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• Under Armour said this morning that Patrik Frisk, the company’s president and COO, would become its new CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2020. He will also remain president. Company founder, chairman and CEO Kevin Plank, will become executive chairman and brand chief. According to Friske via Under Armour, "The opportunity that lies ahead of us is incredible as our entire global team continues to lean hard into our transformation."

• Sacramento, California's capital city, has been awarded an MLS expansion team with Sacramento Republic FC becoming the league's 29th team and beginning play in MLS in 2022. The club will build a new, $300 million, 20,100-seat soccer stadium in the downtown Railyards District. 

• Octagon and the National Women’s Soccer League have signed a multi-tier consulting partnership, in which Octagon’s Global Media Rights Consulting and Marketing divisions will "advise the NWSL on its league media rights, sponsorship, and marketing." “The growth of the NWSL over the past six years has been tremendous, and the league, its teams and players show absolutely no sign of slowing down,” Christine Franklin, SVP, Marketing, Octagon, said via the firm.

• The Professional Baseball Agreement between MLB and minor league teams expires at the end of the 2020 season. But if a new MLB proposal were to become reality, more than three dozen cities with affiliated minor league teams will lose those teams a year from now and thousands of minor league players will be out of work as well. Full story here.

• "We said there's no chance that's happening. There’s no chance we’ll even discipline him." — NBA commissioner Adam Silver regarding China’s request that the league fire Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey

• "The losses have already been substantial. Our games are not back on the air in China as we speak, and we'll see what happens next. I don't know where we go from here. The financial consequences have been and may continue to be fairly dramatic." — NBA commissioner Adam Silver at the Time 100 Summit on Thursday regarding the league’s on-going situation with China.

• Halloween this year is Oct. 31, and retailers, marketers and consumers are ready for another season of trick-or-treat. Total spend on Halloween 2019 is expected to reach $8.8 billion according to the National Retail Federation, Washington, DC. Full story here. 

POLL POSITION

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2020 Nominees

• Pat Benatar
• Dave Matthews Band
• Depeche Mode
• Doobie Brothers
• Whitney Houston
• Judas Priest
• Kraftwerk
• MC5
• Motorhead
• Nine Inch Nails
• Notorious B.I.G.
• Rufus feat. Chaka Khan
• Todd Rundgren
• Soundgarden
• T. Rex
• Thin Lizzy

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KEEPING SCORE

Most Popular NBA Player Jerseys (based on eBay sales October 2018-October 2019)
1. LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers
2. Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors
3. Kyrie Irving Brooklyn Nets
4. Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks
5. Kevin Durant Brooklyn Nets
6. Dwyane Wade Miami Heat (retired)
7. Kawhi Leonard Los Angeles Clippers
8. Zion Williamson New Orleans Pelicans
9. Carmelo Anthony (most recently with Houston Rockets)
10. Russell Westbrook Houston Rockets

Most Popular Player Merchandise (based on eBay sales October 2018-October 2019)
1. LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers
2. Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors
3. Kevin Durant Brooklyn Nets
4. Kyrie Irving Brooklyn Nets
5. Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks
6. Paul George Los Angeles Clippers
7. James Harden Houston Rockets
8. Dwyane Wade Miami Heat (retired)
9. Kawhi Leonard Los Angeles Clippers
10. Russell Westbrook Houston Rockets
SOURCE: STUBHUB.COM

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office Oct. 18-20
1. Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil $36M
2. Joker $29.2M
3. Zombieland 2 $26.7M
4. Addams Family $16M
5. Gemini Man $8.5M
6. Abominable $3.5M
7. Downton Abbey $3M
8. Judy $2M
9. Hustlers $2M
10. It 2 $1.5M
BoxOfficeMojo.com

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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. 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)

NBA 2019 Opening Nights
• Oct. 22 New Orleans Pelicans vs. Toronto Raptors TNT 8 PM (ET)
• Oct. 22 Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers TNT 10:30 PM (ET)

• Oct. 23 Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers ESPN 8 PM (ET)
• Oct. 23 Denver Nuggets vs. Portland Trail Blazers ESPN 10 PM (ET)

Wednesday
Jun282017

John McEnroe: The NY Knicks Are Toxic, Have Hit Bottom . . . Now Move Forward

By Barry Janoff

June 27, 2017: In anticipation of his role as analyst and commentator during ESPN’s exclusive coverage of The Championships, Wimbledon (July 3-16), John McEnroe held court during a media conference today talking about the Grand Slam event (during which ESPN will have 140 hours of coverage on TV and 1,500 on ESPN3 and streaming live on the ESPN App).

He spoke about his recent comments on Serena Williams (responding to an earlier statement that "On the men’s circuit she would rank around No. 700" he offered "Obviously if it wasn't for Serena, American tennis would even be in a lot deeper trouble. She, in my opinion, is the greatest female player ever") and match-fixing ("The cheating in the game is worse than ever").

But McEnroe also weighed in — quite heavily — about a special passion, the New York Knicks, of which the Queens, NY-raised 58-year-old, seven-time Grand Slam winner has been a high-profile fan for decades.

On Tuesday (June 26), McEnroe appeared on The Dan Patrick Show and sang (while playing guitar) a parody about the Knicks, covering Green Day’s "Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)."

"Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road. What do we do with Melo (Carmelo Anthony) now that Phil doesn’t want to stay home? I still believe, or at least I can hope, that the Knicks don’t keep being the butt of everyone’s joke. Something unpredictable but in the end I hope he’s right. But Phil . . . don’t trade (Kristaps) Porzingas tonight.” (See the full segment here.)

During the ESPN media conference the next day, his tone was a bit more serious.

"As of yesterday (June 26) it was my understanding that Phil was going to finish out his contract. Try to turn things around," said McEnroe. "Although, obviously, that wasn’t going too well.

"It seemed," he emphasized, "as if it had gotten so toxic it just wasn’t going to be able to work out."

From McEnroe’s perspective, "The things that he did try — trades, free agents — hadn’t worked out. The way he handled the situation with Melo (saying, among other things, that he would be better of with another team), I don’t think anyone, including himself, would have thought that was the right approach. Even if it was better for the team and for Melo to leave, it wasn’t handled well."

McEnroe, although somewhat acquiescing to the outcome, admitted that Jackson and the Knicks deciding today to "mutually" part ways was, for him, unexpected.

"I was surprised that this happened,” said McEnroe. "I don’t hang around with NBA players but now and then I am around a couple and with people who are involved with the NBA. It seemed like there was no question that (players) were less-inclined to make a move toward the Knicks at the moment. Which I always found amazing."

McEnroe, who was in his tweens when the Knicks won their last NBA titles (1969-70, 1972-73) did see reasoning behind the timing of the move, but reacted like a true New Yorker at heart.

"I am biased, but I think that New York is the greatest city in the world. And I’m thinking, We can’t get guys to play for the New York Knicks?! In Madison Square Garden? That just seems beyond belief," said McEnroe.

“If it had something to do with Phil Jackson, even though he was a legendary Knick (he was a member of both Knicks title teams) and was one of the greatest, if not among one of the best couple of head coaches (ever) in the NBA (11 titles with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers), if it’s better moving forward, then I guess it’s better now," he said.

"I’m thinking, We can’t get guys to play for the New York Knicks?! In Madison Square Garden? That just seems beyond belief."

Like other fans of the team, McEnroe said he anticipated better times for the Knicks in 2016-17, but they finished with a poorer won-lost record (31-51) than the previous season (32-50), when they actually showed marked improvement over 2014-15 (17-65).

"I would have sworn to you before the season started last year I believed they could win 50 games," he said. "Having (signed) Joakim Noah, whose father, (former tennis star) Yannick, is a long-time buddy of mine, a former defensive player of the year who had some skills. I know, knowing him, that he dreamed of coming to New York, a kid who spent a lot of his life growing up in the city.

"Picking up Derrick Rose (in a trade from Chicago) at the time seemed to be a sensible risk, a one-year deal. Kristaps Porzingas (in his second season) was coming along. And you had some other players.

"I know some of it was bad luck. Unfortunately, the knock on Melo seemed to be and continued to be true — that even though he is such a great offensive player and a great guy, he wasn’t making the guys around him better. Or better enough, the way some of these other guys do, with LeBron (James) as the most obvious example.

"But that’s easier said than done. Maybe Melo would have been better off allowing Porzingas to get more of the spotlight and taking some of the pressure off of him. So if it ends up that he (Anthony) does stay — which who knows what the hell is going to happen now — but if he does, it would be better for Melo if he allowed Porzingas to flourish. It would actually help him (Anthony).

"That fact that he feels he is being over-shadowed in some ways is not accurate. It’s going to take Porzingas even in a best-case scenario a few more years to get to the level we hope he gets," said McEnroe.

Is this new chapter a foreshadow of better things to come for the Knicks, he was asked.

"Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom, or what appears to be rock bottom, to move forward," said McEnroe.

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