You knew it wasn’t good when he had to be taken off the court in a stretcher, you just wonder now if the Pelicans playoff hopes were carted off with him.
The Pelicans’ leading scorer Ryan Anderson will be out indefinitely with a herniated disc in his back, the team announced Tuesday. The injury occurred Friday night in Boston when Gerald Wallace tried to steal an inbounds pass and collided with him. Anderson had been in a Boston area hospital since then getting tests.
Anderson, arguably the best stretch four in the NBA right now, was averaging 19.8 points a game this season and hitting 40.9 percent from three, but it had been a rough season for him. He had a fractured toe and missed time to start the season, plus he emotionally had to deal with the suicide of his girlfriend in the offseason.
Here’s where it gets bad for the Pelicans hopes of climbing up into the playoffs — they are 12-10 when he plays and 3-7 when he is out this season. New Orleans is currently the 11 seed in the West at 15-17, three games out of the final playoff spot in the conference. It will be hard to make up any of that ground (and not lose more) with Anderson out for an extended period.
The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.
Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.
At least they’re having fun with it.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.
For two decades, Kobe Bryant saw everyone and everything as an obstacle to overcome: The Pacers, Sixers, Nets, Magic, Celtics, Tim Duncan, Gregg Popovich, Smush Parker, a torn Achilles. It didn’t matter. Kobe’s work ethic and drive had him rising above it all.
His focus hasn’t changed now. Kobe was on the Jim Rome show, and the topic of the new-look Warriors with Kevin Durant came up, along with the “woe is me” attitude of some players (and plenty of owners and GMs).
“I would have thought less about myself if I looked at that move and said, ‘That’s unfair,'” he said. “If you’re a real competitor, you look at that and say, ‘OK, lace ’em up. Let’s go. I don’t care how many players you have over there; we’re still going to take you down.'”
Easier said than done to make that happen, but that attitude is the only one to have if you think you have a chance. You can be sure LeBron James is thinking that way and telling his Cavaliers teammates the same.
We’re going to miss Kobe.