Carmelo Anthony introduces his latest signature shoe, the Jordan Melo M11

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NEW YORK — Carmelo Anthony was Jordan Brand’s first signature athlete, and as he appeared at the Terminal 23 space in Midtown Manhattan this week to introduce the 11th incarnation of his personal sneaker, it was a time for reflecting on a journey which began long before his NBA career ever got started.

During an intimate event with a small group of media, Anthony walked us through some of the pivotal times in his personal history, while speaking comfortably and in his own words about his interest in sneakers, and the inspirations behind the four initial colorways of the Jordan Melo M11.

Standing next to some large displays which mapped out specific points in his past, Anthony discussed some of the moments that were important to him in getting to where he is today.

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He talked about growing up in Baltimore, not far from the rough parts of town that were featured in the HBO series The Wire, and how as a teenager the recreation center where he would regularly go to play basketball abruptly closed.

Anthony was shaken by the news at the time, and admitted he briefly didn’t know where to turn. The event stuck with him, so much so that he had a similar center of his own built in a nearby neighborhood as soon as he had the financial ability to do so.

There were some lighter topics covered, too. During Anthony’s playing days in Denver, he said at the time it was difficult to find a place in the city where he could get his hair regularly attended to. Since he got tired of paying exorbitant amounts of money to fly in stylists to keep his cornrows properly maintained, Anthony opened his own barber shop just to make things a little easier.

After the storytelling portion, it was on to the sneakers.

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Anthony was heavily involved in the design process, as he has been since the inception of his Jordan Brand relationship. He talked about how exciting it is that he’s working with some of the world’s leading designers in the field, after he used to get in trouble as a kid for drawing sneakers on his desk at school.

The Jordan Melo M11 comes in four initial colorways — the one above is named Concrete Island, inspired by the streets of New York, where Anthony admitted it takes a certain kind of personality to be able to play for the people of this famously tough city.

There’s a model called Red Hook Sunset, inspired by the Red Hook projects in Brooklyn where Anthony was born.

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There’s a model in the classic red, white and black colorway that the brand has become known for — named the Jordan Family as Anthony’s tribute to the man who started it all.

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Finally, there’s a black and gold model with an icy sole that Anthony admitted was his favorite — and after getting a hands-on look at all of them in person, while the details and colors on the Concrete Island version really pop, it’s difficult to disagree. This one has yet to be named, and fans had the opportunity to vote on that the night of the launch, with the winner expected to be announced sometime soon.

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As for the feel and performance, the M11 is much lighter than last season’s M10. A synthetic leather upper provides plenty of durability, while the brand’s Flight Plate technology is once again employed in order to give maximum cushioning in the forefoot with plenty of bounce.

Check out the gallery below for some additional photos from the event. All four colorways are available for pre-order now, with a ship date of Jan. 3.

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Former Louisville star Donovan Mitchell “sad, angry, disgusted” with Breonna Taylor decision

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NBA players — like large swaths of the United States — are shaking their heads at the decision not to prosecute the police sho shot Breonna Taylor in her home. That includes LeBron James, who said the walls of Taylor’s neighbors got more justice than she did.

Now former Louisville star Donovan Mitchell has spoken out on the issue.

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We’re Sorry Breonna😔🤦🏾‍♂️

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The hate and racism in too many of the responses to that Instagram post highlight the injustice and additional hurdles Black people in America have to clear every day.

Louisville has faced a night of protests and backlash to the decision by the grand jury, which included the two police officers getting shot (they both survived).

 

Report: Bulls paying Billy Donovan $6 million-plus annual salary

New Bulls coach and former Thunder coach Billy Donovan
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Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf just spent the NBA hiatus – at least if you looked beyond “The Last Dance” itself – getting dragged for not spending enough to give Michael Jordan another year of title contention in Chicago.

Paying to hire Billy Donovan is a way for Reinsdorf and the Bulls to repair their reputations.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

I’d be surprised if all four years are fully guaranteed. Coaching contracts of this length usually contain a team option or two.

But that’s still a hefty salary. Especially in these times. Especially considering it was believed the Bulls would keep Jim Boylen for financial reasons.

Donovan left the Thunder despite them offering him a new contract. He likely knew he could get more elsewhere.

Credit Chicago for being the team to spend. The Bulls needed a solid coach after Boylen and Fred Hoiberg.

Donovan won’t solve all Chicago’s problems, but he should help on multiple fronts. This upgrade costs nothing but Reinsdorf’s money, which every Chicago fan is perfectly willing to spend.

NBA playoff schedule 2020: Date, time, matchup for every game

NBA playoff schedule 2020
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And there were four.

The NBA is down to the conference finals — and the bubble has provided us with upsets galore. There are some unexpected teams in the NBA’s Final Four, but of course LeBron James is still there. The Lakers are the heavy favorites at this point.

Here are a few notes on the NBA playoffs schedule 2020:

• The NBA is continuing to push the pace with games every other day — except in the East, when ESPN wants a break not to clash with the NFL, and to let the West catch up. The fast pace of games will return with the NBA Finals.
Families for the players, and with the final four now the coaches, are in the bubble.
• The NBA has released an NBA Finals schedule to teams and their target is still a Sept. 30 Game 1. If either conference finals goes seven games that date will need to be pushed back.

Here is the NBA playoffs schedule 2020 (all times are Eastern):

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

No. 3 Boston Celtics vs. No. 5 Miami Heat

Game 1: Heat 117, Celtics 114, OT
Game 2: Heat 106, Celtics 101
Game 3: Celtics 117, Heat 106
Game 4: Heat 112, Celtics 109 (Miami leads series 3-1)
Game 5: Sept. 25, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Game 6: Sept. 27, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)*
Game 7: TBD (ESPN)*
*If necessary

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

No. 1 Los Angeles Lakers vs. No. 3 Denver Nuggets

Game 1: Lakers 126, Nuggets 114
Game 2: Lakers 105, Nuggets 103
Game 3: Nuggets 114, Lakers 106 (Lakers lead series 2-1)
Game 4: Sept. 24, 9 p.m. (TNT)
Game 5: Sept. 26, 9 p.m. (TNT)
Game 6: Sept. 28, TBD (TNT)*
Game 7: Sept. 30, TBD (TNT)*
*If necessary

NBA playoffs schedule 2020: Second Round results

Eastern Conference

No. 3 Boston beat No. 2 Toronto 4-3

No. 5 Miami beat No. 1 Milwaukee 4-1

Western Conference

No. 1 Los Angeles Lakers beat Houston 4-1

No. 3 Denver beat No. 2 Los Angeles Clippers 4-3

NBA playoffs schedule 2020: First Round results

Western Conference

No. 1 Los Angeles Lakers beat No. 8 Portland 4-1

No. 2 L.A. Clippers beat No. 7 Dallas 4-2

No. 3 Denver beat No. 6 Utah 4-3

No. 4 Houston beat No. 5 Oklahoma City 4-3

Eastern Conference

No. 1 Milwaukee beat No. 8 Orlando 4-1

No. 2 Toronto beat No. 7 Brooklyn 4-0

No. 3 Boston beat No. 6 Philadelphia 4-0

No. 5 Miami beat No. 4 Indiana 4-0

PBT Podcast: Which players’ stock rose most in the bubble?

Jamal Murray Donovan Mitchell
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In the wake of Tyler Herro looking like the best offensive player Miami has seen since some guy decided to go back home to Cleveland, the question becomes what players have helped themselves the most in the bubble, and in the playoffs in particular?

Not coincidentally, Miami and Denver have a lot of those players, with the Nuggets Jamal Murray probably topping the list.

Kurt Helin and Dan Feldman of NBC Sports get into that, talk some Boston/Miami series, and also talk about the recent coaching carousel including Billy Donovan to Chicago and the fact no team has hired a Black coach this offseason.

As always, you can check out the podcast below, listen and subscribe via iTunes at ApplePodcasts.com/PBTonNBC, subscribe via the fantastic Stitcher app, check us out on Google play, or check out the NBC Sports Podcast homepage and archive at Art19.

We want your questions for future podcasts, and your comments, so please email us at PBTpodcast@gmail.com.