From Comcast SportsNet
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Boxing greats are set to pay their respects to former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier at a private funeral in Philadelphia. The 67-year-old Frazier died last week after a short battle with liver cancer. A two-day public viewing was held at the Wells Fargo Center at the sports complex in South Philadelphia. His funeral is Monday. Fellow former champions Muhammad Ali, Larry Holmes and Mike Tyson are expected to attend. Frazier and Ali squared off in a trio of legendary fights, including the Thrilla in Manila in 1975. Ali won that epic contest, calling it the "closest thing to dying that I know of." Four years earlier at Madison Square Garden, "Smokin' Joe" successfully defended his title and became the first man to defeat Ali. Frazier was elected to the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.
OAKLAND -- Though Kevin Durant is eager to get back to the court, Warriors coach Steve Kerr and his assistants are in preliminary stages of planning his return.
One thing is certain: There will be restriction on the number of minutes Durant is plays in the first few games after he receives medical clearance.
“It’s something we’ll consult the training staff on,” Kerr said Saturday after practice. “I imagine we’ll ease him back by playing him shorter minutes to start, so he can build up his rhythm and his conditioning.”
Durant has been out since Feb. 28, when he sustained a sprained medial collateral ligament (MCL) and bone bruise to his left knee. After several days of strict immobilization, he has over the past week progressed to the point where he is engaging in vigorous workouts and shooting sessions.
Yet Durant will not be re-evaluated until next Thursday, which means he likely will not be cleared before the week of April 3. Not until then will the coaching staff devise a plan to reintegrate Durant.
“That obviously has a domino effect on the entire rotation,” Kerr said. “When we get to that point, we’ll figure that out. But it’s not something I’m giving a lot of thought to right now because he’s still at least a couple weeks away.”
The Warriors lost five of seven in the immediate aftermath of Durant’s injury but have recovered to win the last six in a row.
Rudy Gay has been MIA since leaving the locker room on crutches following the Kings loss to the Indiana Pacers on Jan. 18. He’s posted a few instagram videos of his recovery from a devastating left Achilles rupture, but until Friday night in Oakland, he had been away from the team.
“I’m out of the boot, second stage of my rehab, ahead of schedule and feeling good,” the 30-year-old wing told CSN California’s Kayte Christensen.
According to Gay, he is able to due weight bearing exercises, including some light squats. The 11-year NBA vet is still a ways away from returning to the court, but if he’s ahead of schedule, that means he might be ready for training camp come late September.
It’s not the same group he left behind. DeMarcus Cousins is gone, as is Matt Barnes and Omri Casspi. If he were still playing, Gay would likely be sitting out games for planned rest like most of the Kings’ veterans, but he doesn’t have that luxury.
Gay is entering the final year of his contract in Sacramento. He is due $14.3 million next season, but he has a player option and can become an unrestricted free agent if he so chooses. His recovery will likely dictate whether he opts in to his contract or whether he looks for a long-term deal either with the Kings or elsewhere.
Before the injury, Gay was the Kings’ second leading scorer, posting 18.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 33.8 minutes per night.