An earthquake of front-office confusion hit the Memphis Grizzlies, and the aftershocks are still reverberating.
Jerry Zgoda of the Star-Tribune:
The Wolves have been given permission to talk to Memphis coach Dave Joerger and will probably do so by the end of the week, according to a league source.
Bottom line, according to the source: Joerger wants out and Grizzlies ownership wants him out, but Joerger doesn’t want to leave the rest of his multi-year contract on the table and the team doesn’t want to pay him off.
If the Timberwolves get Joerger, that would be an excellent hire. He guided the Grizzlies to 50 wins despite the team getting hit hard by injuries and playing in a loaded Western Conference. Following Lionel Hollins – another quality coach Memphis was OK with losing – Joerger’s performance was impressive.
He might not persuade Kevin Love to change his mind and stay in Minnesota, but Joerger would give the Timberwolves a chance of winning enough next season to make Love re-consider. He’d be a good coach for any post-Love rebuilding that may need to happen as well.
As for the Grizzlies, what the heck? Why don’t they want to keep a coach like that? Just what is Grizzlies owner Robert Pera doing?
Two key front-office people are out – perhaps related to Pera’s reported desire to fire Joerger early in the season. No matter what role that debate played in the rift, Pera now has fewer roadbacks to dumping Joerger – especially if Memphis no longer has to pay the coach.
Whether or not Joerger leaves for the Timberwolves, don’t expect that to end the Grizzlies’ shakeup. John Hollinger remains in the front office, and it’s unknown his role going forward. Zach Randolph can become a free agent this offseason, and Marc Gasol’s contract ends in 2015.
Randolph previously said he wants to spend the rest of his career with the Grizzlies, but they’re quickly straying from being the Grizzlies that Randolph – and everyone else – knows.
MIAMI (AP) The Miami Heat will be without starting forward James Johnson for at least two games and probably more after bursitis was found in his right ankle.
Johnson left Miami’s win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday with ankle pain, and an MRI performed Sunday led to the bursitis diagnosis. Johnson is not traveling with the team for its trip for games at Atlanta on Monday and Boston on Wednesday.
The team says Johnson could miss seven to 10 days, which would also mean his status for home games against Dallas on Dec. 22, New Orleans on Dec. 23 and Orlando on Dec. 26 is in some doubt.
Johnson is averaging 10.9 points and 5.2 rebounds for the Heat this season.
LeBron James notched his third-straight triple-double on Sunday, this one coming against the Washington Wizards. But before the game, the story was all about how James was voicing a silent protest — in Washington D.C., no less — by wearing a special version of his shoes.
LeBron took to the floor wearing his LeBron 15s, but this player edition had the word “Equality” on the back of them. James wore one black shoe and one white shoe.
James wore the black versions of this shoe in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ opener to start the season.
LeBron finished the game with 20 points, 15 assists, and 12 rebounds. The Cavaliers beat the Wizards, 106-99.
The Carolina Panthers are up for sale. Owner Jerry Richardson said he would sell the team late on Sunday following an announcement by the NFL that Richardson was under investigation for “workplace misconduct”. The NFL’s investigation and Richardson’s decision to sell was preceded by a report from SI saying Richardson had paid out settlements amid sexual harassment and racial slur claims.
Enter Sean Combs and Stephen Curry.
Combs — that’s Diddy, you to and me — has previously voiced his interest in being involved with the NFL, and after seeing that Richardson would be selling the team, jumped at the chance to boost his profile. Combs tweeted that he wanted to buy the team, and that’s when Curry joined in.
Naturally, Curry is from Charlotte and went to both high school and eventually college in the area, playing at Davidson. He’s an avid Panthers fan and has been on the sideline for the team publicly many times over the years.
Curry being part of an ownership group for the Panthers would be pretty wild. Perhaps Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan would like to join in? It seems like they would have the liquidity and credit availability between the three of them to get the team.
Then again, the asking price for the Panthers could be north of $2 billion. The last team to be sold was the Buffalo Bills in 2014 for $1.4 billion. In September, Forbes released a valuation for the Panthers that put them at $2.3 billion.
Might need to get a few others involved in this one.
Vince Carter is 40 years old and playing in what could possibly be his final NBA season. The Sacramento Kings guard started his career with the Toronto Raptors, and on Sunday he played what could possibly be his final game at the Air Canada Centre.
And so, when Carter was subbed out late in the fourth quarter on Sunday, the folks in Toronto did what came naturally: they cheered.
The whole thing was pretty great to watch, and a real testament to how Carter is viewed by fans in Toronto.
Carter scored just four points in 25 minutes for Sacramento, going 2-of-5 from the field while adding three blocks, two assists, a rebound and a steal.
The Raptors got the win over the Kings, 108-93.