Carmelo Anthony

Atlantic Notes: Porzingis, Scola, Brown

Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony is surprised by how quickly he and rookie Kristaps Porzingis have meshed together, with the No. 4 overall pick’s ability to stretch defenses blending perfectly with Melo’s preferred style of play, Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News writes. “This early we didn’t think that this kind of the jelling and the chemistry we have so far would be there. We all thought this would take some time to kind of figure out,” Anthony told Bondy. “But anytime you can play with a stretch-four, it makes the game a little bit easier. And it’s easier to figure that out. When you have a stretch-four guy who can play the wing, and he’s 7’3″, you know where he’s at, you know what he can do. So that makes the game easier. It makes the chemistry process that much easier.

Here’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Porzingis has turned draft night boos from Knicks fans into game night raves with his solid play thus far, and he credits some advice that he received from Wolves veteran Kevin Garnett for helping him cope with the now-forgotten negativity he was garnering, Bondy relays in a separate piece. “He [Garnett] was like, ‘You use that as motivation, you let that drive you every day when you step onto the floor,’” Porzingis said. “And that’s what I’m trying to do. I don’t really focus on it, that’s not the only thing that drives me, but it still sits inside me on the floor. That was huge. That was a really cool moment.
  • The Sixers are off to a winless start to the season, but coach Brett Brown still needs to weigh the value of player development over chasing wins, a task that the team’s near-constant roster shuffling doesn’t make easier, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “I have to coach basketball,” Brown said. “I have to do it where you walk the most incredible concoction. There’s a recipe you are always trying to figure out. I never coached more moving parts in my life.
  • The Raptors signed Luis Scola to a one-year, $2.9MM deal this offseason to provide depth, but the veteran is proving to be one of the team’s most important additions, Michael Grange of writes. “When you play well, you play more and when you play bad, you play less and that’s the way it should be,” Scola said of his new starting role. “It’s been pretty much what I expected. I knew if I showed up in good shape and did good things I’d have more opportunities and if I didn’t, I’d have less, and that’s what happened. The situation changes, I adapt, I prepare mentally for it and I just play.

Western Notes: Harden, Knight, Dekker

Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony believes that Kevin Durant will re-sign with the Thunder next summer when he becomes an unrestricted free agent, citing Durant’s ties to the Oklahoma Cty community, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. “C’mon, man, he just got into the [Oklahoma] Hall of Fame,’’ Anthony said. “He brought this team here [from Seattle]. He didn’t bring this team here, but he’s a big part of Oklahoma as a whole, not just from a basketball standpoint but from an economic and business standpoint. He’s a major part of what goes on here.’’

Anthony also noted that Durant doesn’t need to play in a larger city  in order to maximize his earning potential, Berman adds. “Nowadays with the way social media is, I don’t think you have to be in a major market to get those opportunities,’’ Anthony said. “The way our TV deal is, you’re seen all the over the world now. Not just in big markets.’’

Here’s more from out West:

  • Durant and Russell Westbrook “weren’t big fans” of James Harden during their time together with the Thunder, writes Sam Smith of Smith, writing in his mailbag column, takes Harden to task for what he sees as an individualistic playing style. The Rockets will presumably be one of the many suitors for Durant when he hits free agency this summer, and Harden is under contract with Houston through the 2017/18 season.
  • Brandon Knight understands the business side of the game, but that didn’t prevent him from being deeply disappointed when the Bucks dealt him to the Suns last season, Michael Lee of Yahoo Sports writes. “I wouldn’t say it hurt,” Knight told Lee. “It was more about the brotherhood we had built. Being on the worst team in the league and being able to turn that around. And for them to try to step on that, based on whatever the case may be – money or whatever it is – what’s the point in that?” Knight also noted that he doesn’t harbor any bad feelings toward the Bucks or Pistons, who also traded him, Lee relays. “In the long run, I know the type of player I am, can be, or that I will be,” Knight said. “I’m not out to prove this guy wrong, or that guy wrong, because then, you get caught up in failure. I’m just focused on myself, making sure I’m not cheating myself. In turn, I know that I’ll prove the people wrong that doubt me.
  • Rockets rookie combo forward Sam Dekker underwent successful surgery today to repair damage to his back, the team announced. Houston did not provide a timetable for Dekker’s return, though Jeff Goodman of reported that the rookie would miss approximately three months of action.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Knicks Rumors: Bryant, Anthony, Vujacic, Calderon

Carmelo Anthony thinks Kobe Bryant should retire as a Laker, regardless of rumors ignited by Knicks president Phil Jackson, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post“I don’t see why he would at this late stage of his career — go all these years with the Lakers to spend one year with another team,” Anthony said. “I think it’s a bigger picture when it comes down to your legacy and things like that. At this stage, that’s what matters — how you carry out your legacy.” Jackson speculated in September that Bryant may go elsewhere as a free agent next season, but Bryant denied that on Friday, proclaiming himself to be “a Laker for life.”

There’s more out of New York:

  • Offseason addition Sasha Vujacic is already in danger of losing his place in the starting lineup, Berman writes in a separate story. The 31-year-old, who had played just two NBA games over the past three seasons before making the Knicks’ roster, has been stuck in a shooting slump, connecting on just 30.4% from the floor and 18.2% from three-point range.  “You go through ups and downs in the season and mine came very soon,” Vujacic said. “I’m going through a slump. It’s not a secret anymore. They’re not going in.” Berman reports starting point guard Jose Calderon is also in danger of being replaced, with Langston Galloway, Jerian Grant and Derrick Williams all candidates to join the starting lineup. Arron Afflalo is expected to return from injury this week.
  • A change in the backcourt is needed, contends Adam Zagoria of He notes that Calderon ranks 65th out of 66 point guards in John Hollinger’s NBA Player Rankings, and Vujacic is 46th out of 66 at shooting guard.
  • The Knicks are off to a 2-4 start, but Anthony told Ian Begley of he is willing to be patient with the rebuilding process. New York overhauled its roster during the offseason, and Anthony thinks the changes will be beneficial because of the new players’ work ethic. “If you’re out there by yourself fighting and competing and just trying to do everything by yourself and you feel like nobody else is with you, then that’s a dagger right there,” Anthony said. “… But when you know you have guys out there working with you, that are willing to get better, willing to put the work in, actually putting the work in to get better — individually and as a team — it makes that process easy.”

Atlantic Notes: Raptors, ‘Melo, Ndour, Nets

The Raptors made a concerted effort to upgrade their defense during the offseason, though the offense is now showing holes, as Mike Ganter of the Toronto Sun details. In any case, new free agent arrival DeMarre Carroll believes the Raptors can indeed show the sort of defensive improvement this season that the franchise was going for, as Ganter relays.

“A lot of guys aren’t capable of playing defense,” Carroll said. “Sometimes you’re a guy that just can’t play defense. They just don’t have the effort to play defence. All of these guys are capable of playing defense. Kyle Lowry, I think he’s a great defender. He’s underrated. Just bringing me in and bringing more guys in like Bismack [Biyombo] and Cory [Joseph], we can kind of help guys. We can kind of feed off them, and they can feed off us.”

See more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Carmelo Anthony admits in no uncertain terms that living in New York comes with some degree of frustration, as a Vice Sports video makes clear (objectionable language warning), but ‘Melo isn’t backing away from his enthusiasm about the Knicks, notes Marc Berman of the New York Post.
  • The Knicks aren’t expected to reunite with summer-leaguer Maurice Ndour, even though they have an open roster spot and Ndour is on waivers from the Mavs, Berman writes in the same story. New York reportedly tried to convince Ndour to break his deal with Dallas this summer. In any case, New York is ineligible to claim Ndour off waivers, since his Mavs deal was for three years and the Knicks can’t claim anyone on more than a two-year contract.
  • The YES Network and the Nets reached a new local television rights deal, the team announced. The agreement, which will kick in for the 2017/18 season, will give the team “substantially more” than $40MM a year and repair a revenue stream that lagged far behind local TV deals for other large-market teams, reports NetsDaily. The deal carries well into the 2020s, NetsDaily adds.
  • The Nets allowed a trade exception worth $1,120,920 to expire when they failed to use it by the end of Saturday, notes Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). It was a vestige of the deal that sent Marquis Teague to the Sixers.

Atlantic Notes: Anthony, Robinson, Holmes, Wood

Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony issued a challenge to the team’s coaching staff to hold him accountable for any mistakes he makes on the court, and he hopes that this tactic will help make him a better player, Ian Begley of writes. “Call it out in the film session so everybody can see that and hear that. By them doing that, it kind of forces me to be at the top level of my game on both ends of the court,” Anthony said. “Call it out in the film session so everybody can see that and hear that. By them doing that, it kind of forces me to be at the top level of my game on both ends of the court.

The veteran scorer also noted that the team is taking more of a group approach to coaching this season, which is a change from last season when coach Derek Fisher was the only one calling players out for their errors, Begley adds. “It’s more of a collective unit,” Anthony continued. “… We’re just sitting down with [members of the coaching staff and video department] and sitting down with players on the team kind of going through different scenarios, different situations and just kind of wanting to be held accountable out there.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Thomas Robinson is hoping to shed the journeyman label that he has acquired and to resurrect his career with the Nets, writes Tim Bontemps of The New York Post. The combo forward also relayed that signing with Brooklyn this offseason was an easy decision for him to make, Bontemps adds. “Because they showed interest from Day One,” Robinson said. “Even at the draft, they showed heavy interest, and then the pick got swapped out. Over the years, I’ve just liked it was a new organization, and they were building something, and it’s New York. … I wanted to be here in New York. I’m glad I’m here a few years down the road, after the stuff I’ve been through. I’m more mature now than I was when I probably wanted to come here. [I want to] take advantage of all of my opportunities. I feel like I’m right back where I was getting drafted again … now it’s just time.
  • Sixers rookies Richaun Holmes and Christian Wood were afterthoughts when the team began training camp, and now both have become key figures for Philly heading into the season thanks to a run of frontcourt injuries, Bob Cooney of The Philadelphia Daily News writes.

Atlantic Notes: Bennett, Zeller, Williams, Grant

People who know Anthony Bennett speak well of his character, and it appears his mission with the Raptors is to restore his self-confidence, writes Josh Lewenberg of So far, he’s made a positive impression on coach Dwane Casey, as Lewenberg relays.

“One thing that has impressed me is his defense,” Casey said. “His defense is ahead of his offense. That was a surprise. I didn’t know he was as good a defender as he’s showed since we’ve had him, which has been very impressive. And that’s helped get ingratiated with his teammates and the staff. He’s done a good job. The main thing for him is just to relax and play, enjoy the game, get that No. 1 pick necklace off his neck and just play basketball, have fun.”

See more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Tyler Zeller is glad to work with Celtics coach Brad Stevens and would like an extension before his eligibility window closes on November 2nd, but he’s OK with the prospect of not signing an extension if that’s how it plays out, as he explains to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.
  • Derrick Williams, confident that the triangle will be the right long-term fit for him, made up his mind to join the Knicks 10 minutes after meeting with the team, and he decided not to speak to Kings coach George Karl about re-signing with Sacramento, as Williams told Adam Zagoria of“Nope, I didn’t really care,” Williams said. “I knew where I wanted to go.”
  • Knicks team president Phil Jackson coached Horace Grant on the Bulls, and the Zen Master admits that connection gives him greater confidence in Knicks rookie Jerian Grant, Horace’s nephew, observes Marc Berman of the New York Post. Carmelo Anthony, who was reportedly upset to see Tim Hardaway Jr. go out in the trade that brought in Grant, has been impressed with the poise and ability to control the tempo that this year’s No. 19 overall pick has demonstrated, Berman notes.

Atlantic Notes: Seraphin, McConnell, Anthony

Kevin Seraphin, who signed with the Knicks this offseason after being dissatisfied with his playing time with the Wizards under former coach Randy Wittman, took exception to some comments that Wittman had made regarding Seraphin’s time in Washington, Marc Berman of The New York Post relays. “Listen, the players dictate who plays and what minutes they get,’’ Wittman said. “I’m not going to get into inconsistent minutes or not. He played. I wish him luck.’’ In response to Wittman, Seraphin said, “He said players dictate playing time? I don’t really agree there. What can I say. I was doing pretty much everything right, working hard. I’m not mad at all. That’s the business. He has the right to play me at the end of the day. … I don’t think he didn’t want to play me.’’ The 25-year-old made 79 appearances for the Wizards during the 2014/15 campaign, averaging 15.6 minutes per night, which was actually an uptick from the 10.9 minutes per night Seraphin averaged the previous season.

Here’s more from out of the Atlantic Division:

  • The Knicks are flush with players who can play the power forward position, which should limit the time that Carmelo Anthony sees at the four spot this season, a position he has excelled at in the past, Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News writes. Anthony, who says he prefers playing small forward, notes that this was part of the team’s offseason plan, Bondy adds. “I think that spot is wide open, just as far as who’s going to play it, when they’re going to play,” Anthony said. “I’m pretty sure you’ll see some times with me at the four throughout the course of the season. To be honest with you, throughout these first 10 days of camp, Seraphin showed some shine at that position, K.P. [Kristaps Porzingis] showed some upside at that position. Guys we brought in at that position are showing why we brought them.
  • T.J. McConnell is considered a longshot to make the Sixers‘ regular season roster, but he has been impressing the team’s coaching staff with his solid all-around play, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “We want to encourage him to get a set shot going,” coach Brett Brown said regarding the undrafted point guard out of Arizona. “The other stuff is proven. He’s a heady defender. He passes the hell out of it. He plays with amazing pace. I think he will be very popular in the city.” Brown acknowledged that McConnell is still in a “fist fight” to make the team, but added, “But what we’ve seen so far, you say he’s done well.

Carmelo Anthony Says He Won’t Ask For Trade

Carmelo Anthony rebuked speculation that he would eventually become disenchanted with the Knicks and ask for a trade, saying “hell no” in response to a reporter’s question to that effect, notes Al Iannazzone of Newsday (Twitter link). He once more reiterated his faith in team president Phil Jackson, Iannazonne observes, and ‘Melo added that he was bothered all summer by the notion that he wanted to be traded and the idea that he was against the team’s decision to draft Kristaps Porzingis fourth overall, tweets Ian Begley of

Anthony’s contract, which still has four years and more than $101.606MM left on it, includes a no-trade clause and also features a 15% trade kicker, a bill the Knicks would have to pay if Anthony ever did consent to a swap. That would further complicate any potential trade scenario. The Knicks plummeted to a 17-65 record this past season, the first on Anthony’s contract and the first full season for Jackson as team president. They drafted chiefly for the long run when they chose the still-developing Porzingis, and they missed on Greg Monroe and other key free agent targets, but they upgraded the roster for the near term with signings of Robin Lopez, Arron Afflalo and others. Anthony’s return from knee surgery, which limited him to 40 games last season, also figures to help the Knicks bounce back.

‘Melo hinted this weekend that he intends to remain with the Knicks even beyond his contract, which carries a player option for the final season. The 31-year-old said recently that he’s taking Porzingis, 19, under his wing, having called the Latvian big man “a steal” in the initial wake of the draft.

Do you think Anthony will remain with the Knicks for the entire term of his contract? What about for the rest of his career? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

Knicks Notes: Anthony, Fisher, Porzingis

Carmelo Anthony plans on being part of the Knicks for a long time, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes, and when a reporter recently joked to him that the media will have to cover his free agency in four years, Anthony, 31, responded, “I’m here to stay.’’ Anthony is entering the second year of a five-year, $124MM contract.

Here is more on the Knicks:

  • Anthony believes that he can play effectively past age 35 because he doesn’t rely on an impressive vertical leap or foot speed to perform, Ian Begley of writes.
  • Despite Knicks president Phil Jackson’s plan for increased involvement with the coaching staff this season, Ken Berger of opines that Jackson is all in with his philosophy, and as a result of that and his own limitations (mainly his age), he’s totally behind coach Derek Fisher.
  • Fisher isn’t ready to anoint rookie Kristaps Porzingis as the team’s starting power forward, Al Iannazzone of Newsday writes. “It’s too early in his career for the coach to say one way or the other what he’s going to be,” Fisher said, per Iannazzone. “We’ve been practicing for five or six days. He missed a day and a half. So he can’t get a stamp of approval just yet in terms of what his role will be. But we drafted him No. 4. And I think we like what he is and what he can be.”

Atlantic Notes: Anthony, Smith, Bargnani, Scola

Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony is not known as a vocal leader, which is something that he doesn’t intend to change, Ian Begley of writes. “I lead in my own way,” Anthony told Begley. “I will speak up from time to time, but that’s just not who I am, that’s not my personality.” Anthony’s leadership takes on other forms, like him organizing offseason workouts in Puerto Rico back in August, Begley notes.

That’s definitely leadership,” teammate Lance Thomas, who participated in those workouts, said. “Him putting us in a position where we can start the season before the season starts is big time. Getting to know everybody on the squad, everybody becoming familiar with each other, it’s important.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Sixers allowed Ish Smith to depart via free agency this summer despite him being the team’s most productive point guard last season, because the franchise wanted to develop its younger players, writes Bob Cooney of The Philadelphia Daily News. “It’s hard to deny that Ish was good for us,” coach Brett Brown said. “We decided to go younger and try to uncover somebody that can be with us for a long time, maybe because of the age aspect, and I support the club’s decision to do that. We’ll all be better able to make more accurate assessments in a month or so. Nobody’s really jumped ahead of the pack yet.
  • After missing a total of 191 games over the last five seasons, Nets offseason signee Andrea Bargnani‘s goal is to remain healthy for a full campaign, Roderick Boone of Newsday relays. “The main thing I’m looking for is being healthy, and being on the floor and contributing to the team’s success,” Bargnani told Boone. “I just want to be a part of it. We have a great group of players and I want to be on the court. I want to be able to help them. Sitting out, obviously, was very frustrating and so I really don’t want to do that again. I just want to be healthy and stay on the court. That’s it.
  • Luis Scola is looking to be more than just a mentor to his younger teammates on the Raptors, and he feels that he has plenty left to contribute on the court for his new squad, writes Mike Ganter of The Toronto Sun. “I am sure my experience can help but I also believe I can help on the court as well,” Scola said. “To me if I am helping I am happy in whatever aspect of the game. If it’s in the court, outside the court, or both or in the locker room, all those things would be welcome to me.” The 35-year-old inked a one year deal with Toronto back in July.

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