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September 22, 2021

Ben Simmons Refusing to Return to Philly

All-Star Ben Simmons is reportedly done with the Philadelphia 76ers, and will not report for the opening of training camp next week, ESPN reported Tuesday. The 25-year-old, who has asked for a trade away from the team, has four years and $147 million left on his max contract, including $33 million for the upcoming 2021-22  season.

Superdome Roof Catches Fire 

One person was injured with minor burns after a pressure washer being used to clean the roof of the New Orleans Saints’ Caesars Superdome caught fire on Tuesday. The fire, which reportedly sent smoke and flames up the side of the Superdome’s roof, is not expected to impact the Saints’ next home game against the Giants on Oct. 3.

Tom Brady Donates $50K to Hurricane Ida Relief Efforts

After Tampa Bay teammate and New Orleans native gave $100,000 to aid in the recovery from the billions in damage caused by Hurricane Ida at the end of August, Boardroom can confirm that Tom Brady stepped up to pledge $50,000 of his own. He was joined by Bucs co-owner Darcie Glaser Kassewitz ($15,000), linebacker Shaq Barrett ($5,000), and the NFL Foundation ($25,000).

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Canelo, Plant Exchange Blows in Pre-Fight Dustup

A press conference between Canelo Alvarez and Caleb Plant turned ugly Tuesday as the two boxers exchanged punches following a stare-down at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California. Alvarez and Plant are scheduled to fight for the unified super middleweight title on Nov. 6 in Las Vegas.

Sixers Ink Jersey Patch Deal with Crypto.com Worth $10M Annually

The Philadelphia 76ers announced Wednesday a new partnership with Crypto.com that makes the fast-growing crypto platform the team’s officialjersey patch partner for the upcoming season and beyond. The six-year deal, which is reportedly worth at least $10 million annually and includes the sale of non-fungible tokens, is Crypto.com’s first deal with an NBA team.

Kaprizov, Wild Agree to $45M Contract Extension

The Minnesota Wild and star forward Kirill Kaprizov have reached a five-year extension worth $45 million, an impressively large deal for a restricted free agent. Kaprizov, who was selected by the Wild in the fifth round of the 2015 NHL Draft, scored 27 goals and 51 points and took home the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie last season.

Newman, Mendoza Set for Historic All-Woman MLB Broadcast on ESPN

Baseball announcers Melanie Newman and Jessica Mendoza will call ESPN’s first all-woman MLB broadcast on Sept. 29, the network announced Tuesday. The historic announcement makes Newman and Mendoza the first women to solely broadcast an MLB, NFL, or NBA game on a national broadcast. 

Dapper Labs Partners with La Liga, Hits $7.6 Billion Valuation

The company behind NBA Top Shot has announced a massive new funding round and a deal with one of the most popular sports leagues on earth. The round was led by Coatue, existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, GV (Google Ventures), and Version One Ventures, along with new investors BOND and GIC. A source close to Dapper Labs told Boardroom that the new round pegs the company at an estimated valuation of $7.6 billion.

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Ronaldo Tops List of Highest Played Soccer Stars

Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo is the world’s highest-paid soccer player with earnings of roughly $125 million, Forbes announced Tuesday.Ronaldo, who passes fellow soccer star Lionel Messi on the list, reportedly earns $70 million in wages and $55 million from endorsement deals.

ESPN’s “Manning Cast” Draws 1.8M Viewers

Early numbers indicate that ESPN’s experiment pairing Eli and Peyton Manning for an unfiltered broadcast of Monday Night Football is paying off. In Week 2, 1.8 million viewers tuned in, up 132% from their Week 1 draw of 800,000. The broadcast features guest commentators, which have included Gronk, Russell Wilson, and Brett Favre. 

Dwyane Wade, Li-Ning Launch “Way of Wade” US Web Store

Dwyane Wade took a gamble in 2012, leaving a signature shoe deal with Jordan Brand at the height of his career to sign with Li-Ning. The eight-year, $10 million pact made him Chief Brand Officer of Li-Ning and established his own Way of Wade sub-brand. This week, Wade launched WayOfWade.com, which will serve as the central hub for all of D-Wade’s signature shoes and current NBA player PEs.

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Following Major Offseason Moves, LeBron Plans “Chemistry-building” Vegas Minicamp

LeBron James will gather his team in Vegas for three days of workouts and team-building in advance of next week’s launch of the NBA pre-season, Shams Charania reports. The Lakers roster changed substantially in the off-season, bringing in veterans including Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwight Howard. James organized a similar event leading into the 2020 season to prepare for the official arrival of Anthony Davis.