Clippers to waive veteran Joakim Noah, likely ending career

Dec. 2 (UPI) — The Los Angeles Clippers plan to waive veteran center Joakim Noah, a move that likely ends his 13-year NBA career, his agent said.

Noah’s agent, Bill Duffy, told ESPN on Tuesday that his client is “likely headed toward retirement” after the move.

“What an illustrious career for Joakim, starting with two national titles at the University of Florida, to becoming an NBA Defensive Player of the Year and ultimately evolving into one of the most passionate, spirited players to ever come through our sport,” Duffy told ESPN.

“It’s been my honor to represent Joakim through his journey.”

Noah, 35, sustained a torn Achilles tendon in September 2019 before he joined the Clippers on a 10-day contract prior to the pandemic, then extended that agreement for the rest of the season. He appeared in just five games last season.

The two-time All-Star and three-time All-Defensive Team selection entered the league as the No. 9 overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft.

Noah spent his first nine seasons with the Chicago Bulls. The 2013-14 Defensive Player of the Year and All-NBA selection averaged a career-high 12.6 points, 11.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.5 blocks per game during that campaign.

Noah also spent time with the New York Knicks and Memphis Grizzlies before he joined the Clippers. The 6-foot-11, 230-pound center posted 8.8 points, nine rebounds and 2.8 assists per game for his career.

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Silicon Valley Veteran Michael Moe Plans Education-Tech SPAC

(Bloomberg) — Silicon Valley veteran Michael Moe is in talks to raise capital through a blank-check firm to pursue a deal in education technology, an industry buoyed by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to people with knowledge of the matter.



Michael T. Moe wearing a suit and tie: Michael Moe, chief executive officer of GSV Capital Corp., speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in New York, U.S., on Friday, July 21, 2017. Moe discussed the appetite for tech companies to go public in the current market.


© Bloomberg
Michael Moe, chief executive officer of GSV Capital Corp., speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in New York, U.S., on Friday, July 21, 2017. Moe discussed the appetite for tech companies to go public in the current market.

Moe is set to be chief executive of a new entity, tentatively dubbed Class Acquisition Corp., said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.

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Confidential paperwork has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ahead of an initial public offering for the special purpose acquisition company, which aims to raise $200 million to $250 million, some of the people said.

Joe Parsons and Bob Daugherty are slated to be the SPAC’s co-chairmen. Daugherty is executive dean of the Forbes School of Business & Technology at the University of Arizona Global Campus, and Parsons previously served on the management committee of Bridgewater Associates. Both men also are alumni of GE Capital.

Moe declined to comment. Parsons and Daugherty didn’t immediately reply to requests for comment.

GSV Ventures

Moe, who rose to prominence as an equity research analyst, was chairman and chief executive officer of boutique investment bank ThinkEquity before founding Global Silicon Valley, which invests in the education-technology sector through its GSV Ventures arm. He has backed online course providers Coursera and Course Hero, app-maker Class Dojo and digital-credential service Parchment, as well as larger players like Chegg Inc., Pluralsight Inc. and 2U Inc.

U.S. SPACs have raised more than $64 billion this year, a record sum that’s approaching the $72 billion raised in all prior years combined, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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Veteran diplomat Linda Thomas-Greenfield returns as Biden’s pick for UN envoy

Linda Thomas-Greenfield had a busy holiday week.

The first media reports emerged a week ago Sunday that the retired U.S. ambassador was most likely President-elect Joe Biden’s pick for envoy to the United Nations in New York. On Monday, the Biden transition confirmed the news and on Tuesday she joined Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and their new national security team on stage for a rollout.

But perhaps more telling of who this career diplomat is, is what Thomas-Greenfield did Wednesday and Thursday — making and dropping off dinner for over a half dozen colleagues and friends who were alone for Thanksgiving, according to Jendayi Frazer.

“She has the X factor,” said Frazer, who served as George W. Bush’s ambassador to South Africa and assistant secretary of state for African affairs. “She’s thinking about other people. She cares about them and she just has a warmness about her and a generosity … and that’s where the X factor comes in.”

PHOTO:Linda Thomas-Greenfield Asst. Secretary of State for African Affairs attends a meeting at the Paris headquarters of Africa Regional Services, Oct. 26, 2016.

Thomas-Greenfield’s nomination has been celebrated in the U.S. Foreign Service and among career diplomats, especially diplomats of color. In interviews with several officials who served with her or know her well, she’s consistently described as warm, down to earth, sharp, seasoned and compassionate — a unique brand that she calls “gumbo diplomacy.”

“She’s honestly like our Foreign Service mother,” said a State Department official, who like many described Thomas-Greenfield as a mentor and requested anonymity to speak candidly.

“She is just the ideal. She is who you want to be. She’s so competent and smart and compassionate and loving and kind,” they added. “I’m almost getting emotional just thinking of having everyone know how amazing she is. She’s been like our little secret.”

That is likely to change now that Biden has tapped her to join his Cabinet, once again elevating the role of U.N. ambassador to that level. While Nikki Haley was a member of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet while serving in the same role, his second envoy Kelly Craft was not, just like envoys under both Bush administrations.

A career Foreign Service officer, she was tapped to serve as U.S. ambassador to Liberia by President George W. Bush and director general of the Foreign Service by President Barack Obama, overseeing recruitment, training, promotions, diversity and more.

Key to her new role, she also served as assistant secretary for African affairs, the top U.S. diplomat for the continent, under Obama. She worked closely with Tony Blinken, then-Deputy secretary of state and now Biden’s pick to be secretary, as well as John Kerry, the former top diplomat who will serve as Biden’s special envoy for climate.

Blinken, a

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Former Bulldogs and Dragons veteran James Graham calls time on 18-year rugby league career

2020 will be the last year of James Graham’s illustrious rugby league career after the St. Helens veteran forward announced his retirement.

The 35-year-old will hang the boots up having played over 400 games across an 18-year career in the Super League and NRL, as well as 44 Tests for England.

Graham debuted with the Saints in 2003 and played 224 games for the club before shifting to the Canterbury Bulldogs in 2012.

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The Englishman played 135 first grade games at Belmore and featured in the Bulldogs’ 2012 and 2014 grand final sides. He was named captain of the club in the 2015 season.

Graham then moved to the St. George Illawarra Dragons ahead of the 2018 season and played 52 matches across three seasons for the Red V, before gaining a release and returning to St. Helens midway through this season.

The fan-favourite front-rower retires a Man of Steel winner, three-time Challenge Cup winner and Super League grand finalist. 

“Playing for St Helens and over in the NRL has been an absolute honour. I am gutted this season will be my final one as a player, but I came to Saints saying I would have one last all in push for this season and nothing has changed there.

“Finishing my career at my boyhood Club was an opportunity that I couldn’t resist. Unfortunately, I am gutted we have not been able to play in front of our fans as I know they feel every pass, every tackle and every run. I have even missed the opposition fans who would give me a piece of their mind!

“I have had so many fantastic memories throughout my career here at Saints, in the NRL and on the International stage representing my country. It has all been a huge honour. I would like to thank all my family and friends who have supported me throughout my career and all the people involved from community clubs Thatto Heath and Blackbrook to people in the St Helens Academy as well as everybody involved at Canterbury Bulldogs and St George Illawarra Dragons.

“Now that all has been said, the season has not finished yet and my intention now is completing the job I came here to do with St Helens. We are going to take things a game at a time, moment by moment and give ourselves the best possible opportunity to finish the job.”

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