Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird joked on Monday that he would rather be playing golf than finalizing details of All-Star forward Paul George's new contract.
"I'm going back to the office to work on (George's extension)," was Bird's reaction to the Indianapolis Star when asked about reports that a contract had been agreed upon.
Previous reports of George and the Pacers agreeing on a $90-million extension might have been a bit premature, but even George said it is a foregone conclusion that he will remain with the Pacers.
George told the Star last week he hopes to sign the extension before training camp opens this weekend. He said, on Monday, that he and the team are on the "same page," but the extension had not been finalized yet.
George would prefer to focus on preparing for the upcoming season.
"But whatever happens, happens," he said about trying to get a deal done before Saturday when camp opens. "Right now, it's about to be the start of the year. All the guys are here. We're all fired up and ready to go. That's where my focus is."
--The Sacramento Kings announced that they added Shaquille O'Neal to their ownership group and will introduce him during a press conference at the team's practice facility on Tuesday.
The ownership group is led by Silicon Valley software tycoon Vive Ranadive, which bought the team in May after an unsuccessful bid by a Seattle group that would have moved it to the Pacific Northwest. The new owners also include 24-Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov.
O'Neal, a 15-time All-Star and four-time NBA champion, hopes to help return the Kings to their winning ways of a decade ago. O'Neal's Los Angeles Lakers knocked the Kings out of the playoffs in 2000, '01 and '02.
--The Miami Heat announced that they signed undrafted rookie guard Larry Drew II.
Drew averaged 7.5 points, 7.3 assists, 2.4 rebounds, 1.40 steals and 35.5 minutes while shooting 44.6 percent from the field and 43.3 percent from 3-point range at UCLA last season. He spent three years at North Carolina before transferring.
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- Paul George
- Indiana Pacers
- Larry Bird