For the New York Knicks, this season was going to mark the beginning of something special, or at the very least, a return to the land of league-wide relevance.
Barely three months into the season, it’s safe to say that the high-priced overhaul spearheaded by team president Phil Jackson is an undeniable disaster. But rather than cutting ties with one of the newcomers or adding some help ahead of next month’s trade deadline, the Knicks are shopping their superstar, and it looks like Carmelo Anthony’s time in New York is about to come to a very sudden end.
Unbelievably, New York’s ongoing free-fall probably wouldn’t have led the Knicks to actively shop Anthony if he hadn’t chosen to do a little leisurely reading. Last week, Anthony voiced his displeasure over an article written by columnist and Jackson biographer Charley Rosen that essentially concluded that it was time for the Knicks to get rid of the nine-time all-star.
Like an angry adolescent, Jackson needlessly came to the aid of his confidant, deciding that Anthony’s criticism somehow meant that he suddenly wanted out. Despite restating his desire to remain in New York while meeting with The Zen Master, trade-related rumors have been hogging the headlines ever since.
After meeting with Jackson to restate his commitment to the Knicks, Anthony repeated the process with the media.
“I’m committed. I don’t have to prove that to anybody,” said Anthony. “I don’t think I have to keep saying that. I don’t think I have to keep talking about that. I know for a fact that people see that.”
During his first three years in New York, Anthony delivered a trio of consecutive playoff appearances, however, the Knicks have been couch surfing come playoff time in each of the last three years, and Anthony has become a somewhat stationary jump-shooter who takes too many shots and plays a ton of one-on-one basketball while defensively contributing very little.
Last Friday’s win over the Charlotte Hornets painted a fairly accurate picture of the player Anthony is today. While he scored a team-high 18 points in the victory, Anthony shot a nauseating 8-26 from the field and a useless 1-7 from long-range. His 11 rebounds—all defensive, nearly doubled his average of 6.2 boards per game, but Anthony also finished without a single assist, no steals, and only one block while playing shaky defense and hearing it from the home crowd.
That’s the player that the Knicks re-signed to a monster, five-year contract extension in the summer of 2014. In terms of production, the 22.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per game that Anthony is currently averaging aren’t far from his career marks of 24.8 points and 6.8 rebounds a night. And as we saw during Sunday’s four-overtime loss to the Atlanta Hawks in which he finished with a season-high 45 points and scored the game-tying bucket at the end of regulation, Anthony can still carry this team.
But trading Anthony suddenly seems to be the only thing that Jackson’s Knicks are willing to do to turn things around. Logistically, dealing Anthony to a team he’d actually waive his no-trade clause for won’t be easy, and a litany of variables make it almost impossible for the Knicks to get fair market value for their resident superstar.
While Anthony is one of only three players to have a no-trade clause that allows him to veto any potential deal, he admitted that he’d consider leaving if the Knicks want to move on.
“I think it will be more on the front office,” said Anthony. “I have the power, but still I would talk to them. We would be in communication if they feel like they want to go in a different direction, they want to start rebuilding for the future. If they tell me they want to scrap this whole thing, yeah, I have to consider it.”
So far, New York has failed to talk any team into trading for Anthony—a fact that says a lot about his value beyond the five boroughs. The Cleveland Cavaliers were nowhere near interested in a Anthony for Kevin Love swap, the L.A. Clippers aren’t willing to part with a single member of their three-headed monster, and the Boston Celtics took the time to tell the Knicks that they’re not interested before an offer was even made.
The potential three-team deal that the Clippers are reportedly attempting to orchestrate is the only rumored option that might appeal to Anthony—and thus far, the best chance the Knicks have to get a player who’d actually help them now. Unfortunately, at worst, Anthony is only part of the problem, and if the Knicks really want to move forward, saying goodbye to both Anthony and Jackson is the only way.
Eagles’ Jalen Mills Arrested
Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills was arrested in Washington D.C following an altercation with Washington Wizards player Devin Robinson, according to the Associated Press’ Howard Fendrich (via the Washington Post).
Both men were charged with disorderly affray, which is described as fighting in a public place.
According to the Washington Post’s Candace Buckner, a verbal altercation broke out between the two that escalated into a physical fight that took place on the sidewalk.
Robinson was transported to a hospital following the fight with Mills and upon his release he was taken to to department’s 2nd District station where Mills was detained.
Mills and Robinson were “involved in a verbal altercation which escalated into a physical altercation on the sidewalk adjacent to the Opera Night Club” in the early hours of Saturday morning, according to the police report.
Both teams have since responded, with the Wizards essentially parting ways with Robinson due to the incident.
“We are aware of the incident this morning involving Devin and are disappointed in his actions. We will not extend him a qualifying offer for the 2019-20 season,” the Wizards said in a statement.
The Eagles issued a statement saying that they are “aware of the situation” and “continuing to gather more information.”
Mavs’ Kristaps Porzingis Accused of Rape in New York
Dallas Mavericks big man and former New York Knick Kristaps Porzingis is being investigated back New York for an alleged rape that a woman told police took place sometime last year, according to the New York Post.
The woman, who informed police about the alleged rape on Thursday, says that she waited more than a year to come forward regarding the incident because she had discussed receiving $68,000 from Porzingis to keep quiet.
Roland G. Riopelle, the attorney for Porzingis, has since denied the allegations and has said they had previously referred the case to federal authorities due to the “accuser’s extortionate demands.”
“We are aware of the complaint that was made against Mr. Porzingis on Friday and unequivocally deny the allegations,” Riopelle said. “We made a formal referral to federal law enforcement on Dec. 20, 2018, based on the accuser’s extortionate demands. We also alerted the National Basketball Association months ago, and they are aware of the ongoing investigation of the accuser by federal law enforcement. We cannot comment further on an ongoing federal investigation. Please refer any questions to the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the National Basketball Association.”
The woman alleges that the incident took place on February 7th, 2018, at the Sky building in New York, where Porzingis lived, just hours following Porzingis suffering a torn ACL, the injury that has kept him off the court for more than a year.
An NBA spokesman said the league is aware of the situation while the Knicks’ team spokesperson said; “This is Kristaps’ personal matter and not related to the Knicks.” Mavericks owner Mark Cuban stated that the team is aware of the situation but “we have been instructed by federal authorities not to comment.”
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Knicks had informed the Mavericks of the pending Porzingis rape allegations during a trade call with NBA headquarters, that took place on January 31st, that finalized the deal that sent Porzingis to the Mavericks.
A spokesman for the New York Police Department issued the following: “The NYPD takes sexual assault and all rape cases extremely seriously, and urges anyone who has been a victim to file a report so we can perform a comprehensive investigation, and offer support and services to survivors.”
Warriors’ DeMarcus Cousins Says Fans Have Called Him ‘N—-r’, Says He’s Reported it to League
Golden State Warriors big man DeMarcus Cousins is speaking out about how NBA fans treat players, revealing that fans have called him the N-word during games and stating that he had reported the incidents to the league.
Cousins discussed the incidents during an interview with Chris Haynes on the ‘Posted Up’ podcast:
“Oh, I’ve been called n—-r, and it’s crazy because this has happened to me on a few occasions. I reported it to the league, and, you know, I may have said whatever I said back, and I was still punished for it. But obviously it became a bigger issue when it was Russ [Westbrook] and he was still fined for it. I don’t really understand it. We’re the product. We push this league. So, I don’t understand. When does our safety, when does, it become important?”
While Cousins spoke candidly about his experiences, he did not specific which cities in which he heard the racial slurs.
“I don’t really want to, because I’m not really trying to put a label on an entire fan base” Cousins said when discussing which cities he heard the slurs. T”here are ignorant individuals in every city. I’ll just put it like that. [NBA] tells you to ignore it, or whatever the case may be. But how many times am I supposed to ignore that? Me coming from where I come from [Mobile, Alabama]. They lucky all they got was a response.”
While Cousins did not mention any cities or teams, Haynes reported that one city was Sacramento, where Cousins spent the majority of his career playing for the Kings.
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