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- Riley expects Heat to compete among elite (The SportsXchange) July 31, 2014Miami Heat president Pat Riley was surprised that LeBron James left but is moving on and expects the team to be competitive going forward. "I went into it with the notion he was coming back, so I was selling that to players," Riley said during a conference call. James announced earlier this month that he was leaving Miami after four seasons to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Heat won two NBA titles and reached the NBA Finals each of the four years that the superstar forward was part of the team.
- Riley speaks out, insists Heat will be competitive (The Associated Press) July 30, 2014One of the last things Miami Heat President Pat Riley told LeBron James before free agency began this summer was that he would be selling potential players on the notion of playing alongside a four-time NBA MVP. Riley made that revelation Wednesday, shortly after the Heat completed the signing of Chris Bosh to a $118 million, five-year contract and essentially wrapped up their roster-rebuilding project for next season, the first of the post-LeBron era in Miami. The Heat have 12 players locked in for next season, Bosh and Dwyane Wade foremost among them, and Riley expects the four-time defending Eastern Conference champions to compete once again this coming year. James is now back with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team that he left for Miami in 2010, four trips to the NBA Finals and two championships ago.
- Grizzlies appoint Wallace, Stefanski to front office roles (The SportsXchange) July 29, 2014Chris Wallace was named general manager of the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday after assuming the title on an interim basis in May. Owner Robert Pera announced that Wallace signed a multiyear contract, but exact terms and financial details were not provided by the team. The Grizzlies also hired Ed Stefanski to become executive vice president of player personnel. Stefanski will serve under Wallace and oversee player personnel and scouting.
- Report: Suns forward P.J. Tucker arrested for 'super extreme DUI,' could face 45 days in jail (Ball Don't Lie) July 29, 2014Three weeks after finishing the 2013-14 NBA regular season, and two months before he got a new three-year, $16.5 million contract , Phoenix Suns forward P.J. Tucker was arrested by Scottsdale, Ariz., police for "super extreme DUI," according to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic . The legal blood alcohol content limit is .08. A driving-under-the-influence violation is considered "super extreme" in Arizona if the violator's blood alcohol level tops .20. (There's an intermediate crime — "extreme DUI" — for offenders whose blood alcohol level falls between .15 and .20.) Coro reported Monday night that Tucker blew a .201 "on a preliminary breath test in the field on May 10, according to Scottsdale police," and that analysis of a blood test administered after Tucker was arrested and taken to jail "showed his blood alcohol-content to be .222, according to the police report." That, obviously, is a remarkably high number, and according to the police reports, Tucker's appearance and behavior seemed consistent with that: A Scottsdale police officer reported spotting Tucker, 29, driving his 2011 Mercedes-Benz slowly through a stop sign at North Buckboard Trail and East Camelback Road, near a popular downtown Scottsdale nightlife area. According to the report, the vehicle ran that stop sign northbound at about 12:30 a.m., turned wide left into the right lane on westbound Camelback and turned wide again while straddling two lanes on northbound Scottsdale Road before the officer pulled the vehicle over. Tucker had "thick and slurred" speech and "watery and bloodshot" eyes, according to the report, and the officer detected a "powerful" alcohol odor as he interviewed Tucker. Tucker told the officer that he was coming from the W Scottsdale Hotel, where he had one beer. During a walk-and-turn test, Tucker stumbled to the side and caught himself on a construction fence, the report stated. Coro reports that the Suns "were aware of the charges before signing Tucker to his deal," adding an interesting and somewhat curious wrinkle to the negotiations with and retention of a player often lauded for his hustle, on-court leadership, locker-room tone-setting and vaunted veteran presence. "We are aware of the situation but won't comment until the case is resolved in court," a Suns spokesman told Phoenix ABC affiliate KNXV on Monday. All told, Tucker faces four counts of driving under the influence, with the "super extreme DUI" packing the stiffest potential penalty. "While this crime is still a misdemeanor, it carries a minimum jail term that is greater than most first time felonies," writes Arizona attorney Lawrence Koplow . If convicted of the "super extreme" charge, Tucker faces a minimum of 45 days in jail, plus a mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device on his car for no less than 18 months. There's also, of course, the potential for additional punishment from either the Suns or the NBA depending upon the resolution of the legal process. Then-Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd last fall received a two-game suspension for pleading guilty to driving while impaired while he was a player employed by the New York Knicks. Former Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks forward Devin Ebanks also received a two-game suspension last fall for pleading no contest in a case stemming from a 2012 DUI charge. A second-round draft pick out of Texas in the 2006 NBA draft, Tucker played one season with the Toronto Raptors before heading overseas to ply his trade in Israel, Ukraine, Greece, Italy and Germany, before returning to the U.S. prior to the 2012-13 season and inking a two-year, veteran's-minimum deal to join the Suns. He became an integral part of a Suns team that was a surprise playoff contender last season, making 81 starts at small forward and contributing 9.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.4 steals per game while hitting 38.7 percent of his 3-pointers, primarily from the short corners. The 6-foot-6 grinder has become a fan favorite over two years in the desert for his defensive commitment and hustle. It will be interesting to see if the now-pervasive attachment of the phrase "super extreme DUI" to his name will do anything to change that. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.
- Derrick Rose says he's back to being a 'special player' after one practice with U.S. team (Yahoo Sports) July 29, 2014Bulls guard Derrick Rose looked sharp in his first workout at the U.S. training camp. He also sounded as confident as ever.
- Beyond Looking Out for No. 1, Always Putting the Team First July 15, 2014There is a clear distinction between LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony in how they have balanced the art of playing a team sport with the equally tricky but more desensitized business of professional basketball.
- With Return of Anthony, Knicks Quietly Edge Ahead July 14, 2014Retaining Carmelo Anthony represents a down payment on the present, while leaving the door ajar to a brighter future a year from now.
- Statement by Player Erases the Last Doubt July 14, 2014With a 173-word statement on his website, Anthony smothered any remaining uncertainty about his plans and cemented his position as one of the team’s leaders in the years ahead.
- Carmelo Anthony Said to Agree to Re-Sign With the Knicks July 13, 2014After months of speculation and about a week of free agency, Anthony will stay in New York, according to a person with firsthand knowledge of the negotiations.
- Carmelo Anthony Keeps the Knicks Waiting on His Decision July 12, 2014Amid other free-agent moves, the focus now turns to Anthony, who has to choose between remaining with the Knicks or going elsewhere.