Author: Dan Feldman

2015 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot

Knicks associate head coach: Porzingis might be combination of Gasol, Nowitzki


Knicks president Phil Jackson compared New York’s No. 4 overall pick, Kristaps Porzingis, to Shawn Bradley.

Porzingis resisted that comparison, but he might appreciate these ones – to Pau Gasol and Dirk Nowitzki – a little more.

Knicks associate head coach Kurt Rambis, via Marc Berman of the New York Post:

Perhaps the most successful European big men in recent times are Gasol, whom Rambis coached, and Nowitzki.

“He might be a combination of both of them,’’ Rambis said. ‘He can do so many things. You guys haven’t seen it yet. And some of it won’t come out for three, four, five years either. He’s got to grow up, mature, develop, get stronger and [get] used to the NBA game. He already understands basketball and knows what to do, and he’s an unselfish player. He makes really good decisions. It wasn’t like he was a blank slate coming here.’’

Aside from his intensive work ethic, Porzingis also has an unprecedented gift.

“He’s got 3-point range — like effortless 3-point range, too,’’ Rambis said. “It’s not even hard for him to shoot for distance.’’

I like Porzingis and think he has a bright NBA future, but is piling this level of praise on him really a good idea? Rambis adds the caveats that it could take years for Porzingis’ talent to translate, but this still sets up an incredibly high ceiling for Porzingis to reach.

Jackson and Knicks coach Derek Fisher had done a good job of keeping expectations in line, praising Porzingis’ work ethic and modest progress. Jackson might have gone too far with the Bradley comparison, but at least he limited the hype.

Rambis needs to show more perspective. Many rookies flash amazing potential before their first game. Far fewer become Hall of Famers. Ditto rookies who drill 3-pointers in practice relative to those who do it in games.

I still think Porzingis will be fine, and maybe in New York, an overhyping is inevitable. I’m just not sure Rambis is doing Porzingis any favors by contributing to it.

Carmelo Anthony: ‘Hell no’ I’m not requesting a trade from Knicks

Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports Awards 2015 - Backstage

Carmelo Anthony trade talk has popped up multiple times this season, but the Knicks star is doing his best to shoot it down.

Ian Begley of ESPN:

Carmelo Anthony hasn’t thought about asking for a trade out of New York if things don’t go well for the Knicks this season.

“No, hell no,” Anthony said after Knicks practice on Monday. “I haven’t even – for me to get to that point and decide this is not what it’s going to be, I already came this far. That don’t even come across my mind at this point.”

This is really simple. Anthony, who has a no-trade clause and trade kicker, has huge financial incentive to get traded after this season.

So, he’ll ride out this season and then reevaluate. If the Knicks remain far from being a playoff threat, maybe he’ll request a trade next year. It’s just not worth getting traded now.

Anthony might be genuinely committed to the Knicks. Or he might realize his contract terms dictate he wait a year to express his dissatisfaction. Either way, it’d look the same, and that’s what we’re getting: Anthony saying the right things and trying to make the best of the situation.

Damien Wilkins signing with Hornets because his flight was delayed

Damien Wilkins
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With Michael Kidd-Gilchrist sidelined for six months, the Hornets are signing nine-year veteran Damien Wilkins.

How he got the deal is a heck of a story.

Wilkins on his blog:

I had signed a contract to play in Venezuela for this upcoming season and I was scheduled to leave for there this past Saturday, 10/3/2015. The first leg of my trip originated in Atlanta. I then fly to Charlotte for my connecting flight that is scheduled to take me to my final destination in Venezuela. I get to Charlotte and the connecting flight is delayed.

When I food finally came it was about 50 minutes until my flight was leaving. My phone rang and it was my agent, his words, “Damien! Do not get on that flight!!” He said emphatically! I asked, “so we’re a go with Charloote?” He said, “yes sir!!” I was so excited and in disbelief that I didn’t really know how to react. I don’t remember eating any of the food I ordered and I think I walked out on the bill!

My agent told me the terms of the deal and that because for now it’s a non-guarantee I’d still have lots of work to do. I told him with a great deal of confidence and excitement that the flight was cancelled and delayed and that flight crew wasn’t on time for this reason. This was all God’s work!! It’s fate. I was supposed to have been in Venezuela already but that wasn’t God’s will. I’m where I’m supposed to be. There’s no way I won’t make this team!

Click through to read the whole saga.

I’m not nearly as confident the 35-year-old who last played in the NBA in 2013 will make the regular-season roster. But, thanks to the reliability of flight schedules, he has a chance.