Hornets’ David West injures knee, leaves game in wheelchair

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UPDATE March 25, 12:34 am: The Hornets are officially calling this “left knee trauma” (which is a pretty scary term) but said in a release that the X-rays are negative. He will have an MRI before the team discusses the severity of the injury.

Al Jefferson of the Jazz said he hopes he is wrong but to him it looked like the injury was major and compared it to when Jefferson tore his ACL, reports Brian T. Smith of the Salt Lake City Tribune via twitter. If you’ve seen the video it’s hard to think it is anything but something serious.

March 24, 11:31 pm: This looked horrible, sickeningly bad. We can only hope the actual injury the Hornets leading scorer David West isn’t as bad as it looked.

With the Hornets down two and 10 seconds left against Utah, West started a drive from the left wing and got to the basket, where Paul Millsap came to challenge but was late. West tied the game at 103-103 with a dunk.

But he landed awkwardly on his left leg and West’s knee buckled under him in one of those ways that makes all of us watching the replay just cringe. One of those where a knee is not meant to bend that way.

West fell next to the station and while play continued on you could hear West on the broadcast screaming in pain. Team medical staff came out and he was eventually taken off the floor in a wheelchair.

We do not know the extent of the injuries but check PBT for updates as we get them.

This injury could have big playoff implications. The Hornets are currently the seven seed in the Western Conference but just half a game ahead of the Grizzlies in the in the eight spot. The Rockets are 2.5 games back in the nine seed and missing the playoffs all together. Obviously, the Hornets are not the same team if West cannot play.

Also, West was expected to opt out of the $7.5 million he was owed next season and test the free agent market. Where he would have attracted a lot of suitors. If this is serious it could change all of that.

We hope, for West and the Hornets’ sake, it’s not as bad as it looked.

Salah Mejri kicks at Patty Mills as Mavericks and Spurs leave court for halftime (video)

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Mavericks center Salah Mejri has a history of agitating, including against the Spurs.

Two years ago, Mejri dunked while Dallas got blown out by San Antonio and yapped at the Spurs bench – drawing laughter from Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan. Last season, Mejri had Trevor Ariza and other Rockets trying to confront him after reportedly saying something about Ariza’s family.

In the Mavericks’ win over the Spurs on Tuesday, Mejri got into it with Patty Mills.

Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com:

Mejri and Rudy Gay received double technical fouls, and Mejri went to the bench. Everything could have cooled down at halftime, but Mejri escalated tension

Watch the full sequence above, but the key moment:

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That’ll probably draw a fine.

NBA introducing 2-for-1 All-Star voting days

AP Photo/Chris Carlson
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The NBA changed its All-Star format this season from East vs. West to captain-picked teams (though still naming players equally from each conference).

That apparently wasn’t a big enough overhaul.

After including media and player votes last year, the league is making All-Star starter selection even more complex.

NBA release:

NBA All-Star Voting 2018 presented by Verizon will tip off with an early voting period exclusively on the NBA App and NBA.com beginning Thursday, Dec. 21 at 1 p.m. ET.

Voting via all other channels, including Amazon Alexa for the first time, will launch on Monday, Dec. 25 at 11 a.m.

Additionally, new for this season, five “2-for-1 Days” will allow fans to have their votes count twice on Dec. 31, Jan. 4, Jan. 11, Jan. 12 and Jan. 15 when voting through the NBA App and NBA.com, along with Sina Weibo and Tencent in China.  All “2-for-1 Days” will be designated 12 a.m. – 11:59 p.m. ET.

TNT will reveal the All-Star Game starters, including the two captains, on Thursday, Jan. 18 during TNT NBA Tip-Off

The network will announce the reserves, as selected by NBA head coaches, on Tuesday, Jan. 23 during TNT NBA Tip-Off at 7 p.m. ET. 

The team rosters for NBA All-Star Game 2018 in Los Angeles will be revealed on Thursday, Jan. 25 during a special one-hour edition of TNT NBA Tip-Off at 7 p.m. ET.

I suppose this is to drum up interest on otherwise quiet voting days. After all, this is really just about the NBA selling itself.

But the All-Star voting process has always left something to be desired. I don’t see how this changes that.

Report: Lakers ‘longshot’ to sign LeBron James

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
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Preeminent NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski called it “likelyLeBron James would sign with the Lakers or Clippers next summer. The Clippers have since been somewhat debunked as a LeBron destination. There’s circumstantial evidence linking LeBron to Los Angeles.

Ramona Shelburne and Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

So imagining James’ last act coming in purple and gold isn’t without basis. But as of now, it’s also a longshot, according to league sources.

Shelburne and Windhorst are highly credible. I doubt they’d report this without connected sources.

LeBron’s agent, Rich Paul, and manager, Maverick Carter, have recently publicly downplayed the importance of Los Angeles to LeBron. That felt like a coordinated attack on the LeBron-Lakers rumors, and this fits as a continuation.

But why wage that campaign? To keep the Cavaliers focused while LeBron still plays for them, even if he might leave after the season? To lower expectations among the Lakers’ massive fan base, so as not alienate those people (potential customers of the many LeBron-connected brands) when LeBron inevitably signs elsewhere? Both could be true, but there’s obviously a difference between each driving LeBron’s camp.

DeMarcus Cousins barrels in for powerful putback dunk over Bucks (video)

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When DeMarcus Cousins builds up a head of steam like this… poor John Henson (and kind of Khris Middleton).

This helped the Pelicans pull away for a 115-108 win over the Bucks last night.