Fans in Denver got a bit of a scare before the Nuggets’ home opener on Friday, when the team’s mascot appeared lifeless as he was lowered to the floor from the rafters during pregame introductions.
A little more detail, from ABC 7 in Denver:
The plan was for Rocky to be lowered in a harness, with a spotlight on him, just before the home opener.
Fans were horrified when a lifeless Rocky was lowered to the center court where he immediately collapsed. The spotlight was quickly turned off.
Rocky was checked by doctors and taken off the court.
Word from the Nuggets was that Rocky had the wind knocked out of him and would be out for the remainder of the game.
It appears to have been nothing lingering that will impact the person in the mascot outfit moving forward, but let’s try to remember that a person in a stuffed animal outfit only enhances the pregame festivities to a certain point. It’s probably not worth a danger level of anything greater than zero for any “stunts” that may come to mind.
As for the game itself, the Nuggets fell to the Blazers by a final of 113-98.
Andre Drummond is a terrible free-throw shooter…except, apparently, when he’s shooting from the other free-throw line. Monday night against the Raptors, Drummond cut Detroit’s deficit to five at the end of the third quarter with this three-quarter-court heave at the buzzer:
Now, if only he could work on his accuracy from his own free-throw line.
Not a lot has gone right for the Nets this season, but an impressive clutch shot by seven-time All-Star Joe Johnson gave them their 14th win of the season on Monday. With time expiring, Johnson banked in a long three-pointer to put Brooklyn up 105-104 over Denver and secure the victory:
Johnson had 12 points on the night.
For about a week, word has circulated throughout the NBA that George Karl’s days in Sacramento were numbered. They’ve lost eight of their last 10 games, and players have more or less checked out on him. Remember, it’s only been a year since the Kings unceremoniously ousted interim head coach Ty Corbin to bring Karl in, which came on the heels of their puzzling dismissal of Mike Malone in December 2014.
Now, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports that the Kings have made the decision to let Karl go:
The decision itself isn’t surprising—it always seemed to be a matter of “when,” not “if” Karl would be fired. But the optics here are not good. If everybody knows it’s coming, it makes no sense to leak that the change is going to happen hours or even days before it’s made official.
The report of the Kings’ decision on Karl comes on the heels of a concerning bombshell Rajon Rondo dropped following Sacramento’s 120-100 loss to the Cavaliers on Monday night.
Via the Sacramento Bee‘s Jason Jones:
Sports Illustrated‘s Jake Fischer further reported that only three players indeed showed up on Monday morning:
That’s a bad look for everybody involved. An optional shootaround is more or less unheard of in the NBA, and if only three players bothered to come, that’s an unignorable sign that the team has quit on Karl.
Since he came into the league, Karl-Anthony Towns‘ offensive footwork has been unusually advanced for a rookie. He showed off his impressive moves again on Monday night, getting to the basket around Luke Babbitt with this spin: