Olympics Day 14 - Basketball

‘Melo talks to LeBron, adds situations are different


Not a lot of people have been in Carmelo Anthony’s shoes — a legitimate NBA superstar pushing his way to a new team at the peak of his career.

One guy who did — LeBron James. Anthony told the media Wednesday he and LeBron have spoken recently, but added the situations are very different (via the twitter of Chris Tomasson of FanHouse).

I wouldn’t compare my situation to (James’). It’s kind of different for me because I’m actually playing through it whereas for him he dealt with it in the offseason. (LeBron) just tells me to stay strong and keep doing what I’m doing and keep going out there and playing the way I’m playing.

Both players have been accused of having a massive ego driving their decisions. But I would argue that what Anthony has done with the Nuggets is infinitely fairer to the franchise — he has essentially given them notice he is gone. Like you would to your boss (if you liked your job). He is giving them a chance to get some value for him and jumpstart the rebuilding process. You may not like the process or how it’s been done, but in two years the Nuggets will be in a better place than the Cavaliers because Anthony essentially gave them notice.

Anthony and James can talk about it face-to-face Thursday, when the Heat take on the Nuggets in Denver.

Thabo Sefolosha’s lawyer: White police officer targeted black Hawks forward

Thabo Sefolosha
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NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer representing a professional basketball player arrested outside a New York City nightclub has told a jury his client was targeted because he’s black.

Attorney Alex Spiro said Tuesday in Manhattan Criminal Court that a white police officer saw a black man in a hoodie when he confronted the Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha on April 8.

Sefolosha was arrested while leaving a Manhattan nightclub following a stabbing. He subsequently suffered a season-ending leg fracture after a confrontation with police.

A prosecutor said in opening statements that Sefolosha called an officer who repeatedly told him and others to leave a “midget.”

Sefolosha pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges. The Swiss citizen declined a plea deal from prosecutors.


DeMar DeRozan says he hates talking about free agency, takes pride in Raptors longevity

DeMar DeRozan
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DeMar DeRozan has a $10,050,000 player option for 2016-17. Given the rapidly escalating salary cap, it’s a practical certainty DeRozan will opt out and get a major raise.

But he says he doesn’t want to talk about it.

DeRozan, via Eric Koreen of the National Post:

“I hate that, honestly,” DeRozan said in a one-on-one interview. “I never speak about it. With me, I’ve always been that one player: I’ve been loyal. I’ve been every single thing you can think of here. I think people don’t understand how much pride I take in playing (in Toronto). A lot of times when I do get asked that, it kind of frustrates me.

“Everyday I wake up, I take pride in being the longest Raptor here. People bring up third or whatever in franchise scoring — there is so much stuff like that.”

This sounds awfully similar to LaMarcus Aldridge, who stated his desire last year to become the great Trail Blazer ever and then signed with the Spurs this summer.

Things change, and the impracticality of an extension ensures DeRozan will hit free agency. I believe he’s devoted to the Raptors right now, but his loyalty might change in the next nine months – especially once he sees contract offers from other suitors.

Toronto’s interest in DeRozan might fluctuate, too. He’s a nice player, but the Raptors haven’t won a playoff series with him despite winning the division the last two years. Depending how this season goes, Masai Ujiri might want to rework the roster significantly next summer, and letting DeRozan walk could create major cap space.

I believe DeRozan wants to return to the Raptors, and I believe they want to keep him. But so much can change between now and when both sides must make that call.