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SBD/May 5, 2014/People and Pop Culture
Names In The News
Published May 5, 2014
FIRST & FOREMOST: NFL player representation firm Athletes First has "taken the idea of a 'full service' experience to the extreme -- and its continued growth suggests bigger may indeed be better." NFLPA data shows that only CAA Football "can compare in terms of numbers -- 109 active contracts negotiated." The question "going forward is, how big is too big?" The mega agencies in the days since Athletes First launched "either are gone or have seen their client list slashed as agents broke off to join or start competing firms." Athletes First Chair & CEO DAVID DUNN said, "I am conscious of this in that it's very important for me to maintain the feel of this firm. I do not want to be perceived as overly corporate" (USA TODAY, 5/5).
SEEN & HEARD: A handful of sports figures attended Saturday's White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, including U.S. skier LINDSEY VONN, Seahawks CB RICHARD SHERMAN, Colts QB ANDREW LUCK, West Virginia AD OLIVER LUCK, U.S. snowboarder SAGE KOTSENBURG, Panthers QB CAM NEWTON, Cowboys QB TONY ROMO, former tennis player ANDY RODDICK and Sacramento Mayor KEVIN JOHNSON (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 4/29)....Celtics F KRIS HUMPHRIES, Patriots QB TOM BRADY and Packers QB AARON RODGERS attended Saturday's Kentucky Derby (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/4). Broncos WR WES WELKER also was in attendance (BOSTONHERALD.com, 5/4)....Among the celebrities in attendance at FLOYD MAYWEATHER's victory over MARCOS MAIDANA were singer JUSTIN BIEBER, rapper BOW WOW, actors CHRIS PINE and JAKE GYLLENHAAL and comedian DAVE CHAPPELLE (LASVEGASSUN.com, 5/3)....Patriots Owner ROBERT KRAFT and Giants Treasurer JONATHAN TISCH attended the grand opening of the Precinct Kitchen & Bar at Loews Boston Hotel (BOSTONHERALD.com, 5/4).
IN FOCUS: Former NBAer ANTOINE WALKER “has decided to frame” his downfall into a film with the help of L.A.-based production company It’s The Comeback Kids LLC in a documentary titled “GONE IN AN INSTANT.” Walker in ‘10 “started filming during his attempted professional basketball comeback with the Idaho Stampede” of the D-League. Walker: “It starts the process of putting myself in a positive light. It’s the opportunity for me to turn my situation into a positive for someone else. I came into the (NBA) at the age of 19, and I didn’t understand the value of a dollar.” Walker’s bad choices “peaked with his real-estate holdings,” and “then came the gambling debts.” Walker made more than $110M during his 11-season NBA career, “with nothing to show for it.” The documentary “includes interviews with a number of old friends and associates, including RICK PITINO, former NBAer NAZR MOHAMMED and former NFLer DONOVAN MCNABB. A private screening “has been planned for Boston in early June” (BOSTON HERALD, 5/5).
COURT REPORT: Sources said that an FBI sting operation was “snooping around" Pro Football HOFer JOE MONTANA, but “came up empty.” A source said that Montana was “contacted by an undercover FBI operative about an unspecified business proposition” (S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/5)…. Modell's Sporting Goods CEO MITCH MODELL accused his sister-in-law ABBY MODELL of having an “’unquenchable thirst for cash’ weeks after she filed a lawsuit against him” claiming he spent $7M in company profits on “personal luxuries.” He accused her of “attacking his own extravagant spending" in retaliation for "cutting off her unlimited credit card” (N.Y. POST, 5/3)….The L.A. County District Attorney’s office has “declined to file charges” against ESPN NFL analyst KEYSHAWN JOHNSON, who was “arrested last month following a domestic violence incident” with his ex-girlfriend, JENNIFER CONRAD (CBSSPORTS.com, 5/2).
NAMES: Colts coach CHUCK PAGANO held his second annual ChuckStrong Tailgate Gala on Friday, helping to raise “awareness and funds for cancer research” at the Indiana Univ. Melvin & Bren Simon Cancer Center (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 5/4)….Clippers F BLAKE GRIFFIN is “buying a newly built home in Pacific Palisades” for $9M. The Cape Cod-inspired home has 9,100 square feet. Meanwhile, Hockey HOFer WAYNE GRETZKY “has an estate for sale in Westlake Village” at $10.5M. He bought the site in ’00 for $2.76M (L.A. TIMES, 5/3)….U.S. snowboarder SHAUN WHITE and his band, “BAD THINGS,” played at the Mount Saint Joseph Academy prom on Friday in Lafayette Hill, Penn. (ESPN.com, 5/4)….Sources said that Yankees 3B ALEX RODRIGUEZ is “spending time” with STEVE COHEN and WARREN BUFFETT, and “considering going back to school to do an MBA” (N.Y. POST, 5/5)….ESPN’s JAY BILAS was the commencement speaker on Saturday for Queen’s Univ. of Charlotte (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 5/4)….Pro Football HOFer JIM KELLY “posted a video on Facebook Friday, thanking well wishers and telling them he is about to start his 19th radiation treatment and has had two bouts of chemotherapy” (BUFFALONEWS.com, 5/4)….Seton Hall’s third annual Donor Matching Day last Wednesday generated record-setting contributions for a single day in the athletic fund’s three-decade history. The total exceeded $193,000. RTB Media matched 30% of donations made (SHU)....Baseball HOFer DENNIS ECKERSLEY and LINDA PIZZUTI HENRY, the wife of Red Sox Owner JOHN HENRY, hosted an advance screening of Disney's "MILLION DOLLAR ARM" for the Red Sox Scholars and kids from the Home For Little Wanderers at the Regal Fenway Cinemas (BOSTONHERALD.com, 5/4)....Kentucky men’s basketball coach JOHN CALIPARI underwent successful hip-replacement surgery on Friday (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 5/4)….Chicago Sun-Times sportswriter TONI GINNETTI, who was “among the first women to cover a wide range of professional and college sports beats -- including the White Sox and Cubs -- retired Friday after 33 years” (ROBERTFEDER.com, 5/4).