Thunder’s Russell Westbrook fractures hand, likely out 4-6 weeks


UPDATE 10:45 am: We have a rough timetable now, courtesy the always on it Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman — 4-6 weeks. That’s an estimate based on previous injuries and talking to officials, but the Thunder have yet to release anything officially.

If accurate, that means Westbrook and Kevin Durant (foot) will likely be out the same amount of time, into early December.

The scary part for the Thunder is this could cost them home court in the first round of the playoffs, knocking their win total down and dropping them to a 5-6-7 seed. Just about the most dangerous lower seed ever, but it makes the road to the Finals much more difficult.

2:14 am: The injury gods have it in for Oklahoma City.

Already without Kevin Durant until December, Russell Westbrook fractured his hand in the first half of the Thunder’s loss to the Clippers Thursday night, coach Scott Brooks announced after the game to reporters, including Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman.

The injury occured as Westbrook went up for a rebound, reaching up with his left hand while his right seems to get caught in the jersey of or come in contact with Kendrick Perkins, who was also looking for a board. The injury was a complete fluke.

The metacarpal is the bone that connects your wrist area to your fingers, running through the bulk of the hand. There are variables (like where the fracture is on the bone) but this injury often takes 6-8 weeks to heal. The Thunder say they will give a timetable after getting a better look at the injury on Friday (if it really is small he could be back sooner than most).

Still, this means the Thunder will be without Westbrook and Kevin Durant — two top 10 NBA players — until December. The Thunder have had a rash of other injuries including Reggie Jackson, Jeremy Lamb, and Anthony Morrow. This is a team that may be a contender but in the brutal Western Conference they are going to have to fight for  playoff spot and decent seed after the injuries to open the season.

Watch Carmelo Anthony’s first bucket as a Trail Blazer

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That Carmelo Anthony started the first game he played for Portland speaks to why they signed him in the first place — this team is so shorthanded along the front line that the guy they just signed got thrown into the fire.

Anthony responded with a solid level of play. His first bucket was a wing three where both defenders went to CJ McCollum and left ‘Melo wide open.

Anthony played 12 minutes in the first half and had 7 points, 3 rebounds, 1 block, and three fouls. The team was looking to keep him at around 20 minutes for his first game back.

Portland led New Orleans 54-53 at the half.

How a single computer folder and dogged HR official exposed former Kings executive’s $13.4M embezzlement scheme

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Just how close did Jeff David come to getting away with embezzling $13.4 million from the Kings while working for them? He already secured a new job with the Heat and was in the process of moving from Sacramento to Miami.

Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN:

On this Monday, walking through the Davids’ new front door is a dizzying procession of cable guys, utility workers and movers. Amid all of this, Jeff receives a phone call from a former co-worker with the Kings. Her name is Stacy Wegzyn, and she works in HR. Jeff last remembers sitting in her office in Sacramento just months earlier, being told that the Kings were going to eliminate his position. After a few pleasantries, she gets down to business. She tells Jeff she’s been going through his old files, and in doing so she found one labeled “TurboTax” that references an entity called Sacramento Sports Partners.

“I was just curious what that is and if those are documents that should go to somebody else,” Wegzyn says.

It’s a seemingly innocuous inquiry from an HR lifer. But it’s one that will dictate the rest of Jeff David’s life. If he knows that — or senses it — he doesn’t let on.

“No, no, no,” Jeff responds. “That was a … man, this is taking me back. Maybe 2015?”

Wegzyn presses on. She asks Jeff whether the documents contain anything that anyone with the Kings needs to see. Jeff assures her they can trash them because the entity isn’t around anymore. A few minutes after he hangs up, his mother-in-law, Nancy, is standing at the front door when an FBI investigator appears, asking to speak to Jeff.

If you like the NBA or true crime – let alone both – I HIGHLY recommend reading Arnovitz’s full piece. It’s riveting!

Warriors Kevon Looney cleared for on-court basketball work, will return soon

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At least someone on the Warriors is getting healthy.

Big man Kevon Looney, who played opening night and has since been sidelined with a sore hamstring and neuropathy (what the team described as “nerve-related symptoms”), has been cleared to return to on-court basketball activities, the team announced Tuesday. From the official press release:

He will participate in select practice sessions with the Santa Cruz Warriors this week and will re-join the Golden State Warriors over the weekend. We will continue to monitor his progress and will provide another update on his status on Sunday.

Looney has already been officially assigned to Santa Cruz.

This is good news for the Warriors, who have been starting Willie Cauley-Stein but desperately need more shot blocking and depth up front.

Anyone getting healthy is good news for a Warriors team that is 2-12 and has the worst net rating in the NBA (-10.4).

Carmelo Anthony to start first game for Portland, apparently thinks he’s wearing number infinity

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Carmelo Anthony will wear No. 00 with the Trail Blazers.


Apparently because 00 kind of looks like ∞.


Somewhere, Kyrie Irving is nodding in support.

In terms of numbers that make sense…

Marc J. Spears of ESPN:

That’s a sizable role for a 35-year-old in his first game in more than a year. But Portland needs scoring with Damian Lillard sidelined, and – at last check (though, again, a while ago), Anthony was accustomed to big minutes.

Besides, we all want ample opportunity to see Anthony back on the court after his lengthy absence.