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News » Mike Monroe's NBA Beat 2009-02-23


Mike Monroe's NBA Beat 2009-02-23


Mike Monroe's NBA Beat  2009-02-23
POWER RANKINGS

11. Mavericks (10)

21. Bobcats (18)

12. Hawks (11)

22. Pacers (20)

13. 76ers (13)

23. Warriors (19)

14. Suns (17)

24. Raptors (22)

15. Heat (14)

25. Thunder (26)

16. Bulls (21)

26. Grizzlies (27)

17. Pistons (16)

27. Kings (28)

18. Bucks (25)

28. Timberwolves (23)

19. Knicks (24)

29. Wizards (30)

20. Nets (15)

30. Clippers (29)%/TBODY%/TABLEby the return of Chandler (and his $12.5 million contract): owner George Shinn.

8. Rockets (9): Addition by subtraction - T-Mac out for the season means more touches for Yao, and that's a good thing.

9. Jazz (8): They'll play the remainder of the season with heavy hearts after the loss of owner Larry H. Miller, who ran the team the right way.

10. Trail Blazers (12): Point guard Blake is back, but star-crossed Oden is out again, this time with a bone chip in his kneecap.

BASELINE CUT

Miller gave model for small-market teams

After the Spurs had scrapped their way to a victory over the Jazz last month in Salt Lake City, Gregg Popovich took a moment during his postgame analysis to offer good wishes to Utah's owner, Larry H. Miller.

Miller, suffering from Type II diabetes, had just had both legs amputated, six inches below each knee.

"More important than the game tonight, we want to express all the best to Larry Miller," Popovich said. "He's going through a tough time. I don't know what his status is as we speak, but I know he's going through hell, and we wish him the best."

We all know now how bad things were for Miller. He died Friday, at age 64, and it is worth recalling that he ran the franchise Popovich most admired when he became head of the Spurs' Basketball operations in 1994.

A self-made man who rose from a 1970 job running the parts department at a Denver auto dealership to owning 39 dealerships in the Rocky Mountain West, Miller was a model for the owners of pro franchises in small markets. He believed in customer service and loyalty, and the success of the Jazz was a reflection of his

ethic.

It was fitting that for most of the past 20 years, the Spurs and Jazz, with owners who understood the value of stability in their Basketball operations, were the most successful small market teams in the league. Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, the longest-tenured coach in pro sports, believed so thoroughly in Miller's fairness that he made most of his contracts run year to year.

The Jazz will wear retro-logo patches, a stylized "J" in a musical eighth-note pattern, emblazoned with Miller's initials, LHM, for the remainder of the season.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: February 23, 2009

 

 
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