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®, 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.
Celebrity Athletes: Sports Dream Bowl, John McEnroe Selling Warhol for Charity, Jerryd Bayless NBA Draft Choice, Camilo Villegas Double Win
BOWLING FOR DREAMS
Last Saturday in Las Vegas, celebrity athletes meshed with celebrities for the 8th annual Sports Dream Bowl at the Red Rock Resort. The babes lined up to bowl for a benefit for the Sports Dream Foundation’s Urban Youth Scholarship Fund. NFL legend, Warren Moon hosted the event, which delivered some great eye-candy to guests who were able to watch the ‘red-caret’ arrivals…Tony Parker-Longoria was there with his arm-charm, Carson and Jordon Palmer of the Cincinnati Bengals, NFL legend Jerry Rice, Junior Seau, Brandon Jacobs, Tony Gonzalez, Robert Horry of the San Longoria Spurs, Brian Brohm of the Green Bay Packers, Aaron Ross and Brandon Jacobs of the NY Giants…”Everyone involved loves the fun of the event, but also cares tremendously about the cause. As athletes and celebrities, we have all benefited from the support of others, and we are honored to pass along the positive impact by contributing to these outstanding students,” said Moon. “Many of our recipients will be the first in their family to attend college. Their personal stories and achievements are incredibly inspiring.” Moons been kicking in cash for college grants since 1989, and six of the scholarship winners joined the festivities…
DUSTED OFF AND READY FOR AUCTION
I love that John McEnroe is doing this…but I’m pretty sure the value lies in the fact that it was painted by Andy Warhol…Flashback 1986…John McEnroe and Tatum O’Neal were happily married when they attended a charity auction and bid about $30k to have Warhol paint the couple’s portrait based on a Polaroid of the two. Flash forward 2008…McEnroe is selling the portrait via a Sotheby’s auction in London next week…the piece is expected to fetch about $687,000…which I sincerely hope they get, because all proceeds are earmarked for Habitat for Humanity.
CAMILO VILLEGAS: DOUBLE WHAMMY
On Tuesday, June 17, our Columbian kitten, Camilo Villegas crawled his way to victory at the Telus World Skins golf tournament in British Columbia…he’s now got an additional $230,000 to add to his list of prize money…but, just when we’re getting used to the idea of Villegas winning one…he’s gone and done it again- just one week later. “I was a little nervous,” he said. “It’s good to feel the nerves, a little shaky. It’s good for myself.” Villegas made two birdie putts in a three-hole playoff and along with his partner Bubba Watson to win the rain-delayed CVS Caremark Charity Classic on Tuesday. “It’s all about charity,” said Bubba Watson, who donated $10,000 of his winning check back to the tournament. “I know it helps Rhode Island a lot.” No word on whether or not Villegas is gonna send some cash to his Foundation…because although I know he’s established one in Columbia-there is nary a peep of info available about it-so Camilo, wake-up and email Delinda information about your Foundation already-how long you gonna make this girl wait?
ATHLEBRITY NBA DRAFT PICK: JERRYD BAYLESS
While some of our off-season ballers are busy playing in charity soccer games with Steve Nash or performing their ‘NBA Cares’ duties, a plethora of fresh-blood is waiting for their entry in the NBA via that-oh-so-long-and-boring NBA Draft process. In efforts to help you weed out the good from the bad (pun intended), I think I may have found a future-charity-diamond-in-the-rough. Jerryd Bayless, formerly of the Arizona Wildcats, has created quite a buzz- with predictions calling for him to be selected either fourth or fifth in the Draft. We have yet to see how this sexy youngster will adjust to life with the big boys- whether he’ll let the fame and fortune take him down faster than a drunk baller in a Vegas club, or if he’ll take a similar path as Chris Paul and give love to the community- my intuition says he’s headed for the mighty-mighty-sexy-good-guys category.
In a 2005 GOAZCATS.com article, the writer’s first impression of Bayless: “To my pleasant surprise, he turned out to be the polar opposite of what I expected. He was — and remains to this day — humble, polite, dignified, respectful, caring, selfless, charming and witty. Basically, Jerryd Bayless is the exact kind of person people want to call their friend, the kind of guy parents hope their kids hang around with because of his positive nature and the good upbringing by his own parents.” And wouldn’t ya know it-Bayless gave credit to his parents, “I am a reflection of my mom in ways and my dad in ways,” he said. “And, yes, they have made it easier for me to succeed.” No argument coming from his former AAU coach either, “Jerryd is a class act. It comes from being around quality people and having good parents.” Sweetness is already off to a great start-on June 19, Bayless teamed up with Feed the Children to provide 400 Phoenix families with boxes of food, love and personal care items. “Arizona and I have a special connection and commitment to bettering the lives of Arizonans, “ he said, “I am privileged to be able to help out the community before I start this next phase of my life in the NBA and in a new city…it will always be a priority for me to assist young people and their families to ensure that opportunities are available. This is just the beginning of what I intend to be a long-term commitment to helping those less fortunate in the Arizona area.” Let’s cross our fingers and hope this future NBA star continues to makes us all proud and we don’t find him among the posts in Deadspin…
As always, thanks for reading.