Kawhi Leonard close to returning

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October 9, 2015 | 7:42 pm EDT Update
Yet, World Peace maintained he preferred taking that path to prove to himself that his diminished statistics stemmed more from sacrificing on NBA teams than any erosion of skills. So much that World Peace said he turned down a chance to sign with the Clippers during the 2014-15 season. “In China, I had to get my game back,” World Peace said. “Doc [Rivers] asked me to come to the Clippers. I told him, ‘I’m going to China first. When I come back, I’ll come to the Clippers.’ I want to get my game back on.”
Klay Thompson issued a retort to Doc Rivers after the Los Angeles Clippers coach commented on the Warriors being lucky they faced neither the Clippers nor San Antonio in the playoffs. “Didn’t they lose to the Rockets? Exactly,” Thompson said, laughing in reference to Houston coming from behind to beat the Clippers in the Western Conference semifinals. “That just makes me laugh. That’s funny. Weren’t they up 3-1, too? Yeah, tell them I said that. That’s funny, man. That’s funny.”
Moe Harkless on Friday missed his second day of basketball workouts as he continues his recovery from a concussion. The Trail Blazers’ small forward sustained his injury during a Wednesday morning practice at the team’s practice facility in Tualatin and he has not played since. Harkless has not spoken to reporters in three days and coach Terry Stotts said he wasn’t exactly sure when and how Harkless suffered the concussion. “He got hit in practice,” Stotts said. “I’m not sure how.”
The National Basketball Players Association is working on a program that would fund cardiac screening and supplemental health insurance for its retired players, an initiative expedited by the recent sudden deaths of legends Darryl Dawkins and Moses Malone. The joint effort between union executive director Michele Roberts and NBA commissioner Adam Silver — at a time when there still may be potentially acrimonious labor negotiations looming for their sides — is intended to ease the health concerns of its retired players.
Silver said the NBA is prepared to provide the union with both financial support and a vast array of medical resources, including a prodigious network of cardiologists who have been affiliated with the NBA for years. Roberts and her staff presented their vision of comprehensive screening for retirees to current players at their annual Las Vegas meeting in July. While union officers (among them president Chris Paul and vice president LeBron James) were keenly receptive, they pressed for more specifics and wanted assurances that the program would be sustainable.
October 9, 2015 | 3:36 pm EDT Update
Duncan, 39, and Ginobili, 38, are expected to retire several seasons before Parker. Without them, Parker still expects the Spurs to have a talented roster with Aldridge, Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard by his side. “It’s very rare for any player in any sport – soccer, football, baseball – to play their whole career with the same team,” Parker said. “So it would definitely mean a lot to me to do like [former Spurs Hall of Fame center] David Robinson and Timmy and Manu. It would be great to be a part of the history of being with the same team. “My time will come soon. But I definitely want to enjoy my last years in the NBA.”
At 33, Wade is embracing the role of professor with Winslow as his student. “As his career develops, hopefully he’s able to do multiple things on the floor, but right now there’s gonna be certain things (Erik Spoelstra) wants him to do, and some of those things I’m good at,” Wade said. “I’m just passing down knowledge to someone who I think could be good at things that I have strengths at. It’s gonna take a while, but if he figures it out at 21, he’s ahead of the curve. I figured it out at like 27.
Matthews, who once played in 250 consecutive games before being forced to sit with a hip injury, takes his Iron Man nickname seriously. His emphasis now is on moving forward and not suffering any setbacks. “He and I had that conversation the other day,” Smith said, referring to Matthews’s return to live game action. “It’s not going to be a situation where I watch him and say, ‘OK, you look great, you’re ready to go.’ He’s got to feel it and be comfortable with it.” When that time comes, Matthews will be back on the court, confident as always. “My body of work speaks for itself,” Matthews said. “If people put my numbers next to other people at my position who they deem are the top, and you just showed the numbers, I’m sure people would be surprised to see it’s my name and not someone else’s. I don’t have anything to prove. I’m just excited to go out there and show.”
That gritty confidence was instilled by Moore. “Making sure he was just tough,” she said. “I think it really was around sports and you just carried it over: ‘You save the tears for home. You never let them see you cry.’ I think that stemmed from me trying to overcompensate for a man not being in the house.” As a single parent, Moore wanted to ensure that her son would never look back on his life and ask what if. “Maybe I was too hard at times,” she said. “I don’t see too many negative repercussions with Wesley, only that sometimes it does scare me that he thinks he needs to be perfect. … He has this idea in himself that he is Iron Man. I have to remind him: ‘Wesley, that’s a fictional character.’”
JW: Coaches who have been players in the league, they get so attuned to playing how they were successful, and who their coaches were. Mark was a real pick-and-roll guy and very, very good at it. Steve played for two championship coaches, and I think the coach obviously he has replicated is [Gregg] Popovich. He liked his style of play, even if he had great success in Chicago. Moving the ball, moving your body, all the little things you do to get defenses to make mistakes and to try to be able to counter. I think that’s been his philosophy offensively.
What’s your role these days? JW: If there’s things that I see that I think are pertinent to how Steve wants to play, more importantly to how he wants to try to build this team to be better, I give him my opinions about players. I talk about how the way we play can dictate a lot about the players we bring in here. Obviously we like versatile players, and we have a lot of them, and I think we have almost a perfect age for our team. How do we get better? I think by finding the kind of players who will fit within the system he’s going to do and someone who’s the same size. We can defensively cover a lot of ground with bigger people and not get hurt. A bunch of smaller guys switching, you can get hurt that way.
Jordan is seen here wearing the Air Jordan XX9 Low in what appears to be the same colorway that he was spotted in at camp this summer. There’s still no sign of a retail release for the Air Jordan XX9 Low, but the XX8 before it came and went without a Low, so it’s possible these won’t ever be available to people outside of the Jordan Brand family. The photos here come from Jordan’s appearance at an event announcing the partnership of WINGS, his community action program, with Youth Outreach, a Hong Kong-based center for at-risk youth.
October 9, 2015 | 1:15 pm EDT Update

Kevin Love ready for opener?

Kevin Love is eager to get back on the floor — perhaps even in time for the Cavaliers’ opener on Oct. 27. About six months after a shoulder dislocation ended his playoff run in the first round last season, Love feels optimistic about the start of this one. “I feel pretty good,” Love told Sporting News. “As far as the opener goes, I am not completely sure. I’ll probably get with the doctors and see what they have to say. I know that my six-month post-op is coming up here pretty fast. As far as getting the strength back, getting the range of motion, I feel pretty good, so I am looking forward to getting into some more contact, getting into a rhythm and getting out there as quickly as I can.”
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