Team USA Showcase

DeMarcus Cousins on injured knee: ‘It’s better than Thursday, so that’s a good sign’


DeMarcus Cousins left Thursday’s USA Basketball practice with a knee injury, and after he went down, walked gingerly off the court with a noticeable limp, and with the assistance of a couple of team trainers.

A day later at Friday’s practice, Cousins was seen getting up shots individually, but didn’t fully participate, and still had that limp.

He said the knee is improving, though just how soon a return to the court is possible remains to be seen.

From Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago:

“It’s better than (Thursday), so that’s a good sign,” Cousins said after Friday’s practice. “Just gradually trying to get through the pain. It’s going to be a process. As the days go on it should get better.” …

“It was a scary thing of course,” Cousins said. “Speaking from some of the things that happened early on. It’s basketball so things happen but luckily enough it wasn’t anything too severe. I’ll be back in a few days.”

Cousins will not play in Saturday’s exhibition against Brazil at the United Center in Chicago.

If it is only a few days that Cousins is sidelined, and he can get back in time to play in one or both of the exhibition games in New York next week, there’s a strong chance that he makes the final cut and ends up part of the 12-man roster that will compete in the FIBA World Cup in a couple of weeks.

Team USA needs his offense now if he’s healthy, which will leave Andre Drummond, Kenneth Faried and Mason Plumlee all fighting for a roster spot, with what’s likely to be just two frontcourt positions available for those three players.

C.J. McCollum ejected for flagrantly fouling Gordon Hayward (video)

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I’m not sure C.J. McCollum meant to grab Gordon Hayward‘s neck. The 6-foot-8 Hayward elevated, and the 6-foot-4 McCollum just might not have been able to get high enough to make a play on the ball.

But McCollum did grab Hayward’s neck.

It was a dangerous and unnecessary play, especially in the preseason.

Report: Mavericks may be team interested in Larry Sanders

Larry Sanders
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The Dallas Mavericks are looking for a center— desperately at times, they brought JaVale McGee into training camp to get a look. They will start Zaza Pachulia and behind him it’s probably Samuel Dalembert once he gets healthy.

Which is why Dallas may be the team interested in Larry Sanders — Mark Cuban is a guy known for giving second chances in the league. But there have been no talks, yet, reports Tim MacMahon at ESPN.

Larry Sanders has been out of the game since his buyout last February trying to deal with his personal demons and may well not be ready to return. He may never return.

His couple seasons with the Bucks were filled with drama and issues. There was the nightclub brawl left him with an injured thumb in need of a surgery. There were the charges of animal cruelty. There was a five-game drug suspension. There was missed time for personal reasons. There was the 10-game suspension for marijuana use (he failed at least four tests to get there) — then that suspension was extended past the 10 games. In the end, he agreed to a buyout to get space away from the game to deal with his personal issues.

He may or may not be ready to return from that. He may or may not ever be ready. But if he decides to give it a try, NBA teams will be waiting. Maybe Dallas.