February 07, 2013

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar took home two NAACP Image Awards tonight for “Best Documentary” for his film “On the Shoulders of Giants – The Story of the Greatest Team You’ve Never Heard Of” and the award for “Best Children’s Book” for “What Color is My World? – the lost history of African American inventors” authored by the legendary sports figure and Raymond Obstfeld. The film was nominated in the Best Doc­umentary category and the book was nominated for Best Literary Work – Children’s category.  Both were awarded in a pre-show gala awards ceremony held in Los Angeles.

The NAACP Image Award is one of the highest accolades presented by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People which honors outstanding people of color in film, television, music and literature.  Similar to other awards like the Oscars and the Grammys, the 40 categories of the Image Awards are voted on by the award organization’s members. The 2013 NAACP Image Awards aired on NBC Television live from the Shrine Auditorium. 

On the Shoulders of Giants is a 75-minute feature-length documentary currently airing on Showtime. The film honors a group of sports pioneers who have been all but forgotten over time.  The story finds its footing in the rhythms of jazz, its roots in the Harlem Renaissance and its voice in a group of basketball players much too talented to be ignored.  It was produced and directed by Deborah Morales on behalf of Abdul-Jabbar in association with Iconomy Multi-media & Entertain­ment.  Oscar winning actor Jamie Foxx did the honors of voice over throughout the documentary with notable appearances by Dr. Maya Angelou, Spike Lee, Bill Russell, Dr. J., Herbie Hancock, Chuck D, Dr. Cornell West, Charles Barkley, Jerry West as well as many other legendary celebrities and sports figures.

“Who would have thought that an African-American basketball hero from New York and a white Jewish girl from Boston would be working together let alone win an NAACP Image Award,” said Deborah Morales, a well-known entertainment business manager. "I am so thrilled to receive this award not only because it justifies the very poignant message both Kareem and I set out to send as we began this journey but because the NAACP’s continued pursuit of civil rights is very important to both of us.

Abdul-Jabbar’s children’s book “What Color Is My World? –the lost history of African American inventors”  children’s book was penned by  the NBA legend and New York times best-selling author Abdul-Jabbar and his co-writer Raymond Obstfeld and offers an upbeat history lesson within a fictional narrative framework. Siblings Ella and Herbie, whose story unfolds within the pages of the book is taught by an eccentric handyman named Mr. Mital who  teaches them about the contributions made by African-American inventors through their own adventures and their fixer-upper house. The book was illustrated by A.G. Ford, Ben Boos and published by Candlewick Press.

“It is a distinguished honor to be recognized by the NAACP in such an extraordinary way. To win two NAACP Image Awards is a remarkable moment for me ” said Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. “ I have spent much of my life working towards the recognition and understanding of African-Americans in all fields and am extremely proud to know that this award stands profoundly for the fight for social justice for all Americans.”

For more information on “On The Shoulders of Giants – The Greatest Story of the Team You’ve Never Heard Of” and “What Color is My World? – The Lost History of African American Inventors www.kareemabduljabbar. com or www.iconomy.com.

Parent Category: News
Category: Sports

February 07, 2013

By TIM BOOTH (AP Sports Writer) | The Associated Press

 

With one more procedural move, the Sacramento Kings took another step toward Seattle.

NBA Commissioner David Stern said Wednesday night that the Seattle group led by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer, which recently reached an agreement to purchase the Kings, has formally filed for relocation with the league.

Stern spoke in Minneapolis before the Timberwolves hosted San Antonio. He called the Seattle group ''very strong,'' and said the appropriate committees have been convened to look over the proposed sale of the Kings and the prospective move.

Stern said the relocation proposal calls for the team to play in KeyArena for ''two years, possibly three,'' while a new arena in Seattle is being built.

''We have had submitted a signed agreement to have the team sold to a very strong group from Seattle,'' Stern said. ''We have received an application to have the team moved from Sacramento to Seattle.''

The deadline for teams to file for relocation is March 1. It's been expected that the Hansen/Ballmer group would file to move the team, but Stern's comments were the first time that decision had been verified. The filing for relocation is just another step, but big in the efforts to bring professional basketball back to Seattle for the 2013-14 season.

Hansen's group reached an agreement with the Maloof family last month to buy 65 percent of the franchise, which is valued at $525 million, and move the team to Seattle and restore the SuperSonics name. The deal will cost the Hansen group a little more than $340 million.

The Kings' sale price of $525 million would surpass the NBA-record $450 million the Golden State Warriors sold for in 2010.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has been trying to find investors with the financial means to match the sale price, keep the Kings in Sacramento and help on the construction of a new arena in California's capital city.

Johnson responded on Twitter on Wednesday night, saying again that Sacramento ''is playing to win.''

''We know that with an ownership partner both to Sacramento and an arena plan already supported by the city and NBA, Sacramento is ready to show what a great one-team market can be, should be, and is,'' Johnson said in his post.

A day earlier, Johnson said he planned to attend the NBA All-Star game in Houston and lobby anyone he could on the merits of keeping the Kings in Sacramento, but he has yet to reveal any of the large equity investors he's attempting to pull together. Johnson said he hoped to be able to announce them next week.

''My guess is it's likely that the mayor of Sacramento will appear before the board with an alternate plan,'' Stern said. ''And that's why we have a board of governors, to make difficult decisions like this one.''

Stern said he didn't feel the situation between Seattle and Sacramento would turn into a battle to see who can make the most lucrative bid.

''I don't think it's a bidding war,'' Stern continued. ''There's a series of issues that are defined by our constitution that have to be considered. One of the things that our board is mandated to consider is the support for the team in the prior city. So there are real issues for the board to consider, about the buildings, about the likelihood they will be built, about the support from the cities.''

Two committees would typically vet both the proposed sale and the move of the franchise to Seattle, but Stern said he has combined the committees into one. The committee will report to the Board of Governors, which is expected to vote on both the sale and the proposed move at its meeting in mid-April.

Stern said the relocation of the franchise requires a majority approval of the Board of Governors and the sale of the franchise would require a three-fourths majority.

''So I did the sensible thing, I combined the committees and said, 'You guys figure it out.' We'll see how that works,'' Stern said.

Parent Category: News
Category: Sports

January 31, 2013

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A federal judge will hear oral arguments in about two months on requests to throw out lawsuits by thousands of former NFL players regarding concussions suffered while playing for the league.

U.S. Eastern District Judge Anita Brody in Philadelphia on Tuesday scheduled an April 9 hearing on motions to dismiss filed by the NFL Inc., NFL Properties Inc. and All American Sports Corp.

Players say they've developed dementia and Alzheimer's disease, or are worried about developing them.

They argue it's not a labor dispute that's governed by the collective bargaining agreement, but an issue that should be resolved through the courts.

The NFL has argued it didn't intentionally mislead the players and took steps to protect their health.

More than 100 lawsuits against the league are consolidated before Brody. And more than 3,500 former players have sued the NFL, alleging that not enough was done to inform them about the dangers of concussions and not enough is being done today to take care of them.

Parent Category: News
Category: Sports

January 31, 2013

By JON KRAWCZYNSKI  Associated Press

 

Rudy Gay is on his way to Toronto in the latest and most dramatic move in the Memphis Grizzlies makeover, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.

The Grizzlies agreed to trade their star swingman to the Raptors on Wednesday, parting with the leading scorer on a team that has aspirations of making a run in the powerful Western Conference. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not yet been announced.

The Raptors gave up point guard Jose Calderon and forward Ed Davis in the deal, with multiple reports saying that Calderon was headed to Detroit in the three-team trade. The Pistons will send Austin Daye and Tayshaun Prince to Memphis, according to reports.

Gay, averaging 17.2 points and 5.9 rebounds, signed a five-year, $82 million maximum contract in July 2010 with Memphis. The 6-foot-8 small forward is due $16.5 million this season with $37 million more over the next two years. That’s a big number for new owner Robert Pera, who took over the franchise last November and has quickly started addressing the team's salary situation.

Just over a week ago, the Grizzlies sent valuable reserve Marreese Speights and two other players to Cleveland in a move that cleared $6.4 million in salary and avoided a $4 million luxury tax hit this season. Team officials said that move put the Grizzlies in position not to have to make a move this season.

Memphis coach Lionel Hollins had been lobbying to keep his five starters together the rest of this season, but he apparently lost that fight.

“Wow,” Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley tweeted.

Trading away Gay also eases a luxury tax hit due next season, while concentrating the team around center Marc Gasol and All-Star forward Zach Randolph. The Grizzlies had their best playoff run in 2011 when they knocked off then-No. 1 seed San Antonio before losing to Oklahoma City in seven games in the Western semifinals — all with Gay on the bench after needing season-ending shoulder surgery.

Parent Category: News
Category: Sports

January 31, 2013

Special to the NNPA

from the Washington Informer

 

The United States Playing Card Company (USPC), makers of Bicycle® Playing Cards, is proud to announce the launch of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Playing Card Deck. Bicycle® Playing Cards has partnered with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum by donating $0.15 per deck sold.

“The mission of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is to help preserve the rich history of African American baseball and we are excited that Bicycle® has developed this deck to support our cause,” said Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. “With partnerships like this, we will be able to share this history with generations to come.”

Roy Gifford, USPC vice president of marketing added that the partnership with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, “not only gave us access to the iconic logos and photos from the Negro Leagues archives to create a beautiful deck of cards, but more importantly it allowed us to support an organization who is protecting the amazing story of the Negro Baseball Leagues.”

To find out more online about Bicycle® and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum visit us at www.bicyclecards.com, www.nlbm.com, www.facebook.com/bicyclecards, and www.facebook.com/NegroLeaguesBaseballMuseum.

Parent Category: News
Category: Sports

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