NBA notebook: Durant injury; Johnson-Bird on stage; Williamson disappointedDevdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 17-05-2019 08:04 IST | Created: 17-05-2019 07:24 IST
Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant is not yet ready to resume on-court work and will be re-evaluated in a week, the team announced Thursday, shortly before hosting Game 2 of the Western Conference finals against the Portland Trail Blazers. That timeline would put Durant, who is recovering from a right calf strain, out through at least Game 5, which is set -- if necessary -- for Wednesday in Oakland, Calif. Game 6 is tentatively scheduled for May 24 in Portland.
The team's update said Durant has shown "good progress," but head coach Steve Kerr told ESPN's Doris Burke earlier Thursday that Durant would miss Games 3 and 4, both in Portland. The Warriors also announced that centre DeMarcus Cousins, out with a torn left quad muscle, was cleared to resume on-court workouts but is not ready for live action. He also will be re-evaluated in a week.
--Lee Anderson, stepfather of presumptive No. 1 NBA draft pick Zion Williamson, appeared on the "Off the Bench" show on 104.5 ESPN Baton Rouge and said Zion is ready to plant roots in New Orleans. He added the family already has chatted with Pelicans general manager David Griffin and coach Alvin Gentry.
Chatter on Wednesday was that Williamson was disappointed that New Orleans drew the No. 1 pick in Tuesday's NBA draft lottery and that he could consider returning to Duke for a sophomore season and take his chances in the 2020 draft instead. Anderson quickly shut down those rumours. --NBA legends Magic Johnson and Larry Bird will once again share centre stage when they receive the NBA's Lifetime Achievement Award on June 24.
The award comes 40 years after Johnson led Michigan State to the NCAA championship in a 75-64 win over Bird's Indiana State team on March 26, 1979. Their matchups as the central figures in the historic Lakers-Celtics rivalry, combined with the emergence of Michael Jordan, re-energized the NBA in the 1980s. They will be honoured at the 2019 NBA Awards show in Los Angeles. Previous winners of the Lifetime Achievement Award are Bill Russell (2017) and Oscar Robertson (2018).