Shawne Merriman Wants To Go “Lights Out” On Christian Laettner

Posted by nvr1983 on August 17th, 2010

This past weekend was a time of celebration for former Duke great Christian Laettner who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as a member of the 1992 Olympic Team (aka “The Dream Team”) even if he took the brunt of the jokes during the weekend’s festivities. Unfortunately for Laettner and his Blue Devil teammate Brian Davis, the festivities appear to be confined to that weekend as their company Blue Devil Ventures (official website is currently down) appears to have hit a prolonged rough patch after some early success. The company has invested significant sums of money in a variety of projects including several in Durham as well as making bids for the Memphis Grizzlies and an MLS team (D.C. United). Last Monday, San Diego Chargers superstar linebacker Shawne Merriman filed an affidavit regarding a suit against Blue Devil Ventures for failure to repay a loan worth $3.64 million he had given the company in 2007.

The Championship Touch Hasn't Translated to Business (SI/M. Millan)

According to court documents, the loan, which was due in March 2009, was not repaid and Merriman states that he is owed the $3.64 million principal that he invested plus 10% annual interest — not a bad return for an investor between 2007 and 2010. Merriman has also asked the judge to award him a 10% interest in Blue Devil Venture projects in Atlanta, Baltimore, and Durham, and if those projects fail he would have the right to convert that interest into other Blue Devil Venture projects. If your head is hurting right now, that’s OK, because based on these reports Merriman is asking for Blue Devil Ventures to give him the following things:

  1. His principal of $3.64M plus 10% annual interest
  2. A 10% share in three of the company’s projects
  3. In the event that any of those projects fail, he gets to convert that 10% share into shares in other (likely more successful) projects

That, my friends, is what we call having your cake and eating it too. Unfortunately it appears that Merriman may be trying to do this with a group of destitute bankers as he is just one of many plaintiffs against the company whose troubles appear to mirror countless others after the collapse of a real estate bubble where people took on more than they could chew.

In addition to currently listed outstanding cases against Blue Devil Ventures, the group also has Chevron on its trial (market cap of slightly over $150 billion), seeking $1.5 million plus interest; and the pair also has several other business ventures (under different names) that have turned sour including one where they were ordered to pay $687,230 plus interest to Bryan Simms. Simms is a former Lehman Brothers senior vice president who left in 2007 (just in time) to join another failed venture of Laettner/Davis in what appears to otherwise be a fairly distinguished career. Based on what we have read about Laettner’s responses to questioning, it seems like the end result of all this is another LLC (not Laettner himself) declaring for bankruptcy, leaving everyone involved unsatisfied.

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John Legend Digs The Buckeyes (Plus Many Others)

Posted by jstevrtc on March 23rd, 2010

How far-reaching is the NCAA Tournament?  Check out these tweets from famous people in other walks of life — actors, musicians, mostly athletes — who have nothing to do with this year’s tournament but are just fans of a particular school, a player, or college hoops in general.  We like that John Legend is diggin’ Ohio State.  Not surprising, since he attended Penn but was born in Ohio.  But given Evan Turner’s versatility, we wonder if a duet with Legend could be in the works.  Anyway, other than one spot where we xxx’d out an innocent person’s Twitter ID, every tweet here is presented exactly as it was found on each user’s account, and none of them are re-tweets. We think it’s pretty cool — you never know who’s watching.

Dara Torres (American Olympic swimmer, gold medalist x 4) — U guys watchn college hoops?? Kinda dig when there’s upsets…except not when it happens to the Gators!! Hehe!

Joel McHale (ex-Washington, and star of NBC’s Community and E!’s The Soup) — Holy crap.  Way to go Northern Iowa.

Pete Yorn (musician) — Wow! Kansas. [Ed. note — posted moments after KU’s loss to UNI]

Conan O’Brien — Hey sports fans, here’s my NCAA pick: bet it all on the Savannah College of Art & Design. Go Fighting Acrylics!

Unless you WANT to be told on, Ms. Banks...

John Legend (musician) — Great day today. Ohio St going to the Sweet 16. I had a great show in Miami Gardens. And the health care bill passed. Happy Sunday

Elizabeth Banks — No, dummies. I didn’t go to Cornell. I went to Penn (*cough* better school). But def pulling for the Ivy League team. Big Cornell win!

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