first_imgThe fields have been freshly mowed and marked, the sun is shining and the managers have been briefed. Everything is set to go for the 2006 National Touch League!Touch Football Australia tournament officials are anticipating the start of competition, with games expected to be some of the closest and tightly fought in NTL history.Team players and officials will be even more eager to make a final with Finals Day on Monday being filmed for showing on Fox Sports in April. (For dates and times see the TFA website.) The atmosphere will be even more electric than usual, with special grandstands being built at either end of the main field, allowing spectators to watch the finals from on the field, for the first time ever. The tournament will officially open tomorrow at 11am, with the Opening Ceremony including an official welcome to the players, officials and spectators by Coffs Harbour Councillor Bill Palmer.Another highlight of the ceremony will be a special presentation to the Australian Open team Captains, after their recent victory at the All Nations Championships in New Zealand. Stay tuned to the TFA website for all the news and results from the 2006 NTL.last_img read more

Milestones along the way for Apples trip to 1 trillion

first_imgApril 1976 Apple is founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne.June 1977 The Apple II computer is released.December 1980 Apple goes public and its stock beings trading on the Nasdaq.April 1983 Former PepsiCo executive John Sculley becomes Apple’s CEO after being recruited by Steve Jobs.January 1984 Jobs unveils the Macintosh, the first mass-market personal computer to feature a mouse and a graphical interface on the display screen.September 1985 Jobs leaves Apple’s board after company’s directors side with CEO John Sculley in a dispute between the two men.June 1993 Longtime Apple employee Michael Spindler becomes CEO, replacing Sculley, who remains the company’s chairman.August 1993 Apple releases the Newton, a touch-screen device that was supposed to work like a digital notepad.October 1993 Sculley steps down as Apple’s chairman after a disappointing earnings report.February 1996 Apple hires turnaround specialist Gil Amelio as its CEO after Spindler’s efforts to sell the company to Sun Microsystems or IBM unravel.December 1996 Apple buys Next Software, a company started by Jobs, for about $400 million. Jobs agrees to return to Apple as an adviser.August 1997 Apple announces it’s getting a $150 million infusion from archrival Microsoft to help keep the company afloat.September 1997 Apple announces Jobs will serve as its interim CEO.May 1998 Jobs unveils a new line of personal computers called the iMac.January 2000 Apple drops the “interim” preface from Jobs’ CEO title.May 2001 Apple opens its first retail stores in Virginia and California.October 2001 Jobs unveils a digital music player called the iPod.April 2003 Jobs unveils iTunes, a digital music store that initially only could be accessed on Apple devices. A version that worked on personal computers powered by Windows software came out six months later to broaden the market.August 2004 Jobs discloses he had surgery for a rare form of pancreatic cancer.October 2005 Tim Cook is promoted to chief operating officer.January 2007 Jobs unveils the iPhone.March 2008 Jobs announces an app store for the iPhone.January 2009 Jobs takes a six-month leave of absence to tend to his health, temporarily turning the reins over to Cook.January 2010 Jobs unveils a tablet computer called the iPad.January 2011 Jobs takes an indefinite leave of absence, leaving Cook in charge once again.August 2011 Jobs resigns as CEO and Cook succeeds him.October 2011 Jobs dies.March 2012 Apple announces it is restoring a quarterly dividend for the first time since 1995.September 2014 Apple announces the Apple Watch, its first new product since Jobs’ death.March 2015 Apple becomes one of the 30 companies comprising the Dow Jones Industrial Average.June 2015 Apple launches its music-streaming service.June 2017 Apple announces its first internet-connected speaker, the HomePod.September 2017 Apple unveils its first $1,000 phone, the iPhone X, in celebration of the product line’s 10th anniversary.August 2018: Apple becomes the first publicly traded company valued at $1 trillion.last_img read more

Peace Region nonprofits benefit from BC Hydros quarterly grants benefit

first_imgBC SPCA for its Fort St. John low-income spay and neuter program;Fort St. John & Area Senior’s Care Foundation for its 2019 Support for Seniors program;Northern British Columbia Volleyball Club for its skills camp.From the $800,000 fund, this is the ninth time grants have been awarded, which was established in September 2016. To date, $316,489 has been distributed to 34 projects.Applications for funding are accepted on an ongoing basis and funds are distributed quarterly over an eight-year period.For more information on the fund, including past recipients and application details, please visit sitecproject.com/gofund. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. -Three Peace Region non-profit groups will receive nearly $30,000 from BC Hydro through the Site C project’s Generate Opportunities (GO) Fund.Northern Development Initiative Trust administered the program that supports organizations that provide services to vulnerable groups, including children, families and seniors.The following are the most recent award recipients;last_img read more

Gautam Gambhir joins BJP, likely to contest LS polls

first_imgNew Delhi: Former international cricketer Gautam Gambhir Friday joined the BJP and is expected to be fielded in the Lok Sabha polls from one of the seats in the national capital.The 37-year-old joined the party here in the presence of Union ministers Arun Jaitley and Ravi Shankar Prasad. The former opening batsman played a key role in India’s triumph in the 2011 World Cup and the 2007 T-20 World Cup. He was recently conferred the Padma Shri award. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsGambhir said he was impressed by the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and will work for the country’s welfare as a member of the party. Jaitley, who described Gambhir’s joining as an “important induction” into the BJP, said the party will take a call at an appropriate time whether to field him in the Lok Sabha polls. BJP sources, however, said Gambhir may be fielded from the New Delhi constituency, currently represented by the party’s Meenakshi Lekhi. Gambhir also met party chief Amit Shah here.last_img read more

China claims positive progress made to resolve issue of listing Azhar as global terrorist by UN

first_imgBeijing: China on Monday claimed that “positive progress” has been made to resolve the issue of designating Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN and accused the US of scuttling its efforts by taking the matter directly to the Security Council. China last week defended its repeated attempts to block the listing of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Azhar as a global terrorist and refuted the US allegation that Beijing’s action amounted to protecting violent Islamic groups from sanctions. China criticised the US move for directly taking the issue of listing Azhar as global terrorists to UN Security Council after Beijing put a technical hold on the US, UK and French resolution earlier to declare him as global terrorist in the UN’s 1267 committee dealing with counter terrorism issues. “After the application for designation of Azhar was proposed (in the 1267 committee), China is in close communication and coordination with various parties and made positive progress. The US knows that very well,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a media briefing here on Monday. Asked to clarify whether the progress he meant was to resolve the vexed issue of listing Azhar, Geng said “yes. The US knows that very well”. He, however, did not elaborate. China has so far blocked the move four times in recent years. It recently blocked a US, UK and France resolution in the counter terrorism 1267 committee with “technical hold” saying that it provides time and space for the relevant parties to hold talks after the Pulwama terrorist attack. Following this, the US directly moved a resolution in the UN Security Council last week to blacklist Azhar which China said amounted to undermining the 1267 Committee. This is the first-time Beijing spoke of progress to resolve it. “We believe under the current circumstances forcing a draft resolution at the Security Council is not a constructive move and set a bad example , Geng said. Lashing out at the US for taking the Azhar issue to the UNSC from the 1267 Committee which also functioned under UNSC framework, Geng claimed support from majority of UNSC members to China’s stand that the issue should be resolved by the 1267 Committee. We hope various parties will meet each other half way and continue to properly solve this issue under the 1267 Committee framework. Last Friday, UNSC members exchanged views on the US proposed draft resolution. The majority believes that efforts should be made to solve the issues under 1267 Committee framework,” he said. They are not in favour of forcing the draft resolution. China has been working with various parties and is making progress. The US knows that very well and yet, it insists on pushing the Security Council to adopt the draft resolution,” he said. This cannot be justified and is not in accordance with the rules and practices of the Security Council. It is setting a bad example that will only complicate the matter. It is also not conducive for peace and stability in South Asia. China is opposed to this,” he said. To another question about criticism that the US is making hasty efforts to list Azhar by bypassing procedures to benefit BJP in India’s General Elections, Geng said the US’ stand is not conducive to peace and stability in South Asia. It is setting a bad example that will only complicate the matter. It is also not conducive for peace and stability in South Asia. The General Elections is the domestic affair of India. We do not comment on that,” he said. About Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan performing the ground breaking ceremony of the international airport at Gwadar being constructed by a Chinese company, Geng said China and Pakistan, under the framework of Belt and Road Initiative, have entered into mutually beneficial cooperation. The example you mentioned is just one case in this regard. We appreciate the Prime Minister’s attendance of the ceremony, we have confidence the progress of the two countries’ practical cooperation, which is important for the welfare of our people, the region and the wider world , he said.last_img read more

PM did ‘injustice’ with people in 5 yrs: Rahul

first_imgJalore/Ajmer/Kota: Congress president Rahul Gandhi Thursday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of doing “injustice” to the people of the country in the last five years, saying the ‘acche din ayenge’ slogan has now been replaced by ‘chowkidar chor hai’.He said there will be only one ‘Hindustan’ where justice will be done when the Congress is voted to power. During the day, Gandhi addressed election rallies at Jalore, Ajmer and Kota in Rajasthan. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM'”If rich people are not jailed for not paying off loans then farmers too will not be jailed. If lakhs and crores are given to them then the same will be given to farmers, labourers, tribals, Dalits and small traders. There will be no injustice in Hindustan. The country will not be divided in two Hindustans. There will be one Hindustan where justice will be done,” the Congress president said at a rally in Jalore. “PM Narendra Modi did injustice with people of the country in the last five years. Demonetisation and GST were ways to rob poor, labourers, small traders of their money, NYAY scheme will benefit them,” he alleged. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KHe said the Congress government will listen to people’s ‘mann ki baat’ and run according to them. “Five years ago, there was a slogan ‘acche din ayenge’ (good days will come). Now people say ‘chowkidar chor hai’ (watchman is a thief) everywhere in the country,” he said. Addressing a gathering in Ajmer, Gandhi said, “On one side there is Narendra Modi who speaks lies one after the other wherever he goes and on the other side, there is truth. Depositing Rs 15 lakh in bank accounts, two crore jobs every year, reasonable price for farmers’ crops were all lies.” He said the Congress had done brainstorming with eminent economists for minimum income guarantee ‘Nyay’ scheme to deposit Rs 72,000 annually in individual bank accounts of 25 crore poor people. The Congress president said that people of the country heard ‘Mann ki Baat’ in the past five years but the Congress’ think-tank has done ‘kaam ki Baat’ by formulating the NYAY scheme. “I want to thank Modi Ji for opening bank accounts. I am going to deposit money of NYAY scheme in the same accounts. The money will be deposited directly in bank accounts of women of the families,” he said at an election rally in Kota. Gandhi stressed that the money deposited through the NYAY scheme will move the wheels of the economy and create job opportunities for the youth. He said the Congress government, if voted to power, will fill 22 lakh government jobs in one year, separate budget for farmers, reservation for women in state assemblies, Parliament and in government jobs. He alleged that the prime minister is “protecting 15 rich people”, including Mehul Choksi, Anil Ambani, Lalit Modi and Nirav Modi, who took bank loans worth several crore and did not pay back. Modi waived off loans of Rs 5.55 lakh crore of these people, Gandhi alleged.last_img read more

Neeraj nominated for Khel Ratna; Toor, Arpinder for Arjuna Award

first_imgNew Delhi: Star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, who won a gold in the Asian Games last year with a record throw, has been nominated for the prestigious Rajiv Khel Ratna Award by the Athletics Federation of India. The 21-year-old Neeraj, one of the very few world class track and field athletes India currently has, was awarded the Arjuna Award last year after he won a gold in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. He was also nominated for the Khel Ratna Award last year but was considered only for the Arjuna Award. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: RijijuAfter his gold-winning feat at the Asian Games last year with a national record throw of 88.06m, the AFI has re-nominated him for the Khel Ratna Award for this year. “Neeraj Chopra has been re-nominated by the AFI this time also. He is the only one recommended for Khel Ratna from athletics,” a top source said on condition of anonymity. Five other track and field athletes have been nominated for Arjuna Awards. They are Asian Games gold winners Tejinder Pal Singh Toor (shot put), Arpinder Singh (triple jump), Manjit Singh (800m) and Swapna Barman (heptathlon), as well as Dutee Chand (silver in 100m and 200m).last_img read more

England Can Get Even Better And It Will Need To

Croatia74.879.2 Harry Kane0.640.86+0.23 But it’s not just luck for England. As Bobby Gardiner highlighted for FiveThirtyEight, England has developed a legitimately good team with a coherent tactical identity based on pressing immediately after a turnover to win back the ball in dangerous areas.As Gardiner outlined, this tactic was developed in part because most of England’s players ply their trade at some of the highest-pressing sides in the world. But that’s not the only reason: England also lacks a proper creative midfielder. None of the top 30 ball progressors in the big five leagues is English, and the 31st, Jack Wilshere, did not make the squad.The hope is that by forcing turnovers, England can get the ball in advanced positions without asking less expansive passers like Dier or Jordan Henderson to provide progression from deep areas.So far the results have been mixed. England was dominant against Tunisia and created a number of clear chances from open play. But against Panama, Belgium and Colombia, England relied primarily on set plays to get chances. So far in the World Cup, according to data analytics firm Opta Sports, England has 30 shots from set plays, the most in the tournament — Spain is second with 28. Where England has particularly excelled is in winning fouls in dangerous areas to get shots from free kicks, either with direct attempts on goal or designed set plays. The Three Lions’ 17 shots from free kicks are by far the most at the World Cup, with Spain and Argentina trailing at 12. Uruguay66.985.4 The incredible season that Mo Salah had for Liverpool somewhat obscured Sterling’s massive improvement in production — 22 goals and 12 assists in a little over 3,000 minutes in the Premier League and the Champions League. But set pieces aren’t Sterling’s game. While Kane attempted 26 headed shots last season in the Premier League, Sterling attempted just one. Sterling excels at receiving balls at his feet — he was second in the league in progressive passes received with 6.5.Though England’s set plays have been good for Kane — as his two goals against Tunisia demonstrated — they’ve done nothing for Sterling, who has no goals and just one assist in his three games played. The best way to get Sterling involved would be to develop an open-play strategy for getting the ball into the penalty area and allowing him to create. So long as England depends on set plays, the team sidelines one of its most dangerous attackers.The Three Lions have made it this far through an easy draw with the press and set play plan. But if England intends on defeating a superpower like Brazil or France and lifting the cup, it will need both of its forwards in the game.Check out our latest World Cup predictions. Sweden76.282.9 Belgium67.885.3 England’s two breakout starsPlayers under age 27 in the big five European leagues who showed the most improvement from the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons to 2017-18 in expected goals plus assists TeamAvg. Opponents’ SPI so farFuture Opponents’ SPI* England70.579.2 Brazil73.282.8 Russia71.282.6 England’s easy road will remain easyThe eight World Cup quarterfinalists by average SPI of tournament opponents so far and a weighted average of potential future opponents Willian Jose0.360.58+0.22 France74.082.8 Neymar0.991.19+0.20 Wilfried Zaha0.280.56+0.28 Mohamed Salah0.721.10+0.38 The big five are the Premier League (England), Ligue 1 (France), La Liga (Spain), Serie A (Italy) and the Bundesliga (Germany).Source: Opta Sports 2015-172017-18Difference Florian Thauvin0.460.76+0.29 Lucas Ocampos0.370.56+0.19 As manager Gareth Southgate has said, this success in set plays does reflect effective attacking play, forcing opposition teams to give up fouls in dangerous areas. In other words, England is doing a good job of progressing the ball into the final third, and the team is being rewarded with set piece opportunities.However, these tactics do not suit one of England’s best players. England isn’t a legitimate World Cup contender simply because Harry Kane happened. At the same time that Kane was developing into one of soccer’s best pure strikers for Tottenham, Raheem Sterling was making the leap at Manchester City and becoming an elite inside forward. When Eric Dier drove his penalty kick just past the outstretched fingers of Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina and into the back of the net, he broke a 22-year English streak of losing on penalty kicks. The obvious question now is whether England can break a far more important streak that’s lasted even longer: 52 years without winning a World Cup.While every team in the quarterfinals has a nonzero chance of lifting the cup, this question presses on England particularly for two reasons. First, England got a massively fortunate draw. The two powerhouse teams remaining in the tournament, Brazil and France, are both on the opposite side of the bracket. Spain was supposed to block England’s path to the final, but it lost on penalties to Russia. This leaves just Sweden and either Croatia or Russia standing in the way of The Three Lions.And second, it’s not like England had to knock off the world’s best to get here. Drawn into a group with Tunisia and Panama as well as Belgium, England was hugely favored to reach the knockouts. Colombia as a round of 16 draw was difficult on paper, but the absence of superstar James Rodriguez meant that even this match was not against a true equal.According to FiveThirtyEight’s Soccer Power Index as a measure of the quality of competition,1We used the pre-tournament SPI ratings. Uruguay and Belgium have had the lightest schedule, but each would likely have to get through both Brazil and France to make the final. England has faced the third weakest set of opponents to date, and its run to the final is projected as the second easiest of all the remaining contenders, ever so slightly behind Croatia.2Future opponents’ SPI represents a weighted average of each possible opponent’s SPI in the semifinals and finals and the likelihood of that team advancing that far. These probabilities were taken before the start of play Friday. Kylian Mbappe0.770.97+0.20 Expected Goals & Assists Per 90 min. Future opponents’ SPI represents a weighted average of each possible opponent’s SPI in the semifinals and finals and the likelihood of that team advancing that far. Son Heung-min0.490.71+0.22 Raheem Sterling0.600.90+0.31 read more

Five takeaways First drive offense high expectations and Binjimen Victor

OSU freshman wide receiver Binjimen Victor (9) catches his first career touchdown during the second half of the Buckeyes 62-3 win against Maryland on Nov. 12. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorReminiscent of 2014, Ohio State has found itself benefitting from a crazy string of events. In a bizarre Saturday evening in which the Buckeyes destroyed an unranked and overmatched Maryland team 62-3, it seems like a real possibility that OSU will be in playoff talks come Tuesday when the latest College Football Playoff poll is released. After the complete blowout of the Terrapins, the Buckeyes have established themselves as one of the most dominate teams in the Big Ten and in all of college football. Saturday was an example of the incredible talent the team holds within, and how OSU coach Urban Meyer has become one of the best coaches in the NCAA.With Clemson likely out and OSU likely in the playoff picture, here are five takeaways from Saturday’s 62-3 victory over Maryland.Ohio State has lofty expectationsThe Buckeyes are rolling right now, and that’s an understatement. With more than 120 points scored in the past two games, and less than seven points allowed, the team is the definition of dominating right now. But with strong performances come lofty expectations, and those expectations will be in the clouds now that OSU will be in the playoff hunt. OSU coach Urban Meyer is confident in his players ability, and is ready to see how they do the rest of the season.“We’re going to find out now but our offensive line is playing much better in the last two weeks, and we know exactly what’s coming down the road,” he said.The fan base will be hungry for more blowouts, and the toughest test of the year lies ahead for the Buckeyes.Offense no longer an issue1,171 yards in two weeks is an impressive mark for the Buckeyes’ offense. After floundering against Penn State and Northwestern, the offense has been on fire in consecutive weeks. Redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett has been smooth and solid, and junior H-back Curtis Samuel is filling into his Swiss Army Knife role. Meanwhile, the offensive line has given up just two sacks in as many weeks.“I think the main thing is go hard in practice and come out here and execute and just try to play our best ball in November … that’s where the season really hangs your hat on, those November games,” Barrett said. “So we try to do our best in those games.”The offense is firing on all cylinders at all the right times for the Buckeyes, and no longer will OSU have to worry about a stagnant offense.It gets worse for RutgersThings are just not going in the right direction for Chris Ash and the Scarlet Knights. Ash is 2-8 in his first season at the helm, and remains winless in the conference.What makes everything worse for Rutgers is the fact the rest of the year will be no smoother, as the team faces a top-10 Penn State squad and Maryland.The Terrapins were just demolished by OSU, so why should Rutgers worry?This week, Michigan State dominated the Scarlet Knights 49-0. Earlier this year, the Spartans dropped a 28-17 contest in College Park, which is exactly where Rutgers faces Maryland in two weeks.It’s still early in Ash’s tenure as coach, but things are not looking great in New Jersey.Binjimen Victor can be a threat down the fieldThe freshman has been seeing more and more playing time in November, and has presented himself as an over-the-top threat. Last week, Victor was close to having his first touchdown reception, but could not hang on and get his foot down in the back of the end zone. This week, Victor stutter-stepped in front of Maryland sophomore cornerback J.C. Jackson at the line of scrimmage and broke free on the inside of Jackson. Victor got the inside shoulder and a step on his defender, and redshirt freshman quarterback Joe Burrow delivered a crisp pass.Even though he was interfered with on the play, Victor pulled it in for his first score of both the season and his career. Meyer said going Victor’s way in the redzone has been a part of the plan for a while now.“I think Bin Victor, we’ve been dying to get him the ball,” he said. “His wingspan, he’s really a good player. He’s starting to learn the high level of football, the speed that’s required and understand the offense.”It was initially thought that Victor would not make much of a mark this year due to his relatively skinny frame (6-foot-4, 185 pounds), but the Buckeyes might have found their downfield target for the remainder of the season.Opening drive dilemma a thing of the pastFor weeks, OSU could not find a way to score on the opening drives. Marred by turnovers, missed opportunities and a lack of touchdowns, the last three weeks have resulted in three touchdowns on the team’s opening drives.In the previous seven games, OSU scored just three points on the initial drives.With a defense that has allowed just 26 points over the course of the last three games, getting out to an early lead foreshadows an OSU win.“I felt like the offense was flowing well,” Samuel said. “First half, everything was really going our way, execution was high, everything was going great.”The OSU offense will be looking to capitalize on the first drive for an early lead again next week. And with the way Michigan State has played this season, don’t be surprised if the Buckeyes can open up their next game with yet another touchdown. read more

Headed toward a crash landing only LeBron James can redirect the Cavs

LeBron James might be 48 minutes from free agency.Technically, he’ll have to officially reject the player option on his contract, but that’s been a forgone conclusion since he signed his current contract three years ago.But one loss, in Game 6 in front of what will surely be a raucous crowd at the Boston Garden, and the Cleveland Cavaliers will no longer have a leash on the league MVP.That statement alone sparks an adrenaline rush in Cavs fans, shivers creeping down their backs.Unfortunately for them, it hasn’t had the same effect on their beloved team and superstar.Urgency. It’s a word that applies to all facets of life, whether it’s taking an ill relative to the emergency room, cramming the night before an exam or playing with fire in a game that could swing a postseason series in one team’s favor and also send the best player in the NBA bolting the city for another market.The Cavs played with as much passion and tenacity in Game 5 as the elderly do on bingo night.That lack of fire starts with one person who needs to set the Garden ablaze in Game 6: LeBron.It’s LeBron’s Cleveland clock ticking toward zero. No one is more aware of the chance that he won’t be sporting wine and gold two months from now.But forecasting July’s events should wait until after the postseason.LeBron might never have a supporting cast as talented as the one that serves him now.Sure, Mike Brown makes unjustifiable substitutions, can’t decide on a rotation and has been severely outcoached by Doc Rivers.But The King’s drama-queen persona has placed LeBron on a pedestal, high above his coach on the Cavs’ totem pole. It’s LeBron’s team. He, not the coach, is the leader.If the Cavs can’t stop the bleeding tonight, Brown will probably lose his job. But make no mistake about it — owner Dan Gilbert, GM Danny Ferry and just about every Cleveland fan will throw themselves at King James between then and July 1.The Celtics have earned recognition as the gritty, veteran group that “knows how to win.”But the Cavs play a number of seasoned veterans as well. Shaquille O’Neal has more rings (four) than the Celtics’ vaunted “Big Three” of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce has combined (three). LeBron, Brown and several other Cavs reached the NBA Finals a mere three years ago.However, it’s the mindsets of the two teams that has one side exceeding expectations and the other on the brink of a city-wide Armageddon, the largest, most catastrophic meltdown since Chernobyl.The Celtics have summoned the swagger that pushed them to a championship 23 months ago. The Cavs strolled the floor at The Q Tuesday night boasting an undeserved sense of entitlement, as if even a subpar effort would do the job.Does LeBron care more about marketing his services to the most attractive suitor in two months than he does about winning postseason games that aid in defining his basketball legacy? His passive, uninspired play in Game 5 favors the former.LeBron’s actions and mannerisms rub off on his teammates more than any player in the league. His teammates take part in his intricate handshake routines, they join him in dancing away the fourth quarters of blowouts and they model their on-court resolve after their fearless leader. The ineffectiveness and timidness displayed by Mo Williams, Delonte West, Antawn Jamison and others are as much a reflection on LeBron as they are on the individuals themselves.If LeBron was a movie director, then Game 5 was his Blair Witch Project (although for Clevelanders, it was actually scary).After a scoreless first half, LeBron continued his submissive approach after intermission. His first basket — a soft dunk off of a cherry-picked fast break midway through the third quarter — epitomized his lackluster effort.And LeBron’s post-game demeanor didn’t exactly offer any hope to Cavs fans searching for a killer instinct somewhere within his 6-foot-8-inch, 260-pound frame.“I spoil a lot of people with my play,” he said. “When you have three bad games in seven years, it’s easy to point them out.”In other words, “Cleveland, appreciate what I’ve brought you, not what I haven’t brought you.”As the adage goes, “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.” But Clevelanders don’t have to wait until LeBron departs to know what they don’t have — a championship team that actually lives up to haughty expectations.“I put a lot of pressure on myself to be out there and be the best player on the court, and when I’m not I feel bad for myself because I’m not going out there and doing the things I can do,” he said. “But I don’t hang my head low or make any excuses about anything that may be going on, because that’s not the type of player or person I am.”Not exactly the fired-up, PO’ed attitude we expect elite talents to convey after monumental defeats.This loss didn’t officially end the series, but LeBron’s actions and words suggest that the end of an era might be just around the corner.Entering Game 5, the general consensus indicated that LeBron would likely stay in Cleveland, where he starred on a perennial championship-caliber team with a spend-happy owner.After one, landscape-altering performance, that conjecture has taken a 180.That dramatic switch is all on LeBron. And maybe that’s the way he prefers it.But if Michael Jordan had trailed at halftime of a must-win game on his home court, he would have taken it upon himself to motivate his troops and embrace his role as pilot.Instead, LeBron is driving the Cavs’ plane into the ground.There’s still a small amount of time to re-route it onto its expected path. The city of Cleveland anticipates a crash landing. But if the plane goes down, LeBron, the pilot, could be the lone survivor. read more