Dan Feldman

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Nuggets retiring Fat Lever’s No. 12

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What happens when you rank last in home attendance two years in a row?

You retire the number of someone who last played for the team 27 years ago.

Nuggets release:

the Nuggets will be retiring legendary player Lafayette “Fat” Lever’s #12 jersey on Saturday, December 2, 2017 vs. the Los Angeles Lakers.

“With what Fat Lever has meant to this team, this city and our community for the past 30-plus years, it makes perfect sense to honor him by retiring his jersey during this special season,” Kroenke stated. “He is not only one of the best Nuggets in franchise history, but a great ambassador of Denver basketball as well. It is going to be an honor to have his jersey hanging in our arena.”

Lever had a fine six-season stint with Denver, making an All-NBA second team, an All-Defensive second team and a couple All-Star teams. His Nuggets teams made the playoffs each season and peaked with a trip to the 1985 Western Conference finals, though they were already perennial postseason participants be he arrived. Lever is Denver’s all-time leader in steals, and he ranks second in assists, seventh in points and even eighth in rebounds. Not bad for a 6-foot-3 point guard.

The timing is questionable, but Lever is a reasonable choice to join Alex English (2), David Thompson (33), Byron Beck (40), Dan Issel (44), Dikembe Mutombo (55) and Doug Moe (432) with a number in the rafters.

Jarrett Jack yanked away from confrontation with James Harden (video)

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Jarrett Jack had his adrenaline flowing. James Harden was not in the mood.

The Rockets star contested a harmless Jack practice shot after a whistle. Jack didn’t like that and bumped Harden. Harden pushed Jack away. Then, they were face-to-face until Michael Beasley pulled away his Knicks teammate.

Even a double technical on the guards didn’t stop the jawing.

Knicks’ Jarrett Jack launches heave way over basket (video)

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If Jarrett Jack‘s bid to make the Knicks is based on how far he can throw a basketball, he’s in good shape.

Report: Hornets’ Nicolas Batum won’t need surgery

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Nicolas Batum tore a ligament in his elbow, the type of injury that could throw the Hornets’ playoff hopes into peril a year after injuries helped keep them out of the postseason.

The initial report said he’d miss 8-12 weeks. Charlotte said he’d miss at least 6-8 weeks.

Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer:

Charlotte Hornets guard Nic Batum got encouraging news from a Dallas specialist, indicating surgery isn’t necessary to heal from the torn ligament in his left elbow, a source said.

That increases hope Batum will return on the near side of projections.

He’s a capable starter and important to the Hornets as a lead playmaker on their second units. Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Jeremy Lamb can probably collectively pick up the slack among the starters. But when Walker sits, who facilitates the offense? Michael Carter-Williams, who’s battling his own injury issues? Malik Monk, a rookie?

Charlotte will miss Batum – but maybe for not as long as feared.

Pelicans’ Rajon Rondo out 4-6 weeks after surgery

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Pelicans point guard Rajon Rondo suffered a sports hernia.

Now, the prognosis is in.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

This might actually make the Pelicans better. Jrue Holiday will shift back to his optimal position of point guard, and New Orleans can lean more on E'Twaun Moore, Tony Allen and Jordan Crawford at shooting guard. This will get more shooting around Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins.

The Pelicans lose point-guard depth, but Ian Clark can fill in behind Holiday. Maybe the new starting lineup will jell so well, Rondo will come off the bench when he returns, the role he should have been given all along.

New Orleans is better with Rondo healthy, but considering the rotation machinations, this might be a blessing in disguise.