Harden not yet cleared to play; no word on World Peace suspension

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As of Tuesday afternoon, it looks like the concussion suffered at the elbow of Metta World Peace will keep James Harden out Tuesday night.

He sat out Tuesday’s shootaround and continued to undergo the battery of tests needed to get cleared after suffering a concussion under the new league policy, according to NBA.com.

Coach Scott Brooks said he would not make a call on Harden’s status for Tuesday night’s game against the Kings until closer to game time.

“He’s just going through the process, the league-mandated process. We’ll know more later on,” Brooks said.

Harden has not spoken to the media but tweeted: “”Im solid. Feeling good. Appreciate y’all for checking on me!!”

Brooks also said that while the Thunder are locked in at the two seed in the West for the playoffs he planned to play his regular rotations, although key players could see reduced minutes.

Meanwhile, World Peace and the Lakers continue to wait for word from the league on what the suspension for World Peace will be. The league is not under pressure to make a decision as the Lakers do not play again until Thursday.

Reactions around the league have been all over the place. There are some calling for World Peace to be out through the playoffs. The consensus seems to be at least five games maybe up to 10, impacting the Lakers in the playoffs.

Mark Jackson, current Warriors coach and former NBA player, told CSNBayArea.com he lands on the lenient side.

“I don’t think you can say that it was intentional. You can guess that it was intentional — the footage shows that it was somewhat intentional,” Jackson said. “But at the same time, I think that he is the same way that we treated him as Ron Artest in the past, and said what his body of work said. We also have to treat him as Metta World Peace.

“He’s done a very good job of putting his life back together and being sane on the basketball court and not having any issues. That being said, a punishment has to go forth. I’m not one of those guys that say ‘the rest of the way’ and ‘no playoffs’ and all that. I think that’s drastic. You punish him a couple of games and you move forward.”

“Somewhat intentional?” Next time I do something stupid, I’m going with that. I’ll let you know how it works.

Jazz boost international bona fides with new minor-league coach

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.

Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.

Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.

Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.

The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.

Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 with Celtics

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BOSTON (AP) — Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.

The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.

In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.

 

PBT Extra: Cavaliers’ new GM aces first big test with Kyrie Irving trade

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Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.

New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.

That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.

First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.

Cavaliers-Celtics deal first offseason trade involving players who just met in NBA Finals or conference finals

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The Cavaliers and Celtics played in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. The teams were widely expected to meet there again.

Yet, Cleveland and Boston just completed a blockbuster trade – Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

That seemed odd.

In fact, it’s unprecedented.

That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron Jamescachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.

Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.