Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry says he's rested. He managed to find some downtime in the offseason.

But when you ask how he managed it, he shakes his head.

"Every year, [the offseason] seems to get busier," the six-year NBA vet says. "But obviously, if you add on the success we've had this year on the court, there are a lot of opportunities that open up."

The latest and greatest of those opportunities: Flying to Martha's Vineyard for a round of golf with President Barack Obama. But there are business commitments, too -- endorsement deals to be fulfilled, various offers that crop up when you win both the league's MVP award and an NBA championship in the same year.

And that all ignores perhaps the most pressing challenge of all: The arrival of Curry Baby No. 2, just weeks after the NBA Finals.

Still, Curry says he feels refreshed. He's started up workouts to prepare for the upcoming NBA season, and he's quick to point out that training camp starts next month.

Stephen Curry

On Wednesday, Curry was up bright and early to host another business event: "The Degree Driving Range with Stephen Curry." During the function in San Francisco, Curry -- who has been golfing since age 12 -- walked up and down the driving range dispensing tips and having a PGA pro break down his own swing.

Fun as those events can be, they're also a big-time commitment for athletes, and the NBA regular season doesn't allow much time for extra-curricular business activities. That means the offseason is often where players go to catch up on their non-basketball commitments, using their months off to handle the business side of being a professional athlete.

And Curry's list of obligations run long: In addition to endorsement deals with Degree and Under Armour, the Golden State Warriors star also has contracts with Express, Muscle Milk, State Farm and JBL.

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The Stephen Curry brand is as valuable as ever right now: His jersey ranked second in the NBA behind LeBron James in the regular-season, and by some measures it's been the top overall seller since January. Since the start of the playoffs, he's sold jerseys in all 50 states.

Amid the pinnacle of his success and popularity, Curry also understands that today's opportunities won't be around forever. Winning a Most Valuable Player Award or an NBA championship are rare feats on their own. Achieving both in the same year is rare -- only 10 players have ever done it.

Curry and LeBron

And while Curry has plenty of miles left in his tank, he's old enough that thoughts of his post-basketball life are starting to creep into his mind.

"A lot of guys who are new to the league, and I'm one of them, the first five or six years, there's nothing you're thinking about other than basketball. You want to establish yourself," Curry says. "As you get over the hump and into the later parts of your career you start to think about, 'What are the things you might want to get into?'"

As far as his NBA superstardom goes, Curry seems like a fresh face: A boyish sharpshooter taking the spotlight from aggressive alpha males like LeBron and Kobe Bryant.

But after four seasons playing college ball at Davidson, and a promising-but-gradual rise in the NBA, it's easy to forget that Curry is 27 -- in his physical prime, but just three years younger than LeBron, who has been the face of the NBA for more than a decade.

You can see a parallel between LeBron's and Curry's non-basketball trajectories: The Cavs star is working to build his own media empire, starting with his co-starring role in the summer blockbuster "Trainwreck" while also inking a deal with Warner Brothers to create a wide range of media content, possibly including a "Space Jam" sequel.

Curry Ad

Curry, meanwhile, is trying his hand at the Bay Area's biggest industry. He's currently working to develop a social media app that would facilitate better engagement between sports stars, celebrities, and their fans.

"That's the kind of stuff I've started to get my hands into a little more," says Curry, who feels that current social networks like Facebook and Twitter have limitations when it comes to managing that celebrity-fan relationship. "As an athlete in that space, I think there's ways to make it better."

While Curry wouldn't share the name of the app, he's hopeful that the finished product -- which he is developing with his former Davidson roommate -- will be ready for release within the next year.

But there are limitations to what Curry can do once NBA training camp starts. Much like his golf game, his endorsement deals and business ventures take a back seat for nine months every year.

"You don't want these engagements and things to take away from your preparation for a season," he says. But Curry understands that basketball won't be around forever -- and the doors open today could close anytime.

"You do have to feel a sense of urgency ... to take advantage of the opportunities, the people that you're going to meet, the doors that basketball opens ... to set a good foundation for your post-basketball life."

And hopefully, you find a little time for some R&R. That's the blessing and burden for stars like Curry: when you're this big, there's no offseason.

Alabama may be a perennial college football powerhouse, always in the center of the national championship conversation. But it takes a back seat to Georgia's Norcross High School when it comes to flexing its stadium video board.

This fall, Norcross will debut the nation's largest video screen for a high school football stadium. Measuring 1,513 square feet, it's larger than the one installed at Bryant-Denny Stadium, where Alabama plays its home games.

To most people, such a screen for a high school may seem like overkill. But then, when you see it dwarf the football field in front of it, there's no question.

It looks like someone squeezed a big-screen into a walk-in closet.

The school would only say that the video board cost less than its retail price of $750,000, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Despite that huge price tag, head football coach Keith Maloof thinks it will prove its value over time.

"This thing will pay for itself because it's unlimited in what it can do for advertisers," Maloof told the AJC. "It's going to help us tremendously financially to help program."

The public school was also fortunate that none of its own money went into the purchase of the board. Four main contributors provided most of the money for the purchase.

The school also plans to use the video board as an educational tool, with students creating content and running the board during games.

That doesn't explain why the video board had to be the biggest in the country, but we probably already know the answer to that.

Last time we saw Manny Pacquiao, he just lost to Floyd Mayweather while revealing after the fight that he was dealing with a torn rotator cuff. Surgery was projected to leave Pacquiao out of the ring for a year.

On Tuesday, according to Pacquiao, that recovery took significantly less time ... and it didn't even require surgery.

"I'm fine," Pacquiao told Joaquin M. Henson of The Philippine Star. "It's God's work. I never saw a doctor. I never did rehab. All I did was to swim in the sea as often as I could. The salt water healed my wound."

Pacquiao is known for using his Christian faith to guide him through tough times. That said, recovery from a torn rotator cuff in a little more than three months is highly unlikely, divine intervention notwithstanding.

Pacquiao made those comments while in Tokyo, lobbying for the Philippines to earn the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup bid, when he made the comments about his recovery. On August 7, China was selected over Pacquiao's homeland.

Eric Pineda, Pacquiao's business partner, was in Tokyo with Pac-Man and supported his client's claim: "Manny has strong faith," he said. "God did it. And all that swimming in the sea helped. Now, there's talk of his comeback fight."


In my country, everyone is passionate about Basketball. There is no better country to host it, than us. @fiba #PUSO2019

A photo posted by Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao) on

Regardless of God's alleged role in all of this, the big takeaway is that Pacquiao now claims to be 100 percent healthy. Let the speculation of a Mayweather rematch take flight.

If you've ever wanted to drive a Zamboni for a living, here's your chance: The New York Islanders are looking to hire.

But be warned: The NHL team has an incredibly long, detailed list of requirements for the job.

As the franchise plans its move from Long Island to Barclays Center in Brooklyn, it's looking to fill a number of positions. Perhaps none of them carry the novelty enjoyed by its listing for "assistant manager of arena operations," among whose requirements is driving the arena's ice resurfacing machine.

From a spectator's view, it seems like an easy enough job: Drive Zamboni onto ice, smooth out ice, leave.

But the Islanders hold their driver to a higher standard. According to the New York Times, the team's ideal ice resurfacing candidate will have a college degree, three years of experience in a hockey arena, and five years of experience driving a Zamboni.

That's not all, though. The listing goes into much greater detail about the team's expectations for this driver, including the ability to "use hands to finger, handle or feel objects."

Ideal candidates will either be able to "talk or hear" and either "taste or smell." The ability to taste and smell is, presumably, a bonus.

For as hyper-attentive to detail as the job listing seems, though, there's some credence to the notion that driving a Zamboni is a tough job. Chris Jennings, who manages the ice rink for the Philadelphia Flyers, told The New York Times that he took four to six months before he felt comfortable behind a Zamboni.

"Imagine driving your car, but sitting in your trunk," he tells the NYT. "You can't see the entire right side." It takes time and close attention, he explains, to get a feel for driving the Zamboni straight, and not crashing into the boards.

Even so, one would think that the inability to taste or smell would not preclude you from driving an ice resurfacing machine. Then again, maybe the Islanders know something we don't. Or maybe the job listing was written specifically to rule out someone in particular.

The provision regarding hand dexterity almost certainly rules out one individual with Zamboni experience:

Louisville slipped up, and now it's at the mercy of the NCAA Committee on Infractions.

The error, however, is almost comically small. In mid-April, six Cardinals players decided to go play laser tag at a local facility. According to a report from Sporting News, the basketball program gave them money to cover the $7 admission.

That's a Level III NCAA violation, per the archaic rules college basketball is governed by. As a result, all players were required to scrape together seven of their own dollars, and to donate those funds to charity.

A second NCAA violation was earned through an even more obscure means. Two Louisville basketball recruits accompanied the six roster members and had their admissions paid for but the host students whom they were staying with on their recruiting trip.

That's a perfectly legal use of funds -- except those host students were supposed to report the expense to the school, and they didn't. Since that expenditure wasn't properly on the books, the program is in trouble yet again.

Once again, we're talking about $56 improperly distributed among eight college basketball players, all in the name of some good clean laser-tag fun. Stories like this really underscore how inane the NCAA's rules can be.

Meanwhile, how much time, money and resources have been spent by Louisville and the NCAA to rectify this $56 scandal? Seems like the marker of a poorly run organization.

But we already knew that.

Jen Welter made history this week by becoming the first female member of an NFL coaching staff.

During her rounds of interviews with the team, Welter revealed that her own experience playing professional football earned her paycheck not quite up to NFL standards.

Her salary for a 12-game season? A whopping twelve dollars -- one per game.

In fact, Welter still has the paycheck from her first season with the Dallas Diamonds in 2004, playing in the Women's Football Alliance.


"It was a dollar a game, but that's technically what made us pro," Welter told AZCentral.com.

Welter played 14 seasons in the WFA, winning four titles along the way. She also joined Team USA and won the gold medal twice at the International Federation of American Football's Women's World Championship.

"She is battle-tested and does have knowledge of the game," said Dawn Berndt, owner of the Dallas Diamonds and manager of Team USA, to ESPN. "Hopefully a lot of her athletes will give her an opportunity to show what she knows before they judge her on her size. She's a tiny package. But she's a tiny package with amazing heart and knowledge.

"Given the opportunity, she's going to excel."

Welter will join former NFL linebackers Bob Sanders and Larry Foote as coaching interns at Cardinals training camp. She may not have the money those two enjoy, but she's got the pedigree -- and a bright future.

Just when you thought Fetty Wap's hit song "Trap Queen" might be growing old, you get assurance that it's still alive and well.

That assurance comes from the Kansas City Royals, who are apparently big fans of the track. So much so that they challenged one another to reference its lyrics during post-game interviews Tuesday night.

After the 2-1 win over the Cleveland Indians, each Royals player had to use the phrase "1738," which appears in the intro of "Trap Queen," in his responses to media questions.

Reporters were perplexed -- then annoyed.


To the contrary, Andy McCullough. Some fans would call this stunt genius. Here's how the answers were constructed.[YIEDMO]




Since the average person still probably has no idea what's going on, here's a quick explainer: the Fetty Wap song uses the term 1738 in reference to Remy Martin 1738 cognac, which he thought was the most expensive liquor in the world, but was only the most expensive in the "urban district."

That doesn't explain why Royals players have taken to the phrase, but that's all the sense anyone can make of this public stunt -- so far, anyway.

Given the relative success, though, it seems only a matter of time before some pro sports team tries the same with Taylor Swift's album "1989."

At this point in the offseason, NFL players are used to working out away from team facilities. Rules in the league's Collect Bargaining Agreement prohibit players from training with a football at team headquarters.

Justin Tucker knows this all too well, having to find different places to kick over the offseason. This week, Tucker needed to find a field, and he didn't have to look far.

Earlier this summer, Tucker chose to work out in Baltimore's Patterson Park. He didn't share his plans with other people, but after fans spied him and helped him run down balls launched across the field, Tucker had an idea.

Practicing with fans, he realized, created a mutual benefit.

"I had a bunch of helpers out here," Tucker said. "A bunch of people shagging ball and throwing them back for me. Then I thought, 'Well shoot, I might as well make this a mini community event.'"

So Tucker took to Twitter to advertise.


The more people that came to his practice, the more help he'd get and the louder the environment became. Fans enjoyed a great experience, while Tucker saved himself the trouble of booting kicks and then running them down himself.

It remains to be seen whether kicking with fans will help Tucker, who finished eighth in fields goals made last year. Either way, it seems like fun for those kids.

Even when there's snow on the ground, the kids play soccer. If you lived in arctic Canada, you'd know better than to wait for the landscape to thaw.

Soccer may seem a bit out of place in the distant, cold province of Nunavut, and in many ways, it is. But soccer has gained traction because of its accessibility: It's a relatively cheap sport to play, much cheaper than hockey, and cheaper even than hunting, which is the preferred form of recreation among the Inuit peoples.

And, as featured in a New York Times story by Jere Longman, soccer has proven to be an important outlet for the youth in Iqaluit, where the suicide rate is 10 times the Canadian national average. The harsh landscape, combined with long, dark winters and a high cost of living, create a tough situation for many Inuit.

Another complication: The people living in Iqaluit are traditionally nomadic peoples that have been trying for decades to figure out community living. The social and environmental strains place a hard burden on the youth.

But soccer has been a lifesaver -- literally. It provides a way for the community to connect with the rest of the world, and it provides a distraction from tough aspects of life, including violence, sexual abuse, and other suicides.

Iqaluit's people have had to adapt the game: They typically play in side on basketball courts, and they created their yellow and red referee cards from construction paper.

"Around here, you've got to be flexible with a capital 'F'," said a local tournament organizer.

For the team's coach, who used to be a drug addict before quitting his addiction and becoming a positive force, soccer is a source of joy -- and a point of pride.

"I'm trying to show the community that you can turn your life around," he tells the NYT. "I'm proud of my team. I'm proud of myself."

Tags:
Canada, Soccer

Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs has a running start on his post-football career. Suggs has established a production company called Team Sizzle Worldwide, and it already has five films to its credit. Suggs is also helping to consult on the HBO football-based drama "Ballers." Here's more from Suggs on his transition into the business of show biz and the upcoming NFL season:

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