Carmelo Anthony

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Kristaps Porzingis says he still wants to be a Knick, “I love New York”

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Kristaps Porzingis is frustrated with how the Knicks are being run and the dysfunction and drama around the team, so much so that he blew off his exit interview with Phil Jackson. This week Porzingis will head back to his native Latvia for the summer, and he will not likely be taking part in the triangle training sessions the coaching staff wants to run this summer.

Don’t confuse all that with him wanting out of New York.

Porzingis spoke to Marc Berman of the New York Post and assured Knicks fans he wants to be in orange and blue.

“Of course,” Porzingis told The Post at his luxury apartment complex in Manhattan, when asked if he wants to be a Knick next year. “I love New York. I love New York.”

Not that he was going anywhere anyway, he’s on his rookie contract, and the Knicks aren’t about to trade him, no matter what he asks.

Porzingis wouldn’t comment in any more depth on his frustrations with the team, saying it was not the right time. As a refresher, here’s what he said speaking to the media a week ago.

“No one’s comfortable with losing,” Porzingis said that day. “If it means going in the right direction and doing the right thing, let’s do that. But just having no idea the direction, then it’s not going to work out. The direction has to be clear what we want to do.”

The direction seems to be the triangle, although the players don’t appear to like it or Kurt Rambis pushing it. Porzingis wasn’t saying much, but staying away for the summer would speak volumes.

Porzingis is the fan favorite, the best player on the Knicks, and a young player trying to assert some authority. He may not be terribly smooth at doing so, but that doesn’t make him wrong — the shifts in direction with the Knicks, and how Jackson has handled the Carmelo Anthony situation have been a mess. The thing is, the Knicks just picked up the option on Jackson for a couple more years, and Porzingis isn’t going anywhere, so the two sides are going to have to come to some kind of an understanding. That or we will just get more of the Knicks being the Knicks like last season.

Report: Kurt Rambis ‘beyond unpopular’ with Knicks players

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Playing for the Knicks is a tremendous privilege.

You have an owner who will take care of you into retirement, a president who cherishes your contributions, a head coach who sticks up for you and assistant coach who connects with you.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Kurt Rambis, who is beyond unpopular with the players, league sources said. When players want coaching and teaching, they get yelling, sources said. Most wonder about Rambis’ allegiances, because after all, he’s Jackson’s guy, not Hornacek’s.

Oh, right. Back to reality.

Phil Jackson infamously pushed for Rambis, who finished last season as the Knicks’ interim coach, to become the permanent head coach. Jackson eventually settled for Jeff Hornacek, who kept Rambis on staff.

Rambis’ record in New York includes stunting Kristaps Porzingis‘ development, engendering little to no faith from Carmelo Anthony, sticking with a couple over-the-hill guards in a rebuilding season and liking a pornographic tweet.

But Jackson has always vouched for him. Even in his season-ending press conference, the Knicks president spoke highly of Rambis.

A disliked assistant coach isn’t great for player morale. A disliked assistant coach who’s backed firmly by the boss does quite the number on it.

Doc Rivers says he wants to keep Clippers together no matter what happens in playoffs

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This will be the sixth season of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan together with the Clippers. Some things have changed — Vinny Del Negro was replaced by Doc Rivers, Jordan’s role has grown, as has J.J. Redick‘s — but one key thing hasn’t: The team has never gotten past the second round of the playoffs.

The Clippers are down 1-0 to the Jazz, and if they are able to come back and win that series (very possible, especially with Rudy Gobert injured), their reward is a Warriors team that has beaten the Clippers 10 consecutive times. The Clippers are likely gone before the conference finals again.

Is it time to break up this Clipper core and try something else? Paul, Griffin, and Redick are all free agents this summer (in addition to a few key role players), and bringing all three of them back could mean a record luxury tax bill next season. Do you let one go and replace him with another star, or a couple good role players that may fit better?

Not if you ask Doc Rivers, which is what Sam Amick of the USA Today has done.

“Here’s my argument to (the question of whether all that luxury tax is worth it),” Rivers, who is three years into a five-year deal worth more than $50 million, told USA TODAY Sports recently. “Let’s say we don’t win this year — which I think we will, (but) let’s say we don’t. Do you give up on a 50-win team that has proven that they’re really close (to winning it all), or do you hang in there and keep trying to maybe make changes around (the core)?

“I always use Utah as a great (example). Thank God Karl Malone and (John) Stockton didn’t listen to people, you know what I mean? They fell (in the playoffs), and kept trying and kept trying. And finally, late in their careers, they finally broke through to the Finals. They didn’t win it (all). But you know, that’s the pursuit. I just think it’s so easy to (say), ‘Hey, they should break up,’ from the outside. And I think that’s such an easy opinion.”

The difference between the eras is the cost — former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer may have more money than he knows what to do with, but is a massive luxury tax bill to be a team that needs a lot of breaks to go their way to win a title worth it? The Clippers are the oldest team in the West in terms of the playoff roster, is bringing everyone back going to lead to a step forward? The Warriors and Spurs aren’t going anywhere, the Jazz are getting better (if they can retain Gordon Hayward) and Minnesota is a team on the rise.

Of course, allow Griffin to walk, or make a trade, and you break up a very good team for the unknown. Is bringing in players such as Carmelo Anthony or Dwyane Wade going to make this team better? Blake Griffin is still a tremendous talent that would be very difficult to replace.

There have been reports that both Paul and Griffin want to stay. The question is will that change once the Clippers are bounced from the postseason?

Doc may want to keep the band together, but there’s a sense around Los Angeles that Ballmer is going to take a hard look at things if and when this team gets bounced in the first couple playoff rounds again.

Report: Another woman claims Carmelo Anthony impregnated her

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Knicks star Carmelo Anthony and his wife La La have reportedly separated.

TMZ:

Carmelo Anthony was messing around with a woman who now claims she’s pregnant with his baby — and as you can imagine, his wife, La La, is pissed … TMZ Sports has learned.

Multiple sources tell us … the other woman often works at a gentlemen’s club in NYC, and we’re told she’s claiming to be 6 and a half months pregnant with Melo’s child.

Sources close to both Melo and La La are telling us the marriage has been rocky for a while — and while the pregnancy wasn’t the tipping point, it certainly didn’t help.

So far, neither side has filed divorce papers but we’re told there’s virtually zero chance of a reconciliation.

Anthony was long-rumored to prefer New York, in part, because La La wanted to be there. There was even speculation their separation was impacted by his desire to leave the Knicks.

Now, it seems there’s something else at play.

Anthony can still waive his no-trade clause and escape the Knicks, but it’s not necessarily the straight line out of New York it appeared it could be.

Report: Carmelo Anthony, wife La La have separated, stress of past season a factor

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This is not a happy story, and not entirely a basketball story. The breakup of any marriage, especially when children are involved, is serious, personal, and the parties involved deserve some space to work through it. However, there are basketball overtones, so here we are.

Carmelo Anthony and his wife La La have separated, according to TMZ.

Sources close to the couple tell us the actress and NBA superstar are now living separately. La La moved out of the family home last week and has her own place in NYC now.

We’re told the couple’s had ups and downs in the past, but the current NBA season has been extremely stressful on the marriage for several months. Carmelo’s been plagued by trade talks … with the Knicks looking to move him to another team.

Our sources say the split is still amicable. They were together just this past weekend at their 10-year-old son Kiyan’s basketball game.

Hopefully ‘Melo and La La can work out something that is best for them and everyone involved.

But there are two basketball topics we will note here:

First, the stress of this season — the losing, the trade rumors, Phil Jackson and ‘Melo’s rather public disagreements — undoubtedly led to a toll on Anthony personally. We’ve all had the stress from one aspect of our lives bleed over to another, and that can be something hard for those around us to understand.

Second, part of Anthony’s desire to stay with the Knicks was to be close to his family and wife, who is an actress and performer (which is a good reason to be in New York). Does this change things? Anthony is not going to just waive his no-trade clause so Jackson can trade him to Orlando or Phoenix for a package of picks/young players. However, he might be more open to a deal now not tied to New York. Or, maybe he doesn’t want to be far from his children now. There are no easy answers here, on any level.

For the sake of their family, I hope Anthony and La La can make this work.