LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Lakers rookie forward Julius Randle is expected to miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on his broken right leg.
The seventh overall pick out of Kentucky broke his leg in the fourth quarter of his NBA debut in Los Angeles’ season-opening loss to the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night. Randle was strapped to a wheeled stretcher and taken off the Staples Center court after colliding with two Rockets and landing awkwardly with 6:46 to play.
Before Wednesday’s game at Phoenix, the Lakers announced that Randle’s injury was just as serious as it appeared.
Randle’s surgery was performed by Dr. Donald Wiss at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He is expected to make a full recovery, but the Lakers anticipate he won’t play this season.
“I think we’re all a little shocked by it, disappointed, hurt, all those things are probably going through all our minds,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said before the tip-off against the Suns. “I know I didn’t get a lot of sleep just thinking about the young fella.”
The 19-year-old power forward was the SEC’s top freshman while helping Kentucky to reach the NCAA championship game last season. He was thrilled to be drafted by his favorite childhood team to play alongside Kobe Bryant, one of his idols.
Scott said that after the game he spent time with Randle, “just basically holding him and listening to him cry and trying to console him as much as possible,”
Dallas signs Barea: J.J. Barea is the latest to join the championship reunion for the Dallas Mavericks.
The diminutive guard who played a key role in Dallas’ 2011 NBA Finals victory over Miami signed with the Mavericks on Wednesday after clearing waivers following his release by Minnesota.
Barea is back with Dirk Nowitzki and Tyson Chandler, the center whose leadership played a big part in the franchise’s only championship.
Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban decided three years ago not to bring back several key pieces of his title team because he thought the long-term contracts would hurt his salary cap flexibility under the new labor agreement.
As a result, Chandler and Barea went elsewhere on four-year deals: Chandler to the New York Knicks and Barea to the Timberwolves.
Chandler came back in an offseason trade for the final year of a contract that was originally worth $55 million. He’s making almost $15 million this year.
Taylor pleads guilty to domestic violence: In East Lansing, Michigan, Charlotte Hornets forward Jeffery Taylor pleaded guilty Wednesday to a domestic violence charge and admitted he pushed his girlfriend at a hotel in Michigan.
The news came just hours before the Hornets were set to open the regular season against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Taylor pleaded guilty in East Lansing District Court to domestic abuse and malicious destruction of property charges. He faces up to 93 days in jail, but prosecutors say they won’t oppose a diversion program that could clear Taylor’s record if he complies with probation rules.
In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dropped an assault and battery charge involving an employee at a Marriot hotel in East Lansing. Authorities have said that Taylor attacked his girlfriend and the employee Sept. 25.