Toronto Raptors v Los Angeles Lakers

Lakers’ Nick Young perfectly fine with Heat shooters not liking Christmas unis


LeBron James said the Miami Heat shooters are not fond of the NBA’s sleeved Christmas Day special uniforms.

Miami travels to Los Angeles for its Christmas Day matchup and Lakers gunner Nick Young is just fine with the Heat not liking the jersey. Look what he told Dave McMenamin of, via Sulia.

“We’re going to see,” Nick Young said after the Lakers’ 127-90 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Monday. “I hope his shooters is messing up. I hope Ray Allen ain’t making shots. Right? So, I hope (LeBron James) is worried.”

The NBA set up the Heat/Lakers Christmas Day game as a showdown between two of its biggest stars — LeBron vs. Kobe Bryant. However a fracture to his left knee will sideline Kobe for this game.

Which means the nation will get introduced to Swaggy P (Young’s nickname). He is a fearless gunner, a guy that never met a shot he didn’t like, the kind of player that fans love and who can get hot, but the kind of player that gives coaches ulcers.

Young is pumped for the Sunday showcase game.

“I know we should be pumped playing on Christmas, we’re at home,” Young said. “It’s my first time playing on Christmas Day so I’m going to be pumped. We just got to have fun and enjoy it …

“Christmas Day should be fun. I think everybody is looking forward to that game. Like I said, it’s my first time playing on Christmas Day. I’m ready for my new uniform and I got some new shoes to go with it.”

We’ll see if Santa brings Lakers fans a good game from their ragtag group, or if it’s another lump of coal.

Carmelo Anthony says he can play at high level 4-5 more years

USA Basketball Men's National Team Training Camp

Carmelo Anthony can flat-out score the rock — that has never been the question. Even hurting last season for many of the 40 games he played, he averaged 24.2 points a game, had a true shooting percentage of 53.1 percent (right near the league average) while having the entire weight of the Knicks offense on his shoulders (32.2 usage rate, fifth highest in the NBA). When people (or players) talk about him being overrated, the discussion turns to defense or if he makes his teammates better. But there should be no doubt Anthony is an elite scorer.

He thinks he will be for a while longer — like another five years. Via Ian Begley of ESPN:

In fact, the 31-year-old Knicks star is confident that he can play at a high level for the next “four or five years.”

“Without a doubt. Without a doubt,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ final training camp practice on Saturday.

The Knicks better hope that’s true, they already made that bet with that massive five-year contract they gave him last summer.

Anthony’s age combined with him coming off knee surgery have a lot of people — myself included — expecting him to take a step back. Not a big one, but he is coming up at the point in his career where some open shots he used to get are now contested because he’s half-a-step slower, and some of those looks don’t fall as often. His jumper isn’t suddenly going to look like Rajon Rondo‘s, ‘Melo is going to get his points, but he may not be as efficient.

Fortunately, the Knicks have an improved supporting cast around him this season. That should take some offensive load off his shoulders, and maybe the Knicks offense will see better ball movement and start to resemble the triangle. If it’s just more isolation Anthony, it’s not going to be pretty.

Kings pick up option on G Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore, Rodney Hood
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.

General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.

McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.