It was the moment Sunday when Lakers fans saw another title flash before their eyes.
Late in the third quarter Pau Gasol went to the basket for a dunk and got a hard (but clean) foul by Nene.
When Gasol landed and crashed to the floor, his knee bent back awkwardly. He stayed down for a minute, got up and shot free throws, then soon after came out and went to the locker room. He came back out and played the rest of the game without a brace or tape, but the Lakers will not mess around with this. Gasol told the Los Angeles Times he thinks he’ll be fine.
“It allowed me to keep playing, so hopefully it will be nothing,” Gasol said. “There’s some swelling in there.”
Still, the Lakers are giving him an MRI to be sure, with the results expected Monday. Don’t be shocked if he gets a little extra time on the bench over the final 10 days of the season.
Andrew Bynum sat the end of that game after Lamar Odom fell into him and Bynum tweaked his surgically repaired right knee as well. Again the Lakers don’t expect any long-term issues, it was minor, but they will treat this as if his knee is made of eggshells. Which it may be.
The Lakers know that Bynum and Gasol healthy is the key to their title hopes. So expect extreme caution.
Warriors center Anderson Varejao will miss the Rio Olympics due to a back injury.
Where will Team Brazil turn now?
Likely to Bulls center Cristiano Felicio.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
Felicio came on strong late last season. He puts his 6-foot-10, 275-pound frame to good use protecting the paint and rebounding. He showed potential as passer and mid-range shooter, too.
At age 24, he’s a candidate to break out in the Olympics.
If he’s not ready, Brazil can turn to a steady veteran at center, Nene.
Blake Griffin broke his hand punching Clippers equipment manager Matias Testi in January.
Make that former Clippers equipment manager Matias Testi.
The L.A. Clippers equipment staffer who was punched in the face by Blake Griffin during a fight in Toronto earlier this year is off the team — and will NOT be back for the ’16/’17 season … TMZ Sports has learned.
We spoke with a rep for the Clippers who confirmed Matias Testi “no longer works for the team.”
The report that Kevin Durant told Russell Westbrook he’d re-sign with the Thunder before choosing the Warriors?
Royce Young of ESPN:
I misspoke in saying that Durant specifically told Westbrook he was coming back.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Center Anderson Varejao will miss the Olympics for host Brazil because of a herniated disc in his lower back.
The Golden State Warriors announced the injury Wednesday and say that Varejao should be ready for the start of training camp but will not be healthy enough to play in the Olympics. Varejao recently experienced back pain while training with the Brazilian National Team and returned to California to be examined by Dr. Robert Watkins earlier this week.
Varejao averaged 2.6 points and 2.3 rebounds in 22 games after signing with the Warriors on Feb. 22. He re-signed with the team earlier this month.