NBA spokesman Tim Frank said Tuesday night that the Knicks-Nets season opener on Thursday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn will be played despite issues related to Hurricane Sandy.
Frank had tweeted in the afternoon that the league was “assessing the situation” but said later in an e-mail to ESPN that the game would go on as scheduled.
The Nets’ first game at their new home against the crosstown-rival Knicks was in jeopardy because of transit concerns. The new arena is heavily dependent on mass transit and with the New York City subways and commuter rail out for what is expected to be several days, the league looked at the option of postponing the party if fans are kept away.
The arena didn’t sustain any damage from the hurricane, but if a large number of fans drive to the game, it could create traffic headaches in the area, which does not handle congestion well.
The Nets will practice Wednesday at the Barclays Center because their practice facility in East Rutherford, N.J., is without power.
The Pacers will start the season without star forward Danny Granger, who has been sidelined indefinitely with a sore left knee. The team said its top scorer and former All-Star is seeking a second opinion from a doctor as he continues to recover from a knee injury during last spring’s Eastern Conference semifinals. It’s a tough blow for the Pacers, who have high hopes heading into Wednesday night’s season opener in Toronto . . . The Rockets waived former Celtics forward JaJuan Johnson. . . . The Nuggets and Ty Lawson agreed on a $48 million extension that will keep the point guard in Denver for another four years. Lawson tweeted, ‘‘It Looks like im going to be a nugget for another 4 yrs. Thanks to the Kronke family, Masai, nuggets fans and everybody 4 believing In me.’’ Lawson averaged 16.4 points and 6.6 assists last season, his first as a starter. He was drafted out of North Carolina in 2009 after winning a national title with the Tar Heels. The Nuggets open the season Wednesday night against the 76ers.
Jackson staying put
The Thunder picked up Reggie Jackson’s option, keeping the guard under contract through the 2013-14 season. The former Boston College star averaged 3.1 points and 1.6 assists in 45 games as a rookie last season after he was selected with the 24th overall pick in the 2011 draft. He served as the Thunder’s backup point guard after Eric Maynor was shelved by a season-ending knee injury, but was dropped from the rotation after Oklahoma City signed veteran Derek Fisher. Jackson has been competing with Maynor for the backup point guard in this year’s training camp . . . The Timberwolves exercised third-year options on guard Ricky Rubio and forward Derrick Williams for the 2013-14 season. Rubio averaged 10.6 points, 8.2 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game last season. He finished as runner-up in the Rookie of the Year voting and finished sixth in the league in assists. The second-year guard from Spain is recovering from surgery in March to repair torn ligaments in his left knee . . . The Bulls exercised their third-year option on former first-round draft pick Jimmy Butler for the 2013-14 season . . . The Jazz exercised an option to keep coach Tyrone Corbin under contract through the 2013-14 season.
Gilbert wants a take-back
Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert wishes he could take back that guarantee about winning an NBA title before LeBron James. Gilbert famously predicted in a letter to fans that the Cavaliers would win a championship before James got one with the Heat. In June, James led the Heat to the title. Gilbert said the guarantee ‘‘was not the most brilliant thing I've ever done in my life.’’ He also said in hindsight he would have handled James’s situation differently. He said the lesson learned is that ‘‘you can not risk going into a summer and having them [a player] leave in unrestricted free agency and get nothing back for it.’’. . . The Trail Blazers appointed Chris McGowan as the team’s new president and chief operating officer.