6:15 PM With the return of Todd Hoffner, Minnesota State football players refused to practice Wednesday as a show of support for coach Aaron Keen. Keen had replaced Hoffner after he was fired last year amid child pornography allegations, but an arbitrator ruled that Hoffner should be re-hired.
6:00 PM Georgia Southern sophomore defensive end Deonte Dempsey was arrested after allegedly biting a police officer during a drug bust in Statesboro on Tuesday. Dempsey had to be subdued with a Taser and has since been suspended indefinitely from the team.
5:45 PM A local animal rights group is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to arrests in the Sunday night shooting deaths of two horses in a pasture in Canton Township, Ohio. One of the horses was a therapy horse for a 19-year-old woman with severe autism & epilepsy.
(Publisher’s note: Hoffarth confirmed to me that he verified Gray’s compensation for the LeBron “Decision” ESPN show via his own source before reporting the story. ESPN has also re-confirmed to me that it only paid Gray’s travel expenses.)
On July 9 I reported the financial details of the LeBron James ‘Decision’ production that was aired on ESPN and billed as a charity benefit.
As part of the partnership, ESPN turned over some of the advertising inventory in the show to James’ team to sell commercials to the likes of the University of Phoenix, Bing and Vitaminwater. James’ team said it would donate $2.5 million from the proceeds of the ads to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
So at the very least, we had a $500,000 discrepancy in the amount of money that sponsors pledged to charity and what the “James team” said would be donated.
James’ tri-level, 12,000 square-foot estate was built in 2010 on a 20,000 square-foot lot. The abode has Biscayne Bay views from every room and boasts a concrete dock which can fit up to two 60-foot yachts.
(Photo credit: Obeo.com)
The house was originally listed at $12 milllion but James - apparently - snapped it up for $3 million less.
James sidekick baby mama Savannah Brinson would most likely be delighted with the decision to stay away from South Beach, but since she’s wintering with the kids in Akron(!) I have a feeling Maverick Carter & Co. are all set to reenact Entourage. Read more…
Out of nowhere one afternoon, Michael Jackson made a call to the irrepressible and isolated (then-18-year-old) Kobe Bryant, and so much changed for him.
… They would talk for hours and hours, visiting at Neverland Ranch, and Bryant has long been fortified by the lessons Jackson instilled about the burden of honoring true talent, about the ways to open your mind to be smarter, sharper and insatiable in the chase
“It sounds weird, I guess, but it’s true: I was really mentored by the preparation of Michael Jackson,” Bryant told Yahoo! Sports.
More from Wojnarowski:
“We would always talk about how he prepared to make his music, how he prepared for concerts,” Bryant said. “He would teach me what he did: How to make a ‘Thriller’ album, a ‘Bad’ album, all the details that went into it.
“It was all the validation that I needed – to know that I had to focus on my craft and never waver. Because what he did – and how he did it – was psychotic. He helped me get to a level where I was able to win three titles playing with Shaq because of my preparation, my study. And it’s only all grown.
“That’s the mentality that I have – it’s not an athletic one. It’s not from [Michael] Jordan. It’s not from other athletes.
“It’s from Michael Jackson.”
After reading Wojnarowski’s lengthy piece on the inner workings of Bryant, I think I may finally have a clue why we all know so little about #24’s personal life. Read more…
MTO is the most disgusting/non-credible site in the world! All they do is try to ruin people lives and talk bad upon them. Misery loves company and that’s exactly what MTO and all them other gossip blogs are “MISERABLE”. We don’t believe u, u need more people. SMH
SMH is an acronym for “shake my head.”
It doesn’t happen often, but in this particular circumstance, I can’t disagree with James on his assessment of the site in question. Read more…
Before they’re sucked into a credit card-retrievable-only archival vortex, I humbly submit a somewhat comprehensive compendium of LeBron James quotes - replete with cited and (soon-perishable) linked source material.
“I’ve always been a leader. I’ve always kind of been the tallest person on the team when I was younger, but always kind of the smartest. I was ahead of my time. I wasn’t always the oldest, I kind of was the youngest on the team.”
LeBron James and his childhood friend and marketing agent Maverick Carter appeared on CNN last night to discuss the aftermath of the method he employed to leave Cleveland for the Miami Heat.
In an interview for a piece by CNN reporter Soledad O’Brien, both James and Carter said they thought negative public reaction to how the NBA star left Cleveland was rooted in racism.
Here’s part of the on-camera exchange between O’Brien, James and Carter:
O’BRIEN (on camera): Whose idea was that?
JAMES: It was my idea and the people around me’s idea.
MAVERICK CARTER, CEO, LRMR MARKETING AND BRANDING: The execution could have been a little better and I take some of the blame for that.
O’BRIEN (voice-over): James entered the NBA as an 18-year-old. Two years later, he fired his agents and then put Carter, a 22-year- old college dropout, in charge of his $135 million worth of endorsement deals.
(on camera): How old were you?
CARTER: I was 22.
O’BRIEN: And you are the guy in charge of the most important valuable athlete maybe in the world?Read more…
Multiple sources have confirmed to me in the past week that ESPN has designs on hiring Cleveland Cavaliers beat reporter Brian Windhorst away from the CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER to cover the Miami Heat this season for ESPN.com.
Windhorst, who has covered the Cavs sinces 2003, has not been available for comment in the past week, though he did file a story for the Plain Dealer yesterday and has yet to announce a change of address publicly. Sources tell me that a deal between Windhorst and ESPN has not yet been finalized.
Windhorst already has ties to Bristol. Since 2006, he’s contributed to ESPN.com and ESPN2’s First Take television show on a part-time basis. He also reportedly has a home in Jupiter, Florida - a relatively short drive from Miami.
Late last week ESPN was also in the process of hiring another well-known, Miami-based NBA reporter to cover the Heat for ESPN.com. Read more…
Earlier this week Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor virtually guaranteed that LeBron James would be booed if he attended today’s Ohio State-Miami football game in Columbus by telling Buckeye fans not to boo “my mentor.”
Before the game Saturday, ESPN college football reporter Bruce Feldmannoted on his Twitter account that, “OSU security guy said LeBron wanted a full police escort today..’He’ll probably get one guy… He made his decision.‘” Read more…
(Pryor on his “mentor”: “He’s a Buckeye. He’s a Buckeye.”)
Lesmerises reports that the OSU quarterback believes LeBron James “plans to attend” the Hurricanes-Ohio State game. That fact has Pryor so worried about the behavior of Buckeye fans - in response to LeBron - that he sent a message to the OSU faithful through the media: Read more…