Nets’ GM: We’re moving on, keeping flexibility for new CBA

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Billy King seemed (and by some accounts was) stunned by Mikhail Prokhorov pulling the plug on the Carmelo Anthony trade talks. The strongest bargaining position is a willingness to walk away from the negotiating table — Prokhorov did that with gusto.

Maybe the Nets and Nuggets do talk again, but Nets GM Billy King went on WFAN in New York (via Sports Radio Interviews) Thursday morning and said they are done. They were not joking around. And he has heard from the Nuggets.

“I received a text from (Nuggets GM) Masai (Ujiri) late last night after the game and he just said basically that he enjoyed the experience. Sorry we couldn’t get anything done and good luck.”

So now what?

“I think going into this Collective Bargaining year not knowing what it’s going to be. You want to have as much flexibility and I think we have that. I think we’ll have 23 million in cap space, we have picks, and whenever the new CBA comes in, we’ll have the flexibility to make decision to better our ball club. Then the fact that we have a young Derrick Favors, Brook Lopez is really young, and the majority of our roster is really young and we’re going to add players to it. If you look at some teams and how they’ve been built through the draft, that’s how they’ve done it. Then they’ve added a player when they need be. You’ve got to get lucky in the draft but also you’ve got to add talent and sometimes young talent is the best way to go.”

After missing out on LeBron James and Chris Bosh, then not being able to lure Carmelo Anthony (at the very least he needed to be sold on the idea), are the Net too small market to ever draw a top-flight star?

“Not at all. Kevin Durant is a superstar and he’s in Oklahoma City, Reggie Miller was in Indiana, when Michael (Jordan) went to Chicago, the Chicago Bulls were a franchise where you could just walk on the street and get a ticket for. He turned it into that. Sometimes you develop your own star and I don’t foresee players looking at this and saying I don’t want to play in a billion dollar building in Brooklyn at the Barclay Center. I think they’re going to be saying they’re in the Barclay Center playing there and I want to be a part of that.”

Carmelo Anthony leaves without speaking to media, will probably get fined

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Lately, Carmelo Anthony has parsed whether the Thunder are frustrated or angry and said he’s going through the roughest stretch of his career.

It didn’t get any better last night.

Anthony scored 11 points on 12 shots with three turnovers, and Oklahoma City got outscored by 21 points with him on the floor in a home loss to the Hornets. The Thunder have now lost two of three, falling to the lowly Nets and Hornets and needing overtime to beat the freefalling Grizzlies.

Royce Young of ESPN:

Anthony today:

I’m sorry. My bad. I had a FaceTime session with my son, so I skipped out on you guys yesterday. I apologize. It’s true, though. That’s true. It’s true. He had a school night.

The NBA’s media-access rules state: “All players must be available to the media for a minimum of five to 10 minutes during the postgame media access period.” It’s been a while since someone got punished for violating the policy, but Kevin Garnett was fined $25,000 for not speaking to the media after Game 7 of the 2012 Eastern Conference finals.

I’m sympathetic to Anthony wanting to speak to his son, who’s still in New York. But the league tends not to take these personal concerns into consideration, which is probably for the best. There’s a rule. Anthony violated it. Assessing which personal calls should supersede the rule is a can of worms not worth opening. Besides, Anthony probably could have returned to the locker room for an interview after concluding the call.

Anthony earns a lot of money. If he wanted to risk a $25,000 fine to speak with his son, I have absolutely no problem with that. But that’s probably the choice he made.

In my experience, Anthony has been forthright with the media. He spent years as the face of the Knicks, dutifully answering for problems created by James Dolan and Phil Jackson. Because he was available nearly daily while his superiors avoided interviews, Anthony was the grilled by the New York media.

I bet he expected a reprieve in Oklahoma City. Instead, the spotlight has shined on him as a problem with the underwhelming Thunder.

It’s understandable he’d rather talk to his son than reporters. But it’s also understandable the NBA wants to promote its business through the media, and the league has power to enforce its rules.

Grizzlies fan absolutely owns kids halftime scrimmage (video)

AP Photo/Brandon Dill
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The Grizzlies lost for the 15th time in their last 16 games, a 25-point drubbing at home against the Heat, last night.

But it wasn’t all doom and gloom in Memphis.

This young fan – while playing in the halftime scrimmage – stopped his dribble, stepped on the ball, whipped off his youth jersey to reveal a Marc Gasol jersey, flexed, re-started his dribbled then drove for a basket.

Matt Ellentuck of SB Nation:

The Grizzlies don’t deserve this hero.

DeMarcus Cousins pushes Trevor Ariza after whistle, gets technical foul (video)

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For better or worse, DeMarcus Cousins is moody.

Just after getting dunked on by Clint Capela, Cousins showed his frustration by pushing Trevor Ariza after a whistle. The Pelicans center got his NBA-leading ninth technical foul – automatic suspension triggered at No. 16 – but I’m surprised this didn’t escalate beyond just that.

Paul George floors Jeremy Lamb with crossover, hits step-back 3-pointer over him (video)

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The Thunder suffered a rough home loss to the Hornets, but at least Oklahoma City produced a couple fun highlights.

Not only did Russell Westbrook have this powerful dunk, Paul George put the moves on Jeremy Lamb.