Basketball-National Basketball Association roundup
March 5 (The Sports Xchange) - A lack of defense -- or effort -- was indefensible to NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who is bringing format changes to the All-Star Game next year.
Silver and Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul, the National Basketball Players Association president, talked recently about how to make the game more competitive after the Western Conference raced to a 192-182 win over the Eastern Conference last month in New Orleans.
"Chris said, 'We need to fix this,'" Silver said while speaking on a panel at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston. "There is kind of a groupthink notion out there that when you have general managers and coaches in essence saying, 'Go easy, don't forget this is just for fun.'
"I just think this is one where we just have to reset. Chris' suggestion was let's get back with maybe the same group we negotiated the collective bargaining -- Michael Jordan on the owners' side, Jeanie Buss (Lakers), Wyc Grousbeck (Celtics), James Jones, Kyle Korver and LeBron (James) and others -- let's all get back together and figure out a way to do this."
Silver said some potential ideas included having team captains select starters instead of fan balloting and instituting a four-point shot to enhance the All-Star Game.
The 2018 All-Star Game will be held in Los Angeles.
"We will change it by next year. It shouldn't be playoff intensity, but the guys should be playing," Silver said.
The Atlanta Hawks added experience to their roster on Sunday by claiming veteran point guard Jose Calderon off waivers.
The well-traveled Calderon will play for his sixth team in five years.
Calderon, 35, secured a buyout last week from the Los Angeles Lakers and signed with the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday but was waived two hours later.
Portland Trail Blazers center Festus Ezeli is expected to undergo a rare surgical procedure on his left knee that will involve the use of a cadaver donor.
Ezeli has sought a donor for months but finding a matching donor was problematic because of his 6-foot-11 stature, sources told ESPN.com.
The Blazers announced that Ezeli's surgery will be performed this week by Dr. Robert LaPrade at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado.
Ezeli, 27, has yet to play a game for the Trail Blazers and will miss the entire 2016-17 season.
The Sacramento Kings recalled rookie center Georgios Papagiannis from Reno of the NBA D-League.
The 19-year-old Papagiannis, who was the 13th overall pick of the 2016 draft, is averaging 13.4 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocked shots in 32.0 minutes. (Editing by Gene Cherry)