Of course, this big news would break on a day I spent a good portion of in the car, driving from my grandparents’ place in New York to my parents’ house in Baltimore.
So if you, like me, are still playing catch-up, here’s the basics: The Cavs suspended Bynum indefinitely for “conduct detrimental to the team” and it looks like he’s played his last game for Cleveland. There’s murmurs that Bynum just flat out doesn’t want to play basketball, but that’s not entirely deterring teams from showing interest in the former All-Star, who has shown flashes of that dominating form he had with the Lakers.
If you want more on the Bynum story, we’ve got you covered. First up is Chris Bernucca, who looks at what this will mean for the Cavs. There’s also a new Sheridan Hoops podcast from the guy who this site is named for, Chris Sheridan, where he discusses possible destinations for Bynum.
I don’t have much to add to the drama except this: can you imagine if the Cavs played in New York or Los Angeles?
Okay, now let’s get to the latest from the rest of the NBA.
- USA Today’s Sam Amick has a gigantic column up that’s entirely worth reading. I thought this was the most interesting section, about Goran Dragic, Jeff Hornacek, and the soaring Suns: “Because Dragic had pushed so hard during the Eurobasket tournament last summer in which he starred for host Slovenia, he was told by Hornacek in training camp that he wouldn’t take part in most practices as a way to fight the building fatigue. New coach, new backcourt mate, and very little shared court time to work on the early chemistry. Matters were made even worse for the Suns’ new core when the regular season rolled around, as Dragic sprained his left ankle early on and missed three games. “I was talking with Jeff, and he told me, ‘Look, I know that you’re in great shape, and I know that you’re tired, so we’re just going to sit you down a little bit (in camp); you’re going to just do some walk-throughs with us so you can see the new plays, but most of the practices with us, you’re going to be on the sidelines and just trying to get your body right until the beginning of the season,’ ” Dragic told USA TODAY Sports. “Jeff is a great coach and a great coach for the young players. He teaches a lot. And I think from the first day on, we had great communication between me and him.”Hornacek is but one of the many pivotal pieces to the league’s most unexpected turnaround, but he’s as important as any. And for Dragic, he’s the man who helped make the game enjoyable again.”
- Is Jason Kidd really losing the Nets’ locker room? It’s hard to tell. Tim Bontemps of the New York Post tried to find out: “In the wake of the week’s events, a Yahoo! Sports report Friday evening said Kidd was beginning to lose support within the locker room. Kidd dismissed that report after the game. “I just coach and get my guys ready,” Kidd said. “I can’t answer to what you guys make up.” One source said everyone in the organization is frustrated, given the team’s situation, and that “winning cures everything.” For their part, the players publicly backed Kidd both before and after the win. Deron Williams was asked Friday morning if the players were still behind Kidd. “I think so,” Williams said. “If we were losing some close games and he was making some bad decisions, that would be one thing, but that’s not the case. We got blown out [Wednesday]. He can’t make us outrebound teams, he can’t make us put the extra little bit in to get over the hump. That’s on us as players to come out and play better.””
Just got a brief text from Al Horford, who says he’s “probably not” going to be back for the playoffs this year. That truly stinks.
— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) December 28, 2013
- The Wizards still have a decent shot at the playoffs, considering how wretched the East is, but it’s never good when one of your young stars has to be helped off the court. Jon Krawczynski of the Washington Times has more on Bradley Beal’s latest injury: “John Wall had 26 points and seven assists for the Wizards, who missed a chance to win their fourth straight road game for the first time since March 2008. Nene added 13 points and five rebounds, but Bradley Beal had to be helped off the floor in the fourth quarter with a left leg injury. Beal scored 14 points in 26 minutes, but got tangled up on a screen by Wolves forward Luc Mbah a Moute with 4:25 to go. Beal was knocked to the ground and couldn’t put any pressure on his left leg as Jan Vesely and Trevor Ariza helped him to the locker room. “With the knee injuries going on this year in the NBA, you just hope (Beal‘s) isn’t one of those ones that (is) devastating,” Wall said. Preliminary X-rays were negative on Beal’s left knee and he will have an MRI on Saturday.”
- LeBron is hurting, and might be out for a clash of two of the NBA’s best teams, reports ESPN.com’s Michael Wallace: “James tweaked his ankle late in the second quarter when he landed on a referee’s foot after missing a contested layup. He scored 19 of his game-high 33 points in the first half but struggled with his offense in the third quarter as the Kings gradually erased a 17-point deficit in the 108-103 overtime win. After playing 44 minutes, James said he wasn’t certain when he strained his groin and was unsure whether he would play Saturday in Portland on the second night of a back-to-back set for the Heat. “It’s not feeling too well right now,” said James, who scored 11 of the Heat’s 19 points in the overtime period after getting hot from 3-point range. “I don’t know what happened in the first half. I played [much of] the second half and overtime, and strained my groin. I’ll see how I feel on our trip to Portland tonight and into tomorrow. But it ain’t feeling too good right now.” “
.@MagicNationBaby: —> The Magic are not actively shopping for trades, especially not deals involving Arron. Have turned away calls.
— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) December 28, 2013
- Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Derrick Rose is doing okay in his return from knee surgery, but he doesn’t know when he’ll be back. He’s not ruling out a return for the playoffs, though. Here’s Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com: “Thibodeau said Rose is closer to sitting on the bench with the rest of his teammates, but not at that point yet. “Yeah, probably in the next few weeks,” Thibodeau said. “He’s still … he’s on a crutch and he’s got his brace, so I don’t want him sitting there when he’s like that.” Rose was ruled out for the season after his surgery but left the door open for a possible playoff return during his first remarks to reporters a few weeks ago. Despite his comments, few within the organization expect that to happen, especially given how much the Bulls have struggled to win games without him.”
Looking for Bulls tickets? Look no further.
- Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com has an interesting note on a personal favorite player of mine, Nick Young: “Young recently had a stretch of three 4-point plays in four games from Dec. 20-25, something no player had accomplished since Jamal Crawford did it in March 2009 for the Golden State Warriors, according to ESPN Stats & Info. Crawford happens to be the league’s all-time leader in the quirky stat. “Well, that’s one of our goals,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni deadpanned when asked about Young’s 4-point feat. Young now has eight 4-point plays in his seven-year career. “It is uncanny,” D’Antoni said. “Some guys have it. I think Jamal Crawford has that. There’s a few guys that can do that. I don’t know how they do it. I couldn’t make an open 3 just by myself. How they can draw the foul and be able to make it is a mystery. But he does have that ability.””