Thursday And-1 links: All-Star logos, Pharrell Williams, Carmelo Anthony as anchor on Knicks

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Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers believe in bullet points more than Wizards fans believe Kevin Durant is theirs in 2016….

• The NBA released the logo for the 2015 All-Star Game in New York and Brooklyn, and it plays off the subway sign transportation theme. You can see it to the right. I like it.

• Pharrell Williams will curate the music for NBA 2K14, and you can follow this link to see the Kevin Durant cover.

• Why Carmelo Anthony’s contract could be an anchor for the Knicks.

Philadelphia has signed point guard Pierre Jackson, it’s a one-year, partially guaranteed deal.

• Warriors point guard Shaun Livingston is sidelined for a month with a sprained big toe.

• The Kings have until Saturday to decide whether or not to keep Quincy Acy.

• Al Harrington says he has recovered from left shoulder surgery and is trying to catch on somewhere.

• My wife would have killed me.

There’s a rumor going around that once the  NBA gets a new, expanded television deal they will add two teams in Seattle and Louisville. I wouldn’t bet the rent on that.

• The Spurs have hired one of the brightest minds in European basketball, Ettore Messina. Because that brain trust wasn’t deep enough already.

• Russell Westbrook has his own line of sunglasses.

• Among the things that need to be factored into a free agent is the tax rates in a various states — you pay a lot higher rate in California or New York to make big bucks than you do in Texas or Florida. Tax rates are not as big a factor as some fans think, but it is a factor. And the NBA doesn’t plan to do anything about it.

• We can’t run the video here for language reasons, but watch Kobe Bryant beat a fan in horse while talking smack.

• Dwyane Wade and a dolphin. Because we can.

• In maybe the best signing of the off-season, the AT&T Center in San Antonio is hiring an air conditioning specialist. Not that they won’t take how Game 1 of the Finals worked out.

• Louis ‘Red’ Klotz — the man behind the Washington Generals of Harlem Globetrotters fame — has passed away.

• Phoenix has waived Dionte Christmas.

• Jeremy Pargo inked a two-year Maccabi Tel Aviv (the reigning EuroLeague champion, which was where David Blatt coached last season).

• Finally, JaVale McGee dunks in his dreams.

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

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli
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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

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images
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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.