Sources: Ellison in advanced talks to buy Grizzlies

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Sources: Ellison in advanced talks to buy Grizzlies

It looks like Larry Ellison is closer to getting into the NBA game.Ellison, the Oracle Corp. CEO and one of the richest men in the world, is in advanced talks with Memphis owner Michael Heisley to buy the Grizzlies, according to multiple sources.Two of those sources said it is possible that Ellison and Heisley have a handshake agreement on the transaction.Earlier Saturday, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported that Heisley confirmed Ellison has inquired about buying the team. But he downplayed the chances of it actually happening.I cant downplay it enough, Heisley told the Commercial Appeal. If it happens, Ill be surprised. Its in the initial stages. Weve handled this just like weve handled several other dozen requests. My situation in Memphis has not changed a lick.My preference will always be for somebody in Memphis to buy the team. Theres not any interest in Memphis. But weve always made it known that if somebody wants to buy the team, well listen. If theyre real buyers well probably be sellers. So far, there hasnt been anyone willing to buy the team under my terms and for my price.
This is not the first time Ellison has attempted to buy an NBA team. He was a finalist to buy the Warriors in the summer of 2010, but lost out to Joe Lacobs ownership group.
Ellison also confirmed in early January that he tried to buy the New Orleans Hornets but was outbid by the NBA, which currently owns that team.It is unknown whether Ellison would want to move the Grizzlies if he buys them. It has long been speculated that Ellison would try to move an NBA team to San Jose if he ever bought one.When Ellison confirmed he tried to buy the Hornets, he said he had no plan to move the franchise to San Jose.Said Ellison: I was trying to buy the team first, and then figure out what I was going to do with it.Heisley has acknowledged hes willing to sell the team, but he also has maintained that he is committed to selling the franchise to an owner who wants to keep the team in Memphis.Heisley is part of a group that is bidding to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers, which has raised questions about his desire to hold onto the Grizzlies.The Dodgers are expected to eventually be sold for upwards of 1 billion. Heisley, who has an estimated net worth of 1.5 billion, bought the Grizzlies when they were in Vancouver in 2000.In 2006, he agreed to sell his 70 percent controlling interest in the team to a group that included Christian Laettner and Brian Davis. But the deal fell through, and Heisley remained the owner.If Ellison buys the Grizzlies and seeks to relocate the franchise, it would likely be challenging. The team has a restrictive lease with the city and there would no doubt be legal challenges. The FedEx Forum lease runs through 2021, but according to one source, there are attendance clauses that kick in during 2017 that would allow the team to move if certain thresholds are not met.Trying to move the team to San Jose, specifically, would likely be even more difficult. Warriors owner Joe Lacob has said repeatedly that he considers San Jose part of Golden States domain and that he doubts the league would ever approve such a move.It is unknown whether David Stern or the NBA has ever given Lacob that assurance.According to three sources, Lacob and the Warriors ownership team know that Ellison is trying to buy Memphis. When Ellison was trying to buy the Warriors from previous owner Chris Cohan, he was partnered with four of franchises minority owners at the time.Sources confirmed that the former Warriors minority group comprised of Jim Davidson, Michael Marks and John Thompson are not a part of Ellisons bid in Memphis.Fred Harman, a fourth minority under Cohan, stayed on as part of Lacobs ownership group.What would likely complicate a move to San Jose further is that the Kings recently received authorization to build a new downtown arena, making it a foregone conclusion that the Kings will remain in Sacramento.It is not known whether the NBA would be willing to have three teams in Northern California.

Draymond fully appreciates 'witnessing greatness' of Warriors-Cavs trilogy

Draymond fully appreciates 'witnessing greatness' of Warriors-Cavs trilogy

OAKLAND -- The hoops historian Draymond Green has a message for those with short memories and cynical outlooks.

The NBA is never better than when The Finals have legendary potential, as is the case with the Warriors and Cavaliers, who next week become the first teams to meet three consecutive seasons to determine a champion.

“It’s a great thing for the league, contrary to popular belief,” Green said Friday after Warriors practice.

Warriors-Cavs Part III is, in fact, a fantastic boon for the league. Interest will peak. Ratings will soar. Storylines will cascade down every mountain, knoll and molehill.

“Right now, you’re witnessing greatness -- two great teams, great players,” Green said. “That’s what it is. It probably won’t be appreciated until it’s over. Say we meet again next year? It still won’t be appreciated -- until we don’t meet again and you realize what you had.”

What fans have is history made, with more in the making.

The Warriors enter The Finals after an unprecedented 12-0 start to the playoffs, becoming the first team to complete three four-game sweeps in a single postseason.

Another sweep, and it’s not inconceivable, would make these Warriors the first team in NBA history with a perfect postseason -- give them the distinction of having the best postseason in American sports history.

The Cavaliers enter The Finals after a 12-1 start and, moreover, with the reheated debate over whether LeBron James has a body of work that equals or surpasses that of Michael Jordan. James is one game removed from surpassing Jordan to become No. 1 on the all-time list for playoff scoring and will make his seventh consecutive appearance in The Finals, something Jordan never did.

Though a Cleveland victory would bolster any argument in James’ favor, a Cleveland loss might be enough to close the case in Jordan’s favor insofar as his Bulls reached six NBA Finals and won them all.

Warriors-Cavaliers has the potential to go beyond what most believe to be the most epic of postseason rivals, that being the Magic Johnson and the Lakers versus Larry Bird and the Celtics. They met only three times (1984, ’85 and ’87) but the NBA went a full 10 seasons with one team or the other in The Finals.

Being a student of the game, Green quite likely knows that -- as well as having a complete understanding of the possibilities ahead.

Even if he suspects others may not.

“But you usually don’t appreciate something until you don’t have it any more,” he said. “Maybe there’s just a lack of appreciation for greatness. When you look at the situation, most people have never reached greatness. So, maybe there’s just not an understanding of what you’re watching.

“I appreciate it. I’m happy we’ve been able to steam-roll people, and I love the fact that they’ve been able to steam-roll people. I just love great things. And I think right now we’ve found two great teams.”

Ayesha Curry shows off rap skills with Steph and E-40 on stage

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AP

Ayesha Curry shows off rap skills with Steph and E-40 on stage

Steph Curry has earned the nickname "Chef Curry" but his wife Ayesha is the real cook of the family.

Ayesha has paved her own path as a successful cook and was brought to BottleRock in Napa for a demonstration. As Steph and rapper E-40 joined her on stage, Ayesha took one of out of E-40's book and did her own remix of Drake's "Energy." 

In this version, Ayesha rapped about what she knows best -- recipes. 

All hyped up, Ayesha dropped the mic to the delight of Steph and E-40 himself.