Good morning. We will miss you, Jabari Parker.
Good morning. Injuries are awful things in most circumstances, but they seem especially cruel when they happen to the youngest players in the league. Take Jabari Parker, who has torn his ACL and will miss the rest of the season for his Bucks. He’d been an early frontrunner for Rookie of the Year, his team was exciting and different, and he had a strong chance of making the playoffs as the team’s best scorer and a top-3 contributor. All of that is put on hold now so he can heal himself in time for next season.
And we all hold our breath to pray he won’t be the next player to suffer one knee injury after another, robbing him of a successful career. The same applies to Julius Randle of the Lakers: we just want these young players to show what they’ve got and break some eggs, not legs. Add in the terrible injuries to veterans that happen every year and the next frontier of basketball really is physiological advancement. Teams should be putting huge amounts of research into how to protect bodies from injury. Frankly, the players’ union should be involved, too. The findings could help many non-basketball players — senior citizens, averages Joes and high school athletes could all benefit from knowing how to better diagnose and treat injuries like the ones NBA players suffer. This is one of the few areas where a sports league can actually widely improve the daily life for Americans, win or lose.
Alright. Let’s basketball.
THE WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWARRIORS TAKE AN L: Golden State’s 16-game winning streak was snapped by a Memphis team that is now 20-4. The West is unfair.
MORE RESULTS: The Pelicans beat the Jazz to retain ownership of the No. 8 seed in the West, but the Thunder beat the Kings and sit just a half-game back. The Mavericks trounced the Knicks, the Wizards beat the Wolves and the Heat outlasted the Nets in that thrilling (not thrilling) playoff chase. You can find recaps for all of these at our NBA Scores hub.
DUNKS OF THE YEAR! Can you have two legitimate Dunk of the Year candidates on the same night? Let’s try: first Rudy Gay pumps on Serge Ibaka, then Russell Westbrook destroys an invisible defender, the rim and everything.
HEY: Did Harrison Barnes get his face mask at The Scary Face Mask Store? Because that thing is scary.
TAKE NOTES, JOEY CRAWFORD: Andre Iguodala’s travel dance is pretty darn good.
SHOULDA LET HIM KEEP WEARING THOSE SUNGLASSES: A ref pokes Dwyane Wade in the eye.
MVP RANKINGS! Jason Patt discussed how MVP-like Russell Westbrook has been, and then Westy went out and had his best game of the season. Dan Rubenstein has Anthony Davis. I’m going with Dirk Rapping About Monta, obviously.
THE NEW INNOVATORS Paul Flannery and I discussed the Vivek situation in Sacramento and whether franchisees can ever really beat the system. It’s a conversation that’s going to happen a lot in the next 10 years as all this new money tries to buy an edge.
ON ‘LOSING HABITS’: Zach Lowe on the ignored evolution of the Sixers.
EYEBROW RAISING: Mark Jackson was in Sacramento to call the Kings game for ESPN. Afterward, he, his close friend and Kings adviser Chris Mullin, their old friend and Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro and, uh, DeMarcus Cousins met in a private arena lounge for more than 90 minutes. Huh.
TOTALLY COOL: You can play as Isaiah Austin in 2K15.
AGENT OF CHANGE: Awesome Howard Beck piece on Rudy Gay.
Happy Wednesday. See you next time.
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