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Report: Knicks want J.R. Smith back, but his brother Chris… not so much


Last season Chris Smith — the brother of Sixth Man of the Year J.R. Smith — spent time with the Knicks D-League affiliate.

The Knicks may want to add a more athletic, explosive point guard this summer (even if they keep both Pablo Prigioni and Jason Kidd) and the Knicks certainly want to re-sign free agent J.R. Smith. So signing Chris Smith could help with both those things, at least in theory, right.

Not going to happen, reports Jared Zwerling at ESPNNewYork.com.

One source said Chris Smith, J.R.’s younger brother, will not be considered.

“Chris is not an NBA player — not even close,” the source said. “He will never play for them.”

Outside re-signing J.R. Smith, the Knicks will be limited in what they can do this summer with free agents, essentially able only to sign guys with the mini taxpayers midlevel exception (around $3.2 million, the league has not set the official figures yet) and bring in minimum guys.

(The Knicks have J.R. Smith’s early Bird rights, meaning they can offer a contract just above the league average salary, likely around $5.5 million, for at least two and as many as four years. If another team came over the top with a larger offer, the Knicks could not match. However, Smith has said he wants to stay a Knick and New York wants him back).

Chris Smith recently switched agents over to CAA, his brother’s firm. J.R. might like to have his brother on the team, and CAA might push it, but it sounds like that is not going to happen.

Chris, of course, doesn’t see it that way.

Kobe Bryant says his age 37 is not like Michael Jordan’s age 37

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Once again, Kobe Bryant‘s career arc is being compared to Michael Jordan’s.

There’s a lot of reason’s that’s flawed — starting with Kobe being drafted on to a Lakers team that had Shaquille O’Neal and was already considered NBA elite, as opposed to Jordan working to build a franchise up. That said, Kobe has invited the Jordan comparison at times and it has been a constant through is career. Fair or not.

Kobe is coming back this fall after seasons of injury to the NBA and those comparisons continue — now to the Wizards’ version of Jordan. And Kobe is not at all fond of that, as he told Sam Amick of the USA Today.

“This is uncharted territory,” he said. “My 37 (years old) isn’t MJ’s 37 (when he returned after taking two seasons off to play for the Washington Wizards), you know what I mean? Nor is it the same team or the same system that he was playing in. It’s much, much different. There’s really no barometer, no (precedent) for training physically, for recovery. It’s uncharted territory.”

Kobe is right. Jordan had four+ seasons off by the time he was 37 and was not coming off multiple major surgeries.

Kobe is entering his 20th NBA season and what any real basketball fan should wish for him is health. Let him play one full season (with limited minutes and nights off), let him get to the final game of this season next April and make his own decision on his future. Let him leave the game on his own terms.

That said, if Kobe can average Jordan’s numbers at that age — 22.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game — it will be a major accomplishment, and the Lakers will have a better record than many of us expect.

And Kobe may want to play a 21st season as well.

Celtics ease to 124-91 win at Olimpia Milano in Global Games

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MILAN (AP) — The Boston Celtics eased to a 124-91 victory over Olimpia Milano at the Mediolanum Forum on Tuesday, comfortably winning the first of a double-header in Europe as part of the NBA Global Games.

Isaiah Thomas led the way for the Celtics with 18 points, including nine in his first seven minutes after coming off the bench midway through the first quarter.

Jared Sullinger added 14 points, as did Avery Bradley, who also had four three-pointers, while David Lee weighed in with 13 as well as seven rebounds and three assists.

Alessandro Gentile – who is reportedly wanted by the Houston Rockets, who hold NBA rights to the 22-year-old – top scored for Milano, with 19 points.

Next up for the Celtics is Real Madrid in Spain on Thursday.