Mark Cuban and Phil Jackson sure do enjoy a little verbal sparing with each other.
The latest round started out seemingly innocently Sunday night, when Phil Jackson tried to say he thought the loss of Caron Butler would be a big blow to the Mavericks. Butler — who played for the Lakers but was traded for Kwame Brown, who was eventually traded for Pau Gasol — still has friends and supporters within the Lakers organization.
When asked what he thought of Jackson’s comment, Mark Cuban took the chance for a little jab, as reported by ESPN Dallas:
“I love that Jeanie Buss’ boy-toy had something to say about us,” Cuban said while sweating on the stair-stepping machine in the Mavs’ workout room. “I don’t know if it was his thought or Jeanie’s thought, but it’s nice to know that she lets him speak in public about other teams.”
Boy toy? Jackson laughed and said he was good with that.
“I consider myself an old man, that I’m a boy toy, that’s great.”
He also didn’t back off his sentiment, saying that Dallas has been playing very well but this will be a blow to them and it will be hard for Shawn Marion to fill those shoes.
“Shawn’s a fine player but it’s not Caron Butler.”
Joel Embiid on Monday will have an MRI on his injured left knee and is now listed as out indefinitely.
Embiid has been experiencing swelling and soreness in the left knee injury that has caused him to miss 16 out of the last 17 games. Bryan Colangelo announced back on Feb. 11 that Embiid has a minor meniscal tear. In his most recent press conference last Friday, Colangelo had targeted this Friday’s home game against the Knicks as a possibility for Embiid’s return. Now, that isn’t the case.
Embiid had been the biggest ray of hope for Philadelphia, but the 76ers shouldn’t chase watchability down the stretch. Sit Embiid until he’s fully healthy and secure the best draft position possible.
Maybe Embiid’s body just can’t handle the rigors of NBA basketball, but Philadelphia has no choice but to hope for the best with him and Simmons. And hope the nail the their first-round pick this year and get the Lakers’ first-rounder.
This could still be a dangerously good team in coming years. The Process created that potential.
But the threat of injury always looms around the corner, maybe especially so for Embiid.
Report: Knicks’ Joakim Noah likely to miss rest of season after knee surgery
Prepare for the talk next fall about Noah feeling refreshed and ready to help the Knicks.
But this surgery won’t reverse the underlying problem: Noah is a 31-year-old big man with heavy mileage. He can manage his knees, but it’s probably too late for him to regain enough athleticism to reliably contribute.
Just three years and $55 million+ remaining on his contract, which already looked like the NBA’s worst deal and is now even more unfavorable.
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