Tweet of the Night: Hamed Haddadi

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The 7-foot Iranian center (now the property of the Phoenix Suns) has been traded two times in the past several weeks, but a piece of his heart clearly still remains in Memphis, where the Grizzlies learned Saturday that former owner Michael Heisley had been hospitalized due to a stroke.

Heisley was stricken last weekend soon after returning home from Houston, where he attended the NBA All-Star game.

“The family appreciates all the thoughts and prayers,” Heisley’s wife, Agnes, said Saturday in a statement that requested respect for the family’s privacy.

Heisley’s net worth is $1.9 billion, according to Forbes magazine. He paid $160 million for the Grizzlies in 2000 when the franchise was in Vancouver. The NBA allowed Heisley to move the Grizzlies to Memphis in 2001.

He recently sold the team to California technology mogul Robert Pera, who chairs an ownership band that includes a number of local investors. The Pera-led group purchased the team for $377 million last October.

“On behalf of the entire Grizzlies organization, its fans and all those Mike touched in Memphis, our thoughts and prayers are with him, Agnes and the entire Heisley family through this trying time. We wish Mike a speedy recovery and hope to see him back courtside at FedExForum soon,” Griz CEO Jason Levien said in a statement.



Five Reasons to feel positive about the Memphis Grizzlies

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(This is another in a series of 30 guest columns that will run in October, when optimism reigns supreme across the NBA. The theme will be “Five Reasons to Feel Positive About … ” We encourage you to follow the authors on Twitter and visit their sites. – CS)

grizzlies small logoTwo seasons back, the Grizzlies were a Game 7 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder away from making it to the Western Conference finals. To that, they entered the 2011-12 season with greater expectations and visions of finally – for the first time in franchise history – making it past the second round of the playoffs.

Unfortunately, they ran into a Los Angeles Clippers team that actually posed to be a tougher matchup for the Grizzlies than the top-seeded Spurs they ousted in the 2011 playoffs.

As the Grizzlies tried to rebound from an epic Game 1 collapse at the hand of the Clippers, they eventually fell in seven games and suddenly caused many to wonder whether the team as constructed was good enough to make the jump to the next level.

Gone is O.J. Mayo, who signed with Dallas in the offseason. Back in the mix is, well, essentially the same team that lost in the first round to the Clippers. So the question remains: Is this core good enough to get the Grizzlies past the second round of the playoffs? Or are they nothing more than a regular season threat?

Sure, the core is essentially the same, but here are five reasons to feel positive about this Grizzlies team.

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