Posts Tagged ‘2014 All-Star’

Report: Biceps injury could sack season for Irving

By Sekou Smith,

VIDEO: Kyrie Irving suffers a biceps injury in last night’s loss to the Clippers

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving might have played his last game this season.

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ star suffered a biceps injury on his left arm late in the first quarter of a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers Sunday night and could be done for the season, according to Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Plain Dealer.

More will be known after Irving is examined today, but the fear is that he could have yet another season curtailed by injury. And Irving has a peculiar injury history that seems to impact him season after season. If he gets sacked again this season, that might be the end of the Cavaliers’ last-ditch effort to make a play for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference chase.

Irving’s future, however, isn’t in question. The MVP of the All-Star Game last month in New Orleans, over leading MVP candidates Kevin Durant and LeBron James, the Cavs have surely seen enough from Irving to know that he’s a building block for years to come. That said, his injury history is hard to ignore. More from the Plain Dealer:

Irving, the Cavs All-Star point guard, left the game with a left biceps injury late in the first quarter, and he left the arena with his left arm in a sling. He is scheduled to have an MRI on Monday in Cleveland, but two NBA sources indicated the injury could be severe enough to end his season in the worst case scenario.

That would be a blow to the Cavs, 26-41, clinging to their fading playoff hopes in spite of being 4.5 games behind eighth-seeded Atlanta with 15 games left, as well as to Irving, who worked extremely hard last summer in order to prevent the sorts of freak injuries that have plagued him throughout his career.

He has missed just three games this year with a left knee contusion, and even played through a broken nose suffered when he was elbowed by the Timberwolves’ Corey Brewer at Minnesota on Nov. 13.

Unfortunately for him, that wasn’t the case in his first three seasons. Last year, he missed 11 games with a fractured left index finger, three with a hyperextended right knee and a total of nine after suffering a sprained left AC joint. He played through a broken bone in his jaw that was protected by a mask. Before last season, he broke his hand when he slapped a padded wall in frustration during a summer-league practice.

His rookie season, he missed 13 games with a concussion and a shoulder injury. His one season at Duke was limited to 11 games because of a toe injury.

This is setting up as a potentially huge free agent summer for the Cavaliers, depending on which players make themselves available. James and Carmelo Anthony could headline a bumper crop. The Cavaliers have assets and cap space to work. Having a healthy Irving coming off of his best season as a pro would make the Cleveland an even more appealing destination.

So the results of Irving’s evaluation today could very well have long-lasting ramifications for not only the young point guard but also the entire organization.

VIDEO: Kyrie Irving’s banner season included his first triple-double last month

After Break, Reality Bites For Carmelo

VIDEO: Carmelo sets a record with eight 3s in the All-Star Game

NEW ORLEANS – The 3-pointers rained down, one after the other — eight in 13 tries — more makes than anyone in All-Star history as part of scoring 30 points in 30 minutes. Everything was going right for Carmelo Anthony.

And then he woke up.

Sunday was a blast, a 163-155 win for his Eastern Conference team inside Smoothie King Center. And Sunday was record-setting affirmation for a player shooting 41.6 percent behind the arc after shooting in the 20-percent range earlier in his career. But it was a rest stop more than anything, practically with the motor running. One long weekend, one game as a tease of a reminder that basketball actually can be fun, contrary to evidence all around him in recent months. But now, smack, Anthony is a Knick again.

His reality: The future employment of coach Mike Woodson is the stuff of constant speculation, and guesstimates over his next move as a free agent-in-waiting has not yet peaked, and New York is on pace to miss the playoffs.

New Orleans was a standing-eight count.

“It was a great feeling,” he said in response to a question from a Knicks beat writer. “I’ve been telling you that it was going to be hard for me to try and enjoy this weekend, but I did. I found a way. The guys that’s part of the weekend did a great job of just getting me through it and keeping me positive. Just the whole vibe was something I was looking forward to, being around the guys the whole weekend, just kind of decompressing from the regular season. And now it’s back to the grind.”

There is no avoiding it. Anthony was down when he arrived on the heels of a home loss to the Kings, with the Knicks working on two days rest while Sacramento was on the second night of a back-to-back, and tried to create some positive energy. At the media session Friday, he not only said he would like to re-sign rather than leave town, but that he would be willing to take a pay cut to make it happen if it meant management could spend the savings on the roster.

Even if the smart PR move never comes true in the real world of contract negotiations, it was something. And little things can mean a lot at 20-32 and 2 and 1/2 games behind the Bobcats for eighth in the East, a fact no one could have imagined at the start of the season.

Now comes four games in five nights, including a return to New Orleans on Wednesday, and jumping right back into the Woodson rumors and the free-agent speculation. Now comes life as a Knick again.

Kobe Bryant Running Out Of Time For 2013-14 Lakers Return

VIDEO: Kobe Bryant’s All-Star news conference

NEW ORLEANS – The specter of Kobe Bryant missing the rest of the season grew Sunday.

The Lakers star said his recovery from a fractured left knee is “coming slowly,” and the usual defiant tone about a 2013-14 return was noticeably replaced by a non-committal response.

“I haven’t been thinking about it,” Bryant told when asked if feels he has played his last game of the season. “I keep my blinders on and just try to get healthy.”

Asked if was as confident as before he would play again before next season, he replied, “I’m in the same emotional state as I was before. Just keep my blinders on and just keep on working and just go from there.”

Bryant missed the first 19 games of the season while recovering from a torn Achilles’ tendon, returned Dec. 8 against the Raptors, then fractured the knee Dec. 17 at Memphis after just six appearances at 29.5 minutes per. The original timetable was that he would miss approximately six weeks, or until the final days of January.

On Jan. 28, though, the Lakers announced Bryant still had pain and swelling in the knee and that his workouts would consist mostly of riding a stationary bike, part of a program of non-weight bearing exercises. That ruled him out of the All-Star game, after being voted a Western Conference starter by fans.

“It’s coming slowly,” he told a press conference at Smoothie King Center before the All-Star game. “It’s coming slowly. I’m optimistic coming into out of the break that I will have some improvements once I get back to L.A. and do a couple follow-ups and then go from there. But it’s been a slow process.”

The Lakers, tied with the Kings for last place in the Western Conference at 18-35, have 29 games remaining. With Bryant still unable to say when he plans to jump into practice, let alone actual action, the question becomes when he crosses the line of no return. At some point, and with L.A.’s spot in the standings, the decision has to be made whether it makes more sense for Bryant to aim for 2014-15 rather rejoin the team for 15 or 20 games this season.

The uncertainty comes with the trade deadline on Thursday, leaving the possibility that longtime Bryant favorite Pau Gasol will be traded and the Lakers’ roster the rest of the way might be an unknown.

“I hope not,” Bryant told when asked if he thinks he has played his last game with Gasol. “I hope not. Big, big fan. You know how much I love Pau.”

Bryant also reiterated, though, that he will not be involved in front-office decisions, this week or moving into a summer with the Lakers hoping to be major players to re-shape the roster. He said he simply wants to know about any major decision before it happens rather than have to learn about it at the same time as the public.

Hang Time Podcast: All-Star Special … Featuring Harrison Barnes, Terrence Ross and Swin Cash

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — We’re going to find out just effective Swin Cash‘s power of persuasion really is. The WNBA star makes her case for LeBron James joining the festivities tonight during All-Star Saturday night.

Cash was one of the more than two dozen stars to join us live on the circuit this week in lead up to All-Star Weekend. She has a message for the reigning two-time NBA and Finals MVP (Harrison Barnes and Terrence Ross weigh in as well):

VIDEO: Swin Cash, Harrison Barnes and Terrence Ross talk All-Star Saturday night with the Hang Time Podcast crew

All-Star On-Court Events Begin Tonight

VIDEO: 2013-14 NBA rookies have roundtable discussion about their first halves

NEW ORLEANS – Hometown favorite Anthony Davis of the Pelicans, reigning Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard of the Trail Blazers and 2013-14 favorite Michael Carter-Williams of the 76ers are among 18 first- and second-year players scheduled to participate in the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge as All-Star festivities move to the court tonight at the Smoothie King Center.

Also tonight, the Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game will be held at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

The team selected by Chris Webber includes Davis, Carter-Williams, Kelly Olynyk and Jared Sullinger (Boston), Mason Plumlee (Brooklyn), Tim Hardaway Jr. (New York), Steven Adams (Oklahoma City), Victor Oladipo (Orlando), and Trey Burke (Utah). It will be coached by Rex Kalamian, part of the Thunder staff under Scott Brooks that will coach the Western Conference All-Stars in the main event Sunday.

The team selected by Grant Hill is comprised of Lillard, Miles Plumlee (Phoenix), Dion Waiters (Cleveland), Harrison Barnes (Golden State), Terrence Jones (Houston), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee), Andre Drummond (Detroit), Jonas Valanciunas (Toronto) and Bradley Beal (Washington). Atlanta’s Pero Antic had originally been selected, but will miss the event because of injury. Team Hill will be coached by Nate McMillan, part of the Pacers staff under Frank Vogel that will coach the Eastern Conference squad Sunday.

Hall Of Fame Alters Election Routine

In a change of policy from past years, the Hall of Fame will not be releasing a list of nominees for the Class of 2014 but otherwise will stay on the same schedule of announcing inductees in five categories and the finalists from two other committees as part of All-Star weekend.

The nominees who made the first cut and reached the finalist stage via the North American category, the group that includes most of the candidates with NBA backgrounds, will be revealed next Friday in New Orleans. Finalists will also be named in the Women’s category.

As has been the case in the past, the players and coaches in those fields who survive a second round of voting to reach enshrinement in Springfield, Mass., will be announced at the Final Four, which will be held this year in Arlington, Tex.

The inductees from five committees will be revealed next Friday in New Orleans in direct elections that do not require a second balloting: ABA, Early African-American Pioneers, International, Veterans and Contributor.

All-Star Game Could Become Rehab Assignment For Chris Paul

VIDEO: Chris Paul Top 10

NBA All-Star 2014

OAKLAND – Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers said Thursday he is open to injured point guard Chris Paul using the Feb. 16 All-Star Game in New Orleans as the final step in his rehabilitation from a separated right shoulder.

The closest the Clippers have come to a public timeline is to say Paul, out since Jan. 3, could play around that All-Star weekend, possibly a game or two before the break or maybe a game or two after. Dan Woike of the Orange County Register, citing sources, reported the superstar point guard is targeting Feb. 7 against the Raptors or Feb. 9 against the 76ers.

Rivers was asked how he would feel about CP3 participating in the All-Star Game before the Warriors beat the Clippers at Oracle Arena on Thursday night.

“I don’t know. I haven’t even thought about it, honestly. If he’s cleared to play, I actually wouldn’t mind him playing. I don’t think he wants to do that, but I don’t think it’ll be a bad thing,” Rivers said. “It’s not going to be the most physical of games, I’m pretty sure of that. But at least he gets to go up and down the floor. If the schedule stays where it’s at, he’ll be cleared to play after the All-Star Game, or before even. And if he is, I don’t see anything wrong with playing.

“Let’s say he’s cleared but we don’t play him the last game before the All-Star break, which I probably wouldn’t do. I wouldn’t mind him using that game to kind of go play.”

If Paul returns before the break, the point is moot – he plays in New Orleans as a seven-time All-Star. If he does not suit up before that weekend, though, and is close to re-joining the lineup, the team has an interesting decision.

“I don’t know,” Paul said of playing for the West. “I think my biggest concern right now is to get back for my team, not the All-Star Game. I’m trying to get back as soon as possible so I can get out there and help my teammates … I think for me, I just want to play. Whether it’s an All-Star Game, whether it’s pickup basketball, whether it’s playing with our trainers and our coaches, I’m just looking for a game. When the trainer clears me, I’ll be out there.”

Chris Paul (Glenn James/NBAE)

Chris Paul (Glenn James/NBAE)

Paul is scheduled to be in New Orleans no matter what, with his work as president of the National Basketball Players Association and his deep affection for the city. He spent six seasons with the Hornets (now the Pelicans), and was an All-Star for four of those years. He was dealt to the Clippers 2 1/2 years ago after an initial trade to the Lakers was squashed by commissioner David Stern, who was acting as the president of the Hornets. The team was under league ownership at the time.

While he awaits his return to the court, Paul has been shooting and working on dribbling to increase the range of motion in his right shoulder. He still can’t participate in contact drills.

If Paul does not play because of injury, new commissioner Adam Silver would choose the replacement, just as Silver will likely have to add someone for the injured Kobe Bryant, barring an unexpectedly fast recovery for Bryant. In the case of Bryant, voted a starter by fans, Oklahoma City’s Scott Brooks, the West coach, will decide who takes the spot in the opening lineup.

If he can’t play, Paul was already lobbying for Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, the league leader in rebounding and shooting at the start of the night and fourth in blocks, to take his place. Jordan would be among several worthy candidates as Silver decides if he wants to go for the most deserving or keep the shape of the roster and pick guards.

“It’s tough,” Rivers said of Jordan missing out when the reserves were announced Thursday. “I told our coaches I really thought it was going to come down to Dirk (Nowitzki), (DeMarcus) Cousins, DJ, Anthony Davis. Every year, there’s a lot of guys that don’t make it. Maybe we should think about increasing the team to 15 since we have 15 guys that can dress every game and do it in both conferences. But every year there’s going to be guys. DJ’s deserving. Anthony Davis. You can just go down the list. That’s why it’s such an exclusive club.”