They can ignore the questions, but this storyline will not go away.
Pretty much every time Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James step in front of television cameras and reporters this season they are going to be asked about free agency this summer. Both can and likely will opt out of their deals and become free agents, and both will get asked questions about their plans hundreds of different ways over the course of the season.
On media day both had to step up to the podium for press conferences, and both LeBron and Carmelo dodged the questions.
Both LeBron and Carmelo have used the “we’re not going to talk about it” system in the past to limited success, but it seems to be the go-to play.
The fact is they are two of the biggest names in the game and there are a lot of fan bases that want their teams to go hard at these guys next summer. Smart money is on both of them staying put, but there are only a handful of genuine franchise players out there and if you think you have a shot at one you have to make a run at them.
And that makes for a story that does not go away.
So far, the only substantive accounts of the Matt Barnes-Derek Fisher altercation have come from anonymous sources.
The Knicks coach has deflected questions.
But Barnes is giving his account, at least of the lead-up.
Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:
It’s completely understandable that Barnes would act to ensure his children’s welfare.
And let’s say everything he said is true. It still leaves important questions unanswered.
Did Barnes – as he reportedly texted a friend he did – beat up Fisher and spit on his estranged wife, Gloria Govan? If so, why did Barnes deem that necessary to protect kids?
Gregg Popovich said he wouldn’t coach in July.
Apparently, he’s taking off part of October, too.
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:
It’s not that surprising to see Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Boris Diaw staying home. Veterans miss preseason games all the time just to rest. With the Spurs, it happens even in the regular season.
But it’s still a little strange to see the head coach sit out, even though Popovich also did it last year.
It makes sense, though. Who cares about this preseason game? If travelling less helps the 66-year-old Popovich stay fresh in the years ahead, that’s well worth it. Plus, it gets Messina a little extra experience. Some day, he might be the head coach.