Anthony’s camp is cautiously optimistic that a deal will be struck before Monday, and trying not to think about the potential media circus that will take place if Carmelo is still with the Knicks. Two weeks ago, Carmelo’s wife, La La, said the family thought a trade would have been completed by now. Mentally, Carmelo and his family have moved on to Houston. Reality is another story. Hopefully, Mills and Perry will have the right answers when they address the media on Friday because the Carmelo issue isn’t going away until he goes away.
More Rumors in this Storyline
Jeff Hornacek isn’t the only member of the Knicks’ hierarchy to attend one of Carmelo Anthony’s New York City pickup games. Knicks president Steve Mills also attended a pickup game earlier this month featuring Anthony and other players at the Lifetime Athletic gym in Manhattan, league sources told ESPN. Mills’ and Hornacek’s attendance at these games is noteworthy because the Knicks have been looking to trade Anthony for months and Anthony, who has a no-trade clause, is open to being moved. New York has been unable to find a suitable deal with Anthony’s preferred destination, the Houston Rockets. It is unknown if Hornacek or Mills had any substantive discussions with Anthony on the day(s) they attended games. For what it’s worth, Mills last month wrote a long blog on a company website about his vision for the future of the club and didn’t mention Anthony.
Damian Lillard said that he spoke to New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony about the possibility of waiving his no-trade clause to be dealt to Portland, but doesn’t see any trade in sight. Lillard said that Anthony “didn’t seem opposed” to the idea of playing for the Blazers when they spoke.
“I didn’t want to press him,” Lillard said of Anthony. “I ain’t a big fan of doing all the extra recruiting and all that stuff. And I guess they call it tampering or whatever. It’s not against the rules for us to interact with each other. We all peers, we all play in the same league and everybody hints at playing with each other. ‘What you think about this?’ ‘What do you think about that?’ All that matters is whether it got done or did not get done. Or hasn’t got done, and it hasn’t got done. So, it is what it is … “I’m not giving up on anything. I just think I’ve done what I can do. And camp is a few weeks away. And you have to focus on getting ready with who we are, plan on going in as we are.”
Sources near the situation continue to say bringing Anthony to training camp is a real possibility, but given how much of a media circus that will ultimately be, you have to wonder if the Knicks will ultimately blink and pull the trigger on a deal with Houston they currently do not want to do if only to close this chapter and move on.
As of last week, the New York Knicks were “not close” on any deal involving Anthony, per league sources. They’ve talked on and off with the Houston Rockets for much of the summer, but there’s been no recent momentum toward a deal. The Knicks have told people around the league recently that Houston simply doesn’t have anything that appeals to them.
The Milwaukee Bucks emerged as a potential third team at one point, per league sources, but there was no traction toward a deal. Milwaukee has been trying to shed salary so, in all likelihood, the idea of taking back the remaining money on Ryan Anderson’s contract (three years, $60 million) in a trade wasn’t enticing. One name that came up in those (very) preliminary talks? Bucks forward Jabari Parker, per league sources.
There has been little contact between Anthony and members of the organization lately, per sources. Anthony’s preference, as of late last month, remained to be traded. Whether that happens before the start of training camp is up to Mills and Perry. They have no interest, at this point, in negotiating a buyout with Anthony (he has two years and $44 million remaining on his contract).
Knicks rookie Frank Ntilikina told reporters at Yankee Stadium, including ESPN’s Andrew Marchand, that he’s worked out with Carmelo Anthony, Lance Thomas and several other Knicks as training camp approaches.
New York Knicks president Steve Mills wrote a lengthy blog outlining his vision for the future of the club but made no mention of Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, whom New York is looking to trade.
It looks like the Knicks have already moved on from Carmelo Anthony — even if he’s still on the roster. When the team made their full season ticket plan available to purchase on Thursday night, they teased the announcement on social media with a photo of three players: Kristaps Porzingis, Frank Ntilikina and Willy Hernangomez. Anthony’s face was nowhere to be found on the Knicks’ Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages.
The Knicks and Rockets re-engaged on Carmelo Anthony trade talks a couple weeks ago. The teams apparently haven’t made much more progress than their last attempt. Adrian Wojnarowski on ESPN: “Carmelo Anthony right now, those talks have been fairly dormant between Houston and New York. They’ve tried to find third, fourth teams – the Rockets have – to help facilitate a deal with Carmelo Anthony. They haven’t been able to do that. And both sides are prepared for the fact that Melo may have to go to camp with the Knicks.”
When the Cavaliers talked to the Knicks about Kyrie Irving, Cleveland brass had no interest in discussing Carmelo Anthony. Kristaps Porzingis was their lone focus.
With Phil Jackson gone, it’s not as farfetched for the Knicks to consider taking back Iman Shumpert, who had been looking at a change of scenery, too. Shumpert was the Knicks’ first-round pick in 2011. Still, many league sources believe the salary-cap mathematics for an Anthony trade still will be tough to pull off with Cleveland.
When the camp’s guest speaker, former Knicks star and current assistant general manager Allan Houston, was asked if that’s the jersey Anthony will be wearing for the upcoming season, the two-time All-Star shooting guard wouldn’t take the open shot. “That’s not for me to speak on,” Houston said with a laugh. “That’s for the boss.”
Born, bred and college-educated in Queens, Moe Harkless has firm roots in Knicks territory, an upward-trending NBA career and is now part of the never-ending Carmelo Anthony trade cycle. Still, as the Trail Blazers forward explained to the Daily News on Saturday, he doesn’t concern himself with the persistent rumors that he’s included in trade proposals to the Knicks. There’s no benefit. “It doesn’t do anything for me to get involved with that,” he said. “If it happens, it happens.”
The improvement is also why he’s been part of trade proposals involving Carmelo Anthony, according to sources, both in straight swap talks and three-team negotiations where Anthony would end up in Houston. In both instances, Harkless goes to New York.
“(Scott Perry and I) had a really good relationship. We still have a good relationship. We actually spoke not too long ago. We talk all the time,” Harkless said. “He’s a real down-to-Earth guy, a real dude. He doesn’t really sugar coat stuff. So I think that’s why players take a liking to him.”
The Russillo Show: “CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard have done a good job of recruiting Carmelo Anthony, they’ve been on him.” – @wojespn
The New York Knicks and Houston Rockets have re-engaged on trade talks involving 10-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony, with the Rockets again canvassing third-team trade partners to construct a deal, league sources told ESPN.
Nevertheless, no pathway has emerged for a deal directly between the two teams, and finding a broader package to include forward Ryan Anderson and the three-years, $60 million left on his contract remains problematic, league sources said.
Portland has kept an interest in Anthony, with Trail Blazers All-Stars Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum continuing to recruit Anthony to consider the Blazers as an alternative to Houston, league sources said.
The Post reported last month the Pelicans would be interested in facilitating a three-team Anthony deal. According to an NBA source, New Orleans also would have interest in getting Anthony for its roster. Nevertheless, an NBA source told The Post that Anthony has told the Knicks he would not agree to waive his no-trade clause for New Orleans.
According the source, the Knicks are still hopeful Anthony eventually will expand his wish list beyond the Rockets — with the Trail Blazers, Cavaliers, Thunder and Pelicans holding interest. The source said the Knicks brass has told Anthony he needs to do so because they are unwilling to make a “bad trade” — and he seemed to understand the team’s position.
Quick thought What if Melo went to @PelicansNBA with @boogiecousins and @AntDavis23 🤦🏾♂️#laawwwddd DeMarcus Cousins: Facts
A Pelicans fan Instagram account posted a picture of Melo and Boogie over the weekend. Hours later, Cousins liked the page and left an eyes emoji in the comments section.
Carmelo Anthony says he’s had significant dialogue with the Knicks during the offseason. “Conversations have been had,” Anthony told Scott Van Pelt during an interview on SportCenter from the site of The Basketball Tournament title game. “There’ve been plenty of conversations that have been had on both sides. I think we both know where we stand as far as myself, as far as the Knicks organization. They know how I feel. I know how they feel. We have been in communication. At this point, I want to see what happens. I just want to enjoy my offseason despite everything that’s surrounding me…. I’ve had great conversations with new GM Scott Perry. He understands my mindset, where I’m at.
Stephen A. Smith: Melo has told James Dolan he wants out. He doesn’t want to be with the New York Knicks anymore. He thinks the time has come for a change. His preference would be in Houston. That’s not the only place he could go. Cleveland is still a possibility despite reports to the contrary.
Anthony hasn’t met with Knicks officials but he has spoken with recently hired general manager Scott Perry, a respected executive credited with providing a few months of sane stability in Sacramento who also previously worked in Orlando and Detroit. “I’ve talked to him,’’ Anthony said. “We’ve communicated. I’ve known Scott for maybe 10 years now. I’ve known him for a while back in the Detroit days, the draft, 2003, all that. And things like that. I’m pretty sure I’ll get to [formally meet with] him.”
“An emotional roller coaster … an emotional roller coaster,” Anthony said. “But I had to find peace. I had to come to peace with myself and come to peace with kind of the situation I’m in and kind of try to find happiness again. I kind of lost that a little bit, but I’m finding it now and it feels good.”
“He’s an All-Star, an incredible player and I’ve learned so much from him,” Porzingis said. “There’s still so much for me to learn form him. I would love to have him around and keep playing alongside him. But it is what it is. It’s a business. If it ends, well … I don’t know, it’s out of my hands. I’m really thankful for these couple of years I’ve been with him, just seeing how he works during the summer. It proves he wants to win and he wants to be great. I’m sure he’ll make the right decision for himself.”
Carmelo Anthony mostly sidestepped basketball questions in his first comments of this tumultuous offseason, but he did offer one important tidbit: he still hasn’t talked with the new Knicks regime, more than a month after the front office was shuffled. Sources told the Daily News that team president Steve Mills has tried to talk with Anthony to go over options. However, sources said Anthony is not interested in having such a discussion after the team put a deal with the Houston Rockets on hold. “For him, there’s nothing to talk about,” a source said.
Ian Begley: Carmelo Anthony says he’s ‘at peace’ and he ‘doesn’t know’ about the chances of remaining a Knick. Says he’s not talking about basketball.
Ian Begley: Melo calls the last 12 months an ’emotional roller coaster.’ Reiterates that he’s at peace after struggling through some of the drama in NY.
Ian Begley: Carmelo Anthony says he hasn’t met with the Knicks during the offseason.
The Mayor of Baltimore says Carmelo Anthony would be “an asset” for any NBA team and Trail Blazers shooting guard Evan Turner believes that includes Portland. Turner appeared at Coppin State for the Anthony-sponsored “Basketball Tournament,” rooting on the alumni team from Ohio State (his alma mater) in the semifinals Tuesday.
Anthony has told the Knicks he would waive his no-trade clause only for the Rockets. “If he waives it and wants to come, it would be great,’’ Turner said. “He’ll lock in because he made the decision to come. He’s got all the power in a certain sense. It’s not a guarantee. The positive is if we did get him, that means he wanted to be there and accepted the trade and buckle into what we’re trying to do. “Obviously he’s 6-8. He walks in a gym and he can throw 20 points up in the books. He’s so talented, so big, you can’t leave him alone. He doesn’t miss easy shots.”
Knicks training camp starts Sept. 25. Kuzminskas said he hopes to see on-the-block Carmelo Anthony there. “Honestly I would like him as a teammate,’’ said Kuzminkas, a small forward who averaged 15 minutes in 68 games. “He’s a great leader and also he’s in my position. A lot of people think I wouldn’t want him here because I’m getting less minutes, but the opportunity to practice with him every day and see him every day in games, I would like to see him as my teammate.”
Phil Jackson is out as president, but the franchise’s strategy hasn’t changed much. A stalemate has ensued as sources indicate Anthony only wishes to waive his no-trade clause to go to the Rockets. Not even Cleveland, which is in turmoil, is good enough for Anthony as the Cavaliers are dealing with Kyrie Irving’s trade demand.
The Knicks’ management tandem of Steve Mills-Scott Perry claim it won’t trade Anthony to Houston unless it cobbles together a solid deal that makes sense for the Knicks’ future. Nothing has materialized.
In fact, a source told The Post the signing of veteran point guard Ramon Sessions partly was due to him connecting better with Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis than did Derrick Rose, who left for Cleveland via free agency.
Dan D’Antoni, the former Knicks assistant, told The Post on Monday his brother will be able to move on from the rancor in New York. “There were a lot of things that went wrong, but Carmelo is a heckuva player,’’ Dan D’Antoni said. “All I’m saying is Mike’s a good person. He understands people change, things change. Two things you can’t deny: Mike’s a helluva coach. Carmelo is a very good player. If those two see eye-to-eye, Mike and I are always optimistic things are meant to be. The next day is going to be better than the day before.”
Ian Begley: Knicks are searching for the best possible return in a Melo trade, which makes sense. Both NYK & Melo seem to be behaving rationally here.
Ian Begley: This idea that Carmelo Anthony is holding the Knicks ‘hostage’ is absurd. He’s using the no-trade clause that the Knicks gave him in 2014.
For the Rockets and coach Mike D’Antoni, the hope is that Anthony is ready to love NBA basketball again, that he can take with him to Houston some of that spirit he’s shown as an Olympian over the years. That is, of course, if the Rockets and Knicks are finally able to grant Anthony’s wish and come up with a deal that sends him out of New York and off to Houston, where he could join good friend Chris Paul and MVP runner-up James Harden.
Anthony has a no-trade clause in his contract that he would be willing to waive to play for the Rockets or Cavaliers. But a league source said his first choice is to play with Houston. Crabbe, a second-round pick of the Cavaliers in 2013, started only 24 games with the Blazers over the past four seasons. But he developed into a reliable reserve for Portland.
Here’s why: Carmelo Anthony’s top choice in any trade, as of late Tuesday night, is to end up with the Houston Rockets, per league sources. Basically, nothing has changed since ESPN’s Adrian Wojanarowski reported over a week ago that Anthony still expected the Knicks to carry out their previous plans to trade him to Houston.
Brian Windhorst: The Cavs have had all kind of talks with the Jazz over Melo deal, over Kevin Love deal. They’ve been talking to Jazz on and off for months.
Brian Windhorst: I’ve heard permutations of deals with the Jazz as the third team. Let’s put it this way, it would be easier if Boris Diaw was still there, if we had a beautiful contract to use on a trade. Had the Cavs moved Kevin Love, they would have been interested in acquiring Derrick Favors as part of a trade.
The Knicks would love nothing more than to use Carmelo Anthony plus two picks to make a deal happen. Unfortunately, the Cavs don’t seem to have much interest in Melo, who like LeBron and Kevin Love is another power forward. Also, according to a source close to a Anthony, his primary objective is to get moved to Houston. His camp is optimistic that a deal with the Rockets is going to happen.
A report of the Oklahoma City Thunder being interested in Anthony is legitimate. One person close to Anthony doubts he would play in Oklahoma City but that perhaps he’d be willing to at least talk. Another simply said “Houston” when asked about the OKC report.
Bill Simmons: Have a scoop – OKC and Carmelo are officially circling each other. OKC’s Troy Weaver recruited Melo to Cuse + has known him since DMV days.
Kurt Helin: Problem with Carmelo to OKC rumors: going to need a third team because Knicks won’t want Kanter. Same challenge as Rockets/Anderson.
Kurt Helin: Bottom line with Carmelo and Kyrie: No pressure on Knicks or Cavs to do deal this week, or soon. They can wait out best deal for 6-8 weeks.
Still, I was surprised on Sunday evening to get a call from someone who has known Anthony personally for more than a decade. And when I asked why Portland wasn’t among Anthony’s preferred destinations, I didn’t get a diatribe on basketball, or the rainy weather, or how he needs to know the organization can compete for a title. Instead, I got a pleasant surprise. “‘Melo’s a doting father,” the person said. “He’s a great dad. He’s present and he loves that kid. There’s no way he’s going to leave that little boy in New York and be 3,000 miles away from him.”
The Knicks will contact Cleveland and make a pitch. The obvious move would be to trade Carmelo Anthony and a few first round picks for a bona-fide superstar. However, a source close to Anthony said late Friday that the All Star forward is focused on getting a deal done with Houston. Anthony would have to waive his no-trade and there is no guarantee that Anthony would do that to join a Cavs team that didn’t have Irving. Also, Anthony probably knows better than anyone that LeBron is leaving next July.
The Knicks have discussed a potential Anthony trade with several teams, including the Houston Rockets, but have yet to find a package that’s to their liking. “There’s a lot of time in front of us right now and like I said we’re just going to continue to do our due diligence and keep the lines of communication open with all sides involved and it will take its natural course,” Perry said.
Frank Isola: A source close to Carmelo says his focus remains Houston. He must waive his no trade. Does he go to Cavs without Kyrie & LBJ gone in 2018?
There has been no indication the Cavs are considering trading Irving to the Knicks, and two sources said Cleveland wouldn’t trade for Anthony at all.
Trail Blazers teammates Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum have been trying to sell Carmelo Anthony on joining Portland in a potential trade. They see Anthony as a missing piece to a team that was the No. 8 seed in a now-stacked Western Conference. Lillard went as far as to imply that Anthony joining Portland would make the Blazers at Golden State’s level or better.
The Warriors swept the Trail Blazers (easily) in the first round of the NBA playoffs last season. With that in mind, Draymond Green had himself a good laugh upon hearing of Lillard’s comments.
Adrian Wojnarowski on Carmelo Anthony: My sources tell me he’s willing to waive the trade kicker, which is worth around $8 million, so that makes a little easier for Houston to do a trade.
Ian Begley on Carmelo Anthony trade: The Knicks don’t like anything they’ve gotten back so far from Houston or any other team for that matter.
Both Blazers guards were at Lillard’s basketball camp in Beaverton on Wednesday. During a media availability, they answered questions about the Knicks’ 10-time All-Star. Lillard declined to share specific details of his conversation with Anthony, but he did say “it’s a real possibility” that Anthony could join the Blazers. “With that being out there and that being a real possibility, I don’t see why I wouldn’t reach out to him and let him know that the interest is mutual if he’s interested in us,” he said. “I don’t think we’d be hearing about it as much if wasn’t a possibility. That was part of the reason why I reached out to him.”
Through a series of cryptic and vague comments on Wednesday at Lillard’s youth basketball camp, both Lillard and McCollum said they have been in contact with Anthony in attempts to lure him to Portland via a trade. “I spoke to him,’’ Lillard said. “Because obviously he makes us a better team. So obviously with that being out there and being a real possibility, I don’t see why I wouldn’t reach out to him and let him know the interest is mutual if he is interested in us.’’
Joe Freeman: CJ McCollum on Carmelo Anthony’s reaction to his pitch for Blazers: “I think he’s interested.”
McCollum, who was making an appearance at Lillard’s camp, was more cryptic, saying he has spoke to Anthony “indirectly” through the trainer they both share. He added that he is flying to New York on Thursday to train and will “say hello (to Melo) if he’s there.’’ “If we get him … when we get him … I think we could be top three in the West, easy,’’ McCollum said. “I think he’s interested. Obviously I feel he wants to play with his team – the Banana Boat friends. I know he wants to play with CP (Chris Paul) and LeBron, and those are good options, but I feel we are a good option.’’
A source also told The Post the Rockets are undeterred by the franchise being put up for sale Monday and will continue their pursuit of uniting Anthony with his buddies, Chris Paul and James Harden. Anthony has $56 million left on his pact, but with an opt-out after this season.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski during a SportsCenter appearance Tuesday morning, Anthony “has made it clear to [the Knicks]: I want to go to Houston, I am not interested in talking to you about being reincorporated back into this New York roster.” The Knicks are in complete rebuild mode, but management does not know if it can make a sensible deal to send Anthony to the Rockets. Sources told The Post Anthony’s camp is pushing hard for a Rockets’ trade.
New York Knicks star forward Carmelo Anthony is not considering waiving his no-trade clause to allow a trade to the Portland Trail Blazers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Wojnarowski, who broke the news Saturday that the Blazers were interested in trading for Anthony, spoke about the potential connection between Portland and the Knicks’ 10-time All-Star on ESPN’s The Jump on Monday.
“Portland’s players are reaching out to Melo,” Wojnarowski said. “Portland would love to get involved in this and become a team that Melo would consider. … They would like for Carmelo to waive his no-trade and go to Portland, but right now, that’s not something Melo’s considering.”
Anthony, 33, has been willing to waive his no-trade clause for Houston and Cleveland, however, and in recent weeks has been focused on a trade to join fellow All-Stars Chris Paul and James Harden with the NBA power Rockets, ESPN.com has reported. The Anthony-to-Rockets talks have stalled with Perry’s hiring since the newcomer would like to survey the situation before making a move, a source said.
Ian Begley: Both Steve Mills & Scott Perry say they will be in touch with Melo & his camp and will find a resolution that works for everyone involved.
Alan Hahn: Mills said he doesn’t want to “play out the process publicly” on how they’re going to handle the Melo situation. Perhaps learning from past?
Alan Hahn: Mills on Melo: “If there is an opportunity that works for Melo and works for us, we will look into a trade.” But adds Melo could stay.
Barbara Barker: “We also feel that Carmelo could easily be a part of our team next year,” Mills on Carmelo.
Alan Hahn: Mills said they paused Melo trade talks because he “wanted to make sure we did the best thing for the #Knicks.”
Lenn Robbins: Mills says team has been in contact w @Carmelo Anthony reps and other teams – if a deal make sense they will do it. @New York Knicks @MSGNetworks
One glimmer of hope for Perry is that he has a solid relationship with Anthony. Perry hopes to meet with Anthony and Porzingis soon. Late in Jackson’s tenure, Anthony had expressed interest in staying with the Knicks, primarily to be close to his wife and son in New York City. “I’ve always had a great deal of respect for Carmelo the player and the person,” said Perry, who declined to talk in detail about Anthony’s situation.
Al Iannazzone: Steve Mills says Knicks will build around KP, Hardaway, Hernangomez and Frank Ntilikina. No mention of Melo but says veterans are important
Anthony has been tied to trade rumors with a number of teams, most notably the Houston Rockets. Houston reportedly turned its full attention toward acquiring Anthony after the team traded for Chris Paul, and Anthony reportedly is “counting on” being traded to H-Town. But the Rockets apparently aren’t the only Western Conference club interested in Anthony’s services. Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum had the basketball world buzzing Sunday when he posted an Instagram photo with some rather interesting photoshopping.
“I think they have a lot on their plate integrating Paul and [James] Harden,” Van Gundy said. “They’re not going to be better offensively than they were last year. They were the second-best team in the league offensively. I thought they had defined roles everyone knew. [Coach] Mike D’Antoni did a fabulous job getting them to play on a consistent basis. The Chris Paul trade, there’s going to be some ups and downs, but they’re better equipped to win in the playoffs. Particularly if Harden has a bad night, they still have a superior player to play through. Their improvement is going to have to be defensively. So I’m interested in the Carmelo thing. I don’t necessarily see it as a natural fit.’’
The most recent offender: Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard CJ McCollum. McCollum, who plays alongside Damian Lillard to form one of the top backcourts in the NBA, posted a Photoshopped picture of New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony in a Blazers jersey, with no caption, on Instagram on Sunday afternoon.
One of the teams that New York and Houston had hoped would facilitate a multiteam trade for Anthony — the Portland Trail Blazers — plans to participate in a deal for Anthony only if he decides to expand his no-trade clause to include the Trail Blazers, league sources told ESPN.
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September 21, 2017 | 5:25 am EDT Update
Darren Wolfson: As stated on @1500ESPN today and on recent podcasts for weeks, free agent Aaron Brooks is worth watching to fill the #Twolves guard want.
After missing the Knicks’ voluntary workouts, Porzingis, seemingly in no hurry to return, will be at Monday’s start of training camp for Media Day. He may or may not explain his shocking and unpopular decision to blow off an exit meeting with Jackson, Mills and Hornacek. According to an NBA source, Knicks brass was happy with his performance in Europe and fine with the timing of his New York return. (Hernangomez, whose Spanish squad won bronze, and Kuzminskas haven’t arrived to Tarrytown either; Euro training camps began in late July for the trio.)
Coach Nate McMillan said he has a starting lineup in mind heading into training camp, but wouldn’t reveal it. He did acknowledge, however, that Lance Stephenson likely will start the season as the sixth man. Stephenson likely will play starter minutes, but his versatility and energy makes him a logical candidate for playing off the bench. “I hope he can establish (that role),” McMillan said. “A sixth man is like a starter, and he can be a guy who can do a lot of things with that second group with his ability to handle the ball, score the ball. He’s an unselfish player.”
But after the trials of last season, Jackson is confident that after an off-season geared toward doing a better job of managing the chronic case of tendinitis, he is back to normal. “One hundred percent would always be great to feel, but this year I just want to be better than I was the day before,” Jackson said Wednesday at the practice facility in Auburn Hills.
The days of coaches looking at a player’s offseason workout regimen, skeptical of the work load and maybe the credentials of whatever personal guru was administering it, appear to be over. Just as teams’ medical staffs have grown accustomed to injured players seeking out second opinions from orthopedists of their choosing, so have they gotten used to cooperating with, and sometimes embracing, their guys’ trainers into a comprehensive, full-calendar fitness program. Now some of the trainers who work with NBA stars far away from the lights and the cameras may be stars. Rob McClanaghan, Tim Grover, Idan Ravin, Chris Johnson and several others have or have had devoted followings among the league’s biggest names. A facility in Santa Barbara, Calif., called Peak Performance Project – “P3” for short – is a Mecca for players seeking the latest and greatest in bio-mechanics and training techniques.
Scott Brooks, Wizards: “Being a former player, I kind of know all the tricks. One of the tricks is: ‘I lifted a lot of weight this summer and bulked up.’ That’s a trick. You didn’t ‘bulk up,’ you just gained weight. And your body fat percentage is higher. When a player starts the conversation with that, you know he’s not in shape. But we touch are players all summer, we text them – that’s the only way you can communicate with some, who never check their voice messages – but you know once guys come in. The guys we’ve had come in the last couple weeks, I see no problem with their conditioning. … People who always say ‘The old school was better,’ taking all of October to get into shape, that’s one place the old school wasn’t better. … Guys are in shape. It’s big business.”