Carmelo Anthony talks trade but says nothing. Again.

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Carmelo Anthony’s walk from the locker room to the court Monday in New Jersey was lined with photos of construction and renderings of the finished new Barclays Center being built for the Nets in Brooklyn. Open for your convenience in 2012.

For the Nets first 22 home games that artwork was not there, John Schuhmann points out at NBA.com. Magically the pictures appear along the hallway to the court the same night Anthony and the Nuggets appear in Jersey.

Coincidence?

Hardly.

That just added to the murky waters around ‘Melo’s departure (or not) from Denver. After Anthony spoke to the media in New Jersey Monday, things were even less clear. Nobody had any idea what is going to happen. Including Anthony, it seems. Read these quotes, via Schuhmann, and you tell me what he’s really thinking.

“The CBA is in the back of my mind, but as far as being afraid to play this out, I’m not. If that’s what it’s going to take, then so be it. I’m with that…”

“If I sit here and tell you I’m willing to lose $15-20 million, then I’ll be lying to you. But at the same time, this has never been about the money. In my career so far, I think I’ve made enough money. Now I can focus on just trying to win a championship. That’s the only thing that’s on my plate and on my mind right now…

“I’ve been (in Denver) eight years. I didn’t even spend eight years in Baltimore… I love where I’m at right now in Denver. We’re playing well, but at the end of the day this is a business. The Denver Nuggets have to be cautious. It’s a business. I have to look at it as a business and we just go from there. Whether we make a business decision together and that’s for me to stay in Denver or they say the business decision is to trade you somewhere else, then you’ve got to deal with that.”

Then at these quotes from the Bergen Record about him in New Jersey.

“I really don’t know where it came from as far as if I was to come (to the Nets) that the extension wasn’t going to get signed,” Anthony said after scoring a game-high 37 points. “I really don’t know who started that.

“As far as the extension, if that trade was to go through, who knows what would’ve happened, I can’t really answer that because it didn’t go through.”

So basically Knicks, Nuggets and Nets fans can all take something positive away from Anthony’s remarks. Great.

While Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov pulled the plug on the Anthony to the Nuggets trade talks, it is minority owner Bruce Ratner that keeps trying to fan those flames, Chris Mannix at Sports Illustrated reports.

Which just confuses the issue even more.

Of course, that confusion ultimately lands at ‘Melo’s feet. He may at one point have had a plan on how he thought this would play out, but right now — with less than a month to the trading deadline — it sure doesn’t feel like ‘Melo has any idea how this is going to go down. And if he doesn’t know…

Report: 76ers didn’t offer Jimmy Butler five-year max contract once free agency opened

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The 76ers offered Jimmy Butler a five-year max contract, according to Tom Haberstroh of NBC Sports. However, Adrian Wojnarowski reported Philadelphia wasn’t offering Butler a five- or even four-year max deal.

What explains the discrepancy?

Maybe timing.

Zach Lowe of ESPN:

But on June 30, there was no five-year maximum offer for Butler, multiple sources say.

That doesn’t explicitly say the 76ers offered Butler a five-year max earlier, but it intentionally leaves the possibility wide open. After all, when Philadelphia traded for Butler in the final year of his contract, everyone knew he expected a max contract. He said so himself. After early tension, the 76ers still expressed desire to re-sign Butler. As free agency neared, they kept sending those signals.

What changed?

Maybe Philadelphia had second thoughts about paying Butler so much. There are reasonable concerns. But it’d be odd if the 76ers went so far down the road toward re-signing Butler only to reverse course at the last moment because of internal evaluations. That assessment could have been made earlier.

Al Horford unexpectedly became available, and Philadelphia used Butler’s vacated cap space to sign him. With Butler and the capped-out Heat wanting him in Miami, the 76ers also leveraged another good playerJosh Richardson – in a sign-and-trade. Perhaps, once realizing it was an option, Philadelphia just preferred Horford and Richardson to Butler (and retaining J.J. Redick‘s Bird Rights). That’d be simple enough.

Whatever happened, I bet it’s the crux of the secret story Butler recently alluded to.

Nets to wear ‘Bed-Stuy’ jerseys (video)

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Nets forward Kevin Durant said, “The cool thing now is not the Knicks.”

Brooklyn is cool.

So, the Nets are getting more overt about connecting to the image of their borough. After wearing Notorious B.I.G.-inspired uniforms with Coogi-sweater-style trim, Brooklyn is slapping “Bed-Stuy” – the neighborhood brought to mass popularity by Biggie, Jay-Z and others – onto its jerseys.
Nets:

I can’t decide whether these jerseys are actually cool or trying too hard to be cool.

Also, the Nets apparently aren’t daunted by a Coogi lawsuit.

First non-white player in modern professional basketball, Wat Misaka dies at 95

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SALT LAKE CITY — Wataru “Wat” Misaka, the first non-white player to play in the league that was the predecessor to the NBA, has died. He was 95.

Misaka played three games for the New York Knicks during the 1947-48 season in the Basketball Association of America. He was the league’s first player of of Japanese descent.

A 2008 documentary called “Transcending: The Wat Misaka Story” told the story of what Misaka went through as a trailblazing athlete.

Misaka attended a 2013 Utah Jazz game to watch Jeremy Lin play.

The University of Utah athletic department said in a news release Thursday that Misaka died Wednesday in Salt Lake City. He grew up in Ogden, Utah.

Mikasa was the point guard on the Utah team that won the NCAA Tournament in 1944 and the NIT in 1947.

Reggie Miller reports Zion Williamson to return in mid-December

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If you missed this because Reggie Miller’s color commentary makes you reach for the mute button, nobody would blame you. It’s something we all feel the need to do.

However, doing it Thursday night during the Pelicans’ win over the Suns would have caused you to miss Miller doing some actual reporting on the return of Zion Williamson, saying sources tell him the rookie is on track to return in “mid-December.”

If your first reaction is “I trust Reggie Miller’s reporting as much as the Weekly World News” you would generally be correct.

But in this case we may want to listen. First, Miller does talk to GMs, coaches, and front office types. Second, what he says fits the already established timeline for Williamson’s return from knee surgery, which was “around or before Christmas.” This is not breaking news so much as a confirmation of what we already know.

Williamson certainly makes the Pelicans more dynamic, more athletic, plus much more entertaining and watchable. The sooner we get him back on the court, the better for all of us.