Denver Nuggets v New York Knicks

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


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.

Nick Young wears Gilbert Arenas’ old shoes during game (PHOTO)

Nick Young, Devin Harris
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In a disastrous Lakers season, one thing can be counted on (besides Byron Scott saying absurd things about Kobe Bryant): Nick Young will always be able to lighten the mood. He brought some levity to the Lakers’ blowout loss to the Warriors on Tuesday night with a blast from the past: a pair of gold shoes formerly worn by his ex-Wizards teammate Gilbert Arenas.

These shoes, like Swaggy, and like Gilbert before the injuries and the guns, are awesome and should be celebrated.

Blake Griffin hits acrobatic three-pointer to beat the shot clock (VIDEO)

Blake Griffin
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During the third quarter of the Clippers’ Tuesday night win over the Nuggets, Blake Griffin had some SportsCenter-worthy acrobatics that had nothing to do with dunking. He caught a ball in the air behind the three-point line as the shot clock expired and sank this buzzer-beater:

It was just his third made three of the season.

Report: Hornets sign head coach Steve Clifford to three-year extension

Steve Clifford
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With the Hornets fighting for one of the last playoff spots in the Eastern Conference, head coach Steve Clifford’s future with the team has been a mystery hanging over their heads. Clifford, in his third year with the team, was set to become a free agent after this season. Not anymore. Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports that the Hornets have signed Clifford to a contract extension that will keep him in town through the 2018-19 season:

The Charlotte Hornets and coach Steve Clifford have come to an agreement on a multi-year extension, the Observer has learned.

The deal includes a three-year guarantee that would keep Clifford in his current role through the 2018-19 season.

In Clifford’s first year with the Hornets (then the Bobcats) in 2013-14, they made the playoffs for just the second time in franchise history. This season, they’re off to an 8-6 start despite losing Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to a season-ending shoulder injury during the preseason.
With several teams potentially having openings this summer, it was smart of the Hornets to keep Clifford off the market.

Griffin, Jordan each score 18, Clippers beat Nuggets 111-94

Blake Griffin
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DENVER (AP) Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan each scored 18 points and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Denver Nuggets 111-94 on Tuesday night to snap a three-game losing streak.

Jordan finished with 11 rebounds and four blocks, while Griffin had 10 rebounds. Chris Paul had 15 points and 10 assists to give the Clippers (7-7) three players with double-doubles.

The Clippers, who hadn’t been under .500 this far into a season under Doc Rivers, made eight 3-pointers after coming into the game at 31.3 percent.

The Clippers hit their first four shots from deep, missed their next seven but found the stroke again when Jamal Crawford hit a halfcourt shot to give them an 83-72 lead at the end of the third.

Danilo Gallinari led Denver with 20 points and had a career-high 18 rebounds.

Crawford scored the Clippers’ first seven points of the fourth quarter to push the lead to 90-76. He finished with 15 points.

Denver started fouling Jordan, and the center was just 7 of 16 from the line in the fourth, but Denver couldn’t hit enough shots to close the gap.

His dunk on a lob from Paul gave the Clippers a 110-93 lead.

Griffin was struggling from the field until he hit a 3-pointer to beat the shot clock midway through the third. He hit two more shots and fed Jordan for a dunk to give the Clippers a 73-62 lead.

Rookie Nikola Jokic had 16 points and Gary Harris scored 14 for the Nuggets, who have lost four straight and fell to 3-5 at home.


Clippers: J.J. Redick had 16 points. … Griffin reached double digits in rebounds for the first time in seven games. He averaged 6.5 boards in his previous six games. … The Clippers were outrebounded for the 12th time in 14 games. They are 5-7 when that happens.

Nuggets: All of Gallinari’s rebounds came on the defensive end. … F Kenneth Faried missed his second straight game with a sprained left ankle. With C Joffrey Lauvergne (low back strain) also out, the Nuggets were down to 11 players. … Mike Miller made a rare first-half appearance and gave the Nuggets a jolt with two 3-pointers in seven minutes off the bench. He finished with nine points.


Clippers: Host Utah on Wednesday night.

Nuggets: Host San Antonio on Friday night.