Patrick Beverley says there was no intent to injure Russell Westbrook

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When the news broke that Russell Westbrook would be out indefinitely after needing to undergo surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus he suffered in the Thunder’s Game 3 win over the Rockets, all eyes turned to Patrick Beverley, and the play where Westbrook was injured.

Beverley ended up knocking knees with Westbrook, on a play where the Rockets guard was trying to steal the ball just before the Thunder were set to call a timeout.

Fans in Oklahoma City (and at the time, even Westbrook himself) seemed angry at Beverley for making this play, one that is routine in the NBA and happens on a nightly basis.

Speaking to reporters after shootaround on Friday, Beverley made it clear that he had no intention of trying to injure Westbrook.

“Unfortunate situation, of course,” he said. “You hate to see the type of player like that go out with an injury like that. But the Thunder are still a good team, and we have to prepare for a good team right now.”

Beverley was asked where he made contact with Westbrook, but said he hasn’t seen a replay of the incident.

“I don’t even remember,” he said. “I haven’t really seen it yet. I really don’t watch ESPN like that, so I haven’t see it yet. But like I said, it’s definitely unfortunate. I was definitely looking forward to playing Westbrook again and battling again. It’s just an unfortunate situation.”

As for whether or not trying to make that play as the opposing team is heading into a timeout is a questionable tactic, Beverley pointed out that it’s relatively common around the league, before making it known that he wasn’t trying to hurt anyone with his aggressive actions.

“A lot of people do it throughout the league,” he said. “Anyone who knows me, I don’t go out there and try to hurt anybody. I play at one speed, that’s fast. I crash for offensive rebounds. I was just trying to make a play on the ball before they called timeout, and a play like that I’ll continue to say, it’s just unfortunate right now.”

Finally, Beverley was asked if he believed the play he made was a basketball one, and whether or not there was anything dirty about it.

“No, I don’t think so,” he said. “I think I tried to make a play on the basketball before he called a timeout. No intention at all to try to injure anybody. Like I said, anyone who knows me knows that’s not my type of game.”

Kyrie Irving: ‘I see you. I see everyone. More than just your physical presence, I see your energy. I feel it. I know it’

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Kyrie Irving has done good lately.

Not just during Celtics games. He gave his jersey and shoes to military members in the crowd, and he recently shared a Thanksgiving dinner with Boston families.

Irving also addressed the event.

Irving, via Nicole Yang of Boston.com:

“I see you,” he said. “I see everyone. More than just your physical presence, I see your energy. I feel it. I know it.”

“I think that the most important thing that I strive to live by is extremely by truth and by consistently giving others the truth, without any judgement, without constraints, without anything extra except the understanding that I see you,” he said. “I have family members who come from knowing energy, and it was passed along to me.”

I can’t get enough of all this stuff.

Report: Derrick Rose away from Cavaliers, evaluating his future in basketball

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When Derrick Rose went AWOL from the Knicks last season for what he called a family issue, rumors swirled that he was contemplating retirement. Rose denied it, but those whispers are reemerging.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Rose has been out with what seemed like a relative minor, for him at least, ankle injury. The 29-year-old could stick in the league for a while thanks to his reputation and ability to attack the rim to create shots for himself. But the guard is a shell of peak form after years of more serious injuries. This isn’t the career anyone expected for him when he was named the youngest MVP ever in 2011.

Before the season, Rose was talking about getting a raise on his next contract. He seemed happy to join a contender and have LeBron James in his corner.

But something is amiss. Hopefully, Rose can find contentment – whether that’s continuing his NBA career or walking away.

Ryan McDonough: Suns want to sign two-way Mike James to standard contract

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Brandon Knight got hurt. Eric Bledsoe got traded.

The Suns made Mike James – a 27-year-old rookie on a two-way contract – their starting point guard.

Though he eventually ceded the role to Tyler Ulis, James – the only player on a two-way contract to start an NBA game – is still a rotation regular. He’s an aggressive defender and possesses plenty of offensive moves.

The problem: Unless demoted to Phoenix’s minor-league affiliate before then, he’ll max out the 45 allowable NBA days for a two-way player Dec. 6.

Suns general manager Ryan McDonough, via Scott Bordow of azcentral:

We’d still like to get him on the 15-man roster and we’re looking at different ways to do that.

The Suns can unilaterally convert James’ two-contract into a standard one-year minimum deal. Both sides could also negotiate a longer contract.

The bigger issue is clearing a roster spot.

Phoenix has the maximum 15 players with standard contracts with no obvious cuts. Derrick Jones Jr. doesn’t play much, but the 20-year-old’s athleticism creates intriguing upside. Second-rounder Davon Reed is hurt, though teams rarely cut bait so quickly.

So, a trade is possible. Greg Monroe never seemed long for Phoenix. Or anyone else could be moved.

If it comes to it, the Suns could send James to the minors to bide time. But they want to play competitive basketball, and he helps. So, expect something else to give within the next couple weeks.

Joel Embiid upgrades himself from 69% to 81%: ‘Shoutout to Jalen Rose’

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A story in three parts:

1. After posting 46-15-7-7 in a win over the Lakers, frequently injured 76ers center Joe Embiid declared himself to be 69%:

2. ESPN analyst Jalen Rose called that joke “unprofessional:”

3. Embiid upgraded his status to 81% with a “shoutout to Jalen Rose:”

In case you didn’t get the joke.