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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Hornets have placed the teams future personnel decisions in the hands of Rich Cho after Rod Higgins has stepped down as the teams president of basketball operations on Friday. Higgins had been with the team for the last seven years. Hornets owner Michael Jordan thanked Higgins in a statement. "Rod has been a consummate professional throughout his time with the team," Jordan said. "Thanks to his hard work and commitment, we have an improved roster and we are poised for success in the future. Rod was of great help to me as I navigated my first four years as majority owner of this franchise. I wish him all the best." Cho will remain in his capacity as general manager and assume responsibility for the teams basketball operations, according to a press release issued by the team. Cho will report to Jordan and vice chairman Curtis Polk. Cho declined comment through team spokesman Mike Cristaldi. The move comes two weeks before the NBA draft and what is expected to be a busy off-season for the Hornets. The Hornets have the ninth, 24th and 45th overall picks and more than $13 million to spend under the salary cap. Jordan has already said the team hopes to make a "big difference" in upgrading the roster this off-season. Higgins declined comment on the matter via text message to The Associated Press. Coach Steve Clifford, entering his second season with the Hornets, said he had a great working relationship with Higgins. "He helped me a lot -- helped our staff a lot. He is a terrific basketball guy and a great person, and were going to miss him," Clifford said. "With that being said, you know change is a big part of this league. We need to quickly focus and move forward and continue to build the right culture, roster, so we can be a good team year in and year out." When Jordan took over as part owner in Charlotte in 2006, Higgins was one of his first hires the following year. Hes long been one of Jordans most trusted friends. Jordan was a rookie in the 1984 when he joined the Chicago Bulls and became teammates with Higgins, a veteran forward at the time. After a 13-year NBA career, Higgins went on to work with Jordan as an assistant general manager with the Washington Wizards. Higgins later left the Wizards to become general manager of the Golden State Warriors before joining Jordan again in Charlotte. Cho was hired by Jordan in 2011 as Charlottes new general manager and Higgins title became president of basketball operations. From that time, the two shared player personnel duties and regularly appeared together and press conference to discuss personnel moves with the media. Clifford said hes confident Cho will do a great job moving forward. "Rich is very organized, on top of things," Clifford said. "I know well be prepared, we will be prepared for the draft, for free agency and you know just like we have in the past. I dont see that part being an adjustment at all. Weve been working together for a year." Anders Lee Islanders Jersey. The actual winners on transfer deadline day are those clubs such as Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City who were well prepared and managed to get their main incoming business done well ahead of the transfer window closing. Tottenham were able to add seven players by spending over 100 million pounds and also ensured maximum return for the Gareth Bale transfer to Real Madrid by managing the move superbly. John Tavares Jersey. -- At the beginning of training camp, Andrew Bogut set a goal to play all 82 regular-season games and regain his place among the NBAs best centres. http://www.nhlislandershockeystore.com/mathew-barzal-jersey/. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have released veteran guard Davin Joseph, a mainstay on their offensive line over the past eight seasons. Cal Clutterbuck Jersey. -- Dee Ford prefers to keep things simple: Play hard and fast, and let others worry about his NFL draft stock. Dennis Seidenberg Islanders Jersey. The kind he has every so often. The kind he has when Dwyane Wade sits. James scored 43 points -- 25 in a bewildering first-quarter shooting display -- and Chris Bosh added 21, leading the Miami Heat to a 100-96 win Tuesday night over the Cleveland Cavaliers, who played their first game without injured All-Star guard Kyrie Irving.SUZUKA, Japan -- Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel won the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday but will have to wait to seal a fourth-straight Formula One title as nearest rival Fernando Alonso finished fourth. Vettel surged into the lead on the 41st lap and led a Red Bull one-two ahead of teammate Mark Webber by 7.1 seconds. Webber, who started from pole position, passed Lotus Romain Grosjean on the penultimate lap. Grosjean led much of the race but could not take his maiden F1 victory and finished third. It was Vettels fourth win in the past five races at Suzuka and his ninth win of the season. "We had a great car and were fast again this year," Vettel said. "Being able to finish on the podium and to win four times here is incredible. The fans here are incredible, they really respect us." Vettel managed the rare feat of a fifth-straight race win and leads the championship by 90 points from Alonso with four races remaining. The last driver to win five races in a row was Michael Schumacher in 2004. Vettels two-stop strategy and controlled tire wear was the difference. Grosjean, who started on the second row, grabbed the lead at the first turn and held it until the 29th lap when he went into the pits for the second time to change tires. Vettel took the lead and waited for his final pit stop on lap 37. With fresh hard tires, Vettel blasted past Grosjean on lap 41 to take the lead for good. Vettel got off to a rough start when he clipped Lewis Hamiltons right rear tire before Turn 1, forcing the Mercedes driver to retire after the ninth lap due to a puncture and associated damage.dddddddddddd "I had a very poor start," Vettel said. "I clipped the front wing but after that we were patient and I managed to get past Romain and beat Mark on the tire strategy. The decision (on the tires) was made on the first stint because we stayed out longer on the first tires. It was not easy to make the two-stop work especially in the middle sector but it worked in the end." Grosjean was bidding to become the first French driver to win a Grand Prix since Olivier Panis at Monaco in 1996. "What a start," Grosjean said. "Today was a very good race but the Red Bull caught us but we were the only ones who were able to challenge them." Despite preserving the championship race, Alonso conceded the title is virtually decided. "Even if Sebastian retires in all four races I need to win them all but we are struggling a bit at the moment," Alonso said. "We will continue to give our all in every race though and then if he wins it, Ill shake his hand." Caterham driver Giedo van der Garde and Marussias Jules Bianci were involved in contact at the back of the field after the start and were both out of the race quickly. Prior to Sundays race, the drivers honoured Maria de Villota with a moment of silence. The former F1 test driver was found dead in a hotel room in Seville, Spain, on Friday. Her family said an autopsy showed that lingering injuries from her racing accident a year ago likely caused her death. Cheap NFL Jerseys China ' ' '
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