It's FANTASTIC! - 05/04/14

I'll admit, I'm not an NBA fan.  Haven't really been since Magic, Michael, Larry and the Bad Boys were doing their thing.  Back then, the league's slogan was "NBA Action: It's Fantastic!".  And it was. 

Since then, the NBA has struggled to capture many of the casual fan's attention.  At least mine.  I've just never really gotten into Shaq, or Kobe, or even LeBron.  But this year's playoffs have been sensational.  Nearly impossible NOT to watch. 

There's Damon Lillard draining a 30-footer to catapult Portland past Houston.  Paul Pierce blocking Kyle Lowery's potential game and series winning shot, giving New Jersey the win against Toronto.  I stayed up til after 1am last night for Game-7 of the Clippers-Warriors series.  I haven't watched an entire NBA game in probably a decade, let alone stayed up past midnight to do it.  I had no idea who at least half the players were on each team's roster.  Did you know that J.J. Redick is a Clipper?  Or Jermaine O'Neal is a Warrior?  I sure didn't!

Speaking of Game-7's, there have already been five of them.  And we're only in the first round!  That ties the most in NBA playoff history.  Amazing.

In addition to what's happening on the floor, there's also been the whole Donald Sterling drama.  For better or for worse, that's put the league in the spotlight as well.  And made the Los Angeles Clippers, Sterling's team, one you either love or hate.  Either way, it's a great storyline.

Who knows what will happen from here on out.  There's still another month of post-season hoops to go (WAY TOO long, in my opinion).  And yes, there's a good chance that LeBron and the Heat will hoist the trophy again when it's all said and done. Which would be completely anti-climatic to me.  But to this point, the NBA Playoffs have been FANTASTIC.

  

 

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Last Update on October 21, 2014 09:08 GMT

WATER THEFT CHARGE

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- The owner of a northern New Jersey business found himself in hot water after admitting his role in a plan to steal at least $100,000 worth of water from a local utilities authority. Federal prosecutors say 43-year-old Nicholas Vene, of Holmdel, New Jersey pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Officials say from January 2007 to March 2012, Vene and others diverted water flowing from a Jersey City pipe to a Reliable Wood location and away from the water meter on that pipe. That resulted in an under-reporting of water usage.Vene faces up to five years in prison when he's sentenced Jan. 26.

FREE SALMON

POULSBO, Wash. (AP) -- The early bird catches the fish, or at least a few lucky people did when they lined up with coolers Monday to wait for free salmon at a hatchery on Washington's Kitsap Peninsula. Workers at Grovers Creek Hatchery, northwest of Seattle, netted several dozen fish from the pond and harvested eggs from female chum salmon. The hatchery gave away one salmon per person because of limited supplies so early in the season. But they told those who didn't get a fish Monday to come back later. The hatchery, run by the Suquamish Tribe, is one of a few in Washington with a salmon give-away program.

STINK BUG-MICHIGAN

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (AP) -- An annoying insect is bugging homeowners in southwestern Michigan, and some say it just plain stinks. A Michigan State University program says the brown marmorated stink bug has been detected in low numbers in traps set around fruit and vegetable crops. But there are "a few hotspots." Cathie Buckley, of Stevensville, Michigan, lives with her husband on 6 1/2 acres including a former blueberry patch. The couple are finding the bugs "all over the place," and she says she's encountered hundreds of them. "I have lots of them -- and my husband can't stand the smell of them," Buckley said. "They are horrible." The stink bug does not bite or pose any danger to humans, but it has a gross smell.

SPEEDWAY WEDDING

TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) -- Two NASCAR fans raced to the altar to finally arrive at marital bliss. Kevin Lane and Ashlea Leggett got married on the Talladega Superspeedway infield before the GEICO 500 in Alabama on Sunday. The Athens, Georgia couple attended the race last year, as their first big trip together. So this year, they asked their friends and family to join them on the track for a ceremony before the race. The gathering was complete with a 10x10 foot white tent, flowers and music playing from a smartphone connected to a small speaker. After the 15-minute ceremony, the entire crowd shared wedding cake and watched the racers rev up.

 
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