National Basketball Association
NBA News Wire
  • Monday, October 20, 2014
    Lakers waive Appling and Tyler
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Los Angeles Lakers have waived guard Keith Appling and center Jeremy Tyler, general manager Mitch Kupchak announced Monday.

    • Appling, a rookie from Michigan State, played in two games this preseason.

      Tyler, a three-year veteran, appeared in three preseason games. He also has played with Golden State, Atlanta and New York.

  • Monday, October 20, 2014
    NFL roundup: Harvin admits frustration in Seattle
    By The Sports Xchange

    New York Jets wide receiver Percy Harvin admitted Monday in his first comments since being traded Friday that he was frustrated in Seattle and now wants to put the past behind him.

    • "It definitely was," Harvin said after his first practice with the Jets when talking about his frustration with his former Seahawks. "I wanted to get downfield a little bit more."

      The Seahawks traded Harvin to the Jets for a conditional sixth-round draft pick. Reports surfaced Saturday that Harvin had physical altercations with players and was a destructive force in the Seattle locker room.

      Harvin denied that he refused to re-enter the game against the Dallas Cowboys -- his last one in Seattle. Multiple reports indicated Harvin didn't go back in against the Cowboys and the Seahawks were concerned he would shut down if not involved more in the offense.

      Former Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson, now an analyst with NFL Network, revealed Sunday that he was the one who broke up the fight between Harvin and wide receiver Golden Tate. It was reported that Harvin gave Tate a black eye during a fight before the Super Bowl earlier this year. Tate now plays for the Detroit Lions.

      Harvin said he had no issues with his former teammates.

      Harvin added that he did not have anger management issues with his former teams in Seattle and Minnesota.

      ---Commissioner Roger Goodell is likely to be informed soon whether his testimony if required by judge Barbara Jones, the appointed arbitrator in the independent review of the NFL's handing of the Ray Rice situation.

      Goodell is a key witness and one of the focal points in scrutiny of the league's response and actions in first suspending Rice two games and fining him the equivalent of three game checks before later ruling that he be suspended indefinitely when video showing Rice knocking out his then-fiancee in a casino elevator was released.

      The NFL claimed it hadn't seen that piece of evidence until TMZ released it, but law enforcement officials said the video was sent to an NFL executive.

      ---Colt McCoy will take over from Kirk Cousins as Washington's starting quarterback if Robert Griffin III remains out, coach Jay Gruden announced.

      If Griffin, who is expected to practice this week, is not completely healthy, McCoy will start next Monday against the Dallas Cowboys.

      ---Washington outside linebacker Brian Orakpo is out for the rest of the season with a torn pectoral muscle, and his career with the Redskins may be over as well.

      Orakpo was placed on season-ending injured reserve. Orakpo's 2011 season ended early because of the same injury to his left pectoral muscle, and just two games into the 2012 season he went down with another pectoral tear.

      ---Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a torn pectoral in the 24-6 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

      The team said Posluszny will have surgery this week and placed on injured reserve.

      Posluszny leads the Jaguars in tackles with 69.

      ---The Atlanta Falcons placed center Peter Konz on injured reserve, making him the team's fifth offensive lineman to be lost for the season.

      The team signed journeyman Jonathan Scott to replace Konz, who suffered a knee injury in the Falcons' 29-7 loss to Baltimore on Sunday.

      ---Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson could miss up to a month after suffering a groin injury, and fellow running back C.J. Spiller is scheduled to have season-ending surgery on a broken collarbone.

      Buffalo's top two running backs were carted off the field in the first half of Sunday's 17-16 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

      ---Chicago Bears guard Kyle Long admitted he was wrong for criticizing fans at Soldier Field for booing Sunday as the team went into the locker room at halftime down 14-0 to the Miami Dolphins.

      "It was wrong for me to point fingers at the fans," Long said Monday during his weekly appearance on the WXRT Morning Show in Chicago

      Long said the Bears should have given the fans a reason to cheer instead of losing 27-14 to the Dolphins.

      ---Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall called out quarterback Jay Cutler, as yelling could be heard from outside the double doors to the locker room after Sunday's game, ESPN reported.

      Marshall didn't deny there was friction in the aftermath of the game.

      "We lost, there should be a lot of frustration," Marshall said. "You should hear frustration. We're 3-4. Yeah, this means everything to a lot of guys in this locker room. This means a lot."

      Marshall reportedly also yelled at kicker Robbie Gould, but the receiver declined to answer when specifically asked.

      ---The Cleveland Browns waived fullback Ray Agnew and promoted fullback Kiero Small to the active roster from the practice squad.

      Agnew, who started Sunday's 24-6 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, played 18 snaps on offense and caught one pass for three yards.

      ---The Detroit Lions signed veteran tight end Kellen Davis.

      The move will give the Lions more depth at tight end after Joseph Fauria (ankle) and Eric Ebron (hamstring) sat out Week 7.

      --- Houston Texans rookie outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney was declared inactive for Monday night's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

      He had arthroscopic knee surgery on Sept. 8, and the injury was expected to require 4-6 weeks of recovery time.

      The Texans and Clowney had hoped he could return for the game against the Steelers.

  • Monday, October 20, 2014
    NBA roundup: Warriors sign Kilpatrick
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Golden State Warriors signed free agent guard Sean Kilpatrick to a contract, the team announced Monday.

    • The team did not release details of the deal, but the Cincinnati Enquirer reported it was a partially guaranteed contract.

      Kilpatrick, 24, was a first-team Associated Press All-American as a senior at the University of Cincinnati in 2013-14, averaging 20.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists.

      However, he was not taken in this year's NBA draft.

      He had minor knee surgery in August.

      The Warriors roster currently stands at 20 players.

      ---The Miami Heat signed guard Larry Drew II.

      Drew is expected to be added to the Heat's NBA Development League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce.

      Drew appeared in 11 games (two starts) with the Heat during the 2014 Orlando and Vegas Summer Leagues and averaged 4.4 points, 3.6 assists, 1.55 steals and 1.5 rebounds.

      ---The Los Angeles Lakers waived guard Keith Appling and center Jeremy Tyler, the team announced.

      Appling, a rookie from Michigan State, saw action in two games this preseason, scoring two points in 20 minutes. Tyler, a three-year NBA veteran, appeared in three preseason games for the Lakers, averaging 2.7 points and 3.3 rebounds in 9.4 minutes per game.

      The training camp roster (attached) currently stands at 17.

  • Monday, October 20, 2014
    Warriors sign Kilpatrick
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Golden State Warriors signed free agent guard Sean Kilpatrick to a contract, the team announced Monday.

    • The team did not release details of the deal, but the Cincinnati Enquirer reported it was a partially guaranteed contract.

      Kilpatrick, 24, was a first-team Associated Press All-American as a senior at the University of Cincinnati in 2013-14, averaging 20.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists.

      However, he was not taken in this year's NBA draft.

      He had minor knee surgery in August.

      The Warriors roster currently stands at 20 players.

  • Monday, October 20, 2014
    Timberwolves waive Fesenko
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Minnesota Timberwolves waived center Kyrylo Fesenko, the team announced Monday.

    • The Wolves roster now stands at 17 players.

      The 7-foot-1 Fesenko, 27, appeared in one preseason game for the Wolves, getting one rebound and one steal in three minutes of play.

  • Monday, October 20, 2014
    Heat sign G Drew
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Miami Heat signed guard Larry Drew II on Monday.

    • Drew is expected to be added to the Heat's NBA Development League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce.

      Drew appeared in 11 games (two starts) with the Heat during the 2014 Orlando and Vegas Summer Leagues and averaged 4.4 points, 3.6 assists, 1.55 steals and 1.5 rebounds.

      Drew spent the 2013-14 season with the Skyforce, helping them to a postseason berth after appearing in 41 regular-season games (36 starts) and averaging 11.4 points, 7.0 assists, 3.4 rebounds, 1.66 steals and 35.5 minutes. He appeared in five postseason games (all starts) with the Skyforce and averaged 8.2 points, 4.2 assists, 2.2 rebounds, 1.20 steals and 34.2 minutes.

      Drew, who was originally signed by the Heat as a free agent on Sept. 23, 2013, appeared in one preseason game before being waived on Oct. 21, 2013.

  • Sunday, October 19, 2014
    NBA roundup: Spurs' Leonard out with eye infection
    By The Sports Xchange

    San Antonio Spurs guard/forward Kawhi Leonard will likely miss the remainder of the preseason with an infection in his right eye that spread to his left eye, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

    • Leonard's availability for the Oct. 28 regular-season opener against the Dallas Mavericks is also in doubt.

      "It is going back and forth between the two (eyes)," coach Gregg Popovich said on Saturday. "It's crazy. Kawhi is still out for 10 more days."

      ---Popovich was critical of Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver, who apologized to Suns fans when the Spurs played Phoenix without their star players, including Leonard.

      Popovich suggested that Sarver should have put on a "chicken suit" when Sarver apologized over the public address system before Thursday night's preseason game.

      ---The Minnesota Timberwolves exercised the third-year options on forward Anthony Bennett, center Gorgui Dieng and forward Shabazz Muhammad for 2015-16, the team announced Sunday.

      ---The Sacramento Kings picked up the 2015-16 option on guard Ben McLemore's contract, the team announced.

      The Kings also waived 7-foot-5 center Sim Bhullar, guard Deonte Burton and forward David Wear.

      ---The Cleveland Cavaliers waived guards Chris Crawford and Stephen Holt, the team announced.

  • Sunday, October 19, 2014
    Kings pick up option on McLemore's deal
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Sacramento Kings picked up the 2015-16 option on guard Ben McLemore's contract, the team announced Sunday.

    • Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

      The 6-foot-5 McLemore, who is entering his second NBA season, averaged 8.8 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 26.7 minutes per game as a rookie.

      The Kings also waived 7-foot-5 center Sim Bhullar, guard Deonte Burton and forward David Wear.

      The preseason roster now stands at 15.

      Born in Toronto, Bhullar was the first player of Indian descent to sign with an NBA team. The 360-pounder was a member of the Kings squad that won 2014 NBA Summer League championship in Las Vegas. He saw action in two preseason contests, totaling two points and three rebounds in three minutes off the bench.

      Burton did not play in the preseason. He missed the Oct. 15 game against Brooklyn in Beijing due to a stomach virus.

      Wear played in one preseason game and was scoreless while grabbing one rebound in three minutes off the bench against Maccabi Haifa on Saturday.

  • Sunday, October 19, 2014
    Timberwolves exercise options on Bennett, Dieng, Muhammad
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Minnesota Timberwolves exercised the third-year options on forward Anthony Bennett, center Gorgui Dieng and forward Shabazz Muhammad for 2015-16, the team announced Sunday.

    • Bennett, obtained in a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers on Aug. 23, played 52 games last season, averaging 4.2 points and 3.0 rebounds in 12.8 minutes per game.

      Dieng played 60 games last season and averaged 4.8 points and 5.0 rebounds in 13.6 minutes per game.

      Muhammad averaged 3.9 points and 1.4 rebounds in 7.8 minutes over 37 games his rookie season.

  • Sunday, October 19, 2014
    Cavs waive Crawford, Holt
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Cleveland Cavaliers waived guards Chris Crawford and Stephen Holt, the team announced Sunday.

    • The Cavaliers roster is at 16 players.

      Crawford appeared in five preseason games for Cleveland, averaging 2.4 points and 1.6 assists in 7.6 minutes per game. Holt played in two preseason games and averaged 3.0 points in 2.3 minutes per game.

  • Sunday, October 19, 2014
    Spurs G/F Leonard likely out rest of preseason
    By The Sports Xchange

    San Antonio Spurs guard/forward Kawhi Leonard will likely miss the remainder of the preseason with an infection in his right eye that spread to his left eye, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

    • Leonard's availability for the Oct. 28 regular-season opener against the Dallas Mavericks is also in doubt.

      "It is going back and forth between the two (eyes)," coach Gregg Popovich said on Saturday. "It's crazy. Kawhi is still out for 10 more days."

      Popovich was very critical of Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver, who apologized to Suns fans when the Spurs played Phoenix without their star players, including Leonard.

      Popovich suggested that Sarver should have put on a "chicken suit" when Sarver apologized over the public address system before Thursday night's preseason game.

      The defending NBA champion Spurs were missing Leonard, Tiago Splitter (calf) and Patty Mills (rotator cuff), and Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili stayed home to rest. Meanwhile, Popovich let first-year assistant Ettore Messina handle head coaching duties.

      Phoenix rolled to a 121-90 victory over San Antonio after the Spurs returned to the United States following a two-week trip to Europe.

      Popovich defended the players' absences as justifiable.

      "Patty Mills had a shoulder operation over the summer. Tiago Splitter has been out the whole preseason. Kawhi Leonard was out and is still out for 10 more days. The other two, Duncan and Ginobili, are two of the oldest guys in the league who just came back from a 13-day European trip," Popovich explained.

  • Sunday, October 19, 2014
    Popovich to Suns owner: Where's 'chicken suit?'
    By The Sports Xchange

    After Suns owner Robert Sarver called out the Spurs this week for leaving five players and Gregg Popovich at home for a preseason game in Phoenix, the San Antonio coach gave it right back Saturday.

    • Popovich suggested that Sarver should have put on a "chicken suit" when he apologized to Suns fans over the public address system that some of the Spurs wouldn't be at Thursday night's preseason game.

      The defending NBA champion Spurs were missing Kawhi Leonard (eye infection), Tiago Splitter (calf) and Patty Mills (rotator cuff), and Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili stayed home to rest. Meanwhile, Popovich let first-year assistant Ettore Messina handle head coaching duties.

      Phoenix rolled to a 121-90 victory over San Antonio after the Spurs returned to the United States following a two-week trip to Europe.

      "The only thing that surprises me is that he didn't say it in a chicken suit. I'll just leave it at that," Popovich said Saturday before San Antonio's preseason home opener won 111-108 in overtime by the Miami Heat.

      "Most wise individuals would check facts before they made statements -- unless you're interested in putting on a show. In that case, the facts get in your way, as in this case.

      Popovich was responding to Sarver's message to fans at the game. He said, "This is not the game you paid your hard-earned money to watch. I apologize for it. And I want you to send me your tickets if you came tonight with a return envelope and I've got a gift for you on behalf of the Suns for showing up tonight. Thank you."

      Popovich defended the player absences as justifiable.

      "Patty Mills had a shoulder operation over the summer. Tiago Splitter has been out the whole preseason. Kawhi Leonard was out and is still out for 10 more days. The other two, Duncan and Ginobili, are two of the oldest guys in the league who just came back from a 13-day European trip," Popovich explained.

  • Saturday, October 18, 2014
    Report: Celtics likely to waive Bynum
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Boston Celtics acquired guard Will Bynum on Friday from the Detroit Pistons for center Joel Anthony. Bynum probably shouldn't unpack his bags; the Celtics are loaded at the guard position and have guaranteed contracts meaning that Bynum is likely to be waived.

    • The Boston Globe reported that Bynum and general manager Danny Ainge were expected to meet sometime Saturday to discuss Bynum's future in Boston.

      Boston has 15 roster spots, but already have signed 16 players to guaranteed contracts. With the season opener just around the corner on Oct. 29, Ainge will have to trade or waive a player with one of those guaranteed contracts.

      There will be plenty of suitors for the veteran Bynum.

      ESPN.com reported that it might not be until next week when Bynum learns of his fate.

  • Saturday, October 18, 2014
    Lakers G Henry getting second opinion on knee
    By The Sports Xchange

    Los Angeles Lakers guard Xavier Henry is traveling to New York City to get a second opinion from Dr. Keith Pyne after having knee surgery this summer.

    • Henry will then travel to Dusseldorf, Germany, to receive Regenokine treatment from Dr. Jens Hartmann next week.

      The Lakers gave Henry permission to miss practices and be absent from the team to make the trips. He plans to return to Los Angeles by next Friday. The team will then provide an update on his status.

      Henry averaged 10 points per game in 43 contests last season for the Lakers.

  • Saturday, October 18, 2014
    Griffin says he might start retaliating
    By The Sports Xchange

    Forward Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers indicated that he might begin to retaliate if he continues to receive unnecessarily hard fouls from opponents.

    • Griffin was fouled on the way to the basket by Trevor Booker of the Utah Jazz in an exhibition game on Friday night and both received technical fouls after Griffin grabbed Booker's head.

      "Yeah, probably," Griffin said of retaliating if the trend continues. "I'm not going to do it for no reason or if it's not warranted, and I didn't feel that was."

      Chris Paul of the Clippers also was hit with a technical when he pushed Booker away.

      Coach Doc Rivers of the Clippers said he would rather not see Griffin retaliate, but said Griffin "gets hit with more cheap shots than anyone in the league."

  • Friday, October 17, 2014
    Cavs' Irving plays after missing three games
    By The Sports Xchange

    Point guard Kyrie Irving returned to action Friday night for the Cleveland Cavaliers after missing three games with a sprained right ankle.

    • Irving started an exhibition against the Dallas Mavericks in Cleveland and finished with a game-high 23 points and five assists in the Cavaliers' 108-102 loss.

      Irving injured the ankle last week when teammate Anderson Varejao stepped on him during practice and missed the Cavaliers' exhibition game in Brazil against the Miami Heat.

  • Friday, October 17, 2014
    Bucks' Sanders sidelined until regular season
    By The Sports Xchange

    Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders will miss the remaining three games of the preseason after undergoing a minor outpatient surgical procedure on Friday at a Milwaukee hospital.

    • The Bucks expect Sanders to be able to return for their regular-season opener against the Charlotte Hornets on Oct. 29. He had not practiced this week with the team and was listed as having an illness.

      In three preseason games before the surgery, Sanders was averaging 10.7 points and 10.0 rebounds.

      Sanders was coming back from an injury-plagued 2013-14 season. He was hurt in a bar fight and then was injured by an inadvertent elbow from Houston's James. Harden.

  • Friday, October 17, 2014
    NBA roundup: Pistons trade for C Anthony
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Detroit Pistons acquired center Joel Anthony from the Boston Celtics in exchange for guard Will Bynum on Friday.

    • Swapping Anthony, who is set to make $3.8 million this season, for Bynum, who will earn $2.9 million, saves the Celtics $900,000.

      "We are pleased to welcome Joel Anthony to the organization," Pistons general manager Jeff Bower said in a statement. "Joel is an experienced front court player who adds size, toughness and depth to our frontcourt. We thank Will Bynum for his contributions and wish him the best in the future."

      Anthony, 32, has averaged 2.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 16.0 minutes in 403 career games (110 starts) with the Miami Heat and Boston. Acquired by Boston in a mid-season trade from Miami last season, the 6-foot-9, 245-pound center averaged 1.2 rebounds and 5.6 minutes in 33 games.

      Undrafted out of UNLV, Anthony has averaged a career-high of 3.9 rebounds per game twice (2007-08 and 2011-12). He was a member of the Heat's 2012 and 2013 NBA Championship teams.

      --The Philadelphia 76ers extended their condolences to the family of rookie center Joel Embiid after his brother died Thursday in Africa.

      Arthur Embiid's cause of death or his exact age weren't immediately known.

      "Our thoughts and prayers are with Joel and the Embiid family," 76ers general manager Sam Hinkle said Friday. "To learn that you have lost a sibling or a child is unfathomable. We are poorly designed for that kind of loss. To receive that news while 6,000 miles away from your family is more than any of us are equipped to handle alone. Joel is not alone.

      "Joel's sister was able to travel to Philadelphia last night and the two of them are currently on their way to Cameroon."

      Joel Embiid, who was the No. 3 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft out of Kansas, had foot surgery in June and is not expected to return until later in the season.

      --The NBA Board of Governors approved on Thursday five modifications to the instant replay rules currently in place and three changes on the court.

      The alterations take effect starting with Friday's preseason games.

      Replay was expanded to include situations where officials are not sure a team had an improper number of players on the court during game action.

      Current rules also were modified to allow instant replay review during the final two minutes of overtime rather than the entire overtime period. Replay will continue to be permissible during the final two minutes of the fourth quarter.

      Replay now will be used when officials are not certain which team should get possession after the ball goes out of bounds. In the past, officials could only use replay to determine which player caused to ball to go out of bounds.

  • Friday, October 17, 2014
    76ers express support for Embiid's loss
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Philadelphia 76ers extended their condolences to the family of rookie center Joel Embiid after his brother died Thursday in Africa.

    • Arthur Embiid's cause of death or his exact age weren't immediately known.

      "Our thoughts and prayers are with Joel and the Embiid family," 76ers general manager Sam Hinkle said Friday. "To learn that you have lost a sibling or a child is unfathomable. We are poorly designed for that kind of loss. To receive that news while 6,000 miles away from your family is more than any of us are equipped to handle alone. Joel is not alone.

      "Joel's sister was able to travel to Philadelphia last night and the two of them are currently on their way to Cameroon."

      Joel Embiid, who was the No. 3 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft out of Kansas, had foot surgery in June and is not expected to return until later in the season.

      Hinkle, coach Brett Brown and forward Luc Mbah a Moute spent Thursday night with the 7-foot Embiid at his home in Philadelphia and missed an exhibition game against the Boston Celtics. Assistant Chad Iske coach the team in their absence.

      "We're all a family here," Iske said. "Obviously, everybody's thinking about Joel and his family at this time. Our hearts and prayers are with him."

      The 20-year-old Joel is the oldest of Thomas and Christine Embiid's three children. The family is from Cameroon.

  • Friday, October 17, 2014
    Pistons, Celtics pull off trade
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Detroit Pistons acquired center Joel Anthony from the Boston Celtics in exchange for guard Will Bynum on Friday.

    • Swapping Anthony, who is set to make $3.8 million this season, for Bynum, who will earn $2.9 million, saves the Celtics $900,000.

      "We are pleased to welcome Joel Anthony to the organization," Pistons general manager Jeff Bower said in a statement. "Joel is an experienced front court player who adds size, toughness and depth to our frontcourt. We thank Will Bynum for his contributions and wish him the best in the future."

      Anthony, 32, has averaged 2.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 16.0 minutes in 403 career games (110 starts) with the Miami Heat and Boston. Acquired by Boston in a mid-season trade from Miami last season, the 6-foot-9, 245-pound center averaged 1.2 rebounds and 5.6 minutes in 33 games.

      Undrafted out of UNLV, Anthony has averaged a career-high of 3.9 rebounds per game twice (2007-08 and 2011-12). He was a member of the Heat's 2012 and 2013 NBA Championship teams.

      Bynum, 31, has career NBA averages of 8.2 points, 1.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 18.5 minutes in 353 games. Undrafted out of Georgia Tech, the 6-foot, 185-pound guard signed as a free agent with Detroit prior to the 2008-09 season.

      In six seasons with the Pistons, Bynum averaged 8.4 points, 3.4 assists and 1.6 rebounds in 338 games.

  • Friday, October 17, 2014
    Nets' Lopez injures foot again, out 10-14 days
    By The Sports Xchange

    Brooklyn center Brook Lopez could be out from 10 days to two weeks after suffering a sprained right foot on Wednesday night during the Nets' exhibition game against the Sacramento Kings in China.

    • X-rays and a CT scan on Thursday in New York showed no fractures or bone issues. A broken foot last December and multiple surgeries that followed forced Lopez to miss most of the 2013-14 season.

      This year, Lopez was averaging 18 points and 5.6 rebounds in three preseason appearances.

      The Nets open the regular season on Oct. 29 against the Boston Celtics.

  • Thursday, October 16, 2014
    NBA to institute replay, rule changes
    By The Sports Xchange

    The NBA Board of Governors approved on Thursday five modifications to the instant replay rules currently in place and three changes on the court.

    • The alterations take effect starting with Friday's preseason games.

      Replay was expanded to include situations where officials are not sure a team had an improper number of players on the court during game action.

      Current rules also were modified to allow instant replay review during the final two minutes of overtime rather than the entire overtime period. Replay will continue to be permissible during the final two minutes of the fourth quarter.

      Replay now will be used when officials are not certain which team should get possession after the ball goes out of bounds. In the past, officials could only use replay to determine which player caused to ball to go out of bounds.

      Another alteration is officials being able to use replay to determine when a foul call meets the criteria of a flagrant foul.

      Referees also will have the use of replay to help them determine whether a foul that was called meets the criteria of a clear-path-to-the-basket foul. Additionally, officials will be able to go to replay to help them rule whether a player without the ball was fouled relative to the timing of a made shot.

      As for the rule changes, the NBA approved an a non-unsportsmanlike technical and a loss of possession for teams with too many players on the court while the ball is in play. The team that didn't commit the infraction would retain the option of accepting or nullifying what happened during the play.

      In a change to substitutions, teams may now sub in players freely during timeouts. Old rules limited substitutions of certain players.

      Also, the shot clock will no longer reset to five seconds after a held ball caused by the defense with fewer than five seconds remaining on the clock.

  • Thursday, October 16, 2014
    Griffin calls Sterling a 'weird uncle'
    By The Sports Xchange

    Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin referred to former team owner Donald Sterling as a "weird uncle" and new owner Steve Ballmer as a "cool dad" in a piece he authored for The Players' Tribune.

    • Griffin wrote that he wasn't stunned when he heard the recording of Sterling's racist rant that led to a lifetime ban from the NBA and the eventual sale of the franchise to Ballmer.

      "I was conflicted when the tapes came out last season, and suddenly everyone had an opinion on what we as players should be doing to handle it," Griffin said. "When I woke up the morning after the tape leaked, I had 40 or 50 text messages. The first thing I did was listen to the tape in bed. It was shocking to actually hear what he said, but not really that surprising to me."

      Griffin said he did his homework after the Clippers drafted him No. 1 in 2009 and learned then about Sterling.

      "It's little bit ironic to me that the media has tried to turn Ballmer into a meme when they turned a blind eye to Sterling for years," Griffin wrote. "Steve is a good dude. He's like a cool dad who gives you candy. Donald was like a weird uncle."

      What Griffin found in his online research five years ago was the man he later came to know.

      "When I knew the Clippers were drafting me, the first thing I did was type Donald Sterling's name into Google," Griffin wrote. "The first hit that came up was 'Donald Sterling is a racist.'

      "I read an article on how he didn't want minorities to live in his apartment buildings. My first thought was, Wow this guy is really, really a racist ... how is he an owner of an NBA team? My second thought was, Wow, these articles are from 2003 and 2008. I guess everybody already knows about this stuff and just doesn't care."

  • Thursday, October 16, 2014
    NBA roundup: Durant has surgery on foot
    By The Sports Xchange

    Thunder forward Kevin Durant had successful surgery Thursday on his right foot. The procedure was performed in Charlotte, N.C.

    • He will be re-evaluated in six weeks.

      The team is optimistic that the league's most valuable player will make a complete recovery and be able to return to action soon after being re-evaluated.

      Durant complained of an "achy" pain in his foot after Saturday's practice. Because the fracture, called a Jones fracture, was diagnosed before it became more serious, his recovery time has been pegged at six-to-eight weeks. A Jones fracture involves a broken bone at the base of the small toe.

      "We're really fortunate that we're catching it when we're catching it," general manager Sam Presti said. "We are very fortunate that Kevin notified us [Saturday] and that we're kind of catching it on the front end, before this became more of an acute issue."

      Durant might only miss the first month of the season.

      --Former NBA player Chris Webber is heading The Webber Group, which formally contacted the NBA regarding its plan to bid for majority interest in the Atlanta Hawks.

      The team is for sale on the heels of a controversy involving racially charged comments by owner Bruce Levenson and general manager Danny Ferry.

      Webber announced details via Twitter on Thursday.

      Levenson said Sept. 7 he would sell controlling interest in the team. An inflammatory email from August 2012 surfaced and he voluntarily shared it with the league, which led the NBA to put CEO Steve Koonin atop the team's day-to-day business operations.

      --The Washington Wizards announced center Daniel Orton has been waived.

      The 24-year-old Orton, was a first-round draft pick out of Kentucky in 2010. In four years, he has spent time with four franchises.

  • Thursday, October 16, 2014
    Durant eyes six-week recovery after surgery
    By The Sports Xchange

    Thunder forward Kevin Durant had successful surgery Thursday on his right foot. The procedure was performed in Charlotte, N.C.

    • He will be re-evaluated in six weeks.

      The team is optimistic that the league's most valuable player will make a complete recovery and be able to return to action soon after being re-evaluated.

      Durant complained of an "achy" pain in his foot after Saturday's practice. Because the fracture, called a Jones fracture, was diagnosed before it became more serious, his recovery time has been pegged at six-to-eight weeks. A Jones fracture involves a broken bone at the base of the small toe.

      "We're really fortunate that we're catching it when we're catching it," general manager Sam Presti said. "We are very fortunate that Kevin notified us [Saturday] and that we're kind of catching it on the front end, before this became more of an acute issue."

      Durant might only miss the first month of the season.

      Durant led the league in minutes played last season -- 3,122 -- while averaging 32 points, 7.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists in 81 games last season.