Grizzlies new owner breaks silence, still doesn’t say much

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Over the past few months Robert Pera — the 34-year-old Silocone Valley entrepreneur trying to purchase the Memphis Grizzlies — has stayed quiet while the world has buzzed around him.

the 34-year-old billionaire hasn’t spoken much at all about his efforts to buy the Grizzles, something tat David Stern likely suggested. He also hasn’t spoken about the company he founded, Ubiquiti Networks Inc., seeing its stock price fall by more than half since the spring.

Finally he decided to explain what was going on to the San Jose Business Journal (via the Commercial Appeal), except he still really didn’t say anything interesting about the Grizzlies at all. (Quote via the Commercial Appeal.)

“When I was growing up, if I could do anything in the world, I wanted to be a professional athlete,” Pera, 34, said in the interview with reporter Diana Samuels. “For a long time my dream was always to be in a position to maybe be involved in an NBA team. I played as a kid, all growing up and in high school, and I’ve been a big fan of the NBA, so I have season tickets to the (Golden State) Warriors. I played fantasy league a couple years, and I play a few times a week.”

There you go. That’s your insight. (He’s a little more insightful on Ubiquiti, but just a little.)

Pera is currently going through the NBA’s background check procedure so the sale of the team is not official yet. It likely will be before the NBA season starts.

Perra is also still trying to help round up local ownership, reports the Commercial Appeal.

Pera is actively seeking local partners. He flew to Colorado last month to meet with AutoZone founder and current local partner J.R. “Pitt” Hyde. Pera has also been in Memphis recently. It’s unclear with whom he met, though sources confirmed he met with FedEx CEO Fred Smith and other FedEx leaders.

Kawhi Leonard returns Tuesday on minutes restriction

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The Spurs have been the Spurs this season, going 19-8 with an elite defense and offense that’s good enough to get them wins, thanks to LaMarcus Aldridge playing at an All-Star level.

Starting Tuesday, they add Kawhi Leonard back to the mix.

He will return to the lineup against Dallas, but will be on a minutes restriction, coach Gregg Popovich said on Tuesday. He would not say how many minutes, although around 20 seems a logical starting spot.

Leonard is one of the five best players in the NBA (and that may be selling him short). He averaged a career-high 25.5 points a game last season, he’s arguably the best perimeter defender in the NBA, and he finished third in the MVP voting last season.

However, there are going to be adjustments. LaMarcus Aldridge has been the focal point of the offense, but he could see fewer touches, particularly in crunch time. Kyle Anderson could see fewer minutes, and Rudy Gay may as well because Popovich liked some small-ball lineups last season with Leonard at the four. A lot of players will see their rotations change.

That said, it’s the Spurs. Do we really expect them to be anything but an incredibly good regular season team? One that is about to get better?

 

 

 

Pelicans’ Tony Allen out 3-4 weeks with fibula fracture

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The injuries just keep hitting the Pelicans. Guys like Solomon Hill and Alexis Ajinca are out for extended periods of time. Anthony Davis has missed four of the team’s last six games and is questionable for Wednesday night due to a left adductor injury.

Now comes the news that reserve guard Tony Allen will be out three to four weeks due to a nondisplaced left proximal fibula fracture, the team announced Tuesday. This is the part of the bone near the ankle.

Allen has played a limited role for New Orleans off the bench this season, averaging 12.4 minutes a game, and averaging 4.7 points. His reputation is that of a defensive stopper, and when he is on the court this season the Pelicans’ defense has been 5.6 points per 100 possessions better. However, father time has started to catch up with him and he is not the defender he once was.

Expect the minutes to bump up for Jrue Holiday and E'Twaun Moore with this injury, which is not a bad thing as they have played well (they were knocking down threes against the Rockets Monday like they were named Curry), plus Ian Clark could get a little more run.

Watch Kawhi Leonard chop boards ‘karate styyyle’ (video)

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Kawhi Leonard, enabled by the Spurs’ no-nonsense culture, is probably the NBA’s most boring superstar.

He’s widely recognized as the league’s best defender, and he has worked himself into an elite offensive threat. He has already won a Finals MVP, and regular-season MVP could eventually be in the cards.

But Leonard is notoriously reserved. For someone who has been on this stage for so long, we know little about him.

Except we now know he apparently likes karate.

Leonard:

Gonna chop y’all up. Look at all of us. Karate styyyle.

If “karate styyyle” doesn’t become Leonard’s catchphrase, I don’t even know what we’re doing.

Leonard will finally have the chance to chop up an NBA opponent tonight, when he makes his return from injury.

Michael C. Wright of ESPN:

Kevin Durant brings fan to tears with autographed shoes (video)

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Kevin Durant has become a villain to many.

Clearly not to this Warriors fan, though.