August 3, 2015 | 6:50 pm EDT Update
In a philosophical interview with il Fatto Quotidiano, an Italian newspaper, Andrea Bargnani said that he turned down other, higher paying jobs in the NBA because he has something to prove with the Nets. “I would have done it for free because the money at this time does not matter,” said Bargnani who’s made $72 millin in his NBA career … and who’s made some profitable investments in Italy. After two years with the Knicks –and what he has called “crazy bad luck” — Bargnani said he wanted to start over … in New York. He said he wants to forget the injuries that limited him to 71 games in two years.
“I just hope I can have a decent playing time, scoring as many points and exceed goals,” he told interviewer Malcom Pagani . “I do not think I was lucky (last year). Luck is good health that allows you to prove your talent at the right time. The rest is the work. I made risky choices, indeed extremely risky and I intend to continue to take risks. I accept all the criticism, it is living in a beautiful dream, I know myself. ”
Nick DePaula: Heard that James Harden was “extremely pissed” that Kyrie got a Nike sig shoe before him. (Which I think was the right call from Nike’s POV.)
August 3, 2015 | 6:12 pm EDT Update
Marc J. Spears: LeBron James will attend @usabasketball mini-camp meeting Monday,but will leave after not & not attend workouts, Jerry Colangelo tells Yahoo. LeBron James Family Foundation’s annual Family Reunion event takes place in Northeast Ohio on Aug. 13, which takes precedence over USA camp.
Marc J. Spears: Paul George will attend @usabasketball mini-camp meeting Monday in Las Vegas, but wont participate in camp or exhibition, Colangelo told Y!
August 3, 2015 | 5:09 pm EDT Update
It’s an odd time for Smith to escape to the Pacific. Expectations are that he’ll return to the Cavaliers next season, but he has been without an NBA contract since June when he opted out with one year and $6.4 million left on his deal. “I just want to be somewhere I can make a difference,” Smith said. “I don’t want to be somewhere I can’t have an affect on the team.” He had a strong impact on Cleveland last season when he was traded to the team in January. The Cavs were 19-16 when he joined the team and finished the season on a 34-13 run, reaching the NBA Finals.
Smith was also a full-time starter for Cleveland in the regular season, his first time in that role since his rookie year with the New Orleans Hornets. “I would love to be a starter, but it depends on the situation and what team I’m on,” Smith said. “Cleveland is in a situation where they don’t really need me to start. I can come off the bench and bring the energy and stuff like that.”
The Milwaukee Bucks will be ready to unveil design plans for the new downtown arena by the end of August, team president Peter Feigin said. Feigin made the comment Sunday on “UpFront With Mike Gousha” on WISN-TV (Channel 12). Feigin did not give any details and Monday referred the Milwaukee Business Journal to Bucks spokesman Jake Suski. The Bucks have no specific date for the arena design unveiling, Suski said. The Bucks debuted a conceptual design on April 8 of the proposed arena exterior and an adjacent public plaza and “live block” for outdoor events. “We hope to be able to share more details of our owners’ vision and this transformative public-private partnership in the coming weeks,” Suski said.
The Bucks hired Populous of Kansas City, Mo., to lead the design and architecture team that also includes Eppstein Uhen Architects of Milwaukee and HNTB Corp., also of Kansas City. Feigin also said the Bucks have been contacted by local and regional real estate developers interested in the Park East corridor just north of the new arena. The Bucks are near finalizing a transaction with Milwaukee County to buy about 10 acres in the corridor for $1 and have proposed a new team practice facility and mixed-use development there.
August 3, 2015 | 3:24 pm EDT Update
A group of 17 investors recently raised $2 million to buy and revamp the magazine, giving new life to a publication that had lost much of its sheen. The goal: turn the glossy magazine into a media empire. Tiger Beat’s new backers include the banker and entrepreneur Mark Patricof; the television host and comedian Nick Cannon; the basketball star Kevin Durant; Steve Tisch, a film producer and the chairman and executive vice president of the New York Giants; and The Daily Mail.
August 3, 2015 | 2:26 pm EDT Update
Q: The Knicks drafted Kristaps Porzingis, a guy who is a couple years away from being able to help you win night in and night out. Then there’s Carmelo Anthony, who is 31 and here for another four years. How does he fit in because it seems like they are looking at a future that might not fit within his window? Walt Frazier: I’m sure Melo wasn’t happy. His future is now. You know, he’s not getting younger. This is going to be a pivotal season for him to see really how he fits into the Knick plans and how this is going to go from here. Will he ask out, you know what I mean, if he sees that this is not happening? Because right now the Knicks, [it’s] going to be tough to make the playoffs. They are a few years away and Melo knows that his days are numbered, so stay tuned.
Q: What did you see, if anything, that was different about the Knicks’ offense during the summer league compared to what you saw last season? Walt Frazier: Sometimes in summer league they weren’t using the triangle and they seemed to have better continuity. When they go to the triangle they seem to be more methodical, apprehensive. So that’s what the coaching staff has got to work out. Q: Do you think that sticking solely with the triangle, as the Knicks did last year, would work if they weren’t as methodical or do you think it’s wise to work in some pick and roll to speed things up? Walt Frazier: You’ve got to have versatility, especially with the guys that they have. They’re not as adept as the guys Jackson has had in the past. If that’s not working, you’ve got to go to Plan B.
August 3, 2015 | 1:36 pm EDT Update
Reggie Brown, the agent for undrafted Kansas forward Cliff Alexander, in a very good story on SBNation on his winding path to the NBA after one season in Lawrence. Alexander had hoped to go late in the first round or early in the second, but would not agree to play overseas for a year in exchange for being selected. “I don’t speak up that often, but I felt I needed to clear the air. I wish someone had just asked me for clarification before everyone immediately jumped to negative assumptions. A couple people sometimes ruin it for everyone else. I’ve got no hard feelings, but I do see why some guys are more skeptical about opening up when this type of thing happens.”
I’ve read some of the interviews you’ve done since the hire and you’ve expressed your gratitude to Becky for opening the door. Becky is clearly deserving in her own right, but all due respect, you’re a Hall of Famer. Shouldn’t this have happened for you a long time ago? Nancy Lieberman: Sometimes things are not on our time frame. And what I know with my career and my life, and the older you are, you hope you have more wisdom and perspective. People can say what they want out of respect for me and my career. I’ve got 40 years in. And relationships that are long and deep. But sometimes life is not on my timing. It’s about when the right time opens itself up to you. I’m happy — this is not a political line for Becky Hammon, ’cause Becky and I are friends, and have been for many, many years. She is a brilliant, brilliant player, and she has incredible qualities to be a brilliant coach.
The league would not put the resources it has put into Africa over the last few years if it didn’t view it as a growth area. But that does not mean expansion, as is still the dream among many in Europe. There could be regular-season games in the future, but not until there are more arenas on the continent with the bells and whistles the league requires — suites, signage, you know the drill. (Saturday’s game was played in Ellis Park Arena, which seats 5,000.)
There were some empty seats at Saturday’s game; the English newspaper The Guardian speculated that some fans may have taken in the Soweto Derby soccer match which drew a sellout 94,000 in the nearby suburb. There is support for more games, including NBA regular-season games. But the talk has to be followed by construction cranes.