It’s becoming a close contest, what do I want to hear least: Another Obama/Romney attack ad or more back and forth between Ray Allen and the Celtics.
Ray has consistently said that basically he didn’t feel wanted by the Celtics — they had him coming off the bench (which is he doing in Miami anyway), he called the contract an insult (it was twice what he took in Miami) and he was tired of feeling like he was on the trade block (Boston offered him a no-trade clause in the new contract). Boston made its offer but by that time the bridges had been burned. He didn’t feel the love and Miami was courting him with all Pat Riley’s charm. So now he plays for the Heat.
Anyway, Doc Rivers was on The Felger and Mazz Show in Boston (video below courtesy CSNNE.com) and talked plenty more about Allen and his split with the Celtics.
“Ray was great here, and he made the choice to leave. And that’s where he should leave it and we should leave it. It’s like I said today, when we play them on Tuesday we’re not going to be trying to stop Ray. We are, but we better focus on LeBron and Wade and I hope this game doesn’t become a Celtics vs. Ray, because if our guys think that way we won’t win, I can guarantee you that. But I am disappointed (about the talk back and forth) and he made a choice. Do I think it was the wrong choice? I absolutely do. I think at times he feels that way himself. That’s the way I’d like him to think at least. But at the end of the day I want him to do well I just don’t want him to do well against us.”
On his relationship with Ray Allen:
“I didn’t think it was bad, but maybe I’m the last to know. It didn’t help when I decided to start Avery (Bradley), obviously. But as a coach you make choices. You worry about people’s feelings but you worry more about the team. If anything, Ray probably didn’t like that. I’ll probably always look at myself first. Ray wanted the ball more, things like that. It’s like I tell my guys ever year, ‘If you’re here for me to run stuff for you look good then you are in the wrong place.’”
Rivers said he and GM Danny Ainge tried to call Allen during free agency but their calls weren’t being returned.
“Listen, if you’ve been with my team, with me for five years, or four years, and I gotta be here every 10 seconds in free agency then you probably don’t want to be here.”
I wish Rivers would have gone with his first thought and just left it there after one sentence. Make this stop.
DeMarcus Cousins had a bitter exit from the Kings, but that won’t be the last they see of him.
Cousins’ Pelicans will host Sacramento tomorrow night.
Not that Cousins rushed to talk about the matchup.
Justin Verrier of ESPN:
Cousins is pretty funny when joking with the media, and his smile is contagious. Just listen to all the laughs Cousins generates as he goes through his shtick.
Bonus points to Cousins for eventually breaking down and providing real answers. Some of his relationships in Sacramento were clearly meaningful to him, and he wanted to acknowledge those — even if he’d prefer just to get past this awkward game and all the talk it invites.
Lauri Markkanen is 7-foot and made 42% of his 3-pointers this season.
That combination alone will have NBA teams drooling, and the Arizona freshman will capitalize.
Evan Daniels of Scout:
Arizona’s Lauri Markkanen is declaring for the NBA Draft and is expected to sign with an agent, multiple sources told Scout.
Markkanen seems pretty certain to get picked in the lottery, likely in the top 10.
Calling him a good shooter for his height undersells him. It’s not just he shoots so efficiently from deep, it’s that he can generate 3-pointers in so many ways — pick-and-pops, spot-ups, off off-ball screens and even running pick-and-rolls himself. Having the height to shoot over defenders is his most noticeable asset, but don’t undersell his mobility.
Markkanen also finishes well at the rim and offensively rebounds at extremely impressive clip for someone who spends so much time on the perimeter. Those interior skills instill belief he will eventually become a suitable defender.
There are a couple red flags. He’s old for a freshman, turning 20 before the draft. He leaves plenty to be desired defensively, especially due to his lack of strength.
But his size and shooting are tantalizing. That’s plenty for now.
Watch for Collin Sexton in the 2018 NBA draft.
In the meantime, the Alabama commit had all eyes — include Dwyane Wade‘s — on him with this pass in the McDonald’s All-American Game last night.
Carmelo Anthony scored just nine points on 12 shots in the Knicks loss to the Heat last night — well below his season averages of 22 points on 19 shots per game.
Anthony, via Ian Begley of ESPN:
“I see the writing on the wall. I see what it is,” Anthony said late Wednesday night. “I see what they’re trying to do, and it’s just me accepting that. That’s what puts me at peace. Just knowing and understanding how things work. I’m at peace with that.”
Is Anthony talking about just the Knicks’ final dozen games of this season, when they’re clearly interesting in testing less-proven players? Or is he referring to his entire tenure in New York?
Anthony has said he’d consider waiving his no-trade clause if the Knicks want to rebuild, and they’ll reportedly try again to trade him this offseason. Perhaps, this is Anthony indicating he’s warming up to the idea of allowing a trade.
Anthony’s and Kristaps Porzingis‘ timelines are barely compatible, if at all. It’d make sense for the Knicks to go in a different direction.
Could Anthony be at peace with that?