SBD/June 25, 2012/People and Pop Culture

Names In The News

Cavaliers Owner DAN GILBERT's decision to congratulate the Heat and Thunder for a good NBA Finals series, while not congratulating Heat F LEBRON JAMES personally, was discussed Friday on ESPN. Columnist Kevin Blackistone: “Guess who’s gotten smaller? It’s Dan Gilbert.” Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan: “Grow up! Act like the grown-up in this scenario.” ("Around The Horn,” ESPN, 6/22). ESPN’s Michael Wilbon called Gilbert an “ungracious, classless, self-absorbed narcissist who behaves most often, at least publicly, like a bum. He doesn’t have the class, the dignity, the guts. He’s not man enough to say, ‘Congratulations LeBron James, we may have our differences but congratulations on a championship” (“PTI,” ESPN, 6/22).

Smith takes active role as NFL ambassador for Samaritan's Feet

CHARITY STRIPE: NFL Panthers WR STEVE SMITH Saturday in L.A. "helped wash the feet and put new socks and shoes on more than 500 of the city's homeless" as the NFL ambassador for Charlotte-based non-profit Samaritan's Feet (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 6/24)....Rams QB SAM BRADFORD donated $500,000 to his alma mater the Univ. of Oklahoma (NEWSOK.com, 6/23)....NASCAR driver JIMMIE JOHNSON hosted his annual golf fundraiser for his self-titled foundation Tuesday in San Diego and raised over $650,000 the Lowe's Toolbox for Education Champions Grants program (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 6/23)....NHL Green Friday introduced a legacy tree project in Pittsburgh to coincide with the '12 NHL Entry Draft. The NHL Foundation donated 30 trees in total that will neighbor the Consol Energy Center, the first NHL venue to achieve LEED Gold certification (NHL).

AWARD WINNERS: The Pro Football Writers of America named late beat writer TOM KOWALSKI the posthumous winner of the '12 Dick McCann Award for his contributions to pro football through his coverage of the Lions for 32 years. Kowalski passed away in August at age 51 (AP, 6/23)....Nets coach AVERY JOHNSON won the National Association of Black Journalists Pioneer Award at its convention in New Orleans Friday. Hornets coach MONTY WILLIAMS attended the ceremony (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/24).

TENNIS, ANYONE?
The N.Y. TIMES MAGAZINE's Peter de Jonge profiled tennis coach IVAN LENDL and his work with tennis player ANDY MURRAY. Lendl became "hooked on golf while he was still playing tennis, and since retirement has played as many as 250 rounds in a year." Part of Lendl's negotiations with Murray "included TV viewing of the Masters." Lendl was "willing to miss the first three rounds, but he had to see Sunday." Lendl said, “I’m not watching it from tape, either” (N.Y. TIMES MAGAZINE, 6/24).

NAMES:
NFL Jets Owner WOODY JOHNSON joined over 700 donors and fundraisers for Republican Presidential candidate MITT ROMNEY on a weekend retreat in Utah (WALL STREET JOURNAL 6/25)....First Lady MICHELLE OBAMA will lead the Presidential Delegation to the Opening Ceremony of the London Games, incorporating that role with her ongoing initiatives to promote fitness among American children (White House)....NASCAR Chair & CEO BRIAN FRANCE named his "Executive Dream Team" in a feature on FORTUNE.com.  He would want Under Armour President, Chair & CEO KEVIN PLANK to serve as Chief Strategist. France also said, "What's happening at Twitter is impressive; my designer has to be" Twitter co-Founder & Chair JACK DORSEY. France said one of the "most innovative companies in the technology space is Cisco, and my choice for CIO" would be Cisco CIO REBECCA JACOBY. France said he would name Coca-Cola Exec VP and Chief Marketing & Commercial Officer JOE TRIPODI CMO because he "runs a best-in-class brand" (FORTUNE.com, 6/22)....Magic Senior VP PAT WILLIAMS said he is doing "wonderful" in his battle against multiple myeloma, which is in remission. Williams was diagnosed with the disease in early '11 (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 6/24).

IN MEMORY: Former Raleigh News & Observer Sports Editor JOE TIEDE passed away Friday at age 84 (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 6/24).
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