2014 NBA Draft

Jabari Parker already regrets declaring himself a Buck for life, still very happy with Milwaukee


BROOKLYN – No NBA team as gone longer without an All-Star than the Milwaukee Bucks, who sent Michael Redd to the 2004 mid-winter classic. In fact, when writing about All-Star droughts, I initially forgot about Milwaukee even exissted.

The Bucks are the NBA’s most-anonymous team, rarely contending and rarely tanking. Their 15-67 season was an accident, a product of failed attempts to remain mediocre. Milwaukee maintains a national spotlight only when other cities – lately, Seattle – try to poach them.

So, it must have seemed like manna from heaven to Bucks fans when Jabari Parker indicated he wanted to land in Milwaukee.

Fed a steady diet of beer, bratwurst and cheese, this dream grew and grew and eventually turned into reality.

Not only did the Bucks draft Parker No. 2 overall Thursday, he practically declared himself a Buck for life.

“I’m trying to be a throwback player, only stick with one team,” Parker said.

The joy lasted only a second before Parker backtracked.

“That might bite me in the butt years from now,” Parker said. “But right now, I just want to stick with whoever’s rolling with me.”

A Buck for life for tonight.

Still, Parker emphasized his passion for Milwaukee.

He name-dropped Lew Alcindor and Sam Cassell. He said he’d pour his heart into the team. And he expressed appreciation for his new city’s proximity to his native Chicago.

“I get to enjoy that Great Lake water again,” Parker said.

Parker is drinking the water, just not the Kool-Aid – at least not fully, not yet.

It’s never that easy for the Bucks.

Carmelo Anthony says he can play at high level 4-5 more years

USA Basketball Men's National Team Training Camp

Carmelo Anthony can flat-out score the rock — that has never been the question. Even hurting last season for many of the 40 games he played, he averaged 24.2 points a game, had a true shooting percentage of 53.1 percent (right near the league average) while having the entire weight of the Knicks offense on his shoulders (32.2 usage rate, fifth highest in the NBA). When people (or players) talk about him being overrated, the discussion turns to defense or if he makes his teammates better. But there should be no doubt Anthony is an elite scorer.

He thinks he will be for a while longer — like another five years. Via Ian Begley of ESPN:

In fact, the 31-year-old Knicks star is confident that he can play at a high level for the next “four or five years.”

“Without a doubt. Without a doubt,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ final training camp practice on Saturday.

The Knicks better hope that’s true, they already made that bet with that massive five-year contract they gave him last summer.

Anthony’s age combined with him coming off knee surgery have a lot of people — myself included — expecting him to take a step back. Not a big one, but he is coming up at the point in his career where some open shots he used to get are now contested because he’s half-a-step slower, and some of those looks don’t fall as often. His jumper isn’t suddenly going to look like Rajon Rondo‘s, ‘Melo is going to get his points, but he may not be as efficient.

Fortunately, the Knicks have an improved supporting cast around him this season. That should take some offensive load off his shoulders, and maybe the Knicks offense will see better ball movement and start to resemble the triangle. If it’s just more isolation Anthony, it’s not going to be pretty.

Kings pick up option on G Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore, Rodney Hood
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.

General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.

McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.