‘Melo says nothing yet, but he hopes to have offer this weekend

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Carmelo Anthony spoke to the media for 20 minutes on Friday afternoon and was able to sound like an innocent bystander in his own trade drama.

“I don’t know/out of my control,” was his mantra as he said nothing was in place. No meetings are set with Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov or Knicks owner James Dolan. He has not gotten a call about or discussed any “legitmate” offers. He said if he is presented with one he would have to “think about” what to do.

But he did say he hopes that by the time he leaves Los Angeles after All-Star weekend.

“Before I leave (Los Angeles) I would love to have something on the table,” Anthony said. “I would love to have a legit offer on the table where we can sit down and they can say to me ‘this is what we have’ and we can figure it out….

“I hope it’s not at the 11th hour trade deadline. I do need my rest. I need to get some sleep. I don’t need that much stress on me.”

When asked about the actual options he tried to sound like a guy out of the loop, not at the center of the Melodrama that bears is name. As if his stand on signing an extension — with Denver or the Nets or the Knicks — is not what will decide how this all ends.

When asked about the report the Nets and Nuggets have a deal in place if he signs an extension he said that had not been discussed with him.

“I really don’t know where that’s at,” Anthony said. “As far as any agreement… I don’t know anything about that. I haven’t gotten any phone call as of this moment.”

He played the same card when asked about meetings with owners (even in the face of reports he met with Knicks owner Dolan last night, as reported by the New York Daily News).

“The Nuggets haven’t called me and said ‘we are close to a deal with New Jersey’ or anything like that,” Anthony said.

He did say the Nuggets had come to him before and said there was a deal on the table last month, right before Prokhorov got tired of being jerked around and pulled the Nets out of the talks.

He continued to say Denver is an option, even though he has had an extension from them sitting on the table since this summer he has not signed it. At this point, not sure Denver is on the hook, biting on that bait.

“The only thing I can control is signing that extension,” Anthony said. “There’s a lot of things I think about though, like what the future of the Denver Nuggets really is, what they are trying to do with the team, what the goal is in a couple years.”

The one thing he and everyone else agreed on — he wants this to end.

“I haven’t got no sleep in a week,” he said.

Report: Mavericks’ Jalen Brunson may have torn labrum in his right shoulder

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Dallas’ reserve point guard Jalen Brunson has missed the last two games with a shoulder injury suffered against Atlanta, and he was expected to miss the next three games with the Mavericks out on the road.

It sounds like he may be out longer than that, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

 

Brunson, the former Villanova star, has given Dallas a solid 18 minutes a night off the bench this season, averaging 8.2 points and shooting 35.8 percent from three. In the short term this means more minutes for J.J. Barea, but come the postseason Brunson’s size and defense would be helpful off the bench.

If playing through the injury isn’t going to make it worse or risk long-term damage, then it’s up to Brunson and his level of pain tolerance as to when and how much he plays. The surgery can wait until after the playoffs. Just expect he’s going to miss a little time in the immediate future.

Timberwolves fined $25,000 for resting healthy D’Angelo Russell against Denver

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Sunday, in a game against Denver, the Minnesota Timberwolves rested D'Angelo Russell. He was healthy, they just gave him the night off, and nobody around the NBA thought twice about it.

Except for the folks in Manhattan at the NBA’s league office.

The league fined the Timberwolves $25,000 as an organization for “violating the league’s player resting policy.”

The Timberwolves response? Basically, ¯_(ツ)_/¯

The new management team in Minnesota is very focused on modernizing the health and player development programs in the organization. Resting Russell was part of that, and if they felt the need to make sure Russell was good to go for future games they were not going to be dissuaded from sitting him.

Especially if the cost is just $25,000.

Some teams have gone to great lengths to make sure the league knew their player medically needed days off, the most prominent among those being the Clippers with Kawhi Leonard on back-to-backs. Then Doc Rivers admitted the truth — that they were resting him at times when Leonard was healthy and could play — and he got hit with a $50,000 fine.

The league has become very sensitive to the idea of “load management,” that healthy players are being rested during the regular season. From a PR perspective, it’s bad for business and is seen as devaluing the regular season. However, coaches and team sports scientists have seen the value, particularly in preventing injuries and having players relatively fresh for the playoffs, so they will continue to do it.

At this point in the season, every player is a little banged up. These kinds of fines by the league will push teams to say Russell — or whomever — is out for a game due to a sore knee, or ankle, or back, or whatever. Every player has some ailment that could use a little rest. This is how it was done before the league became more transparent and let teams just call it “rest.” The practice is not going to change with teams, it may just have a new name.

Kobe Bryant memorabilia, including game-worn Finals jerseys, going up for auction

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NEW YORK — Some key Kobe Bryant memorabilia, including two of his Los Angeles Lakers uniforms and cement handprints from his induction into the Grauman’s Chinese Theater hall of fame gallery, are going up for sale in April.

Julien’s Auctions said Thursday that the items would be up for sale on April 30 as part of its annual sports auction that includes a silver medal from the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and a 2002 FIFA World Cup gold winner’s medal.

Bryant’s items were already being planned for auction when he, his daughter Gianna and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.

“We are honored to include this collection of his items and pay tribute to this giant who was an inspiration not only to basketball fans but to the entire world,” said Darren Julien, Julien’s Auctions’ president and CEO.

The Lakers uniforms up for sale are one worn during the 2000 NBA Finals, with his original number 8. The uniform included a black armband which marked the memory of Wilt Chamberlain, who died that season.

The other uniform was from his 2007 season, when his number was 24.

Other Bryant items include Adidas game shoes signed by the late legend; and a basketball signed by the 2010-11 Lakers including Bryant and other stars such as Ron Artest and Pau Gasol.

Juliens said the Bryant items were being sold by a collector in Kentucky. Fans can view what’s up for sale between April 27 and April 30 in Beverly Hills, California, before the auction takes place at Juliens Auctions Beverly Hills.

Bryant, who was 41, and his daughter were remembered Monday at the Staples Center with a memorial that included a performance from Beyoncé and tributes by Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal.

Raptors coach Nick Nurse to perform musically next month

Raptors coach Nick Nurse
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On his way to guiding the Raptors to a championship, Nick Nurse earned viral fame by arriving in Milwaukee for the Eastern Conference finals with a guitar slung over his back:

Now, Nurse is preparing for a different stage.

Nurse, via CityNews:

I’m working on four songs right now that I’m getting ready to – I’m getting ready to have a little performance. Actually, March 11th, I’m having a kickoff for my foundation – Nick Nurse Foundation – in support of music programs for kids around the Toronto area. So, we have a lot of bands coming in, and I’m going to sit in with, well, at least one of them.

Nurse is doing this while building a strong case for Coach of the Year.

Excelling in the NBA and music, Nurse is a regular Damian Lillard.