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Erik Horne: Presti on Russell Westbrook surgery/return: “We’d never push Russell or any player onto the floor. It was a pretty minor thing he had done. We’ll see how that reevaluation goes.”
Royce Young: If cleared after four weeks, Westbrook could be back for the opener against the Warriors on Oct. 16, but obviously there will be no rush for him to play.
Westbrook experienced some stiffness in the knee over the last week during individual workouts while preparing for training camp. He elected to have a standard scope as a preemptive “maintenance” procedure rather than potentially dealing with issues throughout the season.
Brett Dawson: Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony will play tonight.
Fred Katz: No minutes restrictions for Anthony or Westbrook, per Donovan. They are expected to play tomorrow in Memphis, as well. No back-to-back issues, Donovan says.
Royce Young: Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony are both out tonight against the Grizzlies.
Fred Katz: Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook are both questionable for tomorrow at the Lakers with ankle sprains. Westbrook left, Melo right.
Fred Katz: Russell Westbrook, who suffered a hip contusion in last night’s game, is not on the injury list. The Thunder expect him to play tomorrow in Memphis.
Fred Katz: Russell Westbrook officially starting. “Probably will just be the first quarter,” Donovan says.
Erik Horne: Paul George says he thinks Russell Westbrook is playing tonight. But he’s just Paul George, and not a doctor, and he’s not Westbrook, so …
Erik Horne: Billy Donovan said Russell Westbrook and Patrick Patterson did not practice. Alex Abrines was “fine,” not held back.
Erik Horne: Thunder informs me Sam Presti misspoke. Westbrook had PRP injection in his LEFT knee. Still worth monitoring, but not knee w/ 3 procedures.
Royce Young: Presti says Westbrook had a PRP injection on his right knee and will miss the first few days of training camp. Says it’s “nothing serious.”
Royce Young: Presti preemptively noted Westbrook’s procedure has nothing to do with past injuries. Westbrook tore his meniscus in his right knee in 2013.
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September 20, 2018 | 9:58 pm EDT Update
So you mentioned the smoother lead up to the season perhaps giving you guys a more energetic vibe early. But do you still view motivation as the biggest challenge — keeping these guys motivated throughout the season? Steve Kerr: “Well, it’s inevitable when you’re staring at the long haul. It’s a nine-month season if you get to the Finals. It’s inevitable you’ll have to deal with some of that. I think this year presents some other challenges that are more healthy. For example: Fitting DeMarcus into the group once he’s ready to play will be a really good challenge for us. It’s an intellectual challenge for our guys because you’re not plugging in a standstill 3-point shooter. You’re plugging in an All-Star player who can dominate a game with the ball. It’s a bigger challenge to figure out how the piece fits and what combinations are going to work best. So I like the challenge and I think the players will embrace that challenge. Whereas last year always felt like autopilot. As long as we were healthy, we always kind of knew what we were going to do. We had a formula. We just kind of went for nine months. There will be more variety this year.”
Do you have any read on where DeMarcus is health-wise right now? I know he won’t be ready for the start of camp next week, but how much do you think he’ll be able to do, how much will be around the practice portions? Steve Kerr: “Well, he’s been around the last few weeks. He rehabbed in Las Vegas over the summer, but he’s been here (in the Bay Area) the last few weeks, settling into his new home and new life. He’s on the court every day working. He’s so skilled. He’s got such great hands, shoots the ball so well, fantastic passer. He’s been working on all that stuff. So he’ll do as much as he can during camp and that will be decided by our training staff, headed by Rick Celebrini and Drew Yoder. We’ll confer with them every day.”
There’s the typical way an NBA team signs a free agent: Team reaches out to said free agent, makes an offer and player accepts. And then there’s the Briante Weber way, the proactive path that led him back to South Florida for a second tour with the Heat. Weber, unemployed this summer after stints last season with Houston and Memphis, decided that the Heat would be the best place to jump-start his career. And so Weber made calls. Not one, not two, but enough to reach virtually everyone of importance he knew within the organization.
“I reached out to the whole Heat coaching staff from top to bottom,” Briante Weber said at Bam Adebayo’s culinary charity event last week. “I reached out to [Heat vice president/player personnel] Adam Simon. I reached to [Erik Spoelstra] and [assistant], Dan Craig, even coach O [Octavio De La Grana]. I reached out to the whole coaching staff and told them my style of play fits here and you guys showed me how to be a pro. I want to come back here and pay dividends and show you what I’ve learned over the years and show you I belong. They gave me an opportunity so I am here to show them what I can do again.”