Wizards’ Kris Humphries has finger surgery, out 3-4 weeks

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While there may be no more ridiculed player off-the-court for his choices (as much as we try to ignore and repress all things Kardashian), on the court he is a solid reserve big man — an efficient scorer who doesn’t use much offense, strong on the glass and physical inside. Just what the Wizards needed to help keep Nene’s minutes down.

But maybe not for the first week or two of the season.

Humphries had surgery to repair nerve damage to the little finger of his right hand after he “lacerated his hand on the rim, between his fourth and fifth phalanxes (small and ring finger)” during the Wizards preseason game this week against the Bulls, the team announced on Friday.

Humphries is expected to be out the three to four weeks. That should have him back early in the season.

As J. Michael notes at CSNWashington.com, Humphries’ absence could be an issue on opening night, where the Wizards are already without Nene and DeJuan Blair, both of whom were suspended by the league for leaving the bench during the silly Joakim Noah/Paul Pierce incident. For opening night it could be Marcin Gortat, Drew Gooden, Kevin Seraphin up front for the Wizards. Maybe Pierce can play a little four in a pinch, but that first game could be interesting down in Miami (where Washington tips off the season).

Bulls’ Noah, Wizards’ Pierce, fined; Nene, three other Wizards suspended regular season game for preseason altercation


That was silly preseason posturing — Paul Pierce with the unnecessarily hard foul, Joakim Noah playing enforcer and pushing Pierce, Pierce responding by poking Noah in the head.

Well, it’s going to cost them — $15,000 each.

The NBA announced Wednesday that because of the above incident from both team’s first preseason game Noah and Pierce are suspended for their teams’ first regular season game. In addition, each man has been fined $15,000, Noah for shoving Pierce and Pierce for poking Noah in the forehead.

But that’s not the big hit for Washington.

The Wizards’ DeJuan Blair, Nene, Daniel Orton and Xavier Silas all are suspended for the first game of the regular season for leaving the bench area during the altercation.

So just to be clear, the Wizards open the season Oct. 29 in Miami they will be without their starting center plus they lost some bench depth for the night. Plus Paul Pierce has to write a check.

All because… preseason?

Brooklyn’s GM says Paul Pierce is wrong about the Nets


In an interview explaining how he ended up signing with the Wizards in free agency this summer, Paul Pierce said that part of the reason that the Nets didn’t want to bring him back was that the team was going in a different direction — one he believed was not geared toward its previously stated goal of trying to contend for a title on a yearly basis.

“Brooklyn’s been, or New Jersey, Brooklyn, they’re a franchise that’s going in a different direction, I think,” Pierce told NBA.com. “They said they wanted to cut costs, they felt like they weren’t going to be a contender. Right now, they’re kind of in the middle right now. And I really didn’t want to be in the middle. I didn’t know if they wanted to do a sign-and-trade. I had to make my own destiny. I couldn’t put it in the faith of somebody else. And that’s when I was like, I’m coming here.”

The cutting costs part was true, in that Brooklyn paid an insane amount in luxury tax last season, and re-signing Pierce would have cost an additional $20 million in tax penalties.

But as for the part about not contending, that’s where Nets GM Billy King believes that Pierce is wrong.

From Tim Bontemps of the New York Post:

“What he was told and what I said was not the truth,” King said before the Nets’ 111-94 preseason win over Maccabi Tel-Aviv Tuesday night inside Barclays Center in their preseason opener. “But I respect Paul, I’m happy he’s still playing. I’m happy he played and did well for us last year, but he’s with the Wizards now, and we’re here.

“Our goal is to still to try to win a championship. We’re not taking steps back or anything like that. We’re trying to build a team we think can win.”

Brooklyn could be just as good this year even without Pierce, as long as Brook Lopez remains healthy and returns to his All-Star caliber form that he showed before going down last season with a foot fracture. And by most accounts, Deron Williams looks to be similarly rejuvenated at this early stage, and when you add in a tenured and well-respected head coach in Lionel Hollins leading the way, the Nets may not see much slippage.

Pierce was an important component of the Nets last season, and had the team’s signature highlight that allowed them to get to the second round of the playoffs. He’ll be missed, but his being allowed to leave was more about dollars than it was about a decision to go in a different direction in terms of wins and losses.

Paul Pierce talks about how he ended up with Wizards — he thinks they can reach the finals


It was the strangest, most unexpected move of the summer — Paul Pierce to the Washington Wizards.

We’re always going to picture Pierce as a Celtic, so any color any other than green seems strange, but he bolted Brooklyn (or, more accurately, they didn’t try to bring him back) and there were a number of teams interested in him.

But it was then Wizards assistant coach Sam Cassell who sold Pierce on going to the nation’s capital. He’s a fit on paper, but he had to be convinced.

Pierce laid out how it went down speaking with David Aldridge of NBA.com.

“That’s when Sam Cassell gave me a call, shortly after Trevor Ariza signed with Houston. That kind of happened so fast. He signed, and Sam called me, and [asked] what I thought. We both were in Vegas at the time, talking on the phone. Then met him for lunch. Then met him again for dinner. It took some convincing, because I never really thought about Washington. It just wasn’t on my radar. But I started thinking about it, and everything he was telling me, based on what they did last year, the guys they have here, he talked about the culture, he talked about Coach [Randy Wittman], Ernie [Grunfeld, the GM], talked to him. And I started warming up to the idea. Pretty much that same day we talked, I started warming up. This team does have some potential, now that I think about it. They probably should have beat Indiana. Everybody thought they should have beat Indiana. I was like, they have one of the best backcourts in basketball. They’re lacking experience, a guy in the locker room and on the court that can help end games. I was like, I probably can fit in. After LeBron said he was going back to Cleveland, the dynamics of the Eastern Conference, with Indiana, I was like, this is a team that could be in the Eastern Conference finals, or possibly the Finals, based on what’s here. And adding me to some of the other veterans they added, I was like, why not?”

Cassell recruited Pierce then he bolted for the Clippers and Doc Rivers to be an assistant 0n the left coast.

Can the Wizards make the conference finals? Well, if a lot of things go their way. They are arguably the third best team in the East, something that will be true if John Wall and Bradley Beal continue to grow, and if Nene can just stay healthy. Add in the veteran presence of Pierce and there is a lot to like.

Heck, Pierce seems to be fitting in already.

But Pierce and his Wizards are not better than Cleveland (despite the Cavs flaws). If Derrick Rose is 90 percent of MVP Derrick Rose, Chicago is better than Washington, too.

Still, you can see what Pierce is thinking in making this choice. All he needs is things go perfectly.

Jimmy Butler and Kevin Seraphin get tangled up in chippy Bulls-Wizards preseason game (VIDEO)


CHICAGO—If nothing else, Monday night’s preseason matchup between the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards will go down in history as one of the chippiest exhibition games in NBA history. Not even three minutes into the game, Paul Pierce and Joakim Noah had to be separated.

Then, in the final seconds of the third quarter, Jimmy Butler and Kevin Seraphin got tangled up in what can only be described as a piggyback ride.

An offensive foul was called on Seraphin after the two were separated. After Noah’s involvement in the earlier skirmish, Bulls security guards made sure to stand in front of him, even though he was on the bench at the time.

Who says players don’t take preseason seriously?