France was already having a tough time of it this World Cup. The defending EuroBasket champions are without Tony Parker, Joakim Noah and a host of other key players from that tournament are taking this one off for France.
Now another blow: Center Ian Mahinmi has an injured shoulder and is out for the World Cup. Worse news for the Pacers is he could be out 2-3 months, which likely means most of training camp and likely into the start of the season.
Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports got confirmation of the news from the man himself.
“Yes, [the news is true],” Mahinmi wrote to VigilantSports.com early Friday. “I will be back in Indy sometime this week for (further) exam on my shoulder…”
Mahinmi felt a sharp pain in his left shoulder and then had an MRI later that afternoon, which revealed the injury was severe enough to keep him out of the FIBA World Cup, according to the French Federation of Basketball.
The Pacers have been some of the biggest supporters of their guys going out in international basketball, with former Team USA member and now Pacers president Larry Bird leading the way. But the Pacers have now lost Paul George (likely for the season) and now Mahinmi.
It’s already going to be a rough season for the Pacers. This doesn’t help matters any.
Mahinmi is a key rotation big man, coming in behind Roy Hibbert so the Pacers could use him. He’s had shoulder problems in the past, including at the end of last season. With this he’s not going to miss many if any games that matter, but it’s just another setback. But one the Pacers don’t need.
NEW YORK (AP) — TNT will use broadcast teams featuring only former players and no traditional play-by-play men during five NBA doubleheaders later this season.
The “Players Only” schedule runs Monday nights from Feb. 27 to March 27 and includes matchups such as Golden State-Oklahoma City on March 20 and Cleveland-San Antonio a week later.
Brent Barry will serve as the primary host of one team with Derek Fisher and Grant Hill, while Greg Anthony partners with Kevin McHale and Richard Hamilton on the other.
Lisa Leslie and Dennis Scott will serve as reporters.
Turner Sports says Thursday that Chris Webber will anchor the studio coverage with Isiah Thomas and Baron Davis, and that additional NBA players will contribute to the five-week program.
HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden took some time out after the Houston Rockets’ win over the visiting Milwaukee Bucks to give a fan a present on a her 100th birthday.
Video shows Harden signing a ball for the woman and spending a few moments sitting next to her in her courtside seat and posing for pictures Wednesday night.
Harden told ESPN’s Doris Burke in an interview that he told the woman how “blessed” he was to be able to have a chance to meet her.
The Houston guard also put on a good show for the fan during the game, scoring 38 points in a 111-92 victory over the Bucks.
Kings center DeMarcus Couins appears set to become the first player to sign as a veteran designated player. The Pacers hope Paul George will follow.
But in the Pacers’ win over the Kings yesterday, George beat Cousins.
Not even Cousins thwacking George in the face could stop this dunk.
The Bucks projected Khris Middleton to miss about 70 games when he tore his hamstring before the season. That extended absence often leads players just to shut down for the year, but Middleton vowed to return in time for the playoffs.
He might get back far sooner than that.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
Sources told ESPN.com the Bucks think Middleton, who suffered a hamstring tear just days before the season began, “has a chance” to return to the lineup during a three-game homestand next month before the All-Star break.
Whether Middleton ultimately makes his season debut before or after the All-Star Game, he is expected to be kept on a minutes restriction as he eases way his back from the injury, sources said.
The Bucks have started Tony Snell, who has held his own as an outside shooter. But Middleton will upgrade Milwaukee on Snell’s biggest strength and provide massive defensive improvement. After a strong start, the Bucks have really struggled lately on that end.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has led Milwaukee to a 20-21 record, though the team is better than its won-loss mark indicates. The Bucks will be even better with Middleton, who will rival Jabari Parker as their second-best player and fit seamlessly.