This whole Carmelo Anthony trade thing is starting to sound like a Monty Python skit. No it isn’t. Yes it is. No it isn’t. Yes it is. Isn’t. Is.
Two days ago came the report that Anthony would only sign an extension with the New York Knicks. Then today another report said the Nets and maybe the Nuggets still had a shot (something the author of the original report denied). Somewhere on the sidelines the Houston Rockets are jumping up and down saying, “look at me, look at me.”
Monday night, Anthony told FanHouse that he did not give an ultimatum to the Nuggets.
“No,” Anthony said when asked if there’s any truth to it. “I haven’t talked to Masai (Ujiri, the Nuggets executive vice president of basketball operations) about who I would sign an extension with, and who I want to sign with. I’ve never had that conversation.”
Let’s break this down, and we’ll give you the five-minute argument not the full half hour.
Of course Anthony did not tell Ujiri this directly — that’s what the people at CAA are for. You know, Anthony’s agents and managers. World Wide Wes. This stuff is never handled through the front door, it’s always though channels. Anthony will forever have plausible deniability.
So Anthony did not tell the Nuggets anything. What his people told the Nuggets, what Anthony said in his private conversations with Ujiri, who knows? Most likely Anthony’s people are playing hardball and saying Knicks only, Denver’s side thinking there is more in play. That by the way is speculation, and you could spin 100 scenarios just like it you could be right.
So Anthony is not lying, he didn’t say anything. But that doesn’t mean that some kind of ultimatum has not been delivered.
And now for something completely different.
The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.
Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.
At least they’re having fun with it.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.
For two decades, Kobe Bryant saw everyone and everything as an obstacle to overcome: The Pacers, Sixers, Nets, Magic, Celtics, Tim Duncan, Gregg Popovich, Smush Parker, a torn Achilles. It didn’t matter. Kobe’s work ethic and drive had him rising above it all.
His focus hasn’t changed now. Kobe was on the Jim Rome show, and the topic of the new-look Warriors with Kevin Durant came up, along with the “woe is me” attitude of some players (and plenty of owners and GMs).
“I would have thought less about myself if I looked at that move and said, ‘That’s unfair,'” he said. “If you’re a real competitor, you look at that and say, ‘OK, lace ’em up. Let’s go. I don’t care how many players you have over there; we’re still going to take you down.'”
Easier said than done to make that happen, but that attitude is the only one to have if you think you have a chance. You can be sure LeBron James is thinking that way and telling his Cavaliers teammates the same.
We’re going to miss Kobe.