LeBron's representatives met with the Knicks again, this time with Amar'e Stoudemire in mind

22 Comments

It may mean nothing at all or it could mean everything, but the Knicks have received a second audience with LeBron James. Or at least LeBron’s people. From Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:

According to a Knicks official, Garden president Scott O’Neil and
senior VP of Basketball Operations Glen Grunwald were dispatched to
James’ hometown and held a brief clandestine meeting with James’ reps
to make a second pitch to the two-time MVP. It is unclear if James was in the meeting but it is believed that
his business manager, Maverick Carter, and agent, Leon Rose, met with
the two Knicks executives on the same day that James spoke to both the
Cavs and Bulls.

The timing of the meeting is interesting since it came one day after
the Knicks received a verbal commitment from All Star power forward
Amar’e Stoudemire. The Knicks wanted to relay to James that the
organization is committed to doing everything in its power to surround
him with talent.

There’s no question that Amar’e immediately makes the Knicks a more attractive landing spot for LeBron, and I’m not entirely skeptical of Stoudemire’s commitment being a motivating factor for this second sit-down. However, even Amar’e’s talent isn’t enough to skew the odds of landing James considerably in the Knicks’ favor.

After all, the Knicks are, last I checked, still the Knicks. They don’t have the one-man brochure known as Derrick Rose, one of LeBron’s buddies among the owners, the hometown allure, or Dream Team potential. They just have bright lights, Madison Square Garden, and Toney Douglas. Adding Stoudemire is huge, but is this really the team that will inspire James to leave behind his home and his franchise, much less spurn a number of attractive suitors? Maybe, but the Knicks still have a hell of a selling job to do.

Thursday will supposedly be decision day, and there could be all kinds of fun meetings between now and then. Still, New York clearly has something to work with, even if they’re just whispering into the ears of LeBron’s reps at present.

LeBron James finishes reverse alley-oop from Russell Westbrook (VIDEO)

Associated Press
Leave a comment

LOS ANGELES — The new format for the NBA All-Star game brought a little more defense to the first half of the annual showcase, but it didn’t do much to enliven the game. That said, the game has been better than the pre-game “entertainment.”

Midway through the second quarter, his team down 15, LeBron James decided to make it a game again and played with some energy. That included a three, and a couple impressive alley-oop finishes. The best came via Russell Westbrook.

There also was this one courtesy Kemba Walker.

Those may be the two best dunks of the first half.

Anthony Davis opens All-Star game wearing DeMarcus Cousins’ jersey

2 Comments

LOS ANGELES – Anthony Davis often relies on his Pelicans teammates to set him up.

Tonight, he gave a nod to one of them.

Davis started the All-Star game wearing DeMarcus Cousins‘ No. 0 jersey. Cousins and Davis were both voted starters then drafted by LeBron James, but Cousins can’t play due to injury.

Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated:

Very cool gesture by Davis. He’s an excellent teammate.

No, Joel Embiid didn’t cheat during the NBA Skills Challenge

2 Comments

The Internet got itself all in a huff on Saturday as they watched the 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend Skills Challenge. In particular, the matchup between Chicago Bulls rookie Lauri Markkanen and Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid stirred up a bit of controversy.

Specifically, folks accused Embiid of cheating.

During the passing section of the obstacle course, Embiid didn’t actually make any of his passes into the ring. He then proceeded on the next section and was neck-and-neck with Markkanen as they tried to finish out the head-to-head competition. Markkanen won, but that didn’t stop folks from saying the 76ers All-Star had circumvented the rules.

We now know that’s not true.

According to the rules (provided on the NBA media site, page 47 of the 2018 NBA All-Star Media Guide) Embiid was allowed to move onto the next section even though he hadn’t completed any of his passes. A player only has to exhaust the rack, not complete a pass. It appears rules sort of assume that if a player stands there trying to complete a pass three times they’ll fall so far behind they won’t be able to catch up.

Re-watching the video, it appears Embiid knew this rule to the game and figured if he didn’t make the first one he would quickly try to blast the next two passes off the rack so he could then move onto the next section.

Embiid even took to Twitter to head off accusations that he had cheated.

Via Twitter:

Trust. The. Process.

Rumor: Jeff Hornacek shoved Joakim Noah during confrontation

Getty
6 Comments

The saga between the New York Knicks and Joakim Noah has been ongoing for sometime, with the latest story being that there was some kind of verbal altercation between the former All-Star big man and head coach Jeff Hornacek.

Noah has not played for the team since Jan. 23, and he is now separated from the Knicks as they try to find a solution to shed him from their roster.

We now have a better idea of what kind of urgency New York has to make that move.

A report from the New York Daily News has given us more information about the confrontation between Noah and Hornacek. The latest addition to the story is that it was not just words between the Knicks coach and Noah, and that Hornacek actually pushed Noah first during the confrontation.

The two then had to be separated.

Via NYDN:

Noah was banished from the Knicks after an altercation with coach Jeff Hornacek during a practice last month. The disagreement stemmed from Noah’s lack of playing time, and it turned physical the day after he logged only five minutes against the Warriors.

While no punches were thrown, the Daily News learned that Hornacek was the first to shove Noah before they had to be separated.

In our last update on this story, Dan outlined how that could be made possible. No team is going to trade for Noah at this juncture in his career, so the only real option for New York is to waive him.

Here’s how that looks, according to our own Dan Feldman:

If the Knicks waive Noah without a buyout, they’d have two options after paying out the rest of his $17,765,000 salary this season:

Pay Noah $18,530,000 next season and $19,295,000 the following season
Pay Noah $7,565,000 each of the following five years via the stretch provision

It just keeps getting weirder and weirder during a lost season in the Big Apple.