Archive for April 27th, 2014

grizzlies statement on michael heisley passing away

The Memphis Grizzlies have issued the following statement today on the passing of former Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley:

“This is a sad day as the entire Grizzlies’ organization, the extended NBA family and the city of Memphis mourn the loss of former Grizzlies owner, Michael Heisley. We send our condolences to the entire Heisley family and want them to know they remain in our thoughts,” said Memphis Grizzlies’ Controlling Owner Robert Pera.

The Grizzlies were purchased by Mr. Heisley in 2000 when the team was located in Vancouver, Canada. Mr. Heisley was instrumental relocating the Grizzlies to Memphis, Tennessee, and to FedExForum, a state-of-the art NBA arena built by the City of Memphis and Shelby County.

Mr. Heisley was also instrumental in getting the Grizzlies active in the community, supporting the National Civil Rights Museum in establishing the annual MLK Day Celebration game, helping form the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation and building relationships with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital including helping to build the Memphis Grizzlies House, a temporary on-campus residence for families with children being treated at the hospital. Mr. Heisley expressed his continued support for the Grizzlies and the Memphis community after his sale of the team to Robert Pera in 2012, saying, “I have enjoyed my ownership of the Grizzlies and the support for professional basketball in Memphis. I am confident that the franchise will continue its development toward being a perennial championship contender and an important member of the Memphis community.”

The Grizzlies will announce plans to honor Mr. Heisley at a later date.

Here’s the Chicago Sun-Times with an update on Bulls small forward Mike Dunleavy:

Entering Game 4 on Sunday, the odds were that Mike Dunleavy wouldn’t be able to replicate his 35-point performance from Game 3.

Then again, the odds were even worse that he would have a six-point clunker, a major reason the Bulls find themselves down 3-1 in the series after losing 98-89.

Dunleavy’s performance was partly because of a bruised left thumb he suffered when he took a charge Sunday. After the game, he had the hand in a cup of ice, but he said it wouldn’t affect him. He should be ready for Game 5 on Tuesday at the United Center.

“It’s my left [non-shooting] hand, and it’s not going to make a difference for me,” Dunleavy said.

Even with the team’s “X-factor” suspended, the Washington Wizards had a No. 42 sitting next to the bench. The 57-year-old with graying hair couldn’t box out or grab a rebound, but owner Ted Leonsis waved his red towel and egged on a cheering crowd that chanted “Free Nene!”

The Wizards did just fine without the suspended Brazilian forward. They scored the first 14 points and beat the Chicago Bulls 98-89 on Sunday to take a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference series.

“I thought it was pretty hilarious that Ted had Nene’s jersey on,” Wizards guard Bradley Beal said. “It kind of threw me off for a minute, but then I looked and seen it was Ted.”

Nene or not, the Wizards did what they’ve done all series: Take a quick lead and force the Bulls to use up energy trying to catch up. It was 15-8 in Game 3, 29-12 in Game 2, 19-13 in Game 1. Washington, seeking to win a playoff series for only the third time since the 1970s, can finish off the Bulls on the road in Game 5 on Tuesday night…

Trevor Ariza, getting some of the early looks that might have gone to Nene, scored a career playoff-high 30 points, making 6 of 10 3-pointers. Beal had 18 points, and John Wall added 15 points and 10 assists for the Wizards, who forced 16 turnovers and committed only six.

– Associated Press

Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle Blog reporting on the Golden State Warriors, who took care of business and tied their first-round playoff series with the Los Angeles Clippers Sunday:

For the first time in their best-of-seven, first-round series against the Clippers, the Warriors started a small lineup in Game 4 at Oracle Arena – a move that allowed them to play quicker and with more assertiveness, freed Stephen Curry for offensive openings and tied the series with a with a resounding 118-97 victory.

With the series knotted 2-2 and shifting back to Los Angeles for Tuesday’s Game 5, the Clippers are suddenly the team pressing to make adjustments – a marked change from two days ago, when they appeared to have all of the answers and all of the momentum.

Draymond Green got his second career postseason start and his first this season – bumping David Lee to center and moving Jermaine O’Neal to the bench – and helped the Warriors grab a lead that the held for the game’s final 45 minutes, 54 seconds.

Using mostly a smallball lineup throughout the game, the Warriors’ offense showcased harmonious ball movement to create space for Curry’s game-changing shooting stroke and produced team-wide 55.4 percent shooting and 32 assists on 41 made field goals.

Here’s ESPN New York reporting on Nets forward Paul Pierce, who spent the bulk of his NBA career with the Boston Celtics before becoming a Net:

Jason Kidd feels Paul Pierce gained closure in Boston return

Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd believes that Paul Pierce’s emotional return to Boston on Jan. 26 allowed the future Hall of Fame forward to get some closure, move on and begin really thriving in Brooklyn.

“To go back to Boston, the place you were drafted, I think that probably closed the door on his career there in Boston,” Kidd told reporters Sunday.

Pierce played the first 15 seasons of his career with the Celtics. The 36-year-old veteran was initially stunned when he was traded by the only franchise he’d ever known.

It took Pierce awhile to get over that.

Charlotte Bobcats chairman Michael Jordan issued the following statement today on the racially-insensitive comments allegedly made in private by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling:

“I look at this from two perspectives – as a current owner and a former player. As an owner, I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views. I’m confident that Adam Silver will make a full investigation and take appropriate action quickly. As a former player, I’m completely outraged. There is no room in the NBA - or anywhere else - for the kind of racism and hatred that Mr. Sterling allegedly expressed. I am appalled that this type of ignorance still exists within our country and at the highest levels of our sport. In a league where the majority of players are African-American, we cannot and must not tolerate discrimination at any level.”

Statement from National Basketball Retired Players Association regarding alleged comments by Donald Sterling:

“While facts are still being confirmed as it pertains to alleged comments made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, the National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) finds these reported statements deeply troubling. While every American is entitled to due process, offensive comments pertaining to race have no place in our society and certainly not in professional basketball. Our long-term partners, the NBA and National Basketball Players Association, have been amongst the most progressive institutions globally as it relates to fostering diversity and inclusion, and our membership similarly believes that bigotry and hatred must always be combatted.”

The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) is comprised of former professional basketball players from the NBA, ABA, Harlem Globetrotters and WNBA. It is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization with a two-pronged mission to assist former NBA, ABA, Harlem Globetrotters and WNBA players in their transition from the playing court into life after the game, while also positively impacting communities and youth through basketball.

The Fort Wayne Mad Ants defeated the Santa Cruz Warriors 119-113 to secure the 2014 NBA Development League Championship for the first time in team history. The Mad Ants’ Tony Mitchell led all scorers with 32 points, while 2014 NBA D-League Co-Most Valuable Player Ron Howard and teammate Matt Bouldin finished the game with 23 and 20 points, respectively. The Warriors Seth Curry scored a team-high 29 points in defeat.

Fort Wayne led by as many as 20 points in the second half but Santa Cruz wouldn’t fall quietly, capturing the lead for the first time since the first quarter when Mychel Thompson connected on an and-one layup to take a two-point lead, 103-101, with 5:01 to play. The teams knotted in four ties and the lead changed hands twice before the Mad Ants victory was sealed. Howard hit a jumper to take go ahead 113-111 and the team never looked back en route to the six-point championship win. The Mad Ants finished their season with a perfect 6-0 record, having won 17 of their last 20 regular season contests.

Both clubs shot less than 40 percent in a jitter-filled first quarter, eventually scoring 27 apiece to end the frame, the first NBA D-League finals quarter played in Fort Wayne.

Mitchell put the Mad Ants on his back in the second quarter, notching 17 points on eight-of-12 shooting from the field as the home team stretched its lead to as many as 19 points. Santa Cruz’ Cameron Jones kept his Warriors in the game, though, scoring nine of his 13 first half points in the second period. Mitchell scored 17 of Fort Wayne’s 38 second-quarter points and his team outscored Santa Cruz by as many in the second (38-21), shooting 59 percent as a team to the Warriors’ 39 percent. Fort Wayne took a 65-48 lead into the halftime break.

The Warriors cut Fort Wayne’s 20-point third quarter lead to as few as five points, 83-78, as the team embarked on a 13-1 run in the second half of the period. The Mad Ants weathered the storm, though, finishing the third up 11, 91-80. Santa Cruz held Mitchell scoreless in the third and Jones and Seth Curry combined for 18 of the Warriors’ 32 points in the stanza.

Jones scored 28 for the Warriors while Lance Goulbourne chipped in with 20 in the loss.

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