Kurt Helin

Xavier Henry

Warriors add Xavier Henry to roster, likely for D-League team

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There was a time a couple years ago when he was with the Lakers that Xavier Henry showed flashes of the promise a lot of scouts saw back when he was one of the top high school players in America. However, a series of knee injuries slowed him, then just nine games into last season he tore his Achilles and was done for the year.

The Warriors are going to give him one more chance, but it will have to start in the D-League.

Golden State signed Henry and Chris Udofia to contracts on Monday, the team announced. But neither of these guys are destined for the NBA roster.

Henry, if he can return to the form he flashed at points in Los Angeles, could fit in as a minor role player the Warriors system. While his defense and consistency needed work, he was clearly more comfortable in an up-tempo system with space that allowed him to use his athleticism.

Chris Webber to teach master’s class at Wake Forest

Chris Webber

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Former NBA All-Star Chris Webber has a new job: teacher.

Wake Forest University announced Monday that Webber will teach a course in its new master of arts in sports storytelling program.

Webber will be a professor of practice in the program that is part of the university’s documentary film program. He will teach a class on sports, race and society.

Webber was part of Michigan’s “Fab Five” in the early 1990s, made five All-Star teams during his 15-year NBA career and now works as a television analyst. He formed a production company in 2012 with “Hoop Dreams” producer Peter Gilbert – who’s also a professor of practice in the university’s documentary film program.

The program launches in Fall 2016.

Report: Lamar Odom to be transfered to Los Angeles hospital

Lamar Odom

The recovery of Lamar Odom over recent days has progressed to the point he can get out of Las Vegas.

He has been at Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas since the hours after he was found unconscious from an overdose after several days spent on a binge at a Nevada brothel. But now our fellow NBC Universal site E! News online is reporting Odom will be on the move back to Los Angeles area hospital soon.

We’re told Odom is expected to leave the hospital in the next day and a half, pending his condition remaining stable. They are in the early stages of working out the logistics of how they may transport him back to L.A. As we previously reported, Lamar’s stature prohibited him from being able to airlifted in a helicopter, so privately chartering a medical flight is one of several options that is being considered at this time.

As E! News exclusively reported earlier today, the former Laker’s health is improving day to day, but the 35-year-old athlete, who initially entered the hospital after being found unconscious, is going to need “a lot” of rehab in the coming months.

Lamar is “making fast progress” and can move his arms and legs, but he is not able to stand up, even with assistance. A CT scan came back clean, but there may be some cognitive issues ahead. Though Lamar is still on dialysis due to kidney failure, he is showing signs of improvement. He passed a swallowing test, a promising sign of neurological function, and has communicated using hand signals. Additionally, he is no longer wearing an oxygen mask and is “doing great with his breathing.”

This is good news for Odom, who had the NBA community behind him pulling for his recovery. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more beloved teammate (or someone liked better by the media, myself included), which for many made it hard to watch his downward spiral over the past few years. A number of people around the NBA reached out and tried to help Odom, but nothing changed his course.

According to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News, Odom will be transferred to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

The good news for Odom is that despite some serious remaining issues it appears he will survive. But as noted in the E! story he has a long way to go, and it remains to be seen how much he can return to his old self.

Report: Steve Kerr could be out opening night, “a little while” longer

Steve Kerr
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Next Tuesday night, Oct. 27, when the Golden State Warriors raise a banner, get their rings, and begin defense of their NBA title, coach Steve Kerr may well be watching from the comfort of his own home.

The Warriors’ coach has been taking time off to recover from multiple back surgeries this summer, and while he has been around the team more of late it looks like he could miss the start of the season at least, according to a report at ESPN by Marc Stein and Ethan Sherwood Strauss.

‎”He still doesn’t know,” Warriors interim coach Luke Walton said after practice Monday in San Diego. “He’s not going to force a return. There’s no timetable still. He’s been around more lately, which is great. As long as it’s not affecting his recovery, I think it’s healthy for the guys to see him.

“Steve’s brilliant at giving quick, clean messages to the players when they need it. He’s been able to do that the last couple days. He just told me I’m doing a great job, just keep doing what you’re doing; the guys are going to take care of some stuff you’re probably stressing about; we have really good players and so we’ll be fine.”

Although the Warriors have repeatedly stressed that no one can forecast how long it will take Kerr to recover, one source close to the situation conceded over the weekend that the team is bracing for the possibility that the coach will be unavailable “for a little while.”

With the entire core of the championship team back running the same system, the Warriors should be just fine “for a little while” without Kerr. What matters is having him on the bench — and in the practices — later in the season to make sure the Warriors don’t slip on building good habits and the other things they need to do to repeat as champs.

In the interim, Walton gets the chance to show he should have a shot in the big chair somewhere with a mini-audition.

PBT Extra bold prediction previews: Pistons’ Stanley Johnson for ROY?

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I’m higher on the Pistons than a lot of other pundits — I think they are a playoff team in the East this season — and it shows in this latest PBT Extra.

The bold prediction from the twitterverse is that Stanley Johnson wins Rookie of the Year. I’m not sure he’ll get the touches to beat out Emmanuel Mudiay or Jahlil Okafor for the award, but he is my favorite dark horse candidate. Johnson looked great at Summer League and in the preseason, and while both of those are very different things than an NBA game that matters it’s a good ray of hope.