Knicks' Anthony celebrates in the win over Heat in Game 4 of their NBA Eastern Conference basketball playoff series in New York

Carmelo Anthony says Knicks have no rivalry with Nets. Yet.


The New York Knicks will open the NBA season by heading over the bridge to Brooklyn and helping the Nets christen their new home. Knicks vs. Nets. Brooklyn vs. Manhattan. A battle for New York. A real rivalry…

Not yet, says Carmelo Anthony.

Speaking at a camp at St. Johns, the Knicks leader and gold medalist from London told Newsday the Knicks and Nets have no rivalry yet.

“There’s no rivalry between us and Brooklyn right now,” Anthony said. “It starts on that first game. We’ll see what happens with that first game. But as of right now, we are focused on ourselves. We are not really focused on nobody else.”

Technically, he is right. But the makings of a rivalry are there, the fire just needs to be lit.

For a rivalry to exist, both teams need to be good and there needs to be something at stake when they meet (at least at first). For decades the Lakers and Clippers were not rivals because the Clips were never a threat to the Lakers. But last season that started to change as Blake Griffin and Chris Paul led the Clippers to within one game of the Lakers and the Pacific Division crown. The games got more intense.

In this case, Brooklyn should be a good team with a record not really far off the Knicks. They will be playing in the same division (the deepest and best division in the NBA next season) and the games will be a fight for playoff seeding.

But what would really cement a rivalry — what I am hoping to see — is a playoff series. A subway series between the Knicks and Nets in the first round of the playoffs. That would be fun.

Sixers to retire Moses Malone’s number next season

Darryl Dawkins, Moses Malone

Kobe Bryant‘s pregame tribute video stole the show in Philadelphia, but Tuesday night was Moses Malone tribute night. The former league MVP and Hall of Famer passed away in September, and his legacy was honored by the Sixers during a halftime ceremony. During the festivities, Malone’s son announced that his No. 2 will be retired by the organization next season.

There’s no question that Malone, one of the greatest players in the history of the sport, deserves to have his number retired. The only relevant question is: why didn’t this happen years ago? The ceremony next season should be good, but it would have been better if they had done it when Malone was alive to participate in it. No Sixers player has worn No. 2 since Malone anyway, but it’s been over 20 years since he last wore a Sixers jersey. Why couldn’t they have found some time in those two decades to have a ceremony and hang a banner?

LeBron James with two-handed halfcourt bounce pass for assist (VIDEO)

LeBron James
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Perhaps LeBron James‘ most underappreciated skill has been his passing. He is rightly hailed as the most unselfish superstar of his generation, but being a willing passer is only part of it: he’s also as good at it as any point guard in the league. Case in point: this two-handed halfcourt bounce pass on Tuesday night, finding Richard Jefferson for an easy dunk:

Kobe gets great introduction, loud ovation in Philadelphia

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Kobe Bryant‘s relationship with his hometown of Philadelphia had its rocky sections — the Kobe’s Lakers beat the Sixers in the 2001 Finals, and then Kobe was booed during the 2002 All-Star Game —  but all was forgiven on Tuesday night.

In his final trip to Philly, he was given a framed Lower Merion High School jersey — that’s Kobe’s school, in case you forgot — and it was presented by Dr. J.

Then the fans welcomed him like you see above.

That pumped up Kobe, who scored 13 first quarter points on 5-of-10 shooting, his best quarter of the season.

Rumor: Nets testing trade waters for Bojan Bogdanovic

Bojan Bogdanovic, Otto Porter Jr.
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If you play for the Brooklyn Nets, and your name is not Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, expect you will come up in trade rumors this season.

First up on the block, Bojan Bogdanovic. The report comes from Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.

Bogdanovic is in the first year of a three-year, $11 million deal, which isn’t bad for a guy playing nearly 25 minutes a night and scoring 8.4 points per game. There is a lot of potential in his game, if developed in the right setting — he’s a good shooter out on the wing who works well off the ball. He seems to have regressed this season, but how much of that is due to the Nets and their guard play (and just generally struggling) is up for debate.

Is there going to be interest in him? Probably. As always, it is about the price, what the Nets will demand. Whether the Nets can get anything back they want is up for debate.

Right now a lot of GMs are testing the waters for players, judging the market. That is a long way from a trade happening. But don’t be shocked if the Nets make a deal or two before the February deadline.