Sarver stays mum on lockout as Suns introduce new President

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The Phoenix Suns held a press conference on Monday to introduce a new President, Brad Casper, who will lead business and non-basketball operations, as well as a new Chief Operating Officer, Jason Rowley. The media turnout for the event was larger than usual for something that technically isn’t basketball-related, likely due to the fact that the team’s owner, Robert Sarver, would be there to make the introductions.

Sarver has been one of the owners blamed for holding up the labor negotiations on the league’s end, thanks to his reported insistence that the NBA system must undergo fundamental change if the long-term value of his franchise is to increase. So, now that the lockout has reached the stage where regular season games are being cancelled — and after a few polite questions were asked of the team’s new president — Sarver was asked point blank if he could clarify or explain his position on the lockout.

Unfortunately, he could not.

“I can’t comment specifically, really, about anything to do with the lockout at this point,” Sarver answered. “I’m kind of prohibited from doing that. But I can say that eventually, when it’s over, the facts of my role and my involvement will come out, and I look forward to that happening.”

OK, then. How about a message to fans, in general?

“I’m just prohibited from commenting about it,” Sarver said. “But as you know, don’t believe everything you read.”

That last statement was likely pointed at a particularly odd comment that was reported by Yahoo! Sports to have been made by Sarver, in which he allegedly stated that “his wife had asked him to bring back the middle level exception in a designer bag.”

It will indeed be interesting once the lockout is over to hear Sarver speak freely about exactly where he stood during it all, and how much influence he had over the ownership group’s position at the bargaining table. In the meantime, the Suns are proceeding with business as usual, and doing so with a new President and Chief Operating Officer.

Former UCLA, NBA player Dave Meyers dies at 62

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LOS ANGELES (AP) Dave Meyers, the star forward who led UCLA to the 1975 NCAA basketball championship as the lone senior in coach John Wooden’s final season and later played for the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, died Friday. He was 62.

Meyers died at his home in Temecula after struggling with cancer for the last year, according to UCLA, which received the news from his younger sister, Ann Meyers Drysdale.

He played four years for Milwaukee after being drafted second overall by the Los Angeles Lakers. Shortly after, Meyers was part of a blockbuster trade that sent him to the Bucks in exchange for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

The 6-foot-8 Meyers led UCLA in scoring at 18.3 points and rebounding at 7.9 in his final season, helping the Bruins to a 28-3 record. He had 24 points and 11 rebounds in their 92-85 victory over Kentucky in the NCAA title game played in his hometown of San Diego.

Meyers Drysdale also played at UCLA during her Hall of Fame career.

Meyers assumed the Bruins’ leadership role during the 1974-75 season after Bill Walton and Jamaal Wilkes had graduated. Playing with sophomores Marques Johnson and Richard Washington, Meyers earned consensus All-America honors. Meyers made the cover of Sports Illustrated after the Bruins won the NCAA title.

“One of the true warriors in (at)UCLAMBB history has gone on to glory,” Johnson wrote on Twitter. “Dave Meyers was our Captain in `75 and as tenacious a player ever. RIP.”

Johnson recalled in other tweets how Meyers called him `MJB’ or Marques Johnson Baby when he was a freshman, and later in the NBA, Meyers was nicknamed “Crash” because he always diving on the floor for loose balls.

As a junior, Meyers started on a front line featuring future Hall of Famers Walton and Wilkes.

Meyers was a reserve as a sophomore on the Bruins’ 1973 NCAA title team during the school’s run of 10 national titles in 12 years under Wooden. The team went 30-0 and capped the season by beating Memphis 87-66 in the championship game, when Meyers had four points and three rebounds.

In 1975, Meyers, along with Elmore Smith, Junior Bridgeman and Brian Winters, was traded to Milwaukee for Abdul-Jabbar and Walt Wesley.

During the 1977-78 season, Meyers was reunited with Johnson on the Bucks and averaged a career-best 14.7 points. He missed the next year with a back injury. Meyers returned in 1979-80 to average 12.1 points and 5.7 rebounds in helping the Bucks win a division title.

Born David William Meyers, he was one of 11 children. His father, Bob, was a standout basketball player and team captain at Marquette in the 1940s. The younger Meyers averaged 22.7 points as a senior at Sonora High in La Habra, California.

Meyers made a surprise announcement in 1980 that he was retiring from basketball to spend more time with his family. He later earned his teaching certificate and taught sixth grade for several years in Lake Elsinore, California.

He is survived by his wife, Linda, whom he married in 1975, and daughter Crystal and son Sean.

Pelicans signing center Jerome Jordan

Marc Gasol, Jerome Jordan
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Through the first two weeks of training camp, the Pelicans have seen their frontcourt depth decimated by injuries to Alexis Ajinca and Omer Asik, both of whom are out for a few weeks. A deal with Greg Smith fell through after he failed a physical. Now, Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports that they’re signing former Knicks and Nets center Jerome Jordan as a short-term solution:

Jordan has only played 65 games in his career and hasn’t been spectacular, but the Pelicans need a body while their two centers are out. Anthony Davis will spend some time at center, but considering the contracts Asik and Ajinca got this summer, Alvin Gentry clearly plans on playing him at power forward as well, and they need a center to at least fill time before Asik and Ajinca get back.