Bright spots to Indy 500 face with no fans?

first_imgCoronavirusIndianaLocalNewsSports Twitter Pinterest Facebook WhatsApp Facebook (“Indianapolis Motor Speedway – Speedway, IN” by Josh Hallett, Creative Commons) It might be hard to believe, but an Indianapolis 500 without fans may come with benefits for the event.The race had already garnered a lot of attention this year with it being the first Indianapolis 500 with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway under new ownership in Roger Penske, who has made vast cosmetic improvements to the famous race track to better the fan experience.With no fans this year, fans will have to wait until next year to take in all the new improvements. Nevertheless, Chris Gahl with Visit Indy, said Penske and the IMS leadership staff made the right call in light of the coronavirus pandemic.“In the long-term, to ensure the health of the event, taking a pause this year is something we support,” Gahl said to Inside Indiana Business. “We again commend the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in being thoughtful in this approach.”Gahl is airing on the brighter side of things when it comes to the announcement. He believes a fanless Indianapolis 500 will lead to a huge local, national, and international TV and radio audience. Along with that, it will spark a bigger interest in next year’s race.“That attention will lead to demand for attending next year,” he said. “This will be a hot ticket come 2021 because it will be off the heels of the COVID pause.”Though the economic hit the city is taking now because of the lack of fans will hurt, Gahl feels the with the increased attention the race could get next year city could be in for a pretty big pay off in the long-run, should the pandemic subside by then. Google+ Twitter Bright spots to Indy 500 face with no fans? WhatsApp Google+ By Network Indiana – August 7, 2020 0 356 Previous articleFood Bank of Northern Indiana releases mobile food distribution schedule, August 10-14Next articleTwo arrested on drug charges in Plymouth Wednesday Network Indiana Pinterestlast_img read more

Read More »

Destiny’s child: Lonzo Ball, Lakers can complete fairy tale in NBA Draft

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersAfter two workouts with the Lakers and refusing to audition for any other teams, Ball will find out on Today whether all of his father’s bluster, the primping and promising, will be rewarded with first-year executives Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka selecting him with the second pick in the NBA draft.No player has seemed so naturally ordained to play for a certain team since the Cleveland Cavaliers won the 2003 lottery and drafted a hometown hero named LeBron James.After months of the father controlling the son’s narrative, Today’s draft will reveal what the Lakers found when they cut through all of LaVar Ball’s smoke and mirrors.Those who have spent time around Ball describe a level-headed player who rarely left the gym, whose only interests outside of basketball included the occasional video game and free-style rapping.As a freshman, he made the athletic director’s honor roll, which requires a 3.0 grade-point average. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error On the court, Ball averaged 14.6 points and 7.6 assists, setting a program single-season record with 274 assists.With D’Angelo Russell relegated to the Atlantic Division’s cellar in Brooklyn, all signs point to Lonzo. Yet the specter of LaVar persists.“The reputation that Lonzo has is he’s a good teammate,” said Ryan Blake, a longtime NBA scouting consultant, “even though his dad is getting all the attention.”The Lakers, who faced a 53.1 percent chance of losing this year’s draft pick prior to the lottery, are not believed to have made any guarantees to Ball or any other prospect.As recently as Tuesday, team executives were on the phone with Kansas coach Bill Self, seeking more information on Josh Jackson, whose college coaches utilized the 6-foot-8 forward “like a queen on a chess board and (moved) him all over the place,” according to Jayawks assistant Kurtis Townsend.Some within the organization prefer speedy Kentucky point guard De’Aaron Fox.On Tuesday, NBA.com reported the Lakers had offered the No. 2 pick in a trade to Sacramento for the Nos. 5 and 10 picks in the draft. The Kings were reportedly not interested.No one expects Philadelphia to pass on former Washington point guard Markelle Fultz with the first pick.That leaves the Lakers. It leaves Ball.In an ESPN The Magazine interview in May, LaVar Ball said, “Oh, (Lonzo’s) going to be a Laker. I’m going to keep talking about it until it happens.”As Lonzo told the Southern California News Group late last winter, “Everything that he’s said, it’s pretty much come true.”When Lonzo Ball arrived at UCLA, few knew what exactly to think.Smith was a senior walk-on whose career began as a practice player for the UCLA women’s team. He averaged 1.9 minutes per game for last year’s 31-5 Bruins team that advanced to the Sweet Sixteen.It’s hard to imagine a route further from the one Ball, rated with five stars by each of the top recruiting services, took. It makes Smith a good judge of humility.“He was great,” Smith said “He made everybody around him better because he led the team so well. He shared the ball so well. He has a great personality and is really fun to be around.”Lonzo’s brief Twitter biography includes the words “stay humble,” something those who spent time with the star at UCLA say he managed to do despite his hype machine father’s braggadocio.Former UCLA star and NBA sharpshooter Tracy Murray was a Lakers assistant coach in 2015-16 and returned to the broadcast booth as a color commentator on Bruins’ radio broadcasts last season. A resident of Chino Hills, Murray said, “We’ve seen this happening for the last few years.”Murray expected Lonzo to be more like his polarizing dad: cocky, obnoxious, constantly selling.Instead?“The kid just goes about his business in a professional manner,” Murray said.“That’s why I think LaVar is the charismatic one,” he added, “out there selling the kid. Because Lonzo is doing it with his play, he can’t do it with his mouth.”Hall of Fame point guard Isiah Thomas, who spent time with the Ball family at their Chino Hills home in his role as an NBA TV analyst echoed that, calling Lonzo “an incredible and well-rounded individual.”Thomas, who will be part of NBA TV’s live draft coverage on Today, was quick to defend LaVar Ball, as well.“Let’s give the mom and dad credit here,” he said. “Are we judging them on their parenting or are we judging them on their marketability? I judge them on their parenting. I see two parents who have done a damn good job with the kid.”His point: It would be a shame if the “big baller” in Big Baller Brand was, in fact, branded a clone of a domineering father rather than be able to establish an identity of his own.Added Smith: “Lonzo was always really used to how his dad was. So he never really worried about it.”Are the Lakers worried? Should they be?Today will bring long-awaited answers.taff writer Mark Medina contributed to this story.center_img Jerrold Smith grew up a fan of the Lakers, so whenever he heard someone question whether Lonzo Ball, his college teammate at UCLA, would be a good fit for his team because of an attention-seeking father he wondered if they knew what they were talking about.“The thing a lot of people are doing too much is they’re lumping Lonzo in with his dad,” Smith said. “They’re two completely different people. He loves his dad, he’s not going to say anything about his dad.“But Lonzo’s the one playing basketball.”Or, as Lonzo Ball said Wednesday in New York, according to the Sporting News: “He was raised in South Central, I was raised in Chino Hills.”last_img read more

Read More »