Barry Jackson

A-Rod passes on Marlins; Spoelstra honored; Heat nuggets; Beckham move

pportal@miamiherald.com

Some Marlins, Heat and Miami/David Beckham/MLS notes on a Sunday:

• According to Fox’s Ken Rosenthal, Fox baseball analyst Alex Rodriguez met with members of Tagg Romney’s group on Wednesday in Los Angeles but declined an opportunity to join that group bidding for the Marlins because he felt the timing wasn’t right.

If A-Rod had accepted that offer to be part of a group bidding for his home town team, that would have pitted him against former Yankees teammate Derek Jeter, who’s part of the Jeb Bush bid.

From Rosenthal’s Foxsports.com piece:

“Rodriguez, like Jeter, has dreamed of becoming a major-league owner. Miami also is Rodriguez’s hometown, adding to the potential appeal from both his perspective and the Romney group’s. Rodriguez’s charitable endeavors have included significant donations to the University of Miami and Miami Boys & Girls Club.

But Rodriguez, while intrigued by the possibility of joining the Romney group, did not feel the time was right for him to become actively involved in team ownership, sources said.

Rodriguez currently runs his own corporation, A-Rod Corp., a private holding company focused on real estate and construction, high-end fitness centers and automotive dealerships, according to the company’s website.”

Here’s the latest on the Marlins sale.

• A person approached by the Bush group said one longterm possibility mentioned by a Bush rep is buying and developing some land around Marlins Park, should he succeed in buying the team…. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross told me that Bush hasn’t asked him to invest and he wouldn’t be interested even if he did.

• Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and Houston coach Mike D’Antoni on Sunday were named recipients of the inaugural Michael H. Goldberg National Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year Award. It is named in honor of the longtime NBCA executive director who died in January at age 73.

Making the honor more meaningful: This was a vote of NBA coaches, not media.

Spoelstra called Goldberg a friend and was among coaches who honored Goldberg by wearing a lapel following his death.

Spoelstra guided the Heat to a 30-11 record in the second half of the season and a 41-41 finish, with Miami missing the playoffs by virtue of a lost tiebreaker to the Chicago Bulls.

The Goldberg award is given to the coach "who helps guide his players to a higher level of performance on the court and shows outstanding service and dedication to the community off the court."

• One person in touch with the Heat said he does not expect a Heat pursuit of Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, who’s available via trade.

One reason is the onerous cap hits. According to cap expert/heathoops.com writer Albert Nahmad, because of an $8.1 million trade kicker, Anthony’s cap hits would be $30.3 million next season and $27.9 million the following if he’s traded before July 1.

If he’s traded after July 1, the cap hits would be $34.4 million next season and $27.9 million in 2018-19, according to Nahmad.

• The Heat ended the season with the 10th longest sellout streak in NBA history (335 games, including playoffs) and renewals on a lot of expiring contracts have been so strong that president/business operations Eric Woolworth said he expects that to continue next season.

• Incidentally, Woolworth said the Heat has decided not to bid for All-Star games because of hotel conflicts with the February boat show.

• Dion Waiters’ and James Johnson’s offensive growth are far from the only reasons the Heat has prioritized signing them, after they explore a select few elite players in trades and free agency. Waiters held the player he’s defending to the fourth-lowest shooting percentage among all NBA guards (40.5). Johnson was sixth among forwards (also 40.5). Josh Richardson, by the way, was sixth among guards (40.6).

• Though Wayne Ellington said he has “a good feeling” about the Heat guaranteeing his $6.3 million salary by the July 7 deadline, that decision won’t be made until the Heat sees what it can do in the first six days of free agency.

• If you’re eager to see live hoops, the annual Masters Basketball Association National Championships starts Monday at the Coral Springs Gymnasium (2501 Coral Springs Drive). Admission is free.

Among those who organizers tell us are planning to play: Louisville coach Rick Pitino (age 64), former NFL receiver Cris Carter and former NBA players Reggie Theus, Greg Kite and Wali Jones. Pitino’s first game is Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.

The tournament also includes former local prep stars Admore White (Boyd Anderson HS), Emery Atkinson (North Miami Beach Sr. HS) and Julio Davila (Miami Jackson HS).

More than 400 players on 39 teams will be competing in Age Divisions from 40 to 75 and over.

For more information, check out mastersbasketballassociation.org/index.

### With Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly joining David Beckham’s Miami soccer ownership group, they’re in good shape financially and not looking for more investors. The next hurdle, which shouldn’t be a big one: acquiring Miami-Dade County-owned land, where a slice of the proposed Overtown stadium will sit, for upwards of $10 million.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez told WQAM’s Joe Rose: “We’re ready to go. We’re waiting for the league to award the franchise. We can get our part of the deal done within 30 days.”

Aside from a Marlins homestand starting Monday, we’re approaching a quiet couple of weeks with no Dolphins practices or Heat or UM football access the next two weeks. Buzz posts will resume in about two weeks. In the meantime, check out my two Dolphins posts Saturday and my 21 posts from the past week all here.

Marlins president David Samson talks about the discussions regarding the potential sale of the franchise before Tuesday's home opener against the Braves.

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