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SBD/September 21, 2010/People and Pop CulturePrint All
TIM CHEN is leaving his job as CEO of NBA China on Oct. 1, but will remain a member of NBA China's BOD. Chen was named CEO of NBA China in October '07, prior to the launch of the entity in January '08 with a $253M investment from Walt Disney Co., Bank of China Group Investment, Legend Holdings Ltd, Li Ka Shing Foundation and China Merchants Investments for an 11% stake in the company. NBA China now has a staff of more than 150 employees as the league looks to grow its brand in China. Prior to joining NBA China, Chen was CEO of Microsoft Greater China. NBA China CFO STEVE RICHARD has been named interim CEO of NBA China.
The season debut of ABC's "Dancing With The Stars" was last night, with former NBAer RICK FOX and former NFLer KURT WARNER participating. Warner said, "I decided to do 'Dancing With The Stars' because my family is a huge fan of the show. More often that not, I've got to bribe my kids to watch a game with me. I have a funny feeling we're not going to have to bribe any of the kids to sit down in front of the TV and watch this." Warner said the fact that previous sports personalities have performed well on the show is the "scary part." Fox: "On the basketball court, my height was my biggest advantage. In the ballroom, it's my worst nightmare. But I'm here to prove that NBA players can dance." Fox scored a 22 and Warner a 19 for their rendition of the Viennese Waltz, placing Fox in fourth place and Warner in sixth after the first night of competition ("DWTS," ABC, 9/20).
BAD BET: British online gambling company Sportingbet has agreed to pay US$33M to "settle a long-running U.S. investigation over illegal Internet gambling." Under the settlement, U.S. authorities "will not prosecute the company for providing illegal Internet gambling services" to U.S. customers from '98-'06. U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of N.Y. PREET BHARARA said that Sportingbet offered Internet gaming to people in the U.S., including "real-money sportsbetting as well as wagering on poker and casino games" (TELEGRAPH.co.uk, 9/21).
STEEL RESOLVE: In N.Y., Eric Dash noted the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon Univ. is hosting "Whatever It Takes," an exhibit that explores the "culture of Steelers Nation and the personal relationship between the team and its fans." The exhibit includes one fan's "man cave and nearly 1,500 unlicensed videos, T-shirts, sculptures and other objects." It is scheduled to run through Jan. 30., and gallery officials said that it could stay even longer "if the Steelers reach the Super Bowl" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/19).
LEGEND OF THE FALL: White Sox manager OZZIE GUILLEN yesterday while visiting Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum "received an autographed baseball from actor BRAD PITT, who spent several weeks at the Coliseum filming his role" as A's GM BILLY BEANE for the upcoming movie "MONEYBALL." Guillen plans to "auction the ball for his foundation, which raises money for children's causes" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/21).
CHARITY STRIPE: Stars C BRAD RICHARDS yesterday made a donation of $500,000 to the pediatric unit of Queen Elizabeth Hospital in his hometown of Prince Edward Island. The hospital has established a Brad Richards Named Endowment to help purchase medical equipment to aid children (Queen Elizabeth Hospital)....Crowne Plaza Invitational officials this year raised $4.1M for local charities as part of the PGA Tour event's Birdies For Charity campaign (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 9/21)....Mississippi resident CHRISTOPHER LYNN yesterday won the Saints Super Bowl ring raffle. The raffle raised $1.4M for the Saints Gulf Coast Renewal Fund, "which raises money for charities working on the BP oil spill disaster" (NOLA.com, 9/21).
NAMES: Golden Boy Promotions announced yesterday that it has agreed to a multiyear contract extension with SAUL "CANELO" ALVAREZ, the 20-year-old boxer who has "quickly emerged as Golden Boy's top prospect" (SI.com, 9/21)....Rhode Island's Economic Development Corp. on Friday said that former MLBer CURT SCHILLING's video game company, 38 Studios LLC, "will not be able to use funds backed by a state loan guarantee to receive state tax benefits" (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, 9/18)....CBS NFL announcer PHIL SIMMS and his wife, DIANA, will serve as honorary co-Chairs for the Matthew Larson Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation's Fourth Annual Dinner & Auction Benefit on Thursday (CBS)....Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) CEO DAN SANTORUM has received the Int'l Tennis Foundation's Service to the Game Award (PTR)....The PR teams from Time Warner Cable and ESPN "met up at Manhattan's famed 21 Club for a celebratory drink" two weeks after the parties reached a carriage agreement. The group included CHRIS LAPLACA, KATINA ARNOLD and AMY PHILLIPS from ESPN, and ELLEN EAST, ALEX DUDLEY, MAUREEN HUFF and JUSTIN VENECH from TWC (MULTICHANNEL.com, 9/20).