SBD/January 22, 2014/People and Pop Culture

Names In The News

Bryant anticipates a busier schedule soon with daughter turning six
WNBA Storm President & CEO KAREN BRYANT will "say goodbye to what has been a longtime labor of love" at the conclusion of the '14 season after announcing earlier this month that she "is going to step down." It is "the right time" for her to step down, as her "daughter will be 6 years old in April, and Bryant anticipates summers will become busier with all kinds of kid activities and family vacation time." Bryant said, "A big motivation is to challenge myself in new ways. I really want to enhance my technology IQ. I want to take cooking classes. I'd like to coach my daughter's basketball team. But I'm going to be fully engaged with the Storm until my final day here" (ESPNW.com, 1/21).

THE 13TH MAN? Seahawks and Trail Blazers Owner PAUL ALLEN said of Microsoft CEO STEVE BALLMER's efforts to land an NBA franchise in Seattle, "I've tried to do whatever I could to help Steve become an NBA franchise owner, but these days it’s harder than it may have been previously to move teams, in part because when the Sonics left Seattle for Oklahoma it really, it left a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouth." Allen added, "I think the league ... is the league. If there’s good local support for the team, they want to do right by the fans, if there’s a good potential ownership group in that town. So we’ll see. I think Steve would make a great major league team owner because he is so passionate.” Allen: "Two sports teams for me is really, I think, my maximum. No one’s ever approached me about the Mariners. Some of my friends are minority owners in the Mariners. They've had some tough times -- with everything" (SEATTLETIMES.com, 1/21).

VIVA LA BAM: DEADLINE.com's David Lieberman listed MLBAM President & CEO BOB BOWMAN as a candidate for his "eventual list of 2014's most influential media execs." MLBAM is "poised to become an entertainment power" following the launch of the WWE Network. As MLBAM's "business grows, financial types wonder whether baseball execs might take MLBAM public," so it is a "heady time for Bowman" (DEADLINE.com, 1/21).

NAMES: Retired U.S. swimmer MICHAEL PHELPS will make "an appearance" on the USA Network sitcom "SUITS" on March 6. In Phelps' scene, after GABRIEL MACHT's character "fails to sign Phelps as a client," the lawyer's girlfriend "is determined to land the star athlete for the firm" (USA TODAY, 1/22)....First Lady MICHELLE OBAMA and Heat players “are starring together in a new video promoting fitness and healthy eating, part of Mrs. Obama's ‘Let's Move’ initiative.” The 50-second PSA was taped last week when the Heat visited the White House in commemoration of winning last year's NBA championship (AP, 1/21)....ESPN Nine for IX series documentary “VENUS VS.” has been nominated for an NAACP Image Award in the category of Outstanding Documentary -- TV (ESPN)....Red Sox Ps KOJI UEHARA and JUNICHI TAZAWA yesterday “met with U.S. Ambassador to Japan CAROLINE KENNEDY” to share the ’13 World Series trophy with fans in the country. Japan Prime Minister SHINZO ABE was presented with a team jersey and talked baseball with the players (AP, 1/21)....The Indians on June 21 will induct former MLBer OMAR VIZQUEL to the team’s HOF. Longtime broadcaster JIMMY DUDLEY will be inducted posthumously (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL 1/22)....U.S. snowboarder SHAUN WHITE and his band, BAD THINGS, yesterday released their first album (AP, 1/21)....Instagram fitness sensation JEN SELTER has hired The Legacy Agency for representation, including all marketing, broadcast, literary, endorsements, speaking engagements, and appearances (TLA).
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