Archive for June 11th, 2012

Coach Erik Spoelstra isn’t saying whether he’ll put All-Star forward Chris Bosh back into the starting lineup or keep bringing him off the bench now that the Miami Heat are in the NBA finals.

Bosh started every game he played during the regular season and until he suffered an abdominal injury during the Eastern Conference playoffs, but played as a reserve in the final three games of the conference finals.

Spoelstra wouldn’t divulge his starting lineup for Game 1 on Tuesday night.

”I’ll consider everything by tomorrow night,” Spoelstra said on Monday. ‘

– Reported by Jeff Latzke of the Associated Press

The Miami Heat know there’s another All-Star point guard standing between them and the championship after surviving a steady threat of Rajon Rondo triple-doubles to reach the NBA finals.

Russell Westbrook poses a different kind of triple threat with his blazing speed, defensive intensity and often-deadly shooting. He brings the Oklahoma City Thunder into the finals playing some of the best basketball of his young career.

During the postseason, he’s added better decision-making to his already dangerous arsenal, cutting down on his turnovers while upping his assist totals slightly.

– Reported by Jeff Latzke of the Associated Press

LeBron James and Kevin Durant are dismissing the widely held perception that whoever wins the NBA Finals and earns their first championship ring will be hailed as the best player.

The best-of-seven series between the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder beginning Tuesday could feature the most enticing personal duel since Hall of Famers Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.

But the players involved insist it is all about winning the National Basketball Association (NBA) title.

“Everybody is going to make the most out of the matchup or me versus LeBron, but it’s the Thunder versus the Heat,” said the Oklahoma City’s Durant, the NBA’s reigning three-time leading scorer. “It’s not going to be a one-on-one matchup to win the series, it’s going to be all about the team. It’s going to be fun.”

James is a three-time league Most Valuable Player and widely considered as the NBA’s premier player. But he is still looking for his first ring, while players like Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has five of them.

– Reported by Reuters

Photo: Opening day at Dyckman Park

InsideHoops.com is at Dyckman Park in NYC for opening day of their season. Going to be fun summer as always.

http://distilleryimage3.instagram.com/0101b402b41e11e1abb01231382049c1_7.jpg

Michael E. Heisley, the majority owner of the Memphis Grizzlies, announced today an agreement for the sale of the franchise to an entity owned by Robert J. Pera.  Robert J. Pera is the founder and CEO of Ubiquiti Networks, a publicly-traded next-generation communications technology company.  The sale transaction is subject to approval by the NBA Board of Governors, antitrust clearance and other conditions.

The Grizzlies were purchased by Mr. Heisley in 2000 when the team was located in Vancouver, Canada.  In 2001, the Grizzlies were relocated to Memphis, Tennessee, and in 2004 moved into FedExForum, a state-of-the art NBA arena built by the City of Memphis and Shelby County.  Since moving to Memphis, the team has participated in the NBA playoffs for five seasons, including the two most successful campaigns in franchise history, in 2010-11 and 2011-12.

“I have enjoyed my ownership of the Grizzlies and the support for professional basketball in Memphis,” said Heisley.  “I am confident that the franchise will continue its development toward being a perennial championship contender and an important member of the Memphis community.  I am particularly gratified that we have put together a team which is poised to continue its improvement.  We have an outstanding team of players, coaching staff, and basketball and business management.  In Robert, we have a new owner who has expressed a total commitment to build on our success in Memphis.”

“I am excited about the opportunity to build on the work that has made the Memphis Grizzlies a highly competitive NBA team,” Pera said. “I look forward to getting to know the Memphis community and to continuing the team’s success in Memphis.”

Memphis Grizzlies sale agreement reached

After two consecutive trips to the playoffs and a return to respectability in the Western Conference, Michael Heisley has found a buyer to purchase the Memphis Grizzlies, according to sources with knowledge of the owner’s plans.

Sources told ESPN.com that Heisley has an agreement in principle to sell the team to communications technology magnate Robert Pera, who at 34 has a spot on Forbes’ list of the 10 youngest billionaries in the world.

The purchase price is in the $350 million range, sources said. A formal announcement to publicize the agreement between the parties is expected this week, possibly as soon as later Monday, with NBA Board of Governors approval then required before Pera can be officially installed as successor to Heisley, who recently turned 75.

Sources say that Pera intends to keep the team in Memphis. The Grizzlies’ lease at the FedExForum, furthermore, ties the team to the city until the year 2021, with steep financial penalties attached to breaking that lease.

– Reported by Marc Stein of ESPN.com

NBA referees officiating the Finals will wear number 57 on their jerseys to recognize NBA referee Greg Willard who was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  The gesture of support for Greg and his family was arranged in cooperation with the NBA.

Greg Willard has been an NBA referee for 24 seasons and has officiated over 1,500 regular season games, 120 playoff games and has been officiating in The Finals since the 2009-2010 season.  ”Greg’s professionalism and integrity have made him a role model within the NBA community,” said NBRA General Counsel Lee Seham.  ”We want him and his family to know that our thoughts and prayers are with them.”

LeBron James not Most Hated in OKC

ron artest

Despite what might happen in other cities, there is a zero-percent chance LeBron James will ever be the most hated player in the eyes of Thunder fans.

The current titleholder likely will never relinquish the crown. Man by the name of Metta World Peace. Nobody elbows “The Beard” without suffering the consequences.

Folks around here have zero reason not to like Bron-Bron, other than he plays for the opposing team.

James invited Kevin Durant to his hometown last summer for a “Hell Week” of training sessions in Akron, Ohio. James’ team beat Durant’s team 70-63 in a flag-football game, but James immediately offered a rematch.

– Reported by John Rohde of the Oklahoman

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