By now, you’ve probably heard what happened to Chris Copeland, Thabo Sefolosha and Pero Antic. If you haven’t, here’s the back story.
Nothing good at all has come of this situation, and the updates have gotten worse since Wednesday, starting with the status of Sefolosha, who suffered an injury significant enough to force him to miss the remainder of the season, from NBA.com:
Atlanta Hawks forward Thabo Sefolosha suffered injuries during yesterday’s early morning incident. An examination of Sefolosha’s right leg, including an X-ray at Barclays Center yesterday and an MRI today at Peachtree Orthopaedics revealed a fractured fibula and ligament damage that will require surgery. He is out for the remainder of the season, including the entire postseason, and a timeline for his return will be updated at a later date.
“This is a very difficult situation for Thabo and our thoughts and support will be with him during his recovery. We know that his approach and dedication will serve him well in his rehabilitation,” Head Coach Mike Budenholzer said. “Our team remains focused and will be prepared as we head into the postseason.”
Needless to say, this is a blow to the Hawks, who have been at their best with Sefolosha coming off the bench to spell DeMarre Carroll.
As for what happened the night before, Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has statements from Mike Budenholzer, Antic and Sefolosha:
STATEMENT FROM HEAD COACH MIKE BUDENHOLZER “The events of this morning involving Pero and Thabo were unfortunate as we never want to see our players put themselves in a potentially negative situation. We will continue to look into the facts of the incident but with the information and foundation that we currently have established, we will support them through this process. Otherwise it is a continuing legal matter and I will have no further comment. JOINT STATEMENT
FROM PERO ANTIC/THABO SEFOLOSHA “As members of the Atlanta Hawks, we hold ourselves to a high standard and take our roles as professionals very seriously. We will contest these charges and look forward to communicating the facts of the situation at the appropriate time. We apologize to our respective families, teammates, and the Hawks organization for any negative attention this incident has brought upon them. We are unable to provide further comment as this is an ongoing legal matter.”
And here is an official statement from Copeland, who is recovering from surgery, from NBA.com:
Pacers forward Chris Copeland underwent surgery Wednesday on his abdomen and left elbow for stab wounds sustained early Wednesday morning in New York City. He is in stable condition at a New York City hospital. At this point there is no timetable for how long he will remain in the hospital. Statement from Chris Copeland: “I want to thank all the fans, friends, teammates, coaches and the Pacers organization for their support and prayers during this time. I also want to apologize to everyone, particularly the NBA and the Pacers for my bad choice at being out at that time. I am doing as well as can be expected and I will work hard to make a full recovery.”
OTHER NEWS FROM AROUND THE LEAGUE:
- Derek Fisher believes the New York Knicks will more than turn around quickly from the disastrous season they’ve had, from Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN NY: “I guess that’s possible, but we are not here trying to squeeze in, we are not here trying to go from 15 to 36,” said Fisher, whose Knicks currently have 15 wins. “That’s just not who we are. So it can turn around quickly. It will turn around quickly. “But we don’t really have to put a number on it,” Fisher continued. “We are 6-21 in games [decided] by six points or less this year. So we lost 21 games on two possessions. So we don’t have go from 15 to 36 next year. We can go from 15 to 63 if we really want to. But that is up to us.”
- The Houston Rockets made it official that Donatas Motiejunas would be out for the remainder of the season: “The Houston Rockets announced today that forward Donatas Motiejunas will miss the remainder of the 2014-15 season with a lower back injury. Motiejunas (7-0, 255, Lithuania) last played on Mar. 25, 2014 against the New Orleans Pelicans. The third year player appeared in a career-high 71 games (62 starts) for the Rockets this season and averaged career bests for points (12.0), rebounds (5.9), and assists (1.8) per game in a career-high 28.7 minutes per game. Motiejunas underwent a successful lumbar microdiscectomy today performed by Dr. Robert Watkins.”
- Gerald Green’s agent blasted Jeff Hornacek for putting heavy blame on Green’s defensive effort, from Sean Deveney of Sporting News: “It’s completely unfair to misrepresent Gerald and his game like this,” Kevin Bradbury of BDA Sports told Sporting News. “You’re talking about a player that wants to win at any cost and is a tremendous locker guy and teammate. I don’t see the benefit for the coach to go about things this way.”… “The numbers show pretty clearly that Gerald is not the terrible defensive player he is being made out to be,” Bradbury said. “The Suns played him a lot last year, they liked what he brought, when he was rolling, the team was rolling, and no one was out there complaining about his defense… “It’s unfortunate because the team isn’t where some people thought it would or should be at this point in the season. I’m not sure why that falls on one guy all of a sudden, especially when they have known all along what they have with Gerald. He can score, and can score a lot quickly, when you give him the minutes. He brings it on the defensive end, consistent with what the team brings as a unit. But when you hear the coach saying he is so bad that he can’t be on the floor? That’s nonsense. You have to wonder where that comes from and why.”
- Draymond Green believes the Golden State Warriors should have three players on the All-Defensive team. Stephen Curry says there should be at least two, from Monte Poole of CSN Bay Area: “I think we should have three guys on the All-Defensive team,” Green said Thursday, after the morning shootaround. “Our defensive numbers speak for (themselves). Guys’ individual numbers on the defensive end, as well. So we’ll see what happens. But we’re not a team that’s doing what we do for individual awards. Whatever happens with that stuff happens.”… “I think we definitely both should be in the running,” Green said… “If we don’t have representation with at least two guys, not including myself, on that list, then I don’t know what people have been watching this year,” Curry said. “It’s been Draymond and Bogues, night in and night out, taking that challenge on and being the eyes of our defense. They’ve played at a high level on that end all year. I think they’ve gotten the respect across the league for what they’re about.”
- Jahlil Okafor will declare for the NBA Draft, according to goduke.com: “Duke freshman Jahlil Okafor will enter the 2015 NBA Draft, head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced Thursday. Okafor, a consensus first team All-America selection, joins Corey Maggette (1999), Luol Deng (2004), Kyrie Irving (2011), Austin Rivers (2012) and Jabari Parker (2014) as Blue Devil freshmen to enter the NBA Draft after just one season of college basketball. The five previous freshmen early entrees were each selected among the first 13 players in their respective drafts, including Irving, who was the No. 1 overall pick in 2011. “What a great decision!” said Krzyzewski. “This is a tremendous opportunity for Jahlil and he has earned it. Obviously, he has done an incredible job here at Duke and he will always be a part of our Duke basketball family. We could not be happier for he and his family.”
- Mark Cuban ripped the way NCAA games are played and the refs involved, from Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas: “You’ve got three kids passing on the perimeter. With 10 seconds on the shot clock, they try to make something happen and two other kids stand around. They don’t look for anything and then run back on defense, so there’s no transition game because two out of five or three out of five or in some cases four out of five kids aren’t involved in the play. “It’s uglier than ugly, and it’s evidenced by the scoring going down. When the NBA went through that, we changed things.”… “It’s horrible. It’s ridiculous,” Cuban said. “It’s worse than high school. You’ve got 20 to 25 seconds of passing on the perimeter and then somebody goes and tries to make a play and do something stupid, and scoring’s gone down. “The referees couldn’t manage a White Castle. Seriously, the college game is more physical than the NBA game, and the variation in how it’s called from game to game [is a problem]. Hell, they don’t even have standards on balls. They use different balls. One team’s got one ball, the other team’s got another ball. There are so many things that are ridiculous.”
- Mikhail Prokhorov explained why he has been inattentive to the Brooklyn Nets all season long and had some positive thoughts about his coach and GM, from Tim Bontemps of New York Post: “Maybe you have heard, we have some volatile years in Russian economy, and Russian business.” Prokhorov said. “So we have, sanctions were imposed, and these sanctions, they have created some opportunities and some challenges for businessmen in Russia, and I needed to be more handling in managing my business and my assets, so it was very busy. “Now, everything is under control, that’s why I hope to see you more in the playoffs… “You need to be cool from time to time,” Prokhorov said of how he dealt with the slow start. “Lionel is demanding. He has brought some kind of special attention to the job, and of course it will take some time to adjust for the players to his vision. “But now we see that we are fighting for the playoffs and we are on the rise and we need to continue on that level, so it works.” Prokhorov also praised both Hollins and general manager Billy King, indicating both will be back next season. “I like his style,” Prokhorov said of Hollins. “He’s tough and he’s demanding. … He’s tough, he has his own system and I respect his approach to basketball.”… “We need a championship team, and I’m very committed to continue to do all the best for the team,” Prokhorov said. “This is my perception. And if we need to pay a little bit more than any other teams, it’s not an obstacle.”
- Check out this fun story from Kendall Gill about the first time he learned not to talk trash to the great Michael Jordan, via Deadspin: “Me, Larry Johnson, and Alonzo Mourning were young upcoming guns in the league. We were feeling ourselves in this game because we were giving it to the Bulls. After this play our Wild oats quickly became shredded wheats! Alonzo had just blocked 2 of the Bulls shots. We started talking smack. I could since MJ getting mad because We were matched up against each other. I didn’t give a crap though because I was young, dumb and didn’t know any better. MJ back doored me out of the triangle offense and put Zo on his collection of posters. Lol. Moral of this story? Callin out the Devil is one thing. Facing him is another! Never tug on Superman’s cape unless you’re absolutely ready! Did you hear me Pacman?”
- Stephen Curry wasn’t shy about letting Jim Rome know who would win in a two-on-two contest between Curry and his father against Doc and Austin Rivers, as you will see below:
Jim Park is a blogger and editor of Sheridan Hoops. Follow him on twitter @SheridanBlog.