Tag Archives: Sports

The Atlanta Hawks Elect New Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer

The Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena have named Nzinga Shaw as the organization’s new Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer (CDIO), it was announced today by CEO Steve Koonin.  In this role, Shaw is responsible for developing and embedding diversity and inclusion best practices throughout the organization. She will design a strategic, cross-departmental program that creates deeper cultural awareness and sensitivity. Additionally, Shaw will serve as a member of the Executive Committee and provide guidance to the leadership team so that they can engender inclusivity in every facet of the business. She will report directly to Koonin.  

“I am excited to be a member of the Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena organization at such a pivotal time. My goal as the CDIO is to help our organization continue to rebuild trust and partnership in the Atlanta community, emphasizing civility and sportsmanship in an effort to ensure that everyone can be a fan of the team, attend home games, and so that we can serve as a model for inclusion in the NBA,” Shaw said. “More specifically, I will lead the charge of creating a strategic framework to help shift the culture so that we can create greater inclusion and engagement with all of our fans and stakeholders.”
 
  

Shaw most recently served as SVP of Diversity & Inclusion at Edelman, the world’s largest public relations agency. There she led the implementation of a global diversity and inclusion strategy. For her work, Shaw was selected by PR Week in August 2014 as a recipient of the 2014 40 Under 40 Award, and she was featured in the Atlanta Business Chronicle in October 2014 as one of 15 women to receive the inaugural “Women Who Mean Business Award” for her strength in creating viable workplace diversity and inclusion programs. Shaw is an alumna of Spelman College (BA) and the University of Pennsylvania (MLA). The Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena organization understands that diversity and inclusion must be respected and valued at every level of the organization.   “As CEO, I am committed to infusing diversity and inclusion throughout our organization and I will continue to champion it from the very top. A key part of the new model – appointing a CDIO who reports directly to me – will improve accountability across the organization,” Koonin said. “Nzinga will help us establish diversity and inclusion as a competitive advantage in terms of exceptional internal performance, outstanding customer service, and unparalleled fan engagement.”   Prior to her work at Edelman, Shawhad been at the forefront of leading organizational change and driving diversity and inclusion at other large-scale companies such as Essence Magazine, the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network and the National Football League.

Clippers hold 26th Annual “Teamwork At The Table” Event

As they have for over two decades, the Los Angeles Clippers provided local families in need with food, clothing and books at the team’s 26th annual Thanksgiving event, “Teamwork at the Table” today at the St. Joseph Center in Venice, CA.

Clippers players Blake Griffin, Matt Barnes, Jordan Farmar, Reggie Bullock, Chris Douglas-Roberts and CJ Wilcox distributed Thanksgiving turkeys and food baskets. In addition to food items, the Clippers provided clothing and books to pre-selected families in need.

For the eighth year, local supermarket chains Ralphs and Food 4 Less teamed up with the Clippers to donate food and turkeys. The Clippers players were joined by members of the U.S. Air Force as part of the NBA Cares Hoops for Troops Program. The Clippers and the NBA have joined together with the Department of Defense on the new “Commitment to Service” initiative built upon four pillars: Leadership, Transition, Community and Health.

St. Joseph Center is a non-profit social service agency that helps over 6,500 individuals annually. The Center’s mission is to provide working poor families, as well as homeless men, women and children of all ages with the inner resources and tools to become productive, stable and self-supporting members of the community.

Ralphs  and  Food  4  Less  believe  in  being  good  corporate citizens by contributing  to  the  diverse  communities  they  serve. Ralphs and Food 4 Less focus on health, education, the fight against hunger, the advancement of women and minorities, and the development of youth.

Kobe Bryant still building legacy brick-by-brick

The case against Kobe Bryant officially began with a set of missed field-goal attempts.

The Lakers were eliminated in overtime of Game 5 of the Western Conference semi-finals when Bryant shot an air-ball at the end of regulation, followed by another that would have tied the game in the extra period. He was comforted by his  teammate Shaquille O’Neal who encouraged him to keep shooting the ball. It was advice that would ironically contribute to their division years later.

Kobe Bryant hasn’t stopped shooting. He became the NBA’s all-time leader in missed field-goals during the Lakers 102-107 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. As infamous as it sounds, being known as the player who has missed the most shots means you have been around long enough to take them.
It wasn’t a forgone conclusion that Kobe Bryant would miss the most shots in NBA history. He had a mere 176 attempts during the regular season of his rookie year. To put it in perspective, fellow 96 draft class rookie Antoine Walker hoisted away 1,354 attempts for the Boston Celtics. It took Bryant two seasons and change to become the starting shooting-guard for the Lakers after Eddie Jones was traded to the Charlotte Hornets during the 1999 lockout season.

Kobe has been consistently good for so long that the evolution of his game is taken for granted. Unlike LeBron James, Bryant wasn’t given the green-light as a rookie. He even endured DNP’s under coach Del Harris when he was known as “Showtime” because of his flashy play in practice. But Bryant still had to earn minutes behind Eddie Jones and current Head Coach Byron Scott.

And he kept shooting.

He quickly earned the reputation as an introvert by choosing not to be a part of the Hollywood club scene with known playboys like Shaq and Rick Fox. His competitive nature and aggressiveness got around the league quickly, and the elder statesman started laying the wood as a right of passage. It all culminated with a fight with Chris Childs against the New York Knicks during the Lakers 2000 championship run. The nationally televised game between the two most popular teams in the NBA was the graduation of Kobe Bryant into superstar status.

His longevity has masked the fact that he’s played in seven seasons of 70 games or less. It took him five years before he completed an 80 game NBA season.

Bryant hasn’t ceased firing away, continuing to add bricks to the foundation he’s set. He has the chance to join Michael Jordan as the only players to lead the league in scoring at 36-years old. He has displayed that athleticism is still very much a part of his game, and although they won’t admit it, many analyst privately expressed that Bryant would no longer be an all-star after the layoff.

Kobe said he would rather go 0-30 instead of 0-9. He’s missed the most shots because he’s had the drive to make the most.

 

Clippers have team meeting, but Doc Rivers isn’t impressed

The Clippers held a players-only meeting after suffering a 121-104 defeat to the Golden State Warriors. Clippers guard Jamal Crawford said in practice today that the meeting of the minds was beneficial.

“It helped guys clear the air,” said Crawford. “I think the main point was just to get on the same page, everybody needs to be playing on the same page. The important thing is we understand that you have to go through the process.”

But Head Coach Doc Rivers doesn’t believe in such group sessions.

“I’m not fan of team meetings,” admitted Rivers. “When I hear about some team having a team meeting I’m like I want to play those guys.”

The Way They Were

The Clippers may have many of the same players that got them to the Western Conference semifinals, but Rivers contends this isn’t the same team.

“We deal with people, not X’s and O’s,” he explained. “The names might be the same, but this isn’t the same team I had last year.”

No Rest Down The Stretch

When asked if he would mirror San Antonio Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich’s style of resting his star players during certain parts of the season, Doc Rivers said he’d been there and done that.

“If you remember we did that in Boston in 2012,” recalled Rivers. “I used the last month of the season to have a second training-camp. We had two and a half hour practices, and we sacrificed a lot games down the stretch because of it.”

The Celtics had home-court advantage on the line in the final game of the season against the Atlanta Hawks who they were to face in the first-round. Rivers rested his starters and ceded home-court to the Hawks. The move proved to be brilliant in the end with the rested aging Celtics winning the series 4-2.

“We played Atlanta the last game of the season and could have had home-court advantage, but we rested our starters and said just let them have it,” added Rivers. It was a gamble but it paid off in the end. I obviously won’t be able to do that with this team.”