Storyline: Carmelo Anthony Trade?

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Thunder coach Billy Donovan, whose team will play at the Garden on Monday afternoon, could never find a way to turn Anthony productive alongside Russell Westbrook and Paul George. Still, Donovan went to bat for his former player. “I think he can contribute. I think it’s based on what role teams need to fill and how can he help the team in that role,” Donovan said. “Every team may need something different. I don’t think you can necessarily put him in a role that’s going to be the same for every team. But he’s a smart enough guy, he’s a bright enough guy. I think winning is important enough to him.”

He never accepted his limitations and still viewed himself as an All-Star. At his next stop, he’ll have to come to grips with being a specialist. “I think for him, he’s obviously been an incredible isolation player and he’s been an incredible player in the mid-post,” Donovan said. “And I think with a lot of the analytic stuff, people look at that and say the game has passed him by because of the way he plays. … But the one thing about it, he’s been elite and great in the midrange for most of his career. He’s got a skillset that can certainly help some teams.”

Carmelo Anthony’s NBA career might not be​ over after​ all. According​ to two​ sources​ with​​ knowledge of Anthony’s situation, the exiled 10-time All-Star who remains on the Houston Rockets roster has multiple options available and is expected to pick one before the Feb. 7 trade deadline. There is no clarity as to whether he would be traded in these scenarios or waived and subsequently signed, but there are strong signs that he will play in the NBA again.

LeBron wants 'Melo in Los Angeles?

LeBron​ James would​ like​ to​ get​ Carmelo Anthony to Los Angeles with​ him on​ the​ Lakers, a league​ source​ told​​ The Athletic. Anthony, 34, is estranged from the Houston Rockets – still on their payroll for the league-minimum $2.4 million but gone from the team after the two sides decided he was not a fit after just 10 games. He can’t be traded until at least Dec. 15, and sources said there had been no request made by James to Lakers president Magic Johnson or general manager Rob Pelinka to make a deal for his friend. Nor would there be.

2 years ago via ESPN

It doesn’t matter now, but Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni says he would have been fine with coaching Carmelo Anthony in Houston. “Oh yeah. We all get a little bit, hopefully, better at what we do. And it’s a whole different situation and we know that James (Harden) and Chris (Paul) are good friends (of Carmelo’s) so it’s a whole different thing,” D’Antoni said Monday. “Actually after New York, we went to USA Baskteball and we won a gold medal again so it’s not like it’s anything new.” Anthony and D’Antoni weren’t exactly on the same page at the end of D’Antoni’s Knicks tenure. D’Antoni acknowledged in an ESPN The Magazine story that he quit in 2012 after Anthony told the team it needed to choose between he and D’Antoni. Anthony’s preferred trade destination over the summer was Houston, but he ended up being dealt to Oklahoma City.

Carmelo Anthony: New York equipped me to make it in any other place in the world. It taught me how to Be Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable. Saying Goodbye is the hardest thing to do. I never thought I would, especially to you. No one will ever take your place. It’s hard to find someone like you, so know you will always be missed. You helped me laugh. You dried my tears. Because of you, I have no fears. You came into my life and I was blessed. It’s time to raise my hand and say goodbye. It’s not the end, because like I’ve always said, NYC ‘til the end.

The New York Knickerbockers announced today that the team has acquired center Enes Kanter, forward Doug McDermott and Chicago’s 2018 second-round draft pick from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for forward Carmelo Anthony. “This is a deal we feel works for both this franchise and Carmelo. We thank him for his seven seasons in a Knicks uniform and all that he accomplished off the court for the City of New York by using his platform to address social issues,” President Steve Mills said. “We will continue to focus on this team looking forward towards the immediate and long-term future. As we have said recently, this is a new beginning for the New York Knicks.”

But Anthony picked Oklahoma City knowing the circumstances. He’s aware that reigning MVP Russell Westbrook, someone who actually might like shooting more than he does, still presides over the team. He just so happens to know four-time All-Star Paul George. He and Westbrook played an integral role in convincing Anthony to come join them in Oklahoma. He knows the deal, and he waived a no-trade clause to come to OKC en lieu of the big names already present, en lieu of the small market.

The New York Knicks sought Tristan Thompson in a potential trade for Carmelo Anthony with the Cavaliers and were rebuffed, two sources told cleveland.com. The Knicks wanted Thompson, 26, a center who like James is represented by Rich Paul. The Cavs told them no. Thompson is under contract for three more seasons, beginning at $16.4 million this year. Cleveland was willing to do a deal that would’ve cleared some contracts off the books, such as sending Iman Shumpert ($11 million this year) and others.

As Paul George sat back in his dining room chair on Saturday afternoon, a gray Nike shirt on his back and the Carmelo Anthony trade on his mind, he pondered what it all meant for an Oklahoma City Thunder team that has recovered so nicely from the loss of Kevin Durant last summer. “This feels like a championship team,” George told USA TODAY Sports. “I’m in a good place. I know Russ (Westbrook) is in a good place. Melo is motivated more than ever…You put us three together, who all have something to prove still, (and) we’re going to be a special team.”

“Well Russ and Melo, they’ve had a relationship far longer and way before me and Melo had a relationship,” George said. “Those two have been on USA teams, and then when I got the chance to play with Melo on the USA team. I expressed (and) he expressed how much we wanted to play alongside each other in an NBA uniform. And then when we both were presented this opportunity this summer, and knowing Melo wanted to opt out and wanted to move on, we’ve connected. We talked, and he expressed again – ‘Hey, I would love to come join you guys and be a part of what you guys have got going there.’ And then from there, it’s a no-brainer. We run with it, and it came to life.”

With President Donald Trump’s tweet and the Golden State Warriors’ first practice on his mind, Stephen Curry didn’t learn that Carmelo Anthony was joining Russell Westbrook, Paul George and the Oklahoma City Thunder via trade until hours after it was agreed upon Saturday. “I heard [the trade] happened right before practice, but I was out on the court. My phone was blowing up, anyways, for other reasons. I learned about it right as I was coming out here to talk to the media,” Curry said after practice at the Warriors’ training facility on Saturday afternoon.

“I don’t even know about this trade,” Curry said. “I just heard about this trade 10 seconds ago. So, they got Kanter and … I guess I am happy [for Anthony] because I know he wanted to get out and be in a situation where he felt like what he was doing on the court was actually productive. It’s going to be wild to see that trio of guys together. It’s just crazy how the West is getting stronger and stronger. It should be another tough matchup when we play them.”

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim says Phil Jackson “chased” Carmelo Anthony out of New York and that the forward’s addition automatically makes the Oklahoma City Thunder a threat to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA’s Western Conference. “They’ve got two top-10 players [in Russell Westbrook and Paul George] and Carmelo, who’s No. 60 or whatever they got him rated,” Boeheim, who coached Anthony to the 2003 NCAA championship, told SNY.tv by phone on Saturday. “I think he’s still a top player, and I think Russell and Paul George make it easier for him to be able to do what he does.”

Asked if he thinks Anthony regrets not making the Knicks a championship contender after arriving in 2011, Boeheim said he did. “Yeah, he loved New York,” he said. “He wanted to come to New York, he wanted to get it done in New York. And he did everything he could to do it, and I don’t think he ever wanted to leave New York. “I think Phil Jackson chased him out, and didn’t leave him a good alternative. But I think both organizations came out of this good.”
2 years ago via ESPN

Thunder general manager Sam Presti and Knicks GM Scott Perry had been talking on and off about a possible deal for weeks. Talks intensified in the 24 hours before Saturday’s agreement, league sources said. As training camp loomed next week, Perry increasingly wanted no part of the circus that awaited his franchise with media day and Anthony’s arrival both on Monday. Around the organization and Anthony, there was a belief that the unresolved saga would become a suffocating daily issue. Perry started to feel the urgency of making a deal on Friday, and engaged Oklahoma City in more serious dialogue, league sources said.
2 years ago via ESPN

Once Anthony expanded his list of teams to include Cleveland and Oklahoma City within the past 10 days, Perry had more flexibility to move Anthony. Perry remained in contact with Portland Trail Blazers president of basketball operations Neil Olshey, who had the most versatile array of assets for New York and motivation to make the deal — but, ultimately, Anthony would not accept a trade to the Pacific Northwest. Anthony was intrigued with a potential partnership with Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic, and the stability and track record of the front office and coaching staff in Portland, but did not want to make such a dramatic geographic shift, league sources said.
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February 21, 2020 | 4:49 am EST Update
Harris, who scored 12 points Thursday, will be a restricted free agent this summer, and due to make a raise on his team-friendly $7.6 million deal. The sweet-shooting wing played alongside Irving in Cleveland as a rookie, but he essentially grew up in Brooklyn. He blossomed into a starter and won the 3-point title last season. He’s hoping to re-sign with the Nets, with the lure of playing a full season alongside the likes of Irving and Durant on a contender a strong one. And if he has a disappointment from this season, it’s that both stars, along with LeVert and others, have been in and out of an injury-riddled Nets lineup.
Every year during that stretch, Smart has been to the playoffs, and he played in the Eastern Conference Finals twice. But in his opinion, this Celtics team has the best shot at a title since he arrived. “(Other teams were) potential contenders, but not as much of a contender as this team is,” Smart told MassLive on Wednesday. “I’ve had some where we thought, ‘Maybe we can go.’ That run that we had with Isaiah Thomas, we thought we were a pretty good team, even the two years ago team where we made it to the Eastern Conference Finals, but this year is just a different feeling. We really got that sense of ‘We really, really, really, really have a chance this year,’ and it’s very evident to us. I think it’s starting to be evident to people around the league, and it’s evident to fans around the league.”
Isaiah Thomas: But the biggest memory for me was when Kobe and I sat down after every game of my series against the Chicago Bulls in 2017 and watched film together. I had my people send the film to him and he’d look it over. Then, we’d be on speaker phone and he’d be telling me everything that he saw, breaking the game down the way he would if he was in the series. I think that’s why he started doing that Detail show with ESPN because it was basically just like that, but it was just me and him. I was going through one of the toughest times in my life with the passing of my sister and he took the time out of his day to help me. We were on the phone for about an hour-and-a-half to two hours the day after every game, looking over the film and seeing how I’d adjust for the next playoff game. It was so surreal. It didn’t seem real that Kobe Bryant was really on the phone with me, helping through playoff situations. That was probably my biggest memory of Kobe, taking the time to really be there and help me. He saw what kind of path I was going on and he saw something special in me. For him to nickname me “Mighty IT” and help me so much and to have Player-Edition Kobe shoes, it was a dream come true. I’ve always dreamed of that and it actually came true.
DeMarcus Cousins knows now that he shouldn’t have played for the Warriors in last year’s NBA Finals, but the center said Thursday that he doesn’t regret his decision to rush back from a torn left quadriceps. “I was terrible in the Finals. I was a one-legged bandit on the floor, but I wanted to be a part of it,” Cousins said on Showtime’s “All the Smoke” podcast with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson. “In the Finals, you play hurt. If you can go, you can go. That’s when you lay your body on the line. I went out there and gave it what I had. The results were unfortunate. … I wasn’t supposed to be on the floor.”
Storyline: DeMarcus Cousins Injury
Although he averaged just 8.3 points and 4.7 rebounds in the championship series, Cousins said he doesn’t regret his decision. “I had no business on the floor. None, whatsoever,” he said. “… I just kept telling myself: ‘This is what I’ve played for my entire life: to be on this stage and have this opportunity. Whatever I’ve got to do to be a part of that, I’m going to do it.’ I don’t even know how I did it, honestly.”
“I don’t make those decisions, but from my personal standpoint, dealing with him on a daily basis has been absolutely amazing while he interacts with us, how he coaches the game — everything.,” Randle said. “We’ve responded really well to him and he’s done a great job.” Since he replaced Fizdale with Dec. 7’s 104-103 loss to the Pacers, Miller is 13-20 through his first 33 games in charge of the Knicks. Over that span, Randle has been an instant beneficiary of Miller’s tweaks.
“I think, just knowing him and his personality, he doesn’t pay attention to it — he’s focused on us every day, preparing us the best way he can and I really think that’s, honestly, his focus,” Randle said of the possibility that the Knicks replace Miller. “I know, for me, as a competitor and as a player, we deal with it in a different aspect of free agency and trade rumors and all that type of stuff and I don’t focus on it, man. Just focus on the task at hand and NBA is kind of one of those things — you just go with the flow and when something happens, you adjust to it. But he’s been amazing every day, just as far as his focus and what he’s doing.”
Storyline: Knicks Coaching Search
It’s permanent, as much as the Cavs’ head coaching job is permanent. Much like with John, it’s hard to find anyone who will say a bad word about J.B. He has an impeccable reputation around the league. His dad works for the Cavs. He’s been around the NBA for 15 years. He gets it. I wish him all the best, but he has an uphill battle with this organization.
Did you see that Drummond said he never wanted out if Beilein stayed? Jason Lloyd: I did. And I can appreciate and respect Andre defending himself. However, we stand by every word of our reporting and retract nothing. I’m not getting into a social media fight with a player. That serves no one well. I’d be happy to talk to him privately about our reporting when the opportunity presents itself.
Storyline: Andre Drummond Free Agency
NBA star Carmelo Anthony just listed his luxury Manhattan property overlooking New York City’s High Line park. The former New York Knicks player, 35 — who left the team to play for the Oklahoma City Thunder, briefly the Houston Rockets, and now, the Portland Trail Blazers — is asking for $12.85 million for the five-bedroom, four-bathroom condo located in the Chelsea neighborhood. Kevin Mallen and Michael Graves of Compass hold the listing.
I don’t think the NBA is concerned, but I believe the league and other owners had a lot of questions about the stability of ownership following Dan Gilbert’s stroke. Dan is on the mend and is scheduled to make a speaking appearance Friday in Detroit. That’s wonderful to hear. I’ve been extremely critical of his ownership style over the years, but I’m thrilled to know he’s doing better physically. But he still has a long, LONG way to go.
The 10-year veteran addressed the criminal charges that have since been dropped stemming from an audio recording in which Cousins’ ex-girlfriend alleges he threatened to shoot her in the head when it became apparent their child was not going to be present for Cousins’ wedding. “It’s an unfortunate situation. So, you know, I had a special moment in my life. I wanted all my family to be there. A little piece of happiness going through whatever I’m going through. Things didn’t work out the way I wanted it to for my day. I was little upset. So I said some things I shouldn’t have said but that person knew where it was coming from,” Cousins said on the podcast. “I mean, I’ve seen a lot of things, heard a lot of stuff — don’t get me wrong, I’m 100 percent against domestic violence. Like, 100 percent. I watched my mother go through that as a child. So when it comes to that, I’m the first advocate for that. But with that being said, I said the wrong thing. Heat of the moment. We’ve all done it. … We’ve all done it. … “My mama’s said way worse, you know what I’m saying? But when it comes to your kids, it’s a whole other situation and I’m pretty sure anybody with kids can speak on that. But it was still wrong.”
Storyline: Los Angeles Lakers Turmoil?
A youth org. claims LeBron James straight-up jacked their “More Than An Athlete” slogan for his Uninterrupted brand … and now they want more than $33 MIL to make things right! Game Plan — a Maryland based nonprofit, which guides young athletes to achieve professional success in an out of sports — claims they’ve been using the slogan “I Am More Than an Athlete” since 2016 and they obtained the trademark in 2018.
Ben Gordon: This was right after my last year in the league, and I was living in a brownstone up in Harlem. I had lost my career, my identity, and my family all pretty much simultaneously. I was manic-depressive. I wasn’t eating. I wasn’t sleeping. And when I say I wasn’t sleeping, it was like a whole different level of insomnia. Every night, I’d wake up at the same time, like clockwork. And that’s when the demons would come out. When you’re up all night and it’s quiet and it’s just you alone with your deepest thoughts — that’s when the darkness really starts to take over your whole psyche.
Ben Gordon: So the only thing left to do was to get out of purgatory. I was obsessed with killing myself. It’s all I researched, all I thought about. One night my panic attacks got so bad that all I could think about was escape. Man, I’m telling you….. you become like an animal. It’s instinctive. Escape, escape, escape, escape. I took one of those heavyweight jump ropes — the thick rubber ones — and I tied it around my neck. Got a chair. And I hung myself, for real.
Ben Gordon: It got so bad that they had me committed to a mental hospital, and the problem was that I didn’t even understand why it was happening. It was like in the movies. I’m in some white room, and I got doctors and nurses strapping me down on a bed. They got the scrubs on and the gloves on, and they’re sticking needles in my arms, and cutting my pants off at the waist. It was terrifying. I just remember begging them not to hurt me, and really believing that this was all happening for no reason. Really believing that this was all some misunderstanding, and they had the wrong person.
Storyline: Mental Health
Ben Gordon: And that’s when I started disassociating myself completely from Ben Gordon. I was convinced that I was a clone. That this body I’m in is not my real body. It can’t be. My spirit is trapped inside this clone body that’s bugging right now. I created a whole different name for this person. I had a different email address and phone number for him. I was emailing people telling them that I had a different name, like, “Yo — it’s really me. Don’t tell nobody!”
At first, I thought it was useless. What’s some older white lady gonna know about what I’m going through? How’s she going to tell me anything? She can’t tell me NOTHING! Well … she didn’t. She barely said a word as a matter of fact. But I got to sit in my chair and just talk my shit. And you know what? It felt pretty good. I ended up doing an extra six months of therapy, all on my own. Not because I had to. But just because I thought, “You know what? I’m actually fucking with this!”
February 20, 2020 | 9:03 pm EST Update
February 20, 2020 | 8:09 pm EST Update

Giannis likely to stay in Milwaukee?

There’s little doubt that Giannis Antetokounmpo, reigning and likely repeat MVP, has every reason to stick around in Milwaukee over the long term. The Bucks have a sparkling new downtown arena and a state-of-the-art practice facility, a long way from the state of play when Antetokounmpo arrived—back then, the Bucks were in the mostly moribund Bradley Center and practiced on the grounds of a Catholic Diocese headquarters in St. Francis, a few miles south of Milwaukee.
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February 20, 2020 | 7:09 pm EST Update