Archive for June 2nd, 2013

Sacramento’s long and often difficult quest to build a major high-tech industry could get a burst of energy from a most unlikely source: the city’s basketball team.

The new owners of the Sacramento Kings, hailing from all over California, represent some of the stars of the state’s tech sector. The lead owner, Vivek Ranadive, runs a software company that powers railroads, airlines and scores of other businesses. The vice chairman, Paul Jacobs, is responsible for the chips found in millions of cellphones. Limited partners include tech entrepreneurs and financiers.

What the group’s tech orientation means for Sacramento is uncertain. The new owners have pledged to bring the full force of technology to the franchise and how it engages its fans – from new mobile apps to a fully wired new arena proposed for Downtown Plaza.

“We’ll bring as much technology as we can,” said Jacobs, chairman and chief executive of San Diego’s Qualcomm Inc.

One tantalizing possibility for outfitting the arena: three-dimensional instant replay on the video screens. Jacobs said he recently visited an Israeli company, Replay Technologies, which is developing such technology. But he cautioned that it’s far too soon to determine whether the 3-D video is coming to the Sacramento arena.

Reported by Dale Kasler of the Sacramento Bee

miami heat

The Heat ought to be peaking as it weaves its way through the playoffs toward a third consecutive appointment in the climactic NBA Finals.

Instead, Miami is regressing.

The Heat looked like a team adrift for large portions of a 91-77 Game 6 loss Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Now the Heat faces the migraine of Game 7 in Miami on Monday as the San Antonio Spurs drum their fingers impatiently. Or, maybe they are licking their lips.

LeBron James was whistled for charging into Roy Hibbert in the closing minutes. He sprinted away from the official, spitting mad, looking like he would rip off his headband and tear it apart. Then he and assistant coach David Fizdale were assessed technical fouls for protesting too much. The sequence captured the harried state of a team under unaccustomed duress.

Miami will be favored to close it out back home by the bay. Still, the buts continue to outnumber the baskets.

Worrisome signs are not going away.

Foremost among them, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have turned into the Other Two in this series. They shot a combined 1 for 10 in the first half, were not factors when the game was on the line in the fourth quarter and finished with a total of 15 points, six rebounds, five turnovers and one assist.

Reported by Linda Robertson of the Miami Herald

sacramento kings

Malone has plans to correct the Kings’ problems, he told The Bee on Saturday, but has realistic goals.

“For me, it’s not going to be in wins and losses,” Malone said. “That’s not to say we don’t want to win, but for me, we’re going to judge success in Year One based off of three things. Did we change the culture, did we establish ourselves as a defensive team, and then, obviously, did our players develop?”

Malone said he will take something from all the coaches he’s worked for and bring his own spin to Sacramento.

Malone was brought to the NBA as an assistant for Van Gundy in New York, then he learned under Chaney and Wilkens with the Knicks before moving to Cleveland to work for Brown.

In Cleveland, Malone crafted his reputation as a defensive wizard. The Cavaliers won 66 games in 2008-09 with Malone as the defensive coordinator for one of the stingiest teams in the league.

Reported by Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee

lebron james

History provides hope. It also provides a warning.

In a similar situation last season in the Eastern Conference finals, the Miami Heat returned to AmericanAirlines Arena in a winner-take-all Game 7. After a 13-point victory over the Boston Celtics, they were on to the NBA Finals and, ultimately, the franchise’s second championship.

The difference is that victory came in the wake of a rousing 19-point victory in Boston, a Game 6 when LeBron James scored 45 points.

This time the Heat enter Monday’s 8:30 p.m. Game 7 against the Indiana Pacers coming off a discouraging 91-77 loss at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, when James went for 29 points, but Dwyane Wade for only 10 and Chris Bosh just five, the lowest combined total for the latter two as teammates since the Heat’s Big Three came together in the 2010 offseason.

“It’s an opportunity for us,” James said. “It’s an opportunity and we look forward to it.”

There is, of course, no other choice but to offer optimism, with coach Erik Spoelstra giving his players Sunday off, to be bolstered Monday by the return of backup center Chris Andersen, who was suspended from Saturday’s Game 6 for his Game 5 flagrant foul against Tyler Hansbrough.

Reported by Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Police say former NBA star Mookie Blaylock remains hospitalized and faces two charges after a fatal crash in suburban Atlanta.

Jonesboro Police Chief Franklin Allen said Sunday that the 46-year-old Blaylock is charged with driving on a suspended license and failing to stay in his lane.

Allen says officers haven’t been able to talk with Blaylock yet because of injuries suffered in the wreck, but they hope to do so as early as Monday.

Reported by the Associated Press

Roy Hibbert apologizes for slur after Game 6

Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert has apologized for using a gay slur and cursing during his news conference after Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals.

The team issued a statement from Hibbert on Sunday morning in which he said he was sorry for his ”insensitive remarks.”

”They were disrespectful and offensive and not a reflection of my personal views,” he said in the statement. ”I used a slang term that is not appropriate in any setting, private or public, and the language I used definitely has no place in a public forum, especially over live television.”

After Saturday night’s win, Hibbert ended a response to a question about his defense on Miami’s LeBron James with ”no homo.” He also referred to reporters as ”y’all (expletive).”

Reported by the Associated Press

dwyane wade

Yes, Wade’s knee has been troublesome for weeks; Bosh turned an ankle in the series. They’re still commanded to find a way, because champions do.

“My rhythm seems off,” Bosh said. “It’s been like that the whole series.”

This is no time for rhythm, only results. The Pacers’ David West played with a 103-degree fever, a league source told Yahoo! Sports, and somehow he delivered on a night that started out with him missing seven straight shots, with his coach telling him, “You have nothing tonight” and trying to take him out of the game.

West refused to sit and played his part in pushing the Heat back to Miami for a Game 7. If the Heat are still going to get past Indiana on Monday night, there promises to be a terrific toll taken on them with the San Antonio Spurs awaiting in the NBA Finals. Yes, Boston pushed Miami to a Game 7 a year ago, but Bosh had returned late in the series and Miami gathered momentum as those conference finals unfolded. Now, they gather doubt.

Chris Andersen comes back for Game 7, and history suggests that Wade loves creating these desperate scenarios for himself – only to rise again to the cheers of the adoring South Florida masses. And yet, to watch these Heat now, it is impossible to imagine how they won 27 straight games this season. That feels like a different team, a different season.

This is a grind for Miami, dominance left far, far back in the distance. This is sheer survival now. So yes, James played the part of the cheerleading, optimist leader late Saturday night, professing a belief in his heart when perhaps a different truth about his teammates exists in his eyes.

Reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports

Pacers stay alive in battle with Heat

The Indiana Pacers stayed alive in the Eastern Conference finals with a 91-77 win over Miami Saturday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and will return to South Florida for a winner-take-all game on Monday.

Paul George scored 28 points and Roy Hibbert added 24 and 11 rebounds as Indiana survived a furious Miami rally midway through the second half and then pulled away in the final five minutes.

“We knew they would make a run,” George said. “That’s just us staying together, being poised. We shared the ball. We made huge plays when we needed to. It’s a credit to our guys playing their hearts out.”

James led the Heat with 29 points, seven rebounds and six assists but was mostly a solo performer as Miami endured a brutal offensive performance. The Heat shot 36.1 percent from the field and scored just 37 points in the second half. Indiana dominated the glass 53-32, including a 26-9 margin after halftime.

“We hate to be in this position,” James said, “but it’s an opportunity we look forward to. We worked all season to get home-court advantage. There are 30 teams that would love to have one game to advance to the NBA Finals. You can’t substitute this feeling, this atmosphere. At the end of the day, you just go out and have fun.”

Reported by Chris Goff of the Sports Xchange

Pacers beat Heat 91-77, force a Game 7

Roy Hibbert

Indiana staggered Miami with one more big punch Saturday night.

Now the Pacers have a fighting chance to pull off a stunning playoff upset.

Roy Hibbert did everything but pull out the boxing gloves in Game 6, finishing with 24 points and 11 rebounds, and continually contesting Miami’s shots to help Indiana stave off elimination with an emphatic 91-77 victory over the defending champs.

Paul George scored 28 points, had eight rebounds and five assists, and the Pacers held Miami to 36.1 percent shooting as they booked a trip back to Miami for Game 7 on Monday night.

”Myself and David (West), we throw ourselves in the fray, in the paint. We like to muck it up,” Hibbert said. ”Paul and myself, we wanted to make sure we got this for him as well. We didn’t want this to be our last game.” …

The Pacers had a 53-33 rebounding advantage, outscored Miami 44-22 in the paint and limited Miami’s shooters to 16 of 54, 29.6 percent, from inside the arc.

James led the Heat with 29 points on 10-of-21 shooting. Nobody else scored more than 10…

With Chris ”Birdman” Andersen suspended for the game because of a shoving incident with Indiana forward Tyler Hansbrough on Thursday, the Heat couldn’t keep up with Indiana’s big rebounders inside. Even Lance Stephenson, who was not effective at Miami, finished with four points, 12 rebounds and four assists…

The Heat rallied early in the fourth, taking advantage of Indiana’s 1 for 6 start from the field. When Mike Miller hit back-to-back 3s, the Pacers’ lead was down to 70-64 and when James scored on a layup with 5:54 to play, the Heat were within 72-68.

But the run ended abruptly when George hit a 3, Miami’s Joel Anthony was called for a loose ball foul on the offensive end and David West grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on a dunk to extend the lead to 77-68. Then came the technical flurry that finished it off.

West scored 11 points and had 14 rebounds despite playing with an upper respiratory infection that prompted Vogel to send him home early from the Pacers’ morning shootaround.

Reported by Michael Marot of the Associated Press

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