Dan Feldman

Carmelo Anthony, Al Horford separated after whistle (video)

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The Celtics-Knicks Christmas game turned a little testy in the third quarter, when Carmelo Anthony and Al Horford were separated after an Anthony foul. I’m not sure they had to be separated, but Jae Crowder and Joakim Noah were concerned enough to get between.

Anthony and Horford – much to his chagrin – received technical fouls.

Report: Grizzlies entertaining Tony Allen trade interest

SAN ANTONIO,TX - APRIL 19: Tony Allen #9 of the Memphis Grizzlies reacts after a foul against the San Antonio Spurs of game two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on April 19, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas.  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 Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
Ronald Cortes/Getty Images
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Danny Green edged him last year, but for the third time in four years the stat has been tracked, Tony Allen leads shooting guards in defensive real plus-minus.

You just can’t get rid of Allen.

Unless you’re the Grizzlies. They can trade him.

Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal:

Allen is nearly 35, on an expiring contract and in line to receive a major raise next summer. How could the Grizzlies not consider trading him?

But a deal works only if Allen presents more value to another team than Memphis. That’s difficult to envision.

The Grizzlies are 20-12, focused on the present and getting plenty from his defense. Plus, a fan favorite, Allen has helped establish and maintain Memphis’ “Grit and Grind” culture. He has a value to the Grizzlies that might not be matched elsewhere.

As long a  that’s the case, he’s not going anywhere. But Memphis should listen in case there’s another team enamored with Allen.

Report: Blunt assessments of Kings removed from George Karl’s book after settlement

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 28:  Head coach George Karl of the Sacramento Kings stands on the side of the court during their game against the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on December 28, 2015 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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George Karl didn’t hold back when discussing his time coaching the Nuggets in his new book.

But the Kings?

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Karl’s book, co-authored by Curt Sampson, included some unflattering views in a proof copy obtained by ESPN.com about Kings star DeMarcus Cousins, general manager Vlade Divac and owner Vivek Ranadive. But sources say Karl’s views were stricken from the version scheduled for public distribution next month.

Karl told ESPN on Saturday that he had “not authorized” those pages to be included in the book, which is titled “Furious George.”

Sources told ESPN.com that refraining from critical commentary of the Kings was part of Karl’s settlement agreement upon leaving the club.

An early leak from the book revealed a telling anecdote: Karl arriving in Sacramento and Rudy Gay greeting him with, “Welcome to basketball hell.”

But that’s not in the promotional copy of “Furious George” I received. Nor is much about the Kings at all. The book ends rather abruptly with Karl getting hired in Sacramento (and without much insight into that hiring process beyond Karl’s desires in a new job).

Why omit details of a period that included so much good-for-a-book gossip?

I can think of a few million reasons.

 

 

 

 

Disclosure: I received a promotional copy of “Furious George.”

Report: Small-market teams believe new CBA doesn’t help them enough

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 02:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Los Angeles Lakers attempts a layup in front of Nikola Vucevic #9 of the Orlando Magic at Staples Center on December 2, 2012 in Los Angeles, 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 Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images
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The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement introduced a harsher luxury tax to constrain high-spending teams.

The 2017 CBA added a veteran-designated-player rule to further help teams retain their biggest stars, a particular benefit to the small-market teams that tend to lose those free agents to bigger markets.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Yet, privately, there are still small-market executives who will tell you that the NBA and players association didn’t go far enough in this agreement. Some smaller-market executives still believe they’ll struggle to keep stars, think the league should go as far as skewing salaries for players on teams in higher-tax-bracket states, eliminating the edge that places like Texas and Florida have with no state income tax.

This isn’t really a small-market, big-market dispute. The NBA’s two largest-market teams, Knicks and Lakers, play in states (New York and California) with high income-tax rates. The small-market Spurs play in a state (Texas) with no state income tax.

But it is an issue of fairness and competitive balance, and a tax-based spending adjustment is a reasonable idea in theory. After all, the CBA attempts to put the Raptors on equal footing with the difference between Canadian and American taxes.

However, going state by state could get complex in a hurry. How would jock taxes, paid by players in certain away markets, factor? What about other types of taxes (sales, property, etc.), which can be higher in states without an income tax to compensate? Does the league re-configure each team’s rules whenever the local tax code changes?

I’m not sure this is a big enough deal to warrant all the aggravation. But if teams executives in states with high income-tax rates are so upset, they can always lobby local politicians to change the tax law.

Report: NBA players will soon have hotline to call in officiating critiques

PORTLAND, OR - MAY 9: Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors confronts referee Ed Malloy #14  during the first quarter of Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Portland Trail Blazers during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at the Moda Center on May 9, 2016 in Portland, Oregon. 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 Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images
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Update: Lawrence has clarified the hotline will be run by the union. Presumably, the union will relay concerns to the league.

 

Former NBA commissioner David Stern ruled with an iron fist. Any public criticism of officiating – by players, coaches, executives or owners – resulted in a swift fine.

Those fines still exist, but Adam Silver has ushered in an era of accountability for referees. The league seemingly has better hiring practices, and Last Two Minute Reports publicly assesses officiating late in close games.

Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, players will get a larger voice on refereeing.

Mitch Lawrence of Sporting News:

Players will be able to critique the work of game referees, as never before. In the past, they were allowed to submit one report annually — but never were allowed to mention the offending refs by name. That was the way Stern wanted it handled, and it wasn’t subject to collective bargaining; the players had to accept the commissioner’s edict, and they never felt like they had any clout in this area. Starting with the new CBA, however, the reports will be submitted with the names of the refs and with greater frequency, coming once a month.

Additionally, the players for the first time will have a hotline to call in to critique the work of refs in their games. They’ll be able to report not just on where they think the official botched a call, but also if they found a ref to be out of line, verbally, with how they handled blow-ups. Basically, they can complain like never before. The hotline is a response to the league allowing the new monthly reviews so that players can report something they thought was handled incorrectly while it’s still fresh in their minds.

This seems like a good step.

Referees too often have tendencies for specific players, and players should have an outlet to express concern. So should coaches.

Then, the league can review with a specific concern in mind. When appropriate, that can be communicated to referees, who will ideally improve based on the feedback.

Officials have immense power. Left unchecked, that leads to missed calls and a bad product. This is a small, reasonable check.