Brooklyn Nets All-Star guard Kyrie Irving made his return from suspension on Sunday night and received a warm reception from fans.
In other news, legendary San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has opened up on his relationship with his former player Kawhi Leonard.
On that note, here are the latest news stories from around the NBA as of November 21, 2022.
Kyrie Irving made his return from an eight game suspension on Sunday against the Memphis Grizzlies. Irving was suspended by the Nets on November 3. This came after he tweeted a link to an antisemitic film and failed to offer a prompt apology.
He was then given a list of requirements to fulfill before he could return to the team. After completing these requirements, Irving made his highly-anticipated return to the court.
When introduced in the starting lineup before Sunday’s game, Irving received an ovation from the home crowd.
Kyrie Irving finished with 14 points, five rebounds, one steal and a block on 41.7% shooting. The Nets won the match 127-115 against a shorthanded Grizzlies team, who were without Ja Morant and Desmond Bane. Nets superstar forward Kevin Durant led Brooklyn with 26 points while Memphis wing Dillon Brooks finished with a game-high 31 points.
Following the win, the Nets improved to 8-9 and ninth in the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies fell to 10-7 and sixth in the Western Conference.
LA Clippers superstar forward Kawhi Leonard developed his game from being a defensive specialist to a two-time NBA Finals MVP. One of these Finals MVPs came in 2014 during his time with the San Antonio Spurs.
Leonard was expected to be the team’s cornerstone of the future, before requesting a trade in 2018. However, legendary coach Gregg Popovich has no hard feelings for Leonard and still admires him.
Popovich was asked about Leonard’s development before the Spurs’ 119-97 loss to the Clippers on Saturday. He raved about Leonard’s improvement and called him a Hall of Fame player.
Likewise, Kawhi Leonard was very positive when later asked about his relationship with Gregg Popovich.
Leonard and Popovich also both embraced after the game, which was a welcome sight for both Spurs fans and basketball fans in general.
The Detroit Pistons (3-15) are off to a terrible start this season and have the worst record in the league. This includes their current seven-game losing streak. Their situation appears to be getting worse as they are now expected to be without Cade Cunningham for the foreseeable future.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Cunningham is out indefinitely due to a stress fracture in his shin.
In 12 games this season, Cunningham averaged 19.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game. Detroit is 3-9 in the games that he has played in and 0-6 in games he has missed.
Damian Lillard recently returned from a calf injury that sidelined him for five games. Unfortunately for Blazers fans, it looks like Portland will be without Lillard for an additional period moving forward.
Following Portland’s 118-113 Saturday night loss to the Utah Jazz, Lillard had an MRI taken. The MRI revealed a grade one strain to the soleus muscle in Lillard’s right lower leg. He will be re-evaluated in one to two weeks.
Damian Lillard is averaging 26.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game in 11 games this season. The Blazers are 7-4 in games Lillard has played in and 3-2 in the games he has missed. Their overall record of 10-6 has them third in the Western Conference.
Amid their disappointing 8-9 start to the season, the New York Knicks are reportedly considering trading guards Derrick Rose and Immanuel Quickley. This news comes via the latest report from Shams Charania.
In 17 games this season, Quickley has averaged 8.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 steals per game. Meanwhile, Derrick Rose is averaging 6.8 points, 1.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game this season.
The Knicks already have a capable starter at the point guard position in Jalen Brunson. So it makes sense for the team to upgrade their wing depth by using either Rose or Quickley.
Adding a reliable two-way forward to their core of Brunson, Julius Randle and RJ Barrett could help the Knicks get back into the playoff picture.
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