Bernard King

Bernard King sees similarities in Carmelo Anthony’s game


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — After a long wait, Bernard King will be officially enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sunday afternoon at Springfield’s Symphony Hall.

King was a four-time NBA All-Star, a two time NBA first team selection and was a scoring champion in 1985, averaging 32.9 points per game for the New York Knicks. However, towards the end of the 1984-85 season King torn his ACL in his right knee, which became a problem that plagued the career of the gifted scorer.

Based on recent events, it’s easy to compare King to a player like Tracy McGrady, who officially retired on Aug. 27. McGrady, a talented scorer in his own right saw the prime of his career cut short due to injuries. McGrady will likely, and should be inducted into the Hall of Fame one day, but in the eyes of King, battling through injuries and having a spot in the Hall of Fame are the only similarities the two former scoring champions share.

“Unfortunately a lot of guys have had injuries, but in terms of our games, the way we played the game on the court is totally opposite … no similarities there,” King told reporters at Saturday’s press conference at the Hall of Fame.

“He was more like [George] Gervin.”

King doesn’t have to look far when looking for a current NBA star that resembles his game.

“I would say the one player would be Carmelo Anthony. The great Carmelo Anthony,” King reiterated after a reporter asked him to repeat the answer.

King and Anthony had an odd controversy pop up during the playoffs in May, regarding tweets King did or didn’t send from his now-deleted Twitter account, but the two Knick small forwards have great respect for one another.

Anthony has said publicly, and has told King personally, that he would watch King’s tapes growing up, trying to replicate King’s moves.

“I see the similarities in there when I watch him play, particularly when he raises the ball over his head,” King noted. “That’s something I did every night.”

Another large parallel between the two Brooklyn-born ballers is playing in the spotlight that is Madison Square Garden.

“I don’t think a lot of people really comprehend what it takes to perform every single night in a place like New York,” King said. “To do it in a place like New York City, in my mind at least, is unlike doing it anywhere else in the NBA circle because of the pressure that exists in a city like New York.

“The fans know the game, and the expectations are so high. And Carmelo is able to do it every single night; night in and night out.”

While Carmelo gears up for another season trying to live up to the pressures in NYC inside the World’s Most Famous Arena, King gets to enjoy watching Anthony emulate his old moves as a newly enshrined member of the Basketball Hall of Fame.

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Kobe Bryant went from DeMar DeRozan’s idol to his friend

Kobe Bryant, DeMar DeRozan
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TORONTO (AP) — DeMar DeRozan was 16 when he was invited to Kobe Bryant‘s camp for the top 25 American high school shooting guards.

A friendship grew between the youngster who would become an All-Star for the Toronto Raptors and the player who would become the third-leading scorer in NBA history.

DeRozan talked at length Sunday night about Bryant, who announced on The Players’ Tribune that he’ll retire after the season, capping a 20-year NBA career.

“The knowledge that he tended to give me every time I got the chance to be around him, especially at a young age, carrying over to the league, it was definitely an honor,” DeRozan said after the Raptors’ 107-102 loss Sunday night to Phoenix. “I tried to listen as much as possible, soak in as much as I could all of the time. It’s crazy how much time flies.”

Bryant was DeRozan’s favorite player while growing up in Compton, Calif.

“I’ve tried to emulate and learn so much from him ever since I was a kid, watching every single game growing up in Los Angeles, having a chance to get with him and learn from him, from conversations even when I was in high school from playing against him, completing against him, being in big games with him,” said DeRozan, who scored 29 points in Sunday’s loss. “It’s definitely a sad, sad day, but he’s been in the game a long time.”

Bryant’s announcement came just before the Lakers’ game against the visiting Indiana Pacers. Fans at the game received a letter of thanks from the 37-year-old player in a black envelope embossed with gold.

Bryant has struggled mightily with injuries the past several years, and is shooting a career-worst 32 percent this season.

“It don’t matter. That man has five rings, 17 all-stars, MVP,” DeRozan said. “There’s nothing he hasn’t done. It’s just father time catching up with him, injuries catching up with him this past year. People will appreciate it when he’s away from the game.”

DeRozan has his favorite Kobe memory – Bryant scoring 81 points against Toronto in 2006. DeRozan, who would join the Raptors as a rookie three years later, said he felt as if he was playing a video game watching the high-scoring spectacle unfold on TV.

DeRozan is in his seventh season with Toronto. He can’t imagine playing 20 years.

“Especially playing at a high level, doing the things he was doing … people don’t understand how hard that is,” DeRozan said. “Even now, a lot of us find ourselves tired (on) back-to-backs. It’s tough. It’s really tough. To do it 20 years at a high level, you have to give that man every credit in the world.”

Hornets’ Al Jefferson out 2-3 weeks with strained calf

Al Jefferson
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The Hornets have been playing well of late, going 7-3 in their last 10 and outscoring opponents by 6.3 points per 100 possessions. They are solidly in the playoff picture out East, in the six slot right now.

This is not going to help matters.

The team announced that an MRI confirmed center Al Jefferson will be out two to three weeks with a strained left calf muscle, suffered during Charlotte’s 87-82 win over Milwaukee on Sunday.

Jefferson missing a few weeks due to injury at some point during the season is an annual event, like the Rose Parade or the Head of the Charles Regatta — but this year the Hornets are better prepared to deal with it. This is the deepest Charlotte team in recent memory.

Tyler Hansbrough, Cody Zeller, and Frank Kaminsky will get more run — plus Spencer Hawes may be back in the rotation — and if they can step up the Hornets will not slow down much.

This season the Hornets defense has been downright stingy when Jefferson is on the bench, giving up 94.2 points per 100 possessions (which is 10 better than when he is on the court). However, the Hornet offense and rebounding efforts are stronger when he plays.

PBT Extra: How did Thunder, Pacers move up in PBT Power Rankings?

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As they do every Monday during the season, the PBT Power Rankings came out and while the top three remained the same there were some climbers.

Specifically, the Thunder at No. 4 and the Pacers at No. 5.

Why they are there is the latest PBT Extra topic with Jenna Corrado. The simple answer is they are both excellent teams. Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Paul George are all playing like Top 10 players.

PBT Podcast: We’re back talking Kobe, 76ers, Warriors, Pistons, more

Kobe Bryant
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The ProBasketballTalk NBA podcast is back.

Sure we’re a month into the season, but we’re going to get this podcast rolling again and you can expect us on each Monday and Thursday, with a variety of guests talking everything around the NBA.

Today NBC’s own Dan Feldman joins Kurt Helin to talk Kobe Bryant‘s retirement announcement, and what that means both for the Lakers going forward this season and beyond, but also what that could mean for Byron Scott’s future as the Lakers’ coach.

We also delve into the “showdown” between the Lakers and Sixers on Thursday, talk about the job Brett Brown is doing there as coach (a good one), we talk some Warriors, some Draymond Green, Pistons, Spurs and Pacers to round it all out.

Listen to the podcast below or you can listen and subscribe via iTunes.