It wasn’t a pretty start to the season for the Hawks on Friday, and things aren’t likely to get better when the team next takes the floor in Oklahoma City on Sunday.
Josh Smith has been ruled out for the Hawks’ road game against the Thunder due to an ankle sprain. He won’t even make the trip, the team says, and neither will backup center Johan Petro, who’s still recovering from a back injury.
The Hawks said that Smith sustained the injury during Friday’s loss to the Rockets, though he didn’t seem to show any signs of it while posting 18 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocked shots in 43 minutes of action.
Houston had its way with the Hawks — as if James Harden’s career-high 45 points wasn’t destructive enough, Atlanta was crushed on the boards, getting out-rebounded 58-36, while giving up a ridiculous 23 offensive rebounds in the process.
Atlanta is probably looking at more minutes from Zaza Pachulia in Smith’s absence, along with possibly some run from Ivan Johnson. Beyond that, there just aren’t any other frontcourt options available on this Hawks team’s roster.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.