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Volume 24 No. 176

People and Pop Culture

The NBPA and former union Exec Dir BILLY HUNTER have settled his $10M lawsuit and the union's counterclaims against him. Terms of the settlement were undisclosed and a joint statement said neither party will be commenting further. Hunter was fired from the union's top job in February '13 after an outside law firm conducted an investigation and found he acted in his own interests and against the interests of NBA players. Hunter filed his lawsuit in L.A. Superior Court in May '13 for $10M he claimed was owed to him, alleging breach of contract, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, among other things. The NBPA counter-sued Hunter in '15, alleging breach of fiduciary duty and negligent and fraudulent misrepresentation, among other claims. Hunter served as NBPA Exec Dir for 17 years. “I am pleased to see this matter come to a mutually agreed-upon resolution,” Hunter said in the statement. "I wish the NBPA and its officers and employees good fortune, and look forward to moving forward after years of hard-fought litigation on both sides.”

Baseball HOFer MIKE PIAZZA has put his Miami home on the market for $18.5M. The nearly 10,000-square-foot home sits on about an acre along Biscayne Bay, and the property includes 100 feet of "water frontage, a dock and a boat lift." A custom bar, a "highlight of the home, features onyx countertops and includes a wine cooler and humidor." Evenly spaced palm trees "line a yard that holds a patio, pool and spa" (LATIMES.com, 12/10).

HOOP DREAMS: Former NBAer CHRIS BOSH has listed his Miami mansion for $18M, nearly $6M more than what he purchased it for in '10. Set on a waterfront half-acre of Biscayne Bay, the '09-built six-bedroom home features "airy living spaces characterized by white walls and high ceilings." The second level of the 12,369-square-foot home overlooks "both the courtyard and the backyard, which holds an infinity pool, boat dock and covered outdoor kitchen" (LATIMES.com, 12/10).

BUYERS & SELLERS
: Hockey HOFer WAYNE GRETZKY has sold his home in Westlake Village, Calif., for $3.4M. Gretzky purchased the home through a "blind trust at the end of last year" for $3.3M. Set in the gated Sherwood Country Club area on roughly three-quarters of an acre, the "stately Mediterranean looks out onto a golf course fairway and takes in the mountains beyond." The 5,000-square-foot home has four bedrooms, five bathrooms and features a "resort-style swimming pool and an expansive terrace" (LATIMES.com, 12/11)....Tennis HOFer GABRIELA SABATINI has placed her Key Biscayne, Fla., home on the market for $2.89M. The 3,138 square feet of living space includes a "den/library, five bedrooms and 3.5 remodeled bathrooms." A private rooftop terrace "expands the space out of doors and takes in panoramic city, bay and ocean views" (LATIMES.com, 12/11)....Snowboarder SHAUN WHITE has purchased the Hollywood Hills home and studio of composer MARC SHAIMAN for $1.6M. The approximately 1,200 square feet of "colorful interior includes a vaulted ceiling living room, a den, two bedrooms and two bathrooms" (LATIMES.com, 12/8)....NFL free agent S DASHON GOLDSON has sold a condominium at the Azzurra building in Marina del Rey, Calif., for $875,000. He bought the property four years ago for about $612,000. The 1,431-square-foot unit has an "open floor plan and walls of windows that bring in courtyard views." There are "two bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, a living room and an updated kitchen" (LATIMES.com, 12/8).

Knicks GM SCOTT PERRY is in the midst of his first season in the Big Apple, and this Saturday his team will play host to local fan-favorite CARMELO ANTHONY and the revamped Thunder on MSG Network and NBA TV. Perry, who came to the Knicks in July after years with the Magic and a short stint with the Kings, spoke to THE DAILY about his approach on game days, what he expects for Anthony’s homecoming and how he and his family have adapted to life in the city that never sleeps.

THE GAME PLAN
: Thursday I took care of some phone calls and work that presented itself in the morning. With traffic in N.Y. you’ve got to give yourself enough time to travel so I took the subway to the Nets game in Brooklyn. On game days I make a point to work out every morning, it’s part of my routine and I’m a little bit superstitious. I just feel better when I do it. Friday is a full day in the office, connecting with players and coaches and then turning our attention to the Thunder, who obviously hold a lot of interest here. Fridays I typically always grab dinner with either my wife and daughter, a colleague or someone from the visiting team that weekend. I may grab dinner with someone from the Thunder, I worked with many of those guys over the years. Then Saturday I’ll get to the arena very early, usually 4-5 hours prior to tipoff. I’ll watch film, making sure I keep tabs on the college season and potential prospects to stay ready for the Draft. Then it’s the Thunder that night. I expect a very energetic and passionate crowd for Carmelo’s return to MSG. There will be a lot of emotion in the arena.

COURT GENERAL: Normally at MSG I’ll sit six or seven rows up from the court, it’s a great sightline and gives me a good chance to evaluate our team. On the road it all depends. The visiting team provides us seats, but depending on where they are sometimes I’ll stand in the tunnel and study the game from that vantage point. It all depends on the arena, and oftentimes the mood.

STEEL CURTAIN: Football is one of my big outlets. I grew up a Steelers fan and they’ve got the Patriots coming into Heinz Field on Sunday afternoon. You’ll find me at my home taking that game in. We’ll get up that morning, go to church, grab brunch and then will plan the rest of the day around the game (Perry’s father, the late LOWELL PERRY, was a former Steelers receiver and was also the first African-American assistant coach in the NFL). 

GOOD EATS: I’d hate to slight anyone by naming a favorite N.Y. restaurant, but the thing I’ve really appreciated about N.Y. since the move is that there are so many different types of cuisines available. My wife and I really enjoy the variety. There’s great Italian places, steakhouses, seafood, Asian fare. We even discovered a great new place with ENES KANTER recently.

IN THE MEANTIME: Before joining the Knicks I’d been mostly in Florida the past five offseasons where it was warm all the time, and when I get a chance to golf I take it. I’m not sure what that looks like here quite yet. My wife and I will go to comedy shows, a couple weeks ago we went to see CHRIS ROCK and really enjoyed that. There’s some plays on the horizon here too that we’re looking forward to.
  
Know of someone you’d like to see featured in Weekend Plans? Shoot an email to tleary@sportsbusinessdaily.com.

The Mariners promoted KEVIN MATHER to President & CEO. Mather will "continue to report" to Chair JOHN STANTON. The club also promoted the following: TREVOR GOOBY to Senior VP/Ballpark Operations; KEVIN MARTINEZ to Senior VP/Marketing & Communications; FRANCES TRAISMAN to Senior VP/Sales; and RANDY ADAMACK to Senior VP and Special Advisor to the Chair & CEO (Mariners).

MOVIN' ON UP: The NCAA named West Coast Conference Commissioner LYNN HOLZMAN VP/Women's Basketball. A veteran collegiate sports administrator, Holzman will return to the NCAA national office where she previously spent 16 years. Prior to joining the WCC in '14, she served as a member of the D-I Council and D-I Men's Basketball Oversight Committee. Holzman will start her new job Feb. 1. She will take the position previously held by ANUCHA BROWNE, who departed the NCAA in October to join UNICEF (NCAA).

EXECS: National Basketball Players Inc., the newly-formed licensing and marketing subsidiary of the NBPA, named Authentic Brands Group Senior Brand Dir of Celebrity & Entertainment BRIAN LEE VP/Player Marketing and MLBPA Licensing Manager of Apparel INKY SON VP/Licensing. NBPI also hired the following: AISHA ALI as Brand & Growth Manager; OLIVER COSTAMAGNA as Manager of Int'l Market Research; and CHRIS JEAN as Dir of Grassroots Basketball & Events (NBPI)....Barstool Sports named Whistle Sports Exec VP & Global Head of Brand Partnerships DEIRDRE LESTER CRO. Lester had previously worked at ESPN, Rivals.com and MLBAM (THE DAILY)....Collegiate Sports Management Group promoted DAN GIRARD to Manager of Media Services & Broadcast Partnerships (THE DAILY)....The NHL Kings named JOSE HERNANDEZ Ticket Operations Associate (THE DAILY)....Architecture and design firm Perkins+Will named Sink Combs Dethlefs Associate Principal LINDSEY PECKINPAUGH Principal (THE DAILY).

Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to editorial@sportsbusinessdaily.com.

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Ready to make your next great hire? Or take the next step in your career? Connect with the industry’s top employers and job seekers on the Sports Business Career Link. For more information, contact Megi Beqiraj at 212-500-0705, or mbeqiraj@sportsbusinessjournal.com.

New Univ. of Houston AD CHRIS PEZMAN "agreed to a three-year deal that could pay up to $525,000 annually." Pezman will earn a "base salary of $375,000 during the term of the contract, which runs through Jan. 7, 2021." There also is an "option for a one-year extension after 12 months of the job" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 12/15)....Colorado State football coach MIKE BOBO has "received a three-year contract extension" through '22. Bobo will earn a base salary of $1.8M starting in '18 with "annual increases of $100,000." Bobo’s salary will max out at $2.2M in '22 plus any bonus compensation (DENVER POST, 12/15).

COURT REPORT: Two Florida men have sued NASCAR and Daytona Int'l Speedway for injuries "allegedly suffered when AUSTIN DILLON's car flew into the catch fence on the final lap" of the July '15 NASCAR Cup race. JOHN and WAYNE VANPATTEN made the claim in separate lawsuits. There was "no description in the lawsuits of the specific injuries except that they continue to recover from them." The lawsuits "do not indicate their relation" (ESPN.com, 12/14).

SHERIFF'S OFFICE: Denver Int'l Airport travelers recently were invited to the airport's "temporary Zen Room to escape from the usual bustle of the airport and answer football trivia for prizes." After some Broncos "swag was handed out," former QB PEYTON MANNING "walked in." Manning "signed autographs, took selfies and gave out some hugs and handshakes." It was "part of a campaign to promote DIA's efforts to make traveling more fun and less stressful this holiday season" (COLORADOAN.com, 12/14).

NAMES: Patriots QB TOM BRADY's just-launched TB12 Method app "promises to help users 'build positive daily habits that lead to greater health, well-being, and vitality.'" After a free, one-week trial, a premium subscription "costs $19.99 per month, or $199.99 for a year." The app is Brady's "bid to expand his lifestyle brand" (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/15)....A group of Celtics players, including Fs JAYLEN BROWNMARCUS MORRIS and C AL HORFORD, teamed up with the Celtics Shamrock Foundation on Thursday for their "annual holiday visit with pediatric patients" at Boston Children's Hospital (BOSTON HERALD, 12/15)....76ers F BEN SIMMONS on Thursday brought four Philadelphia families to a local Target "for a shopping spree" (PHILLY.com, 12/14)....Red Sox IF BROCK HOLT and 2B DEVEN MARRERO stopped by Suffolk Univ. on Thursday with an “adorable puppy as part of the Great Dog Rescue, which promotes puppy adoption,” while other Red Sox players -- Marrero and Ps ROBBY SCOTT, BRIAN JOHNSON, MATT BARNES and HEATH HEMBREE -- “paid a visit to Boston Children’s Hospital” (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/15)....PINK “will perform” at Nomadic Live on Feb. 2 as part of the Super Bowl LII festivities (STARTRIBUNE.com, 12/14).

IN MEMORY
: ESPN Founding Chair STUART EVEY died Dec. 8 in Spokane, Wash., at the age of 84 due to “complications of diabetes.” Evey was an exec for Getty Oil and “recommended that the company invest in the start-up that became ESPN and then took an active role in its management for five years” (N.Y. TIMES, 12/15).