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Posts Tagged ‘Charles Barkley’

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts on NBCU's Olympic Bid: 'One of the most unique, stressful, dramatic and ultimately rewarding experiences I have had'

This morning Fortune held a breakfast discussion with Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. Not surprisingly, NBCUniversal’s successful bid for 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020 Olympics were a big topic of discussion. Roberts candidly discussed their strategy for bidding and how they plan to turn a profit.

Roberts called the bidding experience “One of the most unique, stressful, dramatic and ultimately rewarding experiences I have had.”

Roberts said that the finances could clearly be worked out, noting that NBC has had the Olympics for 20 years, and would only be losing money for two of the games (Vancouver and London). The challenge was figuring out how to maximize revenue from the three big buckets: advertising, money from cable and satellite providers, and affiliates, as well as ensuring that the rights were all-encompassing enough to take advantage of technological change that may occur over the next decade.

“We had to find a way that they could be satisfied with what they were getting; and we could absolutely feel that we could make money into the future. The only way we could see to do that was to go long. Their stated bidding rules were not for anything but one quad, two games. They said ‘If you don’t offer for two we won’t consider anything else.’

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First Glance: McEnroe/Borg: Fire & Ice

Before Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal, there was Bjorn Borg vs. John McEnroe.

The two tennis stars had an intense rivalry during the ’70s and ’80′s are the subject of HBO’s latest documentary, McEnroe/Borg: Fire & Ice.

The 60-minute special documents the back story of both tennis stars – - from Borg’s youth of growing up in Sweeden to McEnroe and how he developed into the pretentious phenom that fans loved to hate.

At the end of the day, despite their intense rivalry, the two not only shared a deep respect for each other but would eventually form a close friendship.

“The least I could do was to try a little harder when I was playing him,” McEnroe says in the documentary. “I had to be on my best behavior, plus I respected him.”

In order to fully appreciate this documentary, you need to be of a certain age and lived through the McEnroe-Borg rivalry. For the 20-somethings like myself, it might be hard to grasp why this rivalry trumps Federer-Nadal or Andre Agassi-Pete Sampras.

McEnroe/Borg: Fire & Ice airs Saturday night at 10 p.m. ET on HBO.


Ortiz, Beckett Blame Media for Plunkings

Considering how much he’s killed the Yankees over the years, it’s surprising David Ortiz had 696 plate appearances against New York and had never been hit by a pitch — until Thursday night, when CC Sabathia plunked him.

Ortiz, who angered Yankees manager Joe Girardi by flipping his bat and admiring a home run on Tuesday night, responded Wednesday by saying, “I don’t care what Joe Girardi says. Take it like a man. I’m done with that.”

Or not.

Sabathia drilled him Thursday in obvious retaliation (Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez had been clipped by Josh Beckett earlier in the game), as the war of words between the two hated rivals once again spilled onto the field. Ortiz made no bones about the beaning during the game, but afterwards he ripped the media.

“I just want to thank [the media]. Not all of you, but some of you, for the stat today about me not being hit,” he said. “I finally got hit. I hope you [expletive] are happy.”

Beckett said, “I’m still trying to figure out if David got hit for something I did or if it was something ESPN stirred up.”

Probably a little bit of both.

Video: Rick Carlisle Doesn't Know Who Jason Whitlock Is

The postgame press conferences during the NBA Finals have been just as entertaining as the action on the floor.

On the heels of the awkward Gregg Doyel/LeBron James exchange, Jason Whitlock and Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle had an interesting back-and-forth following Game 4.

Journalists are now 0-for-2 during the NBA Finals. Just ask your question and move on.

 

Sports Host "Papa Joe" Chevalier Dies At 62

Former Sporting News Radio host Armand “Papa Joe” Chevalier died Friday from complications of a stroke at Nathan Adelson Hospice in Las Vegas. He was 62.

Chevalier suffered a stroke in March that resulted in paralysis to his right side but didn’t affect his speech.

“I don’t know if he had given up or what,” said Art Chevalier, Joe’s brother. “He just wasn’t eating enough, wasn’t sleeping enough to keep going after it.

The Papa Joe Show was nationally syndicated on the Sporting News Radio Network until 2005.

 

WWE's Ross Says LeBron Succeeded by Copying Wrestling Playbook

Seems as if the NBA Finals are already over, what with the Heat’s 1-0 lead, Dirk Nowitski‘s finger injury, and articles like Harvey Araton‘s in The New York Times today, headline: “After Betrayal, James Detractors Brace for a Title.”

Araton of course talks with Esquire scribe Scott Raab, who’s writing a book called “The Whore of Akron” about LeBron James and last summer’s “Decision” to jilt the starcrossed city of Cleveland and take his talents to South Beach. But Araton also spoke with Jim Ross, former wrestling announcer with the WWE, who spoke admirably of how James changed his persona from hero to villain, which Ross seems to think was some well-executed wrestling script.

“After a long, productive tenure as a fan favorite, he changed the story line and the way he did it, by going on ESPN, with Jim Gray as his straight man, was a classic wrestling promotion,” Ross said. “A hero doesn’t brag on his own abilities. It was a self-centered point of view that told his fans, ‘I’ve changed my philosophy.’ ”

Ross, an N.B.A. fan who roots for the Oklahoma City Thunder in his native state, does not think James is a real-life heel. They shared an autograph session during a “Monday Night Raw” event in Cleveland when James was a rookie, and he came away with the impression that James was “a really nice kid, very humble, mature for his age.”

But in the name of show-biz, wrestling heels break rules and often get away with it. James broke Cleveland’s heart and appears to be surmounting that, too. And while it is likely that more or even most fans will root for Miami to lose to Dallas, James has no doubt impressed younger fans with his audacity and defiance. Hence, the surge in his jersey sales.

Really? The reason James’ jersey sells so well is because he was audacious and defiant? That’s dubious. He’s not exactly Tommie Smith or John Carlos. You’re giving kids too much credit for self-reflection. I’m more inclined to think he has high jersey sales for the simple reason that kids watch games, check out the standings, read the stats — but don’t read the critical columns on places like RealClearSports. Little kids don’t buy LeBron’s jersey because he’s a rebel; they buy it because he’s an awesome basketball player.

 

ESPN Names Three Studio Analysts For Women's World Cup Coverage

Brandi Chastain, Briana Scurry and Tony DiCicco will join ESPN as studio analysts for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011 (June 26-July 17).

The three members of the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup winning U.S. team will appear on the network’s coverage of the three-week tournament along with participating in studio segments on SportsCenter, First Take and ESPNEWS.

“Brandi, Briana and Tony are among the best minds and most recognizable faces for women’s soccer anywhere in the world,” said Jed Drake, ESPN senior vice and executive producer, production. “Their ability to draw from past experiences will give our viewers the best insight on what these exceptional athletes are going through on the biggest stage of their careers.”

NBA Extends Agreements With Electronic Arts, Take-Two Interactive

 

The NBA announced two new multiyear agreements with Take-Two Interactive Software and Electronic Arts Inc. to continue to develop, publish, and distribute video games.

Take-Two (NBA 2K franchise) and EA (NBA Jam/NBA Elite franchise) each have the licensing rights to use NBA teams and players in their video game series.

“We have had successful and longstanding relationships with both 2K Sports and EA SPORTS,” said Sal LaRocca, Executive Vice President of NBA Global Merchandising. “Extending our agreements with the top sports video game developers continues to maximize our presence in this category, while ensuring our fans the best selection of NBA video games.” Read more

Joakim Noah Apologizes For Hurling Gay Slur At Fan

Learning nothing from Kobe Bryant, Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah was caught on camera yelling at gay slur at a fan during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

“A fan said something, and I said something back,” Noah said on the first quarter incident, “I apologized. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I got caught up. I didn’t mean any disrespect to anybody.”

I think Bryant can tell you what’s going to happen next, Joakim.

 

ESPN To Broadcast First College Basketball Game From U.S. Military Aircraft Carrier

ESPN will televise the first men’s college basketball game to be played on the deck of a United States military aircraft carrier when Michigan State takes on North Carolina in the Carrier Classic 11-11-11.

The United States military ship to host the Veteran’s Day event honoring the men and women in the armed forces has yet to be determined but will take place in the San Diego harbor.

The basketball game will be played below the flight deck in the event of rain and there will be seating for approximately 7,000 fans. Unfortunately, tickets will not be for sale. Read more

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