MIAMI: Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside will not play on Sunday
(Monday in Manila) in Toronto in a one-game showdown to see which team advances to face
Cleveland in the NBA Eastern Conference finals.
Whiteside has not played since suffering a sprained right knee ligament in the second quarter of game three in the best-of-seven playoff series, which the Heat evened at 3-3 with a 103-91 victory on Friday.
“I can’t really put a measurement on it,” Whiteside said of a timetable for his return. “It just really depends on what the doctors say and how everything is feeling. I don’t really want to make anything worse.”
Whiteside hopes the Heat can eliminate the Raptors and advance to a showdown with the Cavaliers, who host game one of the East final on Tuesday.
“We’ve got a lot of talented guys. I believe in them,” Whiteside said. “They played amazing.”
In Chicago, former New York Knicks star center Patrick Ewing, now an associate coach for the Charlotte Hornets, has interviewed with the Memphis Grizzlies about their vacant NBA head coaching position.
The move comes as Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace and other team executives study young talent at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago with other interviews expected to replace Dave Joerger.
The Sacramento Kings, who also spoke with 53-year-old Basketball Hall of Famer player Ewing, hired Joerger after his firing a week ago by the Grizzlies after three seasons following a request to be allowed to talk with other clubs about coaching jobs.
Ewing has served as an assistant for four NBA clubs over the past 13 NBA campaigns.
Joerger went 147-99 in his first NBA head coaching post, guiding Memphis to the playoffs in each of the past three seasons.
The Grizzlies also are expected to consider San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Ettore Messina, who has given permission Saturday by the Spurs to speak with other teams following San Antonio’s elimination from the NBA playoffs Thursday by Oklahoma City.
Messina, a 56-year-old Italian, guided Virtus Bologna to Euroleague crowns in 1998 and 2001 and CSKA Moscow to Euroleague titles in 2006 and 2008.