Storyline: D'Angelo Russell Injury

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D’Angelo Russell, who hasn’t played since mid-November due to arthroscopic right knee surgery, is progressing, according to Atkinson. Last night, a video surfaced, suggesting that Russell lipped the words ‘two weeks’ in a conversation with Kyrie Irving. It could’ve meant he’ll be ready in two weeks, could’ve meant that they’ll be going bowling in two weeks… no one knows. Atkinson claims he did not see the video, and says there’s no timetable on the star guard.

But coach Kenny Atkinson declined to provide specifics about Russell’s status before the Nets ended a five-game road trip with a tough 108-105 loss to the Celtics Sunday night. “He’s progressing along with our schedule,” Atkinson said. “I’d just say he’s working his tail off. I was watching him in the gym yesterday. It’s an arduous process. He’s putting in a ton of time, he’s putting in full days. It’s been amazing to see his work ethic. He’s been great.”

D’Angelo Russell doesn’t have any idea when he’ll be ready to get back on the court. But the injured point guard joined his teammates on the current trip, with Russell, coach Kenny Atkinson and the other Nets saying it can only be a good thing to have him around, involved and engaged during his rehab. “I’m feeling better and better every day. So yeah, it’s cool,” said Russell, who saw the Nets bet the Grizzlies 98-88 on Sunday at FedEx Forum. “I don’t know [the timeline]. Really, honestly I’m just trying to stay healthy and get as strong as I can before I get back out on the floor. It’s definitely not something I want to rush. …. I’m not really forcing anything, just doing what the trainers tell me day in and day out and go from there, see how I feel every day.”

Russell had arthroscopic surgery on Nov. 17 to remove loose bodies in his right knee. He insisted it had nothing to do with the 11 games he missed last season because of soreness in the same knee, and said he can come away from this stronger. “It’s just more of a strength factor for me now. It’s not a reoccurring injury. It’s not something that affected me from last year,” Russell said. “So I’m just trying to go in every day and get my strength in and all that right before I go back on the court.”

The young guard limped out of the postgame locker room and down the hallway to be looked at by the Jazz’s team doctor. The Nets (5-8) chartered home after the game and the 21-year-old will be examined again by Brooklyn’s team doctors. “No update. Checking him out now,” was all Nets coach Kenny Atkinson could offer. “I didn’t really see it. I didn’t see the play. I think when he landed on a jump, I believe that’s when it happened. … We’re evaluating him now. I guess we’ll do more tests [Sunday].”

He will sit out for at least two more weeks, including when the Lakers (8-9) play host to the Atlanta Hawks (10-6) on Sunday at Staples Center. Russell plans to travel with the team this week to New Orleans (Tuesday), Chicago (Wednesday), Toronto (Friday) and Memphis (Saturday) to continue his rehab. “Definitely don’t want to force anything back,” said Russell, who will be reevalauted later in the week. “I feel like I got to be 100 percent perfect before I step back on the floor.”
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May 27, 2020 | 8:35 pm EDT Update
Colangelo said the original dates of enshrinement weekend, Aug. 28-30, and the proposed alternate dates of Oct. 10-12 are “just not feasible” in light of the coronavirus pandemic that has killed over 100,000 in the U.S. and has rendered large gatherings taboo. The board of governors will convene on June 10, he said, to explore spring dates.
May 27, 2020 | 8:08 pm EDT Update
May 27, 2020 | 6:57 pm EDT Update


May 27, 2020 | 5:17 pm EDT Update
‘I honestly want the death penalty for the cops because he casually, hand in his pocket, killed my brother,’ Jackson, 42, told the Daily Mail. ‘No effort. He put no effort into killing him. Kneeled on his neck, had him cuffed, and just suffocated him. ‘The only way that people are gonna feel like there’s justice, and the only way these police are gonna stop killing people in broad daylight like it ain’t nothing, is if they start dying too.’

May 27, 2020 | 4:44 pm EDT Update
NBA Central: Austin Rivers talks about the time an unranked Kyrie showed up to Deron Williams’ camp and gave buckets to the top ranked HS players in the country “He wasn’t even supposed to be there…Guys were like ‘Who the f*ck is this guy?’” (🎥 @uninterrupted ) pic.twitter.com/2YHYeXx0AM

Steve Kerr can’t watch it, and Stan Van Gundy doesn’t need to. Many black people have to keep away from it, because watching yet another video of an African American being killed at the hands of the state strips away at their souls and state of mind — that it can happen at any point with very little recourse. A knee to the neck of George Floyd until his breath is taken away.
“I think all you have to do is read the story to understand that this was a horrific act and, unfortunately, a story that’s all too familiar in our country,” Kerr told Yahoo Sports recently. “We have to do something about it. I think in particular … white people need to stand up and say we’re not gonna stand for this. All we have to do is imagine if the roles were reversed, the races were reversed, it would be a completely different outcome.”
“I’ve never met a single black parent that doesn’t have to sit their kids down and talk to them very directly about how you deal with the police if you’re stopped,” Van Gundy said. “‘You do this, this and this, so you come home alive.’ I started getting more of that in my career. I’m like holy [expletive]. I’ve never once talked to my kids about that or felt the need to. If my kid got pulled over, it was because they deserved to get pulled over. Even if they mouthed off, nobody was gonna shoot them.”
May 27, 2020 | 3:48 pm EDT Update
May 27, 2020 | 3:40 pm EDT Update
Some overseas players have an NBA-buyout clause in their contract (also known as an NBA-out) that allows them to leave their international team if they get an offer from an NBA franchise. Some NBA-outs are monetary buyouts, but many of these buyouts give players a certain date in which they are allowed to test the free-agent market and secure an NBA offer. “Every year, there are a number of overseas players who exercise their buyout clause to sign with an NBA team, and the deadline for those buyout clauses is normally between July 10 and July 20,” one international agent said. “That way, it’s during the free-agency period and the player has the option of participating in Summer League beforehand to see if an NBA team is going to offer him a guaranteed deal or a two-way contract.”
“We’re in limbo because the dates no longer match the NBA’s schedule,” one agent said. “It seems like the NBA doesn’t understand that moving free agency by several months will prevent most overseas players from coming over to the NBA because their contract only allows them to exercise their buyout clause in July.” Also, some NBA-buyout clauses “are based on a certain number of days after the team’s last game,” according to another agent. These could present some unique challenges as well.
Some agents are hopeful that logic will prevail and the involved parties will be able to adjust the contract language without any trouble. “FIBA released some overarching guidelines and one of them is that they expect teams and players to engage in what they call ‘good-faith negotiations’ on these kinds of topics,” one agent said. “They’re basically encouraging teams and players to compromise and figure these things out. They don’t want to have to resolve a thousand disputes like this. Let’s say a player had an NBA buyout set for July 15, which is 15 days after the start of free agency. The logical argument is that the new buyout date should still be 15 days after the start of free agency. So, if NBA free agency begins on October 1, the new buyout date should be October 15. The hope is that a lot of these situations can be sorted out logically.”
It could also mean that the summer of 2021 features more overseas talent than usual since it would essentially have two offseasons’ worth of free agents who are looking to exercise their NBA-out. “The NBA is focused on so many other things right now, so I think this just slipped their mind,” one international agent said. “But this could have a big impact on teams that are targeting overseas players.”
Even if the NBA did find a way to have a 2020 Summer League, it couldn’t start until September or October. By then, many overseas leagues would have already wrapped up their free-agency period, meaning most fringe players would’ve already signed with a team overseas and wouldn’t be able to participate in Summer League. “If Summer League isn’t until September or October, everyone would just skip it and take a guaranteed deal with an overseas team instead,” one agent said. “Who is going to jeopardize a guaranteed deal for the entire season just to play in the Summer League for two weeks?”
According to research in which we looked at every team’s path to their eventual championship wins (we only examined champions who had to win four playoff series during their postseason runs), Hakeem Olajuwon’s 1994-95 Houston Rockets had the toughest road ever to winning a title. The worst team they beat had a 57-25 record, and that was their Finals opponent, the Orlando Magic, who boasted a lineup featuring Shaquille O’Neal and Penny Hardway, amongst many valuable role players.
It’s a shame they weren’t even mentioned in The Last Dance, even though they were champions when Michael Jordan made his midseason return to the NBA. Some of the other toughest roads faced on the way to a title, per our research, include Jordan’s 1996-97 Chicago Bulls, LeBron James’ 2015-16 Cleveland Cavaliers, who had to face the 73-9 Golden State Warriors in the Finals, and the Shaq-and-Kobe–Bryant 2001-02 squad.
May 27, 2020 | 3:31 pm EDT Update
Last week, ESPN came up with the all-time starting five for every NBA team. Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Wilt Chamberlain made the cut for the Warriors. Hey Rick Barry — does that bother you at all? “Everybody’s entitled to their opinion,” the Hall of Famer said Tuesday on 95.7 The Game. “And that’s all it is — the opinion of some people. It is what it is. I know who I am. I know who I was as a player, and that doesn’t change. Who cares. “Bottom line is — I have my championship ring sitting on my finger that I’m looking at right now.”
In 1975, Barry helped bring the franchise its first NBA title since it relocated from Philadelphia to the Bay Area in 1962. He averaged 29.5 points, 5.0 assists and 3.5 steals in the NBA Finals that year, as the Warriors swept the heavily-favored Washington Bullets. “We won as a team. We didn’t win because of any one individual,” Barry explained. “We won because we made a commitment to playing the game the right way, and everybody was a major contributor. “That’s what made it so very special. We were like a family.”
May 27, 2020 | 2:04 pm EDT Update

Knicks interested in Kenny Atkinson

Former Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson likely will also receive an interview, sources said. Atkinson and the Nets parted ways in March with the team at 28-34 and on the way to the postseason during a difficult fourth season at the helm. Atkinson helped turn the franchise around during his tenure, taking it from a 20-win team in 2016-17 to a playoff team last season and one that proved to be an attractive destination for Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in free agency. He was a Knicks assistant for four seasons under head coach Mike D’Antoni.
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In Hartenstein’s case, the relationship with Brase had strengthened during Summer League in Las Vegas, with Brase as the head coach and Hartenstein as the team leader. Lucas has a unique way of connecting with players, and his bond with Hartenstein was no different. Being a young player who’s not getting a lot of playing time is one thing, but living alone is another. It’s important to keep players’ spirits up, especially during times like these, and Lucas is well versed in the mental aspect of the game. “More optimistic,” Hartenstein told The Athletic about his attitude toward the league’s progress. “I mean, just seeing that everything was getting closer and closer to opening up and maybe having a chance to start the season.”
As one of the first players in the league to attempt such a workout, Hartenstein was quick with a reminder that these are simply voluntary. Players are well within their right to avoid the facility and carry on whatever they’ve been doing to stay fit and ready on their own. This is just a way to get guys back in touch with the spaces they frequent after having to stay away for two months. “I mean, there will definitely be change,” Hartenstein said of league protocols as resumption talks progress. “But in the sense of what the Rockets are doing, they’re doing a great job. I don’t feel like they were uncomfortable and (they) made sure everything was safe.”
There are some more advanced chefs, namely Celtics center Enes Kanter, who is more familiar with food in the kitchen. He was growing up in Turkey, and as a child his mom told him to learn how to cook and he never really took her advice seriously until he got into the NBA and he started having to cook for himself. But now he experiments with all different kinds of Turkish spices and has actually turned his teammates on to a number of Turkish meals. So he’s very familiar in the kitchen. And you can see on his social media feeds all the lamb chops and steaks and chicken wings and more authentic Turkish food that he’s cooking during the hiatus.