Target number one for the New York Knicks remains Carmelo Anthony. He is their one true love, but with the tide of events pushing Anthony into the arms of the Nets, the Knicks are going to need an ending like The Graduate to kill this marriage (“It’s too late.” “Not for me.”)
But if the Knicks don’t steal the girl out of the church, then what?
How about a big, burly Spaniard like Marc Gasol? That is who the Knicks will target this summer if they can’t spend all their money on Anthony, according to the New York Post (via CBS Facts & Rumors).
If the Nets pull off the blockbuster multi-team trade and Anthony accepts a contract extension, the Knicks are expected to change the focus of this offseason to restricted free agent 7-foot-1 center Marc Gasol. The younger brother of the Lakers’ Pau, Gasol is the type of burly big man the roster lacks and team president Donnie Walsh covets.
Gasol would be a good fit in the Knicks’ system — he is very good on the pick-and-roll because he can pop out for the midrange or roll to the hoop (he is shooting 62.8 percent as the roll man this season in Memphis, they should use him more that way). He can defend the rim and rebound, but would not drag down the running game.
The Grizzlies have a $4.5 million qualifying offer in for Gasol, so he will be a restricted free agent (unless the new Collective Bargaining Agreement changes everything) so the Grizzlies would have the right to match any offer.
Grizzlies’ owner Michael Heisley has said he wants to keep this core of players together in Memphis. Add to that Zach Randolph being an unrestricted free agent — Memphis may well lose that big to the market — and the Grizzlies have some motivation to keep Gasol and spend a little to do so.
Meaning the Knicks would need to overpay to get Gasol. But that hasn’t stood in the franchise’s way in the past.
As of tomorrow, training camps around the league open, and all the focus goes to the 2016-17 season.
For fun, let’s look back one more time at last season — the 50 top circus shots of last season.
Stephen Curry driving the lane and throwing up prayers once he draws contact (and hitting them), there is Russell Westbrook throwing the inbounds pass off an opponent’s back, and so much more. Enjoy. Then let’s get on with next season.
Kevin Garnett intimidates people. In the machismo-fueled world of professional sports nobody comfortably admits they were intimidated, but in the wake of Garnett announcing his retirement, a number of players stepped forward to say exactly that. And that KG trashed talked them fearlessly.
Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams found a way to avoid that — tell KG he didn’t speak English.
Adams was lucky, KG had a reputation for going harder at foreign-born players with his trash talk and intimidation. Then again Adams is not the kind of guy prone to be intimidated.
Athletes are injecting themselves into the needed national conversation about race, violence, and policing in this nation. That has taken some very public forms, including LeBron James, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony speaking at the ESPYs, and Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the national anthem and leading others to do so. Some NBA players likely will follow Kaepernick’s lead.
Pistons coach/GM Stan Van Gundy likes seeing players speak out.
A couple of his Detroit players — Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris — said they backed the 49ers quarterback. Here is what the never shy Van Gundy said about all of it, via Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press.
“I’m encouraged by the fact of what some of those guys stood up and did at the ESPYs and had a conversation,” Van Gundy said. “I’m really proud of the fact that we have guys that not only see the problem, but want to try to do something about it…
“To me, in some ways, (police brutality is) just the most visible to focus on and it goes to deeper inequities in our criminal justice system, our education system so there’s so much to focus on,” Van Gundy said. “I think it’s great that we have players that want to be part of that conversation, and a lot of players that want to go beyond the conversation and be part of the solution.”
Van Gundy has been telling his players part of that solution is to vote.
The players union and NBA sent out a release saying they wanted to work together to create positive change, but details are still vague on what that might be. The only thing we know for sure as we head into the NBA season — with as divided a nation and election as anyone can remember as a backdrop — is that some NBA players are going to try and keep the conversation going.
It was the last game of the group stage of the 2000 Olympic basketball tournament at the Sydney Olympics, the USA was taking on France, another USA win on its way to another gold medal.
But what we all remember is this one play — Vince Carter dunking over the 7’2″ French center Frederic Weis.
Best. Dunk. Ever.
Weis was never the same.
In an impressive career — two-time All-NBA, eight-time All-Star, hours and hours of crazy highlights — this is always going to be the highlight at the top of the list. So we will use the anniversary of this dunk to look at it one more time.
Hat tip to nitramy at NBA Reddit.