Tyreke Evans has been battling plantar fasciitis — a foot condition where if feels like someone is ramming a knife into your heel with every step, something that tends to hamper you hoop game — all season long. He missed the Kings game Wednesday because the only real cure for this is rest.
Along those lines, Evans is going to skip the All-Star Rookie Challenge Friday night to rest his foot more.
In his place, James Harden will suit up for the West, bringing a little old man game to the young bucks showcase.
The All-Star Rookie Challenge starts at 9 p.m. Eastern and you can catch it on TNT.
Blake Griffin is on the bubble for being selected to play in the All-Star Game as a rookie (we have him in, but mostly for the entertainment factor). Everyone (including the Clippers) will find out Thursday.
If he does make the cut to play the game in his home arena, expect him to skip out on the Friday Night rookie/sophomore game, Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro suggested Wednesday night. Also, he expects Griffin to make it.
“I don’t expect that,” Del Negro said before the Clippers took on the Bulls. “I was talking to Neal (Olshey, Clippers GM), hopefully, because he’s in the Dunk Contest, if he’s selected (to the All-Star Game), which I think he is, there’s only so much energy the kid has. We (will be) coming off a tough road trip, with all the All-Star his schedule is pretty busy, but we’ll work that out as we get the final decision on what his weekend is going to entail.”
I’m not sure I totally buy the energy argument because we’ve seen how hard guys really play in the rookie challenge and the All-Star Game itself. Plus, Griffin is 21, at that age nothing should wear him out.
That said, with him on the bigger stages it makes sense to let another rookie have his place if he does get an invite to the big dance. Then again, if it means we miss John Wall lobbing ally-oops to Griffin, I’m not sure I can support the move.
A combination of injuries — physical and emotional — have crippled Tyreke Evans’ season. Plantar fasciitis, one of the NBA’s most unfortunate, nagging injuries, has hindered Evans throughout the year, and made sure that the reigning Rookie of the Year would not be selected to this year’s All-Star Game.
Regardless, Evans is a shoe-in for an invitation to the Rookie-Sophomore game, the headlining event of All-Star Friday. But he won’t play. Evans told Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com that even he receives his likely invite to represent the NBA’s sophomore class, he’s going to turn it down.
“I’m going to take All-Star weekend off and just try to rest it up,” he told NBA.com after missing 11 of 13 shots and totaling more turnovers (four) than assists (three) in a loss to the Bucks at Arco Arena, the latest blight for Evans and the 5-22 Kings. “I’ll talk to the doctors and see what I can do while I’ve got that time off.”
With everything Evans is going through — the plantar fasciitis as well as the usual assortment of bumps and brusies that penetrating guards pick up in the NBA — this seems the wise move.