Martellus Bennett says goodbye, while the Ramblers refuse to go home. Here’s last week in sports.

NBA Playoff Limbo

Several major NBA teams find themselves crossing their fingers over injured superstars this week. The Boston Celtics just discovered that Kyrie Irving will be having “minimally invasive” knee surgery to remove a couple surgical screws that have been irritating the star guard. Irving will be out six weeks but hopes to be back in the lineup during the playoffs if the Celtics can keep the dream alive without him.

In the West, the Kawhi Leonard saga continues as Leonard went from vaguely stating he’d be returning “soon” to shying away from the media again after a players-only meeting in San Antonio. The meeting was led by senior Spurs Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili who implored the superstar to return before the end of the season, but Leonard, who is still feeling discomfort in his thigh, is not convinced he’s ready. If Leonard doesn’t act soon, this could spell the end of the Spurs’ relationship with the star forward and 2014 NBA Finals MVP.

Steph Curry, meanwhile, is out at least 3 weeks with an MCL sprain. After returning to action on Friday night from an ankle sprain, Warriors’ teammate Javale McGee landed on Curry’s leg and injured the superstar again. The timeline will still allow Curry to be back during the playoffs but the question remains whether or not Curry will be his full, unadulterated self.

Martellus Bennett Retires

Green Bay Packers’ tight end Martellus Bennett announced his retirement on Friday night in a Twitter post. The 31 year old Super Bowl champion is moving on to the “wondrous world of creativity,” a move he hinted at on The Bill Simmons Podcast last week while describing his love of movies, animation, and children’s media. In his football tenure, Bennett was one of the more outspoken players in the NFL, notably criticizing Browns’ quarterback Jay Cutler while he was still with the team. Still, Martellus’ colorful personality was part of what made him a joy to watch and to root for.

Bennett’s brother Michael, freshly traded to the Philadelphia Eagles, was indicted on charges of injuring the elderly last week from an incident dating back to after the 2017 Super Bowl. As he rushed onto the field to congratulate his brother’s winning Patriots team, Bennett knocked over a 66 year old paraplegic woman, and she injured her shoulder in the fall. Bennett’s legal team has no comment at this time.

Loyola-Chicago is Final Four-Bound

After a hailstorm of Cinderella stories in the first round of the NCAA tournament, the law of averages awoke from its slumber. We’ve gone from sixteen to four teams in a series of mostly-predictable outcomes and one close overtime win for Kansas over Duke. Remaining in the Final Four are our two Eastern number one seeds, Villanova and Kansas, number three Michigan, and, of course, the Sister Jean-led, 11-seed Loyola-Chicago Ramblers.

Defying the odds, the Ramblers are headed to the coveted final round of the playoffs after “dominating” Kansas State, as guard Lucas Williamson put it, 78 to 62. The score itself can’t explain how well Loyola played, scoring effortlessly and locking in defensively for 40 straight minutes. While it seems unlikely the story continues for much longer, this school on the shores of Lake Michigan has fans around the country rooting for the underdogs this Saturday.

Want to see the action live? Click here to shop Final Four tickets on SeatGeek, or find out where you can view the games from home without a cable subscription.

(Cropped image courtesy of Jim Larrison via Flickr.)