Miami Heat pulling charity golf tournament from Trump’s Doral golf course

Donald Trump at Trump National Doral. (AP photo)

ORLANDO – The Miami Heat no longer will hold its charity golf tournament at President Trump’s Doral golf course, a team spokesman confirmed Tuesday.

The Heat, which has held the event at Doral the last six years, including four since Trump took it over and renamed it Trump National Doral, will move it to another course in 2018.. The Washington Post first reported the story.

The decision was made by the business side of the organization and no contract was broken. The basketball operations side of the Heat, including players, were unaware of the move. Moving the tournament, though, is not uncommon. In recent years it has been held at Shula’s Golf Club and the Miccosukee Golf & Country Club. The 2018 tournament will be at Deering Bay Yacht & Country Club.

The tournament benefits the Miami Heat Charitable Fund and is one its top three annual fundraisers along with black-tie gala and family festival.

Trump attacked the NBA and NFL in recent weeks, withdrawing an invitation to the champion Golden State Warriors to visit the White House after learning that Stephen Curry was considering boycotting the trip and suggesting any NFL player who kneels during the National Anthem as a form of protest to racial injustices should be fired. He then added “wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b— off the field right now.”

More than a hundred NFL players knelt during the anthem immediately after Trump’s comments and most of those who did not kneel stood and locked arms. Since, some teams knelt as a show of unity before the anthem and then stood and locked arms during the anthem.

Just as they did last season, Heat players and coaches lock arms during the playing of the National Anthem as their way of taking a stand against social and racial injustices.

The Heat open the regular season Wednesday in Orlando.

“We are an organization that honors the military, we honor the flag, we honor our soldiers that have committed their lives for this country,” coach Erik Spoelstra said before the team’s first preseason game. “We also want our players to absolutely have a voice.

Heat players Justise Winslow and Udonis Haslem were outspoken about Trump’s recent comments when asked during the team’s media day.

Winslow said that if he was in the position he would not visit the White House while Trump was president. “Hopefully one day it can be that honor that it once was,” he said.

“It’s like every time he opens his mouth. … it’s like, oh, really?” Haslem said. “When you think you can’t say anything worse. … “

Spoelstra called this a “disheartening” time and said he “commends” the Warriors for not visiting the White House. Even if they were invited, the Warriors were expected to decline.

    Of the at least 18 men’s pro teams who stayed at Trump’s hotels in New York or Chicago, at least 16 have said they will not longer stay, the Post reported. And five teams that held golf tournaments at Trump clubs have decided not to return,  including  the Los Angeles Dodgers,  Los Angeles Clippers, New York Rangers, soccer’s L.A. Galaxy and now the Heat.

 

2017 NBA Finals: 10 storylines as the Cavaliers and Warriors meet for third straight year

Cleveland’ s LeBron James celebrates in the final moments of Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals against at Golden State. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers will meet for the third consecutive season in the NBA Finals starting Thursday in Oakland.

The teams have split the first two series, with the Warriors winning in six games in 2015 and the Cavaliers recovering from a 3-1 hole to win Game 7 on the road in 2016.

Now, we have a new twist to the rivalry as Kevin Durant joined the Warriors in the offseason to give them a Big 4 (Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green) to go against Cleveland’s Big 3 (LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love).

The series should be compelling so we bring you 10 storylines to keep in mind throughout:

Will Golden State lose a game these playoffs?

The Warriors enter the finals 12-0 in the postseason with sweeps over Portland, Utah and San Antonio. The closest anybody has come to that in the expanded playoffs era (needing 15 or 16 wins for the title) are the 2001 Lakers who were 15-1, sweeping the first three rounds and defeating Philadelphia in the Finals, 4-1. So the question really is: Will Golden State sweep Cleveland, which would give it a 16-0 postseason? The Warriors will win the title but, yes, they will lose a game – or two – along the way.

If the Cavaliers wins, will LeBron James’ success in Cleveland surpass his success in Miami?

LeBron’s first two seasons in his return to Cleveland and first two in Miami ended the same; losing in the Finals the first year and winning a championship the second. And while LeBron’s Cavs teams have had an easier run through the East than his Heat teams, the Warriors teams Cleveland has played in the Finals clearly are better than the Mavericks and Thunder teams the Heat faced in the 2011 and 2012 Finals. The Heat then defeated a very good Spurs team in the 2013 Finals, one that was much closer to these Warriors. If Cleveland wins this season it is on the same track as the 2011-2014 Heat. Then perhaps next year could determine which team has been more successful.

Will we see Warriors coach Steve Kerr on the bench in the Finals?

Kerr has not been on the bench since Game 2 of Golden State’s first round series against Portland due to complications from his 2015 back surgery – a spinal cord fluid leak causing headaches and nausea. Kerr, though, started traveling during the conference finals but remained in the locker room during games as Mike Brown continued as acting head coach. Kerr said Monday that he is not healthy enough to return to the bench and his status for the series is “still up in the air.”

What would another title mean to LeBron James’ legacy?

LeBron (and teammate James Jones) will become the only players not members of the Celtics’ dynasty of the 1960s to appear in at least seven straight finals. Michael Jordan, the man to whom LeBron is compared, never played in more than three in a row but it can be argued he would have been to eighth straight had he not abruptly left the sport for two seasons. This is James’ eight finals overall, winning three championships and losing four times in his previous seven. But last year’s title came against the greatest regular season team in league history. He still will have to convince some he is on par with Jordan if the Cavs upset the Warriors, but that gap would be narrowed.

Will the winning team be invited to the White House?

This will become a storyline after the Finals. Kerr is one of a handful of NBA coaches who have been outspoken against Donald Trump, calling him a “blowhard” and saying he “could not be more ill-suited” to be president. James never has been a fan of Trump’s, speaking out against his immigration order and refusing to stay at a Trump property in New York. The question then comes down to if the winner somehow is invited, will it accept?

Will Charles Barkley accuse Kevin Durant of riding Stephen Curry’s coattails if Golden State wins?

A discussion last week between Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal on TNT got personal when Shaq once again reminded Barkley that he has never won a title and Barkley shot back that Shaq won his four titles by riding the coattails of Kobe Bryant in L.A. and Dwyane Wade in Miami. Durant could be accused of the same thing if the Warriors win. Durant already was heavily criticized last summer for joining Golden State after his Oklahoma City team blew a 3-1 series lead in the conference finals and lost Game 7.

Are Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love a better fit with LeBron James than Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh?

James had his ups and downs (mostly ups) with both the Cavaliers (since his return) and the Heat, but many believe he has never been better than he has this postseason. In both situations the third wheel of the Big 3 (Bosh and Love) had to make major sacrifices and at times some wondered if it would work (it did). James’ main sidekick (Wade and Irving) appeared to have an easier time with the transition. The biggest difference is Irving is a point guard while Wade is a shooting guard. But either way, James has done pretty well playing with both.

Will Draymond Green stay out of trouble in this year’s Finals?

The Warriors’ polarizing forward was suspended for Game 5 last season after being assessed a flagrant foul 1 on a play in which he and James got tangled and Green swung his arm into James’ groin area. Green has had several incidents throughout his career in which he has appeared to attempt to kick an opposing player, sometimes making contact to the groin. But Green has been a good boy during these playoffs. … so far. The NBA has handed out 10 fines during the postseason, none to Green. And there have been four flagrant 1s and one flagrant 2 called, none on Green. The worst he’s gotten is two technical fouls. So, continue that pattern and, yes, he’ll be OK. But, you never know with that temper.

Can either team be challenged in their respective conferences in the next few years?

The Warriors are younger when you consider their top four players still are in their 20s (Curry will turn 30 next March). James is 32 while Irving and Love are in their 20s. Still, neither team appears to be slowing down at least for the next two to three years. The only team possibly challenging either is Boston, which made it to the East finals this season, has the No. 1 pick in the draft and enough money to sign a max free agent.

Will the Finals make up for a boring NBA postseason to date?

Like the thrilling second half and overtime of the Super Bowl made up for a boring NFL playoffs? Yes. These playoffs have not been very competitive with five series ending in sweeps and two more lasting just five games, and just two going to Game 7. But this is what everybody has been waiting for and now is the time for the Warriors and Cavaliers to save the postseason.

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Warriors’ Steve Kerr among NBA coaches speaking out against, mocking Trump and his administration

 

Don't expect Steve Kerr and the Warriors to be getting an invite to the White House if they win the NBA title.
Don’t expect Steve Kerr and the Warriors to be getting an invite to the White House if they win the NBA title.

MIAMI — San Antonio’s Greg Popovich is not the only NBA coach speaking out against/mocking Donald Trump and his administration.

Golden State coach Steve Kerr is matching Popovich quote for quote.

Before the Warriors victory at Orlando on Sunday, Kerr was asked about his brief career with the Magic, in which he smiled and was very ‘liberal’ with the use of the word “star.” He was then asked if those were his “alternative facts” about his stay with the Magic.

“Yes, yes, yes,” he said. “Sean Spicer will be talking about my career any second now, 14,000 points, greatest player in Magic history.”

Spicer, the White House Press Secretary, ripped into the media Saturday for its reporting of the size of the crowd at Donald Trump’s inauguration Friday, saying, “this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration.”

Kerr, whose Warriors face the Heat tonight at AmericanAirlines Arena played 47 games for Orlando during the 1992-93 season and scored 122 points.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers chimed in on Saturday, referencing Trump during his pregame media session.

Kerr was one of a handful of coaches who blasted Trump after he won the November election. During a nearly three-minute rant the day after the election he said he was disappointed with the lack of respect Trump has shown to so many.

Here is a portion of what he said:

“Maybe we should’ve seen it coming over the last 10 years. You look at society, you look at what’s popular. People are getting paid millions of dollars to go on TV and scream at each other, whether it’s in sports or politics or entertainment, and I guess it was only a matter of time before it spilled into politics. But then all of a sudden you’re faced with the reality that the man who’s gonna lead you has routinely used racist, misogynist, insulting words.”

Click here to read his comments in full.

I think it’s safe to say the Warriors will not be receiving an invite to the White House if they win the NBA title. And even if they did, what’s the chance they would accept.

On Saturday, the day after Trump’s inauguration, Popovich spoke out, saying “you can’t really believe anything that comes out of his mouth.”

Kerr, Popovich and Detroit’s Stan Van Gundy were the three most outspoken coaches the day after the election. Van Gundy called Trump “brazenly racist and misogynistic.”

 

 

Miami Heat, others react to Donald Trump winning election

image    MIAMI – Heat captain Udonis Haslem is not a big Donald Trump supporter. That was clear last month when Haslem took offense to Trump brushing off lewd comments he made about women as “locker room talk.”

But Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton in Tuesday’s presidential election does not mean Haslem is losing faith in the country.

“I still think this is the best country in the world,” he said. “I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else. I’ll tell you that.

“I was surprised. It is what it is. I’m an American. I’m proud to be an American. I’ll represent this country no matter what.”

Haslem blasted Trump for his comments about groping and assaulting women and then attempting to justify them by saying this is how people who spend time in locker rooms talk. Trump made the comments in 2005 and the audio surfaced last month

“I didn’t appreciate it,” Haslem said. “That’s not our locker room talk. I don’t know Trump very well at all, but I don’t know who he’s played for the last couple of years to even say he’s been in anybody’s locker room to have (heard) those kind of conversations.”

Few Heat players reacted to Trump’s victory with Hassan Whiteside simply saying, “He got more votes.” But Heat forward James Johnson is hoping that no matter who is running the country, it is united.

“Now we are the people,” he said. “We are the nation. We got to stick together.”

One of the more angry reactions in the league came from former Heat coach Jeff Van Gundy, who is in his fourth season as head coach and president of basketball operations of the Detroit Pistons.

Van Gundy, has been open about his opposition to Trump, was asked what he thought about the part-time Palm Beach resident winning the election.

“We just elected an openly brazen, misogynist leader,” he said today before the Pistons game in Phoenix tonight. “Most of these people voted for him. I don’t have any respect for that.  I’m having a hard time being with people. I’m going to walk into this arena tonight and realize that …”

[Miami Heat mailbag: What will change if Josh Richardson is inserted into the starting lineup?]

[Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat looking forward to Thursday’s reunion]

[Justise Winslow on Heat: ‘We don’t want to have a long season with a lot of nights like this’]

 

 

 

Heat’s Goran Dragic in ‘shock’ over presidential race, ‘back home we don’t do politics like that’

 

Goran Dragic was a little "in shock" watching the presidential debates. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
Heat guard Goran Dragic of Slovenia was a little “in shock” watching the presidential debates. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

TORONTO – Justise Winslow is getting ready to vote in a presidential election for the first time. “This is all I know,” he said about the unconventional race that has divided the country.

Goran Dragic, a native of Slovenia, does not follow politics in our country as closely as he would if were voting, but he has seen enough to say, “I’m kind of in shock.”

As we get closer to Tuesday’s Election Day, the heated presidential race between democrat Hillary Clinton and republican Donald Trump has become a topic of discussion across America, including the locker room.

While some Heat players were more willing to discuss the election than others before tonight’s game at the Raptors, most said they have talked about it in the locker room and that the players have been respectful of their teammates’ views.

“I haven’t seen any divisiveness in our locker room,” Winslow said.

Dragic says he votes in his native country when he has the chance but has never seen an election go down this road.

“Back home we don’t do politics like that,” he said. “The people throwing bad words to the other party, insulting. I was a little in shock, I was surprised.”

Dragic and Winslow said most of the discussions that took place were after the debates.

“How those guys were insulting each other, everybody was talking about that,” Dragic said. “Everybody has their own opinion. I respect that.”

Winslow said he watched two of the debates with a teammate, one with Josh Richardson and one with Josh McRoberts.

“We talked about it a decent amount,” Winslow said. “Mostly after the debates, people’s mannerisms or just manners in general.”

McRoberts has had conversations about the race, but mostly outside the locker room.

“Some guys talk about it more than others,” he said. “Some are more interested just like any workplace. I might talk to certain guys on the team away from the locker room. I feel like it’s kind of like any workplace where politics and religion, those types of topics, you kind of stay away from.

“It’s been very divisive. It’s not something you want to get too into in a locker room. It’s no different than family. In the locker room you might have a few conversations here and there. … kind of shake your head at some of the stuff that goes on. As a group you don’t really get too deep into it.”

Winslow agreed it’s a conversation that may be better left for outside the locker room.

“I think that’s any election,” he said. “It’s that thing about the dinner table. I was taught not to talk religion or politics.”

I asked Winslow if he had a feel who would receive the most support in the Heat locker room if all 14 players were polled.

“I think Clinton might win in our locker room,” he said.

[Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says Luke Babbitt has ‘ultra green light’ from 3-point range]

[Stat of the Week: James Johnson slumping since first half of first game]

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Udonis Haslem offended by Donald Trump brushing off lewd comments as ‘locker room talk’

 

image    MIAMI – Heat captain Udonis Haslem was offended by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump brushing off his vulgar comments about women as “locker room talk.”

Haslem said that kind of talk does not represent the players he has known during his 14 seasons with the Heat.

“I didn’t appreciate it,” Haslem said. “That’s not our locker room talk. I don’t know Trump very well at all, but I don’t know who he’s played for the last couple of years to even say he’s been in anybody’s locker room to have (heard) those kind of conversations.”

Haslem then asked: “Has he played?” Before adding, “his hair piece won’t allow it.”

Trump, the part-time Palm Beach resident, was caught on tape bragging in crude terms about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women. The conversation was from 2005.

In an apology, Trump justified it as “locker room talk.”

[Miami Heat: 3 things to watch for this week]

[Here are the stats from the Heat’s preseason loss to the Timberwolves]

[Miami Heat give us a peek at offense with more emphasis on 3-point shooting]

 

 

 

While Dwyane Wade reacts to his cousin’s death, Donald Trump attempts to politicize tragedy

 

One day after Dwyane Wade was part of a panel discussion on gun violence in Chicago, his cousin was shot and killed in the South Side of the city.
One day after Dwyane Wade was part of a panel discussion on gun violence in Chicago, his cousin was shot and killed in the South Side of the city.

While Dwyane Wade and his mother were speaking out about the death of Nykea Aldridge, Wade’s first cousin who was shot and killed on the South Side of Chicago on Friday, Republican presidential candidate and part-time Palm Beach resident Donald Trump attempted to politicize the tragedy.

Wade, who recently left the Miami Heat to sign with his hometown Chicago Bulls, posted a tweet Friday denouncing gun violence.

On Saturday, Wade posted about Chicago needing more help to combat the violence.

Wade’s mother, Jolinda Wade, a pastor at New Creation church, spoke on behalf of the family Friday outside the hospital where Aldridge was pronounced dead.

“Just sat up on a panel yesterday. … talking about the violence that’s going on within our city of Chicago, never knowing that the next day we would be the ones that would be actually living and experiencing it,” Jolinda Wade said as she held her sister.

“We’re still going to try and help these people to transform their minds and give them a different direction, so this thing won’t keep happening. We’re still going to help empower people like the one who senselessly shot my niece in the head.”

Dwyane and his mother were part of a series of panel discussions on gun violence hosted Thursday by The Undefeated on ESPN and held at the South Side YMCA in Chicago. Dwyane was not in Chicago for the discussions, appearing via satellite.

Following the discussion and less than 24 hours before his cousin was killed, Wade posted: “Every 16 mins someone in Chicago is killed by a firearm.”

Meanwhile, Trump took to Twitter to attempt to exploit the tragedy connecting the shooting to a reason why African-Americans will vote for him for president. Trump spelled Wade’s first name wrong in his initial tweet.

It is not the first time Trump has tried to exploit a tragedy. In the aftermath of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando that left 50 dead, including the gunman, Trump took to Twitter to congratulate himself:

Nykea Aldridge, 32, had recently relocated to an area on the city’s South Side, her family said.

According to police, Aldridge, 32, was pushing a baby stroller near a school where she intended to register her children when two males walked up and fired shots at a third man. Aldridge, who wasn’t the intended target, was struck in the head and arm. Police said the baby wasn’t hurt and that a relative has taken custody of the child.

The school is about a mile and a half southwest of the University of Chicago.

Police are questioning two men who they say are persons of interest, according to reports.

The Bulls later issued a statement, saying the organization was “deeply saddened” by the news of Aldridge’s death.

Wade signed a two-year deal worth approximately $47 million last month after spending the first 13 years of his NBA career with the Heat.

 

 

RNC: Florida delegate reminds Cleveland that LeBron won 2 titles with Heat

What do Donald Trump and LeBron James have in common? (Getty Images)
What do Donald Trump and LeBron James have in common? (Getty Images)

When states checked in to confirm their nomination for the Republican candidate for president at the convention Tuesday, the representative from Florida chimed in with a basketball-related jab at the crowd in Cleveland.
Continue reading “RNC: Florida delegate reminds Cleveland that LeBron won 2 titles with Heat”

2016 NBA playoffs: Toronto city councilor jabs Heat fans about Donald Trump

normkelly

Heat vs. Raptors has sort of taken on an America vs. Canada theme, especially north of the border, and City of Toronto councilor Norm Kelly fired a shot at Miami fans who were taunting him during Game 1 of this series.

It involved Donald Trump. Here it is:
Continue reading “2016 NBA playoffs: Toronto city councilor jabs Heat fans about Donald Trump”