New push to get Maloofs to sell Kings a long shot. At best.

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There is really nothing the Maloof family can do now to salvage its reputation.

Not in Sacramento, not with any person using logic looking at the situation. As Tom Ziller pointed out at Sactown Royalty, the family had an economist at a press conference in New York last week talking about what a bad deal this arena is for the city, then they presented their list of issues with the development, basically all of it which would have made it worse for the city. They talked about renovating Power Balance Arena even though they shot that idea down in the past. They keep saying they do not want to leave town but their actions say otherwise.

All of which has led to a push to get a new ownership group in place for the Kings, reports Ken Berger at CBSSports. Sadly, it is one that will fail, but the effort has started.

The executive director of a grassroots organization formed by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson to facilitate a new downtown arena for the Kings released a letter Sunday denouncing the Maloof family for pulling out of the deal and hinting that an ownership alternative for the team should be presented to the NBA.

“Amongst the next steps to potentially consider is the approach taken by the City of San Francisco when it looked like the San Francisco Giants were going to relocate,” wrote Chris Lahane, executive director of Think BIG, in a letter to coalition members obtained by CBSSports.com and other news outlets. “In San Francisco, a local community group came together to present an alternative ownership group to Major League Baseball.”

The Maloof’s representative smashed the letter and suggestions later.

The fact is the league cannot force an owner to sell. If it could, do you really think Donald Sterling would still be owner of the Clippers? Once you own a team you own it. And remember, David Stern works for the owners. He has power but no way any owner is going to okay forcing out a fellow owner, they don’t want that precedent set.

Now, the Board of Governor’s relocation committee could make it more difficult to move the Kings. That step would put pressure on the Kings and Maloofs. But at the end of the day, if the Maloofs don’t want to sell they will keep the Kings. Sorry Sacramento.

Scottie Pippen on LeBron James, Michael Jordan: “It’s not a fair comparison”

AP
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The battle has, stupidly, raged on between supporters of Michael Jordan and LeBron James. Both sides seem to believe their preference is irrefutably the choice for the best player in NBA history.

And because they did not play in the same era, the question will never be answered. No doubt in 50 years they will write columns about Jordan vs. LeBron, just like their fathers, and their father’s fathers before them.

James has certainly seemed to take a bit of a leap in the eyes of the NBA community this season, likely because of his wonderful performance at age 33. He’s also single-handedly won two playoff series this year. It’s been incredible.

But LeBron rising above Jordan has also brought out some more reasonable takes. Former Chicago Bulls legend and Jordan running mate Scottie Pippen spoke up recently about the debate, giving a measured analysis that I think is pretty strong.

In short, Pippen basically said you can’t compare the two because of the eras, the style, and the fact they just don’t play the same position (if LeBron even has a position, that is).

Via Twitter:

That sounds right to me.

Cavaliers’ Kendrick Perkins not into “all that new stuff” like Chewbacca

Getty Images
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Chewbacca was at Game 3 in Cleveland Saturday. Sitting courtside.

Why? Because growing up on Kashyyyk he played a little hoop and admires LeBron James‘ skill? Because Drake gave him the tickets? Maybe. I mean, it’s not like that was just a clever little publicity stunt for a movie.

After the Cavaliers’ win, Kevin Love decided to make a little joke of it with noted humorist Kendrick Perkins, and it went over as well as expected (with Dave McMenamin of ESPN catching it).

That’s vintage Perkins.

Celtics’ Terry Rozier on Game 3: “We needed to get our butts whooped”

Associated Press
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Cleveland dominated Game 3 Saturday night. They played harder, to start. The Cavaliers’ defensive pressure on the ball was better, they were sharper rotating out to shooters and covering passing lanes. Cleveland’s role players stepped up and helped LeBron James.

Boston, meanwhile, wilted in the face of that pressure Saturday, something it has done a few times on the road these playoffs. The Celtics got away from the things that got them to the Eastern Conference Finals. Guard Terry Rozier put it more bluntly, via A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston:

“I feel like we needed this (loss) to get us back … to get us ready for Monday,” Rozier said.

Rozier later added, “We needed to get our butts whipped. Come back to reality and take care of business on Monday.”

Cleveland is a championship team — from LeBron James on down through the core guys, they all have rings. They have been down before, and heading home it was expected they would play with force. Cleveland’s back was against the wall and they responded.

From the Celtics’ perspective, they also got a little too fat and happy and were not ready for what the Cavaliers came with in Game 3.

Now the pressure is on Boston to push back, to get back to their level of execution and do it under pressure. Make the Cavaliers prove the improved defensive effort was not a one-off game. The Celtics must move the ball and play with some pace, then see if the Cavaliers can keep it together in the face of crisp play.

When this series heads back to Boston Wednesday, it will either see the Celtics in control up 3-1, or the series will be a best of three (with the Cavs still having to figure out if they can win on the road). At home, the Cavaliers are going to play with force again and have some depth. We’ll see if Game 3 was enough of a wakeup call for Boston.

PBT Extra: Can Rockets take Game 2 energy, execution on the road?

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Houston found its blueprint to beating Golden State in Game 2: Strong defensive pressure on the ball, quick switches and communication on defense, getting out in transition when possible, and starting sets earlier in the shot clock and attacking downhill with James Harden and Chris Paul.

Now can they do that on the road? Against a more focused and sharper Warriors’ team?

That will be the question in the next two games of the Western Conference Finals, and it’s what I discuss in this latest PBT Extra.