Whenever the phrase “almost bone on bone” is used in discussion of a knee problem, fans get worried. Especially when it’s Kobe Bryant using the words and Lakers fans see their dreams of a three-peat grinding away.
But when the Lakers were asked about it Friday night, the reaction was basically, “This is news?” Kobe’s knee has been at this point for more than a year so this is nothing new to them.
When Kobe was asked (via ESPN’s Land O’ Lakers) if Lakers fans should be worried, he went with the Bruce Willis action hero response.
“Do I look worried? Did we win last year? My knee last year was the size of a balloon and we still won. I’m not that concerned about it, we just have to be smart and pace ourselves…. It’s just listening to the body and I do a pretty good job of that. I just felt like now was the time to crank it up. (I) sacrifice a little swelling in the knee, but we needed to get the intensity back up.”
Phil Jackson said Kobe’s knee was just something that needed to be monitored and managed.
“He manages it very well. That’s important, that he’s got the ability to do that. It’s been an issue since last year. We monitored it all the way through the playoffs. Surprisingly, we came out on top and he was able to make adjustments. The operation in the summer helped. He’s come back in a way that I think is most appropriate. Limited practice time, and now that he’s stronger and he can adjust to a lot of what he has to deal with, and that helps the team out, too, have him on the floor with him.”
So Kobe’s knee is not a problem. At least until the Lakers lose three in a row again.
Sevyn Streeter said the 76ers prevented her from singing the national anthem at tonight’s game because she was wearing a “WE MATTER” jersey:
“The Philadelphia 76ers organization encourages meaningful actions to drive social change. We use our games to bring people together, to build trust and to strengthen our communities. As we move from symbolic gestures to action, we will continue to leverage our platform to positively impact our community.”
This is a continuation of Carmelo Anthony‘s argument: The emphasis should be on action in communities and there’s no longer a place for gestures like Colin Kaepernick kneeling.
But this needn’t be an either/or discussion. Community-based action is obviously important (though don’t assign responsibility to NBA players to fix racism). Recognizing the width and depth of the problem is necessary – which is why symbols matter, too.
Take Street’s shirt at face value. “We matter.” “Black lives matter.” What’s so offensive about that? There is no implicit “more” attached.
Yet, the 76ers found it antithetical to their brand.
This is why the widespread “unity” message preached by arm-locking NBA players left so much to be desired.
To the 76ers, unity meant silencing Streeter.
Is that what players were demonstrating on behalf of during the preseason? I’m sure that arena was much more united with a 76ers dancer singing the anthem than it would have been with Streeter spotlighted. But sometimes divisiveness is necessary to advance a cause.
If the 76ers don’t want Streeter using their platform to say “WE MATTER,” that’s their right. Not everyone has to support that choice, though.
No NBA players followed Colin Kaepernick’s lead by kneeling during the national anthem in the preseason.
But that courageous form of protest still found its way onto NBA courts.
A national-anthem singer knelt before a Kings game, and other did at a Heat game.
Another singer wanted to take a bold stance for the 76ers’ regular-season opener against the Thunder tonight by wearing a “WE MATTER” jersey, but she said the team stopped her.
A 76ers dancer performed the anthem instead:
The 76ers deserve some latitude to choose how someone uses their platform. But what about claiming black lives matter is antithetical to the 76ers’ brand?
The team did not immediately respond to request for comment. I will update if it does.
The Russell Westbrook era didn’t get off to the fastest start for the Thunder, who fell behind the 76ers early.
This Philadelphia fan got way ahead of himself (and any reasonable standard of decency).
Via Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report:
Oklahoma City responded with a 5-0 run, Westbrook scoring three points himself and assisting another basket.
The No. 28 pick, R.J. Hunter became the first first-rounder from last year’s draft to fall out of the NBA when the Celtics waived him.
He won’t be out of the league for long.
The Bulls, the only team with an open roster spot, appear close to adding him.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
Hunter belongs in the league. Though he must knock down shots far more reliably than he has, Hunter has potential as an outside shooter with complementary ball skills to provide value. Boston just had more NBA-caliber players than roster spots.
He’s far from a lock to succeed in the NBA, but I value Hunter about as much as Tony Snell – whom the Bulls just traded for an upgrade at backup point guard in Michael Carter-Williams. That they could so cheaply replace Snell makes that deal look even better.