Lamar Odom Takes To The Hardwood Again This Afternoon

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Former NBA star Lamar Odom will hit the hardwood again.

Odom will attempt to reboot his basketball career as he takes to the basketball court once again today.  The former NBA standout won’t be playing in the NBA in his return to the game though.  He will make his debut with the Euroleague’s Spanish club Laboral Kutxa this afternoon when the team takes on Unicaja Malaga.  Tipoff is scheduled for 2:45pm ET.  Fans can catch the game live online via ESPN3, which is accessible via WatchESPN on all mobile internet platforms.

Odom host recently played for the Los Angeles Clippers.  He is a two-time NBA champion and former Sixth Man of the Year.

More information on this afternoon’s coverage and all basketball coverage across the ESPN family of networks is available online at http://espn.go.com and http://www.facebook.com/ESPN.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN, AFL Announce Details Of New Broadcast Deal

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

There’s good news for fans of the Arena Football League.  ESPN and the AFL have announced that they have reached a deal that would bring a handful of games to the Worldwide Leader in Sports.    The multi-year agreement gives ESPN broadcast rights to more than ten games on the league’s schedule.  That includes many regular and post season games, and the league’s annual championship, the Arena Bowl.  Terms of the deal also mean that seventy-five games or more will be available for viewing online via ESPN3.  Fans will also be able to go to the official AFL website, http://www.ArenaFootball.com to see games on ESPN’s video player.

The new deal between ESPN and the AFL is not the first between the two organizations.  ESPN carried the AFL’s first ever Arena Bowl in 1987.  It carried the league’s regular and post season games from 1995- 1999, playoff games from 2000 – 2002, and playoff games from 2007 – 2008.  ABC, which is part of the ESPN family of networks also covered the AFL.  It broadcasted the Arena Bowl from 1998 – 2002.  Matthew Volk, ESPN’s director of Programming and Acquisitions, expressed his respect for the rich history between ESPN and the AFL as he commented on the announcement.  He tied that in to the network’s dedication to football coverage throughout the year stating, “ESPN has a long history of working with the Arena Football League and this new agreement is a great opportunity to showcase the AFL as part of our year-round commitment to football.”

Arena Football League Commissioner Jerry B. Kurz also shared his thoughts on the partnership between the AFL and ESPN.  He was optimistic about the league’s future in discussing the deal.  Speaking to reporters, Kurz said, “The AFL’s return to ESPN is the latest example of the strides our sport has made in recent years.”  He went on to say, “Having the ArenaBowl on the ESPN family of networks for years to come puts our Championship game alongside some of the most prominent events in television.”

AFL fans that get their video and internet from affiliated providers will have access to ESPN3 online at WatchESPN via mobile devices through the WatchESPN app.  Subscribers can also stream games on TV through ESPN on Xbox Live with a Gold membership.  Games will also be available to stream for Apple TV customers and those with Roku.  ESPN’s AFL broadcasts will begin with the league’s 2014 season.  A full schedule for the 2014 season will be announced at a later date.  More information on the deal and ESPN’s full upcoming AFL coverage will be available online at http://espn.go.com/afl/.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

New COD Game Coming This Fall From Activision, Infinity Ward

Courtesy:  Activision/Infinity Ward

Courtesy: Activision/Infinity Ward

Activision is set to release the latest in its highly successful series of games in its Call of Duty video game franchise.  The company has announced that it will release a brand new game this fall titled, Call of Duty: Ghosts on November 5th, just in time for the annual holiday shopping season.  Call of Duty: Ghosts is being touted as being a benchmark for the next generation of video games. 

Call of Duty: Ghosts was developed by Activision Blizzard and Infinity Ward, the studio responsible for the original Call of Duty and the even more popular Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series.  This latest installment in the COD franchise is set in a whole new world.  It offers to players all new characters, and new gaming experience.  Expectations are very high for this brand new, upcoming release.  “Infinity Ward set the gold standard for first-person action for a generation, and they’re going to do it again with Call of Duty: Ghosts,” said Eric Hirschberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, Inc.  “Ghosts delivers an all-new story, all-new characters, an all-new Call of Duty world, all powered by a next generation Call of Duty engine, which is a leap forward for the franchise. Infinity Ward is going all-in to create the next generation of Call of Duty worthy of the world’s greatest fans.”

Call of Duty: Ghosts isn’t going to be just any other game.  And as Infinity Ward Executive Producer Mark Ward said of the game, it’s going to be just that; a whole new gaming experience for long-time fans of the COD series.  “Everyone was expecting us to make Modern Warfare 4, which would have been the safe thing to do. But we’re not resting on our laurels,” Ward said.  “We saw the console transition as the perfect opportunity to start a new chapter for Call of Duty. So we’re building a new sub-brand, a new engine, and a lot of new ideas and experiences for our players. We can’t wait to share them with our community.” 

While the game’s official release is still roughly seven months out, fans can still pre-order it beginning now.  It can be pre-ordered at retail outlets around the world.  It will be released on Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC on the same day.  Fans can get an early look at the upcoming release online on Tuesday, May 21st at 1pm EST on Xbox LIVE, Xbox.com, or on Spike TV.  Fans can keep up with all the latest news on this upcoming release online at http://www.callofduty/com/ghosts, http://www.facebook.com/CODGhosts, and on Twitter at @InfinityWard.  Call of Duty: Ghosts is not yet rated.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Treyarch, Activision Offering DLC Soundtrack

Courtesy:  Treyarch/Activision

Courtesy: Treyarch/Activision

Fans of the wildly popular Call of Duty video game series have even more reason to celebrate today.  The latest DLC (Downloadable Content) package includes a new map titled, “Mob of the Dead”, which lets users play as one of a group of famed prohibition era gangsters stuck in Alcatraz prison facing off against zombie hordes.  Now thanks to Treyarch and Activision, fans of the COD series can purchase the soundtrack to the specific map.  The soundtrack can be downloaded via iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Google Play, and many other outlets.  It is being made available for download by BFM Digital.  The soundtrack includes twenty-four original compositions as well as bonus tracks by Tranzit and Die Rise.

The “Mob of the Dead” map allows players to play as Billy Handsome, Al “The Weasel” Arlington, Salvatore “Sal” DeLuca, and Michael “Finn” O’Leary.  The gangsters are in Alcatraz because they are serving time there.  And in order to survive, the gangsters have to face zombie hordes that inhabit the prison. 

Fans can purchase Uprising–the new Black Ops II DLC—as a standalone map pack for a suggested retail price of $14.99 first, exclusively on Xbox Live.  Call of Duty: Black Ops II is sold separate from the recent DLCs and is needed in order to play the extra maps.  For more information on the new “Mob of the Dead” soundtrack and all the latest COD news, go online to http://www.callofduty.com

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Treyarch, Activision Release New Black Ops II DLC Map Pack

Courtesy:  Activision/Treyarch Studios

Courtesy: Activision/Treyarch Studios

Good news, gamers.  Treyarch and Activision are set to release another addition to the massive hit, Call of Duty Black Ops II.  The companies will release their latest Downloadable Content (DLC) for the game next Tuesday, April 16thCall of Duty Black Ops II: Uprising is the latest addition to the hit game.  Uprising offers fans four new maps set around the world.  “Magma” takes gamers into a Japanese village that has been overrun by volcanic eruptions and lava.  “Encore” takes players into a deserted London music festival.  It offers plenty of opportunities for close-in combat between players.  “”Vertigo” takes players to India and a dizzying high-rise that features a high-tech lab and lots more.  And last, “Studio” takes fans back to the COD: Firing Range, which is a fan favorite from the original Call of Duty: Black Ops.  It takes place on a Hollywood back lot with a number of varying cinematic themes.

The four new maps offered in Uprising are just part of what fans have to look forward to this time out.  Fans of the previous DLC will take joy in the inclusion of the Mob of The Dead Zombies experience.  It lets users go back in time to Alcatraz Prison during Prohibition time and face off against zombies as one of the infamous gangsters, Billy Handsome (Ray Liotta), Al “The Weasel” Arlington (Joe Pantoliano), Salvatore “Sal” DeLuca (Chazz Palminteri), and Michael “Finn” O’Leary (Michael Madsen).  This new map includes the new feature, Purgatory, which lets users actually go into the afterlife to face even more zombies.  Treyarch Studios head Mark Lamia commented on this new feature along with the rest of the new DLC.  He expressed his excitement at what gamers get in this latest update to the Black Ops II franchise.  “With Uprising, the team has really outdone itself again,” he said.  “In addition to creating four new multiplayer maps, the studio has been hard at work on the zombies front to surpass what we accomplished with Call of the Dead.  What they’ve done this time around is nothing Zombies fans have seen before – and if you don’t believe me, just wait until you get into Purgatory.”

Call of Duty Black Ops II: Uprising is rated M for Mature by the ESRB.  It will be available first, exclusively on Xbox LIVE for 1200 Microsoft Points on April 16th.  It is also available in the Call of Duty: Black Ops II DLC Season Pass* in which fans can buy all four massive DLC Map Packs planned for this year.  The Season Pass also allows fans to receive the Nuketown Zombies bonus map, and an additional exclusive in-game calling card at an MSRP of $49.99 or 4,000 Microsoft Points – a discount of 800 Microsoft Points off the individual purchase of all four DLC Map Packs.

To keep up with all the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN, AT&T Announce New Broadcast Deal

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN and AT&T have made a very special announcement for AT&T U-verse subscribers.  AT&T U-verse subscribers can now access WatchESPN on any mobile device via the WatchESPN app. It is also available to Gold Members through ESPN on Xbox Live.  Any customer that receives ESPN’s linear networks as part of their AT&T U-Verse subscription will now be able to live stream programming from ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, and ESPNU from their mobile devices, computers, laptops, and Xboxes.  Along with this, customers will also get to enjoy ESPN’s Goal Line and Buzzer Beater through the WatchESPN app when the channels in question are available.     

The announcement comes not long before the start of the most active time of year for sports.  Major League Baseball’s regular season starts in only days.  The Masters and the NBA Playoffs are right around the corner as well.  Customers that own a supported smart phone or tablet can download the WatchESPN app by visiting the iTunes App Store, Google Play Store, or Amazon App Store for Android.  Customers will be required to enter their AT&T U-Verse subscriber information before being able to access ESPN’s live content. 

Customers using their computers and laptops to access content can go online to http://watchespn.com/activate/att and put in their U-Verse ID and password to get live programming.  Xbox Live GOLD members can get the app and verify their subscription direct through their Xbox. 

As even more good news for AT&T U-Verse subscribers, Disney Junior will be available for subscribers beginning this Friday, March 29th.  In addition, WATCH Disney Channel and WATCH Disney XD are expected to soon be available to AT&T U-Verse subscribers.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.