Jimmy Butler leaves Timberwolves game with apparent knee injury

Jimmy Butler leaves Timberwolves game with apparent knee injury

HOUSTON — Minnesota All-Star Jimmy Butler left the Timberwolves’ game against the Houston Rockets with an apparent injury to his right knee.

After grabbing a rebound late in the third quarter Friday, Butler pivoted and planted hard on his right foot before collapsing and grabbing his right knee. He was on the floor for at least three minutes before he was carried off the court by two teammates. He appeared to avoid putting weight on his right leg when heading to the locker room.

Jimmy Butler (23) appeared to avoid putting weight on his right leg when heading to the locker room.

Jimmy Butler (23) appeared to avoid putting weight on his right leg when heading to the locker room.

(Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports)

Butler leads the Timberwolves with 22.4 points and 1.9 steals per game, adding 5.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game in his first season with Minnesota after being traded from Chicago in the offseason.

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Lonzo Ball on college hoops: 'Everybody’s getting paid anyway'

Lonzo Ball on college hoops: 'Everybody’s getting paid anyway'

Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball essentially shrugged at the FBI investigation that alleges several current and former college basketball players received money from an agent while in college.

“Everybody knows everybody’s getting paid,” Ball said of college athletes. “That’s just how it is. Everybody’s getting paid anyway, you might as well make it legal. That’s how I feel.”

The documents, obtained by Yahoo Sports, show records kept by sports agency ASM that indicate payments of several thousand dollars to more than 20 players.

One player named is Kyle Kuzma, a Lakers rookie and Ball’s closest friend on the team. Kuzma declined to address reporters Friday morning after the team’s shootaround. His agent and his manager did not immediately respond to phone calls. A Lakers spokesperson said Kuzma would be available either before Friday night’s game or after.

“He’s in the NBA now,” Ball said. “He really don’t care. Whatever happened is in the past. Now he’s just living life.”

Ball said he didn’t accept money from agents while in school because his father, LaVar, wasn’t interested. Ball’s father had already started a family business, Big Baller Brand. Part of the ethos of Big Baller Brand is to upset the status quo, and the Lakers rookie wants to see that happen on the college level.

Lonzo Ball said he didn't accept money from agents while in college.

Lonzo Ball said he didn’t accept money from agents while in college.

(Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)

“Basically just get the NCAA to change and pay players,” Ball said. “All the money that you generate, March Madness, you can look at all the numbers. It doesn’t really add up, in my opinion. Hopefully that makes little things just change.”

It’s an opinion his head coach shares.

“I was fortunate enough that I had my family help pay throughout college but a lot of them, they’re living on those scholarship checks, check to check as far as paying rent, eating,” said Luke Walton, who played college basketball at Arizona. “To me when there’s that much money involved, the players should be getting a bigger piece of that as far as being able to live in a nice place, go to a nice restaurant, instead of just fast-food type of places. …

“I haven’t read the reports and all that. Generally speaking, I think athletes at some of the major universities where the money is big should be getting more than they get.”

(c)2018 the Los Angeles Times/Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Ntilikina, Mudiay and Burke may all get chance to guard Irving

Ntilikina, Mudiay and Burke may all get chance to guard Irving

Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek said he has been encouraged by his three guards recently, but now the trio faces a tall task.

Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina and even Trey Burke, who scored 26 points off the bench in Thursday’s 120-113 win over the Magic, will be going up against Kyrie Irving and Stephen Curry with the Celtics scheduled for Saturday and Warriors on Monday.

Hornacek was open to the idea of giving all three a chance to guard Irving at some point in Saturday’s game at Madison Square Garden.

“Possible,” he said at Friday’s practice. “Let’s see how they’re handling, how the guards out there who are guarding them are handling him. And it’s not just, ‘hey that guy’s got to guard Kyrie.’ You’ve got to have a team defense that’s there to back him up when Kyrie gets around. So again, they’ll probably all end up with a shot at him at some point.”

The Knicks, 24-36 and 11th in the Eastern Conference, have shifted their focus on developing their younger players in recent games and how their guards, particularly Mudiay and Ntilikina, play down the stretch will be important in determining their future roles with the team.

Mudiay, who was acquired in a three-way trade on Feb. 8, started his first game with the Knicks Thursday night and finished with eight points, four assists and five rebounds in 23 minutes.

Meanwhile, Ntilikina and Burke each played 30 minutes off the bench and played most of the fourth quarter in the win over the Magic.

“I think they all did well,” Hornacek said. “Emmanuel made some great passes that we probably haven’t (made) … The last couple days I felt pretty comfortable having Trey and Frank in there together so I like what I saw from those three guys.”

The combination of Burke and Ntilikina also meant moving Ntilikina, the 19-year-old rookie, over as a two-guard, a position he is less familiar with.

Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina blocks a shot by Magic guard Mario Hezonja.

Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina blocks a shot by Magic guard Mario Hezonja.

(Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP)

“I think it’s challenging but exciting because it’s always fun,” Ntilikina said. “You try new things you try new stuff to compete and try to get some wins.”

It was just the third time Ntilikina logged 30 minutes this season, who is battling a sore knee, but the rookie said he felt fine on Friday.

Hornacek was particularly impressed with the chemistry Ntilikina and Burke, who was called up from Westchester in January, had together off the bench and appeared to like the idea of keeping them together.

“They can run different things,” Hornacek said. “Trey is very good in pick and rolls and Frank was able to get on the weak side and do that so the focus isn’t all on him. Trey comes off and swings it to Frank and set a pick and roll there, so there is not as much focus and allows Frank to do a few things.”

The Knicks have 22 games remaining on their schedule and one of Hornacek’s biggest challenges will be managing the minutes Mudiay, Ntilikina — both top 10 first-round draft picks — and Burke, a former first-round bust, receive during the final stretch of the season.

“These three guys,” Hornacek said. “If they approach it as ‘hey, let’s all make each other better and not worry about that stuff’ then it will work out for all of them.”

NOTES

The Knicks will call up forward Isaiah Hicks for Saturday’s game vs. Boston while forward Luke Kornet will head back down to Westchester.

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Knicks’ Kyle O’Quinn named in bombshell Yahoo NCAA report

Knicks’ Kyle O’Quinn named in bombshell Yahoo NCAA report

Knicks center Kyle O’Quinn found himself caught in the middle of an NCAA scandal on Friday.

O’Quinn was one of more than 25 players whose name appeared in documents and bank statements obtained by the FBI and released by Yahoo! Sports of players who accepted some form of payment from ASM Sports agency while in college.

Records from sports agency show that Kyle O'Quinn received some type of 'loan' while at Norfolk State.

Records from sports agency show that Kyle O’Quinn received some type of ‘loan’ while at Norfolk State.

(Eric Francis/Getty Images)

The 27-year-old Knicks center, who played and graduated from Norfolk State, received a so-called “loan” of $1,887.06 according to an ASM Sports balance sheet published by Yahoo.

The acceptance of such payments is against NCAA amateurism rules and would mean O’Quinn would have been ineligible to play.

FBI docs show top NCAA hoops programs, players involved in probe

Not Released (NR)

Sports scandals throughout history

O’Quinn was part of the 2011-12 Norfolk State team which upset No. 2 seed Missouri as a 15-seed in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The scandal includes at least 20 Division I basketball programs involving both current and former players while three criminal cases are also tied to the investigation.

Kyle O'Quinn is among more than 25 players listed in having been given money in violation of NCAA rules.

Kyle O’Quinn is among more than 25 players listed in having been given money in violation of NCAA rules.

(Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

The FBI has been investigating bribery and corruption in college basketball for at least two years and several NCAA assistant coaches and sneaker executives have already been arrested and charged.

Tags:
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new york knicks
kyle o’quinn
college basketball
fbi
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NBA setting up hotline for league employees to report misconduct

NBA setting up hotline for league employees to report misconduct

Days after a Sports Illustrated report detailed a culture “rife with misogyny and predatory sexual behavior” within the Mavericks’ organization, the NBA announced it is establishing a confidential hotline for league and team employees to report concerns about misconduct in their workplace.

Commissioner Adam Silver sent a memo to all 30 teams Thursday detailing plans for the hotline and asking them to review their respect in the workplace policies. The memo states that “respect and integrity are core NBA values, and we all must work to ensure that they are reflected in the culture and workplaces of our organizations.”

The hotline will allow employees to report concerns “including but not limited to sexual harassment, illegality, or other misconduct.”

SI’s report revealed former Mavericks president and CEO Terdema Ussery allegedly sexually harassed female employees repeatedly throughout his 19-year tenure with the team.

Ex-Mavs CEO Terdema Ussery allegedly sexually harassed employees

Former Mavericks president and CEO Terdema Ussery allegedly sexually harassed multiple female employees.

Former Mavericks president and CEO Terdema Ussery allegedly sexually harassed multiple female employees.

(YouTube)

Multiple women told SI they reported their concerns to human resources and their respective supervisors but no action against Ussery was ever taken.

“I felt trapped, frozen, scared,” one woman told SI. “This was the CEO of the organization….and it was clear he wasn’t going to get fired.”

The memo asks teams to complete their review of their policies by March 6.

With

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Nets have no answer for Kemba Walker in 111-96 loss to Hornets

Nets have no answer for Kemba Walker in 111-96 loss to Hornets

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Dwight Howard grabbed a season-high 24 rebounds and added 15 points, Kemba Walker scored 31 and the Charlotte Hornets beat the Brooklyn Nets 111-96 on Thursday night.

Dante Cunningham had 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Nets, who lost their eighth straight game and fell to 19-41.

D’Angelo Russell, starting for the first time since November knee surgery, scored 19 points on 7-of-16 shooting.

All five Charlotte starters scored in double digits and the Hornets hit 52.4 percent from 3-point range. Charlotte improved to 25-33 with its second straight victory.

Howard had a double-double — 10 points and 11 rebounds — after 10 minutes of play in the first quarter. But the Hornets still needed Walker’s big fourth quarter, when he had 14 points on 5-for-6 shooting, to secure the victory.

Both teams were playing their first game since the All-Star break, and had to shake off the accompanying rust that resulted in roller-coaster play. The Hornets held a 55-53 halftime lead after hitting 46 percent behind the arc. Charlotte then had a 13-0 run to start the third quarter, sparked by seven points from Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

Spencer Dinwiddie looks to pass the ball away from Dwight Howard.

Spencer Dinwiddie looks to pass the ball away from Dwight Howard.

(Bob Leverone/AP)

The Hornets outscored the Nets 31-22 in the fourth.

TIP-INS

Nets: Have yet to win in February. Their last win came Jan. 31 against Philadelphia. . Russell started for the first time since Nov. 11. The guard had arthroscopic surgery to “remove loose bodies” in his knee. Russell returned to the lineup Jan. 19, but has been playing in a reserve role. . Allen Crabbe’s second 3-pointer was his 140th of the season, moving him into sole possession of seventh place in Nets’ single-season history. . Both Russell and DeMarre Carroll received technical fouls in the game.

Hornets: Howard had his fifth game of 20 or more rebounds this season, one shy of the most by a player in Charlotte franchise history. . Charlotte has just 10 home games remaining this season. . This marked the first game the Hornets played since general manager Rich Cho was fired last week. Assistant general manager Buzz Peterson has assumed the position in an interim role.

UP NEXT

Nets: Host Chicago on Monday.

Hornets: Visit Washington on Friday. 

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