Andre Drummond remains out, but did go through full practice

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UPDATE 3:01 pm: Just to make me look bad, Andre Drummond went through a full practice on Thursday, tweets Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. He described Drummond as “upbeat.”

There is officially still no timetable for his return. Everyone will want to wait a day and see how his back and body respond to the workout. But it sounds like his return is close.

10:37 am: When Andre Drummond went out with a back injury, the Pistons became far less interesting to watch. He averaged 7.4 points and 7.5 rebounds a game, but he was efficient — shooting 59.2 percent with a PER of 22.3.

Without him the Pistons are just not very good — they are 5-19 since he sat down, they have lost nine in a row, and since Drummond went down Detroit is bottom six in the league in both offensive and defensive efficiency (points per 100 possessions). In their last 20 games the Pistons are a -12.5 points per 100 possessions, second worst in the NBA in that time.

The one hope is that Drummond — who was looking like a dark horse candidate who could make a run at Damian Lillard’s Rookie of the Year trophy — would come back this season and make things a little more interesting, forming a good young front line next to Greg Monroe.

But Drummond is still out with no timetable and when speaking with the Detroit Free Press he doesn’t sound all that confident he will be back this season at all.

“Oh, of course,” he said, when asked about wanting to return this season. “I don’t want to sit out, but if it has to come to that, then that’s what it has to come to.

“We’re just going day by day really. (Trainer Arnie Kander) tells me every day I’m closer and closer, so I just go from what he tells me and continue to follow his instructions.”

Rightfully, the Pistons don’t want to pressure his return (although when I saw him do a pregame workout a couple weeks ago he seemed to move pretty well). And with the season lost more Ping-Pong balls in the lottery is not a bad thing. But when Drummond and Monroe are next to each other and healthy (with Brandon Knight in the back court), you can see some hope for the future. Which is why the last 19 games have been so hard to watch, that hope is in a suit on the sidelines.

Heat forward James Johnson expected to miss 7 to 10 days

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MIAMI (AP) The Miami Heat will be without starting forward James Johnson for at least two games and probably more after bursitis was found in his right ankle.

Johnson left Miami’s win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday with ankle pain, and an MRI performed Sunday led to the bursitis diagnosis. Johnson is not traveling with the team for its trip for games at Atlanta on Monday and Boston on Wednesday.

The team says Johnson could miss seven to 10 days, which would also mean his status for home games against Dallas on Dec. 22, New Orleans on Dec. 23 and Orlando on Dec. 26 is in some doubt.

Johnson is averaging 10.9 points and 5.2 rebounds for the Heat this season.

LeBron James wears one black, one white LeBron 15 shoes with “Equality” on back (VIDEO)

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LeBron James notched his third-straight triple-double on Sunday, this one coming against the Washington Wizards. But before the game, the story was all about how James was voicing a silent protest — in Washington D.C., no less — by wearing a special version of his shoes.

LeBron took to the floor wearing his LeBron 15s, but this player edition had the word “Equality” on the back of them. James wore one black shoe and one white shoe.

James wore the black versions of this shoe in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ opener to start the season.

Via Twitter:

LeBron finished the game with 20 points, 15 assists, and 12 rebounds. The Cavaliers beat the Wizards, 106-99.

Stephen Curry says he’d want in on potential Panthers ownership

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The Carolina Panthers are up for sale. Owner Jerry Richardson said he would sell the team late on Sunday following an announcement by the NFL that Richardson was under investigation for “workplace misconduct”. The NFL’s investigation and Richardson’s decision to sell was preceded by a report from SI saying Richardson had paid out settlements amid sexual harassment and racial slur claims.

Enter Sean Combs and Stephen Curry.

Combs — that’s Diddy, you to and me — has previously voiced his interest in being involved with the NFL, and after seeing that Richardson would be selling the team, jumped at the chance to boost his profile. Combs tweeted that he wanted to buy the team, and that’s when Curry joined in.

Via Twitter:

Naturally, Curry is from Charlotte and went to both high school and eventually college in the area, playing at Davidson. He’s an avid Panthers fan and has been on the sideline for the team publicly many times over the years.

Curry being part of an ownership group for the Panthers would be pretty wild. Perhaps Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan would like to join in? It seems like they would have the liquidity and credit availability between the three of them to get the team.

Then again, the asking price for the Panthers could be north of $2 billion. The last team to be sold was the Buffalo Bills in 2014 for $1.4 billion. In September, Forbes released a valuation for the Panthers that put them at $2.3 billion.

Might need to get a few others involved in this one.

Watch Raptors fans give Vince Carter a standing ovation in Toronto (VIDEO)

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Vince Carter is 40 years old and playing in what could possibly be his final NBA season. The Sacramento Kings guard started his career with the Toronto Raptors, and on Sunday he played what could possibly be his final game at the Air Canada Centre.

And so, when Carter was subbed out late in the fourth quarter on Sunday, the folks in Toronto did what came naturally: they cheered.

The whole thing was pretty great to watch, and a real testament to how Carter is viewed by fans in Toronto.

Via Twitter:

Carter scored just four points in 25 minutes for Sacramento, going 2-of-5 from the field while adding three blocks, two assists, a rebound and a steal.

The Raptors got the win over the Kings, 108-93.