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NEWS REAL

• NBA All-Star James Harden has joined the ownership group of the Houston Dynamo. According to the MLS club, the 2018 NBA MVP with the Houston Rockets becomes the fifth member of an ownership group led by Gabriel Brener, which also includes boxing icon Oscar De La Hoya, Ben Guill and Jake Silverstein.

In addition to the Dynamo, the group also owns the NWSL's Houston Dash and BBVA Stadium, the home venue for both clubs.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to join the ownership group of the Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash and proud to be a part of a club with tremendous history and a great future,” Harden said via the team.

• Spend a "Day in the Life Of Blake Griffin." Full story here.

• Cavs Legion Gaming Club, the NBA 2K League affiliate of the Cleveland Cavaliers, has unveiled plans for an eSports center in Cleveland’s Battery Park neighborhood. The 2,700 square foot venue is scheduled to open this fall,

• The NFL Network is planning 129 hours of “Inside Training Camp Live” coverage July 22-Aug. 7 Additional coverage will appear across NFL media platforms including NFL.com, NFL Films, NFL app and NFL RedZone.

ESPN also said it would provide comprehensive coverage of the opening week of the 2019 NFL training camps beginning July 22 on daily editions of SportsCenter and NFL Live.

• NBC’s Golf Channel unveiled details for its next Golf Films project, “Tiger Woods: Chasing History,” to premiere July 22  The film will present viewers with a chronological look at the “sights and sounds from each of Woods’ 81 professional victories, from his first at the Las Vegas Invitational in 1996, through the most recent win at the Masters earlier this year.”

• Pete Frates and Pat Quinn, co-founders of ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, have launched with The ALS Assn. the 5th anniversary of “Challenge Me” with a “new call to action to reignite the passion and generosity of the millions of people who dumped ice water on their heads in the summer of 2014.”

POLL POSITION

AT&T WNBA All-Star 2019 Starter Pool

  • Liz Cambage, Aces
  • Elena Delle Donne, Mystics
  • Chelsea Gray, Sparks
  • Brittney Griner, Mercury
  • Natasha Howard, Storm
  • Jonquel Jones, Sun
  • Jewell Loyd, Storm
  • Kayla McBride, Aces
  • Kia Nurse, Liberty
  • A‘ja Wilson, Aces

AT&T WNBA All-Star 2019, featuring Team Delle Donne vs. Team Wilson, is scheduled for July 27 in the Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas (ABC 3:30 PM ET).

KEEPING SCORE

The Top 25 MiLB Teams With Best-Selling Merchandise (alphabetically, with MLB affiliate):

  • Albuquerque Isotopes (Rockies)
  • Charleston RiverDogs (Yankees)
  • Charlotte Knights (White Sox)
  • Columbia Fireflies (Mets)
  • Columbus Clippers (Indians)
  • Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros)
  • Durham Bulls (Rays)
  • El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres)
  • Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres)
  • Gwinnett Stripers (Braves)
  • Hartford Yard Goats (Rockies)
  • Indianapolis Indians (Pirates)
  • Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (Marlins)
  • Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Phillies)
  • Nashville Sounds (Rangers)
  • Pawtucket Red Sox (Red Sox)
  • Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox)
  • Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants)
  • Rochester Red Wings (Twins)
  • Sacramento River Cats (Giants)
  • Salt Lake Bees (Angels)
  • San Antonio Missions (Brewers)
  • Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners)
  • Toledo Mud Hens (Tigers)
  • Trenton Thunder (Yankees)

SOURCE: MiLB

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office July 12-14
1. Spider-Man:Far From Home $45.3M
2. Toy Story 4 $20.7M
3. Crawl $12M
4. Stuber $8M
5. Yesterday $6.8M
6. Aladdin $5.9M
7. Annabelle Comes Home $5.6M
8. Midsommar $3.4M
9. Secret Life of Pets 2 $3.1M
10. MIB International $2.2M
Source: Box Office Mojo

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COLLEGE

BodyArmor Into NCAA
No. 1 Colleges Since '92
Notre Dame Builds Brand
Cancer Drives Home
Men's Hoops Are 'Toxic'

Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Channel Chasers

NFL UK 2019
• Oct. 6 Chicago Bears v Oakland Raiders Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
• Oct. 13 Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
• Oct. 27  Cincinnati Bengals v Los Angeles Rams Wembley Stadium
• Nov. 3 Houston Texans v Jacksonville Jaguars Wembley Stadium

NFL Mexico 2019
• Nov. 18 Kansas City  Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers Mexico City Estadio Azteca (ESPN Monday Night Football).

Tuesday
May292018

Four-Peat: Cavaliers, Warriors, ESPN Again Ready To Fast-Break To NBA Finals

By Barry Janoff

May 29, 2018: The NBA Finals are set, with the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors roster of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant Draymond Green and crew set to meet for the fourth consecutive season.

There will be some repeats, as well, in broadcast and marketing support, but there also will be a lot of new activation when the NBA Finals presented by YouTube TV begin May 31 on ABC.

Even longer than the Cavs-Warriors four-peat, this season is the 16th consecutive time ESPN has produced the NBA Finals on ABC.

The longest-tenured NBA Finals broadcast quartet — Mike Breen, analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson and reporter Doris Burke — will call their ninth championship series together. Officiating expert Steve Javie will provide additional analysis.

Each game during the NBA Finals on ABC will begin with a custom broadcast open. This year, it will feature several songs from J. Cole’s KOD (pictured below), including “ATM,” “Motivat8,” “Photograph” and “Brackets.”

ESPN and the NBA ("Finally Mine" under its "This is Why We Play" banner) have activated their own marketing efforts, including TV, Internet and social media.

Such NBA partners as Nike, 2K, EA, Kia, New Era, State Farm, Anheuser-Busch, Tissot, Kaiser Permanente, Fanatics, Jack Daniel’s, Taco Bell, American Express, Gatorade, Kumho Tire, Kia, Mtn. Dew, Spalding and Finals presenting partner YouTube TV are unveiling activation during The Finals or adding elements to platforms that broke during the post-season.

Among the highlights, 2K will announce the cover athlete of NBA 2K19 20th Anniversary Edition; on June 9, EA will release a first-look trailer for NBA Live 19.

Presenting partner YouTube TV along with NBA and ESPN digital properties will create custom spots to air on ABC's broadcast of the NBA Finals.

YouTube TV will also be promoting tune-in of the NBA Finals on ABC with YouTube TV to existing YouTube TV members and prospective members through YouTube and Google digital properties

The NBA will run a co-promotion with Sony Pictures for The Equalizer 2 starring Denzel Washington (pictured below, in theaters July 20).

As part of ESPN’s” all-in coverage” of the NBA Finals, it will unveil  “NBA Surround,” which will include pre-game and in-game second-screen streaming offerings for every game, and special post-game “NBA at the Mic” shows (ESPN2 or ESPNEWS, which will carry post-game press conferences).
 
During every NBA Finals game, ESPN will also present “Full Court Press,” a second-screen experience featuring ESPN NBA commentators and special guests (ESPN3 on the ESPN App).

ESPN Radio, in its 24th season of NBA coverage, will serve as the national radio home for the NBA Finals. Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Hubie Brown will be calling his record 17th NBA Finals as an analyst.

NBA Countdown presented by Straight Talk Wireless — ESPN and ABC’s pregame show — will be on-site throughout the NBA Finals for back-to-back 30-minute shows on ESPN and ABC leading into each game.

Detail, the basketball analysis and film study show from ESPN and Kobe Bryant’s Granity Studios, will document every NBA Finals game exclusively on ESPN+.

The NBA Finals will be available in Spanish, exclusively on ESPN Deportes.

The NBA Finals will air on ESPN platforms globally, including Latin America (including Brazil), Caribbean and Oceania. Additionally, ESPN brand licensing partners will air the event including, BT Sport (UK), TSN (Canada), Sony (India), Kwese (sub-Saharan Africa), and Tencent (China).

As for the outcome of the Finals:

“This is the biggest difference that I remember between two teams heading into the Finals in my time in the NBA,” Van Gundy said on Tuesday during an ESPN media conference call. “I can’t — I can’t think of a bigger gap from a team perspective.

According to Mark Jackson, “I’m not going to say zero percent chance; they have the best player in the world . . . in the NBA Finals.

“With that being said, Cleveland, one thing about Houston, (a) majority of the series, they did a very good job defensively following game plan discipline. The Warriors will make you pay the price for making mistakes.”

Jackson said that for James and the Cavaliers to have any chance of beating the Warriors at all, they have to “make sure that defensively you’re one accord. But they are clearly the favorite, without question, but the luxury of having the best player in the world in that situation, anything can happen.”

On whether or not people will tune into watch Warriors-Cavaliers 4.0, “I don’t think it’s up to us to try to excite people,” said Van Gundy. “The games will either excite people (or not); the results will either excite people (or not).

“If James and the Cavaliers win Game 1, you know, the interest is going to skyrocket because they are going to have done what they — very few except for them maybe think they can do, which is win at Golden State.”

(Editor's note: If the Cavs win Game 1 or 2 at Golden State, a Taco Bell promo kicksoffering people nationwide the opportunity to “steal” a free Doritos Locos Taco; details here.)

But, said Van Gundy, “If they get blown out both games, it doesn’t matter what we say. People aren’t going to be as excited. To me, it’s all about — it’s not about what we say, it’s about what happens on the floor and the results that the teams get.

“And if it’s a competitive series, it’s going to be great for the NBA because one, obviously it’s the Finals, but two, I think it’s going to be an unexpected competitive series if it is truly competitive.”

“It’s great for the league to have the two best teams make it to the Finals, and that’s what took place, the two best teams in their respective conferences are representing them,” said Jackson.

“It’s great when you look at the Warriors team filled with great, great players and a great coach and been able to accomplish what they have been able to accomplish,” said Jackson. “You look on the other side, a great coach and all-time great player, it’s a tremendous story. It’s awesome for the league to have tremendous star power on the biggest, brightest stage.”
 
NBA Finals presented by YouTube TV Schedule On ABC:

• Game 1 May 31 Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors 9 PM ET
• Game 2: June 3 Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors 8 PM ET
• Game 3: June 6 Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers 9 PM ET
• Game 4: June 8 Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers 9 PM ET
• Game 5 June 11 Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors 9 PM ET*
• Game 6: June 14 Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers 9 PM ET*
• Game 7: June 17 Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors 8 PM ET*
*If Necessary

NBA Marketers, Denzel Ready To Play During The Finals

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