Tag:Miami Heat
Posted on: July 30, 2010 6:20 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2010 6:39 pm
 

Heat sell out season tickets, fire sales staff

Posted by Royce Young

Typically, if you do your job really, really well, you get a promotion. Or you get a raise. Or at the very least, you get to keep your job.

But that didn't happen in Miami as the Heat fired its season ticket sales staff after the team sold out of season tickets. Ouch.

In a statement, the team confirmed the terminations Friday afternoon, saying that with an "exhausted'' inventory of season-tickets "we no longer require a season ticket sales team to sell tickets.''

Stephen Weber, vice president of sales, delivered the news to about 30 ticket sales people Friday morning, according to the story from the Miami Herald. Currently, the team's waiting list has more than 6,000 names on it. It's pretty evident that at this point, the Heat can sell tickets without even trying.

"They let us go because there was really nothing left to do anymore,'' a fired staffer told the Herald.

The statement also said: "While the decision to release part of our sales force was a difficult one, we greatly appreciate their contributions to the company. We have also hired a placement service to assist those individuals find new employment. Should any season tickets become available, they will be handled through our season ticket deposit program. We thank those employees for their time with the company and wish them success in their future endeavors.''

Obviously this seems like a major low blow. But as the staffer said, what were they really going to do? I wonder what places like Green Bay do with waiting lists that long. Still, firing a group of 30 after a job well done, has a funny taste to it. Or actually, is just downright mean.

Evidently, the Heat aren't worried about retaining the new season ticket holders. I guess LeBron, Wade and Bosh are supposed to take care of that.

Posted on: July 29, 2010 8:24 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2010 11:13 pm
 

ESPN releases statement regarding LeBron party

Posted by Matt Moore

ESPN has released a statement to explain the series of events surrounding the phantom LeBron story which appeared briefly on ESPN's servers before being yanked. The story has come down that the problem lies not with James, nor with ESPN.com's editorial staff, but with the writer, Arash Markazi.

Rob King, Vice President and Editor-In-Chief, ESPN Digital Media released a statement today:

ESPN.com will not be posting the story in any form. We looked into the situation thoroughly and found that Arash did not properly identify himself as a reporter or clearly state his intentions to write a story. As a result, we are not comfortable with the content, even in an edited version, because of the manner in which the story was reported. We’ve been discussing the situation with Arash and he completely understands. To be clear, the decisions to pull the prematurely published story and then not to run it were made completely by ESPN editorial staff without influence from any outside party.

We knew the story was going to get complicated. James was clearly unaware that his actions were going to be reported on. The question was whether he was unaware Markazi was a reporter or if he was aware Markazi was a reporter but believed he was off-record. Now we have the official position regarding that.

So was what Markazi did unethical?

If this were a drug ring, Markazi could not identify himself as a reporter. He couldn't ask if people involved in illegal behavior were on-record without jeopardizing both his safety and the story. There are a number of illegal stories broken where a reporter has had to refrain from revealing both his position and intention.

LeBron James did not do anything illegal. He has done nothing against the law, nothing that would warrant this kind of deception. There's no crime in being an egotist, no fault that goes against human decency is partying like a rock star. He simply comes off looking bad. And that's not enough to warrant such tactics. Perhaps it was a misunderstanding. But the onus is on Markazi to notify James or one of his representatives that he is a reporter, and that he is writing a story on the night's events.  LeBron James has every right to be whatever kind of person he wants to be at a private event held for him, among friends.

For his part, Markazi also released a statement, though I would not particularly call it contrite:

I have been in conversations with ESPN.com’s editors and, upon their complete review, understand their decision not to run the story. It is important to note that I stand by the accuracy of the story in its entirety, but should have been clearer in representing my intent to write about the events I observed.

ESPN takes a lot of flack for not being responsible with their coverage, and will of course take flack for protecting James' PR theoretical rear. But Markazi leaves little option by admitting he did not specify that what he saw that night would end up in front of the eyes of millions. Their hands were tied when Markazi did not approach the story with the right set of practices. We live in an age where the media seems to know no bounds. At some point, those lines have to be drawn by those with the most reach.

None of this makes any part of this story any less funny.
Posted on: July 29, 2010 12:18 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2010 12:30 pm
 

Heat round out (current) roster with House

Posted by Royce Young

As if the Miami Heat needed more scoring and talent, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! reports the Heat have signed guard Eddie House to a two-year contract for the veteran minimum of $2.8 million. The second year of the deal is a player option for $1.4 million.

Wojnarowski mentions Miami beat out the Chicago Bulls to get House. House is 32, but still a productive offensive player. In his career, House has made 749 3-pointers and shot almost 40 percent from distance. He played a vital role in the Celtics 2008 championship and is a quality team player and understands a role well.

The Heat have built an impressive roster around Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James. Mike Miller is an excellent shooter and scorer to bring off the bench. Then there's veteran talent like Juwan Howard, Udonis Haslem, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Jamaal Magloire. And now a player like House that can provide a number of baskets in a short amount of time on the floor. If you can't stand an applaud Pat Riley for constructing this roster from nothing, you probably live in Cleveland. Despite the apparent underhand dealings and controversy around it, this is quite a collection of talent.

This puts the Heat roster at 15, though a contract like Shavlik Randolph or Kenny Hasbrouck is likely non-guaranteed so a player like that could be waived in training camp. Also of note as Wojnarowski mentions is that the Heat are still weighing the possibility of signing free agent Tracy McGrady, league sources said.

Bosh, Wade, LeBron, McGrady, House, Miller... goodness. How many points a game could this group score?
Posted on: July 29, 2010 12:05 am
Edited on: July 29, 2010 12:11 am
 

Fan wearing Heat LeBron jersey escorted from game

Posted by Royce Young



You knew this was bound to happen. And you knew this would be the likely reaction.

A fan wore a Miami Heat No. 6 LeBron James jersey to a Cleveland Indians game tonight against the New York Yankees. That's what some would consider a little low blow-ish. Well, a lot low blow-ish. Or just downright mean. And wouldn't you know it, the fan was escorted out by security.

Fans in the left-field bleachers chanted obscenities and pointed at the man Wednesday night during the sixth inning of the game. Hundreds of fans joined in before security led the man out of Progressive Field. It doesn't appear that he was asked to leave because of the jersey, but more because it was becoming a distraction and a possible safety concern.

As the fan exited, some Indians fans followed behind him toward the gate continuing to yell and chant not so nice things at him. Though as pictured, the fact he was "popping" the jersey might have justified the crowd's ire a bit. The guy clearly went to patronize the crowd, so it's hard not to agree that he got what he asked for.

I'm sure this won't be the last situation like this. LeBron's exit from Cleveland wasn't a pretty one so some looking to rile folks up have a prime opportunity to kick a city while it's down. Cleveland's a wounded dog and if you mess with it, it's going to bite you. Or yell awful things about your mother and throw beer at you. Same difference.

At this point, on a list of dangerous things to do, this would have to be right up there with swimming with sharks, running with the Bulls in Pamplona or skydiving with a paper sack for a parachute. Actually, this might be at the top of the list.
Posted on: July 28, 2010 8:29 am
 

Shootaround: 7.28.10

Posted by Royce Young
  • Oklahoma City will waive Kyle Weaver, reports Marc J. Spears . After the Thunder signed Royal Ivey, Weaver was in a tight spot. The roster was at 16 and Weaver just didn't have a role. Weaver is being released because his salary of $935,484 becomes guaranteed on Aug. 2 if he's still on the roster. He should be able to easily find work overseas if he can't land with an NBA team. According to Spears, Maccabi has already offered him a deal.
  • Shoals and Ziller have nine trade demands that nearly shook the foundation of the NBA , but didn't: "Not only did Barkley successfully demand a trade in 1992, but he lobbied for help all through the late '80s. Only an embarrassing season involving heavy doses of Hersey Hawkins and Armen Gilliam gave Sir Charles the political capital needed to enact change, which came in the form of a trade to the relatively loaded (but still imperfect) Suns. Barkley is one of the few pre-millennial stars to request a trade for on-court reasons; remembered more as a surly malcontent, doesn't Barkley instead represent the ideal of the perfectly hellbent-on-winning competitor?"
  • Team USA will make roster cuts today. As Chris Sheridan of ESPN says , he feels like there's some debate going on as to who to keep: "To me, this is a clear sign that there is an internal debate raging over which four players to cut. When I spoke to team director Jerry Colangelo after the Team USA intrasquad scrimmage Saturday night, he was adamant that the decision would be made Monday, and the roster would shrink to 15"
  • Julian Benbow of The Boston Globe says the Celtics need a few more pieces and lists Shaq, Delonte West and Roger Mason as options: "The speculation that hasn’t died down since the start of free agency revolves around Shaquille O’Neal’s interest in the Celtics. The 38-year-old center wants to play for a contender, and even though Ainge wouldn’t directly address the team’s interest in O’Neal, he said, 'we’ve had some discussions.'"
  • Coach Scott Brooks on the Sports Animal in Oklahoma City talking about Team USA participation leading to some tired legs: "It’s not going to be easy to win the gold. It’s going to take a lot of effort, a lot of energy, but our guys are young and they’re excited to play. They’re going to play basketball all year long. Kevin, I wanted him to take a couple of weeks off and he took two days off. ... There’s going to be a little bit of time where I’ll say 'OK, you guys gotta rest,' and maybe I can rest them a few days during that month of October, but it’s going to be like pulling teeth to get those guys to sit out of things." (Via Sports Radio Interviews )
Posted on: July 27, 2010 3:18 pm
 

Heat sign Randolph, one spot remaining

Posted by Royce Young

Mike Wallace of the Miami Herald reports the Heat have signed Shavlik Randolph to a deal for the veteran's minimum.

Randolph spent last season in Miami and Portland and appeared in only six games. He's never appeared in more than 57 games and has never averaged more than 16 minutes a game. He's clearly part of the Heat roster to serve as a quality practice player and an insurance policy in case someone goes down with an injury.
Randolph, 26, brings Heat roster to 14, meaning only one spot is left. Of course Miami doesn't have to sign anyone else and could just leave the roster at 14.

I know what you're thinking: Is Shavlik Randolph signing with the Heat really big news? No, no it's not. But at this point, Miami could fire a janitor and most the NBA world would care. It's the most interesting place in the league right now and honestly, the way Pat Riley has filled out this roster has been nothing short of fascinating.
Posted on: July 27, 2010 11:34 am
Edited on: July 27, 2010 11:36 am
 

What's actually in your food at the arena?

Posted by Royce Young

A report on Outside the Lines Monday looked in detail at stadium food and the vendors that serve it.  The report compiled inspection reports for 107 venues and the results were pretty interesting. Or maybe actually, disturbing.

For instance, remember how Ted Leonsis said he was going to take everything up a notch for the Wizards' home games to make fan experience as good as it can be? Well, maybe instead of urinal cup holders he should start with removing the mice droppings for his concession stands. One hundred percent of the vendors in the Verizon Center were found in criticial violation. Yikes.

Some of the worst scores in the NBA :
  • Utah Jazz: 50 percent found in critical violation (Hot dogs waiting to be served had dropped below safe temperatures at several locations)
  • San Antonio Spurs: 48 percent (Inspectors found 18 pounds of hot dogs that had expired more than 10 days prior.)
  • Dallas Mavericks: 40 percent (Expired milk, brown lettuce and employees caught drinking or eating while they were working in the stand accounted for some of the stadium's critical violations.)
  • Portland Trail Blazers: 53 percent (In a cooler, inspectors found raw meat and seafood stored above ready-to-eat tacos during a prior inspection.)
  • Charlotte Bobcats: 73 percent (At one location, inspectors found debris under a slicer blade and pulled three pans that needed to be cleaned again.)
  • New York Knicks 61 percent (At one stand, inspectors found "53 mouse excreta" including 38 on top of a metal box underneath the cash registers in the front food-prep/service area and 15 on top of a carbonated-beverage dispensing unit.)
  • Orlando Magic: 75 percent (At a location that sells fish, inspectors found potentially hazardous ready-to-eat food not consumed/sold within a week of opening/preparation.)
  • Miami Heat: 93 percent (Critical violations included several safety issues related to electrical wiring and such equipment as gas boilers.)
  • Denver Nuggets: 67 percent (At one bar, inspectors found phorid flies, sometimes called coffin flies, in a bottle of cognac.)
So who can't wait to take their family to a ballgame and have some nachos with a side of phorid flies? Me either!

Some of the best were the Bulls and Raptors who had a stellar zero percent found in critical violation, the Thunder, the Lakers and Clippers, the Cavs, the Rockets, the Grizzlies and the 76ers. All of those scored under 20 percent.

Nobody goes to a game thinking they're getting a five star meal. And every food establishment battles these issues. But regardless, it's eye-opening. Knowing that mice poo could be near your hot dog in Madison Square Garden or raw meat next to some tacos in Portland is a little disturbing. Well, scratch that. A lot disturbing.
Posted on: July 26, 2010 12:58 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2010 9:34 pm
 

The LeBron effect on Chris Paul

Posted by Matt Moore

The words are not weak. Chris Paul, a young man that has brought himself to be not only arguably the best point guard in the National Basketball Association, but an important member of both the social and business communities in New Orleans and his home of North Carolina, is being regarded as weak. This behavior as of late, the trade demands , the partying, the sulking, it's not like Chris. This isn't who he is. At least, that's how it's being regarded in the media. In reality, nothing about his behavior seems out of order for a young point guard on a struggling team. So naturally, the wheels of blame have begun to turn. We like Chris Paul too much to make him into an egotist. There must be something else at play. Let's see... charitable, no... hyper-competitive... no, can't blame that, that makes too much sense... ah! I got it!

LeBron James DID IT!

But even as the idea sounds ridiculous and fabricated, there are good reasons to head in that general direction. Nowhere has that been as explicitly outlined as in Adrian Wojnarowski's article that all but drew scepters and pentagrams around James and his marketing firm, LRMR. That was then followed up by James tweeting :

"Best of luck to my brother @oneandonlycp3 . Do what's best for You and your family"

Which is a nice sentiment, but still seems like James intruding into matters which are not his business. And if that's a wee bit of tampering, we can only imagine what went on this weekend when the two were partying it up in Vegas . In the midst of all this is a report that Paul himself has not  signed on with James' marketing firm , LRMR. This contradicts a July 8th report saying just that, along with the indication that Paul has joined CAA, which also represents LeBron James and the other two super-friends. 

It's been confirmed that Paul has left Octagon, but not that he has joined LRMR. He's hanging out with LeBron, but we don't know if they talked about business at all. 

The question we need to be asking ourselves is if Chris Paul is really that easily "corrupted" or "influenced" or whatever term you'd like. Is this player who has shown a tremendous amount of maturity in his short time in the NBA really being "turned to the dark side," or whatever overblown phrase you'd like to use, by a marketing firm that has yet to land a marquee client or business deal and a player that has yet to win a championship? There's no doubt LeBron is powerful, arguably the most powerful player in the NBA. And there's no doubt the two are friends. But in all of his dealings, CP3 has never come across as the type to be railroaded or to do as he's told. He seems much more like a motivated individual that keeps track of his dealings and has a clear set plan for establishing his legacy.

Turning his back on New Orleans doesn't seem like it's in his character, that's true. But for a guy who's known as one of the most competitive players in a hyper-competitive environment (ask Julius Hodge about that), a trade request from a team that's been spinning its wheels doesn't seem out of line. The most logical conclusion is that LeBron James definitely did have an impact on this, but not in pressuring Paul, but by leading by example, even if that example is currently being spit on by most of the free world. 

James' decisions in the last two months have been driven by an athlete-centric decision tree. He's not putting the fans first. Not putting the teams (and thereby their owners) first. He's putting himself and his brand first. And in doing so, he's helped increase the arms race that started three years ago with the Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen trades that made Boston a champion and pushed the Lakers towards the Gasol acquisition. This is how you win championships, by playing on loaded teams, not by shouldering the burden. Paul has watched three of his best friends become a superpower, while he is playing for an 8th seed in the West with an aging core and two young Bucks, one of whom plays his position. 

Paul can't stand to be left behind. That's what James has shown him. That if he wants to keep up with the tone of progress, he's going to have to take matters into his own hands. The question is if the Hornets are going to blink first.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com