NBA News & Notes: Clippers Chris Paul out 6-8 weeks

January 19, 2017

Donald Sterling thankfully is gone, but the Clippers curse seems to still remain in effect.

The NBA franchise most notably affiliated with blunder has corrected a lot in recent years with the hiring of Doc Rivers, but one thing the team hasn't shaken is their history of injuries.

From the devastating knee injuries to Danny Manning and Ron Harper, to the loss of Blake Griffin and Chris Paul in last season's playoffs, the Clippers have been unlucky with their health over the years, to say the least.

Some things apparently never change.

With Griffin already out for several weeks following surgery, the Los Angeles Clippers announced that star point guard Chris Paul underwent surgery on Wednesday, January 18 to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb. Dr. Steve Shin performed the procedure.

Paul is expected to miss approximately six-to-eight weeks and will continue to undergo treatment and evaluation by the Clippers medical staff.

In 36 games this season, the Clippers are 26-9 with Paul in the lineup. The nine-time NBA All-Star is averaging 17.5. points, 9.7 assists and 5.3 rebounds this season and leads the NBA with 2.25 steals per game.

With Paul and Griffin temporarily out of commission, expect Rivers to rely on his guards Austin Rivers, Jamal Crawford, and J.J. Redick to do the bulk of the team's scoring.

New NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement Signed

Good news for NBA fans, as there will be no work stoppages for the next seven years.

The National Basketball Association and the National Basketball Players Association announced today that a new Collective Bargaining Agreement has been officially signed.  The seven-year agreement will take effect on July 1, 2017, and run through the 2023-24 season.

LeBron to discuss Muhammad Ali

NBA superstar LeBron James joins the new Showtime Boxing podcast for the latest episode of “On the Record” hosted by Paul Rivera.

On what would have been Muhammad Ali’s 75th birthday, Rivera, LeBron, along with guests Victor Cruz of the New York Giants and Maverick Carter (LeBron's agent), will discuss the impact Ali had on society during the 1960's and today.

“This world, I don't believe, would be the way it is without his presence, without what he stood for… and what he did in the ring,” James said. “I think he was more of a champion—and the reason he is the people's champ is—because of what he represented outside of the ring. Whatever Ali stood for, he was very proud about it, and he was gonna stand there until he felt like there was some change that was going to be made."

During the 40-minute podcast, the group reveals how Ali’s remarkable influence impacted each of them as professionals and as men.

“On the Record” is Episode 6 of the recently launched Showtime Boxing podcast that also features Paul Malignaggi’s “From Brooklyn To The World.”

Below are quotes from the podcast:

Victor Cruz reflecting on Ali:
"If you look at the things he's done, if you look at his career, and the earth changing and life changing things he's done not just for himself but for the world, for the country, taking a stand on whatever he felt was wrong and being powerful about it and not backing down in whatever he believed in that's what motivates me. Whenever I think of Ali that's what I think about is how empowering he was to the world, to the time he lived in."

Maverick Carter on Ali's influence:
"He allowed me to be the person I am today and be able to walk into a business meeting or into a boardroom and be confident that I can handle myself and me as a young African American man I can be heard and have an opinion that matters."

LeBron James on if Ali's social stance was today:
“Could you imagine Ali doing that today? He'd get killed on social media. People wouldn't be able to understand, they would't be able to comprehend what his job is, what he is trying to do. He was making a move that was bigger than him, he knew that, he knew that 50 years from now that athletes like us can now speak upon social issues and it's ok."

DeMar DeRozan and Gordon Hayward named NBA Players of the Week 

The Toronto Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan and the Utah Jazz’s Gordon Hayward were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, January 9 through Sunday, January 15.

DeRozan led the Raptors to a 3-0 week, averaging 30.7 points (second in the East) on 51.5 percent shooting to go with 7.3 rebounds. The 27-year-old guard opened the week by posting season highs of 41 points and 13 rebounds in a 114-106 win over the Boston Celtics on Jan. 10. The performance marked the two-time All-Star’s third 40-point game of the season.

DeRozan closed the week by tallying 23 points, five rebounds and five assists in 28 minutes in a 116-101 win over the New York Knicks on Jan. 15.

Hayward averaged 23.7 points on 73.5 percent shooting (fourth in the West) and added 6.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists as the Jazz won all three of its games. The 26-year-old forward shot 10-for-12 from the field on his way to 28 points in a 100-92 win over the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers on Jan. 10.

Hayward tied a season high with four three-pointers against the Cavaliers and shot 60.0 percent (9-for-15) from behind the arc for the week.

Other nominees for the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, the LA Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul, Miami’s Hassan Whiteside, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, Phoenix’s Devin Booker, and Toronto’s Jonas Valanciunas.

NBA All-Star Game starters voting

LeBron James and Kyrie Irving of the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers, and Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry of the league-leading Golden State Warriors headline the list of 10 players selected by fans, NBA players, and media to start in the NBA All-Star Game 2017.

James and Durant finished as the top vote-getters at their respective positions among all three voting groups.

In addition to James (frontcourt) and Irving (guard), the Eastern Conference starters include the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo (frontcourt), the Chicago Bulls’ Jimmy Butler (frontcourt) and the Toronto Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan (guard).

In the Western Conference, Curry (guard) and Durant (frontcourt) are joined by the New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis (frontcourt), the Houston Rockets’ James Harden (guard) and the San Antonio Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard (frontcourt).

The Eastern Conference and Western Conference starting lineups for the 66th NBA All-Star Game were revealed on TNT, which will also unveil the All-Star reserves on Thursday, Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. ET.

The NBA All-Star Game is set for Sunday, Feb. 19, in New Orleans and will be televised by TNT at 8 p.m. ET and broadcast by ESPN Radio.  

Eastern Conference Starters

·         Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks: A first-time All-Star, the 22-year-old is the first Milwaukee player selected to the All-Star Game since Michael Redd during the 2003-04 season.

·         Jimmy Butler, Bulls: Butler has been selected to his third straight All-Star Game and third overall.

·         DeMar DeRozan, Raptors: Toronto’s all-time leading scorer is headed to his third All-Star Game and second in a row.

·         Kyrie Irving, Cavaliers: The 2014 All-Star Game MVP is an All-Star for the fourth time in six seasons.

·         LeBron James, Cavaliers: The leading scorer in All-Star Game history (291 points), James has earned his 13th All-Star nod (all consecutive and all starts) in 14 seasons.  The four-time Kia NBA MVP is set to become the fifth player in league history to start at least 13 All-Star Games, joining Kobe Bryant (18), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (14), Bob Cousy (13) and Michael Jordan (13).

Western Conference Starters

·         Stephen Curry, Warriors: The two-time reigning NBA MVP has made the All-Star team for the fourth consecutive time and the fourth time overall, all as a starter.

·         Anthony Davis, Pelicans: Davis has been named an All-Star for the fourth time (2014-17), matching Chris Paul for the most selections in New Orleans franchise history.

·         Kevin Durant, Warriors: Now an eight-time All-Star selection (every season since 2009-10), Durant owns the highest scoring average in All-Star Game history (25.6 ppg).

·         James Harden, Rockets: Harden’s five All-Star selections have all come in his five seasons with Houston.

·         Kawhi Leonard, Spurs: The two-time reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year is a starter for the second year in a row after making his All-Star debut last season.
Johnny O’Bryant III is D-League Performer of the Week

Forward/center Johnny O’Bryant III of the Northern Arizona Suns today was named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played Monday, Jan. 9 through Sunday, Jan. 15.

O’Bryant (6-9, 257, LSU) averaged 24.0 points and 17.0 rebounds (second in the NBA D-League) for the week as the Phoenix Suns’ NBA D-League affiliate went 2-0. He opened the week with 22 points, 17 rebounds and three steals in a 94-88 victory over the Oklahoma City Blue on Jan. 10. In his next game, O’Bryant made a season-high four three-pointers on his way to 26 points, grabbed 17 rebounds and handed out three assists in a 121-90 win against the Grand Rapids Drive on Jan. 14.

For the season, the 23-year-old O’Bryant is averaging 17.5 points and 8.8 rebounds in 22 games. O’Bryant, the 36th overall pick in NBA Draft 2014 presented by State Farm, played a total of 100 games with the Milwaukee Bucks over the previous two seasons.

Other players considered for the NBA Development League Performer of the Week were Canton’s Eric Moreland, Fort Wayne’s Alex Poythress, Los Angeles’ Vander Blue, Rio Grande Valley’s Darius Morris, Santa Cruz’s Phil Pressey, Texas’ Pierre Jackson and Windy City’s Alfonzo McKinnie.

By Staff of and news services

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