Lakers' Rondo breaks right thumb during practice

11:53 PM ET

Malika Andrews

Close ESPN Staff Writer Staff Writer Joined ESPN in 2018 Appears regularly on ESPN Chicago 1000

Dave McMenamin

Close ESPN Staff Writer Lakers and NBA reporter for ESPN. Covered the Lakers and NBA for ESPNLosAngeles.com from 2009-14, the Cavaliers from 2014-18 for ESPN.com and the NBA for NBA.com from 2005-09.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo suffered a broken right thumb in practice Sunday night in Orlando, Florida, and is expected to return to full basketball activities in six to eight weeks, the team announced.

Rondo will undergo surgery to repair the fracture this week, the team said.

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The Lakers traveled to Orlando on Thursday night for the resumption of the 2019-20 NBA season and practiced for the first time on Saturday.

Rondo, who signed with the Lakers in 2018, twice missed time during the 2018-19

Nurkic, Collins returns give Blazers' hopes boost

Jul 12, 2020

The Portland Trail Blazers are trying to make a push for the West’s 8-seed and got a big boost at their first practice on Saturday with the returns of Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins.

“They both looked like the way we remembered them,” coach Terry Stotts said. “I told Nurk that he’s the Nurk I remember playing, at both ends of the floor.”

Nurkic has been out since March of 2019 after suffering a gruesome compound fracture in both the tibia and fibula of his left leg. Collins has been out since October since dislocating his shoulder and having surgery.

“They looked great,” Blazers guard Damian Lillard said. “Both guys played really physical, played well in the paint. They didn’t seem concerned with anything, they looked really comfortable.”

Guard CJ McCollum also said Nurkic looked comfortable jumping and landing in traffic, which is notable considering

76ers thrilled with Simmons at power forward

3:44 PM ET

Tim BontempsESPN

Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown said Monday that he has “exclusively” been playing All-Star Ben Simmons at power forward in his team’s opening practices inside the NBA’s bubble at Disney World, and has been thrilled by what he’s seen.

“He’s so dynamic,” Brown said on a conference call with reporters. “Let’s just talk about running. There’s nobody faster in the NBA. So to always have the ball and dribble it up against five guys … to do that dilutes some of his potent weapons.

“So, watching him fly up the floor, watching him and Joel [Embiid] play off each other, has been a really good look. I think they’ve been fantastic together.”

The question of how to fit Simmons and Embiid together has been a constant one over the past three seasons, one that has been exacerbated this year by the

76ers thrilled with Simmons at power forward

3:44 PM ET

Tim BontempsESPN

Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown said Monday that he has “exclusively” been playing All-Star Ben Simmons at power forward in his team’s opening practices inside the NBA’s bubble at Disney World, and has been thrilled by what he’s seen.

“He’s so dynamic,” Brown said on a conference call with reporters. “Let’s just talk about running. There’s nobody faster in the NBA. So to always have the ball and dribble it up against five guys … to do that dilutes some of his potent weapons.

“So, watching him fly up the floor, watching him and Joel [Embiid] play off each other, has been a really good look. I think they’ve been fantastic together.”

The question of how to fit Simmons and Embiid together has been a constant one over the past three seasons, one that has been exacerbated this year by the

Kawhi in quarantine protocol after Orlando arrival

Jul 11, 2020

Kawhi Leonard is in Orlando, Florida, and going through the quarantine protocol before joining the LA Clippers for team activities.

Coach Doc Rivers confirmed Saturday that the Clippers’ All-Star forward did arrive at the Walt Disney World Resort as expected after Leonard was excused by the team to tend to a family matter when the Clippers flew to Orlando on Wednesday.

“Kawhi, he is here, he is going through the protocol,” Rivers said. He will be quarantining for two days.

The Clippers closed their team facility out of caution after there was a positive coronavirus test among their travel party, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on July 2.

Rivers said the Clippers players who are in Orlando are healthy, including Leonard. And that was something he could not say for much of the season. Leonard has managed a knee issue for much of the

Kawhi in quarantine protocol after Orlando arrival

Jul 11, 2020

Kawhi Leonard is in Orlando, Florida, and going through the quarantine protocol before joining the LA Clippers for team activities.

Coach Doc Rivers confirmed Saturday that the Clippers’ All-Star forward did arrive at the Walt Disney World Resort as expected after Leonard was excused by the team to tend to a family matter when the Clippers flew to Orlando on Wednesday.

“Kawhi, he is here, he is going through the protocol,” Rivers said. He will be quarantining for two days.

The Clippers closed their team facility out of caution after there was a positive coronavirus test among their travel party, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on July 2.

Rivers said the Clippers players who are in Orlando are healthy, including Leonard. And that was something he could not say for much of the season. Leonard has managed a knee issue for much of the

Zion: Used quarantine to go 'back to square one'

Jul 10, 2020

Andrew LopezESPN

For New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson, the time he spent in quarantine made him feel like a kid.

To get ready for the NBA season, Williamson said he worked out with his stepfather, Lee Anderson, when he wasn’t rehabbing with Pelicans staffers. Williamson, 20, cherished that time as he tried to to stay as basketball-ready as possible.

“It just felt like I was 5 years old again,” Williamson said Friday. “Just went back to square one, tried to get my body where it needs to be, get my fundamentals back to square one and start from there. So yeah, it was just like starting over at 5 again. It was a great process to learn it all over.”

Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said Williamson “looked great” as the team returned to full practice for the first time in four

Zion: Used quarantine to go 'back to square one'

Jul 10, 2020

Andrew LopezESPN

For New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson, the time he spent in quarantine made him feel like a kid.

To get ready for the NBA season, Williamson said he worked out with his stepfather, Lee Anderson, when he wasn’t rehabbing with Pelicans staffers. Williamson, 20, cherished that time as he tried to to stay as basketball-ready as possible.

“It just felt like I was 5 years old again,” Williamson said Friday. “Just went back to square one, tried to get my body where it needs to be, get my fundamentals back to square one and start from there. So yeah, it was just like starting over at 5 again. It was a great process to learn it all over.”

Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said Williamson “looked great” as the team returned to full practice for the first time in four

Ranking the 49ers' five best 2020 salary cap bargains: Rookie skill players fueling defensive investment

Watch Now: George Kittle Reflects On Super Bowl LIV And How It’s Motivating (3:16)

It is not easy building a Super Bowl roster but it is even more difficult maintaining it. San Francisco was introduced to that harsh reality nearly a month after their loss to the Chiefs. Defensive tackle DeForest Buckner was traded to Indianapolis after the team made the decision to re-sign Arik Armstead. The 49ers used their first round return to draft Buckner’s replacement and the additional funds allowed them to sign key players like safety Jimmie Ward.

CBS Sports examined the five best value contracts on the team’s roster entering the 2020 season. 

1. George Kittle, tight end

2020 salary cap hit: $2,207,574

When pondering the skill talent available to Jimmy Garoppolo, the average NFL fan’s mind goes to Kittle before any of the team’s

Opinion: Cold, hard cash, not character, made Daniel Snyder change Washington's NFL nickname

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Sports Pulse: Mackenzie Salmon reports on how Washington is finally changing their NFL team name after financial pressure from sponsors. USA TODAY

Do not mistake cold, hard calculation for courage.

Washington’s team formerly known as a racial slur announced Monday that it will drop its nickname and logo. It was a stunning move, given owner Daniel Snyder’s insistence that he would “never” bow to calls to change a name offensive to Native Americans – I guess never doesn’t last as long as it used to – and comes as the nation reckons with the systemic racism that permeates every facet of our society. 

But this was not the result of Snyder having some personal awakening or humbly acknowledging that he now understands what people have been trying to tell him for the better part of a decade. That was clear from that middle finger of a press release, with the team using the slur twice more while it still had the chance.

No, this was about money. Lots of it.

More: Opinion: Washington’s NFL club needs a new name. Here’s why it can’t be Warriors

More: Opinion: ‘NEVER.’ The anatomy of Washington team owner Daniel Snyder’s most famous quote

FedEx, which paid $205 million for a 25-year naming-rights deal in 1999, threatened to take its name off the stadium unless the name was changed. Nike pulled team merchandise from its website, making Washington the only team whose gear wasn’t available online. Pepsi expressed its disapproval.

The message was clear: Either change the name, or Snyder and his team would be a corporate pariah.

What Snyder doesn’t understand, but his corporate partners do, is that clinging to racism and bigotry is a losing proposition. America is expected to become a majority-minority country within the next 25 years, and the anguish and outrage that have followed the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and so many others has only accelerated the recognition that our racial inequity is not tenable.

There is still plenty of work to be done. But the view from history is already clear, and companies like FedEx, Nike and Pepsi have made it clear they don’t want to be on the wrong side of it.

Which brings us back to Snyder. He has been defiant in his resistance to changing the nickname, claiming it “honored” Native Americans and cherry-picking polls and surveys to bolster his position. He even created a foundation that was supposed to “provide genuine opportunities for Tribal communities.”

No surprise, it’s turned out to be a window-dressing sham. 

Snyder grew up going to Washington games with his father, back in the glory days of the team, so the nickname and the logo hold sentimental value to him. He’s also, if not the most, one of the most arrogant owners in the NFL – no small feat when Jerry Jones, Stan Kroenke and Dean Spanos are in the room – and he refused to even consider he might be wrong.

But this goes beyond a difference of opinion or interpretation. Washington’s nickname was chosen by George Preston Marshall, the team’s founder and an avowed racist. The word stems, at least in part, from a bounty the government put on the lives of Native Americans.

Think about that. Snyder was hellbent on clinging to a name once used to encourage the extermination of a group of people. I don’t care how fond your memories of games with your father are, in no way is that appropriate. In no way is it defensible.

Making all of this worse is that Snyder is going to benefit greatly from a change he was forced into making. Washington fans will snatch up gear with the team’s new logo and nickname, and corporations will no doubt want to partner with the “progressive” Washington team. Snyder might even get that new stadium he wants in the District, too.

The change is the right move, and way overdue. Generations to come will wonder how nicknames like Washington’s were condoned for so long.

But do not mistake this for a triumph of character or decency. Snyder has shown over the years that he has neither, and a new name and logo won’t change that.  

Follow USA TODAY Sports columnist Nancy Armour on Twitter @nrarmour. 

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