The shoulder injury that ended Toronto forward Pascal Siakam’s season early will likely force him to miss the start of next season as well. The Raptors said Friday that Siakam had surgery last week to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, with an anticipated recovery and rehabilitation time of five months. That timetable, if precise, would mean Siakam can play again in early November — about two weeks after the NBA plans to open the 2021-22 season. Siakam led the Raptors in scoring this season, averaging 21.4 points per game. … Clippers center Serge Ibaka will miss the remainder of the postseason after he underwent back surgery in Los Angeles on Thursday.
Social justice champions honored
On Friday, the league announced the five finalists for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion award: Portland’s Carmelo Anthony, Sacramento’s Harrison Barnes, Philadelphia’s Tobias Harris, Milwaukee’s Jrue Holiday and Golden State’s Juan Toscano-Anderson.
The winner, who will be announced ahead of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals, will choose an organization to receive a $100,000 contribution on his behalf. The remaining finalists will each select a group to receive a $25,000 donation.
“My criteria has to do with someone who has seen issues, problems ... within his community and has done something about it, using his platform as a professional athlete,” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said about the selection process. “We’ve got a lot of guys who have done that. The NBA has a decades-long tradition of activism, doing things in their communities and navigating for social justice. This is nothing new.”
Last year, after the murder of George Floyd and the increased awareness on racial equality that followed, the NBA amplified its advocacy. Jaylen Brown and Malcolm Brogdon marched in peaceful protests, while Jerami Grant dedicated an entire interview session with reporters in the Disney World bubble to discuss Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed by police. LeBron James and Chris Paul championed voting rights, while players across the league led an unprecedented push to increase voter turnout.
In Abdul-Jabbar’s view, social activism will remain a priority for players.