Carmelo Anthony says family, living conditions to play a big role in his decision on next team

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Carmelo Anthony has opted out.

So now what?

Most of us (myself included) have a habit of looking at free agency as a basketball first decision. For Carmelo, does he want the money and spotlight of New York or can he surrender some of that to contend in Chicago? However, that is a two-dimensional view of a three dimensional person. Think about it this way: If you had a big job decision to make that could involve money and moving, you think you’re making that decision without it being mutual one made with your wife? (If you just answered yes, I hope you enjoy being single.) Family and lifestyle matter, they are components in all the decisions we make.

Anthony is no different. He sat down with Vice Sports (you can see more of the interview below) and talked about the role family plays in the decision.

“(The average fans) don’t take into consideration the family aspect of it. Your livelihood, where you gonna be living at. Do you want your kids to grow up in that place, in that city? Do I want to spend the rest of my career in that situation, in that city. So all of that stuff comes into play. My son goes to school, he loves it here (in New York), To take him out and take him somewhere else, he has to learn that system all over again, he has to get new friends, and I know how hard it was for me when I moved from New York to Baltimore at a young age….

“As far as basketball goes, it’s hard to just say ‘I’m gonna go here’ or ‘I’m gonna make this decision or do that,’ because everybody’s affected by that. And the average person is looking at it as next year. Like it’s just one year. ‘Next year you win a championship if you go here.’ We’re looking at the big picture here now. We’re looking at the next six-to-eight years of your career, the end of your career at that. So do you want to spend that much time in that place?”

In the interview Anthony talks about spending part of his youth in Red Hook as a Knicks fan and how much he felt New York was a place he could grow as a player — and how hard it is to leave.

“I came from a smaller market in Denver, not so much scrutiny. The scrutiny is tabloids, it’s media, it’s everywhere — it’s not like the level it is here in New York. Playing in a smaller market you could only go so high, as far as individual players go, you reach that max. You can only do so much and you reach that point in your life when you gotta look for something else — a bigger stand, a bigger stage, a bigger market.”

And yes, he’d like to be consulted on player personnel moves.

“As far as player personnel, I would love to be involved in that because at the end of the day you’re creating a family. I mean you can’t create a bond with somebody that’s not going to fit in with you, not going to be there when you need him the most, and don’t understand the game and how to win and situations in the game…

“As much as it’s about having superstars on your team, you got to have your soldiers, guys who will go out there and put your life on the line for you.”

I never like war analogy for sports, it’s not actually life and death. But you get Anthony’s point. And if he wants the team to be like a family, that matters as he looks at Chicago, Houston and his other options.

2017 NBA playoffs have been historically uncompetitive

AP Photo/Elise Amendola
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The NBA Finals so many wanted to see – Cavaliers-Warriors III – is here.

At least it will be.

Today is the first of six off days before the 2017, which begin June 1 in Oakland.

The lengthy delay is the product of an underwhelming postseason featuring few competitive series and numerous blowouts.

Golden State swept its way through the West, and Cleveland dropped only one game (to the Celtics in the conference finals) while winning the East. There have been only two Game 7s, but considering the magnitude, neither felt that compelling. Blake Griffin‘s injury undercut the Clippers against the Jazz, and Celtics over Wizards felt inevitable with home teams winning each game of the series. Between, there have been several lackluster games and series.

There have been just 74 playoff games this year – the fewest before the Finals since since the NBA instituted a best-of-seven first round in 2003:

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That’s 74 of a possible 98 games – 76%, the lowest since 1999 and seventh-lowest ever.

Even if the Finals go seven games, it will be the fewest games in a postseason since 2007. If the Finals go five or fewer games, it’ll be the shortest postseason in this playoff format.

And it hasn’t just been quantity. The quality of games has been lacking, too.

Though there were more blowouts last year by nearly any measure, the 2017 postseason’s average margin in pre-Finals games (13.5) is fifth-highest all-time and second-highest since 1959 (behind 2016, 14.2).

Combine the two factors, and these are the drabbest playoffs in nearly 50 years. Here’s each postseason plotted by average margin in pre-Finals games and percentage of possible games pre-Finals:

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This probably just confirms what you’ve seen: The 2017 playoffs have been in a rut.

We’re all counting on the Cavaliers and Warriors to salvage this postseason, but considering how deep the hole is, anything less than an epic Finals probably won’t cut it.

Kyrie Irving crosses over Avery Bradley, hits 3-pointer (video)

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Avery Bradley got around one screen then, thanks to Kyrie Irving‘s excellent ball-handling, lunged at another that wasn’t coming as Irving hit a 3-pointer.

LeBron James beautifully pass-fakes, makes layup in transition (video)

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LeBron James is a treasure.

Shaquille O’Neal’s big toe is seriously jacked up (PHOTO)

shaq o'neal
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Remember how we we all freaked out when we saw pictures of LeBron James‘ feet back in 2013?

You probably didn’t want to be reminded that it existed, but it does. Still. And apparently jacked up feet is the consequence of a lifetime of playing professional basketball. Once can only assume it has something to do with tight shoes and constant, hard changes of direction in said tight shoes.

We got yet another vision of what basketball shoes can do to feet on Thursday when TNT analyst Shaquille O’Neal showed off his, er, little piggies.

Much to the horror of the Internet in general, it was Shaq’s right big toe that took social media by storm. Mostly because it’s not even close to pointing in the right direction.

I’m going to show you what it looks like. Be forewarned, it might just be NSFL.

Via Twitter:

Oh. Oh … why?

Social media reacted appropriately and proportionately:

Shaq did have issues with that toe during the course of his career, and at one point it was so bad that he had to have surgery to remove bone spurs from the toe in 2002.

That still doesn’t explain why it’s all over your TV and the Internet, but here we are. I am sorry.