NBA players must weigh risks, rewards of going for Olympic gold
An injury suffered by Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers has renewed concerns over whether NBA players should participate in international competitions such as the Olympics.
LAS VEGAS — The exact moment All-Star forward Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers suffered the knee injury that derailed his quest for an Olympic gold medal is unknown, but his forced withdrawal has renewed concerns over whether NBA players should participate in international events such as the London Games.
Griffin was injured while practicing Wednesday — the same day he signed a five-year, $95 million contract extension with the Clippers.
"That's a big loss," U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "Blake was playing really well for us."
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been one of the most outspoken critics of the Dream Team concept for the Olympics and recently called the continued use of free superstar labor the "epitome of stupidity" since league owners assume most of the risk if their multimillion-dollar investments get injured.
Irving breaks hand
CLEVELAND — Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving broke his right hand during a summer-league practice in Las Vegas and could be sidelined for two months, team officials said.
The league's rookie of the year injured his hand slapping padding on a wall after making a turnover. Irving was dazzling during recent scrimmages against the Olympic team.
Wroten, Ross make impact
Ex-Washington Huskies guard Tony Wroten Jr., a first-round draft choice by Memphis last month, helped the Grizzlies beat the New York Knicks 93-77 in an NBA Summer League game in Las Vegas.
Wroten, a former standout at Garfield High School in Seattle, scored 19 points and added team-high totals of eight rebounds and six assists.
Former UW player Terrence Ross, a first-round pick by Toronto last month, made his summer-league debut Friday and scored a team-high 21 points in a 93-81 loss to Houston. Ross made 8 of 19 shots from the field.
• Point guard Raymond Felton will be signed and traded by Portland to the Knicks, calling into question whether New York will match Houston's offer sheet to Jeremy Lin.
• The Hornets have matched the Phoenix Suns' four-year, $58 million offer to 23-year-old guard Eric Gordon, keeping the restricted free agent in New Orleans.
• Charlotte has been awarded center Brendan Haywood, 32, off waivers from Dallas.