Eric Gordon says he had recovery setback, there is no timetable for return

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It just feels like there is a missing puzzle pieces in New Orleans.

Wednesday, both Hornets GM Dell Demps and coach Monte Williams — two player-friendly guys — basically suggested Hornets doctors say there is nothing wrong with Eric Gordon’s surgically-repaired knee. But he says there is.

Then Thursday Gordon said things were pretty bad, that he had a setback, but he wouldn’t offer details. From the Times-Picayune:

“I’d say sorta,” Gordon said (when asked if he had a rehab setback). “From talking to the doctors, from when I last told you guys in September until now, I have had a little bit of a setback as far as this injury. Nothing structural, but it has been a little bit of soreness and swelling to where I’m only listening to the doctors and they can see and tell that it’s been a little damage.

“I’ve had MRIs, and I went to the team and they’ve always been aware of my injury. I have had MRIs lately, so I’m looking forward to seeing what’s happening this weekend to see what’s furthermore. .. . I will hear what the doctor’s thinking this weekend.”

You hear Gordon say there is nothing structural in the setback, and you see where Demps and Williams are coming from. These are not guys who throw max contract players under the bus — and they didn’t, yet — but what they said suggests they are confused.

So Gordon’s next comments didn’t help matters.

“It’ll all be decided on by this weekend,” Gordon said. “There’s no timetable. I don’t know (when he’ll return) yet.”

Was there any part of him, he was asked, that felt he might miss the entire season?

“I don’t know; I don’t know at all,” Gordon said. “There’s still no timetable.”

Fans in New Orleans are fed up. They heard him say this summer he wanted to be in Phoenix, that he didn’t want New Orleans to match the offer given him (the Hornets did). Now when it comes time to step on the court, he says he’s hurt. Hornets fans are making the obvious leap there.

I don’t buy that. Having watched and been around Gordon some before his trade from the Clippers (in the Chris Paul deal), he never impressed me as the kind of guy who was looking for an excuse not to play (and trust me, the Clippers had those guys back a few years ago). He’s a competitor that likes to be on the court, not a guy who fakes injuries.

But something is going on here. It feels like the puzzle is missing some pieces.

Hopefully this weekend we can get those pieces and put the entire picture together.

Elfrid Payton slams chasedown block on LeBron James (VIDEO)

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LeBron James is usually the guy handing out chasedown blocks. He’s famous for them, and has carted out his signature move in the biggest moments of his career.

He’s also not used to having his own shots blocked from behind, and certainly not by opposing point guards.

Enter Elfrid Payton.

During a play halfway through the first quarter against the Orlando Magic on Thursday, LeBron was on a drive to the hole with Elfrid trailing far behind.

Thanks to a pinch by two Magic defenders, LeBron had to try and use brute force a bit deeper in the paint than he wanted to.

That allowed Payton — running at full speed — to catch up and pin The King on the glass.

Cleveland still got the best of the Magic, as Isaiah Thomas hit a clutch free throw to win the game with 11 seconds left, 104-103.

All-Star Joel Embiid doesn’t need Rihanna: “On to the next one”

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For about as long as we can remember, Joel Embiid has famously thirsted after Rihanna on Twitter. Fans have tried to boost his standing with the singer, but it apparently that has not been enough.

In 2014, Embiid mentioned on social media that a “famous girl” — presumably Rihanna — told him to “Come back when you’re an All-Star.”

Well, today is that day.

Embiid is a starter out of the Eastern Conference, and on Thursday night he had his chance to speak to Rihanna (or whomever) via national TV on TNT.

Did Embiid decide to reach out to this famous person? Apparently he’s off it.

Via Twitter:

This is like that scene from Private Parts when Howard Stern hits No. 1 and he tells Paul Giamatti’s character to get lost.

Embiid had the chance to curve Rihanna (or whomever) and took it. Long live The Process.

Here are the weirdest NBA All-Star voting results for 2018

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NBA All-Star voting is over, and now we have the results. The starters are in, and what’s left is for us to wait until they announce the teams after they are picked in double secret ceremony.

Of course, the NBA did release the full voting results via their PR website this week, and as such there are some head scratchers. My boy Patrick Redford over at Deadspin did an excellent job rounding up some of the players who got exactly one (1) vote from other players.

The gag here is that these guys presumably voted for themselves.

Of course, what I found most interesting was actually the guys who got multiple votes from their compatriots without being All-Star caliber players.

My favorite list of player-voted non-All-Stars includes: Michael Beasley (4), Gordon Hayward (2), Boban Marjanovic (2), Jahlil Okafor (4), Quincy Acy (2), Tyler Zeller (4), T.J. McConnell (2), Elfrid Payton (2), Zaza Pachulia (3), Taj Gibson (6), Zach Randolph (5), Maurice Harkless (2), Deyonta Davis (3), Lonzo Ball (9), Mike Conley (3).

There’s a whole smattering of guys in there who either didn’t play enough, aren’t stars, are injured, or who aren’t very good.

That multiple players took time to vote for these guys really speaks to the frivolity of the NBA All-Star Game. At least outside of player contract incentives.

Bring on February!

LeBron James throws behind-the-back, nutmeg pass for assist (VIDEO)

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LeBron James is one of the best passers the NBA has ever seen, but even this is too hard to believe.

During Thursday’s game between the Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron through a ridiculous behind-the-back pass that nutmegged Orlando’s Aaron Gordon.

The result of the play was a bucket for Dwyane Wade.

Via Twitter:

I mean, that’s just … insane.