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Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Lakers compete in the National Basketball Association, as a member of the league's Western Conference in the Pacific Division; the Lakers play their home games at Staples Center, an arena shared with the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers, the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women's National Basketball Association, the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League. The Lakers are one of the most successful teams in the history of the NBA, have won 16 NBA championships, the second-most behind the Boston Celtics; the franchise began with the 1947 purchase of a disbanded team, the Detroit Gems of the National Basketball League. The new team began calling themselves the Minneapolis Lakers. A member of the NBL, the Lakers won the 1948 NBL championship before joining the rival Basketball Association of America, where they would win five of the next six championships, led by star George Mikan. After struggling financially in the late 1950s following Mikan's retirement, they relocated to Los Angeles before the 1960–61 season.

Led by Hall of Famers Elgin Baylor and Jerry West, Los Angeles made the NBA Finals six times in the 1960s, but lost each series to the Celtics, beginning their long and storied rivalry. In 1968, the Lakers acquired four-time NBA Most Valuable Player Wilt Chamberlain, won their sixth NBA title—and first in Los Angeles—in 1972, led by new head coach Bill Sharman. After the retirement of West and Chamberlain, the team acquired Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who won multiple MVP awards, but was unable to make the Finals in the late 1970s; the 1980s Lakers were nicknamed "Showtime" due to their fast break-offense led by Magic Johnson. The team won five championships in a nine-year span, contained Hall of Famers Johnson, Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, was led by Hall of Fame coach Pat Riley. After Abdul-Jabbar and Johnson retired, the team struggled in the early 1990s, before acquiring Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant in 1996. With the duo, who were led by another Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson, the team won three consecutive titles between 2000 to 2002, securing the franchise its second "three-peat".

The Lakers won two more championships in 2009 and 2010, but failed to regain their former glory in the following decade. The Lakers hold the record for NBA's longest winning streak, 33 straight games, set during the 1971–72 season. Twenty-six Hall of Famers have played for Los Angeles. Four Lakers—Abdul-Jabbar, Johnson, O'Neal, Bryant—have won the NBA MVP Award for a total of eight awards; the Lakers' franchise began in 1947 when Ben Berger and Morris Chalfen of Minnesota purchased the disbanded Detroit Gems of the National Basketball League for $15,000 from Gems owner Maury Winston. Minneapolis sportswriter Sid Hartman played a key behind the scenes role in helping put together the deal and the team. Inspired by Minnesota's nickname, "Land of 10,000 Lakes", the team christened themselves the Lakers. Hartman helped them hire John Kundla from College of St. Thomas, to be their first head coach, by meeting with him and selling him on the team; the Lakers had a solid roster, which featured forward Jim Pollard, playmaker Herm Schaefer, center George Mikan, who became the most dominant player in the NBL.

In their first season, they led the league with a 43–17 record winning the NBL Championship that season. In 1948, the Lakers moved from the NBL to the Basketball Association of America, Mikan's 28.3 point per game scoring average set a BAA record. In the 1949 BAA Finals they won the championship; the following season, the team improved to 51–17, repeating as champions. In the 1950–51 season, Mikan won his third straight scoring title at 28.4 ppg and the Lakers went 44–24 to win their second straight division title. One of those games, a 19–18 loss against the Fort Wayne Pistons, became infamous as the lowest scoring game in NBA history. In the playoffs, they defeated the Indianapolis Olympians in three games but lost to the Rochester Royals in the next round. During the 1951 -- 52 season, the Lakers won 40 games, they faced the New York Knicks in the NBA Finals. In the 1952–53 season, Mikan led the NBA in rebounding, averaging 14.4 rebounds per game, was named MVP of the 1953 NBA All-Star Game.

After a 48–22 regular season, the Lakers defeated the Fort Wayne Pistons in the Western playoffs to advance to the NBA Finals. They defeated the New York Knicks to win their second straight championship. Though Lakers star George Mikan suffered from knee problems throughout the 1953–54 season, he was still able to average 18 ppg. Clyde Lovellette, drafted in 1952, helped the team win the Western Division; the team won its third straight championship in the 1950s and fifth in six seasons when it defeated the Syracuse Nationals in seven games. Following Mikan's retirement in the 1954 off-season, the Lakers struggled but still managed to win 40 games. Although they defeated the Rochester Royals in the first round of the playoffs, they were defeated by the Fort Wayne Pistons in the semifinals. Although they had losing records the next two seasons, they made the playoffs each year. Mikan came back for the last half of the 1955–56 season, but struggled and retired for good after the season. Led by Lovellette's 20.6 points and 13.5 rebounds, they advanced to the Conference Finals in 1956–57.

The Lakers had one of the worst seasons in team history in 1957–58 when they won a league-low 19 games. They had hired Mikan, the team's general manager for the previous two seasons, as head coach to replace Kundla. Mikan was fired in Janu

Cannabis in the Northern Mariana Islands

On 21 September 2018, the Republican Gov. Ralph Torres, of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, signed into law House Bill 20-178 as Public Law 20-66 known as the Taulamwaar Sensible CNMI Cannabis Act of 2018 which legalized recreational cannabis consumption for adults, medical use of Cannabis in the Northern Mariana Islands; the cannabis legalization bill was introduced as the “Taulumwaar Sensible CNMI Cannabis Act of 2018,” and was named in honor of Peter Teulumwaar, who advocated cannabis legalization over four years ago. According to the 2012 World Drug Report by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, the Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Island, a United States Territory had the second highest marijuana consumption per capita of any nation or territory in the world, at 22.2%. The October 2003 National Drug Intelligence Center's Northern Mariana Islands Drug Threat Assessment stated in part that: Marijuana is available and abused in the CNMI. From 2000 to 2001 law enforcement eradication efforts caused a decrease in local cannabis cultivation, distributors had to obtain most of their marijuana from sources outside the commonwealth.

As a result, prices increased dramatically. A joint known as a stick, of marijuana sold for an average price of $2.50 from 1997 to 1999 when supplies of locally produced marijuana were plentiful. The price of a joint subsequently increased to $20 to $50. In addition, sandwich bags of marijuana have been replaced by 1-inch-square, resealable bags containing small quantities of marijuana that sell for $20 to $35 each. Tourists are charged higher prices for retail quantities of marijuana than are local residents. At the wholesale level in Saipan, marijuana sells for $1,500 per pound; as a result of strong eradication efforts by law enforcement, cannabis cultivation in the CNMI is limited to small quantities intended for personal use. CNMI authorities now focus on undercover operations, controlled purchases, border interdiction. According to the Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigation Bureau, marijuana is transported to the CNMI by criminal groups that cultivate cannabis in the Philippines and the neighboring island of the Republic of Palau.

Filipino criminal groups transport marijuana in cargo containers aboard commercial maritime vessels. Criminal groups from Palau pay couriers to transport marijuana concealed on their bodies or packed in coolers. Local cultivators in the CNMI transport small quantities of marijuana from island to island. In 2010, the CNMI House of Representatives approved a legalization bill to regulate and tax marijuana, but the measure failed; the CNMI Cannabis Act of 2018 was introduced to the Commonwealth Legislature in 2017, was passed by the Senate in May, 2018. On August 8, 2018, lawmakers voted to approve the legalization of cannabis by a margin of 18 to 1, making it the first jurisdiction in the United States to go from direct prohibition to legalization; the bill was signed by the Governor on September 21, 2018. This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document: "Northern Mariana Islands Drug Threat Assessment NDIC"

William Lewis (chess player)

William Lewis was an English chess player and author, nowadays best known for the Lewis Countergambit and for being the first player to be described as a Grandmaster of the game. Born in Birmingham, William Lewis moved as a young man to London where he worked for a merchant for a short period, he became a student of chess player Jacob Sarratt, but in years he showed himself to be rather ungrateful towards his teacher. Although he considered Sarratt's Treatise on the Game of Chess a "poorly written book", in 1822 Lewis published a second edition of it three years after Sarratt's death in direct competition with Sarratt's own superior revision published posthumously in 1821 by Sarratt's poverty-stricken widow. In 1843, many players contributed to a fund to help the old widow, but Lewis' name is not on the list of subscribers. Around 1819 Lewis was the hidden player inside the Turk, meeting all-comers successfully, he suggested to Johann Maelzel that Peter Unger Williams, a fellow ex-student of Sarratt, should be the next person to operate inside the machine.

When P. U. Williams played a game against the Turk, Lewis recognised the old friend from his style of play and convinced Maelzel to reveal to Williams the secret of the Turk. P. U. Williams himself took Lewis' place inside the machine. Lewis visited Paris along with Scottish player John Cochrane in 1821, where they played with Alexandre Deschapelles, receiving the advantage of pawn and move, he won the short match. Lewis' career as an author began at this time, included translations of the works of Greco and Carrera, published in 1819 and 1822 respectively, he was the leading English player in the correspondence match between London and Edinburgh in 1824, won by the Scots. He published a book on the match with analysis of the games. In the period of 1834–36 he was part of the Committee of the Westminster Chess Club, who played and lost the match by correspondence with the Paris Chess Club; the other players were his students McDonnell and Walker, while the French line up included Boncourt, Alexandre, St. Amant and Chamouillet.

When De La Bourdonnais visited England in 1825, Lewis played about 70 games with the French master. Seven of these games represented a match that Lewis lost. Lewis enjoyed a considerable reputation as a chess player in his time. A correspondent writing to the weekly magazine Bell's Life in 1838 called him "our past grandmaster", the first known use of the term in chess. Starting from 1825 he preserved his reputation by the same means that Deschapelles used in France, by refusing to play anyone on terms. In the same year Lewis founded a Chess Club where he gave lessons to, amongst others, Walker and McDonnell, he was declared bankrupt in 1827 due to bad investments on a patent for the construction of pianos and his chess club was forced to close. The next three years were quite difficult until in 1830 he got a job that assured him of solid financial security for the rest of his life. Thanks to this job, he could focus on writing his two major works: Series of Progressive Lessons and Second Series of Progressive Lessons.

The first series of the Lessons were more elementary in character, designed for the use of beginners. Here, for the first time we find the Evans Gambit, named after its inventor, Capt. Evans; the works of Lewis were oriented towards the rethinking of the Philidorian principles of play in favour of the Modenese school of Del Rio and Ponziani. When he realised that he could not give an advantage to the new generation of British players, Lewis withdrew from active play. After his retirement he wrote other chess treatises, but his isolation prevented him from assimilating the positional ideas of the new generation of chess-players. For this reason and Whyld in their Oxford Chess Companion describe the last voluminous work of Lewis, A Treatise on Chess, as "out of date when published"; some of the games of Lewis can be found at chessgames.com