Carmelo Anthony says All-Star weekend a chance to decompress, not recruit

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I know this ruins a lot of conspiracy theories — and the Internet loves a conspiracy (did you know the Illuminati Controls the Red Cross?) — but when NBA players get together this weekend for the All-Star Game in New Orleans they are not spending time plotting their next free agent moves together.

Not even close. They may have casual discussions while in the VIP area of a club you can’t access, but the conversation more like you and your buddies sitting around watching football and saying, “we should totally go skiing in Aspen together next year.” There’s a slim chance you get it together and pull the trip off, but most likely that comment is as far as it goes.

Don’t take my word for it, listen to Carmelo Anthony. He can be a free agent and the New York Post asked if All-Star Weekend is like a college recruiting trip.

“I think All-Star weekend is just a time where you can relax, decompress, kind of reflect on the first half of the season and gear up for the second half of the season,” Anthony said, noting tales of recruiting “as always, as always” are blown out of proportion. “As far as recruiting and things like that, that never happens.”

“A lot of guys — especially the people I call friends, the people I talk to — it’s more making sure I’m all right, making sure I’m keeping my head up, making sure I’m staying positive,” said Anthony who takes his 27.1-point, second-best NBA scoring average against Sacramento in the Knicks’ pre-All-Star finale Wednesday at the Garden. “It’s not, ‘Whatcha gonna do?’ or ‘You should do this or you should do that.’ It’s more just being there during this time.”

Players talk all the time — about what it’s like playing for a team or a city, or about agents, or about women, or about a lot of other things. Sure, some of that is “hey, we should try to play together” but at the end of the day they will play where they can make the most money, feel the most comfortable and can win. If that works out with guys they like, great.

But sorry, there just is no great conspiracy going on behind your back with player movement. So you guys in the tin foil hats can return to focusing on how even retired David Stern will control the referees and the outcomes of playoff games. Obviously, Stern is high up in the Illuminati.

Jazz boost international bona fides with new minor-league coach

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.

Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.

Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.

Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.

The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.

Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 with Celtics

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BOSTON (AP) — Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.

The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.

In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.

 

PBT Extra: Cavaliers’ new GM aces first big test with Kyrie Irving trade

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Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.

New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.

That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.

First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.

Cavaliers-Celtics deal first offseason trade involving players who just met in NBA Finals or conference finals

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The Cavaliers and Celtics played in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. The teams were widely expected to meet there again.

Yet, Cleveland and Boston just completed a blockbuster trade – Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

That seemed odd.

In fact, it’s unprecedented.

That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron Jamescachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.

Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.