Suns Robert Sarver

Robert Sarver reportedly even more ridiculous than previously thought


Robert Sarver probably gets a bad wrap sometimes. I mean, yes, he does sell off draft picks like an EBay junkie and yeah, his organization has the turnover rate of your average fast food joint. But the Suns have consistently made the playoffs or been within reach for the past decade and he has made an honest effort to compete. So he probably doesn’t deserve the entirety of the grief he’s received. Still, the lockout has had some stories of him being ridiculous. Notably, he and Dan Gilbert reportedly submarined efforts towards a compromise a few weeks ago, a position that Dan Gilbert is said to be softening on. Sarver, though? Sarver’s holding that line. And for some very odd reasons, as reported by Yahoo! Sports:

Once again, Phoenix Suns owners Robert Sarver was the most vocal proponent of the owner’s case, and he befuddled players by insisting that his wife had asked him to bring back the middle level exception in a designer bag. He’s been a strong advocate for a hard salary cap, and a source said that Sarver told the players in the room that he hadn’t been able to get the return on buying the Suns that he had hoped.

via Wade, LeBron make stand in labor meeting – NBA – Yahoo! Sports.

Your wife… wanted you to bring home the mid-level exception… in a designer bag.

I’ll take “woefully removed from the economic realities of America” for $600, Alex.

I get the talk that we can’t compare owners or players’ issues to your average Americans because they’re so different. I get the complexities of markets and sports economics. But as far as I know, a dollar has the same value to Robert Sarver as it does to any of you. And talking about your wife wanting the mid-level exception in a designer bag, and using that as a reason to slow progress towards a deal that would save thousands of jobs this year and boost the economies of 29 cities is beyond absurd.

And if anyone in that negotiating room is in need of a Michael-Jordan-esque “If you can’t afford to run your team, then sell it,” it’s Sarver. You haven’t seen the return on the Suns that you were hoping for? Maybe you should get out of the Suns business. Just an idea. I don’t know, maybe ask your wife.

Gallinari ready to take big role in new Nuggets offense

Danilo Gallinari, Jimmy Butler
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DENVER (AP) — Danilo Gallinari wants everyone to know this: His surgically repaired left knee, the one that took three procedures to fix and nearly two seasons to fully trust, no longer bothers him.

The Denver Nuggets forward doesn’t need to be on any sort of minutes restriction. He doesn’t need days off during the season. And he certainly doesn’t need to be coddled.

He’s Gallo again, the hard-to-guard Italian playmaker who can knock down the 3-pointer just as easily as drive to the hoop or even post up. He believes he will fit in quite nicely into new coach Michael Malone’s system.

“The thing I’m focused on is trying to get (this team) back to the same level that the Nuggets were when I got to Denver, when we were going to the playoffs easy. When we were clinching a playoff one or two weeks before the season was over,” said Gallinari, who was acquired in the 2011 blockbuster deal that sent Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks. “We need to get back to that level.”

Almost seems so long ago, given that the Nuggets have missed the playoffs two straight seasons after consistently making it for nearly a decade.

Gallinari returned last season for the first time since blowing out his knee in a game on April 4, 2013. His minutes were closely monitored early in the season. He never really got completely on track until late last season, when he averaged 20.5 points over the final 10 contests, including a career-high 47 against Dallas. He’s hoping to carry that kind of confidence this season.

“I’m good to go. I was good to go as soon as the beginning of last year,” Gallinari said. “I was not on the same page with the coach that we had.”

That would be Brian Shaw, who was fired last March after 1 1/2 seasons in charge and going 56-85. Exactly why he wasn’t on the same page with Shaw, well, Gallinari preferred the past remain the past.

“I’m ready to play the new season,” he said. “We need to win games, and get back to the same level we were before.”

Gallinari thinks the Nuggets have the personnel to do just that, especially with a rookie point guard in Emmanuel Mudiay and Gallinari’s knee feeling better than it has in a while. He feels like he has some ground to make up, too, since he said that knee robbed him of some of his prime.

“Playing my best basketball right before I got injured,” the 27-year old said. “Now, we’re back to the same level, hopefully better.

“My knee has been feeling great. It felt great last year. Feeling great during the summer. Feeling great now. I just feel good.”

He spent the summer playing for the Italian team at the EuroBasket tournament, where he averaged nearly 18 points a game. In those games, Gallinari saw quite a bit of time at the four spot on the floor, forcing teams to either use a bulkier big man to cover him and risk getting burned on a drive or a smaller player that Gallinari could simply shoot over.

Malone plans to employ a similar type approach, something they discussed over gelato when the coach visited Gallinari in Italy soon after he was hired.

“He’s 6-foot-10. He can handle the ball. He can play pick-and-roll. He can stretch the floor and shoot the 3,” Malone said. “There’s not a lot he can’t do offensively.”

Gallinari wants the responsibility of being the go-to player for the Nuggets this season, especially at crunch time.

“I’ve always been trying to do that, since I came to Denver,” Gallinari said. “That’s what I like to do. I feel good filling those shoes.

“I want to have the ball in my hands. I do want to have the ball in my hands a lot more.”

Knicks’ Rookie Jerian Grant gets up, throws it down (VIDEO)

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The Knicks did well trading for Jerian Grant on date night — he’s going to be able to walk in this year and play quality minutes off the bench.

And, he can get up and throw it down.

Carmelo Anthony had 18 points to lead the Knicks to a 94-88 win over the Sixers.