Allen Iverson will not play in Melo vs. Philly Sunday

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UPDATE 10:17 am: Allen Iverson’s longtime friend and manager shot down the idea that Iverson will play in the game, according to CSNPhilly.com:

Gary Moore, Iverson’s longtime friend and manager, confirmed that the now 36-year-old Answer will not participate.

Which is a little sad, these free-flowing exhibitions are a good fit for Iverson’s game, and this would have been fun. But it’s not happening. Still, there is plenty of star power for this showdown.

9:48 am: Allen Iverson might be back on the court with NBA players Sunday.

We still won’t believe it until we see it, but organizers of Sunday’s Melo League vs. Philly showdown in the City of Brotherly Love are reportedly trying to get Iverson — still one of the most popular players ever in Sixers history — to play for Team Philadelphia, according to Kate Fagan of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Lot’s of “no comments” flying around officially.

Iverson is supposed to be in Philly hosting another event Saturday night.

The organizers also tried to recruit Kobe Bryant to play for Philly, but that appears less likely.

The return of Iverson — who wants another shot to play in the NBA after being out last season and playing in Turkey until he got injured — would add to a star-studded lineup.

Really, Team Philly needs some help. The lineup for the Melo League includes LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Josh Selby, Eric Bledsoe and more.

Philly will be represented by Tyreke Evans, Hakim Warrick, Lou Williams, Markieff and Marcus Morris plus others. That’s good enough against most teams, but Melo has one serious lineup put together.

Despite revoked passport, Enes Kanter says Thunder have arranged his travel to Mexico City, Toronto

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Thunder center Enes Kanter – who had passport revoked by Turkey – lacked documentation to travel for a December game against the Nets in Mexico City and a March game against the Raptors in Toronto.

Apparently, that issue has been resolved.

Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman:

Kanter said on Sunday that the team has worked out an arrangement to allow him to travel to games in Toronto and Mexico City even without a passport.

It always seemed highly likely Kanter would get to Toronto and Mexico City. He’s a high-profile millionaire working for a billion-dollar company.

Report: Carmelo Anthony’s camp ‘cautiously optimistic’ Knicks will trade him by Monday

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In July, Carmelo Anthony was reportedly confident he’d be traded to the Rockets.

That optimism always seemed misguided. A couple months later, with Anthony still on the Knicks, it looks downright foolish.

Yet…

Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:

Anthony’s camp is cautiously optimistic that a deal will be struck before Monday, and trying not to think about the potential media circus that will take place if Carmelo is still with the Knicks.

It’s more likely Anthony’s confidants are hopeful than optimistic. If they’re actually optimistic, they’re very likely to be disappointed.

If Anthony hasn’t been traded by now, what will change between now and Monday? Houston still must find a taker for Ryan Anderson, and that’s no easy task – not without relinquishing sweeteners more valuable than Anthony. I suppose Anthony could waive his no-trade clause for additional teams, but it’s late for a deal to come together.

Hopefully for Anthony, his advisors aren’t pinning everything on a longshot trade and are helping him craft answers to the numerous questions he’ll face at media day next week – likely in New York.

Rick Pitino predicts NBA draft will accept high schoolers within two years

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Once an advocate of increasing the age minimum and a willing accepter of one-and-done, NBA commissioner Adam Silver sounded more open about allowing high school players to declare for the NBA draft.

The new Collective Bargaining Agreement left the issue open, but Louisville coach Rick Pitino predicts change is coming – relatively soon.

Pitino, via ESPN:

When I was at Kentucky, I had seven high school basketball players, told me they were coming, and instead, they went to the pros out of high school. And by the way, I think that rule is going to change back to that. I think high school players are going to be able to go pro again.

I think the commissioner is probably going to do it within two years.

Does Pitino know something? With decades of experience in the NBA and college, he could have many contacts with inside information. It’s certainly imperative for devising a recruiting strategy to know how this rule will change.

It’s also possible Pitino saw Silver’s comments, like any outsider could have, and is making a relatively blind guess.

But the possibility of inside information makes his comments more intriguing.

Warriors executive: Golden State rejected richer jersey-ad offers

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The Warriors are charging $60 million over three years for their jersey ads – about double what any other NBA team is getting.

Golden State chief marketing officer Chip Bowers, via Darren Rovell of ESPN:

“We actually had multiple finalists,” Warriors chief marketing officer Chip Bowers said. “This was not the biggest deal that we were offered.”

Bowers said the team felt it was important for the deal to be with a worldwide brand.

Light years ahead.