Eva Longoria Parker, Tony Parker

Tony Parker comments on his divorce; pulls curtain between public, private life


A divorce scandal has no place in a basketball headline, yet here we are.

The story isn’t likely to go away soon considering the nature of the rumors being circulated and the profiles of both Tony Parker and his soon-to-be ex-wife Eva Longoria Parker, but the Spurs’ point guard did what he could to make a clear distinction between his public and private life on Wednesday evening.

Prior to the Spurs’ game against the Bulls, Parker dispensed the expected sound bites.

“It’s a difficult time right now for me and Eva,” Parker said. He noted that the two are preparing an official statement, and that “everything else is our private life.” The halls in the belly of the AT&T Center were filled with video cameras, but this is all they’ll get from Parker. It’s clear he has no intention of humoring tabloid readers with anything even remotely “juicy.”

Parker was, however, prompted to respond to the rumor that he was allegedly involved with the wife of a teammate or former teammate. He went back to a theme I’m sure basketball fans will hear a lot of in the coming days, and sadly, weeks: “That’s my private life.”

It’s sad that a story like this one will dominate the NBA news circuit, but Parker insisted that the media hoopla surrounding the announcement of his divorce won’t affect his play or the Spurs as a team in any meaningful way.

“I’m having great support from my teammates and my coaches,” Parker said. “I’m focused 100% on the Spurs and trying to win basketball games.” One can’t help but wonder the validity of his claims should the rumors of his involvement with an ex-teammate’s wife turn out to be true, but regardless, this is all that those outside of the organization are likely to get. The Spurs will continue to broadcast the company line until interest in the topic subsides, and no one should expect anything else.

Gregg Popovich was equally dismissive of the topic, though he did offer an obligatory address.

“Well, this is a difficult situation for everyone, obviously,” Popovich said. “But Eva and Tony are two people we love and care about and we wish them both the best as they move through this. That’s really all I have to say about it.” There are no lines to read between and no words to parse through. This is the front that Parker, Pop, and the Spurs will present until the storm if sufficiently weathered, and the rest of us would be wise to move along.

Carmelo Anthony says he can play at high level 4-5 more years

USA Basketball Men's National Team Training Camp

Carmelo Anthony can flat-out score the rock — that has never been the question. Even hurting last season for many of the 40 games he played, he averaged 24.2 points a game, had a true shooting percentage of 53.1 percent (right near the league average) while having the entire weight of the Knicks offense on his shoulders (32.2 usage rate, fifth highest in the NBA). When people (or players) talk about him being overrated, the discussion turns to defense or if he makes his teammates better. But there should be no doubt Anthony is an elite scorer.

He thinks he will be for a while longer — like another five years. Via Ian Begley of ESPN:

In fact, the 31-year-old Knicks star is confident that he can play at a high level for the next “four or five years.”

“Without a doubt. Without a doubt,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ final training camp practice on Saturday.

The Knicks better hope that’s true, they already made that bet with that massive five-year contract they gave him last summer.

Anthony’s age combined with him coming off knee surgery have a lot of people — myself included — expecting him to take a step back. Not a big one, but he is coming up at the point in his career where some open shots he used to get are now contested because he’s half-a-step slower, and some of those looks don’t fall as often. His jumper isn’t suddenly going to look like Rajon Rondo‘s, ‘Melo is going to get his points, but he may not be as efficient.

Fortunately, the Knicks have an improved supporting cast around him this season. That should take some offensive load off his shoulders, and maybe the Knicks offense will see better ball movement and start to resemble the triangle. If it’s just more isolation Anthony, it’s not going to be pretty.

Kings pick up option on G Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore, Rodney Hood
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.

General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.

McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.