Carmelo Anthony confirms Phil Jackson “will be coming on board” with Knicks

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It’s the NBA — you keep your star players in the loop, you consult with them on big moves, if for no other reason then to make them feel wanted. Elite talent is in limited supply in the NBA, you need to keep those guys happy.

So it was only a matter of time before the Knicks management talked to Carmelo Anthony about bringing in Phil Jackson as team president/consultant/overlord (not quite sure how you define his role). Anthony confirmed that Jackson is coming on board, as quoted by the New York Daily News on Wednesday.

“I still don’t have a lot of the details, all the details. Have I heard? Yeah, I heard he will be coming on board, not official yet,” Anthony said. “You can always use Phil Jackson inside an organization, his philosophy, his mindset, his resume, what he brings to a team, what he brings to an organization. That goes without even saying, so we’ll see how that plays out.

“You can’t take for granted what he knows about the game of basketball, whether he’s on the sideline or in the front office. I’m sure he will try to his best to do what he has to do to try to build a championship team. He knows how to put guys together, put a team together. We’ll see what happens, but I haven’t talked to him, haven’t talked to anyone about the front office about their plans or anything like that.”

Does this help Carmelo Anthony stay with the Knicks? Can’t hurt, although ‘Melo seemed to shrug at the impact.

There are a lot of questions about Jackson to New York. A lot of hard ones. Exactly what is the power structure? Because you know Jackson isn’t flying around the country to scout college players or getting into the details of the salary cap holds — he wants to provide the vision, have others execute the details. Does he have guys around him he can trust to do that well? Is Steve Kerr the next coach of the Knicks? Can Jackson follow the Knicks credo of never speaking to media (and by proxy fans)? And of course the big one, what happens when James Dolan sticks his nose in the middle of all of it? Because he will.

This Jackson with the Knicks era will ultimately end poorly with Jackson writing another book. Because nothing ends well with Dolan and the Knicks.

But if he has success before it all goes bad will depend on just how good he actually is at this job (we don’t know), the people around him helping, and if Dolan will stay out of the way.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?

Hawks’ DeAndre’ Bembry out with fractured wrist

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In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.

But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.

Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.

“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”

 

Danny Ainge says Celtics will apply for Disabled Player Exception

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It’s not likely Gordon Hayward returns this season. His agent said as much, although a return in March is not out of the question. (It’s better PR wise for the Celtics to say he is out for the season, then if he returns early great, it’s better than setting a deadline he doesn’t meet.)

With that, the Celtics are going to apply for the Disabled Player Exception, which could help them land a replacement player, Danny Ainge told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Globe on Friday the club is applying for the Disabled Player Exception, which would provide the Celtics $8.4 million to pursue a player to fill Hayward’s roster spot.

“We’re in the process of doing that,’’ Ainge said. “We have a while to do that. There’s no urgency, but we will apply for that.”

There are limits to what that money can get the Celtics. The money is the same as the mid-level exception, the Celtics can go over the cap to use it, and the player can be obtained via free agency or trade. However, the player must be in the last year of his contract.

It gives the Celtics options. It also does not mean Hayward cannot return, it only means NBA-approved doctors determined he is not likely to return before a mid-June deadline.