NBRPA Fast Break: February 2, 2012

NBRPA FAST BREAK: News you can use!

February 2, 2012

NBRPA Members:

It’s the most wonderful time of the basketball year …

NBA All-Star Weekend in Orlando, February 23-26, is just a few weeks away. With that in mind, we would like to provide a few updates and share our most recent schedule for the weekend (attached to this email).

As part of our All-Star festivities, the NBRPA will celebrate Black History Month on Friday, Feb. 24. With participation from basketball legends of every era, we will host a full day of activities headlined by a Hardwood Pioneers Roundtable in which Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elgin Baylor, Julius Erving, Dr. Richard A. Lapchick, Earl Lloyd, Dolph Schayes, Sharon Robinson (daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson) and others will discuss African-American impact on sports and the game of basketball. The Honorable Marc H. Morial, President & CEO of the National Urban League and former Mayor of New Orleans, will serve as emcee for this very special event.

Presented by Wells Fargo, the Hardwood Pioneers Roundtable will take place at the Walt Disney World Swan Hotel & Resort (located at 1200 Epcot Resorts Boulevard  in  Lake Buena Vista, Fla.) beginning at 6 p.m.

“All of our panelists lived and made history,” said NBRPA CEO Arnie D. Fielkow. “Earl Lloyd was the first African American to play in an NBA game, just a few years after Jackie Robinson broke the racial barrier in baseball. NBA Hall of Famer Dolph Schayes was Earl Lloyd’s teammate, and sports and civil rights activist Rich Lapchick’s father was an NBA head coach in this era. Later, Elgin Baylor, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Julius Erving – true NBA superstars – changed the face of the league forever and helped make professional basketball the beloved national treasure it is today.”

The Hardwood Pioneers Roundtable will be webcast live at the new LegendsofBasketball.com as part of the NBRPA’s partnership with the Lightmaker Digital Agency. LegendsofBasketball.com, the home page of the NBRPA, has been redesigned by Lightmaker and will relaunch during All-Star Weekend.

To help generate NBRPA media buzz heading into All-Star Weekend, we worked with the Orlando Sentinel to set up an interview with new NBRPA Director of Chapter Development Sam Vincent. Sam did a great job with the interview and the result was a nice, positive article that can be found here: http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-01-28/sports/os-magic-schmitz-sunday-0129-20120128_1_sam-vincent-opportunities-head-coach. Our announcement about Sam’s hiring was also placed as a short item in this week’s Sports Business Journal, and we have several additional All-Star related press announcements coming soon.

With current chapters in Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, Orlando and Phoenix, the NBRPA is working to expand this local-city program for members. Chicago and Dallas NBRPA members are in the process of forming new chapters and several other cities have active groups looking to formalize.

Bruno Sports Enterprises is a collegiate basketball consulting firm that works with the NBRPA and its members to secure jobs in coaching and athletic administration. Linda Bruno, the company’s principal, came to us with the following opportunity:

PlayUp, a social media company, is looking for former NBA players to serve as hosts for remotely-accessed NBA and college games. As part of the program, PlayUp establishes a temporary private chat room for the host to interact with fans during the game. The host would be asked to exchange comments with participating fans, offer opinions, anecdotes, etc.  The company will pay a per-game fee and no travel is necessary. Former players with a Twitter following are preferred.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact: Linda Bruno at linda.brunosports@gmail.com.

The new NBRPA National Headquarters in downtown Chicago opened on Monday, January 30. Our new contact information is as follows:
National Basketball Retired Players Association
175 W. Jackson Blvd.
Suite 1600
Chicago, IL 60604
Phone: 312-913-9400
Fax: 312-913-9401

All staff email address and cell phone numbers remain the same.

Basketball is coming to Broadway this spring with the opening run of the critically-acclaimed “Magic/Bird” play set to run this spring at the Longacre Theatre in New York City. Producers Fran Kirmser and Tony Ponturo – the same pair that brought sports fans and theatergoers “Lombardi” – wrote the play that casts Kevin Daniels as Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Tug Coker as Larry Bird.
The NBRPA has secured one night at the Longacre Theater to use “”Magic/Bird” as a fundraiser for our Association. Details are still being worked out, but the April 19 date is locked in so mark your calendars. We look forward to making a more detailed announcement regarding this exciting fundraising opportunity in the near future.

Yours in basketball,

Arnie D. Fielkow


Paul Corliss
Senior Director of Communications & Special Projects
National Basketball Retired Players Association
175 W. Jackson Blvd.
Suite 1600
Chicago, IL 60604