Report: Lamar Odom undergoes two emergency surgeries

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Lamar Odom is back in Los Angeles, recovering from his overdose and stroke suffered last week, and is doing considerably better each day. His Aunt released this statement, via the Los Angeles Times.

“To our overwhelming delight, Lamar’s courageous improvement continues on the incline in Los Angeles. He is beginning to gradually flourish both mentally and physically,” according to a statement issued on behalf of Odom’s aunt, JaNean Mercer.

However, Odom has a long road of recovery still ahead.

That includes two emergency medical procedures — read: surgeries — in the past couple days, according to TMZ.

We’re told the procedures involved chest issues, but we do not know if it’s connected to his lungs or heart.  Our sources say the surgeries have put Lamar in “a fragile mental state.”  We’re told he’s emotional and at times, very upset.

Difficult to blame him. Longer term he has more surgeries ahead, likely including a kidney transplant, reports  Mark Medina at the Los Angeles Daily News.

Odom will likely need a kidney transplant, according to multiple sources familiar with his recovery. Ever since being hospitalized last week after becoming unresponsive at a Las Vegas brothel, Odom has received daily kidney dialysis treatment….

Odom is expected to need months of dialysis and physical therapy, sources said. But for patients with end stage kidney failure, dialysis does not improve the condition of the actual kidney.

Odom likely also has some level of brain damage from the stroke (or strokes).

This incident — as the latest evidence in a long line of stories about NBA players struggling to adapt to life after basketball — is prompting the NBA players union to consider how it can help the transition, union president Michelle Roberts told Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports.

“There has been a dearth of services in terms of adhering to the guys’ needs. One of the things we spend a lot of time dealing with is the complete absence of any type of transition program for the guys. On one hand you would say that’s the responsibility of the [National Basketball] Retired Players Association, but they don’t have the resources.

“We’re sort of deciding how we can fill that space. Technically, our players are paying dues for services of current members. So there will have to be some buy-in. There is also clearly a lot of buy-in from the membership in terms of our operating health insurance for any retired player. The desire to be supportive of retired players is there among the current members. But what we need to figure out and create is a transition program under the auspice of the NPBA with the collaboration of the NBRPA. Lamar is a great example of why it needs to be done.”

Odom — an NBA champion and former Sixth Man of the Year — was found unconscious last week at a Nevada brothel after what had been three days of drugs, drinking and more. He was rushed to a Las Vegas area hospital, where he battled for his life, but after stabilizing he transferred to a Los Angeles area hospital. While he’s making progress, these latest reports are a reminder of just how far he has to go.

Through the recovery, his estranged wife Khloe Kardashian has returned to his side, and the two have rescinded their divorce papers.

 

 

Florida State forward Patrick Williams declares for NBA draft

Florida State forward Patrick Williams
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Devin Vassell declared for the NBA draft from Florida State.

Now, Patrick Williams is following.

Evan Daniels of 247Sports:

Florida State freshman Patrick Williams is declaring for the NBA Draft and plans to forgo his remaining eligibility, he tells 247Sports.

“I decided to do it because I think my game isn’t NBA ready, but I have the potential to be NBA ready,” Williams explained. “I think with development and support and everything else on that level, I can eventually can be a really good NBA player.”

That’s an interesting self-assessment – one more players should take. Williams has the tools to project as a mid-first-round pick. As he said, he needs to develop. But he can do that while earning an NBA salary rather than being stuck in the NCAA’s cartel system. There’s no good case that college teams develop young players better than NBA teams, anyway.

It’s unclear whether Williams (6-foot-8 with a 6-foot-11 wingspan) will settle in as more for a small forward or power forward. Probably power forward. But if his ball skills develop, he has potential as a small forward, a position in higher demand around the league.

As the NBA has embraced smaller lineups, rim protection – once more of a shared frontcourt responsibility – has increasingly fallen onto centers. Williams would help from either forward spot. He’s an energetic and athletic defender with good timing for blocking shots.

He needs work as a shooter. Williams has shown some ability running pick-and-rolls and creating mid-rangers for himself off the dribble. But he’s not consistent enough, and he’s far too poor of a distributor to have the ball much. His best offense comes when opportunistically taking advantage of his athleticism with cuts and alley-oop finishes.

Still, Williams shows enough flashes of more offensively to be intrigued. His defense is already more developed.

That combination is why he can feel confident about getting drafted high enough to enjoy the spoils of NBA life.

Rumor: Nets will try to trade young talent for third star

Nets Jarrett Allen, Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert, Taurean Prince
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The Nets have it all on paper.

Stars (Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving). Quality younger players (Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen). Draft picks (net even on future first-rounders).

But Brooklyn’s road from upstart contender has been rocky.

Irving tested the Nets with his moodiness before the season. He also called it “glaring” Brooklyn needed roster upgrades. The Nets fired Kenny Atkinson, who had proven adept at player development but evidently never connected enough with Durant and Irving.

How will Brooklyn take the next step?

Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

I believe they’ve telegraphed that they intend to try to use some of their young talent to acquire a third star along Kyrie and Durant. Now, we can get enter a healthy debate here about whether Caris LeVert is that third star, and they may make the decision that he is. But my feel and reading the tea leaves, paying attention to what Sean Marks has said and also being aware of some conversations that they had at the trade deadline, which was some sticking the toe in the water on some things, I think that they are going to swing for the fences whenever the offseason comes.

I also believe the Nets will try to trade for a third star. It’s the natural direction of a team that just signed two stars, and Irving appears antsy.

But I’d also caution: Every team wants another star. Brooklyn engaging teams about their stars before the trade deadline isn’t necessarily telling. It could be easy to overstate the significance of those conversations. It depends on their tenor.

That said, the Nets have expendable assets to make better offers than many other teams.

Dinwiddie hasn’t clicked on the court with Irving in two-point guard lineups. Best with the ball, LeVert is somewhat redundant with Durant and Irving. Allen has been repeatedly slighted in Brooklyn, most recently losing his starting job to DeAndre Jordan (Durant’s and Irving’s friend).

Yet, Dinwiddie, LeVert and Allen are all talented with potential to perform even better elsewhere. That ought to intrigue other teams.

Star trades usually require a disgruntled star. Teams rarely move a star without an internal push, including an approaching free agency. There’s no obvious target right now.

But expect the Nets to be on the prowl.

Tokyo Olympics rescheduled for July/August 2021. Will they include NBA players?

USA Basketball Olympics
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The Tokyo Olympics were postponed from 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving questions about NBA players participating.

OlympicTalk:

The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics have been rescheduled for nearly one year later with the Olympics set for July 23-Aug. 8, 2021.

That’s typically during the NBA offseason, but the NBA is also paused due to the coronavirus. Who knows how the league’s calendar will look when play resumes?

Still, these seem like good dates for getting NBA players into the Olympics. Even if the NBA playoffs are ongoing, eliminated players could participate in the Olympics.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich still plans to coach Team USA. But, one way or another, USA Basketball should rethink its roster strategy.

Carmelo Anthony: LeBron James saved my life with swim rescue

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LeBron James sometimes appears superhuman.

His friends Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade provided another example during an Instagram Live.

Anthony:

We jumped off the boat in the Bahamas. We went – everybody swam to the little grotto over there, underneath. And we came out. All of y’all went to the boat, and – It was my fault though, because I’m still trying to see the last little bit of the barracuda, snorkeling and all that. So, it was my fault. Then, I look up. The current is taking me to the middle of the ocean, like opposite from the boat.

Wade:

We couldn’t see you.

Anthony:

I know. And it was windy. It was all type of s— was going on through my head. I’m going to be honest with you. Then, I see – I look up at the boat, and I see Bron jump off the boat like he is MacGyver.

He jumped off the boat into the water. He was bringing me back with one arm. He’s swimming with the other arm, and he’s carrying me in one arm.

Wade:

I’ve told people this story before. I said, “Listen, I’ve seen LeBron do a lot of amazing things on the court.”

Anthony:

That was special.

Wade:

Off the court, when he went and saved Melo’s life.

Anthony:

Nah, he saved my life. I can’t hold you. He saved my life. He saved my life. He saved my life. Yo Bron, I appreciate that. You saved my life that day. Them little flipper wasn’t working for me.

What a story!