Carmelo Anthony isn't part of team promotional filming

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Thumbnail image for carmello.anthony.2.jpgWhatever state of limbo it may be in, the trade talks for Carmelo Anthony are not dead.

The best sign of that: Denver did not ask him to participate in any of the team’s promotional filming on media day.

We all read the quotes about the upcoming season on media day, but another part of it is the team getting a lot of its promo work done. You know those little bumpers on your local Fox Sports/Comcast team broadcast where Andrew Bogut palms the ball and holds it out right in front of him, or Brandon Roy dribbles it a couple times while looking at the camera? Shot on media day. This is also when the radio bumpers are done, some team promotional photos are taken and so on.

Anthony did none of that.

Which means he Nuggets are still at least contemplating a trade still. The status of that trade is still up in the air. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo reports that the Nuggets and Nets are trying to get two new partners in a four team dance after the Nuggets balked at a deal with Charlotte and Utah. That deal would have brought them good talent but had them $4.5 million over the luxury tax line (with the dollar-for-dollar tax that would be a $9 million payout).

That seems confusing however — the Nuggets would have had time to trade players like Chauncey Billups to find ways under that number. But the Nuggets have seemed of two minds on this trade all along — some in the organization wanted to pull the trigger while others want to bring Anthony in and see if Billups and coach George Karl could change his mind. They \ want young talent back in the trade but also want to shed bad contracts in it as well. Basically, they want everything.

One thing consistently being said now is that nobody else around the league knows who is the decision maker, who to contact on the Nuggets. Is it new general manager Masai Ujiri? Is it soon-to-be owner and front office guy Josh Kroenke? Is it adviser Bret Bearup? Other teams don’t know where the buck stops and they are not fond of talking to one person and getting one feeling, then talking to another and sensing something else.

But through it all, something must be going on if Anthony was not asked to do the promotional work of media day.

Elfrid Payton slams chasedown block on LeBron James (VIDEO)

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LeBron James is usually the guy handing out chasedown blocks. He’s famous for them, and has carted out his signature move in the biggest moments of his career.

He’s also not used to having his own shots blocked from behind, and certainly not by opposing point guards.

Enter Elfrid Payton.

During a play halfway through the first quarter against the Orlando Magic on Thursday, LeBron was on a drive to the hole with Elfrid trailing far behind.

Thanks to a pinch by two Magic defenders, LeBron had to try and use brute force a bit deeper in the paint than he wanted to.

That allowed Payton — running at full speed — to catch up and pin The King on the glass.

Cleveland still got the best of the Magic, as Isaiah Thomas hit a clutch free throw to win the game with 11 seconds left, 104-103.

All-Star Joel Embiid doesn’t need Rihanna: “On to the next one”

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For about as long as we can remember, Joel Embiid has famously thirsted after Rihanna on Twitter. Fans have tried to boost his standing with the singer, but it apparently that has not been enough.

In 2014, Embiid mentioned on social media that a “famous girl” — presumably Rihanna — told him to “Come back when you’re an All-Star.”

Well, today is that day.

Embiid is a starter out of the Eastern Conference, and on Thursday night he had his chance to speak to Rihanna (or whomever) via national TV on TNT.

Did Embiid decide to reach out to this famous person? Apparently he’s off it.

Via Twitter:

This is like that scene from Private Parts when Howard Stern hits No. 1 and he tells Paul Giamatti’s character to get lost.

Embiid had the chance to curve Rihanna (or whomever) and took it. Long live The Process.

Here are the weirdest NBA All-Star voting results for 2018

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NBA All-Star voting is over, and now we have the results. The starters are in, and what’s left is for us to wait until they announce the teams after they are picked in double secret ceremony.

Of course, the NBA did release the full voting results via their PR website this week, and as such there are some head scratchers. My boy Patrick Redford over at Deadspin did an excellent job rounding up some of the players who got exactly one (1) vote from other players.

The gag here is that these guys presumably voted for themselves.

Of course, what I found most interesting was actually the guys who got multiple votes from their compatriots without being All-Star caliber players.

My favorite list of player-voted non-All-Stars includes: Michael Beasley (4), Gordon Hayward (2), Boban Marjanovic (2), Jahlil Okafor (4), Quincy Acy (2), Tyler Zeller (4), T.J. McConnell (2), Elfrid Payton (2), Zaza Pachulia (3), Taj Gibson (6), Zach Randolph (5), Maurice Harkless (2), Deyonta Davis (3), Lonzo Ball (9), Mike Conley (3).

There’s a whole smattering of guys in there who either didn’t play enough, aren’t stars, are injured, or who aren’t very good.

That multiple players took time to vote for these guys really speaks to the frivolity of the NBA All-Star Game. At least outside of player contract incentives.

Bring on February!

LeBron James throws behind-the-back, nutmeg pass for assist (VIDEO)

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LeBron James is one of the best passers the NBA has ever seen, but even this is too hard to believe.

During Thursday’s game between the Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron through a ridiculous behind-the-back pass that nutmegged Orlando’s Aaron Gordon.

The result of the play was a bucket for Dwyane Wade.

Via Twitter:

I mean, that’s just … insane.