Half of Richest African-Americans Linked to Sport

A recent FORBES ranking shows that despite the real and perceived advances in the last generation, 10 of the 20 wealthiest African-Americans have a strong relationship to sports, either as a player or an owner.  Oprah Winfrey, as expected, leads the list by a long shot, garnering $2.7 billion through shrewd investment and media moguling.

David Lettermam Oprah Winfrey Super Bowl

(”I could buy and sell you with my Dr. Phil profits alone”)

However, Tiger Woods follows at $600 million and growing.  From there, Robert Johnson (Charlotte Bobcats owner) and Michael Jordan (Bobcats president) lead a procession that implies the best way to become a wealthy black man is still to hit the gym or own one.

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Now The Nets Want Stimulus $$$ To Pay For Arena

The Nets are still planning a move to a dramatic new arena in Brooklyn, a Frank Gehry-designed basketball cathedral that will be part of a basketball and skyscraper project called Atlantic Yards. But Nets owner and developer Bruce Ratner’s plans for the stadium just can’t get enough public funding, so he had to find a clever way to get his hands on some more money. Luckily, he happens to know the Maloof brothers out in Sacramento and, exactly as we predicted here two days ago, he’s become the latest NBA owner to pin his franchise’s hopes of a new arena on funding from the federal government’s stimulus package.

new nets arena gehry

(Your hard earned-money could go into this … and make Bruce Ratner rich.)

The story comes from NEW YORK MAGAZINE’s DAILY INTEL blog, which cites an article in the NEW YORK POST and conversations with Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz as reason to believe that Ratner is spending most of his time begging for as much federal funding as he can get his hands on.

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LeBron James Loves Himself Some Barry Manilow

In my opinion, one of the greatest inventions of all time has been the iPod.  As someone who is a fan of so many types of music it was nice to finally have a device where I could store every single song on every single CD I owned at the time.  No longer would I have to carry around a book full of CDs and a CD player, I only needed that wonderful little rectangle to carry in my pocket to access any song I felt like hearing.

iPods are also a wonderfully easy way to get to know a person because you only have to take a look at the artists they have on there to get a feel for what they’re like.  If a person only carries music of a certain genre on theirs, you already know that they’re rather closed-minded and stubborn in their ways.   If that person has everything from Jay-Z to Barry Manilow on their playlist, well then you know you’re dealing with LeBron James.

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LeBron Stumps For Obama, Chad Misses Chance

In less than a week, the citizens of the United States of America will be hitting the voting booths to select a candidate who will lead this great nation for the next four years. (Unless you already voted early, or said candidate gets impeached at some point.) And in the electoral battleground of Ohio, a couple of the Buckeye State’s biggest sports stars are doing some last-minute stumping.

LeBron James Barack Obama

While Brady Quinn has already courageously did his part for John McCain, LeBron James is rallying to back Barack Obama. CLEVELAND.COM reports that the Cavs star will be hosting a special event at the Quicken Loans Arena tonight to show his support for the Democratic presidential hopeful. Joining LeBron at the Q will be his buddy (and future boss?) Jay-Z. King James hopes tonight’s performance goes better than last night’s.

On the other side of the state, Chad Javon Ocho Cinco Johnson Esq. reportedly had his own special tribute planned for the Illinois senator.

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Jay-Z Has 99 Problems: Arena Financing Is One

Forget bailing out the banks - does the government want to bail out the New Jersey Nets? The NEWARK STAR-LEDGER reports that the team’s ambitious $950 million new arena in Brooklyn is in serious jeopardy, as Goldman Sachs appears to be unable to guarantee the funds needed to finance the $4 billion Atlantic Yards entertainment complex that will house the new arena.

Barclays Center rendering

I know it sounds like a lot of money to mere mortals, but can’t Nets part-owner Jay Z just pay the $950 million from his “walking around” money? I mean, the guy has the technology to make the plans for the freakin’ stadium magically appear out of his hands; why can’t he just make a billion dollars appear as well?

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Harkleroad’s BF Helped Negotiate Playboy Deal

The 65th-ranked womens tennis player in the world, Ashley Harkleroad took some time out from losing matches to talk to ESPN THE MAGAZINE about tennis and her PLAYBOY spread, but mostly her PLAYBOY spread.

Ashley Harkleroad Playboy cover

After three questions about tennis, simply to say they spoke about tennis, ESPN THE MAGAZINE’s Ted Bauer gets in to the reason why anyone outside of the hardcore tennis fan even knows Harkleroad’s name. From Bauer’s questions, we learn that Harkleroad’s boyfriend helped negotiate the deal with PLAYBOY.

She says, “My boyfriend and my agents negotiated the deal for me. It’s something entirely different than playing tennis, and I enjoy being in front of a camera. It’s just a different avenue and I wanted to see where it could take me, so I accepted it.”

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Blog Jam: Bears Driver Licensed To Irk Pack Fans

John Jagler of 620 WTMJ in Milwaukee puts out an APB for this Bears motorist in Wisconsin taking license with a playful poke at the Packers.

Bears Packers license plate

• Not to be outdone by literary giant Jose Canseco, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY prints out word that Larry Bird & Magic Johnson will be teaming up to write a book together about their long-time rivalry & friendship.

• So, what’s Avery Johnson been up to these days? Well, THE MERKIN SPORTS drives up video oft the ex-Mavs coach now selling cars.

Sam Smith of HOOPS HYPE guzzles down the opinion that it’s alcohol and not marijuana that should be the biggest cause of the NBA’s concern.

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Bloggy Bag: Charlie Weis Will Shoot You Dead

  • FANHOUSE has the scoop on the Notre Dame coach’s latest recruiting weapon, er, tool.

Charlie Weis Gun

Unemployed Jay-Z is Bored and Kind Of Annoying

The list of Jay-Z beefs (as the kids call them) is long and illustrious. Among them are such stalwarts as Nas, R. Kelly, and Cam’Ron. But Jay seems to be getting a little soft in his old age. First, he got fired from his job. Now he’s taking shots at mediocre, non-superstar basketball players.

jay z basketball jersey

That’s right, you can add DeShawn Stevenson to that list up there; the one that just became a whole lot less illustrious. Read more…

Latest LeBron-To-NYC Plans - Zap Zach, Give Gifts

Marc Berman of the NEW YORK POST shoots up the latest plan to bring LeBron James to the Big Apple.

LeBron James Zach Randolph

When LeBron has a chance to opt out of his Cavaliers contract in 2010, Berman suggests making salary cap room by trading away Zach Randolph and his $17.8 million contract that runs through 2011. And it doesn’t have to be just Zach that’s zapped from the roster, as Berman says removing Eddy Curry or Jamal Crawford could also put the Knicks under the cap.

But if MSG management can’t make this happen, some fans hope to sway LeBron with their own greenback grass-roots campaign. Read more…