Carmelo Anthony on Knicks: “It’s just kind of a cloud over our heads right now”

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The Knicks have lost four in a row, all at Madison Square Garden, including to the lowly Lakers, the short-handed Clippers, and Friday night Denver owned them thanks to the play of Nikola Jokic.

And that wasn’t even the worst part of their week. Phil Jackson’s efforts to frustrate Carmelo Anthony via Twitter backfired and made the president of the Knicks look foolish, but Jackson says he was just misunderstood. The owner had beloved Knicks legend Charles Oakley thrown out of MSG and arrested, then doubled-down on saying their feud was all Oakley’s fault because the former player has anger — and maybe drinking — problems. So they have banned Oakley from the Garden.

All of that has made the Knicks a place free agents will avoid if they can this summer (money always plays a role).

Anthony commented on all of this Friday night after the loss to Denver, as reported by Ian Begley at ESPN.

“What happened is just an accumulation of incident on top of incident on top of everything that’s going on that’s surrounding the New York Knicks organization right now. It’s just kind of this cloud over us right now that we have to figure out a way to get out of it,” Anthony said Friday. “I think you have to be in it, you have to be going through it, in order to understand it. From the outside looking in, it looks bad. And it’s even worse when you’re getting through it.”

It’s worse from the inside? Because he’s right, it looks bad from out here.

There appears to be no changes coming. Jackson isn’t going to be able to find a trade partner acceptable to Carmelo Anthony by the Feb. 23 trade deadline (unless he’s willing to take a historically bad deal). This summer Jackson will not be asked to leave by the organization, nor is he expected to opt out and walk away from the $24 million or more that he is owed by the Knicks. The regime stays in place.

Just the Knicks being the Knicks.

Jazz boost international bona fides with new minor-league coach

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.

Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.

Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.

Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.

The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.

Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 with Celtics

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BOSTON (AP) — Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.

The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.

In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.

 

PBT Extra: Cavaliers’ new GM aces first big test with Kyrie Irving trade

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Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.

New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.

That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.

First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.

Cavaliers-Celtics deal first offseason trade involving players who just met in NBA Finals or conference finals

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The Cavaliers and Celtics played in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. The teams were widely expected to meet there again.

Yet, Cleveland and Boston just completed a blockbuster trade – Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

That seemed odd.

In fact, it’s unprecedented.

That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron Jamescachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.

Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.