Scary news out of New York: Knicks forward Cleanthony Early was shot early Wednesday morning when armed robbers surrounded his Uber ride, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The 24-year-old Early and his girlfriend were leaving CityScapes Gentlemen's Club in Maspeth, Queens, when three vehicles surrounded their Uber car and forced it to pull over. As many as six assailants -- one wearing a mask -- jumped out of the cars and pulled Early from the back seat.
They held him at gunpoint with semi-automatic weapons and demanded all of his valuables. Early handed over several gold chains, all of his cash, a cell phone and even the gold caps off of his teeth.
After surrendering his belongings, he was shot in the right knee -- the same knee that required arthroscopic surgery last November.
The thieves escaped and left Early's girlfriend and the Uber driver unharmed. The player was treated at Elmhurst Hospital and released later that morning.
The New York Knicks released a statement acknowledging the incident:
“We are aware of what occurred with Cleanthony Early this morning and are relieved that he is not in a life-threatening situation. We will not comment any further until we receive more information.”
Meanwhile, several Knicks teammates tweeted their concern and support for the second-year forward.
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As a fellow NBA head coach, Scott Brooks understands what Tyronn Lue of the Cleveland Cavaliers is going through. As his former teammate, Ramon Sessions knows how tough Lue is.
Both members of the Wizards shared their reactions after Monday's practice to the news Lue is stepping away from the Cavs to deal with a health issue. Both expressed hope Lue will not be out long as the NBA continues its trek towards the playoffs.
"All of our thoughts are with him," Brooks said. "You hope that it's nothing serious. Health is the most important [thing]. The game is secondary."
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"Prayers out to T-Lue," said Sessions, who played with Lue in Milwaukee. "It's one of those things where you've gotta take care of yourself at the end of the day. Him stepping away is the best thing."
Lue's illness has been a mystery to doctors, according to a statement he released on the Cavaliers' website. He has dealt with chest pains and other symptoms while also struggling to sleep. The hope is that having time off will allow him to get the rest he needs.
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Brooks knows firsthand how difficult it is to get sleep during the regular season as a coach.
"You just have to figure out ways to get your rest. Some days are better than others. Sometimes you think after a good win you can have a good night's rest or sometimes it's the opposite. It's just hard to get rest. You're traveling in different timezones. You are emotional after games. You eat late. There are a lot of factors that go into it. We don't have a set schedule every night. I have a good staff and I rely on them," he said.
Lue, 40, will be replaced by associate head coach Larry Drew in the interim. The Cavs happen to be in a tight playoff race with the Wizards and other teams in the Eastern Conference battling for position.
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On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, host Chase Hughes was joined by Bullets/Wizards legend Phil Chenier ahead of his jersey retirement set for this upcoming weekend on March 23.
Chenier looked back on his playing and broadcasting career and told great stories. He also shared some memories of the 1978 championship as the franchise gets ready to honor its 40th anniversary.
You can listen to the episode right here:
You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!