Micky Arison Rumors
And now the franchise deals with an NBA/Cuba situation a different Heat source said “seems political.” Longtime former NBA commissioner David Stern was extremely active in Democratic politics and a major financial contributor throughout his years in office. New commissioner Adam Silver also was an ardent early supporter of Obama and has donated to the party — the political leanings at the highest level of the NBA perhaps suggesting a climate that would lead to a goodwill tour as a show of support for Obama’s new policy of thawing relations with Cuba. The four-day event could be a precursor to further league involvement with Cuba, such as exhibition games scheduled there.
Heat officials learned of the story via news reports, and were dumbfounded that the league would not have first spoken, at least as a courtesy, to the one franchise actually affected by any NBA/Cuba relationship. Heat owner Micky Arison and club president Pat Riley declined a Miami Herald interview request Wednesday, but another team executive told us, “The NBA never consulted with us. This was undertaken unilaterally. The minute we found out we registered our vehement objection to the league office. Neither the Heat nor any personnel will be participating.”
Cruise stock prices spiked upward when Obama announced his thawing policy toward Cuba. People like Arison immediately imagined their majestic ships flowing lucratively in and out of Cuban ports, ferrying monied tourists eager to explore the exotic island so near yet so off-limits for so long. That could be another delicate spot for Arison, the idea that increasingly normalized relations with Cuba could be very good for Carnival and his already enormous bank account – but could also lead many Heat fans to angrily consider those profits to be Castro-dirty.
Micky Arison: Congratulations to Dikembe @officialmutombo #HOF2015 well deserved. Sorry to see Tim’s not on the list yet but will be soon #deserving.
Heat owner Mickey Arison was walking around shmoozing with the crowd, so I asked him what he thought of Battier’s karaoke. He was hesitant to answer questions until I assured him they would not be basketball related. Then he spoke enthusiastically. “I always like when Shane sings the Love Boat theme,” he said. “It always makes me happy.” He added, “I love Motown and I love the Beatles.” I asked Arison if who he would like to have perform at half time of a Heat game, if he could pick anyone. He told me: “I wish we could bring John Lennon back from the dead.”
Other majority team owners who made this top 400 richest included Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov (No. 125, $9.9 billion), Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich (No. 137, $9.1 billion), Miami Heat owner Micky Arison (No. 191, $7.1 billion), Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross (No. 216, $6.5 billion), St. Louis Rams, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche and Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke (No. 225, $6.3 billion), Orlando Magic owner Rich DeVos (No. 259, $5.7 billion), Detroit Tigers and Red Wings owner Michael Ilitch (No. 330, $4.8 billion), Jacksonville Jaguars and Fulham FC owner Shahid Khan (No. 330, $4.8 billion), Washington Nationals owner Ted Lerner (No. 330, $4.8 billion), the New York Knicks and Rangers owners, the Dolans (No. 381, $4.3 billion), New England Patriots and Revolution owner Robert Kraft (No. 381, $4.3 billion) and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones ($4.2 billion).
The Miami front office recently launched a more organic “Heat Nation” marketing campaign focusing on the city’s culture and devotion for its basketball team. The Heat website recently launched a six-minute video encapsulating this post-LeBron movement. In the video, the organization attempts to send the message that it is much bigger than LeBron. While this may be true, King James’ tenure in Miami seems to suggest otherwise.
Brian Windhorst: Correction: LeBron spoke to Pat Riley and Micky Arison on the phone before essay posted. They were informed first.
Micky Arison: I am shocked & disappointed in today’s news. However I will never forget what Lebron brought us for 4 years. Thanks for memories @KingJames
Chris Broussard on LeBron-Riley meeting: I’ve been told that Erik Spoelstra, Dwyane Wade, the owner Micky Arison will be in this meeting as well. I’m not 100% sure but I think they’ll be in the meeting as well.
The Heat are the favorites; this is not in question. But there is a window of doubt due to the way the season ended, Wade’s health and some bitterness James harbors that Micky Arison put the brakes on spending over the past year.
Marc J. Spears: “Mickey (Arison) will do anything to get those guys to come back,” Riley said. Riley added its “BS” to think Arison won’t pay luxury tax.
As team insiders have maintained for months, James isn’t interested in reducing his salary from $20.6 next season and $22.1 million in 2015-16 just so that team owner Micky Arison can avoid paying luxury taxes. As they say, been there, done that and all it got James was second place.
“It wasn’t a big factor then — it is now,” James said. “I mean, out of the four years I’ve been here, I’ve had an opportunity to grow and to be around Micky and see him. He allows Riles to be the brains behind the team. Riles does a great job of figuring out personnel, what fits in our locker room. And it starts with Micky, because he allows Riles to do that.”
Holt never thinks he’s smarter than his top basketball executives, Gregg Popovich and R. C. Buford, while Arison has left all of the basketball decisions up to Pat Riley. “Micky has allowed me to do what I had to do as a coach and then as a president,” Riley told me the other night, before the Spurs won the opener. “That’s really been the key for me. Obviously, there has been a short leash on certain things. But overall, he’s allowed me to do what I’ve wanted to do. He’s had his business to run and so he’s been hands off.”
Based on everyone’s comments throughout the season, everything points toward LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh staying in Miami beyond this season. All three are on long-term deals with the freedom to opt out after this year. The most recent indication that those three will stay, be it through not opting out or by opting out and signing longer contracts, is from owner Micky Arison. When asked Monday by 790 The Ticket to give a percentage chance of keeping them with the Heat, he responded, “100 percent.”
Arison also was asked about the biggest challenge to resigning the Big Three. “I hope it’s not gonna be a challenge at all,” he said. “We’ll see. Our challenge right now is the Charlotte Bobcats.”
The team also says the deal provides “cost certainty for the franchise, a necessity in this age of punitive NBA luxury taxes.” Arison said that will help the team plan future basketball spending. The tentative deal also calls for the Heat to make an annual payment to the county, earmarked for what Arison called “perpetually underfunded” parks and recreation activities for residents.
Arison cited an economic impact study conducted last spring that found the Heat and the arena generate $1.4 billion annually for the South Florida economy. “From the community’s perspective, this extension has already paid for itself and then some,” Arison said.
Heat managing partner Micky Arison, whose team plays in the county-owned AmericanAirlines Arena in downtown Miami, said the team struck the deal with Mayor Carlos Gimenez and that the pact includes an inflation-adjusted operating subsidy of $147 million from the county’s Convention Development Tax fund, money he said will be reinvested into the building. “By any measure, the partnership between the Miami Heat and Miami-Dade County has been a hugely successful one,” Arison wrote in a statement released by the team shortly before Game 2 of its Eastern Conference first-round series against the Charlotte Bobcats got underway. “Today, we are committing to keep that success going.”
Saying they reaffirm the team’s commitment to the city, the Miami Heat announced Wednesday night that they have agreed to extend their partnership with Miami-Dade County another 10 years through 2040. The deal is still subject to approval by the county’s commissioners, with a vote possible on May 6.