Manu Ginobili limped through the playoffs and then proclaimed himself healthy enough to play in the Olympics for Argentina. He went down again in their game against Team USA and on Friday it was announced that he would undergo arthroscopic surgery to repair a ligament injury to his left ankle. An MRI conducted earlier this week confirmed that he had re-aggravated the injury that plagued him throughout the playoffs but that there was no additional damage to the ankle or the ligament as a result of his playing in the Olympics. There was some friction in San Antonio as Spurs coach Gregg Popovich had urged Ginobili not to compete in the Olympics unless the injury improved but Ginobili went to Beijing and played for Argentina against the wishes of his team and his coach. Now he is scheduled for surgery at a time when it will affect the start of the season. He is expected to be out 2 to 3 months and will miss the first part of the Spurs' season. This could cause some friction between Manu and the team.
Patrick Ewing will be once again playing for the Knicks next season. No, the old #33 won't be coming out of retirement, but his son, Patrick Ewing Jr, was traded to the Knicks by the Houston Rockets on Friday. New York sent the draft rights for center Frederic Weis to Houston in exchange for the son of the former Knicks superstar. Like his father before him, Patrick Jr played for Georgetown and was taken by the Kings with the 43rd pick in the draft. He was traded by the Kings to Houston in the Ron Artest deal and now on to the Knicks. His father played for the Knicks from 1985 until 2000.
On Thursday the Heat unveiled a banner to honor Dwyane Wade for his part in securing the U.S. team's gold-medal in Beijing. Wade's banner is affixed with his name at the top, with mention of the 2008 men's basketball team and has a design of the Beijing Olympic logo. The banner will be positioned along side the Heat's 2006 NBA championship banner. Wade also was given a ceremonial key to Miami-Dade County. City officials also proclaimed Aug. 28 as Wade Day. After watching Wade play in the Olympics, there is no doubt he is back 100% and is going to help make the Heat a contender once again this season.
This will be the first Nets' training camp since 2000 that will include neither Richard Jefferson or Jason Kidd. There are plenty of questions swirling around this Net's team and although they are outwardly saying things are going to be great, there are some doubts that they actually will be. They have gotten very young and Celtics fans know all about that. A good sign for the Nets though is that Vince Carter and Devin Harris put together a team workout last week in an effort to build chemistry just as the Celtics did last season. 14 of the 15 players on the Nets' roster were there with Yi being the only one not showing up because of his commitment to the Chinese National team. They have the desire and the right attitude, but as Celtics fans can tell you, no matter how much they want it or how hard they play, sometimes you just can't win with youth.
The "experts" at ESPN seem to be playing it safe with their predictions this season. Before the Finals last season, 9 out of 10 ESPN "experts" picked the Lakers to win in anywhere from 5-7 games. Only Tim Legler stood up to the purple wave and predicted the Celtics in 7. They have their predictions out for the 2008-09 season and predict both the Celtics and the Lakers to win exactly the same number of games. However, the number they picked is 55, which means that the Celtics win 11 fewer games this season than they won last season. The Lakers only fall back 2. Obviously, they think the loss of James Posey and the Celtics' stars being a year older is going have a toll on the team. They also don't feel Bynum's presence or the addition of Sun Yue or having Pau Gasol for a full year is going to have much of an effect on the Lakers other than to help them win 2 fewer games. Needless to say, I think the ESPN "experts" are just as accurate as they were in predicting the Finals.
The defection of the day comes from Taureen Green. The former University of Florida has agreed to play for the Spanish club CAI Zaragoza. Green is in the process of negotiating what is believed to be a one-year deal with the team.
One of the biggest moves the Lakers make this season may not involve a trade or signing. They are considering bringing Lamar Odom off the bench in a role similar to Manu Ginobili who comes off the bench but plays a starter's minutes. This may be a very beneficial role for both Odom and the Lakers. I'd like to see the Celtics do something like that with Ray Allen, possibly starting Tony Allen. Tony always played better as a starter and it may help Ray to come off the bench with instant scoring.
There seems to be some controversy swirling around Monta Ellis' injury. Ellis said that he had injured his left ankle working out in Jackson. He had surgery on Wednesday in Alabama to repair a torn deltoid ligament in his left ankle. He also sustained a severe high ankle sprain and disruption of ligaments above the ankle joint and is expected to miss 3 months or more. Because of the severity of the injury, the team is a bit skeptical of Ellis' explanation as to how it occurred. Because NBA contracts include clauses that exclude certain activities such as motorcycle riding or sky diving etc, if the Warriors find that the injury occurred in some way other than working out, they could fine him, suspend him or terminate his contract. They have launched an investigation and have sent their trainer to Mississippi to check out the situation. Reminds me of all the questions surrounding Tony's first knee injury. There was a lot of speculation that it may have occurred in conjunction with that shooting incident but no one ever knew.
The Heat have finally found their man. After working out several centers, they settled on Jamaal Magloire. The Heat already had Mark Blount and Joel Anthony at the center position. Alonzo Mourning is also expected to return when his rehab is complete on his injured knee. But with the prospect of Mark Blount as their primary center to start the season, they went looking for help and who can blame them? Mark "I'll get the rebound if I don't have to work for it" Blount can be pretty ineffectual when he wants to be.
Wait, the Knicks have the draft rights for Frederic WEIS? As in Frederic "Vince Carter Is My Daddy" Weis? Wow. The Knicks are just such an enigma. The most entertaining sitcom in the NBA.
Oh and btw, I would be remiss not to say thank you FLCeltsfan for all the Rumors and Free Agent Updates through this summer...this has been a great place to get a nice roundup of the league/basketball news. I check this and Truehoop most mornings! Good stuff and thank you again.
Thank you for your kind words and Thank you for reading LOY's Place. I very much appreciate those who read the stuff here.
The Knicks have always been good for a laugh or two but I think with Walsh there we won't have as much fun as we did with Isiah. But then again, Walsh was the GM for the Ron Artest debacles in Indy so who knows.