In L.A., Mike Bresnahan notes Lakers G KOBE BRYANT is "almost too popular" in China to leave the team hotel. Bryant said, "It's harder for me to walk around here than it is in the (United) States." Several times during Lakers practice yesterday "ever-encroaching broadcasters and reporters were told to get off a stage where Bryant was doing a handful of one-on-one interviews." The scrum "easily surpassed what he'd face on a day of practice during the NBA Finals" (L.A. TIMES, 8/15).
CAPITAL CALL: SKY NEWS' Mark Kleinman reported F1 Owner CVC Capitial has enlisted "one of the world's most prominent media executives to strengthen its bid for control of IMG." CVC Capital, which owns roughly one-third of F1's parent company, has "joined forces with an investment group headed by" former News Corporation President/COO PETER CHERNIN to mount a $2B offer. Chernin "is understood to have agreed to join CVC's bid in recent days" (SKY NEWS, 10/14).
RETIREMENT PLAN: In Detroit, George Sipple profiles MLBPA Deputy Exec Dir TONY CLARK, who retired as a player after the '09 season and joined the union as Dir of Player Relations in March '10. Clark said, "Once I finished up, I sat around, and after a couple months of that, I realized I was not wired for sitting around. Had a great time doing TV and some radio. Really was thinking that was the direction I was going to go until I had an opportunity to sit down with MICHAEL WEINER, our executive director. He laid out a vision of what he wanted to do and where he wanted the organization to go, and I came on board" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 10/15).
LIFE, LOVE & HOCKEY: In Boston, Bill Littlefield reviews Hockey HOFer BOBBY ORR's autobiography, "ORR: MY STORY," and writes the book "celebrates hard work and passion as the fuel for reaching your goal." Orr takes the reader through his career and caps the book with "his take on the current state of the game and his suggestions for ways that hockey could be made better and safer for players from peewee to pros." This is "no barbed tell-all, but then that isn't Orr's style." For most fans there will be "little that will surprise, but some of the details are likely to delight" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/15).
HEATED DEBATE: In N.Y., Thompson, O'Keeffe, Red & Vinton cite sources as saying that attorney JOE TACOPINA two weeks ago during his defense of Yankees 3B ALEX RODRIGUEZ had to be "physically restrained from brawling with another lawyer" at MLB's N.Y. offices. Tacopina "instigated a confrontation" with JULIO AYALA, one of the attorneys representing Biogenesis founder ANTHONY BOSCH (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/15).
GET WELL SOON: Univ. of North Carolina women's basketball coach SYLVIA HATCHELL will be "temporarily stepping away" from coaching after doctors recently diagnosed her with leukemia. Hatchell last month was inducted into the Basketball HOF. She will "receive treatment at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center." Hatchell's 908 victories ranks second all-time, behind only Tennessee's PAT SUMMITT (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 10/14).
NAMES: Former San Diego State women's basketball coach BETH BURNS has "filed a wrongful termination claim with the California State University system, calling it an 'unlawful decision to fire one of its leaders in women's athletics without any legitimate cause.'" But her claim says she was "given the option of resignation, termination or retirement in a meeting." Burns "allegedly struck a subordinate" at a February '13 game (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 10/15)....Georgia-based real estate agent PATRICK MITCHELL JONES has been arrested as part of the North Carolina Secretary of State’s "investigation into agents providing illegal benefits to UNC football players.” He is accused of trying to induce current Rams DE ROBERT QUINN to sign with agent TERRY WATSON, and “is charged with one count of athlete-agent inducement” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 10/15)....Former MLBer JACK CLARK, “looking to fend off a defamation lawsuit for accusing” Angels 1B ALBERT PUJOLS of using steroids, "has offered to take a lie-detector test if Pujols does the same” (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/15)....The town of Brookline, Mass. “has approved the plans” for Patriots QB TOM BRADY and his wife GISELE BUNDCHEN’s planned 14,317-square-foot Chestnut Hill mansion (BOSTONHERALD.com, 10/14).
IN MEMORY: MLB umpire WALLY BELL, who worked this year's Cardinals-Pirates NLDS, died yesterday “after suffering a heart attack” (Mult.)....60-year-old delivery truck driver EDWARD LAKE II died yesterday "when he was crushed by steel rebar he was unloading at the 49ers stadium construction site in Santa Clara, the second worker fatality there in four months” (S.F. CHRONICLE, 10/15).