February 5, 2023 | 4:16 pm EST Update
Bobby Marks: There was speculation that Kyrie Irving would hold out if he was not traded. A player who withholds services for 30 days or more is viewed as not finishing his contract. If that same player is set to become a FA, he would not be entitled to sign with a new team in free agency
Following a game between the Indiana Pacers and Memphis Grizzlies on Jan. 29 in Memphis, acquaintances of Grizzlies star Ja Morant aggressively confronted members of the Pacers traveling party near the team’s bus in the loading area of FedExForum, and later someone in a slow-moving SUV — which Morant was riding in — trained a red laser on them. The two members of the traveling party who spoke to The Athletic said that they did not see who shined the laser from the SUV. They also don’t know if the laser was attached to a gun, but they believed it was. A Pacers security guard in the loading area at the time remarked: “That’s 100 percent a gun.”
“We felt we were in grave danger,” one person who was present said. The two sources who spoke to The Athletic requested anonymity because they fear retribution from those who confronted them. They said they considered filing a report with police but decided against it for the same reason. The Pacers did alert the NBA, and league spokesperson Mike Bass told The Athletic that the league probed the matter.
“While we substantiated that a postgame situation arose that was confrontational, based on interviews and other evidence gathered, we could not corroborate that any individual threatened others with a weapon,” Bass said. “Certain individuals involved in the postgame situation and a related matter during the game that night have been subsequently banned from attending games in the arena. If additional information becomes available related to the postgame situation, the league office will conduct a further review.”
February 5, 2023 | 3:58 pm EST Update
Dalton Johnson: “The first thing he said to me was, ‘The good thing is, I’m going to be back.'” Steve Kerr talked with Steph Curry last night. Steph’s fear was the injury could have been season ending. The MRI made him very happy
Kerith Burke: Steve Kerr on Steph Curry’s injury; “We’re going to reevaluate a few days. And the good news is he’s going to be back. We don’t exactly know when, but it’s not an injury that’s going to keep him out for the season.” Kerr said he’s viewing this from a “glass half full” perspective.
Kyrie Irving, 30, opted into the final season of his deal in the summer but requested a trade earlier this week after failing to reach an agreement with Brooklyn on an extension. Irving has been seeking in the neighborhood of a four-year, $198.5 million maximum extension available to him until June 30, sources said. He is also eligible to sign a two-year, $78.6 million extension with the Mavericks until June 30.