Charlotte Bobcats v New York Knicks

Carmelo Anthony hosts Trayvon Martin family in New York


Carmelo Anthony was one of a number of NBA players to come out in support of the family of Trayvon Martin in the aftermath of his shooting death. And ESPN NY reports that when Martins’s family visited Madison Square Garden, Anthony went the extra mile for them.

Anthony met privately in the Knicks’ locker room with the family and posed for pictures before New York’s 103-65 win over the Washington Wizards on Friday night. Fearing additional media attention, the family did not stay for the game.

Anthony said Martin’s death struck a bigger chord with him because it made him reflect on the passing of his sister, Michelle, who died from a pre-existing medical condition in December 2010. Anthony now remembers Michelle while he’s playing by having her name stitched on to his sneakers.

“(It was) a blessing, an honor,” Anthony said after Knicks’ practice on Saturday morning in regards to meeting the Martin family. “We all know the tragedy that happened and just to get in a different space of mind right now, just bringing them to not even the game, but to the locker room in the back, meeting all the players, meeting the coaches. That was the easy part. We had no media there. It was just something that I wanted to do.”

via Carmelo Anthony of New York Knicks welcomes family of Trayvon Martin to Madison Square Garden – ESPN New York.

It’s a genuinely touching gesture from the Knicks’ star, regardless of your personal position on the circumstances surround the death of the 17-year-old in Florida in February during the All-Star Weekend. The family lost a 17-year-old brother and son, and while there aer many people waking up to that same nightmare tomorrow, anything Anthony can do to bring a measure of comfort or joy to their lives is worth doing.

We forget in the talk about Anthony’s resistance to Mike D’Antoni and shot selection how difficult the past two years have been for him personally considering the loss of his sister. It’s a reminder that death touches everyone, and leaves its mark months later. If nothing else, the short life of Martin lets us know that time does not heal all wounds, for his family, or the world that considers his death unjust.

James Harden: “I am the best player in the league. I believe that.”

James Harden, Stephen Curry
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James Harden was the MVP last season — if you ask his fellow NBA players.

The traditional award (based on a media vote) went to Stephen Curry (in the closest vote in four years), and that was the right call (in my mind). But from the time it happened Harden did not buy it. And he still doesn’t buy it. In the least — and he’s using that as fuel for this season. That’s what he told Fran Blinebury over at

“I am the best player in the league. I believe that,” he said. “I thought I was last year, too.”

Well, it’s a more realistic claim than Paul George’s.

“But that award means most valuable to your team. We finished second in the West, which nobody thought we were going to do at the beginning of the year even when everybody was healthy. We were near the top in having the most injuries. We won our division in a division where every single team made the playoffs.

“There’s so many factors. I led the league in total points scored, minutes played. Like I said, I’m not taking anything away from Steph, but I felt I deserved the Most Valuable Player. That stays with me.”

That’s very Kobe Bryant of you to turn that into fuel. Defining the MVP Award is an annual discussion that nobody agrees on.

I could get into how Harden was the old-school, traditional stats MVP, how that ignores how Steve Kerr used Curry, and how that opened up the Warriors’ offense to championship levels. Curry put up numbers, but he was also the distraction, the bright star that Kerr used to open up looks for Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and others. Curry’s strength was not just what he did with the ball in his hands, but his gravity to draw defenders even when he didn’t. Did the Warriors stay healthier than the Rockets? No doubt. Should Curry be penalized for that?

It’s simple for Harden — if he can put up those numbers again, if he can be the fulcrum of a top offense, he will be in the discussion for MVP again. And, if he can lead the Rockets beyond the conference finals, nobody will talk about that MVP snub anyway.