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Volume 25 No. 128

People and Pop Culture

Paul said the players' relationship with the league has improved since labor negotiations in '11

Rockets G CHRIS PAUL, who also serves as NBPA President, said when he started working with the union 13 years ago, the meetings were "just guys sitting in a room, and we would just listen to people come up and talk at us," according to a Q&A with David Gelles as part of the N.Y. TIMES' "Corner Office" feature. Paul said, "Back in 2011 we had like an 18-hour meeting between players and the league. There'd be a lot of posturing, and DAVID STERN wanted drug testing for players. He had his shirt undone and was yelling. It used to get a little heated in those meetings." He added, "When we went into the most recent labor negotiations, it was nothing like that. Now the guys in our league understand the business so much more. We understand what our value is and we are much more involved in the business of the game. It’s been about taking our union back." Paul said, "The thing we're most proud of is the health insurance for retired players. ... Another thing that we’re trying to help guys with is financial literacy." Paul on NBPA Exec Dir MICHELE ROBERTS said, "She never wants any of the credit. Sometimes they say the quietest person in the room may be the one who knows everything that’s going on, and she’s consistent."

DISHING ADVICE: Paul said of his personal investment decisions and sponsorship opportunities, "As I got older, I realized that I can only be in business with things that I believe in. And so that's what happened with investing. And that's why I invested in Wtrmln Wtr. This is something that I actually believe in and it coincides with my lifestyle." On advice for new players in the league, Paul said, "Find your why. It sounds simple, but there’s a lot of guys that play professionally, and it may not be for the same reasons that I do it. I play because I couldn’t imagine not playing basketball. ... You may come across a guy who plays professionally and likes the money, who likes the attention or they may like the girls. Our why doesn’t have to be the same, but the work ethic should be" (, 5/16).

"A Day in the Life" is a feature in SBD examining the daily habits of interesting personalities in sports business. This week, NYRR Senior VP/Event Development & Production JIM HEIM walks us through what he'll go through to put on the Popular Brooklyn Half Marathon, which takes place Saturday. .

12:00am: I’ll be out with the start team right at midnight, near the Brooklyn Museum where we’ll get our first road closure in place. I’ll be out there with them and NYPD. I’ll be looking back at the three-day pre-party in Brooklyn Bridge Park, which ends at 10:00pm. I’ll look at the final numbers from that and where we are with bib pickups. Checking the weather will be one of the very first things I do.

2:30am: The first start is at 7:00am, so I’ll go out on a course drive in a vehicle with our President of Events PETER CIACCIA and JESS GARCILAZO, our lead event manager. We’ll go out along the entire route, check on the various elements being put into place like fluid stations, medical stations, mile and kilometer marks, entertainment zones. I usually would love drinking coffee being up this early to stay awake, but on race day I don’t think I’ll need it.

5:30am: We’ll head back to the starting area. A lot of our volunteers will begin arriving, we’ll have over 1,000 of them for the event. Some of the rest of the road closures along the course will come into effect as well, so I’ll make sure that’s all in order. I’ll be watching very closely on public transportation, watching social media to make sure folks are arriving.

6:30am: I’ll check in with some of our more elite athletes who will be running out in the front, including former Olympian DEENA KASTOR. We don’t typically have a big invited pro field in this event, but Deena’s going to be running with us. So I’ll check in with her and make sure she’s all set.

6:45am: I’ll go in an NYPD car 15 minutes in front of the race over the entire route as a final precursor. I’m looking for any last-minute safety concerns, making sure everything looks and feels how we planned it out to be.

7:45am: I’ll make it down to the finish area, which is the boardwalk on Coney Island -- that’s pretty special for everyone. The race actually goes up there for the last 2/10 of a mile, so I can’t drive up there. That’s where I’ll get my exercise in. That’ll be around 20 minutes before the lead runner comes in. We’ll have two waves of runners -- one starting at 7:00 and one at 7:45. I’ll get down there, make my way to the finish line and be sure we’re ready for the top male and top female and award ceremony.

8:30am: Once they’re in it’s about the operations for the rest of the morning. I’ll check in at our large-scale race communications center. I’ll run over to Tom’s Restaurant; it’s a community institution there and that’s where we host a lot of our partners, so the folks from Popular, New Balance, TCS will be in there. Tom’s has the best pancakes you can get, they’ve got omelets that are larger than your head.

9:30-11:30am: That’s when our highest volume of finishers come in, so we’ll keep an eye on the flow of that and make sure everything is on track.

11:30am-4:00pm: It really slows down with finishers coming in, so my attentions shifts to the road re-openings on the earlier miles of the course. By noon we’ll have just about all of the roads re-opened. We’ll also start our Rising N.Y. Road Runners Race on the boardwalk. It’s less than a mile and the kids can finish at the finish line, so it’s pretty cool to see a couple thousand spectators see all these little kids do this.

4:00-7:00pm: My day wraps up when we’ve got everybody in. I might check back in at Tom’s and have a celebratory pancake. I also sometimes like to frequent the Trattoria Dell’Arte on 7th Avenue in Manhattan. Their seafood is ridiculous and their chicken parm, it looks like a pizza. The maître d there, a guy named BRANDON, is a runner and he’s running in the half.

7:00pm: I’ll hop on the train back to downtown Brooklyn where I’m staying. I’ll be lucky to stay awake until 8.

Heim will begin his first route check for the 7:00am half marathon around 2:00am
Photo: NYRR
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JOE BOZICH has joined Fanatics Brands as the division's first COO, reporting to Fanatics Brands President RAPHAEL PECK. Bozich will focus on scaling the vertical and wholesale supply chain and will be based at the former Majestic facility in Tampa. Bozich was the Founder & CEO of Knights Apparel, acquired by HanesBrands in '15 for $200M (Terry Lefton, Editor-At-Large)....USL club Sacramento Republic FC co-Founder WARREN SMITH is "stepping down" from his role as President and "moving into a senior adviser capacity with the club, while taking on the same title" with USL club Oklahoma City Energy FC. In Oklahoma City, Smith will be "focusing on front-office support and helping the team find a 'soccer-specific' stadium to play in next year and beyond." It was "not immediately clear" whether Smith will stay in the Sacramento area (, 5/15)....The Dodgers promoted VP/Premium Sales & Service ANTONIO MORICI to Senior VP/Ticket and Premium Sales & Service. The club also promoted Dir of Business Strategy & Analytics ROYCE COHEN to VP/Business Development & Analytics. Meanwhile, Dodgers VP/Ticket Sales DAVID SIEGEL will move to VP/Corporate Partnerships (Dodgers).

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Dungey said ABC has long been supportive of her team tackling challenging and controversial issues

ABC Entertainment President CHANNING DUNGEY said that a story point on the net's "BLACK-ISH" about football players kneeling during the national anthem was "not the reason" that an episode of the show was "shelved this season." Dungey said ABC has "long been supportive" of Exec Producer KENYA BARRIS and her team "tackling challenging and controversial issues in the show." She said, "With this particular episode, there were a number of elements to the episode that we had a hard time coming to terms on. Much has been made of the sort of kneeling part of it, which was not even really the issue” (, 5/15).

NAMES: JOHN ELWAY gave an "hour-long deposition" to COLIN KAEPERNICK's lawyers at Broncos HQ as part of Kaepernick's collusion grievance against the NFL. Elway was the last NFL exec who "offered Kaepernick a job" when he attempted to acquire the QB from the 49ers via trade before the '16 season. Kaepernick "nixed the deal because he would not accept a pay cut" (, 5/15)....Actress REESE WITHERSPOON's media company, Hello Sunshine, is teaming with journalist GLENN GREENWALD and author SUZANNE GILBERT to "develop and produce its first feature-length documentary" on MARTINA NAVRATILOVA. The project will "spotlight Navratilova's social and political activism for women and the LGBT community, told through Greenwald's personal lens -- a gay child growing up in REAGAN-era Florida" (, 5/15)....The Univ. of North Texas is "on the verge" of naming its new 500-bed residence hall after alum and Pro Football HOFer JOE GREENE (DENTON RECORD-CHRONICLE, 5/16)....The Broncos welcomed about 125 Special Olympic Colorado athletes to its indoor practice facility through the NFL's Play 60 campaign for an “hour-long event with select players” (, 5/15)....Patriots S DEVIN MCCOURTY and former NFLer JEROD MAYO were among the speakers at Boston Medical Center’s annual gala, which raised $3.1M for “various hospital initiatives” (, 5/15)....RUDY GIULIANI was spotted at Nationals Park yesterday seated behind the Yankees dugout with U.S. Rep. DAN DONOVAN (R-N.Y.). Political commentator COREY LEWANDOWSKI and Counselor to the President KELLYANNE CONWAY were “also at the game” (, 5/16).

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Featured one-on-one interview with Christopher Ilitch 

On Wednesday, June 20, Christopher Ilitch, President & CEO, Ilitch Holdings, Inc., will participate in a
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