U.S. Fans Abound For WWC Final LeBron Praised For Role In Apatow's "Trainwreck" MLS Eyeing St. Paul For Expansion Club Angels Bad PR Continues With Dipoto Exit NBA Free Agency Begins With Money Flying Expectations High For NASCAR On NBC NBC Lands New Advertisers For Race Coverage Going Off The Grid Steelers Exploring '23 Super Bowl Bid GT To Benefit Financially From Ireland Game
SBD/February 21, 2011/People and Pop CulturePrint All
Lakers G KOBE BRYANT Saturday afternoon left his handprints and footprints "on the sidewalk in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater," becoming the "first athlete to be so immortalized among actors and actresses," according to Janis Carr of the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER. Bryant said he never in his "wildest dreams ever thought something like this would happen." He added that the ceremony "would make him 'more Hollywood'" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 2/20). In L.A., Andrea Chang reported the ceremony was hosted by ABC's JIMMY KIMMEL and included short speeches by several people, including Lakers Exec VP/Business Operations JEANIE BUSS and actor/comedian GEORGE LOPEZ. Fans "swarmed Hollywood Boulevard to catch a glimpse" of Bryant, with some "lining up as early as 6 am." Several hundred fans "were allowed into the theater for the half-hour ceremony, which was moved inside because of rain." The celebration continued Saturday night with a "star-studded party at Hollywood's Boulevard 3 nightclub" (LATIMES.com, 2/19).
MAMBA NO. 24: Screenvision on Friday announced an exclusive deal with Nike to premiere the six-minute film "THE BLACK MAMBA," which stars Bryant and is directed by ROBERT RODRIGUEZ, in L.A. area theaters. The film will be part of the pre-movie features for PG-13 and R rated films. The deal runs through Thursday (Screenvision). Bryant Friday night unveiled the film "alongside fellow athletes and stars such as KANYE WEST" at the W Hotel in Hollywood (LATIMES.com, 2/20).
Former Rams President JOHN SHAW's 31-year run with the organization is “officially over.” Shaw, who gave up his title as president two years ago, no longer is “being paid by the team, and will no longer represent the Rams at league owners meetings.” Shaw said, “As of really the Super Bowl, I don’t have an official role with the team. I’ve known since the sale (to STAN KROENKE) that it was happening at some point” (STLTODAY.com, 2/18).
EXECS: Angels Baseball and flagship station KLAA-AM Thursday announced the hiring of Viamedia GM DAVID BARONFELD as GM of the station, effective immediately (Angels)....The MLS Columbus Crew have hired LEAH MATTHEWS as Advertising & Promotions Manager (Crew)....NYRA Dir of Guest Services KIMBERLY JUSTUS has left the company (NYRA)....The Sharks Foundation has named JEFF CAFUIR Manager and KELLY ESREY Coordinator. Cafuir most recently served as Sharks Fan Development Manager, while Esrey served as an assistant for the Sharks Foundation (Sharks Foundation).
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MLB Cardinals co-Owner ANDREW "DREW" BAUR passed away yesterday at the age of 66. Baur helped organize the original ownership group that purchased the Cardinals from Anheuser-Busch in '96. He had been on the Cardinals BOD since '96 and also served as the team's Treasurer (Cardinals). Baur "remained a central ownership figure of the team until his death." He "had attended a recent meeting of investors at the club's spring training headquarters" in Jupiter, Fla. A family member said that Baur "suffered a heart attack." Funeral arrangements "were pending Sunday night" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 2/21).
STARS COME OUT AT NIGHT: BEYONCE, JAY-Z and JUSTIN BIEBER sat courtside for last night's NBA All-Star Game at Staples Center. Other celebrities in attendance included SEAN COMBS, BRUNO MARS, KERI HILSON, NE-YO, GENE SIMMONS, STEVEN TYLER, NICKI MINAJ, DUSTIN HOFFMAN, SPIKE LEE, WARREN BEATTY, RICK FOX, ELIZA DUSHKU, NICK CANNON, PIERS MORGAN, SNOOP DOGG, TERRELL OWENS, CHRIS TUCKER, VENUS WILLIAMS, FOREST WHITAKER, NOAH WYLE, ELLEN POMPEO and JACK NICHOLSON (BOSTON HERALD, 2/21). LENNY KRAVITZ, STEVE WONDER and JOHN LEGEND also were in attendance (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 2/21).
AT THE TRACK: Former Massachusetts Gov. MITT ROMNEY, Florida Gov. RICK SCOTT and U.S. Sen. BILL NELSON (D-Fla.) attended yesterday's Daytona 500. Also in attendance were actors JOSH DUHAMEL and ROSIE HUNTINGTON-WHITELEY and director MICHAEL BAY (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 2/21). Duhamel, Huntington-Whiteley and Bay all worked on "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," which "has a NASCAR tie, as three of the modified NASCAR stock cars used in the filming led the field during the pace laps for Sunday's race" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 2/21).
UNDER INVESTIGATION: In Phoenix, Harris & Hensley reported the Fiesta Bowl and the Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff's Office are "separately investigating a financial arrangement that last year paid more than a half-million dollars to a firm that provided security for the bowl." The bowl last week in its annual tax returns "disclosed that it paid $508,776 in 2009-10 to Blue Steel Consulting, a security firm owned by LT. AARON BROWN of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office." The amount paid was "more than triple the amount paid to the firm the previous fiscal year and approached the firm's total take for the previous three years combined." The large expenditure is "being examined as part of the bowl's ongoing internal investigation into past spending practices" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 2/19).
NAMES: Late Pistons Dir of PR MATT DOBEK Friday was posthumously honored as the winner of the '10 Splaver/McHugh "Tribute to Excellence" award, which is given annually by the NBA Public Relations Directors' Association to a current or former member who has demonstrated an outstanding level of performance and service during his or her NBA career (NBA)....Heat F LEBRON JAMES is "teaming up" with producer BRIAN GLAZER to star in "BALLERS," a "funny flick about a group of guys who go to adult basketball camp." James will play "an NBA superstar in the flick" (BOSTON HERALD, 2/19)....Former tennis players ANDRE AGASSI and his wife, STEFFI GRAF, were in DC last week to film a USTA-sponsored commercial with First Lady MICHELLE OBAMA. The ad will support Obama's "Let's Move!" campaign to fight childhood obesity (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 2/19).