Kenyon Martin ‘not surprised’ by Carmelo Anthony re-signing, hopes to return to Knicks next season

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LAS VEGAS — Kenyon Martin has been with the Knicks for the past two seasons and played in Denver seven more, all the while being a teammate of Carmelo Anthony’s. And given how long the two have known each other, Martin expected Anthony to re-sign with New York all along.

“I’m not surprised,” Marin said of the Anthony news, before the Knicks tipped off against the Blazers in Summer League action on Saturday. “I would have been surprised if he left, to be honest. He’s a winner, he’s a competitor, and I don’t think he wants people speaking ill about him like they had in the past. I mean, he wants to bring a championship to New York. This is the start.”

Anthony reportedly will take very close to a max contract to re-up with the Knicks for the next five years, and there’s been plenty of chatter — including from Knicks president Phil Jackson — that he and other marquee free agents should take less money, in order to provide their teams with the financial flexibility to add additional talent. But Martin isn’t necessarily on board with that line of thinking.

“Well, if the Knicks could have paid him less, they would have,” Martin said. “To each his own, man. If you can get paid and win, why not? It’s not just basketball, it’s a business. That’s the nature of it. Some people look at it as being selfish or whatnot, but the man stayed home.”

As for Martin himself, he was limited by ankle issues that forced him out for the season before the All-Star break. He was supposed to be an important part of New York’s big man rotation, but managed to make only 32 appearances while averaging 19.8 minutes per contest. But following offseason surgery, he says he’s feeling “night and day” from the way he did during the season, and expects to be back on the court training sometime in the next month.

Martin is not under contract for next season, and is an unrestricted free agent. But much like Anthony, he hopes to re-sign with the Knicks, and doesn’t see himself playing anywhere else.

“Definitely,” Martin said, when asked if he hopes to return to New York. “I’m comfortable here. Me and Melo have got history, so of course this is where I would love to play. I’m not done by any stretch of the imagination, and I would love to be a Knick again. I’m going to try to make it happen.”

Watch Hassan Whiteside beat the Pistons at the buzzer with tip-in (VIDEO)

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The Miami Heat took until the final moments on Tuesday night to beat the Detroit Pistons, but it was worth it. With just a handful of games left to play, the Heat need to stave off the Chicago Bulls for the final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Thanks to a tip at the buzzer by Hassan Whiteside, they’re one step closer to achieving that goal.

The play came with just seconds left in the fourth quarter. James Johnson missed a shot with six seconds to go, and the Heat grabbed the rebound. Goran Dragic then tried his hand, but he couldn’t get it to go, either.

That’s when Whiteside came back with a tip at the buzzer that ended the game.

Via Twitter:

Miami now sits at 36-38, a game above the Bulls for the No. 8 seed.

Whiteside, meanwhile, is never going to wash that hand again:

Kobe Bryant says LeBron James has earned the right to take a rest (VIDEO)

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Former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant was a pretty consistent player in the NBA. Save for his final injury-laden seasons and the lockout year of 2011-12, Bryant played in no fewer than 65 regular season games in a single season.

Coaches also had no reason or want to ask Bryant — a notorious worker — to sit out in order to rest. That wasn’t really on the menu, and Bryant knew that.

Speaking to ESPN’s First Take, Bryant said no coach really asked him to ever take a rest, “I’ve never been approached by a coach and asked to rest.”

Bryant remarked that he took queues from Michael Jordan during tough stretches of the season — back-to-backs or four games in five night scenarios — where he could switch his game up, floating from perimeter to post, in order to save energy during those matchups.

Bryant also said during the same interview that he understands the complexity of the modern game, and that players like LeBron James deserve to take a rest if they’ve earned it.

“LeBron has done so much for the game. He’s earned the opportunity to take a rest,” said Bryant.

The debate on this subject will continue, it seems.

Phil Jackson’s reaction to Kristaps Porzingis getting turned upside down feels about right

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New York Knicks big man Kristaps Porzingis is the future of the franchise, so any time he’s upended and nearly lands on his noggin it’s a cause for concern. To say the least.

That’s what happened on Monday night, as Porzingis got turned upside down during a play near the basket during a game against the Detroit Pistons.

Porzingis was OK on the play, and Detroit big man Andre Drummond did his best to help catch him so nothing too scary happened.

Still, Knicks president Phil Jackson had a pretty hilarious reaction to the whole thing. I guess that’s what happens when you watch your basketball life flash before your eyes.

Porzingis was unhurt and played a full 37 minutes. New York beat Detroit, 109-95.

Jimmy Butler won’t pick LeBron over Durant as toughest matchup in NBA, and for good reason

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Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler is a smart dude. He’s spent years of offseason work turning himself into a max-level player, and that shows he knows not only how to work but how to attack the game of basketball.

He’s also smart enough to know he shouldn’t go poking the bear when it comes to two future Hall of Fame players in LeBron James and Kevin Durant.

When asked whether the Cleveland Cavaliers star or the Golden State Warriors scorer was the toughest matchup in the NBA, Butler made sure he wasn’t adding any kind of blackboard material to rile up either player.

Via Twitter:

The best way to defend LeBron or Durant: don’t make them angry.

Smart move, Jimmy.