Storyline: Enes Kanter Injury

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Enes Kanter hurting

Kanter says he separated his left shoulder early on during Portland’s deciding Game 5 against Oklahoma City on Tuesday in the opening round. The Blazers returned to practice Friday. Kanter was shooting during the workout, although at times he rubbed the shoulder. “I think the Blazers are doing a very good job taking care of it. But, I mean obviously, I’m not going to lie, it hurts pretty bad,” he said. “I mean I’m having a hard time changing my shirt or eating food. So it’s a process. We’re just taking it day by day, see how it feels.”
1 year ago via ESPN

This time around, Kanter — a midseason pickup by the Blazers — started in place of injured Portland center Jusuf Nurkic and averaged 29.3 minutes per game in the series, as well as 13.2 points and 10.2 rebounds. Kanter did so during Tuesday’s Game 5 while playing through a separated left shoulder suffered in the first quarter. He received an injection in the shoulder at halftime and gutted his way through 32 minutes despite clearly being pain at times. “I just tried to play through it,” Kanter said afterward. “We’ll see what happens in the future.”

Enes Kanter wants to play again if he can before the Knicks call it a (bad) season after four more games. There may be megamillions of reasons for him not to risk it with the chance to opt out from the final year of his contract, but he’s still all in here. “It would be really selfish to think about opting in or opting out or thinking about my contract,” Kanter said after sitting out practice Thursday due to soreness in his lower back and right wrist that cost him the last two games. “Giving up on my teammates and my team would be really selfish. The Knicks are still paying me. I’m still part of the team. If I feel healthy, I’m just going to go out there and fight.”

Enes Kanter showed up for the Knicks game with the Hawks on Sunday on crutches. So naturally, he started. “If you’re going to make the playoffs, you’re going to make some sacrifices,” said Kanter, who was feeling the effects of getting kneed in the hip Saturday in Chicago — an injury that left him on crutches for two days. “I was in pain but [the doctors] just literally said, ‘Hey, if you want to play, we’re not going to say don’t play.’ “They just say, ‘OK, it’s your decision.’ ”

Maybe it was the pain medication talking, but center Enes Kanter vowed to play Monday, when the Knicks return home from their disastrous 0-2 Southern trip to play Portland. Kanter missed both losses with back spasms and still hasn’t recovered, but he wants to suit up anyhow if team doctors allow it. The Knicks’ quirky, old-school center is the antithesis of the modern-day NBA player who prefers to err on the side of caution. “[Saturday] morning I was still having a hard time even walking,’’ Kanter said late Saturday night after the shorthanded Knicks blew a 22-point first-quarter lead in losing to the Rockets. “But I think I’m going to try to play the next game Monday. I might not be 100 percent, but I’m going to try to play Monday. If they don’t give me the green light, I can’t do anything about it. But I want to play Monday for sure.”
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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.
May 27, 2020 | 1:45 pm EDT Update

Knicks coaching search: Thibodeau the top candidate

The New York Knicks and president of basketball operations Leon Rose will soon embark on the search process for a new head coach and Tom Thibodeau is atop the list of targets, sources told The Athletic. The Knicks are believed to be targeting a decision in the next few weeks, sources said. Interim coach Mike Miller has left a strong impression throughout the franchise, including in his time since Rose assumed control of the front office. Miller is expected to receive an interview when the Knicks do start formally talking to prospective head coaches, according to league sources, after stabilizing the team following a 4-18 start that led to David Fizdale’s firing.
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“What I proposed is that we extend the playoff format to 10 teams from each conference, and play at least five games prior to going into playoffs,” Cuban said laying out is plan to NBC’s Mike Tirico on “Lunch Talk Live.” And if we do that, every team in the Eastern Conference would have a chance to make the playoffs, and all but two in the Western Conference would do it [Ed. note: Golden State and Minnesota].
“Then, what I would do, once we got 10 and 10, I would reseed them, and 17 would play 20, and 18 would play 19, in a one-game series. The winner then would take on the eighth-place seed in a five-game series, while the No. 1 seed in each conference would get a bye. Then you go ahead normally from there. “That gives us a chance to have more meaningful games, it gives almost every team a chance when we come back for whatever is left of our regular season. I think we’ve got to change it up some, I don’t think we can go the old tried and true way.”