Sixers not providing updates on status of Andrew Bynum

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When the Sixers traded away Andre Iguodala in a deal that brought them All-Star center Andrew Bynum, they envisioned an improved team anchored by a big man that would be a foundation in Philadelphia for seasons to come.

The future may still be a bright one for Bynum there, but he has yet to make his debut for the Sixers this season due to suffering a bone bruise in a workout before training camp even began. And the most troubling part for the team’s fans — in addition to the fact that there’s no timetable for Bynum to return — is the fact that the team has been reluctant to give updates on their big man’s progress.

The local media has been trying, but they’ve continually been shut down by the organization when asking about Bynum. And Bob Cooney of Philly.com is wondering why:

If ownership wanted pats on the back – and it deserved them – when acquiring Bynum, it at least should be up front enough to answer the questions fans want answered about his injury. The only way fans get those answers, of course, is through the media. So what if he is slow recovering from his injury? What’s wrong with saying so? What is wrong with telling the fans the truth?

Getting Bynum was a risk; everyone knew that when it happened. But it is only a 1-year contract, and if it all works out, good for them. If it doesn’t and Bynum can’t play much this season and ultimately moves on, well, so be it. But what’s wrong with being honest?

A couple things here.

It’s likely that the organization doesn’t have anything positive to put out on Bynum at this point — not from a standpoint of him progressing, having increased workouts, or getting closer to practicing in game-like situations. If the team was seeing even a hint of something positive, it would be sure to get that information to its fans so they would keep hope alive, and root for the team to keep it together until they can get Bynum back, which hopefully would be relatively soon.

Now, if the news isn’t so great?

The decision not to inform the public of Bynum being slow to recover might be purposeful, if the organization doesn’t want its fans to sour on him before he even takes the floor, or for them to bail on the team for making a trade that might not improve things, and could ultimately turn out to be a move in the wrong direction.

At some point, though, fans are going to want answers. It’s understandable that head coach Doug Collins would want nothing to do with speaking about the matter, but the organization should have nothing to hide where Bynum’s injury status is concerened — whether he’s likely to see the court anytime soon or not.

Hawks’ DeAndre’ Bembry out with fractured wrist

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In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.

But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.

Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.

“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”

 

Danny Ainge says Celtics will apply for Disabled Player Exception

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It’s not likely Gordon Hayward returns this season. His agent said as much, although a return in March is not out of the question. (It’s better PR wise for the Celtics to say he is out for the season, then if he returns early great, it’s better than setting a deadline he doesn’t meet.)

With that, the Celtics are going to apply for the Disabled Player Exception, which could help them land a replacement player, Danny Ainge told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Globe on Friday the club is applying for the Disabled Player Exception, which would provide the Celtics $8.4 million to pursue a player to fill Hayward’s roster spot.

“We’re in the process of doing that,’’ Ainge said. “We have a while to do that. There’s no urgency, but we will apply for that.”

There are limits to what that money can get the Celtics. The money is the same as the mid-level exception, the Celtics can go over the cap to use it, and the player can be obtained via free agency or trade. However, the player must be in the last year of his contract.

It gives the Celtics options. It also does not mean Hayward cannot return, it only means NBA-approved doctors determined he is not likely to return before a mid-June deadline.

Kings hire former WNBA Seattle coach Jenny Boucek as assistant

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The NBA now has a third female assistant coach.

The first was Becky Hammon, who has been part of Gregg Popovich’s Spurs staff for several years (and has coached their Summer League team). The second was Nancy Leiberman, who has been on the staff in Sacramento for a couple of seasons now.

Now the Kings have hired former Seattle Storm coach Jenny Boucek as an assistant coach on Dave Joerger’s staff. She will work as an assistant player development coach.

A former WNBA player in the league’s inaugural season, the past three years she has coached the WNBA’s Seattle Storm (she was fired midway through the last season), and prior to that had been the head coach of the Sacramento Monarchs from 2007-09.

 

 

Video of Kawhi Leonard struggling to board team plane concerning

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The San Antonio Spurs have been very tight lipped about how serious Kawhi Leonard‘s ongoing quadriceps issue is. He hasn’t played in the preseason or now the start of the regular season, with no timetable for his return. Part of that is the nature of the Spurs organization, but it leads to the feeling there is something more there.

Now surfaces this video of Leonard gingerly, slowly making his way up some stairs to the team plane, and it’s concerning.

To be fair, there is a real lack of context here, but according to the San Antonio Express-News, he had just come out of a rehab session. That means he might have been especially sore (and could have been iced up for the flight).

Still, this video makes one think it could be a while longer before we see Leonard back on the floor for San Antonio. (By the way over the past three seasons, including this one, the Spurs are 15-4 when Leonard sits. They will be fine short term.)