Jeff Green thinks he was overshadowed by Durant, Westbrook

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Jeff Green has never lacked for confidence.

He has lacked for defense. He has lacked consistency. He has been a guy who shows flashes of brilliance but now both in Boston and Oklahoma City the team outscores opponents faster when he is siting on the bench. They were better when he was benched.

But Green’s confidence remains unshaken. He tells the Boston Herald that he was overshadowed by some guys named Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in OKC but if he comes back to the Celtics next year — he’s a restricted free agent — he’s going to show you what you’ve been missing.

“Yeah, man, you know a lot of people don’t know what I can really do,” he said. “In Oklahoma, I was kind of overshadowed by Kevin (Durant) and the way Russell (Westbrook) picked up, but, excuse my language, I can really (expletive) play. I can really play this game, man.”

That belief was supported by discussions he had following the season.

“I had some good meetings with (coach) Doc (Rivers) before the lockout, and I’ve been talking to P (Paul Pierce) and Ray (Allen),” Green said. “Next year they’re really going to allow me to play, and I think that’s what I need. I need to go out there and just play. Sometimes I think too much, but I just need to go out there and play the game. I’ve got great confidence in myself, but things were a little difficult last year.”

No doubt the pressure that came with being part of the Kendrick Perkins trade made it tough on the court and in the locker room in Boston. Thing is, if you want to get mentioned with Durant and Westbrook and Pierce then you have to thrive in pressure situations. It’s not a matter of Green just playing his game, it’s him being consistent on both ends and not making mental mistakes.

Boston wants Green back at the qualifying offer ($5.9 million) and it’s hard to imagine, after this lockout where owners complained about bad contracts, anyone is going to offer him more. (And while Boston fans can get frustrated with Green, there are not better replacements in this free agent market.) He’s going to get a shot to live up to the hype. If he does he’ll get paid, if not he fades like last season.

Either way, he’ll be confident.

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.

New Bulls advisor Doug Collins: ‘I am woke’

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The Bulls hired Doug Collins as an advisor.

Is Collins, who has coached only one winning season in the last 20 years and often sounds analytically disinclined, too behind the times?

Collins:

I’m old. Let me finish. But I’m not old school. I’ve got a young brain. And I think you get pigeonholed: That guy is old school because he’s old. Now, if being on time and working hard and doing all those things are old school, then yes, I’m old school. But I will match my wits with anybody in terms of young people, in terms of what’s going on now and what’s happening. So, I am woke.

Suddenly, Kyrie Irving‘s statement on ESPN – “Oh, if you’re very much woke, there’s no such thing as distractions” – has a challenger for the most awkward use of “woke” by NBA personnel this week.