Carmelo Anthony says Chris Paul should be a Laker

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Apparently Carmelo Anthony wanted to make an already challenging game against the Los Angeles Lakers tonight much more difficult.

He thinks David Stern made a mistake by vetoing a trade of Chris Paul to the Lakers and said so after the Knicks loss to the Warriors Wednesday night, reports the New York Daily News.

“I thought it would have been good for the Lakers and good for the whole NBA,” Anthony said. “As a guy who loves to compete, I would have liked to see him out West with the Lakers. For me — I’ve been battling the Lakers for the last seven years when I was in the Western Conference — I liked that.”

Really, he liked how those Lakers vs. Nuggets series turned out?

The feeling around the league — and with me — is that Stern made this move not for “basketball reasons” but because it was the Lakers about to get better after a lockout that was about reining in the spending of power franchises. Some owners got angry — something that would not have happened if Paul was going to Golden State. Or the Clippers.

Anthony — who is friends with Paul, remember the wedding toast? — said he thinks his friend has adjusted to life with that other team in Los Angeles.

“Chris is over that, he has to be, at this point,” said Anthony, who had hoped that the Knicks could trade for his close friend. “At this point, that’s just a chapter in his book. I talked to him before his first game with the Clippers, when they beat the Warriors, and he’s super excited to be on that team.”

I love the “chapter in his book” theory, leaving the door open to the next chapter. Wherever it may be. But for now, after a sloppy loss to Golden State, Anthony and the Knicks need to worry about their 2011-12 chapter, not anyone elses.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?

Hawks’ DeAndre’ Bembry out with fractured wrist

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In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.

But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.

Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.

“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”

 

Danny Ainge says Celtics will apply for Disabled Player Exception

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It’s not likely Gordon Hayward returns this season. His agent said as much, although a return in March is not out of the question. (It’s better PR wise for the Celtics to say he is out for the season, then if he returns early great, it’s better than setting a deadline he doesn’t meet.)

With that, the Celtics are going to apply for the Disabled Player Exception, which could help them land a replacement player, Danny Ainge told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Globe on Friday the club is applying for the Disabled Player Exception, which would provide the Celtics $8.4 million to pursue a player to fill Hayward’s roster spot.

“We’re in the process of doing that,’’ Ainge said. “We have a while to do that. There’s no urgency, but we will apply for that.”

There are limits to what that money can get the Celtics. The money is the same as the mid-level exception, the Celtics can go over the cap to use it, and the player can be obtained via free agency or trade. However, the player must be in the last year of his contract.

It gives the Celtics options. It also does not mean Hayward cannot return, it only means NBA-approved doctors determined he is not likely to return before a mid-June deadline.

Kings hire former WNBA Seattle coach Jenny Boucek as assistant

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The NBA now has a third female assistant coach.

The first was Becky Hammon, who has been part of Gregg Popovich’s Spurs staff for several years (and has coached their Summer League team). The second was Nancy Leiberman, who has been on the staff in Sacramento for a couple of seasons now.

Now the Kings have hired former Seattle Storm coach Jenny Boucek as an assistant coach on Dave Joerger’s staff. She will work as an assistant player development coach.

A former WNBA player in the league’s inaugural season, the past three years she has coached the WNBA’s Seattle Storm (she was fired midway through the last season), and prior to that had been the head coach of the Sacramento Monarchs from 2007-09.