Advertisements


Jordan s weight reaches farther than court in NC

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com CHARLOTTE -- Unlike Mark Cuban and James Dolan, the host of the 2019 NBA All-Star Game was voted in 14 times to participate and played in 13. Quite different from Micky Arison and Glen Taylor, the team owner whose arena and city will be the center of All-Star 2019 averaged 20.2 points in those 13 All-Star appearances, was named MVP three times and posted the first triple-double in the game’s history (1997). And not at all like Steve Ballmer and Joe Lacob, the guy most often credited with making Charlotte All-Star worthy this weekend ignited the annual Slam Dunk Contest with his takeoff from the foul line in 1988. He also regularly irritated former NBA commissioner David Stern into a series of fines for golfing when he should have been sitting through mandatory Friday media sessions. With a level of celebrity as arguably the game’s greatest player ever, morphed now into an off-radar role as owner of the Charlotte Hornets, Michael Jordan remains as famous, as popular and as successful as any or all the active All-Star participants who’ll cavort at the Spectrum Center in the city’s Uptown business district. Ain’t no other NBA owner who can say that. “You think about all these wealthy, successful owners in our league,” said Hornets president Fred Whitfield, “no one knew who any of them were, really, until they bought their team. Everybody in the world knew who Michael Jordan was before he bought his team.” Jordan’s place in the All-Star galaxy in the coming days is reflective of his unique position among those who oversee the NBA’s 29 other franchises. His impact on the team, on its fans, on their city and on the state in returning to his native North Carolina -- he grew up in coastal Wilmington before attending college in Chapel Hill -- to anchor and lend stability to the Hornets will be on full display, even if he’s hard to spot this weekend. It’s all a reminder, too, of the old movie line from a remarkably blessed character, wondering “What do you do when your real life exceeds your dreams?” Most don’t dare to imagine playing in an All-Star Game, never mind hosting one as the owner of the local team. “No,” Jordan told some Charlotte reporters Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), coming forward for one of his few appearances of the week. “As a kid growing up here in North Carolina, the first thing [was] playing basketball. And then things evolved from there -- from the University of North Carolina to Chicago. Obviously you know the history from that. “[The] opportunity to represent North Carolina in an All-Star Game from a different seat is truly amazing. It tells the path that I have taken. It gives me great pleasure to give that back to the community. It’s been a long-traveled road.” The celebration of the league’s brightest stars, and the ubiquitous banners and signage devoted to it will make it even harder than usual to visibly spot signs of Jordan’s ownership of the Hornets. For a typical regular season game, you might spy a flag emblazoned with his well-known “Jumpman” logo. Occasionally he’ll watch part of the game, rarely all, from seats at the end of his team’s bench, though he’s as likely to retreat to his suite atop the arena’s lower bowl. An in-game, timeout scoreboard video meant to stoke the crowd includes shots of GM Mitch Kupchak (“Architect of Champions”) and coach James Borrego (“Elite Pedigree”) but ends right about the time you expect some dramatic silhouette of His Airness to appear. It’s as if Jordan is as protective of his brand in running the Hornets as he is in maintaining its exclusivity in the marketplace. Doesn’t matter, though. His fingerprints are all over the franchise, as a basketball team, as a business enterprise and as a member of the community. On court, Jordan trusts his team Jordan’s greatest notoriety as an owner in a basketball setting may have come in December, when he was courtside for a tense game against Detroit. Guard Jeremy Lamb drained a 22-foot jumper with 0.3 seconds left, sending reserves Malik Monk and Bismack Biyombo onto the floor in celebration of what would be a 108-107 home victory. Trouble was, that sliver of time on the clock. Too many men. The Hornets were whistled for a one-shot technical foul and Jordan impulsively smacked Monk lightly, twice, on the back of the head. Any other owner does that, the player’s agent might file a grievance with the players union. Jordan does it and, thanks to his in-the-trenches, in-the-fraternity credibility, it comes across as a goof. “A tap of endearment,” Jordan called it later in a statement. “It was like a big brother and little brother tap. No negative intent. Only love!" Said Monk: “Big, big, big brother. But it was nothing. He was just playing.” The arc of Jordan’s career and his reputation as a stone-cold competitor make it OK if he wants to vent -- or swipe -- when things don’t go the Hornets’ way. Doesn’t matter that Jordan, who will turn 56 on All-Star Sunday, is old enough to be any of his players' dad. He still carries himself like an athlete, and their frame of reference remains, “That’s Mike.” “I’ve seen kids come up through camps,” said Buzz Peterson, Charlotte’s assistant general manager under Kupchak. “You could say Julius Erving, you could say Larry Johnson, Karl Malone, whatever, and the kids’ eyes are like, ‘Who?’ But you say Michael Jordan, they’re gonna know. That’s the separation there.” Peterson is among Jordan’s closest friends -- he beat him out as North Carolina’s prep player of the year in 1981, won an NCAA title with him as a Tar Heels teammate and is described by those who know both as someone who can disagree with the boss while staying comfortably in the inner circle. For Borrego, Charlotte’s first-year coach, interviewing to run Jordan’s team could have been intimidating. “We’re all human beings -- there’s a presence that comes with ‘Michael Jordan’ when he’s around,” Borrego told NBA.com in January. “But it’s healthy. He comes with a competitive spirit that you feel. “Michael was straight with me from Day 1. When I interviewed, he said, ‘I’m going to give you space to do your job. Whatever you need, you come to me. I’ll give you the resources you need.’ He has not tried to interfere one time. I feel his full support. … We’re starting to speak each other’s language, which is pretty healthy for us now.” Jordan keeps the coach apprised of his interactions with players, Borrego said. Other coaches should have such a resource at the ready. Hornets guard and 2019 All-Star starter Kemba Walker probably has benefited most from Jordan’s counsel. They text frequently, a pinch-me arrangement to this day for Walker. “I grew up wearing Jordans, grew up wanting to be like Jordan,” Walker said recently. “So for me to get this opportunity to be on his team means the world to me. He’s the one who believed in me -- I had no idea where I was going to go on draft night and he traded up for me. I’ve always heard the story, he was the one who actually drafted me. So it’s unbelievable. “He’s such a good dude. He understands what it is to be good. His delivery is always good. Only in a positive way, honestly.” Said rookie wing Miles Bridges: “You think there’ll be a lot of pressure having MJ as an owner. I’d seen how he got on his teammates when he played. So I was nervous, thinking if I had a bad game, he’d go at me like, ‘What’re you doing?’ But after meeting him and bonding with him, I feel like he’s the coolest owner out there. I don’t feel any pressure, I feel like he wants the best for us.” Big man Frank Kaminsky typically sits at the end of the bench, which puts him cheek to cheek with Jordan when he’s courtside. “He’s talking about what he’s seeing out on the court. Talking to the refs,” Kaminsky said. “Things other players don’t necessarily see. He still thinks the game. “You see things on the court that he sees. One game, the roll, pocket-pass, skip to the corner was open. He was saying that. We made an adjustment in a timeout, but he saw it a couple plays before that. At the end of that game, we had a big play that was a roll, pocket-pass, into the corner that put the game away. It worked the way he’d seen it.” The Hornets’ struggles during Jordan’s tenure as owner wouldn’t suggest it -- the last time this organization won a playoff series (2002), Jordan still was a player -- but there is a prestige to playing for his team. It’s not unlike being welcomed onto the list of elite athletes who endorse Jordan Brand. “I’m one of the lucky ones who’s in both,” Kaminsky said. “You’re talking about the most iconic player in sports history -- I might be biased because I grew up in Chicago -- but when you have his approval, it means a lot. You have it in the back of your mind that he wants you here.” Head smack or no head smack. Jordan grows as owner, businessman Basketball is a zero-sum game and the NBA is full of stars, even if none shines quite as brightly as Jordan. But business has room for negotiation and compromise, and deals get struck daily that leave both sides happy. There, Jordan has been beyond clutch. Funnel down everything he’s accomplished -- six NBA championships, the league’s highest career scoring average (30.1), five MVP awards, six Finals MVP, 10 scoring titles, nine All-Defensive team nods -- and it invariably ends with clammy hands. The “wow” factor is real and the Hornets are extremely careful about leveraging it. “It gives our organization a certain cachet,” said Whitfield, another longtime friend who goes back more than 35 years with Jordan. “For him to be majority owner, for him to do it in his home state as a local hometown hero, and to be able to come back and not just lead the team and the rebranding from the Bobcats to the Hornets, but his commitment to the community in giving back, it’s something that’s so special.” That’s a lot to unpack. When Jordan initially signed on with the Hornets, he did so as head of its basketball operations in 2006, purchasing a small minority stake in the team. The team was bad, the business was worse and trending down. “Back in ’08-09, the economy was in the tank and I was mandated to ‘displace’ 42 of our executives here on the business side,” Whitfield said. “When Michael bought the team, we were losing $30 million a year.’ Brought back into the league in 2004 two years after the original Hornets (1988-2002) were moved to New Orleans by reviled owner George Shinn, the Charlotte expansion team was owned -- and nicknamed -- by Bob Johnson, a co-founder of the BET television network. The Bobcats excelled only at losing and were 122 games under .500 in their first five seasons. The front office was understaffed, Spectrum Center (then known as Time Warner Cable Arena) needed renovations almost from its inception and there was a real sense that, if a buyer with deep pockets and a commitment to the area weren’t found, the franchise could be moved. In March 2010, Jordan ponied up the cash to become majority owner. But it says something that the deal stands as one of the few, if ever, instances of an NBA franchise being sold at a discount. Johnson paid $300 million for the team; Jordan purchased it for $275 million. Forbes.com recently had Charlotte worth $1.25 billion -- which ranks 28th. And Jordan reportedly has one of the biggest stakes of all NBA owners, with his share estimated at upwards of 90 percent, possibly as high as 98 percent. That’s a lot of success in nine years, despite the basketball team’s mostly middling performance. “With MJ being with the team, you got instant credibility in the marketplace,” said Pete Guelli, the chief operating officer who started on the job about 10 months before Jordan took ownership. “There had been a lot of uncertainty previously, but with his brand and his resources and his commitment, that just dissipated immediately. It was much, much easier to walk in the door and tell people about our vision for this franchise.” Rebranding the team as “Hornets” gave the franchise an existential boost -- it suddenly had a history again, complete with records, archives and true alumni. The arena got a makeover and, per Guelli, is credited for events there that generate an alleged $1 billion in revenues for local businesses. “Fortunately, we’ve been profitable pretty much since [Jordan took over],” Whitfield said. “That’s huge, especially since we haven’t gotten where we want to be on the basketball side.” Closing a new kind of game now It’s hard to overstate Jordan’s added value, not so much as some corporate or financial whiz but as a presence who brought instant motivation and energy to the staff. He imported executives with whom he had developed relationships at Nike or in other ventures and, after taking early criticism for an uncertain level of involvement, has been more diligent in recent years. “I love seeing him sitting at the end of the bench encouraging his players when he attends a game” said Charles F. Bowman, Bank of America’s market president for Charlotte and North Carolina. “And as a business person what impresses me is that he has empowered his management team to focus not only on the court but also on building bridges with the community. “He had a vision for where he was taking the team and a clear plan to get there. He has hired good people, gives them latitude to make decisions and he expects them to perform. Michael is unique -- the best player ever who is determined to keep getting better year over year as an owner.” The NBA has gotten a taste of Jordan’s growth and transition at some pivotal times. This is the legendary voice of the players who, during rancorous negotiations in the 1998 lockout, countered Washington owner Abe Pollin’s gripes about losing money by telling Pollin to sell his team. By the lockout of 2011, Jordan had moved to the other side of the table. But several members of the National Basketball Players Association’s executive committee saw him not as an opponent or turncoat but as a role model: someone who had transformed himself from employee to employer at the game’s highest level. “The players understood, he had been in their shoes,” Whitfield said. “He’s not forgetting what it meant to be a player. He was in the process of learning what it meant to be an owner.” When the current collective bargaining agreement was negotiated with commissioner Adam Silver and union director Michele Roberts leading the talks, Jordan was an active, powerful voice. He is an influential member of the NBA’s labor relations and competition committees. One Charlotte insider spoke to Jordan’s clout with his fellow owners in getting this weekend’s showcase -- jeopardized by a political squabble in 2017 -- back onto the league’s short list. “There’s no All-Star Game here in Charlotte if it’s not for MJ,” the person said. Last summer in Las Vegas, Silver lauded Jordan for his ability to straddle the basketball and business worlds. “He brings unique credibility to the table when we're having discussions [with the players],” he said, “and even just among the owners, he's able to represent a player point of view… Michael can say, 'Well, look, this is how I looked at it when I was a player, and these are the kind of issues we need to address if we're going to convince players that something is in everyone's interest.’ ” Jordan’s powers of persuasion apparently have been even more impressive in Charlotte and North Carolina. The executives are careful about relying on him too often -- Jordan’s most precious commodity, now that his net worth is estimated to be upwards of $1.7 billion -- is his time. But when they need Mariano Rivera to walk in from the bullpen, he is lights out. “We’ve had corporate sponsors at a golf outing, and he’s been there, maybe stayed at one hole to tell off with everybody,” Whitfield said. Or they’ll invite certain corporate sponsors to one of a few games each season in which “Club 23” is up and running at the Spectrum Center, a private club built for such purposes. They get a chance to visit, talk with and pick Jordan’s brain on the Hornets and much more. “We’ve closed all those deals,” Whitfield said. Then there was the time a local CEO wanted to finalize a sizeable sponsorship deal with the team, and had his No. 2 invite Jordan over to their headquarters for the meetings. Whitfield told the tale: “This guy says, 'You have to come to our office. Our CEO is the man in our business.' But we’re like, 'Nah, typically, CEOs come and meet in Michael’s office or in ‘Club 23’ over here.' He said no, that wasn’t going to work for them. “So Pete Guelli said, 'Let’s make a deal: We’ll take your CEO and drop him off in Beijing. And we’ll drop off Michael in Beijing. Then we’ll see who more people gravitate to. Whoever gets the least people, he has to come to the other guy’s office.'” Point made. Point taken. Said Whitfield: “The guy says, ‘You know what, I got it. We’ll be over 10 o’clock Friday morning.’” A community he calls home The Michael Jordan who once seemed determined to float above cultural and political frays as the most prudent way to serve commerce has not held back in recent years from making his presence felt. He has been more philanthropist than activist and, let’s face it, in times of the most dire need, cash beats talk every time. Charity and investing in the community can be good for business, sure. Making that a priority after Guelli’s arrival and Jordan’s purchase helped the Hornets build bridges with fans and merchants that Shinn and the original franchise’s departure had torched. More than that, though, giving back for Jordan and his team at this point in his life was the right thing to do. And do, and do, and do. The list of charitable and civic efforts Jordan and the Hornets have undertaken is long, with few outside the region or state aware of most of it. Among the highlights: - Donating $2 million to relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Florence, particularly meaningful because of the damage it did in Jordan’s hometown of Wilmington. - Dedicated $7 million in partnership with Novant Health to fund two Michael Jordan Family Clinics, set to open in Charlotte in 2020. - Serving as Make-A-Wish’s Chief Wish Ambassador since 2008, while donating more than $5 million to the organization. His relationship with Make-A-Wish began more than 30 years ago. - Contributing $5 million as a founding donor of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. - Addressing the issue of police shootings and community policing in 2016 by donating $1 million each to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. After the hurricane in September devastated so many homes and businesses in and near Jordan’s roots, he wanted to do more than to stroke a fat check. In a meeting covered by The Associated Press, he met with Stephanie Parker and her family, including four young children, after they lost their apartment in two feet of flooding. A call from the director of the Cape Fear chapter of the Red Cross brought them together. The meeting took place at a Lowe’s home improvement store. “I look around the corner, and it’s Michael Jordan. ‘Oh my God!’" Parker said. “I look at my kids, ‘It’s Michael Jordan!’ I’m not going to lie, some tears came in my eyes, because the first thing that went through my mind was when I was younger, his last game when he was on the Chicago Bulls team, and that flashback just came right in my mind.” Afterward, Jordan was coaxed by the Charlotte Observer to talk about why that disaster resonated so deeply for him. “You gotta take care of home,” he said. “Wilmington truly is my home. Kept thinking about all those places I grew up going to … You don’t want to see any of that anywhere, but when it’s home, that’s tough to swallow.” There’s basketball, there’s business and then there’s real life, which sometimes intrudes in the most desperate ways. “We didn’t know how many people in our community were hungry,” Whitfield said. “There are people in dire need, and it’s special to have that hometown hero have in his heart that ‘This is where I can help.’ “It gives not only him as a person but our organization a platform to really speak out. That commitment is what has made him a special owner, and why he’s even more beloved in our community.” Winning title No. 7 drives Jordan now To date, Jordan’s greatest achievements have come elsewhere, at least since his baseline shot as a freshman propelled North Carolina to the 1982 NCAA championship. Those Bulls championships, the “Dream Team” magnificence, his partnership with that sneaker company in Beaverton, Ore., his Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction, shooting “Space Jam,” all of it -- his legacy has been crafted with others, for others, mostly far from home. (For the record, Jordan, his wife Yvette and their two daughters own a mansion outside Charlotte and an estate in south Florida). “Look, this has always been home for him,” Whitfield said. “Even though he was drafted by Chicago, WGN became a very popular station. And he just continued to elevate, so people in this state were proud to say, even though he’s a Bull, we love him. When the Bulls would come here and play at the old Coliseum, these fans who were avid Hornets fans were all pulling for Michael Jordan. “He’d score, they’d cheer loudly. The Hornets would score, they’d cheer loudly. North Carolina always felt like he was their native son who went off and achieved greatness.” Coming back first to head the franchise’s basketball operations and then as owner, Jordan’s role -- in light of the modest results on the court -- has been custodial. Yes, the club’s improved financial stability is important. But for this driven winner and NBA owner unlike all others, custodial isn’t going to cut it for long. “He did an interview with Cigar Aficionado magazine a while back,” Peterson said, “and the question was asked, ‘What would you like to do?’ And he said, ‘Win a seventh championship. Win as an owner.’ So for me, every day, I’m thinking, here’s a close friend and you want to make your friends happy, right? So each day I think, do the best you can to reach this goal for him.” Said Hornets wing Nicolas Batum: “I understand. He wants to win. He wants to compete since he was born.” It hasn’t been for lack of trying, although Jordan has made sure to keep fiscal responsibility high on every agenda. The team’s payroll for 2018-19 is approximately $122.3 million, which ranks near the middle of the NBA pack. “That Michael Jordan is one cheap dude,” said an impassioned cab driver on a recent airport run. “He’s only going to spend so much and the players they get shows it.” The Hornets never have spent into the league’s luxury-tax, and if Walker is retained when he hits free agency this summer, he’ll likely become the first Charlotte player to sign a full maximum-salary contract (though the five-year, $120 million deal Batum landed in 2016 came awfully close). Injuries and dubious moves have taken a toll, a situation that Kupchak, Borrego and their staffs have been tasked with fixing. Jordan, by all accounts, is engaged yet patient, with a playoff berth and potentially a record above .500 within reach. “I’m sure he feels like,” Whitfield said, “if he were still 30 years old and could lace ‘em up and get out there, he’d help us get over the hump. I think he would cherish it as much or more than the first six. Because I think he realizes how hard it is to get it done. “But it doesn’t bother us if the fans see his frustration sitting next to our bench. It’s important to us that they see he’s not only invested, he’s vested in what our team is trying to do. They can relate to him because they’re feeling that same frustration.” Jordan is theirs again and that’s what matters. For basketball, for business, for community and in time, just maybe, in championship. Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 16th, 2019Related News

‘Narcos’ star unveils ‘first resistance film’ of Bolsonaro era

"Narcos" star Wagner Moura premiered his new movie about a 1960s resistance hero Friday, calling it the first Brazilian blockbuster to attack state repression since far-right President Jair Bolsonaro came to power. "Marighella" features Brazilian superstar Seu Jorge as Marxist revolutionary Carlos Marighella, who led an armed rebellion against the military dictatorship until he was gunned down in a police ambush in 1969. Moura, 42, said the film, his directorial debut, had been in the works since 2013 but its release had dovetailed with a deeply polarised moment in his home country and around the globe. "I shot the film under (former president Michel) Temer and Bol...Keep on reading: ‘Narcos’ star unveils ‘first resistance film’ of Bolsonaro era.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Feb 16th, 2019Related News

GoWATCH highlights of Hero s Ascent on ONE Super App

GoWATCH highlights of Hero s Ascent on ONE Super App.....»»

Source: Thestandard ThestandardCategory: TechFeb 15th, 2019Related News

10 things to know about NBA All-Star 2019

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — With All-Star festivities set to officially begin Friday (Saturday, PHL time), here are 10 things to know going into the weekend: BACK TO CHARLOTTE Charlotte hosted NBA All-Star weekend in 1991, and now gets it back a second time to join 14 other cities that can say it hosted the league’s showcase midseason event on multiple occasions. Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, New Orleans, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle, St. Louis, Los Angeles and the L.A. suburb of Inglewood, California, are the other previous multi-hosting All-Star cities. The Bay Area, the Detroit area and the Dallas area are also two-time hosts, though never technically twice in the same city. LEBRON’S RECORDS LeBron James now has the record for most All-Star captaincies: Two. He and Stephen Curry had the jobs last year when the captain’s format was first introduced to the All-Star weekend, and he and Giannis Antetokounmpo have the jobs this year. But James’ records revolving around this game hardly stop there. By starting on Sunday (Monday, PHL time), James will tie Kobe Bryant with 15 starts in the All-Star Game. James will also extend his record of consecutive starts, which will also rise to 15. Some of the other All-Star records James already holds include total points (343), field goals (141) and three-pointers (35). And by playing two minutes, James will increase his All-Star total in that stat to 416 — one more than Bryant for No. 2 on the all-time list. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has played the most All-Star minutes, 449. FOULING OUT Bold prediction: No one will foul out on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). The last player to foul out of an All-Star Game was Hakeem Olajuwon in 1987. Chris Paul was the most recent to come close, when he was whistled for five fouls in the 2008 game. There have been only 14 instances of someone fouling out of an All-Star Game. Rick Barry and Bob Cousy each fouled out twice; 10 others, including Olajuwon, have done so once. MVPs AT HOME Kemba Walker, the lone Charlotte player in this year’s All-Star Game, has suggested that he’s hoping he can wow the home crowd with an MVP-worthy performance. There’s a history of that sort of thing happening. There have been 14 players who have won All-Star MVP honors in their home cities, spanning a total of 15 games. The list of hometown All-Star MVPs: Anthony Davis (New Orleans, 2017), Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles, 2011), Shaquille O’Neal (Phoenix, 2009 and Los Angeles, 2004), Karl Malone and John Stockton (Utah, 1993), Michael Jordan (Chicago, 1988), Tom Chambers (Seattle, 1987), Jerry West (Los Angeles, 1972), Rick Barry (the San Francisco area, 1967), Adrian Smith (Cincinnati, 1966), Bob Pettit (St. Louis, 1958 and 1962), Wilt Chamberlain (Philadelphia, 1960), Bob Cousy (Boston, 1957) and Ed Macauley (Boston, 1951). AGE MARK Assuming he plays, Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki — one of the special additions to the rosters by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who also added Miami’s Dwyane Wade to the list — will become the second 40-something to appear in the All-Star Game. Nowitzki is 40; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played in the game when he was 40 and 41. Michael Jordan almost pulled off the feat; he was eight days shy of turning 40 when he last played in the All-Star Game in 2003. Jordan, now the owner of the Charlotte Hornets and the unofficial host of the weekend, will turn 56 on Sunday. Wade, also assuming he gets into the game, will become the 12th player to be an All-Star at 37 or older. Wade turned 37 last month. HEROES Jason Weinmann and James Shaw Jr. might not be “celebrities,” at least not in the classic sense. But the NBA rightly believes they should be celebrated. Weinmann and Shaw were invited to play in Friday’s All-Star Celebrity Game to commemorate heroic acts. Weinmann, a retired Marine, used a military transport vehicle — which he bought at a government auction years ago — during Hurricane Florence last September to help rescue flood victims in North Carolina and bring them to safety. Shaw disarmed a man who had opened fire at a Waffle House restaurant near Nashville last April and has been heralded as a life-saving hero since for wrestling the AR-15 out of the alleged shooter’s hands by the barrel. G LEAGUE FIRST Khris Middleton of the Milwaukee Bucks is the first member of a new club. He’s the first G League alum to become an NBA All-Star. Middleton spent a short time during the 2012-13 season in the G League, before blossoming into one of the league’s best players and a key to Milwaukee going into the break with an NBA-best 43-14 record. There will be plenty of G League graduates participating on All-Star Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) as well — Middleton, Seth Curry, Danny Green and Joe Harris are all slated to be in the 3-point contest. CASH MATTERS There is some money at stake during All-Star Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) events, and everybody gets something. Everyone in the dunk contest will receive at least $20,000, everyone in the skills challenge gets at least $15,000 and all participants in the 3-point shootout take home at least $10,000. From there, prize money varies by finish — the skills challenge winner gets $55,000, the 3-point shootout champion wins $60,000 and the dunk contest winner takes home $105,000. In all, the Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time) participants will split $610,000. EASTBOUND This All-Star weekend is the first of four straight in Eastern Conference cities. Chicago gets it next year, Indianapolis in 2021 and Cleveland in 2022. The site for the 2023 game remains unknown; Salt Lake City and Sacramento are two sites often mentioned as candidates for that year, and Orlando is a likely suitor for the 2024 game. THE REFS Sunday’s (Monday, PHL time) All-Star Game will be officiated by Scott Foster, Curtis Blair and David Guthrie. It’s a home game of sorts for Guthrie, who resides in Charlotte. Foster worked the 2010 All-Star Game in Dallas. It’s the first All-Star Game for Blair and Guthrie. The Friday and Saturday (Saturday and Sunday, PHL time) events will be worked by a crew of newer refs — third-year official Aaron Smith and fourth-year officials Mitchell Ervin and Gediminas Petraitis......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 15th, 2019Related News

Patriotic 1953 election poster still relevant for Filipinos in 2019 elections

A 1953 election poster that discourages Filipinos from vote buying gained traction on a popular online discussion forum as the 2019 midterm elections heats up. The poster featured prominent figures in Philippine history such as national hero Jose Rizal and Apolinario Mabini who fought against colonial forces. Reddit users in the comments thread expressed their […] The post Patriotic 1953 election poster still relevant for Filipinos in 2019 elections appeared first on Interaksyon......»»

Source: Interaksyon InteraksyonCategory: TopFeb 15th, 2019Related News

‘Call of Duty’ maker Activision Blizzard plans to lay off hundreds of employees — reports

Activision Blizzard may soon announce layoffs in an attempt to boost profit, following lower sales in 2018 that has been felt too among other gaming giants. Sources told Bloomberg in a Friday, Feb. 8 report that hundreds of job cuts are expected as the American video game restructures to improve its profits. Stocks fell from a high of $84.68 (about P4,400) to $43.41 (about P2,200) on Friday, more than a 48 percent decline. The company, which is behind titles such as "Guitar Hero", "Call of Duty" and "Diablo", admitted in a conference last November that there was a user decline for games which include "Overwatch". While Activision Blizzard is the parent company, Activision and ...Keep on reading: ‘Call of Duty’ maker Activision Blizzard plans to lay off hundreds of employees — reports.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Feb 12th, 2019Related News

Eduard Folayang Relishes Chance To Defend World Title With Kevin Belingon In Japan

When ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard "Landslide" Folayang flies to Japan for ONE: A NEW ERA, he will not be doing so alone.   The Filipino mixed martial arts icon is ecstatic he will be competing on a card which will also feature his Team Lakay brother and ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin "The Silencer" Belingon, as they both are scheduled to battle a pair of legends on Sunday, 31 March at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo.   Folayang will defend his World Title against Shinya "Tobikan Judan" Aoki in the main event, while Belingon will defend his belt against Bibiano "The Flash" Fernandes on the undercard.   Just the experience of preparing for two World Title bouts in what is arguably the biggest ONE Championship card ever assembled is enough of a motivation for Folayang.   "I am very happy to headline ONE: A NEW ERA. Any athlete would want to headline this event. I am just grateful to ONE Championship for giving me this opportunity to be the main event," said Folayang.   "I have an added inspiration by having Kevin Belingon on the same card. We can share outputs with each other on how we can emerge victorious in Japan. It will be a fun night."   Team Lakay, the renowned gym from the mountains of Baguio, didn't get to start the year the way they hoped for.   Joshua "The Passion" Pacio had his ONE Strawweight World Title taken by Yosuke "Tobizaru" Saruta on 19 January by split decision in the main event of ONE: ETERNAL GLORY at the Istora Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia.   Six days later, Geje "Gravity" Eustaquio dropped the ONE Flyweight World Title in front of his home crowd. He lost to his old rival Adriano "Mikinho" Moraes by way of unanimous decision in the main event of ONE: HERO'S ASCENT at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.   That is why keeping both belts in the Philippines will be integral for Folayang and Belingon, although "Landslide" admits that it's easier said than done.   "The goal is to successfully defend both belts in Japan," he confessed. "It is so easy to think and say, but it’s very hard to do. We will do our best to bring the belt back home to the Philippines.".....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 7th, 2019Related News

Tributes pouring in despite PNP vilification vs Malayao

“Randy is a hero of the people who spent his life always working for genuine peace and betterment of the Filipino people,” Colmenares said as he urged the PNP to “stop spreading intrigues against him because they are just exposing their true colors.” The post Tributes pouring in despite PNP vilification vs Malayao appeared first on Bulatlat......»»

Source: Bulatlat BulatlatCategory: NewsFeb 6th, 2019Related News

Politicos register for Thailand s first election since 2014 coup

BANGKOK, Thailand – Hundreds of aspiring politicians, including a masked costumed hero, registered on Monday, February 4, for  Thailand's first election since the 2014 coup, promising a colorful cast of candidates stumping for political parties both old and new. Since the coup , the military has rewritten the constitution, clamped down on dissent ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsFeb 4th, 2019Related News

Boxing: Filipinos hope Pacquiao s victory will lead to rematch with Mayweather

Boxing: Filipinos hope Pacquiao's victory will lead to rematch with Mayweather The Star Online MANILA (Reuters) - Thousands of ecstatic Filipino fans erupted in celebration after boxing hero Mann.....»»

Source: Philippinetimes PhilippinetimesCategory: NewsFeb 1st, 2019Related News

Matthew Slater carries proud family football tradition

By Barry Wilner, Associated Press ATLANTA (AP) — Matthew Slater is more than halfway to his father's longevity as an NFL player. He doesn't plan to equal it. The star special teamer of the New England Patriots just completed his 11th pro season, and he's at his fifth Super Bowl, with two wins. In his dad Jackie's 20-season NFL career, he made one Super Bowl — coincidentally, with the Rams in 1980 — and lost to Pittsburgh. "That's a long time to do anything," Matthew Slater said Tuesday. As for the New England kick coverage ace lasting so long, he added with a laugh: "Absolutely not." Of course, when your team becomes a regular visitor to the Super Bowl, it lengthens the season by more than a month. No one in the NFL would want to pass on that, but in reality Slater has played nearly 12 seasons, making All-Pro in 2016 and being voted to seven Pro Bowls. Not bad for someone whose Hall of Fame father didn't necessarily want Matthew to play football. "He felt that way for two reasons," Matthew Slater says. "First, he didn't want me to feel the pressure of living up to his name. He thought the expectations could be unfair. "He also wanted me to avoid injury. He knew the toll it takes on you physically." Matthew and his brother played plenty of sports, and guess who usually was the coach. Yep, Jackie. "Sports have always been a big part of my life and have so many life lessons from being on a team, and the disciplines of preparing to compete and how you compete, and having teammates around you. I thought they were good lessons to learn," Jackie Slater said. "I discouraged them to play football. I didn't think (Matthew) would be big enough to play football. I coached in basketball, soccer, track and field, even some flag football. I didn't see football as something that he would excel. But when he played flag, he had good speed and he caught the ball and ran well." Matthew kept improving in high school and grew, though not to Jackie's offensive tackle measurements. Because Jackie was unfamiliar with the kind of skills his son possessed, he turned to teammates Ron Brown — a 1984 Olympic champion speedster, who played wideout and returned kicks — and outstanding cornerback LeRoy Irvin. Brown refined Matthew's technique and speed, and Irvin worked with him on back-pedaling and breaks for receivers. "Things I was not familiar with," says Jackie, who recalled watching Matthew leave everyone behind in a 100-meter race, only to have Brown say "he did everything wrong. "I knew I needed to get out of the way." Not really. Matthew, now 33, credits pretty much everything he has achieved in football to his father, who entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001. "He made every effort to be present," the son says. "That's what I appreciate the most: He was a father first. So many young kids ... many black kids ... I see they don't have a presence like that. "Anytime I have success, certainly my dad is sharing in it. It all goes back to my dad; I wouldn't be playing this game without him. It's pretty unique, a son being able to do something his dad did. We are enjoying this ride together." For sure. But on Sunday, well, Jackie admits to being a bit torn when the Rams — his team — take on the Patriots — Matthew's team. You see, Jackie Slater still has plenty of millennium blue and new century gold running through his veins. "This is a win-win situation for me," the elder Slater notes. "If my son loses, it's not as if he hasn't experienced the thrill of victory in a Super Bowl, something I never did. And if he loses, it hurts, but he has a great attitude about it. It helps me live with the defeats he has. "If the Rams win, I will be happy because I have been pulling for this team for more than 40 years. My first hero in the game was Tom Mack, who I actually played with for three years. "You know, he has an unbelievable opportunity to experience things I never did. I don't know what it is like to win the Super Bowl beyond the joy my son had when he won on two occasions. That's almost as good as me winning, I felt.".....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 30th, 2019Related News

ONE Championship: Geje Eustaquio Laughs Off Heartbreaking Loss To Adriano Moraes

Former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje "Gravity" Eustaquio was upbeat and all smiles even after a heartbreaking defeat at the hands of his old rival Adriano "Mikinho" Moraes last Friday, 25 January.   The pair completed the first trilogy in ONE Championship history at ONE: HERO'S ASCENT at the Mall Of Asia Arena, which resulted in Moraes winning the bout via unanimous decision.   It was an intense back and forth affair, with many fans and observers believing that the Baguio-native was well ahead on the scorecards after the contest.   The bout, however, did not turn out the way the home crowd expected as Moraes was ultimately given the nod after five grueling rounds.   "Every round I ask coach Mark and Eduard Folayang, they told me I was winning the fight. But then when the winner was declared, the first thing that came to my mind was they were joking along," Eustaquio said as he bursted into laughter.   "I thought I was able to edge him out in striking, my punches were able to land though our game plan was to knock him out.   "According to coach, my timing wasn't right because each time I get to clip him was when he was moving backwards."   Regardless of what his corner said during the contest, Eustaquio was more than convinced that he was up on the scorecards after five rounds.   He knows he landed the more significant strikes during the match, but he would rather respect the judges' decision instead of going out of his way to protest the official outcome.   "There were times when I saw his knees wobble and that was an indication that it was a near KO. Based on the judging criteria, I was thinking, I was able to score in that area," Eustaquio shared.   "But it is what it is. What hurts more is that there were two Filipino judges. What's happening in Philippine mixed martial arts? But hey, I have to stay positive."   Eustaquio says he would take a quick break for now and then it is back to the drawing board for him. It remains unknown what the future has in store for him, and he is willing to go through a difficult path in hopes of becoming a world champion again.   "If they want me to fight Adriano for the fourth time, why not?”  said Eustaquio.   "If they want me to compete in the grand prix, if that's going to be my ticket to face him again in the event he's still champ at that time, then why not?".....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 28th, 2019Related News

When zero’s the hero

MILWAUKEE — Seldom-used Pat Connaughton and a defensive switch sparked the National Basketball Association-leading Milwaukee Bucks. And Connaughton didn’t even score. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 34 points and 14 rebounds and Milwaukee rallied to beat Charlotte 108-99 on Friday night, outscoring the Hornets 32-12 in the fourth quarter. Malcolm Brogdon added 19 points, Eric Bledsoe had […].....»»

Source: Tribune TribuneCategory: NewsJan 26th, 2019Related News

ONE Championship: Geje Eustaquio and Adriano Moraes share moment of respect

When it was all said and done, Geje Eustaquio and Adriano Moraes shared a moment of respect after their five-round war at ONE: Hero's Ascent, Friday evening at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila.  For the third time in their careers, Eustaquio and Moraes battled for the ONE Flyweight World Championship, and for the second time, it was Moraes who came away the victory, taking the trilogy match via unanimous decision.  After the belt was awarded to Moraes, he and Eustaquio kneeled in front of each other shook hands and embraced. In between them was the gold strap that will forever keep their legacies intertwined.  Geje Eustaquio versus Adriano Moraes is ONE Championship's first real rivalry, with their history going back to 2014 when they first met.  Three world title matches later, nothing remains between the two aside from utmost respect.  "I’m thanking him for bringing the best version of Geje Eustaquio," the Filipino former champion said when asked what he told Moraes during that touching moment. "Because I have to admit, without Adriano, I am not as skilled as I am right now, I am not as good as I am right now, it’s all because of him." "He has been in the flyweight division for four years, and if you are the champion, the rest of the division is looking forward to every move you have, every angle you move, they always study you. I got the chance to thank him for making me a better Geje Eustaquio." Moraes shared the same sentiments, saying that he considers Eustaquio more than just an opponent, but rather a friend and a 'ONE Championship teammate'.  "Me and Geje, we worked together about six years ago. When I signed with ONE Championship, Geje Eustaquio was here already. I respect him a lot. We fought for the first flyweight world championship, me and Geje, we have history together, like opponents but like friends too. We are like ONE Championship teammates." Moraes emphasized on how much it meant to be able to share some ONE Championship history with the Team Lakay star.  "If I’m not the champion, I was happy that Geje was the champion. When this history was finished, the first trilogy of ONE Championship, we just embraced each other and said ‘Thank you, for helping me to be a better person, better fighter, everyday. Thank you for this match, because if you don’t have a good opponent, you don’t have a good fight, and for those fighters who love to fight, you love to fight against a good fighter. Geje is a good fighter and I loved to have this history against him. It’s against him, but it’s like together with him." While for now, it appears that the Eustaquio-Moraes trilogy has reached its end, down the road there's always a chance that the two top flyweights will cross paths once again......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 26th, 2019Related News

ONE Championship: After win in Manila, Danny Kingad sets sights on Flyweight Grand Prix

It was mission accomplished for Team Lakay star Danny Kingad at ONE: Hero's Ascent, Friday night at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila.  The 22-year old flyweight earned a unanimous decision victory of Japanese veteran Tatsumitsu Wada and picked up his fourth consecutive win in a row.  Now, the former flyweight world title contender sets his sights on the upcoming ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix, since he has earned a spot in the eight-man tournament thanks to his win over Wada.  "Yung tournament, paghahandaan ko talaga yung grand prix na yun, yan yung number one na gagawin ko ngayon," Kingad told the media during the post-fight press conference. "I will go home and then go back to training." The eight-man tournament is expected to feature the best flyweight talents that ONE has to offer outside of the division's champion. Kingad is the third participant to be announced, joining former opponent Yuya Wakamatsu and newly-signed former UFC Flyweight World Champion Demetrious Johnson.  Johnson and Wakamatsu face off in the tournament's first quarterfinals matchup at ONE: A New Era in Tokyo, Japan this March.  "Nakita ko lahat nung mga mag-grand prix, kung sino man ang sunod na kalaban ko dun, Im ready for that," he added.  The young Team Lakay star believes that his next challenge will come in the form of former bantamweight title contender Reece McLaren. The Fil-Australian made a name for himself with a successful run at bantamweight, defeating the likes of Mark Striegl and Muin Gafurov to earn a title shot at then-champion Bibiano Fernandes. In his last bout at bantamweight. After back-to-back losses to Fernandes and reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin Belingon, McLaren dropped down to flyweight and has since gone on a three-fight tear, defeating Anatpong Bunrad, Gianni Subba, and most recently, Wada.  "Excited [ako para sa tournament], kasi nga Grand Prix yun, iba yung makakalaban mo talaga dun. Yung nasa pakiramdam ko na ang isusunod na makakalaro ko ay si [Reece] McLaren, yung tumalo din kay Wada," Kingad expressed. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 26th, 2019Related News

Geje Eustaquio on deep kneebar: He can break my leg but he will never break my will

In the fourth round of Friday night's ONE Flyweight World Championship main event at ONE: Hero's Ascent at the Mall of Asia Arena, Filipino star Geje Eustaquio found himself trapped on one of the deepest and most awkward kneebars we've ever seen.  It was a kneebar that was applied from back mount.  Adriano Moraes kept Eustaquio in the kneebar for an uncomfortable amount of time, but all throughout the submission attempt, the Filipino repeatedly flashed a thumbs up to signal that he was okay.  Once Moraes abandoned the hold, Eustaquio sprung back to his feet but was visibly limping as the fourth round expired.  Eustaquio ended up finishing the fight, but it was clear that his bounce was gone in the final round, and the kneebar, quite possibly, became the difference-maker as Moraes wound up earning a unanimous decision win to reclaim the ONE Flyweight World Championship.  Post-fight, Eustaquio spoke about the submission attempt survival that had everyone talking.  "Well, that kneebar, I’ll have to admit, it’s a deep kneebar," he told the media. "I’m waiting for Adriano to take off my knee and let him bring it, but I won’t tap. I decided to finish the race and finish the fight. If it takes five rounds, then I will do it." Later on, Eustaquio further explained on why he was able to survive the painful-looking hold. "I have to be honest, meron din [akong naramdaman na pain], pero yung pressure na ginagawa niya is, he gives pressure then he lets go, he gives pressure then he lets go." The former champion made it clear that no matter what happened, he was not going to tap out.  "On my mind, by that time, he can break my leg but he will never break my will," Eustaquio said.  Eustaquio's unreal show of flexibility and heart not only baffled fans, but Moraes as well. The Brazilian grappler could not believe that he was unable to force the submission.  "Oh man, did you see that? Man, I love that position. I call that position the 'Mikinho Kneebar from the Back.' Man, in training, everytime I get that position, everybody taps, and Geje didn't tap. I didn't believe it when he didn't tap." "He didn't tap, he's a true warrior, man. Congratulations to him, man."  The submission hold, according to mixed martial arts purists and experts, is known as the Suloev Stretch Kneebar, named after late Armenian mixed martial artist Amar Suloev, who used that move to defeat Paul Cahoon back in 2002. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 26th, 2019Related News

Gravity Eustaquio falls to Adriano Moraes in ONE title trilogy

      MANILA, Philippines – The laws of gravity state that what goes up, must come down.  The first-ever trilogy in ONE Championship history comes to a close as Brazilian brawler Adriano Moraes (18-3) scored a unanimous decision win over Geje "Gravity" Eustaquio (38-3) in ONE Hero's Ascent for the ONE flyweight world ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsJan 26th, 2019Related News

ONE Championship: Honorio Banario gets overwhelmed by Lowen Tynanes in Manila

Team Lakay lightweight and former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio "The Rock" Banario had no answer for Hawaiian wrestling machine Lowen Tynanes, losing via TKO in the first round at ONE: Hero's Ascent at the Mall of Asia Arena, Friday night.  Banario, the superior striker, tried to keep the fight standing as long as he could, but was eventually taken down by the undefeated Hawaiian.  On the ground, Tynanes was clinical, as he moved from position to position, until eventually pinning Banario down in a mounted crucifix.  There, Tynanes rained down a barrage of elbows that came close to ending the bout.  Banario, with one last push, broke out of the crucifix, but Tynanes reeled the Pinoy back in and worked towards getting the dominat position.  With seconds left in the first round, Tynanes gained back mount and unloaded a storm of ground and pound, forcing referee Yuji Shimada to step in and stop the bout.  The stoppage came in at 4:46 of the first round.  Tynanes, who comes back from a near-three year absence due to injury, doesn't appear to have lost a step as he improves to 10-0 in his career. Banario falls to 14-8.  More importantly, Tynanes advances to the semifinals of the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix, where he waits for the winner of the Eddie Alvarez-Timofey Nastyukhin bout. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 25th, 2019Related News

ONE Championship: Geje Eustaquio drops title to Adriano Moraes in Manila

Two titles up, two titles gone.  Team Lakay loses their second world title in six days after Filipino star Geje "Gravity" Eustaquio comes up short in his title defense against Brazilian Adriano "Mikinho" Moraes at ONE: Hero's Ascent, Friday evening at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.  Moraes and Eustaquio went to war for the third time in their careers, with the two flyweight stars going back and forth, trading strikes and takedown attempts.  Moraes caught Eustaquio in a number of submission attempts throughout the bout, but the Filipino was able to break free each time.  Eustaquio, for his part, controlled the standup game as he was quicker to the punch, landing the cleaner shots throughout the five round encounter.  After five rounds of action, it was Moraes who was awarded the unanimous decision win, much to the chagrin of the Mall of Asia Arena crowd.  Moraes claims the rubber match and becomes the first three-time champion in ONE history with his third run as the flyweight king.  With the win, Moraes is likely to face the winner of the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix later this year. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 25th, 2019Related News

ONE trilogy: Moraes unfazed by Eustaquio s homecourt advantage

    MANILA, Philippines – Heading into ONE Hero's Ascent on Friday night, January 25, Brazilian brawler Adriano Moraes is more than ready to face off one more time with Team Lakay's Geje "Gravity" Eustaquio.  And no raucous Mall of Asia Arena crowd will stop him from regaining the ONE Flyweight World Title. "It ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsJan 25th, 2019Related News