Jimmy Smith of The Times-Picayune details the close relationship between Pelicans coach Monty Williams and Raptors point guard Greivis Vasquez, who played for New Orleans last season. The trade that split up the pairing last summer stung Vasquez, who’ll be a restricted free agent at season’s end. “It hurt,” Vasquez said. “It really touched me a little bit. I was close not only with Coach Monty, but I was close with (assistant) Fred Vinson, all the coaching staff, the guys, messing around with Austin Rivers, Chief (Al-Farouq Aminu), Anthony Davis . . . . it was hard for me to let it go. But it’s part of the business.”
More from the east:
- The Wizards‘ Andre Miller says the Nuggets unfairly portrayed him as the bad guy, writes Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. When Miller’s streak of playing in 239 consecutive games ended with the first “Did Not Play-Coach’s Decision” of his career, Miller screamed at coach Brian Shaw. The Nuggets suspended him for two games without pay after the incident before excusing him from team activities with pay until the trade to the Wizards. Miller said,”They gave me an opportunity to represent Denver. I tried to do that the right way, but I was looked at as the bad guy, a disgruntled player. [The Nuggets said] I was complaining about minutes and that was never the issue. They made it look that way, and that I was upset. I understand that they have to protect themselves as an organization, but don’t blast the player.“
- Sixers coach Brett Brown said the team will pick the best player available in the upcoming draft, and not for need, writes Dei Lynam of CSNPhilly.com. Brown does not think need should influence who a team select in the NBA draft, and cites the example of the Spurs drafting Tim Duncan despite having David Robinson already, writes Lynam.
- Amar’e Stoudemire says that it was his idea for the Knicks to trade for Carmelo Anthony, writes Brian Spurlock of USA Today. In an interview with Bleacher Report Stoudemire said, “I also knew that I needed a star teammate, and that’s something I talked to Mr. Dolan about when I signed. I mentioned a few players to Mr. Dolan who would be fun to play with, and Melo was one of them. Mr. Dolan and I talked about, ‘Which players in the near future are going to be available?’ Then we said, ‘Let’s make the move and try to trade for ‘Melo.’ That’s how things first started with the Knicks going after Carmelo Anthony.”
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.