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Canadian pleads guilty in 2014 Yahoo hacking case

MANILA, Philippines – A Kazakhstan-born Canadian man pleaded guilty for playing a role in helping Russian spies hack into Yahoo email accounts.  Cyberscoop reported  Karim Baratov was charged for his role in a 2014 data breach affecting Yahoo . The breach allowed hackers to steal information tied to 500 million Yahoo accounts.  He pleaded ........»»

Category: newsSource: rappler rapplerNov 29th, 2017

‘Hacker-for-hire’ pleads guilty to Yahoo breach

  SAN FRANCISCO --- A Canadian man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges stemming from a massive breach at Yahoo that authorities said was directed by two Russian intelligence agents and affected at least a half billion user accounts.   Karim Baratov appeared in a jail jumpsuit before a federal judge and entered the pleas to one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud and abuse, and eight counts of aggravated identity theft. He gave "yes" and "no" answers to questions from the judge about his pleas, but said nothing more.   He is scheduled for sentencing on February 20.   United States law enforcement officials called the 22-year-old Barat...Keep on reading: ‘Hacker-for-hire’ pleads guilty to Yahoo breach.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 29th, 2017

Fil-Canadian pleads guilty to cheating Filipino temporary workers

HALIFAX -- A Filipino Canadian businessman pleaded guilty December 5 to submitting false records to immigration authorities, confirming several Filipino temporary workers' charge that he had underpaid them. Several dozen temporary workers helped investigators from the Canada Border Services Agency in investigating Hector Mantolino's employment practices. It took them five years to get justice. Mantolino, 55, owner of Mantolino Property Services Ltd., pleaded guilty to misrepresentation under provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, for "false information regarding the employment" of at least 25 other workers listed on the federal indictment. He was originall...Keep on reading: Fil-Canadian pleads guilty to cheating Filipino temporary workers.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 7th, 2017

Ex-CHED exec director Vitriolo pleads not guilty in graft case - Rappler

Ex-CHED exec director Vitriolo pleads not guilty in graft case - Rappler.....»»

Category: newsSource:  googlenewsRelated NewsNov 17th, 2017

Ex-CHED exec director Vitriolo pleads not guilty in graft case

MANILA, Philippines – Dismissed Commission on Higher Education (CHED) executive director Julito Vitriolo pleaded not guilty to the graft charge he is facing over the irregular diploma program at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM).  Vitriolo pleaded “not guilty” before the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan’s 1st Division on ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 17th, 2017

Ex-DSWD chief Cabral pleads not guilty in PDAF scam case

Former Social Welfare and Development Secretary Esperanza Cabral on Friday pleaded not guilty before the Sandiganbayan to charges related to the alleged misuse of Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) in 2007. Source link link: Ex-DSWD chief Cabral pleads not guilty in PDAF scam case.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsNov 17th, 2017

Putin: Russian doping scandals could be US election meddling

MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin is suggesting that a recent flurry of Russian sports doping allegations could be an American attempt to interfere in next year's Russian presidential election. On Thursday, four Russian cross-country skiers were found guilty of doping at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. In all, six Russian skiers have been found guilty by an International Olympics Committee commission. Putin noted that international sports organizations have a complex skein of "relationships and dependencies." He said "and the controlling stake is in the United States," where sponsors and television broadcasters are concentrated. "In response to our alleged interference in their elections, they want to create problems during the election of the president of Russia," he said Thursday. Putin has not announced whether he will run for another term in the March 18 election. Russian officials have consistently denied involvement in efforts to interfere with or influence last year's U.S. presidential election, including the hacking of Democratic National Committee emails. They also reject complaints that the Kremlin-funded Sputnik news agency and the RT satellite television channel act as government propaganda arms. In turn, they have alleged that U.S. private companies effectively act in line with Washington directives. After Twitter last month banned advertising by RT and Sputnik, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova claimed that the move was due to pressure from U.S. intelligence services. She said retaliatory measures would be taken, but none have emerged. On Thursday, she said "symmetrical measures" would follow if the U.S. restricts Russian media activities. The Russian Cross-Country Ski Federation said Thursday that four cross-country skiers at the Sochi Olympics have been disqualified by the International Olympic Committee and banned from all future Olympics. They include Maxim Vylegzhanin, Alexei Petukhov, Yulia Ivanova and Evgenia Shapovalova. Vylegzhanin won three silver medals in Sochi, but none of the others won a medal. Six Russian cross-country skiers have now been found guilty of doping at the Sochi Olympics by an IOC commission......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 10th, 2017

Corruption, doping issues aired at global Olympic meeting

By Karel Janicek, Associated Press PRAGUE (AP) — Allegations of corruption and doping were on the minds of national Olympic leaders at their annual gathering on Thursday. The Association of National Olympic Committees assembly was presided over by Sheikh Ahmad of Kuwait in a rare public appearance since being implicated six months ago in an American investigation of bribery linked to FIFA. Senior ANOC official Julio Maglione said its ruling committee "unanimously cleared" the sheikh of wrongdoing, and led delegates in applauding him. Sheikh Ahmad, an influential International Olympic Committee member who skipped recent meetings in Switzerland and Peru, said he was "delighted to continue as sport is my life." Officials met one day after an International Olympic Committee panel investigating an alleged Russian doping conspiracy at the 2014 Sochi Olympics found athletes guilty in its first two cases. The rulings finally upheld claims and evidence about Sochi detailed last year by a Russian whistleblower and World Anti-Doping Agency investigator. IOC President Thomas Bach described the case on Thursday as a "direct attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games." Still, Bach was also forceful in attacking critics of the IOC who have demanded severe sanctions for Russia before case verdicts were reached. "It is unacceptable that specific sanctions are already being demanded in public domain before due process," said Bach, who did not name his target. A group of national anti-doping agencies, including the United States and United Kingdom, wants the IOC to expel Russia from the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics. Bach reiterated on Thursday that a decision on Russia's participation should be taken by the IOC board he chairs at a Dec. 5-7 meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland. Before then, more verdicts in Sochi doping cases are expected from the IOC panel. The IOC leader said it was a "human right" to get due process and noted: "Always think how you would react if you were alleged of some wrongdoings." Bach's plea for fairness was heard by the watching Sheikh Ahmad, who is under investigation by the ethics committees of the IOC and FIFA. He continues to lead an IOC committee with a $500 million budget to support Olympic bodies and athletes. Since rising to lead ANOC in 2012 as the long-time Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) president, Sheikh Ahmad has built his reputation as an Olympic power broker. He has often been dubbed the IOC "kingmaker." The Prague meetings have been the sheikh's highest profile return to sports politics since he was identified in U.S. federal court as paying bribes to gain influence with Asian soccer officials. On April 27, a FIFA audit committee member from Guam pleaded guilty to various corruption charges. In a Brooklyn court, Richard Lai admitted receiving $850,000 in bribes from 2009 to 2014 from a faction of Kuwaiti officials. Some of the money was wired from an OCA account. Sheikh Ahmad was not named in court, though in published transcripts Lai said he knew the money originated from "co-conspirator 2" — also referred to as the OCA president who later became a FIFA executive committee member. Within days, the Kuwaiti royal withdrew from an election to retain his FIFA role while his eligibility as a candidate was under further review. The sheikh denied wrongdoing and has not been indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice. However, he did not attend meetings of the full IOC membership in July in Switzerland and in September in Peru, which were key to naming Paris and Los Angeles as future Olympic hosts. On Thursday, he won support from Maglione, the head of swimming governing body FINA whose Kuwaiti vice president was identified as "co-conspirator 3" in Brooklyn court. Maglione says he "took all the requisite action" to dispel doubts about Sheikh Ahmad......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 3rd, 2017

Vitangcol pleads not guilty in MRT extort case

MANILA, Philippines -  Former Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3 general manager Al Vitangcol III yesterday maintained his innocence and pleaded not guilty to g.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2017

Volkswagen pleads guilty in ‘dieselgate’ case

Volkswagen pleads guilty in ‘dieselgate’ case.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsMar 11th, 2017

Canadian woman en route to Vermont spa denied entry to U.S., told she needs immigrant visa – CBC News

A Canadian woman travelling on a Canadian passport says she was turned away at the U.S. border and told she needed a valid immigrant visa to enter the country. Manpreet Kooner, 30, is a Canadian citizen who was born to Indian parents in Canada and raised here. She now lives in Montreal's LaSalle borough with her fiancé and works in a science lab at a local college. She told CBC she was on her way from Montreal to a spa in Vermont for a day trip with two friends, who are both white, Sunday afternoon. They never made it. Kooner said she was held at the border for six hours before being turned away. At one point, she said, a border agent told her: &'8220;'I know you may feel like you've been Trumped,'&'8221; an apparent reference to U.S. President Donald Trump. Trump's January executive order barring citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the country was later blocked in U.S. courts, but has touched off legal battles and confusion around the world. Kooner was told to apply for the visa at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa. She went to the embassy Monday morning but was told they couldn't help her, and that she would need to talk to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. &'8220;I'm speechless,&'8221; she said. &'8220;There are no answers.&'8221; In a statement, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) said it does not discuss individual cases, but that those who present themselves at ports of entry must prove they fulfill admission requirements, and that admission to the U.S. is at the discretion of the border officers. The statement also says CBP adopted a policy in 2014 that &'8220;prohibits the consideration of race or ethnicity in law enforcement, investigation, and screening activities, in all but the most exceptional circumstances.&'8221; Kooner's story is the latest in a string of recent tales involving Canadian travellers scrutinized or turned away by U.S. border agents. Last month, for instance, a woman from the Montreal suburb of Brossard said she was denied entry after being fingerprinted, photographed and questioned in detail about her religion and her views on Trump. Kooner was reluctant to attribute her situation to racism, but said friends who have reached out to her say that could be the case. &'8220;People have said we need to take that into account here, because unfortunately, yeah, my skin colour is brown,&'8221; she said. Kooner said this summer, her mother was turned away at the border as well, but wasn't told why. Kooner said she was told her mother's issues wouldn't impact her. She first had trouble getting into the U.S. last December, before Trump took office. She was with friends and her fiancé when her car was pulled over for what she was told was a random check, she said. She was made to fill out a number of forms, but was eventually told there was a problem with the computer system and they should return the next morning. When they went back, she was let through without any problems. She said that when she tried to cross Sunday, at Highgate Springs, Vt., an agent checked her passport and said they needed to ask her additional questions. The agent mentioned that she had been stopped in December and asked why she was trying to go through again, Kooner said. She said she told them she's a Canadian citizen, has no criminal record and, before December, never had any issues crossing the border. She also said she was fingerprinted and photographed, and signed a form to withdraw her application for entry to the United States. Though she was told there are no flags on her file, a border agent advised her not to fly to the U.S. without a visa, Kooner said. The reference to Trump came as the agent was explaining the reasons why she was refused entry, she said. The border agent couldn't say what kind of visa she would need, only that she would have to visit the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa to get one. Kooner said that's when she started to cry. CBC News spoke to Kooner's friend Alexandra Adam, who was one of the two women on the trip with her. Adam caught the end of the conversation between Kooner and the border agent and confirmed Kooner was told she likely wouldn't be allowed into the U.S. without a visa. Adam said she was not present when the agent allegedly made the Trump comment. A U.S. Embassy official said most travellers from Canada and Bermuda generally do not need visas for tourism and visits. Canadians who are intending to immigrate or those planning to marry a U.S. citizen are among those who do need visas. Kooner does not fall under either category. U.S. immigration lawyer Leslie Holman said it doesn't appear that there's a reason Kooner would need a visa to get into the country. &'8220;Even if someone has a visa, the ultimate decision as to whether they can enter the United States rests when you seek admissibility, at the time of entry,&'8221; she said. A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs told CBC News the common category of visa that is used for short term, non-immigrant travel to the United States – including tourism and business – is the B1/B2 visa. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, an average of 1.2 million people a day try to enter the U.S. at all crossings. Of those, an average of between 300 and 500 are denied entry for various reasons. Kooner has spent more than $1,000 on tickets to attend a musical festival in Miami at the end of the month, and planned to return to that city in May for [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsMar 7th, 2017

Not guilty, Purisima pleads in SAF 44 case - Inquirer.net

Not guilty, Purisima pleads in SAF 44 case - Inquirer.net.....»»

Category: newsSource:  googlenewsRelated NewsFeb 23rd, 2017

Purisima pleads not guilty in Mamasapano case - Philippine Star

Purisima pleads not guilty in Mamasapano case - Philippine Star.....»»

Category: newsSource:  googlenewsRelated NewsFeb 23rd, 2017

Purisima pleads not guilty in Mamasapano case

MANILA, Philippines - Former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima yesterday pleaded not guilty to charges of graft and usurpation of official.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsFeb 23rd, 2017

Amid supporters, Haiti leader pleads not guilty in drug case

MIAMI — With dozens of supporters packing a Miami federal courthouse, a former Haitian coup leader and recent senator-elect pleaded not guilty yesterday to d.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 14th, 2017

Mark Anthony Fernandez pleads not guilty in drug case

Mark Anthony Fernandez pleads not guilty in drug case.....»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  pepRelated NewsDec 14th, 2016

Sen. Gatchalian pleads not guilty in bank purchase case, to join Duterte in China

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has also been allowed by the Sandiganbayan to join President Rodrigo Duterte’s trip to China from October 18–22......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 17th, 2016

Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong jailed for 2014 protest

HONG KONG (UPDATED) – Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong was jailed for 3 months Wednesday, January 17, for obstructing clearance of a major encampment during mass pro-democracy protests in 2014, the second time he has been imprisoned over the rallies. Wong, 21, who had pleaded guilty to the contempt charge, ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 17th, 2018

Resilient Vikings have taken their cue from Zimmer

By Dave Campbell, Associated Press EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — Mike Zimmer was already smiling more than usual, sporting a relaxed look of satisfaction rarely revealed in public during the NFL season, when he really let his guard down a few minutes into his postgame news conference deep inside Minnesota's still-buzzing stadium. "Hey, let's open these things up!" Zimmer blurted out mid-sentence, prodding a Vikings official to push the button that removes the window shades and allows the premium ticket-holders in an adjacent lounge to peer in the room. His wish to interact with the customers who cheered the Vikings on to a last-play divisional round victory was granted. Zimmer then proceeded to slowly and rhythmically clap above his head, dignifying the ritual "Skol" chant performed by the purple-clad fans at each game honoring the area's Scandinavian heritage and the team's nickname. "You deserve it!" Zimmer said, again interrupting his own answer to acknowledge the crowd. From peers around the league to players in the locker room to people up and down the organization, there's a strong sentiment that Zimmer has earned this, too, pulling within one win of a Super Bowl appearance. The way the Vikings finished their 29-24 victory over New Orleans on a last-chance 61-yard touchdown pass from Case Keenum to Stefon Diggs suggested they're on some kind of charmed path, an uncharted territory for this championship-deprived franchise. Zimmer, for his part, has experienced his own share of painful setbacks. "I just think he was so proud of us," tight end Kyle Rudolph said. "Proud of us for fighting until there were zeros on the clock." Zimmer is only here, preparing the Vikings for the NFC title game in Philadelphia on Sunday, because he himself resisted the urge to quit. After being passed over for so many head coach vacancies during a six-year run as Cincinnati's defensive coordinator, Zimmer nearly canceled a second interview in Minnesota in 2014 after a different team that considered him chose a different candidate. He ignored the discouragement in his head, instead accepting the offer to become the ninth head coach in team history at age 57. "Sometimes you wonder, but I have a lot of confidence in myself," Zimmer said at his introductory news conference at team headquarters. "I feel like I was destined to do this." That first season, the Vikings improved by two wins to finish 7-9 with rookie Teddy Bridgewater forced into action ahead of schedule at quarterback and running back Adrian Peterson absent for all but one game because of the child abuse case and subsequent NFL discipline dispute he was involved in. In 2015, they went 11-5 and ended Green Bay's four-year hold on the NFC North title. The potholes in the road were waiting, though. Blair Walsh's 27-yard field-goal try went wide left at the end of the one-point wild-card round loss at home to Seattle. The 5-0 start in 2016 was washed away by a torrent of season-ending injuries, including Bridgewater, Peterson and several offensive linemen. Offensive coordinator Norv Turner resigned the day after Zimmer had the first of eight eye surgeries to address a torn retina. The third procedure forced him to miss a game for the first time in his career . The first quarter of the 2017 season brought knee injuries to quarterback Sam Bradford and running back Dalvin Cook, who needed reconstructive surgery to repair a torn ACL. The Vikings didn't blink, though, particularly with the experience of 2016 so fresh. Case Keenum deftly took over for Bradford, and Jerick McKinnon and Latavius Murray became a productive backfield tandem. All of these on-field hurdles have paled next to the pain Zimmer has endured in his personal life. His wife, Vikki, died suddenly in 2009. His father and former high school coach, Bill, passed away during training camp in 2015. Zimmer was hired by the Vikings because of his acumen as a defensive strategist and teacher, having started his 24-year NFL career as the defensive backs coach for Dallas before a promotion to defensive coordinator in 2000. Calling plays has been his forte, a responsibility he has yet to give up despite his duty as the main man on the staff on game day, but his ability to mold a disciplined, selfless unit from a collection of alpha males and high draft picks helped the Vikings' defense rank first in the league in 2017 in both fewest yards and points allowed. Beneath the gruff exterior is a deep affection for his players, an emotion that has caused his voice to crack and his eyes to well up several times over the years in various public discussions of their development or character. He's a football coach just like his father, though, and the critical eye and demanding approach are always quick to come out. "We can't make these mistakes in playoff games or we'll be going home," Zimmer said on Monday, reflecting on the reality of the performance after the euphoria of the winning play had worn off. Now the Vikings must go on the road to face a team with a 14-3 record just like theirs, the last and biggest obstacle looming before they can experience a Super Bowl. "We've got a bunch of fighters on this team," Zimmer said. "They've been a resilient bunch all year long. I expect it to continue to be that way.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 17th, 2018

Morneau to make retirement official with Twins sendoff

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Justin Morneau, the 2006 AL MVP and Minnesota Twins first baseman whose career was derailed by concussion symptoms, is retiring after 1,603 hits and 247 home runs in 14 major league seasons. The Twins confirmed Morneau’s retirement on Monday. They scheduled a news conference with Morneau and team officials for Wednesday. Morneau didn’t play in 2017. He appeared in 58 games for the Chicago White Sox in 2016. After the Twins drafted the Canadian in 1999, Morneau became a four-time All-Star. His MVP-caliber performance in 2010 was halted by a knee to the head he took during a slide that cost him half of that season. He produced one more strong year, winning an NL batting title with the Colorado Rockies in 2014......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 16th, 2018

Warriors keep evolving in rivalry with Cavs

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com CLEVELAND -- You might expect, given the familiarity from what’s gone on for four years now, that the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers have worked up some serious mutual contempt. They both covet what the other wants -- in fact, the Warriors or the Cavs could make a persuasive case that, if not for the other guys, one already would have notched a three-peat and be chasing Bill Russell’s Celtics in pursuit of a fourth consecutive championship. They both have poured buckets of blood, sweat, tears, money, Gatorade and offseason counter moves into their nouveau NBA rivalry. And they both, well, as Golden State coach Steve Kerr phrased it to the San Jose Mercury News Sunday (Monday, PHL time), “We just want to kick each other’s ass.” And yet the Warriors and the Cavaliers -- who play again Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) at Quicken Loans Arena in the NBA’s prime-time MLK showdown -- have more in common with each other than they do with any of the league’s other 28 teams. Playing 100 games or so every year. Locking in mentally and surviving physically longer than anyone else. Showing up each night targeted as a measuring stick, even a season maker, by the opponents. While trying like heck to keep things fresh. Renew. Find and tap into a new source of energy, because old ones wane over time. “It’s the biggest challenge of this whole season,” Kerr told NBA.com late last week, with the Warriors starting a back-to-back in Milwaukee and Toronto on their way back to The Land. Even if it were possible -- and it realistically is not, given free agency, injuries, trades, the salary cap, luxury taxes, hirings and firings each NBA offseason -- playing a pat hand from one championship-level season to the next isn’t desirable. Voices, locker rooms, relationships get stale. Rivals adjust and escalate in the arms race. Some players ebb in the pecking order, others flow. It’s important to inject new faces, add skills and even find fresh themes to fend off monotony, even boredom, through the 82-game slogs. The Warriors, in winning 20 of 23 games over the past seven weeks, largely have managed to do that. The Cavaliers, at 26-15 after 2-7 stretch that started at Golden State on Christmas (Dec. 26, PHL time)? Not so much. Golden State shifts gears after each season It’s easy to think of Golden State’s success since Kerr’s hiring before the 2014-15 season as one uninterrupted run of excellence. Three-pointers, “death lineups,” and the rest. But the differences from one year to the next have been fairly pronounced. “In Year 1, we were trying to prove ourselves to the world,” Kerr said. “Then we win the championship -- it was all so fresh. There were no letdowns at all that year. It was the most exciting, it was the most energized, it was the most refreshing. It was brand new to all of us. It felt like we were riding this wave all year -- we were all giddy, like, ‘Oh my God, we’re really good!’ We didn’t know we could be like that. And for me, it was my first year coaching.” Steph Curry won his first MVP award. He and Klay Thompson generated considerable conversation about the best shooting backcourts in league history. Draymond Green forever changed the old NBA notion of “’tweeners.” The Warriors finished 67-15, ranked second in the league in offense (111.6) and first in defense (101.4) and beat Cleveland in the Finals in six games. “It was maybe like the first stages when you fall in love,” Kerr said. “You’re just on Cloud 9 and she can’t do anything wrong. There’s infatuation and then you truly fall in love, and it’s amazing. “The second year, we sort of rode that wave of euphoria of being the best team in the league and having won the title. The next thing you know, we’re 24-0 and we’ve got a chance to set an all-time record. That 73-win mark carried us all year. We were going to prove that, not only were we the champs but we were one of the best teams ever.” The Warriors were -- by regular season standards. Curry won his second MVP award. Kerr missed the first 43 games due to health issues but assistant coach Luke Walton steered them to a 39-4 mark. They bought into the chase for 73 victories fairly late, but instead of a 16-5 playoff run like the previous spring’s, the Warriors went 15-9 -- coming up one victory short when the Cavaliers became the first team to claw back from a 3-1 deficit. That led directly to Golden State’s next new wrinkle, a reconfiguration that came close to buckling the league’s knees. “We got KD,” Kerr said. “Now we’re changing our team, right? Last year was about incorporating KD, welcoming this incredible player into our organization and our roster. Figuring how to do it, how we were going to adjust. I felt like there were times last year that were tiring, where our guys were done a little bit. But it was ‘new’ again.” Even the challenges were fresh, like counting Curry’s or Klay Thompson’s touches relative to Durant’s or closing ranks around Golden State’s thin man as his reputation took blows for the first time in his NBA career. Not interested in shooting for 74 victories, the Warriors simply took care of business and stayed coiled for the postseason. Then it was a 16-1 dash to title No. 2, Durant snagging the Finals MVP trophy after the five-game dispatching of the Cavs. All of which just set the Warriors’ bar higher, requiring them to search for something new, somebody borrowed, presumably nothing blue. “This year it’s just survive and advance,” Kerr said. “It’s ‘let’s get to April, May, June in one piece.’ There’s a reason we’ve lost six home games already. We don’t have the driving force that we had the last few years. We’re dealing with what any team in NBA history that’s tried to do this has dealt with. The Lakers (1982-85), the Celtics (1984-87, 1957-66)... It’s just really hard and you need that driving force.” Said Warriors vet Andre Iguodala: “Your body is mindful of it, because it hurts.” A couple of young guys -- Patrick McCaw, Kevon Looney -- have taken on bigger roles. Nick Young brings some sort of buzz into any locker room that will have him. Still, as veteran guard Shaun Livingston said: “We’re not chasing any records. We’re not adding another All Star. We’re just trying to make it through the marathon.” Cavs' challenges mount during 2017-18 The Cavaliers are just trying to make it through the marathon, too. But if they could, they might do it like Rosie Ruiz, the 1980 women’s “winner” of the Boston Marathon who perpetrated a hoax by hopping the subway and running only the final mile of Beantown’s famous race. The 2017-18 has been anything but fun for Cleveland so far. It began with the departure of All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, a not-so-funhouse mirror image of Durant’s arrival a year earlier in the Bay Area. Irving, for reasons still not quite explained, made it known in the offseason that he wanted out. He wanted to be the man on his own team. Or he didn’t want to be left in the lurch if (when?) LeBron James took his talents elsewhere again. Or both. Or neither. Regardless, once the Cavaliers made his request come true by dealing him to Boston for All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas and Brooklyn’s coveted first-round pick this June, their task got tougher and their season longer. Losing one of the league’s best ball handlers and shot makers doesn’t qualify as “renewal” any more than what went on in Oklahoma City when Durant packed up. There’s been more. Shooting guard J.R. Smith seemingly got old overnight. Jae Crowder, who came from the Celtics in the Irving deal, hasn’t meshed with the Cavs’ style. Kevin Love has been moved to center but hasn’t done anything to satisfy the Cavs’ need for rim protection. Thomas only returned to action from a hip injury as the calendar turned to 2018 and has played only four games in these two weeks. Even with so many new faces -- seven of the top 12 in coach Tyronn Lue’s rotation weren’t here 12 months ago -- it’s a group heavy on veterans, players a little too established or mature to naturally instill raw energy. James said recently that none of this is new, it’s another case of the Cavs biding their time for the “second” season that means everything. But Lue also introduced the topic of “agendas,” suggesting that some of his guys were looking out for their own responsibilities and performances -- particularly on defense -- rather than the group’s. At best, this is another dose of the midseason blahs, the Cavs in their doldrums in need of an All-Star break. At worst, though, they might be honing some bad habits that won’t be so easy to break in May or June. Especially if East rivals such as Toronto, Boston or Washington are emboldened after witnessing or administering some of the Cavs’ more embarrassing beat downs this season. Will any of this matter come spring? It will if the switch each team is minding stubbornly decides not to flip. “That’s the key. You’ve got to find that balance,” Kerr said. “Are you flipping the switch or are you navigating? The idea is, don’t let bad habits slip in. Right now, this moment, we’re into some bad habits. Our defensive efforts  the last five, six games [before the weekend] were awful. We got away with it because Steph was going nuts.” The Cavaliers repeatedly have not gotten away with bad defensive habits, even on nights when James has been dominant. “It’s tough,” Livingston said. “They’re a team that’s built for the playoffs. But our core guys still are in there prime. Their core guys are still good. But we’re talking about ‘prime.’” Most still would pick both Golden State and Cleveland to advance all the way to a “Finals Four” (after last year’s “Rubber Match” series). But one of these years, most will be wrong -- about one or both. That alone might be motivation enough. Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 15th, 2018