Carmelo Anthony: Knicks competing for championship


WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) The longer Carmelo Anthony plays, the further he’s gotten from a championship.

A player who had never missed the postseason in his first 10 seasons has been on two straight losing teams, and these New York Knicks aren’t expected to compete for a title.

Don’t tell that to Anthony.

“We’re competing,” he said Wednesday. “I mean, people might not believe that, but we’re definitely competing for that. That’s always going to be the goal. Whether we get there or not, it depends on us and what we do and how we do it, but that’s always our big-picture goal.”

Perhaps that’s why Anthony appears so patient.

He’s 31 years old, an age when few top players are interested in a gradual building process. But Anthony doesn’t seem disappointed or dispirited, and he certainly hasn’t been demanding – at least, not publicly.

“What I see in Melo is how he feels personally, good or bad, about anything, I think he will say it if he feels like he needs to say it, but when he doesn’t feel like it needs to be said, or people publicly need to know what he’s feeling or how he’s thinking, he doesn’t say it,” Knicks coach Derek Fisher said. “And I think that says a lot about who he is.”

Kobe Bryant threw a fit in 2007 when the Lakers had fallen from title contention and even indicated he wanted out of Los Angeles. Dwyane Wade made it clear in 2009 after Miami couldn’t get out of the first round that the Heat better get him some help in South Florida.

Bryant said a couple of years ago that Anthony may need to follow his example, be so pushy that management can’t ignore him. But Anthony can’t, or won’t.

“That’s just me,” he said after practice at the U.S. Military Academy. “It’s hard for me to kind of lose my patience and get upset about something that pretty much you can’t control. Only thing I can control is what goes on on the basketball court. Everything else is out of my control.”

He has repeatedly denied reports he was angry with the Knicks’ selection of Latvian Kristaps Porzingis with the No. 4 pick in the draft. He hoped the Knicks could’ve landed one of the big prizes in free agency but seems committed to working with the newcomers they did get, organizing workouts in Puerto Rico in August that were attended by eight teammates.

“It makes you really feel like you’re part of the team, especially when the best player and a vet really invites you to come join him on a trip like that,” rookie Jerian Grant said.

Perhaps during those workouts Anthony developed a belief that the Knicks will be better than expected. Maybe he’s simply OK if they aren’t. Either way, no temper tantrum appears imminent.

“Some guys kind of like the storm or the stir that comes from saying something publicly,” Fisher said. “Other guys – not Melo – other guys around the league are for sure signaling to management what they want and what they need.

“So I don’t think he’s just biding his time because he enjoys New York City. I think he wants to win. He’s won a championship before as a player in college and he wants to win one as a pro.”

For now, Anthony is content to just be playing again. He made it through a career-low 40 games last season before knee surgery and said the time off helped put things in perspective.

“He’s put a ton of work in to get to this point,” Fisher said, “and I would assume that he’s happy with where he is right now.”

Watch Spurs Collins bloody Russell Westbrook with a foul, get ejected

Los Angeles Lakers v San Antonio Spurs
Ronald Cortes/Getty Images

Jakob Poeltl was dominating the paint, scoring 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting with nine rebounds in 10 minutes, and giving the Lakers serious trouble. Then he had to leave the game with a sore quad, meaning Zach Collins would get more run.

Collins was ejected for a flagrant foul 2 on Russell Westbrook that left the Lakers guard bloodied.

Collins plans to appeal the ejection he said after the game.

Collins will face a fine or suspension from the league, although he doesn’t have a history of this kind of foul, something the league takes into consideration. Westbrook also got a technical for going after Collins.

The Lakers went on to beat the Spurs 143-138, behind 39 points from LeBron James. It’s the second time the Lakers have defeated the Spurs in three days, the kind of wins over tanking teams the Lakers need if they are going to turn their season around.

Watch Victor Wembanyama drop 30-point double-double in France


Maybe you spent your Saturday afternoon watching Lionel Messi doing Lionel Messi things. Or intense college football rivalries.

In France, they spent part of the day watching Kylian Mbappe be brilliant but then flipped over and watched future No.1 pick Victor Wembanyama drop a 30-point double-double.

That’s two straight 30-point double-doubles for Wembanyama.

He will be the No.1 pick next June (barring something catastrophic), and teams are already thinking about the lottery next June.

Expect some other teams to jump in that mix at the bottom because the depth of this class goes well beyond just Wembanyama with Scoot Henderson, Amen Thompson and others. The tanking is coming people.


Boogie Cousins called Warriors GM Myers and got reality check on why he’s not in NBA

2022 NBA Playoffs - Denver Nuggets v Golden State Warriors
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

DeMarcus Cousins didn’t understand why he didn’t have an NBA contract this season.

He thought he had proven he could help teams in need of front-line depth last season, first in Milwaukee when Brook Lopez was out following back surgery and gave them 9.1 points and 5.8 rebounds a game of solid play. The Bucks ultimately let Cousins go for financial reasons, so the Nuggets picked him up to backup Nikola Jokic. He was again solid, averaging 8.9 points and 5.5 rebounds a game (and he had a 31-point night against the Rockets).

Confused, he called one of the former GMs who brought him in, Bob Myers of the Golden State Warriors. Myers relayed their conversation on the All That Smoke podcast (via NBC Sports Bay Area).

“DeMarcus called me a month ago and he said, ‘Why am I not in the NBA?’ ” Myers told Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on the “All The Smoke” podcast earlier this week. “And I said, ‘You want that answer? … Because people are afraid of how you’re going to act.’ And he’s like ‘Why?’ And I said, ‘Well whatever the reason is, it’s here now.’

“And I like DeMarcus. You guys may know him. He’s just, I can’t blame him for him because of all he’s been through.”

Not long after that conversation, Cousins spoke with Chris Haynes and said he learned from his past mistakes.

“Have I made mistakes? Absolutely. Have I done things the wrong way? Absolutely. For that, I’m very apologetic. But I’ve done even more things the correct way and I’ve done even more positive things compared to my negatives. I just don’t want those positives to be overlooked. And obviously, whenever it gets to the point where the negatives outweigh the positives, you should probably move away from him. That’s just how life goes. But I don’t believe I’m in that boat. I’m just asking for a chance to show my growth as a man and a player.”

Cousins also had physical issues, including a torn ACL that cost him a season with the Lakers in 2019-20. He also had domestic abuse allegations at the time (those charges were dropped a few months later).

Cousins just wants the chance to prove he is past all that and can help a team like he did last season. There have been rumors out of Taiwan that Cousins could join Dwight Howard in that league, but Cousins has not confirmed that. He still wants his shot in the NBA. So he waits, and hopes he can change the narrative around him.

Giannis Antetokounmpo says of Evan Mobley, ‘He can be better than me’

Cleveland Cavaliers v Milwaukee Bucks
John Fisher/Getty Images

Evan Mobley hasn’t taken the leap forward in his second season many expected, partly because he has to adjust to playing with a new, dominant backcourt in Cleveland of Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland. Mobley is getting nearly five fewer touches a game and is not getting the same chances to use his off-the-bounce skills (73% of his shots this season come off zero or one-dribble) as he did when he was a rookie.

That doesn’t mean his superstar potential has gone away. Just ask Giannis Antetokounmpo, as Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer did.

“He can be better than me,” Antetokounmpo told in an exclusive interview while walking out of Fiserv Forum… “I don’t see why he can’t. It’s up to him. I will always try to improve. Every day. But he has the skill set to be a very, very good player. He’s 7-feet tall. He can move really well. He can shoot. He is very smart. As you said, he watches tapes of other players, which is very, very good for a young player. If he takes this seriously, he is going to be great.”

Better than Giannis? What could possibly make him say that?

“I didn’t average what he is in my second season, so he’s already ahead of me,” Antetokounmpo told “It’s in his hands. If he stays humble, continues to work hard, focuses on the game and shows love to the game of basketball, he is going to be really good.”

One of the players Mobley is known to study on tape is Antetokounmpo. Of course, mirroring the force and athleticism Antetokounmpo plays with is next to impossible, but Mobley has the skill set that could see him become a shot-creator and scorer on the wing with the ball.

The Cavaliers don’t need him to be that with Garland improving and Michell being better than advertised. Cleveland has a top-five offense and hasn’t had to turn to Mobley for more scoring and shot creation. But that can change, especially come the playoffs against the strong defenses of teams such as the Bucks and Celtics. Ultimately, how far these Cavaliers can go in the postseason over the next few years could come down to the growth of Mobley on the offensive end.

Antetokounmpo believes Mobley could be special in that role, which should give fans in Cleveland even more hope.