Jor­dan: Play­ers who cre­ate su­per teams will hurt league

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - - Hockey / Pro Basketball -

Char­lotte Hor­nets owner Michael Jor­dan said that NBA stars gang­ing up and play­ing for su­per teams will hurt com­pet­i­tive bal­ance.

A year ago, Kevin Du­rant left the Ok­la­homa City Thun­der to join the al­ready loaded Golden State War­riors. This year, Carmelo An­thony and Paul Ge­orge landed with Russell West­brook in Ok­la­homa City, cre­at­ing an­other so-called su­per team with tremen­dous star power.

In an in­ter­view with Cigar Afi­cionado, Jor­dan said, “I think it’s go­ing to hurt the over­all as­pect of the league from a com­pet­i­tive stand­point. You’re go­ing to have one or two teams that are go­ing to be great, and an­other 28 teams that are go­ing to be garbage. Or they’re go­ing to have a tough time sur­viv­ing in the busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment.”

The is­sue comes out Oct. 31.

Heat

Rod­ney McGruder, who started at small for­ward a sea­son ago and was a strong can­di­date to open this sea­son in the same role, will have surgery next week to re­pair a stress frac­ture in his leg. McGruder played in a team-high 78 games last sea­son for Mi­ami, start­ing 65 of them. The in­jury likely will keep him out at least three months, though the timetable for a re­turn will be known un­til af­ter surgery.

McGruder av­er­aged 6.4 points per game last sea­son, nar­rowly miss­ing get­ting voted onto the All-Rookie team. With McGruder out, it could open a path for Josh Richard­son or Jus­tise Winslow to open as Mi­ami’s start­ing small for­ward.

Trail Blaz­ers

Brian Wheeler, long­time play-by-play ra­dio voice of Port­land, is tak­ing a leave of ab­sence ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately for undis­closed health rea­sons. There is no timetable for Wheeler’s re­turn. He has been a ra­dio an­nouncer for the team for the past 19 sea­sons and re­cently signed a multi-year con­tract ex­ten­sion.

Tak­ing over for Wheeler at the start of the NBA sea­son will be Scott Lynn, a long­time fix­ture on Port­land-area ra­dio and tele­vi­sion who re­lo­cated to Flor­ida in 2014 and called games for the Univer­sity of Tampa and Eck­erd Col­lege.

“Noth­ing pains me more than to be away from this Trail Blaz­ers team and our amaz­ing fans,” Wheeler said in a state­ment. “I’m ap­pre­cia­tive of the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s be­lief in my tal­ent as a broad­caster, and for their un­der­stand­ing of my need to man­age th­ese per­sonal mat­ters. I look for­ward to re­turn­ing to the mi­cro­phone very soon.”

The team’s flag­ship sta­tion is AM-620 Rip City Ra­dio.

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