Who plays center for Miami? A committee.

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Thumbnail image for Janthony_rondo.jpgWho is the starting center for the Miami Heat?

It was one of the big questions heading into training camp. There’s athletic but undersized Joel Anthony. There is Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who is not young but can still knock down the midrange. There is Jamaal Magloire who can bang.

So who is it? How about all of them?

That’s what coach Erik Spoelstra was pitching Friday (as tweeted by Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel after the Heat’s morning practice).

Spoelstra said he could see center by committee: “Ideally, we would use all three based on matchups… Joel brings speed and athleticism. Big Z stretches the floor. Jamaal brings great toughness.”

The thought of something done by committee makes anyone who ever worked in an office, followed the government or watched a baseball team with a “closer by committee” cringe. Committees can be ugly things.

However this seams the best plan for the Heat this season, something which may well work out fine. Especially during most regular season games when the Heat will just overwhelm with talent. They have 82 of those games to see what works and what doesn’t at the five. Because come the playoffs — come Dwight and Shaq and Perkins and Bynum — the Heat are going to have to have answers if they want to reach their goal.

We’ll see if a committee can get them there.

Thabo Sefolosha’s lawyer: White police officer targeted black Hawks forward

Thabo Sefolosha
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NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer representing a professional basketball player arrested outside a New York City nightclub has told a jury his client was targeted because he’s black.

Attorney Alex Spiro said Tuesday in Manhattan Criminal Court that a white police officer saw a black man in a hoodie when he confronted the Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha on April 8.

Sefolosha was arrested while leaving a Manhattan nightclub following a stabbing. He subsequently suffered a season-ending leg fracture after a confrontation with police.

A prosecutor said in opening statements that Sefolosha called an officer who repeatedly told him and others to leave a “midget.”

Sefolosha pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges. The Swiss citizen declined a plea deal from prosecutors.


DeMar DeRozan says he hates talking about free agency, takes pride in Raptors longevity

DeMar DeRozan
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DeMar DeRozan has a $10,050,000 player option for 2016-17. Given the rapidly escalating salary cap, it’s a practical certainty DeRozan will opt out and get a major raise.

But he says he doesn’t want to talk about it.

DeRozan, via Eric Koreen of the National Post:

“I hate that, honestly,” DeRozan said in a one-on-one interview. “I never speak about it. With me, I’ve always been that one player: I’ve been loyal. I’ve been every single thing you can think of here. I think people don’t understand how much pride I take in playing (in Toronto). A lot of times when I do get asked that, it kind of frustrates me.

“Everyday I wake up, I take pride in being the longest Raptor here. People bring up third or whatever in franchise scoring — there is so much stuff like that.”

This sounds awfully similar to LaMarcus Aldridge, who stated his desire last year to become the great Trail Blazer ever and then signed with the Spurs this summer.

Things change, and the impracticality of an extension ensures DeRozan will hit free agency. I believe he’s devoted to the Raptors right now, but his loyalty might change in the next nine months – especially once he sees contract offers from other suitors.

Toronto’s interest in DeRozan might fluctuate, too. He’s a nice player, but the Raptors haven’t won a playoff series with him despite winning the division the last two years. Depending how this season goes, Masai Ujiri might want to rework the roster significantly next summer, and letting DeRozan walk could create major cap space.

I believe DeRozan wants to return to the Raptors, and I believe they want to keep him. But so much can change between now and when both sides must make that call.