Updated: January 16, 2010, 1:21 AM ET

NBA Minute With Ric Bucher

Surgery Was Griffin's Last Resort

By Kevin Arnovitz

PLAYA VISTA, Calif. -- The possibility of surgery on his fractured kneecap was always in the back of Clippers forward Blake Griffin's mind, even as he slogged through the rehabilitation process with every intention of getting back on the floor before the All-Star break.

Once he experienced serious discomfort this week, that prospect became a reality. Griffin will undergo surgery Jan. 20 in Los Angeles. The current prognosis is for him to be off the court for between four and six months.

A stoic Griffin addressed the media Wednesday at the Clippers' training facility. The rookie expressed disappointment that he won't be able to take the floor this season, but he also conveyed a calm resolve at his misfortune.

"I don't think of it as season-ending, because technically I haven't started," Griffin said. "I guess you could say it's a debut-prolonging injury."

The decision to opt for surgery came after Griffin felt pain in the knee while he was in the pool Tuesday for aqua therapy.

"I'd been cleared that day to take it a step further," Griffin said. "I felt it a little bit, and I could just tell from doing specific stuff that I wouldn't be able to be 100 percent."

At the time of the initial diagnosis of a broken kneecap, Griffin had two choices: surgery or the extensive treatment regimen he's followed over the past 12 weeks.

"Letting it heal would be the quicker option, so obviously we had to give that a try," he said. "That was the prognosis of multiple doctors."

Read the rest of Arnovitz's story at ESPNLosAngeles.com

Kobe, Fisher: Lakers' Ironmen

By Dave McMenamin

Before we heap any more praise on Kobe Bryant for being indestructible these days -- especially as he tries to downplay it by describing himself as "just a tough American kid" -- let's pause for a moment and recognize his backcourt mate Derek Fisher's continued accomplishment.

While Bryant has plowed through injuries this season like that scene in "Terminator 2" when the T-1000 barges through bullets (I know, I know, Bryant also described himself as Bruce Willis in "Diehard" because of his pain threshold, but let's give another late '80s/early '90s movie franchise some shine), it's Fisher who has quietly become one of the league's most consistent clock punchers.

Fisher has played in 370 straight games (Portland's Andre Miller is first with 570) and is still going strong despite turning 35 years old in August. Bryant is fifth on the active list with 223 straight games, or about a season and a half less than Fisher.

(Quick aside: We would be remiss not to mention A.C. Green any time the subject of Lakers ironmen comes up. The Beanie Baby-headed one's all-time NBA mark of 1,192 dwarfs Fisher's and Bryant's measly runs combined.)

It's no surprise that Fisher has kept his streak alive. Have you looked at him lately? He keeps his body in better condition than 90 percent of the players in the league. But his off-court leadership and mentorship of Shannon Brown and Jordan Farmar is starting to overshadow his on-court production. Fisher's points per game, field goal percentage and assists per game averages are the lowest they've been since 2003-04.

Read the rest of McMenamin story at ESPNLosAngeles.com


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