HoopsHype New York rumors

October 28, 2014 Updates

The NYC Marathon field will have a slightly taller look this year as the National Basketball Association joins in to promote physical activity throughout New York’s five boroughs. The NBA will hold a relay, pairing league celebrities with local youth runners to complete the Nov. 2 race in 24 legs, league Commissioner Adam Silver and Mary Wittenberg, chief executive officer of race organizer New York Road Runners, said yesterday at a pre-race luncheon. Silver, a two-time NYC Marathon finisher, will run the first leg with 14-year-old Staten Island resident Lauren Pitarresi, while Dikembe Mutombo, the 7-foot-2 center who played for both the New York Knicks and then-New Jersey Nets, will run the final leg of the 26.2-mile (42.2-kilometer) race. Bloomberg

October 27, 2014 Updates

Anthony said that he and Bryant, whom he considers a good friend, had several conversations outside of the pitch meeting, but that he never felt pressured. "He wasn't calling me every day and like, 'Get over here! I want you here!'" Anthony said. "We had conversations about different situations whether it was in New York or in L.A., but it wasn't to the point where it was non-stop calling or texting or stuff like that." ESPN.com

September 16, 2014 Updates

Steve Kyler: I have heard there is no shortage of suitors to buy the team. I had a league source tell me there is a billionaire hedge fund guy in New York that seems poised to out-bid, but we’ll see. Until then, Coach Bud is running the show. I think that will change fairly soon after an owner is in place. There isn’t much that needs to be done with the roster, in the short term. Basketball Insiders

September 12, 2014 Updates
September 5, 2014 Updates

Carmelo Anthony said Thursday there were business reasons in addition to basketball ones that led him to re-sign with the Knicks this offseason. "I just couldn't leave from that perspective," he said at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit in Manhattan. "There were so many opportunities that I started to build upon here in New York City, business opportunities, different situations. "I just felt if I was to leave, I would have to start all over in the next place, meet new people, build that foundation up once again, and it took me a lot to build that foundation and get it up and going to where it's at right now." Newsday

"I want to brand myself as the digital athlete," said Anthony, who used the word "brand" often. "I really want to be the pioneer for that digital athlete, and when it comes to tech, I want to be the face of that space." Newsday

June 28, 2014 Updates

"I knew I had to get better with my court awareness, make sure my ball handling was sharp, learn how to shoot with confidence," he says. "I can't even count how many shots I would take; but I went through it because I knew the end result. I got to a point where I was so tired and exhausted I didn't want to do anything. I would basically go to the gym, come back home, fall asleep, then get up and do it again the next day." The Statue of Liberty appears in the distance, and Dante takes a picture with his phone. He studies it, then, after a pause, surveys the real thing. He seems slightly disappointed by what he sees. "It's not that it's not big," he says, gesturing at the monument. "It just looks bigger in the movies." Rolling Stone

If anything, Exum seems to be delighting in it all. And why wouldn't he? Long the subject of speculation, the International Man of Mystery has arrived in the NBA, off to Utah to save the day. As he prepares for another photo shoot, I quickly ask him what he knows about his new home. "I know they have lots of lakes and mountains," he laughs. "I'm ready to get there and see the beautiful cities." Rolling Stone

April 20, 2014 Updates

But sources close to the situation told ESPN.com that the Bulls -- even before these developments came to light Friday night via noted NBA salary-cap expert Larry Coon -- were already feeling increasingly optimistic behind the scenes about their chances of convincing Anthony to leave the Knicks in the wake of New York's failure to make the playoffs. This is the first season Anthony has failed to reach the playoffs in his 11-year career. It's believed that the Bulls would still have to shed some veteran salary in addition to releasing former All-Star forward Carlos Boozer via the amnesty clause this summer to be able to make a competitive offer that could persuade Anthony to leave the new Jackson-led Knicks and the Madison Square Garden stage he loves so dearly. But a higher cap figure than anticipated would naturally make things easier for Chicago. ESPN.com

March 30, 2014 Updates

Relationships remain Lopez’s greatest currency and inspiration. In his apartment, there is a poster of former Knicks guard John Starks’ famous lefthanded dunk over Jordan and Horace Grant in the 1993 playoffs. Lopez sees Starks at community events for the Knicks. There is also a photo of Drazen Petrovic, the Croatian scorer, because his girlfriend, Kero, is Croatian. Lopez loved Petrovic’s spirit as a player, and tries to channel it on and off the court. He keeps a photo of himself with David Stern, the former NBA commissioner, on a table in his living room. It is not from draft night; rather it is from a community center with children. “I blew through a lot of money, but, for me, I knew money was never going to bring happiness,” Lopez says. “I spent on me and my family. At the end of the day, they are who is around me. I’m back where I started with more than when I began.” New York Daily News

Lopez, 39, can be difficult to place in New York, the city he once soared above. He likes to keep basketball on the “low burner,” living modestly with his girlfriend across from Riverdale’s Van Cortlandt Park, and running through its back hills. Hailed as the best player in the country 20 years ago at Rice High, Lopez inspired “Felipe Mania,” sending fans into raptures. The cheers and camera crews trailed him to St. John’s, but lost interest as time went on, and Lopez, despite scoring at a prodigious pace, could not resurrect the Johnnies. Thereafter, he reached unimaginable heights as a Dominican immigrant, sitting on the same stage as President Clinton during a forum on race, and experienced unexpected lows, punching a teammate in the face during his last professional game on American soil in the CBA. Ten years after his NBA career ended with a torn ACL, Lopez has returned to the South Bronx, volunteering at his mother’s church as he attempts to break a cycle of lost prospects in his old neighborhood. “To this day, the No. 1 question I get, no matter where I am, is, ‘Where’s Felipe?’ ” says Zendon Hamilton, Lopez’s teammate at St. John’s. “It’s almost like he’s a folk hero. His legend grew by word of mouth: ‘This kid in the Bronx from the Dominican Republic has a 60-inch vertical, can dunk with his left hand, threw down over somebody. He’d do some salsa after a play.’ All true. If you didn’t watch him, you might lose him.” New York Daily News

“I try to make sure the kids know they’re young,” Lopez says. “They grow so fast because they have to create a wall of protection. If you’re weak, you get bullied so you have to act. You have to understand there is another way.” Blades and bullets are regularly seen in the church’s neighborhood. Homeless people pushing carts line the sidewalk by the wrought iron fence, waiting their turn to collect fruits and vegetables from the food pantry. A child in a Spider-Man hat urinates on the sidewalk. A security guard chides him; the boy and his parents smile back. An adult in a black coat threatens another with a knife. Lopez’s acolytes, meanwhile, assemble inside for six hours every Saturday, wearing yellow hats he hands out as a display of solidarity. They carry Bibles in book bags and leave their report cards for Lopez to review. He issues math assignments for them to complete by the next session and his girlfriend, Marija Kero, to teach upstairs. He scolds the boys who hand in reports on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that are incomplete. New York Daily News

Maybe it was the American M-16 assault rifle Lopez saw a man pull from a duffel bag and used to shoot bullets into an open crowd on Brook Ave. in 1989. Maybe it was the lines of cocaine addicts he saw stretch around an abandoned building on his block, as if waiting for a government handout. It’s hard to figure what left the greatest impact on his young mind, Lopez says with a sigh. For some reason, he felt at home in the forgotten, forbidding borough, building an immigrant’s dream from a nightmare setting. “If I was in the Olympics I would have broke a record running from gunshots,” Lopez says. Born in Santiago, the Dominican Republic’s second-largest city, surrounded by mountains in the country’s northern region, Lopez learned basketball in a baseball nation. New York Daily News

Lopez was eventually the one lying on the ground. It was October 2002, and the Timberwolves took on the Boston Celtics in a preseason game at an obscure arena in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Lopez charged into swingman Paul Pierce and twisted awkwardly. He tore the ACL and MCL in his left knee, and writhed on the floor, fearing the worst. It was over. Lopez, who was entering his fifth season, rehabilitated, but never played another regular-season game in the NBA. Living in Miami, he transitioned to television, working for Telemundo as an analyst, but wanted back on court after a while. He had a daughter named Anuhea Alexa, and left the States to play in Europe, suiting up for a team in Oldenburg, Germany. The new country piqued his interest, and he drove for hours on off days, stopping at the Berlin Wall, touring Munich and drinking in Oktoberfest. He was enchanted by the journey. “They walk 10 miles to the woods and suddenly there’s a castle,” Lopez says. “When you get there they just have beer after beer after beer.” He followed the bouncing ball to Spain, back stateside and through South America. International competition always thrilled him, but sometimes the unexpected clipped Lopez. New York Daily News

March 26, 2014 Updates
March 22, 2014 Updates
March 11, 2014 Updates

What he doesn’t want is the New York winter. The 68-year-old, who needs a second knee replacement, lives with his fiancée Jeanie Buss in a house in Playa Del Rey. Buss is the president of the Lakers and finds herself in New York on business on occasion. Jackson also has two houses in Montana, which he frequents in the summer. “He doesn’t want to live in the cold anymore,’’ said Rosen, who lives in the Kingston, N.Y., area. “But when we’ve discussed living in New York, I told him Brooklyn Heights. Hey, it’s not so bad if you have a driver.’’ New York Post

February 23, 2014 Updates

Collins’ identity and confidence will come in handy because the spotlight is about to turn even brighter. He’ll be moving to a perfect market for his endeavor, but New York is also a media circus. Those executives who cited the media glare as a legitimate deterrent were misguided, but they weren't incorrect about its existence. Collins’ integration into the league will probably be somewhat disruptive. There will likely be awkward and obtrusive moments for some of his teammates. More and more pro athletes are ready to accept a gay teammate, but not every 24-year-old NBA player has the confidence, vocabulary or cultural sensibility to speak confidently about homosexuality. ESPN.com

February 16, 2014 Updates

It already will be different, as the Friday and Saturday events will be at Barclays Center and Sunday's All-Star Game will be at the Garden. But Silver, in his first state of the league address, said instead of the fan-friendly Jam Session that features interactive basketball activities, the NBA might do something involving all five boroughs. "Several members of the Knicks and Nets are in town studying everything that they're doing here in New Orleans," Silver said. "One of the ideas we have talked about, and it's consistent with a focus on the game, is to expand the All-Star experience to all five boroughs through programs for kids, a series of clinics throughout the New York area. "As opposed to one focused Jam Session, taking the game to the schools and having a program involving coaches and kids leading up to All-Star Weekend, that's one of my primary focuses." Newsday

February 6, 2014 Updates

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