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Butler: ‘Deflating’ When Karl Wasn’t Fired During Season

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Remember when the Sacramento Kings pretty much fired coach George Karl right before the All-Star break? Remember when they suddenly decided not to? That was a weird time to be a King, and — guess what? — it did not affect the team in a positive way. Sacramento forward Caron Butler appeared on ESPN’s First Take on Friday and spilled the beans, saying that the team never addressed Karl trying to get DeMarcus Cousins traded and the last part of the season was a slog.

“As players, from All-Star break and everything, I mean, as far as we knew, he was fired,” Butler said. “We’re in Philadelphia a game before All-Star break and all of a sudden it’s like, ‘You’re not moving [on], I’m coming back.’ It was deflating to the locker room, it was deflating to the guys, and we tried to move forward and tried to do the best that we possibly could. But that was deflating to the team, it was a big blow and it was tough to move forward.”

Source: James Herbert of CBS Sports

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Kawhi Leonard Probable for Tuesday Debut

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The Spurs listed forward Kawhi Leonard as probable for Tuesday’s road matchup at Dallas, which means it’s likely that the two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year will make his season debut against the Mavericks.

The club originally targeted Saturday’s game at Phoenix as a potential debut for Leonard, but sources on Friday said the forward wanted “a couple more days” to recover from the right quadriceps tendinopathy that has kept him out of all 27 of the Spurs’ games thus far this season.

Source: Michael C. Wright of ESPN

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Sources: Hornets’ Cody Zeller Undergoes Surgery, to Miss 6 Weeks

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Charlotte Hornets center Cody Zeller will undergo surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee on Tuesday, league sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. He’s expected to miss six weeks.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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Clips’ Danilo Gallinari Suffers New Glute Injury

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On the same night the LA Clippers will welcome back one starter, another starter re-exits the lineup due to injury.

Power forward Danilo Gallinari, who missed 13 games with a glute injury and returned to action this past Wednesday, will miss Monday night’s game against the Toronto Raptors due to what coach Doc Rivers says is a new glute injury suffered in Gallinari’s second game back Saturday against the Washington Wizards.

Source: Lawrence Murray of ESPN

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