Report: Greg Monroe signing a maximum contract with Bucks

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The Knicks entered free agency as favorites to land two players: Greg Monroe and Arron Afflalo.

They got Afflalo.

They’re not getting Monroe.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

This is a nice signing for the Bucks. They’re taking advantage of a few market conditions that work in their favor now and only now:

1. They had max cap space due to Khris Middleton’s low cap hold. That will disappear once he officially signs his five-year, $70 million contract.

2. They also had cap space because so many of their players – including Jabari Parker, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Michael Carter-Williams and John Henson – are on low-paying rookie-scale contracts. Those players will be in line for major raises in coming seasons.

3. They’re locking Monroe into a max in the final year of the old-TV-contract money. As the salary cap skyrockets in coming years, his deal will look even better.

4. Because the cap has not yet exploded, they’re one of only so many teams with max space now. Next year, most of the league will have max cap space, and that makes it more difficult for small-market Milwaukee to compete.

Monroe provides the center the Bucks desperately need, and he should thrive no longer playing next to Andre Drummond. The lane will be much more clear for Monroe’s post moves.

Handling Jason Kidd’s aggressive defensive schemes will be a bigger challenge for Monroe, but perhaps Milwaukee can use its length to hide him to some degree.

Monroe should feel vindicated after accepting the Pistons’ qualifying offer last summer. The risky move has paid off for him, and his next deal should pay off for the Bucks.

Knicks miss first nine shots then fan hits half-courter for $10k (video)

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The Knicks missed their first nine shots of the season then called timeout.

That set the stage for a fan to show at least one person on New York’s side could shoot. The fan hit a half-court shot for $10,000.

Perhaps feeling the momentum, the Knicks came back for a 126-107 win over the Hawks.

Kobe Bryant dropped from film festival after backlash due to his 2003 rape charge

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Kobe Bryant has become acclaimed for his filmmaking, even winning an Oscar.

But his sustained prominence in basketball retirement, especially considering his new industry, has sparked questions about why he hasn’t been swept up by #MeToo. After all, Bryant admitted in 2004 to having sex with a woman who didn’t view the encounter as consensual the year prior. (That statement part of Bryant moving on and readily accepted by the public, which shows why a reckoning in our handling of sexual misconduct was so necessary.)

Bryant was selected to judge a film festival, but a petition emerged to prevent his participation. Apparently, 159 signatures were enough for the festival to change course.

Evan Real of The Hollywood Reporter:

Kobe Bryant has been removed from the Animation Is Film Festival jury following backlash stemming from a 2003 rape allegation. Though the former L.A. Lakers star was set to serve as a juror at the annual event this weekend in Hollywood, organizers announced on Wednesday that he will no longer participate.

On one hand, it’s not surprising the petition received just 159 signatures. Bryant remains highly popular and is beloved by many.

But this also shows the power of a relatively small number of voices speaking up.

 

Blake Griffin’s dunk attempt stuffed by Jarrett Allen. Again (video)

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Pistons star Blake Griffin learned his lesson after getting his dunk blocked by Nets center Jarrett Allen in the preseason. In the regular-season opener, Griffin went up even harder.

And Allen still stopped him!

Kevin Durant’s brother says Instagram comment wasn’t about star leaving Warriors this summer

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Rumors about Kevin Durant leaving the Warriors are intensifying. Even people within the Golden State organization are bracing themselves for him to depart in free agency next summer.

Not even the Warriors collecting their championship rings could stop the momentum.

In fact, last night’s celebration contributed to the noise.

Kevin’s brother, Tony, commented on Kevin’s Instagram post featuring the rings, “Filling the hand up before we get outta here!”

Rob Perez of The Action Network:

My best guess was “here” meant the Warriors’ arena in Oakland. This is their last season there before moving to a new arena in San Francisco Francisco.

Or maybe “here” meant in the NBA. Careers in the NBA are finite.

Another thought that crossed my mind: “Here” could have meant in this world. Lives, too, are finite.

The only clear part: Tony wants Kevin to win a handful of rings. The deadline is nebulous.

Of course, the loudest speculation was “here” meant playing for the Warriors and this being the last run. But Tony sharply denied that.

Perez:

If you want to be a conspiracy theorist, perhaps Tony meant leaving Golden State after this season but Kevin just instructed him to downplay it to quiet chatter. I suppose that’s possible, though it wouldn’t jibe with Kevin’s tell-the-truth-about-free-agency approach.

Occam’s Razor suggests taking Tony at his word, and that’s what I’ll do.