Basketball Is Happening
On Lonzo, MJ, The Truth's truth and ... uh, me?
Good morning. Let’s basketball.
The Forge, Francisco Goya, 1817
Lonzo Ball’s Knee Is Breaking My Heart
This is not an update you want to hear about a player who hasn’t played since January 2022.
The Chicago Bulls, guard Lonzo Ball and Klutch Sports announced today that Ball will undergo a cartilage transplant in his left knee. Ball will remain out indefinitely.
I’ve never heard of a basketball player receiving a cartilage transplant. It sounds bad. Frankly, it freaks me out a little.
What’s been particularly unnerving in following Ball’s injury is that it appears that nothing has worked. This is his third procedure in the past 14 months on the same knee. Three knee surgeries in 14 months because the first two didn’t work. How frustrating must that be? From a broader health standpoint, there’s little more unnerving than a medical issue that doctors can’t really solve. And when you consider that Ball has access to some of the best doctors in the world and basically unlimited resources, it makes health all the more scary for normal people like us.
Best wishes to Lonzo, who is a delight to watch play basketball. The Bulls, meanwhile, will really have to consider how they build going forward not knowing when or if Ball will suit up again.
Michael Jordan Is Selling the Hornets
This is actually rather surprising news: Michael Jordan is in talks to sell a majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets, reports Woj. Jordan is, of course, the most famous basketball personality of all time and has owned the Hornets for a little more than a decade, getting them for a bargain basement price from Bob Johnson in the run-up to the 2011 NBA lockout.
It’s going to be really interesting to see what the price ends up being. On one hand, I cannot see any NBA franchise selling for less than a billion dollars. On the other hand, I cannot fathom in my 2000s, 2010s and early 2020s brain the Charlotte Hornets being worth $1 billion.
I’m not sure why anyone sells a professional sports team these days unless it’s because they did some racism and/or sexual harassment OR they have a liquidity crunch OR they inherited the team OR expect to be releasing their mortal coil soon. (That got dark. Sorry.) I’m also not sure how I feel about another NBA team being owned by hedge funders. Actually, I’m a little sure that I don’t like it. But this is modern American wealth, isn’t it?
Jordan is the NBA’s only Black majority owner, for what it’s worth.
Bogdan Bogdanovic Is Still a Hawk
The Hawks reached an extension agreement with Bogdan Bogdanovic: four years, $68 million. Interesting news for a team expected to do some level of rebooting this offseason given disappointing results in Year 1 of the Trae Young-Dejounte Murray experience.
John Collins remains the obvious most likely candidate for new environs, but Bogdanovic wasn’t far behind considering Murray’s presence in the starting five and the young wings Atlanta has collected.
You could argue that one of the biggest factors in the Hawks’ tumble from the Eastern Conference Finals in 2021 to being completely pedestrian the last two seasons is that Bogdanovic’s health has been shaky and his efficiency has tumbled. He’s back up to shooting 40% on threes this season, but he shot 44% on higher volume in 2021. Last season was his healthiest in Atlanta but he shot just 36% from deep and seemed to lose some confidence.
We’ll see if Atlanta considers moving Bogdanovic once they’re allowed under cap rules. Weird roster, interesting player.
Paul Pierce Is Proving ‘The Truth’ Is Just a Nickname
This clip is just hilarious. Paul, dear: they do not believe you. At all.
You have a Hall of Fame career and you sit down for a recorded interview with the next generation of Celtics legends and they ask you about the conspiracy theory that you got wheeled to the locker room during the NBA Finals because of an untimely bowel movement. Life is crazy.