Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Irving suffered a dislocated left knee cap injury in 2015, and has had some soreness-related issues with the knee this season but nothing severe enough to keep him from not playing.
The report also indicated that Irving would have surgery in the offseason to help ease some of the soreness that the five-time all-star was experiencing.
When asked about whether he was having work done in the offseason on the knee, Irving wasn’t nearly as definitive in shooting that down.
“It sounds like a HIPAA violation,” Irving said. “That’s what it sounds like to me.”
So this is the report in question:
According to sources, Irving needs minor knee surgery as a follow to the procedure he underwent during the 2015 Finals to repair his broken kneecap. It’s not pressing — Irving is averaging 24.5 points and shooting a career-high .477 from the field — but the procedure would ease some of the swelling and day-to-day pain he feels.
Such a procedure is typically done in the offseason, but he threatened to not come to training camp (first reported by ESPN) and then have the procedure during the season, leaving the Cavs without a point guard.
When asked about the reported threat yesterday, Kyrie flat out denied it, when asked about a potential future knee surgery, Kyrie was a bit more cryptic.
It’s hard to imagine Kyrie opening negotiations with a threat to sit out an entire season. Especially under the pretext of what seems to be a relatively minor procedure.
But that’s where we’re at now. Yes, as @OldTakesExposed pointed out, this is the usual time of year for “What’s wrong with the Cavs?” stories, but you’d have to be clueless not to sense the extent to which this year is different.
Page 2: Where Marcus wants you to know he’s really sorry
According to sources, the club took additional time to investigate the matter and determined it to be nothing more than a mishandled outburst of anger, for which Smart has somewhat of a reputation. The injured area includes the knuckles, which leads to the lengthier recovery period.
Smart took to social media yesterday, writing on Twitter, “I want to take this time to express my sincerest apologies to my teammates, coaches, and most of all the amazing Boston Celtics fans. I’m embarrassed and disappointed in my actions. I swiped at and hit a picture frame on the wall. I feel like I let all y’all down”
He added in a second tweet, “I promise I will learn from this situation and come back better than ever. I love y’all and I truly appreciate all the support”
And yes, I know that Marcus has done some good things in the community, and we all know he had a really rugged childhood. But here’s the problem: He says he’s working on his temper, but we’re not seeing any progress. This latest incident came almost a year to the day after Marcus tempted fate with another outburst after another loss, putting a hole in the wall of a Washington locker room. On that occasion, Smart posted this apology:
In substance it’s much the same as the one he issued yesterday.
Will the embarrassment of missing time and having to get flown back to Boston make a difference? Who knows–but one thing’s certain, Marcus has to prove that he’s figured things out. Losing his temper, doing something incredibly stupid and then apologizing about it afterward? We’ve already seen that show too many times.
If Marcus’s agent has any sense he’ll let Smart know that his little tantrum probably cost him several million dollars. It undoubtedly reduced the price Ainge is willing to pay to keep him (barring some crazy change in performance over the conclusion of the season & playoffs), and the price other teams–even the really stupid ones–are willing to pay to acquire him.
The rest of the links
MassLive: Al Horford returns to Boston Celtics practice after concussion scare | Boston Celtics news: Kyrie Irving says ‘it will be fun’ to team up with LeBron James, Kevin Love at NBA All-Star Game | Brad Stevens ‘disappointed’ Boston Celtics’ Marcus Smart injured hand while striking picture frame | Boston Celtics news: Kyrie Irving denies he threatened to undergo knee surgery if Cleveland Cavaliers wouldn’t trade him