first_imgShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Share via Shortlink Authentic Brands Group CEO Jamie Salter with Brooks Brothers, J.C. Penney, and Aeropostale stores (Getty)Deep into a marathon set of high-pressure meetings to save bankrupt retailer Aeropostale from being chopped up and sold for parts, Jamie Salter thought some comic relief was in order.Shaquille O’Neal (Getty)The Authentic Brands Group founder and CEO pulled out his phone and called Shaquille O’Neal — his company’s second-largest individual investor — to crack wise with the attorneys and investment bankers who had spent days in a General Motors Building office putting together an 11th-hour, $350 million deal.ADVERTISEMENT“He dialed up Shaq on Facetime and went around turning his phone to everyone in the room to joke around and relieve some of the tension,” James Doak of Miller Buckfire, the investment bank that Aeropostale tapped to navigate a bankruptcy sale, recalled of that summer night four years ago.“Everyone just lost it,” he said.As one of the busiest opportunistic investors of the retail apocalypse, Salter — who earned a reputation as a “dead-celebrity dealmaker” for buying the licensing rights to Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley and other famous figures — is redeploying a novel strategy he cooked up in 2016.Simon Property Group CEO David Simon (Getty)To make the Aeropostale deal work, he teamed up with Simon Property Group and General Growth Partners to invest in the struggling retailer, while cutting rents, to help keep about 400 of its stores open. The two landlords had been looking for a way to prevent the mall staple from falling into the hands of private equity firm Sycamore Partners, which had plans to liquidate the casual apparel brand.Four years and many retail bankruptcies later, Salter and his landlord partners are at it again. After buying Nautica in 2018, Authentic Brands and Simon came back to the table earlier this year alongside Brookfield Property Partners — which acquired GGP in 2018 — to buy Forever 21 out of bankruptcy for $81 million.The trio are now in talks to purchase J.C. Penney, while Authentic Brands and Simon also have their eyes on Brooks Brothers.As the economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus pummels retailers, Salter and his partners have plenty of deals to consider. In some ways, though, it’s an odd coupling.Salter’s 10 year-old firm is designed to make big profits off branding rights. The model is based on finding distressed retailers that, despite their troubles, have value locked in their brands that Salter can strip away and license off. And with companies like J. Crew, Neiman Marcus and Pier 1 filing for bankruptcy due to the pandemic, the list of possible acquisitions is growing bigger by the week.But the existential threat to brick-and-mortar stores remains a huge concern for Simon and Brookfield, who have clear incentives to keep their malls packed with rent-paying tenants. To some, their partnership with Salter is a shotgun marriage.“I would say they’re more partners of convenience or necessity than partners of love,” one attorney, who’s worked across the table from Authentic Brands, said on the condition of anonymity.New playing fieldsSalter, who declined to comment for this article, operates in a niche sector of the investment world that got a big push from private equity after the 2008 financial crisis.Firms looking for an asset-light way to profit off retail quickly found that they could juice their returns by investing in the brands and letting someone else deal with the burdens of store operations.Authentic Brands is now one of a small handful of companies that specialize in buying intellectual property rights and selling them off through licensing agreements and its largest investor is BlackRock. Salter told CNBC in early June that he’s once again on the hunt for opportunistic deals.“My strategy is simple: buy low, sell high,” he said. “We make sure, if we get into retail, that [the company] has a purpose. If it doesn’t have a purpose, we find a purpose.”The fallout from the pandemic presents a unique situation for Authentic Brands and other distress investors, as it propels the number of retailers filing for bankruptcy. At the same time, Salter’s got some deep-pocketed partners. Brookfield Asset Management, one of the world’s largest investment firms, has set aside $5 billion to invest in struggling retailers.Brookfield Property Partners CEO Brian KingstonBrian Kingston, CEO of Brookfield’s publicly traded real estate arm, told The Real Deal in May that the new retail strategy is consistent with the firm’s contrarian investment model.“The $5 billion program is designed to allow us to make investments in what we see as very strong, high-growth businesses at a time when capital is scarce, and we think we’ll be able to generate high returns because we’ll be able to pick and choose,” he said.“There are going to be winners that come out of this, and if we can invest in some of those, it’s good for us, and it’s good for them,” Kingston added.But the future of retail is arguably less certain now that it’s ever been, certainly more so than in 2016 when the trio did the Aero deal or following the 2008 financial crisis when investors feasted on distressed opportunities.Equity Group Investments founder Sam Zell (Getty)“I don’t think there’s any comparison,” Equity Group Investments founder Sam Zell told Bloomberg News in May, referring to the level of uncertainty in the investment world compared to past crises. “I would say retail is probably going to take the biggest hit.”Retail experts question how much upside there will be in backing struggling bricks-and-mortar stores this time around, considering the increased competition from online shopping and the new challenges of in-door shopping while practicing social distancing guidelines.And as the pandemic keeps many stores shuttered, Simon and Brookfield are gearing up to invest in their tenants more heavily than they ever have before. But the two can’t buy up every bankrupt retailer in their malls and some observers say they should let stores fail instead of propping them up.“It can’t work for all stores,” said Miller Buckfire’s Doak, who added that Simon and Brookfield “aren’t here to save stores in other people’s malls.”Doak argued that any survivors in retail will also need to have “intellectual property that people give a darn about.”Brand ambassador?Salter, 57, grew up in Canada and started a snowboarding manufacturing company in 1992 that he took public in just two years.He later co-founded Hilco Consumer Capital, the private equity arm of Hilco Trading, which specializes in liquidating retailers. It was there that he realized he could build a niche business focused on intellectual property rights, and he struck out on his own in 2010 with backing from private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners, followed by Lion Capital and General Atlantic.The model relied on a network of big third-party operators that purchased the rights from the branding firms and put them to work. But in recent years some of those operators have consolidated, requiring Salter to tweak his model, according to observers.“There are fewer places for people to go to find operating entities that could support the valuations these brand accumulators are looking to achieve in these deals,” said Andy Postal, a managing partner at the consumer-brands investment bank MMG Advisors.Salter “had to be creative in getting involved in operating businesses simply because he didn’t have a lot of people to do that independently,” Postal added.Doak noted that the playful move with Shaq in 2016, as random as it seemed, was characteristic of Salter’s way of doing business as well as his personality.When it came to the Aeropostale deal, Salter originally came into the process with his former colleagues at Hilco. The idea was that Authentic Brands would buy the IP rights and Hilco would buy the merchandise and sell it off. But Aeropostale’s creditors and landlords, including Simon and GGP, wanted to keep as many of the 700-plus stores open and preserve some 6,000 jobs.It’s not clear who first came up with the idea of the landlords teaming up with Authentic Brands, but there’s no shortage of people claiming they put the creative deal together.“I think you could find four different people who say they suggested it,” said Doak.What’s clear is that Salter’s group asked the investment banker for permission to speak with Simon and GGP, and they hammered out a unique deal in a high-pressure situation.Authentic Brands bought the IP rights to Aeropostale as well as a 25 percent stake in the operation that ran the stores, with Simon and GGP owning the other 75 percent.Simon later restructured its stake so that it owns a piece of Authentic Brands.Bradford Sandler, who worked as an attorney for Aeropostale’s creditors, said he thought the partnership was such a good fit that it would be a model for retail bankruptcies going forward.“I thought it was potentially a new paradigm for retail,” said Sandler, co-chair of the creditors’ committee at the law firm Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones. “You didn’t really see that happen right away but it finally started to click as the retail apocalypse progressed and retailers left and right were filing for bankruptcy.”To those who have watched him action, Salter’s a shrewd dealmaker with a knack for unlocking value. But he’s also gained a reputation for making a big splash.In 2018 he went toe-to-toe with shoe giant DSW in an auction to buy Nine West out of bankruptcy. Salter outbid one of the biggest names in shoes with a winning check of $340 million — about $140 million more than Authentic Brands’ original stalking-horse bid.“From what I’ve seen, when he makes up his mind about something, he’ll overpay like it’s nobody’s business,” said the attorney who has worked across the table from Authentic Brands.Differing propertiesWhile Authentic Brands and its landlord partners remain aligned for now, conflicts of interest could quickly arise if the deals don’t go as planned.Salter’s main line of business is getting the most value from his intellectual property rights, while Simon and Brookfield want tenants that will pay top rents in the long run. With many U.S. malls still shuttered and the country’s retail market in utter chaos, there’s common ground between both sides.But if those partnerships start to go sideways and the stores fail to gain traction, Authentic Brands has strong rights that could allow the company to cancel its licensing agreements, according to retail experts.If Salter feels the licensee isn’t maintaining the brand properly, he can terminate the contract and pull forward future payments owed under the deal, analysts at Moody’s Investor Service pointed out.“With all the pressure these real estate guys are under, it becomes imperative … to figure out ways to keep these brands in their stores,” said MMG’s Postal.“It’s become a very complicated and challenging space,” he noted.Contact Rich Bockmann at [email protected] or 908-415-5229center_img TagsBrookfield Property Partnersretail bankruptcysimon property grouplast_img read more

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first_imgClick here to learn more about Bluetooth World 2018. Interactive developer sessions which will provide practical, hands-on tutorials, including brand new sessions on Bluetooth mesh and Bluetooth beacon technology. Sessions are open to developers of all experience levels. The keynote theater will welcome executives and engineers from a variety of industries to realize exciting, new use cases in emerging smart markets. Speakers from top brands and start-ups in consumer and commercial industries will inspire and offer lessons learned. A panel celebrating the 20th anniversary of Bluetooth will feature an entertaining look at where Bluetooth started and where it’s headed in the next 20 years. Hear from Bluetooth pioneers – Ericsson, Nokia, Intel, and the Bluetooth SIG. Bluetooth SIG, at the fifth Bluetooth World event, is set to unveil next wave of revolutionary wireless solutions for consumer, commercial, and industrial markets. Since its inception 20 years ago, Bluetooth technology has enabled the creation of markets never before imagined, including the wireless audio and connected device markets. Now, Bluetooth is breaking ground in emerging frontiers, transforming smart buildings, smart industries, and smart cities across the globe.At Bluetooth World 2018, to be held in Santa Clara, CA on 18th and 19th September, industry-leading speakers and exhibitors will demonstrate how Bluetooth is continuously expanding to meet the ever-growing needs of the Internet of Things (IoT), creating efficiencies, and delivering value-add enhancements across construction sites, emergency services, event venues, retail stores, and even in outer space. Some of the prominent featured speakers and exhibitors will include, ARM, Dialog Semiconductor, NASA, Nordic Semiconductor, T-Mobile, Teledyne, Mall of America and others. Click here for the full list.Attendees will be able to tour an expansive exhibition floor for free, where industry influencers and the Bluetooth SIG will share the latest products and insight, guiding visitors on how to best develop with Bluetooth technologies. Show floor stations will also provide live product tests and diagnostics, equipping attendees with information on building, qualifying, and marketing Bluetooth products.An all-access pass, costing only $99, will include the following:last_img read more

first_imgNASHVILLE, TN (WLAF) – The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will be participating in Operation Dry Water, July 3-5. Operation Dry Water is a weekend of education and enforcement about the dangers of impaired boating throughout the state.The July 4th holiday means an increase in boater activity on the water and there is also an increase in the number on incidents during this time. The TWRA is teaming with the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA). Operation Dry Water was started by the NASBLA in 2009. It has been a highly successful campaign drawing public attention to the dangers of boating under the influence.“We want everyone to enjoy time on the water safely and our enforcement officers will be performing saturation patrols near high visibility areas, checkpoints, and utilizing our resources to assist in identifying dangerous operation/impaired operators, said Cpt. Matt Majors, TWRA Boating Investigator. “We want to emphasize how dangerous impaired operation is, and how it is a contributing factor in recreational boating injury/death on Tennessee waters.”Along with the use of life jackets and other safety practices, officers want boaters to be aware of the effects and ramifications of alcohol use. The TWRA will be intensifying efforts to detect and apprehend boat operators who are operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.In 2019 during Operation Dry Water, there was one boating-related fatality which occurred on Normandy Lake and nine boating under the influence (BUI) arrests made across Tennessee.Operating a boat with a Blood Alcohol Content of .08 percent or higher is illegal in Tennessee, the same as operating a motor vehicle. Penalties may include fines, jail, boat impoundment and the loss of boat driving privileges.Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boater deaths. Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion intensify the effects of alcohol, drugs and some medications.For more information on Operation Dry Water, visit HERE.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 06/29/2020-6AM)Share this:FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

first_img12 June 2013Banyana Banyana midfielder Amanda Dlamini says she wants to leave a legacy by inspiring young South Africans from rural areas through the national team platform. “I want to use this opportunity to inspire the youth to realise their dreams. That is how I want to be remembered,” she said this week.A former Banyana Banyana captain, the roving midfielder is involved in the development of girls through her budding community building institute, the Amanda Dlamini Girls’ Foundation.The foundation focuses on empowering young women in rural areas by providing them with life skills and information to help them as they grow. It also hosts coaching clinics.‘Helping girls’“I set up the Amanda Dlamini Girls’ Foundation with the aim of helping girls in the rural areas with basic necessities,” Dlamini said.“The aim was to also provide them with enough information to shape their careers and reach their dreams in life.“We conducted coaching clinics at one of the disadvantaged schools in the rural areas of my hometown in KwaZulu-Natal and that experience was quite fulfilling.‘Dreams’“I want to inspire some of these youngsters to follow their dreams through sports and provide information about sports bursaries and the like,” the dreadlocked midfielder said, adding that the enjoyed interacting with the young girls during the coaching clinics.Dlamini has been involved in several community building projects, including the Sports Heroes Walk against Aids together with team-mate Noko Matlou and former Banyana Banyana captain Desiree Ellis.Back to her bestOn Sunday, she was back to her best, delivering a player of the match winning performance in Banyana Banyana’s 5-0 romp over Mozambique in a one-sided friendly match played at the KaNyamazane Stadium in Nelspruit.Modestly, Dlamini said the trick to Sunday’s run-away victory was the fact that the team played according to instructions.“We just stuck to the plan and it worked out well because we have been playing together for quite some time now.” The coach’s instruction was to help the new players feel at home, Dlamini said.Morale booster“That we did very well and the fact that their introduction was capped with a massive victory should have worked as a morale booster for them,” she reckoned.Dlamini, who led the Sasol-sponsored women’s national squad during their first- ever Olympic campaign last year, relinquished her Banyana Banyana captaincy in order to focus on her studies and concentrate on improving her game without the pressures that comes with being the team leader.“I felt my performance on the field on Sunday was okay, but there is still room for improvement. The coach asked me to express myself without any pressure and I am happy things worked out more than I expected.”Banyana captaincyShe said while giving up the captaincy was not an easy decision, the move has allowed her to rekindle her old form.“As captain, you have to be at the top of your game all the time and lead from the front. That pressure is now gone and am again enjoying my freedom and football,” she concluded.SAinfo reporter and South African Football Associationlast_img read more

first_img29 November 2013Entries for the 2014 Comrades Marathon will close at the end of business on Friday, a day earlier than had been planned because the cap of 18 000 runners has been reached ahead of schedule.In recent years the cap has been implemented for logistical and organisational purposes; the race has been oversubscribed since 2009.Online and in-house entries at the Comrades Marathon offices in Pietermaritzburg will close at 16:30 on Friday. However, Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) General Manager Chris Bruwer said: “We will still accept postal entries, but they must be postmarked by the Post Office with [the] date of 29 November 2013. Entries made after this date will be rejected.”Heightened interestSince a massive entry in 2010, when the Guinness World Records recognised the Comrades Marathon as the biggest ultra-marathon in the world, and the event was named the winner of the Virgin Active Sport Industry Awards for South Africa’s “Best Sport Participation Event”, there has been a heightened interest in the race, which was first run in 1921.The 2010 race, which benefited from the excitement surrounding the 2010 Fifa World Cup, had 23 568 entries, with 14 343 runners finishing before the 12-hour cut-off time.The iconic road running race enjoys recognition as Africa’s oldest marathon and ultra-marathon at the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS).2014 raceNext year’s event will be the 89th running of the Comrades Marathon. It was only during the Second World War, in the years from 1941 to 1945, that it was not held.Pietermaritzburg will host the start of next year’s Comrades Marathon on Sunday, 1 June. Competitors are allowed up to 12 hours to reach the finish in Durban.The defending men’s champion will be South African Claude Moshiywa, while Elena Nurgalieva, the defending women’s champion, will have an opportunity to match Bruce Fordyce’s nine wins in the race.SAinfo reporter and Comrades Marathonlast_img read more

first_img12 May 2014 The African National Congress (ANC) has been officially declared the winner of South Africa’s 2014 general election, after securing 62.15% of the national vote in last Wednesday’s poll. Announcing the results in Pretoria on Saturday evening, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said the ANC had received 11 436 921 votes, which translates into 249 seats in the country’s National Assembly. The party remains in control in eight of the country’s provinces, with the exception of the Western Cape, which stays under the Democratic Alliance (DA), which secured 59.38% of the provincial vote. The DA increased its support nationally to 22.23% (4 091 584 votes), giving it 89 seats in the National Assembly. Newcomers the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) emerged as the third most popular party after the ANC and DA, with 6.35% of the vote. The party, which was formed only eight months ago, received more than one-million votes in the national ballot, earning 25 seats in Parliament. It has also become the official opposition in North West and Limpopo provinces. IEC chairperson Pansy Tlakula said she was satisfied with how the elections were conducted. “I hereby, on behalf of the Electoral Commission, declare the 2014 national and provincial elections free and fair,” she said.Other parties in Parliament Of the 29 parties that contested the elections, only 13 received sufficient votes to gain representation in Parliament. The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) received the fourth-highest number of votes with 2.4% (441 854 votes). Its breakaway party, the National Freedom Party (NFP), came in fifth with 1.57% (288 742 votes). This was the first time the NFP had contested a national election. The United Democratic Movement (UDM) increased its support from 0.85% in 2009 to 1% (184 636 votes), with the sixth-highest share of votes. The Freedom Front Plus improved its support from 0.83% in 2009 to 0.9% (165 715 votes), while the African Christian Democratic Party received 0.57% of the vote (104 039 votes). The Congress of the People received 0.67% (123 221 votes) this time around. Agang SA got 0.28% (52 334 votes) of the national vote. A total of 251 957 votes were spoilt nationally, up from 239 237 in the last poll, while over 18-million of people (73.42% of those eligible to vote) participated in the election. “As we celebrate two decades of democracy and conclude the 2014 elections, we can affirm democracy is alive and well and thriving in our land,’ Tlakula said. IEC vice-chair Terry Tselane said the elections had demonstrated the same spirit the country had in 1994, something he said the nation should be proud of. Both the African Union (AU) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) observer missions congratulated South Africa on a free, fair, transparent and credible election. Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

first_imgStory Highlights Heritage Week officially begins on Sunday, 8 October 2017 with the National Heritage Week Interfaith Service at the University Chapel, Mona starting at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced that the unveiling of the statue of the world’s greatest athlete, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, will take place on Friday, 13 October 2017 at the National Stadium. The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced that the unveiling of the statue of the world’s greatest athlete, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, will take place on Friday, 13 October 2017 at the National Stadium.“The unveiling is [set for] 5:30 on Friday (afternoon) …following that will be a reception in honour of our track and field athletes who went to the World Championships in August,” said Minister Grange.Minister Grange extended an invitation to the public to attend the unveiling ceremony:“The public is invited. We’re asking that they come out early and give Usain all their love and appreciation and to get the first look at the life size statue that will be unveiled of Usain Bolt. And I know they will not be disappointed.”The bronze sculpture was designed by renowned Jamaican sculptor Basil Watson and arrived in the island “during the past 24 hours,” according to the Minister.The statue of Usain Bolt is the first of four statues of national sports stars that were commissioned by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport under the Jamaica 55 Legacy Programme.The reception for the World Championship team (which is a private event) and the unveiling of the Bolt statue highlight activities for the celebration of Heritage Week.“Heritage Week will be massive,” said Minister Grange who highlighted that there will be a National Reparations Youth Baton Relay, beginning in Heritage Week, and organised by the National Council on Reparations as part of the public education programme about the Government’s reparations agenda. “We will have Dr Julius Garvey (son of National Hero Marcus Garvey) visiting during this period and there will be a run with athletes across the island to take the message of reparations to the people of Jamaica,” said Minister Grange.The National Reparations Youth Baton Relay will be staged over three months.Additionally, Heritage Week activities will highlight Jamaica’s rich heritage in music, sport and literature. The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, the National Library of Jamaica and the Jamaica National Heritage Trust are organising a series of activities in every parish; while the Ministry is staging a Heritage Concert “From Kete to Reggae” on Saturday, 14 Oct 2017 at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre, starting at 7pm.Heritage Week officially begins on Sunday, 8 October 2017 with the National Heritage Week Interfaith Service at the University Chapel, Mona starting at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. The statue of Usain Bolt is the first of four statues of national sports stars that were commissioned by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport under the Jamaica 55 Legacy Programme.last_img read more

Kia NBA Most Valuable Player, Best Style & Game Winner Award winner Russell Westbrook (Photo by Evan Agostini /Invision/AP)NEW YORK (AP) — Russell Westbrook moved past Oscar Robertson and kept right on going to the top of the NBA.Westbrook was voted MVP on Monday night after setting a record with 42 triple-doubles during his historic season. He led the league with 31.6 points and added 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists per game, joining Robertson as the only players to average a triple-double for the season and breaking Robertson’s single-season record of 41 triple-doubles in 1961-62.“I remember growing up just being home, playing the video games and stuff with my pops, and my mom sitting there and my brother and just talking about maybe one day I could be the MVP. Obviously, I was joking at the time,” Westbrook said.“But now to be standing here with this trophy next to me is a true blessing, man, and it’s an unbelievable feeling, something that I can never imagine.”Westbrook’s victory ended the first NBA Awards show, which included two wins apiece for the Houston Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks.He received 69 first-place votes and 888 points from a panel of 100 media members and a fan vote to easily beat Houston’s James Harden, who had 22 first-place votes and 753 points. Kawhi Leonard was third with nine first-place votes and 500 points.Westbrook succeeded Stephen Curry, who had won the past two MVP awards. The point guard who plays with defiance on the court got choked up during an acceptance speech in which he brought some teammates onto the stage with him.The Thunder went 33-9 when he had a triple-double, riding Westbrook’s record run into the playoffs in their first season after losing Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors.“Oscar, guys like him, Magic Johnson, those guys, obviously I wasn’t able to see those guys play, but just to look back at history and see the things that they did, it’s something that I looked up to as a kid,” Westbrook said.“I never thought I would be able to say that I broke Oscar Robertson’s record, and that’s just a true blessing.”Earlier, Milwaukee’s Malcolm Brogdon became the first player not picked in the first round to win NBA Rookie of the Year in the common draft era, beating out Philadelphia’s Dario Saric and Joel Embiid.Brogdon was the No. 36 overall selection out of Virginia. The common draft era began in 1966.“I think it’s an example for guys that are told they are too short, they are not athletic enough, they are not real point guards, they are not real shooting guards,” Brogdon said. “I just think it’s an important message for people to see, and it can be done. It just takes a lot.”Teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo won the Most Improved Player award.Houston coach Mike D’Antoni won his second Coach of the Year award, and the Rockets’ Eric Gordon was Sixth Man of the Year after setting a record for most 3-pointers off the bench in his first season as a reserve.“Obviously, I’m just proud of the team and the way they responded all year. Great organization,” D’Antoni said of the Rockets’ 55-win season.“This is not an individual award. This is a lot of people, a lot of hard work goes into it, and I’m the recipient of some pretty good players.”In his first season coming off the bench, Gordon set a single-season record with 206 3-pointers by a reserve. He averaged 16.2 points to help fuel the Rockets’ run to the surprising No. 3 seed in the Western Conference and edged former NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala of Golden State by 32 points.Golden State’s Draymond Green won the Defensive Player of the Year, ending Leonard’s two-year run. Leading the league in steals from his do-everything role with the NBA champions, he had a franchise-record 10 steals in a Feb. 10 game at Memphis while recording the first triple-double in NBA history without scoring in double figures, adding 11 rebounds and 10 assists.The NBA formerly gave out its individual awards at various points throughout the postseason before switching to the awards show this season and presenting them all at once in front of the league’s top players and stars from the entertainment world.Two of the best moments came during segments that didn’t include the NBA’s six individual awards.Bill Russell was presented the first Lifetime Achievement award, welcomed on stage by fellow Hall of Fame centers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, David Robinson, Shaquille O’Neal, Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo. The 11-time champion as a player and the league’s first Black coach first pointed at them and joked that he would have kicked their butts, then told them: “You have no idea how much respect I have for you guys.”Former Thunder assistant coach Monty Williams was given the SagerStrong Award for the strength he showed after his wife was killed in a car crash in Oklahoma City. He was given a colorful jacket like the ones worn by Craig Sager, the longtime Turner Sports reporter who died of cancer this past season. read more