Pau Gasol confirms he won’t play for Spanish national team at Eurobasket this summer

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After undergoing a procedure in both knees just last week, and with an announced recovery time of three months before he could return to basketball-related activities, most weren’t expecting Pau Gasol to be ready in time to join the Spanish national team for Eurobasket this summer.

On Tuesday, Gasol confirmed it by posting an open letter to fans on his website.

Here it is in its entirety, just the way it was published:

“To all the basketball fans: In order to avoid future problems, on May 9 I underwent a simple procedure to debride degenerated tissue of the patellar tendons of my knees non-surgically.

After valuing the period of the rehabilitation, which I have already initiated, with my medical team of confidence, I sadly confirm that I won’t play in the next European Championship of Slovenia despite I wished it.

My priority aim is to recover myself thinking in the next season and to be ready, if I’m asked to, for the next challenge with the national team, the World Cup of Spain 2014.

Wishing the best for the Team in Slovenia”,

Pau Gasol

Sounds like someone may have translated that from Spanish to English and posted it, but you get the idea.

Gasol has had a long and successful history in playing for Spain in international competition, most recently helping them to a silver medal in the 2012 Olympics.

Injuries limited Gasol to playing just 49 regular season games for the Lakers, and his scoring, rebounding, shooting percentage, and minutes played were all significantly below his career averages.

Eurobasket 2013 is scheduled to take place in Slovenia from September 4th through the 22nd.

PBT Extra: Bobby Portis punch adds to challenges for Bulls this season

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Nikola Mirotic will be out 4-6 weeks due to his concussion and fractured jaw.

Bobby Portis has been suspended for the first eight games of the season for causing those injuries to Mirotic with a punch at practice.

What does this mean for a Bulls locker room that was already going to have to deal with the weight of losing a lot of games.  I get into all these questions in this latest PBT Extra.

It’s going to be a long season in Chicago.

Gordon Hayward’s agent says return this season unlikely

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Wednesday night in Boston Gordon Hayward underwent surgery to repair his dislocated ankle and fractured tibia suffered just five minutes into the season-opening game, a gruesome injury that put a pall over the rest of the night.

There had been hope from some Celtics fans that Hayward could return this season, likely for the playoffs, but now that the surgery is complete Hayward’s agent told Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN not to expect him back until next season.

This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who saw the injury. Hayward is in the first year of a four-year deal with the Celtics, they were always going to choose a cautious path rather than rush him back. Under Danny Ainge Boston has always taken the long view, even with all their moves this summer — specifically bringing in Hayward and Kyrie Irving — the target was to be the team set up for next as LeBron James and the Cavaliers faded. That plan does not change now.

Earlier in the day, Hayward had sent a video message out to Celtics fans thanking them for their support in the past 24 hours.

Without Hayward, the Celtics now will focus more on smaller lineups, rookie Jayson Tatum will get more run, as will Marcus Smart in his contract year. Jaylen Brown will be thrust into a more significant role. Also, Kyrie Irving will be asked to do more as the team’s second-best playmaker is now out for the season.

The Celtics will take a step back this season without Hayward, who was going to be crucial for them on both ends of the floor. That’s evidenced by their 0-2 start, falling to the Cavaliers and Bucks on the first couple nights of the season. Boston should still be a team well above .500 and in the playoffs, but they will not be quite the same this season.

Trail Blazers beat Suns by 48, biggest season-opening rout in NBA history

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Any controversy over C.J. McCollum‘s suspension for the season-opener should be put to rest. The Trail Blazers fared fine without him.

More than fine.

Portland beat the Suns, 124-76, Wednesday. The 48-point margin is the largest ever in a season opener, even as the Trail Blazers let a 58-point fourth-quarter lead dwindle.

Here are the most lopsided season-openers in NBA history (openers for both teams appearing twice):

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The 48-point defeat is also the Suns’ worst lost in franchise history, topping a 44-point loss to the Seattle SuperSonics in 1988. It could be a long year in Phoenix.

Marcus Smart and Matthew Dellavedova scrap (video)

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Marcus Smart and Matthew Dellavedova thrive on aggravating opponents, so when matched up, of course they aggravated each other.

Deduct points from Smart for pulling the hold-me-back charade behind a referee. Plus, Dellavedova’s Bucks beat Smart’s Celtics, 108-100.