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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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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
Jun052018

WNBA Opts To Deconstruct, Rebuild Its '18 All-Star Game, Including NBA-Style Draft

NYSJ Sports-Entertainment Business News Service

June 5, 2018:
Following in the All-Star Game footsteps of the NBA and NHL, the WNBA said a new format would be used to select teams for the Verizon WNBA All-Star 2018.

WNBA All-Star teams will be determined without regard to Eastern or Western Conference, a format that was used in the league’s previous 14 All-Star Games.

Rather than having to select an equal number of players from each conference, voters will now choose the All-Stars without regard for conference affiliation.

“Delivering on the promise to constantly innovate and entertain is driving this All-Star format change for our fans and partners,” WNBA president Lisa Borders said in a statement. “This bold and innovative approach to Verizon WNBA All-Star provides an opportunity to put the best of the best in our showcase event.”

WNBA All-Star Voting 2018 presented by Verizon begins June 19 (2 PM ET) and will conclude on July 12 (11:59 PM. ET.). Details here.

The game is scheduled for July 28 in Target Center, home to the defending champion Minnesota Lynx (ABC, 3:30 PM ET).

The selection of 2018 All-Stars will be conducted through a combination of voting by fans (40% of the vote), current WNBA players and head coaches (2% each) and a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters (20%).

A pool of 22 players who receive the most votes regardless of conference will be will be revealed on July 17.

The captains will be the two All-Stars, regardless of conference, who receive the highest vote totals.

The captains will then draft their respective teams from the remaining 20 All-Stars to form two 11-player rosters.

Last season, Maya Moore of the Lynx (19,949) and Elena Delle Donne of the Washington Mystics (19,280) received the most votes.

The NBA this past season also had its two captains — LeBron James and Stephen Curry, who received the most votes — draft their teams from all the players with the most votes, regardless of conference, to form Team LeBron and Team Stephen.

The NBA received flack for not putting the All-Star draft on national TV.

The WNBA has not yet said if the draft would be public, saying that “specific details about the draft will be announced at a later date.”

The NHL has been revising its All-Star Game selection process and format for several seasons, with four All-Star Teams based on the league’s four divisions competing in a single-elimination tournament.

The MLS All-Star Game dating back to 2005 has pitted a team of league All-Stars against a top international club (Juventus in 2018, Real Madrid in 2017).

Prior to the start of the 2018 season, the WNBA signed a deal with innovation and brand design consultancy Sylvain Lab to “work closely with the league to develop a long-term growth strategy and identify new marketing opportunities.”

According to the WNBA, the partnership with New York-based Sylvain Labs “entails a complete review of every aspect of the league to learn more about its fans and how best to engage them.”

Last season for the first time the WNBA including players and media in All-Star Game voting, which previously had been based completely on fan voting.

Under the new WNBA voting format, people will be able to vote for their top ten players regardless of position or conference.

Players, coaches and the media panel will each vote for 22 players, selecting nine guards and 13 frontcourt players regardless of conference. Players and coaches may not vote for members of their own team or themselves, both of which were previously allowed.

The All-Star rosters will be revealed on July 19 during ESPN2’s telecast of the Washington Mystics-Dallas Wings game.
 
The head coaches for Verizon WNBA All-Star 2018 will be the head coaches of the two teams with the best records following games on July 13.  The head coach with the best record as of that date will coach the team captained by the highest vote-getter.
 
On July 27, the All-Star team captains and head coaches will meet to determine starters for Verizon WNBA All-Star 2018.  The starting lineups will be revealed that night on ESPN2 (7 p.m. ET) during a live telecast of the WNBA All-Star Welcome Reception in Minnesota.

PHOTO COURTESY Target Center

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