Names In The News
TIME magazine named tennis player KIM CLIJSTERS, FC Barcelona MF LIONEL MESSI and India cricket player MAHENDRA SINGH DHONI among its 100 most influential people. Former tennis player MARTINA NAVRATILOVA profiles Clijsters under the header, “Balancing Sport, Motherhood And Victory With Grace.” It is “easier to balance work and family when you’re making a lot of money,” but Clijsters “has turned that balance into an art form.” She has “kept her feet on the ground and knows that her tennis skills do not make her a great person.” MLS Red Bulls F THIERRY HENRY writes of Messi, “It’s not normal, what he does. I know the expectation that builds up around top players, but it doesn’t bother Messi. He’s a competitor: he doesn’t want to lose, not even in training.” Meanwhile, Indian novelist CHETAN BHAGAT notes Dhoni “doesn’t just lead a cricket team; he’s also India’s captain of hope.” Dhoni “didn’t just win India the World Cup; he also taught India how to win” (TIME, 5/2 issue). In N.Y., Keith Kelly notes Knicks F CARMELO ANTHONY “managed to get a pretty good seat” at the Time 100 gala at Lincoln Center in Manhattan last night (N.Y. POST, 4/27).
AWARD-WINNING PERFORMANCE: In L.A., Mike Bresnahan reports Lakers F RON ARTEST was “selected as the winner of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award” presented annually by the Professional Basketball Writers Association. The award “recognizes an NBA player or coach for outstanding service and dedication to the community.” Artest has “made a personal crusade of raising mental health awareness this season.” Artest said of the award, “It’s something that is probably not on people’s minds. But it was something that I wanted and I’m definitely happy that I got it” (L.A. TIMES, 4/27).
ON SOLID GROUND: In Oklahoma City, Berry Tramel profiled Big 12 Commissioner DAN BEEBE and wrote he is “a competitor.” Critics who “blamed Beebe for the exits of Nebraska and Colorado were clueless, but none of us had any idea how strong was the Big 12 leader.” Beebe “kept the remaining 10 teams together by making financial promises,” and now he has “delivered on the promise, with a 13-year, $90-million-per-year contract with Fox Sports.” Tramel wrote, “Truth is, the Big 12 is more stable now with 10 teams than it was with 12” (DAILY OKLAHOMAN, 4/24).
WEIGHT AND SEE: Last night's edition of NBC's "The Biggest Loser" featured NASCAR driver CLINT BOWYER arriving in his No. 33 Wheaties Chevy Impala. Bowyer gave the contestants a pep talk, telling them they were "an inspiration to all of us." The contestants dragged a car around the track and the winner received a "VIP experience" as Bowyer's guest at the Richmond Int’l Raceway, $5000 in prize money and will have their face on a collector's box of Wheaties ("The Biggest Loser," NBC, 4/26).
NAMES: Ingram's magazine has named Learfield Sports Founder & Chair CLYDE LEAR one of the "50 Missourians You Should Know" (INGRAM'S, 4/ '11 issue)....T'Wolves Owner GLEN TAYLOR "has temporarily set aside his usual daytime duties" for jury duty in Blue Earth County, Minnesota (MANKATO FREE PRESS, 4/27)....Daytona Int'l Speedway President JOIE CHITWOOD has made a push to open the ISC Archive "to the public via a new, three-hour VIP Tour package, which started Tuesday." DIS and ISC "store all their valued historical information, photographs and racing memorabilia in an unmarked building" away from the track, and "only a handful of employees have regular access to the facility" (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 4/27)....CARL LEWIS’ political ambitions were “dealt a major blow” yesterday when New Jersey Secretary of State KIM GUADAGNO ruled that the former Olympian “can’t run for the state Senate” because he has not lived in the state for the required four years (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/27)….Heat F LEBRON JAMES has “made good on a promise to help Boys & Girls Clubs across Northeast Ohio by sharing advertising proceeds” from “The Decision,” his ESPN special last July during which he announced his decision to sign with the Heat. Boys & Girls Clubs in Cleveland, Akron and Elyria received a total of more than $480,000, part of the approximately $2M James has distributed nationwide since the broadcast (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 4/27).
IN MEMORY: Former Nike exec JOSEPH HA, who “helped shape Nike’s stature in international business, died Saturday of cancer” at age 74. From ’81-96, he served as a consultant for global business at Nike, and later became VP/Int’l Business & Government Relations (Portland OREGONIAN, 4/27).