Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard has not looked like the explosive player he was during his time with the Orlando Magic. Howard admitted that his lack of energy and problems with conditioning have cost the Lakers some games.“You’ve got to have energy and I want to bring that energy every night,” Howard told ESPNLA.com Saturday. “That’s my job. They count on me to be that guy. I know how much more effective I will be when I’m in better shape. And, unfortunately, it’s cost us a lot of games.”Howard acknowledged that he is “not even close” to where he wants to be, but said his conditioning has steadily improved throughout the season after back surgery this summer.“I knew that would be a process. The better shape I’m in, the more active I can be and the more I’m able to do on the floor,” he said. “But it was a struggle at first because I just didn’t have it in the tank, especially on defense.”Howard, who is three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, was forced to take off six months from basketball after surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back last spring. He didn’t return to physical activity until just before the Lakers training camp in October.Howard went on to add that it has been hard to get into shape during the rigorous season and traveling with the team. But he said that he is doing everything he can do to pace himself to get into shape so he can be an offensive and defensive problem for their opponents.“That comes with time,” he said. “But I’m not going to get discouraged. Once I get tired, I’m going to ask for a blow, take a break, then get back out there and go hard again.”The Lakers’ front court is currently suffering with injuries to Jordan Hill and Pau Gasol. Hill is out for the remainder of the season with a hip injury and Gasol is out for at least another month with a foot injury.“There’s no subs so until I get in great shape, some times I have to make sure I don’t risk a dumb foul because I’m out of shape or fatigued,” he said. “I usually can play 45-48 minutes without getting tired. Now after five possessions I’m winded. But all that stuff will come.”Howard promised that if the Lakers continue to play the way they are, then he will be in “pretty good shape” in time for the playoffs, if they make the playoffs.Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni has taken notice in Howard’s improvement in his conditioning, which has allowed him to run and execute the pick-and-roll-based offense more effectively.“But now he’s getting in a little bit better shape; he’s getting a better relationship with Steve (Nash) on the pick and roll,” D’Antoni said of Howard. “Now he understands that he can be in every play. We want him in every play and will be big factor in them.”Howard’s play has picked up as his conditioning has progressed. He has had two double-doubles in the last two games. He had 24 points and 12 rebounds in Wednesday’s win over the Boston Celtics and 19 points and 16 rebounds in Friday’s win over the Portland Trail Blazers.Howard will have a chance to continue the double-double streak as they take on the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday and try to inch their way into the playoffs.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper has been caught on video tape using a racial slur.The footage of the football player at a country music singer Kenny Chesney concert surfaced yesterday. It the short clip, Cooper pledged, “I will jump that fence and fight every n***r here,” at the July show in Philadelphia.“I want to apologize. I have been offensive. I have apologized to my coach, to [chairman] Jeffrey Lurie, to [general manager] Howie Roseman and to my teammates,” Cooper said in a statement released by the team. “I owe an apology to the fans and to this community. I am so ashamed, but there are no excuses. What I did was wrong and I will accept the consequences.”.Cooper, 25, is currently in his fourth season in the NFL. The wide-out has 46 catches for 679 yards and five touchdowns thus far in his career.
Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne says he can’t stand losing, either on the football pitch or playing a board game at home with his family.The Citizens host Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday night, hoping to close in on Liverpool’s seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League standings.De Bruyne is expected to start the game against Nuno Espirito Santo’s side after an injury-blighted season which has seen him restricted him to just six league appearances.Pep Guardiola’s men are looking to become the first Premier League side to successfully defend the title since Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United team in 2009.Premier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…City defeated Liverpool 2-1 in their last Premier League outing and will be hoping for another win when Wolves come visiting.De Bruyne was asked what motivates him, the Belgium international, replied, as quoted by the Independent:“Winning. I can’t stand to lose.”“Even at home, playing boards game with the missus, the son, whatever, I can’t lose against them. It’s just the way I am. It just drives me to keep going and to become probably the best I can be in football.”
Click here to take the quick Face Up poll for a chance to win an iPod Shuffle. Good got some bad reviews on its December cover from panelists in this month’s FOLIO: Face Up, but let’s not ignore the positives: Laura Wall says it is “contemporary and compositionally interesting.” Unlike Paul Lee, who doesn’t get the monochromatic look, Anthony Ficke thinks the use of a limited color palette “gives the image a chance to stand on its own.” Ficke also likes the profile shot and thinks the use of the equation is a “creative use of text combined with design.” On the negative side, Wall says at first glance she couldn’t even understand what the magazine was about—“a real problem if you are trying to attract a newsstand readership.” It could be. But it took time for Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, the game theorist featured on the cover who uses math to predict the future, to gain respect from much of anyone. Now, his work has been used by the CIA, Fortune 500 companies and the U.S. Department of Defense, according to Good’s article. Maybe, in a way, it’s just harmony of subject and form. What do you think?
Flanders: There isn’t one thing that I want to accomplish first. One of the things I’ll be doing early is traveling internationally to meet with our key licensees. Playboy’s fastest-growing and most profitable segment is its licensing business. Getting up to speed on the opportunities and challenges associated with those key external relationships is something I want to do early on.FOLIO:: During the Playboy’s last earnings call, interim CEO Jerome Kern said the company was eying “radical” changes to the print business model. What are your thoughts about turning that portion of the business around?Flanders: I’m a big believer in print—particularly the viability for glossy magazines. That reader experience can’t and won’t be duplicated online, even where I see the reader technology moving. What Playboy is confronting is an advertising recession. Playboy is having to shrink to grow in the future. I don’t believe the magazine has lost its relevance. It’s the largest read men’s magazine in the world, including the Web site that generates over three million unique visits per month and almost 50 million page views. I believe the magazine will come back.FOLIO:: In February, when asked by an analyst if the company would consider a sale and/or changes in its strategic direction, Kern said the company was “open to discussions.” Is Playboy in fact open to sale talks?Flanders: Some of the media coverage was unfair to Jerry [Kern]. What he said is what the CEO of any public company must say. It’s their fiduciary duty to entertain any proposals that come that could be of benefit to the shareholders. It was reported in a way that the company seemed as though it was back on its heels. FOLIO:: So, then, is Playboy on the block? Flanders: The company, as a policy, does not comment on “rumors.”FOLIO:: What are Playboy’s biggest challenges and opportunities through the end of 2009 and into 2010?Flanders: The biggest immediate challenge is that we have to ride through this consumer/retail recession that directly impacts advertising spending. As licensee revenues are hit, so are Playboy’s very lucrative licensing royalties. This period right now is one of trying to maintain as strong a profitability as possible given these factors.The biggest opportunity going forward is to fully exploit the brand’s potential outside the U.S. While it’s been very successfully pursued by the existing management, I’m hoping and believe that there are more opportunities.FOLIO:: What about your experience at Freedom Communications, and elsewhere throughout your career, has prepared you to serve as chief executive at Playboy?Flanders: I have operated in the media business my entire career and have taken on situations with businesses in transition. Everywhere I’ve gone I’ve been a change agent. In 1999, I joined Columbia House, which was a $1.5 billion marketer of music and VHF tapes right before Napster was released and DVDs emerged. We had a business that was over 50 years old, that started in the same timeframe as Playboy, that needed to migrate into the new model, including online. I think that singular experience is most analogous to the opportunities for Playboy. Last week—a little less than six months after Christie Hefner, daughter of founder Hugh Hefner, stepped down after a 20-year run as CEO of Playboy Enterprises—the company appointed Scott Flanders as its new chief executive.The current president and CEO of Irvine, California-based media company Freedom Communications, Flanders will transition into his new role at Playboy on July 1.Flanders recently spoke with FOLIO: about his appointment and what he hopes to accomplish by taking the helm of a company—and magazine—during a pivotal time in its history.FOLIO:: What’s the first goal you’d like to accomplish as CEO?
Parliament FILE PHOTOThe fourth session of the 11th parliament will begin on 8 September next after a 59-day recess in the proceedings of the Jatiya Sangsad, reports UNB. President Abdul Hamid on Wednesday summoned the fourth session of the 11th parliament, said a Parliament Secretariat media release. Before the House goes into the session at 5:00pm on 8 September, the business advisory committee of parliament is likely to sit at a meeting to fix the duration and businesses of the session. On 11 July last, the third session (budget session) of the 11th parliament was prorogued, which passed the national budget for 2019-20 fiscal year, supplementary budget for 2018-19 and 7 bills, including Law and Order Disruption (Speedy Trial) (Amendment) Bill, 2019, during its 21 working days.