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1 posts from January 22, 2014

January 22, 2014

Noon update: Wade out; Peterson's Dolphins influence apparent; UM, Heat, Marlins; ABC/ESPN shakeup

Noon update: Dwyane Wade won't play against the Lakers tonight; he's missing his fourth consecutive game to rest his knees. Wade said Monday he feels soreness in the knees but hasn't spoken to reporters since then.

Asked if the Heat should be alarmed, Erik Spoelstra said no. "Heat nation does not need to be panicked," he said. But this has the feel of a mini-shut down.

Spoelstra declined to speculate if Wade would be available Sunday against San Antonio.

### USA Basketball chief Jerry Colangelo, on Wade not being a part of the 2016 Olympic team: "He's concentrating on his NBA career like he should. We appreciate the service he gave us. But it's time for us to move on."

Chris Bosh said he will not play in the 2016 Olympics because he wants to spend time with his family and wants others to get the opportunity. But he said he did not relay that message to USA Basketball, suggesting that USA Basketball might have gone in a different direction anyway.

LeBron James is expected to play in the 2016 Games in Brazil --- his fourth Olympics.

### After two published reports last night that Tennessee Titans executive Lake Dawson is not a finalist for the Dolphins' GM job, The Herald's Armando Salguero reports he is. Cleveland's Ray Farmer is also reportedly a finalist.

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Notes on a Wednesday night:

### Despite Stephen Ross’ fondness and respect for friend and confidante Carl Peterson, the Dolphins owner never has been quite motivated enough to give him a big salary and a lofty title --- a role that would hold appeal to Peterson, according to a friend.

But in some ways, Peterson’s influence over the Dolphins has never been greater, and it’s evident now in his role as Ross’ chief advisor in the general manager search.

Ray Farmer reportedly is a favorite for the Dolphins’ GM job, and it’s no coincidence that he’s the one candidate with whom Peterson worked closely, for three years in Kansas City.

Scott Pioli, the former two-time NFL Executive of the Year, was never a candidate for the Dolphins’ GM job, and it’s no coincidence that Peterson wasn’t a fan of Pioli and is believed to have told Ross as much.

Not only did Pioli replace Peterson in Kansas City, but Peterson’s former Chiefs colleagues called Peterson and bad-mouthed Pioli, according to someone with direct knowledge.

So Peterson wasn’t about to recommend Pioli to Ross, and Ross thus had no reason to pursue him. Pioli, who would have considered Dolphins overtures, never heard from Miami and took an assistant general manager job with the Falcons on Wednesday.

And remember, when the Dolphins were trying to decide whether to hire Joe Philbin or Mike McCoy as coach two years ago, Peterson told Ross that he never saw a coach’s presentation more impressive than Philbin’s.

So even without a title, Peterson still wields more influence over the owner than most of the people who do. And that’s even with Ross already announcing that he won’t hire Peterson for anything after the GM search is over.

### The Dolphins whittled their list of GM candidates on Wednesday, and based on reports (if accurate) and process of elimination, the job should go to Browns assistant GM Ray Farmer, Titans personnel man Dawson, Dolphins assistant GM Brian Gaine or Buccaneers director of player personnel Dennis Hickey --- unless a new candidate surprisingly emerges.

Interviews with finalists with take place this weekend. Several reports have established Farmer as the front-runner.

### Duke’s 67-46 win over UM tonight was Miami’s first lopsided loss in six conference games, and it exposed all of the Hurricanes’ offensive limitations. There’s simply no way UM can give Duke a competitive game when its two most experienced perimeter players, Rion Brown and Garrius Adams, shoot a combined 4 for 17, with Brown 1 for 6 and Adams 3 for 11.

Freshman Manu Lecomte, who had displayed growth recently, played an unsteady floor game, with six turnovers and two assists. At 10-8 overall and 2-4 in the conference, UM faces an uphill climb to make a push for an NIT berth.

### ESPN.com obtained a list of the 28-player pool from which USA Basketball will select 12 participants for this summer's World Cup and the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, who are headed into potential free agency this summer, are not on the list. LeBron James, naturally, is on the list but reportedly won't participate in Team USA's international competition this summer.

### Viewer alert: TNT is allowing Charles Barkley to work games occasionally this year, at his request, and Sir Charles will join Marv Albert and Steve Kerr for the call of Heat-Lakers on Thursday night. Barkley again stated this week that the Pacers are the best team in the East.

### Among the 17 people that CBS announced today will be competing against Marlins president David Samson in the new installment of the reality series Survivor: former NBA forward Cliff Robinson, a poker player, nuclear engineer, hair stylist and two police officers. The show, taped last summer in the Philippines, begins airing Feb. 28.

### Barring a change of heart, ESPN and ABC are planning to replace Brent Musburger as their lead college football announcer, as first reported by ESPN biographer James Andrew Miller.

A source confirmed Chris Fowler is the front-runner for the job, even though Brad Nessler is the more experienced and deserving play-by-play man. Fowler, an exceptional studio host, has expressed interest in doing play-by-play and his expiring contract gives him leverage in negotiations.

Musburger, whose contract is expiring, has been offered a play-by-play position with the new SEC Network, which is owned by ESPN. Musburger will turn 75 in May.