Sports Illustrated named the Golden State Warriors as Sportsperson of the Year.
“This is a pretty cool honor and something we cherish as a group and organization,” Warriors guard Stephen Curry said in a team release. “I know I speak on behalf of my teammates when I say we’re humbled with this recognition.”
Curry said the Warriors are thrilled to be in “exclusive company” of the other three teams to win the typically individual recognition from SI: the 1980 U.S. Men’s Olympic hockey team, the 1999 U.S. Women’s Olympic soccer team and the 2004 Boston Red Sox.
“For all the individual brilliance of Steph Curry — a selection whom few would have protested — the Warriors have always been most delightfully viewed through a collective prism. There have been superteams that have forced us to reimagine how the game is played, but none perhaps in a generation, maybe two, are so beautifully choreographed as the Warriors,” Sports Illustrated explained.
—While the results remain to be seen, Chicago Bulls players and head coach Jim Boylen appear to agree that team meetings Sunday were productive following a historic loss against the Boston Celtics a day earlier.
The Bulls endured a franchise-worst, 56-point rout by Boston during which Boylen made five-player substitutions and said he benched his starters because he wanted them to be fresh for a Sunday practice.
Reports swirled that players were on the verge of a revolt, but Boylen insists that only “a couple of guys” didn’t want to practice after a long week that included a game or a practice for seven consecutive days.
“The truth is we had a couple guys that thought a Sunday practice was excessive after the week we had,” Boylen said. “And they have to trust me that if I bring them in here to practice, I’m going to manage their legs and manage what we’re going to do. ... (Sunday) was a blessing for where we have to go. What was best was coming in, being together and growing. Some guys felt that was excessive. We cleared that up, and we’re moving on.”
—Rajon Rondo’s return to the Los Angeles Lakers has been delayed at least two games after he had his right hand drained Sunday, coach Luke Walton told reporters.
“There’s a little bit of swelling,” Walton said. “We’re going to shut him down for a few days then get back out after it again.”
The four-time All-Star has not played since Nov. 14 when he injured his hand in the fourth quarter of a game versus the Portland Trail Blazers. Rondo stumbled after grabbing a rebound and put his hand down in an effort to break his fall. He had surgery two days later to repair the fractured third metacarpal bone in his right hand. Prior to the setback, Rondo had been cleared to increase contact last week and was close to rejoining L.A.
—Kyrie Irving is out with right shoulder soreness for the Boston Celtics’ Monday matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans.
The 26-year-old point guard appeared to injure his shoulder during Thursday night’s 129-100 romp over the New York Knicks. Irving said he hurt the shoulder making a pass to Marcus Smart with four minutes remaining. He stayed in the game for about a minute before exiting.
“I saw the doctors afterward and they said AC joint or something going on there, but I’ll be all right,” said Irving, who had 22 points and eight assists Thursday. He also played 23 minutes Saturday during the Celtics’ 133-77 rout of the Bulls, scoring 13 points and notching four rebounds and five assists.
—DeMarcus Cousins is scheduled to practice with the Warriors’ G-League team in Santa Cruz.
Cousins will participate in 5-on-5 scrimmages, then return to Oakland for the Warriors’ game against the Timberwolves. Barring a setback, he’ll return to Santa Cruz for another workout with the team on Wednesday.
Cousins joined the Warriors on a one-year, $5.3 million deal in free agency with the expectation he could return to the court early in 2019 after recovering from a ruptured Achilles suffered last January.
—The Denver Nuggets signed veteran Nick Young to the injury hardship relief exception and waived guard Brandon Goodwin.
Young spent last season with the Warriors, averaging 7.3 points and 1.6 rebounds in 80 games. The 33-year-old will help fill in for Gary Harris, the team’s third-leading scorer who is expected to miss up to a month with a right hip injury suffered last week.
Young is an 11-year veteran who has averaged 11.4 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 716 career games. The L.A. native has also spent time with the Lakers and Clippers along with the Philadelphia 76ers and the Washington Wizards since starting for Southern Cal.
—Field Level Media