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Celebrity Athletes: Steve Nash and Thierry Henry Kick it for Charity, NBA Draft Babes Take Part in NBA Cares, Michael Beasley’s Ball for Ronnie Mac.

SHOWDOWN IN CHINATOWN WITH STEVE NASH
A few NBA good-guys like Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, Raja Bell, and Leandro Barbosa hooked up with some of the best soccer players on earth- Thierry Henry, Claudio Reyna, Robbie Fowler, Steve McManaman, Jozy Altidore, Juan Pablo Angel, and Gregg Berhalter for the ‘Showdown in Chinatown’ charity soccer game yesterday in NY. (Side note: Mad Props to Jason Kidd, who has popped up at just about every charity event imaginable during the off-season.)

The ‘Showdown’ was born from the beautiful humanitarian mind of Steve Nash, who spends most of his off-season showcasing the soccer skills that were passed down from his famous soccer-playing dad. Nash co-hosted the event along with buddy Claudio Reyna, who moved to MLS’s New York Red Bulls after making a name for himself in parts of the world where soccer is a religion. Following the game, the hotties held a private auction in SoHo to benefit their respective foundations. “Football and my foundation are two of my big passions,” said Nash, “And the chance to bring together guys like Thierry and Jason and Claudio. And the best part is that it (was) free to anyone who wanted to come watch us.”

“We had it completely wrong in terms of the excitement,” Reyna said. “We knew people were going to come out, but we just couldn’t believe it when we showed.” Uh-you didn’t know people were gonna come out? Actually, Reyna makes a good point. While my West Coast eyes had to search hard for info on this event, I’m wondering how much pre-event pumping up there was on the East Coast? This event could have sold more tickets than David Beckham has for the Galaxy- but seeing as it was Steve Nash holding the reins, it doesn’t surprise me that it was a free event. Thanks to the great fans who filmed the event and posted something fresh to look at on YouTube…if it weren’t for them, footage from this event may have gone by the wayside…the only stone in my shoe today is that I didn’t get my ass on a plane to NY to cover this event myself (a-hem, sponsors pa-leeze). Nash’s side won the 60-minute game, 9-4, while Thierry Henry entertained the crowd by juggling the ball for 20 yards at a time and balancing it on his head-stuff we only see in Reebok commercials…There’s a handful of post-related items…all the same standard wording…and maybe five images from the event making the rounds. And the ‘selling point’ of the story this morning is that Henry said he likes America-media translation? Henry may be following in the footsteps of Beckham and come to the states. “Why not?” he said Wednesday night, “I love America. I love it here. And whenever I come here, I feel free. Hopefully, one day. You never know what’s going to happen. But at the moment, I’m still over there.” But you were here yesterday Thierry, and we thank you for that. We thank you for adding an extra-bit of oomph to the most beautiful game to roll through NY in a long, long time. (And on a side note here-gotta call out a playa for a sham of a show…Baron Davis. While he also took part in this little shindig he gets no love from me-I ain’t buying his ‘charity efforts’ for one second. He may be one of the most charismatic and loved ballers around, but I’ve seen his dark side, his thug of a posse and his overbearing need to have his ego fed. In my book, he ain’t one of the good-guys until he clears up some dirty baggage that’s attached to his reputation.)

NBA DRAFT PROSPECTS MEET SPECIAL OLYMPIANS

Yesterday, NBA Cares held a Special Olympics Clinic at John Jay College in NY. A few NBA ‘draft prospects’ such as Brook Lopez (L), O.J. Mayo (R), Robin Lopez, Russell Westbrook, Jerryd Bayless and Michael Beasley made the kids happy.


And in efforts to justify running this fab-photo of Michael Beasley, I found an auction by Topps who sponsored the McDonalds All American High School Basketball Games. Up for bids is a basketball signed by team members including Beasley. The exclusive Topps Vault eBay auctions features a limited number of Topps McDonald’s All-American High School “The Rock” Basketballs signed by the Boy’s East team, the Boy’s West team, and the Girls teams. 85% of the proceeds from the auctions will go to the Ronald McDonald House charities, so bid away my friends, bid away.


As always, thanks for reading.
delinda@athlebrities.com