NBA notebook: OKC’s Westbrook has knee surgery

Former NBA MVP Russell Westbrook could miss the first few games of the NBA season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, the Oklahoma City Thunder announced Wednesday.

The All-Star guard will be re-evaluated in four weeks, and he is expected to miss all of the preseason. The Thunder begin regular-season play Oct. 16 against the Golden State Warriors.

The Thunder said Westbrook experienced stiffness and inflammation in his knee during individual workouts in the last week. He chose to have the surgery as a preemptive measure so that he didn’t face knee issues throughout the season.

Westbrook, who turns 30 in November, holds career averages of 23.0 points, 6.6 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game in 748 games. He is a seven-time All-Star and won the 2016-17 league MVP award.

–Legendary NBA broadcaster Ralph Lawler announced that his upcoming 40th season as the “Voice of the Clippers” will be his last.

Lawler, 80, said he plans to retire at the conclusion of the 2018-19 season. He has called more than 3,100 games since joining the then-San Diego Clippers in the franchise’s first year in California in 1978. He moved with the team to Los Angeles in 1984.

The Clippers will celebrate “Ralph Lawler Night” at Staples Center for the last regular-season game on April 10 against the Utah Jazz.

–Dirk Nowitzki said he sees a huge upside in No. 3 overall pick Luka Doncic after watching him in Dallas Mavericks scrimmages this week.

Doncic, 19, did not suit up for summer league, but his work this week impressed Nowitzki, who knows a bit about entering the league as a young foreign star with high expectations.

“He’s been here now for a week, scrimmaged every day, works hard and I really like what I see,” said Nowitzki, who was just six months older when he entered the NBA from Germany. “He’s really incredible with the ball for a big guy, and he’s a legit 6-8.”