Team USA Showcase

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

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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.

Draymond Green has Steve Kerr’s back with one odd pro-pot argument

Golden State Warriors' Draymond Green (23) celebrates after making a defensive stop in front of teammate Stephen Curry, left, during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks Monday, Nov. 28, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. Golden State won 105-100. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
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Steve Kerr missed the first half of last season with debilitating back pain, and in his quest to find pain relief he admitted he tried marijuana (which was legal for medicinal use in the state at the time). It didn’t work well for him, he added.

But Kerr also talked about how professional sports leagues, where the players are dealing with a lot of pain management (particularly the NFL and NHL), need to start viewing marijuana differently than they did a generation ago.

Draymond Green has his coach’s back, via Chris Haynes of ESPN. Although, not with the best pro-pot argument I’ve ever heard.

Vegetable?

We’re just going to let this go because his heart is in the right place. It’s kind of like the scene in Animal House: “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!” “Germans?” “Forget it, he’s rolling.”

Green was also rolling when he started going in on the league’s crackdown on unnatural acts.

Draymond, so you know, here’s the link to Kiki Vandeweghe’s basketball-reference.com page. He’s not just the guy who hands out fines.

All Chandler Parsons wants for Christmas is healthy knees

Memphis Grizzlies forward Chandler Parsons poses for a picture on NBA basketball media day Monday, Sept. 26, 2016, in Memphis, Tenn. Parsons signed with the Grizzlies in July. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
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It almost fits the song: “All I wants for Christmas is healthy knees, healthy knees, healthy knees.”

Chandler Parsons took to Twitter to answer questions from fans, and there were a few good answers in there but my favorite was this one:

Parsons has played in just six games for the Grizzlies this season, missing the start of the season to recover from off-season knee surgery, then now he has missed the last eight games with a knee bone bruise. The banged up Grizzlies could really use his shot creation back in the lineup.

As for other good questions/answers there was this combo, with a little help from ESPN’s Zach Lowe:

And then there’s this for the haters.

Sit back and watch the top 10 dunks from the first five weeks of NBA season

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Who doesn’t love a good dunk compilation?

Well, somebody probably just said “bah, humbug” but is that the person you really want to hang out with?

The fine folks at NBA.com put together the Top 10 dunks of October and November, and when Rudy Gobert dunking over Kristaps Porzingis is all the way down at 10, you know it’s a good list. Put off starting your Christmas shopping, at least for another 2:44, and watch the video.

Want to watch Chance the Rapper throw dodgeballs at mascots? Here you go.

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Want to watch Chance the Rapper throw dodgeballs at mascots? Of course you do. How is that even a question?

Above you can see just that from Chicago Friday night (where Dwyane Wade, Jimmy Butler and the Bulls knocked off the Cavaliers). Benny the Bull is on his side as well, while the Cubs’ mascot and others try and stay out of the way.

I’ll take this over another kids’ dribbling contest any day.