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deal w O via the NFL Players Inc. licensing- unit. "Since partnering in 2013, and have helped nearly 1,000 players connect with hundreds of brands to share campaigns, reaching more than 1 billion fans worldwide."

• The has named Shenzhen, as the host city for 2019-2028, a deal that includes the building of a 12K-seat venue, and doubling the prize money to $14M for the Top 8 singles players and Top 8 doubles teams.

• Overwatch League said that its first week of competition drew more than 10 million viewers via Twitch, MLG, and Chinese streaming partners ZhanQi TV, NetEase CC and Panda TV. Opening day had an average audience per minute of 408,000.

• Coca-Cola, International Speedway Corp. and Nascar have signed an extension to their partnerships under which Coca-Cola, would "continue its deep-rooted history in the sport by engaging racing fans across Nascar’s three national series and 12 ISC-operated race tracks" and events including the Coca-Cola 600 and the Coca-Cola 400. Coca-Cola-sponsored drivers include Austin Dillon, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, Daniel Suarez and Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. Coca-Cola said it "has been involved with stock car racing for 50 years," and became an official partner with Nascar in 1998.

• NBC Olympics will debut Olympic Ice Presented by Toyota, a live, daily figure skating show airing nightly (7 PM ET) on NBCSN beginning Feb. 10 and continuing through Feb. 24. Live Olympic figure skating competition will follow the show in primetime. NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app will present a digital-exclusive version of Olympic Ice Presented by Toyota immediately following prime-time coverage beginning Feb. 8.

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Top NBA All-Star Game Votes (To Date)
Eastern Conference
1.  Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) 863,416
2.  LeBron James (CLE) 856,080
3.  Kyrie Irving (BOS) 802,834
4.  Joel Embiid (PHI) 433,161
5. Kristaps Porzingis (NYK) 359,459
6.  DeMar DeRozan (TOR) 259,368
7.  Victor Oladipo (IND) 251,886
8.  Kevin Love (CLE) 221,969
9.  Ben Simmons (PHI) 210,085
10. John Wall (WAS) 175,990
Western Conference
1. Kevin Durant (GSW) 767,402
2. Stephen Curry (GSW) 735,115
3. James Harden (HOU) 602,040
4. Russell Westbrook (OKC) 438,469
5. Klay Thompson (GSW) 359,442
6. DeMarcus Cousins (NOP) 356,340
7. Draymond Green (GSW) 325,612
8. Manu Ginobili (SAS) 231,460
9. Kawhi Leonard (SAS) 212,650
10. Carmelo Anthony (OKC) 194,239

The 67th NBA All-Star Game will take place on Sunday, Feb. 18 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. TNT will televise (8 PM ET)

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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
Monday
Feb272012

Was Dwight Howard's Play During NBA All-Star Weekend A Farewell To Orlando?

By Barry Janoff

February 27, 2012: It should have been a weekend dominated by the presence of Dwight Howard of the hometown Orlando Magic.

Instead, it was Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder who took over, not only playing in the NBA All-Star Game in Orlando on Feb. 26, but also participating in earlier events such as the Three-Point Contest and coaching in the Sprint All-Star Celebrity Game, as well as starring in a new commercial for Sprint and for the NBA's "BIG" campaign and being featured in another for BBVA.

Howard coached against Duncan in the Celebrity Game on Feb. 24 and was seen courtside during the All-Star Saturday Night events. But it was Derrick Rose who adidas chose to feature in a series of activations and not fellow adidas spokesman Howard. And it was Durant who scored 36 points (to go with seven rebounds, three assists and three steals) in the All-Star Game and was named MVP, while Howard had nine points and ten rebounds.

Is this another significant signal that Howard is on his way out of Orlando via trade before he becomes a free agent at the end of this NBA season? It certainly seems that way.

Trade talks involving Howard have focused on three teams — the Los Angeles Lakers, the soon-to-be-Brooklyn Nets and the Dallas Mavericks — but the Magic would have been shooting themselves in the foot had they pulled the trigger on a deal prior to hosting All-Star festivities, and then have had to endure Howard's return in an opposing team's uniform.

For his part, Howard was politically correct during the weekend, seemingly not counting down the days to the NBA's March 15 trade deadline. “I just want to have fun," he said during player gatherings with the media. "This is All-Star weekend, it’s in Orlando and let’s forget about that stuff for a couple days and let’s focus on what’s here. Instead of worrying about trades [let's focus on] what’s going on.”

Meanwhile, Durant was all the rage during the weekend. In the 30-second Sprint spot, which broke in time to coincide with the NBA's mid-season All-Star break, Durant is shown in his OKC uniform explaining a recent play.

"Man, I was double-teamed, with no one to pass it to, so I pull it up and hit the shot for the win," Durant explains as we see the action play out. "And you didn't see it.

"It's the data-playing role - always stressing about overages," the All-Star forward bemoans. "I get that. But seriously - you chose to download 'Doodle Jump' instead of streaming my shot. "Doodle Jump!?"

Text then offers, "Avoid a data dilemma," while Durant says, "Man, that's messed up."

A voiceover confirms, "Switch to Sprint, the only network with truly unlimited data."

Sprint is in the first year of a four-year deal with the NBA, under which it replaced T-Mobile as the league's official wireless communications partner. Earlier Sprint-NBA commercials featured generic shots of game action.

As for Howard: He took the floor prior to the All-Star Game, won by the West, 152-149, and with microphone in hand told fans that Orlando was "my city, my home." How long that holds true remains to be seen.

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