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‘Shut Up and Dribble’ Director Gotham Chopra Says ‘Sports and Politics Have Collided for Decades’

  • The Wrap
The title for Showtime documentary series “Shut Up and Dribble” was inspired by LeBron James’ feud with Fox News host Laura Ingraham last February, but the project had been in the works long before that.

“I don’t believe in coincidences … that it took two years to make and got released now after the world has become increasingly politicized is very synchronistic,” director Gotham Chopra told TheWrap. “When we first started, it was going to be equal parts social impact and cultural impact — and there was going to be more basketball in it — but this just felt like a natural evolution of the project and the conversation.”

James clearly didn’t heed Ingraham’s advice to “keep the political comments” to himself and instead used her words against her on the three-part series that he executive produced along with Maverick Carter and Chopra. Former ESPN anchor Jemele Hill, who has
See full article at The Wrap »

ESPN’s ‘Basketball: A Love Story’ Is Rhapsody in Hoops

  • Variety
ESPN Films’ 20-hour, six-week documentary “Basketball: A Love Story” more resembles a modern rom-com than your typical documentary. Rather than a chronological history lesson, it’s an episodic collection of anecdotes and stories that in some ways have more in common with “Love, Actually” than Ken Burns’ completist “Baseball.”

The film weaves through the heartbreaking story of paralyzed player Maurice Stokes and his dedicated teammate Jack Twyman to the bitter women’s basketball rivalry of Tennessee’s Pat Summit and Connecticut’s Geno Auriemma to tales of UCLA’s rise, the Dream Team, the Magic/Bird rivalry, the Aba and the emergence of international stars in the NBA with plenty of stops in-between.

“My film is not a history of basketball, because 20 hours is not even close to long enough,” says director Dan Klores. “But it’s historical so there is a lot of stuff that is not obvious. I
See full article at Variety »

Yep, Bill Russell Flipped Off Charles Barkley on Live TV at the NBA Awards (Video)

  • The Wrap
NBA legend Bill Russell became Twitter’s favorite grandpa Monday night after the 12-time all star flipped the bird to Charles Barkley live on television during TNT’s broadcast of the NBA Awards.

The moment came when Barkley, presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award to Oscar Robertson, took a second to thank several other NBA legends, including Russell. At that point the camera turned to the (very sharply dressed) retired Celtics center, who, well, watch below:

Bill Russell giving the middle finger to Charles Barkley ???? pic.twitter.com/HyO3MbDC3C

— NBA@SneakerReporter (@NBA_SR) June 26, 2018

Also Read: 'Uncle Drew' Film Review: Basketball Comedy Dribbles Away the Laughs

So why, pray tell, did the 11-time NBA champion flip off Sir Charles? Russell explained on Twitter, in a very sorry-not-sorry statement, that he just can’t help himself whenever he sees Barkley.

Sorry everyone, I forgot it was live TV
See full article at The Wrap »

Warriors Win Back-To-Back NBA Championships, But Ratings Take A Loss

  • Deadline
In many ways, the end of the 2018 NBA Finals was very much like the end of the 2017 NBA Finals, except in the ratings for the league and ABC.

The similarities saw the Golden State Warriors defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers to win the Larry O’Brien trophy, just like the 2015 champs did last year over the 2016 winners. Once again, Game 4 was held in LeBron James’ house at a packed Quicken Loans Arena. And just like 2017, another magnificent performance by the WarriorsKevin Durant saw the forward rightly given the Bill Russell Finals Mvp award amid his celebrating teammates’ cheers and the presence of the basketball legend himself.

Bill Russell x Kd. #ThisIsWhyWePlay pic.twitter.com/EPYQY7RwhE

NBA (@NBA) June 9, 2018

In the process, a bit of NBA history was made as Golden State is the first team to sweep the Finals since 2007, when the San Antonio Spurs schooled the Cavs.

However,
See full article at Deadline »

NBA Legend Bill Russell Rushed to the Hospital

  • TMZ
11:00 Am Pt -- A rep for Russell tells TMZ ... he was hospitalized for dehydration. He was kept overnight for observation, but they expect him to check out today. 11:15 Am Pt -- Russell just responded himself, saying he was taken to the hospital last night for dehydration and joked his wife likes to remind him that he doesn't drink enough. He says he's on his way home. Bill also playfully denied having any heart issues,
See full article at TMZ »

Cast and Creative Team Announced For The New York Premiere Of Unexpected Joy

The York Theatre Company James Morgan, Producing Artistic Director Evans Haile, Executive Director, dedicated to the development of new musicals and the preservation of musical gems from the past, in association with Jim Kierstead, Aria Entertainment, Gabby Hanna amp Marcy Feller, Riki Kane Larimer, Linda amp Craig Wielkotz, Drew Desky amp Dane LevensMichael Mills, William FernandezBehzad Dabu, has announced the cast and creative team for the New York premiere of the new musical Unexpected Joy, with book and lyrics by Bill Russell Side Show and music by Janet Hood Elegies for Angels, Punks, and Raging Queens with Bill Russell.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Kyrie Irving Hits the Court with NBA Legends in Uncle Drew Trailer

Lionsgate has released the first trailer for the upcoming basketball comedy Uncle Drew, which comes on the heels of the character posters released yesterday. This trailer highlights just how skilled on the basketball court Uncle Drew was back in his prime, while also showing that he still has what it takes today. The trailer also showcases the iconic Rucker Classic street ball tournament, where a number of real NBA superstars honed their craft before going pro, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Julius "Dr. J" Erving, Kobe Bryant and Kyrie Irving himself.

After draining his life savings to enter a team in the Rucker Classic street ball tournament in Harlem, Dax (Lil Rel Howery) is dealt a series of unfortunate setbacks, including losing his team to his longtime rival (Nick Kroll). Desperate to win the tournament and the cash prize, Dax stumbles upon the man, the myth, the legend Uncle Drew
See full article at MovieWeb »

Uncle Drew Posters Introduce Kyrie Irving's NBA All-Star Lineup

Lionsgate has released new character posters and motion posters for Uncle Drew, the studio's upcoming basketball comedy with current NBA superstar Kyrie Irving leading the cast as the title character. Basketball fans may remember the Uncle Drew character from a series of longform Pepsi Max ads, where Irving was transformed into a much older man, who shows off some surprising skills on the court. This new movie features a whole new story and brings in a cast full of basketball legends to give Uncle Drew a hand.

After draining his life savings to enter a team in the Rucker Classic street ball tournament in Harlem, Dax (Lil Rel Howery) is dealt a series of unfortunate setbacks, including losing his team to his longtime rival (Nick Kroll). Desperate to win the tournament and the cash prize, Dax stumbles upon the man, the myth, the legend Uncle Drew (NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving
See full article at MovieWeb »

Alice Ripley, Emily Skinner, The Skivvies, and More Headline Elegies For Angels, Punks And Raging Queens

Feinstein'S54 Below, Broadway's Supper Club, presents Alice Ripley, Emily Skinner, Josh Young, Emily Padgett, Nick Adams, The Skivvies and many more in a concert of Elegies For Angels, Punks And Raging Queens on Thursday, January 18 at 700 and 930. With book and lyrics by Bill Russell, who will also host and music by Janet Hood, who will serve as Musical Director, Elegies ... was inspired by personal stories of those affected by Hivaids and has been performed around the world. The score features such songs as My Brother Lived in San Francisco, And the Rain Keeps Falling Down and Learning To Let Go.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Kobe Bryant's Family Joins Him for Numbers Retirement Ceremony With the Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant's Family Joins Him for Numbers Retirement Ceremony With the Los Angeles Lakers
Kobe Bryant's numbers have officially been retired.

The Black Mamba returned to the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Monday night, as his former team, the Los Angeles Lakers, retired both of his career jersey numbers, 8 and 24. Kobe played his entire 20-year career with the Lakers.

"8 has something that 24 will never ever ever ever ever have, and that's the ability to grow hair," the man of the hour joked in a presser ahead of the night's game, in which the Lakers took on the visiting Golden State Warriors.

Kobe's wife, Vanessa, and his three daughters -- 14-year-old Natalia, 11-year-old Gianna and 1-year-old Bianka, all joined him for the major milestone. In an absolutely precious moment, the 39-year-old retired NBA pro rolled into arena pushing little Bianka's stroller.

Kobe got visibly emotional as he watched his numbers join nine other Lakers Hall of Famers in the rafters during halftime, acknowledging those that came before him as he opened
See full article at Entertainment Tonight »

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