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June 3, 2023

Athletes Unlimited Brings First Pro Games to Little League Softball World Series

Athletes Unlimited is partnering with Little League to host the first-ever “Athletes Unlimited Pro Games during the Little League Softball World Series.” At least nine players on the Athletes Unlimited Softball roster played Little League Softball as kids, including 2021 Athletes Unlimited Softball champion Aleshia Ocasio (who played for Conway Little League in Florida). In the middle of its championship campaign, Athletes Unlimited will move its operations from Chicago to the Little League World Series site in Greenville, North Carolina for a doubleheader at East Carolina University on Wed., Aug. 9 beginning at 4:30 p.m. ET, with both games televised live on ESPN2.


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Suns Closing in on Frank Vogel as Next Head Coach

The NBA coaching carousel rolled on Friday with a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that the Phoenix Suns, after parting ways with Monty Williams, were in advanced discussions on a five-year deal with Frank Vogel. A former head coach with the Pacers, Magic, and Lakers, Vogel famously led LA to the 2020 NBA championship in the Orlando Bubble.

If the deal goes final as widely expected, Vogel quickly finds himself at the helm of one of the NBA’s most talented title contenders with a roster boasting perennial All-Stars Devin Booker and Kevin Durant. Woj additionally notes that Vogel emerged as new Suns owner Mat Ishbia’s top candidate from a group that included fellow former NBA champion coach Doc Rivers, most recently of the Philadelphia 76ers, and Phoenix assistant coach Kevin Young.

Adidas Announces $170.5M in Sales of Leftover Yeezy Stock

Based on early returns, Adidas‘ decision to sell a portion of the Yeezy sneakers and apparel left in stock has proven to be a smart choice. In May, the Three Stripes announced plans to sell the remaining merchandise from controversial musician Kanye West’s namesake brand. On June 1, the sportswear brand began rolling out the first of what will ultimately be three Yeezy drops in order to liquidate some of the reported $1.3 billion in unsold stock. So far, 682,300 units of Yeezy products have yielded $170.5 million in return. As previously agreed upon in their contract, Ye will reportedly receive 15% of sales proceeds — based on this initial release alone, Ye’s deal would entitle him to about $25.6 million.

Vinciane Ngomsi has more details on the Adidas x Yeezy liquidation profits.

WNBA Unveils 2023 Pride Initiatives

The WNBA has announced a slew of initiatives in support of LGBTQ+ Pride Month in June. In collaboration with Fanatics, the W plans to drop a Pride Unity Collection that will include an exclusive line of Pride apparel. Proceeds from each tee sold will go to Athlete Ally, which advocates for equal access, opportunity, and experience in sports, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. In addition, WNBA.com will host “Pride In ME!,” featuring a conversation with the likes of Atlanta Dream guard AD Durr and Los Angeles Sparks head coach Curt Miller, with the two opening up about displaying Pride as part of their life’s purpose.

Read Shlomo Sprung’s rundown of the all the Pride initiatives the WNBA has scheduled.

Netflix Shareholders Reject Executive Pay Package, per WGA's Wishes

After the Writer’s Guild of America pushed for a “no” vote, Netflix shareholders denied pay packages to top execs at the company, including co-CEO Ted Sarandos, former co-CEO Reed Hastings, and Greg Peters, who was COO of the company last year and was elevated to the co-CEO role earlier this year. It has not been revealed by how wide a margin the vote failed. WGA West president Meredith Stiehm justified the “no” ruling by writing that “while investors have long taken issue with Netflix’s executive pay, the compensation structure is even more egregious against the backdrop of the strike.”

Across the Spider-Verse Trends Toward Animated Movie History

The latest film from the Spiderman: Across the Spider-Verse franchise is poised to be one of the most successful animated films in history. As Deadline notes, previews from the sequel of the 2018 project brought $17.35 million in ticket sales, making it the second-highest return for an animated film after The Incredibles 2 raked in $18.5 million in 2018. The film, starring Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Oscar Isaac, and Issa Rae, opened in theaters nationwide Friday.

Angel Reese Stars in Latto, Cardi B’s Music Video

LSU basketball player Angel Reese is a multihyphenate in the making. In addition to being a model and beauty influencer, the Bayou Barbie added another accomplishment to her growing resume: Music video star. On Friday, Latto dropped the single and corresponding video for “Put it on Da Floor Again,” featuring Cardi B, and Reese makes a brief appearance. Cardi also shouts out the national champion in her verse, saying “I been ballin’ so damn hard, could’ve went to LSU.” Reese, an NIL magnet, boasts name, image, and likeness deals with Amazon, Coach, Mielle Organics and more.

Sam Dunn has more details on Angel Reese’s latest cameo.