Posted on: January 19, 2011 12:20 am
Edited on: January 19, 2011 12:22 am
Marcus Camby to have surgery on left knee to repair torn mensicus. No timeline set for return.
Posted by Matt Moore
It would be funny, if it weren't so sad.
The Blazers have another player undergoing surgery. Yes, knee surgery. No, it is not Greg Oden, he just had it. No, it is not Brandon Roy. That was last week. No, it is not Joel Przybilla, thankfully. That was last year. Twice.
No, this time it's Marcus Camby who the Oregonian reports will undergo surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. The Blazers soon confirmed the report. A timetable for Camby's return has not been released yet.
Should the surgery be to remove the meniscus, Camby could be out much longer, but there has been no indication that the surgery is for removal and not repair. Camby's known as a pretty tough customer so a return ahead of schedule isn't out of the question, but Camby's also made noise for several years about heading towards retirement. You have to wonder if he's getting worn out of these kinds of things. An average return for a meniscus repair is 4-6 weeks.
In the meantime, the Blazers will suffer through their fifth player undergoing knee surgery this season. Five. Oden, Roy, rookie Elliot Williams, Jeff Pendergraph, and now Camby. This is the third center this season, fourth to miss some time this season due to knee surgery (Przybilla missing significant time in the beginning). This has moved beyond ridiculous. It's into patently absurd. It's ludicrous. There's a book somewhere in spending some time with Phoenix's training staff, and then spending some time with the Blazers' training staff. Oden having a bad string of luck is one thing, as is Roy's condition which was pre-existing to when he was drafted. But five players in the span of a season undergoing knee surgery? Is the ground made of adamantium there? Is the water poisoned with anti-knee fungus? Is it just the freaking rain?
Somewhere along the way, the pattern becomes such that you have to be concerned about it long-term. In the meantime, Nate McMillan will have to somehow find a way to rally the troops in the face of even more adversity. This for a team that two seasons ago looked set to become a title contender.
Like I said, it'd be funny if it weren't so sad.
Posted on: January 18, 2011 7:55 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2011 8:44 pm
A Portland Trail Blazers scout provides a rehab update on injured center Greg Oden. Posted by Ben Golliver.
Back in November, Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden underwent microfracture knee surgery on his left knee, after undergoing the same procedure on his right knee shortly after being taken as the No. 1 overall selection in the 2007 NBA draft.
On Tuesday, Portland's Director of NBA Scouting Mike Born provided an update on Oden's rehab progress to Blazers.com, stating that Oden still walks with the help of a cane but has recently begun light weight-bearing exercises.
"He's still using the cane right now when he's walking. But he's also, for the last three or four days here, he's been able to get on the treadmill and start to walk. He's not doing a ton of stuff, his rehab has been he's been able to be in the pool, ride on a bike. Most of that stuff has been non-weight bearing. Now he's sort of able to get on a treadmill, we talked about it, he was able to walk his dog the other day."
"It's tough, man. I've been a basketball player and been hurt. When you can't get out and do the things you're used to doing, especially when it comes to walking, I think everybody knows how good it feels, especially people who enjoy working out, sort of how good you feel about going out and getting a good workout in or a good sweat. When it's tough to do that, you can get in a pool and ride a bike and at least do those things, but still there's nothing like being able to get out and walk or run or jump or shoot and do those things. Just to release that stress. I can just tell when I was talking to him, I could tell it felt great to just be able to get out and just walk. Something that people take for granted. Obviously he hasn't been able to do that for a couple of months now."Blazers president Larry Miller has publicly committed to Oden, however it's believed Oden's rehabilitation process will take upwards of a year. Oden will be a restricted free agent this summer.
For more on Oden's injury history, click here.
Posted on: January 14, 2011 7:30 pm
Edited on: January 14, 2011 7:33 pm
The NBA has awarded the Houston Rockets a disabled player exception for center Yao Ming. Posted by Ben Golliver.
Back in December, we noted that Houston Rockets center Yao Ming suffered a left ankle stress fracture that required season-ending surgery. While Yao's expiring contract has come up in trade talks in the interim, the Rockets have received another potentially valuable trade asset as a result of Yao's injury.
The Associated Press reports that the NBA has awarded the Rockets a disabled player exception for Yao's extended absence due to injury.
The disabled player exception allows the Rockets to acquire a free agent, or trade for a player without having to match salaries, up to the value of the midlevel exception (about $5.765 million). KRIV-TV first reported that the Rockets had been granted the exception. Houston must use it by Jan. 31 or it will expire.We noted back on Dec. 21 that the Rockets would pursue this exception, which requires approval of the league office.
The Houston Chronicle reports that the Rockets also possess a separate trade exception worth more than $6 million that doesn't expire until the summer. While the exceptions cannot be combined, they can each be used to accept salary in an unbalanced trade, allowing the Rockets to receive a player's contract without necessarily sending out a player in return.
While the clock is ticking for Rockets, with just two weeks to go before the exception expires, they have found themselves linked to a number of trade scenarios recently, including the Carmelo Anthony trade talks. At 17-22, in last place in the Southwest Division, the Rockets are surely tempted to explore all their options with this exception. In addition to their two exceptions and Yao's expiring contract, the Rockets also possess the expiring contracts of Shane Battier ($7.4 million) and Jared Jeffries ($6.8 million). If GM Daryl Morey is compelled to mix things up, he certainly has some flexibility and options.
Here's one thing to keep in mind, though: the Rockets are currently on track to be luxury tax payers, so using this exception simply to take on additional salary without moving out any of their current players is unlikely, as any new incoming salary would wind up costing owner Les Alexander double. Lottery-bound teams don't often make that type of financial commitment mid-season, unless it's as part of a blockbuster-type move.
Earlier this season, the Miami Heat and Portland Trail Blazers also received disabled player exceptions for forward Udonis Haslem and center Greg Oden, respectively, but both teams allowed their exceptions to expire.
Posted on: December 10, 2010 6:40 pm
Edited on: December 11, 2010 1:30 am
Posted by Royce Young
Oden of course is out after having season-ending surgery on his knee and Haslem suffered an injury that will likely sideline him for the remainder of the season. The league had an independent examiner look at both players and after it was determined both were dealing with injuries likely to sideline them for the rest of the season, the exceptions were granted.
What does that mean? The Blazers and Heat now have exceptions valued at around half of each player's salary for the season. For Portland, that means about $3.38 million from Oden's $6.7 million salary. It expires Dec. 30. Miami's exception for Haslem is about $1.75 million from his $3.5 million salary. That expires Jan. 6. The expiration dates come from a 45-day clock that started ticking from when the team reasonably knows the player's injury might be season-ending.
And how does the injury exception work? League rules allow for such exceptions to be used to acquire just one player, but teams can use them to sign a free agent or to take on salary in trade before the expiration date. And just because the exceptions were granted doesn't mean they're going to be used. For instance, the Heat have 15 players on the roster with Haslem. So if they want to sign a 16th, someone will have to be waived.
To be clear: When used in trades, teams may acquire a player whose salary does not exceed the value of the exception plus $100,000. So essentially, the Blazers have an extra $3.38 million to play with and the Heat an extra $1.75 million to use in any prospective trades. That could be big for the Blazers, who are considering blowing everything up and going into rebuild mode if things don't turn around, as mentioned by Ken Berger.
If miracles happen and Oden or Haslem recover and are able to participate in the playoffs, there's no stipulation that says they can't rejoin their teams just because the exceptions were granted. In case you were wondering.
Posted on: December 8, 2010 1:17 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Other than LeBron James and his Heat buddies, the biggest story of this NBA season starts with an "L" and ends with an "out". It's kind of hanging over everything. Just when we all start having fun and forget about a potential work stoppage, it rears its ugly head again. Bummer.
The basics around where the league and the players are hung up is over the salary cap situation, player salaries and revenue sharing. You know, the usual stuff.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com dropped a bomb's worth of knowledge Wednesday updating the current situation. Included in all of that information was a small nugget about other things the players are asking for in addition to all the salary and money stuff.
They want the NBA's age-limit requirement returned to 18.
Berger says the players suggested a few non-cap related things that would "improve the game" and "benefit both our players and the league." One of those is a re-examination of the age-limit rule that currently requires players to be at least 19 years old and one year removed from their senior year of high school before they're allowed to enter the draft.
(Along with the age rule, the NBAPA is also adding this Berger says, which I found incredibly interesting: They want to enhance pension benefits for retired players, which would be paid for, in part, by a so-called exit tax on owners who sell their teams and earn capital appreciation far beyond historic levels. So when an owner that bought his team in 1973 for $19.7 million sells it for $400 million, the players want a tax on that money that would pay a pension for retired players. Anyway, just wanted to point that one out too.)
While the players want the rule back at 18 years old, they also threw in that they want to work with the league and NCAA to incentivize players to stay in school longer. I think we all rolled our eyes there together, didn't we? Stay in school kids! Money's not important! Ignore the fact we're willing to go to a lockout over it!
The age rule probably isn't as important to the players as the money related issues, but the fact it's included in their recent proposal is interesting. Feelings on the current rule is sort of split. Most think it's an NCAA rule, but it's not. It's an NBA one. While it helps college basketball in some ways by bringing star power like John Wall, Kevin Durant and Greg Oden to college, it also hurts because everyone knows they're one-and-done. Bobby Knight was one of the biggest detractors about the rule talking about how nobody has to go to class the second semester and that is creates an unfair advanatge to the big name schools and recruiters. And it's easy to see that point.
The idea behind the original creation of the requirement was to help prevent the massive busts that were coming straight from high school, thus ruining potentially solid careers. Kids that has dollar signs in their eyes and skipped a college scholarship because an agent told them they'd make millions in the NBA as a first-round draft pick. But for every DeShawn Stevenson, Jonathan Bender and Kwame Brown, there's a Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwight Howard. It's always worked both ways.
And it's not some guarantee that if you go to school you won't bust. Ed O'Bannon, Robert Traylor, Stromile Swift, Marcus Fizer... lots of names there too. I guess they got an education or at least a few college credit hours out of it, but the rule doesn't guarantee anything.
Players want to be able to make money. And the fact that the NBA is preventing an 18-year-old from having the opportunity to have a job in the NBA obviously bothers the NBAPA.
It's a small issue and probably not one they're worth fighting that much for. But it's in the current proposal. The fact it's on their mind is interesting nonetheless.
But what's so ironic is that a lockout could greatly affect players like Terrence Jones from Kentucky, Harrison Barnes from North Carolina, Jared Sullinger from Ohio State and Kyrie Irving from Duke. Guys that would likely be one-and-done and headed for next June's draft. Except a lockout may make them think twice about it. They may either return to school and let the CBA stuff get settled or head to Europe for a season, especially the ones that have been tanking in their academics because they never thought they'd come back for a sophomore season.
But remember, the NBAPA wants to educate and encourage players to stay in school. And they may be doing exactly that, only by accident.
Posted on: December 8, 2010 9:51 am
Posted by Royce Young
Posted on: December 5, 2010 4:56 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:16 pm
Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan admits his team is "not responding" to him during its current six-game losing streak. Posted by Ben Golliver. The Portland Trail Blazers enter Sunday night's game against the Los Angeles Clippers riding a six-game losing streak, their longest such streak since 2005-2006, when the team won just 21 games. Following the sixth straight defeat, a road loss to the Washington Wizards on Friday night, Blazers coach Nate McMillan admitted to The Oregonian that he is having trouble reaching his team.
"Evidently, they're not responding to me, because all these games look similar," McMillan said. "So I asked them: 'Is it clear what we're asking you to do?'"
His words were met with blank states and silence. "They didn't say anything," McMillan said. "The thing is, they didn't have to say anything. I think the games show that. We're not getting it done."Dwight Jaynes, a Portland-based television and radio host, blogged that the comments, plus the team's lack of effort, signal that McMillan's time in Portland may be running out.
And while I watched the Trail Blazers’ pathetic effort Friday night in Washington against the Wizards, it crossed my mind what I’ve written here previously — are the Blazer players trying to get their coach fired? It sure looks like it.
Sometimes, players just tire of hearing the same messages from their coach. At some unconscious (usually) level, they work toward an outcome that they’d like to see — the departure of their coach. It certainly looks as if the Blazers, on some level, have chosen this course.There's no question the Blazers are playing lackluster, defeated basketball, losing game after game with second-half collapses, playing without inspiration and purpose. Any time that happens, the coach finds himself on the hot seat. It's worth noting that Portland's losing streak coincides almost exactly with the team's announcement that center Greg Oden would miss the entire 2010-2011 season with microfracture surgery. The Blazers are 1-6 since the Nov. 17 press conference announcing the decision to undergo surgery. Prior to the news, the team was 7-5. If there was a concerning element to training camp this year, in hindsight, it was an overall attitude that can best be summarized as, "We just need to hang on until Oden gets back." Rather than truly confronting life without Oden, players, coaches, management, media and fans alike used his absence and expected return as a mental crutch. That was reflected in indifferent play during the preseason, a failure to consider the ramifications of playing LaMarcus Aldridge and Marcus Camby heavy, heavy minutes, the salary dump of rotation spark plug Jerryd Bayless and the team's decision to make due with fourth-rate backup centers after second-year big man Jeff Pendergraph went down with injury. Whereas last year's Blazers rallied together in Oden's absence, greeting Camby's arrival via trade with huge enthusiasm that propelled the team into the playoffs down the stretch, this year's team has received the news of his absence with hopelessness and a wary eye towards the rest of a lengthy schedule. All star guard Brandon Roy's balky knee and inefficient play only reinforces that glass-is-half-empty mentality, because the guy who could always be counted on to bail the team out simply cannot produce as he was once capable. Which brings us back to the question of McMillan and his future. One factor lost in this discussion so far has been McMillan's long-term motivation to stay in Portland. His greatest skills as a coach, so far, have been motivating his players and designing an offensive system that takes advantage of his star player's abilities. With an older, already-paid roster and a not-what-he-used-to-be Roy, McMillan's skills are much less useful and effective in Portland than they used to be. Surely, he knows that better than anyone, and you have to wonder whether that will impact his desire to stay in Portland should he survive the season without being fired. He's coveted around the league for his ties to Team USA and his ability to relate to star players and bench guys alike. There might not be jobs that pay him more than Blazers owner Paul Allen does, but there will almost assuredly be better fits for his talents. The problem for Portland is that there is no readily available, quality alternative to McMillan in the short term. McMillan's best assistant coach last season, Monty Williams, left to serve as the head coach of the New Orleans Hornets. His most promising assistant this year, Kaleb Canales, is still too young to take the reins as a head coach. The thought of bland NBA lifers like Bernie Bickerstaff and Bob Ociepka taking over on an interim basis is so depressing that we'll just pretend it's not even being considered. And there is no obvious candidate on the basketball operations staff to step in down the stretch like former general manager Kevin Pritchard did. Somewhat sadly, the most qualified replacement candidate currently affiliated with the organization is Terry Porter, who is currently serving as the team's sideline reporter (yes, seriously). History has proven that, apples to apples, McMillan, despite his flaws as an in-game tactician, mediocre defensive results and griding pace, is a superior coach to Porter. The worst thing the Blazers could do in this situation is make an emotional decision regarding their coaching spot in response to the losing. Reality is setting in and expectations are being lowered by the fanbase, which is completely aware of what is happening. A coaching change without a roster change is not likely to inspire any hope for the fans, except for a contingent that has wanted McMillan gone all along because his style is boring. It might provide a momentary bump for the players, but they'll still be looking around the locker room at the same group of teammates that have no answers themselves. In other words, a new voice could help, but it's not going to save this Oden-less season, not even close. Whether McMillan stays or goes, then, simply isn't that important of a question right now, given all of the surrounding circumstances. Therefore, he should be allowed to stick around, as long as he is able to keep the Blazers from embarrassing themselves. Once the season is completed, though, all bets are off, for both sides.
Posted on: November 29, 2010 10:53 am
Edited on: November 29, 2010 12:25 pm
Positional struggles, Heat bar losing dough, Westphal losing a lot, and the Lakers should have lost by more, all in today's Shootaround. Posted by Matt Moore