James L. Dolan

Report: Knicks owner James Dolan has spies record what Carmelo says on court

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Anywhere else this would be instantly dismissed as ridiculous, but with James Dolan owning the Knicks — an organization that can be incredibly secretive — it seems plausible.

Dave D’Alessandro of the Star-Ledger reports that Dolan had Knicks employees spying on everything Carmelo Anthony said and had said to him during the Knicks home loss Friday night to the Bulls.

Two audio technicians were stationed at two corners of the court — one a few feet just behind the Knicks bench, the other diagonally opposite — and they were holding those umbrella-shaped contraptions known as parabola microphones, which fed the audio into a DAT recorder on the truck on the loading dock.

These guys had one directive from Dolan: Record every syllable Carmelo Anthony utters and absorbs while he’s on the court and on the bench, the Madison Square Garden CEO ordered them, and send the tape directly to me.

Why?

Obviously this stems out of last week, when Kevin Garnett said something on the court to Anthony (reportedly something kind of amusing about ‘Melo’s wife) that got under his skin, they both got technical fouls, and then Anthony tried to continue the “conversation” near the team bus. Which led to Anthony being suspended for a game.

But still, why?

You really think you’re going to learn anything from listening to a recording of what is said in the trenches of an NBA game? You’re going to learn that guys say really nasty things to each other in the heat of competition, things said so a player might lose his focus and not play as well. If you send a recording of that to the league office, they can send you one back of any other game that night where similar things are said.

What matters is it worked. Anthony got thrown off his game and was suspended because of it. That’s on Anthony, not KG. Anthony is the Knicks leader and he needs to act like it. It sounds like he got the message, but we’ll see. You know every other team is going at this now.

Isaiah Thomas nutmegs Knicks center Marshall Plumlee (video)

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Isaiah Thomas usually saves his best play for the fourth quarter, but the Celtics guard showed out early with this pass between Marshall Plumlee‘s legs to get Kelly Olynyk a layup.

Thomas uncharacteristically just didn’t have enough late. Though he scored 39 points, he shot just 2-for-9 in the final period, as the Knicks pulled away for a 117-106 win.

Kevin Durant misses dunk so hard, ball flies past halfcourt (video)

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Kevin Durant played great in the Warriors’ win over the Thunder last night, but – perhaps fueled by excess emotion – he missed this incredibly emphatic dunk attempt.

Later, Russell Westbrook showed his former teammate how to do it (sparking their apparent conversation):

James Harden outduels Giannis Antetokounmpo as they produce fantastic highlight video

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James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo met in a battle of two of the NBA’s best point guards. (Still weird to say.) The final lines:

  • Harden: 38 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 blocks
  • Antetokounmpo: 32 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks

The winner? Harden and the Rockets, who topped the Bucks, 111-92.

But the real winner? Anyone who gets to watch this highlight video. It just gets better as it goes.

PBT Extra: Who do you want to see most in first All-Star Game?

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Tonight the NBA All-Star Game starters will be announced. Then the coaches have a week to vote and the rest of the roster will be put together by them.

This year should see a few first-time All-Stars, guys bursting on the scene and grabbing fans attention — so we asked people on Twitter who they most wanted to see in his first All-Star Game and I break it down in this PBT Extra.

The winner? Giannis Antetokounmpo with 45 percent of the vote. Which shouldn’t be a surprise, he’s second in the fan voting for the frontcourt in the East (behind only LeBron James). Good news for those fans, the Greek Freak is almost guaranteed to be a starter, he’s getting plenty of media votes and likely a lot from the players as well.

Second place in the poll? Joel Embiid of the Sixers. I’d love to see him, but will players and media members vote in a guy on a minutes restriction? Will the coaches pick him for that same reason? He is on the bubble.