VIDEO: GameTime: News And Notes
NEWS OF THE MORNING
No. 1: Melo: It wasn’t about the money — Carmelo Anthony re-signed with the New York Knicks for five years and $124 million, a year and $28 million more than he could gotten from any other team. But, in speaking with ESPN on Friday, Anthony said that his decision wasn’t about the money and that he doesn’t think the Knicks are “that far away” from contending for a championship:
Carmelo Anthony said it was not the money, but instead his confidence in team president Phil Jackson and his belief that the New York Knicks “aren’t that far away from contending for an NBA title,” that made him opt to remain in New York instead of signing with the Chicago Bulls.
“I want to win. I don’t care about the money,” Anthony told ESPN.com. “I believe Phil will do what he has to do to take care of that.
“I don’t think we’re that far away,” he added. “People use ‘rebuilding’ too loosely.”
In what were believed to be Anthony’s first public comments since agreeing to a five-year deal worth $124 million earlier this month, he told ESPN.com that the decision was so agonizing in the final days that he could not watch TV or go on the Internet.
“It was overwhelming,” Anthony said. “It was stressful in the final days, one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make.”
No. 2: Noah excited about new-look Bulls — The Chicago Bulls added Pau Gasol, Nikola Mirotic and Doug McDermott this summer, and hope to have a healthy Derrick Rose back. But Joakim Noah is still their most important player when you take both ends of the floor into account. Noah spoke with reporters on Friday and is ready to get to work with the Bulls’ revamped roster, as K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune writes:
“I’m happy for LeBron James,” Noah said, a sly smile forming. “He gets to go home. People are happy over there. But I really hope that we can kick his ass as many times as possible.”
This NBA offseason indeed has seen James move from the Heat to his home-state Cavaliers. It has featured Noah prominently recruiting Carmelo Anthony and Pau Gasol in free agency and rehabbing a left knee that needed minor arthroscopic knee surgery at season’s end.
Noah said the knee feels “great.” His outlook for next season is the same.
“I’m really, really excited about the Bulls,” Noah said. “(General manager Gar Forman) and (executive vice-president John Paxson) and everybody did a really good job. It just makes you want to work hard and be as ready as possible for the season.”
No. 3: Report: Johnson steps away from NBPA search — Our Steve Aschburner reported Friday that the NBPA could have a new executive director next week in Las Vegas. But Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson won’t be a part of the final decision, as Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reports:
Advisory search committee chairman Kevin Johnson lost a power struggle with the National Basketball Players Association executive committee and will be absent on Monday when a new executive director is elected in Las Vegas, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Two of the three candidates include Dallas Mavericks CEO Terdema Ussery and Washington D.C. attorney Michele Johnson, sources told Yahoo Sports.
Johnson, the mayor of Sacramento and a former Phoenix Suns guard, had wanted to play a larger controlling role in the Monday meetings to present three finalists for the job, and executive committee members balked at the idea, citing U.S. Department of Labor regulations and NBPA bylaws, sources said.
Johnson sent an abrupt email to player agents on Friday evening, telling them his committee was “no longer involved in the search process,” and “while we’d hoped to help bring this to completion, it’s clear that won’t be possible.”
No. 4: A longer All-Star break? — Some NBA players have approaced commissioner Adam Silver about a longer All-Star break, which isn’t much of a break for All-Stars. And it appears that Silver was listening. Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that a one-week break is part of the schedule planning, which should be done in the next couple of weeks:
The NBA is poised to turn the All-Star break into All-Star week this coming season, the Sun Sentinel has learned, providing teams with a full week off at midseason.
The move, which would give players seven days off between games in mid-February, would result in an increase of one or two back-to-back sets per team for the coming season, a party familiar with the process said.
“That’s the model they’re using right now while they’re filling in the schedule,” an NBA source familiar with the process told the Sun Sentinel Friday. “Could they go back and use some of those dates if needed? That’s possible. But the week off looks like what’s going to happen.”
SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: The Knicks made a LOL offer for Kevin Love … Still recovering from foot surgery, Carlos Delfino won’t be representing Argentina at the FIBA World Cup … Shelvin Mack is returning to the Hawks on a three-year deal … And after clearing waivers, Omri Casspi will sign a minimum deal with the Kings.
ICYMI of The Night: Charles Barkley talked about LeBron James’ return to Cleveland: