Cleveland Cavaliers v New York Knicks

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.

Kings GM Vlade Divac on Rudy Gay’s communication complaints: ‘He has my number’

Vlade Divac
AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli
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Rudy Gay complained about how the Kings are handling the trade rumors swirling around him.

Sacramento general manager Vlade Divac, via James Ham of CSN California:

“He has my number,” Divac told CSN California. “If I do something, I will call him. Obviously, if I didn’t call him, we didn’t do anything.”

“Look, I was a player, 16-17 years in the league, nobody called me everyday and tell me what management is doing,” Divac said. “Management was doing their job. If something big happened, they called and told me. Obviously, nothing big happened (so) I’m not going to call anybody.”

I suppose Divac can take that tack. He’s obviously not obligated to provide Gay regular updates.

But the Kings already have a reputation for putting their players in bleak positions. This doesn’t help.

Even if Divac feels calling Gay is going out of his way, so what? The alternative — Gay either coming to training camp unhappy or spreading word of Sacramento’s mistreatment of players to his new teammates after a trade — is far worse.

It’s not enough for Divac to just wait for Gay to call him — especially because Divac might not be as reliable with the phone as he thinks.

Union to fund health insurance for retired NBA players

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 23:  Professional basketball player Chris Paul commentates during the CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational Charity Bowling Tournament presented by GoBowling.com at Lucky Strike Lanes at L.A. Live on February 23, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for Professional Bowlers Association)
Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for Professional Bowlers Association
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The National Basketball Players Association has talked for more than a year about covering medical expenses for retired players.

Today, the union announced a formal plan.

NBPA release:

The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) announced today that its player representatives have voted unanimously to fund health insurance for all retired NBA players with at least three years of service in the league. This program is the first of its kind among North American professional sports. It also exemplifies the NBPA’s focus on the health and welfare of its current, retired and future members.

“The game has never before been more popular, and all the players in our league today recognize that we’re only in this position because of the hard work and dedication of the men who came before us,” said Chris Paul, NBPA President and nine-time All-Star. “It’s important that we take care of our entire extended NBA family, and I’m proud of my fellow players for taking this unprecedented step to ensure the health and well-being of our predecessors.”

The unanimous vote – which took place during the NBPA Summer Meeting in New York on June 26 – established a multi-faceted health insurance program through UnitedHealthcare, the country’s leading health benefits provider. The current proposal includes:

  • Retired players with between three and six years of NBA service time but who are not yet eligible for Medicare would be offered a plan that includes medical, hospital and prescription drug coverage with modest out-of-pocket costs for deductibles and co-pays;

  • Those with between seven and nine years of service would be offered the same coverage with even lower out-of-pocket costs;

  • Retired players with at least 10 years of service would be offered the same coverage as the seven-to-nine year players, and would include coverage for their entire family;

  • Retired players with three-nine years of service who are eligible for Medicare would be offered a $0 deductible and $0 co-pay plan along with a low-cost prescription drug plan; those with 10+ years of service to receive this coverage for themselves and their spouse.

  • The open enrollment period for retired players would begin this fall, with coverage beginning on January 1, 2017.

This is a good thing.

It also could become a bargaining point in Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations. Should current players face the entire burden of insuring retired players, or should owners split the cost? (The fact that the question is even being posed paints players in a positive light.)

But back to the bigger point: This is a good thing. It’ll help retired players who need it, retired players who helped position the current generation to afford this. Kudos to the union for stepping up.

Report: Bulls’ Cristiano Felicio ‘strong favorite’ to replace Anderson Varejao on Brazilian Olympic team

CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 19: Cristiano Felicio #6 of the Chicago Bulls looks to pass against the Toronto Raptors at the United Center on February 19, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Raptors 116-106. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using the photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
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Warriors center Anderson Varejao will miss the Rio Olympics due to a back injury.

Where will Team Brazil turn now?

Likely to Bulls center Cristiano Felicio.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Felicio came on strong late last season. He puts his 6-foot-10, 275-pound frame to good use protecting the paint and rebounding. He showed potential as passer and mid-range shooter, too.

At age 24, he’s a candidate to break out in the Olympics.

If he’s not ready, Brazil can turn to a steady veteran at center, Nene.

Report: Equipment staffer punched by Blake Griffin no longer works for Clippers

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin stands on the court as equipment manager Matias Testi, left, stands behind the bench during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016, in Los Angeles. Griffin broke his hand last month when he punched Testi in the face. The Clippers won 105-86. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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Blake Griffin broke his hand punching Clippers equipment manager Matias Testi in January.

Make that former Clippers equipment manager Matias Testi.

TMZ:

The L.A. Clippers equipment staffer who was punched in the face by Blake Griffin during a fight in Toronto earlier this year is off the team — and will NOT be back for the ’16/’17 season … TMZ Sports has learned.

We spoke with a rep for the Clippers who confirmed Matias Testi “no longer works for the team.”

#Family