Amar’e Stoudemire was an afterthought in the Knicks offense for much of the second half against the Nuggets — he had just three shot attempts through the final 24 minutes and two overtimes. Carmelo Anthony put up 20 in that same time. In a game that became the Knicks sixth straight loss. Coincidence?
Anthony acknowledged after the game that the Knicks offense is out of balance, and now the New York Post reports that Anthony and Stoudemire are going to sit down and talk.
It’s a meeting that is overdue and will have more impact than anything coach Mike D’Antoni could possibly say to the two.
“We as a team need to do a better job getting Amar’e the ball,’’ Anthony admitted. “I have the ball in my hands. Maybe it’s on me. Maybe I have to give him the ball a little more, help him out with that. We’ll talk probably [today] and try to figure it out together. If I’m doing too much, I want him to tell me. I want the guys on the team to tell me if I’m doing too much.’’
According to a source familiar with the situation, Anthony has been too obsessed with his points and Stoudemire is too concerned with Anthony taking over the team. There’s also too much finger-pointing, according to the source.
It’s easy to say he is doing too much, but it’s more than that. Anthony is not the guy who should be charged with organizing the Knicks offense, but it’s fallen to him by default as the Knicks have traded away all their true point guards to get Anthony and Tyson Chandler on the roster.
It is why the return of Baron Davis to the Knicks practice court on Monday is so important. He may still be a ways away from playing, and I am far from Baron’s biggest backer anymore, but he would be an upgrade for them.
Stoudemire was at his best when he ferociously attacked the rim rolling off a pick with the ball in Steve Nash’s hands. That doesn’t work with Anthony or Toney Douglas or Iman Shumpert. It might with Davis. He will be inconsistent and lose focus for stretches — trust us, we’ve seen a lot of Baron Davis up close — but he still is better than anything New York has on the roster. He is a start in the right direction.
As is Stoudemire and Anthony sitting down and talking. But all this may still not be enough.
Rudy Gay complained about how the Kings are handling the trade rumors swirling around him.
Sacramento general manager Vlade Divac, via James Ham of CSN California:
“He has my number,” Divac told CSN California. “If I do something, I will call him. Obviously, if I didn’t call him, we didn’t do anything.”
“Look, I was a player, 16-17 years in the league, nobody called me everyday and tell me what management is doing,” Divac said. “Management was doing their job. If something big happened, they called and told me. Obviously, nothing big happened (so) I’m not going to call anybody.”
I suppose Divac can take that tack. He’s obviously not obligated to provide Gay regular updates.
But the Kings already have a reputation for putting their players in bleak positions. This doesn’t help.
Even if Divac feels calling Gay is going out of his way, so what? The alternative — Gay either coming to training camp unhappy or spreading word of Sacramento’s mistreatment of players to his new teammates after a trade — is far worse.
It’s not enough for Divac to just wait for Gay to call him — especially because Divac might not be as reliable with the phone as he thinks.
The National Basketball Players Association has talked for more than a year about covering medical expenses for retired players.
Today, the union announced a formal plan.
The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) announced today that its player representatives have voted unanimously to fund health insurance for all retired NBA players with at least three years of service in the league. This program is the first of its kind among North American professional sports. It also exemplifies the NBPA’s focus on the health and welfare of its current, retired and future members.
“The game has never before been more popular, and all the players in our league today recognize that we’re only in this position because of the hard work and dedication of the men who came before us,” said Chris Paul, NBPA President and nine-time All-Star. “It’s important that we take care of our entire extended NBA family, and I’m proud of my fellow players for taking this unprecedented step to ensure the health and well-being of our predecessors.”
The unanimous vote – which took place during the NBPA Summer Meeting in New York on June 26 – established a multi-faceted health insurance program through UnitedHealthcare, the country’s leading health benefits provider. The current proposal includes:
Retired players with between three and six years of NBA service time but who are not yet eligible for Medicare would be offered a plan that includes medical, hospital and prescription drug coverage with modest out-of-pocket costs for deductibles and co-pays;
Those with between seven and nine years of service would be offered the same coverage with even lower out-of-pocket costs;
Retired players with at least 10 years of service would be offered the same coverage as the seven-to-nine year players, and would include coverage for their entire family;
Retired players with three-nine years of service who are eligible for Medicare would be offered a $0 deductible and $0 co-pay plan along with a low-cost prescription drug plan; those with 10+ years of service to receive this coverage for themselves and their spouse.
The open enrollment period for retired players would begin this fall, with coverage beginning on January 1, 2017.
This is a good thing.
It also could become a bargaining point in Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations. Should current players face the entire burden of insuring retired players, or should owners split the cost? (The fact that the question is even being posed paints players in a positive light.)
But back to the bigger point: This is a good thing. It’ll help retired players who need it, retired players who helped position the current generation to afford this. Kudos to the union for stepping up.
Warriors center Anderson Varejao will miss the Rio Olympics due to a back injury.
Where will Team Brazil turn now?
Likely to Bulls center Cristiano Felicio.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
Felicio came on strong late last season. He puts his 6-foot-10, 275-pound frame to good use protecting the paint and rebounding. He showed potential as passer and mid-range shooter, too.
At age 24, he’s a candidate to break out in the Olympics.
If he’s not ready, Brazil can turn to a steady veteran at center, Nene.
Blake Griffin broke his hand punching Clippers equipment manager Matias Testi in January.
Make that former Clippers equipment manager Matias Testi.
The L.A. Clippers equipment staffer who was punched in the face by Blake Griffin during a fight in Toronto earlier this year is off the team — and will NOT be back for the ’16/’17 season … TMZ Sports has learned.
We spoke with a rep for the Clippers who confirmed Matias Testi “no longer works for the team.”