Carmelo Anthony not ready for All-Star weekend to end. No wonder why

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NEW YORK – Carmelo Anthony had barely settled into his seat in the All-Star game interview room when he was asked his reaction to Amar’e Stoudemire’s buyout.

“Man,” Melo said. “That’s the first question? You ain’t going to ask me about the weekend?”

Of course, Melo wants to savor this All-Star weekend in New York, his birthplace and the home of his Knicks.

But this Monday morning, a cold reality beckons.

Melo’s knee is still injured. The Knicks are still wretched. Melo said he was unsure how he’d handle the situation, but this set of circumstances ends only one way – probably sooner than later.

Before Melo shuts down, though, he wanted to represent his city in the All-Star Game – to do his part to maker New York a power again.

It’s hard to see how that’ll work, though.

Melo reversed course and said he didn’t recruit free agents this weekend. Any attempts to display his own appeal on the court went even worse.

The Knicks forward shot 6-of-20, scoring 14 points. It was a gutty performance, as a clearly hobbled Melo pushed himself for 30 minutes – more than he expected to play.

It was also a bad performance.

Nobody in All-Star history has scored fewer points when shooting at least 20 times:

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Of course, Melo was at a disadvantage because he barely crossed the threshold for attempts. But even by points per shot, Melo ranks last in the sample:

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With a roster literally full of All-Star teammates, most players know this is not the game to keep hoisting if you’re not feeling it.

But Melo – who said he “didn’t want to go full speed, because I didn’t want to take that chance” – never had that realization.

He’s definitely not LeBron James, who jumps from playing with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to Kyrie Irving and Chris Bosh. Melo is not used to playing with stars on this court. He no longer even has Stoudemire, whom Melo gushed about:

“Amar’e brought something back to New York that New York was kind of missing and needing for a long time. When he came, he brought back some excitement here for the game of basketball here in New York. There was hope when he came back. People started believing in the New York Knicks once again. He was the reason.

“One of the main reasons why I’m a New York Knick today was because of him.”

Now, Melo returns to the Knicks’ lackluster roster. He deserves credit for trying to pull this group through the season, for trying to repay his fans by playing in the All-Star game. His heart is in the right place. The execution just hasn’t matched.

And it seems Melo realizes the status quo is unsustainable.

“The only thing that matters at this point is where we’re headed as a team, as an organization in the future. That’s the only thing we can start preparing for,” Melo said, “and we have to start preparing for that right now.”

Asked whether he’d call Stoudemire last night, Melo said he’d wait.

“I’ve still got to decompress from my night, this whole weekend,” Melo said.

An unforgettable weekend over, Monday morning has come to soon for Melo.

If Nets want Chris Chiozza for playoffs it could cost Theo Pinson a roster spot

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If the NBA season is able to resume, and the Brooklyn Nets want Chris Chiozza to be a part of their playoff rotation, they’ve got a decision to make. According to the New York Post that decision could cost Theo Pinson his roster spot.

Chiozza is currently signed to a Two-Way contract with the Nets. Two-Way players are ineligible for the NBA Playoffs. In order for Chiozza to be on Brooklyn’s playoff roster, they’d have to create a roster spot for him.

That’s where Pinson comes in. Pinson is in his second year with the Nets, but hasn’t been a part of the rotation for the majority of the season. Brooklyn holds a team option for Pinson at $1.7 million for 2020-21, but could waive him to create a spot for Chiozza.

At the beginning of March, Chiozza became the Nets backup point guard behind Spencer Dinwiddie. With Kyrie Irving out for the season following shoulder surgery, Dinwiddie and Chiozza are the only available pure point guards on the team. In five March games, Chiozza played 19.1 minutes per game and averaged 10 points. He shot 55.9% from the field overall and 52.6% from behind the arc over that period as well.

Part of the consideration with keeping Pinson would be for trade purposes this summer. Brooklyn is reportedly looking to add a third star player via trade to add alongside Irving and Kevin Durant. Pinson’s $1.7 million salary could help towards matching purposes in a trade.

French point guard Theo Maledon declares for NBA draft

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French point guard Theo Maledon has declared for the 2020 NBA Draft:

The six-foot-five Maledon is declaring as an Early Entry candidate from the international ranks. International players who do not turn 22 in the calendar year of the draft can declare as Early Entry players.

At 18 years old, Maledon was a part-time starter for ASVEL Basket in France in the French Pro A League. ASVEL Basket is owned in part by former NBA player Tony Park, who also serves as the club’s president. Maleon started in 23 of the 46 games he played for ASVEL Basket this season.

In 46 games with ASVEL, Maledon averaged 7.3 points per game. He shot 42.1% from the floor, including 33.3% on three-pointers. He also averaged 2.7 assists per game. In mid-January, against former NBA player Shane Larkin and Turkish club Anadolu Efes, Maledon started and dished out 10 assists, while scoring five points and grabbing six rebounds.

In part due to his size for the point guard position, and his excellent play on the youth level, ESPN has Maledon ranked 15th in their top-100 prospects. He’s widely expected to be in the mix to be a lottery pick.

Players have until Sunday, April 26 to declare as Early Entry candidates. The deadline to withdraw as an Early Entry candidate is Monday, June 15. The 2020 NBA Draft is currently scheduled to be held on Thursday, June 25.

Report: Pacers GM Chad Buchanan turns down interview with Bulls

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Indiana Pacers general manager Chad Buchanan has reportedly declined an opportunity to interview for a front office job with the Chicago Bulls.

Buchanan joined the Pacers in 2017 as their general manager under President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard. Prior to moving to Indiana, Buchanan was the assistant general manager with the Charlotte Hornets.

In turning down the Bulls opportunity, Buchanan cited how well he and his family have been treated in Indiana. Buchanan had previously worked with Pritchard when both were members of the Portland Trail Blazers front office.

Chicago is replacing John Paxson and Gar Forman at the top of their front office structure. Paxson and Forman have led the Bulls basketball operations together since 2009. Chicago’s search will now reportedly focus on Arturas Karnisovas of the Denver Nuggets, Adam Simon of the Miami Heat and Bobby Webster of the Toronto Raptors.

This Day in NBA History: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar becomes NBA’s all-time scoring leader

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It was fitting he did it with a skyhook.

On April 5, 1984, in a game against the Utah Jazz (played in a sold-out Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar took a pass from Magic Johnson, swung left, and drained a hook shot that gave him career point No. 31,420, moving him past Wilt Chamberlain to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.

The game stopped as the celebration ensued as Kareem’s teammates swarmed the captain. He was taken out of the game at that point, done for the night.

Abdul-Jabbar wasn’t done scoring, however. H retired five seasons later with 38,387 points, a record that stands to this day.