New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony reacts after hitting a three-point shot against the Boston Celtics in the first quarter of Game 1 of their NBA Eastern Conference Quarterfinals basketball playoff series in New York

Carmelo Anthony says his window is closing, wants to bring the Knicks a championsip

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In advance of Carmelo Anthony’s ability to opt out of his contract next summer and become an unrestricted free agent, he’s going to get asked a lot of different questions that are aimed at getting a response that will clue us in to what his future plans may be.

This continued on Saturday, when Anthony spoke to reporters while attending his camp for children at Queens College.

The topic of free agency was quickly shot down by Anthony, who responded that he was focused on today and would deal with it when the time comes.

But after playing 10 NBA seasons, the thought of a championship seems more at the forefront of Anthony’s thoughts, and if he’s serious about earning one before it’s all said and done, that could obviously affect his free agent decision.

From Marc Berman of the New York Post:

“My window is closing,’’ Anthony told the campers. “I’m trying to bring a championship to New York ASAP.’’

Later on, Anthony specified he was not referring to his window closing as a Knick. He has an opt-out clause after this season but said he honestly hasn’t given it a minute’s thought on what he will do.

Anthony is nowhere near retirement, and if he is as committed to New York as he’s seemed to be since forcing his way there in a trade from the Nuggets in 2011, he could still re-up there with a new deal before going ring-chasing with another franchise in the final years of his career.

It’s worth noting, though, that while the Knicks finished the regular season with the second best record in the Eastern Conference, most aren’t picking them to be any higher than fourth next year behind an improved Pacers team, a Bulls squad that is expected to return Derrick Rose, and of course, the two-time defending champion Heat.

If a championship is what Anthony is after, then you could make the case that leaving New York could give him a more immediate shot to do that. But like all of these remarks, it’s silly to try to read too much into any one statement — considering that even Anthony himself has no idea what he’ll feel like doing at the end of next season.

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.

Russell Westbrook: ‘Don’t say what’s up to that b— a—’ (video)

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Did Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant talk during the Warriors’ win over the Thunder last night? Westbrook said no, though video and first-hand accounts indicate otherwise.

Even more clearly: Westbrook – who walked near teammates Enes Kanter, Anthony Morrow and Jerami Grant – didn’t want someone talking to someone as they left the floor after the game. ESPN caught Westbrook saying, “Don’t say what’s up to that b— a—.”

You will never convince anyone Westbrook is referring to anyone but Durant.

Russell Westbrook commits epic travel (video)

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Between getting laid out by Zaza Pachulia and apparently talking with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook committed a travel for the ages.

The Thunder guard took an inbound pass against the Warriors and just started walking up court without dribbling. The violation was so blatant, NBA officials even called the travel.

And it’s not as if they’re inclined to blow a whistle in that situation. Before Westbrook, Kemba Walker set a high bar last season, but he got away with this walk:

Are Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant on speaking terms after apparent conversation? Westbrook: ‘Nah’ (video)

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Russell Westbrook deleted Kevin Durant‘s goodbye text and, months later, told the whole world they still hadn’t talked.

That apparently changed during the Warriors’ win over the Thunder yesterday – though not if you ask Westbrook.

Westbrook dunked in the third quarter, and according to ESPN commentator Mark Jackson, Westbrook told Durant, “Don’t jump.” Anthony Slater of The Mercury News also wrote of the same quote.

ESPN’s telecast caught Durant clearly speaking to Westbrook shortly after. It appears Westbrook is talking back, but his back is to the camera.

After the game, Westbrook denied the exchange:

 

  • Reporter: “Are you and KD on speaking terms?”
  • Westbrook: “Nah.”
  • Reporter: “You guys had a little exchange in the third quarter.”
  • Westbrook: “What exchange?”
  • Reporter: “You and KD said something to each other.”
  • Westbrook: “Oh. You gotta maybe sit closer to the game. You maybe didn’t see clearly.”

This is so Westbrook – stubborn to the point of denying reality.

That approach worked for him when everyone rightly told him he was a significantly lesser player than Durant. Westbrook ignored that fact until it became false.

I suspect he wants to forget this exchange so he can maintain a cold animosity toward someone he prefers to resent.