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• FIFA has postponed plans to expand the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams for the 2022 event in Qatar. The plan is still being considered for the 2026 World Cup, which will be staged in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. According to FIFA, “(There was not enough) time for a detailed assessment of the potential logistical impact.” The World Cup is scheduled for Nov. 21-Dec. 18, 2022.

• The NFL and NFL Players Association have unveiled two joint agreements that are intended to “support further resources directed to address pain management and behavioral health.” Full story here.

• The U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, and social impact education innovator EVERFI, Inc. have oined the students of Santee Elementary School in San Jose to launch The Compassion Project for the 2019-2020 school year, described as a “national nonprofit dedicated to providing compassion education to elementary school students across the U.S.”

• The U.S. Golf Association has aligned with Marvel Entertainment to create exclusive golf education products to “engage junior golfers on the essential elements to learning the game." Scheduled to launch in June at the 2019 U.S. Open Championship at Pebble Beach, the collaboration features printed and digital comic books with many of Marvel’s super heroes The story follows Tony Stark (Iron Man) and other Avengers as they teach the next generation of Marvel Super Heroes about golf. Limited-edition Marvel-themed golf posters will be distributed (while supplies last) at the Junior Experience at the 2019 U.S. Open.

• Major League Lacrosse has signed a deal with Anheuser-Busch to have its Bud Light brand become the official beer partner for the 2019 MLL All-Star Game, being played in Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, MD on July 27. The deal includes “prominent signage on the playing field, fan zone activation and various on-site promotions at several sports bars and retail locations in the Greater Annapolis area leading up to the All-Star Game.”

• Stating that “we are continually seeking opportunities to evolve our product offerings,’ Kohl’s has signed an exclusive long-term alliance with Fanatics, a global leader in licensed sports merchandise with the addition of “hundreds of thousands of items.” Full story here.

• 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

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named the 23 players who will represent the U.S. in France and seek to defend their FIFA Women’s World Cup crown (July 7-Aug.7).

GOALKEEPERS

Adrianna Franch* (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris** (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher** (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS
Abby Dahlkemper* (NC Courage), Tierna Davidson* (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn* (NC Courage), Ali Krieger*** (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara*** (Utah Royals FC), Becky Sauerbrunn*** (Utah Royals FC), Emily Sonnett* (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS
Morgan Brian** (Chicago Red Stars), Julie Ertz** (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan* (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle* (Washington Spirit), Allie Long* (Reign FC), Samantha Mewis* (NC Courage)
FORWARDS
Tobin Heath*** (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd**** (Sky Blue FC), Jessica McDonald* (NC Courage), Alex Morgan*** (Orlando Pride), Christen Press** (Utah Royals FC), Mallory Pugh* (Washington Spirit), Megan Rapinoe*** (Reign FC)
* First Women’s World Cup
** Second Women’s World Cup
*** Third Women’s World Cup
**** Fourth Women’s World Cup

KEEPING SCORE

Luka Dončić, Trae Young Head NBA All-Rookie Team
Dallas Mavericks guard-forward Luka Dončić and Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young have been unanimously selected to the 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie First Team.

Dončić and Young both received NBA All-Rookie First Team votes on all 100 ballots to finish with 200 points each.  They are joined on the NBA All-Rookie First Team by Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (195 points; 95 First Team votes), Memphis Grizzlies forward-center Jaren Jackson Jr. (159 points; 60 First Team votes) and Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley III (156 points; 56 First Team votes).

The 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie Second Team includes LA Clippers guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (138 points), Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton (132), Clippers guard Landry Shamet (85), New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (77) and Hawks guard Kevin Huerter (45).

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office May 17-19
1. John Wick 3 $57M
2. Avengers: Endgame $29.4M
3. Pokemon Detective Pikachu $24.8M
4. A Dog’s Journey $8M
5. The Hustle $6M
6. The Intruder $4M
7. Long Shot $3.4M
8,. The Sun Is Also A Star $2.6M
9. Poms $2M
10. Uglydolls $1.6M
Source: Box Office Mojo

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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).

Thursday
Aug092018

Follow the Bouncing Ball: NBA 2018-19 Opening Week, Xmas, MLK Jr. Day, LeBron

NYSJ Sports-Entertainment Business News Service

August 8, 2018:
The 2018 NFL season is just around the corner and MLB’s post-season and World Series are on the horizon.

But the NBA has cut the line by unveiling a roster of games for Opening Week presented by Kia, Christmas Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The 2018-19 season is also being anticipated for the arrival of LeBron James as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, which some see as a holiday unto itself.

The league’s 73rd season begins Oct. 16., with the Kia NBA Tip-Off 2018, the earliest start to a regular season since the 1980-81 season began on Oct. 10.
 
Kia NBA Tip-Off 2018
The first six days of the 2018-19 season (Oct. 16-21) will feature 15 different teams playing 11 nationally televised games across TNT, ESPN and NBA TV as part of Kia NBA Tip-Off 2018.

TNT and ESPN will each present two doubleheaders during the season’s first four days.
 
• Oct. 16: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics (8 PM ET) TNT
• Oct. 16: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Golden State Warriors (10:30 PM ET) TNT

Before the second game, the Warriors will receive their championship rings and unveil their championship banner for the 2017-18 season.

This will be TNT’s 23rd consecutive season with a doubleheader on opening night, marking Turner Sports’ 35th straight year of NBA coverage.    
 
ESPN will open its 17th consecutive year of NBA coverage with a doubleheader.

• Oct. 17: New Orleans Pelicans vs. Houston Rockets 8 PM (ET) ESPN
• Oct. 17 Dallas Mavericks vs. Phoenix Suns 10:30 PM (ET) ESPN
 
On Oct. 18, four-time Kia NBA MVP LeBron James will play his first regular-season game with the Los Angeles Lakers when they visit the Portland Trail Blazers in the second game of TNT’s doubleheader (10:30 PM ET).

The opener will see the Chicago Bulls visit the Philadelphia 76ers (8 PM ET).
 
Kia NBA Tip-Off 2018 will continue on Friday, Oct. 19 as ESPN’s doubleheader starts with a matchup with the Toronto Raptors hosting Celtics (8 PM ET), followed by the Warriors visiting the Utah Jazz (10:30 PM ET).

James’ first home game with Los Angeles will be on ESPN on Saturday, Oct. 20, when the Lakers host the Rockets (10:30 PM ET).
 
The Oct. 20 schedule will also be highlighted by NBA TV’s first telecast of the season as the Washington Wizards host the Raptors (7 PM ET).

On Sunday, Oct. 21, NBA TV will complete the national TV schedule for opening week when the Rockets visit the Los Angeles Clippers (9 PM ET). 

NBA Christmas Day
The NBA will feature five games on Christmas Day (Tuesday, Dec. 25) for the 11th straight year. ESPN and ABC will combine to televise all five match-ups.

• Milwaukee Bucks vs. New York Knicks 12 Noon (ET) ESPN
• Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Houston Rockets 3 PM (ET) ABC
• Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics 5:30 PM (ET) ABC
• Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors 8 PM (ET) ESPN
• Portland Trail Blazers vs. Utah Jazz 10:30 PM (ET) ESPN

Martin Luther King Jr. Day    
• New Orleans Pelicans vs. Memphis Grizzlies 5:30 PM (ET) TNT
• Houston Rockets vs. Philadelphia 76ers 8 PM (ET) TNT
• Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers 10:30 PM (ET) TNT

The complete game schedule and broadcast schedules for TNT, ESPN, ABC, NBA TV and ESPN Radio will be unveiled on Aug. 10.

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