The New York Knicks and their fans have not given up hope that by March, Carmelo Anthony will be wearing the blue and orange, talking to Spike Lee during warmups and running the floor with Amar’e Stoudemire.
Stoudemire wants that too, and he read the quotes earlier this week when Anthony suggested the Knicks may not want him. So Stoudemire texted Anthony to let him know he is wanted on the island of Manhattan, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.
The Knicks’ forward recently contacted Anthony via text message with a two-fold agenda: Make sure Anthony knows that Stoudemire himself wants Anthony at his side, and push Anthony to resist a proposed trade to the New Jersey Nets.
A report in TrueHoop earlier in the week said Anthony made his comment about the Knicks (“I don’t think they’re looking at me. They wouldn’t want me to come in there and mess what they have up.”) because he read a quote from Stoudemire saying he didn’t think they needed much more to get over the hump. If Stoudemire didn’t want him, Anthony wasn’t going to push for the Knicks. Which was good for the Nets as they continue to try and work out a complex trade to get Anthony.
But while the Nuggets management patiently tries to get more out of the Nets deal, if Anthony decides New York is only place he will sign a three-year, $65 million contract extension then the Nuggets will have done it all for nothing. The Nets don’t want him without the extension, and right now New Jersey has by far the best offer. Without the Nets the Nuggets would be forced to take what the Knicks offer (some decent role player but nobody with the upside of Derrick Favors) or deal with a team who doesn’t care about the extension, such as Dallas.
Nuggets officials are calling around looking at secondary deals (where they would trade Devin Harris when they got him from the Nets), a sign they really want the Nets deal. The Nuggets front office believes if they are patient the Nets will up their offer under the pressure, or that other teams will jump in to make it a better deal. They don’t feel the pressure of a deadline to act.
But it also is possible all the sands of this deal could just run through their fingers, too.
Especially if Anthony listens to Stoudemire.
The second round was supposed to be when things got exciting. Instead, the San Antonio Spurs put on an absolute clinic at home, blowing out the Oklahoma City Thunder, 124-92 to take a 1-0 series lead.
Just about everything went in for San Antonio, particularly for LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard, who combined for 63 points. How dominant were they?
Aldridge in particular got anything he wanted against the Thunder. Oklahoma City’s stars were quiet, with Kevin Durant scoring just 16 points and Russell Westbrook 14. San Antonio controlled the game from the start and Oklahoma City never recovered from the opening punch.
It’s hard to imagine Durant and Westbrook are this ineffective again, and hopefully the rest of this series will be a little more competitive. But the Spurs did what the Spurs do, and did nothing to shake the feeling that they’re the favorites to win the west, now that Stephen Curry‘s status is unknown.
ATLANTA (AP) A year ago, Atlanta’s magical season ended with a resounding sweep by Cleveland in the Eastern Conference final.
Now, the Hawks have another shot at LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
Feeling confident after an opening-round victory over Boston, the Hawks returned to practice Saturday to begin preparations for the best-of-seven series.
Game 1 is Monday night in Cleveland.
The Hawks were the top-seeded team in the East last season after a record 60-win campaign. It didn’t do them much good against the Cavaliers, who steamrolled Atlanta in four straight games.
Even though they slipped to 48 wins and fourth in the conference, the Hawks actually sound a bit more confident heading into this matchup, largely because of their improved defense and rebounding.
For the second consecutive year, the Warriors have lost their lead assistant to another team. When the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry during last year’s playoffs, Steve Kerr promoted Luke Walton to associate head coach and added former journeyman big man Jarron Collins to the bench. Now that Walton is headed to the Lakers as their next head coach, the Warriors will go outside the organization to find a replacement, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. And one name that will likely not be in the mix is David Blatt, who very nearly became an assistant under Kerr in 2014 before being offered the Cavaliers’ head job.
Given Walton’s success this season as interim head coach while Kerr recovered from back surgery, this will undoubtedly be the most attractive assistant job in the league.
In the last few years, NBA head coaching salaries have skyrocketed, and new Lakers coach Luke Walton is no exception. According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Mike Bresnahan, Walton is getting $25 million over five years, which is the same as Steve Kerr’s deal with the Warriors, now-former Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s deal in New York, and Fred Hoiberg’s deal with the Bulls.
This kind of money has become standard for head coaches who don’t also have front-office power. Tom Thibodeau and Stan Van Gundy both get between $7 and $8 million annually to do both jobs. Given how good Walton’s current situation with the Warriors is, the Lakers probably had to be on the high end of the coaching spectrum to get him to leave.