Warriors confirm Klay Thompson tears ACL

17 Comments

The Warriors already had enough players bolstering their legacies by playing through injury in these NBA Finals – a terrible price to pay. Kevin Durant already did it. Klay Thompson already did it.

Now, Thompson has done it again.

Thompson was “Game 6 Klay” at his finest Thursday. He scored 30 points on 12 shots and played smothering defense. At +5, he was the only Golden State starter with a positive plus-minus.

But he left the Warriors’ season-ending Game 6 loss in the third quarter – though not before attempting two free throws, allowing him to remain eligible for a return to the game. It was immediately clear those free throws (both made, of course) were darn impressive.

They should be even more appreciated now.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

The Warriors later confirmed that report:

Chris Ballard:

Durant will reportedly miss next season in its entirety. Thompson will miss a bulk of the season. We still don’t know the lasting damage to Kevon Looney, who played through a broken collarbone.

By the way, all three are headed toward free agency this summer.

It’s tough enough to lose in the Finals. The Warriors are in tatters.

One devastating injury after another have Golden State’s training staff and entire management facing scrutiny. Do they take the necessary precautions to prevent injuries? Do they rush back players too quickly from injuries? There should be serious introspection this offseason.

It might be too late, not only for this year – but maybe next year. Even if Thompson and Durant re-sign, a potential championship contender will be at a major talent loss for a while. Maybe the Warriors can get a disabled-player exception or two (projected to be worth about $9 million each and granted if an NBA-appointed doctor rules the player is “substantially more likely than not” to remain out through June 15, 2020). But signing replacements could be quite costly considering the luxury-tax ramifications, as everyone under contract counts.

On the other hand, after all the players put themselves through this postseason, doesn’t Golden State ownership owe them spending whatever possible to win next year?

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

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli
Leave a comment

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

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images
1 Comment

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

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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

Why?

Apparently because 00 kind of looks like ∞.

Anthony:

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.

David Fizdale: Knicks owner Jim Dolan gives me ‘vote of confidence’ at every game

Scott Taetsch/Getty Images
2 Comments

Knicks coach David Fizdale is on thin ice.

New York is 4-10. Knicks president Steve Mills is reportedly laying the groundwork to fire Fizdale. Mills and general manager Scott Perry addressed the media after a recent game and sounded as if they were at least partially blaming Fizdale.

But does Fizdale have a key supporter at the very top of the organization?

Fizdale, via Ian Begley of SNY:

“Every game, every game. Jim Dolan comes in and gives me a vote of confidence, a pat on my back and really has just been incredibly encouraging over the last year and a half or whatever it’s been,” Fizdale said. “All we talk about is just sticking to the process of making these guys better and building for a future of sustainable winning.”

A common synonym for “vote of confidence:” “dreaded vote of confidence.” Just how bad are near-nightly votes of confidence?

This will convince nobody that Fizdale’s job is safe. Someone will likely take the fall if the Knicks’ struggles continue. It might be Fizdale. It might be Mills. But Mills – who preceded and succeeded Phil Jackson in running the front office – knows his way around Madison Square Garden. And even if Mills gets demoted or fired, a new lead executive would likely want his own coach.