2010 NBA All Star Game

Report: Dwight Howard ‘badly’ wants Carmelo Anthony to join Rockets

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Carmelo Anthony had his first free agent meeting with the Bulls on Tuesday, a place that would seem to be at the top of his list if winning now while playing in one of the nation’s biggest markets is indeed the priority.

Next up is Houston, and while it doesn’t offer the same exposure as playing in New York or Chicago could provide, it does have two All-Star players firmly in place who could certainly help Anthony rack up plenty of victories.

One of those players is reportedly very interested in securing Anthony’s services.

From Ian Begley of ESPN New York:

Rockets stars Dwight Howard and James Harden are going to attend the Rockets’ meeting with Anthony, sources told ESPN.com’s Marc Stein.

Howard, according to sources, is eager to pitch Anthony on the Rockets. Sources say Howard was trying to track down Anthony’s cell phone number to contact him directly to make a pitch over the phone. It is unclear if the two connected, but Howard is believed to be enamored with the idea of playing alongside Anthony.

“He really wants to sell him on Houston,” a source with knowledge of Howard’s thinking said. “He wants Carmelo there badly.”

Houston already shed the contract of Omer Asik to begin to create some cap space, and reportedly, Jeremy Lin would be next to go should Anthony decide that the Rockets are truly his best option.

It’s just difficult to see how that would be the case.

The Rockets are doing the right thing by attempting to assemble a roster full of proven stars, but adding Anthony would be more like a fantasy basketball move than one that truly fits the team’s needs. Houston would have too many holes at other positions if it was able to create the cap space to sign Anthony to a four-year max deal that he would certainly require, and as badly as Howard may want to add an elite scorer to the roster, it’s tough to see Anthony choosing the Rockets over a Bulls team that’s more properly constructed, and better-suited to contend for a title with Anthony in place.

DeMarcus Cousins says Mavericks’ rumored interest flatters him, but he loves Kings

Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) receives a blow to the head from Dallas Mavericks' Dwight Powell as Cousins works to get to the basket in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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The Mavericks’ long-rumored interest in DeMarcus Cousins took its most direct public turn before the season, when Dallas signed Cousins’ brother, Jaleel Cousins. Jaleel is now on the Mavericks’ D-League affiliate, and I bet he will remain there as DeMarcus approaches 2018 free agency.

Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News:

So, DeMarcus Cousins, what do you think about the Mavericks’ long-rumored interest in acquiring you?

“It’s flattering,” Cousins told me, with a laugh, after the Kings’ Wednesday shootaround at AAC. Then, turning serious, he added of the Mavericks, “I respect them.”

“But,” I said, “I’ve also heard that you like it in Sacramento.”

“No,” Cousins corrected, “I love Sacramento.”

Cousins is getting good at this, toeing the line between appreciating another team’s interest and expressing his satisfaction with the Kings.

And give Cousins credit. He keeps producing at a star level for a team that hasn’t provided him with the proper support. Sacramento again appears headed toward the lottery, even as Cousins averages 29-10.

Questions remain, though: How much of Cousins’ attitude is him trying to make the best of an inescapable situation, and will expanded options in the summer of 2018 test his loyalty?

LeBron James dunks, struts past camerapeople and toward crowd, spooks fan (video)

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LeBron James is dominating, and the Cavaliers are rolling over the Knicks.

It’s almost as if something has LeBron particularly riled up. But maybe ease up a little? That cowering fan isn’t Phil Jackson.

Kevin Love drips snot all over his face, maybe into his mouth (video)

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Cameras zoomed in on Kevin Love at the wrong moment:

Need a sensory cleanser? Enjoy this fantastic outlet pass from Kevin Love to LeBron James:

Derrick Rose out for Knicks-Cavaliers with back injury, getting MRI

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 22:  Derrick Rose #25 of the New York Knicks dribbles against the Portland Trail Blazers during their game at Madison Square Garden on November 22, 2016 in New York City.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK (AP) — Derrick Rose is missing the New York Knicks’ game against Cleveland because of lower back pain.

Rose left the Knicks’ victory over Miami on Tuesday in the third quarter with back spasms. Coach Jeff Hornacek says Rose still felt sore on Wednesday when he came in and met with team doctors, so they sent him for an MRI exam to make sure there was no structural damage.

Rose is averaging 16.7 points and this is the first game he’s missed this season.

Brandon Jennings will start in Rose’s place.