Archive for the ‘ Entertainment Blog ’ Category

Vanessa and Kobe Bryant divorce is off

Vanessa and Kobe Bryant divorce is off

Vanessa is on Instagram, and she was posting a significant message on Friday that she and Kobe are officially back together.

“We are pleased to announce that we have reconciled. Our divorce action will be dismissed. We are looking forward to our future together. Kobe & Vanessa,” read the gram.

The Bryants were wed in 2000. Vanessa filed for divorce in 2011 but reconsidered.

– Reported by Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times (Blog)

Carmelo and La La Anthony have been living separately, sources say, but friends close to the Knick’s wife say she’ll stand by her man and won’t split from the NBA star.

“It is true they haven’t seen much of each other in the past few months,” says a friend of the couple. “She’s been away a lot filming her show, ‘La La’s Full Court Life,’ in London, New York and LA. They are not separated and are still together. She and Melo have a house in LA — so she’s always there when she’s doing auditions.”

But others say they’ve been going through a more rocky period. “They have been living separately for several months now,” says a source. “She’s been living in LA while Carmelo has been in New York.” The source added, “La La used to go out to the games and wanted to be seen . . . now she’s always off doing her own thing.”

– Reported by Page Six of the NY Post

NBA legend Allen Iverson wants a new judge in his divorce case — claiming the current judge unethically does legal favors for campaign contributors, and he’s afraid she will screw him just like she did Usher’s estranged wife.

Iverson filed a motion for the judge to recuse herself last month, claiming she has accepted campaign donations from his estranged wife’s attorney — and has a track record of making biased decisions for contributors.

As for the Usher connection — the lawyer who repped the singer in his child custody showdown with Tameka Raymond is also repping Iverson’s ex.

– Reported by TMZ.com

Known for getting rings, Phil Jackson finally has given one as well.

The retired coach, who won 11 NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls, is engaged to longtime girlfriend and Lakers executive Jeanie Buss.

Buss posted a picture Thursday night on her official Twitter account of her left hand with a diamond ring on her finger.

The accompanying tweet read ”Twitter family - Phil finally gave me that ring I wanted!” followed by a smiley face.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Former LA Lakers coach Phil Jackson has finally popped the question to his longtime girlfriend Jeanie Buss — after 12 years of dating — but the real question … could this affect the Zen Master’s possible coaching gig with the Brooklyn Nets?

Our Lakers source tells us the engagement went down on Christmas day, but Jeanie — daughter of Lakers owner Jerry Buss — didn’t reveal the ring until moments ago.

– Reported by TMZ.com

Rap star “Fat Joe” faces up to two years in prison after pleading guilty Thursday to failing to pay taxes on nearly $3 million in income over two years.

The performer, whose real name is Joseph Cartagena, entered the plea in federal court in New Jersey because some of the companies he earns money from are incorporated there.

The 42-year-old Miami Beach, Fla., resident entered pleas to two counts covering years 2007 and 2008 but his sentencing will take into consideration the government’s initial allegation that he failed to pay income taxes for years 2007 through 2010.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas will join NBA TV as a studio analyst.

Thomas will debut Friday and make several appearances a month. He’ll also be a regular contributor to NBA.com.

The 12-time All-Star point guard led the Detroit Pistons to two NBA titles. But he’s more recently remembered for his stint running the New York Knicks, who failed to win a playoff game with Thomas as coach or president.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Jeremy Lin

Jeremy Lin is still must-see TV in New York.

Lin’s first trip back to New York since signing with the Houston Rockets resulted in MSG Network’s highest-rated Knicks game of the season, according to the network.

The Rockets’ 109-96 victory Monday drew a 4.77 rating, MSG said Tuesday. That’s well above the 3.41 average rating for the first 18 games of the season.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Here’s a TV commercial starring the White Mamba, Brian Scalabrine for a drink called “Greater Than”

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman has been found in contempt of court and ordered to pay $500,000 in back child support to his ex-wife, her attorney said Thursday.

The flamboyant basketball player known for his off-court antics was sentenced to informal probation, his ex-wife’s attorney, Mary Ann Noiroux, told City News Service. Orange County Superior Court Commissioner Barry Michaelson warned Rodman could face jail time if he doesn’t pay the child support, she said.

Rodman’s attorney, Linnea Willis, didn’t return an email from The Associated Press and a phone number did not take messages.

Another attorney for Rodman’s ex-wife argued in court that Rodman owed his ex-wife, Michelle Rodman, about $850,000, but Linnea Willis, the former NBA standout’s attorney, challenged that figure, Noiroux said.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Allen Iverson may be rapidly losing money

Former NBA star Allen Iverson is digging himself into a giant financial hole — with monthly bills that largely outweigh his monthly income — but the good news is … he’s still got his fancy-schmancy Maybach.

Allen recently filed docs in GA court as part of his nasty divorce battle with his ex Tawanna Iverson which outline his dire financial situation.

According to docs, Allen brings in $62,500 in monthly income, but his expenses are FAR, FAR, greater … costing him a cool $358,376.66 PER MONTH!!!!

– Reported by TMZ.com

Former Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen says President Barack Obama has a ‘’smooth game” on the basketball court.

Pippen described playing basketball with the president Tuesday afternoon in a story on the Chicago Bulls website. He played on Obama’s team in an Election Day game complete with referees and a running clock. Pippen and Obama’s team won the game.

Pippen says the president was ”very easy to approach” and says Obama isn’t an overly aggressive player, probably because he doesn’t want to get hurt.

– Reported by the Associated Press

“When he first entered the gym, if you hadn’t looked over to see him, you wouldn’t have noticed,” said Pippen of Obama. “It was surprisingly low key. He just came in and started shaking hands. He’s someone who is very easy to approach.”

It was the first time Pippen had met Obama. The connection was made through a mutual friend, Marty Nesbitt. Obama mentioned that Nesbitt thinks very highly of Pippen.

“He said it was a pleasure to meet me and that he had heard good things about me from Marty,” said Pippen. “I told him, ‘Thank you and I wish you well tonight. But if you want to be a winner this afternoon, you better play with me.’”

– Reported by Adam Fluck of Bulls.com

“We kind of blew them out,” said Pippen. “It should have been worse but we started messing around at the end. The game was close for awhile, but in the third quarter we opened it up. They tried to get back in it in the fourth, but we kept expanding the lead. It was a good game, fun and competitive.”

The Election Day games began when Obama played on the day he won the Iowa caucuses in 2008. They became tradition after he lost the New Hampshire primary to Hillary Clinton on a day in which Obama did not play basketball.

Other participants in this year’s edition included former Bulls guard Randy Brown, currently the team’s Special Assistant to the General Manager, and Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

– Reported by Adam Fluck of Bulls.com

Video: Yao Ming is terrible at golf

I know at least a few of you today, as you sat at work, school or wherever, wondered about Yao Ming’s golf skills. It’s just a logical thing to randomly think about for no reason at all.

Well, today, we have our answer. He is terrible at it.

Here’s some video:

Turner Sports analyst and former NBA All-Star Chris Webber and Emmy Award winning director/producer Peter Gilbert announced today the formation of their new film production company, Webber Productions.  The Webber-Gilbert pairing will produce a line of films and documentaries that will focus on the various complex issues surrounding the intersection of sports, culture and society. Webber Productions will create projects focused on celebrating history, preserving legacies, and challenging the viewer on social issues that are relevant in the U.S. and abroad.  Webber Productions also aspires to create a diverse content portfolio, which includes live events, cultural exhibitions, music and film projects.

Says Webber, “I am happy to start a company with a man like Peter Gilbert, who has proven to be one of the best in documentary film work.  I look forward to learning from him and telling great stories around my passions, my community and my world with him.”

Gilbert, who met Webber during the making of the Academy Award nominated film “Hoop Dreams,” of which he produced and was director of photography, says of his new partnership:  “I am thrilled to be embarking on this creative journey with Chris Webber.  I have followed his career throughout the years, and he has always impressed me with his honesty and willingness to search for the truth.”  Gilbert continues:  “Chris’ knowledge, access and fan base within the sports world will allow us to produce cross-platform media projects that will examine the complexity of how sports and society reflect one another.  The sky is the limit, and I am excited to have been asked by Chris to participate.”

Pre-production has begun several projects, including an untitled documentary about the life of Chris Webber – as told by Webber;  and “The Dickerson Project,” a documentary and multi platform media project that narrates one man’s remarkable journey through the 20th Century. Earl Dickerson, the first African American to graduate from the University of Chicago’s Law School, left huge marks in business, politics, civil rights, and law, and is a community pillar responsible for the development of one of America’s largest black middle-class communities, Hyde Park.

A five-time NBA All-Star, Chris Webber’s two seasons as part of the fabled “Fab Five” at the University of Michigan in the early 90’s, and his 15 years as a power forward in the NBA, laid the foundation for his current success as a broadcaster, businessman, philanthropist and steward of African American culture. The Detroit native played with the Washington Bullets/Wizards, Sacramento Kings, Philadelphia 76ers, Detroit Pistons and the Golden State Warriors.  He has earned the distinction of being a “thinking fan’s player-analyst” for his work on NBA-TV’s “NBA Gametime Live” since its launch in October 2008, as well as his role on “Tuesday Fan Night.”  Webber has served as guest analyst on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” and more recently, as a game analyst for Turner Sports.  He also recently launched “The Chris Webber Show” (aka “Get Game”) in February 2012 on Sirius XM covering numerous topics from music and entertainment to politics to current events, interviewing celebrities from Joe Madison to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Ludacris to Nas.

Peter Gilbert is winner of the following:  Emmy, DGA, Sundance Film Audience and Cinematography, PGA, Peabody, Independent Spirit and Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Awards.  His films include the breakthrough documentary Hoop Dreams, which was nominated for an Academy Award.  In addition to his work on Hoop Dreams, Gilbert has produced, directed and filmed documentaries, feature films, commercials and music videos.  His recent work includes: At The Death House Door, Discovery Networks’ With All Deliberate Speed, NBC Networks’ Deadline, TCM’s There is No Place Like Home, PBS’ The Ballad of Eziquel Hernandez, The Gods Grew Tired of Us and Showtime’s A Time For Dancing, to name a few.  Gilbert’s earlier work includes:  All The Rage, Vietnam, Long Time Coming, Prefontaine, Stevie, Married in America and American Dream. Peter is currently a Professor of Practice at Wake Forest University in the Graduate Documentary Film Program.

Kyrylo Fesenko

Living in a hotel near the Bulls’ practice facility, Kyrylo Fesenko recently wanted to check out downtown Chicago.

So the affable Ukrainian, who never has had a driver’s license, did what he has done at his two previous NBA stops: He took a cab.

One small problem: The Chicago area is a bit larger than Salt Lake City and Indianapolis. After spending $140 for a ride, Fesenko found new motivation.

“I’m actually thinking about getting my license now,” Fesenko said. “I was like, ‘$70 each way? Uh, uh, that’s not going to happen.’”

– Reported by K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune

J.R. Smith stars in music video

And now Smith has added a new layer of intrigue. He’s starring in a new music video called “How Deep Is Your Love,” which features Grammy award-winning reggae artist Sean Paul and popular R&B singer Kelly Rowland. Smith, who plays the love interest, said he didn’t even have to audition for the role.

“They just came to me and asked me to do it,” he told ESPNNewYork.com on Saturday. “From listening to the song, they just said I was the perfect person to play it.”

Smith said that Paul and Rowland filmed their own scenes in Los Angeles, and his was a one-day, six-hour shoot in NYC. While the experience made him want to continue acting, he’s not jumping into it again so fast.

“It’s hard,” he said. “A lot of people underestimate it. Acting is definitely a tough gig to have.”

– Reported by Jared Zwerling of ESPN New York

“How Deep is Your Love” video, featuring J.R. Smith

You know you’re a pro athlete when  … YOU BUY A $16,000 PINKY RING … just like one former L.A. Lakers player, who’s now being sued for allegedly bailing hard when the bill came.

The guy at the center of the lawsuit is DJ Mbenga — an 8-year NBA vet who rode the bench with the Lake Show when they won 2 NBA championship rings in 2009 and 2010.

DJ is being sued by a Texas jewelry company called Lemmerman’s — which calls itself “The Player’s Choice.”

Reported by TMZ.com

Isiah Thomas , who had an undistinguished run as an NBA in-game analyst with NBC — and as a Knicks’ exec was successfully sued for sexual harassment — is a candidate for a studio position with ESPN.

Kelly Tripucka, a Pistons’ teammate of Thomas’s and a reasonable, credible MSG/Knicks’ studio man and backup in-game analyst the last four seasons, apparently won’t be re-hired. Figures.

– Reported by Phil Mushnick of the New York Post

Hopefully they get VH1 in China … ’cause ex-NBA’er Stephon Marbury’s super hot wife has been tapped to be on the next season of “Basketball Wives.”

Sources close to the production tell us … Tasha Marbury is in final talks to join the show — a much needed cast replacement after Royce, Jennifer and Kesha were all axed.

We’re told producers approached Tasha for two main reasons … she’s actually a basketball wife (she and Stephon married in 2002) … and secondly she’s already friends with some of the other “wives.”

– Reported by TMZ.com

NBA TV’s The Association will spotlight the inaugural season of the Brooklyn Nets with the integrated and multiplatform behind-the-scenes series featuring new episodes on both NBA TV and NBA.com.

The first-ever series to go behind the scenes with a major American professional sports team throughout the regular season will tip off its fourth season on NBA TV on Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 10:00 p.m. ET. The cross-platform series will include multiple shows on NBA TV and original webisodes on NBA.com throughout the upcoming NBA season. Previously, The Association spotlighted the Los Angeles Lakers (2009-10), Boston Celtics (2010-11), and Denver Nuggets (2011-12).

“I think it’s great that the NBA will be documenting our inaugural season in Brooklyn as part of The Association,” said Nets’ three-time NBA All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Deron Williams. “As we make history bringing a professional sports team to Brooklyn, fans will get to have an inside look. Our new home, the borough of Brooklyn, will provide a great backdrop for the series, and I think people are going to be pretty excited with their exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the new arena.”

Featuring the dynamic ownership of Mikhail Prokhorov and Jay-Z, veteran basketball leadership from General Manager Billy King and Head Coach Avery Johnson, and established NBA stars such as Williams and the newly acquired Joe Johnson, the Nets have been one of the most talked-about teams heading into their first season in Brooklyn.

“The Association is part of NBA TV’s commitment to deliver original programming, which provides fans with authentic access to all aspects of the game,” said Christina Miller, Senior Vice President and General Manager, NBA Digital. “We’re thrilled to have the Nets involved this year, during an historic period for the franchise, and look forward to covering them through the journey of their inaugural season in Brooklyn.”

NBA TV’s The Association: Brooklyn Nets will deliver the riveting, behind-the-scenes coverage that has become a trademark of the series, providing access to the players and coaches in the locker room, on road trips, and off the court. The series continues its signature style, incorporating Brooklyn as a central character with special features about the city and its history and fans, featuring interviews with legendary Brooklyn Dodgers, as well as various celebrities from the borough.

“The Brooklyn Nets are honored to be selected by the NBA as the featured team in this year’s installment of The Association,” said Nets General Manager Billy King. “We are very excited about our first season playing in Brooklyn at Barclays Center, and this series will document superbly this historic move for the Nets’ franchise.”

NBA TV, launched in 1999 as the first full-time TV network created by a professional sports league, had its most viewed and highest rated regular season in 2011-12.   The 24 hour network - available in 60 million U.S. households - airs more than 250 games a year as well as critically acclaimed, original programs such as The Association, Open Court and The Dream Team.

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