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.

Former Lakers forward Tommy Hawkins dies

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tommy Hawkins, the first black athlete to earn All-America honors in basketball at Notre Dame and who played for the Los Angeles Lakers during a 10-year NBA career, has died. He was 80.

Hawkins died Wednesday in Malibu, according to the Los Angeles Dodgers, for whom he once worked as director of communications.

He graduated from Notre Dame in 1959. Hawkins was inducted into the school’s Ring of Honor and his 1,318 career rebounds remain the oldest record on the books in Fighting Irish basketball history.

Hawkins was selected by the Minneapolis Lakers in the first round of the 1959 NBA draft. He played for them as well as the Cincinnati Royals, and notched 6,672 career points and 4,607 rebounds.

Nuggets hire assistant coach, assistant general manager

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DENVER (AP) — The Denver Nuggets have hired veteran NBA coach Bob Weiss as an assistant on Michael Malone’s staff and announced the hiring of Calvin Booth as an assistant general manager.

Weiss has coached 31 seasons in the NBA, including the last four as an assistant with the Charlotte Hornets. He’s been a head coach with four teams, compiling a 223-299 career record with the Spurs, Hawks, Clippers and SuperSonics.

Prior to coaching, Weiss played a dozen seasons in the NBA.

Also Wednesday, the Nuggets made official their hiring of Booth, 41, who spent the previous four seasons in the Minnesota Timberwolves front office, serving as director of pro personnel last season.

Booth has quietly emerged as a respected evaluator of talent. He was one of the holdovers in the front office when Tom Thibodeau was hired to take over last summer as president of basketball operations and coach.

After one season working under Thibodeau and GM Scott Layden, Booth left for a promotion with the Nuggets, taking a position that will give him more responsibility and a greater say in the direction of another young team on the rise in the Western Conference.

Booth joins a Nuggets front office that includes Tim Connelly, who was promoted earlier this summer to president of basketball operations, a move that allowed Denver to hold on to promising executive Arturas Karnisovas as the team’s general manager.

Booth spent 10 years as a player in the league. Four of those seasons were with the Washington Wizards while Connelly was working there. The two also worked together in New Orleans in 2012-13, when Connelly was the assistant GM and Booth was a scout.

 

Rasheed Wallace says Zach Randolph isn’t a drug dealer: ‘The bigger the paycheck, the bigger the party’

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Kings big man Zach Randolph is charged with possessing marijuana with intent to sell, a felony – not because law enforcement has evidence Randolph planned to sell the drug, but because of the amount of the drug found.

Randolph’s agent/attorney denied the allegations.

Also sticking up for Randolph? Rasheed Wallace, who played with Randolph on the Trail Blazers.

Wallace, via TMZ:

“It seems to be — no matter who you are — the bigger the paycheck, the bigger the party,” Sheed says.

“I know for a fact he ain’t no dope dealer.”

Charging someone for intending to distributing drugs without any proof he intends to distribute drugs is hazardously lazy. Randolph – who has earned about $175 million in his career and is on a two-year, $24 million contract with Sacramento – can afford more marijuana than most. That doesn’t mean he plans to sell it.

The stakes are high for Randolph. If he’s convicted of “a felony involving the distribution of marijuana,” per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, he’d be banned from the NBA for at least two years.

Report: Enes Kanter not yet permitted to travel to Mexico, where Thunder scheduled to play

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Remember when Turkey revoked Enes Kanter‘s passport?

That looms over the Thunder’s Dec. 7 game against the Nets in Mexico City.

Fred Katz of The Norman Transcript:

Without a valid passport, he is unable to travel to another country other than Canada, which allows entry from U.S. residents who have a Green Card. There is no such agreement with Mexico.

Kanter could receive a re-entry permit, a special document issued to citizens of other countries whose passports have been canceled for reasons the U.S. government deems unsuitable. The permit would allow Kanter to leave the U.S. for another country, such as Mexico, and still return. And the plan is for Kanter to acquire one before OKC’s game in Mexico City. Still, he is yet to receive a re-entry permit, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. There is, however, still ample time for that process to complete.

Kanter is a high-profile millionaire working for a billion-dollar company that has a vested interest in getting him to Mexico. He likely works this out.