Katherine Webb shines in SI swimsuit issue
Alabama’s domination of Notre Dame in the National Championship game didn’t offer much to remember, other than the lovely Katherine Webb of course, who became an instant celebrity after Brent Musberger got all excited when she was spotted in the crowd as AJ McCarron’s girlfriend.
Naturally she parleyed that fame into a great bikini spread in the new SI swimsuit issue, and you can see her showing off her pics as she attends a party with other SI swimsuit supermodels at Marquee Nightclub.
The massive ego and entourage of LeBron James
SI recently published a fascinating profile of Walter Iooss Jr., who has spent over 50 years photographing athletes and swimsuit models. The man has led an incredible life, and he also happens to be a great storyteller.
In this article, Iooss recounts stories of his favorite athletes and models, like Micheal Jordan, Reggie Jackson, Paulina Porizkova and Christie Brinkley. Sports fans should read the whole article and you’ll get a real sense of the bravado and charisma of people like Reggie Jackson in his prime.
Iooss loves to tell stories of how he had to charm people like Tiger Woods. With Tiger, the swimsuit pictures got his attention right away, and Iooss could then get Tiger to do what was necessary to get the shot.
And then there were the difficult ones like Barry Bonds and the prima donnas like LeBron James. His story about LeBron is very telling:
I first photographed LeBron James in 2003, when he was a rookie in Cleveland. He was pretty raw as a teenager; he didn’t have any of the smoothed edges he has now. When I shot him six years later, in 2009, the difference was amazing. He walked in like a king that day, and he took over that room. And not only physically, although he was massive then. I’ve never seen an athlete look like that. He was muscular, charming, articulate, the prince of hoops. He couldn’t have been more of an ambassador for the game.
Times change, and sadly, LeBron became a villain to many after The Decision. I’ve seen a lot of entourages, but none like his. In July 2010 I got an assignment from Nike to shoot LeBron right after his TV special announcing his move to the Heat. We rented the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, where the Lakers and the Clippers used to play, and there were 53 people on my crew—including hair and makeup artists, production people, a stylist. I had $10,000 in Hollywood lighting. It was huge. When LeBron arrived, it was as if Nelson Mandela had come in. Six or seven blacked-out Escalades pulled up, a convoy. LeBron had bodyguards and his masseuse. His deejay was already there, blasting. This for a photo shoot that was going to last an hour, tops.
This is how crazy it was: I wasn’t even allowed to talk directly to LeBron. There was a liaison, someone from Amar’e Stoudemire’s family. I would say to him, “O.K., have LeBron drive right,” and then he’d turn to LeBron and say, “LeBron, go right.”
LeBron had guards in the portals on the mezzanine level, talking into their hands. Really, what was going to happen? And then at the end of the shoot they all got in the Escalades. My God, I’ve been around Michael Jordan, but with him nothing even came close to this. Unimaginable.
It was obvious that this clown had a problem when he and those around him started referring to him as King James, but this episode demonstrates just how out of control LeBron’s ego had become.
One year later, LeBron is now a punch line after his embarrassing performance in the NBA Finals. He’s gone onto ESPN to discuss how he should have done things differently when he left Cleveland last year and how he made the mistake of embracing the role of the villain. He’s going back to having fun. We’ll see about that. But more than anything he needs to get rid of the obscene entourage, and I don’t see that happening.
Posted in: NBA
Tags: Barry Bonds, Christie Brinkley, LeBron James, LeBron James ego, LeBron James entourage, Micheal Jordan, Paulina Porizkova, photography, Reggie Jackson, SI, SI models, SI supermodels, Sports Illustrated, Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, sports photographers, Tiger Woods, Walter Iooss Jr.
Terrelle Pryor and other Ohio State players attack SI report
Do you believe everything you read? Well it seems like every national sportswriter and pundit is treating the Sports Illustrated article on Ohio State written by George Dohrmann as if it were holy scripture. Never mind that the primary source is an admitted criminal and most of the other allegations came from anonymous sources. SI cited 9 more players who sold Ohio State memorabilia for tattoos, so that’s the number – right? 28 players did the same thing starting in 2002. Check! So as a result you have every college football “expert” tossing around phrases like “completely out of control” when describing the Ohio State program.
Now we have Terrelle Pryor and other players responding to the allegations through their families and representatives, and the story no longer seems so cut and dry.
The attorney assigned to represent Terrelle Pryor and the other current Buckeyes identified in the SI article, Larry James, said that he doesn’t expect the Ohio State quarterback to be hit with NCAA violations over the cars he’s been driving at OSU, saying “I’m satisfied that this should go away.”
As for the cars, James said Pryor’s mother, Thomasina, purchased three cars for him during the course of his Ohio State career. James said Pryor also used three or four loaner cars in the past three years while his car was being repaired.
James said the first car was a Hyundai Sonata, which Pryor drove for a year, and the second was a Dodger Charger, both bought in the Pryors’ hometown of Jeanette, Pa. James said that the Charger was recently traded in for the 2007 Nissan 350Z that Pryor drove to a team meeting Monday night. James provided the bill of sale that showed a trade-in of more than $7,000 for the Charger, with Pryor’s mother then paying $11,435.05 for the car, financed at nearly $300 a month for more than four years.
James said Thomasina works 40 to 50 hours a week as a lab technician at a hospital, and lives in a one-bedroom apartment in Columbus.
“She has a home, not in the most desirable place to be, at a very nice rent rate because of the area of town that it’s in,” James said, explaining how she can afford to buy the car for her son.
“It paints a different picture. I think it’s unfortunate how the picture has been painted. You don’t have someone living high on the hog.”
Also Thursday, Pryor had his previously suspended license reinstated when he showed proof of insurance at a Bureau of Motor Vehicles office.
Also, James is pulling together Ohio State memorabilia from the other current players included in the SI article.
James said he is working with those players and their families to gather memorabilia, like Big Ten championship rings and Gold Pants trinkets. He estimated that if there are 50 items in question among the nine players, he expects to have 48 of the items in his Columbus office by 5 p.m. on Monday. Asked why he was gathering the memorabilia, James said he couldn’t say. But it’s reasonable to assume it is to show as proof to NCAA investigators.
The presence of that memorabilia would not rule out the possibility that players traded other items or autographs for cash or tattoos, but James said, “There is not a scintilla of evidence to suggest that.” James said some, but not all, of the nine players in question have visited the tattoo parlor in question, adding, “but unless you got something, there’s not a violation.”
Coming out of his meeting with the NCAA, James said the following: “I would say the proceedings do not cause me any angst at this point.”
Parent of some of the players are also speaking out.
Junior linebacker Storm Klein was listed as one of the players that sold personal items for tattoos or money, and his father, Jason Klein, has issued this response to the charges.
“I have raised my son right,” Jason Klein stressed Thursday evening. “Storm has no tattoos on his body whatsoever. He doesn’t have a drug problem, and multiple tests prove that. I have every single bit of his Ohio State memorabilia in my possession.”
Jason Klein went on to say that he was consulting his attorneys to consider legal action against SI.
Here’s another response:
Friday morning, John Simon Sr. issued a statement proclaiming the innocence of his son, Johnny, once again calling into question the accuracy of Dohrmann’s piece.
“Please understand the only reason you are hearing from family members of Ohio State players is because the players are forbidden from speaking out on their own behalf,” the elder Simon stated. “I would much rather be just a dad behind the scenes supporting our Buckeyes.”
“The only thing the Sports Illustrated article got right about Johnny was the spelling of his name,” he continued. “Other than that, NOTHING was accurate. He has NEVER been to that tattoo parlor. He has NEVER sold or traded any of his memorabilia. I have ALL the awards he has earned, including rings, jerseys, and anything else in question. In fact, I have everything he has been awarded since the days he played t-ball as a youngster.”
“He has never taken drugs, nor ever failed any type of drug test,” he continued. “He does have a few tattoos, but they were received from a local shop in Hubbard (OH).
Who knows where all of this will lead, but everyone is assuming that Ohio State is cooked. Yet if this attorney is correct, then the SI story is riddled with errors and character assassination. I’m sure the NCAA will find more problems at Ohio State now that they are digging around, but it might not be nearly as bad as suggested by Dorhmann in SI.
Posted in: College Football
Tags: college football memorabilia, college football scandals, George Dohrmann, George Dohrmann Ohio State, George Dohrmann SI, Gold Pants, Jim Tressel, Larry James, NCAA, NCAA sanctions, Ohio State, Ohio State Buckeyes, Ohio State memorabilia, ohio state scandal, ohio state tattoo scandal, Ohio State tattoos, SI, Sports Illustrated, Storm Klein, Terrelle Pryor, terrelle pryor cars, terrelle pryor investigation, Terrelle Pryor scandal