Archive for June 13th, 2014

The Spurs currently lead the Heat 3-1 in the 2014 NBA Finals. Miami is coming off a Thursday home loss. Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on the series and Heat star LeBron James:

LeBron James says he has been bothered by ankle for a few days

What started with LeBron James unable to even make his way off the court due to cramps could close with the Miami Heat forward limping to the finish of these NBA Finals.

In the wake of Thursday’s 107-86 loss to the San Antonio Spurs that dropped the Heat to a 3-1 deficit in this best-of-seven series that continues Sunday at 8 p.m. at the AT&T Center, both James and coach Erik Spoelstra acknowledged an ongoing ankle issue briefly took James off the court in the first quarter of Game 4.

“I went to go get re-taped, re-tape my ankle,” James said early Friday. “It’s been kind of bothering me for the last couple days, but I felt OK.”

With James unable to finish Game 1 due to cramps exacerbated by an air-conditioning malfunction at the AT&T Center, the Heat were unable to hold off the Spurs. Thursday, James appeared to be easing his way into Game 4, with both James and Spoelstra insisting that the other time James left the bench at the outset was because of a bathroom break.

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on Spurs great Tim Duncan:

Tim Duncan keeps racking up NBA accomplishments

After the Spurs’ 107-86 Game 4 win over the Heat gave San Antonio a 3-1 edge in the best-of-seven NBA Finals, Tim Duncan was more interested in looking forward than reflecting on his own personal accomplishments, even if those accomplishments linked him to two of the game’s greats — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson.

Duncan passed them in two different statistical categories during the Spurs’ victory on Thursday. He played 31 minutes to total 8,869 career playoff minutes and edge Abdul-Jabbar’s total of 8,851 for first place on the NBA career list. Duncan’s 10 points and 11 rebounds gave him his 158th career playoff double-double, moving him ahead of Johnson (157) for the all-time NBA playoff lead.

Duncan is already the all-time playoff leader in blocked shots and is fourth all-time in games played, but for him, all of those individual numbers pale in comparison to what can come Sunday if the Spurs close out the Heat to bring home their fifth championship.

If that happens, it will be Duncan’s fifth title as well, putting him in even more elite company. Only 13 players in NBA history have won more championships than that while 12 players have won five titles.

Here’s the Charlotte Observer reporting on the Hornets (the former Bobcats):

Insight on Rod Higgins leaving Hornets

Owner Michael Jordan’s decision to give more power to general manager Rich Cho led to Rod Higgins leaving the Charlotte Hornets.

The Hornets abruptly announced Higgins’ departure as president of basketball operations just past midnight Friday, two weeks before the June 26 draft.

In an exclusive interview with the Charlotte Observer, Jordan said Friday that he recently offered Higgins a new contract and that they had agreed on financial terms. Then, about a week ago, Jordan told Higgins he wanted to rearrange some job responsibilities to better fit Higgins’ and Cho’s skill sets.

“Rod’s strong points are working with the coaches and the trainers, traveling with the team,” Jordan said. “He was my buffer zone with the coaches. I didn’t want to overwhelm them with ideas, so I’d work with Rod on that.”

Jordan said he wants Cho, with a background as an attorney, dealing more with budgets and managing the salary cap.

Here’s the New York Daily News reporting on a rumor that would shake up the NBA would if it actually materialized:

Will Carmelo Anthony join Heat this summer?

Carmelo Anthony responded to reports that he will join LeBron James this summer and sign with the Miami Heat by saying “nothing is legit until a deal is signed.”

The celebrity website TMZ videotaped Anthony as the Knicks All Star was leaving Mastro’s Steakhouse in Beverly Hills on Thursday, the day before he is scheduled to meet with Knicks president Phil Jackson, head coach, Derek Fisher and GM Steve Mills.

Yahoo! Sports reported that Garden Chairman James Dolan is scheduled to join the group as well. Dolan is on the West Coast with the Rangers who were playing Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals in Los Angeles.

Dolan’s role in Anthony’s free agency is compelling because Anthony represents Dolan’s biggest basketball transaction. It was Dolan who hijacked the Anthony trade talks from former Knicks president Donnie Walsh in 2010. Jackson recently mocked the deal when he addressed the possibility of pursuing Denver head coach Brian Shaw by reminding reporters the Nuggets have all of the Knicks assets.

Timberwolves hire Sidney Lowe as assistant coach

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced Sidney Lowe as an assistant coach on head coach Flip Saunders staff. This will be Lowe’s fourth time coaching alongside Saunders, previously serving as an assistant under him in Minnesota both from 1999-2000 and 2003-05, and in Detroit from 2005-06. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not announced.

“We are excited to add Sid Lowe to our coaching staff,” said head coach Flip Saunders. “I have great respect for Sid. He has a great basketball mind and an extensive coaching background as a head and assistant coach in both the NBA and collegiate levels, which will be extremely valuable on our staff. Sid relates well with players and will play an important role in the development of talent on our roster.”

Lowe’s ties with Minnesota originally began in 1989-90 as a player with the organization in its inaugural season, appearing in a career-high 80 games and averaging 21.8 minutes per game. He retired after the season, remaining with the organization as the team’s television color analyst for the 1990-91 season. He became an assistant coach the next season under then-head-coach Jimmy Rodgers, eventually being promoted to head coach midway through the 1992-93 season and remaining in the position through the 1993-94 season.

Prior to re-joining Saunders’ staff, Lowe served three seasons (2011-14) as an assistant with the Utah Jazz on former Timberwolves teammate Tyrone Corbin’s staff after previously serving as the head coach at North Carolina State University (2006-11). In his first season on the sidelines, he became just the third NC State coach to win 20 games and defeat the other three North Carolina institutions in the ACC (Duke, North Carolina and Wake Forest). He is one of only four NC State coaches to have coached in the ACC Championship game in his first year.

Following five seasons as an assistant with Cleveland (1994-99) and one season with Minnesota (1999-2000), Lowe was named head coach of the Vancouver Grizzlies in June of 2000, eventually moving with the team to Memphis before stepping down shortly into the 2002-03 campaign.

As a player, Lowe was originally selected by the Chicago Bulls with the first pick of the second round (25th overall) in the 1983 NBA Draft, whom immediately traded his rights to Indiana, where he spent the 1983-84 season. In 1984-85, Lowe spent time with both the Pistons and Atlanta Hawks. Over the next three years, Lowe was a point guard in the Continental Basketball Association, leading his teams to three consecutive CBA titles. He started the 1988-89 season with the Rapid City Thrillers before signing with the Charlotte Hornets. In 1990, Lowe joined the expansion Timberwolves.

The rest of Saunders’ staff will be announced at a later date.

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