Author: Kurt Helin

New York Knicks v Los Angeles Clippers

Phil Jackson: Carmelo Anthony likely needs knee surgery, trying to avoid it


It doesn’t take a doctor to watch Carmelo Anthony play recently — well, before he sat out the last five games — and see his knee was really bothering him. He didn’t have much lift. That’s why the Knicks organization was pushing him to shut it down and get surgery if that is needed.

It also doesn’t take a rocket scientist to look ahead on the schedule, see the All-Star Game in New York City Feb. 15, see that Anthony is on track to be voted in a starter, and understand he wants to play in that game. Which is why Anthony said he will not yet shut it down yet.

When Phil Jackson stepped in front of the media Saturday and accepted the responsibility for the Knicks’ disastrous season, he also basically confirmed that Anthony is trying to avoid surgery and wants to hang on until the All-Star Game, via Ian Begley of

“I think for Melo the last resort is surgery, as it should be for anybody,” Jackson said. “Surgery is basically to repair and to correct. He’s got a situation that could exacerbate, could get difficult, could be better with the surgery, but he wants to really try it again and see where he’s going to be at. The next period of time we’ll assess that and we’ll sit down and talk to him about it. I know the All-Star game (at Madison Square Garden) is important for him down the road in February. I know this trip to London (for the Knicks game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Jan .15) will be important for him to play. He sees possibilities of helping the team get back and be better.”

Jackson threw in the towel on the “get back and be better” plan this week when he traded J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert in a salary dump. The Knicks aren’t going to get better, which is just fine for a season — since this is the one year owner James Dolan didn’t (couldn’t, actually) trade away their first round pick the Knicks are in line for a top player. That helps. The roster needs a lot of talent on it.

It also needs a healthy Carmelo Anthony. Even if we don’t see that guy until next season.

Sixers coach says report team planned to release Andrei Kirilenko “not accurate”

Brett Brown

When the Philadelphia 76ers traded for Andrei Kirilenko the buzz was they would instantly cut him loose. This is a guy who, due to a family situation, didn’t want to leave the New York area (he would only play for the Nets during home games), so there was no real way for him to play for Philly. The rumor was GM Sam Hinkie told Kirilenko he’d be waived.

Instead the Sixers kept him on the roster. Most assumed they just kept the salary around as potential trade bait as the deadline approached, but Kirilenko remains a Sixers.

Now the Sixers have suspended Kirilenko for failure to report to the team. Coach Brett Brown told Dei Lynam of that the reports the Sixers planned to cut Kirilenko were always false.

“I hear the stories,” Brown said. “It was explained to me very aggressively and clearly. Andrei had a chance to play for me and us. I got excited because I had coached against Andrei in two Olympic games. We have mutual international friends, Tony Parker among them.

“I sat down with him and had coffee with him the last time we were here. I wanted to get in his head and see what he was thinking. I went through that exercise and got excited. I wanted him to share his wealth of knowledge with the team along with Luc [Mbah a Moute]. That we always intended to release him — that is not accurate.”

I find it difficult to believe that Brown actually believed Kirilenko would play for the Sixers. He knows the personal situation.

Sixers fans, if you are a Comcast subscriber in the Philadelphia area and want to watch a live stream of the Sixers taking on the Pacers Saturday night, you can do so by following this link.

What seems more accurate to me is that the Sixers couldn’t make the Jared Cunningham trade with the Clippers because they had 15 guys on the roster, however if you suspend a guy then the league grants you an extra roster spot. That let the Sixers make the trade (they then waived Cunningham). I believe Kirilenko is still a Sixer only because his contract might be useful in another deal.

I do know a lot of agents have taken note of how Sixers GM Sam Hinkie handled this situation.

Trevor Booker hits ridiculous one-touch volleyball shot (VIDEO)

Trevor Booker

You’re kidding me. That shot didn’t just work.

Okay, it did. There was 0.2 seconds left on the shot clock as Utah tried to inbound the ball in the second quarter against Oklahoma City. With that much time on the clock the only legal way to get off a shot is a tip, so most teams run some kind of play trying to free up a big near the rim and throw a lob.

But Utah has Trevor Booker. He can work miracles. Apparently. He hits a tip shot from waist high off a bounce pass with his back to the basket from eight feet away.

That may be the shot of the year.

The Thunder went on to win the game 99-94.

Chris Bosh returns in “Tall Justice Two” (from Funny or Die)

Miami Heat v Atlanta Hawks
Tall Justice 2 with Chris Bosh from Funny Or Die

Chris Bosh can be funny. Especially as a meter maid.

He teamed up a while back with the people at Funny or Die — you know, the place Blake Griffin interned — to make a fake movie preview called Tall Justice.

Well, like any good movie, there’s a sequel. Good stuff from Bosh.

Hat tip to That NBA Lottery Pick.

And in case you missed out on the original “Tall Justice”…

Report: Celtics near deal to send Jeff Green to Memphis Grizzlies

Boston Celtics v Washington Wizards

Danny Ainge is wheeling and dealing.

In the wake of sending Brandan Wright to Phoenix, it appears the Celtics are about to finalize a deal that sends Jeff Green to the Memphis Grizzlies, reports Adrain Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Marc Stein of ESPN confirmed this.

This is going to be for Tayshaun Prince (owed $7.7 million this season on an expiring deal) and a future first round pick. (That has been the buzz around the league for a while, anyway.)

For the Celtics, it’s about going all in on the rebuild.

For Memphis, it’s about going all in for this year. Which they should do.

The Grizzlies are one of the teams in the mix in the West as potential contenders but what they needed was an upgrade on the wing and someone who can knock down threes. Green is athletic as they come and is a career 34 percent form three (although that is down to 30.5 percent this year, something that might improve with the better looks on a better team). Green fits their needs.

If you’re about to put in the comments, “they should have just kept Rudy Gay” you need to go back to basketball class. Gay demanded and took a much higher percentage of the shots and offense in Memphis than Green will (the offense was too Gay centered before). The Grizzlies offense now will continue to flow through MVP candidate Marc Gasol first and then to guys like Zach Randolph, Mike Conley and Green. If he accepts his role Green is a big upgrade for the Grizzlies.

Green doesn’t really help their defense, which for the past month has been Memphis’ real issue. But if that end comes around they remain right in the mix.