Michael Heisley, the billionaire business man who purchased the Vancouver Grizzlies and moved them to Memphis, passed away Saturday at the age of 77.
Heisley died from complications of a massive stroke he had suffered 15 months ago.
“This is a sad day as the entire Grizzlies’ organization, the extended NBA family and the city of Memphis mourn the loss of former Grizzlies owner, Michael Heisley. We send our condolences to the entire Heisley family and want them to know they remain in our thoughts,” Grizzlies’ owner Robert Pera said in a released statement.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver addressed Heisley at a press conference in Memphis over the weekend.
“Michael was responsible for moving the Grizzlies from Vancouver to Memphis and really for getting (FedExForum, the Grizzlies’ home arena) built as well as a long-time friend of the league. He was a wonderful owner, a terrific friend and I want to send my deepest condolences to his wife, Agnes, to his children, and all his friends.”
Heisley bought the team back in 2000 and moved the team from Vancouver to Memphis a year later. One of his first moves was to hire Jerry West as president of basketball operations. Heisley wasn’t the most popular of owners in Memphis, but he was very loyal to the city (he could have moved it or sold it to someone who would). He built an organization that was active with charitable contributions in the community, and eventually winning again on the court.
In 2012 he had presided over a team that was on the rise in the NBA, when he sold the team to current owner Robert Pera, for $377 million.
Our thoughts to out the Heisley’s family and freinds.
With the Timberwolves trailing the Pistons by three and 6.2 seconds left, Jimmy Butler drew a foul on a 3-pointer.
Butler made the first two free throws then, just before he got the ball for the third, Reggie Jackson interrupted to talk to Stanley Johnson, who was in rebounding position. Butler missed the free throw, and Detroit won 100-97 after an intentional foul.
Butler said Jackson didn’t affect him, but Butler’s side eye during the delay at least appeared to speak loudly.
Kris Dunn had a nice weekend – 39 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds as the Bulls beat the Hornets and lost to the Suns – punctuated by this dunk in Chicago’s 113-105 loss to the Suns last night.
T.J. Warren paid the price for Tyler Ulis overplaying a Robin Lopez screen Dunn cleverly never used.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The Orlando Magic has decided to end their annual summer league.
Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said Sunday the trend of NBA teams playing in the Las Vegas Summer League led to the decision end Orlando Pro Summer League. Orlando’s Summer League, which showcased rookies and young players, began in 2002.
Las Vegas will host all 30 teams for the summer league beginning in the summer of 2018. The Orlando Pro Summer League began as a 10-team tournament but there were just eight participating teams this past summer.
The summer league in Orlando, which is played in the Magic’s practice gym, was the only one of three summer leagues that did not allow fans to come in to watch.
Not that the Warriors needed him with Stephen Curry going off again, but Golden State was without Kevin Durant on Sunday in Brooklyn due to a sprained ankle.
Durant is officially day-to-day, but that brings up the question of whether he will be ready to go Wednesday night when the Warriors travel to Oklahoma City to take on his former team. Chris Haynes of ESPN asked Durant about it.
While some blowhards will talk about him dodging the Thunder, the Warriors course here is obvious — they do not want to rush him back for any game in November. Even one against Russell Westbrook. Ankles with stretched ligaments are easy to re-injure if not fully healed, and the Warriors don’t want this to be chronic and last through more of the season.
Durant is averaging 24.9 points per game, 7 rebounds, and 4.7 assists, and — with all due respect to fellow former MVP Curry — he is the best player on the Warriors. Maybe the best player in the world right now, period. Durant can score at will, and he had become a key part of the Warriors’ fifth-ranked defense blocking 2.2 shots per game (their offense is No. 1 in the league).