SBD/January 13, 2014/People and Pop Culture

Names In The News

Viola befriended Jay Z through a minority investment in the Nets
The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Hope & Strasburg note NHL Panthers Owner VINNIE VIOLA "put his stamp on Virtu Financial Inc. and built it into one of the world's most successful high-speed trading outfits." His "new mission," an IPO for Virtu, is "one big step in a broader plan that has thrust Mr. Viola, 57 years old, into the public eye." Virtu's financial details and trading secrets "have been closely guarded." Sources said that Viola owns "almost 70% of the firm," making him the "biggest beneficiary of its profit stream." However, "not everything" Viola has touched turned to gold, as he "lost millions on a minority investment" in the Nets. But even that "came with an upside, as he became friends with JAY Z" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/13).

SLIP & SLIDE: Yankees President RANDY LEVINE, while exiting Thursday's opening of the NYY Steak restaurant in Manhattan, "slipped on the ice" face first while walking to his car. He and his phone "were bloody," while his knee "got banged," as well as his eye, eyebrow, and bridge of his nose. Levine is "swollen, got bandages, has stitches" (N.Y. POST, 1/13).

GOLDEN BOY: In N.Y., Elizabeth Weil wrote U.S. snowboarder SHAUN WHITE has the "stature to take up the safety issue" with the Int'l Ski Federation, but he "hasn't assumed that role." While White is "credited with normalizing helmet-wearing in snowboarding, he can be reluctant to talk about the sport's catastrophic injuries." But perhaps the "main reason White is not a leader inside the snowboarding community is that he's barely even in that community at all." Shaun White Enterprises COO KEITH YOKOMOTO sees White as "one of the PEYTON MANNINGS of the world or a MICHAEL JORDAN." In keeping with the "ambition to play in that bigger world, White switched agencies from IMG to CAA to have access to more resources" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/12).

WHAT ABOUT BOB? In Minneapolis, Mark Craig profiled NFL agent BOB LAMONTE, whose Professional Sports Representation agency is a business that LaMonte "started with his wife more than three decades ago." He represents "coaches and front office executives from 26 NFL teams," including Vikings GM RICK SPIELMAN. New Redskins coach JAY GRUDEN was this year's "hot" NFL assistant and is "not coincidentally, one of LaMonte's clients" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 1/12).

NAMES: Bobcats Owner MICHAEL JORDAN’s diploma from North Carolina, a copy of his academic transcript and recruiting letters from Basketball HOFer DEAN SMITH and former UNC coach BILL GUTHRIDGE are “up for auction” at New Jersey’s Goldin Auctions (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 1/11)….The U.S. State Department "issued a travel advisory on Friday cautioning Americans planning to attend" the Sochi Games (N.Y. TIMES, 1/11)....Eagles WR DESEAN JACKSON’s Philadelphia home “was robbed recently, with roughly $250,000 worth of cash and goods taken from the house.” It “isn’t known when the robbery took place, but police believe it was this past week” (NJ.com, 1/11)….Baseball agent GUSTAVO VASQUEZ on Saturday announced the formation of SPSports Group, a full-service sports and entertainment company based in Florida (SPSports)….Canadiens RW BRENDAN GALLAGHER is getting his “own sandwich -- at McDonald’s, no less.” Gallagher said, “I tried one, it was delicious, but it can not be too good for the heart” (SI.com, 1/12)….TNT's CHARLES BARKLEY and singer JOSH GROBAN attended Patriots-Colts on Saturday night (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/13)….Cubs President of Baseball Operations THEO EPSTEIN and baseball writer PETER GAMMONS attended the Hot Stove Cool Music Concert & VIP Party on Saturday to benefit Epstein's Foundation To Be Named Later (BOSTON HERALD, 1/13)….Former NHLer MIKE COMRIE and wife HILARY DUFF “have separated” (LATIMES.com, 1/10)….The home of Clippers F LAMAR ODOM and wife KHLOE KARDASHIAN is on the market for $5.499M (LATIMES.com, 1/8).
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