NBA Notebook – Australian Players Lead NBA Effort For Fire Relief Efforts Down Under

NBA contributing to the Australian fire relief Nine NBA players who call Australia home are working with their union and the NBA to raise $750,000 that will go to...

(Photo Credit: Clutch Points)

NBA contributing to the Australian fire relief

Nine NBA players who call Australia home are working with their union and the NBA to raise $750,000 that will go to relief and recovery work in Australia.

Aron Baynes (Phoenix Suns), Jonah Bolden and Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers), Ryan Broekhoff (Dallas Mavericks), Matthew Dellavedova and Dante Exum (Cleveland Cavaliers), Joe Ingles (Utah Jazz), Thon Maker (Detroit Pistons) and Patty Mills (San Antonio Spurs) are keying the drive. Fires have destroyed 2,000 homes, killed 25 people and countless animals as a parched nation suffers through wildfires.

“It’s a really tough time in Australia right now but we are resilient people and stick together,” Dellavedova said via Twitter.

Zion Time: Forward Zion Williamson, the top pick in the NBA draft, should be making his regular-season debut soon. Depending on your definition of soon. Williamson, recovering from minor knee surgery, has begun practicing in five-on-five drills with the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Pelicans are home Wednesday night against the Chicago Bulls, but Williamson won’t play. Then the Pels are on the road for four, before returning to New Orleans Jan. 16 against the Utah Jazz. Coach Alvin Gentry may prefer to have Williamson make his first appearance at home. Gentry also said Tuesday Williamson would be restricted in playing time. “It’s going to be a slow process,” to get him up to 30 minutes a game, Gentry said.

Dribbles: Center Anthony Davis has reportedly turned down a maximum contract extension from the Los Angeles Lakers. His plan all along has been to enter free agency in the summer but expects to remain with the team.

Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin (minor knee surgery) is out indefinitely. The Miami Heat will retire guard Dwyane Wade’s jersey during three days of ceremonies scheduled for late February. 76ers big man Joel Embiid (dislocated finger) is questionable for Thursday night’s game against the Boston Celtics.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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