Posts Tagged ‘chicago 2016’

Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank, NBC Chicago Street Team Jerry Colangelo is a sports mogul. He’s the former owner of the Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA, Arizona Rattlers of the Arena Football League and the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was instrumental in the relocation of the Winnipeg Jets to become the Phoenix Coyotes, who are now in bankruptcy. (And rumored to be soon owned by Chicago Bulls/White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.) Colangelo has been named the NBA’s Executive of the Year four times and elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

Last month he visited Chicago as the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Foundation held their inaugural “Court of Honor Gala” at Union Station. The Gala celebrated the lifetime achievements and contributions of the Chicago native and University of Illinois graduate. I caught up to Colangelo at the gala where both his speech and his interview answers provided the media numerous insights on life in the NBA and basketball in general

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Colangelo was born and raised in one of the roughest suburbs of Chicago. (Yes, I know it may sound a bit oxymoronic to describe a suburb as being socio-economically depressed) He reaffirmed his rags-to-riches story:

“So when I look here and I see so many friends and people I’ve competed with and against, it’s a humbling experience. It’s the only way to describe it and sometimes you pinch yourself and say did this really all happen? I’m still the kid from Chicago Heights. But I guess it did and it helps to put it in proper perspective…To start out where I did and end up where I am now is truly living the American dream,” Colangelo said.
Jerry then answered inquiries about residing at the top of the basketball pantheon and accepting his award in the windy city.

“This is a fraternity, it’s a fraternity of a lot of the people who have the same passion for a game, for a sport in particular, for a city I was asked where would I want this event to take place and I said Chicago, it’s where I’m from these are my roots and it’s a great gathering spot, it’s a very exciting time,” he responded before answering a question about his involvement in the push to get Chicago the next Summer Olympic games which are still up for grabs.
“Well I’m on the 2016 committee and I’m doing everything I can to be of help. I was here with the IOC members, and it would be very easy for people to say well Jerry, you’re prejudice, but I’ve seen Rio de Janiero, I’ve seen Tokyo and Madrid, I’ve seen plans of all the cities and there’d be no better host than Chicago. It’d be a great place to have it and I’m hopeful and prayerful that we get it because it should happen,” Jerry said
For the Full interview click here

See more of Paul M. Banks’ work at the Washington Times, Walter Football.com and The Sports Bank


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Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank, NBC Chicago Street Team Only one NBA team, the Utah Jazz, contains two members of the 2008 Gold Medal winning Team USA Men’s basketball team on their roster. The “Redeem Team,” which conquered Beijing included Jazz point guard Deron Williams and power forward Carlos Boozer. As Chicago’s final bid for the Olympics became public a few days ago, I thought it the perfect time to revisit the exclusive conversations I had with each of them in Milwaukee recently. Shortly before the Jazz contest with the Milwaukee Bucks, both of them gave me their endorsement for Chicago’s 2016 Olympic Bid. boozerwilliams“Huge sports town, great fans, very committed, great venue, great to have it here in the states, we haven’t had it since Atlanta. And I think it would be well received, we’d have a great turnout here I think, other countries love to come play here,” Boozer said of Chicago before later adding, “I had a chance to see the plan. They have a great plan for it too.” Boozer is one half of a powerful inside-outside combination that currently reminds Salt Lake City fans of past legends John Stockton and Karl Malone.

The dynamic duo’s other half is Deron Williams- the highest draft pick in Illinois basketball history and the best player the program has produced in modern history. “There’s a lot of Illinois fans in Chicago, so they treat me great. I love Chicago, it’s my second home. I love being there and spend a lot of time there in the summer. It’s a great city,” Williams said of The Chi.

D. Will told me about competing in the Olympics “It was a great experience, a chance to represent my country, my organization, my family and win a Gold medal, something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life,” and also endorsed Chicago’s prospects for 2016: “They’d be a great host, I saw the 3D plans for what they want to do with it, how they’re gonna change everything around, all the facilities, it looks amazing,” Williams responded.

See more of Paul M. Banks’ work at the Washington Times and The Sports Bank

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Blagica Bottigliero, NBC Chicago Street Team

Hey Gang! You may have seen this on the NBC5 news this morning, in the paper or in other press chatter.  The folks at Chicago 2016 kicked off a new contest that is in partnership with NBC5 – and you can win just for voting! Prizes include a trip to Vancouver to see preparations for the 2010 Games, a trip to the USOC headquarters in Colorado or and $5,000 in video equipment.

Good Luck!

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Blagica Bottigliero, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

What a fun day yesterday was!  As the Managing Editor of the Chicago 2016 Channel, I had the chance to join other 2016 volunteers and hand out Countdown Clocks to Copenhagen.


Yep. On October 2, 2009, the IOC will convene in Copenhagen to decide who gets the opportunity to host the 2016 Olympic & Paralympic Games. Our group of volunteers  hit Greektown, then Pershing West Elementary – it was blast.

It was an early day, but I’m thankful I  had the chance to participate. I met some hilarious Chicagoans – including Olympian Gary Morgan.

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Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank

Michael Phelps is a man who truly needs no introduction. Michael Phelps is to swimming what Devin Hester is to kick returns in football or what the Red Baron was to combat aviation The Olympic gold medal record setter and swimmer extraordinaire Michael Phelps was in Chicago yesterday and I had a front row seat at his press conference and live chat for the 2016 Channel at the Hilton Towers on Michigan Avenue. You can listen to the audio at this link

One topic Phelps discussed was the Michael Phelps Foundation and some of the foundation’s objectives. “One of the biggest things for me is to raise the bar in the sport of swimming. I would like to try to get as many people as possible around the country and around the world as comfortable as they can be in the water, so we can cut down the {number of} drownings in America and all over the world,” Phelps said.

For more Chicago sports analysis and talk go here.

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Blagica, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

Listen up gang, here is YOUR chance to not only go to an Oprah show, but see hundreds of Olympians – all in one place!

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Blagica, NBC5 Street Team (Video)

I guess it’s the fact that I’ve been here for 10 years, met my husband here started a few businesses here that makes me over-the-moon to think that our fine city of Chicago may host the Olympics in 2016.

Oh, you may think the CTA should be fixed first (it will) or wonder if your taxes will go up – again (they probably won’t) or wonder how much of an economic impact the Olympics will have within the 50 wards (I’d say alot, but don’t know the figures behind ‘alot’ just yet).

Before you get all  huffy and puffy about the nos and the cynicism, let me remind you that Chicago is full of ‘ahas’. From the quiet unknown beach on the Lakefront (it’s mine, you can’t claim it) to kids playing ball at Armor Square, there is a bevy of gems to show the world – and I think it’s time we do.

I was out with fellow NBC5 Street Teamers last night when the crew from Chicago 2016 took local bloggers out for some chow. They picked our brains and what what future Olympic efforts can be and how it should be presented to the public. It was a good brainstorm session. I also had the chance to talk comedy with the guys of Merchandise – an improv troupe that will be assisting the Chicago 2016 crew.

Whatever happens, the IOC needs to take a hard look at Chicago – and realize we are more than just hot dogs and deep dish pizza.

I also think it was bad taste that China swapped in a ‘cuter’ little girl to lip sync the national anthem that was sung by another little girl (who was cute). Very disappointing.

For more insights and tidbits, see other posts here

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