Archive for August 13th, 2013

Former ‘N Sync singer Lance Bass and New York Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire highlight the list of judges for next month’s Miss America pageant in Atlantic City.

Joining them will be Grammy Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell; comedian and performer Mario Cantone; and Barbara Corcoran, an investor from ABC’s entrepreneurial competition show ”Shark Tank.” Also on the panel are Carla Hall, co-host of ABC’s food-and-talk show ”The Chew,” and Deidre Downs Gunn, an obstetrician and gynecologist who was the last Miss America to be crowned in Atlantic City.

Reported by the Associated Press

The Golden State Warriors have named Jennifer Cabalquinto as the team’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), it was announced today.

Cabalquinto, who will begin her new duties on Thursday, August 15, will oversee all day-to-day and long-term financial planning and accounting for the organization, while reporting to President and Chief Operating Officer, Rick Welts.

Marty Glick, the Warriors’ current CFO, will remain with the organization as a Special Advisor to Ownership. In that capacity, Glick will be primarily responsible for the financing and overseeing of the financial aspects of the team’s proposed state-of-the-art entertainment/basketball venue on Piers 30-32 in San Francisco and all related development.

Cabalquinto has over 20 years of finance leadership experience in a variety of start-up, turnaround, and high growth business environments. Most recently, Cabalquinto served as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Universal Studios Hollywood since 2007. In this role, she was responsible for NBC Universal’s theme park and Citywalk operations in Los Angeles, California. Cabalquinto joined NBC Universal as part of the Telemundo acquisition. At the time of the acquisition, she served as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for the Telemundo Station Group in Miami, Florida. With the integration of Telemundo, Jennifer was relocated to Los Angeles to serve as Vice President Finance for NBCU’s Los Angeles television stations – KNBC, KVEA and KWHY. Before joining Telemundo, Jennifer worked for Ernst and Young, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and Future Tech International in auditing, financial planning and reporting and controllership roles.

“Jennifer’s experience in the entertainment industry and overall financial leadership experience is a great addition to our team,” said Welts. “Her expertise will be a tremendous asset as we continue to move forward with building a World Class organization.”

The Rose Garden is no more. The home arena of the Portland Trail Blazers is the same building, but with a new name.

The Portland Trail Blazers and Moda Health have unveiled a community partnership that changes the name of the Rose Garden to the Moda Center at the Rose Quarter, effective immediately, in a 10-year agreement.

The agreement was jointly announced during a press conference today in the center’s South Atrium. At the request of Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen, the new logo for the Moda Center, when unveiled at a later date, will incorporate a rose as a salute to the city of Portland.

“These are the types of large-scale partnerships that are going to take our organization to the next level,” said Trail Blazers President & CEO Chris McGowan. “This agreement enables us to reinvest in the company and the team at levels that impact every aspect of the fan experience, including the facilities, amenities, events and even the product on the court.”

Physical transformation of the renamed arena and Rose Quarter will begin immediately, with new signage and other visual elements being added gradually. New graphics for the home court surface of the Trail Blazers will debut in time for the team’s 2013-14 regular season home opener on November 2 versus the defending Western Conference Champion San Antonio Spurs.

“Since our company was founded in 1955, we’ve invested in projects that create healthy people and healthy places,” said Dr. William Johnson, President of Moda Health. “This partnership reaffirms our commitment to this community as we invite people now to join us in creating in the heart of our city a neighborhood that celebrates healthy urban living. We know that together we can be more. Be better.”

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, in sounding his endorsement of the agreement, sees the new Moda Center as pivotal to the city’s plans for the Northeast Portland neighborhood that has been the home of the Rose Quarter since 1995.

“We know it’s always a blend of the right civic organizations and the right business partners,” Mayor Hales said. “In that, I suppose, it’s not too different from a coach picking a starting five. The Trail Blazers and Moda Health: that’s a great combination.”

When McGowan first arrived as Trail Blazers chief executive officer in November 2012, he placed a priority on finding a partner to revamp the Rose Quarter. To pilot that process, McGowan hired Los Angeles-based Premier Partnerships, one of the leading naming rights agencies in the country. Over the ensuing months, Premier Partnerships and the Trail Blazers engaged in presentations to and received proposals from numerous companies around the world.

“Though we never geographically limited the brands or companies willing to consider this opportunity, we hoped a locally-based partner would come to the forefront, and we are thrilled to be partnering with a company that shares our vision for the arena and the Rose Quarter,” said McGowan.

lebron james

LeBron James, after weighing a run for president of the National Basketball Players Association, decided against making a bid for the job, multiple media outlets reported Monday.

The union is looking for a new president after Derek Fisher’s term ended this summer. The NBPA is also attempting to overcome a recent scandal involving the alleged misuse of union funds by then-executive director Billy Hunter.

ESPN.com reported that James may back his Miami Heat teammate, NBPA secretary-treasurer James Jones, for the presidency.

Reported by the Sports Xchange

Kevin Martin

Given that professional basketball players spend most of their careers singing odes to the prospect of winning championships, moving on from an NBA title contender to a youthful team trying to establish itself looks, on the face of it, like a tough shift.

But new Timberwolves shooting guard Kevin Martin sat at the podium at Target Center on Monday, introduced in person to the Twin Cities media for the first time since signing in July, and repeatedly declared his optimism for the move, his new home and the prospects of a team that has built an intriguing core.

“I don’t think our goal is just to make the playoffs — that would be a mistake to sit up here and say that’s our ceiling or things like that,” Martin said. “This team is built to do more than that. … The foundation has been laid, so now it’s our job to work hard every day and establish a family atmosphere in that locker room. … This was a very easy decision for me to come up here to Minnesota.”

No doubt, the four-year, $28 million contract Martin signed also had something to do with the sudden interest in a team that has missed the postseason for the past nine years. But Martin also divulged a little of what it means to have the opportunity to get back to a situation that makes more sense for him as a player.

Reported by Amelia Rayno of the Minneapolis Star Tribune

Michelle Obama will release a hip-hop-inspired album. Although she probably won’t rhyme or sing on any songs, it will be the first time that a first lady has delved into hip-hop for a greater cause.

The album will promote Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign in an effort to fight childhood obesity. Obama enlisted DMC, Doug E. Fresh, Ashanti, Monifah and other artists to create songs on the 19-track album.

The project, sponsored by Partnership For A Healthier America and Hip Hop Public Health, will seek to raise awareness through entertainment.

Track no. 11: “Pass the Rock” f/ Iman Shumpert and Artie Green

Reported by Amir Shaw of RollingStone.com

The 19-track album with song titles like “U R What You Eat” and “Veggie Luv” is being released by the Partnership for a Healthier America, an independent group found in conjunction with Let’s Move.

Ten music videos released with the album are set to be distributed to schools in New York City before being circulated to other major cities.

Reported by Hadas Gold of Politico.com

Marquez Haynes, who was one of the few bright spots for the Wizards during Las Vegas summer league, has signed a two-year deal to play with Italian club Emporio Armani of Euroleague.

Haynes, a 6-3 combo guard from Texas-Arlington, showed an ability to score and create while playing with the Wizards when they went 2-3 in summer league play.

While he drew “significant interest” in Las Vegas, persons with knowledge of the situation told CSN Washington at the time, he took the sure thing in Italy rather than waiting for NBA training camps to start in late September.

Reported by J. Michael of CSN Washington

Thanks to the ongoing talk in Major League Baseball about Biogenesis, the topic of performance-enhancing drugs has been thrust into the dialogue around the sports world for the past several months.

Much of that talk has centered around the use of human growth hormone (HGH), which is the latest PED sports leagues are trying to combat. That includes the NBA, which is in the process of figuring out the best way to implement HGH testing as part of its drug-testing program.

“One of the changes that we know we’ll be making to our current drug testing is the addition of HGH testing, which requires taking blood from the players,” NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver told The Post last week. “We want to make sure, on behalf of our players, as well, that’s it’s done in the proper way, and that we understand what are the appropriate baselines for a natural substance, like HGH, so we can detect where there are aberrations. That is something we’re very focused on.”

Reported by Tim Bontemps of the New York Post

michael curry

With Brown now getting the job, it means that Michael Curry, who has overseen all on-court basketball activities since Collins’ departure, most likely will be looking for employment elsewhere. Curry was the associate head coach in each of Collins’ three seasons and had most recently coached the Sixers’ entry in the Orlando Pro Summer League last month. Curry, as well as assistants Jeff Capel and Aaron McKie, are all under contract for the upcoming season. While it seems likely that Brown will bring in his own coaching staff, it wouldn’t be surprising if McKie remained. The Temple product has been on staff here since 2007 and brings a knowledge and familiarity to the team and city that a new coach might covet.

“Brett was the good guy to Coach Pop’s [Popovich] bad guy a lot of times,” Rose said. “He was great at getting players to do what Pop wanted them to do, but delivered the message in a different way. He’s such a good guy. Manu [Ginobili] is a very intense guy, and Brett talked him off the ledge many times. He has a great way with players and with everybody. This is probably going to be a really good fit.”

Reported by Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News

sacramento kings

The new Kings ownership made good on a debt last week that was 16 years in the making.

Sacramento city officials announced Friday they had received $1.4 million in deferred development fees from the team that stems from the 1997 loan the Kings took out with the city.

Those fees were originally due last August and will be earmarked for public projects in North Natomas.

Assistant City Manager John Dangberg said the Maloof family, who sold the Kings in May to a group led by Silicon Valley software executive Vivek Ranadive, had inquired last year about paying the fees back over a 10-year period. The fees were later included as part of the sale agreement the Maloofs had to sell the Kings to a group in Seattle.

Reported by Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee

72-year-old Rod Thorn keeps on working

His title is NBA president of basketball operations — essentially, the No. 4 man in the league, replacing Stu Jackson — and his duties will be a bit different this go-round.

The reason is manpower and global reach: “When I left, we had maybe 11 or 12 people, and now … well, I haven’t counted them yet,” Thorn says. “But it involves all game operations, referees, scheduling, analytics and everything overseas, which has grown enormously. So it’s the same things, only a lot more of it.”

Yet, in some ways, it could be easier than the last time, when he spent hours a day watching videos of players gone wild, and being the arbiter in a daily game of crime and punishment.

“Nowadays,” Thorn says without amusement, “I think we have two or three people that just watch out for things like uniform violations.”

Reported by Dave D’Alessandro of the Newark Star-Ledger

76ers

Since Larry Brown left for Detroit after the 2002-03 season, the 76ers have tried seven different coaches to hold down the position. Seven coaches have been hired during the past 10 seasons, and seven have gone, from Randy Ayers to Doug Collins (with Chris Ford, Jim O’Brien, Maurice Cheeks, Tony DiLeo and Eddie Jordan in between). Cheeks lasted three seasons plus 23 games into a fourth. Collins had the second-longest tenure during that time, having stepped down in April after three seasons at the helm.

Yesterday, a source close to the situation confirmed to the Daily News that Brett Brown, who spent the past seven seasons on the bench as an assistant coach to Gregg Popovich in San Antonio, had reached an agreement in principle for a 4-year contract to become the eighth head coach in the past 11 seasons.

“He’s going to be a great coach, he’s really knowledgeable, has great energy, great vision at both ends of the court and a great way with players,” said Mike Budenholzer, who was an assistant with Brown in San Antonio before taking the Atlanta head coaching job in late May. “Players respect him. He’s demanding but they love him. He’s got a great sense of humor but he’s a great competitor, too. The competitive nature for Brett may be with his good nature, but he’s a tough, competitive dude and that’s more important to him than anything. In that city he’s a fit, because he’s blue-collar and he’s a tough dude. He’s a competitive person in every way, shape and form at every moment. At this level everyone is a competitor, but Brett has that extra level of competitiveness.”

Reported by Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News

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