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6 p.m. LeBron boycott talk, Ryan Williams update; History offers mixed messages for Marlins' Fernandez; Dolphins, Heat, Canes chatter

HEAT 6 PM UPDATE

Former Heat guard Roger Mason Jr. on Wednesday essentially retracted his comment, a day earlier, that LeBron James told him he would boycott the start of next season if Donald Sterling is still owner of the Los Angeles Clippers at that time.

“LBJ never said anything about boycotting,” Mason tweeted. “He’s a friend and I would never want to imply something he didn’t say… My bad if I was not clear.”

Nevertheless, Showtime on Wednesday night went ahead and aired Mason’s comments claiming James told him he would boycott.

James did not completely rule out a boycott but indicated that’s not the way he’s thinking at the moment.

“As players, we see what [commissioner] Adam Silver is doing and he’s moving forward,” James said. “If he continues to move aggressively, which we believe Adam Silver will do, on the situation, then as players, we have nothing to worry about.”

Asked if it would be good enough if the league continues attempts to remove Sterling but can’t complete it by the start of next season, James said: “We don’t know. Right now, it’s good enough for us. We don’t know what’s going to happen. The legal system can be a pain.”

Asked under what parameters a boycott could happen, James said there would be “more in depth longer conversations that would need to be discussed” to get to that point.

James, who said he’s not using his phone during the playoffs, said neither he nor an associate called Mason to ask him to retract his statement.

“Roger’s a great guy,” James said. “I don’t have a problem with him at all.”

James said “the fact we have to continue to talk about [Sterling], which is a strong issue, sucks… I’m not sure Donald Sterling has ever put on a basketball uniform in his life.”

James Jones, a member of the player association’s executive council, said he does not support boycotting the start of the next season, if Sterling is still in place, because “we’ve taken steps to remove Donald. We’re moving forward. We’re a long way off from a final resolution.”

Udonis Haslem said the boycott discussion has never come up among Heat players.

### The Heat denied an unsubstantiated radaraonline.com story that Nets forward Paul Pierce punched James in the jaw in a tunnel following Game 4 on Monday night in Brooklyn.

The NBA did not investigate the matter because it is convinced the story is not true.

Pierce, oddly enough, declined to comment Tuesday when asked about it.

### James said he didn’t know that Pierce asked to guard him before Game 4 and that it wouldn’t give him any extra motivation. “I don’t believe there’s a one on one matchup that can guard me anyway,” he said.

### In the wake of former Heat coach Stan Van Gundy receiving a five-year, $35 million contract to become coach and president of basketball operations for the Detroit Pistons, Spoelstra said he now understands why he hasn’t received any text messages from Van Gundy in the past week.

“It’s an unbelievable opportunity for a coach to have that type of control,” said Spoelstra, who worked as an assistant on Van Gundy’s Heat staff and remains a close friend. “It has to be an exciting opportunity for him to want to leave Florida. I knew something was up. We text all the time. All of a sudden, hadn’t heard from him in a week. I said, ‘Something must be going on.’”

Haslem, who played for Van Gundy, said: “I’m looking for that franchise to be a lot better. Stan is a great leader, a great coach, has very high basketball IQ, will bring in the right guys. I’m expecting Detroit to be right up there with some of the top teams in the East in the next couple years.”

### Chris Bosh, asked if James can score 49 more often: “Yeah, but we don’t need him to. At home, I don’t think he needs to do that.”

### Regarding the wild swings in the Indiana Pacers’ play during this postseason, Bosh said: “I learn from other peoples’ mistakes. That’s what I take from it. It’s a very unique situation.”

Haslem said: “We can’t focus on the Indiana we see against other teams, because when they play against us, it’s a whole different ballclub.”

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Quick 1 p.m. update: Twice in the last week, UM coach Al Golden has given encouraging updates on the status of injured quarterback Ryan Williams.

Speaking to Hurricanes fans in Orlando last Friday, Golden indicated he was hopeful Williams could return at some point in September, though UM won't know for sure until later in the summer.

Golden also said the progress of Williams' recovery is in the top one percent for people with a torn ACL.

And in the past day, Golden --- speaking at the ACC meetings ---  told ESPN.com that Williams' recovery is "phenomenal. We know he'll be back. it's just a question of how early because his recovery right now is phenomenal."

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WEDNESDAY BUZZ COLUMN

With Jose Fernandez expected to undergo “Tommy John” elbow surgery in the coming days, what can be expected when he returns?

The good news is that a bunch of prominent pitchers have been very good after returning, including Tommy John (146 wins after the operation), A.J. Burnett, John Smoltz, Adam Wainwright and Stephen Strasburg (who sat out from Aug. 22, 2010, until his big league return on Sept. 6, 2011, then went 15-6 with a 3.16 ERA in 2012).

But two recent studies give cause for some concern. In March, Yankees physician Christopher Ahmad released a study that analyzed every pitcher who had the surgery between 1974 (when John became the first) and 2011.

Of the 160 pitchers who had the procedure once before 2011, 18 percent failed to pitch again in the big leagues and 52 percent returned to the disabled list at some point due to a condition with their pitching arm, including 23 percent who went on the DL for elbow-specific conditions. (Last month, former Marlins pitcher Josh Johnson underwent the procedure for the second time.)

Ahmad’s study showed that “of the 105 pitchers who completed at least one entire season before and after surgery, many performance statistics showed a decline following surgery, most notable in ERA, opposing batting average and percentage of fastballs thrown.” And pitchers lost nearly half-a-mile off their fastball.

Another recent study, by researchers at Detroit Henry Ford, studied pitchers’ stats for three years before the surgery and three years after and found average ERA rose from 4.15 to 4.74 in the three years after, as did hits and walks, while wins decreased (45 to 42 percent).

### Even if Fernandez declines slightly, he would still be very good. The Marlins won 64 percent of Fernandez’s starts since he debuted last April, compared with 36 percent by everyone else. Opponent’s batting average against him (.183) is MLB’s lowest since the start of last season.

### FYI: The Marlins designated Henry Rodriguez for assignment early Wednesday morning, a day after he walked four while retiring only two batters.... Rookie Anthony DeSclafani, promoted from Double A, will take Fernandez's turn in the rotation this week.

CHATTER

### The Dolphins tried to sign UM’s Stephen Morris after the draft, but Jacksonville made a better offer and Morris liked the idea of working with Jaguars offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch, his former coordinator at UM.

UM, once dubbed Quarterback U, has now gone 11 years since having a quarterback drafted (Ken Dorsey, seventh round, 2003) and 22 years since it had a quarterback selected before the last round (Craig Erickson, fourth round, in 1992).

### Some Dolphins players believe the team over-reacted by fining Don Jones and barring him from team activities until he undergoes sensitivity training, after he made remarks critical of Michael Sam on Twitter.

The NFLPA indicated Tuesday there has been no decision regarding whether Jones, though the union, will appeal the discipline through a grievance. “The Dolphins want to protect their organization; I want to protect my client,” Jones’ agent, Chris Martin, said, declining to elaborate.

### The Dolphins’ undrafted free agent addition with the highest pre-draft grade? LSU defensive tackle Anthony Johnson, rated a second- or third rounder by NFL.com’s Nolan Nawrocki before he reportedly had a positive drug test at the NFL Combine.

“He didn’t play up to his potential, but he’s big, strong and can move really well, and it’s tough to find those guys,” an NFC scout said. Another Dolphins post-draft addition, Utah State center Tyler Larsen, was viewed as a potential fourth-rounder by some.

### Please see the last post for Dolphins transactions from Tuesday, and LeBron James' boycott option.

### One of the challenges for Heat coach Erik Spoelstra in these playoffs is deciding how to distribute minutes among Shane Battier, James Jones and Rashard Lewis. Who’s most worthy? Consider:

This postseason, Battier is shooting the best of the three (6-13, 46.2 percent), narrowly ahead of Jones (12 for 27, 44.4 percent), with Lewis struggling at 27.3 percent (6 for 22).

Defensively, even though Battier is considered the best of the group, synergysports.com – which breaks down every possession – rates Battier’s defense as “poor” in these playoffs; he’s allowing the player he’s guarding to shoot 53.6 percent. Jones and Lewis are rated “below average” defensively this postseason; every other Heat rotation player except those three is rated good or very good.

Here’s the big disparity: With Jones on the floor, Miami has outscored its opponent in every game he played and by a remarkable 58 points in 88 playoff minutes. Miami is plus 34 in Lewis’ 88 minutes and minus five in Battier’s 81 minutes.

And here’s why LeBron James was justified in calling for more minutes for James: When those two play together in postseason, Miami is plus 53 in 83 minutes (the best two-man pairing on the team) and shoots 57 percent. Conversely, Miami is plus 21 when James plays with Dwyane Wade, plus 17 with James and Lewis and minus three with James and Battier.

Spoelstra admitted Tuesday that plus/minus has influenced his decision to play Jones. “He has an effect on our game, where it’s a positive effect generally,” Spoelstra said. “J.J. gives us an element that we need. In this series, spacing is important.”

Spoelstra has stuck with Lewis through his shooting slump because “Rashard gives you that length in a perimeter series and he’s a threat” on three-pointers. “Offensively, our game is based on flow and rhythm. That flow and rhythm happens very naturally when Rashard is in there.”

In this series, “we need both” Lewis and Jones, Spoelstra said.

There could be fewer minutes for Battier, Jones and/or Lewis in a potential conference finals against Indiana, when Udonis Haslem figures to return to the rotation.

### ESPN announced Tuesday there will be a sequel to its 2009 documentary on the University of Miami football program, ESPN’s fifth-highest rated documentary ever.

But ESPN said it will not offer any details or a timetable for production, and producer Billy Corben and director Alfred Spellman also are respecting ESPN’s wishes not to comment.

UM refused to participate or grant access to employees in the first movie and hasn't been informed about the sequel.

Some high-ranking UM people didn’t believe the original film helped the program, because they want the public to associate UM with high education and winning with class, not swagger and colorful antics and boasting.

Comments

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where have all the good U times gone ?

Some high-ranking UM people didn’t believe the original film helped the program, because they want the public to associate UM with high education and winning with class, not swagger and colorful antics and boasting.

Or in Shalalala language, Harvard South, choir boys that finish ranked around 25th with 8 and 9 win seasons playing in meaningless December Bowl games.

joe r

dolphins should go ahead and give the whole organization sensitivity training and cover the bases...the fact that some think they came down too hard shows its a bigger problem than just punceyand jones...corporations do it for their ranks and dolphins should too so at least when it happens again and it will they can say well we tried

jmike

where have all the good U times gone ?,really really, there's absolutely nothing wrong with winning with class, ever hear of Alabama. Any of their guys on the police blotter, ever hear Saban talk about grad rate. The U 2002 and 2003 won with class. And yes you can win with class, ask Stanford. Morn.

Mike

Would rather have a program that wins without class than doesn't win with class.

jmike

Really Mike, really.............you mean like the Fins, huh. You mean like Oakland, or like Nebraska. Better win, and to win with class period. Ask the U classes of 2001, 2002, 2003. They won with class.

TheSergeantMajor

Agree with Joe on the sensitivity training to all w/i the organization.

Was Pouncey even fined or suspended? So far nothing. In my opinion he's the guy that should have received the harshest disciplinary action for his "newbie gift tweet", especially after he was named as a enabler in the bullying affair. Plus, remember his comments ref Hernandez.

I think the Dolphins leadership are clueless as to how to lead and mete out punishment. They are truly drowning when it comes to leadership and that wears off on their subordinates (players) who did nothing durrying bullygate. GM Hickey claims Pouncey's remarks were only light-hearted and could be taken out of context. Really!? The guy's already been deemed practically guilty of bullying by the NFL commission that investigated, so Pouncey should be on the thinnest of thin ice. His comments should have triggered a slam dunk disciplinary response. It's a no-brainer. It's not unlike a guy who's convicted of a DUI one day, and the next he's out drinking a beer while driving......but he's not quite drunk yet and he hasn't killed anybody yet.

Bill

You all saying the Fins need sensitivy training are a bunch if hypocritical jerks. How's that for sensitivity?? So what Don Jones tweeted Eww... I don't particularly care to see PDA by anyone much less 2 guys kissing on ESPN.. I find it humorous how people get SOOO offended these days over people's god given right to free speech in this country.. It's ok for Snoop Dog to call white people, white bread motherF** and other names, but god forbid some 80 year old millionaire say something on a recorded phone call.. Where's the media calling on a ban on Snoop Dog? You can’t have it both ways. Or I guess in the USA now and days you can. Don Jones tweeted on his personal account. It wasn’t associated with the Dolphins. He is not allowed to express his personal opinions because he is a NFL football player? Sounds more like communism to me. I have a gay friend who was hanging out with my wife and I one evening at a restaurant, and my wife made some comment about us making it a late night and my friend said Eww.. because he likes men. Did I report him to the media, or his company in downtown Miami asking for them to suspend him? No… People grow up. Not every person is going to like all races, all types of lifestyles, and religions.. But what we can do is be tolerant of each other. You don’t punish people for making a comment.. It’s their right under the constitution. And if you do punish people for making comments then you might as well do it EQUALLY.. And then buy a plane ticket and move to China!

Reality Bites

Wish Fernandez the best and a speedy recovery, not only is he the best player on he marlins, he is a class act as well.

"UM, once dubbed Quarterback U, has now gone 11 years since having a quarterback drafted (Ken Dorsey, seventh round, 2003) and 22 years since it had a quarterback selected before the last round (Craig Erickson, fourth round, in 1992)."

11 or 22 years is a long time clowns, at least now you can be dubbed Punter U.

It seems like a no brainer to have JJ play more minutes, Battier's production has declined even going back to last year when he was benched for the playoffs in favor of Mike Miller.

If saying stupid things were cause for fines and banishment then UMike, the blog policeman, and most homers here would be banned and poor.

Billy Corben, a cane lover like Nevin Shapiro, wants to make another movie about the sorry canes. The first one was in the cocaine cowboy, lawless thug style of Miami circa 1980s. No wonder Shalala didn't like it, but at least back then, in those ancient times, the team was winning.
What will he do now? A retrospective of going from champs to chumps in a short decade?
A treatise on how one can spend tons of cash in bribes and illegal perks and have nothing to show for?
Maybe a contrast between Uncle Luke and Lil Luke?
Bribes well spent versus bribes wasted.
Can't wait to find out.

dunnelloncane

Reality bites is just jealous cuz Espn won't do a special on his Gators and their 53 arrests over 7 yrs.Poor Uf has never had an undefeated season(UM has 3) and UM owns them in football, winning 7 of 8 and 12 of 15! And I wouldn't mention QB's if I was him. Uf's recent QB's include John Brantley, Jeff Driskel(both supposedly best HS Qb's in Us) and Tebow who can't get an NFL job. And Uf gave us thugs like Aaron Hernandez(greatest sports criminal in US history) plus thugs like Pouncey brothers, Chris Rainey, Purifoy and so on. Worry bout ur loser 4-8 team!

jordan

LOL at the sageant MORON. Pouncey should be charged with bullying!?!? You should be charged with being a retard and transported from the country immediately. Since you are exactly what is WRONG with society.

Not our rival

Posted by: Reality Bites | 05/14/2014 at 12:42 PM

Hush nerd, no one here cares about your fake internet rivalry, go find an AOL chat room if you want to troll strangers on the internet for no reason.

Is it football season yet

"hush nerd".......is still the funniest thing on this blog.

Bobbyd12

Hey "U" fool? Where did your Gayturds rank? Oh, that's right, last and playing NO games in December. Worthless Moron, if you don't like Miami take your sorry worthless self on 95 North and don't come back, loser

duh

Here's the missing part of the "winning with class" thing...the WINNING!!!

Johnny J

To the extent Canes haters make disparaging remarks to Miami fans just demonstrates in equal proportion their own frustration and lack to be taken seriously with their comments.If they could act mature and make the comments - they may get a minimum of respect.They need to grow up.

TRP

This whole race thing has gotten completely out of hand. Affirmative action, quotas, special consideration for certain groups. Well, that is discrimination unless it is directed toward whites. Let's all compete on equal terms for a change.

The Dolphins have gone overboard on the Sam thing. Let people say what they feel. If you don't agree with their opinion fine, but don't take away their right to free speech. Enough pc bs already.

Glad the Heat won. If Lebron doesn't want to play next season f him. He is also entitled to his beliefs so he is free to quit playing in the NBA if he chooses.

Busted

BleacherReport publishes the inconvenient truth about UM Football's continue decline into irrelevance that Herald and Barry are not allowed to publish

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2058084-2014-nfl-draft-reflects-lowest-point-of-miami-hurricanes-football

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