DC United Introduce New Ownership Partners

Front office guy Jason Levien leaving Philly for Memphis

1 Comment

You may not know Jason Levien, but Josh Harris likely doesn’t own the Philadelphia 76ers without him. Levien, a former agent and Sacramento Kings executive, helped bring together the Harris deal and became a minority owner in the Philly franchise.

Now he’s out so he can take a larger role with the new ownership in Memphis, reports CSNPhilly.com. Levin will be the Grizzlies CEO and managing partner — meaning he will oversee both the basketball and business sides of the operation.

Levien helped broker the deal where Robert Pera bought the Grizzlies as well, but in that case he is going to get a larger front office role, which is what he wanted. (In Philly, Doug Collins has a lot of the power.)

“I’m honored to be part of such a dynamic and potential-filled opportunity here in Memphis,” Levien said in a statement released by the Grizzlies. “I appreciate what a special role the Grizzlies and FedExForum play in the Memphis community and I know that we will build successfully on the foundation already in place.”

New owner Pera has big plans in Memphis — he wants a franchise that is more technologically savvy, both using advanced analytics on the basketball side and keeping up with how his fans consume media and the Grizzlies on the business side. He’s young, has energy and will bring some of that to a franchise that could use it.

It’s a good spot for Levien, he’s got a great role now.

Stan Van Gundy rips ‘selfish’ Pistons

Leave a comment

The Pistons had just 19 assists – to 22 turnovers – in their 93-83 loss to the Nets last night.

Stan Van Gundy was none too pleased.

On offensive problems:

I told them in there – that was the first thing – we’re not playing together at all. I thought it was a very selfish performance, and guys wouldn’t just pass the ball to open men. They wanted to see if they could take one more dribble to get their own shot, so the passing angles were gone. I just thought we forced play after play after play. We’re not willing to move the ball

On Reggie Jackson, who scored seven points on 3-of-10 shooting with six assists and six turnovers, and was coming off Achilles soreness:

He was not good at all. He was forcing everything.

On injuries to point guards – Jackson, Brandon Jennings and Steve Blake – hindering the team’s flow in practice and that carrying over to the game:

We could probably make a lot of excuses for our guys, but we were selfish.

Van Gundy is clearly trying to send a message, and the preseason is the best time to do it.

But it’s somewhat troubling he had to do it after this game.

Eight of the 10 Pistons who played against Brooklyn project to make the regular-season rotation. Joel Anthony played over Aron Baynes, and once healthy, Blake could challenge Spencer Dinwiddie to become back up point guard – at least until Jennings is ready. Otherwise, Detroit – with Jackson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Marcus Morris, Ersan Ilyasova, Andre Drummond, Jodie Meeks, Stanley Johnson and Anthony Tolliver – looked similar to its opening-night lineup.

Van Gundy is blunt, but he doesn’t tell the media things he hasn’t already directly told his players. They appreciate that.

He’d appreciate them getting this message.

Report: Dwight Howard didn’t have offseason surgery

Dwight Howard
Leave a comment

Dwight Howard said he played with a torn MCL and meniscus in the Western Conference finals – pretty shocking news that few knew what to make of.

So, um, did he have offseason surgery?

Calvin Watkins of ESPN:

Howard obviously feels great about his health now, so maybe this was the right course.

We’ll never how Howard would have performed if fully healthy, but he averaged 14.4 points and 14.4 rebounds in 35.1 minutes per game against the Warriors during the conference finals. How bad could the injuries have been?