HoopsHype rumors

November 5, 2012 | 08:31 PM ET Update

He's not in favor of the new All-Star Game format which eliminates the center designation from the ballots. Beginning this season, fans will simply vote for three frontcourt players, rather than two players slated as "forwards" and one player as a "center." "I don't like it at all," emphatically stated the three-time defensive player of the year. "We work just as hard as anybody else. I don't think it's fair to take away a position which has been here for life. You need a center on the court. So I don't think it's right. That's like taking away a guard. That's how I feel. ESPN.com

Of course, Heisley is the team's former owner. Hollins is in the last year of his contract and now must convince Levien and new owner Robert Pera to give him a contract extension. To that end, Hollins said he'll be the same guy he's always been - one of conviction. "I'm going to go out and do the best job I can as often as I can," Hollins said. "What other people think is on them. I'm going to go out and coach. I'm not going to try to be somebody different." Memphis Commercial Appeal

Deng is being introduced from South Sudan this season instead of his customary Duke. "I love Duke," Deng said. "It's nothing against Duke. Me and Coach K are friends. After we got our independence, I wanted people to recognize South Sudan. It's a way to get recognition if someone is in the crowd or listening at home on TV, they might Google it." Chicago Tribune

November 5, 2012 | 06:45 PM ET Update

The next thing to be considered is the Bucks’ commitment to Jennings, and HOOPSWORLD has learned that the commitment is very real. There is no plan to trade Jennings or even gauge his market value, as he is seen as the long-term solution and a firm foundation around which to build in Milwaukee. HoopsWorld

The simple fact is that Jennings’ agent, Bill Duffy, came with a bigger offer than the Bucks were willing to consider, and while Milwaukee put a few smaller offers on the table and other numbers were discussed in relation to other, similar, players, no agreement was reached. HoopsWorld

The NBA announced via it's NBA Officials section that both Barea and Sloan have been warned for flopping. The first violation results in a warning, the second a $5,000 fine, the third a $10,000 fine, the fourth a $15,000 fine and the fifth a $30,000 fine with any subsequent violations possibly resulting in a suspension. CBSSports.com

Ken Berger: Latest info from Lakers' medical staff has Steve Nash missing about 7-10 days, according to a person briefed on the point guard's prognosis. Twitter @KBergCBS

Ralph Lawler has seen a lot in his three decades as the voice of the Los Angeles Clippers. He has never seen a team like this one. "This November is the first time in 34 years where I thought, 'These guys can win a championship,' " Lawler said recently. "I've really felt from this summer when they put this team together that it was so well structured. The combination of the athleticism of the three young kids they've got here between the ages of 22 and 24, the seven guys or so in the absolute prime of their career between the ages of 27 and 32, and the two great veterans, Chauncey Billups and Grant HIll. They have the makings of a terrific basketball team." ESPN.com

November 5, 2012 | 05:32 PM ET Update

So, there's no guarantee how this is going to go for the Thunder. Nobody knows for sure, starting with Durant. He was at the Notre Dame-Oklahoma football game in Norman, half an hour from OKC, when he got the text last Saturday that the Harden trade was official. Even though Durant was well aware that things could go that way, it was still, to use his word, shocking. "People get it confused," he said last week, "but we get attached to people. 'Cause you're with these guys, fighting with these guys every single day. You kind of build a bond with them, a friendship with them over the years. You start to become family. And so to see a guy that's been here since day one, since we started this thing, get moved like that, it was tough. It was tough, not because of the basketball part of it, but just to see him every day was tough. But we've got to move on. We're very excited about the team we have, and it's going to be a very fun year." NBA.com

Daniels has a strong understanding of how the Celtics’ locker room had operated over the past three seasons, and he admits Rondo and Allen had their differences at times. But he was adamant that it has been the media that’s led to the war of words escalating between both Celtics players and Allen. “That’s who makes [this] blow out of proportion – the media,” Daniels said. “I blame the media making it bigger than what it is. I don’t think the relationship [between Rondo and Allen] is that bad. If they hated each other, they would’ve been fighting.” RealGM

Parker does not begrudge Harden asking for, and getting, a max deal for almost $80 million from Houston. But he preferred having the best chance to win a title with the Spurs, and he knew he'd have to shave a little to put the best possible team around him and Duncan and Ginobili. "On the one hand, you can take less money like I did, like what Manu did, and stay with a winning team," Parker said. "Or you can do your own thing and be your own man, like [Tracy] McGrady, and try to be a superstar and want to make the All-Star team, and [Harden] decided to do that. I wish him luck. Both ways, you can't go wrong. It depends who you want to be. "A lot of people ask me, 'How are you so successful in San Antonio?' Because, I say, we did a lot of sacrifice. When you look at Manu, Manu did a lot of sacrifice to stay here. I did the same thing. Sometimes when you want to win championships, you have to do that." NBA.com

Levien reiterated during the public press conference that there are no current plans to replace any of the organization's top decision makers, instead suggesting that he and Pera's team would be evaluating what's already in place. “I know Chris [Wallace] and I have a lot of respect for Chris. I'm looking forward to sitting down with them in this process,” Levien said in regard to current vice president of basketball operations Chris Wallace, coach Lionel Hollins, and the rest of the basketball staff. Memphis Flyer

One name not mentioned was Daniel Straus, a New York-based founder and CEO of the health-care company CareOne. I had heard over the weekend that Straus would be part of the group and I spotted a jersey with his name displayed on a table when I entered the press conference, but he was not named and Levien declined afterward to confirm his participation. Memphis Flyer

You agreed to a large financial commitment in terms of salaries this offseason. As GM Billy King came to you with each of these potential contracts, did you ever say 'Wait a minute; I've already spent plenty. How much more do you want?' Prokhorov: It's a very good question. It's a combination of love of sport and business. So what we need first is to change the team's mentality. My approach in any business [is] to find the best people on the market and let them do their job. So with Billy King, I have a great guy with excellent feeling of players. With [coach] Avery Johnson, we have undeveloped talent, with strong passion for discipline. And on the one hand, he's great with the players who need real great discipline, and on the other side, he established excellent relations with the stars. So we're a team. And we're a very clever team, because if you look to our roster, it's very, very reasonable. We collect all the pieces in a very reasonable way. So we have, for example, excellent rotation -- like 10, 11, maybe 12 men. And so, this is just very smart [for] team spirit. We all do our job. Because all of our team, we want to have a championship. But it's not a fast way, immediate way. Because we have three years left. NBA.com

Asked how long he wants to continue in sports broadcasting, Charles Barkley told SI.com something shocking: He's almost done. "I love my job," Barkley said. "I love the people I work with. And I'm going to try to do things to keep me engaged. But I have four years left on my current deal and to be honest with you, it's going to be a struggle for me to make it for the whole four years. I really don't know how much longer I'm going to do this. I need something more, or something else to do to be honest with you." SI.com

In an extended interview with SI.com, Barkley was contemplative about his future as a broadcaster. The TNT NBA analyst has uttered similar things before -- including plenty of talk about an Alabama gubernatorial run -- but he offered extended remarks about needing a new challenge. "I only thought I would do this for three or four years but now I have been doing it for 13 years," Barkley said. "When I got to my fifth year of broadcasting I was like 'OK, I'll do this a couple of more years.' But now I'm like, 'Dude, you have been doing this for 13 years and if I make it to the end of the contract it will be 17 years.' Seventeen years is a long time. It's a lifetime in broadcasting. I personally have to figure out the next challenge for me." SI.com

Asked for something in broadcasting he'd like to do before he moves on to another profession, Barkley said he wants to call a college basketball game with ESPN's Dick Vitale. He even went so far as to tell his bosses at Turner about his wish. What was their response? "They kind of just blew me off a little bit," Barkley said. "But I don't get my ego caught up with that. Dick does a great job with college basketball and we do a great job with the NBA. I just think it would be fun for Dick and I to do a game together." SI.com

According to a list compiled by HoopsHype.com, NBA players and coaches have exclusively donated to the reelection campaign of President Barack Obama. The list, gathered from data on OpenSecrets.org, shows a healthy mix of NBA front-office donations to both Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Giving from players and coaches skew heavily to the incumbent. Sports Network

Dial Global and the NBC Sports Group say basketball veteran Stan Van Gundy is the latest to join NBC Sports Radio as a Senior Analyst for the NBA. Van Gundy will call into network shows each week during the NBA season. The former head coach of The Orlando Magic will talk exclusively (they have exclusive national radio rights) to NBC Sports Radio affiliates and co-host for an hour every Friday during the NBA season, on a show soon to be announced. Radio & Television Business Report

Entering the game, Gortat was fine with anything Magic fans had to say to him, whether it was barbs or wishes that he had not been traded. With Hedo Turkoglu out, Gortat was the game’s only remaining player from the six-player December 2010 trade. “That’s business,” Gortat said. “ I learned that. And you know what? I have a sweet home in Phoenix. I’m feeling good out there, trust me. Biltmore. It’s just great. I live in the building with (Sen.) John McCain. I’ve got great teammates. I’ve got a sweet spot on the team. I’ve got a great mentor in Jermaine O’Neal. What else do you want to have? I’m in a great city.” Arizona Republic

Jim Durham, lead play-by-play commentator for the NBA on ESPN Radio since its inception in January 1996, passed away over the weekend at his home in Tomball, TX (outside of Houston). Durham was 65 and is survived by his wife, Helen, their three children, Patrick, Richard and Tracy and several grandchildren. In 2011 Durham was honored by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame with the Curt Gowdy Media Award, presented annually to members of the print and electronic media whose longtime efforts have made a significant contribution to the game of basketball. ESPN.com

“I am stunned. Devastated," said Steve Schanwald, the Bulls' executive vice president of business operations. "I loved that man, we all did here, and of course Jim was the best in the business at his craft. No one brought the game more to life, brought more energy and humor to the broadcasts or painted a more vivid picture of what was happening on the floor than Jim did. I will miss his company and our conversations a lot. But I will always be grateful for our friendship and the times we shared together. Heartfelt condolences to (wife) Helen and his family.” Chicago Tribune

November 5, 2012 | 12:43 PM ET Update

Los Angeles Lakers superstar talked to CNN Turk reporter Barbaros Tapan, you can find his statements about his future plans and his flirt with Turkish team Besiktas last season during the lock-out. “My aim is to play until I’m 40 years old and I believe I can do that. This year, we added very good players to our squad. Steve Nash, Dwight Howard will make us stronger. Right now, things are not going very well but I believe it’ll get better soon.” TrendBasket

Jennings is the most gifted player from that draft to be denied an extension from his rookie-scale deal. While Curry, Lawson, James Harden and Blake Griffin cash in with max or near-max contracts, the player whose nickname is Young Money could only press his nose against the glass and stare at the riches he didn’t get. The Bucks say Jennings is part of their future, but when it came time to put up, they shut their wallet. “Now I guess I’m kind of auditioning for other teams,” he said. SportsonEarth

Barea must pass NBA tests that are part of the league's new concussion policy before he is cleared to play again. The Wolves face the Nets in Brooklyn on Monday night. Barea took two tests Sunday night at Air Canada Centre. "I think I failed the first and passed the second one just now, so we'll see," he said after scoring nine points before being sidelined after playing less than eight minutes. "I'll probably play [Monday]." Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Rubio and Love traveled with the team on this two-game trip that ends Monday in Brooklyn and are expected to continue to travel until each returns. They came back to the locker room side by side, drenched in sweat, after a vigorous pregame workout. "They need to be around the team, I just think they can help our guys, talking to them," coach Rick Adelman said. "The more you're around the team, when they do come back, it's a seamless transition. We're trying to get this team together. The more they get used to each other, the better it's going to be." Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Pera said he wants to make FedExForum the most technologically advanced arena in the country. He said he wants to use advanced analytics to evaluate players, like the sort used in "Moneyball." He said he wants to build a player-centric culture in Memphis, so players will think of Memphis as a destination. And, yes, at this last one, I rolled my eyes, too. But that's the thing about youth. It tends to dream big. That's supposed to be a good thing, isn't it? Besides, Pera doesn't come across as rash and impulsive, but thoughtful and deliberate. He picked Levien to essentially run the franchise, on the business and basketball sides. The two of them won't make any decisions about Chris Wallace, Greg Campbell or Lionel Hollins until they have a chance to see how the team operates. "We were focused on closing the deal," he said. "We want to learn more." Memphis Commercial Appeal

Jason Levien remembers the first time he played basketball with Robert Pera. They were in Taiwan. They decided to go to opposite ends of the court to warm up. "I look down there, and he's throwing it down," said Levien. Yes, Memphians. Your new Grizzlies owner can dunk. He's 6-3 and can get off the deck. He looks like he could be starting at forward for Rhodes or CBU. Now he's sitting in a luxury box in FedExForum, talking about his plans for his new NBA team. Someone asks him if he's met any of the Grizzlies players yet. "I met some, when we came here in March," he said. "But they might have thought I was Heisley's grandson." Memphis Commercial Appeal

Mark Kreidler: Gary Payton: Seattle hoping to have #Kings on the floor in 2015-16. He's part of group pushing for sale/relocation. #RiseGuys @957thegame Twitter @MarkKreidler

Quietly, without any fanfare or so much as a press release on the league's main or media website, the NBA introduced two more female referees to its 70-person referee crew for the 2012-13 season. Lauren Holtkamp worked Friday night's Chicago Bulls triumph over the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Brenda Pantoja was part of the crew that oversaw Atlanta's win over Oklahoma City on Sunday. The two joined longtime vet Violet Palmer, and in a sign of just how times have changed since Palmer and former ref Dee Kantner joined the league in 1997, the NBA didn't even bother to type up a showy, self-congratulating announcement when Holtkamp and Pantoja were hired, or made their debuts. Yahoo! Sports

The Chicago Bulls and Luol Deng provided Thanksgiving dinner to more than 700 guests at the Pacific Garden Mission on Sunday. Deng and Bulls representatives including Michael and Nancy Reinsdorf, Gar and Leslie Forman, Randy Brown, Bill Wennington, Chuck Swirsky, Sidney Green, Carolyn Paxson, Benny the Bull as well as Bulls and Levy Restaurants front office staffs were on hand to serve Thanksgiving dinner to the men, women and children visiting the rescue mission that evening. Deng also presented each guest with a winter hat that he donated personally. NBA.com

Cox Cable, with more than 1 million customers in Orange County, San Diego and Las Vegas, agreed to terms Sunday with Time Warner Cable for distribution of the new TWC SportsNet and Deportes, the two companies announced Sunday night during the Lakers-Detroit Pistons game at Staples Center. That locks in all the cable companies for the channel that has exclusive regional TV rights to the Lakers, leaving just the two major dish providers - DirecTV and Dish - as the holdouts. Los Angeles Daily News

The Nets won their home-opener in Brooklyn last night amidst chants from a capacity crowd. The win itself was a little lackadaisical—remember how everyone wondered whether Deron Williams would go back to defending his position now that the Nets are good? Kyle Lowry had 28, 8 and 8—but it was a win, and Nets newcomer Andray Blatche contributed seven points and two rebounds in his 15 minutes off the bench. Good start! Then, in both typical Andray Blatche fashion and, for the moment, typical tri-state area fashion, Andray ran out of gas in New Jersey on his way home. Deadspin

November 5, 2012 | 09:48 AM ET Update

The NBA season is nearly a week old, and Kenyon Martin doesn't know why he still can't find a job in the league. He helped the Los Angeles Clippers during their playoff run last season. His knee issues of the past no longer seem to trouble him. And he's even willing to take a contract for the league minimum. Yahoo! Sports

So why hasn't any team called wanting to sign him? "There is a notion about me that is not accurate at all – I don't know who started it or where it came from – that people can't control me," Martin told Yahoo! Sports. "I don't understand. Have I had my issues like a lot of other people? Yeah. But I'm getting back that people think they can't control me, that if I don't play I'm going to explode, or I can turn a locker room. "In 12 years there was not one day where I told one guy to dislike anybody. If you ask guys who I've played with that know me, they know what it is and know I'm about winning basketball games and competing." Yahoo! Sports

In a coup for the Club and the NBL, the Melbourne Tigers have secured the services of American scoring sensation Jonny Flynn. The 2009 NBA Draft pick number six has shown he can light up the world's biggest stage, and now, Australian basketball fans will get the opportunity to watch the man dubbed 'Mr Basketball' live in action from this Friday night! NBL.com.au

Marc Stein: Jonny Flynn indeed signing w/Melbourne Tigers in Australia after recent release by Pistons, but sources say Aussie deal has NBA out clause Twitter @ESPNSteinLine

Despite the availability of Delonte West and Derek Fisher, the Lakers don't plan to add a point guard while awaiting Nash's return from a small fracture in his left leg that will sideline him anywhere from one to four weeks. Los Angeles Times

In the game won against Sidigas Avellino, Pallacanestro Cantù lost Jerry Smith who fractured his foot. The PG got injured after two minutes of the game and did not return to the court. Smith will likely miss 4-5 months. With former D-League out, Cantù is back to the market looking for a new PG. The hottest name is Sundiata Gaines who has played with Cantù in the season 2008-09 averaging 13.4ppg, 3.4rpg and 2.5apg. Gaines was at the camp with the Pacers but he has been waived on October 22. Sportando

The worst thing that can happen to this Thunder season is something that’s reared its head in every single game thus far. That’s egos creeping in and causing players to believe they’re better than. Tonight, much like the first two nights of the 2012-13 season, there was a ton of barking among Thunder players. At the end of the first quarter, Thabo Sefolosha and Russell Westbrook had to be separated from exchanging words as they walked to the bench. It was a show of anger that surprisingly was also seen from the same two as they walked off the court at halftime Friday night. Oklahoman

Later, Durant chewed out Serge Ibaka for failing to grab a rebound. And of course there was the usual head-shaking between Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins whenever the paint went left unprotected. The problem is everyone has an opinion and everyone is sharing it. It can’t be that way. There should be two voices on the court. Durant’s. And Westbrook’s. Everyone else needs to fall in line. What’s happening now is that everyone is acting like they know best, almost like they’re the reason for the team’s success, like their poop doesn’t stink and the man’s next to them does. And you can’t help but wonder how much of the attitude has to do with last year’s success and whether it will soon subside or only fester and grow fangs. Oklahoman

The worst part of this night was that the Thunder thought it could win just by showing up. But don’t take my word for it. “We can’t start the game off in cruise mode. We got to go take it. Teams are not going to just let us feel our way into the game. We got to go take the game, and I think early on we just sat back and let them do whatever they wanted and that gave them confidence toward the end of the game.” Oklahoman

This didn't solve every issue. Howard still misses more free throws than he makes. The opposing reserves still score more than the Lakers' bench (52-27, in this case). The one thing this did was give the Lakers time. They lowered the volume of the howling, at least temporarily. "Obviously we needed a win," Brown said. "Dropping three in a row and not winning in the preseason, made it a little tough. "What it does more than anything else, especially winning the way we did, defending the way we did first of all and playing the way we did offensively with great spacing, great ball movement, scoring out of the system … it gives us a little belief. Every win we get gives you a little bit more belief on both ends of the floor." ESPN.com

So while he felt better physically, nothing changed about his attitude. When the Lakers were winless he told everyone to calm down, and now that they had their first W he isn't about to proclaim them a finished product. "I think it's more of a relief for Mike than it was for anyone else," he said with a smirk. ESPN.com

Doug Collins often has bemoaned the presence of photographers along the baseline, and on Sunday, when he lost shooting guard Jason Richardson to a sprained left ankle in the first quarter against the New York Knicks, the 76ers coach had yet another reason to complain. However, it was Richardson, not Collins, who did the talking. "They really don't belong down there - you see what happens," said Richardson, who suffered the sprain when he stepped on a cameraman's foot at Madison Square Garden. "It creates all kinds of problems for players. There's got to be a better way." Philadelphia Inquirer

In the Golden State Warriors' 114-110 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday, David Lee shoved Blake Griffin underneath the basket late in the fourth quarter. Griffin then bumped Lee, and the two had to be separated by an official. But Lee was clearly upset about Griffin's histrionics and delivered a message: "Stop flopping." Griffin's reaction to being shoved wasn't egregious, but he could have come up with a better response to Lee than a palms-up expression that says, "Who, me?" USA Today

For the record, Adelman was (a) joking about the first part; and (b) being totally serious about the last part. Adelman called Lowry one of his favourite players. Moreover, Adelman was right: Lowry eviscerated Minnesota. He had 22 points, seven rebounds and five assists to lead the Raptors to their first win of the year, 105-86 over the Timberwolves. “He’s a bull. He’s just a bull,” said Raptors guard Alan Anderson, who had 18 of the Raptors’ 42 bench points. “His height [six feet] doesn’t tell a lot about him because he acts like he’s seven feet out there. He’s not scared of nothing. He’s going to get in there. He’s getting their rebounds with 7-footers. He’s fighting each position. Anytime you see that from the bench or you see that as a young player, it’s like, ‘Damn, I’ve got to get ready, too.’” National Post

Alan Anderson on the Raptors excellent chemistry: "we don't have any knuckleheads" "It’s a younger energy. Guys were looking forward to this season. Guys get along, not only on the court but off the court as well. We all have a good time, we don’t have like groups and cliques and things like that, everyone does everything together. Anytime you have that, you have a good team chemistry." Sulia

If you have high hopes for the Phoenix Suns making a run at the playoffs, you may want to temper those expectations. The team is packed with talent, but they are struggling with their new identity early in this new season, which means they may dig themselves into a hole before they can find their way to the postseason. “It takes a while to jell,” Suns’ veteran Jared Dudley told HOOPSWORLD. “You got to find each other’s games out. Coaches got to find what players work good with each other, what plays for which players. We’ve shown spurts and glimpses of what we can do, we haven’t put it together for a whole 48 (minutes). Defensively we’re better, but offensively we’re still ways away from Phoenix-style you guys are used to.” HoopsWorld

“Obviously, it’s helping me,” Scola said of Dragic. “But two don’t make a team. Everybody needs to know each other and what we do, we’re struggling a little bit in the process, but we still have to find a way to win basketball games. “We need to start building. We’re not there right now. I think we have good players; we can play. We showed we can play… We got to get in our heads and figure out how to… We know it’s going to take some time, so we need to learn to do that while being effective. Because if not, it’s not only going to be a bad year, it’s going to be a long year.” HoopsWorld

Memphis Grizzlies Chairman Robert Pera announced today that he has named seasoned sports executive Jason Levien as the new Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of Memphis Basketball, LLC, which operates the Memphis Grizzlies and FedExForum. In this role, Levien will have leadership responsibility for the entire organization; serve as the ownership group's Managing Partner and as an Alternate NBA Governor. “Jason and I share a vision for building a world-class team on and off-the-court,” Grizzlies Chairman Robert Pera said. “He has my complete trust, confidence and support in how best to lead our organization's efforts." Sulia

Levien will serve as CEO of Memphis Basketball LLC -- an entity that owns the Grizzlies and will operate FedExForum. Levien is expected to supplant general manager Chris Wallace as the primary decision maker for basketball decisions. "We haven't decided anything," Levien said Sunday in an interview with The Commercial Appeal. "We want to be thoughtful about it and respectful about it. We want to do what's best for the organization." Memphis Commercial Appeal

Among the highlights from the 45-minute interview with Pera and Levien: -- The group will get to know coach Lionel Hollins, who is in the final year of his contract, before acting on his future. Levien, the CEO and managing partner, will be over general manager Chris Wallace, and his exact role has not been determined. Memphis Commercial Appeal

Robert Pera saw how others handled their wealth once they become successful, spending it on new cars or multimillion dollar homes. Those things weren't for him. "For me, I just really like working," Pera said Sunday, in his first public comments since agreeing earlier this year to buy the Memphis Grizzlies. "And those things don't interest me that much. But being involved in the NBA, and potentially owning a team, that was a dream. Once I got to a position where that seemed possible, I started the process." Memphis Commercial Appeal

Pera, who wore jeans, Nikes and a hooded sweatshirt, said he looked at several teams before deciding to purchase the Griz. He and Levien visited Memphis on March 27, when the Griz played the Timberwolves, and Pera said he sensed the "energy" and the team's meaning to the city. That helped sell him not just on the team, but on its potential to make more of a connection, he said. Memphis Commercial Appeal

Young basketball players with aspirations to star in a Robert Townsend movie were at the American Airlines Arena Sunday for the chance to score a role in the film. 'Playin' for Love' will begin shooting in Overtown in November and centers around a star basketball player who transfers schools and turns a coach's life upside down. Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones, who was at the auditions, told NBC 6 South Florida that the event would mean more than just an audition. "This is bigger than just making movies, this is about changing lives," she said. "This is about giving young people an opportunity for them to think beyond what they see." NBC Miami

Former NBA player Isiah Thomas agreed. "You're trying to give them skills to develop and live with, you want this to be a life-changing moment, you want sport to be the catalyst to give them the thought to propel themselves to the next level in life." More than 1,000 people came to the arena, kids Thomas said reminded him of himself. "Every time you go back and help kids, you always see a little but of yourself because you realize that you weren't too far from that," he said. NBC Miami

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