Magic Johnson Honored with USA Today’s Hollywood Hero Award, Carlos Boozer Gets Overstocked, Kevin Costner Helps University of Oregon, Francesco Totti and Federer, iSport Magazine, Tommy Robredo, Payless to Pay More Than $300M to Adidas, Carmelo Anthony Foundation Work, European Soccer Babes Mandated to Speak English?
WHERE MAGIC HAPPENS
Magic Johnson founded the Magic Johnson Foundation in 1991 to raise funds for community-based organizations dealing with HIV/AIDS education and prevention programs. His foundation has already awarded more than $1.1 million in funds…He also established 21 Magic Johnson Community Empowerment Centers, four HIV/AIDS clinics and has co-created the award-winning “I Stand With Magic” campaign to end HIV/AIDS in the black community…so its no surprise that on Tuesday night, Magic was awarded USA Today’s Hollywood Hero Award for his work with the Magic Johnson Foundation.
This lucky girl was privy to the event where friends of Magic turned up in throngs to honor him at the award ceremony held at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Russell Simmons was frolicking around the hotel, for hours, with his cell phone glued to his head before walking the red carpet and giving an incredibly touching speech, “The inspiration and knowledge you give goes way beyond what people see. You are truly an inspirational image in this country and the world,” said Simmons…Paul Sorvino graced the event and had nothing but love for Magic, “He’s Magic Johnson, he gives back so much, how could I not be here.” One of my all time favorites, Samuel L Jackson, was in da house- wearing a velvet blazer that attracted me like a moth to the flame. Sammy didn’t seem to mind as I caressed his arm and spoke to him about golf- his PR girl wasn’t too happy, but the big guy was happy to oblige my minor molestation.
Other notables included Phil Jackson and Jeanie Buss-with her cute Lakers purse. (And for all you ‘Dog Whisperer’ lovers, Jeanie informed me that Princess is doing much better since their visit from Cesar Millan and appearance on the show, “He spent way more time with me than with Princess, working to help me be the alpha-dog, but we’re doing much better.” Also must make mention that I asked both Phil Jackson and Magic Johnson if they had anything to do with Lakers game two being moved from the night of the Event, to the following evening…they both chuckled and denied any involvement.) Guests gave tribute to Magic via goose-bump producing speeches. When Chaka Kahn said, “I want to thank you for loving mankind,” I shed my first tear…the next came during Regina Kings speech, “It’s about you inspiring us to be better, to want to be better, and I thank you so much for being you, I appreciate you.” Needless to say, when Magic gave his speech, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Much thanks to USA TODAY, NMA Entertainment and Marketing for an awesome event, and for allowing me to attend. Please visit Look to the Stars for my complete write-up.
AN ‘OVERSTOCKED’ CARLOS BOOZER
Finally, a reason to write about Carlos Boozer! The sexy Utah Jazz All-Star has teamed up with Overstock.com for a four-year agreement that includes Boozer making appearances on behalf of Overstock.com. Sounds a bit odd, but Overstock is based in Utah, as is Boozers Foundation, Boozer’s Buddies- a non profit organization that supports the research and treatment of Sickle Cell Anemia…Boozers son suffers from the disease, so props to Overstock for giving Boozers Buddies a boost. “Carlos and Cindy share the same values and ideals as Overstock.com,
and their commitment to these values is admirably demonstrated by their charitable organization…This will highlight that Utah is home to Overstock.com, Carlos, and Boozer’s Buddies. Together we can help a lot of people in the years to come,” said Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne.
CRAVING SOME MARSH MELO TODAY
All you naysayers jumping on the Melo-bashing wagon, step back. Carmelo Anthony has named Maroon PR to oversee the growth and outreach surrounding the Carmelo Anthony Foundation. According to the Rocky Mountain News, one of Melo’s top priorities is finding corporate supporters because he’s been making most of the financial contributions himself. Public filings indicate that in 2006, Melo opened his wallet and gave about $1M to the foundation. Documents show that Baltimore-based groups have received most of the Foundation money, as the CAF donated $175,000 to the Living Classrooms Foundation, $100,000 to basketball program Charm City Choice, $2,400 to the Kurk Lee Foundation and Denver-based Team Up For Kids received $30,000 from the CAF. The CAF “aims to help children” in Denver, Baltimore and Syracuse…like I said, back off on Melo people, he ain’t that bad.
I KNOW HE’S NOT AN ATHLETE…BUT
Kevin Costner and his band, Modern West, will perform two fundraising concerts in Eugene, Oregon, to help the Univ. of Oregon raise money for a new baseball stadium…Costner will strut his stuff on May 30 and 31…you may recall that I recently caught KC’s after party show at Celebrity Fight Night-which is why I recommend checking out this show-granted, you’re not gonna walk away from his performance thinking “Grammy” but you will thoroughly enjoy the concert while helping the University get a new stadium.
Andy, Andy, Andy…what am I gonna do with you? Sir Andy Roddick took part in a little tennis clinic with some very lucky kids at the ATP Masters Series in Rome…and that’s about all the info available on the subject.
You’ll only find this kind of magazine in Europe…iSport Magazine…pure spornogrophy…from the cover image of that little spitfire MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi to the incredible eight-page photo spread of tennis babe Tommy Robredo, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Nicolas Almagro and Fernando Verdasco…the spread titled “Spanish Tennis is Trendy,” was shot a few weeks ago at the Open Comunidad Valenciana…to view a video of the photo-shoot, visit ATP Tennis. And for the record, the sexy nude shot of Robredo is from another layout he did for Cosmopolitan.
IS NO GOOD, NO?
Because really, its hard to read their body language…Under new U.K. immigration rules, soccer players from outside the European Union (EU) “will be barred from joining” the English Premier League “unless they can speak simple English.” The government originally had planned to “insist that they understood English up to [a secondary school] level but this was changed (phew) amid fears that it would rule out too many players.” The new stipulations state workers need to demonstrate an “ability to understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases, to introduce themselves and others and ask and answer questions about basic personal details.” U.K. Immigration Minister Liam Byrne: “Footballers earn enough money to pay for professional tuition.” (Timesonline.co.uk)
Francesco Totti arrived in a pair of white pants (that were way too small for him) to watch the Swiss Mister in action at the Rome Masters. Totti inadvertently created a stir as kids rushed him for autographs while ignoring Federer play. “I’m glad he was able to come,” said Federer. Looks like my Totti is tainted…
THE $304.6M SHOES
A U.S. District Court jury in Portland Monday ordered Payless Shoes to pay $304.6M for “infringing on Adidas America Inc.’s three-stripe trademark and shoe styles,” according to Brent Hunsberger of the Portland OREGONIAN. The jury, after a 14-day trial and two days of deliberation, awarded adidas AG’s U.S. subsidiary $30.6M in actual damages, $137M in punitive damages and $137M in Payless profits. Trademark attorneys believe it to be the largest award ever in a trademark-infringement case, and if the decision stands, it could have implications for retailers beyond the shoe business…like all those kiosks in the malls that sell fake Fendi’s and Prada’s perhaps?
As always, thanks for reading.