Chicago Bulls point guard Lonzo Ball said Tuesday he can't run at full speed or jump and still experiences pain in his left knee walking up stairs. Ball spoke ahead of his scheduled surgery in Los Angeles on Wednesday. Ball said doctors are “going in there to see" exactly what the extent of the injury is and fix it.
Joel Embiid slung a towel over his shoulder and ditched his sneakers somewhere on the McAlister Field House court as he walked toward an ice tub. Just about 5 1/2 months ago, they were adversaries — Tucker, the relentless trash-talker and defender who helped the Miami Heat knock out the Sixers in the playoffs; Embiid, the NBA scoring champion who openly stumped for Philadelphia to land a player like Tucker barely 30 minutes after the season ended in Game 6. What the Big Man wants, the Big Man gets: three years and $32 million later, the 37-year-old Tucker was a Sixer.
Never has the discussion been focused so little on basketball during the NBA's annual media day. And for good reason. The league has been embroiled in turmoil throughout arguably its wildest offseason in history.
Deandre Ayton played just 17 minutes in their Game 7 blowout loss to the Mavericks last season due to an "internal issue." He and Monty Williams haven't spoken since.
Joe Mazzulla didn’t want his first practice as the Celtics interim coach to feel any different than his previous three years as an assistant. So, he has a pretty good understanding of what we need and where we need to improve.
The final days of a disappointing Brooklyn Nets season ended not with Ben Simmons on the floor with his teammates, but on the floor of his home, the pain from a back injury shooting through his lower body. The Nets would go on to get swept by the Boston Celtics, with Simmons having back surgery shortly thereafter. While Simmons was rehabbing in the summer, Kevin Durant requested a trade — unless coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks were fired.
Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs know they cannot erase the pain that the residents of Uvalde, Texas have felt since May 24. The Spurs are planning what they’re calling a community impact event in Uvalde on Oct. 8; details are still being finalized, but it seems likely the entire team and Popovich will be making the 85-mile trip from San Antonio to the place where 21 people — 19 of them students — were killed at Robb Elementary School by a gunman four months ago. Popovich, a five-time champion coach during his Spurs tenure and the NBA’s all-time leader in coaching wins, has spoken out often about his desire for tougher gun control laws.
The one thing we can say with some certainty is that the Celtics are shell-shocked, and the person most responsible for building the trust that led them to the 2022 NBA Finals has broken it.
When employing a player of Durant’s talent, championship discussion should be the bare minimum. But the Nets are surrounded by so much other stuff, you wonder if it’ll be possible for them to galvanize themselves for the next eight to nine months.
Andre Iguodala rode his Peloton bike a couple of times last week and took note that “I ain't in that bad of shape.” Now, he will see how that translates back onto the basketball court again. After seriously pondering retirement all summer and all but deciding his playing days were done, the 38-year-old guard and forward is coming back for a 19th NBA season after signing with Golden State on Monday.
Nothing put a bigger smile on Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer's face than seeing a healthy Kawhi Leonard walking around the team's practice facility. Ballmer hopes to be feeling even better when the Clippers open training camp Tuesday in Las Vegas and Leonard is testing out his surgically repaired knee. “I'll be participating in training camp and from there just seeing how my progression is, how I feel, what I’m not feeling, is it moving correctly, and just keep going from there and gradually building up,” Leonard said Monday at the team's media day.
When Darius Garland learned about Cleveland's stunning trade, the Cavaliers' All-Star point guard first promised to keep it a secret and then ran around a basketball court in Nashville screaming. Jarrett Allen woke from an afternoon nap, groggily looked at a text on his phone that said “Donovan Mitchell” and wondered if it was a dream. Evan Mobley was working out in Los Angeles on Sept. 1 when a stranger told him Mitchell was Cleveland bound.
Pelicans power forward Zion Williamson said little to temper the expectations of those eagerly anticipating his return to an NBA court. The 2019 first overall draft choice out of Duke — who has missed more games than he's played in his first three pro seasons because of knee and foot injuries — didn't request patience as he re-integrates his unusual combination of size, explosiveness and skill back into New Orleans' lineup for the first time in more than a year. “The best way to describe it is I found true resolve through the game of basketball," Williamson said Monday while discussing his two-month training stint in south Florida this summer, after he'd signed his five-year, $193 million contract extension.
Dan Titus examines the loaded point guard position, breaking things down into tiers to help you prep ahead of drafts.
As the longest-tenured player on the Celtics, Marcus Smart has been in Boston long enough to appreciate what Bill Russell meant to the team, the city and the country. “We’ve heard things like ‘pioneer,’ ‘trailblazer,’” Smart said Monday while wearing a patch honoring the Celtics Hall of Famer who died this summer. “To mention, you know, Bill Russell and the impact that he brought to this game is undeniable.”
Anthony Edwards said he's “willing to do whatever it takes to make it right” with the LBGTQ community and Minnesota Timberwolves fans following the homophobic remarks he recently made on social media. Addressing reporters at Timberwolves media day on Monday, his first public appearance since the NBA fined him $40,000 for his now-deleted video clip on Instagram, Edwards apologized again for the disparaging, profane comment he made about what he assumed to be the sexual orientation of a group of men he filmed on a sidewalk outside a vehicle he was riding in. Edwards said he would be OK having a gay teammate if someone came out and would try to clamp down on homophobic language in a locker room if he heard it.
Zach LaVine had quite the offseason. The Chicago Bulls' two-time All-Star and Olympic gold medalist landed the richest contract in franchise history when he agreed to a $215 million, five-year contract. LaVine also had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in May. He said he is completely healed, looking forward to playing at full strength and seeing just how far the Bulls can go with expectations high coming off a playoff appearance.
Myles Turner looks around the Indiana Pacers locker room and sees the changes. After eight years in town, the 26-year-old is the longest-tenured and most accomplished Pacers player. Until then, Turner promises to ignore the distractions and focus on what he does best — playing basketball.
A dramatic roster overhaul has left the Utah Jazz with a load of new faces entering this season. Utah traded Royce O’Neale, Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, and Bojan Bogdanovic in separate deals over the summer, effectively tearing down a team that endured a series of disappointing early playoff exits. Following that flurry of offseason moves, Mike Conley, Jordan Clarkson, and Rudy Gay are the only returning players who played significant minutes last season.
Several months after the basketball world collectively assumed Russell Westbrook and the Los Angeles Lakers were definitely headed for a breakup, the guard reported to training camp Monday wearing the same gold jersey. Westbrook's return to the Lakers is among the biggest surprises to come out of an eventful NBA summer — and nobody knows for certain how long it will last given the trade rumors still swirling around the 2017 MVP. “Whether they want me here or not doesn’t really matter, honestly,” Westbrook said.
Miles Bridges’ future with the Charlotte Hornets remains uncertain as the team prepares to open training camp on Tuesday. Bridges, the team’s leading scorer last season, was charged with three counts of felony domestic violence in June. The uncertainty over Bridges’ legal issues has left the Hornets in wait-and-see mode when it comes to their star forward.
Jamal Murray spotted his two-time reigning MVP teammate in the open and quickly hollered out to him. "Grab me a grape,” the Denver Nuggets point guard said with Nikola Jokic breaking toward a fruit tray Monday at media day. With that, Jokic dished out his first assist of the season.
Luka Doncic didn't really have time to get out of playing shape after leading Slovenia at the EuroBasket tournament coming off a trip to the Western Conference finals with the Dallas Mavericks. Doncic's break after EuroBasket was longer than he would have hoped, with the defending champs from his home country losing a shocker to Poland in the quarterfinals. “We're going to start a little light,” coach Jason Kidd said.
It is a new day for the New York Knicks. Coming off a 2020-21 season in which New York compiled a 41-31 record and qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2012-13, the Knicks stumbled to a 37-45 mark last season and missed the playoffs. “There’s always motivation,” Julius Randle said.