What do the Knicks have to lure LeBron? New York City

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Thumbnail image for jayz.jpgClippers fans are throwing a quaint little parade. Bulls fans are acting like frontrunners. Cavaliers fans are FREAKING OUT.

The Knicks? They are ready to make a pitch to LeBron James using the best selling point they have:

New York City.

The stars, the glamour, the fast paced life, all of it. Living the perfect big-city life (see: Rodriguez, Alex). Mayor Michael Bloomberg offered to do the tour of the city himself. Frank Isola at the New York Daily News breaks it down.

Several sources claim the Knicks will seek the help of James’ favorite team, the Yankees, as well as an assortment of celebrities from movies and music. And since James has talked about becoming the pro sports’ first billionaire team athlete, the Knicks will likely call upon a number of power brokers from the business world. Expect Donald Trump to be available…

“This has got to be bigger than anything they’ve ever done before,” says a person familiar with the Knicks’ thinking. “They just can’t give him a Knicks jersey and announce his name at the Garden. That won’t do it. And let’s not forget about the (Knicks owner James) Dolan factor. Who knows if LeBron will like him?”

Dolan has actually been great at recruiting people. It’s the working with them thing that gets hard. But the Knicks know how to recruit, as Isola breaks down talking to Grant Hill. Back a decade ago Hill was one of the top free agents and the Knicks wooed him by video messages and meetings with stars. Among more.

The best story Hill tells was on the Knicks one screw-up.

Everything was going smoothly until the actor Leon appeared on a video screen to clue Hill into some of the other benefits of being a big star in the Big Apple.

“Looking back it was funny,” Hill says. “He told me that if I came to New York I’ll have loads of women. My wife just looked at me. She wasn’t smiling.”

Hill went to Orlando — a team that could offer more money at the time. Money will be less an issue with the Knicks, they can offer the max. It’s a question of fit and winning.

But you can bet nobody will have a recruiting pitch like New York.

Watch Carmelo Anthony’s first bucket as a Trail Blazer

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That Carmelo Anthony started the first game he played for Portland speaks to why they signed him in the first place — this team is so shorthanded along the front line that the guy they just signed got thrown into the fire.

Anthony responded with a solid level of play. His first bucket was a wing three where both defenders went to CJ McCollum and left ‘Melo wide open.

Anthony played 12 minutes in the first half and had 7 points, 3 rebounds, 1 block, and three fouls. The team was looking to keep him at around 20 minutes for his first game back.

Portland led New Orleans 54-53 at the half.

How a single computer folder and dogged HR official exposed former Kings executive’s $13.4M embezzlement scheme

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Just how close did Jeff David come to getting away with embezzling $13.4 million from the Kings while working for them? He already secured a new job with the Heat and was in the process of moving from Sacramento to Miami.

Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN:

On this Monday, walking through the Davids’ new front door is a dizzying procession of cable guys, utility workers and movers. Amid all of this, Jeff receives a phone call from a former co-worker with the Kings. Her name is Stacy Wegzyn, and she works in HR. Jeff last remembers sitting in her office in Sacramento just months earlier, being told that the Kings were going to eliminate his position. After a few pleasantries, she gets down to business. She tells Jeff she’s been going through his old files, and in doing so she found one labeled “TurboTax” that references an entity called Sacramento Sports Partners.

“I was just curious what that is and if those are documents that should go to somebody else,” Wegzyn says.

It’s a seemingly innocuous inquiry from an HR lifer. But it’s one that will dictate the rest of Jeff David’s life. If he knows that — or senses it — he doesn’t let on.

“No, no, no,” Jeff responds. “That was a … man, this is taking me back. Maybe 2015?”

Wegzyn presses on. She asks Jeff whether the documents contain anything that anyone with the Kings needs to see. Jeff assures her they can trash them because the entity isn’t around anymore. A few minutes after he hangs up, his mother-in-law, Nancy, is standing at the front door when an FBI investigator appears, asking to speak to Jeff.

If you like the NBA or true crime – let alone both – I HIGHLY recommend reading Arnovitz’s full piece. It’s riveting!

Warriors Kevon Looney cleared for on-court basketball work, will return soon

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At least someone on the Warriors is getting healthy.

Big man Kevon Looney, who played opening night and has since been sidelined with a sore hamstring and neuropathy (what the team described as “nerve-related symptoms”), has been cleared to return to on-court basketball activities, the team announced Tuesday. From the official press release:

He will participate in select practice sessions with the Santa Cruz Warriors this week and will re-join the Golden State Warriors over the weekend. We will continue to monitor his progress and will provide another update on his status on Sunday.

Looney has already been officially assigned to Santa Cruz.

This is good news for the Warriors, who have been starting Willie Cauley-Stein but desperately need more shot blocking and depth up front.

Anyone getting healthy is good news for a Warriors team that is 2-12 and has the worst net rating in the NBA (-10.4).

Carmelo Anthony to start first game for Portland, apparently thinks he’s wearing number infinity

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Carmelo Anthony will wear No. 00 with the Trail Blazers.

Why?

Apparently because 00 kind of looks like ∞.

Anthony:

Somewhere, Kyrie Irving is nodding in support.

In terms of numbers that make sense…

Marc J. Spears of ESPN:

That’s a sizable role for a 35-year-old in his first game in more than a year. But Portland needs scoring with Damian Lillard sidelined, and – at last check (though, again, a while ago), Anthony was accustomed to big minutes.

Besides, we all want ample opportunity to see Anthony back on the court after his lengthy absence.