HoopsHype New York rumors

December 18, 2014 Updates

"I was 17 years old, being cheered on the basketball court but being called a `nigger' by those same people on the street," he says. That summer riots erupted in Harlem. "I stepped off the subway right into the middle of it. It was chaos, wild, insane, and I just stood there trembling. Cops were swinging nightsticks at everybody, bullets were flying, windows were being smashed, people were stealing and looting. All I could think of was that I wanted to stay alive, so I took off running and I didn't stop till I was at 137th and Broadway, several blocks away. And then I sat huffing and puffing and pondering about what I'd seen, and I knew what it was: rage, black rage. The poor people of Harlem felt that it was better to get hit with a nightstick than to keep on taking the white man's insults forever. Right then and there I knew who I was and who I had to be. I was going to be black rage personified, black power in the flesh." Sports Illustrated

December 17, 2014 Updates

Minnesota Timberwolves backup center Ronny Turiaf will miss the rest of the season recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his right hip. The surgery went as planned Tuesday in New York and the team announced after that Turiaf won't return this season. Turiaf appeared in only two games this season, his second with the Timberwolves. They're his seventh NBA team in 10 seasons in the league. NBA.com

December 14, 2014 Updates

New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert has a dislocated left shoulder and could miss at least three weeks. The Knicks also said Saturday that an MRI on guard J.R. Smith's left foot revealed a small tear of the plantar fascia and he is questionable for their game Sunday against Toronto. USA Today Sports

December 2, 2014 Updates

Going back to fashion elements of the earliest NBA All-Star games, the league will feature a “simple, classic and timeless” uniform design at the 2015 All-Star Game in New York in February. Also, for the first time, the All-Star uniforms will include the first and last name of the player on the back of the jersey – the first name above the number and the last name below it. The East and West uniforms will incorporate “indigenous elements of the city or the host team into the uniform and that’s where the uniform for New York really begins,” NBA vice president of apparel, sporting goods and basketball partnerships Christopher Arena said. For The Win

November 27, 2014 Updates

But the most significant aspect of the move is its implications for injured stars Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. There is a growing belief that one or both could rejoin the lineup soon, perhaps as early as Friday against New York. They returned to practice this week and are scheduled to have their respective injuries evaluated over the Thanksgiving holiday. Oklahoman

November 13, 2014 Updates

The NBA is expanding the All-Star ballot to include all players, and pushing back the start of voting so fans can better consider their choices. Voting for the Feb. 15 game in New York will open Dec. 11. It traditionally began this week, when teams aren't even 10 games into their seasons. The ballot on NBA.com will for the first time feature every player in the league. It formerly included only 60 players per conference who had been selected by a media panel. ESPN.com

November 12, 2014 Updates

The National Basketball Association has just scored a grand space at Joseph Moinian’s 545 Fifth Ave. on the southeast corner of East 45th Street. Sources in the NBA confirmed that the organization that represents the teams has finally settled on a dramatic new space for its fans to stock up on gear and mingle with players. According to a description on 42stories.com, the first floor of retail has 76 feet of frontage along Fifth and another 80 feet on East 45th. The second floor runs 149 feet on East 45th, which is a heavily foot-trafficked commuter side street to and from Grand Central Terminal. New York Post

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

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