Karl-Anthony Towns

Suns guard Devin Booker vs. Knicks
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Rumor: Knicks could trade for Suns star Devin Booker

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The Knicks’ reported plan of trading for a disgruntled star initially focused on Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns. But now joined by D'Angelo Russell, Towns is more likely to stay in Minnesota. The Knicks are also expected to hire Tom Thibodeau, with whom Towns had differences.

So, New York needs a new pipe dream.

How about Devin Booker?

Marc Berman of the New York Post:

However, since Leon Rose was hired as president, the player to watch out for most is Suns combo guard Devin Booker, according to league sources.

This vague report sounds like fantasy.

Rose represented Booker before getting hired by the Knicks. But discussion of agents-turned-team executives landing their former clients far outpaces the reality of it actually happening.

With four more seasons left on his contract, Booker also has little leverage to choose his team. He could demand a trade from the Suns and make them feel compelled to move him. But the main way for players to pick their trade destination is refusing to re-sign with undesirable teams. Booker threatening to leave in 2024 wouldn’t scare off many teams any time soon. And plenty of other teams could offer more than the Knicks, whose top assets include their own first-rounders, two Mavericks first-rounders, R.J. Barrett, Mitchell Robinson and Kevin Knox. The most valuable of those assets – New York’s own first-rounders – would become less valuable with a prime Booker.

Besides, would Booker really try to steer himself to New York? He has shown impatience in Phoenix, which has the NBA’s worst winning percentage (29%) since he entered the league and remains bad. But the team with the second-worst winning percentage in that span (33%)?

The Knicks.

NBA releases new social justice video: ‘The Truth Is #BlackLivesMatter’

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Numerous NBA players have taken part in — and in some cases led — Black Lives Matter protests around the nation.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Malcolm Brogdon, Jaylen Brown, Karl-Anthony Towns, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, DeMar DeRozan, Tobias Harris, Mattise Thybulle, Damian Lillard, and many other NBA players took to the streets as part of the protests of police brutality that rose up in the wake of George Floyd’s killing by a Minneapolis Police officer. NBA owners — Mark Cuban and Vivek Ranadive — as well as front office people such as Elton Brand were at protests as well.

The NBA weaved footage of a lot of those players together in a new social justice brand video focusing on the social justice movement and the league’s commitment to it.

Kenny Atkinson reportedly has ‘internal support’ to be next Knicks coach

Kenny Atkinson Knicks
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New York is going to hire Tom Thibodeau as its new head coach… unless Kenny Atkinson becomes the Knicks choice.

Thibodeau wants to return to NBA coaching, and his decades-long friendship with Rose made him the frontrunner from the start. It is likely still his job to lose.

However, former Brooklyn coach Kenny Atkinson is gaining support in the Knicks’ front office, reports Ian Begley of SNY.TV.

While there is no specific timetable known for the Knicks’ head-coaching search, there is legitimate internal support within the organization to name Kenny Atkinson as its next head coach, league sources tell SNY…

Agents and other coaches with a vested interest in the Knicks’ search continue to see Thibodeau as the most likely hire if team president Leon Rose decides not to bring back [interim coach Mike] Miller as head coach. Other outlets have reported that Thibodeau is the early favorite.

What drives the Atkinson support at Madison Square Garden is his success developing young talent and setting a culture in Brooklyn. The Knicks have a young core they like — RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, a high draft pick this year — but as an organization has not been good at identifying and developing talent in recent years. If the Knicks are thinking about a patient rebuild around their youth, Atkinson would be a good choice.

Hiring him is also a shot at the Nets, who let him go.

The Knicks also believe they are well positioned to trade for a star. Dealing with elite players — in this case, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant — proved to be Atkinson’s downfall in Brooklyn, as he was seen as inflexible with his system to cater to the new talent. Atkinson didn’t connect with the team’s imported stars.

Thibodeau has a history as a win-now coach who leans on veterans, but he struggled to relate to young players such as Karl-Anthony Towns in Minnesota. Thibodeau says he has grown and will bring a new perspective to his next job, but is that a bet the Knicks want to make?

Mike Miller and Mike Woodson also are expected to interview for the Knicks’ job. There is support in the organization to take a look at Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy as well.

Leon Rose has not tipped his hand much, but the buzz around the league is this is still Thibodeau’s job, even if some in the Knicks’ organization love Atkinson.

Another report Tom Thibodeau is the ‘heavy favorite’ to become next Knicks coach

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From the moment the Knicks hired former agent Leon Rose to head their basketball operations, Tom Thibodeau has been considered the frontrunner to be the team’s next head coach. Rose and Thibodeau have a decades-long relationship, and Thibodeau reportedly wants the job.

Now comes another report, this time from the well-connected Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, that the job is Thibodeau’s to lose.

Moving forward to the Leon Rose era can’t begin in earnest until he hired his coach. To that end, sources say Tom Thibodeau is the heavy favorite to land the job… But the belief is that this is Thibodeau’s to lose, and a source said he’s confident about getting the job — to the point that Thibodeau has made calls to assemble a staff.

There will be others interviewed, Kenny Atkinson and interim coach Mike Miller are on the list, there may be more. However, the buzz around the league is this will be Thibodeau’s job next season.

Thibodeau wants to coach in the NBA again. Is he the right fit? That’s up for debate. Thibodeau has a history as a win-now coach who leans on veterans, he’s struggled to build relationships with some young players such as Karl-Anthony Towns, and he’s clashed with management at more than one stop. For his part, Thibodeau says he has grown and will bring a new perspective to his next job.

Whether New York builds with its young core or trades for a star (if one becomes available), it sounds like Thibodeau will be tasked with turning this team into a playoff team again. That might take a couple of seasons, hopefully, this time Knicks management can be patient with that process.

Stephen Jackson speaks passionately at a rally in remembrance of his ‘twin’ George Floyd

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Stephen Jackson, the former NBA player and current ESPN analyst, knew George Floyd from when he pair grew up near each other in Texas.

Friday, Jackson spoke about the man he called his “twin” at a rally Minneapolis City Hall Rotunda (an event with Timberwolves players Karl-Anthony Towns and Josh Okogie in attendance. (Video via Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic, there is NSFW language involved.)

“I’m here because they’re not gonna demean the character of George Floyd, my twin. A lot of times, when police do things they know that’s wrong, the first thing they try to do is cover it up, and bring up their background, to make it seem like the bulls*** that they did was worthy. When was murder ever worthy? But if it’s a black man, it’s approved.

“You can’t tell me, when that man has his knee on my brother’s neck — taking his life away, with his hand in his pocket — that that smirk on his face didn’t say, ‘I’m protected.’ You can’t tell me that he didn’t feel that it was his duty to murder my brother, and that he knew he was gonna get away with it. You can’t tell me that wasn’t the look on his face.”

There has been a powerful reaction across the NBA world — and across the nation — in the wake of the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery (a 25-year-old black man killed while jogging in a Georgia neighborhood) and Floyd. In a sport with many black players, the murders of these men were reminders of the systemic race issues still part of American culture. LeBron James captured the feelings of many players and others when he took to Instagram.

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STILL!!!! 🤬😢😤

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Derek Chauvin, the man pictured kneeling on Floyd’s neck — which he did for more than eight-and-a-half minutes — was fired from his job in the Minneapolis Police Department and was arrested on Friday and charged with third-degree murder.