OKLAHOMA CITY — Thunder forward and defensive specialist Serge Ibaka will miss the rest of the NBA playoffs because of a left calf injury.
Ibaka underwent an MRI on Friday, one day after Oklahoma City eliminated the Los Angeles Clippers and advanced to the Western Conference finals against the Spurs. Game 1 is Monday night in San Antonio.
Ibaka was injured during the third quarter of Thursday night’s win.
Ibaka’s athletic ability and mid-range jumper have been keys for the team. He averaged 12.2 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in 13 postseason games. During the 2013-14 regular season, he notched career-highs with 15.1 points and 8.8 rebounds while leading the league in total blocks for the fourth consecutive season with 219.
Bobcats set to become Hornets
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte Bobcats have announced they will officially change their name to the Charlotte Hornets next Tuesday.
The team said in a press release Friday there will be a press conference at its downtown arena to commemorate the change.
The announcement comes nearly one year after team owner Michael Jordan first said he planned to change the name and “bring back the buzz” to Charlotte. Jordan’s request for a name change was approved by NBA owners last July.
The Hornets resided in Charlotte from 1988-2002 under then-owner George Shinn before he moved the team — and its name — to New Orleans.
New Orleans last year changed its name to the Pelicans under new owner Tom Benson, freeing up Charlotte to reclaim the Hornets name and logo.
AP source: Sterling won’t pay
Donald Sterling’s lawyer has written the NBA stating the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers does not intend to pay the $2.5 million fine imposed by the league for racist comments, a person with knowledge of the letter’s contents said.
Sports Illustrated first reported the letter from Maxwell Blecher. The contents were confirmed by the person who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.
Blecher, a prominent antitrust attorney, acknowledged sending a letter but would not discuss its contents Friday.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling for life and imposed the fine following the release late last month of a recording in which Sterling makes racist remarks. Silver also called on owners to vote Sterling out of the league.