Western Notes: Williams, James, Robinson-Earl, Murray

Suns coach Monty Williams and his staff will coach Team LeBron (James) at the All-Star Game in Cleveland, according to an ESPN report. Phoenix is guaranteed to have the best record in the conference before the cutoff date of February 6. Williams will coach in the All-Star Game for the first time, and he’ll be the first Phoenix head coach to do so since Mike D’Antoni in 2007.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • An MRI on James’ left knee revealed only general swelling and he might return to action as soon as Wednesday, Lakers coach Frank Vogel told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin and other media members. James has missed the last three games. “Just going to keep an eye on it day to day,” Vogel said.
  • The Thunder assigned Jeremiah Robinson-Earl to their G League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue, for a Monday afternoon game, according to a team press release. It was somewhat surprising, since Robinson-Earl has started 36 games for the Thunder and has averaged 24.7 MPG this month. Head coach Mark Daigneault said it was part of the development process, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman tweets. “Obviously on the surface it looks a little peculiar,” he said. “What I’d say is, one thing that we’ve learned and that we’re trying to apply is that changing environments, changing circumstances, changing roles is good for development.”
  • Klay Thompson, Victor Oladipo and Zach LaVine are among the opposing players who have reached out to Nuggets guard Jamal Murray during his recovery from a serious knee injury, Mike Singer of the Denver Post writes. Those players have also gone through the process of a long rehab.
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