NBA Franchise Note: Leonsis Quiet About Grunfeld's Future Despite Improved Play
In DC, Mike Wise notes Wizards and Capitals Owner Ted Leonsis will not discuss the future of Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld "just as he won’t talk about" the future of Capitals VP & GM George McPhee. All Monumental Sports & Entertainment business "apparently will be handled this summer." While McPhee "may need a Stanley Cup playoff run of at least two or more rounds to warrant an extension, the signs of Grunfeld being re-signed are growing daily." Wise: "I thought Ernie was finally toast ... but the recycling king did it." The Wizards have "a very good core group, with its two best players 20 and 23 years old, respectively" and have "put themselves in position salary-cap wise to spend in free agency the next two seasons" (WASHINGTON POST, 3/7).
THINK TANK: CBS Sports Network's Tony Luftman said the idea that some NBA teams are tanking this season for a better draft pick is "terrible" for the NBA. He said, "The saddest part of this is that it's the moral failure of the NBA to allow this system to continue. The essence of competition is seeking victory, and yet you're rewarding teams for losing." But CBSSports.com's Gregg Doyel said, "The 76ers aren't trying to lose, they can't win. They're not any good" ("Rome," CBS Sports Network, 3/6).
IGNORANCE IS BLISS? Knicks fans planning are planning a rally on March 19 to protest Owner James Dolan's handling of the team, but ESPN's Max Kellerman said the team's supporters are "missing it again." Kellerman: "We have to ignore (the team), boycott them until Dolan sells the team. Do not protest because it shows you're still interested" ("SportsNation," ESPN2, 3/6).
DINO DIGS: The Raptors on Thursday formally announced the return of their original purple jersey for select home games next season when they celebrate their 20th anniversary in the NBA. The uniform top features the Raptors font in silver with the team's dinosaur motif in action with basketball in hand (Raptors).