Getty Images

Derrick Rose on Knicks: “They’re saying us and Golden State are the super teams”

46 Comments

Derrick Rose has never lacked confidence. At times it’s an irrational confidence — which is why New Yorkers will relate to him.

You’re going to need that belief in yourself to be a little guard (officially 6’3″) weaving your way through the trees of the NBA in the paint to become an MVP. You’re going to need that to bounce back from multiple knee injuries and still be an impactful NBA player. Optimism about yourself and the future can lead to great things.

Then there’s the other edge of the sword. The Knicks had an interesting off-season adding Rose, Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee, Brandon Jennings and coach Jeff Hornacek to Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis. Lang Whitaker of NBA.com asked Rose about the expectations that come with this lineup in the rational city of New York.

They’re high. I mean, with these teams right now, they’re saying us and Golden State are the super teams, and they’re trying not to build that many super teams, and Adam Silver came out with the statement and this and that. And the expectations I think of us, we just want to win. Talking to Melo and all the guys who’ve been around. You’ve got Brandon who just signed for one year, he’s got to show why he’s there. I’ve got to show why I’m there. Joakim has to show why he’s there. Everybody’s trying to prove themselves.

I hate to be the one that breaks it to you Derrick, but when Silver said it was not good for the league to have two super teams, he was talking about the Warriors and that LeBron James/Kyrie Irving/Kevin Love group that just won an NBA title in Cleveland. Even “they” need to admit that’s a better team than the Knicks right now.

“They” must be thinking of these Knicks circa 2011.  These Knicks should be better than a season ago, and they have a rising star in Porzingis. The rest of these Knicks — Rose, Noah, ‘Melo — can be pretty good but are chasing the shadows of their past. Rose, in a contract year and finally looking healthy late last season, he should put up good yet inefficient numbers. Just like Anthony. Hopefully, Noah can stay healthy and contribute.

These Knicks will be better than a year ago, but in my mind New York is going to be competing with Miami, Atlanta, Charlotte, Washington, Orlando, Chicago, and Milwaukee for one of the final three playoff spots in the East (conservatively, Cleveland, Boston, Toronto, Indiana, and Detroit are locks). The Knicks should comfortably be in that mix, they probably are a playoff team if healthy.

Maybe I just lack confidence in the Knicks and will be proven wrong. Maybe “they” will be right. We’ll see. But I like my reality-based world.

Rumor: Patrick Beverley may meet with five teams before Clippers

Getty Images
1 Comment

The Los Angeles Clippers want to bring Patrick Beverley back next season, his spark was at the heart of why this team made the playoffs and impressed with their potential.

First, however, the Clippers are going big game hunting for the likes of Kawhi Leonard and/or Kevin Durant (even with the Achilles injury). Beverley isn’t just going to sit around and wait for them, reports longtime NBA reporter Sean Deveney Tweeted.

The Bulls need a point guard and Beverley — a Chicago native — has said he is interested.

The Lakers also are reportedly big game hunting, but Beverley is the kind of guard they could use around LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Phoenix and other teams have been mentioned.

Beverley is going to have options, but he loved his time with the Clippers last season, and that means something.

Pelicans reportedly pick up option year on coach Alvin Gentry

Associated Press
Leave a comment

David Griffin, the guy with the hammer in New Orleans, likes Alvin Gentry. They have a relationship that goes back to Phoenix, where Gentry was the coach and Griffin was in the front office (and was eventually GM).

Gentry also has a style of play — he wants to run and be up-tempo. That should fit very well with soon-to-be No. 1 draft pick Zion Williamson.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise the Griffin and the Pelicans want to keep Gentry around, as reported by Malika Andrews of ESPN.

This is another smart, stabilizing move by Griffin. The Pelicans want to build an athletic, fast-paced team and Gentry is the right coach for that style.  Maybe it doesn’t pan out, maybe the Pelicans ultimately need to go another direction with their coach, but right now this seems a good fit.

Report: Utah “frontrunner” to land Mike Conley Jr. if Memphis trades him this week

Getty Images
1 Comment

Utah feels like it is close — a 50-win team two seasons in a row, an elite defense, an All-NBA center in Rudy Gobert and an elite shot creator in Donovan Michell. They look at the West next season, with a depleted Warriors team, and see an opening.

Yet when Utah fell to Houston 4-1 in the first round of the playoffs this year, it was reminded of what is keeping the team from being truly elite, and another shot creator and shooter is at the top of that list.

Enter Mike Conley Jr. He averaged 21.1 points and 6.4 assists per game last season, shot 36.4 percent from three, and plays strong defense. Conley would be an upgrade over Ricky Rubio at the spot.

The almost All-Star point guard out of Memphis is available via trade. He’s the kind of veteran floor general, shooter, and shot creator Utah could use. The Jazz and Grizzlies talked but couldn’t come to an agreement at the trade deadline, but the sides are talking again and conversations are “intensifying” in the run-up to the NBA Draft Thursday, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The Grizzlies are intensifying talks to potentially move franchise cornerstone Mike Conley Jr., league sources told The Athletic. Memphis has been in conversations with the Jazz and Utah is a frontrunner to acquire Conley should the Grizzlies trade the point guard during draft week, league sources said.

What would be in a trade package? Certainly the No. 23 pick in this draft, plus some young players the Grizzlies like (maybe Grayson Allen, Royce O’Neal, and even someone like Jae Crowder. Reports say Derick Favors is not part of the discussion.

While anything can happen the week of the draft — and things change quickly — don’t be surprised if some version of this trade gets done.

Kawhi Leonard wins day with last laugh — his viral laugh — at end of speech

1 Comment

Kawhi Leonard just won again.

He won his second NBA title leading the Toronto Raptors to the franchise’s first crown. He earned his second Finals MVP in the process.

Then on Monday he had the last laugh and won the Raptors’ championship parade in Toronto by ending his speech with his laugh, the same one that went viral at the start of the season.

Of course, what Leonard will do on July 1 was a cloud hanging over the parade, Leonard is a free agent this summer. Kyle Lowry at one point started a “five more years” chant during the parade, which is the maximum number of years Toronto can re-sign Leonard for.

Leonard, exactly as we all should have expected, dodged the question, while praising his time in Toronto.

Unfortunately, this was a parade marred by more serious concerns.