Just a quick post for sake of clarity. We had mentioned last week it seemed odd that a number of weddings, the ESPYs and other events were cleared by the league as places players and management could mingle without fear of a hefty fine during the lockout, but that former NBA player Brian Grant’s Parkinson’s disease fundraiser did not get clearance.
Turns out, that report was really only half right, according to the Associated Press.
“The NBA has been an awesome partner for us. They couldn’t be more supportive,” (event spokeswoman Sara Perrin) said.
Grant can’t address the rumors himself without facing a possible fine. NBA spokesman Tim Frank says neither Grant nor the Blazers have asked for an exemption to the no-contact rule.
So, while he isn’t going to have NBA players it’s because he didn’t ask, not because he couldn’t get clearance. That’s fair enough.
Meanwhile the league has been pretty fair about allowing clearance for events that seemed worthwhile.
In 2016, both the Pistons (who agreed to trade for him) and the Rockets (who agreed to match his offer sheet from the Nets) failed Donatas Motiejunas on physicals. He finally signed a prorated minimum contract with the Pelicans for 2016-17. He has spent the last two seasons in China. It has been rough for him.
Now, Motiejunas is somewhat surprisingly returning to the NBA.
The San Antonio Spurs have agreed to a deal with veteran Donatas Motiejunas, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
San Antonio needed another big man after buying out Pau Gasol, who signed with the Bucks. Motiejunas provides depth behind LaMarcus Aldridge and Jakob Poeltl.
The 7-foot Motiejunas is capable inside and out. But NBA centers have gotten so good at 3-point shooting so quickly. I’m not sure Motiejunas remains ahead of the curve on the perimeter.
Whatever his current ability, he should at least fit well with the Spurs. They maximize skilled bigs.
The Lakers initially called LeBron James day-to-day with the groin injury he suffered on Christmas.
He missed more than five weeks.
Maybe he should have sat even longer.
Karen Joubert, via Complex Sports:
Maybe LeBron returned too soon. This injury allowed that, even if it put him at risk of reaggravation if not fully recovered.
Maybe LeBron just healed especially quickly. Even among world-class athletes, he is an elite athlete.
Maybe Joubert is exaggerating. People tend to do that with LeBron’s body.
There’s plenty of room for interpretation, but it sure looked like LeBron was still hobbled.
What does this mean for LeBron and the Lakers going forward?
The pessimistic spin: LeBron did lasting damage to his body by returning so soon. This (failed) attempt to get the Lakers into the playoffs this season will undermine him in the future.
The optimistic spin: LeBron has still been excellent these last few weeks. If he gets fully healthy during his longest offseason in 14 years, he should be even better next season.
Kyrie Irving spent his first six seasons with the Cavaliers. He developed into a star with them. He won a title with them, even hitting the championship-winning shot.
With Irving’s Celtics playing in Cleveland tomorrow, Irving reflected on his time there.
Jared Weiss of The Athletic:
Irving is so clearly over the Cavs.
He was probably over the Cavs even while playing for them.
The Lakers have had a rough season.
Last night went pretty well, though – especially for one fan.
The Lakers beat the Kings, and this fan swished a halfcourt shot to win $45,000.
The Lakers need more outside shooting. Maybe they could turn to some of their fans.