Boston fans seem to love the whole “if we were healthy, if we had Jeff Green, the playoffs would have been different” idea. I hate what ifs, and I think this year was the Celtics last deep run with this core.
But they would have been better with Jeff Green, who had to walk away from the team before the season when tests found an aortic aneurysm that required heart surgery to repair.
But he is healthy now and wants to re-sign with the Celtics for next season, his agent David Falk told the Boston Herald.
“He’s been 100 percent cleared,” said Falk. “He’s playing 5-on-5 basketball. He’s not quite yet in Jeff Green shape. Jeff is a physical marvel. He’s about 4 percent body fat. But in Jeff’s case, the experience he went through will be a life-changing experience.”
Generally I want to take anything I hear from an agent with a few grains of salt, but I hope this is true. Green is a fantastic athlete that needs to become a little more focused on defense and pick his spots better in games, but he can certainly help a team. Especially in the sixth man role the Celtics wanted to use him in.
Both Green and the Celtics want to get a deal done. Green can’t sign until July 11 (nobody can, there is a moratorium in place until then) but expect the deal to get done soon after.
For the record, I’m not sure how much it helps the Celtics. Last season everything broke for them in the playoffs — they might not get out of the first round if Al Horford were healthy, they would not have gotten past a Bulls team with a healthy Derrick Rose, and if Chris Bosh had been healthy the Heat would have wiped them out in five games. Getting to a Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals was a bit of a mirage, Boston is good but not that good, but they are going to get the band back together and give it one more run. But Green or no Green, to make another deep run will require everything to go their way again.
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.
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.
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.
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.”