From the Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett:
Jermaine O’Neal will have season-ending surgery on his left wrist.
The 33-year old Boston Celtics center was once considered one of the game’s best big men, but O’Neal, who was drafted out of high school, aged quickly, and has not been a truly effective center for some time, although he has been able to provide size and decent defense in spot minutes over the last few seasons.
This season, O’Neal has averaged just 5 poins per game on 43.3% shooting, but was still thought of as a potentially attractive post-deadline buyout candidate for a team that needed a backup center, namely the Miami Heat. However, the chances of O’Neal actually being bought out were slim to none, and this will officially keep his name out of any further buyout speculation.
It’s apparently a fad now. From the Los Angeles Times:
Chris Paul warmed up for Sunday’s game against Golden State with a very familiar accessory.
A Kobe mask.
Paul was hit in the face during the first quarter of Friday’s game against San Antonio.
A Clippers spokesman said that Paul received an X-ray on Saturday and it revealed that Paul had sustained a nasal fracture. He added that Paul will be wearing the mask for a few weeks.
Paul apparently sustained the injury in the first half when he was elbowed by Spurs swingman Danny Green.
via Chris Paul suffers nasal fracture, will wear a protective mask – latimes.com.
Well, hey Kobe scored a lot of points while wearing a mask. He took a lot of shots, but still.
This could actually impact Paul a lot more. Peripheral vision is impacted with masks like this because your eyes naturally adjust to the elements in line of sight, and that impacts things like seeing where guys are in transition. So much of Paul’s passing is feel and knowledge, but it still could have an impact. The Clippers need him to be OK because the team has kind of unraveled over the past couple of weeks.
(Image via the NBA via Larry Brown Sports)
Both Chris Mannix of SI.com and Jerry Zgoda of the Star-Tribune report that Ricky Rubio suffered a torn ACL as previously indicated by Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski during the Wolves’ loss to the Lakers last night.
The news is devastating for the Timberwolves and basketball fans, as Rubio’s play had electrified the league and been a genuine highlight of the season With Rubio, the Wolves had managed to pull themselves into the playoffs and were a dangerous team going forward. Now they’ll have to go forward with a team missing one of its two best players. The door’s not closed, but it gets much tougher from here on out.
Beyond that though, is a young man who was brave enough to make the jump, to face all the expectations and still perform brilliantly. He had established himself as a star in this league, and his season is cut short. It’s one of those things that happens, and it’s hard to prevent, impossible to predict. It doesn’t leave you any less sad for the result.
It’s just one of those really, truly unfortunate things. Get better soon, rook.