One national icon reminds us not to forget our past. We do anyway. The year that closes today contained many important sporting anniversaries, and all of them have passed quietly. It’s a real pity. The schoolboy football season has passed with hardly a whisper of the Kingston College (KC) team that dominated the various competitions in 1964 and 1965. Captained in the former year by KC legend Tony Keyes and by Dennis Johnson in the latter, these purple-and-whites went undefeated for two whole seasons. In fact, they won every game they played en route to consecutive Manning Cup/Walker Cup/Olivier Shield triple without a single draw to mar their record. In 1985, Stephen ‘The Don’ Hylton won the second of his three Caribbean table tennis singles titles. In 1990, Jamaica performed a miracle on grass in hockey. Led by supremely skilled Sharon Malcolm and coached by Michelle Holt, our ladies went to the Central American and Caribbean Games and beat host country Mexico on penalties in the final. Their gold medal is Jamaica’s highest achievement in that sport. RECORD BREAKING Just 10 years ago, Asafa Powell took the 100 metre world record to all of us with a run of 9.77 seconds in Athens. It was the first time a Jamaican had held the electronically timed world record in this blue-ribbon event. Later that year, at the World Championships in Helsinki, Trecia-Kaye Smith bounded to first place in the triple jump to win our first gold medal in a field event at the World or Olympic level. That was a glorious moment. These milestones have passed quietly, even though many of those who did those great deeds are still with us. They need not be just symbols of the past, but their experiences may help illuminate the way forward. At the very least, they can inspire those who aim for the heights. It’s December 31 and, therefore, too late to meaningfully celebrate those historic moments in 2015. Fortunately, there’s a bright side, sort of. Two major milestones mature like gilt-edged securities in the new year. Donald Quarrie (DQ) crowned a glorious career with a gold-medal run in the Montreal Olympics in 1976. DQ took the 200 metres days after a close runner-up finish in the 100 and became Jamaica’s first Olympic champion in a sprint event. Tweny years later, in the Atlanta Olympic Games, Deon Hemmings broke the meet record twice en route to a defeat of Kim Batten and Tonja Buford, then the fastest two female 400 metre hurdlers of all time. Despite brilliant efforts by Merlene Ottey, Grace Jackson and Juliet Cuthbert, Hemmings earned the honour of being the first Jamaican woman to win an Olympic gold medal. Like Quarrie’s victory two decades earlier, the Hemmings success is a landmark in Jamaica’s sporting history. We can’t do much about the things we’ve already forgotten. One thing is clear. No person or nation should live in the past, but great gold-medal moments like those in 1976 and 1996 shouldn’t pass too quietly. – Hubert Lawrence has made notes at trackside since 1980.
No team was punished for tanking, beyond the $600,000 Dallas owner Mark Cuban was fined for his comments on Julius Erving’s podcast that the Mavericks were better off losing, but there were discussions with other clubs.“I will just say we had conversations with several teams about what the product was that they were putting on the floor and I’ll leave it at that,” Silver said.He’s hoping to take some of the incentive of tanking away with lottery that takes effect next season. The three worst teams will have 14 percent chances at the top pick, instead of the current format in which the team with the worst record has a 25 percent chance.This season that was Phoenix, which appears to also be on a multi-season tanking agenda after shutting down healthy regulars last season. Dallas, Memphis, Chicago and Atlanta also threw out some curious lineups that sometimes looked incapable of winning.The new format may not stop tanking — and could even make it worse in some respects. Teams only need to be third-worst in the league to have the best shot at the No. 1 pick, rather than having to anchor themselves at the bottom.ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks during a news conference, Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017 in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)NEW YORK — Adam Silver sees successes all around the NBA, yet can’t stop thinking about the teams who aren’t successful.And he can’t make them try to be.ADVERTISEMENT So Silver said the league continues to look at the issue, but even he senses that more work is going to have to be done.“We recognize that our goal is to put the best competition on the floor and it’s balanced against legitimate rebuilding of some teams. But I know we’re not there yet,” Silver said.“I certainly wasn’t satisfied, there can only be so much cajoling out of the league office and it’s one of the those things that the last place I want to go as the commissioner is the league office to start dictating minutes and which particular players should be playing at what points of the game, and I recognize that the incentives are not aligned right now that there’s a huge incentive to increase your chances in the draft lottery especially in the old system. As I’ve said we’re switching the system for next year we’ll see how much of an impact that has.”Other items from Silver’s remarks after the Board of Governors meetings:MAVERICKS MISCONDUCTSilver said the investigation into misconduct in the Mavericks’ workplace that began after a Sports Illustrated report in February could be wrapped up by early summer. He said the investigation includes every Mavericks employee and any former ones who would make themselves available.“From everything I’ve heard directly from the investigators, everyone has been completely cooperative,” Silver said. “And by the way, it doesn’t just include interviews. It includes documents, it includes emails. And that’s come directly from Mark Cuban. He’s told the investigators that and he’s told the league office that as well, that he is open book, and he’s demanding himself a thorough investigation. So we’re waiting for the outcome of that.”PLAYOFF FORMATThere were no formal discussions about changing the way the playoffs are seeded, with Silver saying there isn’t a better current solution. The Competition Committee did review a proposal for a play-in game and he expects further discussion at the summer meeting.REVENUE SHARING Owners agreed to continue the revenue sharing plan that was instituted after the 2011 lockout through the remainder of this Collective Bargaining Agreement, running through 2022-23. Silver said the goal is to make sure all teams, whether paying or receiving, have the most incentive to be competitive.“You know, nobody is happy who has to write those checks, but I think, again, they understand the league is no stronger than its weakest team,” Silver said.REFEREE RELATIONSSilver said there were positive reports from the meetings that Michelle Johnson, who oversees referee operations for the league, and head of referee development Monty McCutchen with all 30 teams in an effort to sooth friction that seemed to worsen this season.“So I feel pretty good going into the playoffs that we’ve made some real progress there,” Silver said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Tanking is the problem the NBA commissioner can’t solve.He can’t force every team to try to win when they all know sometimes there’s more reason to lose. And though he understands rebuilding, he loathes losing on purpose.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown“Let me add, I find it an incredibly difficult issue,” he said Friday.He spoke shortly after ties were broken for positioning ahead of the draft lottery, which seemed a bigger priority than the postseason for some teams this season. And as the Philadelphia 76ers head to the playoffs as the hottest team in the league led by youngsters they drafted during multiple seasons of tanking, it’s hard to tell other teams they can’t do it. 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