Indiana Pacers v New York Knicks - Game Five

Carmelo Anthony expects the Knicks to be better than they were last year


The Knicks had a great regular season in 2013, finishing with the second-best record in the East behind only the defending champion Miami Heat.

Carmelo Anthony leading the league in scoring was a big part of that, as was J.R. Smith putting together a season worthy of him bringing home the league’s Sixth Man of the Year honor.

But despite the competition stiffening this offseason, the Knicks star believes that his team will be even better next season.

From Marc Berman of the New York Post:

“We were the top two seed last year,’’ Anthony said. “I think nobody expected that. This year we expect to do the same thing. I actually see this team be better than last year’s team. I won’t get into all the details [why]. But we feel that. We feel we have improved as a unit.”

The Knicks went 54-28, winning the Atlantic Division, but petered out in the second round, losing in six games to the Pacers. The Knicks drafted Tim Hardaway Jr. and added Metta World Peace, Andrea Bargnani and point guard Beno Udrih. Their losses were Jason Kidd, Steve Novak and Marcus Camby, all three of whom barely played in the playoffs. Still, some are predicting the Knicks to drop to fifth in the East.

Those who are expecting a drop off for the Knicks next year are doing so largely based on what’s going on with other teams, as opposed to focusing on whether New York improved, stayed the same, or got worse from a talent perspective.

Most expect the Heat to be near the top of the Conference once again, and the Pacers, coming off of a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals, added depth to their bench which (along with that experience) have many favoring them to make a regular season leap this season.

Then there are the Bulls, who expect to have Derrick Rose ready for the first day of training camp. His addition alone would appear to make Chicago formidable all season long.

Finally, we have the Nets, who added Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to round out what will now be a stacked starting five along with Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and Brook Lopez.

The way the others in the East’s upper echelon bulked up, the Knicks are going to have their hands full. Anthony’s comments aren’t a surprise, but he may have a tougher time than he did a season ago in leading his team to as high as a two-seed for the second straight season.

Sacramento Kings documentary airing delayed over Kevin Johnson sexual-assault allegations

Kevin Johnson
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ESPN planned to air a documentary Oct. 20 on Sacramento keeping the Kings. Presumably, Sacramento mayor and former NBA player Kevin Johnson would have been a hero in the film.

Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated:

In light of recent articles revisiting allegations of sexual misconduct involving Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, ESPN has decided to delay its on-the-air premiere of Down In The Valley, a 30 for 30 ESPN Film that focuses on the fight to keep the Sacramento Kings from relocating to another city.

Deitsch is referring to an article by Dave McKenna of Deadspin, in which Mandi Koba described how Johnson – then a star point guard for the Suns – sexually assaulted her as a 16-year-old in 1996. Deadspin also posted video of her detailing the abuse to police at the time:

This is all obviously troubling. One concern is why this is getting attention only now. The Phoenix New Times covered these allegations in 1997. 1997! Other than Koba going on the record in the media, what has changed? As a society, we are too reluctant to believe potential victims of sexual assault. This is not a court of law. There might not be ample evidence to find Johnson committed a crime beyond reasonable doubt. But if we’re troubled by the allegations now, we should have been troubled for the last 18 years.

Johnson, who maintained a sterling public image despite the New Times reports, was later investigated for “inappropriate sexual conduct” of multiple students at St. HOPE Academy – again detailed by McKenna.

McKenna has also covered Johnson using public money toward private ends, using private employees to do quasi-public work, trying to keep his private emails public and dissolving a historic black mayors group.

C.J. McCollum ejected for flagrantly fouling Gordon Hayward (video)

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I’m not sure C.J. McCollum meant to grab Gordon Hayward‘s neck. The 6-foot-8 Hayward elevated, and the 6-foot-4 McCollum just might not have been able to get high enough to make a play on the ball.

But McCollum did grab Hayward’s neck.

It was a dangerous and unnecessary play, especially in the preseason.