Tag: Melo to Knicks

Miami Heat's LeBron James gestures after being fouled in NBA basketball playoff action against the Philadelphia 76ers in Miami

Players smile, sign-and-trade seems to be part of new CBA


If there was one thing I thought small market owners would fight to keep out of the new NBA labor deal it was the sign-and-trade. It’s what LeBron James and Chris Bosh had after-the-fact. It can be used to hold a smaller market hostage. The player gets his money and his ticket to a new team (although the original team does get something back rather than just lose a player to free agency).

But in all the tweets following the lockout yesterday was this from ESPN’s Marc Stein (something later confirmed by NBA.com’s David Aldridge and others).

Example of “system” issue where NBA owners/players now agree? Sign-and-trades. WILL be allowed in new deal after fears they’d be outlawed

Players love the sign-and-trade — move to a preferred team and still get the old-team extra money? You bet they are down with that.

Sign-and-trades favor the wealthy teams, allowing them to bring in high priced deals that will be around a while. Which is why I’m surprised it survived. Maybe there are enough provisions in whatever the new luxury tax will be that the owners feel safe it can’t be abused. For example, Stein suggests whether luxury-tax paying teams would be allowed to use it to bring in more talent remains to be seen.

But it looks like it will be back.

Carmelo Anthony says he made the right decision with trade

New York Knicks Introduce Carmelo Anthony

It was an ugly mess watching Carmelo Anthony force his way out of Denver last season.

But for Anthony, it was the right move. He looks at the ongoing lockout, the lost games, the limbo he would be in as a free agent and thinks how he handled everything worked out for the best.

That’s what he told Newsday.

“I think I did the right thing,” Anthony told reporters Wednesday while promoting the release of his new Jordan Brand sneaker, Melo8, in Manhattan…

“For the average person out there who really thought I was just trying to get up and just leave for no reason, that really was a big key in my decision,” Anthony said about the lockout. “I knew free agency was coming, I knew it would be altered, I knew it’d be messed up, so imagine if I’d have stayed. I’d have been a free agent now in limbo.”

Anthony is right, for him this was the smart play and worked out like he hoped. No doubt.

But I’d still argue — as Donnie Walsh did at the time — that the Knicks would have been better off not blowing up their team to get him. Melo was going to come to New York anyway, if they had waited for him to go into limbo then signed him to a deal under the new labor rules they’d have some solid role players to put around their two stars (or pieces to trade to get what they need). Now they have to find good fits again, and it will not be easy under the new salary structure (whatever it is).

Video: Official trailer Melo/LaLa’s new reality show

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I am going to watch as much of this as I have the Lamar Odom/Khloe Kardashian reality show.

But because we know some of you out there can’t wait to see another reality show about another NBA star, we bring you the official trailer from “LaLa’s Full Court Life.” This was actually filmed through the time of the trade from Denver to New York, but it will focus on LaLa and her family, not Mike D’Antoni’s defensive scheme. (Can you fill a half hour show with D’Antoni’s defensive schemes?)

Hat tip to I am a GM for this (or if you don’t like it, blame them).

Billups wants Knicks to build team not collect stars

Indiana Pacers v New York Knicks

The Knicks have two big stars now — Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire — and New York fans are dreaming of adding Chris Paul or Dwight Howard to that mix. New CBA, what new CBA? Those fans realize the road to the NBA finals out of the Eastern Conference goes through Miami and their three stars for the next few years.

Knicks point guard Chauncey Billups sees something different. He wants to see a team in New York. A real team. A deep team playing as a unit. A team that out executes its opponent. Like he was part of in Detroit in 2004. Like the Mavericks had this season. That’s what he told Chris Tomasson of Hoopshype.

“I think that in any situation you got to get a team,’’ Billups said in a wide-ranging interview at his basketball camp in suburban Denver. “It’s not about names, how many people on your team can make the All-Star Game. It’s not about that at all. It’s about putting the right pieces together. You got to have a cohesive unit. You got to have guys that know to play off of one another, guys that are going to be unselfish on both ends of the floor. Those are things that win championships, and we’ve seen that clear as day in the Finals.’’

“It’s not about that,’’ Billups said of collecting big names on a team. “We got two of the biggest names in basketball already (in Anthony and Stoudemire). It’s not about that. It’s about getting somebody that can play with the talent that you have… You look at the Mavericks, and they just share the basketball every time down the floor… Dirk is one of the best the game has ever seen. But he couldn’t do it by himself… So it’s all about the team….

“We need a lot,’’ said Billups, a five-time All-Star who averaged 16.8 points and 5.4 assists last season. “We got (six) free agents…. We need a lot of stuff. That’s why the front office gets paid the big bucks. It’s their job to do it. It’s our job to execute.’’

He’s got a point. Knicks fans — and their owner — may want that third star, but the new CBA likely will force them to choose another path. Potentially a wiser path, with guys that know how to work with their stars, fill in around their weaknesses. The Knicks need a team with depth that can beat you in multiple ways. A team that executes. The stars they have can certainly be a part of it, but that is just one piece of the puzzle.

Building a team is how they ultimately get by the Heat. Well, that and hope the Heat don’t learn those same lessons…

Isiah Thomas doesn’t deny he helped get ‘Melo to New York

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It’s never easy to tell reality with Isiah Thomas.

With him, the truth is messy and convoluted. You want to make it simple — “he was a terrible GM” — but reality is more complex (he made some very good draft picks and showed an eye for spotting talent out of college).

So it is with the recruitment of Carmelo Anthony to New York.

Knicks owner James Dolan stood on the podium and specifically denied that Thomas had consulted or influenced efforts to get Anthony to New York. Nobody around the Knicks believed that.

Thomas, in a fascinating and wide-ranging interview by Bill Reiter of Fox Sports, did not deny he was involved in the Knicks getting ‘Melo.

“I do have a lot of friends,” he says carefully. “And I am asked to advise in a lot of different scenarios. Players, coaches, and … ” A very long pause. “I won’t comment on the Knicks situation, but I do like helping the Knicks, and I do want them to do well.”

Right now, with the Knicks struggling to fit Anthony in and the team losing, plenty of Knicks fans would say this trade has all the markings of a Thomas move. But we do not know how it will turn out in a year or two.

Thomas in this interview vacillates between confident and needy. He desperately wants back in the NBA, he has confidence his friends will back him. To the point he pushed Reiter to call Charles Barkley right then and there, in front of him (without Barkley knowing Thomas was there).

Barkley, as always, was honest.

“He’s coaching right now,” Barkley says. “He got fired, and when you get fired you don’t just go get another job. He’s a great guy and I like him, but he made some bad decisions with the Knicks, like I think everyone knows. He has a job now, so that should be his No. 1 priority. Gotta do that.”

I hang up. I tell Isiah what Barkley said. His face falls.

Thomas all but admitted he struggles as a coach but sees himself as a good talent evaluator. His drafts were solid to very good, but his free agent choices in New York cut him and the franchise off at the knees. Thomas said his problem was more PR than actions.

Thomas was insanely confident of his skills as a player, comparing himself to Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson.

“I have no problem saying this at all,” he says. “They’re all 6-(feet)-9 and Jordan was 6-6 and a half. If they were all 6-1, it wouldn’t even be a question. They wouldn’t even f—ing rate. If they were all my size, s—, they wouldn’t even be talked about.

“I beat the s— out of them when they were that big. If we were all the same size, f—.” He stops to laugh good-naturedly. “Make them 6-1 and let’s go on the court.”

Go read the entire article. Like Thomas himself it is conflicting and both impressive and sad all at once.