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Saturday , Mar , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

LeBron empathizing with Melo, Knicks is a problem

For LeBron James, the signs are all familiar. The initial discomfort in a new system. The frustrating losses. The growing pains. The private bickering, questioning and second-guessing. The attitude issues. Even the turbulence during particularly heated timeouts. James knows that script all too well. He's lived it during the honeymoon period with the Miami Heat, the one that sent the team into a brief stretch of disarray following a difficult 9-8 start.

"I know exactly what he's going through right now," James said of his friend Carmelo Anthony's more-difficult-than-expected indoctrination with the Knicks. "And it's going to take time. Everybody knows we were 9-8. We had to figure things out. And we're still figuring things out.

 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: LeBron James can relate to Carmelo Anthony’s recent struggles with the New York Knicks.

Like Anthony, James left his old team in less than perfect fashion. Like Anthony, James predicted greatness for his new team before playing a single game. And like Anthony, James experienced a backlash when things didn’t instantly go to plan.

King James feels ‘Melo’s pain. He relates to the hardship, the expectations, and the criticism. He knows the trials and tribulations of an NBA superstar.

What nonsense James speaks.

It’s hard to knock James and/or Anthony for using the system to play for the team they like. They both gave seven years to the team that drafted them. If they want to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and Denver Nuggets, fair enough.

It’s, however, easy to knock James and/or Anthony for how they left the Cavaliers and/or Nuggets.  We won’t, though. This is old news. What’s done is done.

Here’s the point: James and Anthony got exactly what the wanted. James joined pals Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in South Beach, while Anthony returned home to The Big Apple.

And both received big money from their new team; James inked a $100 million max deal, Anthony signed a three-year, $65 million extension.

They’re playing for the team of their choice. They’re also playing in the cities of their choice. Key word: choice.

It’s hard to feel sympathy for superstars who get everything they ask for, and feel frustrated when things aren’t instantly a bed of roses.

Perhaps this is what separates the greats like Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan from the very good like James and Anthony. The greats don’t expect, want, or need sympathy.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Mar , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kenyon Martin: Nuggets don`t miss Carmelo Anthony

"We all know Melo is a great player, but I don't think one player has ever won a championship in this league," Kenyon Martin told HOOPSWORLD. "He's a great player, but it's all about us playing together right now. That's what we're trying to do."

"We're just going out and playing basketball," he continued. "Everyone here knows how to play and we're competing every single night. When you compete, you put yourself in position to win. It's just playing basketball. Once you know how to play this game the right way, you can really fit into any system."

 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kenyon Martin is saying what everyone is thinking.

The Denver Nuggets won’t miss Carmelo Anthony. Not now. And not going forward.

Despite the trend towards super teams, basketball is still a sport where chemistry can trump talent. Playing together and playing for each other can go a long, long way to ensuring success –even in the pros.

This is what the Nuggets are doing. They’re defending. They’re moving the ball. And guess what? They’re winning, posting a 10-4 record since trading their former franchise face to the New York Knicks.

Best of all, there’s a sense of together-ness. Nugget players and coaches aren’t dealing with twenty-four hour gossip and trade rumours. Raymond Felton aside, everybody on the roster wants to be in Denver.

Clearly, the Nuggets are having fun. Like the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference, there’s a collectiveness and positive vibe surrounding The Mile High City.

This along with their defense and unselfishness will make the Nuggets a dangerous first round playoff opponent for San Antonio, Los Angeles, Dallas, or Oklahoma City.

Did the Nuggets ever look dangerous with Anthony this year?

Give Martin credit for speaking up. And give Martin credit for speaking the truth.

--Oly Sandor.


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Tuesday , Mar , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Carmelo Anthony: ‘There’s no need to panic’

After the buzzer, (Carmelo) Anthony sat alone on the Knicks bench long after his teammates left the court. Asked what he was thinking, the Brooklyn native said, "This ship is going to turn right."  For now, the ship be sinking -- to borrow Micheal Ray Richardson's famous Knicks quotation.

"We just got to a point where I thought we panicked," coach Mike D'Antoni said. "This is a work in progress and we have a month to get this thing figured out. If we can figure out fourth quarters, we can get a lot smoother. With two scorers on the floor like Carmelo and Amar'e, we just have to figure it out." We're going to get it right," Anthony said. "There's no need to panic."

 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There's no need to panic, but the New York Knicks should be concerned.

Last night, they crumbled in the fourth quarter against a steely, calm Boston Celtics team, who took particular pleasure in beating up and exposing the Knicks’ many flaws.

The Knicks’ problems have nothing to do with talent. Their problems have everything to do with chemistry.

Mike D’Antoni’s crew spent two-thirds of a season establishing familiarity. Amar’e Stoudemire was the undisputed top dog, and everybody else had a supporting role.

That arrangement is out the window with Carmelo Anthony in the fold. Knick players seem confused as to whether Stoudemire or Anthony gets the ball in the decisive fourth quarter.

Before the Anthony trade, the Knicks could always get a good shot by running a pick-and-roll between Ray Felton and Stoudemire. This, in fact, was their bread and butter play.

Well, Felton was traded to the Denver Nuggets for Anthony. And come crunch time the ball goes in to Anthony or Stoudemire on an ‘iso’ play. Good defensive teams - like the Celtics did last night - will take that option away.

Finally, Anthony is a mixed bag. While he’s a talented offensive player, Melo has many bad habits. He doesn’t move the ball; he switches too often on screens defensively; he’s mentally weak.

This won’t change overnight. Neither will the Knicks. They are not a championship contender. They are a decent team with two supremely talented scorers. Nothing more, nothing less.

The sooner the faithful at Madison Square Gardens accept this, the better.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Mar , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Is Carmelo Anthony the problem in New York?

Nevertheless Anthony's pouty behavior in Friday night's 99-95 loss to the Pistons, his bad oncourt body language, his failure to join a timeout huddle when not in the game has raised red flags about his readiness to handle the pressure for being a basketball star in New York.

The honeymoon is officially over. Anthony, coming off an historically awful 6-point, 2-of-12 outing in the terrible loss, will resume talking and playing today when the Knicks face the Bucks at Bradley Center, with the club having fallen into seventh place.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Carmelo Anthony wanted and got New York. Now he must deal with the good and bad that comes with being the high profile star of the Knicks.

At a minimum, this means facing the music and answering reporters’ questions when he has a poor shooting night and doesn’t get the call on a potential game winning basket against the lowly Detroit Pistons.

Slinking out the back door is unacceptable, especially after signing a three-year, $65 million extension.

Worst of all, Anthony can’t use the excuse of avoiding a fine. He’s a professional. And as such, he must exercise appropriate discretion when dealing with reporters.

And who cares if he does incur a fine? Anthony can easily afford it. 

Anthony’s behaviour with teammates is also worrying. Too often, his body language leaves much to be desired. Too often, he appears to blame others instead of leading.

For instance, against the Detroit Pistons on Friday night, he reportedly lectured youngster Toney Douglas and ignored giving good guy Ronny Turiaf a high five.

Remember, Anthony held both the Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks hostage for months with his trade demands. Players on both teams put up with endless rumors and gossip.

Perhaps, his new teammates have a right to be frustrated with him. Not the other way around. So Anthony can at least try to be pleasant and fit in.

A team first approach would also help the Knicks become consistent, and start beating up on the league’s also-rans (since acquiring Anthony, the Knicks have lost six times to teams with losing records).

Bottom line: the Knicks success starts and ends with Anthony. The sooner he accepts this and starts being accountable, the better. 

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Mar , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Mike D’Antoni to Knick fans: ‘Take Some Prozac’

You know, take some Prozac or something. Hang in there. We're hanging in there." ... He acknowledged "some deficiencies, some holes," particularly on defense -- a weakness that has been demonstrably worse since the trade. "The biggest thing is not to panic," D'Antoni said, adding, "We're not as good as we will be."

 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: To be fair, Mike D’Antoni has a sense of humor. And he was probably joking when commenting on New York Knick fans.

Here’s the problem: the Knicks have been bad for a long, long time.

Before this season, the Madison Square Garden faithful put up with several years of cutting salary, so the team could become a force in The Great Free Agent Chase of 2010.

Before that, there was Isiah Thomas’ Reign of Terror. Thomas destroyed the Knicks both on and off the court, turning this classic franchise into a league laughingstock.

So 2011 is the first time the Knicks have been relevant in a decade. For instance, today I went food shopping and looked at February’s Slam with Amar’e Stoudemire on the cover.

I was shocked to discover no Knick had graced Slam’s cover since Latrell Sprewell arrived in New York in 1999. That’s a long time.

Knick fans have been put up with a lot. They have every right to be nervous and patient. And D’Antoni has to accept this.

--Oly Sandor.


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Friday , Mar , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Avery Johnson ‘really confident’ Nets will re-sign Deron Williams

Johnson on Wednesday stood by a claim he made Tuesday on the radio that there is "no doubt" the team will be able to re-sign point guard Deron Williams when he becomes a free agent. "I have no doubt and I'm really, really confident that we'll be able to re-sign him,"

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: On the one hand, Coach Avery Johnson is right. The New Jersey Nets will have every opportunity to re-sign Deron Williams.

The Nets will soon cross the Hudson River into a shiny new stadium in Brooklyn, New York. Owner Mikhail Phrokorov, also known as Russia’s richest man, has no issue spending his rubbles on free agent talent. And there’s already Brook Lopez in the middle.

So New Jersey/Brooklyn is about to become a desirable location.

On the other hand, Williams wants to win. And he’ll have plenty of offers from other superstars in desirable locations.

For instance, the cross-town New York Knicks with Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire may make a run at Williams. Down south, Dwight Howard’s Orlando Magic will have interest in D-Will.

While the Nets are strongly positioned to keep Williams, it’s far from a sure thing.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Mar , 16 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Danny Granger pulls a Reggie Miller against NY Knicks


HoopsVibe’sVery Quick Call: It wasn’t quite eight points in nine seconds like Reggie Miller, but it was close.

Danny Granger drained a massive shot to give Indiana the win against the New York Knicks on Tuesday night.

Click the video below and get at us with thoughts in the comment box below.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Mar , 06 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Dwyane Wade calls the Heat’s struggles ‘growing pains’

 

“We’re going through these growing pains, and it sucks,” Wade said. “Of our 18 losses, I think 13, 14 of them we’ve had leads. “It’s mind-boggling.” This game meant something. Something awful? Yes. Something positive? Possibly, eventually, yes.But it doesn’t get much more painful than this. So it might be a while before that wears off entirely and we get the actual answer to that last question.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Well, that’s one way to describe the Miami Heat’s struggles.

Clearly, Dwayne Wade is putting as positive a spin as possible on the Heat blowing a 24 point lead to the New York Knicks and getting routed by the San Antonio Spurs.

Are these defeats more worrying than ‘growing pains’? Is team South Beach starting to doubt itself?

Consider the numbers: the Heat is 27-2 against teams with losing records, and 14-17 against teams with winning records. More troubling, they allow all teams -those with winning and losing records- back into games when ahead by a large margin.

Part of this could be about getting distracted. The Heat possesses three top flight superstars, and often get bored and lose focus with opponents.

Part of this could be about chemistry. With so many new faces, the Heat is still getting used to each other, especially on the offensive end where they run simple, basic sets.

For instance, Wade and James are still adjusting to each other. And both are learning to play with superstar post Chris Bosh.

Fortunately, they have some time to iron out the kinks. Unfortunately, they don’t have much time and today they face MVP candidate Derrick Rose and the upstart Chicago Bulls.

--Oly Sandor.


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Saturday , Mar , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Jeff Van Gundy: ‘Tracy McGrady should be a Hall of Fame player’



“Tracy McGrady was 1,000 hours of practice,” Van Gundy said to laughter from the audience. “He should be a Hall of Fame player. His talent was other-worldly. He was given a great leg up in the race against other players. He’s as close as I’ve ever seen to someone with a perfect body and a good mind.”

 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: For Tracy McGrady, it was never about winning or about being the best he could for his team.

Not in Toronto. Not in Orlando. Not in Houston. Not in New York. And not in Detroit, either.

For McGrady, it has always been about one thing: getting his. Minutes, touches, and shots have always taken precedence over wins and losses.

Sadly, McGrady still could have salvaged something from his career this summer. He could have signed on as a reserve with a contender. He could have agreed to play a role; blocking shots, facilitating, and using his length on defense like he did with the Toronto Raptors. 

Instead, he’s part of the problem with the Detroit Pistons. No matter how much you hate your boss, there’s never an excuse for not appearing at practice like McGrady did last week.

Sadly, there was no punishment. After all, the Pistons are in flux; Coach John Kuester is a lame duck; Executive Joe Dumars is on shaky ground; and the roster has underachieved.

Change won’t occur until the team is sold, so McGrady got off scotch free for his no-show. Things could be different in a few months, though.

In July, McGrady becomes an unrestricted free agent. Teams will see his numbers:  9 points and 4 assists. Teams will remember his one-day boycott. And they`ll take a pass.

His career will be over with a whimper. Bottom line: the great McGrady will go down as a ‘should have’.

--Oly Sandor.


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OoB XII: Jared Jeffries, You Still Stink
Thursday , Mar , 03 , 2011 Marija Kero, The Knicks Chick

OoB XII: Jared Jeffries, You Still Stink

In episode XII of Out of Bounds, Marija "The Knicks Chick" Kero gives former and current 'Bocker Jared Jeffries a not-so-warm welcome back to the New York Knicks.

 

 

Chauncey Billups is Method Man
Tuesday , Mar , 01 , 2011 Paul Eide

Chauncey Billups is Method Man

If Chauncey Billups was a rapper he would be Method Man. Sure, everyone knows who he is and that he’s good, but few people can point to a single specific performance to define him as such. And what makes both so unheralded is actually what makes them great; they are so good at doing what they do and at multiple facets consistently, that they are taken for granted.

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Out of Bounds XI: The Knicks Get Carmelo!
Monday , Feb , 28 , 2011 Marija Kero, The Knicks Chick

Out of Bounds XI: The Knicks Get Carmelo!

In episode eleven of Out of Bounds, Marija "The Knicks Chick" Kero discusses the New York Knicks' acquisition of Carmelo Anthony.

 

 

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Tuesday , Feb , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Nuggets looking to trade Gallinari, Harrington, and Nene?

More than half the NBA has called Denver about Nene's availability in trades, but the team's first order of business after trading Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks is convincing their offensively talented center to remain with the team. Nene is eligible to opt out of his contract this offseason, despite being owed $11.6 million for the 11-12 season.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: What’s next in The Mile High City?

Unfortunately, trading Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks has only created more questions and uncertainty for the Denver Nuggets.

For instance, do they trade or extend Nene, their Brazilian post who can also opt-out of his contract at season’s end?

Can management correct last summer’s error and find a taker/sucker to assume the remaining years and money on Al Harrington’s mid-level pact?

Meanwhile, ESPN is reporting that the Nuggets are attempting to flip Danilo Gallinari to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers, New Jersey Nets, or Toronto Raptors.

There is one conclusion: the Nuggets are in overhaul mode. While they received a plethora of good pieces from the Knicks, Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Gallinari, and Timofey Mozgov are hardly great.

The hard work is just beginning for rookie GM Masai Ujiri. He must now plot a path for Denver without Anthony, a top-fifteen player and recognizable personality.

The next two days could decide if Denver sinks to the depths of despair ala the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors post LeBron James and Chris Bosh.

Or, if Denver stays relevant by developing some pieces and moving others for tangible assets.

Expect Ujiri to burn up the phone lines and explore all options right up to Thursday’s trade deadline. Indeed, Denver’s future is at stake.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Feb , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Isiah Thomas to join Carmelo Anthony in New York?

The Knicks acquired Carmelo Anthony in a blockbuster trade on Monday, but the price was steeper than Donnie Walsh was hoping to pay.New York's front office has been suffering from a power struggle, with Isiah Thomas consulting James Dolan and the franchise also recently hired Mark Warkentien who is a CAA client. "This is all Dolan. All Isiah. All (Worldwide) Wes and Leon Rose," said an ally of Walsh.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Carmelo Anthony is heading to the New York Knicks, and Isiah Thomas might soon join him.

Reports indicate Knicks owner James Dolan used Isiah Thomas, a former employee, and consultant ‘Worldwide’ Wes to acquire Anthony because current Executive Donnie Walsh wasn’t bullish on the Denver Nuggets’ forward.

Clearly, there’s a power struggle occurring in the Knickerbockers’ front office. And the daggers are out since Walsh's contract expires at season's end.

Here’s the question: would Dolan actually let Walsh, a respected front office guru, leave and replace him with Thomas, a man who has slashed and burned everything he has touched since taking off a Detroit Pistons jersey?

Sadly, the answer is yes.

Yes, Dolan has reservations about re-signing Walsh –even though he cleaned up much of the cap mess Thomas created during his ‘Reign of Terror’ at Madison Square Garden.

Yes, Dolan has something against the class, stability, and professionalism Walsh exudes and has a soft spot for Thomas’ tomfoolery, shenanigans, and lawsuits.

And yes, Dolan seems apathetic to Dolan’s more restrained personality and seems taken by Thomas’ Cheshire-cat smile and charm.

If Walsh is given the boot for Thomas, the Knicks will again sink to the bottom of the standings –regardless of how much talent they have on-court.

After all, great organizations have stability at the top. Zeke only knows the opposite: instability. Since leaving the Pistons, he has walked on the Continental Basketball Association and Toronto Raptors, while also destroying the Knicks, one of the NBA’s great franchises.

To be fair, he had mediocre results as the head coach of the Indiana Pacers.  

Don’t be surprised if Anthony’s return to his home of New York marks the return of Thomas. And the sequel won’t be better than the original.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Feb , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

‘Melo-Drama Over: Carmelo Anthony traded to NY Knicks

Carmelo Anthony has been traded to the Knicks, according to a sources that spoke to the Denver Post and New York Daily News. New York will give up Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov, Anthony Randolph, Eddy Curry's expiring contract, their own first round pick in 2014, Golden State's second round picks in 2012 and 2013, and $3 million in cash.

Randolph and Curry will go to Minnesota. Corey Brewer is also expected to be traded to the Nuggets. Going to the Knicks with Anthony will be Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter and Renaldo Balkman.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The ‘Melo-Drama’ is over. The superstar got what he wanted –a return home.

The New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets have reportedly completed a three team, twelve player trade that would see Carmelo Anthony play regularly at historic Madison Square Gardens.

This deal, however, raises several questions for the Knicks.

First, can Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, two Alpha Males with egos the size of Manhattan, share the ball and spotlight?

Second, should New York have gutted their roster for Anthony, a scorer who has yet to prove he can make those around him better?

Third, wouldn't they have been wiser to sign Anthony as a free agent when the new Collective Bargaining Agreement is signed and keep their supporting pieces?

Finally, are the Knicks better with Anthony?

Nevertheless, they deserve credit for taking a chance and acquiring Anthony –even if they had to sacrifice most of their team to do so.

Only time will tell if their gamble pays off, though.

Come back to HoopsVibe News for more on the Anthony trade.

--Oly Sandor.


--Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
 

 
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Sunday , Feb , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Deron Williams to join Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony with Knicks?

Deron Williams began informing associates after last season that if Amar'e Stoudemire wound up in New York, he would follow him there as a free agent in 2012, according to sources.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Of course, Deron Williams wants to play for the New York Knicks.

For years, Williams has plied his trade with the Utah Jazz. While often good, the Jazz lack the financial resources and/or co-stars to legitimately challenge for a championship.

Williams knows this. As do the Jazz. And nothing short of communist style revenue sharing in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement can change this.

This is frustrating for the All-Star point guard; however, it’s less of an issue for the Jazz’s front office, who are content with qualifying for the playoffs.

Williams’ frustration has occasionally been taken out on teammates and coaches, which made him an easy scapegoat when Hall of Fame sideline boss Jerry Sloan suddenly retired last week.

It’s no secret Williams and Sloan clashed, but no player could force the hardscrabble coach out. Sloan left the Jazz because he wanted to. He had nothing left.

So the recent drama likely solidified Williams’ desire to leave the Jazz as a free agent in two years. He surely wants better teammates, a bigger market, and a chance to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy in June.

New York in 2012 makes sense.

The Knicks will have Amar’e Stoudemire and quite possibly Carmelo Anthony; ‘The Big Apple’ would provide greater endorsement opportunities; and owner James Dolan has no issue spending on talent.

Williams will have competition, though. In sixteen months, Chris Paul will become a free agent, and the tiny table-setter has also been linked to the Knicks.

It may come down to the system. If the Knicks are still using Mike D’Antoni’s ‘Seven Seconds or Less’ offence, they’ll sign the speedy Paul. If they’re more of a half-court team, they’ll sign the powerful Williams.

Bottom line: Williams’ situation with the Jazz is bound to get interesting.

--Oly Sandor.
 
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Sunday , Feb , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Anthony says no to extension with Nets

Carmelo Anthony has informed people close to him that he will not sign an extension with the Nets, according to sources.  Anthony has had a longstanding preference to play for the Knicks.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: New York Knicks or New Jersey Nets?

For months, Carmelo Anthony has been going back-and-forth on where he hopes the Denver Nuggets trade him. Anthony, of course, has considerable leverage because he can become a free agent at season’s end and pick where he plays.

A trade between Denver and New Jersey is now unlikely because reports are surfacing that Anthony told the Nets he wouldn’t sign an extension with them.

So the Knicks it is, apparently.

The Nets won’t mortgage the house, farm, and family compound in a trade for Anthony if he intends on crossing the Hudson River and signing with the rival Knicks. That would be a public relations disaster.

The Anthony saga is like a crime fiction novel –with twists and turns each day. Don’t completely count the Nets out.   

Today, the Knicks are the frontrunner. Tomorrow is anybody’s guess, however.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Feb , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Knicks want Anthony to sign Paul in 2012?

The Knicks have improved their offer to Denver for Carmelo Anthony. New York is now putting Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, Eddy Curry and a first round pick to Denver for Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups and salary cap filler.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It seems the Denver Nuggets’ ploy worked.

They made it seem like the New Jersey Nets were on the verge of acquiring Carmelo Anthony, forcing the New York Knicks to raise their lowball offer.

When the Nets were out of the ‘Melo sweepstakes, the Knicks had leverage. They could take their time, wait, and offer less than fair value because Anthony wants to opt-out of his contract at season’s end and sign on to play at Madison Square Garden.

Once the Nets were back in, the Knicks had to move. They recently sweetened the pot and included Danilo Gallineri in their package for Anthony.

Now things will get interesting, as the Nets and Knicks are openly competing for Anthony. Here’s why the Knicks made their Italian shooter available:

It would be bad business having Anthony suit up for the rival Nets. Consider that the Nets will soon leave New Jersey for their new Brooklyn stadium digs. Consider that their billionaire Russian owner will spend a plethora of rubles to battle the Knicks in New York.

The real prize may be New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul, though. The tiny table-setter will leave the Hornets and sign with the Knicks, especially if it means playing with his superstar brethren in Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire.

A team with Anthony, Paul, and Stoudemire would be formidable, giving the Knicks their first real shot at an NBA Title in well over a decade.

So the Nuggets forced the Knicks to up their offer for Anthony. However, the real winner could well be the Knicks.

--Oly Sandor.


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Sunday , Feb , 13 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

JR Smith on future with Nuggets: ‘I don’t know where I stand’

Still, he wonders what the future holds. I'm in a tough situation," Smith said. "They don't really know what they want to do, as far as what direction they want to go in — if they do (trade) Melo or if they don't. So it's tough for me in my position because I don't know where I stand. So, you just have to keep playing it out and see how it looks."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call:
There’s less attitude, chest-pounding, scowls, and poor decisions on-and-off court. There’s more maturity, smiles, and sound behaviour.

This may not be enough to keep J.R. Smith with the Denver Nuggets. After all, the Nuggets are in a holding pattern until they decide the fate of superstar Carmelo Anthony.

If the Nuggets trade Anthony to the New York Knicks, they rebuild. Chauncey Billups gets moved. The same goes for Smith, who is in the final year of his contract.

If the Nuggets re-sign Anthony for three-years at $65 million, they reload. Billups sticks around; Smith and management likely discuss a new contract.

However, there’s a difference between discussing and signing a contract.

The Nuggets may decide Smith is expendable –regardless of Anthony’s fate. A contender in need of help at the two-guard –like, say, the Chicago Bulls- could make an offer they can’t refuse.

The only thing Smith can do is to play. And play well. The rest will take care of itself.

--Oly Sandor.

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