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• Boston’s Public Improvement Commission has approved a request by the Red Sox to change the name of Yawkey Way outside of Fenway Park, named after former owner Tom Yawkey (1933-1976), back to its original name, Jersey Street, following allegations about Yawkey (who died in 1976) being a racist. According to the Red Sox, “Today’s vote is an important step in our ongoing effort to make Fenway Park a place where everyone feels welcome.”

• Dale Earnhardt Jr. has written a book, Racing to the Finish: My Story, scheduled to be released Oct. 16. He calls it a “candid, first-person account of what seemed at first as a minor racing accident but ultimately forced life-changing decisions.”

• The NBA has signed a multi-year deal with Perform Media that will see the digital sports content-#media group manage the NBA’s official Web sites in 15+ international markets, including Argentina, Australia, Canada, India, Japan, Mexico and Spain. The NBA said it has 20 such localized sites

• The Drone Racing League has expended its presence in France with  a 2018 race in France at the Allianz Riviera stadium and a media partnership with Groupe AB. DRL has also signed an extension of the Allianz title partnership of the DRL Championship Race Series for an additional five years.


NFL 2018 Top Ten Draft Picks
1. Cleveland Browns: Baker Mayfield QB (Oklahoma) Cleveland Browns
2. New York Giants: Saquon Barkley RB (Penn State)
3. New York Jets: San Darold QB (ISC)
4. Cleveland Browns: Denzel Ward CB (Ohio State)
5. Denver Broncos: Bradley Chubb DE (NC State)
6. Indianapolis Colts: Quentin Nelson G (Notre Dame)
7. Buffalo Bills: Josh Allen QB (Wyoming)
8. Chicago Bears: Roquan Smith LB (Georgia)
9. San Francisco 49ers: Mike McGlinchey OT (Notre Dame)
10. Arizona Cardinals: Josh Rosen QB (UCLA)


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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.
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.
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.
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.

David Stern: NBA Global Growth Is 'What You Do About Responding To Opportunity'

By Barry Janoff

October 13, 2015: Before the NBA officially begins its 2015-16 season on Oct. 27, it will play five exhibition games under its Global Games banner (there will be another two during the regular season), plus four more as part of its Canada Series.

To support and enhance its strategy to build the league worldwide, NBA games are now broadcast to 215 nations and territories in 47 languages.

But according to David Stern, who was NBA commissioner during  the league's massive global growth (from February 1984 until January 31, 2014), the NBA had to be convinced by the rest of the world that a global boom could happen.

And in a crucial vote, even the U.S. didn't want to NBA players to meet the rest of the world on the court.
"I really can't take credit for the NBA's global expansion," said Stern. "It's what you do about responding to opportunity."

According to Stern, who is now NBA Commissioner Emeritus, the tipping point came in 1987.

"Boris Stankovic (secretary-general for the International Basketball Federation) came in to Russ Granik, NBA deputy commissioner at the time," said Stern during a Q&A session at the Advertising Week XII Sports Venture Series, held in New York's Liberty Theater earlier this month (Oct. 1). "(Stankovic said to Granik) we'd like you to come into the Olympics. We oversee all the players in the world except the best 400 in the world. Let's say 1992."

League executives discussed the offer regarding the 1992 Summer Games in Barcelona, but, as Stern put it, "We were not in a big hurry."

Stankovic's goal was not so much about opening up the world's doors to the NBA for recruitment and marketing purposes as it was to improve the quality of play among teams worldwide by competing on a regular basis with the NBA's top hoop stars.

"The world did do what Stankovic wanted it to do in getting better in basketball," said Stern.

Although other nations had players on their teams who either were paid or, by U.S. standards, would be regarded as pros, the key obstacle was changing a FIBA rule that allowed players from profession basketball leagues other than the NBA to participate in the Olympics.

Prior to that point, U.S. National Men's Basketball Teams were comprised of college players, many of whom went on to play in the NBA.

In April 1989, FIBA nations voted 56-13 (with Greece abstaining) to allow professional players to play in the Olympics.

One of those 13 “no” votes was cast by the Amateur Basketball Association of the United States of America (ABAUSA), which oversaw all hoops organizations in the U.S. except for the NBA. Meaning that the U.S., itself voted against having NBA players in the Olympics.

That FIBA vote enabled the U.S. to send NBA players to the Olympics, and in turn increased the NBA's desire to have its teams and players face global competition.

"All of a sudden," said Stern, "we were off and running."

Including this coming season, the NBA will have played 161 international games, dating back to 1978.

Earlier this year, under the auspices of NBA commissioner Adam Silver, the league played its first game in Africa.

The NBA's global map also includes some ten international Web sites, each dedicated to fans in specific countries, including Africa, China, Australia, Brazil, Germany and the hispanic-language Éne-Bé-A.

In addition to teams, sending players overseas to promote brands has become big business, as the likes of Nike and adidas can attest as they continue to build their brands in China and elsewhere via NBA stars and icons such as Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Derek Rose and Michael Jordan.

"We stepped into a sport that was already global," said Stern. "(You have to) take advantage of what you have."

In 1992 the U.S. ultimately sent to the Summer Olympics in Barcelona an NBA-laden squad that became known as the "Dream Team."

Led by Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Scottie Pippen, John Stockton, Karl Malone, Clyde Drexler, Chris Mullin and Christian Laettner (the lone collegiate player), the U.S. won the gold, and the rest is global hoops history.

"We stepped into a sport that was already global," said Stern. "(You have to) take advantage of what you have."

An integral part of the NBA's global expansion is recruiting players from beyond the U.S. Last season on the collective roster of its 30 teams were more than 100 players born outside U.S borders.

The number of international players in the NBA has more than doubled since 2000-01, when the league had 45 international players, and nearly quintupled since 1990-91 (21 international players).

"We didn't anticipate this, We did not do this for recruitment purposes," Stern said during the  Advertising Week XII Sports Venture Series. "Little did we know that the flow of players (into the NBA) would be more than (token)."

According to a 1989 article in the Los Angeles Times reporting on the FIFA vote, Stankovic said, "We see this as our triumphant entry into the 21st Century."

Dave Gavitt, president of the USA Amateur Basketball Assn., said his federation voted against the plan because the colleges and high schools that make up the majority of its constituency opposed it.

"I'm not sure the NBA, if it had a vote, would have voted for it, either," Gavitt said in the Times article.

An Associated Press survey of NBA players at the time found that less than two-thirds (63%) favored open eligibility, but 58% indicated they would play in the Olympics, according to the story in the Times.

The first game between an NBA team and a FIBA team actually preceded Stankovic's visit to the league's New York offices by a decade: In September 1978 the Washington Bullets traveled to Israel and were defeated by Maccabi Tel Aviv, 98-97.

The first regular season game outside of North America was on Nov. 2, 1990 in Tokyo, when the Phoenix Suns beat Utah Jazz 119-96; the Jazz beat the Suns 102-101 the next night.

Games against international teams became an annual event when the NBA launched the McDonald's Open in 1988. The competition was held every year through 1993 except for the Olympic year of 1992.

During the span, the NBA went 18-0 against visiting FIBA teams, not including the Summer Games, when the undefeated (8-0) Dream Team outscored the opposition by an average of almost 44 points per game.

Basketball was a demonstration sport in the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis, but has been an Olympic sport since the 1936 Summer Games in Berlin, ann historical event made famous by Jessie Owens winning  four gold medals in track & field even as Adolph Hitler railed against Jews and African-Americans.

With 23 nations competing the year, and the gold medal went to the U.S., silver to Canada, bronze to Mexico.

In an historical move of Olympian size, the medals were presented by Dr. James Naismith, the man credited with inventing the game.

Stern also had some words for the NFL, which is chasing its own global strategy.

"If you are the NFL, you have incredibly powerful sport, if you can sign to play eight games in London, go for it," said Stern

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