Rashad McCants plans to wear Big Baller brand shoes in Big3 league

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We are just one week away from Ice Cube’s Big3 League — where former NBA players play 3-on-3 — tipping off in New York.

Rashad McCants was the No. 1 pick in that league, and when he takes the court at the Barclay’s Center for the first games in league history next weekend, he’s going to be wearing the Big Baller ZO2. Yes, the Lonzo Ball signature shoes from his father’s marketing firm that retail for $495 and were widely panned online when first shown (people who know shoes better than I thought they were too similar to the recent Kobe’s).

McCants talked about it on the BIG3 Show (hat tip Eye on Basketball).

“Sometimes it rubs people the wrong way when you come out as strong as LaVar did, as convicted as he was and passionate, it rubs people the wrong way. And I salute him, and I’m going to be wearing those ZO2’s when BIG3 starts and I’m going to be supporting him full strength.”

“I believe in entrepreneurship, I believe in breaking the mold, I believe in challenging the status quo and I think that that’s what he’s doing. He’s opening up a whole new lane for everyone to really realize that you can do your own thing. You don’t have to go sign with Nike. You don’t have to go sign with under Armour. You can build your own shoe and wear your own shoe.”

There are a lot of people who applaud the Balls not playing by everyone else’s rules. I get that. I also get that a high pick who is marketable like Ball will land a shoe deal with Nike/Adidas/Under Armour in the $4 million to $5 million a year range, and it’s hard to leave that money on the table. One person’s committed to a cause is another person’s crazy.

McCants will be wearing the ZO2s — if they are ready. Lonzo Ball did not wear them during his Lakers’ workout because they were not ready.

Report: Suns’ Alan Williams suffers torn meniscus, will miss time

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Alan Williams is a guy who worked hard for his spot in the NBA. The UCSB alum started with a 10-day contract, then parlayed that into a Summer League deal where he shined. That evolved into a full season contract with the Suns last year, and they liked what they saw enough to give him a three-year deal this summer (for $17.4 million total).

But now the fan favorite is going to miss at least the start of the season due to a knee injury, reports Chris Haynes and Marc Spears of ESPN.

How much time Williams will miss will depend on the degree of the tear and the course of treatment, but he’s going to be out for training camp and the start of the season.

Williams was already going to be in a fight for minutes on a team fairly deep in the frontcourt with Marquese Chriss, Dragan Bender, Alex Len, Tyson Chandler, Anthony Bennett, and Jared Dudley. This setback does not help his cause.

Enes Kanter thanks Thunder fans in video, urges team to beat Warriors

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Enes Kanter loved playing in Oklahoma City.

Which made the fact he was traded to the Knicks for Carmelo Anthony difficult. Kanter had been through a lot, his political stance against the ruling party in his native Turkey led to his family being forced to publicly disown him (and his father being arrested and questioned multiple times), plus his passport being revoked while he was in Europe as Turkey tried to force him to return (where he would have been instantly arrested). He has said on multiple occasions that the people of Oklahoma City, and the Thunder organization, provided him a home when his native one was yanked away from him.

He said that again in a thank you and goodbye video to the people of Oklahoma City.

Kanter said he had “no hard feelings. I understand it’s a business.”

He also urged the now-stacked Thunder to go out and beat the Warriors.

NBA Twitter flips out over Carmelo Anthony trade to Thunder

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Well, that escalated quickly.

Carmelo Anthony wanted away from the Knicks badly enough that he relented in recently and added Cleveland and Oklahoma City to Houston as places he would waive his no-trade clause for. From there, it took almost no time for Oklahoma City and New York to work out a trade that sent Anthony to the Thunder for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and a second-round pick.

NBA Twitter flipped out on the news. And that started with one of ‘Melo’s new teammates.

Or, is it…

Reports: Knicks reach deal to send Carmelo Anthony to Thunder

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Carmelo Anthony and his camp pushed the Knicks the last 48 hours to get a trade done before training camp opens on Monday, which included Anthony expanding the list of teams he would accept a trade to.

One of those teams was the Oklahoma City Thunder, and that got the deal done, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Shams Charania of Yahoo has also confirmed the reports).

Anthony waived his trade kicker to make the deal work.

The pick is the Bulls’ 2018 second rounder, so it should be a high second.

This trade moves the Thunder into the second tier conversation in the West, battling Houston and San Antonio in a deep conference. Everyone is still chasing Golden State, which should be improved this season.

The Thunder get another star to pair with Russell Westbrook and Paul George, another shot creator that will be difficult to account for. The Thunder will have a strong defense — Anthony does not hurt that much, Kanter doesn’t defend either, but he did come off the bench for them — and with this move they get more offense.

The move also ads $12 million to a Thunder tax bill.

The Thunder aren’t thinking about next season, they are all in on this one. When you have a chance, take a big swing.

The Knicks get rid of ‘Melo’s shadow and make this Kristaps Porzingis‘ team. They get a solid bench scorer in Kanter, who is owed $17.8 million this season and has a player option for $18.6 million (which he will probably opt into, considering the tight market next summer). McDermott is in the last year of his rookie deal and has a lot to prove. The pick is nice, but not a first rounder.

This is not a great haul for the Knicks, but it speaks to Anthony’s trade value — he can score, but his style of play and cost had only a few teams interested. New York may have done just as well buying Anthony out after last season.