Nene Hilario

Still no timetable for Nene’s return

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Nene was traded from Denver for a number of reasons. Among them, his injuries which held him out constantly, and a perceived lack of effort. In Washington, he’s a huge part of what the Wizards want to do. They’re banking on him, especially with John Wall out two months.

Problem is, there’s no telling when he’s going to be back. Nene is dealing with plantar fasciitis, a very painful condition that can hamper a player for over a year. He’s been held out the entire preseason and in the beginning, it was “Oh, but he’ll be back for the season opener.” Now, of course, that’s not as much of a certainty but still a possibility. From the Washington Post:

“I was a little behind, than I thought,” Nene said, when explaining the reason for the treatment. “It’s still inflamed. I just want to take care of it the right way. But all the exercises, I’ve been doing fine. I’ve been listening. I’ve been obedient.”

But that doesn’t mean he will be available when the Wizards open the regular season  Oct. 30 in Cleveland. When asked if that remained a possibility, Nene refused to make a commitment either way.

“I’m not going to say,” Nene said. “That’s the reason I don’t say. I don’t know. I want to, but sometimes it does not go the way you want. I just want to make sure I’m healthy to help my team because if I sit down again, that’s not good.”

via Nene remains uncertain about return.

The Wizards are paying Nene $13 million and have to have him contribute. He’s a huge part of this offense. But the problem with plantar fasciitis, we’ve been told, is that the only way to heal it is to stay off of it. For a long time. That’s exceptionally hard to do when, you know, you’re a basketball player. Maybe he’ll get it straight and start on opening night and all will be right with the world.

But on October 20th, it’s a worrisome situation for a franchise with enough to worry about.

PBT Extra: Who do you want to see most in first All-Star Game?

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Tonight the NBA All-Star Game starters will be announced. Then the coaches have a week to vote and the rest of the roster will be put together by them.

This year should see a few first-time All-Stars, guys bursting on the scene and grabbing fans attention — so we asked people on Twitter who they most wanted to see in his first All-Star Game and I break it down in this PBT Extra.

The winner? Giannis Antetokounmpo with 45 percent of the vote. Which shouldn’t be a surprise, he’s second in the fan voting for the frontcourt in the East (behind only LeBron James). Good news for those fans, the Greek Freak is almost guaranteed to be a starter, he’s getting plenty of media votes and likely a lot from the players as well.

Second place in the poll? Joel Embiid of the Sixers. I’d love to see him, but will players and media members vote in a guy on a minutes restriction? Will the coaches pick him for that same reason? He is on the bubble.

Russell Westbrook: ‘Don’t say what’s up to that b— a—’ (video)

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Did Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant talk during the Warriors’ win over the Thunder last night? Westbrook said no, though video and first-hand accounts indicate otherwise.

Even more clearly: Westbrook – who walked near teammates Enes Kanter, Anthony Morrow and Jerami Grant – didn’t want someone talking to someone as they left the floor after the game. ESPN caught Westbrook saying, “Don’t say what’s up to that b— a—.”

You will never convince anyone Westbrook is referring to anyone but Durant.

Russell Westbrook commits epic travel (video)

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Between getting laid out by Zaza Pachulia and apparently talking with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook committed a travel for the ages.

The Thunder guard took an inbound pass against the Warriors and just started walking up court without dribbling. The violation was so blatant, NBA officials even called the travel.

And it’s not as if they’re inclined to blow a whistle in that situation. Before Westbrook, Kemba Walker set a high bar last season, but he got away with this walk:

Are Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant on speaking terms after apparent conversation? Westbrook: ‘Nah’ (video)

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Russell Westbrook deleted Kevin Durant‘s goodbye text and, months later, told the whole world they still hadn’t talked.

That apparently changed during the Warriors’ win over the Thunder yesterday – though not if you ask Westbrook.

Westbrook dunked in the third quarter, and according to ESPN commentator Mark Jackson, Westbrook told Durant, “Don’t jump.” Anthony Slater of The Mercury News also wrote of the same quote.

ESPN’s telecast caught Durant clearly speaking to Westbrook shortly after. It appears Westbrook is talking back, but his back is to the camera.

After the game, Westbrook denied the exchange:

 

  • Reporter: “Are you and KD on speaking terms?”
  • Westbrook: “Nah.”
  • Reporter: “You guys had a little exchange in the third quarter.”
  • Westbrook: “What exchange?”
  • Reporter: “You and KD said something to each other.”
  • Westbrook: “Oh. You gotta maybe sit closer to the game. You maybe didn’t see clearly.”

This is so Westbrook – stubborn to the point of denying reality.

That approach worked for him when everyone rightly told him he was a significantly lesser player than Durant. Westbrook ignored that fact until it became false.

I suspect he wants to forget this exchange so he can maintain a cold animosity toward someone he prefers to resent.