Hubbard: Remembering Jordan at 50 – Fun Behind the Scenes

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While attempting to uncover a certain fact about Michael Jordan, an extended Google search proved futile. The fact would be wonderful to know because it would be a way of tormenting Jordan, and that’s always been fun to do because that’s what he’s always done to everyone else.

In searching the internet, however, I couldn’t find out what time Jordan was born 50 years ago today. I’d like to know because if it was more than a few seconds after midnight on Feb. 17, 1963, that would mean Jordan was not the first baby born on that day.

And if Michael is not first, it absolutely destroys him.

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SH Blog: Wade’s ex says he was a violent husband

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We’re still in a bit of a holding pattern basketball-wise until training camps get underway, but the news never stops in the NBA.
Before we get to tonight’s items, a heads-up to keep a close eye on Kent Williams’ daily fantasy articles, the latest of which is here. They’re an excellent resource for fantasy players, both new and experienced, and for regular basketball fans, too.
And right here, we’ve got all the latest news from around the NBA.
  • Dwyane Wade’s ex has some stories to tell, and she is telling them. From Taylor Gordon of Popular Critic.com: “One night Siohvaughn claimed she confronted the NBA star after he left in the middle of the night without telling her. “His first response was at first to be verbally abusive,” Siohvaughn said during her interview on “Real Talk with Kietta.” “He was cursing, he was calling me names, he was telling me to shut the ‘f” up.” Siohvaughn’s testament to Dwyane’s violent nature only escalated from there. “He picked me up and held me over his head literally in midair and threw me down in our bathroom,” Siohvaughn continued. “We had an ottoman in the bathroom and he slammed me down so hard that when my back hit the ottoman it broke into four pieces and my back and head hit the concrete, the marble floor, excuse me, in the bathroom.” According to the NBA star’s allegedly abused ex-wife, she picked up the cordless phone to call the police when Dwyane snatched it from her and threw it at her so hard that the phone “literally broke into pieces.” In the midst of domestic violence, the couple separated but didn’t divorce quite yet. In Siohvaughn’s interview she claimed that this time of separation was when Dwyane Wade found the new love of his life, Gabrielle Union. “Separated and divorced are two different things,” she said with her arm resting in a cast. “I’m not certain when it happened or when she happened but I know that I was very married. I know that me and Dwyane at that time had talked about reconciliation going back and forth. I was still even intimate sometimes with my then husband.” Watch more of the interview below:
  • Josh Newman talked to J.R. Smith this weekend, and wrote about it for ZagsBlog.com (whose editor, Adam Zagoria, will have a preseason college basketball Top 25 on this site later this week. The interview is fairly entertaining, with Smith being very candid about his contract and the Jeremy Lin situation this offseason. Here’s what Smith said about his contract: “Smith has said publicly that he had more money offered to him, but in the end, liked being home and liked playing for the Knicks. He ultimately signed a two-year contract with the second year being a player option. He will make $2.8 million this coming season under the contract. Smith stood to make $2.4 million had he opted in, but by opting out, had the option to do a multi-year deal (up to four years) with the Knicks starting at $2.8 million or at the mid-level exception. ‘I think anything is a bargain with me, whether I’m playing for a dollar or $20 million it’s a bargain because I’m going to play hard no matter what,’ Smith told SNY.tv. ‘No matter how much I get paid, it will never affect how hard I play and I think that should be thought about when people see me next year.’ ”
  • Marca.com has an interview with Marc Gasol, who is in Spain for a basketball camp this week. The interview is in Spanish, but Google Chrome translates it as this: “At the moment I see myself many years in Memphis. Everything in the NBA can change very quickly, but my dream is to remain always in a city with which I feel very identified, with a franchise that has really helped me grow and I want to keep growing.”
  • In other Grizzlies news, Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal writes that Tony Allen is ready to get back on the court after undergoing knee surgery during the offseason: “Allen has been in town working out in FedExForum and declared that he’ll be ready when training camp opens Oct. 2. ‘I’m definitely getting myself back to being that thirsty dog,’ Allen said. ‘I don’t want to rush it. But I’ll be back for the first game, Oct. 31, against the (Los Angeles) Clippers. I guarantee that.’ … Allen once told reporters that he’d like to retire in Memphis. But that decision is out of his hands given he’ll become an unrestricted free agent next summer. The Griz cannot extend Allen’s contract this season. Players must be signed to at least a four-year deal to be eligible for a contract extension, per the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement.”
  • After contemplating retirement during last season’s Finals, and then contemplating major back surgery, Mike Miller decided against both of those and is aiming to be ready to start the season with the Heat for the first time since joining the team in 2010. Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel writes that “rigorous rehab in place of expected back surgery has delivered the 12-year-veteran to the precipice of a camp some thought the 32-year-old never would make, with Miller in contact with Miami neurosurgeon Dr. Barth Green throughout the process. ‘I basically looked at my options and back surgery, with Dr. Green pretty confident that we could get it to where I need to be without it. So we’re slowly but surely getting there,’ he said … This would be the first season Miller has a chance to start on time for the Heat, a thumb injury sustained late in training camp wiping out the first half of his 2010-11 debut season and then surgery for a sports hernia keeping him out of last season’s training camp and the early stages of the regular season.”
  • Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer has an update on the health of Bobcats rookie and #2 overall pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: “Many of you have expressed curiosity about Charlotte Bobcats rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s health, after he sat out all but one summer-league game in Las Vegas with a sore knee. If Saturday is any indication, he’s just fine. After initially indicating he would not play in Kentucky’s charity game (it’s still unclear why he said that to Kentucky media), Kidd-Gilchrist was pretty impressive Saturday: 32 points on 15-of-32 shooting from the field. A game-high five rebounds.”
  • And finally, longtime NBA vice president of public relations Brian McIntyre was honored recently, as Mike Dougherty writes for LoHud.com. Here’s a really awesome story that demonstrates McIntyre’s ability on the job: “In times of conflict, McIntyre was quick to pull out a small black notebook with a well-known label that rhymes with hit list. Rasheed Wallace inspired more than a few entries. The stubborn Portland TrailBlazers forward was battling with the media following a playoff win in 2003, offering the same patronizing answer over and over. ‘Both teams played hard,’ Wallace said. ‘God bless and good night.’ Wallace left the stage and was fined $30,000 for not cooperating, and a couple of days later, McIntyre showed up in the press room in New Jersey passing out T-shirts with the suddenly popular catch phrase printed across the chest. In an instant, the problem was solved. ‘Brian was great at being able to defuse difficult situations with his humor,’ Smith said. ‘It’s impossible to dislike him. … Brian never got mad; he just solved the problem.’ “

For previous SheridanHoops blog entries, click here.

Dan Malone blogs for SheridanHoops.com on weekends.

NBA exec Brian McIntyre honored by peers

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When I was covering the Olympics in Beijing in 2008, I spent the first 5 minutes of every halftime in the smoking area outside the back entrance to Wukesong Arena.

That was when the Redeem Team was on its way to winning the gold medal, and one day during pool play Team USA was beating the bejeezus out of Spain.

Joing me for a halftime cigarette that evening was NBA executive Brian McIntyre, who was pulling double duty as the p.r. man for Team USA.

We were the only Americans in a vast crowd of media smokers.

“The only place Spain is beating us tonight is at the ashtray,” McIntyre quipped.

I asked if I could quote him, and he agreed. Still ranks as one of the best quotes ever published on ESPN.com.

McIntyre is the best p.r. guy in the history of p.r. guys, and his colleagues lauded him last night the the NBA media relations meetings in Chicago as he was named the winner of the 2012 Splaver/McHugh “Tribute to Excellence” Award. 

A senior communications advisor to commissioner David Stern, McIntyre assumed his current position in August 2010 after a three-decade career in the league’s public relations and communications departments. The award is given annually by the NBA Public Relations Directors’ Association to a current or former member of the NBA public relations family who has demonstrated an outstanding level of performance and service during his or her NBA career.

McIntyre began his NBA headquarters career in November 1981 as Director of Public Relations, and was named Vice President in 1989. Over nearly 30 years – 1982-2010 – McIntyre oversaw P.R. activities for every major NBA event, including The Finals, NBA All-Star, the NBA Draft, the NBA Draft Lottery, and the McDonald’s Championship. 

Under his stewardship, the NBA’s Public Relations Department expanded to become the Communications Group, and in November 1997 he was named Senior Vice President. During his tenure, McIntyre helped launch both the WNBA and the NBA Development League. He also was instrumental in the development and implementation of many of the communications policies and procedures currently in place for all three leagues. The numerous NBA awards McIntyre created include the Defensive Player of the Year award, the Sixth Man Award, and the Most Improved Player. He was responsible for initiating White House visits by NBA championship teams, creating a media training program for players, instituting the use of satellite postgame feeds at major NBA events, and a host of other initiatives. 

McIntyre’s influence also has extended in to the international realm of the sport. In conjunction with USA Basketball, McIntyre was actively involved in public relations planning, activities, and onsite execution of the 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008 Olympics and the 1994, 2002, and 2006 World Championship of Basketball. McIntyre also has served as a member of the FIBA (International Basketball Federation) News Council and on the USA Basketball Media Advisory Committee. 

The Professional Basketball Writers Association honored McIntyre in 2010 when the organization named its annual media relations tribute “The Brian McIntyre Media Relations Award.” And in 2011, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame honored McIntyre with the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award, the most prestigious award the organization presents outside of enshrinement.

A graduate of Loyola University of Chicago and a former cab driver (the one other thing besides a taste for tobacco that McIntyre and Sheridan have in common), McIntyre began his professional career with the Chicago Bulls, where he served as Director of Marketing and Media Information for three and a half years before joining the league office. 

The Splaver/McHugh award is named in memory of two of the most highly respected public relations executives in NBA history, Marc Splaver and Howie McHugh.

Splaver, who passed away from leukemia in May 1978, was the Public Relations Director of the Washington Bullets for five seasons in the 1970′s.

McHugh served for more than 40 years as the original Public Relations Director of the Boston Celtics.

Previous winners of the Splaver/McHugh award are:

2010 Matt Dobek, former Detroit Pistons Public Relations Director and Vice President between 1981 and 2010.

2009 Tommy Sheppard, Washington Wizards Vice President of Basketball Administration.

2008 Terry Lyons, former NBA Vice President of International Communications and current Sports Marketing and Communications Consultant.

2007 Dave Coskey, former Philadelphia 76ers Executive Vice President and Vice President of Marketing and Communications and current President of Longport Media

2006 Rick Welts, Golden State Warriors President and Chief of Operations, and former Seattle SuperSonics Public Relations Director and Phoenix Suns President and Chief Executive Officer.

2005 Jeff Twiss, Boston Celtics Vice President, Media Services/Alumni Relations.

2004 Kevin Sullivan, former Dallas Mavericks Public Relations Director, NBC Sports executive, White House Communications Director, and founder of Kevin Sullivan Communications.

2003 Mark Pray, former Public Relations Director for the Washington Bullets and Assistant Athletic Director for Communications at the University of Miami.

2002 Matt Winick, former NBA Director of Media Information and current NBA Senior Vice President of Scheduling and Game Operations.

2001 Josh Rosenfeld, former Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks Public Relations Director and current Newark Star-Ledger reporter.

2000 Dennis D’Agostino, current Knicks’ Team Historian and Writer.

1998 John White, longtime Portland Trail Blazers Publicity Director.

1997 Harvey Pollock, Hall of Fame publicist.

1996 Tom Ambrose, founder and first President of the NBA Public Relations Directors Association and former Phoenix Suns Community Liason.

1995 Jim Foley, formerly with the Houston Rockets for 36 seasons as PR Director and then Rockets radio analyst.