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Giants manager Bruce Bochy to retire after this season

By Janie McCauley, Associated Press SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Bruce Bochy has always managed with his gut. Those same instincts told him it's nearly time to retire. Bochy announced Monday this will be his last season managing the San Francisco Giants, his 25th in all as a big league manager. He told the team before Monday's spring training workout at Scottsdale Stadium. "In my mind it's time," he said. Bochy, who turns 64 on April 16, had offseason hip replacement surgery that has him moving more swiftly and he insists "the health's great" and didn't factor into the choice. He begins his 13th season with the Giants. He led the club to World Series championships in 2010, '12 and '14. "I've managed with my gut. I came up here in 2007 on my gut. So it's a gut feeling it's time," Bochy said. "It's been an unbelievable ride. There's so much in there to be grateful for, with the players, the city, the fans, my ride here. It's time. I'll stay in baseball and do something. ... I'm not going too far, trust me. I love this game. It's been in my blood, so sure I'll be doing something in another capacity and I look forward to it." Bochy came to San Francisco from the San Diego Padres before the 2007 season, in time to watch Barry Bonds break Hank Aaron's career home run record that August. He managed Matt Cain's perfect game in 2012 and a pair of no-hitters by Tim Lincecum against the Padres in July 2013 and June '14. "This will give me time to go back and reflect and even watch some games and think about some of these great achievements and milestones these players have reached," Bochy said. "I've always had a deep appreciation for the gifts and talents of these players. I consider myself fortunate to have managed players like a Bonds and Lincecum." Every other manager with three or more titles has been inducted into the Hall of Fame. "I haven't even thought about that," Bochy said. Giants CEO Larry Baer already envisions a place in Cooperstown for Bochy, "Words cannot adequately express the amount of admiration, gratitude and respect the Giants family has for Bruce Bochy," Baer said in a statement. "His honesty, integrity, passion and brilliance led to the most successful period of Giants baseball in the history of our franchise. He will always be a Giant and we look forward to honoring him and all of his achievements throughout his final season in San Francisco and inevitably in Cooperstown." Giants Gold Glove shortstop Brandon Crawford considers himself fortunate to have played for the same manager his entire career. "That's definitely special. I don't think many guys have one manager throughout their entire career," Crawford said. "Obviously we have this year to take care of first. Hopefully we make it a memorable one for him. A part of what's made him such a good manager over the years is just being able to work with the players he has, whether that's the bullpen or the bench, he always seemed to plug the right pieces at the right times." Bochy has faced daily questions about his future, and he wanted to address his plans now and avoid distractions later in the season when he hopes to have a contender again following two years out of the playoffs. He intends to stay in baseball. "It's something I put a lot of thought in it," Bochy said. "There's a lot of things that I look forward to doing, but right now my head's at this moment, hey, I'm going to focus on getting this team ready. I look forward to one more shot, trust me, and us having a big year. I'm all in." He spent his first 12 seasons as a manager with the Padres from 1995-2006, guiding San Diego to the NL pennant in 1998. Bochy came to the decision over the winter, but had all but realized this would be his last year at the end of the 2018 season. He discussed it with family and the front office. Executive Brian Sabean was hardly surprised by his dear friend's decision, saying "that's a pretty elite and, as we all know, fast treadmill to now do this for 25 years." "Two different organizations, four trips to the World Series, you win three, that's pretty elite company," Sabean said. Once he's through, Bochy will stick to his simple life of fishing excursions and family. "I'm not going anywhere. I don't have any cruises planned, trust me, I don't plan on going up Mount Everest. Baseball, that's my life. I'll be around," Bochy said. "I don't have a bucket list. There's no hidden agenda in all this, trust me.".....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports4 hr. 1 min. ago Related News

James Yap hailed PBA Player of the Week

MANILA, Philippines – Even at 37 years old, James Yap keeps on demonstrating he still has the "Big Game" repertoire. Yap's resurgence continued as he helped Rain or Shine win 3 straight games in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup by averaging 13 points, 4 rebounds, and 1.6 assists for the period of ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: News9 hr. 1 min. ago Related News

2019 WVRAA Meet: Capiz, Iloilo post big wins in basketball, volleyball

STUDENT-athletes from Capiz welcomed its competitors from other provinces with an emphatic performance in the first day of the 2019 Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association (WVRAA) Meet at the Villareal Stadium, Feb. 18. The host province pulled off impressive victories in various ball games. Hercor College Junior Jaguars routed Guimaras in secondary boys’ basketball, 77-41. […] The post 2019 WVRAA Meet: Capiz, Iloilo post big wins in basketball, volleyball appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Source: Thedailyguardian ThedailyguardianCategory: News9 hr. 40 min. ago Related News

‘Fortnite’ makes its next season pass free

Feeling the pressure from "Apex Legends", or just making up for a delay? Either way, "Fortnite" is offering its season 8 Battle Pass for free to those who complete a set of challenges over the next two weeks. With season 8 of the incredibly popular action game "Fortnite" put back until Feb. 27, Epic Games is giving away Battle Passes for free to players that can complete a set of Overtime Challenges between now and then. "Fortnite" seasons usually last 10 weeks (season 7 will wind up after 12) and the purchase of an associated seasonal Battle Pass provides owners with unlocked and unlockable virtual character costumes, plus a range of other items, perks and in-game dances. P...Keep on reading: ‘Fortnite’ makes its next season pass free.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: 11 hr. 1 min. ago Related News

Gilas not dwelling on pressure in fiba

There’s pressure on Gilas to sweep its last two games in the final window of the FIBA Asia/Pacific World Cup Qualifiers but coach Yeng Guiao said yesterday even if the national team’s fate is still hanging in the balance, he’s not making the players think about it......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: Sports11 hr. 40 min. ago Related News

Weightlifting wants out of Subic

The Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP) is banking on the support of the other participating nations in its appeal for a change of venue for the 30th SEA Games......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: Sports11 hr. 40 min. ago Related News

UAAP Season 81: DLSU players impose social media ban

De La Salle University’s signature swagger is definitely back. Haters and bashers can say whatever they want on social media against the Lady Spikers, for all they care. They won’t even see them anyway. DLSU players made a self-imposed rule among themselves to have a social media ban for at least the duration of the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament to avoid distractions and keep their focus on the goal of putting their names on history books with a four-peat championship.   “Wala na, deleted na Twitter namin before mag-start ng season,” said new Queen Spiker Des Cheng, who is in her final year for the green and white. The Lady Spikers opened their title-retention bid with a masterful, 25-14, 25-17, 16-25, 25-19, dismantling of archrival Ateneo de Manila University Sunday at the MOA Arena. “Sa amin lang (nag-impose). Kahit sa mga rookies sinabihan namin kasi ‘yung hype sa Twitter sobrang iba. Sobrang iba talaga,” said Cheng, who scored 13 points. “Ayun shutdown muna ang Twitter namin. Sabi namin. ‘Kahit hindi nyo i-delete ang Twitter basta ‘wag na kayong magsi-search ng whatever na gusto n’yong i-search.’” “’Pabayaan n’yo na lang. Kung gusto n’yong mag-tweet OK lang pero ‘yung magbabasa kayo na maapektuhan kayo ‘wag na kasi makakasira ng talaga ng laro ‘yun’. So um-OK naman sila,” Cheng added. The graduating hitter became the spark plug and energizer of DLSU during the early clash of powerhouse teams with her on-court antics that Lady Spikers’ fans love to watch and their opposing team’s supporters love to hate. Her contagious energy rubbed in to her teammates and even got head coach Ramil De Jesus, who’s known to be a dead-serious mentor during games, animated by exchanging high fives and flaunting his dimpled smile in DLSU’s earned points. It may be too much for others’ taste but Cheng cleared that it was just a way of pumping up the team.         “Siyempre kailangan nga may magsisimula ng spark para sumunod sila. Parang doon nga na lahat kami nabuhayan,” she said.       --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports16 hr. 15 min. ago Related News

UST, Chadao-FEU rout respective foes

Games Tuesday: (Paco Arena, Manila) 2:00 p.m. - AMA Online Education vs McDavid 4:00 p.m. - CEU vs Diliman College-Gerry's Grill   University of Santo Tomas obliterated Batangas-EAC, 94-70, to kickstart its 2019 PBA D-League campaign on a high Monday at Paco Arena in Manila. Coach Aldin Ayo proudly paraded his new recruits with Beninese forward Soulemane Chabi Yo uncorking 19 points, 11 rebounds, and two blocks to lead the charge.  Pangasinense forward Rhanz Abando also had a rousing debut with his 17 points, nine boards, two dimes, while Brent Paraiso collected eight points, six rebounds, and five assists. Meanwhile, Chadao-FEU hardly broke a sweat in its 84-62 victory over SMDC-NU in the second game. Alec Stockton triggered the rout, firing seven of his 15 points in the Tamaraws' scorching 21-8 first quarter as they easily cruised to their first victory in the Foundation Group. Sophomore guard L-Jay Gonzales did his part for Chadao-FEU with 12 points, three boards, and three assists as he slowly eases in to a bigger role with the team. Ken Tuffin and Branrey Bienes combined for 22 points and six rebounds, as Cameroonian slotman Patrick Tchuente impressed with his nine points, four rebounds, and a block. It was all Tamaraws in this game as they limited the Bulldogs to just 27-percent clip from the field and even took a lead as high as 28, 53-28, midway through the third quarter. Dave Ildefonso carried SMDC-NU in the losing cause with 14 points, five rebounds, and five assists. The Growling Tigers, on the other hand, also unveiled 18-year-old guard Mark Nonoy, who lived up to the hype to pour 15 points, five rebounds, two assists, and one steal as he became the youngest player in PBA D-League history. "Masaya kami kasi nakapaglaro agad ng maayos yung mga bago. Nakapag-adjust sila agad," he said. "Unang liga namin ito na big league. Masaya naman ako na hindi kami masyadong tight and nailabas nila yung laro nila. Yun lang naman, gusto lang namin na mailabas yung pineprepare namin." Abando led the blazing 10-0 start for the Growling Tigers that set the tone for the game, where the boys from Espana annexed the lead to as much as 33, 75-42, late in the third courtesy of Germy Mahinay's free throws. Senior playmaker Renzo Subido chipped in 11 points, five assists, and four rebounds for UST to gain an early headstart in the Aspirants Group. Earvin Mendoza led Batangas-EAC in the loss with 14 points, three steals, and two rebounds off the bench, as Allan Martin scored 10.   The Scores: First Game: UST 94 -- Chabi Yo 19, Abando 17, Nonoy 15, Subido 11, Paraiso 8, Lee 7, Mahinay 6, Pangilinan 5, Ando 4, Caunan 2. BATANGAS-EAC 70 -- E. Mendoza 14, Martin 10, Maguliano 8, Gonzales 8, De Joya 7, Dela Pena 4, Boffa 4, J. Mendoza 3, Tampoc 2, Fuentes 2, Corilla 2, Cadua 2, Taywan 2, Estacio 2. Quarters: 24-11, 45-27, 75-46, 94-70.   Second Game: CHADAO-FEU 84 -- Stockton 15, Gonzales 12, Tuffin 11, Bienes 11, Tchuente 9, Jopia 6, Ebona 5, Comboy 5, Cani 4, Flores 4, Celzo 2, Nunag 0, Bayquin 0, Casino 0, Mantua 0. SMDC-NU 62 -- D. Ildefonso 14, Gaye 12, S. Ildefonso 7, Chatman 7, Clemente 6, Galinato 3, Minerva 3, Sinclair 2, Rangel 2, Diputado 2, Oczon 2, Tibayan 2, Mangayao 0, Gallego 0, Malonzo 0. Quarters: 21-8, 45-23, 68-46, 84-62......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports16 hr. 15 min. ago Related News

Spikers wring Ateneo

ON A HOT START Games Wednesday (at the FilOil Arena) 2 p.m. Ateneo vs. UST 4 p.m. UP vs. FEU Defending champion De La Salle University started its title-retention bid on a high note by trashing archrival Ateneo de Manila University, 25-14, 25-17, 16-25, 25-19, in Season 81 University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) […].....»»

Source: Tribune TribuneCategory: NewsFeb 17th, 2019Related News

2018 WVRAA Meet: Iloilo, Negros seen to battle for secondary girls’ volleyball tiara

TEAMS from Iloilo-Central Philippine University (CPU) and Negros Occidental-Bacolod Tay Tung High School (BTTHS) are one of the games to watch in the 2019 Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association (WVRAA) Meet which kicks off today at the Villareal Stadium in Roxas City, Capiz. Defending champ Negros Occidental will try to retain the secondary girls’ volleyball […] The post 2018 WVRAA Meet: Iloilo, Negros seen to battle for secondary girls’ volleyball tiara appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Source: Thedailyguardian ThedailyguardianCategory: NewsFeb 17th, 2019Related News

UST’s Cherry Rondina grateful to get much-needed help from Eya Laure, Milena Alessandrini

MANILA, Philippines---Gone are the days where Cherry Rondina would carry University of Santo Tomas solely on her shoulders. Rondina was almost a one-person army during the UAAP Season 80 women's volleyball tournament when she had to lift the Golden Tigresses and in a herculean effort that resulted into just four wins against 10 losses in the year. This time, though, Rondina has star rookie Eya Laure and a healthy Milena Alessandrini, Season 80's Rookie of the Year, in UST's campaign in Season 81. Rondina admitted that her responsibility lightened up a bit with the addition of Laure and the return of Alessandrini, who missed four games in 2018 due to an injury. And her wor...Keep on reading: UST’s Cherry Rondina grateful to get much-needed help from Eya Laure, Milena Alessandrini.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Feb 17th, 2019Related News

Daniel Chatman, National U pound on five-man UP in Got Skills

2019 HARD TO GUARD STANDINGS NU 3-1 TRINITY 3-1 UST 3-1 LYCEUM 3-2 TIP 3-3 UP 2-3 STI BALAGTAS 2-4 UCC 0-4 Daniel Chatman and National U did nothing but take advantage of severely shorthanded UP for an 82-59 win in the 2019 Milcu Sports Basketball presented by Got Skills Hard to Guard Tournament a week ago at the Trinity Gym in Quezon City. Chatman, a high-flying Filipino-American guard, scored 18 points and collected five rebounds, three assists, and two steals while hardworking forward Karl Penano contributed 13 markers and five boards. The contest was close for the first six minutes until Chapman and the Bulldogs outscored the Fighting Maroons, 32-18, up until halftime. National U would not be threatened from there en route to a bounce back win that improves its standing to 3-1. UP had four players in double-digits led by scoring guard Jaggie Gregorio with 20 points. Without substitutes in this game, however, they quickly ran out of gas for their third loss in five games. Meanwhile, UST also barged back into the win column after venting its ire on STI-Balagtas, 74-60. Versatile forward Makoy Marcos topped the scoring column for the now 3-1 Growling Tigers with 13 points. In other results, Trinity University downed UCC, 75-32, before defaulting to TIP six days later. Trinity University now stands at 3-1 while TIP is at 3-3 and UCC is at 0-4......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 17th, 2019Related News

Gilas Pilipinas flies to Doha for must-win Fiba qualifying games - Inquirer Sports

Gilas Pilipinas flies to Doha for must-win Fiba qualifying games INQUIRER.net The Philippine men's national basketball team on Saturday left for Doha, Qatar for the sixth and final window of the.....»»

Source: Manilanews ManilanewsCategory: NewsFeb 17th, 2019Related News

Big blow to PH’s SEA Games hosting

Based on recent developments, the Philippines might as well go into the motion of playing host to the 30th Southeast Asian Games it is scheduled to stage from November 30…READ The post Big blow to PH’s SEA Games hosting appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Source: Manilatimes_net Manilatimes_netCategory: NewsFeb 17th, 2019Related News

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

Access road to SEAG Clark venues on track

Organizers are making sure that access to the competition venues and closing ceremony for the 30th SEA Games in Pampanga will be easier than before......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: NewsFeb 16th, 2019Related News

Old rivals face off in legends classic

Legends will be revisited and old rivalries rekindled as the keenly awaited legends games, dubbed “Return of the Rivals” are played tonight at the Smart Araneta Coliseum......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: NewsFeb 16th, 2019Related News

Magic: The Gathering, explained

Welcome to the world of Magic: The Gathering. It’s a place filled with dragons, elementals, wizards, psychotic goblins… and, uh, walking fungi. The basic rules of the game are fairly easy to grasp, but quickly escalate in complexity. It is also one of the most addictive games around. ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsFeb 16th, 2019Related News

Opening game loss not dampening UE Lady Warriors’ confidence

MANILA, Philippines---A defeat in the opening game of the UAAP Season 81 women's volleyball tournament isn't enough to dampen University of the East's confidence. Captain Kath Arado said the Lady Warriors' five-set loss to University of the Philippines, 25-12, 22-25, 23-25, 25-19, 15-12, Saturday at Filoil Flying V Center is just a cross mark in their schedule. "Yeah, we can still do it, we have 13 more games and some additional in the Final Four," said Arado in Filipino. READ:UP rallies to take five-setter over UE in UAAP volleyball opener "We just didn't have it in the end, our tank ran out. The coaches told us in the end that it became a battle of maturity and UP alrea...Keep on reading: Opening game loss not dampening UE Lady Warriors’ confidence.....»»

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

UAAP Season 81: Dapat ‘wag makuntento ang team -- Diaz

Far Eastern University built huge momentum after crushing defending champion National University in straight sets to open the UAAP Season 81 men’s volleyball tournament. It took the Tamaraws a quick 70-minute workout to dispose the still adjusting Bulldogs, 25-12, 25-18, 25-17, Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre, but head coach Rey Diaz warned his wards that the season’s just starting.     “Maganda siyang simula kasi we defeated NU. Alam natin nagbigay sila ng titulo para sa Pilipinas. Pero dapat bantayan kasi mahirap na kalaban sa isang team ay ‘yung overconfidence,” said Diaz after their win over the 2018 ASEAN University Games gold medalists. “‘Dapat ‘wag makuntento ang team. ‘Yun lang ang gagawin ko, na paaalalahanan na wag maging kuntento ang team kasi ang season nagsisimula pa lang. Alam naman natin ang UAAP habang tumatagal mas sumasaya,” Diaz added. FEU played a very disciplined game, picking high percentage attacks behind Owen Suarez’s heady plays and limiting the number of errors committed to only nine compared to NU’s atrocious 32 miscues.   The Tams took advantage of the Bulldogs’ struggles in adjusting to rookie setter Joshua Retamar, who took the starting position after veteran playmaker Kim Dayandante was deemed ineligible for his final season. Skipper Richard Solis and the rest of his FEU crew know that they still have a long way to go in their journey.    “Sa amin, natalo namin ang champion pero ‘wag magre-relax kasi sabi ni coach mahaba pa ang tatahakin, may mga struggle pa kaming haharapin,” said Solis, who had nine points. “Always mag-ensayo ng mabuti para sa mga sususunod pang makakalaban.” FEU will take on University of the Philippines, which suffered a four-set upset loss to University of the East, on Wednesday.   ---     Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles    .....»»

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