Samuel Dalembert

Dalembert considering Heat, Knicks, Rockets

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Centers are at a premium in this league, that should be evident by now. Nene, Tyson Chandler, Marc Gasol, all will lead this free agency class. Dwight Howard headlines the next. Chandler’s defensive impact was a primary factor in the Mavericks winning the title. So Samuel Dalembert will be getting his fair share of calls in the next few weeks as teas vie for his services. More importantly? Dalembert’s willing to take less to play for a contender. Say hello to Miami.

From FoxSportsFlorida.com:

Soon, the Miami Heat might have a basketball volunteer in Dalembert. The team desperately needs a center, and the 6-foot-11 Dalembert is a free agent. And the Heat is high on his list as the free agency signing period is expected to begin Dec. 9 following a five-month lockout.

Joining the Heat “would be fantastic,” Dalembert said Sunday night from Haiti in an interview with FOX Sports Florida. Miami is where more than 50 of his relatives live and is about one hour south of his home in Boca Raton.

via Dalembert: Joining Heat ‘would be fantastic’.

Dalembert would provide a major upgrade for the Heat who very nearly won the title anyway. Joel Anthony would work a lot better at power forward alongside Udonis Haslem. Having size inside to deter opponents inside would help the perimeter weapons of Dwyane Wade and LeBron James and take pressure off Chris Bosh, the starting power forward. Dalembert’s strengths would play perfectly to the Heat’s style and his offense is just strong enough to make him a better offensive weapon than Anthony.

But the Heat aren’t the only option on Dalembert’s radar. He also lists the Knicks and Rockets. The Knicks are starting Ronny Turiaf. There really shouldn’t be any further discussion, but sure, why not. Dalembert’s mobile enough to function in D’Antoni’s offense while not only providing defense at the rim, but rebounding which is an inherent issue in the Knicks’ coach’s system. However, as long as the Knicks are focused on acquiring Dwight Howard in 2012, the Knicks will likely tread lightly in their approach. If CP3 is their primary objective, though, Dalembert would improve the Knicks and make them a more attractive option.

Finally, Dalembert also regards Houston as a potential landing spot, since they need a center with Yao gone. The Rockets are making a lot of noise about being active in free agency, with Nene also a target according to reports. But Dalembert doesn’t make the Rockets that much better, which is what the Rockets really need.

Dalembert’s going to have his options, and his decision could impact who wins the next NBA title.

Carmelo Anthony on trade rumors: “I’m not going anywhere”

New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony (7) smiles during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016, in Miami. The Knicks defeated the Heat 98-90. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
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Carmelo Anthony has the hammer — he has a no-trade clause in his contract. If he doesn’t want to be traded, he’s not getting traded. End of story.

Also, he loves New York.

So when he went on SiriusXM NBA Radio Saturday and was asked about the trade rumors linking him to Cleveland, ‘Melo shot those down.

There were exploratory talks involving Kevin Love going to Boston — the Knicks might have been the third team in such a deal — but the buzz around Toronto (where the NBA World has gathered for the All-Star Game) is those talks have stalled. It’s not impossible that they are revived, but don’t bet on it.

The Cavaliers are a win-now team, and if they move the floor-spacing Love they need to bring in pieces that get them closer to a title. They don’t see that now.

As for Anthony, he re-signed in New York and said he wanted to be there (and get paid.). While there may be people in his camp that think him moving on would be a good for his career, the man himself doesn’t want to go anywhere. And Carmelo Anthony has the hammer.

LeBron James amused by fuss over Tyronn Lue coaching All-Stars

CLEVELAND, OH - JANUARY 30:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers high fives Head Coach Tyronn Lue during the game against the San Antonio Spurs on January 30, 2016 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE  (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
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TORONTO (AP) — LeBron James is amused over all the fuss that accompanied Tyronn Lue getting the chance to coach the Eastern Conference in Sunday’s All-Star Game.

The honor typically goes to the coaching staff of the team leading their respective conference at the break, provided that staff didn’t also coach in the game the year before. So when the Cleveland Cavaliers fired David Blatt and promoted Lue from his assistant spot to being the coach in charge, that meant Lue also got the All-Star duty.

And while it might seem strange to some, James was quick to point out Friday at the All-Star media day that Lue “would have been here anyways, even if coach Blatt was still our coach.”

James has been criticized for what many presume to be his role in Blatt’s dismissal, and the four-time MVP says he isn’t letting that perception bother him. He also didn’t take the bait when asked to describe differences between Blatt and Lue.

James’ answer: “Their height.”

For the record, Blatt (6-foot-3) is listed to be about three inches taller than Lue.

 

The time Kobe Bryant tried to recruit Dirk Nowitzki to the Lakers

DALLAS, TX - NOVEMBER 05:  Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks greets Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers after a game at American Airlines Center on November 5, 2013 in Dallas, Texas.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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TORONTO — Kobe Bryant has been loyal to the Lakers for 20 seasons (if you ignore some “trade me” tantrums along the way). He’s also been über competitive.

Those same qualities are what he most appreciates about Dirk Nowitzki.

Kobe talked a little Dirk during his All-Star media availability Friday.

“Dirk and I have always had a great relationship because we’re both extremely competitive. Also both extremely loyal to our teams,” Bryant said.

“I’ll tell you a story about Dirk. He was up for free agency, and I knew what his response was going to be. But out of respect, everybody’s looking around at all these free agents, I felt I’d shoot you a text, if you want to come to L.A. He goes, ‘I would love to play with you, but Dallas is my home. This is my team. I’m not leaving here.’ So he and I think a lot alike in that regard.”

Nowitzki’s last couple free agencies have been mere formalities, nobody around the league thought he would leave Mark Cuban or Dallas. The only questions were money and years — in 2014 the Lakers reportedly offered the max to Nowitzki, who took three-years, $25 million from Dallas so the Mavs could rebuild their roster. It’s all part of that loyalty — and it’s worked out, Nowitzki and Cuban have a ring.

Kobe’s respect for Nowitzki was clear when Dirk nailed a game winner against the Lakers this season, Kobe just nodded his approval from the bench.

One of the best things the past couple seasons about Kobe, and especially this season with just about to retire Kobe, is that he is giving honest answers. He doesn’t care what people think. That leads to honest moments and great stories.

Watch Kristaps Porzingis drop 30 at Rising Stars Challenge (VIDEO)

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TORONTO — Knicks’ fans were in full throat at the Air Canada Centre Friday night. Kristaps Porzingis was the second most popular player in the Rising Stars Challenge (behind Canada’s own Andrew Wiggins).

Porzingis didn’t disappoint, dropping 30 and sparking a World Team comeback against the USA that just fell just short, with the USA winning 157-154.

“Not great defense, but it’s about having fun, I guess” Porzingis said. “And I think we had fun out there. In the second half we got more competitive, as both teams wanted to get the win, and we fell a little short.”