NBA Releases 2023-24 Schedule; Competing with NFL on Multiple Major Holidays
The NBA released its full 2023-24 schedule on Thursday and drew some interesting battle lines with the NFL on three key dates between November and January — Black Friday, Christmas Day, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It’s clear the league is continuing its tradition of scheduling pivotal matchups on major holidays. On Black Friday, the Boston Celtics visit the Orlando Magic at 2:30 p.m. ET for the day’s first game, and for the final contest, Victor Wembanyama and the San Antonio Spurs will be taking on Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors at 10 p.m. On Christmas, the Knicks host the Milwaukee Bucks at noon followed by the Warriors at the defending-champion Denver Nuggets, the Celtics hosting the Los Angeles Lakers, the Heat hosting the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Suns taking on the Dallas Mavericks.
Paramount Tells Shaq, 50 Cent & Other Bidders It's Keeping BET
Paramount Global dropped its plans to sell a majority stake in its BET Media Group, The Wall Street Journal confirmed Thursday after months of discussions. BET Media Group includes the VH1 and BET cable networks, as well as the BET+ streaming service. Despite bids for the stake ranging from around $2 billion to $3 billion, the company informed bidders — including a group that featured Shaq and 50 Cent — that the deal would not result in any meaningful deleveraging of its balance sheet. Mullings of a possible sale began in March when reports mentioned that Paramount hoped to offload its majority share and maintain a minority stake to benefit from any value that might come with the negotiation.
Harry Kane Signs Lifetime Deal with Skechers
Bayern Munich striker Harry Kane and Skechers are locked in for life. On Thursday, it was announced that the Englishman inked a lifetime deal with the shoe brand. Fans of the 30-year-old may have noticed him wearing a masked iteration of the SKX_01 boot in his first match with Bayern last Saturday. The inaugural cleat will launch in Europe this September. When Kane suits up against Werder this weekend, he will wear the unmasked version. The former Tottenham Hotspur star will also appear in multi-platform marketing campaigns as a Skechers ambassador.
Druski Adds Sports Agency to Resume with Launch of 4Lifers
Druski has a new business venture. On Thursday, the comedian announced the launch of his new sports agency — 4Lifers — and that his inaugural signee will be Florida Gators prospect Princely Umanmielen. During the 2022-23 season, the fourth-year junior defensive end recorded 39 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles in 13 appearances. Since gaining celebrity in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Druski has gone on to co-own a team in the Fan Controlled Football league called “The Shoulda Been Stars.” The 28-year-old has also worked with Drake, Jack Harlow, Lil Yachty, and more on comedic bits and music video appearances.
Fat Joe Named First-ever Streetball Commissioner for ClashTV
ClashTV announced Thursday that it’s named Fat Joe its inaugural Streetball Commissioner. In this new role, the Grammy-nominated rapper will provide creative advice to the live-streaming platform as it expands its streetball content, combining high-passion sports with music, entertainment, fashion, and more. Fat Joe will also have an ownership stake in ClashTV and join the organization’s board of advisors. “The ClashTV team truly understands the cultural and community impact of Streetball, so I’m looking forward to helping them elevate the game and bring athletes, creators and fans together in an innovative and meaningful way,” Fat Joe said in a statement about his new role. The news comes on the heels of the 20th anniversary of the legendary NYC Blackout and the greatest basketball game that never was.
New York City Bans TikTok on Government Devices
New York City joined a slew of states and federal agencies in banning TikTok from government-owned devices due to security concerns on Wednesday, shutting down a number of popular city-run TikTok accounts in the process. Per CNBC, a spokesperson for City Hall shared that the city’s Cyber Command division ruled that the social media app “posed a security threat to the city’s technical networks.” City agencies and employees have 30 days to remove the app from government-owned gadgets. The TikTok accounts of Mayor Eric Adams, the city’s Department of Sanitation, and the Department of Parks and Recreation all updated their bios with this message: “This account was operated by NYC until August 2023. It’s no longer monitored.”