Want to stress this up front as much as possible. Carmelo Anthony is not talking about Jeremy Lin’s game, or how good he is as a player. Every comment Melo has ever made about Lin has been that he is a promising young player who can help the team win. This is not Carmelo Anthony throwing a teammate under the bus.
Maybe it’s a little like throwing a teammate’s wallet under a four-wheeler, though.
At comments from Team USA practice Sunday morning, Anthony told reporters a throw-away comment. From Sporting News (a lot of reporters snagged the quote):
Anthony said Saturday that he wanted Lin to remain his teammate. But he followed that up with this remark on Sunday: “It’s up to the organization to say that they want to match that ridiculous contract.”
via New York Knicks reportedly decide against matching Rockets’ offer for Jeremy Lin – NBA – Sporting News.
Is the Lin contract a little ridiculous? Of course. Its a pointed effort by the Rockets to construct an offer to shake the Knicks loose of the offer. It’s a poison-pill aimed at being ridiculous enough to get the Knicks not to match. And it’s based on potential, not track record.
But don’t get this twisted. This is a player, saying that the contract another player, a teammate, earned, is ridiculous. That’s a strike where players’ care the most: their money. It’s not a personal attack on Lin, but it’s also a pretty stunning lack of decorum from the leader of the team deciding whether to match the offer or not. Whether you believe Anthony intentionally made the statement or it was a slip without thinking, the result is the same. It paints the impression that the Knicks think that kind of spending is absurd.
From the Knicks.
In unrelated news, Anthony has $67 million left over three years on his contract. The Knicks have yet to advance past the first round.
James Harden had a historic season in Houston.
Since it’s Friday afternoon and your sports viewing options consist of watching guys about to be cut from NFL rosters try to impress, why not check out Harden’s best plays from last season. It’s worth a couple minutes of your time.
Jeff Withey‘s ex-fiancée accused him of domestic violence, but he was not charged.
That frees him to continue his basketball career, which he’ll do in Dallas.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
The Mavericks could use another center, even if they re-sign Nerlens Noel. Salah Mejri is the only other true center, though Dirk Nowitzki will now play the position.
Withey is a good rim protector. Just don’t ask him to do anything away from the basket.
Dallas annually brings excess players to training camp and has them compete for regular-season roster spots. Whether or not his salary is guaranteed, Withey will likely fall into that competition.
The Grizzlies’ Grit & Grind era has ended.
Zach Randolph signed with the Kings, and Tony Allen appears likely to leave Memphis, too. The Grizzlies are prioritizing younger/cheaper players like Ben McLemore and Tyreke Evans.
Marc Gasol via Ala Carta, as translated by HoopsHype:
I’m very ambitious and I’ve wanted Memphis to be a great franchise. We’ve grown a lot the last 6-7 years, but we have to keep growing. If this is not lined up, maybe we may have to revisit things.
Gasol has been loyal to Memphis, and his first wish is probably winning there. But Giannis Antetokounmpo put it well: Teams must also do right by their players. Gasol is 32 and doesn’t have much time in his prime left. I see why rebuilding wouldn’t interest him.
But what will he do about it if the Grizzlies don’t prioritize the present? They made their push last summer with a max contract for Chandler Parsons, but because Parsons can’t stay healthy, that deal only inhibits team growth.
Gasol is locked up for two more years before a player option. He doesn’t have much leverage. This is part of the reason LeBron James keeps signing short-term contracts. Gasol doesn’t have the same ability to steer his team in his desired direction
On the potentially bright side, rebuilding teams often don’t have much use for 32-year-olds guaranteed more than $72 million over the following three years. If the fit devolves, Memphis becomes more likely to trade him.
The Celtics already said they’d retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34.
Now, we know when.
The Boston Celtics announced today that they will retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34 after a mid-season game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, Feb. 11
After? That’s apparently in response to a new rule that penalizes teams not ready to play after a 15-minute halftime. These ceremonies can drag on, and nobody wants to cut Pierce short. I wonder whether this will start a trend of number retirements coming after games.