NBA Names In The News: Oladipo Not Afraid To Talk Politics
Pacers G Victor Oladipo "vowed to start pushing the envelope" when it came to talking about politics. He attended a campaign rally last week with former VP Joe Biden, where he "publicly endorsed" U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.). Oladipo said, "I used to be conservative but that really didn't get me anywhere." Cautious thinkers might have "warned Oladipo that sticking his hand in the political arena would risk alienating half of his growing fan base." But Oladipo said that he "isn't interested in staying quiet." He said that he is "interested in helping change the world, and he's not sure that can be done quietly from the sidelines." Oladipo is not going to let people "prevent him from speaking his mind" (USATODAY.com, 10/15).
THE BUTLER DID IT: The skyway connecting Marquette Avenue and 6th St in downtown Minneapolis has "five pillars decorated" in a T'Wolves promotion. Four pillars are "draped with giant posters of four starters -- Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, Taj Gibson and Jeff Teague." The fifth pillar, the one in the middle, is "covered by a standard Wolves logo." Something is "missing, and it’s not subtle." It is the T'Wolves "best player" Jimmy Butler, who is "not up there because he demanded a trade, then went bonkers in practice, then torched the front office in a national TV interview, then encouraged fans to boo him in the home opener" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/16).
NAMES: Reebok is still paying Basketball HOFer Allen Iverson $800,000 a year, as it has been since they signed him to a "lifetime contract." Last week, Reebok President & CEO Matt O'Toole said that the company "thought it was still worth it." O'Toole: "He has a place in our heritage, and there is a group of consumers who want to connect to that. He's relevant for a lot our consumers" (PHILLY.com, 10/15)....Jazz C Rudy Gobert, last year's Defensive Player of the Year, donated a '19 Kia Stinger to his charity, Rudy's Kids. As part of the Kia NBA Performance Awards programs, winners are "given the opportunity to donate" a '19 Kia Stinger to their charity of choice. Rockets G James Harden (MVP), 76ers G Ben Simmons (Rookie of the Year) and Clippers G Lou Williams (Sixth Man of the Year) were the other NBA year-end honorees to "gift their vehicles" to Casa de Esperanza, Royal Children's Hospital and Brotherhood Crusade, respectively (DESERETNEWS.com, 10/15).
IN MEMORY: ABA and Pacers co-Founder Dick Tinkham died Sunday at 86 after a "battle with advanced muscular distrophy." One of the first owners of the Pacers, Tinkham "devoted himself to keeping the often struggling ABA -- and, in turn, the Pacers -- afloat." In the early '70s, he was a "key player in the creation of Market Square Arena." The Pacers called Tinkham a "founding father" and a "guiding light" in both the ABA and Pacers organization (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 10/16).