Morning shootaround — Aug. 6


VIDEO: Looking back on David Robinson’s epic career

Green sees Popovich staying with Spurs for life | Afflalo says Anthony helped recruit him to Knicks | Gallinari surprised Nuggets gave him extension

NEWS OF THE MORNING

No. 1: Green doesn’t think Popovich will ever fully leave Spurs — Today is the 50th birthday of ex-San Antonio Spurs legend and Hall of Famer David Robinson. Robinson, of course, won two titles with San Antonio under the coaching of Gregg Popovich, who is the longest-tenured coach in the NBA and has led the Spurs to three more title since Robinson’s retirement. Given San Antonio’s stellar offseason in the free-agent marketplace, current Spurs swingman Danny Green tells Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News that he can’t envision Popovich ever fully cutting ties with the team: 

Still setting goals, Spurs guard Danny Green looks forward to playing for coach Gregg Popovich through the end of the four-year, $40 million Spurs contract he signed after becoming a free agent in July.

Like many Spurs players and fans, Green always had presumed Popovich would depart the Spurs bench as soon as team captain Tim Duncan opted for retirement. But with the signing of free agent power forward LaMarcus Aldridge and the new, five-year contract for teammate Kawhi Leonard signed in mid-July Green now believes Popovich will stick around past the end of 39-year-old Duncan’s career — whenever that comes.

“Without LaMarcus and Kawhi (Leonard) I think he’s out the door when Timmy leaves,” Green said on Wednesday after an appearance at the Spurs youth camp at George Gervin Academy. “Them being here I think extends his tenure just a little bit longer.

“Pop loves the game, obviously. I don’t see him stepping away fully. Even if he ever did he’d always be in the front office, or around or something. But him, or them — he and (general manager) R.C. (Buford) — bringing in the talent they brought in this past (off) season depending on how long they stay, I think we’ll be successful and LaMarcus will want to stay as long as possible and, hopefully, finish his career here with me, Kawhi and Pop.

“I think that keeps (Pop) here a little longer.”


VIDEO: Danny Green discusses the Spurs’ offseason

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No. 2: Afflalo says Anthony key in recruiting him to Knicks — During NBA All-Star weekend, Knicks star Carmelo Anthony said he planned to use that time to help recruit free agents to New York. Is that how and where Anthony got the ear of Arron Afflalo to help get him to New York this summer? Who knows, but as Afflalo tells Newsday‘s Al Iannazzone, Anthony’s pitches to him (and their time together in Denver) was key to him joining the Knicks:

There have been reports that Anthony hasn’t been happy with the moves that team president Phil Jackson has made this offseason, starting with the drafting of 7-3 project Kristaps Porzingis with the No. 4 pick and the acquisition of rookie guard Jerian Grant for Tim Hardaway Jr.

The Knicks didn’t land any of the marquee free agents, either. Their haul has been Robin Lopez, Afflalo, Derrick Williams, Kyle O’Quinn, Sasha Vujacic and Kevin Seraphin. They also re-signed Lance Thomas and Lou Amundson.

It will take time for them to mesh, and Anthony, 31, may not want to wait another year or two to contend. Even Knicks legend and broadcaster Clyde Frazier, in an interview with ESPN.com, wondered whether Anthony will ask for a trade, “if he sees that this is not happening.”

But Afflalo, who played 1 1/2 seasons with Anthony in Denver, thinks the Knicks can make it work. The veteran shooting guard also said Anthony was instrumental in him signing with the Knicks, and he’s happy to be reunited with him.

“I believe he had a lot to do with it,” said Afflalo, who signed a two-year, $16-million deal. “I know they value his opinion here in the organization. He was a big part of me getting here. He’s very happy that I’m here. He spoke highly of me when asked, and that’s all you can ask for.”

It’s been 41/2 years since the two played together in Denver, and Afflalo has changed. He was more of a defensive stopper then, and now he’s added scorer and solid three-point shooter to his resume. Afflalo thinks he and Anthony will play well off each other.

“He’s a guy that draws so much attention and now that I feel like I’m more confident, more effective all over the court I just feel like it’s going to be twice as good,” Afflalo said. “I’m extremely excited to play with him. I know he’s excited that I’m here and we’re going to make it work.”

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No. 3: Gallinari surprised by extension Nuggets gave him — Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari has been with the team since arriving in the midseason Carmelo Anthony blockbuster deal with the New York Knicks in 2011. Of Denver’s 312 regular season games since the start of the 2011-12 season, he has played in just 173 of them (although he did lose the entire 2013-14 season to injury). Last season, Gallinari spent it mostly shaking the rust off his game. He tells The Denver Post‘s Christopher Dempsey that he was certainly stunned this summer when the team’s brass called to offer him a long-term extension:

Danilo Gallinari was going about his business on a seasonal summer day when the phone rang.

On the other side of the line was Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly, who called with an offer he hadn’t seen coming. He wanted to extend Gallinari’s contract.

“He was saying they were trying to do something about it,” Gallinari said Tuesday in a phone interview with The Denver Post. “And then after that my agent called and we started talking more about what the extension was about.”

Less than a month later, a deal was struck and the contract — three years, $45 million — was signed.

The Nuggets knew they wanted Gallinari, and Gallinari knew he wanted to stay in Denver.

“I was very fast in saying yes to this extension,” Gallinari said. “I’m very happy to stay in Denver. This extension came because of the people in Denver, the fact that I’ve been in Denver for awhile now and the fact that I love the city.”

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SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: The Knicks are reportedly close to signing Thanasis Antetokounmpo to a 2-year deal … Is this the most Kevin Garnett story yet?MarShon Brooks has signed a deal with a team in China

6 Comments

  1. bullsfandan says:

    The knicks reflect the city the play in. The Problem of rust belt cities like new york or detroit is that people are feeling, crime is sky rocketing along with poverty. It does not help that their sports teams are all horrible and their fan bases are increasingly shrinking. These rustbelt cities need a rebirth before their sports teams can hope to improve.

  2. harriethehawk says:

    The Knickerbonkers stink.

  3. David says:

    I agree that a coaching change is Necessary, but I believe Phil Jackson is doing a outstanding job with working with what the Knicks have now and The Players that were acquired will fit right in to the system that The Knicks will be playing this upcoming season, Can they make Playoffs? I believe so, but will they win a championship this season? that I don’t think so.

  4. Kevin says:

    What NY fans need is a change of a coach with more authority. Jackson should also released. It is not working at all and fans are sick of it.

    • dmh says:

      You need a change in ownership 1st. Every time the knicks get something good going on, Dolan steps in and ruins the potential for good to become great. The real damage was done before Phil got back there with some of the “names” signed or acquired that don’t fit together. Names don’t win championships, teams do. If names won championships, we would all be talking about the 14-15 Lebron and a couple scrubs champions but, we aren’t since the injury bug hit the cavs team. Instead GSW won because of their team. The names on that team weren’t consistent and the guy that was the 6th man during the season won finals MVP. Thats a team.

      Because of the damage done before Phil to the cap, the knicks aren’t even good enough to attract names anymore. They did better in FA than I expected but, that’s mainly due to what was going on with the trailblazers crumbling and putting all of their eggs into the Aldridge basket that fell through. For now the bright lights aren’t going to save the knicks until they quit going after names and start building a team. In the meanwhile patience is a virtue.