Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal states he would never do a ‘Last Dance’-style documentary because Kobe Bryant is no longer here, and will never wear his championship rings again

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Shaq briefly discussed how his relationship with Kobe turned sour prior to O’Neal making the move to the Miami Heat. This is exactly what Shaq does not want to relive, and the very reason why he believes the documentary would be a bad idea.

Link:

Video: Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal reveals why he would never do a ‘Last Dance’-style documentary

UFC announces deal with Venum to replace Reebok as exclusive outfitting partner in April 2021

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Venum will take over as the UFC’s new apparel partner beginning in April 2021, the promotion announced Friday. The UFC’s apparel deal with Reebok runs through March 2021, but the company will stay on as the UFC’s official footwear brand through the end of next year, per a release.

 

Unlike Reebok, Venum is a company which focuses mainly on combat sports and martial arts and has since it was founded in France in 2006. Before the relationship between the UFC and Reebok, many fighters had Venum as a sponsor.

 

Reebok represented a major name brand affiliated with the UFC, which at the time was striving for mainstream acceptance. But it was a rocky relationship. The initial rollout featured extremely generic looking fight gear, rife with the misspelling of athlete’s names. Fighters and managers were critical of the amount of money athletes stood to lose without sponsor patches on fight gear allowed. On top of that, there was concern that every fighter wearing the same uniform would strip the sport, which has its fair share of over-the-top characters, of its individuality.

 

The dynamic between the UFC and Reebok did improve over time. The UFC desired a cleaner look and presentation on television and pay-per-view and in that aspect Reebok was viewed as a success. The guaranteed, consistent money that came from Reebok became more welcome to some fighters – especially the ones not at the top of the card – compared to having to scratch and claw for sponsors every fight.

Link:
https://www.espn.com/mma/ufc/story/_/id/29440946/ufc-inks-apparel-deal-venum-which-begins-2021

Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard Announced as NBA 2K21 Cover Star for Current-Gen Systems

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NBA 2K21 will have three different cover athletes. Now we know Damian Lillard will be the first.

 

2K announced the Portland Trail Blazers star will serve as the cover athlete for current-gen systems in a press release Tuesday.

 

Lillard expressed gratitude for the cover spot:

 

“This is a special moment for me in my NBA career. I’ve been a fan of NBA 2K for years and love how they represent all aspects of basketball culture. I’m an avid 2K player so I’m honored to join the other NBA greats who have been on the cover. I’m grateful to all my fans and can’t wait for everyone to experience the game later this year.”

Link:
https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2898002-blazers-damian-lillard-announced-as-nba-2k21-cover-star-for-current-gen-systems

2017 – The Carter Effect transformed Canadian basketball: Ex-Raptors star ignited sport’s popularity in a hockey-mad country

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Prior to Carter’s arrival, Raptors games were such a tough sell even scalpers found it difficult to make anything off their tickets.

 

The Daytona Beach, Fla., native took the league by storm earning the nicknames “Half man, half amazing” and “Air Canada” for his electrifying dunks and high-flying acrobatics.

 

“When he was ‘Vinsanity,’ I was enjoying it as a fan like everyone else and noticing the talks amongst my friends in the classrooms — it was no longer about hockey, it was basketball now,” Menard said.

 

Carter’s performance at the NBA Slam Dunk Contest on February 13, 2000 forever changed the landscape of Toronto and Canadian basketball’s reputation.

 

The burgeoning star opened the competition at Oracle Arena in Oakland with a 360 windmill dunk and later executed the iconic between the legs dunk off a bounce.

 

“Without that dunk competition, I don’t know if you have this type of effect [on Canadian basketball]. It was so important that he was wearing ‘Toronto’ across his chest for that dunk contest because it put the city on the map globally — he was representing our city,” Menard said.

Link:
https://www.cbc.ca/sports/basketball/nba/vince-carter-effect-canadian-basketball-tiff-1.4283096

Dallas Stars fire visual effects designer Alex Kleuser after racist social media post comparing Chinese people to squirrels and prompted violence by suggesting they should be shot

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The Dallas Stars fired Alex Kleuser, a visual effects designer for the team, after they were alerted to a racist comment he made on social media.

 

“Alex was an employee of the Dallas Stars. This individual’s statement does not represent the culture and values of the club. As such, this employee is no longer a part of the organization,” the team said in a statement.

 

According to screenshots of his post, Kleuser was responding to a thread on Nextdoor, a social networking hub focused on specific neighborhoods, regarding how to deal with a squirrel infestation and made a racist comment about Chinese people.

 

Kleuser had been with the team since September 2018, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Link:
https://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/29350106/dallas-stars-fire-staffer-alex-kleuser-racist-social-media-post

Lakers Owner Jeanie Buss Shares Racist Letter from Fan; ‘We All Must Do Better’

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Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss shared a racist letter sent to her by a fan in an Instagram post Friday.

 

The letter said: “Dear w—e, After 60 years as a huge Lakers fan, I now say to hell with the overpaid n—-r traitors and the NBA. Go to hell and join [redacted] Kobe Bryant.”

 

Buss explained she felt it was important to share the letter: “I have received letters like this over the years. The advice I always got? ‘Ignore it.’ I did. But not anymore. On this day, Juneteenth, I ask my white friends to join together, acknowledge the racism that exists in our country and around the world, and pledge to stop ignoring it. We all must do better.”

Link:
https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2896856-lakers-jeanie-buss-shares-racist-letter-from-fan-we-all-must-do-better

Carmelo Anthony wants to see more top prospects like Mikey Williams make history by considering Historically Black Colleges & Universities, could drastically alter the NCAA landscape

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What a lot of coaches don’t understand is that we don’t need them..WE CONTROL OUR OWN NARRATIVE!! I’m very thankful that God blessed me to be in the position to do that..We write our own stories..we determine what the next page in life is going to be..why does it always have to be the big universities? – Mikey Williams on his Instagram

 

All it takes is one person to change history… It changes college sports because you have a young black kid who is at the top of his game who decided to go to a black university. –  Carmelo Anthony on prospect of Mikey Williams attending an HBCU

Link:
https://www.nbcsports.com/northwest/portland-trail-blazers/carmelo-anthony-wants-see-more-top-prospects-consider-hbcus

Allen Iverson will receive $32 million trust fund payment when he turns 55 in 2030 due to Sponsor Trust from Reebok

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Though the Philadelphia 76ers legend Allen Iverson has not played in the league for over 10 years, Reebok is still paying him $800,000 per year. The deal Iverson signed years ago is said to have saved the 76ers star from going bankrupt after his NBA career ended. As per Action Network’s business analyst Darren Rovell, Iverson will have access to the $32 million Allen Iverson Reebok Trust Fund when he turns 55 in 2030.

Link:
https://www.republicworld.com/sports-news/basketball-news/allen-iverson-will-receive-32-million-from-reebok-when-he-will-turn-55.html