Morning shootaround — Jan. 7


VIDEO: Highlights from games played Jan. 6

NEWS OF THE MORNING

Anthony says he’s not shutting it down yet | Reports: Seattle investors eyeing Hawks | Young likes Lakers’ ‘atmosphere of winning’ | Bucks’ Sanders explains his recent absences | Trade winds start to pick up

No. 1: Anthony ‘not shutting it down for the season yet’ — Debate has raged over the last week or so about whether or not New York Knicks All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony should stop playing this season to rest his sore knee. While the team may want Anthony to think about such a move, he’s not interested in doing that. In a video posted on Bleacher Report, Anthony says he plans to keep chugging along this season:

“I’m all right, I’m not shutting it down for the season yet, just trying to take some time to get it right. I know there’s a lot of fans out there that are kinda upset, kinda down on the team, kinda down on the players right now, kinda down on the situation, but I will say it will be greater later. Just be patient with the team, with the organization, with the journey, with the plan, with what we’re trying to create, what we’re trying to accomplish. Greatness don’t happen overnight, but that’s what we’re trying to build here.

“As far as me, I’m rehabbing. I’m around the clock getting treatment, therapy, trying to do what I got to do so I can be at my greatest.”


VIDEO: GameTime’s crew discusses whether or not Carmelo Anthony should shut it down for the season

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No. 2: Reports: Seattle investors eyeing Hawks — As was disclosed last week via a report by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, there is a deal in place for 100 percent of the Atlanta Hawks to put on the market. Who will actually buy the team? Who knows. According to a report in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, though, two separate, Seattle-based investors may make a serious run at buying the Hawks and then trying to move them to Washington. Here’s Nick Eaton with more:

Despite the Atlanta mayor’s assertions that he will do everything to keep the Hawks in Georgia, two potential suitors are planning to submit separate bids to buy the NBA franchise and move it to Seattle, according to a report.

ESPN’s Bill Simmons reported Tuesday that Sodo arena investor Chris Hansen and film producer Thomas Tull are planning separate offers for the Hawks, which were put up for sale this week, each with hopes to relocate the team to Seattle.

Hansen has largely fallen out of the headlines since his 2013 bid for the Sacramento Kings fell through. Furthermore, since the NBA rejected Hansen’s purchase that May in favor of a bid organized by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, co-investor and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer moved on and purchased the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion.

Not one to seek the spotlight, Hansen reiterated his commitment to bringing the NBA back to Seattle in a Dec. 22 blog poston the website for his proposed Sonics Arena, which is still going through Washington state’s environmental review process. The Seattle City Council and King County Council approved a public-private financing plan in October 2012 but, under the agreement, construction on the proposed $500 million arena cannot start until the city lands an NBA franchise.

Hansen has yet to publicly address the recent availability of the Hawks.

Tull, meanwhile, is a new name to the “Sonics Reborn” conversation. An avid sports fan and partial owner of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers, Tull is best known as the chairman and CEO of Legendary Pictures, whose movie titles include the “Dark Knight” and “Hangover” trilogies.

A purchase price for the Hawks would likely fall somewhere between the $550 million for which the Milwaukee Bucks sold in April and the $2 billion Ballmer spent for the Clippers. Buying the Hawks would also carry an extra $75 million fee to break the team’s arena lease with Atlanta and Fulton County, Georgia, before it expires in 2017.

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No. 3: Young throws some gas on Lakers-Clippers rivalry fire — The Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers are headed in decidedly different directions as they meet tonight (10:30 ET, League Pass). The Clips are technically the home team, but Lakers fans are sure to be well represented at Staples Center, too. One player who has been a part of both sides of this rivalry — Lakers swingman Nick Young — had some words about playing for each team that may ignite the rivalry between the squads even more. Bill Oram of the Orange County Register has more:

Nick Young enjoyed his brief time with the Los Angeles Clippers. He spent 22 regular season games with the franchise in 2012, went to the playoffs, and was part of one of the greatest comebacks in postseason history.

“I was really one of the reasons that happened,” said a grinning Young, who never lacks for confidence.

But when it comes to learning and improving, the L.A. native said he’s had a better experience with the Lakers.

“Being a Laker, there’s nothing like it,” Young said. “I think I learn more just being here and being around an atmosphere of winning, toughness and learning how to play under a great player like Kobe (Bryant).”

Some may raise an eyebrow at the middle part of that statement.

An atmosphere of… Winning?

The Lakers are 11-24 and on pace for the worst 82-game record in franchise history. entering Thursday’s game against the Clippers at Staples Center the franchise with 16 NBA titles has lost eight of their last nine games against the team with none, including a 118-111 loss to the Clippers on Halloween night.

Through it all, Young said he doesn’t have much animosity for the Clippers.

Given that Young seems so willing to dismiss his time with the Clippers, it was somewhat surprising that the Lakers sixth man was ready to declare the battle between L.A.’s two teams a bona fide rivalry.

“You can’t not claim it’s a rivalry,” he said. “The whole city is watching. It ain’t about the wins and losses right now. When we play them it’s going to be a battle, we know everybody’s watching. We know if they win they’re going to talk trash and say it’s their city.”

And if the Lakers win?

“Hey man, it’s just another day.”

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No. 4: Bucks’ Sanders explains his absence from games — Milwaukee Bucks big man Larry Sanders sat out last night’s home loss to the Phoenix Suns, marking the sixth straight game he has missed. There has been talk in some circles that Sanders is missing games because he no longer wants to play basketball any more, which was refuted by Sanders’ agent yesterday. Sanders himself addressed such talk last night, writes Andrew Gruman of Fox Sports Wisconsin, and said he’s missing games because of health reasons and nothing more:

While he didn’t play, Sanders did address the media following the game and refuted the recent report that he told Bucks officials he no longer wants to play basketball professionally.

“Someone also told me that,” Sanders said when asked about the report. “I haven’t seen that yet. I figured with my absence that something was going to come out sooner than later.

“That’s not true. But what is true I would say is that I’m in the process of working things out now internally to do what’s best for my psyche and my physical health going forward. There’s a lot of evaluating going on. There’s a lot of inside talk just to put myself in the best place for my health right now.”

Sanders confirmed that Tuesday was the first time he has been around the team since last appearing in a game on Dec. 23. The Bucks initially said Sanders was out due to illness but later deemed the reason for his absence as “personal reasons.”

The 26-year-old is in the first year of a four-year, $44 million contract extension he signed with Milwaukee in August 2013.

“I’m definitely making progress,” Sanders said of his personal situation. “I’m trying to get to the root of a lot of issues and get them corrected going forward.”

There’s no timetable for Sanders’ return to the lineup. Bucks coach Jason Kidd said the fifth-year center will not accompany the team to Philadelphia for Wednesday’s game against the 76ers.

Milwaukee returns home to face Minnesota on Friday and plays Saturday in Chicago before departing to London for a game against the New York Knicks on Jan. 15.

“I kind of go by recommendations,” Sanders said. “I’m definitely keeping my ear to those who are close to me and seeing what they say is best for my health moving forward.”

Sanders was asked how important basketball is to him at this current time with what he is dealing with personally.

“Without these things being corrected, I don’t think basketball would be something I could even do,” Sanders said. “I have to work my way back to try to be able to play.”

Additionally, team president Peter Feigen told the Journal Sentinel‘s Don Walker that he and the team fully support Sanders’ situation:

In a luncheon appearance at the War Memorial Center on Tuesday, Feigin denied a media report that was published on Twitter that Sanders recently told team officials he didn’t want to play basketball any longer.

“Larry didn’t say that,” Feigin said. “Which I can tell.”

Feigin said Sanders was experiencing personal issues “of which we are 1,000% supportive of around him.” He added that the franchise’s new owners want to “surround players with the best medical, psychological, emotional and physical support we can possibly have. When Larry’s ready, he’ll be ready.”

 

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No. 5: Knicks likely not done working trade market — The New York Knicks dealt away Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith in trades Monday and, according to a couple of reports out there, may not be done dealing. Jose Calderon may be the next Knicks on the trading block, writes Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, as the trade winds start to pick up a bit league-wide:

With the Knicks now owners of the worst record and perhaps worst roster in the league as Phil Jackson hits the reset button in New York, league sources say the next player on the move could be point guard Jose Calderon. But at age 33 with two years and more than $15 million left on his contract, that will be a difficult proposition. Calderon came to the Knicks in the trade that sent Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton to Dallas. For all he was faulted for in New York, Chandler has done what he has done for years — made his team better than it was before he got there. The Mavs are fourth in the West, having won six in a row and eight of 10.

The Clippers continue to shop for a starting small forward, but have told at least one inquiring team that they do not intend to move valuable sixth man Jamal Crawford in the process, sources say. The Clippers have one of the least productive benches in the league as it is, and that problem would become even more pronounced if they moved Crawford. Coach and president Doc Rivers has few trade assets to work with, and the Clippers are hard-capped and thus don’t have much flexibility to take on salary.

The Hornets continue to explore trade possibilities for Lance Stephenson and are looking for frontcourt help, sources say. While the Nets might seem on the surface to be a team willing to gamble on Stephenson — especially if it means unloading one of their big contracts — Brooklyn has yet to signal any willingness to take on salary beyond next season.

The Knicks are expected to try to re-engage the Thunder in talks for point guard Reggie Jackson after being rebuffed in their efforts to land him in Monday night’s three-team deal, sources say. Jackson would fit into the $2.6 million trade exception New York received in the trade with Cleveland and Oklahoma City, but the Thunder have been steadfast in rebuffing trade offers for the point guard.


VIDEO: The Starters give their take on Monday’s three-team deal

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SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: Warriors owner Joe Lacob can’t help but enjoy the new atmosphere in Golden State the last few seasons … What Thunder GM Sam Presti saw in Dion Waiters that the Cavs didn’t … The Portland Trail Blazers have gotten in the mix to try and land big man (and former Blazers draft pick) Jermaine O’Neal … Boston Celtics forward Jeff Green is taking the blame for the team’s play of late … Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey really wants Kyle Lowry to be an All-Star this year … The New York Times trolled the Knicks with this ‘wanted’ ad … Don’t ever accuse Tyronn Lue of being a poor sport … The teams that didn’t trade for Kevin Love are now favored to win it all

ICYMI OF THE NIGHT: Brandon Jennings comes through as the hero and Detroit keeps rolling …  


VIDEO: Brandon Jennings’ buzzer-beating floater sinks Spurs

 

13 Comments

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  2. lsjogren says:

    In fact, this would put the three best teams in the NBA all in the same geographic region as the Pac 12 North.

  3. lsjogren says:

    Wow that would be awesome. A regional rivalry between two of the three best teams in the western conference.

  4. BRIAN V says:

    NO MATTER WHAT CARMELO DECIDES TO DO PEOPLE ARE GOING TO QUESTION IT BECAUSE OF THE CONTRACT HE SIGNED THIS YEAR TO STAY WITH THE KNICKS. IF HE CHOOSES TO SIT OUT THE REST OF THE SEASON PEOPLE ARE GOING ASK WHY HE IS SITTING ON THE FIRST YEAR OF HIS BIG CONTRACT. IF HE PLAYS AND GETS HURT, AND LETS SAY HE IS OUT THIS ENTIRE SEASON PLUS A LITTLE OF NEXT SEASON. PEOPLE ARE GOING ASK WHY RISK INJURY IN HIS FIRST YEAR OF HIS BIG CONTRACT. SO LIKE MANY SAY THAT THE KNICKS SEASON IS ALREADY OVER, WHY NOT HAVE HIM SIT THE REST OF THE SEASON, LET HIM GET READY FOR NEXT SEASON. NEXT SEASON WILL BE A FRESH START AND HE WILL BE 100% HEALTHY. IF YOU ARE A KNICKS FAN YOU SHOULD SUPPORT WHATEVER CARMELO DECIDES TO DO.

  5. harriethehawk says:

    I have a dream.. That there will be no more articles about if Carmello Anthony is going to sit out the rest of the season or not! Who cares? The Knickerbonkers stink!

  6. Dfresh says:

    I’m hoping the hawks stay in atlanta. look ballmer made his money from years working at microsoft which is located in washington. move the clippers up there LA don’t need two teams anyway, and what your gonna move the hawks from the southeast division and put them in seattle, its bad enough memphis is a west coast team but then the hawks would be an east coast team playing in the west. without the hawks in the east we’d have even more sub 500 teams making to the playoffs out of the eastern conference. i do hope seattle gets a team though, just not the hawks. hopefully a new team and a retooling of the divisions.

  7. Indiana'sownLarryBird says:

    The Detroit Pistons and the Bucks got some good young talent, Brandon Knight needs to be on the all star team his team the Bucks have been hold’n a playoff spot all year. The coins there putt’n up for the Hawks is no joke 75 million to just break the lease, and 550 million to buy the team, if i was a player in the NBA i would take the 100 million dollar contract too. Don’t hate the player hate the game……..

  8. Thomas jackson says:

    The Hawks better stay in Atlanta. I will very upset if they get moved to Washington. I’m a hawks fan and have been my entire life. Finally they start to get good again and because of a stupid owner and GM, now the team might be moved. It’s not right. If seatle wanted a team the should have fought to keep The thunder harder.

  9. ImMe says:

    I really hope Seattle makes the trade.. There are many fans in Seattle and Vancouver who are dying for an NBA team!! Larry Sanders is a good player, and sometimes people have to fight the inner demons, take your time dude!

  10. Ed says:

    I just don’t get why a lot of people are saying Waiters will do great in OKC. He hates coming off the bench, and openly pouts when he doesn’t start. He takes terrible shots and refuses to play defense. He just doesn’t seem to be a team-first guy.

  11. john says:

    melo should retire…. he’s so annoying.

  12. ReturnOfDeRozan says:

    Haha the Prime Minister of Canada tweeted that Kyle Lowry should be at the All-Star Game. THE PRIME MINISTER!

  13. hope larry sanders would be like the old larry sanders…the one who could be a defensive beast