Damage from Hurricane Sandy leaves Nets home opener in doubt

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By now you’ve seen the pictures of the flooding and devastation from hurricane Sandy’s assault on the northeast. Well, unless you’re one of the more than 7 million without power in the region, then you unfortunately are living it (and likely not reading this).

Damage from Sandy has become a real threat to the Knicks at the Nets game Thursday, which was set to be the regular season debut of the Nets new home — the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, where the franchise moved after 35 years in New Jersey.

Earlier in the day, the NBA said it was still “assessing” the situation for games later in the week but that all the Tuesday night games would go on as scheduled.

The good news is the new center itself went undamaged from Sandy, reports Stephen Bondy of the New York Daily News. So long as it has power, the building could host the game Thursday night.

The question is could anybody get there?

As you may have read, storm surge flooded the already closed New York subway system, with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg saying Tuesday morning it could be “four or five days” before the system is back up and running.

Why does that impact the Nets and the Barclays Center? Howard Beck explains at the New York Times.

Barclays Center is served by 11 subway lines and the Long Island Rail Road, none of which are running at the moment. City officials have said it will be three or four days before subway service returns. The lack of mass transit could be crippling for the arena, which sits on Brooklyn’s busiest intersection, at Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues. Parking in the area is severely limited. Barclays Center officials have promoted mass transit as the preferred option for visiting the arena, which opened Sept. 28.

The Nets also have home games scheduled for Saturday (against Toronto) and Monday (against Minnesota). The Knicks’ home opener is scheduled for Friday night against the Miami Heat.

There is no way the Nets want to postpone this game, both because it’s the home and building opener, and because they get a banged up Knicks team without Amare Stoudemire. There is no way the league wants to postpone an opening week, nationally televised game.

The question is, will they have a choice?

Gordon Hayward breaks leg against Cleveland in first game with Celtics

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The Boston Celtics season has taken a turn for the worse.

During Tuesday’s opening game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, new Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward broke his leg after landing following a leaping back cut to the basket.

It became immediately apparent to those in the arena, and the broadcast angle of the left leg injury was not pretty.

Just be warned here, the resulting photo and media is pretty disgusting. I let out a big yell when I saw it live, so it’s not for the faint of heart.

Via TNT:

This is just the most awful way to start the NBA season, for all of us. Get well soon, Gordon.

Kings’ rookie De’Aaron Fox commits California mortal sin, slams In-N-Out

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We Californians take a few things seriously. Surf reports, for one. Winemaking/tasting. Tech toys. Coming up with potential blockbuster movie franchise ideas, getting a star to buy in, then maybe or maybe not worrying about getting a decent script.

Also, In-N-Out Burger. If there is one thing all Californians can agree on, it’s that In-N-Out is the best burger chain in the world. It’s not up for debate.

Apparently Kings’ rookie De'Aaron Fox did not get that memo. He did a Q&A with Rolling Stone’s Seerat Sohi and crossed a sacred line.

“All I gotta say, you can tell everybody that lives in the state of California this: In-N-Out is not good.”

What’s your beef with In-N-Out Burger?
“Their burgers are overrated. They’re OK.”

Even Animal Style?
“Yes. People always say, you haven’t tried this. You haven’t tried that. I’m like, “Yeah, I looked up the secret menu. I’ve tried it all. It’s just not good.”

That’s controversial. What’s the best fast food spot then?
“Honestly, for me, I don’t count Chick-fil-A, because it’s way too good to be considered fast food. So I’m gonna say Wendy’s. Fat Burger in L.A. is better than In-N-Out.”

It’s this simple: Fox is flat-out wrong.

First off, Chick-fil-A is wildly overrated, so we know the taste of the 19-year-old point guard is off. Fat Burger is legit. But Wendy’s? Come on now, that’s just average.

If Fox had tried to argue Five Guys, I would have let it slide — I don’t think they’re as good, but I will admit a California bias. But Wendy’s? You lose the entire argument right there. It’s like saying Pixels was the best movie ever.

In-N-Out is the best. Fox needs to get on board with this.

Bulls’ Nikola Mirotic hospitalized after practice fight with Bobby Portis

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It was going to be a difficult season in Chicago if everything went right — and two days before the first game of the season things have gone horribly wrong.

Bulls’ starting forward Nikola Mirotic got into a shoving match with Bobby Portis, and Portis turned and sucker-punched him, according to multiple reports.

The Bulls have confirmed the fight and have announced Mirotic suffered a concussion and maxillary fractures in his face — the upper jaw and nasal cavity area — which likely will require surgery. He is going to miss weeks of time.

Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports had more details.

Mirotic was taken to the hospital Tuesday after their shoving altercation during practice ended with an alleged cheap shot from Portis to Mirotic’s face, league sources told The Vertical. Mirotic is undergoing tests, but is expected to be out for the foreseeable future, league sources said.

Mirotic will miss weeks, according to a source, and you can be sure severe discipline from the team is coming down for Portis.

In the short term, this likely means more run for rookie Lauri Markkanen as well as just re-signed Cristiano Felicio.

LeBron James will play in opener against Celtics

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Did we really expect anything else?

LeBron James was a game-time decision for the season opener in Cleveland against Boston and Kyrie Irving due to a sprained ankle. We expected he would go, but ankles can be tricky and are easy to re-injure once sprained, so the Cavs wanted to be careful.

He’s going to play. Coach Tyronn Lue made it official.

LeBron is the best player on the planet, but he can coast through the regular season at times. What teams try to avoid is giving him extra motivation… say bringing in a guy who left the team last summer on opening night. Expect full force LeBron tonight.