Eric Gordon missed the first 29 games of the season, skipping out of New Orleans to rehab his knee (following surgery) back in Los Angeles. That didn’t sit well with then Hornets/now Pelicans fans.
When he did return, he was on a minutes/games restriction (for example, no back-to-backs until the very end of the season) and when he did play he wasn’t his old self. He averaged 17 points a game but only was shooting 40.2 percent, with a PER right at the league average of 15.4.
Gordon blamed part of that on injuries and, as we told you last week, he had surgery to clean up his ankles last week.
But it was worse than he let on — Gordon played through bone spurs after the All-Star break, reports the Times-Picyune.
“My ankle bothered me everyday, even on days when I wasn’t active,” Gordon said in an email response after he was contacted on Tuesday. “I had a minor procedure done, because I have been dealing with bone spurs since the all-star break. I wanted to get the surgery done now so I can go into training camp at 100 percent healthy and be in top shape.”
Gordon’s numbers after the All-Star break were pretty similar to those before: He averaged 16.4 points a game before and 17.4 after, with an almost identical overall shooting percentage (his three point shooting did drop 5 percent). That said, his offensive rating (points scored per 100 possessions) did dive five points and his defense got worse. He wasn’t right.
Gordon will be back in Los Angeles much of the summer but may make some of the Pelican’s voluntary summer workouts, he told the paper. He was frustrated by the assortment of injuries last season slowing him down and said he just wants to get healthy.
The Pelicans are going to shop Gordon around this summer, but the likely will not find an offer for a max player coming off surgeries and a tough year.
The Raptors promoted Jeff Weltman, still working under Masai Ujiri, to general manager last year.
That paid off for Toronto when the Magic hired Weltman as their new president.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
The Magic have their own and the Lakers’ second-round picks next year. Even the lower of those two selections could be somewhat value.
In other words, Weltman’s already-difficult job is getting even harder simply by Orlando hiring him.
LeBron James has discussed chasing Michael Jordan’s “ghost,” motivating himself by trying surpass Jordan as the greatest player in NBA history.
Just 27 points behind Jordan for the all-time playoff scoring lead – a record he could break in Cavaliers-Celtics Game 5 tonight – LeBron is again discussing that pursuit.
LeBron, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
“It’s just a personal goal of mine,” James said Thursday before Cavs shootaround in preparation of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics. “It has nothing to do with passing the rings, passing the points, passing MVPs. It’s just my personal goal to keep me motivated — that’s all.”
“You guys are going to have the conversations about who is greatest of all time and things of that nature,” James said. “It doesn’t matter to me. At the end of the day, it’s so funny that the conversation is always talked about in the NBA about who is the greatest but it’s never talked about in the NFL about who is the greatest quarterback. It’s just like: [Dan] Marino, [John] Elway, [Peyton] Manning and [Tom] Brady. All great quarterbacks, you know — and it should be the same for us.
Jordan or LeBron? Save your hot takes. LeBron just burnt them all.
The greatest quarterback of all time is never debated? Claiming that is now the hottest take in the entire realm of the Jordan-LeBron debate.
BOSTON (AP) — Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue says that Kyrie Irving‘s left ankle is feeling “good” in advance of Cleveland’s Game 5 matchup Thursday night with the Celtics.
Irving was moving around and putting up shots during the Cavs’ morning shootaround.
The All-Star rolled his ankle in the third quarter of Game 4 when he stepped on Terry Rozier‘s foot. Irving was able to stay on the floor and finish the game, scoring a career playoff-high 42 points.
Cleveland leads Boston 3-1 and can wrap up its third straight Eastern Conference title Thursday night.
Several Celtics are also fighting injuries as they try to stave off elimination.
Jaylen Brown is listed as questionable with a right hip pointer. Jae Crowder is probable with a left groin strain, and Amir Johnson is probable with a right shoulder sprain.
LaVar Ball said his son, highly touted draft prospect Lonzo Ball, would work out for only the Lakers.
You thought he was bluffing?
Celtics president Danny Ainge, whose team holds the No. 1 pick, on 98.5 the Sports Hub:
We just tried to get him in for a workout, and they politely said no.
It’s not ideal.
Listen, we’ve drafted guys that wouldn’t come in for workouts before. I mean, it’s not the end of the world. We’ve watched them play a ton. We have a lot of information on them.
Good for Ball. Professional sports teams already hold inordinate power over players entering the workforce. In no other industry are top young employees assigned to a particular company, the worst-performing companies typically getting priority, with no ability to bargain with competitors.
Ball wants to play for the Lakers, who offer proximity to his family and hold the No. 2 pick. He can’t force Boston to pass on him or Los Angeles to pick him. But he can influence decision-making.
It seemed likely the Celtics would draft Markelle Fultz, and though they could still pick Ball, him declining a workout with Boston makes that only less likely. The Lakers will probably draft Ball, but this plan carries risk. If they pass, he could fall once he gets to teams less familiar with him.
Still, Ball deserves to decide for himself how to manage his career – especially in such a closed job market. Not working out for the Celtics is probably his best path to getting where he wans to go.