Dan Feldman

Report: Dr. James Andrews finds ‘no issue’ with Jimmy Butler’s knee

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Jimmy Butler won’t play against the Spurs tonight, because he was visiting Dr. James Andrews today.

But at least there’s good news.

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com:

This is huge for the Bulls. They’re dramatically better with Butler on the court.

After missing a month, Butler played 34 minutes in Chicago’s win over the Rockets on Saturday then missed its win over the Bucks on Monday due to swelling. So, I wouldn’t assume he’s completely out of the woods yet.

But as long as there are no major problems, he should return soon enough to help the Bulls’ playoff pursuit.

Derek Fisher calls Matt Barnes a liar about their relationship

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Here’s Matt Barnes in 2012 describing his close relationship with Derek Fisher, whom the Lakers had just traded:

Barnes:

Golf in the summer, went to dinner with each other on the road — so Fish and I were really close.

Here’s Fisher now, via Sports Illustrated, calling Barnes a liar:

As far as Matt goes, to say that we had history before the incident would be an exaggeration. We played together for the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2010–11 season, and a couple months in the lockout-shortened 2011–12 season. That’s it. That’s the history.

During that time, we were teammates, and never had any issues. We never had any real relationship off the court, either. Our kids didn’t hang out, our families didn’t interact. There were no birthday parties. There were no post-game dinners. We weren’t friends and we had no mutual friends.

Barnes — who allegedly attacked Fisher for dating Barnes’ estranged wife — has maintained that he and Fisher were friends while teammates. That doesn’t excuse Barnes’ domestic violence, but it does raise questions about whether Fisher crossed ethical lines.

Fisher is now defending himself, saying the Knicks firing him wasn’t a result of his personal issues.

But minimizing his previous bond with Barnes doesn’t pass the smell test. Why would Barnes have lied about that years ago? If Fisher and Barnes weren’t friends and had no mutual friends, how did they end up at a concert together? What does it say about Fisher’s leadership that he could be on a team for two years without a single teammate being friends with Fisher and the other player?

Fisher also doesn’t directly address Knicks players’ reported concern about him sleeping with their significant others.

His defense boils down to a personal guarantee of his character and his version of New York firing him:

When the organization informed me of its decision, the conversation was short. The underlying message was that things weren’t working out the way they had hoped. I thanked management for the opportunity, and that was it.

At no time did anyone at that meeting express to me that stories about my personal life were distracting from the collective task at hand, or — more important — that any of my players had expressed to management that they had lost confidence in me as their coach. Nothing remotely like that was ever brought up or discussed.

As if the Knicks were required to explain the entirety of their thinking to Fisher. Even if we take his account as gospel, he’s not positioned to know precisely why the team fired him.

Wholly, this is an unconvincing case on Fisher’s behalf. It’d help if he had someone other than himself stumping for him.

Joey Crawford done as NBA referee after injury

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NBA referee Joey Crawford intended to retire after the season.

He didn’t quite make it that far.

Steve Aschburner of NBA.com:

Crawford, the league’s senior official and one of the most recognizable and controversial referees in NBA history, has worked his last game.

Sidelined since November by recurring pain and arthritis in his right knee and recovering since surgery Dec. 4 on a meniscus tear in that knee, Crawford had hoped to return March 1 for what was left of his 39th and final NBA season and postseason. But his knee has not responded well enough to rehabilitation to allow that.

Crawford was a pretty good ref — when he wasn’t too busy calling attention to himself, berating players and challenging Tim Duncan to a fight.

 

George Karl undergoing cancer-related procedure

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George Karl fought prostate cancer in 2005 and throat cancer in 2010 while coaching the Nuggets.

Unfortunately, the latter form is again affecting Karl.

Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee:

Kings coach George Karl said he’s having a medical procedure Thursday related to cancer in his throat and that he will miss the day’s practice.

“I’m having a procedure for a cancer in my throat,” Karl said.

When asked if the procedure was serious, Karl said “no” twice.

When Kings general manager Vlade Divac was asked if he was concerned about Karl, he said “of course, of course.”

“Coach told me the other day,” Divac said. “I told him to take as much time as he needs. … We probably won’t know the results for a couple days.”

Hopefully, this is as minor as Karl says and not as significant as it sounds

 

Chris Bosh ‘positive’ he’ll play for Heat again this season

Fourth day of Miami Heat camp 10/1/2015
AP
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A couple weeks ago, the Heat were reportedly trying to convince Chris Bosh to sit out the rest of the season.

Now, Bosh — who was reportedly facing blood-clot issues for the second straight season — has elaborated on his good feelings.

Jason Lieser of The Palm Beach Post:

It’s difficult, if not impossible, to find a doctor who’d clear Bosh to play while on blood-thinners. Hopefully, this means he’s off them.

The Heat have gone 8-3 without Bosh since the All-Star break, but he’s their best player. Temporarily raising their level of play without him doesn’t suddenly devalue his contributions.

If he returns this season, Miami will be that much more dangerous in the playoffs.