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• Six first-year eligible candidates are among the 27 semi-finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018: CB/S Ronde Barber, G Steve Hutchinson, LB Ray Lewis, LB Brian Urlacher, WR Randy Moss andDE/DT Richard Seymour. The Class of 2018 will be unveiled during NFL Honors, a two-hour prime-time awards special to air nationally (Feb. 3, 2018) on the eve of Super Bowl LII.
• The New York Knicks named Dan Sabreen vp-public relations, effective Nov. 27. Sabreen has spent more than a decade at CBS Sports, most recently as vp-communications.
• For every save made by goalkeepers during MLS Eastern and Western Conference Championships and MLS Cup, Allstate said it would donate two new soccer nets to fields in need in that club's city. MLS goalies participating inlcude Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew), Joe Willis (Houston Dynamo), Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders) and Alex Bono (Toronto FC).
• 2018 BBWAA ballot unveiled, with 14 1st timers including Chris Carpenter, Johnny Damon, Andruw Jones, Chipper Jones, Hideki Matsui, Jim Thome, Johan Santana, Omar Vizquel Full ballot

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2018 NFL Pro Bowl Voting (To Date)
1. Carson Wentz QB Philadelphia Eagles 273,367
2. Tom Brady QB New England Patriots 239,989
3. Le’Veon Bell RB Pittsburgh Steelers 227,771
4. Todd Gurley RB Los Angeles Rams 215,687
5. Antonio Brown WR Pittsburgh Steelers 215,584
6. Drew Brees QB New Orleans Saints 207,751
7. Kareem Hunt RB Kansas City Chiefs 204,611
8. Jared Goff QB Los Angeles Rams 200,346
9. Russell Wilson QB Seattle Seahawks 183,630
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11. Rob Gronkowski TE New England Patriots 168,663
12. Zach Ertz TE Philadelphia Eagles 156,183
13. Julio Jones WR Atlanta Falcons 124,556
14. Joey Bosa DE Los Angeles Chargers 117,480
15. Kyle Juszczyk FB San Francisco 49ers 116,816
16. Aaron Donald DT Los Angeles Rams 102,194
17. Luke Kuechly LB Carolina Panthers 101,131
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19. Everson Griffen DE Minnesota Vikings 91,621
20. Geno Atkins DT Cincinnati Bengals 88,126
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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
Wednesday
Nov032010

Marketers Psyched Over Kobe's Hoops Commitment For 2012 Summer Games

November 3, 2010: The 2012 Summer Olympics are still about 630 days away, but basketball fans and marketing partners of USA Basketball received some good news when Kobe Bryant revealed that he will play on the team heading to London.

Bryant, who helped lead the USA Men's National Basketball team to a gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, was a guest on the Sirius XM radio show hosted by Mike Krzyzewski, who is head coach of the men's team and also head coach of the Duke men's hoops squad.

"It’s a huge honor to be a part of that," Bryant told Krzyzewski. "You guys want me there, I am there and I'm ready to defend. And then when you guys need me to put some points on the board I'll do that too."

USA Basketball marketing partners include State Farm, Gatorade, Tiffany, Joseph Abboud, Got Milk? and Nike, which also partners with Bryant. The 2012 Summer Games will be held July 27-Aug. 12, 2012.

"It’s a huge honor to be a part of that. You guys want me there, I am there."

Bryant, a member of the two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers, is not only among the best players in the league but also a highly regarded athlete among the global sports and sports marketing community. His Lakers' jersey, for example, has been the top-selling NBA jersey in Europe for three consecutive years and  has topped the sales charts in China for four years. This past pre-season he toured with the Lakers as part of the NBA Europe Live tour that included a game at The O2 in London, which will host the final stages of the basketball competition at the 2012 Olympics.

However, Bryant will be 34 when the Games are played, a fact to which he alluded during his time on Krzyzewski's show on Nov. 2. "If anything, I’ll just be [New York Yankees relief pitcher] Mariano Rivera [and] come in in the last two minutes.”

Bryant was not on the U.S. squad the won the FIBA World Basketball championship this past summer. The squad was led by Kevin Durant and other NBA players including Rajon Rando, Derrick Rose and Stephen Curry. Players such as LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony also are considered top candidates for the 2012 squad.

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