Rivers signs contract extension with Clippers

admin   •   August 28, 2014   •   2712

Los Angeles Clippers’ new owner Steve Ballmer (R) speaks at a news conference with coach Doc Rivers after being introduced at a fan event at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California August 18, 2014. CREDIT: REUTERS/LUCY NICHOLSON

(Reuters) – In his first significant move since taking over as the Los Angeles Clippers’ new owner earlier this month, Steve Ballmer has persuaded head coach Doc Rivers to remain with the team for another five years.

Rivers has agreed to a contract that will keep him in Los Angeles through the end of the National Basketball Association’s 2018-19 season, though specific terms of the deal were not disclosed by the Clippers on Wednesday.

“This is an important day for this organization,” Ballmer, the former head of Microsoft who paid an NBA-record $2 billion for the Clippers, said in a statement.

“I am excited to work with Doc for a long time as we build a championship culture that will deliver results both on and off the court.

“Not only is Doc one of the best coaches and executives in the game, but he continually embodies the hard core, committed and resilient character and winning culture that the Clippers represent. It was one of my top priorities to ensure that he was firmly in place as the long-term leader of this team.”

Rivers took over as head coach in June 2013 and guided the team to the best record in franchise history, at 57-25, last season and a second straight Pacific Division title.

However, he had threatened not to return for the 2014-15 season if disgraced former owner Donald Sterling remained associated with the Clippers.

Rivers was a steady voice of calm and reason during an ugly saga involving Sterling, who was banned by the NBA for life over racist remarks he made four months ago which sparked public outrage and caused sponsors to quit.

Following protracted legal wrangling, a California appeals court earlier this month rejected Sterling’s last-ditch attempt to block the sale of the team to Ballmer, and the 58-year-old tech billionaire finally took over as the new owner.

“Steve has shown a clear and determined desire to make the Clippers one of the most elite, first-class and championship organizations in all of professional sports,” Rivers, 52, said on Wednesday.

“We know we have work to do to get there, but I am motivated by the challenge and thankful for the opportunity to stand together with Steve as we continue to move toward our goal of winning an NBA title.”

Entering his 16th season as a head coach, Rivers is one of just three active coaches, along with Gregg Popovich and Flip Saunders, to have won at least 600 NBA games.

A former Clippers point guard, Rivers was the NBA’s 1999-2000 coach of the year and went on to lead the Boston Celtics to the 2008 NBA Championship.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes; Editing by Frank Pingue)

Private schools in Los Angeles prepare to open classrooms with new COVID-19 measures

UNTV News   •   July 15, 2020

While most public schools across the country will begin the new school year with online education in the fall, private schools in Los Angeles are preparing to open their classroom doors to students for face-to-face learning.

At St. Benedict School in Montebello, one of 200 private schools in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, classrooms have been adjusted for social distancing, with cardboard partitions on top of desks to keep students apart. Class sizes have also been modified and temperature checks will be carried out when lessons resume on September 9.

Principal Frank Loya Jr. told Reuters on Tuesday (July 14) his teachers are eager to return to school, after facing difficulties teaching from home.

“Very challenging because the majority of my teachers have children. So, they’re also teaching their class, their students in their classroom. Plus, since their children are at home also, they had to be teaching, directing them. Some of their children attend public school and some of them attend St. Benedict also. So, all that adjustment, I think, as teachers were very stressed,” he said.

A few miles away at St. Joseph School in La Puente, classrooms, restrooms and water fountains are being rebuilt to comply with new COVID-19 guidelines. The school had already planned renovations prior to the pandemic but with additional funding, they decided to expand further.

St. Joseph School currently has 200 students enrolled for the 2020-2021 school year

“Education isn’t the same when you’re not in a classroom setting,” said principal Luis Hayes. “When children are at home, it’s hard to have classroom management, and the student level of engagement changes. So, when you’re in a classroom setting and when you’re with the teacher, you have the classroom management and you have the engagement piece,” he said.

Hayes said there’s an vitally important emotional that comes with in-person instruction.

“For students to come back to school, it’s important that we give them that social emotional aspect and we give them time where they know how to socialize, but they know how to do it safely. And we practice all the social distancing,”

There are approximately 73,000 students enrolled in 200 schools of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for the new school year.

Tuition cost ranges from $5,000 for primary schools up to $11,437 for high school. (Reuters)

(Production: Alan Devall / Norma Galeana)

Vince Carter retires after NBA record 22-season career

UNTV News   •   June 26, 2020

Atlanta Hawks guard Vince Carter officially announced his retirement from professional basketball on Thursday (June 25) after an NBA record 22-season career during which his high-flying dunks made him one of the game’s top players in his prime.

Carter, widely regarded as one of the greatest dunkers of all time, had previously said the 2019-20 NBA campaign would be his last but had not addressed his playing status since the NBA suspended its season in mid-March due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“I am officially done playing basketball professionally,” Carter, 43, told the “Winging It” podcast.

Carter, the first NBA player to feature in four different decades, signed a one-year deal with the Hawks last August.

However, their season is over as they did not qualify for the NBA’s 22-team format for restarting action in late July at Disney World amid the novel coronavirus.

Carter played for eight teams during his career but will be most remembered for his time with the Toronto Raptors, where he put the Canadian city on the basketball map and earned the nickname “Air Canada” for his feats above the rim.

After his first season in Toronto, Carter was named the NBA’s rookie of the year in 1999. He was then named an All-Star for each of the following eight seasons.

In his second season, Carter won the Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Weekend with a dazzling display that further increased his stardom and helped ignite basketball’s popularity in what had otherwise been an ice hockey-mad country.

Carter, who ranks 22nd on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, averaged 16.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game during a career that also included stops in New Jersey, Orlando, Phoenix, Dallas, Memphis, Sacramento and Atlanta.

He also helped USA Basketball win gold medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and 2003 FIBA Americas tournament. (Reuters)

(Production; David Grip)

Pilot in Kobe Bryant helicopter crash may have become disoriented in heavy fog – NTSB

UNTV News   •   June 18, 2020

The pilot of a helicopter that crashed in foothills near Los Angeles, killing basketball great Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and all seven others on board, likely became disoriented in the fog, federal investigators said on Wednesday (June 17).

The National Transportation Safety Board report said pilot Ara Zobayan told air traffic controllers that his helicopter was climbing, when in fact it was descending shortly before slamming into a hillside outside the community of Calabasas on Jan. 26.

The NTSB said that pilots can become confused over an aircraft’s attitude and acceleration when they cannot see the sky or landscape around them, causing “spacial disorientation.”

“Without outside references or attention to the helicopter’s attitude display, the actual pitch and bank angles have the potential to be misperceived,” the NTSB said.

The findings came in a “public docket” released by the NTSB as it investigates the crash. The agency has not yet released its final report. (Reuters)

(Production: Omar Younis)

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