Kurt Helin

Carmelo Anthony speaks in third person about trade rumors: “‘Melo hasn’t said anything yet”


Carmelo Anthony isn’t getting traded without Carmelo Anthony’s permission. That’s because of Phil Jackson — and let’s be honest here, probably on orders from owner James Dolan — gave Anthony a no-trade clause.

And Carmelo Anthony wants you to know he hasn’t said anything about waiving that clause yet. Not for the Clippers, not for the Cavaliers, and not for the Celtics.

The brilliant Jeff Zillgitt at the USA today talked to Anthony about all the trade rumors, and Anthony answered the question in the third person. Which is the best part of his answer.

“I hear the new report every day,” Anthony said Tuesday morning. “Every day is a new team. ‘Melo said this, Melo said that.’ Melo hasn’t said anything yet. That’s what I will say. Melo hasn’t said anything yet….

“That’s more about what I care about — my family, my son being comfortable in New York and at an age now where he really gets an opportunity to understand being in New York and having a home there and having friends there and my wife working there and having her opportunities there,” Anthony said. “I think about that more so of my decision for my career. At the end of the day, it will come down to my decision, but I think about what my family is thinking and what they’ll have to go through if anything.”

When he was a free agent, Anthony decided to stay with the Knicks for two reasons: More money and his family wanted to be in New York. Two very valid reasons. He’s got the money now if he waives that clause — more actually, he has a 15 percent trade kicker. But the family considerations are real.

That doesn’t mean Anthony will not waive the clause, he told Zillgit that the direction the Knicks want to go and the place the other team is in — and yes, if he has friends on it — all will be considerations. But like you and me making a big career decision, there are a lot of factors in play.

For Phil Jackson, the real problem with getting this deal done will be finding a deal that he likes. Teams are taking on a hefty salary for a 33-year-old player, they are not sending guys at their peaks back. It’s going to be a combination young players, role players, and picks if the Celtics are in play. And not as many of any of that as the Knicks want.

I still bet he doesn’t get moved until this summer. But the rumors will continue for another three weeks until the deadline passes.


Derek Fisher’s home burglarized, five championship rings reportedly stolen

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When a home is burglarized, the criminals usually go straight for the jewelry and the electronics.

When Derek Fisher’s home is burglarized, the jewelry could include five championship rings.

NBC Los Angeles has confirmed that the San Fernando Valley home of the former Lakers’ star and current studio analyst for Spectrum Sports (the Lakers’ LA cable network) was burglarized. An estimated $300,000 in jewelry was taken, according to NBCLA.

TMZ reports Fisher’s five championship rings were stolen.

Law enforcement sources tell us the NBA legend reported a burglary at his home Monday morning — telling police he left the home at 7:30 AM and when he returned 3 hours later, it was clear someone had been inside.

We’re told officials believe the perp got into the house through a side door — and went for his jewelry. Among the stolen goods was Fisher’s 5 NBA rings he won during his run with the Lakers. They’re each worth a ton of cash.

No arrests have been made.

Rumor: Kings, Suns discussed DeMarcus Cousins trade. Don’t bet on it happening.

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I would take this rumor with an entire box of Morton’s Kosher salt.

But since DeMarcus Cousins trade rumors are harder to kill than a T-1000 Terminator model, here is the latest one, via John Gambadoro Arizona Sports.com — the Kings and Phoenix Suns have been talking Cousins.

Gambadoro reports the discussions have centered around involving small forward T.J. Warren, center Alex Len, Phoenix’s first-round pick this year and possibly more. The Suns own all of their future picks and also own two future Miami Heat first-round picks from the Goran Dragic deal.

Sacramento has the need for a lead point guard and 2017’s draft class has point guards near the top of many mock drafts, including Washington’s Markelle Fultz and UCLA’s Lonzo Ball. Gambadoro said Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker would not be in the deal.

Remember, Bledsoe and Cousins played together at Kentucky.

Never say never, but here’s the list of reasons I don’t think this has any chance of happening.

• Kings owner Vivek Ranadive is still the biggest Cousins backer in the Sacramento organization, and if the owner doesn’t want a trade to happen it doesn’t happen.

• In fact, there are reports that Ranadive and the Kings plan to offer Cousins a designated player contract this summer worth north of $207 million (the final numbers depend on the salary cap), and I have heard the same thing. Also, Cousins plans to sign that contract. If you’re saying to yourself “but Cousins isn’t happy in Sacramento” you’re not wrong, he’s been frustrated with management for years. However, money talks. The most the Suns could offer him (post trade) is going to be $6 million less just the first season alone compared to that Kings contract, and even if Cousins eventually signed a fifth max season with the Suns he would be leaving at least $36 million on the table to go to another team. Who is leaving that money on the table?

• Would the Suns want to do this kind of deal, especially keeping Bledsoe and Booker? Damn straight. But it takes two to do this tango. That said, a good way to make sure your fan base knows you’re trying to make a big move is to leak stuff like this.

• Talk to other teams around the league about dealing with the Kings and you often hear about how they don’t think the left arm knows what the right is doing there. For example, there will be talks with one Sacramento person about a deal, but when another person in the organization is contacted the teams are told something different. It’s been better of late, but there can still be conflicting voices within the organization. Which is to say maybe the Suns had some level of discussion with a Kings’ representative, but it may not be the people with the hammer on this decision.

• If you’re Cousins and you want to get out of the dysfunctional organization that has been Sacramento, do you really want to go to Phoenix now and work for Robert Sarver?

Charles Barkley fired back at LeBron: “Clearly he Googled me and found out some things”


Charles Barkley’s “get off my lawn” worldview that everything NBA was better when he played than it is now — see hating on the Warriors and their style — includes taking shots at LeBron James. Shots for being friends with Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, and Carmelo Anthony, and recently saying LeBron was “inappropriate, whiny” for voicing his belief the Cavaliers need roster help this season to compete with the Warriors (if you’ve watched the Cavs in the last month and not thought that, I worry about your hoops IQ). Monday a frustrated LeBron fired with both barrels at Barkley.

“I’m not the one who threw somebody through a window. I never spit on a kid. I never had unpaid debt in Las Vegas. I never said, ‘I’m not a role model.’ I never showed up to All-Star Weekend on Sunday because I was in Vegas all weekend partying. All I’ve done for my entire career is represent the NBA the right way. Fourteen years, never got in trouble. Respected the game. Print that.”

Dwyane Wade had LeBron’s back.

Barkley went on the Waddle & Silvy show on ESPN1000.com and answered back. Here are his comments, via Rachel Nichols of ESPN.

So Barkley’s old flaws don’t matter, but LeBron’s do?

Also, Lebron is 32, he didn’t have to Google this like it was Civil War era trivia, LeBron lived through the Barkley era.

LeBron is the first star of the social media age and with that has come a level of instant and high volume criticism other stars did not have to deal with. Michael Jordan is unquestionably in the conversation for GOAT — and most people would give him the title — but can you imagine now NBA Twitter, or Barkley and the Inside the NBA crew, would have treated him during the seasons the Pistons were drilling his Bulls every year in the playoffs? Or when he decided to leave the game for two years to go play baseball?

Barkley is entertaining and certainly speaks for some people who have mythologized the 90s as a grand era in basketball, ignoring the clutching, grabbing, and dragged down pace of the game that made it a grind to the point the game’s skilled players had little room to operate. If that was your era, your style, then enjoy it.

But if you — or Barkley — are dismissing LeBron as not one of the all-time greats, if you seek to tear him down all the time, that speaks more to you than anything else. LeBron should and will go down as one of the most gifted and best players the game has ever seen. We should savor these players while we get to watch them, not constantly try to tear them down.

Three things we learned Monday: Cavs lose again, we’re reminded LeBron has a lot of miles on him

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It was the rare TNT Monday games this week, so there was plenty of quality NBA action, but if you were too busy watching Daffy Duck/Coolio mashups then we’ve got you covered with what you need to know from around the league.

1) Dallas knocks off Cleveland, and LeBron James passes Michael Jordan on a list that makes him look old. If you don’t follow the NBA closely, this loss looks far worse — Dallas entered Monday night’s game against Cleveland 17-30, one of the few teams in the West seemingly out of the playoff hunt midway through the season. But if you follow the league you know Dallas finally has gotten healthy and started to win games — they are 7-3 in their last 10, with a top 10 in the NBA offense and defense in that time.

The Cavaliers will attest to that. Kevin Love was out, Tristan Thompson was limited by foul trouble, and Kyrie Irving and LeBron (who had 23/9/9) couldn’t carry the team on the second night of a back-to-back. Dallas got the win 104-97 behind 24 points and 11 rebounds from Harrison Barnes. LeBron still had some highlights.

The Cavaliers will finish January 7-8. It’s a midseason swoon, although it’s hard to get worked up over that because the Cavaliers had a mid-season slump last year, changed coaches, and went on to win a ring. LeBron’s Heat teams hit midseason doldrums, too, yet always made the Finals. What is more concerning about the Cavs ability to bounce back is this, via ESPN:

That’s a lot of miles on the tread. Part of the reason LeBron, at just age 32, passed Jordan has been the annual deep playoff runs — he has been to six straight NBA Finals — plus he didn’t spend a year in college like MJ. But the load is not lightening up. LeBron leads the NBA in minutes played per game this season at 37.5 (he’s 11th in total minutes because he’s had nights off). Those minutes are close to what LeBron and coach Tyronn Lue discussed before the season, and there is no better conditioned athlete in the league than LeBron, but still that’s a lot of wear and tear. At some point it’s going to catch up to him. Maybe not this season, maybe not next, but eventually.

2) Miami has won eight in a row.
It seems ridiculous after their start to the season to discuss Miami’s playoff chances, but here we are — after winning their eighth in a row Monday night the Heat are just 4.5 games out of a playoff slot in the East. It’s unlikely they can leapfrog four teams (New York, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Charlotte) to get in, but if they keep playing like this it’s possible.

Miami won its eighth in a row, beating lowly Brooklyn 104-96 by making the big plays.

The Heat’s offense is good — they are shooting 42.3 percent from three during this win streak — but it is the defense that has keyed the run: Miami is allowing less than a point per possession during this run. And the help on that end is coming not just from Hassan Whiteside but also from unexpected sources.

Maybe more surprising than Miami’s hot streak is Dion Waiters has become a force controlling the game — he had 19 points, nine assists, and six rebounds in the win Monday.

The Heat are at home against the Hawks and Sixers this week, then head out on the road for four as they try to keep this win streak going. And maybe their playoff chances.

3) Mike Conley scores career-high 38 to get Memphis a win. Mike Conley has become an annual snub for the All-Star Game and competes for the title of “most underappreciated player in the NBA.” There’s not much he can do about the ASG snub again this year, but he did do something about getting noticed dropping a career-high 38 on the Suns in the Grizzlies’ win Monday.

Bonus thing we loved from Monday: Andrew Wiggins unleashed a dunk of the year candidate on Orlando.