NBA Legend Jordan To Donate $100 Million For Racial Justice

In this file photo taken on January 24, 2020 former NBA star and owner of Charlotte Hornets team Michael Jordan looks on as he addresses a press conference ahead of the NBA basketball match between Milwaukee Bucks and Charlotte Hornets at The AccorHotels Arena in Paris. FRANCK FIFE / AFP
In this file photo taken on January 24, 2020 former NBA star and owner of Charlotte Hornets team Michael Jordan looks on as he addresses a press conference ahead of the NBA basketball match between Milwaukee Bucks and Charlotte Hornets at The AccorHotels Arena in Paris. FRANCK FIFE / AFP

 

Michael Jordan said Friday he is making a record $100 million donation to groups fighting for racial equality and social justice amid a wave of protests across the United States.

The NBA legend said in a statement his Jordan Brand would distribute the money over 10 years to different organisations in a bid to stamp out “ingrained racism.”

The pledge is believed to be the largest financial contribution to non-profit groups ever made by a figure from the sports world.

“It’s 2020 and our family now includes anyone who aspires to our way of life,” a joint statement from Jordan and his Jordan Brand said.

“Yet as much as things have changed the worst remains the same.

“Black lives matter. This isn’t a controversial statement. Until the ingrained racism that allows our country’s institutions to fail is completely eradicated, we will remain committed to protecting and improving the lives of Black people,” the statement added.

“Today we are announcing that Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand will be donating $100 million over the next 10 years to organisations dedicated to ensuring racial equality, social justice and greater access to education.”

Jordan’s donation comes after a week of unprecedented nationwide protests across the United States following the death of an unarmed black man during an arrest in Minneapolis.

Large scale demonstrations have been held in all 50 states, with protesters demanding an end to police brutality and systemic racism after George Floyd’s death on May 25.

‘Saddened, angry’

Jordan, regarded by many as the greatest player in NBA history with an estimated net worth of $2.1 billion, had already issued a passionate statement decrying Floyd’s killing.

“I am deeply saddened, truly pained and plain angry,” Jordan, 57, said last Sunday. “We have had enough.”

Jordan’s donation and impassioned recent statements followed criticism during his playing career over his reluctance to take a more prominent role in activist causes.

In the recent “The Last Dance” documentary, he addressed his infamous quip that he had steered clear of politics because “Republicans buy sneakers too.”

Jordan said the remark had been a flippant comment made as a joke.

Jordan added that he never saw himself as an activist athlete in the vein of former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali.

“I do commend Muhammad Ali for standing up for what he believed in,” Jordan said. “But I never thought of myself as an activist. I thought of myself as a basketball player.”

Jordan acknowledged that his apolitical stance might be viewed as selfish in some quarters.

“I wasn’t a politician when I was playing my sport. I was focused on my craft,” Jordan said. “Was that selfish? Probably. But that was my energy. That’s where my energy was.”

Jordan said he had instead sought to set an example by his achievements as an athlete.

“The way I go about my life is I set examples. If it inspires you? Great, I will continue to do that. If it doesn’t? Then maybe I’m not the person you should be following.”

Tearful Michael Jordan Commemorates Kobe Bryant

Michael Jordan speaks during The Celebration of Life for Kobe & Gianna Bryant at Staples Center on February 24, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images/AFP

 

A tearful Michael Jordan on Monday commemorated his “little brother” Kobe Bryant at a star-filled memorial in Los Angeles for the basketball great and his daughter Gianna who died with seven others in a helicopter crash last month.

“When Kobe Bryant died, a piece of me died, and as I look in this arena, across the globe, a piece of you died,” the NBA legend said, tears streaming down his face.

“I promise you, from this day forward, I will live with the memories and knowing that I had a little brother,” Jordan, widely regarded as the greatest player in history, added.

“I tried to help in every way I could. Please rest in peace little brother.”

The public memorial — dubbed “A Celebration of Life for Kobe and Gianna Bryant” — was being held at Staples Center, the arena where Bryant wowed fans for 17 years, known as “the house that Kobe built.”

The 2/24 date carries special significance as it coincides with Bryant’s jersey number — “24” — and Gianna’s “2” jersey number.

Another basketball great, Shaquille O’Neal, who won three NBA titles with Bryant, also spoke at the ceremony while several music stars, including Beyonce and Alicia Keys, performed.

“I’m here because I love Kobe,” said the 70-time Grammy-nominated Beyonce as she launched into one of Bryant’s favourite songs “XO,” dressed in a golden suit — the colour of the Los Angeles Lakers, Bryant’s team for two decades.

 ‘He was my everything’ 

Bryant’s widow Vanessa paid a tearful tribute to her late husband and daughter, saying she could not fathom life without them.

“God knew they couldn’t be on this earth without each other,” Bryant said in her first public remarks since the January 26 crash. “He had to bring them home together.”

She spoke of her heartbreak at not being able to watch Gianna, who was 13, grow up and missing important moments of her life.

“I won’t be able to tell her how gorgeous she looks on her wedding day,” she said through tears, receiving a standing ovation for the tribute.

“I’ll never get to see my baby girl walk down the aisle, have a father-daughter dance with her daddy.”

A visibly shaken Jimmy Kimmel — the comedian officiated at the ceremony — said he saw Kobe and Gianna’s faces and jersey numbers everywhere in Los Angeles and beyond.

“All we can do is to be grateful for the time we had with them,” the late night talk show host said.

Among other celebrities attending the memorial were filmmaker Spike Lee — who was close friends with Bryant and directed a documentary on his life — and rapper Snoop Dogg, an avid Lakers fan.

Many of the fans lucky enough to nab one of the much sought-after 20,000 tickets for the memorial wore the gold and purple colours of the Lakers as they headed for the two-and-a-half-hour ceremony being held amid tight security.

“Kobe meant everything for this city, for this team and for me,” said Karen Sanchez, 41, as she waited with friends to enter the arena. “I watched him play from the beginning.”

Marcos Rojas, 23, another ticketholder, said Bryant’s January 26 death near Los Angeles had been devastating to fans like him who worshipped the player.

“For me, it was like losing a friend,” said Rojas who wore a Lakers jersey with Kobe’s number.

“I always watched him playing with my friends,” he told AFP. “I always picked Kobe to play in my video games. I couldn’t leave home the day of his passing.”

Those attending the memorial were given a 24-page program with pictures of Bryant and his family as well as a pin and a black T-shirt featuring images of Kobe and his daughter on the back.

AFP

Basketball Star Jordan Donates $1m To Hurricane Dorian Victims

An aerial view of damage from Hurricane Dorian on September 5, 2019, in Marsh Harbour, Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas.  Brendan Smialowski / AFP

 

NBA legend Michael Jordan is donating $1 million to help relief efforts in the hurricane-battered Bahamas, his spokeswoman said Tuesday.

In a statement on Twitter, Charlotte Hornets owner Jordan said he was “devastated” at the destruction unleashed by Hurricane Dorian on the Caribbean archipelago.

At least 50 people have died and several thousand across the island nation have been evacuated.

“I am devastated to see the destruction that Hurricane Dorian has brought to the Bahamas, where I own property and visit frequently,” Jordan said in a statement announcing his pledge.

“My heart goes out to everyone who is suffering and to those who have lost loved ones,” he added.

Jordan said he aimed to distribute funds to non-profit agencies in the region where the money would “have the most impact.”

“The Bahamian people are strong and resilient and I hope that my donation will be of help as they work to recover from this catastrophic storm,” he added.

Jordan, 56, has donated to relief efforts in the past, pledging $2 million to help with the aftermath of Hurricane Florence which lashed the Carolinas last year.

Jordan is widely regarded as the one of the greatest basketball players of all time, winning six NBA titles before retiring and eventually becoming owner of the Hornets.

AFP

 Nike Rare ‘Moon Shoe’ Sell For $437,500 At Auction

A view of sneakers on display for “The Ultimate Sneaker Collection” online auction at Sotheby’s on July 15, 2019 in New York City. Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images/AFP

 

A new world record for a pair of sneakers was set at auction on Tuesday when an avid collector splashed out $437,500 on Nike’s 1972 “Moon Shoe,” Sotheby’s said.

The sale smashed the previous record of $190,373 spent in 2017 on a pair of signed Converse worn by Michael Jordan in the 1984 Olympic basketball final, the New York-headquartered auction house said in a statement.

It was also well above the pre-sale estimate of $160,000, Sotheby’s added.

Canadian collector Miles Nadal was the successful bidder in the online auction, adding to the 99 pairs of other hard-to-find shoes that he bought in a private sale last week.

“I am thrilled to acquire the iconic Nike ‘Moon Shoes,’ one of the rarest pairs of sneakers ever produced, and a true historical artifact in sports history and pop culture,” Nadal said.

Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman designed the flat racing ‘Moon Shoe’ which was made for runners at the 1972 Olympic trials.

Sotheby’s said that just around 12 pairs were manufactured and that the set sold Tuesday was “one of only a handful of pairs known to exist”.

“We are excited the iconic Nike Moon Shoe achieved more than double the previous world auction record for a sneaker today,” said Sotheby’s global e-commerce head Noah Wunsch.

The auction house joined up with streetwear marketplace Stadium Goods to sell 100 of the rarest sneakers ever made.

The 61-year-old Nadal spent $850,000 buying 99 of them privately on Wednesday with organizers holding back the ‘Moon Shoe’ for a public sale.

Nadal plans to display the footwear, which includes Nike sneakers based on those worn by Marty McFly in hit movie “Back to the Future II,” at his private museum in Toronto.

AFP

LeBron James Breaks Michael Jordan’s Double-Digit Scoring Record

 

LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers handles the ball during the game against the New Orleans Pelicans on March 30, 2018, at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. 
David Liam Kyle / NBAE / Getty Images / AFP

 

LeBron James continued his assault on the NBA record book, passing Michael Jordan for consecutive games with at least 10 points in the Cleveland Cavaliers 107-102 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday.

James wasted no time getting the milestone, doing it for the 867th straight time in his 15-year illustrious career when he finished off a dunk with just under six minutes left in the first quarter.

That gave him 11 points en route to his 27 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds performance at Quicken Loans Arena.

James was honoured during a stoppage in play as the crowd of 20,500 gave him a big ovation and he was handed the game ball.

“It will probably go in my trophy case with a lot of accomplishments in my life,” James said of the ball. “That’s a good moment, a special moment not only for myself but for my family and for so many kids that look up to me for inspiration to know that you can actually go out there and do it.

“(You) know, where I’ve come from, brought up 30 minutes south of here, and the statistics is always stacked up against you, and for me to be in this position today, being able to accomplish something that a lot of people thought would not happen again or be able to break a record like that.

“It means a lot for me.”

The last time James didn’t score at least 10 points in a game was January 5, 2007 when he had eight points on three-of-13 shooting against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Jordan’s streak lasted from March 1986 until December 2001. Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is third on the double-digit streak list with 787 games.

AFP

Sports Illustrated Names Serena ‘Sportsperson Of The Year’

SerenaWorld’s number one female tennis player, Serena Williams, has been named the Sportsperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated magazine.

The Group Editor, Paul Fichtenbaum, said Serena’s performances in winning 3 grand slams in 2015 made a very strong case for her before describing her as the greatest tennis player of her generation.

The 21-time grand slam champion joins an elite group to have won the award, including Muhammad Ali, Arthur Ashe, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Billie Jean King, Joe Montana and Jack Nicklaus.

Meanwhile, Maria Sharapova has beaten Madison Keys in an exhibition match organised to bring professional tennis to the city of Los Angeles in the United States.

In her singles match, the five-time grand slam champion came back from a set down to beat her American rival 6-7, 6-1, 11-9, while in the men’s singles, Mardy Fish trashed former world number one Andy Roddick 7-6, 4-6, 12-10.

Van Persie puts contract talks with Arsenal on hold

Arsenal captain Robin van Persie has put talks over a new contract on hold until the end of the season so he can concentrate on playing and not personal matters, the Dutch international striker said.

Van Persie, the top scorer in the Premier League this season with 22 goals, has been linked with a move away from Arsenal after eight years. His current deal expires next year.

In his column in the matchday programme ahead of Sunday’s North London derby with Tottenham Hotspur, Van Persie said discussions over a new contract will not start before the end of the season as he only wants to focus on playing.

“There have been a lot of stories, generally contradictory ones, about my contract situation recently so I’d like to make it clear,” he wrote.

“There’s nothing complicated or sinister – the club and I have both agreed to speak at the end of the season and see how things stand. The boss (Arsene Wenger), (chief executive) Ivan Gazidis and I are all comfortable with it.

“I need all my focus to be on football – on captaining this team, improving every day, doing extra work on the training pitch and preparing for the very busy schedule of fixtures we have.

“If I look down the list, there’s not much time to sit down and think about anything else! “For me, this is a time to play football and not speak about personal things. All of my energy needs to go on getting this team where we want it to be this season.”

Arsenal have endured an erratic season, but Van Persie has been the one constant success, with 28 goals in all competitions before Sunday’s match.

After facing Spurs, Arsenal are at Liverpool next Saturday before AC Milan visit the Emirates in the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie, when the Londoners will attempt the near impossible task of overturning their 4-0 deficit from the first leg.

Having been knocked out of the FA Cup and League Cup, out of contention for the league title and unlikely to progress in the Champions League, Arsenal are heading for a seventh straight season without a trophy.

Michael Jordan Engages Model Yvette Prieto

Michael Jordan and Yvette Prieto

Former Chicago Bulls Basket ball player Michael Jordan has proposed to his long time girl friend Yvette Prieto on Christmas day.

Jordan and Yvette have been dating for three years after he got divorced from his ex- wife Juanita Vanoy.

This is going to be Jordan’s second marriage, he got married to Juanita Vanoy in September 1989, with three kids namely Marcus James, and a daughter, Jasmine.

The love birds are yet to fix a date for their wedding.