Washington Wizards majority owner Ted Leonsis spoke with the media for over 30 minutes on Thursday evening from team’s training camp on the campus of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. TAI was there. Below is part one of all that — some stuff in video, some in text.
Posts tagged ‘pat riley’
Ira Winderman of the Miami Sun-Sentinel is reporting that Juwan Howard is close to signing with the Miami Heat (H/T to Slam). Finally, after all these years, Juwan will be playing for Pat Riley and the Heat. When the agreement goes through, as pointed out by Winderman, it will mark almost 14 years to the day when Howard signed a $100-plus million contract with Miami, which was later voided by the NBA, granting Howard a return to the Washington Bullets.
I wrote extensively about Howard’s tumultuous tenure in Washington (and 1996 flirtation with Miami) back in April. Him going to the Heat now seems kind of weird, an anti-poetic justice (for Washington fans, not so much for Miami fans). And even though Howard’s agent, David Falk, said the “Cold War” between him and the Wizards was over back in mid-June, he’s surely taking some devious satisfaction over the late Abe Pollin’s former franchise that he’s finally ushered Howard to South Beach to win a championship.
And I suppose this also means that the proctologist has finally removed the NBA’s 17-foot pole from Pat Riley’s rear.
A home for Shaun Livingston?
ESPN’s Marc Stein reports:
The Miami Heat’s position on trades is no secret. They won’t even consider making a deal for anyone whose contract extends beyond this season to preserve every cent of their projected trove of salary-cap space for July 1, 2010.
But the Heat have, according to NBA front-office sources, explored the possibility of trading for Washington’s highly available Mike James, whose first coach in a 11-team career in 2001-02 was Pat Riley in Miami.
But there I found myself, coming home to an on television Friday night, checking out game six of an incredibly boring Heat-Hawks series.
Dan Marino was courtside, ESPN showed his retired jersey in the rafters. Little curious to see it hanging in a basketball arena, but okay … I’ll go with it.
I once ate at Dan Marino’s steakhouse in the gloriously classy Hooters Hotel & Casino in Vegas … or is it delightfully tacky, yet unrefined? In any case, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at Marino’s steakhouse. Plus, you gotta give the guy credit for going from the prince of coal mining country to the king of South Beach … the equivalent to Biggie Smalls going ashy to classy.
As the dust settles from the “it’s a done deal” to the “it’s official” phase of hiring Flip Saunders as the next coach of the Wizards, I find it hard to form a solid opinion on perhaps the most important aspect of transforming this team from mediocre to championship contender (aside from health of course).
I still subscribe to the thought that players are on the court, playing the games, and thus hold the ultimate responsibility for winning and losing. But a good coach…well, he can be a difference maker.
Not to say I’m apathetic towards the hiring of Saunders. If I had to rank, I suppose he would have been my number one choice, with Mark Jackson being a sleeper pick (he is a minister, and could surely preach on it….plus, his NBA analysis on ABC/ESPN is on point….but he lacks significant coaching experience).
I might have taken Avery Johnson over Jackson…but over Saunders? I’m not so sure…..in fact, I doubt it. So Saunders it is, and I’m okay with that….but not exactly thrilled. Then again, the stink of this season hasn’t been laid to rest, and that certainly has something to do with my mundane attitude.
Tags: Antawn Jamison, avery johnson, brendan haywood, bullets forever, Caron Butler, Ernie Grunfeld, Flip Saunders, Gilbert Arenas, gregg popovich, mark jackson, michael wilbon, pat riley, phil jackson, Sam Cassell, stet sports, tom knott