Talk with Eric Musselman for a few minutes and you realize some things. First, he knows basketball. Second, he is organized.
That alone does not make you a good NBA coach — managing people is the key to the job. For reference see Phil Jackson. But there should be little doubt that Musselman can teach.
Which means maybe this is the best thing for him — he is the new coach of the D-Fenders, the Lakers D-League team, notes CSNBayArea.com. He will get to that gig once he finishes coaching the Venezuelan national team this summer.
Also, Musselman is working his way around on crutches this summer due to an Achilles injury.
The D-Fenders return to the D-League after a one season sabbatical last year. This could be an interesting job: The Lakers are a handful of years away from having to retool their roster for the post-Kobe era. Guys that shine at the D-League level could be part of that future. Guys the drafted in the second round could get their chance to shine.
And Musselman can learn some new skills, too.
Carmelo Anthony can flat-out score the rock — that has never been the question. Even hurting last season for many of the 40 games he played, he averaged 24.2 points a game, had a true shooting percentage of 53.1 percent (right near the league average) while having the entire weight of the Knicks offense on his shoulders (32.2 usage rate, fifth highest in the NBA). When people (or players) talk about him being overrated, the discussion turns to defense or if he makes his teammates better. But there should be no doubt Anthony is an elite scorer.
He thinks he will be for a while longer — like another five years. Via Ian Begley of ESPN:
In fact, the 31-year-old Knicks star is confident that he can play at a high level for the next “four or five years.”
“Without a doubt. Without a doubt,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ final training camp practice on Saturday.
The Knicks better hope that’s true, they already made that bet with that massive five-year contract they gave him last summer.
Anthony’s age combined with him coming off knee surgery have a lot of people — myself included — expecting him to take a step back. Not a big one, but he is coming up at the point in his career where some open shots he used to get are now contested because he’s half-a-step slower, and some of those looks don’t fall as often. His jumper isn’t suddenly going to look like Rajon Rondo‘s, ‘Melo is going to get his points, but he may not be as efficient.
Fortunately, the Knicks have an improved supporting cast around him this season. That should take some offensive load off his shoulders, and maybe the Knicks offense will see better ball movement and start to resemble the triangle. If it’s just more isolation Anthony, it’s not going to be pretty.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.
General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.
McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.