NBA players with time on their hands due to the league’s ongoing labor dispute are finding that showbiz offers an opportunity to fill their schedules. While some star athletes have long maintained production companies or record labels, the lockout has provided a chance for new business.
Earlier in October, New York Knicks star Amare Stoudemire pitched to a handful of major networks a half-hour scripted comedy that he is developing with producers Jeff Kwatinetz and Happy Walters, who is Stoudemire’s agent and president of Rogue Sports, Relativity Media’s sports business.
In September, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant decamped to Baton Rouge, La., to play himself opposite Brandon T. Jackson in Warner Premiere’s Switch, a family comedy centered on a magic twist that transfers Durant’s skills to an enthusiastic fan.
— Reported by Daniel Miller of the Hollywood Reporter
Utah Jazz guard Devin Harris on pushing himself: I know what I need to work on and where I need to be. You would like to play against NBA talent, but you’ve got to make the best of the situation.
Harris on what he’s specifically working on: Yeah, I’ve been working a lot on my jumpshot. Pullups, 15 to 18 feet and the standstill 3. Just trying to shoot for a better percentage and knock it down at a higher pace.
Harris on keeping in touch with Jazz teammates: I spent a little time with Al working out in Santa Barbara … and Gordon, Jeremy, as well as Favors. That was the beginning part of the summer. Actually I just saw Al about two weeks ago.
— Reported by Brian T. Smith of the Salt Lake Tribune
Dirk Nowitzki plans to return to Germany to train with his personal coach after watching his hometown Texas Rangers play in the World Series—unless there’s progress toward starting the NBA season.
Nowitzki has said he would wait until early 2012 before considering playing for a European team. With only training camp and the first two weeks of the season canceled so far because of the NBA lockout, he is keeping to that timetable.
“It’s time to really get back in the routine,” he said after throwing out the first pitch for Game 3 of the World Series between the Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday night. “Got to keep the options open, maybe see what’s going on overseas.” …
Nowitzki is still wearing a splint on the middle finger of his left hand— an injury he sustained during Game 2 of the NBA finals the Miami Heat. He aggravated it while playing for Germany in the European championships last month.
— Reported by Jaime Aron of the Associated Press