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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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Top-Selling NFL Jerseys By Team 2017 At Dick’s Sporting Goods
1. Dallas Cowboys
2. New England Patriots
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
4. Philadelphia Eagles
5. Denver Broncos
6. Carolina Panthers
7. New York Giants
8. Seattle Seahawks
9. Atlanta Falcons
10. Cincinnati Bengals
11. Houston Texans
12. Minnesota Vikings
13. Detroit Lions
14. Chicago Bears
15. Green Bay Packers
16. Oakland Raiders
17. Kansas City Chiefs
18. Baltimore Ravens
19. Washington Redskins
20. Arizona Cardinals

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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
Thursday
Dec212017

Nash, Kidd, Allen, Hill, Hammon Among 1st Time Nominees For Hoops Hall Of Fame

By Barry Janoff

December 21, 2017: On the 126th birthday of the day that James Naismith conceived the game of basketball (Dec. 21, 1891), the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame released its list of nominees for the Class of 2018.

Due to a change in induction rules unveiled this week, players, referees and coaches are now allowed to become eligible for the Hall of Fame ballot after three full seasons of retirement, down one year from the previous four seasons.

The change enables players who last played during the 2013-14 NBA season to become eligible for the Class of ’18.

As such, the list includes NBA first-timers Steve Nash, Ray Allen, Chauncey Billups, Jason Kidd (pictured below), Grant Hill and Richard Hamilton.

From the WNBA the list of first-time eligible players includes Becky Hammon, Katie Smith, Tina Thompson and Valerie Still, who played only briefly with the Washington Mystics but left her mark at the University of Kentucky and WNBA predecessor American Basketball League.

Finalists for Class of 2018 will be unveiled during NBA All-Star Weekend in February in Los Angeles.

(See the full list of Class of 2018 nominees here.)

The entire Class of 2018 will be revealed during the Men’s NCAA Final Four this March in San Antonio. A finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Enshrinement festivities are scheduled to take place in Springfield, Mass., Sept. 6-8, 2018

According to John Doleva, president and CEO for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, “By allowing players, coaches and referees to become eligible after three seasons of retirement, the Hall of Fame will be able to celebrate the best in the game at an opportune time with the fans who have supported them throughout their careers on the hardwood.”

A second reform to Hall of Fame eligibility requires coaches to have coached for 25 years and reached the minimum age of 60. This will allow the Honors Committee to evaluate a larger body of work for those coaches nominated.

This change will take effect in 2020, allowing a grace period for coaches who are nearing Hall of Fame eligibility based on previous standards.

Among the first-year nominees from the NBA and WNBA (in alphabetical order):

• Ray Allen: Two-time NBA champ (Boston Celtics, Miami Heat) and the NBA all-time leader in three-point field goals

•  Chauncey Billups: 2004 NBA champ and Finals MVP (Detroit Pistons), five-time all-star, 15.8k+ career points, 5.6k+ assists

• Becky Hammon: Current San Antonia Spurs assistant coach, six-time all-star, voted Top 15 all-time players in WNBA history

• Richard Hamilton: NBA champ 2004 (Detroit Pistons), 15.7k career points, 3.1k assists, 2.8k rebounds, NCAA 1999 champ and Final Four Most Outstanding Player (UConn)

• Grant Hill: NBA co-ROY 1995 (with Jason Kidd), seven-time all-star, 17k+ career points, 6.1k+ rebounds, 4.2k+ assists)

• Jason Kidd: Current Milwaukee Bucks head coach, co-ROY1995 (with Grant Hill), NBA champ 2011 (Dallas Mavericks), 10-time  All-Star five-time assists leader, two Olympic gold medals (2000, 2008)

• Steve Nash: Two-time NBA MVP with the Phoenix Suns, eight-time all-star, five-time NBA assists leader

• Katie Smith: Current head coach for the New York Liberty, two-time WNBA champ (Detroit Shock 2006, 2008), No. 4 among WNBA all-time scorers (6,452), three-time Olympic gold medal winner (2000, 2004, 2008)

• Valerie Still: All-time leading scorer in UKentucky history (men & women, 2,763), two-time ABL (pre-WNBA) champion and Finals Series MVP (Columbus Quest), member of WNBA Washington Mystics

• Tina Thompson: No. 2 WNBA all-time scorers (7,488), four-time WNBA champ (all with the Houston Comets), nine-time all-star.

See the full list of Class of 2018 nominees here.

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