Please, no more injuries in these playoffs.
The Clippers Blake Griffin and Chris Paul both suffered injuries in Los Angeles’ Game 5 loss to Memphis Wednesday — Griffin has a sprained knee after a fall under the basket, Paul aggravated a groin injury going for a rebound. Both will be re-evaluated on Thursday once the team is back in Los Angeles.
Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said in his post-game press conference the medical staff had cleared both to go back in the game and he thought they will be ready to go in Game 6 Friday night in Los Angeles. However, we will see what happens as the injuries tighten up on a plane ride home.
Griffin’s injury happened late in the third quarter — he was driving down the left side of the lane and Marc Gasol was defending. Their feet got tangled and Griffin’s left knee got back under him late and he landed awkwardly, the knee buckled a little and Griffin went straight to the ground grabbing it. He did come back in the game — to a chorus of boos from Grizzlies fans who thought he was once again overdramatizing his injury.
Griffin played much of the rest of the game but limped up and down the court and was not terribly effective. He will have an MRI on Thursday. Here are some quotes from Griffin, via the twitter account of Eric Patten:
I felt it right away. one of our doctors did something to it & I was able to play, but it tightened up on me at the end of the game
Griffin also said this felt different than the patella injury that delayed his rookie season for a year.
Paul tweaked his groin going up for a rebound in the second half. As soon as he landed from his jump he grabbed his groin. He tried to play through it, but sat out the last several minutes despite a Clippers comeback that got the Grizzlies lead down to six
“I don’t know what happened. I just felt a sharp pain. I’ll be alright. I’ll be ready. I’m playing friday.”
Paul’s injury would be devastating for the Clippers, he has been the best player in this series. Paul has orchestrated the Lakers dominance in the fourth quarter of games..
The National Basketball Players Association has talked for more than a year about covering medical expenses for retired players.
Today, the union announced a formal plan.
The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) announced today that its player representatives have voted unanimously to fund health insurance for all retired NBA players with at least three years of service in the league. This program is the first of its kind among North American professional sports. It also exemplifies the NBPA’s focus on the health and welfare of its current, retired and future members.
“The game has never before been more popular, and all the players in our league today recognize that we’re only in this position because of the hard work and dedication of the men who came before us,” said Chris Paul, NBPA President and nine-time All-Star. “It’s important that we take care of our entire extended NBA family, and I’m proud of my fellow players for taking this unprecedented step to ensure the health and well-being of our predecessors.”
The unanimous vote – which took place during the NBPA Summer Meeting in New York on June 26 – established a multi-faceted health insurance program through UnitedHealthcare, the country’s leading health benefits provider. The current proposal includes:
Retired players with between three and six years of NBA service time but who are not yet eligible for Medicare would be offered a plan that includes medical, hospital and prescription drug coverage with modest out-of-pocket costs for deductibles and co-pays;
Those with between seven and nine years of service would be offered the same coverage with even lower out-of-pocket costs;
Retired players with at least 10 years of service would be offered the same coverage as the seven-to-nine year players, and would include coverage for their entire family;
Retired players with three-nine years of service who are eligible for Medicare would be offered a $0 deductible and $0 co-pay plan along with a low-cost prescription drug plan; those with 10+ years of service to receive this coverage for themselves and their spouse.
The open enrollment period for retired players would begin this fall, with coverage beginning on January 1, 2017.
This is a good thing.
It also could become a bargaining point in Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations. Should current players face the entire burden of insuring retired players, or should owners split the cost? (The fact that the question is even being posed paints players in a positive light.)
But back to the bigger point: This is a good thing. It’ll help retired players who need it, retired players who helped position the current generation to afford this. Kudos to the union for stepping up.
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.