Train wreck warning: Sixers may bench Iverson

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NBA_iverson_small.jpgUpdate 5:09: Looks like the show will be delayed, the Sixers organization just announced that Iverson will miss the next two games for the team (a back-to-back before the All-Star break in Minnesota tonight and Toronto tomorrow). He will be expected by the NBA to at least be around on All-Star weekend (remember, the league once fined Michael Jordan for missing a Friday event, they are serious about having everyone there so the corporate sponsors feel important). Please check back after the All-Star break to resume this crash.

12:20: Hey, pull up a chair and grab some popcorn — there’s a train wreck a comin’ and you can have a front row seat. Let us head to Philadelphia and talk Allen Iverson.

But after Monday’s practice, which Iverson again missed due to his daughter’s illness, (Sixers coach Eddie) Jordan wouldn’t commit to Iverson starting when he comes back.

“That’s a topic we have to discuss,” Jordan said.

Later, Jordan said, “We’re going to talk about that as a staff. We’ve had some of those discussions. We’ll cross that bridge when we cross that bridge.”

That bridge has more explosives under it than the one over the river Kwai. In Detroit last season and Memphis to start this one, Iverson destroyed locker room chemistry and became a big distraction when he didn’t start. He can’t fathom sitting behind a lesser player, and in his mind most players remain lesser. And he’s not going to be quiet about it.

Of course, Jordan is right, the Sixers are better when Iverson is out — they are 3-0 in this stretch without him, all against playoff teams. The new starting backcourt of Willie Green and rookie Jrue Holiday give the Sixers better defense, better size and guys working within the flow of the offense.

Iverson can still play in this league — in his last seven games he is averaging nearly 14 points but on a very Iversonesque, inefficient 40% shooting. Andre Iguodala has a couple more assists a game than Iverson. He remains a gunner. That is the kind of player that can be a big boost off the bench.

If said player will go to the bench. Iverson will not go quietly into that good night. So pull up a chair and enjoy the coming train wreck.

Report: Carmelo Anthony tells Phil Jackson he wants to stay with Knicks

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 12:  Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks during a stop in play against the Chicago Bulls at Madison Square Garden on January 12, 2017 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Phil Jackson asked Carmelo Anthony whether the star forward wanted to remain with the Knicks.

Apparently, what Anthony said publicly over and over and over and over and over was true.

Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:

This further proves Anthony’s loyalty to New York.

A trade could’ve sent him to a better team with a more-desirable boss and netted him a $10 million trade bonus. But Anthony enjoys living and playing in New York, even with the tumult – including Jackson – that follows.

Now, it’s on Jackson to improve the roster around Anthony, repair player-coach relations and create a culture where the starting point guard doesn’t go AWOL.

Report: In ‘far more contentious’ meeting, Phil Jackson asked Carmelo Anthony whether he wanted to stay with Knicks

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Carmelo Anthony finally got his desired meeting with Knicks president Phil Jackson.

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:

At turn after turn after turn after turn after turn, Anthony has stated his loyalty to the Knicks. What has he done since to indicate he wants to leave New York?

Jackson, not Anthony, has fostered all this recent controversy.

Jackson built a crummy roster that faced a difficult path to the playoffs. Jackson used the code word “posse.”  Jackson publicly critiqued Anthony for being a ball hog. Jackson mouthpiece Charley Rosen wrote “Anthony has outlived his usefulness in New York.”

Anthony just wants to play basketball for a good team in the world’s biggest market – not work under a black cloud. Jackson is making it impossible for Anthony to get all his wishes, though.

So, the question falls to Anthony: Would he rather keep playing for the Knicks – and all that comes with it – or waive his no-trade clause to join another team?

For years, he has unequivocally answered that question publicly with devotion to New York. But the act of Jackson asking might invite a different response.

Draymond Green counters LeBron James: Warriors-Cavaliers is a rivalry

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LeBron James said Warriors-Cavaliers isn’t a rivalry.

After Golden State beat Cleveland last night, Draymond Green interrupted a reporter’s question in his urgency to disagree.

Green, via CSN Bay Area:

Yeah, I think it’s a rivalry. So, yeah. Just me, though.

It’s definitely fun, you know? A team that you beat, that’s beat you – it’s definitely fun. I think, if you look at the last two years and this year, we’ve been the top two teams in the league each year. So, I look at it as a rivalry, and it’s definitely a fun game to play in.

But I don’t really care if anyone else see the game the game the way I see it. I see it how I see it, and they can see it how they do. I don’t really care. It’s fun, though.

This is a competitive game, a fun game to play in. And regardless of Bron thinks this a rivalry or not, I know he wants to beat us – and we want to beat them. And that’s enough in itself.

Of course, Warriors-Cavaliers is a rivalry. Green and LeBron have personally fueled it.

Maybe Green was just trying to knock some sense into LeBron last night.

Rajon Rondo: You couldn’t name three players on 2015-16 Kings, but I led NBA in assists

SACRAMENTO, CA - MARCH 09:  Rajon Rondo #9 of the Sacramento Kings dribbles the ball against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Sleep Train Arena on March 9, 2016 in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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Months into his first and only season with the Kings, Rajon Rondo declared himself to be the first veteran teammate ever respected by DeMarcus Cousins.

As he deals with new problems with the Bulls, Rondo is again trashing his former Sacramento teammates.

Rondo, via David Aldridge of NBA.com:

“It’s just, maybe, the personnel in this situation,” Rondo says in response. “I mean, last year — I hate to keep talking about last year — but you couldn’t name three people on my team, the Sacramento Kings, and I led the league in assists. You know? I don’t know. I believe so (that his skill set still has value), given the right personnel and the flow of the game.”

Rondo is right: Playing with Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade is not ideal, and his passing was an asset to the Kings.

He’s also proving his critics right: He’s too often a jerk.

Rondo has declined significantly overall, particularly on defense. His plus passing is barely enough to make him rotation-worthy. It’s not enough for teams cast aside his hardheadedness.

But is Rondo right that you can’t name three members of the 2015-16 Kings? Take this quiz to find out: