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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.

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Most Popular NBA Jerseys (Oct.-Dec. 2017)
1. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
2. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
3. Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
4. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
5. Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks
6. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
7. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
8. Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers
9. Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
10. James Harden, Houston Rockets
11. Lonzo Ball, Los Angeles Lakers
12. Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics
13. Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
14. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
15. Jimmy Butler, Minnesota Timberwolves

Most Popular Team Merchandise
1. Golden State Warriors
2. Cleveland Cavaliers
3. Philadelphia 76ers
4. Los Angeles Lakers
5. New York Knicks
6. Milwaukee Bucks
7. Boston Celtics
8. San Antonio Spurs
9. Chicago Bulls
10. Oklahoma City Thunder
Source: NBAStore.com

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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2018 NBA All-Star Game

East Starters: Giannis Antetokounmpo, DeMar DeRozan, Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, Joel Embiid
West Starters: Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, James Harden, DeMarcus Cousins
The All-Star teams will still feature 12 players from each conference, but the captains — James and Curry — will select the team rosters without regard for conference affiliation.

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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
Friday
Dec062013

He's Back: Kobe Bryant Unveils NBA Return Date In Dramatic Hollywood Fanfare

By Barry Janoff

December 6, 2013: Like the United State Postal Service, neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays Kobe Bryant from the swift completion of his appointed rounds.

Bryant, 35, who has been out of action for the Los Angeles Lakers since April due to surgery and rehabilitation for a torn left Achilles tendon, posted a video to his Facebook page today (Dec. 6) that signaled his official return to the court: Dec. 8 against the Toronto Raptors in Staples Center.

The video, which runs 2:08, opens with the text, "Seasons Of Legend," then, played out to an increasingly dramatic overture, shows Bryant's No. 24 Lakers jersey being battered by the elements, including heat, wind, rain, sleet, lightning and snow.

The jersey ultimately succumbs to the abuse, and is seen hanging crumpled and torn. But, like Kobe's return, a new day rises and the jersey is rebuilt, refreshed and ready for more action.

Closing text offers, "The Legend Continues . . .  December 8." (See the full video here.)

NBA TV already has said it would show the game live (9:30 PM ET).

Bryant has more than 17.4 million "Likes" on his Facebook page.

Bryant's return comes on the heels of his two-year contract extension with the Lakers, unveiled on Nov. 26 and valued at $48.5 million; and coincides with the release of his latest signature shoe from Nike, the Kobe 9, a high-top design that uses proprietary Flyknit and Flywire technologies.

According to Nike, "The Kobe 9 fully wraps around the ankle, and the back of the shoe sports nine red detailed lines, which are meant to symbolize Bryant’s Achilles sutures." Nike said that the 18-year veteran and 15-time All-Star would be wearing the shoe when he returns to the court.

This week also saw the release of a marketing campaign and TV spot with Bryant and international soccer star Lionel Messi supporting Turkish Airlines.

The day prior to the video's release, Bryant was working out with his Lakers teammates and, when asked by members of the media about his return, gave the indication he was not ready to commit.

"I'm trying," Bryant said. "We've got to see how it feels tonight. I'm going to try to get another hard session in and then [Friday] morning try to push it again, and the same thing tomorrow evening. [I'll] continue to just keep on measuring it."

On Friday, Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni told members of the media that the odds of Bryant returning on Sunday were "pretty good."

The Lakers play in Sacramento against the Kings tonight (Dec. 6) but Bryant planned to remain in Los Angeles. After Toronto, the Lakers play the Phoenix Suns Tuesday night (Dec. 10) in Los Angeles.

Kobe-Messi Faux Feud Take Flight In Turkish Airlines Selfie Shootout

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