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Knicks’ Front Office Not Happy Following Poor Start

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RJ Barrett

With only 10 games into the 2019-2020 season, the New York Knicks front office is already unhappy with how things are moving forward, especially after another loss on Sunday dropped their record to 2-8 on the year.

“We’re not happy with where we are,” Knicks team president Steve Mills said (h/t ESPN). “This is not where we expected to be at this point — 10 games in.”

The Knicks 21-point loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, at home, marked their third loss in the past four games by at least 20 points, and the second at home at Madison Square Garden.

“I think the lack of consistency, that for the most part we’ve seen it, but you see sporadic efforts, too,” Knicks’ general manager Scott Perry said. “That’s what we talked about as we sat during this game and one of the reasons we wanted to come out and address you guys. Because we got to be consistent in all areas of the game, starting with the effort.”

With the Knicks’ early struggles rumors have started to circulate regarding the job security of head coach David Fizdale, but the front office seems to support Fizdale.

“We have patience, and we believe in Coach,” Mills said. “And we believe in the group that we put together, but we also know that, as Scott and I both have said a number of times, we need to find a way to have a consistent level of effort and execution.”

“Got to own that our home consistency is not there,” Fizdale said. “I take full responsibility for that.”

The Knicks entered the season with hopes of improving on last year’s 17-65 record, which was worst in the league, but it has not been the case thus far.

“We’re not here focused on the record,” Mills said. “We’re focused on improvement and delivering a consistent effort because we believe that if this team plays with the kind of effort that they played against Dallas that we’ll win basketball games.”

“[Mills and Perry are] right. We need to win,” Knicks’ forward Marcus Morris said. “We got great players. We got great chemistry. We got great guys on this team. … If I was front office, I’d be upset, too. Our coaches are doing a great job. We just got to be better. They’re not the ones giving up 20-point leads in the beginning of the first half. That’s us. It’s all on us, and we have to own it.”

Mills went on to say that Knicks’ team owner Jim Dolan believes in the plan that the organization has in place, but results are expected.

“He’s [as] passionate as we are about this,” Mills said. “So he would want us to have better results on the floor as well. And I think Jim is a fan and believes in what we’re doing, but he has the same kind of expectations that we have.”

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Anthony DiMoro is the creator of Sports Rants and the CEO of Elite Rank Media and DiMoro Enterprises LLC. He is a former Contributor for Forbes and the Huffington Post where he covered sports, social media, and SEO. Anthony hosts the Anthony DiMoro Show podcast, and formerly hosted the 'Forbes SportsMoney Podcast'.

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NBA

Ex-NBA Commissioner David Stern Hospitalized Following Brain Hemorrhage

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David Stern

Former NBA commissioner David Stern, who is credited with globalizing the NBA during his monumental tenure atop the NBA organizatgion, was admitted to a New York City hospital Thursday afternoon after suffering a brain hemorrhage, according to an official league announcement.

“NBA Commissioner Emeritus David Stern suffered a sudden brain hemorrhage earlier today for which he underwent emergency surgery,” the NBA said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with David and his family.

New York’s fire department responded to a 911 emergency call at a Midtown restaurant at 1:59 pm EST, and transported Stern to Mount Sinai West medical center. There was no immediate word on his condition.

Stern, 77, served as NBA commissioner from 1984 until 2014 and was instrumental in building the NBA into a global force. During his tenure, the league added seven teams, relocated six other franchises, increased the league’s annual revenue from television contracts, and a boom in value of NBA franchises.

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Miami Heat

Heat Suspend Dion Waiters Again

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Dion Waiters

The Miami Heat have suspended guard Dion Waiters for the third time this time for a “failure to adhere to team policies, violation of team rules and continued insubordination.”

Waiters will be out until the Heat play the Utah Jazz on December 23rd. Waiters was hit with a 10-game ban back in November for conduct detrimental to the team following an incident on the team’s charter flight where he experienced a “panic attack” after consuming an edible infused with THC.

Before that, Waiters was suspended for the season opener back in October for detrimental conduct, although the team never provided any further details to explain what specific conduct, or incident, led to the suspension.

Instead, Heat president Pat Riley simply stated: “There were a number of unacceptable incidents this week, culminating with his unprofessional conduct on the bench last night. As a consequence, I feel we had to suspend him.”

Due to the suspension, Waiters has been docked over $1.4 million off his $12.1 million salary due this season. Waiters is currently in the third year of a four-year, $47.3 million contract that had incentives that could have paid him $5 million more for playing a certain number of games.

 

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Los Angeles Lakers

Lakers’ Dwight Howard Talks Bitterness Towards Magic, Fans

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Dwight Howard

Los Angeles Lakers big man Dwight Howard admits that his departure from the Orlando Magic via trade back in 2012 led to a lot of bitterness between he and the Magic organization, as well as the fans.

Howard had a similar departure from his failed first stint with the Lakers, several seasons ago, and has used this season to mend fences and win the Laker fanbase back, and now, Howard was looking to do the same when the Lakers visited the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night.

“In Orlando, I handled a lot of stuff the wrong way,” Howard said, according to USA Today Sports’ Sam Amick. “If any of those people in Orlando are upset with how I did it, I apologize for the way I handled it and the way it was handled in the media.

“Orlando was it,” Howard said. “I did not want to leave all that behind — the city, just everything about it. The fans. But I wanted a change for my life. I just felt like there was something else out there for me”

Howard was the Magic’s franchise player after the team used the #1 overall pick in the 2004 draft to add him to the team. Howard propelled the Magic to the NBA Finals in 2009, and won three straight Defensive Player of the Year awards during his tenure with the team.

“I think it takes everybody a while to get over things, but time should heal wounds, and if not, got to let that s— go,” Howard said, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “That’s how — I’m sorry — that’s how I look at it. I’ve let a lot of things go in my heart, things that have kind of held me down. Things that I had towards the Magic and just how the situation ended. How I was treated by the fans and stuff like that. But I had to let that bitterness go. There’s no need to hold on to it. When I let it go, it just made my life a lot better. Just more free.”

“I got blessed to come back and play with the Lakers, and I’m in a really good situation,” Howard said. “I’m pretty sure there were a lot of people here who were super hurt and disappointed that I left. And I’m sorry for that. You know, I apologize if they felt that way. But I never would have been the person I am today if I would have stayed here. So I’m very thankful that everything that has transpired has transpired and it’s made me the best version of Dwight Howard. I never thought this would happen. So, I’m happy that it happened. I know that it broke a lot of people’s hearts. It broke my heart, too. But, man, at the end of the day, I’m free. I feel really good.”

Howard, 34, says that he hit “rock bottom” in his personal life this past summer, and has been working on putting the pieces back together, and has been a bright spot on an impressive Lakers roster this season.

“I was super bitter at a lot of the things that transpired behind closed doors that none of the Magic fans or people really know about,” he said without revealing specifics. “I never said anything about it. I never bashed or talked anything bad about this team. But I did have a lot of bitterness in my heart towards the organization and even the fans of how they treated me when I came back. But I let it go. I was super bitter, but I let it go. And by letting it go, it just dropped all the weight that I had and it just made me a better person.”

“I have nothing to prove to nobody,” Howard said. “I’ve done an amazing job in my career so far, so I’m not out here trying to prove how many points I can score or trying to prove I’m Dwight Howard. I know who I am, know who I represent and know what this team needs in me for us to win.”

His team has been appreciative of what Howard has done for them this season.

“I’m really enjoying my time with him. … He’s really bought into and bringing a seriousness about his business and his approach” Lakers’ head coach Frank Vogel said. “He’s been all business. He’s really bought into that defensive-rebounding, lob-threat, roller type of role. It’s a big shift, but he’s really embraced it and excelled in that. He’s been a star in his role.”

“I don’t look at the years that were bad in people’s eyes as, ‘Oh, man, I should have stayed where I was at,’ ” Howard said. “I was very comfortable here in Orlando and I needed to get out of that comfort zone, find out who I am as a person and as a man and it just made me a lot better. So, I’m very thankful for that. And there is times where I thought what would have happened if I would have stayed here and stuff like that, but I’m at the right place at the right time and that’s really the only thing that matters.”

Howard has averaged 6.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game this season for Los Angeles.

 

 

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