Names In The News
In N.Y., Mitch Lawrence wrote former NBA Deputy Commissioner RUSS GRANIK has "received a richly deserved honor" for being inducted as a contributor in the '13 Basketball HOF class. Granik was "instrumental in helping put together the original Dream Team for the 1992 Summer Games" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/17). Several people tweeted out praise for Granik's selection. Basketball HOFer Bill Walton tweeted, "Congrats to Russ Granik for the @NBA HOF - well deserved & long overdue - thanks for being a giant." SI's Ian Thomsen wrote, "Congrats to Hall of Famer Russ Granik! Crucial to Dream Team, CBA talks + NBA's growth. Never sought fame, always deserved it = now has it." Bloomberg's Scott Soshnick: "Congrats to Russ Granik on the hoops Hall of Fame call. Always understated. Never underappreciated #NBA." However, Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski in a series of tweets took shots at the HOF's selection process. Wojnarowski: "Unreal. No Old Boys Network like Springfield. They need a separate Hall for the real HOFers. ... If you had any doubt about the influence DAVID STERN and JERRY COLANGELO have over the 'voting process' for Hall, you should have none now." Former L.A. Times writer Mark Heisler responded, "Someone thinks Russ Granik doesn't belong in HOF? That's like saying David Stern doesn't or that NBA's where it was in '84 when they arrived" (TWITTER.com, 2/15).
ROW, ROW, ROW YOUR BOAT: CNN’s Christine Romans noted Heat Owner MICKY ARISON, who is also CEO of the Carnival Corp., sat courtside for a Heat game last week while the Carnival Triumph was adrift in the Gulf of Mexico. Romans: “He’s courtside while those people are just desperate to be dockside. It’s a PR nightmare.” CNN’s Ali Velshi said, “It just made me cringe to see a rich guy at a basketball game while these passengers are stuck on a boat” (“Your Money,” CNN, 2/16).
LIFE IN THE FAST LANE: NASCAR drivers JIMMIE JOHNSON, KASEY KAHNE and ARIC ALMIROLA were among "nearly 1,400 runners" to participate in yesterday's Daytona Beach Half Marathon. Kahne finished in 1:28:44, Johnson at 1:29:48, and Almirola at 1:46:35. The Central Florida Sports Commission, Volusia County and Daytona Int'l Speedway "partnered to host the race, which was held in conjunction with speedweeks for the first time in its five-year history" (NEWS-JOURNALONLINE.com, 2/17).
AWARDS & HONORS: D'Backs President & CEO DERRICK HALL has been named the '12 recipient of the Bill Shover Leadership Award. The award recognizes an individual who has "voluntarily contributed time and talent to the betterment of the Arizona blood supply" (MLB.com, 2/15).
NAMES: Baseball HOFer SANDY KOUFAX arrived at Dodgers Spring Training "to begin a two-week stint as a pitching instructor as part of a one-year contract that will put him back in a Dodgers uniform for the first time in more than 20 years" (LATIMES.com, 2/18)....Heat G DWYANE WADE, pastor JOEL OSTEEN and Knicks Assistant GM ALLAN HOUSTON on Friday hosted a panel discussion on fatherhood (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 2/16). Wade on Saturday also hosted a luncheon to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 2/17)….Bears K ROBBIE GOULD announced the launch of a new summer reading program, “Books in Bags,” which will be a partnership between Chicago’s Working in the Schools and his charity, the Goulden Touch Foundation. The program “will raise funds to send bags of books home with more than 3,000 students” (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/17)….Retired U.S. swimmer MICHAEL PHELPS “recently whisked his new girlfriend, SARAH HERNDON to the Bahamas.” Herndon is a “22-year-old California waitress” (N.Y. POST, 2/18)….Patriots DT VINCE WILFORK “celebrated wife BIANCA’s birthday at Strega” in Boston’s North End with Patriots LB JEROD MAYO and his wife (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/18)….Ravens RB RAY RICE recently dined at Philippe Chow in N.Y. (N.Y. POST, 2/17).
IN MEMORY: Former Phillies scout EDITH HOUGHTON died on Feb. 2 in Sarasota at the age of 100. Houghton was “the first woman hired as a major league scout on her own.” In addition to being “one of the first female scouts in baseball,” she was “apparently also the last” (N.Y. TIMES, 2/16)….Former NHLers SERGE SAVARD, YVAN COURNOYER and REJEAN HOULE, among other “hockey greats and political leaders,” attended a memorial service on Saturday for former Radio-Canada broadcaster RICHARD GARNEAU, who died in January at the age of 82 (GLOBE & MAIL, 2/17)….Former Tulane Univ. athlete and “baseball stadium namesake” ROBERT TURCHIN, SR. died on Thursday at the age of 90 (NOLA.com, 2/16)….Former Cowboys Equipment Manager JACK ESKRIDGE, who created the team’s blue star logo, died last Monday in Valley Falls, Kan., at the age of 89 (AP, 2/15).