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Posted at 1:53 PM ET, 02/10/2011

Rashard Lewis says "surgery is an option" but plans to play through right knee pain

By Michael Lee

Cut me some slack, ref. You try playing through knee tendinitis. (AP Photo/Mike Fuentes)


Rashard Lewis's troubles with his right knee were evident early into his run with the Wizards, when he showed up with a bag of ice wrapped around it -- at halftime -- on Dec. 27, the second night of his first back-to-back set with the team in Houston. Lewis had problems with knee tendinitis in Orlando, which contributed to some of the decline in his play, but it has started to become unbearable with the Wizards' grueling schedule.

"It's been off and on the past couple of years. It's at the top of my knee, but this year it seems like it's been an ongoing problem for some reason. It started in Orlando early in the season, and it just seems like its been getting worse and worse as the season's been going on," Lewis said. "It's most definitely got worse since I've got here and especially this past month, we've been having a lot of games, so it's just been kind of battling that and just trying to get rid of it."

Lewis had complained of some discomfort last Saturday, when the Wizards completed their fifth set of back-to-back games, with a loss to Atlanta. He scored just three points on 1 of 5 shooting in the Wizards' 100-85 win on Wednesday over Milwaukee and had his knee covered in bags of ice during his breaks in action. Afterward, Lewis said in the locker room that his knee "doesn't look good."

The Wizards had a voluntary workout day on Thursday, and Lewis used it as an opportunity to get some treatment and rest as the team prepares for a back-to-back set against the best team in the league (San Antonio) and the worst team in the league (Cleveland). He said "surgery is an option" but added that he would like to at least play through the all-star break before seriously considering it.

"The plan is to play Saturday and Sunday," Lewis said. "I'll most definitely try to play Saturday. Depending on how it feels on Sunday, I'll see if I can go on Sunday. That's when I've been having problems, on back-to-back games."

Coach Flip Saunders said the team plans to sit out Lewis for Friday's practice with the hope that the pain will subside. Lewis has been asked to play a different position with the Wizards, switching from power forward to small forward. The switch -- combined with a schedule that saw the Wizards play 10 games in 16 days -- has started to take its toll.

"We haven't had many days off," Saunders said. "He's been playing a lot of minutes. He went from playing the four, where basically, he's going to be around the basket a lot, to guarding a lot of threes, chasing, moving a lot more offensively, from one side to another. He's got a lot more wear and tear with how we've been using him recently. So we're going to give him a couple of days off and hopefully, he'll be ready to go Saturday."

Lewis said more rest would help, but "I don't feel like now is the time to be resting. We're trying to win ball games. That's the only thing that can help, rest and rehab, but I've talked about things we can do with the trainer. Surgery is an option, just to clean it out, a scope, but it's not something that I want to do right now. I think it'd be an option after the season, but we're going to see how it feels over these next couple of games leading up to the break, just to decide what we're going to do."

By Michael Lee  | February 10, 2011; 1:53 PM ET
Categories:  Rashard Lewis  
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Next: John Wall trying to "take the challenge" defensively

Comments

My suggestion would be the opposite, to have Lewis rest Saturday (vs. Spurs) and play Sunday (vs. Cavs) given it's a more important game.

Posted by: wizzfanzz11 | February 10, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

BTW word is that Jerry Sloan is stepping down. If that's the case, Wiz should fire Flipper immediately and hire Sloan. He's a coaching GOD!

Posted by: dovelevine | February 10, 2011 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I found this notheworthy with regards to our young guys:

John Wall and Young make up one of the most promising guard tandems in the game.

That's what I'm talkin about! Let's see some chemistry built between the two over the rest of the season, that would be a great scenario headed into the offseason. If Wall comes back next year with even a semi-reliable J, the two of them could be deadly. Glimmer of hope there.

Posted by: divi3 | February 10, 2011 3:12 PM | Report abuse

"BTW word is that Jerry Sloan is stepping down. If that's the case, Wiz should fire Flipper immediately and hire Sloan. He's a coaching GOD!"

Posted by: dovelevine | February 10, 2011 3:04 PM

His failure to bring a title to the Jazz in his 20+ years would confine him to demigod status, at best.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 10, 2011 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Even if Lewis's knee wasn't hurting he'd still be taking 18 foot jumpers at the end of games. Poor shot selection.

"His failure to bring a title to the Jazz in his 20+ years would confine him to demigod status, at best."

Still better then Flip. Gonna email Ted now. :)

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 10, 2011 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I'm sure Slaon would jump at the chance to coach this team. Because it's not like he won't have multiple offers.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 10, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Less minutes for Rashard and more PT for Booker. Yes, I hope ESPN will telecast the Wiz-Cavs.

Posted by: Dave381 | February 10, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Sloan was one "shove" away from winning a title.

Posted by: Dave381 | February 10, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Some more info on Sloan's reported departure:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/early-lead/2011/02/report_utah_jazz_coach_jerry_s.html?hpid=top

Wojnaroski writes that Sloan's relationship with Deron Williams was at the heart of the problem. As the relationship between the two deteriorated, Sloan grew tired of dealing with Williams. "He decided right there in halftime that he was done," a league source told Wojnaroski. "He felt like ownership was listening more to Williams than they were to him anymore. He was done."

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 10, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Two sources close to the situation told ESPN.com's Marc Stein that Sloan reacted angrily during Wednesday night's home loss when guard Deron Williams called his own play on the floor different from the play Sloan called from the sideline.

That led to an emotional dispute at halftime, sources said, which was followed by Sloan's closed-door meeting with O'Connor after the game.

And people say Saunders over-reacts when he pulls a guy from a game for running the wrong play.

But seriously, part of me would love to see Sloan take over the Wiz, if only to revel in the look of horror on some of the fans faces when they realize that Sloan is like a walking avatar of most of the stuff they complain about with Saunders (overly critical, inflexible, no creativity in the offense, quick with a hook, doesn't give young players a lot of leeway).

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 10, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Wow, they are saying Sloan and Williams almost "came to blows" at halftime

Posted by: divi3 | February 10, 2011 4:26 PM | Report abuse

if only to revel in the look of horror on some of the fans faces when they realize that Sloan is like a walking avatar of most of the stuff they complain about with Saunders (overly critical, inflexible, no creativity in the offense, quick with a hook, doesn't give young players a lot of leeway).

I think most fans could deal with it since it would mean P&Rs became the basis of our offense rather than 15' Js from 7' PFs.

Seriously though...he's too old for a rebuilding club to be worth his time nor ours.

Posted by: divi3 | February 10, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

"I think most fans could deal with it since it would mean P&Rs became the basis of our offense rather than 15' Js from 7' PFs."

Yeah, because pick and rolls never result in big men who set the picks shooting jumpshots, right?

And, of course, in order to execute a pick and roll, you need a big man who actually knows how to set a pick, something the Wiz have long been in short supply of.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 10, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Rashard, can u be a bit more candid about your knee? we are trying to trade you. thanks!

Posted by: mrhney03 | February 10, 2011 4:42 PM | Report abuse

"...something the Wiz have long been in short supply of."

Not true.

Yi can set fabulous picks. He just can't stay healthy because he's kinda soft.

I just think it's funny after all of this time that people would be saying anything bad about Sloan. He's one of the best coaches in the NBA, he just has nothing to show for it. I mean he's not Phil Jackson, but he's right under him.

I mean seriously, how many coaches would you take in front of him? He'll get multiple offers, and improve whatever team he ends up coaching. You can't say that about Flip.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 10, 2011 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Wall seems to be able to use the picks he gets, maybe Gil and Kirk are just too slow.

Posted by: divi3 | February 10, 2011 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Daany Ferry for GM. Wonder if he'd have an interest in Sloan or is he still partial to Mike Brown.

Posted by: zack9633 | February 10, 2011 5:29 PM | Report abuse

JT3 for coach. Sloan suffering from burn out or . . . ?

Posted by: zack9633 | February 10, 2011 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Why would Sloan want to leave the only state where you can have multiple wives and get a reality show come here to coach this team of misfits?

Posted by: zack9633 | February 10, 2011 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Sloan definitely wouldn't take the Wizards' post. He's only got a few more years to win a title and the Wiz are on a long-term building curve. As much as I respect him as a coach, I don't think he'd be good here, either ... comparable to Larry Brown in Charlotte.

I wouldn't be surprised, though, if Sloan doesn't get courted by the Pacers. He'd have them in the thick of the playoff race, although not likely to win it. They've got a lot of great pieces.

Posted by: zinger1 | February 10, 2011 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Sloan will get courted by plenty of teams, but my guess is that he's done.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 10, 2011 6:25 PM | Report abuse

His failure to bring a title to the Jazz in his 20+ years would confine him to demigod status, at best.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 10, 2011 3:20 PM | Report abuse

O.K. I can live with no title and his winning percentages.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 10, 2011 6:56 PM | Report abuse

kalo-rama:

"....he's done."

I'm thinking you're right.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 10, 2011 6:57 PM | Report abuse

"Wall seems to be able to use the picks he gets, maybe Gil and Kirk are just too slow."

Because it's such a well-known bball fact that only super-quick, speedy guards can properly execute the pick-and-roll? Of course! That explains why John Stockton was such a terrible pick-and-roll player, right? To say nothing of Steve Nash. Man, if only they'd been quicker, who knows how good they could have been.

Right? Right?

Riiiight.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 10, 2011 7:34 PM | Report abuse

"I mean seriously, how many coaches would you take in front of him?" Posted by: rmcazz | February 10, 2011 5:09 PM

For this team? Several. Sloan's a great coach, but the very things that make him a great coach make him a bad fit for this team, as currently constructed.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 10, 2011 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Figured I'd just reprint the bulk of this ESPN piece:

"Jerry Sloan looked broken during his initial comments at the news conference announcing his resignation Thursday..
"This is a little bit tougher than I thought it would be," Sloan said.

That's how hard it is to break Jerry Sloan. That's how monumental Thursday's news was.

My friend and I have a saying: "the NBA is far-reaching." It's a wondrous acknowledgment of how a league with the fewest number of players among the major team sports can generate headlines that equal or exceed any other collection of individuals. The NBA can pop up anywhere at any time. We saw Thursday how that reach even extends to Utah... a team with the longest-tenured head coach in pro sports.

If a coach -- and not just any coach, Jerry Sloan -- can't overcome player unrest in Utah, no coach is safe. The instability caused by the flexing of player power over the last year is much more tangible than any threat of contraction or franchise relocation. The mere threat of Deron Williams leaving the Jazz in 2012 was enough to pry Sloan from his sideline seat after 23 years.

Williams just went from drafting behind Chris Paul and Dwight Howard to zooming to the lead in the current lap of potential 2012 free agents. We hadn't spent as much time pondering Williams' future as we has with Paul and Howard. (For Howard it got so bad he pleaded for it to stop.) The Magic have made their move, and just opened a brand-new arena that they'd love for Howard to call home for the rest of his career. The Hornets have tried to avoid making any panic moves, in the belief Paul will buy into the plans of coach Monty Williams and general manager Dell Demps. The Jazz just played the biggest hand they have for 2012. It's the ultimate concession. Not even Sloan and his 1,221 career victories will be an obstacle.

One Jazz source told me "99 percent of the team loves Sloan. He didn't lose the team."

But that 1 percent won out.

Williams and Sloan never seemed to be harmonious; they coexisted. Sloan said he let Williams call more of his own plays, yet Williams didn't act like a guy that was running the team the way he wanted.

Last year Sloan was asked to compare Williams to John Stockton. Sloan responded that he couldn't really do that, that he couldn't compare anyone five years into his career to a player who played the maximum number of games in 17 of 19 seasons. Sloan made no mention of Stockton's NBA record 15,806 assists or 3,265 steals. It showed not only how much Sloan values toughing it out night after night but also how far Wil

Posted by: Samson151 | February 10, 2011 7:44 PM | Report abuse

The rest of the ESPN piece:

"...how far [Deron] Williams had to go to reach Stockton status in Sloan's eyes. Williams could average a triple-double for the next five seasons & and I bet he'd still have to stay go another 10 years without missing a game in order to impress Sloan.

Fifteen years might as well be never in the span of an NBA career. So Sloan and Williams were never going to work.

I've heard this situation compared to Magic Johnson and Paul Westhead in 1981. This is different for two reasons: Magic went public with his unhappiness about Westhead's offense and Lakers owner Jerry Buss was already considering replacing Westhead even before Magic spoke out. (Coincidentally, Magic's comments -- "I can't play here anymore ... I want to leave ... I want to be traded ... I'm not happy now" -- came after the Lakers lost to the Jazz in Salt Lake City.

As recently as Monday the Jazz entered into a one-year contract extension with Sloan. Then the Jazz lost at home to the Bulls Wednesday night. It was the 11th home loss already for Utah, a team that usually doesn't lose 10 home games in a whole season. (The number 11 is one shy of the two-season home loss total from 2007 to 2009.) So things weren't going well. But how many other coaches could navigate smoothly after losing 36 points worth of nightly offense via free agency in the form of Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver and Wesley Matthews?

Because the Jazz had an established system, because they drafted and acquired players over the years to fit that system, they franchise never fell into a ravine, not even after losing Stockton and Karl Malone in 2003. That's a testament to Sloan, and to the front office for sticking with him over the years.

Too many teams have ditched players to accommodate a coach, only to subsequently fire the coach and turn into a loser both ways. That wasn't the Jazz ... not until Thursday. They lost Sloan and they're still not guaranteed to keep Williams. It's unsettling. If we can't count on Sloan coaching the Jazz, what can we count on? Even the Cavaliers won't keep losing forever.

George Karl differentiates between basketball and the NBA. By "NBA" he doesn't mean the league offices, he means everything that comes with the Association: the money, the lifestyle, trade and free agency talk, the egos.

The NBA won out Thursday, even though it means the league lost."

Posted by: Samson151 | February 10, 2011 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Sloan is 68yrs old, not really that surprising the Jazz consider keeping Williams more paramount than Sloan despite his tenure.

Posted by: divi3 | February 10, 2011 7:55 PM | Report abuse

That explains why John Stockton was such a terrible pick-and-roll player, right? To say nothing of Steve Nash. Man, if only they'd been quicker, who knows how good they could have been.

The league was much slower overall in Stockton's day, kind of an irrelevant comparison.

Nash has slowed down a bit, but he's been a quick player offensively for sure. Not sure why anyone would use him as an example of a slow player. You're doing him a disservice.

But at the end of the day, the Wizard's set picks the way they are taught to in practice. Whether you think Flip is great, terrible, or in-between...there's no doubt he can get players to set picks how he wants. I think he's mentioned problems with picks maybe once? And he's not exactly a guy who shies away from pointing out mistakes.

Posted by: divi3 | February 10, 2011 8:02 PM | Report abuse

"The league was much slower overall in Stockton's day, kind of an irrelevant comparison."

Yeah, because dinosaurs still roamed the Earth back in the late 90s, early 00s, right?

Nonsense, of course.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 10, 2011 8:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm just curious what Sloan didn't like about Deron Williams' game. It looked pretty intelligent to me, the few times I've seen it. Of course I'm used to Nick and Javale, so my standards are not high.

Here's from an article about a radio interview that Williams gave today:

"Williams did admit that he and Sloan had had differences of opinions during his time in Utah. "Me and Coach Sloan, I don't want to say [we had] a rocky relationship, but we've have our disagreements over the years. Probably no more than any other coach and player have arguments. We're both competitive, we're both very stubborn. I think that's where we clash. One thing we always agreed on is that we both wanted to win."

Williams denied a report that he had approached Jazz management saying that he wouldn't re-sign with the team when he's a free agent if Sloan was still the head coach. "That's not true. I would never force coach Sloan out of Utah. He's meant more to this town and organization than I have by far. It's not my place."

As for a report that he and Sloan almost came to blows during halftime of last night's game, Williams confirmed that a "disagreement" took place, but downplayed the severity of it. "I don't know, we just had a disagreement. We've had them before, we've had worse ones. I've seen him have worse ones with other players. Jerry is very fiery, I guess that's the word to use. I am too. Sometimes we clash on things."

Williams said taht his relationship with Sloan this year has been similar to his previous years in Utah. "It's been pretty much the same, we get along a lot, we disagree sometimes, but we both want to win. It has been a frustrating year. We felt we were supposed to be a little better than we have been.

"I've been lucky. Not many people get to come into the league and play for a Hall of Fame coach for the first six years. Chance to learn from one of the best. I've won a lot of basketball games because of Coach Sloan."

Asked one final time if he asked or wanted Sloan removed as head coach of the Utah Jazz, Williams replied, "No, sir."

Posted by: Samson151 | February 10, 2011 8:59 PM | Report abuse

"The league was much slower overall in Stockton's day, kind of an irrelevant comparison."

LOL yeah that Ricky Green couldn't run a lick.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 10, 2011 9:28 PM | Report abuse

The league was much slower overall in Stockton's day, kind of an irrelevant comparison.
Posted by: divi3

Sure, the league was much slower in the days of Jordan, Isiah, and Gary Payton......um, yeah.

Posted by: ts35 | February 10, 2011 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Look, Mr Ernie Grunfeld, you need to add 2 players. #1 a center. Marc Gasol would be great, and he is a FA. #2 Terrance Jones, who should line up about where you'll be drafting.

Let go of Blatche, Lewis, Howard... keep everyone else. Have Mcgee and Booker spend this offseason learning PF & SF respectively. Is that simple enough for you? Do you think you can do that??

Posted by: Darnell1 | February 10, 2011 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Look, Mr Ernie Grunfeld, you need to add 2 players. #1 a center. Marc Gasol would be great, and he is a FA. #2 Terrance Jones, who should line up about where you'll be drafting.

Let go of Blatche, Lewis, Howard... keep everyone else. Have Mcgee and Booker spend this offseason learning PF & SF respectively. Is that simple enough for you? Do you think you can do that??

Posted by: Darnell1 | February 10, 2011 10:09 PM | Report abuse

I don't get it. If Lewis is going to need surgery, shouldn't he get it sooner rather than later? This season is already a lost cause, not worth risking Lewis' knee. He should be rested, and depending on how that goes, let the physicians take over. If he plays on a bad knee and makes it worse, then has surgery after the season ends, he may not be effective in the next season either. If there is a season in 2011-12. What am I missing here?

Posted by: PostSubscriber | February 10, 2011 10:35 PM | Report abuse

ERNIE, M.GASOL & T.JONES... AM I ASKING TOO MUCH? CAN YOU DO IT??!

Posted by: Darnell1 | February 10, 2011 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Yes, you're asking too much. With the likelihood that they will let Zach Randolph walk, I'd be surprised if Memphis let Gasol go. Meaning the Wiz would have to overpay to get him.

Posted by: ts35 | February 10, 2011 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Let go of Blatche, Lewis, Howard... keep everyone else. Have Mcgee and Booker spend this offseason learning PF & SF respectively. Is that simple enough for you? Do you think you can do that??

Posted by: Darnell1

Oh, and there will be no 'letting go' of AB and Lewis, unless the CBA changes or unless another team wants them. Both are under contract to the Wiz for the next few years.

Posted by: ts35 | February 10, 2011 11:13 PM | Report abuse

ts35:

AB for four, and Lewis to 2012/13.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 11, 2011 4:11 AM | Report abuse

If GRUNFELD cuts SAUNDERS loose in favor of SLOAN, he's done in D.C.

Another rebuild in mid-stream? No way LEONSIS will stand for that. Even his patience will be tried beyond endurance.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 11, 2011 4:14 AM | Report abuse

@Divi3
The NBA was FASTER in the 80s to me. You don't see teams AVERAGING 120 points a game anymore now do you? Players might be bigger, stronger and jump higher but speed is speed for the most part.

Sloan is a great coach. I'm just surprised I don't hear the "he's never won anything" comments I'm used to on this board.

I saw I'll take his win percentage with no championships...like his is any much different that Flip's.

I hope y'all aren't getting soft.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 11, 2011 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Pretty good article on Jared Sullinger of Ohio State in this week's Sports Illustrated. Great talent, very smart player. Pros downgrade him some on height and positioning. Doesn't look as long as other power players like Elton Brand or DeJuan Blair, but won't know til somebody measures him.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 11, 2011 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Might as well not play Lewis at all anymore since he is no longer tradable as of this insider.

Posted by: bobilly1 | February 11, 2011 6:00 PM | Report abuse

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