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Monday, February 24, 2020

Basketball

Morris twins likely to live together despite playing for rival teams

The Morris twins could be getting right back to their old shenanigans again.

On Friday, LA Clippers forward Marcus Morris reacted to the news of twin brother Markieff planning to sign with the rival Los Angeles Lakers by saying that they are now likely going to be living together.

“If he goes to LA, then s— I’m gonna be in Staples Center all the time,” said Marcus, per ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “I think maybe to y’all it might be weird that I’m going to all his games but that’s what’ll probably happen. And we’ll probably get a house together.”

The identical twin brothers attended college together at the University of Kansas before both being selected with back-to-back first-round picks in the 2011 draft. Then in 2013, Marcus was traded to the Phoenix Suns, reuniting him with Markieff. However, Marcus was then shipped away to the Detroit Pistons in 2015, and they have played in different cities ever since.

The two brothers even share an agent, and now that they will probably be sharing a home too, hopefully they don’t leave any playbooks lying around.

Karl-Anthony Towns injury update: He is out at least two more weeks with wrist fracture

Karl Anthony Towns

Karl-Anthony Towns will be out at least two more weeks due to a wrist fracture, the Minnesota Timberwolves announced on Friday.

Towns injured his wrist in January and underwent an MRI earlier this month. He missed one game before the All-Star break and will not be playing on Friday night when Minnesota plays its first game since the break.

The Timberwolves announced the following regarding Towns:

After sustaining a left wrist injury, Towns received a period of treatment and monitoring from the Wolves medical staff. Continued evaluation of the injury confirmed a wrist fracture. While Towns has been diligent in treatment with a goal of return to play, he has been assessed by multiple specialists over the last several days and the team continues to gather information on the optimal management strategies.

Towns has averaged 26.5 points and 10.8 rebounds per game in 35 contests this season. The 24-year-old big man made the All-Star Game the last two years, but not this season. He recently vented about the losing with the franchise.

Report: Markieff Morris to sign with Lakers

Lakers logo

Markieff Morris is headed west.

The forward intends to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers after being bought out by the Detroit Pistons, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

This quickly emerged as the likely outcome once it had been reported that Morris was going to be bought out by Detroit. The Toronto Raptors also harbored some interest.

The veteran forward is averaging 11 points per game while shooting a career-high 39.7 percent from three-point range. He’ll be a depth option for the Lakers, but he has a chance to be a valuable one, especially if he can keep shooting at the rate he has been with the Pistons.

Report: Lakers the frontrunner to sign Markieff Morris after Pistons buyout

Detroit Pistons

The Detroit Pistons have entered a full-blown rebuilding phase now that Blake Griffin is out for the season and they have traded Andre Drummond, and they are not going to make veteran forward Markieff Morris stick around for it.

Morris and the Pistons have agreed to a buyout, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. The Los Angeles Lakers are the early frontrunner to sign him.

Morris has averaged 11.0 points and 3.9 rebounds in 22.5 minutes per game this season. He’s converting a career-high 39.7 percent of his attempts from three-point range.

There should be plenty of interest in Morris from contending teams outside of the Lakers and Toronto Raptors. There were reportedly multiple teams that explored the possibility of trading for him prior to the trade deadline earlier this month.

Morris is not having as good of a season as his twin brother Marcus, but he could still play an important role on a contending team. He likely will not be a free agent for very long.

Kemba Walker had knee drained to reduce swelling after All-Star Game

Kemba Walker Celtics

The Boston Celtics will return to action from the All-Star Break on Friday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves, but they will be without Kemba Walker for that game and potentially beyond.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told reporters on Friday that Walker experienced some swelling in his knee after the All-Star Game and needed to have it drained. Walker’s knee has bothered him at various points throughout the season, and Stevens said the star point guard would not have played in the All-Star Game had he known this could potentially happen.

Stevens would not rule out Walker returning for Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers, and he said he does not expect the injury to be a long-term concern. However, the Celtics undoubtedly wish Walker had taken the All-Star Break off now in hindsight.

Walker, who played in all 82 games for the Charlotte Hornets last year, has missed eight games this season. He downplayed his knee trouble a few weeks ago and said it was the basic wear and tear from playing a lot of basketball, but it will certainly be something for Boston to monitor going forward.

Walker is averaging 21.8 points, 5.0 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game in his first season with the Celtics. He’s an intense competitor who never wants to leave the floor, but keeping him healthy for the postseason will be a priority for Boston.

Ben Gordon opens up about his suicidal behavior, mental health in chilling story

Ben Gordon’s life essentially spiraled out of control once his playing career ended, and the former NBA star has decided to share his story with the world.

Gordon wrote a piece for The Players’ Tribune this week in which he opened up about his mental health issues, which he says have led him to the brink of suicide. Gordon described how he has always had an obsessive personality, and he was able to channel that at a young age to help him become a basketball star. After he was waived by the Golden State Warriors before the start of the 2015-16 season, things went downhill in a hurry.

Gordon said he thought about committing suicide every single day for about six weeks straight. He described how he suffered from insomnia and would go to the roof of his apartment building at 4 a.m. and think about jumping off.

“I was obsessed with killing myself. It’s all I researched, all I thought about,” Gordon wrote. “One night my panic attacks got so bad that all I could think about was escape. Man, I’m telling you … you become like an animal. It’s instinctive.”

In chilling detail, Gordon described how he tied a jump rope around his neck one night and hung himself. He said as he felt himself suffocating he thought for the first time, “You don’t really want to kill yourself … you just want to kill this anxiety.” Fortunately, Gordon freed himself before it was too late.

Gordon was arrested several times for his erratic behavior in 2017, and he credits getting arrested four times in five months with saving his life. A judge ordered Gordon to go to 18 months of court-mandated therapy, and he said talking about his issues helped.

“It helped me work some things out,” Gordon wrote. “But more than anything, I think it helped me embrace the fact that — it’s like, Yo, B, you’re different. And that’s alright. You don’t have to be perfect. Those habits that got you to the league? They don’t translate to real life.”

The entire piece is worth reading. It’s easy to poke fun at Gordon over some of the ways he has gotten himself into trouble, but the former No. 3 overall pick is obviously dealing with serious mental health issues. We hope he’s able to remain on the right path.

Video: Russell Westbrook ejected from Rockets-Warriors game

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook got ejected from Thursday night’s Houston Rockets-Golden State Warriors game after getting into it with his opponents.

Midway through the fourth quarter, Westbrook followed up an Austin Rivers made layup by grabbing what he thought was the rebound. He elbowed Damion Lee and then challenged Lee by yelling at his opponent:

As if that weren’t enough, Westbrook then had words with many Warriors players — even ones on the bench.

Westbrook was called for a technical foul, which was his second of the game, triggering an ejection.

Westbrook had 21 points and 10 assists before being tossed. The Rockets guard is now up to 13 technical fouls on the season. If he gets three more, he would be suspended for a game.