February 28, 2013

Associated Press

 

Former WNBA play­er and Olympic gold medalist Chami­que Holdsclaw is being indicted in a November 2012 shooting in Atlanta, prosecutors said Wednesday.

A six-count indictment charges Holds­claw, 35, with aggravated assault, criminal damage and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, Fulton Coun­ty District Attorney’s spokeswoman Yvette Jones said Wednesday.

Holdsclaw was arrested after an argument with Tulsa Shock player Jennifer Lacy, 29, who told police she was Holdsclaw’s ex-girlfriend. The two were also Atlanta Dream teammates in 2009. Holdsclaw broke the windows to Lacy’s car and shot at it Nov. 13, 2012, police said. No one was injured.

After a late-Nov­em­ber court appear­ance, one of Holds­claw’s attorneys said he talked with Lacy and they were trying to resolve the case.

“They are still friends and we expect the alleged victim to support a proper resolution of this,” said Edward Garland, an attorney representing Holdsclaw. “In no way did she use the gun to threaten or assault the alleged victim, or do so with a baseball bat.”

He acknowledged that Holdsclaw caused damage to Lacy’s car, but said his client never intended to hurt her.

“Sometimes charges get made that exceed the scope of the actual events,” Garland said, adding that he and his client plan to resolve the case without it going to trial.

Holdsclaw is out on $100,000 bond and a court date has not been scheduled.

Holdsclaw led the University of Tennessee to three consecutive national championships from 1996-98 before beginning a pro career that included six WNBA All-Star selections.

She also played on the U.S. Olym­pic team that won the gold medal in the 2000 Games. She had 3,025 career points at Tennessee and remains the Southeastern Conference’s career scoring leader.

In September, Holdsclaw returned to her alma mater to discuss her fight with clinical depression, which included a suicide attempt during her pro career.

Holdsclaw recounted how she attempted suicide in 2006 as a member of the Los Angeles Sparks by overdosing on the medication she was taking for clinical depression. She also wouldn't leave her Washington home for a few days in 2004, two years after the death of the grandmother who raised her.

Parent Category: News
Category: Sports

February 21, 2013

When ranking the sports team owners in American professional sports, it is not much of a contest, because Jerry Buss, who recently passed away, has every other owner beat by a mile, including New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who passed away in 2010.

Many people say that the Yankees are the premiere team in American sports, mostly because their history of greatness dates back to the early 1900s, but in the modern era it is not even close.  The Lakers, mostly because of the vision of Buss, has been the greatest franchise in any sport.

Since Buss purchased the Lakers in 1979, the Lakers have made it to the NBA Finals 16 times, which is nearly half of the years that Buss owned the team.  They won the title 10 times, more than any other American professional sports team over that time period.  Under Steinbrenner, who owned the Yankees from 1973 until his passing, the ball club won seven World Series titles in 11 appearances. 

Buss took a team that was one of the better teams in the NBA and turned them into the greatest pro team in the nation.  When he took over the Lakers were not even the best team in town.  Los Angeles was a Dodgers town.  USC football and UCLA basketball were a lot more popular, as the Lakers had lost seven times in the NBA Finals from the time that they moved to Los Angeles from Minneapolis in 1960 until Buss bought the team.  All of those losses came against the Celtics, and the Lakers had only won the NBA title once over that time period, in 1972. 

When Buss took over the Celtics had 13 NBA titles compared to the Lakers six (five of those won in Minneapolis), and it did not seem like any team would ever come close to catching them.  But since Buss took over the Lakers have defeated the Celtics three times in the NBA Finals, won 10 overall, and now they are only behind the Celtics by one championship (17-16).

Former Laker Tommy Hawkins remembers the Dodgers receiving a parade in Downtown when they moved to Los Angeles in 1958, but when the Lakers showed up two years later, they came in on a bus through San Bernadino and nobody knew who they were. 

Before Buss bought the team the Lakers were always lost in the shuffle of the Los Angeles sporting scene.  But he instantly changed that.

Buss' first move was to create Showtime, and that was not just on the court.  He understood that in Los Angeles, just watching a game would not be enough to captivate people who are in the "Entertainment Capitol of the World."  Buss created an environment that the Hollywood stars wanted to be at.  Laker games were the place to be, not just for celebrities, but for the masses.

Buss created a show, but at the same time, that was not going to hold people's attention for long.  Laker great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar pointed out that dancing girls were not going to win games.  The show was not just during timeouts, or before and after the game.  The main attraction was the players, and Buss stopped at nothing to get the best. 

One thing that separated Buss from other owners who will stop at nothing to win was that Buss knew his role, and he let others do their jobs.  Bill Sharman and Jerry West built the rosters that became Showtime.  They surrounded Magic Johnson and Abdul-Jabbar with other star players.  They took the risk on drafting James Worthy over Dominique Wilkins.  They took the risk to trade Norm Nixon in order to draft Byron Scott.  And to trade Vlade Divac for Kobe Bryant, who was right out of high school.  That was a major risk because Shaquille O'Neal had not signed with the team at that point, and there was no telling if he would come to Los Angeles. 

Buss also allowed O'Neal to be traded, and he convinced Bryant that he should be a Laker forever, which resulted into two more championships. 

Buss' efforts and his visions have given Los Angeles fans the best team in the modern era of sports.  The only thing that it looks like Buss will miss out on is when the Lakers finally catch, and pass, the Celtics in total titles.

Parent Category: News
Category: Sports

February 21, 2013

By BRIAN MAHONEY  Associated Press

 

Billy Hunter was ousted from his job as executive director of the union in a unanimous vote by NBA players who said Saturday February 16, they will “no longer be divided, misled, misinformed.”

“This is our union and we have taken it back,” Players’ Association president Derek Fisher said.

Fisher said it was a day of change for the union, which has seemed inevitable since a review of the union last month was critical of Hunter's leadership and urged players to consider whether they wanted to keep him.

They didn’t.

“We want to make it clear that we are here to serve only the best interests of the players,” Fisher said. “No threats, no lies, no distractions will stop us from serving our memberships.”

Hunter said in a statement that he hadn’t received word of his dismissal and blasted the interim executive committee for the process it followed, saying “certain individuals made sure the outcome was pre-ordained.”

“In addition, given the legitimate legal and governance questions surrounding the eligibility of the members who voted and the adherence, or lack thereof, to the constitution and bylaws, I do not consider today’s vote the end, only a different beginning,” Hunter said. “My legal representatives and I will resume communication with the NBPA to determine how to best move forward in the best interests of all parties.”

In brief remarks, Fisher said a new executive committee was elected and he will remain as president. The Spurs’ Matt Bonner is vice president, Miami's James Jones is secretary-treasurer and the Nets’ Jerry Stackhouse the first vice president. The Clippers’ Chris Paul, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Denver’s Andre Iguodala, the Hornets’ Roger Mason, Jr. and the Clippers’ Willie Green are vice presidents.

Hunter had led the union since 1996, guiding the players through three collective bargaining agreements and helping bring their average salaries to more than $5 million, highest in team sports. But Fisher pushed for the review after a falling out between the two leaders, and though it found Hunter wasn’t guilty of any criminal activity involving union funds, it cited a number of conflicts of interests and poor choices that led the players to remove him.

Commissioner David Stern was aware of the union’s actions but had little comment.

“We await notification from the union as to who we should be dealing with because it has been a principle of faith with us that we will deal with whomever the union tells us to deal with,” Stern said.

Released in January, the review conducted by the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP criticized Hunter for hiring family members and friends. It said he knew his 2010 contract extension wasn’t properly ratified by union rules, and raised questions about everything from travel expenses to the amount he spent on gifts.

Players acted quickly, putting Hunter on a leave of absence on Feb. 1. He hoped to be invited to Saturday’s annual meeting, which included about 35 players, superstar LeBron James among them.

But Hunter’s attorneys said their client was told he wouldn’t be welcomed. They said his contract was legal and indicated there could be a lawsuit if the players removed him and attempted to withhold the more than $10 million that remains on his salary.

"We do not doubt that this process will possibly continue in an ugly way," said Fisher, who then reminded reporters that there are three ongoing government investigations into Hunter, likely the reason he didn't take questions after his remarks.

It's a swift fall for the 70-year-old Hunter, a former athlete who was well-respected by many players. But agents didn't like him, questioning his bargaining strategies and frustrated they didn't have a bigger role in his union.

Hunter's family did, and that was another central issue of the report. He had since fired his daughter and daughter-in-law, and cut ties with a financial institution that employed his son. He also instituted an anti-nepotism policy at the NPBA.

"After 17 years of representing NBA players during CBA negotiations and defending their rights in other proceedings, not once was there an occasion where one side was denied an opportunity to be heard," Hunter said. "The current interim regime in control of the NBPA has set a terrible precedent for the union. It violates every tenet of fairness upon which the union was founded. Now that this has occurred, I will continue to examine all of my options, including whether the fairness that was absent from the NBPA process might be available in a different forum."

Fisher, Paul, Bonner, Mason and Jones were holdovers from the previous executive committee. Stackhouse, who along with James was vocal during the meeting, joins Iguodala, Curry and Green among the newcomers.

Fisher and Hunter clashed during the 2011 lockout and their fractured relationship divided the union. Hunter originally persuaded the executive committee to vote to request Fisher's resignation last year. Fisher did not resign and instead pushed for the outside review, which lasted more than eight months and cost the union more than $4 million.

The law firm reviewed NBPA documents and emails, and interviewed more than three dozen witnesses. It found that Hunter spent more than $100,000 on gifts for executive committee members — including a watch worth more than $20,000 for Fisher before their falling out — and accepted a payout of $1.3 million for unused vacation time when records made it unclear how his time off was kept.

Fisher remains president even though he isn't on an NBA roster, having asked the Dallas Mavericks for his release after a brief stint earlier this season. He gave no update on what would happen to the executive director position. Union attorney Ron Klempner was appointed to the position on an interim basis when Hunter was placed on leave.

Parent Category: News
Category: Sports

February 21, 2013

By ANDREW SELIGMAN  Associated Press

 

Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield stood toe to toe again, only this time there were hugs and smiles — and no bites to the ear.

The ill will that marked the former champions’ rivalry was nowhere in sight. Instead, they were like old friends meeting in a supermarket, which is exactly what they did on Saturday February 16.

They were at a Jewel-Osco on Chicago’s South Side, where Holyfield was signing autographs and promoting his barbecue sauce. Tyson, in town performing his one-man show, made a cameo.

“I just wanted to see Evander, man,” Tyson said. “I love Evander. I’m forever linked with him for the rest of my life.”

Hard to believe those words came from the man who bit off a piece of Holyfield’s ear during a fight, but the former “Baddest Man On The Planet” is showing a different side.

He’s baring his soul on stage, documenting his rise from Brooklyn's streets to the heavyweight championship and subsequent fall from grace. It’s all there, from his drug use to his relationships to ex-wife Robin Givens, new wife Kiki, promoter Don King, trainer Cus D’Amato and, of course, a rape conviction that left him behind bars for three years in the 1990s.

He’s taking it to 36 cities after a run on Broadway. Saturday night was the second of two scheduled performances in Chicago. And before he hit the stage, he hit the supermarket.

He wrapped Holyfield in a big hug and was all smiles as they chatted and posed for pictures, the fans going wild the whole time.

“The show is good,” said Holyfield, who saw it in Las Vegas. “The show is showing his way of coming back, being able to come to an agreement, come to an acknowledgment of what he’d done good and what he’d done wrong and to get over it. When people don’t get past their problems, they never come to an understanding.”

What did Holyfield think of the parts that involved him?

“I think he was letting people know that he was wrong and what happened, happened,” he said. “He appreciates that I forgave him. He’s forgiven himself. That’s how you make adjustments in life.”

The 50-year-old Holyfield would still like one more title fight against one of the Klitschko brothers, either Wladimir or Vitali. But unless one of them has a change of heart and agrees to it, his career is over.

“Now that it's confirmed that the Klitschkos really don’t want to do it, that’s it,” Holyfield said. “I’m not trying to go back and fight someone 24, 25. But the Klitschkos being 37, 38, that's my age.”

He’s not clinging to that possibility, nor is he holding any hard feelings for Tyson. They reconciled on Oprah Winfrey's show in October 2009, and for that, Tyson is grateful.

In his mind, it even turned that infamous bite into something positive “because love and forgiveness is involved.”

“We’re both at a stage in our lives where we can work together and make really a good thing happen,” Tyson said. “He’s a beautiful person. I’ve known Evander since I was 15.”

Now Tyson is putting it out there on stage, warts and all. He has made it clear this is not an apology tour, that it’s simply his story.

He says he spends two hours a day rehearsing the script that his wife wrote, and the show is directed by Spike Lee. More are scheduled for cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston and Washington, and the tour could be extended if it goes well.

When he’s not rehearsing, he’s working for his charitable organization, Mike Tyson Cares. The organization helps underprivileged and homeless children receive medical treatment, find shelter, help with school expenses and assist with job placement.

But he still can’t quite escape the drama.

In December, Tyson told a TV show he was “high on cocaine” during filming of the movie “The Hangover.” In November, a Polish court ordered him to pay $48,000 to the organizer of a boxing gala after Tyson did not show up.

In October he was banned from travelling to New Zealand because of his rape conviction. That country’s immigration authorities initially granted him a visa so he could give talks about overcoming adversity in his life, but a charity withdrew its support and officials reversed their decision.

“I just want to live my life this way,” Tyson said. “It’s more advantageous to me and my children and the people that I care about to live my life this way.”

Parent Category: News
Category: Sports

February 21, 2013

LAWT Wire Service

 

Undefeated eight-time world champion Floyd "Money" Mayweather, boxing's pound-for-pound king and the highest paid athlete in the world (Forbes, 2012), has entered into a pay-per-view deal with Showtime Networks Inc. and its parent company, CBS Corporation. Under the new deal, SHOWTIME PPV® will collaborate with CBS Corporation to comprehensively promote Mayweather's events on the CBS Television Network and via the corporation's media platforms.

The deal—a revenue-sharing arrangement between SHOWTIME PPV and Mayweather—will enable him to fight up to six times over a period of 30 months, with the first mega-event taking place on May 4, when Mayweather will fight Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero.

Mayweather's new deal is by far the biggest in the sport of boxing.

“Mayweather is the PPV king and averages over 1 million PPV buys per event, which is the highest PPV buy average of any boxer in history,” say network officials.

“At this record-setting PPV performance level, if all six fights contemplated by this deal occur, it will be the richest individual athlete deal in all of sports.”

Parent Category: News
Category: Sports

Page 23 of 41