Stephen Curry on re-re-aggravating leg injury: ‘It’s just a magnet’

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LOS ANGELES — “It’s just a magnet.”

That was how Stephen Curry described getting kicked in the leg again — the same leg with the same contusion that caused him to miss two games recently in hopes of healing this injury.

The question is will there be more rest in Curry’s future? He doesn’t want to sit — he wouldn’t even come out of Tuesday’s game when it happened, with the Warriors blowing the Lakers out — but he admitted this could linger. How long is it supposed to take to heal?

“Probably like four weeks, but I’m not going to sit out four weeks,” Curry said. “Just got to figure out how to protect it when I’m out there on the floor and keep playing.”

The re-injury (or is it re-re-injury if this is the third time?) happened the third quarter of the Warriors’ win. Curry drove and made a scoop layup under and around Lakers’ big man Roy Hibbert. But as he did it their legs collided. Shin on shin. The second it happened Curry came up limping, he was in obvious pain going down the court. The Warriors quickly committed a foul and called time out to get Curry out of the game.

Except he wouldn’t come out.

“I wasn’t going to put him back out at first, but he was pretty adamant about going back out,” Warriors “interim” coach Luke Walton said. “I asked the trainers, and they said he’s good, so we put him back out.”

Walton said if the training staff had said to pull him then it would have been out of Curry’s hands, but they didn’t. The Warriors are a player-friendly organization and Walton is the kind of coach who understands trying to play through pain, so he defers to what the player wants. Walton reminded everyone he used to play with Kobe Bryant in this building, a guy who played through a lot worse, and Walton knows elite competitors don’t want to come out. Ever.

Curry didn’t sound like a guy wanting time off, he wants to play through it.

“It’s just frustrating and annoying and any other adjective you want to throw in there,” Curry said. “Long term it isn’t something I need to worry about, it’s just playing through an injury, it’s just there. It doesn’t get worse unless I get kicked, and that’s happened three times since I did it, so hopefully it won’t keep happening. I’m trying all sorts of pads and stuff, but when I’m out there on the floor I’m not worried about it.”

Whether Curry sits will depend on how he feels over the next couple days, but the Warriors are off until Friday. Still at 33-2 on the season, they can afford to sit him for a couple of games to let this heal a little.

Just don’t expect him to be out a month.

Stan Van Gundy backs off feud with ESPN ahead of televised Pistons game

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Pistons president/coach Stan Van Gundy said he wouldn’t give ESPN its usual access – a private pre-game meeting and an in-game interview – in the aftermath of ESPN publishing LaVar Ball’s negative comments about Lakers coach Luke Walton.

The first test of Van Gundy’s new policy comes with today’s Pistons-Wizards game on ESPN… and Van Gundy is mostly backing down.

Van Gundy, via Rod Beard of The Detroit News:

“I got an email from Rick Carlisle of the coaches association and they want me to cooperate, so my whole idea was to boycott the thing in support of coaches,” Van Gundy said. “If the coaches don’t want that, then it would be a selfish thing, sort of a grandstanding thing.”

“I’m certainly not looking to do extra stuff with ESPN.com when those guys call and want to do things,” Van Gundy said. “They want to put themselves out there as a journalistic enterprise — they’re clearly not. They don’t have any journalistic standards. I have no obligation to do anything extra.”

Many media members have quoted Ball on a variety of issues. Coaches threw a fit over this one because they’re sensitive to coaches being criticized. It wasn’t about journalistic ethics or the source. Van Gundy and other coaches simply didn’t like Ball’s conclusion.

I’m so glad Van Gundy is no longer grandstanding. [extreme sarcasm]

He’s not obligated to speak with ESPN reporters, but when Van Gundy rails on journalistic standards as cover for disagreeing with the opinion a journalist published, he sounds a lot like the guy he loves to criticize.

Pistons’ Jon Leuer to undergo season-ending surgery

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Jon Leuer‘s ankles survived this.

But apparently they’re not invincible.

Rod Beard of The Detroit News:

After suffering a sprained ankle on Oct. 31, the symptoms worsened, as an exam revealed bone fragments and other issues. Leuer has missed the last 35 games and has decided to have season-ending ankle surgery, he told The Detroit News on Friday.

Leuer, 28, has scheduled the procedure to remove bone fragments for next Friday and will have a four-month rehabilitation process.

The Pistons have applied to the NBA for a disabled-player exception

The Pistons have been without Leuer for a while, and they’ve done fine without him. Anthony Tolliver is a capable backup stretch four, and Henry Ellenson adds even more insurance there. Detroit misses Leuer as a stretch center, providing a different style behind Andre Drummond, but Eric Moreland and Boban Marjanovic have at least decently handled those reserve minutes.

The bigger issue: The Pistons are paying Leuer $10,497,319 this season and owe him $19,510,724 over the next two years and don’t miss him that much. He’s a luxury they don’t need and maybe can’t afford.

Perhaps, they’ll deal him before the trade deadline, as they look to upgrade the roster for a playoff run. Detroit could send Leuer and a draft pick or young player (Stanley Johnson) for a better player on a more favorable contract. How about Leuer and a first-round pick to the Bulls for Nikola Mirotic?

A disabled-player exception (DPE) would be worth $5,248,660, half Leuer’s salary. It could be used to sign a free agent for the rest of the season or trade for a player in the final year of his contract.

But the NBA grants a DPE only if a league-appointed physician rules the player is “substantially more likely than not” to be unable to play through June 15. The reported timeline would have Leuer back in May.

Still, the league tends to be lax with giving out DPEs. Detroit has a chance to get one.

The Pistons are just $2,745,417 below the luxury-tax line. So, they’re unlikely to use a full Leuer DPE to acquire another player (and would still need to clear a roster spot). But it could be helpful in facilitating a bigger trade.

PBT Podcast: All-Star starters mock draft, picking reserves

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The votes are in, and LeBron James and Stephen Curry are your All-Star captains.

For the first time in NBA All-Star history, that means they are picking their own teams, playground style, first from the pool of starters, then the pool of reserves. Kurt Helin and Dan Feldman of NBC Sports take on the roles of LeBron and Curry and pick their All-Star starters, from James Harden through Kyrie Irving.

Then the pair gets into who should be the All-Star Game reserves — and choosing among the Western Conference guards is brutal. Do they leave out Damian Lillard? Lou Williams? Klay Thompson? And that’s not even getting into Paul George being a bubble All-Star in a deep West.

Kurt and Dan break it all down, plus talk some Kemba Walker trade scenarios.

As always, you can check out the podcast below, listen and subscribe via iTunes at ApplePodcasts.com/PBTonNBC, subscribe via the fantastic Stitcher app, check us out on Google play, or check out the NBC Sports Podcast homepage and archive at Art19.

Aaron Gordon forgoes desperation attempt to win, sinks halfcourt shot instead (video)

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The Magic were in dire straights near the end of their game against the Cavaliers last night. Orlando trailed 104-103 with 0.2 seconds and a jump ball to be tossed at center court. By rule, the Magic didn’t have time to catch-and-shoot, let alone recover the jump ball then shoot. Aaron Gordon had to tip the jump ball through the hoop from halfcourt – nearly impossible, but technically possible.

Instead, Gordon grabbed the jump ball – a violation – then sank a halfcourt shot. What an ironic end.

Cleveland then harmlessly inbounded the ball to seal the win.