May 16, 2021 | 10:58 am EDT Update
Tommy Beer: Wow – it’s official folks. The Celtics announce they are sitting their starters for today’s game against the Knicks. Jayson Tatum (Ankle) – OUT Tristan Thompson (Pec) – OUT Kemba Walker (knee) – OUT Robert Williams (Toe) – OUT Evan Fournier (Knee) – OUT Marcus Smart (Calf) – OUT
As his Golden State Warriors prepare for Sunday’s all-important, regular-season finale against the Memphis Grizzlies, Warriors coach Steve Kerr wants his team to have a clear mindset about exactly how much is at stake. With a win, the Warriors will finish the regular season with a 39-33 record, a game ahead of the Grizzlies for the eighth spot in the Western Conference — allowing for an easier path into postseason play. “We’re really looking at this [as] we’ve got to win two out of our next three games,” Kerr said after Saturday’s practice. “So basically that starts tomorrow; so, in effect tomorrow is a playoff game. And we’ve got to win two before we lose two. That’s what it comes down to out of the next three. Like a little miniseries from the old days in the early ’80s.”
The Charlotte Hornets and Bank of America this month partnered for the seventh annual Military Care event. This year’s unique initiative saw the full Hornets team and coaching staff, along with 90 volunteers from the two organizations working at home, partner to pack 3,000 care kits to be distributed by the USO of North Carolina to military service members who are required to self-isolate after deployment for 14 days at a quarantine facility before returning home to loved ones. “It is extremely important that we show our gratitude for our troops and the protection they provide,” said Hornets Sports & Entertainment President & Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield. “Even though we could not gather in person like we have in previous years, we are pleased that we were able to continue to partner with our friends at Bank of America to provide these care kits as a way of offering our thanks to our military service members.”
Irving declined to answer game-related questions Saturday after Brooklyn’s 105-91 victory over the Chicago Bulls and made multiple references to the ongoing violence between Israel and Palestine. “I’m not going to lie to you guys, a lot of stuff is going on in this world, and basketball is just not the most important thing to me right now,” Irving said. “There’s a lot of things going on overseas. All our people are still in bondage across the world, and there’s a lot of dehumanization going on.
“So I apologize if I’m not going to be focused on y’all’s questions. It’s just too much going on in the world for me to just be talking about basketball. I focus on this most of the time, 24/7, but it’s just too much going on in this world not to address. It’s just sad to see this s— going on. It’s not just in Palestine, not just in Israel. It’s all over the world, and I feel it. I’m very compassionate to it — to all races, all cultures and to see it, to see a lot of people being discriminated against, based on their religion, color of their skin, what they believe in. It’s just sad.” Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City flattened three buildings and killed at least 33 people Sunday, medics said, making it the deadliest single attack since heavy fighting broke out between Israel and the territory’s militant Hamas rulers nearly a week ago.
“I don’t care which way you stand on — either side,” Irving said. “If you’re a human being, then you support the anti-war effort. There’s a lot of people losing their lives — children, a lot of babies, and that’s just what I’m focused on. “So if you guys want to ask me questions about the game, I really don’t care about it except for everyone leaving the game healthy and being able to go home to their families.”
May 16, 2021 | 6:20 am EDT Update
Former NBA star Chris Webber has finally been elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, several sources told ESPN’s The Undefeated. Webber will be announced as a member of the Class of 2021 along with Ben Wallace and Paul Pierce on Sunday, sources said.