Kurt Helin

Hornets’ P.J. Hairston nails half-courter at buzzer (VIDEO)

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It’s not the best video you’ll see tonight, but I’m not running the new Star Wars trailer.

Instead, here is the Hornets’ P.J. Hairston pulling up near half court and nailing he shot just as the third quarter buzzer expired. Charlotte went on to beat Chicago 94-86.

The interesting part for Hairston is that Jeremy Lamb sprained his ankle in this game. Lamb and Hairston were in consideration for a starting spot with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist out for the season, but if Lamb is injured it almost certainly means Hairston would start opening night.

Blatt: LeBron James “absolutely” will play in season opener

LeBron James
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Next Tuesday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers will tip-off the NBA season against the Chicago Bulls. It’s a marquee opening night matchup that will be missing some names that would normally get top billing — Kyrie Irving is out for sure (knee), and Derrick Rose‘s status is uncertain (orbital bone fracture).

But the biggest name will play — LeBron James.

That according to Cavaliers coach David Blatt, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

“I would say he will absolutely be ready for the season opener,” Blatt said of Cleveland’s game in Chicago on Oct. 27. “Absolutely.”

James has played in only two of the Cavaliers seven preseason games, is shut down until the season starts, and reportedly had an anti-inflammatory shot in his back that was part of what sidelined him for a couple of weeks last season.

This shouldn’t be a shock, did anyone think he would miss opening night? He wants to set a tone. LeBron is on a mission this year — the staff here at PBT has him as the man to beat for the MVP — and while he’s going to get some rest here and there during the season he is going to push himself and this team. He knows how short these championship windows can be, and he looks at last season as a lost opportunity. He knows he’ll get only so many more of those.


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

Xavier Henry
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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.