You can review your image at a higher degree by making the program image larger (just press the “~” key when you have the image selected).3) Watch out for CornersNow, the reason we zoomed in to begin with is because once you start rotating your image, you’ll find that if you go too far, this causes the footage to reveal black bars in the corners. If you see these, it just means you haven’t zoomed in far enough (or you might be overcompensating your rotation).Once you’ve messed around for a bit and are sure it passes the eye test, you’re done! You can dive into color, effects, and the rest of your edit from there. Cheers!All images via Chris Stares At You While Eating A Plate Of Nachos.For more filmmaking and editing quick tips and tricks, check out these articles below.Mixing Audio for Film and Video ProjectsQuick Tip: Super Simple Audio SetupUsing Label Colors to Manage Premiere Pro ProjectsVideo Editing Quick Tip: Stack Timelines in Premiere Pro5 Quick Tips for Editing Music in Your Video Projectlast_img read more

After placing 8th in AVC, PH aims for better finish in SEA Games

first_imgBrace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Against the region’s volleyball team, the Filipinos are not only shooting for a better record than in the AVC but are also aiming for the top prize.“We will give out best come the SEA Games,” said national team veteran Jovelyn Gonzaga in Filipino Thursday at Alonte Sports Arena. “The goal is to bring home a medal for the Philippines, and we’ll put on our best performance there.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe Philippines had a chance to take the seventh place in the tournament but its spirited comeback against the 21st-ranked Kazakhs lasted just two sets.Gonzaga said they failed to adjust quicker to the Kazakhs’ constant attacks in the fifth set and she hopes they can improve on their mental toughness come the Games at Kuala Lumpur. Man sworn in as lawyer by judge who sentenced him to prison as a teen 20 years ago PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games Ronaldo says his ban for pushing referee is ‘persecution’ LATEST STORIES Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses CONTRIBUTED PHOTOBIÑAN, Laguna—The Philippines had a disappointing end in the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship after losing in five sets to Kazakhstan 25-20, 25-20, 21-25, 21-25, 15-3, to finish at eighth place.But the AVC is just the first part of the national team’s grueling August schedule as it will also compete in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next MOST READcenter_img LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Flags of SEA Games countries raised at Athletes Village View comments “I think our opponents read our strategy and we had a hard time adjusting,” said Gonzaga who had 10 points in the loss. “Holding on to your momentum all depends on the team’s mental toughness and that’s the area we have to improve on.” Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspensionlast_img read more

Mayweather-McGregor is a pay-per-view smash

first_imgWATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding “It’s a little soon to be predicting a record,” said Espinoza, who heads sports for Showtime. “But the record is definitely within reach.”Estimates vary, but if an average of 10 people watched each pay-per-view the total audience for Saturday’s fight in the US could reach 50 million people, or nearly one in six Americans.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“I’d absolutely call this a complete success,” Espinoza said. “This was a fight that had massive expectations in both the fight itself and the business results. It lived up to those expectations in every respect.”At $99.95 a buy, the pay-per-view generated at least $450 million in revenue on domestic television alone, money from which each fighter gets an undisclosed percentage. Mayweather estimated after the fight he would make $300-350 million, while McGregor said his take would be around $100 million. View comments The pay-per-view numbers include streaming on the Showtime and UFC apps as well as cable and satellite television buys. The fight was held up briefly because of some streaming issues, but Espinoza said reports of widespread problems with the online feed were overblown.“We were particularly pleased with the digital streaming aspect,” he said. “It was our first venture going direct to consumers on Showtime and we were thrilled. We generated over four times the buys we had expected online.”There were also reports of several million illegal streams of the fight and Espinoza said Showtime’s anti-piracy technicians saw more illegal streams than any previous fight. But he said the nature of the fight meant groups of people gathered to watch it, and that most bought it legitimately to be guaranteed the best possible feed.“We knew we had a massive event with huge interest,” he said. “And we knew a huge amount of people were going to be watching, including some who watched illegally.”Mayweather improved to 50-0 in what he said was his last fight, while McGregor is expected to return to UFC following his only pro fight. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, and Conor McGregor pose during a news conference after a super welterweight boxing match Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)LAS VEGAS — Conor McGregor’s improbable challenge of Floyd Mayweather Jr. was a hit at the box office and could end up the biggest pay-per-view ever, with an estimated 50 million people watching in the United States alone.Preliminary figures released by Showtime PPV on Friday showed the fight was tracking in the “mid to high” 4 million range, threatening the 4.6 million record set by Mayweather’s 2015 fight with Manny Pacquiao. Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza said the number will likely rise some as more firm figures come in.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Barcelona closes transfer market with whimper Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Manny Pacquiao on Floyd Mayweather: Let him enjoy retirement PLAY LIST 00:44Manny Pacquiao on Floyd Mayweather: Let him enjoy retirement01:49Pacquiao to Mayweather: Want fans to stop asking for rematch? Then fight me again00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief Though the fight suffered some at the box office because of extremely high ticket prices, it hit the kind of numbers on pay-per-view that promoters were hoping for. When added all together the fight could generate some $600 million in total revenue, which would be along the lines of the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.Mayweather stopped McGregor in the 10th round, the first time he has had a real stoppage in nearly a decade. But McGregor’s performance also won some applause, as he boxed better in his first boxing match as a pro than many thought he would.Assuming the preliminary estimates hold up, Mayweather will have participated in the top four pay-per-view events of all time. His fight with Oscar De La Hoya in 2007 sold 2.4 million pay-per-views, and his 2014 fight with Canelo Alvarez sold 2.2 million.Espinoza said he should know by next week whether the fight will end up No. 1 or No. 2 on the all-time list. But he said the early estimates were lower than what the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight ended up to be, and that this would likely go higher, too.“There could be a good amount of growth between the initial numbers and where we eventually end up,” Espinoza said.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Read Next MOST READ Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Gameslast_img read more

Photo: Check Out This Michigan Fan’s Incredible Charles Woodson Tattoo

first_imgFans watch a Michigan Wolverines flag after a score against the Illinois Fighting Illini.ANN ARBOR, MI – OCTOBER 22: Fans watch a Michigan Wolverines flag after a score against the Illinois Fighting Illini on October 22, 2016 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***The image of Charles Woodson walking off the Michigan Stadium field with a rose in between his teeth following the Wolverines’ victory against Ohio State is an iconic one for those associated with the program. One Michigan fan has gotten said image tattooed on their body. Check out this incredible piece of art a Wolverines’ fan recently had done: First tattoo is done. #GoBlue. 〽️ pic.twitter.com/pFwAweC8zt— Honey Breezy (@BHugh_215) March 1, 2015Woodson, the 1997 Heisman Trophy winner, helped Michigan win the Rose Bowl and a share of the national championship that season.last_img read more

Colin Cowherd Releases Light-Hearted Farewell To Iowa And Its Fans

first_imgFS1's Colin Cowherd.Iowa’s loss to Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship knocked the Hawkeyes out of the College Football Playoff chase, though the team still earned the No. 5 ranking and a spot in the Rose Bowl opposite Pac-12 champion Stanford. All season long, Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd has mocked the Hawkeyes and challenged their credentials. He’s called the team overrated and “a fraud” even as it started off 12-0. Today, in typical Cowherd fashion, he got in one final parting shot at the black-and-gold clad program and its fans. Cowherd released a light-hearted video set to the tune of Sarah McLachlan’s “I Will Remember You.” He stares wistfully into the camera as lyrics poking fun at the Hawkeyes’ wins over lesser opponents play. My heartfelt message to Hawkeye Nation https://t.co/OizoLJnYeu— Colin Cowherd (@ColinCowherd) December 8, 2015For Iowa fans still looking for a reason to be mad at Cowherd, here’s another alley-oop for  you, straight from the man himself.last_img read more

The Chris Paul Conundrum

RATE STATISTICS 8Jason Kidd50,11117.9.133+1.543.9 Of course, Curry showed two years ago that it can be done — and he might have done it again last season, if not for the injury that slowed him down as the playoffs went on. And although Paul is not exactly the same kind of game-changing revolutionary as Curry, he comes with his own type of basketball genius, which manifests as putting passes exactly where they need to be to maximize his teammates’ chances of making the shot, dominating the midrange-shooting game in a way that actually makes it efficient, and rating as the league’s best defensive point guard (by a wide margin) despite being one of the shorter guards in the league. In other words, as far as we can tell, Paul has all the tools he needs to be a championship player, even though his teams haven’t made a serious run at the championship yet. So either today’s methods of observation haven’t fully captured Paul’s flaws while picking up what he does well (very possible, though less so as more advanced methods — such as plus/minus and player-tracking data — trickle into the stats) or he’s a genuine statistical anomaly.In any case, time is running out. As CBS’s Matt Moore wrote in August, the chance of Paul’s greatness being forgotten — or at least not fully appreciated — grows with each postseason disappointment. He’s played well enough in the playoffs, but whether the cause is bad luck, bad timing or simply that the NBA is not geared for players like him to carry championship squads, Paul has not made the kind of postseason impact that the rest of his résumé deserves. And with Curry’s Warriors gearing up with even more talent than when they broke the all-time wins record last year, it could be another futile springtime for Paul and the Clippers.Check out our NBA predictions. PLAYERTOTAL MIN. PLAYEDPLAYER EFF. RATINGWIN SHARES PER 48 MINSPMVAR How will your favorite NBA team do this year? See all of our predictions for the 2016-17 season » 3Jerry West36,57122.9.213+4.762.1 4Magic Johnson33,24524.1.225+5.361.4 Of course, some of that shortfall in playoff success points is also just plain bad luck, like when Paul broke his hand during last season’s first round, effectively killing the Clippers’ chances of advancing before they’d really started. And some of it might have to do with the grand plan the Clippers hatched five years ago, when they traded for the game’s best point guard and began taking steps to assemble a championship team around him.In the last 28 NBA seasons, a point guard has been the best player (according to VAR) on only two championship teams: the 2004 Detroit Pistons, where Chauncey Billups led an ensemble cast of characters — including Ben Wallace and Rasheed Wallace, each of whom could also have made a claim for “best player” honors — and the 2015 Golden State Warriors, where Steph Curry was busy redesigning the sport of basketball. Aside from those two really unusual cases, you’d have to travel back to Magic Johnson’s 1988 Los Angeles Lakers to find the last champ whose top statistical performer was a floor general. (Apologies to Isiah Thomas of the 1989 and ’90 Pistons, whose advanced statistics were never really in line with his Hall of Fame reputation.)In the intervening years, 17 big men4Centers or power forwards. have led championship squads, as have nine wing players.5Shooting guards or small forwards. But NBA teams led by point guards have averaged 14 percent fewer dynasty points per season than all others, despite being stronger during the regular season6As measured by efficiency differential. on average. Since the end of the Showtime 1980s, it’s been pretty tough to build a championship team with a point guard as its centerpiece.And throughout basketball history, that’s basically been the norm. Between the 1951-527The first season in which minutes played were tracked, and therefore the earliest year where we can track per-minute advanced statistics. and 1969-70 seasons, zero NBA champions had a point guard as their best statistical player. So in that sense, the 1970s and ’80s were anomalous, rife as they were with championship point guards such as Johnson, Walt “Clyde” Frazier of the Knicks and even the underappreciated Gus Williams of the 1979 Seattle SuperSonics. If we look at the entirety of NBA history, point guard-led teams have been about half as likely to win a championship as their peers, even after controlling8Via a logistic regression that attempts to predict a team’s probability of winning the championship based on its regular-season efficiency differential, the composite PER/WS plus-minus of its best player and whether or not that player was a point guard. The coefficient on the point-guard dummy variable was significant and very negative, meaning teams whose best players were point guards were much less likely to win a championship across six and a half decades of NBA history. for how good the team — and its best player — were statistically. The most valuable point guards ever (by advanced statistics) 5Chris Paul27,72525.7.249+6.156.9 2Oscar Robertson43,88623.2.207+4.673.1 SPM (statistical plus/minus) is based on player efficiency rating and win shares per 48 minutes. VAR (value above replacement) converts SPM into a measure of a player’s total value in the minutes he played.Source: Basketball-Reference.com Paul’s postseason numbers are great, though a bit lower than we’d expect given his stellar regular-season stats, even after considering the increased difficulty of postseason opponents. His career playoff averages — a 25.5 PER and .206 WS/48 — are down from his respective marks of 25.7 and .249 in the regular season; those playoff rates mean Paul was worth about 1.3 fewer points (per 100 possessions) to his team than he was in the regular season. The average playoff team since 2006 had a regular-season efficiency differential of +3.6, meaning the level of the competition rises in the playoffs, but we’d expect an individual player’s number to drop by only a fifth of that, since a team’s plus/minus impact is spread across all five players on the court, so Paul’s numbers have dropped almost twice as much as we’d expect them to in the postseason. 6Gary Payton47,11718.9.148+2.148.9 9Chauncey Billups33,00818.8.176+2.941.0 7Steve Nash38,06920.0.164+2.644.5 10Walt Frazier30,96519.1.176+3.139.7 1John Stockton47,76421.8.209+4.578.6 But there’s always that pesky question of the postseason: Although Paul’s teams have qualified for the playoffs in all but three of his 11 NBA seasons, they haven’t made it very far once there: They’ve lost in the first round four times and in the second round on four other occasions. And that’s it. In the entire history of the NBA, few players with individual numbers as great as Paul’s have seen so little postseason success.In fact, I have a system of playoff success points that can be used to measure a team’s postseason accomplishments in proportion to how many teams it had to beat out to get as far as it did. And only one NBA player — Karl Malone — ever accumulated fewer career dynasty points than Paul has, relative to what we’d expect based on their lifetime VAR tallies: Few point guards in NBA history have the résumé to go toe-to-toe with Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers. So how can it be that he’s never played in the conference finals?The battle lines on the topic of Chris Paul are well defined. On the one side, you have supporters of Chris Paul, Point God; on the other, a coalition of traditionalists, stat-skeptics and perplexed quants wondering how a player who dominates every advanced statistic we throw at him, and who has had excellent teammates for the last five seasons, has found so little playoff success. At its most basic level, this can devolve into a debate about the usefulness of stats in identifying a franchise player, versus, say, the ol’ Eye Test. Thankfully, Paul’s stature in the league helps fend off the worst of these arguments, but every great troll opinion has its own grain of truth. In this case: If every tool available to us says Paul is a Michael Jordan-level player, and if we believe basketball is the team sport most influenced by a single, all-powerful player, how do we explain Chris Paul’s dismal playoff record?Paul’s individual profile really is top-notch. Although he only turned 31 near the end of last season, Paul is already the sixth-most-decorated point guard1According to the positional designations at Basketball-Reference.com. ever in terms of MVP voting. His statistical portfolio is mind-boggling: Paul currently ranks as the most efficient point guard in NBA history, according to both career win shares per 48 minutes and player efficiency rating. Among all guards, period, he trails only Michael Jordan in each metric. If you combine both metrics into a composite statistical plus/minus index2No, PER isn’t a great stat, and win shares has its flaws as well; FiveThirtyEight readers know we much prefer the plus/minus family of advanced metrics, including box plus/minus (which powers our CARMELO projection system). But BPM is only available going back to 1973-74, and a proper contextualization of CP3’s career needs to include players from earlier eras — your Jerry Wests, Walt Fraziers, Oscar Robertsons and so forth. Fortunately, PER and WS are better together than they are apart, with PER’s love for high-usage players filling in WS’s blind fixation on efficiency. To be precise, I generated the combined version by figuring out the mix of each (relative to league average) that best correlates with Jeremias Engelmann’s Real Plus-Minus. The composite still isn’t better than, say, BPM, but it isn’t bad, either, particularly for comparing players across eras. and use that to measure each player’s career value above replacement (VAR),3VAR is structured the same as Basketball-Reference.com’s VORP, right down to the replacement level of -2.0 points per 100 possessions, but uses our PER/win shares composite as its foundation instead of box plus/minus. CP3 is the fifth-most-valuable point guard to ever set a sneaker on an NBA court: read more

Commentary Opening Day offers hope fresh start for fans

Opening Day in Major League Baseball is, for some, a national holiday. It’s synonymous with “hope.” It’s a time when every team is undefeated and every fan owns bragging rights — yes, even Ohio sports fans. But it goes beyond that. Opening Day brings new life to a team. It’s like a New Year’s resolution, and, for most professional sports teams in Ohio, it ends like most New Year’s resolutions: null and void within three months. Still, it’s always nice to start the season thinking your team has a shot. That’s why we try to appease the baseball gods by wearing team jerseys and hats and even our lucky socks that haven’t been washed since the Kenny Lofton days, as if the fate of our team’s championship hopes rest solely on our wardrobe offerings. Some call it crazy, ridiculous and even fanatical. And, to that we say, “What’s your point?” As Opening Day arrived, Major League Baseball in Ohio finds two ball clubs heading in opposite directions. Baseball’s oldest franchise, the Cincinnati Reds, truly has given its fans something to cheer about. On Opening Day, the Reds defeated the Milwaukee Brewers, 7-6. This year, the Reds hold great expectations, and look to rebound from a first-round playoff sweep at the hands of the Philadelphia Phillies last October. Last year’s National League Central champs boast a star-studded roster that includes the likes of Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and the “Cuban Missile,” Aroldis Chapman and his 105 mph fastball. And then there’s the Cleveland Indians. After a rough finish last season, expert analysts say the Indians are heading toward a rebuilding phase. Rumor has it pitcher Fausto Carmona could be on the move before the All-Star break, in exchange for prospects to breathe new life into the ball club. But, the Indians are going to need more than a few trades and superstitious batting routines to become a legitimate contender. And, if winning is what the Cleveland Indians are looking to do, they might consider picking up free agent Charlie Sheen, aka Wild Thing (I hear he’s “between jobs,” and “winning” is his new mantra). Statistically speaking, Opening Day is not necessarily an indicator of what is to come for a team. Last year the Reds dropped their home opener to the St. Louis Cardinals, giving up 11 runs. As the season progressed, the Reds picked up steam and ended the regular season five games ahead of the second-place Cardinals. New York Times columnist George Vecsey once said, “There is no sports event like Opening Day of baseball, the sense of beating back the forces of darkness and the National Football League.” And, with potential lockouts from both the NFL and the NBA looming, the great American pastime may be all we have left. read more

Former Ireland GK criticizes Southgate

first_imgShay Given believes the England national team manager “got into the head” of youngster Declan Rice and know the 19-year-old doesn’t know where to play19-year-old West Ham United footballer Declan Rice is under the spotlight after he’s undecided which country to represent.He has played in friendly matches with the Ireland national team, but he was born in London and could play for England.And now, former Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given has criticized England’s boss Gareth Southgate for putting ideas in the mind of the young defender.“He’s played three games for Ireland but I think Gareth Southgate or someone from England has got into his head,” he was quoted by Goal.Jadon Sancho, Borussia DortmundCrouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United.“I think once you pull on the senior jersey for your country that should be it – your colors nailed to the mast and you should play.”“But the rules are not tied down to that,” he explained.“It’s a big decision, he’s a young man and I’m sure a lot of people would be in his ear about playing for England.”“But we would love him to play for Ireland, of course, we would,” he continued.“When Roy [Keane] says something it’s big news and the media jump all over it, that’s the problem, but no, I don’t think Declan Rice is scared of anybody.”last_img read more