Carmelo Anthony’s ‘Creative 7’ to Produce Four-Part Docuseries “Seven” About the NBA All-Star

Carmelo Anthony’s life is headed to the small screen…

The 38-year-old Puerto Rican professional basketball player has teamed up with Westbrook Studios and Falkon Entertainment on Seven, a four-part docuseries, which Anthony’s company Creative 7 will also produce.

Carmelo AnthonyNamed after Anthony’s signature jersey, Seven will chronicle the life and career of the 10-time NBA All-Star and entrepreneur, starting with his childhood, diving into the good, the bad, and sometimes ugly experiences and learnings that shaped him into the man and the athlete that he is today.

Seven promises to reveal the truth behind notable moments throughout Anthony’s career, many of which he has never spoken about publicly before. The series will also take an introspective look at his life and who he is today — at practice, after games, with his family — through the lens of what it means to be an athlete, a celebrity, and most importantly, a human being.

Anthony and his long-time business partner Asani Swann will executive produce the project via their Creative 7 production company alongside Terence Carter and Sahara Bushue for Westbrook Studios, and Dexton Deboree and Wondwossen Dikran on behalf of Falkon Entertainment.

“The biggest question everyone is probably thinking is – why now? Why choose this moment to tell my story? The short of it is I’ve spent enough time letting other people speak for me. It’s time for my truth,” said Anthony. “I look forward to viewers finally having the opportunity to hear about my journey in my own words. Westbrook Studios, Falkon Entertainment and my team at Creative 7 have been immensely supportive of my vision for this project and I am proud that we have been able to make this series a reality.”

Anthony’s career highlights to date include him being a three-time Olympic gold medalist, ninth on the NBA all-time scorer list and one of the NBA’s top 75 players in history. He has played for the Denver Nuggets, New York Nicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston RocketsPortland Trail Blazers and, most recently the Los Angeles Lakers.

Off the court, Anthony has been focused on his other brands, business ventures, and philanthropic efforts and he also has been a leading voice in the ongoing fight for social justice.

Seattle Mariners Acquire Luis Castillo in Trade with Cincinnati Reds

Luis Castillo is heading west…

The Seattle Mariners, looking to end a postseason drought that stretches to 2001, acquired the best arm on the trade market on Friday night in a deal for the 29-year-old Dominican professional baseball pitcher from the Cincinnati Reds.

Luis Castillo“He’s one of the best pitchers in the game — he’s really established himself as a dominant starter,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “We’ve got a chance to do something really big here this year. You have to step out and take a chance once in a while if you ultimately want to get the reward, take a little risk. Dominant starting pitcher, and I’m anxious to meet him.”

Minor leaguers Noelvi Marte, Levi Stoudt, Edwin Arroyo and Andrew Moore are headed to Cincinnati, the teams announced.

Marte, a shortstop, is the highest rated of the group, with ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel ranking him the 12th-best prospect in baseball ahead of the season.

“We felt this was the best return we could get for Luis,” Reds general manager Nick Krall said.

The Mariners, led by star rookie Julio Rodriguez, are 54-47, 12 games behind the first-place Houston Astros in the AL West. They are in the second of three AL wild-card spots, a half-game in front of Tampa Bay (53-47) and two games ahead of Cleveland (51-48). Seattle won its final 14 games before the MLB All-Star break, one short of the longest winning streak in team history and the best run by any club heading into the break since 1933. But the Mariners are 3-5 since, following an 11-1 loss at Houston on Friday night.

Now, they’ve added the best available arm ahead of the Tuesday trade deadline, one who will join an already-solid rotation that includes Robbie Ray and Logan Gilbert.

It’s a massive pickup for a Mariners organization that has not reached the postseason since 2001, the longest active drought among the four major North American pro sports leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL).

Castillo is 4-4 with a 2.86 ERA in 14 starts for the Reds this season, striking out 90 and walking 28 in 85 innings. His fastball averages 97 mph. He has a career 3.62 ERA in six seasons, all with Cincinnati.

“It has been a beautiful experience,” Castillo said through an interpreter. “To have my name in the fans’ mouth and having them cheer me on, it is something I will treasure forever.”

Castillo won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2023 season, so the Mariners would have him for at least the rest of this year and all of next.

Castillo has bounced back from a career-worst season in 2021, when he lost 16 games and walked a league-high 75 batters. His changeup has been his best pitch for most of his career, but this year, he is actually throwing his four-seam fastball more, and doing so with a lot of success. Opponents have whiffed on 39% of their swings against his four-seamer, the highest rate of Castillo’s career and the highest of any pitcher in the majors (minimum 300 four-seamers thrown).

Castillo has a 1.38 ERA in four starts against the AL this year, second to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw (0.69) among qualified pitchers.

The Reds have been moving veteran players for prospects since the end of the lockout earlier this year. In March, they traded Eugenio Suarez and Jesse Winker to the Mariners, and Thursday, they traded outfielder Tyler Naquin and reliever Phillip Diehl to the New York Mets.

They’re getting a haul from Seattle in this trade, with Marte and Arroyo ranked among the team’s top 10 prospects ahead of the season by ESPN’s McDaniel.

Marte, 20, has spent the year for High-A Everett, hitting .275 with 15 home runs and a team-best 62 runs scored and 55 RBIs to go along with 13 steals entering Friday.

McDaniel ranked Arroyo, also a shortstop, as Seattle’s eighth-best prospect entering the season. The 18-year-old has spent the season at Single-A Modesto, hitting .316 with 76 runs, 67 RBIs, 13 home runs and 21 steals.

Stoudt, a 24-year-old right-hander and a third-round draft pick in 2019, is 6-6 with a 5.28 ERA in 18 starts for Double-A Arkansas this season.

And Moore, 22, has a 1.95 ERA in 25 relief appearances at Modesto this season.

“Noelvi Marte has a chance to be an impact middle of the order bat who can play shortstop,” Krall said. “Edwin Arroyo same thing — he has power/speed combo, who can play shortstop. Levi Stoudt has a chance to be a major league starter. Andrew Moore just started to pitch. He was drafted last year. He has explosive, explosive stuff. His fastball is up to 102 with a plus slider.”

Cincinnati infielder Brandon Drury also could be moved before the Tuesday deadline, along with several Reds relievers.

Apple TV+ Renews Sports Drama “Swagger,” Starring Tristan Mack Wilds, for Second Season

Tristan Mack Wilds still has swagger

Apple TV+ has picked up its sports drama, Swagger, starring the 32-year-old Afro-Dominican American actor, for a second season.

The series, inspired by NBA star Kevin Durant’s experiences as a kid, premiered in October.

The news was unveiled on the Instagram account of Durant’s investment firm Thirty-Five Ventures.

Swagger explores the world of elite youth basketball clubs, the players, their families and coaches.

It stars O’Shea Jackson Jr., Isaiah Hill, Shinelle Azoroh, Quvenzhané Wallis, Caleel Harris, Wilds, Tessa Ferrer, James Bingham, Solomon Irama, Ozie Nzeribe and Jason Rivera, who are all set to return for the second season.

The series is produced by Boardroom, Imagine Television Studios, CBS Studios and Undisputed Cinema, and executive produced by Bythewood, Durant, Brian Grazer, and Rich Kleiman. Francie Calfo, Tony Hernandez, Kristen Zolner and Joy Kecken also serve as executive producers.

“I’m excited to share more of the beautifully complicated lives of these incredible characters,” said creator, showrunner, director and executive producer Reggie Rock Bythewood. “In season two, they will search and discover what it means to be a champion on and off the court, and the basketball playing will continue to be groundbreaking. We are grateful to Apple TV+ for the platform.”

Carmelo Anthony Boards Animated Series “Lil’ Heroes,” Based on the NFT Collection

Carmelo Anthony is having a hero(es) moment…

The 37-year-old professional basketball player and NBA superstar has joined the project Lil’ Heroes, an animated series based on the NFT collection, from Exile Content Studio and Spanish artist Edgar Plans.

Carmelo AnthonyAnthony and his producing partner and co-founder of his Creative 7 content company, Asani Swann, will executive produce the series and Anthony also will voice one of the characters in the series.

“We are overjoyed that Carmelo Anthony, a real superhero in today’s sports world, as well as Asani Swann and Creative 7, are coming aboard as our partners to executive produce the anticipated Lil’ Heroes TV series based on the successful NFT collection we launched earlier this year,” said Daniel Eilemberg, co-founder of Lil’ Heroes and Exile President of Content. “With Melo to voice one of the characters, it is sure to delight and attract fans everywhere to the series and hopefully to the Lil’ Heroes franchise.”

“We are excited to be partnering with Exile on what we believe is one of the most unique and innovative ideas for an animated series in a long time,” said Anthony. “At Creative 7, we are always looking to support dynamic projects like this that are reinvigorating the traditional content landscape. It’s an honor for me to be voicing one of the Lil’ Heroes and we can’t wait for everyone to see what’s in store for this project.”

“It’s been incredible to seek inspiration for a new ‘Lil Heroes’ character from a sports icon, and I’m thrilled to have been able to bring it to life through the design of a new, unique NFT,” said Plans. “It is gratifying to have Carmelo Anthony now join us for this artistic journey and help bring our ultimate vision to screens everywhere.”

For his participation, Anthony will get his own one-of-one Lil’ Heroes NFT designed for him by Plans.

Edwin Castro Signs with Creative Artists Agency (CAA)

Edwin Castro has new representation…

The 30-year-old Mexican American Twitch streamer has signed with Creative Artists Agency (CAA) for representation in all areas.

Edwin CastroCastro is best known for his soccer-themed content including FIFA.

He averages 30,000 concurrent live viewers on the Amazon-owned platform and has over 3.5 million followers.

Castro is also active on YouTube and social media channels.

A sports enthusiast, Castro attends major sporting events annually such as WWE, F1, NFL, NBA and MLB.

Among his work with brands, Castro has collaborated with 7-Eleven, Gillette, Electronic Arts and Turtle Beach. Earlier this year, he was seen in a McDonald’s Super Bowl commercial.

Manu Ginobli to Reportedly be Inducted into Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

It’s a Hall of a moment for Manu Ginobli

The 44-year-old Argentine former professional basketball player is among those reportedly set to be inducted in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2022.

Manu Ginobili

Over a 23-year professional career, the former San Antonio Spurs star became one of only two players to have won a EuroLeague title, an NBA championship and an Olympic gold medal.

Ginobili was a four-time NBA champion, two-time NBA All-Star and former NBA Sixth Man of the Year during his 16-season career with the Spurs.

He joins a roster of reported inductees that includes WNBA icon Swin Cash, NBA star Tim Hardaway, former longtime NBA head coach George Karl and West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins.

A formal announcement of the 16-member 2022 class is expected on Saturday, but The Athletic first reported news on the five inductees Thursday.

The 2022 class is slated to be enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame on September 10.

Brook Lopez Returning to Milwaukee Bucks Lineup Against Utah Jazz After Recovering from Back Surgery

Brook Lopez is getting back in the game…

The 33-year-old Cuban-American professional basketball player and Milwaukee Bucks center who has been out with a back injury since opening night, will make his return to the lineup against the Utah Jazz on Monday night, the team announced.

Brook LopezLopez’s return fortifies the Bucks’ front line as the franchise prepares for the Eastern Conference playoffs and the chance to defend their NBA championship.

Lopez had back surgery on December 2, and had been rehabilitating the injury until he was cleared to return to full contact in practice a week ago.

The Bucks are outside of the league’s top 10 in defensive efficiency for the first time in coach Mike Budenholzer‘s tenure, and part of the reason is that they’ve been playing without Lopez’s rebounding and rim protection.

Milwaukee is 42-26 and second in the Eastern Conference behind the Miami Heat. Lopez was third in the NBA a year ago with 163 defensive box-outs, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

He also ranked second in field goal percentage allowed at the rim among 72 players to defend 200 shots, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Only the Golden State WarriorsDraymond Green (47.3%) rated better than Lopez (49.3%).

Lopez averaged 12.3 points, five rebounds and 1.5 blocks a year ago.

Juan Toscano-Anderson to Take Part in NBA’s AT&T Slam Dunk Contest

Juan Toscano-Anderson is preparing for a slammin’ time…

The 28-year-old Mexican-American professional basketball player and Golden State Warriors forward  has been selected to participate in the NBA’s 2022 AT&T Slam Dunk.

Juan Toscano-AndersonThe competition will take place on Saturday, February 19 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland.

The AT&T Slam Dunk is part of State Farm All-Star Saturday Night, which also features the Taco Bell Skills Challenge and the MTN DEW 3-Point Contest.

All-Star Saturday Night will air live on TNT and ESPN Radio at 5:00 pm PT.

Toscano-Anderson is averaging 4.6 points on 49.2 percent from the field to go with 2.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 15.0 minutes over 52 games (five starts) this season.

The third-year forward is just the fourth player in franchise history to participate in the Slam Dunk Contest, joining Harrison Barnes (2014), Jason Richardson (2002-04) and Otis Smith (1988).

Richardson won the event in 2002 and 2003. Toscano-Anderson, who played four years at Marquette University from 2011-15, is set to become the fourth player not selected in the NBA Draft to compete in the AT&T Slam Dunk since 2000, joining Chris Andersen, Derrick Jones Jr. and Jamario Moon.

Joining Toscano-Anderson in the Dunk Contest are Cole Anthony (Orlando Magic), Jalen Green (Houston Rockets) and Obi Toppin (New York Knicks).

Anuel AA to Compete in NBA All-Star Celebrity Game

Anuel AA is ready to play ball…

The 29-year-old Puerto Rican rapper/singer will compete in next week’s NBA All-Star Celebrity Game.

Anuel AA

Anuel AA, who is a sponsor of Women’s National Superior Basketball League in Puerto Rico, will join Machine Gun Kelly, Jack Harlow and Quavo to showcase their ball skills.

Others set to compete include Kane Brown, Jimmie Allen, Tiffany Haddish, Ranveer Singh, Nyjah Huston, and Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb.

Quavo, a founding member of rap trio Migos, is a veteran of the run-and-gun “Celebrity” game, with four previous appearances under his belt.

The two teams will line up next Friday (Feb. 18) at Wolstein Center in Cleveland, and are respectively coached by retired NBA superstars Dominique Wilkins and Bill Walton.

The all-celebrity exhibition game has been regular fixture in the annual NBA All-Star Weekend since 2003, and will be televised and streamed by ESPN from 7 p.m. ET.

DJ Khaled and friends will headline the State Farm All-Star Saturday Night performances, with his support crew to be unveiled in the days ahead.

The All-Star Celebrity Game lineups are below:

Team Walton
Jimmie Allen (singer, songwriter)
Noah Carlock (Fanatics All-In Challenge Winner)
Brittney Elena (host, actress, athlete and model)
Machine Gun Kelly (singer, songwriter)
Dearica Hamby (Las Vegas Aces forward)
Nyjah Huston (Olympian, professional skateboarder)
Matt James (ABC’s The Bachelor)
Quavo (rapper, recording artist)
Ranveer Singh (actor)
Alex Toussaint (Peloton instructor)

Team Nique
Anuel AA (rapper)
Mayor Justin Bibb (Mayor of Cleveland)
Kane Brown (singer, songwriter)
Myles Garrett (Cleveland Browns defensive end)
Booby Gibson (Cleveland Cavaliers legend)
Tiffany Haddish (comedian, actress and author)
Jack Harlow (rapper, recording artist)
Crissa Jackson (Harlem Globetrotters player)
Anjali Ranadivé (singer, songwriter)
Gianmarco Tamberi (Olympic high jump champion)

Anuel AA Releases New Single “Dictadura”

Anuel AA is back with new music…

Serving as a preview of his upcoming album, the 28-year-old Puerto Rican rapper and singer has released his new single “Dictadura.”

Anuel AA

Produced by Subelo Neo and Machael, and co-written by Anuel and Mora, the bouncy, head-bobbing reggaeton track will be included on his third LP, Las Leyendas Nunca Mueren.

The track and music video, directed by Anuel, chronicles a love and basketball story, which finds the singer-songwriter at his peak: dating the girl of his dreams (who may or may not break his heart) and getting drafted into the NBA in 1984.

“For a year, my fans have been waiting for me to release more music and I have been teasing a new album, and we are finally here,” the chart-topping artist said in a statement. “‘Dictaudura’s’ video is one of many to come that I direct and I wanted the plot to guide my fans through a concept storyboard for my upcoming album Las Leyendas Nunca Mueren. I can’t wait for them to see what is to come, but I want them to be inspired by the legends concept the way they have influenced my career and story.”

“Dictadura” follows Anuel’s latest release “23 Preguntas,” in which he asks Colombian singer and ex-girlfriend Karol G a set of questions. In the slow-tempo trap-infused reggaeton track, he bares his heart and soul in a bid to win Karol back. “23 Preguntas” dropped on what would have marked the former couple’s third anniversary.

Las Leyendas Nunca Mueren becomes Anuel’s third solo project after teaming up with Ozuna on the chart-topping Los Dioses — the collaborative effort peaked at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Top Latin Albums chart (dated February 5).

 

His debut album Real Hasta La Muerte, released in 2018, and his 2020 sophomore set Emmanuel also crowned the survey.