In the lane
Apparently the Detroit Pistons spoke Wayne Ellington’s language, or, more to the point, his significant other, when it came to landing the former Heat 3-point specialist on the buyout market. Pistons owner Gores, born in Israel and of Greek and Lebanese descent, spoke in Arabic to Ellington’s wife, Safie Khaled, during the process. “He spoke some Arabic with her, so it was very warming,” Ellington told Detroit’s Free Press. “It felt good to have that type of introduction, that type of welcome. My wife felt good about that. A lot of organizations, it’s about, ‘Come play. What can you do for me on the court?’ It’s not about your family life. So we really appreciated that.” It has been an uneven start for Ellington in Detroit, 3 of 17 on 3-pointers in his first two appearances.
By the end of Tyler Johnson’s tenure, the Heat had accepted that he was not a point guard. Now, at the beginning of his Phoenix Suns tenure, that is the very hope. “We wanted to go into the trade deadline for the purpose of getting a player and not a project,” said Interim General Manager James Jones, the former Heat forward. “Not a prospect, but a player. So we got one and we’re happy that he’s with us and hopefully he can fill a void for us. The point guard position has been a position where we really haven’t had much success.” Johnson is 6 of 27 from the field in his first three appearances with the Suns, with nine assists and four turnovers.
Among the reasons Ron Rothstein was added back to the Heat bench as an assistant coach for a decade starting in 2004 was his ability to add veteran coaching perspective. The sage advice apparently remains ongoing. David Fizdale, who sat on the Heat bench alongside Rothstein, said Rothstein has been among those providing comfort during this challenging first season for Fizdale as New York Knicks coach. “A lot of guys reach out to me,” Fizdale said, according to the New York Post. “The latest one was Ron Rothstein, who had five wins at the All-Star break his first year in Miami. He gave me a pep talk. I kind of feel like it’s not getting to me. I’m not letting it get to me.”