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Volume 24 No. 117
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Names In The News

Former NFLer HUNTER HILLENMEYER initially told the Ohio Supreme Court in a brief that Cleveland's "unique way of calculating out-of-town players' income tax was being applied to him unconstitutionally." But Hillenmeyer's attorneys in a second brief filed last week "went further, claiming that the city's jock tax was 'facially discriminatory' against all out-of-town players because they're taxed differently" than Browns players, who "practice outside city limits in Berea." The city of Cleveland yesterday filed an objection with the Supreme Court, arguing Hillenmeyer "isn't allowed to raise new legal arguments this late in the process" (, 7/21).

BEAR NECESSITIES: In Chicago, Patrick Finley profiles Bears VP/Football Administration & General Counsel CLIFF STEIN, who "oversees the Bears’ salary cap and, with approval" from team President & CEO TED PHILLIPS and GM PHIL EMERY, the "financial side of player contracts." Stein "communicates with the NFL about rules, waivers and employee contracts in addition to negotiating deals." He said, "Once the plan is laid out, I get a tremendous amount of autonomy. I’m really fortunate to work with some great leaders." Stein "described himself as a 'no-name agent' for eight years" before being hired in '02 by former Bears GM JERRY ANGELO (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 7/22).

THE KING'S TRAVELS: Cavaliers F LEBRON JAMES yesterday "began his tour of China" and "was greeted by pianist LANG LANG at the Wukesong Sports Center in Beijing." The two "exchanged gifts, with Lang Lang receiving a pair of basketball shoes and James getting an album of Lang Lang's music and a CD with the FIFA Brazil World Cup music." James' five-day trip is "being sponsored by Nike." James also will be "visiting Guangzhou and Hong Kong, and two cities in Taiwan -- Kaohsiung and Taipei" (AP, 7/21).

JOHNNY ON THE SPOT: Ravens coach JOHN HARBAUGH is "cast in a series of video ads selling season tickets at his alma mater," Miami (Ohio) Univ. The 30-second spots "feature Harbaugh lending his voice to 'Lil John Harbaugh,' a miniature version of the Harbaugh statue at Yager Stadium." Fans buying season tickets "get one of the Lil John Harbaugh statues." The school will "be rolling out more Lil John Harbaugh spots in the coming weeks" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 7/22).

MONEY MATTERS: Wild LW THOMAS VANEK yesterday was in federal court in Rochester, N.Y., "as part of an ongoing gambling investigation." His appearance "apparently stems from the June arrest of three men on gambling and money laundering charges." WHEC-TV reported Vanek is "not charged with any crime" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 7/22)....Former U.S. Olympic fencer JAMES MELCHER's Balestra Capital Partners "saw investors yank" more than $600M -- or "more than 60% of its assets" -- at the end of Q2. His investors include the U.S. Fencing Foundation, which "has roughly half of its" about $1.3M nest egg invested in Balestra (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/22)....Rosenhaus Sports has signed Bears OT JORDAN MILLS for representation. Rosenhaus Sports Founder and NFL agent DREW ROSENHAUS will represent him. Mills was formerly represented by Team Sports Agency (Liz Mullen, Staff Writer).

NAMES: Boxing HOFer MIKE TYSON will serve as the presenter for EVANDER HOLYFIELD's induction into the Nevada Boxing HOF Aug. 9 at the Tropicana in Las Vegas (, 7/21)....Revolution D KEVIN ALSTON, who was diagnosed with leukemia last year, has spent eight weeks taking a comedy class at Boston’s Improv Asylum and will “make his stage debut Aug. 20 at Revolution Night at the Asylum” (BOSTON HERALD, 7/22)....NFL Panthers coach RON RIVERA “jumped into the Twitter world over the weekend as @RiverboatRonHC” (, 7/21)....A Kickstarter page is expected to go live Thursday "with a goal of obtaining funding" for a $60,000 bronze statue of former MLBer BARRY BONDS outside AT&T Park. The statue is being called "Barry Bronze" (, 7/21)....Heat F CHRIS BOSH has listed his 10,700-square-foot Pacific Palisades, Calif., mansion for $14.5M. He purchased the property in December ’12 for $9.4M (, 7/21)....Bears G KYLE LONG last month paid $1.35M for a “five-bedroom brick Georgian-style house” in Lake Forest, Ill. (, 7/21)....NFL Panthers S ROMAN HARPER bought a condo in the Warehouse District of New Orleans for $392,000 “in a cash sale July 18” (, 7/21)....Capitals RW ALEX OVECHKIN and Russian tennis player MARIA KIRILENKO “have broken off their engagement” (, 7/21)....Giants WR VICTOR CRUZ has “proposed to his longtime girlfriend” ELAINA WATLEY (N.Y. POST, 7/22).