Storyline: Victor Oladipo Injury

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And McMillan made sure the “half-court” distinction was clear in his announcement Friday, one day after Oladipo was absent from practice while getting a check-up with his doctors regarding his injury. “He’s been doing some things 1-on-1,” McMillan said. “But this is a good sign. “They’re going slowly to try to work him into being able to go every day, but it’s good news to know he’ll be able to participate in that first part of practice.”

While Victor Oladipo avoids specifics about his recovery from a surgically repaired right knee, he participated in everything except scrimmaging when the Indiana Pacers opened training camp Saturday. “He spent the first 20 to 30 minutes of practice going through drills,” said coach Nate McMillan, who was briefed by the medical staff last night on Oladipo’s progress after a torn quad muscle Jan. 23. “Nothing with contact. Basically the warm-up part of practice. That was good enough for me to see him out on the floor with his teammates.”

Oladipo watched from the sidelines where he was his typical demonstrative self. He’s not going to scrimmage any time soon with his return on pace for December or January. Could he return sooner? Possibly. But the Pacers will be cautious and manage his workload. Last year he played through early-season soreness that probably led to the rupture of the quad tendon. “It was awesome,” Domantas Sabonis said of Oladipo being with them again. “He did 80 percent of the practice. It looks like he never left.”

McMillan said he spent time with Oladipo in Miami and Las Vegas during the offseason, in addition to observing the guard at the team facility last week. The longtime coach said Oladipo is in good spirits but he has a hurdle in front of him — contact. “He’s not playing live but he’s moving. He’s in a good position mentally,” McMillan said. “He feels that everything is going well. I like what I see with him. … He’s doing great. He’s not doing any live contact, still in that rehab stage of working with the trainers. I just know (opening night on Oct. 23) he probably won’t be there. The time frame, we have no idea of when he will return.”

Nothing can stop Victor Oladipo from getting buckets. In yet another video showing his recovery following surgery for a ruptured quad tendon, Oladipo shows that his 3-point shot is still very much intact, even with a brace still fitted to his right leg. While he’s shooting, Vic says “They say you gotta crawl before you can walk. They say you gotta walk before you can run.”

On the past few weeks. Victor Oladipo: “It’s just a blessing that I can still do something relating to basketball even though I can’t play the games. Just trying to find ways to get better even though I’m not able to play. I’m still watching games, still watching other people’s games, still study the game, still have time to go form shoot and stuff like that. I’m a very optimistic person and very confident that I’ll be able to come back better than ever. Just taking it one day at a time really.”

On whether his injury was related to the knee soreness that kept him out of 11 games in November and December: Victor Oladipo: “Who knows? I can sit here and say it’s related, but I really wouldn’t know. I can sit here and say it’s not related, but I really wouldn’t know. I ‘m sure it might be connected in some way, but who can tell? Who knows, really? I’m not toto focused on the past. All I’m really worried about is today and today I have rehab at 4:30.”

If anyone can understand the lengthy road ahead that Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo has to navigate following Monday’s surgery, it’s the veteran guard the Hornets signed in the offseason. Tony Parker fully comprehends the rigors ahead for Oladipo. Parker ruptured his left quadriceps tendon 20 months ago in the San Antonio Spurs’ second-round playoff series against the Houston Rockets. So he feels for Oladipo, knowing the grueling journey he’s facing. “It sucks. It sucks,” Parker told The Athletic. “You never want to see that and I wish him well. They already contacted me to talk to him and I’ll try to help him as much as I can because I’ve been through it. It’s a tough injury. It’s worse than an Achilles or an ACL. It’s a big injury. Hopefully, he’s ready for the long challenge ahead and the rehab. Hopefully, he’ll be fine and he’ll be back.”

Although he hasn’t spoken directly with Oladipo yet, Parker plans to lend his verbal support should he inquire with him — something that likely will happen. Pacers team officials may also have an opportunity to ask Parker a few questions when the Hornets are in Indianapolis again to play Feb. 11. If so, just like he’s been there for his new teammates in Charlotte, Parker plans on providing Oladipo with some invaluable knowledge. “Of course, of course,” Parker said. “I’m always open to talk and share everything that I went through.”

When the Warriors (35-14) host the Indiana Pacers (32-16) on Monday, Cousins will not just have concerns on his ongoing progress from his injury. He will also have concerns with All-Star forward Victor Oladipo, who recently suffered a season-ending injury because of a ruptured quad tendon in his right knee. “There’s no doubt in my mind he’s going to battle from that and be even better a player than he was before,” Cousins said following practice on Sunday at Harvard University. “You hate to see any guy go through that type of thing. It sucks. It really does.”


Thaddeus Young backed up his message with an inspiring second-half performance. He finished with a game-high 23 points and season-high 15 rebounds as the Pacers snapped a five-game losing streak to the Raptors, 110-106. “You try not to think about (the injury),” Young said while seated at his locker. “You try to get through the task at hand and then try to worry about it after because it’s out of our hands. It is tough. “We rallied around what happened to Victor and tried to make the best out of the situation. You don’t like to see guys go down at any point in the season, especially with it being our star player.”

Players weren’t aware of the extent of Oladipo’s injury after the game and had not spoken to him since he left the floor on a stretcher. Neither had coach Nate McMillan, whose 600th career win was an afterthought. Several players planned to visit or talk with Oladipo once they left the arena. “As of right now, we’re worried about the injury, but we have to continue to play because nobody’s going to feel sorry for us,” Young said. “Even though Victor is out, everybody’s going to try to beat the snot out of us.”

Oladipo was carried off the court on a stretcher during the second quarter of the Pacers’ 110-106 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night with a serious right knee injury. He is scheduled for an MRI on Thursday. “It is a serious injury and we’ll know more after the MRI,” coach Nate McMillan said. “We’re not going to speculate. It’s a tough situation. That kid has a beautiful spirit about him. He has always been one to try and to lift us up. We’ve got to lift him now.”
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November 13, 2019 | 4:49 pm UTC Update
Memphis plans to wait on a buyout with Iguodala until February’s trade deadline. The Grizzlies are still holding out hope that a trade can be worked out and have been holding firm on their asking price of a first-round pick. If not, Iguodala will be cut loose from Memphis and free to sign with whomever he chooses—around the league, that’s expected to be the Lakers.
Storyline: Andre Iguodala Buyout?
But there are still teams in the mix. All, according to speculation from league executives, are in the Western Conference. “He’s got more value in the West,” one GM told Heavy.com. “I can’t see a team in the East moving for him. He has the experience guarding LeBron and that’s what you want out of him. That and you want to keep him off the Lakers, you want their bench to be a weak spot. He doesn’t have those same kinds of good matchups in the East. You don’t want to put him on Giannis (Antetokounmpo) in a seven-game series, for sure.”
But the Grizzlies have yet to show interest in that deal and whether the Mavs would revisit the offer is a question. Sources indicate that the Mavs’ intent as the season progresses is to hunt for a piece with the trade exception they hold from the Harrison Barnes deal, worth $11.7 million. The Mavs can take on a player with a contract less than that value without giving up anything in return.
During an episode of ESPN’s “The Jump” on Tuesday, former Celtic Paul Pierce and longtime NBA reporter Jackie MacMullan touched on the difference in the team’s leadership. Specifically, the departure of Kyrie Irving and the arrival of Kemba Walker. “They got better leadership in there,” Pierce said. “Let’s just call it how it is.”
After ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols — the show’s host — offered a clarification that the leadership was simply “different,” Pierce jumped back in. “It’s better,” reiterated Pierce. “Kemba, he’s known throughout the league as being a great leader. I mean, he played on losing teams, he stayed positive. He went out and played hard every night, and that can be infectious. That can be the difference between losing and winning and chemistry. That’s what he’s brought to the Celtics.”
November 13, 2019 | 3:54 pm UTC Update
Through their first nine games, James had assisted Davis on 26 baskets, 10 more than any other teammate, per ESPN Stats & Information research. Compare that to his first nine games with Bosh, when it was 17 assists, and his first nine with Love, which produced only 11. Their pick-and-rolls have resulted in the highlight dunks that fans love and a schematic nightmare for opposing coaches. And even though they sometimes are caught a little out of position, there’s a natural flow that’s easy to see. “I think that’s part of [LeBron’s] genius that he’s able to morph into whatever he needs to be, to bring out the best out of the other players,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, whose team faced the Lakers last week. “His connection with [Bosh] was pretty natural, and I think this is, this just fits like a glove. … When both guys want to do it, commit to the process of getting better with it, you’re just going to see that improve dramatically as the season goes on.”
Storyline: LeBron-Davis Dynamic
Amid the ongoing debate about resting players in the NBA, count Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban among those openly willing to support load management. “The problem isn’t load management, per se,” Cuban told reporters in Boston on Monday. “I think teams have to be smarter about when to load manage. I’m all for load management. Worse than missing a player in a [regular-season] game is missing him in the playoffs.”
60 mins ago via ESPN
“He had a tough couple of weeks before training camp,” Dunn said. “Most people, when I get at them and I see fear, they’re done. They’re outta there.” But White didn’t budge. He showed no fear, no quit. He refused to back down. He just kept coming. “Training camp came and he turned it on,” Dunn said. “That showed he’s still learning, but he’s going to bring it. He’s going to keep bringing it. He kept the same intensity. He kept the same energy. And I love it.”
Though some of the feelings were foreign to him, he could recognize them as a threat to his well-being. “That kills more dreams, careers, on and off the court, basketball-related and just (in) regular life,” Brown says. “As soon as you start not believing in yourself, it’s over. So I had to quiet that voice that was in the back of my head. Everybody has it. It’s not something that, like, just Jaylen has been through it. I think everybody on this planet probably has that voice in the back of their head telling them to stop or to quit or not to keep going. And that voice had been louder last year than it had ever been. So I had to make sure to quiet that fucking voice because it was pissing me off.”
He found the best response was sometimes to detach from a situation, even if others did not always understand the tactic. He wasn’t doing it out of a lack of care, he says, but because he needed to preserve his positive energy and keep moving in the right direction. While he says he didn’t lean much on others for advice, his grandfather recommended a number of helpful books. “A lot of it had to do with astrology and stuff like that,” Brown says. “Finding out what you’re made of. I had to remind myself of who I was. That was good for me.”
Brown has a bigger role again. Head coach Brad Stevens inserted him into the starting lineup from Day 1. Through nine games, the Celtics lead the NBA with an 8-1 record and a plus-9.5 net rating. Brown is averaging 19.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game on 53 percent shooting. Those marks would all establish career highs. He has lived near the rim so far — which he called a conscious decision — but he does not want to pigeonhole himself into a slashing style. If teams start backing up, he says, he may need to start lacing 3-pointers again. “The media or analytics, they always try to put you in a box and say this is the type of player he is or this is the type of player,” Brown says. “I don’t think anybody knows what type of player I am. I can try to continue to grow and get better. In two years I might be improved at anything just because I work on my game that way.”
November 13, 2019 | 8:14 am UTC Update

Knicks players back David Fizdale

Despite their frustrations following the loss at Chicago — one in which they turned the ball over 18 times and were outscored 52-46 in the paint — Knicks players were still adamant in their support of the second-year coach. “We’ve got 9-10 new guys? We’ve got 10 guys that have not played together at all and me who hasn’t even been in the league yet,” said rookie RJ Barrett. “You’re gonna have some challenges, but you’ve got to keep pushing, keep pushing through everything. That’s all I can really say. You’ve just got to stay together. “He’s up to the challenge. We believe in him,” he continued. “We’re staying together, and like we said, we’re all-in with him and are just gonna keep fighting together.”
9 hours ago via ESPN
This rumor is part of a storyline: 20 more rumors
Knicks owner James Dolan spoke with team president Steve Mills and others in management on Monday, the day after Mills and GM Scott Perry held an impromptu press conference to express their frustration with the Knicks. Dolan speaks with Mills and other top decision-makers regularly, just as most NBA owners do, but this conversation seemed to carry a little more weight. Sources familiar with the conversation told SNY that management came away with the impression that their jobs would be secure as long as the Knicks ‘showed progress’ this season.
Stadium: NBA Insider @ShamsCharania reports Dion Waiters will return to the Heat when his 10-game team suspension ends after “gummy” incident. “There isn’t a buyout on the horizon … he has to get back into the good graces of the organization”

The Houston Rockets made the signing-and-trading for veteran Chris Paul in the summer of 2017 the landmark move of their offseason, but the All-Star floor general only experienced two seasons in Clutch City before being quickly shipped off again on his career. Speaking to comedian and actor Kevin Hart on his cold tub show that we all knew existed before this moment, the 34-year-old Paul called his 2019 offseason trade to the Oklahoma City Thunder a “stab” in the back (via Dan Feldman of NBC Sports). Hart: Do you feel like there’s been times where, “Damn, that’s a little eye-opening. I got stabbed in the back”? Paul: Absolutely. This last situation was one of them. The GM there in Houston, he don’t owe me nothing. You know what I mean? He may tell me one thing but do another thing. But you just understand that that’s what it is.
David Levy is resigning as chief executive officer of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center, abruptly walking away from the fast-growing sports operation owned by Alibaba Group billionaire Joe Tsai. Levy, a 33-year veteran of Turner Broadcasting, was named to the CEO job less than two months ago. Oliver Weisberg, head of J Tsai Sports, will now take over as interim Nets chief.
Storyline: Nets Front Office
Turkish NBA player Enes Kanter, a vocal critic of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, teamed up with two Democratic U.S. senators on Tuesday as they introduced a bill to condemn the alleged violation of human rights in Turkey. As Erdogan arrived in the United States for a White House meeting on Wednesday with U.S. President Donald Trump, Senators Edward Markey and Ron Wyden held up Kanter as a victim of the Turkish government’s targeting of political rivals.
November 13, 2019 | 3:01 am UTC Update
November 13, 2019 | 2:40 am UTC Update
Atlanta’s training staff wanted him to take accountability and ask for help, but he was too stubborn. The NBA lifestyle had messed with his priorities. Instead of focusing on his diet and cracking the rotation, Spellman did favors for friends and hobnobbed with celebrities. Today, he calls that dark period a “time of self-sabotage.” And injuries only worsened his depression. A hip issue, likely the result of his rapid weight gain, sidelined Spellman for seven games last winter. In early March, a high ankle sprain ended his season.
Those closest to him have seen a changed man. After slogging through a year-long depression, Spellman is finally finding reasons to smile again. “I have a great opportunity with the Golden State Warriors,” said Spellman, who had his third-year option of $2 million picked up two weeks ago. “They’re helping me every day. I’m losing more and more weight, and I can really get to whatever point they want me at. I know what I need to do.”
November 13, 2019 | 2:22 am UTC Update
November 13, 2019 | 1:21 am UTC Update