HoopsHype Showbusiness rumors

May 5, 2014 Updates

Sources say Universal Pictures is nearing a deal to acquiring the rights to an untitled feature project revolving around NBA superstar LeBron James’ high school career. An aggressive bidding war has seen several studios vying for the film. “Dallas Buyers Club” producer Rachel Winter and husband Terence will produce along with James and his manager Maverick Carter. The project is based on a pitch by Frank E. Flowers. Variety.com

April 28, 2014 Updates

R & B singer Tank has joined the boycott against Donald Sterling ... REFUSING to go ahead with his plan to sing the National Anthem at Tuesday's Clippers game. Tank tells TMZ, "As an African American man and artist, I must take a stand on a matter that is so deeply personal to me." Tank goes on, "In light of the recent disturbing and offensive allegations, in good conscience, I cannot move forward with my scheduled appearance at Tuesday's Los Angeles Clippers game." TMZ.com

April 26, 2014 Updates
April 25, 2014 Updates

Suffice to say, Koepke has tales to tell about her life and times as the director of Energee! She’ll be sharing some of her better ones, not to mention some of her juicier ones, in a forthcoming book titled: “Lady of the Court: Behind the Scenes of NBA Entertainment.” “I started working on this book about two years ago,” Koepke said. “People have always asked me about what was going on behind the scenes, what were our rules. I’ve been asked a whole bunch of questions and I talk about them and answer them in the book. I think this is an informative book; I think it’s an honest book. If you’re an NBA fan, you would be interested in reading this book. Even if you’re an average fan, in any sport, and don’t know the stuff that goes on behind the scenes, you’d be interested in this book.” Racine Journal-Times

Koepke’s book touches on an array of subjects, from how dancers are selected to her strict stance on prohibiting dancers from dating NBA players — and the repercussions if they did — to delicate business and entertainment matters. Working for a high-profile business like the NBA has its share of peaks, like meeting with the industry’s stars, and valleys, like having confrontational clashes over organizational decisions. Koepke is quick to note much of her time working in conjunction with the Bucks and the NBA was memorable and favorable. But she also candidly concedes there were times that weren’t so pleasant. She brings those encounters to light in the book as well. “Ninety-five percent of the people (in the Bucks organization) were awesome to work with,” Koepke said. “I never had any issues with the majority of people there. Most of the issues that came up were handled fairly. “At the same time, there were two big events that happened, two events that changed the court of my career and I had to write about them.” Racine Journal-Times

“There are only 30 of us (dance directors in the NBA); it’s a small community,” Koepke said. “But there’s never been a book written about it. Obviously, this is from my perspective. It’s about passion, about dreams that come true and it’s about disappointment. I will say this: I don’t know if the Bucks organization will be happy with it or not. But I’m OK with that. What I wrote is truthful.” Racine Journal-Times

April 23, 2014 Updates

LeBron James has signed with WME on all entertainment and acting projects, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. The Miami Heat superstar will be represented by a five-member team at WME. The Hollywood Reporter

April 11, 2014 Updates

What happens when "Portlandia" meets the Portland Trail Blazers? As Thursday's Season 4 episode demonstrated, there was plenty of opportunity for humor as Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein's feminist bookstore owner characters decided to raise the consciousness of the NBA team's Blazer Dancers. Blazer players LaMarcus Aldridge, Thomas Robinson, Robin Lopez and Damian Lillard also turned up. Blazers owner Paul Allen even made an appearance, though in a different sketch. Oregonian

Maybe the best way to sum it up was hit and miss. Having the humorless, self-righteous, but goofily likable feminist bookstore duo Toni (Brownstein) and Candace (Armisen, in a long, frumpy wig) attending a Blazers game is a great idea. As you'd expect, these two sections of Portland don't seem to exist in the same universe. The self-consciously politically correct feminists are aghast at the Blazer Dancers, who take the court in revealing outfits and jump around in perky, sexy style. "Why are they barely wearing anything?" Toni and Candace wonder. "Let them speak!" Oregonian

April 7, 2014 Updates
March 24, 2014 Updates

Finally giving us an answer to the age-old question “What if NBA stars Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan got together with everyone from Danielle Fishel to the cast of The League to Jean-Ralphio from Parks & Recreation, and the whole lot of them sat down at long, mismatched, fold-out tables to do a live-read of the script for the 1996 cinematic classic, Space Jam?,” Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan got together last night with everyone from Danielle Fishel to the cast of The League to Jean-Ralphio from Parks & Recreation, and the whole lot of them sat down at long, mismatched, fold-out tables to do a live-read of the script for the 1996 cinematic classic, Space Jam. And it turns out the answer is: I will like it. Uproxx

Griffin's carved out a niche for himself in pop culture because of his sense of humor. Using a mix of sarcasm, self-deprecation and sophistication, Griffin has become the go-to NBA player whether it's a funny commercial, an internet sketch or even a movie cameo. Neal Brennan, co-creator of "Chappelle's Show" on Comedy Central, is a stand-up comedian, writer and director. He's also a friend of Griffin's. "I would never, I mean ... I don't (say) people are funny who aren't funny. It means too much to me," Brennan said. "And he's funny." Orange County Register

"Whenever I tell people Blake Griffin is funny, they're like, 'Oh, whatever. That's nice,'" Brennan said. "But he could be a professional comedy writer." Griffin said he'd like to write or direct sketches or movies, and he's always dreamed about "Saturday Night Live." So far, most of his comedy work, though, has been in front of the camera. After making a comedy video with comedian Ben Glieb, Griffin was cast in a commercial for the video game "Rage." Orange County Register

March 19, 2014 Updates

Shaquille O’Neal stands alone as the only NBA player to actually turn a profit in the hip-hop game with his debut album “Shaq Diesel,” a 12-track compilation that went platinum in 1994. The seven-footer can also toot his horn when it comes to longevity in the field, having produced five albums in total. That’s the sort of impact Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard is looking to make when he eventually and officially, takes the music industry by storm. “If my profile continues to increase, I think I can go platinum with my music,” Lillard told CSNNW.com. “Not to knock anybody else who has done it, but I can actually rap. I have a story to tell. It’s not going to just be about basketball. I have more content than that. With the way I know I can get down, and the producers that I’ll align myself with, there’s no reason not to think I couldn’t go platinum. Shaq proved it’s possible.” CSNNW.com

The All-Star point guard says he anticipates releasing a mixtape sometime this year consisting of 10 tracks to spawn up some buzz before he drops his first album. Just as smooth and effortless is his shooting stroke; he says freestyling and putting verses together “comes more naturally” to him. “It’s something that comes easy to me,” Lillard said. “It’s another talent that I have.” CSNNW.com

It doesn’t end there for the venturous second year guard out of Weber State. Lillard is interested in starring in movies, too. “I’m not an actor but I think it’s something that I can grow into if given time,” he acknowledged. “I would like to play a part like how Ray Allen played Jesus Shuttlesworth. That’s something I’m interested in among some other things.” CSNNW.com

March 15, 2014 Updates
March 6, 2014 Updates

Shaq is looking for help making his video game dream come true. The retired center-turned-TNT analyst is teaming up a video production company and IndieGogo to raise money to bring back Shaq Fu, the entirely bizarre video game that he starred in when he was 22. “I don’t think it was the worst,” O’Neal told the Associated Press. “When you talk about the worst, you’ve got to talk about sales. I actually sold a lot of games, but when I did the first ‘Shaq-Fu,’ that was at the end of analog right before digital came out. It wasn’t a bad game. It wasn’t a good game, but it wasn’t awful.” For The Win

March 5, 2014 Updates

Some day, Davis hopes to have a more personal rooting interest in the awards show. He already is more involved in the film industry than any of his contemporaries in the NBA. Since 2002, he's been working on film projects, and he's currently writing his first script for a potential Christmas completion, a basketball title that he says is like "Boyz n the Hood meets He Got Game." "Maybe it'll be Oscar-worthy," he said, laughing, "but hopefully it'll be something that will give me the respect that I'm just looking for." Bleacher Report

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