CBSLA Sports Director Jim Hill chats with Hall of Fame photographer Andrew D. Bernstein about his storied career and what it’s like covering the NBA Finals for 40 years.
How the former hoops star went from NBA outcast to international trailblazer.
With its 75th anniversary season getting down to crunch time, the National Basketball Association has reintroduced a familiar logo from its past for the championship series.
The NBA announced on Wednesday, April 13, that it would bring the iconic script font back to a reimagined NBA Finals logo this year. A cursive font was used in variations of the Finals logo from 1986 to 1995 and from 2004 to 2017.
“The NBA Finals serves as the culmination of our 75th Anniversary Season as we celebrate the league’s past, present and future,” said NBA chief marketing officer Kate Jhaveri in a press release on the league’s website. “Highlighted by the return of our familiar Finals script font, back by popular demand, our new logo pays homage to our league’s history and looks forward to what’s ahead.”
The modernized Finals logo puts the script font front and center, with a rendering of the Larry O’Brien Trophy behind. Unlike past iterations, the new script font does not feature a shooting star crossing the F and forming the dot on the I in “Finals.” It does, however, have some small gold flourishes at either end.
The new logo “honor[s] the league’s 75-year history while looking forward to the future,” according to the press release. “The identity also includes an updated black and gold color palette to complement the trophy and celebrate the pinnacle of the NBA’s season.”
The Larry O’Brien trophy in the new Finals does bear some differences from the trophy that has been given out up to now. The trophy in the logo has a circular base (as opposed to rectangular), and it appears to have a longer cylinder with more netting details and a different orientation for the basketball. There has been no word yet from the NBA if the trophy itself is being revamped this year; it could just be artistic license in the end.
The 2022 NBA Finals will tip off on Thursday, June 2.
When you think of Sesame Street, you might envision a place where everyone’s singing and dancing without a care in the world, and nothing ever goes wrong.
This is a utopian land that’s far from the realities of many kids in real life, and over the years, the long-running children’s series has set out to rewrite its stories so younger viewers would find a character or experience they can connect with.
The newest muppet on the block is Ameera, an eight-year-old green puppet who has a spinal cord injury and now gets around with a wheelchair or crutches.
In spite of physical restrictions, Ameera continues to play basketball, one of her favorite sports. Being passionate about science, she’s also possibly one of the smartest kids in the neighborhood.
Ameera is witty and inquisitive, according to Sesame Workshop, Sesame Street’s educational nonprofit. “She’s everyone’s favorite comedian, and her great sense of humor serves her well as a natural leader who encourages others with her bright personality,” it adds. “Sometimes, Ameera gets too wrapped up in her own ideas and forgets to notice everyone else’s, but she always remembers that play and learning are most fun when she includes her friends’ ideas too.”
Sesame Workshop endeavors to provide early childhood education to kids affected by global crises. As such, Ameera will first appear on Ahlan Simsim (or Welcome Sesame), the Middle Eastern and North African edition of the show.
On a broader scale, Ameera will serve as a character that 240 million children with disabilities worldwide can look up to, in addition to encouraging young girls to get into STEM careers. And although she is not a refugee, she will shed light on the everyday experiences of displaced children, including Rohingya Sesame Street muppets Noor and Aziz.
Ameera’s character came to life with the help of inclusivity and disability advisors from the Middle East and the US, as reported by Mashable. Among them are occupational therapists, inclusive early educational experts, disability technical specialists, and people with disabilities.
In this clip, Gary Payton talked about receiving the news that Kobe Bryant passed away in a helicopter crash and recounted his initial reaction to the news. Gary reflected on his relationship with Kobe and how it extended beyond the game of basketball. To hear more, check out the clip above.
Isaiah Thomas went from an MVP candidate to out of the league in 3 years. Why did this happen? How did his hip injuries go unnoticed and derail his career as quickly as it did? NBA players should take the tale of Isaiah Thomas as a warning that there’s no loyalty in basketball, and this is how the Boston Celtics ruined his career.
God Shammgod is responsible for creating one of the most vicious crossover moves in NBA history.
“With Kobe Bryant’s five-year, post-retirement endorsement extension with Nike having expired this month, Vanessa Bryant and the Kobe Bryant estate elected not to renew the partnership, she confirmed to ESPN in a statement Monday night,” wrote Nick DePaula of ESPN.com.
Kobe Bryant spent his first several years being sponsored by Adidas, even though Adidas was never a big-time player on the basketball shoe market.
Eventually, he joined Nike, starting a fruitful partnership for both parties.
“Kobe’s Nike contract expired on 4/13/21,” Vanessa Bryant, widow of the Lakers legend, told ESPN. “Kobe and Nike have made some of the most beautiful basketball shoes of all time, worn and adored by fans and athletes in all sports across the globe. It seems fitting that more NBA players wear my husband’s product than any other signature shoe.”
Kobe Bryant and eight others died in a tragic helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. last January.
His influence on basketball and its culture is still seen to this day, as several current NBA players still wear his signature sneakers.
That desire may have been fueled by some differences with Nike.
“According to a source, Bryant and the estate had grown frustrated with Nike limiting the availability of Kobe product during his retirement and after his January 2020 death in a helicopter crash,” wrote DePaula. “There was also frustration with the lack of availability of Kobe footwear in kids sizes, according to sources.
“Nike, sources said, had presented an extension offer that was not in line with expectations of an ongoing ‘lifetime’ structure similar to the Nike Inc. contracts held by both Michael Jordan and LeBron James.”
Source: Lakers Daily
Former NBA world champion Paul Pierce and ESPN reportedly parted ways this week after the basketball analyst shared a video of himself with exotic dancers on Instagram Live. The video was widely shared across all social media platforms, which prompted the former NBA Finals MVP and ESPN to sever ties.
However, Pierce’s unemployment may not last very long. An adult website has offered Pierce a job that could be worth up to $250,000.
According to Jorge Alonso, the adult site CamSoda has offered Pierce the chance to live stream an NBA show with exotic dancers.
The offer letter read: “Dear Paul Pierce, I saw the news that you have parted ways with ESPN after you posted a video to social media of yourself with exotic dancers. Being that you are now unemployed, I would like to extend you a position at CamSoda as our first-ever ‘NBA Analyst.’ As our NBA Analyst, you would be required to stream yourself live on our platform every week night and discuss happenings around the NBA. Inside the NBA be damned. Here at CamSoda, we champion exotic dancers, cam girls and sex workers. We would be more than happy to accommodate your penchant for women and you’d be free to stream with them while they twerk in the background and more. We’d be willing to extend you an offer of up to $250,000.”
Since his playing career ended in 2017, Pierce has been working as an on-air analyst for ESPN. Pierce, a 10-time NBA All Star, has become known for providing some odd, fairly hot takes and certainly provides entertainment value.
Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reported on Monday that Pierce and ESPN have “parted ways” after he posted the video of himself with exotic dancers on his Instagram account.
“ESPN and NBA Legend Paul Pierce have parted ways, according to sources,” McCarthy wrote on Twitter. “Pierce posted videos of himself with exotic dancers on Instagram Live Friday night. Pierce has played a key role on ‘NBA Countdown’ + other ESPN basketball programming. ESPN declined to comment.”
Pierce had not released an official statement or commented on the matter to reporters as of early evening on Monday. He did, however, appear to offer a reaction to the move via Twitter and hinted at an imminent landing spot.
Pierce played 15 of his 19 NBA seasons with the Boston Celtics and averaged 19.7 points on 45% shooting for his career. He was the No. 10 pick in the 1998 NBA Draft out of Kansas and also played for the Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Clippers late in his career. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame recently named Pierce as one of 14 finalists for its 2021 class, and he seems like a strong bet to be inducted as a first ballot Hall of Famer.
“Just to be recognized — if I do make it — just to be recognized in basketball lore forever,” Pierce said on ESPN’s “The Jump” via Boston.com. “When I’m long gone and away, I’ve always said — look, the Hall of Fame is forever, and having my number hung up in the Boston Garden is forever. So it’s a true honor if it were to happen. I’m blessed that I was able to put time in on my craft.”