Dan Feldman

Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) gestures after making a 3-point basket in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
AP Photo/Brandon Dill

Grizzlies’ Mike Conley: ‘Very frustrating’ never to make an All-Star game

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Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley is building a case to become the best player never to make an All-Star game.

Rather than carry that distinction, it seems he’d rather just make an All-Star game.

Conley, via Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune

“It’s very frustrating, but I know my team feels like I am, I feel like I am that All-Star-caliber guy,” said Conley, whose Grizzlies on Saturday played the Wolves for the third time already this season. “I just have to keep playing like that and get better as each year goes by.”

I understand Conley’s frustration. It’s easy to examine his career and believe it should have produced at least one All-Star appearance.

But it’s much more difficult to point to a certain year and a specific Western Conference All-Star and say, “Conley deserved it over him.” Absent that, any griping is moot. The Western Conference has produced great guards over his career. That might be frustrating, but that’s reality.

Besides, All-NBA should be treated as a more meaningful honor than an All-Star appearance, anyway (not that Conley has made an All-NBA team).

Derrick Rose invited himself to Carmelo Anthony’s Thanksgiving, doesn’t plan to bring anything

WHITE PLAINS, NY - SEPTEMBER 26:  Derrick Rose #25 of the New York Knicks looks on as Carmelo Anthony #7 addresses the media during the New York Knicks Media Day at the Ritz Carlton on September 26, 2016 in White Plains, New York.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images
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Derrick Rose is happy to be with the Knicks after spending his first eight NBA seasons with the Bulls in his hometown of Chicago.

But it carries drawbacks this time of year, when his family is in Chicago for Thanksgiving.

Thankfully for Rose, he’s headed to Carmelo Anthony‘s for Thanksgiving.

Rose, via Ian Begley of ESPN:

“I just asked where his family’s (going) and asked if it was cool if I came over. He said yeah so I don’t think I have to bring anything but an appetite. Yeah, that’s the only thing I have to bring right now.”

It’s cool that Rose feels comfortable enough with Anthony to invite himself over for Thanksgiving (unless he awkwardly forced an invitation from a reluctant Anthony). Either way, good on Anthony for welcoming someone who had nowhere to go for the holiday.

But, Derrick, you’ve gotta bring a dish to pass. La La will appreciate it.

Chris Paul: Relationship with Blake Griffin ‘better now than ever’

PLAYA VISTA, CA - SEPTEMBER 26:  Chris Paul #3 of the Los Angeles Clippers and Blake Griffin #32 share a laugh during media day at the Los Angeles Clippers Training Center on September 26, 2016 in Playa Vista, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
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The fundamental question for the Clippers this season: Will they keep their pending free agents happy?

Though J.J. Redick factors, the Clippers can always outspend competitors to keep him. The bigger focus revolves around Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. The stars will have their choice of max offers, and their endorsement deals minimalize the effects of the higher raises and extra year the Clippers can offer.

The early returns for the Clippers are positive on the duo, who haven’t always meshed.

The Clippers are outscoring opponents by 22.4 points per 100 possessions when Paul and Griffin share the floor. And they’re also clicking off the floor.

Paul, via Sam Amick of USA Today:

“Oh, no question (it’s) better now than ever,” Paul told me on Friday. “Like I’m saying, we both have matured so much, and our communication is amazing right now, so sometimes it takes time. That’s what (happened) with me and BG, and there’s nothing like it right now. We are having some of the most fun that we’ve had in our time together.”

If you’re the Clippers, this is everything you hope to hear right now. But it means only so much.

The last couple seasons have ended in playoff disappointment, blowing a 3-1 lead to the Rockets in the 2015 second round and having injuries decimate the team in the first round against the Trail Blazers last season. Something similar could send Paul and Griffin into free agency on a sour note.

The final impression matters more than the feeling in November, but at least there’s positivity now. That’s all the Clippers can ask so for.

Anthony Davis: My desire is still to win with Pelicans

OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 14:  Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans dribbles against the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on March 14, 2016 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
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The Pelicans are 4-10 and likely to miss the playoffs for the fourth time in Anthony Davis‘ five-year career. Davis has admitted frustration, which has fueled traded speculation.

But does the franchise superstar really want to leave New Orleans?

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Have aspirations to win in New Orleans wavered amid the poor results and injury disappointment?

“No, no, never,” Davis told The Vertical.

“My desire to win here is the same,” Davis told The Vertical. “I go out there and play. I don’t care what the record is. I just go out there and play. I have to lead this team and make sure my guys are always happy and high energy. I don’t care what people say about our team. They’re not in our locker room seeing us, not part of our group. That’s all white noise.

Davis is locked up for three more seasons after this one. In other words, he has no leverage to force a trade. Acquiring a player of his stature – just 23 years old and already an MVP candidate – is so hard. The Pelicans aren’t going to unload him when they have plenty of time to try (again) to build around him.

Perhaps, Davis sincerely loves New Orleans and is committed above else to winning there. That’d be great and absolutely could be the case.

But if he has some desire to move to greener pastures, he’s also probably smart enough to realize he can’t act on that now. He’ll be with the Pelicans for the foreseeable future, so it’s best to make the most of it. They are 2-0 since Jrue Holiday returned, so maybe the situation in New Orleans is not as bad as it appeared.

Either mindset would produce the same result: the quote you read above.

What we know for certain: Davis isn’t so despondent with the Pelicans that he’s badmouthing the organization or trying to force his way out while not in position to do so. If you take his words at face value, you’d be even more encouraged with his commitment to New Orleans – but, for now, a his stated commitment is more than enough. Davis will act on that, and that’s what counts.

Report: Florida officials trying to extradite Steve Francis for robbery for which he already turned himself in

LOS ANGELES - APRIL 28:  Steve Francis #3 of the Houston Rockets moves the ball during Game five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2004 NBA Playoffs against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on April 28, 2004 in Los Angeles, California.  The Lakers won 97-78 and won the series 4-1. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
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Former Rockets and Magic star Steve Francis was charged with DWI, possession of marijuana and retaliation in Houston.

That could open the door for more legal trouble in Florida.

TMZ:

officials in Florida caught wind of the fact Francis was arrested in Houston for DWI over the weekend and are now trying to extradite him for an alleged burglary that went down in June.

We obtained the police report from that incident which says the ex-NBA star cased a 2003 BMW parked outside of the Cortez Clam Factory on the evening of June 15th.

Francis allegedly asked the bartender at the restaurant to give him a flashlight — and then he went to the car and ransacked it … taking the following items:

— makeup pouch, wallet, gold wedding ring, gold diamond band, earrings, press credentials and $100 in cash.

Total amount — $7,252 in goods and cash.

Two days later, cops say Francis went to the police department with a clear plastic bag of goods and said, “I just robbed somebody, take me to jail. I’m turning myself in.”

Despite what appeared to be a confession, Francis left the police station without being charged with a crime.

That doesn’t add up, but sometimes things just don’t add up.