Eric Bledsoe

Updated Report: Eric Bledsoe had piece of meniscus removed, could return in six weeks

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UPDATED 10:15 am: This makes more sense.

According to the Arizona Republic on Monday Bledsoe had a small piece of his meniscus removed, which is a much less serious surgery than had been suggested previously. Removal of the meniscus in a player this young would be unusual, but if is is an arthosopic surgery they may have needed to take off part of it. That would leave a lot of cushioning that will allow a (hopefully) long career.

Bottom line in the short term expect Bledsoe back sometime after the All-Star break.

8:44 am: For Suns fans hoping the Suns can hang on to one of the playoff spots in the deep Western Conference, we have some good news:

He could be back in 4-6 weeks.

The bad news could be the length of Bledsoe’s career if this report is true.

Bledsoe had his meniscus removed during his recent knee surgery, reports Phoenix radio personality John Gambadoro.

If surgeons can, they prefer to repair a torn meniscus. That means a longer recovery time (Bledsoe might be out for the season in that case) but it is better for the knee, it is what Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose had done.

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It also is possible that only a small part was removed, basically cleaned up in a scope operation, and this was a minor injury that will have him back. That would be the most logical move for someone his age.

But sometimes the injury is such that removal is the only option.

That’s what Dwyane Wade had done back in 2002, and you saw in the immediate years after and the 2006 NBA Finals that he was able to play at an elite level.

However if you’ve watched him the past couple seasons, the trouble his knees have given him — particularly in the playoffs — you see the long-term impacts of the removal. This season he has already taken off 9 games to help those knees stay relatively healthy and so he will be able to go all out in the playoffs.

Just something to remember as Bledsoe’s career moves along term. Short term he will back and that’s the good news for the Suns.

Report: Celtics re-sign Tyler Zeller for two years, $16 million

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 19:  Kyle Korver #26 of the Atlanta Hawks grabs a rebound against Tyler Zeller #44 of the Boston Celtics in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on April 19, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Tyler Zeller is one of the few restricted free agents left on the market who could make an actual impact next season, and on Saturday morning, he’s come off the board. Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reports that the fourth-year big man has agreed to a deal to stay with the Celtics. It’s for two years and $16 million, with the second season being a team option.

Zeller isn’t a starter, but he’s a nice rotation big man, especially at that price. He can play minutes off the bench for Boston, and his contract is also very movable with the second season being unguaranteed. He played just 11.8 minutes per game last season, but averaged 18.5 points and 9 rebounds per 36 minutes.

Watch Charles Barkley struggle to pronounce “Jonas Valanciunas” last season

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The Toronto Raptors were good last season, second best team in the East. That means the guys on Inside the NBA on TNT had to talk about them.

Which means Charles Barkley had to say “Jonas Valanciunas” a lot. Which is high comedy. While a lot of people struggle to say his name the guy is a solid NBA center who, with a little practice, you can say (and spell) his name pretty easily.

This comes from a YouTube user, via Reddit, with a hat tip to Eye on Basketball.

Watch highlights of USA’s 111-74 rout of Argentina in exhibition game

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Argentina isn’t considered a medal contender heading into the Rio Olympics. Their golden generation — led by Manu Ginobili — has picked up a lot of speed on the downhill side of their careers at this point.

They didn’t provide much of a challenge for Team USA in an exhibition game Friday night in Las Vegas, one won by the USA 111-74. Kevin Durant impressed playing with his new teammates in dropping 23 points, Paul George had 18, and the Americans had their way in the game.

Which is what we’re going to see a lot of in Rio — the USA’s talent level is just steps above any other team in the tournament.

Kevin Durant: Nobody has said something negative to my face about joining Warriors

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 07:  Kevin Durant speaks to the media during the press conference where he was introduced as a member of the Golden State Warriors after they signed him as a free agent on July 7, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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When Kevin Durant chose the Warriors, he received criticism from all angles.

Fans burned his jersey. Charles Barkley decried the decision. Markieff Morris said, “That ain’t right.” Durant’s former Thunder teammates leaked their displeasure with the process.

Durant was so reluctant to face the backlash, he stayed in his bed luxurious rental house for two days.

It, uh, worked.

Michael Lee of Yahoo Sports:

Though he has heard some criticism from Barkley and fellow Hall of Famer Reggie Miller, various talking heads and people in social media who believe he has cheated the system and cut corners to a ring, Durant said the reaction to his choice hasn’t been too bad: “All that stuff happens on the Internet. I haven’t had one person come to me and say anything negative. … It’s easy for the critics on the outside to tell you what to do, to tell you how to play. I’m the one that’s going through it, so I can’t really worry about the outside noise. The work don’t stop. Everything stays the same.”

This is a good reminder how insulated NBA players, especially stars, can be.

And it adds to why Durant signing with Golden State makes sense. While we’re debating his legacy and discussing the backlash (and the backlash to the backlash and the backlash to the backlash to the backlash and the…), he’ll be playing high-level basketball with his friends in a desirable city for a max salary.

Sure, it’s not all rosy. Durant altered his relationship with his friend Russell Westbrook, and Durant will have to return to Oklahoma City for a game. There, he’ll face plenty of booing fans.

But, all in all, Durant should have little trouble tuning out the critics.

They’re too far away for him to hear them much.