Source: Manning agrees to join Grizzlies group

Posted: October 05, 2012

NFL quarterback Peyton Manning, wife Ashley, and former NBA player Penny Hardaway have agreed to join the group of minority owners for the Memphis Grizzlies, said a person familiar with the deal.

The Mannings and Hardaway join a minority group that includes singer and actor Justin Timberlake and a couple of Memphis businessmen, the person told the Associated Press on Thursday on condition of anonymity because prospective buyer Robert J. Pera's purchase of the Grizzlies is pending approval by the NBA.

Pera, owner of a California tech company, agreed to buy the Grizzlies from Michael Heisley in June for $350 million. The NBA is expected to approve the sale this month.

Rockets' White a no-show

Houston Rockets first-round draft pick Royce White has not reported to training camp and said he and the team are working on a plan to address his fear of flying.

The 6-foot-8 White was the 16th overall pick after one season at Iowa State. White suffers from anxiety and fear of flying. He says on Twitter that he's working with the team on an "innovative plan" to balance treatment with the NBA schedule.

White said he has an agreement with the team to take a bus to select games, pending league approval. The Rockets would not comment beyond a statement that said they "are committed to Royce's long-term success, and we will continue to support him now and going forward."

LeBron the best ever?

Charles Barkley thinks LeBron James can be better than Michael Jordan.

Jordan is considered by many the best player in NBA history, but Barkley believes his teammate with the Dream Team can be surpassed by James.

"I do think he can be better than Michael," Barkley said. "I thought I would never compare somebody to Michael Jordan. But this guy, LeBron James, he does everything well. Michael did everything well. LeBron James is just bigger, stronger, faster. That's the only difference."

Barkley made his comments on the first episode of NBA TV's Open Court, to debut Tuesday. The series features a roundtable discussion of NBA TV and TNT commentators. They include Shaquille O'Neal, Reggie Miller, Kenny Smith, Steve Smith, Chris Webber, Steve Kerr, and Ernie Johnson.

James won his first NBA title and third MVP award last season, joining Jordan as the only players to win the NBA title, regular-season MVP, NBA Finals MVP, and Olympic gold medal in the same year.

NBA returns to London

The NBA is going back to London with a regular-season game between the Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks in January.

The NBA says the Pistons and Knicks will play on Jan. 17 at the O2 Arena, the site of this year's Olympic gold-medal game.

The Toronto Raptors and New Jersey Nets played a pair of regular-season games at the same venue in March 2011, but the NBA skipped London on its preseason tour this year.

Cheers for Allen

Ray Allen drew cheers for the first time in Miami. Someone wearing his old Boston jersey got booed.

Still getting used to things in Miami, Allen went to the wrong end of the court when lining up for the national anthem. But once play began in Miami's open scrimmage Wednesday night, he was right at home, making the first three-pointer he tried in Heat colors - albeit the practice-jersey variety - and scoring 13 points in his unofficial debut.

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