SBD/2/Events Attractions

WHEN THE STARS COME OUT IN THE CITY: SI'S GRAND GALA TONIGHT

          CBS will broadcast "Sports Illustrated's 20th Century
     Sports Awards" tonight with a two-hour special live from MSG
     starting at 9:00pm ET.  Tonight's event, hosted by Bryant
     Gumbel, will honor SI's top athlete of the century in
     hockey, baseball, basketball, football, Olympians, and
     individualized men and women.  SI will also name its
     Sportsman or Sportswoman of the Century, along with its
     "Athletes Who Changed The Game."  Among the guests scheduled
     to attend: Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky,
     Magic Johnson, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Arnold
     Palmer, Chris Evert, Jack Nicklaus, Joe Montana and others. 
     Celebrity presenters include Al Pacino, Tim Robbins, Susan
     Sarandon and Billy Crystal, who will present awards (SI). 
     In N.Y., Mitchell Fink writes that the "collective star
     power" attending tonight's event "is on a level that's
     beyond anything even the Garden has ever seen" (N.Y. DAILY
     NEWS, 12/2).  In Chicago, Ed Sherman wrote that, on the
     "surface," Gumbel seems like an "unlikely" choice to host
     the event, as he was "the subject of one of the best, yet
     most unflattering profiles ever" in SI in '98.  But Gumbel
     got his assignment "because of his new role as host of CBS'
     'The Early Show.'"  Sherman: "A little synergy can go a long
     way in making people forget" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/29). 

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