Devin Booker & Team USA Beat France for Men’s Basketball Gold at Tokyo Games

2020 Tokyo Games

It’s a first taste of Olympic gold for Devin Booker

The 24-year-old half-Mexican American professional basketball player, who plays for the Phoenix Suns, and his Team USA mates held off France 87-82 on Saturday to win the men’s basketball title at the 2020 Tokyo Games — ending a summer that started with sputters but closed with celebration.

Devin Booker

Nothing about the summer was easy for Team USA, including the gold-medal game.

The Americans expected nothing less.

And in the end, their Olympic reign lives on.

Devin Booker

Kevin Durant scored 29 points and joined Carmelo Anthony as the only three-time men’s gold medalists in Olympic history.

“Every championship is special, and the group you’re with is special, but I can be honest and say this is the most responsibility I’ve ever felt,” said U.S. coach Gregg Popovich, who adds this gold to five NBA titles he’s won as coach for the San Antonio Spurs.

Team USA Men's Basketball

“You’re playing for so many people that are watching, and for a country, and other countries involved. The responsibility was awesome. I felt it every day for several years now. I’m feeling pretty light now and looking forward to getting back to the hotel.”

Wine was awaiting, and so was a hero’s welcome from the U.S. women’s team — which plays for gold of its own Sunday — when the men returned to the team hotel. Later Saturday night, after Australia defeated Slovenia for the bronze, Popovich and the team returned to the arena for their gold medals. One player would drape the prize over another’s neck, then they watched the U.S. flag get raised and “The Star-Spangled Banner” blare for them one more time.

“Everybody was questioning us,” U.S. forward Draymond Green. “This is special.”

Durant sealed the win with two free throws with 8.8 seconds left, making the outcome academic. The lead was five, France’s final possession was irrelevant, and it was over. The U.S. players gathered for a hug at midcourt, Durant, Green and Bam Adebayo wrapped themselves in American flags, Popovich had a long hug with his assistants and the journey was complete.

Carmelo Anthony Agrees to One-Year Deal with Los Angeles Lakers

Carmelo Anthony is ready to play ball in LA…

The 37-year-old Puerto Rican professional basketball player, a recent free-agent forward, has agreed to terms with the Los Angeles Lakers, Anthony’s manager, Bay Frazier, tells ESPN.

Carmelo Anthony

The deal is for one season, according to Frazier. Anthony’s agent, Aaron Mintz of CAA Sports, completed the agreement with Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka on Tuesday.

Anthony, who moved up to No. 10 on the NBA‘s career scoring list last season, rehabbed his career in two seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers after being out of the league for a year following an ill-fated stint with the Houston Rockets.

The 18-year veteran flourished in a bench role with the Blazers last season, averaging 13.4 points in 24.5 minutes per game while shooting a career-best 40.9% from 3.

Anthony entered into the league with LeBron James in the famed 2003 draft class, and the two have maintained a close friendship.

Anthony has earned more than $260 million in salary in his career and is a 10-time All-Star, six-time All-NBA selection and three-time Olympic gold medalist.

Success has eluded him on the postseason stage, though. In 13 career playoff appearances, Anthony’s teams have made the conference finals just once, and he has yet to play in the NBA Finals.

After being traded by the New York Knicks to the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2017, Anthony had an up-and-down season with the Thunder as the team failed to meet expectations. He was traded to the Atlanta Hawks the next offseason, then immediately waived.

He signed with the Rockets, agreeing to play a long-anticipated bench role for the contenders led by James Harden and Chris Paul, but was waived after just 10 games. Anthony wasn’t signed by another team that season, casting doubt on the future of his NBA career.

A surefire future Hall of Famer, Anthony currently sits at 27,370 points, just 39 points behind Moses Malone for ninth.

Carmelo Anthony Launching “What’s In Your Glass?” Podcast

Carmelo Anthony is expanding his creative empire…

The 37-year-old Puerto Rican professional basketball player and NBA All-Star is moving into the world of podcasting.

Carmelo Anthony

The former New York Knicks star and his content company Creative 7 have teamed up with Audacy-owned Cadence13 to launch the What’s In Your Glass? podcast.

Anthony, who is in the top ten of all time scorers in the league, is adapting the wine-focused YouTube series into audio form.

On the series, which will launch on July 22 and be available across podcast platforms and on YouTube, he’ll talk wine with the likes of Mark Cuban, Andra Day, Shaka King, T-Pain, and JJ Redick.

He’ll talk to guests from the worlds of sports, wine, business, entertainment, music, politics, and more over a glass or two as well as spearhead in-depth conversations about the timely issues facing our society including social justice.

Anthony is at the forefront of a growing wine movement in the NBA, widely considered the unofficial wine ambassador to the league and responsible for increasing the interest of the likes of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Paul during a 2015 boat trip.

“I’m excited to be working with Cadence13 to bring back What’s In Your Glass? in a brand new format and introduce it to the world of audio,” said Anthony. “We have some incredible conversations lined up, so I can’t wait for listeners to pour a glass and join us each week as we talk about life, current events, and of course, all-things wine.”

“We’re thrilled to partner with world-class athlete, and a leading voice for social justice, Carmelo Anthony as he continues to achieve greatness on and off the court,” added Chris Corcoran, Chief Content Officer. “As he explores his passion for wine and more, we couldn’t be more excited to welcome Carmelo to the Cadence13 family and listen to these conversations.”

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/whats-in-your-glass/id1576873726

Carlos Arroyo Releases New Single “Morena,” Featuring Nicky Jam & Jeon

Carlos Arroyo is getting a massive assist…

The 41-year-old Puerto Rican former professional basketball player and reggaeton singer has released his new single “Morena,” as well as the song’s music video.

Carlos Arroyo, Nicky Jam, Jeon

Reeling in reggaeton star Nicky Jam and urban newcomer Jeon, Arroyo offers up a hard-hitting reggaeton and dembow track married with Middle Eastern-infused dance beats.

Produced by Saga WhiteBlack, “Morena” is about a man who’s trying to conquer the girl he likes at the club. The song’s melodies and catchy hooks easily remind fans of old-school reggaeton singles like Don Omar’s “Dale Don.”

The edgy music video, helmed by director Gus, features all three artists in a parking garage loaded with dancers, cars, neon lights and fire.

Arroyo previously played in the NBA for teams like the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat. He kicked off his music career in 2009, collaborating with artists like Yomo and Ivy Queen. He’s currently the general manager of the Puerto Rico national team.

Balancing his love for basketball and music, Arroyo returned to the scene in 2020 after a nine-year hiatus and has since collaborated with FarrukoRauw AlejandroLuis Fonsi, and Jowell & Randy.

Daddy Yankee Partners with Sprite for Limited-Edition Flavor, “Daddy Mix by Daddy Yankee”

Daddy Yankee is getting carbonated…

The 45-year-old Puerto Rican singer, songwriter and rapper has teamed up with Sprite for a limited-edition flavor.

Daddy Yankee

Coined “Daddy Mix by Daddy Yankee,” the new tropical soda was made 100% in Puerto Rico and inspired by the island’s vibe and Yankee’s music.

This marks the first time Sprite has partnered with an artist in Puerto Rico, and only the second time the brand created a new flavor, following “Sprite LeBron’s Mix,” formulated in collaboration with NBA star LeBron James.

Daddy Yankee, Daddy Mix by Daddy Yankee, Sprite

Calling him the “perfect partner” for this exclusive flavor, Michelle Serrano, product life manager at Sprite Puerto Rico, said in a statement: “The ‘Big Boss’ brings you his tropical mix Daddy Mix by Daddy Yankee with the same intensity of our original lemon-lime formula that quenches your thirst with a perfect tropical twist for this summer.”

In true DY fashion, the can and boxing are inspired by the reggaeton superstar’s career, including elements like his initials, signature, and emoji from his 2021 hit “Problema.”

Sprite’s Daddy Mix, available in either a 12oz can or 1.75-liter bottle, will be sold in Puerto Rico for a limited time.

Pau Gasol’s Bid to Make the Olympics Following a Lengthy Injury to be Focus of New Docuseries

Pau Gasol’s story is getting the Hollywood treatment…

The 40-year-old former NBA star’s bid to make the Olympics after a lengthy injury lay off will be the focus of an upcoming docuseries.

Pau Gasol

The untitled series chronicles Gasol, the two-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers and six-time NBA All-Star, as he winds down his professional career.

Gasol’s last NBA game was in March 2019. In May of that year, he underwent surgery to repair a stress fracture in his left foot and has been working to get back on the court ever since.

In February, Gasol re-signed with FC Barcelona—where his professional career began more than 20 years ago—as he prepares to chase an elusive Olympic gold medal at the COVID-19 postponed 2020 Tokyo Games this summer.

The series will show how an elite athlete says goodbye to the game they know and love, battling through the physical scars, emotional challenges, personal legacy, as well as deal with new family commitments.

The four-episode documentary is directed by Oriol Bosch and produced by PG Productions, RTG Features and THINK450, the content and partnership engine of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA). Talking heads include legendary NBA coach Phil Jackson.

The series, which has been in production since 2019, is slated to release in 2021.

Worldwide rights minus Spain (Amazon swooped on those earlier this year) are currently available with U.S.-based RTG Features handling sales.

 

Pau Gasol Named to Spain’s Preliminary Squad for Upcoming Tokyo Games

Pau Gasol is thisclose to a fifth Olympics appearance…

Spain has included the 40-year-old professional basketball player, who currently plays for FC Barcelona of the Liga ACB and the EuroLeague, in its preliminary squad for the Tokyo Games.

Pau Gasol

Gasol was among the 18 players called up by coach Sergio Scariolo to prepare for the Summer Olympics. Only 12 players will make the final squad.

The two-time NBA champion and four-time All-NBA team selection is trying to play in his fifth Olympics. He was included after overcoming a long injury layoff and a successful return to Barcelona this season.

He will turn 41 before the Games open on July 23.

Gasol’s brother Marc also made the list, as did Ricky Rubio. Both were key for Spain when it won the world championship two years ago in China. A total of eight world champions are on the preliminary list.

Other names in the squad include Rudy Fernandez, Sergio Rodríguez, Alex AbrinesSergio Llull and newcomer Usman Garuba, who is projected to be a first-round pick in the NBA draft next month.

Another sibling pair — Juancho and Willy Hernangomez– were included.

Rubio and Juancho Hernangomez are teammates on the Minnesota Timberwolves. Willy Hernangomez played this season for the New Orleans Pelicans.

The team will begin its preparations on Friday in Madrid.

Spain is a three-time silver medalist at the Olympics. It won the bronze at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

Bad Bunny Becomes Co-Owner of Puerto Rico’s Los Cangrejeros de Santurce

Bad Bunny is officially a baller…

Following his impressive WWE activities, which earned him high praise from pro wrestlers, the 27-year-old Puerto Rican Latin trap and reggaeton superstar (real name Benito Antonio Martinez) is continuing his sporting efforts.

Bad Bunny W Magazine Cover

This time, Bad Bunny has become a co-owner of Puerto Rico’s basketball team Los Cangrejeros de Santurce.

The Puerto Rican superstar, alongside RimasJonathan Miranda and Noah Assad, has been named partner of the renewed franchise, which also announced a revamped team and image.

“The main purpose and commitment of this initiative are to help foster positive change on the island,” noted an official statement. “The goal is to promote a better future through sports, music, and the arts. The main objective is to encourage ideas and dreams in Puerto Rican youth, which provoke an authentic and real social transformation.”

Los Cangrejeros de Santurce also unveiled the return of NBA star Jose Juan Barea, who played for the Dallas Mavericks, as the team’s point guard.

Founded in 1918, Los Cangrejeros de Santurce is known as one of the most successful Baloncesto Superior Nacional (BSN) franchises, winning eight championships.

Carmelo Anthony Moves Into Top 10 on NBA All-Time Scoring List

Carmelo Anthony is movin’ on up…

The 36-year-old Puerto Rican professional basketball player, who plays for the Portland Trail Blazers, has moved into the top 10 all time in NBA scoring, passing Elvin Hayes.

Carmelo Anthony

With 11:09 left in the second quarter against the Atlanta Hawks on Monday, Anthony isolated on the right wing and pulled up from 3, plus the foul. After his trademark move of hitting the side of his head with three fingers, Anthony raised both arms in the air as a quick acknowledgement of the accomplishment.

It was his third 3 of the first half, giving him 12 points. Anthony entered Monday’s game against the Hawks nine points behind Hayes’ career total of 27,313.

He finished the night with 14 points overall — and 27,318 for his career — as Portland fell to Atlanta, 123-114.

“I think after it’s done, whenever it happens, I think I’ll be more in awe of it,” Anthony told ESPN by phone last week. “This is something I never, ever thought about. When you’re young you look up at that list and you’re like, ‘Damn, so-and-so has that many points? I’ll never be able to do that.’ I’m more just in awe of it.”

Moses Malone is next up on the all-time list at 27,409, a reachable number this season if Anthony maintains his current scoring pace.

Anthony’s journey to the top 10 comes with context, with him away from the NBA for a season after being cut by the Houston Rockets after just 10 games early in the 2018-19 season. Anthony continued working out and signed with the Trail Blazers in November 2019, starting all 58 games last season. He agreed to a bench role this season with Portland and entered Monday averaging 13.6 points as a sixth man.

A 10-time NBA All-Star, Anthony is in his 18th NBA season. He won the scoring title with the New York Knicks in 2012-13, averaging 28.7 points. Anthony spent 10 consecutive seasons in the top 10 in scoring and finished as a runner-up for the scoring title twice in that stretch.

Anthony’s point distribution is 13,970 in eight seasons with the Denver Nuggets, 10,186 in seven seasons with the Knicks, 1,261 in one season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, 134 with the Rockets and now 1,754 in two seasons with the Blazers.

This season, Anthony has moved past Tim DuncanDominique Wilkins, Oscar Robertson and Hakeem Olajuwon in scoring.