Brandon Roy says he never retired, just put career on “pause”

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Remember last December, when Portland used its one-time amnesty on Brandon Roy and his agent said for former All-Star “has no intention of returning to professional basketball” because of his degenerative knee condition?

We were all just misreading the signs.

Apparently. Roy was introduced as the newest member of the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday and gave his perspective of how his exit from the Blazers and basketball at the start of last season when down. Here is the quote, from Ben Golliver of the brilliant Blazers’ Edge.

Well, it never really was officially my decision to retire. With the process in Portland, I met with the team doctor, we talked for awhile, we have a really, really good relationship. He’s a guy that’s been working with me for five years with my knees. It was a situation where I went in for the physical, he thought it would be in my best interests to stop playing basketball because of my knees. We pretty much left it up to the team to decide if they wanted to pursue the medical retirement route. After a week, they decided to use the amnesty. For me, it was never that I was retired. My knees were a situation that I was going to have to think about if I wanted to continue playing. After a few months of sitting out, I decided, ‘Hey, I don’t want to stop playing basketball.’ It’s something I want to continue going forward with. It’s never a situation where I said, ‘I’m done forever.’ It was more of a pause.”

Interesting perspective. I can’t question that’s how he saw things, I’ll just say I don’t think anyone else in basketball (or maybe in the United States) saw it that way.

Roy has gone and had the Regenokine treatment — the Kobe knee treatment — that is supposed to generate cartridge and help the body fight its own degenerative, arthritic ways and essentially stop or reverse the process. Kobe and other athletes swear by it, if you’re a fan of anecdotal evidence on medical treatments.

It apparently has helped, he has reportedly looked good in workouts.

I hope so. I want very much for Roy to return to the game at his old level and make a huge impact in Minnesota. He was one of my favorite players to watch in the league.

But the first few games is not the test. The NBA season is a grind. How are his knees on the second night of a back-to-back in February? How are they at game 65? Those are the real tests. That is when we know if the treatments really had the desired impact.

Victor Oladipo’s practice dunk better than anything he – or maybe anyone – did in dunk contest (video)

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Victor Oladipo has grown into far more than just a dunker.

In fact, in Saturday’s dunk contest, he didn’t look like a dunker at all.

The Pacers star missed all three attempts of his first dunk, and a Black Panther mask was by far the biggest draw of his second. Oladipo was eliminated after the first round.

Maybe Dennis Smith Jr. wasn’t the only eliminated dunker who left something in his bag. This Oladipo dunk – 180 degrees, throwing ball off the backboard with his left hand while in mid-air, dunking with his right hand – while preparing in Los Angeles was awesome.

Larry Nance Jr. had the contest’s best dunk. This would have rivaled it.

Pelicans owner Tom Benson hospitalized with flu symptoms

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METAIRIE, La. (AP) — New Orleans Saints and Pelicans Owner Tom Benson has been hospitalized with flu symptoms.

A statement released Wednesday by the NFL and NBA clubs says their 90-year-old owner is resting comfortably at Ochsner Medical Center, a hospital which also serves as a major sponsor and which owns naming rights to the teams’ training headquarters.

Benson has owned the New Orleans Saints since 1985 and bought the New Orleans Pelicans in 2012.

In recent years, Benson has overhauled his estate plan so that his third wife, Gayle, would be first in line to inherit control of the two major professional franchises.

 

Report: Seattle hosting Kings-Warriors preseason game

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Kevin Durant spent his rookie season in Seattle, before the SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder. He has said Seattle fans deserved to see him grow up in the NBA after supporting his promising start.

They’ll get their chance.

Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee:

The Kings and Golden State Warriors have scheduled a preseason game next season in Seattle, according to multiple league sources.

The Oct. 6 meeting between Northern California teams will be the first NBA game in the Key Arena since the Sonics moved to Oklahoma City after the 2007-08 season and became the Thunder.

This game will be loaded with storylines. Not only Durant, but the Kings considered moving to Seattle a few years ago. And of course, the return of NBA basketball to Seattle.

At some point, Seattle will get its own team again. For now, this preseason game creates intrigue there.

Report: Kawhi Leonard cleared medically, seeking second opinion

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Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he’d be surprised if Kawhi Leonard played again this season, a stark reversal from just a month ago. Back then, even while announcing Leonard was out indefinitely with a quad injury, the San Antonio coach said Leonard wouldn’t miss the rest of the season.

What’s going on?

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

After spending 10 days before the All-Star break in New York consulting with a specialist to gather a second opinion on his right quad injury, All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard bears the burden of determining when he’s prepared to play again, sources told ESPN.

Leonard has been medically cleared to return from the right quad tendinopathy injury, but since shutting down a nine-game return to the Spurs that ended Jan. 13, he has elected against returning to the active roster, sources said.

The uncertainty surrounding this season — and Leonard’s future which could include free agency in the summer of 2019 — has inspired a palpable stress around the organization, league sources said.

At first glance, this sounds like Derrick Rose five years ago. Even after he was cleared to play following a torn ACL, the then-Bulls star remained mysterious about when he’d suit up. His confidence in his physical abilities seemed to be a major issue, and he was never the same player since (suffering more leg injuries).

But the Spurs famously favor resting players to preserve long-term health. They seem unlikely to rush back Leonard. They might even sit players who want to play more often. And Leonard isn’t Rose.

Still, it’s clear something is amiss in San Antonio. Maybe not amiss enough to end Leonard’s tenure there, but the longer this lingers, the more time for tension to percolate.