Posts Tagged ‘Carmelo Anthony’

The Knicks welcome back Carmelo Anthony

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — There was some question the last few weeks as to which franchise Carmelo Anthony would end up playing with going forward. But after visiting teams from coast to coast, Melo ended up re-signing with the New York Knicks, and the Knicks made this video to celebrate his return.


VIDEO: Melo NY

Horry Scale: Dirk Does It


VIDEO: Dirk’s Game Winner

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Juuuust when you thought we were out, they go and pull us back in. The season may be just past the halfway mark, but our record-setting pace is continuing, as tonight Dirk Nowitzki did his dagger-shooting thing to beat the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

Before we get too far into this, we should stop and explain why we’re here: What is the Horry Scale? For those who are new around these parts, the Horry Scale examines a game-winning buzzer-beater (GWBB) in the categories of difficulty, game situation (was the team tied or behind at the time?), importance (playoff game or garden-variety Kings-Pistons game?) and celebration (is it over the top or too chill? Just the right panache or needs more sauce?). Then we give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys, the patron saint of last-second daggers.

One thing I’d like to clear up: The Horry Scale does not measure a game-winning shot; the Horry Scale measures several facets of a Game-Winning Buzzer-Beater. So we’re talking about not only the shot, but also the play that creates the shot, the situation and the drama, the celebrations … basically, everything surrounding and including the shot. So when I gave Randy Foye a 3 Horry rating, that wasn’t only a reflection of his shot, which was admittedly remarkable, as I wrote, but also the play, which was awful. Taj Gibson’s lefty layup wasn’t the toughest shot, but that inbounds play was terrific. Basically, everything matters.

We all clear? OK, let’s break this shot down…

DIFFICULTY
I feel like this is the part of this play that will be most overlooked. Yes, it was just a jump shot, and as far as play designs go, it wasn’t exactly the most complex play Rick Carlisle has ever inked out. But man was that a hard shot. I mean, if Carmelo Anthony was any closer to Dirk he could have untied his shoes. Dallas got the ball in to Dirk at top of key with the score tied at 108 and just 7.3 seconds left to play. Dirk caught the ball with his back to the basket, singled up against ‘Melo. Using his left foot as a pivot, Dirk rotated a full 360 degrees while ‘Melo sniped at the ball. He finally dribbled one time with his left hand, and jabbed his right foot forward just a bit to create a few inches of space. And with Carmelo basically chest-to-chest, Dirk raised up and released that textbook jump shot over ‘Melo with just under 2 seconds remaining. The ball hit the glass, the front of the rim, popped up into the air, and then gently settled back into the bucket. Again, not the most aesthetically pleasing play, but good grief what a tough shot.

GAME SITUATION
This was perhaps an even tougher pill for Knicks fans to swallow because of the game situation. After being a mostly back-and-forth affair all evening, the Mavs seized the lead down the stretch. But give the Knicks credit for clawing back, mostly behind 44 points from ‘Melo. Down 6 with 1:12 to play, the Knicks got a three-point play from Chandler, a steal, and a three from Melo to tie the game at 108. Dallas had won 9 of 12 coming in, including two straight on the road. With the Knicks still clinging to hopes of getting into the playoffs, tonight was the kind of game they really had to win. To lose on a shot that bounced all over the rim before dropping in must be tough. But then, the Knicks have been on the other side of a similar situation before, right Allan Houston?


VIDEO: Knicks beat Heat in 1999 playoffs

CELEBRATION
Dirk seemed to mostly keep his cool, because this ain’t Dirk’s first time at the big shot rodeo. I loved the way Jose Calderon took off on a sprint up the court as the shot went through, and he grabbed Dirk in a bear hug to celebrate. Also, of late I’ve tried to incorporate fan reaction into the ratings, and Knicks fans did not disappoint, as you can see several of them with their hands to their heads in the background as the shot drops through.

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And here’s a better look at some fan reactions to Dirk’s shot (h/t netw3rk & Kyle Weidie)

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GRADE
So it may not have been the best play design, but it was still a tough shot. It may not have been the most momentous game, or the most spirited reaction, but all together it was a pretty good play. So I’m going to go with three Horrys for this one…

horry-star horry-star horry-star

What say you? How many Horrys would you give Dirk Nowitzki’s GWBB?

Carmelo’s 62: Players React On Twitter

By Nick Margiasso IV

Carmelo Anthony may have scored 62 on Friday night — breaking his own, the Knicks’ franchise and the Madison Square Garden points records in the process — but he also did something else. He broke the Internet … especially Twitter.

As always, folks reacted with all kinds of hot-blooded hyperbole on The Big T (not a real nickname for Twitter, but it should be), not least of which were Anthony’s NBA co-workers. Here’s a roundup of their love for Lala‘s boy:

…and some Knicks perspective…

Jordan Brand Introduces Melo M10

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ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It’s hard to believe Carmelo Anthony has been in the NBA for eleven seasons, much less had nine different signature shoes, but we got a reminder this week with Jordan Brand’s introduction of the Melo M10, Carmelo’s tenth signature sneaker.

According to Nike, the sneaker, which was designed by legendary sneaker designer Tinker Hatfield, “incorporates Jordan’s signature Flight Plate technology, offering maximum responsiveness through compression and deflection. The dynamic fit technology works with Flight Plate to provide a lock-down fit that moves with the foot and enhances maximum performance.”

The shoe hits the market on January 4, with a suggested retail price of $165. For more on the kick, check the video below where Melo and Tinker discuss their inspiration…
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VIDEO: Melo And Tinker M10

Who Is The Worst-Dressed Knick?

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — If you’re on the lookout for the worst-dressed player on a team, who better to ask than the other players on the team? As such, let’s check in with the New York Knicks to find out who is the worst-dressed Knicks player.

“Come on, World Peace!”
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VIDEO: Who Is The Worst-Dressed Knick?

Talk Show: Carmelo Anthony

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ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Eleven stories above the cool and breezy East River, on the top floor of an office building on Jay Street in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood, there were palpable warm vibes. Especially when people noticed Carmelo Anthony was in the building. At an event for the Carmelo Anthony Foundation, in partnership with DJS Real Estate Development, the Knicks forward sponsored an event to kick off the Tools For Teachers initiative. School supplies were given to 128 teachers from all five boroughs, to help 138 classrooms.

I managed to slow Melo down long enough for a few questions before the event started…

ME: What inspired you to get involved helping out these teachers?

MELO: I like to give back to the nitty gritty of things. I like to give back to where the people really need it. I started redoing the basketball courts, and I’ll still do the courts, but I wanted to try something new and fresh. So I took it back to education and to the teachers. A lot of these teachers I’m helping out today are actually coming out of their own pockets for school supplies — notebooks, book bags, things like that. But nobody is helping them out. So it was easy for me to take that initiative, just to give back to them.

ME: Did you have those things when you were growing up?

MELO: Barely. I mean, I had a couple of pencils and pens here and there. But still, even when you’re in school and teachers bring stuff to the class room, you can’t really show them how much you appreciate that. So now, for me being in the situation that I’m in, nobody is really giving that appreciation back to the teachers. So this is the first thing of many things I’ll be doing for them.

ME: Who was your favorite teacher growing up?

MELO: I had an English teacher, man. My English teacher was very, very important to me when I was growing up.

ME: Why?

MELO: Because she kept me in check, she kept me in check. She told me a lot of things. And that was one of the classes I really enjoyed going to. (laughs) Plus she was pretty, too.

ME: What was your least favorite class?

MELO: Oh, man. (long pause) Geography. At that young age you’re not really trying to figure out what’s this country, that country, what’s this city, that city. It was a lot going on. But as you get older you realize you need that.

ME: What was your favorite school supply?

MELO: My favorite school supply? The composition notebook.

ME: With the black and white cover?

MELO: The black and white cover, absolutely.

ME: Did you used to draw on the cover of your notebook?

MELO: Oh yeah, I would draw on everything. I had my colored pencils, I would draw on everything.

ME: Did you write stuff on your backpack?

MELO: I used to carry my books in my hand. I couldn’t get a backpack. I put my books in plastic bags and stuff like that.

ME: Why no backpack?

MELO: We couldn’t afford a backpack. It was either the books or the backpack.

ME: Been a long preseason. Are you ready for the season to start?

MELO: We’re ready to get going, man. We have one more preseason game here tomorrow on our own home court. This is our first time playing in the Garden this whole preseason, so we’re excited about that. To see the new Garden, we’re excited about that. The energy that’s surrounding us right now, we can’t wait.

ME: Can the Knicks win more games than you did last season? 54 is a lot of wins.

MELO: Yeah, 54 is a lot of games, man. It’s kind of hard to say — we haven’t really got it going yet, or anything like that. I try not to compare this season to last season. We’re going to take it one day at a time and go from there.

Talk Show: Mario Batali

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ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Here in New York City, plenty of celebrities pop up in the front rows at Knicks and Nets games, although it’s not always clear just how many of them are actual NBA fans. New York-based chef and television personality Mario Batali fits both bills. Batali grew up in Seattle as a Sonics fan, but these days has allegiances to — gasp! — both the Knicks and Nets. As Batali explains, “I’m not such a fierce Geo-specific fan.”

In between running his acclaimed restaurant empire and appearing daily on ABC’s “The Chew,” Batali says he finds time to not only follow the NBA but even plan family trips to out of town games. I caught up with Batali last week on the set of “The Chew” where he was posing with the crystalized “BIG IS ON” basketball that is currently making its way around New York City.

ME: I know that a lot of NBA players have eaten at your restaurants. For example, Emeka Okafor has told me he loves your food.

MARIO: I’ll tell you one thing about Emeka: That guy can eat enough to make every kitchen happy in the world. Like, he’ll have two appetizers, two pastas, and then he’ll have a steak for two. He eats it and he loves it, he gives you goosebumps. He’s just delightful.

ME: And you’re a big NBA fan?

MARIO: Huge NBA fan.

ME: You’re originally from Seattle, right?

MARIO: (laughs) Back when we had a team!

ME: So you grew up a Sonics fan?

MARIO: Definitely. For me, the greatest thing to collect right now is original, vintage Sonics hats and shirts. They’re beautiful. That logo — come on. They hardly did one better.

ME: So that was, like, Lenny Wilkens-era Sonics?

MARIO: Spencer Haywood

ME: Slick Watts?

MARIO: Absolutely! Downtown Freddie Brown! Come on, we had the guys.

ME: I know you lived in Italy for a while. Was basketball as popular in Europe then as it is today?

MARIO: I was there in the ‘80s, and it was already — after soccer — the biggest sport. Absolutely, no question about it. We got great players who either had problems or didn’t quite make the team and they were over there playing basketball, going crazy, living in these tiny little towns. It wasn’t like all Rome and Milan, you know. Here all the teams are in major, major cities. They were in Venice, they were in Verona, towns with like 200,000 or 300,000 people. It totally changed the way Italians looked at American sports. And for the positive. The world loves American sports. We do it better than anybody else, except soccer.

ME: I’ve seen you at Knicks games. Are the Knicks your team?

MARIO: Knicks and Nets.

ME: Both? Can you have two rival teams?

MARIO: Yes! Here’s the story. Since I’m from Seattle and I’ve been disenfranchised, I can have two teams. I take a lot of heat from The Original Fan. The Original Fan says I can’t like the Jets and the Giants, but I like Eli and I like Geno. And I like Mark Sanchez. And in basketball, I like Paul Pierce. How can I not go for Paul Pierce, right? He’s a Boston guy, but he’s on my team now.

ME: You have two teenage sons. Are they fans of both teams also?

MARIO: They’re Carmelo fans. They were Mike D’Antoni fans. But they’ll be happy to go see the Nets, too. They go to school in Brooklyn so they drive right by the Barclays Center, which is an impressive building. And the Garden is also impressive, but you can drive by and not even notice sometimes. I take my sons each year on an NBA trip. We traditionally go somewhere for a long weekend with Dad, and we’ve gone to see the Hornets — this year we’re going to see the Pelicans. But we’ve been to Cleveland, during and after LeBron, we’ve been to Dallas, we’ve been to Los Angeles to watch the games. We’ll travel for basketball.

ME: Which athletes eat the most when they’re at your restaurants? Do football players eat more than basketball players?

MARIO: Linemen. Nick Mangold, baby (laughs). But no, actually I would say Nick doesn’t eat more than, say, Emeka. In terms of water displacement Emeka might displace more water than even Nick. But there’s a respect in the sports world, particularly the basketball world, where they totally dig our field, and they’re totally into what we do as well.

ME: Last thing: If you had to cook and serve a basketball, how would you prepare it to make it even semi-edible?

MARIO: The best way to cook a basketball would be to slice it into paper-thin strips like spaghetti, and toss it with a little Bolognese.

Carmelo Anthony: World’s Greatest Fisherman?

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — According to his social media, Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony took advantage of the long holiday weekend to get away and hit the open water with his family. He posted a photo on Instagram of what he referred to as a “lite weekend trip,” including bass fishing …

One of the images within that photo shows ‘Melo holding a few fish, the spoils of the day, and a different image shows ‘Melo apaprently biting the fishing line after making a catch. This would lead one to assume that ‘Melo caught these fish the old fashioned way, with a pole and a hook and bait and all that stuff.

Yet a video posted to Instagram from Lala, ‘Melo’s wife, shows that perhaps ‘Melo has a secret weapon against the fish — his hands! (Meanwhile, just ignore that fishing pole behind him, please.)

(via FTW)

Talk Show: Raymond Felton


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ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Going into the the 2011-12 season, the Knicks saw popular point guard Jeremy Lin sign with Houston, and they replacedKnockout Blue:Pirate:Black him with Raymond Felton, a former Knick coming off a down season in Portland. While Lin and the Rockets had a nice season, Felton helped coalesce Carmelo Anthony, JR Smith and Tyson Chandler and lead the Knicks to a 54-28 record, their best since ’96-97, and into the second round of the playoffs. This season, Felton says the Knicks have their goals set a bit higher.

I caught up with Felton last week in New York City, where Felton was at an event for Under Armour to help launch its newest basketball shoe, the Anatomix Spawn (right), which he’ll wear this season.

ME: So, what are you doing this summer?

FELTON: I’ve just been training, working out. Trying to spend a little bit of time with family and friends, but for the most part, just really been grinding, just getting after it.

ME: No travel or vacation? You don’t get to take some time off?

FELTON: You know, only traveling I did, when the season ended and we lost, I went to the Bahamas for like four nights, and that’s it. I went to Vegas, but I don’t really count that because that was business. I went down there to watch the team play at Summer League, and I got some workouts in there. I stayed down there an extra week because my AAU Program was coming down to play in tournaments, so I stayed down there to do that. So really, vacation? I haven’t had any.

ME: When you say your AAU program, what do you mean?

FELTON: Team Felton. I’ve got like 5, 6 teams, a legit program.

ME: Is that something where when you played AAU as a kid, you thought, “One day I want to be able to sponsor a program and give other kids this opportunity”?

FELTON: Yeah. You know, the AAU business can be a real crooked business, and I hate to see kids get taken advantage of, man. So I just try to give back. I have a nephew who’s pretty good, so it started with his age group, and I’ve just added teams up from that. It’s been good, my team’s doing pretty good. My highest age group, which is his age group, they finished in the top eight in the country this year. The 14-and-under group, they finished fourth. My other young teams down there, they actually won nationals this year. It’s been pretty good, man.

ME: And are you in the stands cheering during the games?

FELTON: Yeah, I’m in the stands, trying to coach a little bit. You know, get on the referees when they’re making me mad, be like Mark Cuban a little bit. But it’s all fun. I just like to see the kids compete and then try to do the best they can.

ME: For a student of the game and fan of the game, what is it like being the point guard of the New York Knicks? Is it cool?

FELTON: It’s great, man. To be the point guard of the New York Knicks is like being the point guard of the University of North Carolina. When you put that jersey on, everybody will know who you are, everybody will recognize you. It’s a good feeling, it’s a good feeling. I feel like when you play here in the city of New York, if you play hard, they’ll love you. When you’re slacking, they’ll let you know. That’s one thing I do know about New York — these fans, they’ll let you know if you’re not playing up to the part. Which is a good thing.

ME: It’s kind of like Carolina, right? The standards are set pretty high.

FELTON: Yep. If you’re not playing up to the part, they’ll let you know. But it’s fun. I love it.

New York Knicks v Indiana Pacers - Game SixME: When the Knicks signed you last summer, a different point guard in the NBA, an All-Star, told me that he thought you would be the perfect fit for the Knicks, because the Knicks were a team with a lot of options and strong personalities, and you’d be able to sort of direct everything and take control.

FELTON: I feel like I’m somebody that Melo and those guys, they respect me. So if I tell them something, they’re not going to get mad, they’re not going to look at me crazy. They respect my game, they respect me as a point guard. I’m going to get you guys the ball. I know that you and JR need to score this basketball for us. I think those guys, they saw that last year, and this year there’s going to be even more of a respect level, because we had a good season as a team. So I think those guys respected me, just like I give them that same respect back. That’s a big part of having a good team — if you’ve got that respect for each other, it’s easy to play with each other.

ME: Last season you guys had a lot of new parts. How long did you feel like it took you guys to kind of get on the same page?

FELTON: It really took the preseason, and we really tried to click, and we got our bumps and bruises out of the way. Because when the season started, we were rolling.

ME: Right, you guys were red-hot, started 15-5.

FELTON: The biggest thing we wanted to do, we wanted to get off to a great start because we looked toward the end of the year, and our schedule was tough. But we ended up with that tough schedule killing it, won 13 in a row, with all those back-to-backs, back-to-backs, travel, travel. Just the mental toughness that we have a team, after all of that, as a team, and as individuals, and just how we trust and respect one another, I think that’s really big. If you trust and respect one another, I think that takes a team a long way.

ME: What’s it like playing with Carmelo Anthony? Because he’s such a great player, and he kind of gets overshadowed a bit by guys like LeBron or Kevin Durant. Even though he might be the best scorer in the NBA …

FELTON: Without a doubt. Without a doubt. Because he scores in so many ways. There’s a lot of guys who can score the basketball in this league. Kevin Durant, by far, is one of the top ones. Him and Melo could be neck-and-neck — those guys can score in a lot of ways. But Melo can score in more ways than KD, because Melo can post up, he can score off the dribble, he can score in the mid-range, he can score finishing at the rim, and he can shoot threes. You’re talking about a guy who has a total, complete game, and he’s big and strong — 6-8, big body, strong body. A lot of people like to talk about how he takes a lot of shots, this and that. Listen man: We need him to score. It gets maximized because if you’re having an off night and you take thirty-something shots, it’s like, “Aw man, he’s shooting too much.” If you’re having a great night, he’s got 40-something points and he took thirty-something shots, ain’t nobody saying nothing. I just tell him, “You do what we need you to do. As a team, we know what you’re going to do every night.” So we gotta adjust our games to that. Me as a point guard, I have to adjust my game to that. I hate when people say about him, “He takes too many shots.” People try to compare him and LeBron — two different games. Melo is who he is, LeBron is who he is. So I hate when they try to make those comparisons. You can’t say Larry Bird and Michael Jordan had the same game. They’re different, but they both got chips. Add Magic Johnson in there. Those guys all had totally, completely different games. But they all got rings. That’s all it is. I support Melo 100 percent. He knows that. We all do. And we want to continue to keep working and get better.

ME: You spent last season playing with Jason Kidd. What kind of coach do you think he’ll be this season in Brooklyn?

FELTON: I think he’ll be a great coach, but at the end of the day, he’s not going to have to do too mCharlotte Bobcats v New York Knicksuch coaching. He can do like Phil Jackson did — he might have drawn something up out of the timeouts, he might have talked about a couple of things during halftime, but Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, those guys ran the team, they made the game. You’ve got Deron Williams, one of the best point guards in the league, you’ve got Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Brook Lopez, those guys understand the game and they’re veterans, so there’s not too much coaching you can do. But he’s going to be great for Deron. He was great for me last year. He made my game better. He made me look at a lot of things a whole lot differently, as far as on the court and off the court. So mentally, he’s going to be great for D, without a doubt. He’s going to make him better mentally, and make him better when he’s on the court. The team themselves? Really, they’re going to be fine on their own. As far as a coach, he’s going to be a great coach. A guy who knows the game the way he does, played the game at the level he played, he’s going to be a great coach. Especially as a point guard, because as a point guard you have to understand every position. Say a coach has 50 plays, you’ve got to know 50 plays, but you’ve got to know every position for every play. That’s something a lot of people don’t understand. So he knows every position. It’s going to take him time to get used to going from playing last year to being a head coach this year, but I think overall he’s going to be a great coach.

ME: I live in Manhattan and I know people in the city and the boroughs love the Knicks. But the last few years, with the move to Brooklyn, it feels like people are starting to talk a little more about the Nets. But do you feel like this is still a Knicks town?

FELTON: Oh, without a doubt. I still feel like it. We’ve still got New York on our chest. We’re still the New York Knicks. We’re still the city’s team, without a doubt. Brooklyn can do whatever, and we’re still going to be the city’s team. There’s nothing like having New York on your chest. Brooklyn is going to be a good team, and I think it’s good for the city, for the state, to have the Nets in Brooklyn. It’s going to be a good, big rivalry, well talked about, which is great. I’m loving it. I don’t care that they’re here — I’m happy they’re here, actually. It’s going to be fun.

ME: So this season is just weeks away now — what are your expectations for the Knicks?

FELTON: Same thing as last year. I feel like we should grow and try to capitalize on what we did last year. We didn’t finish the postseason as well as we wanted, but as far as the season that we had, we had over 50 wins, we won our division, finished second in the East. That says a lot right there, we had a great year. Best season we’ve had in 13 years. So we’ve got to capitalize on that, try to get better from there.

ME: And how do you get better from there?

FELTON: As far as the overall season, all you can do is win more games. (Laughs.) There’s nothing else you can really do as far as that. In the postseason, that’s the biggest thing for us. You’ve got to take care of those 82 games, but if you do that and advance to the postseason, we’ve got to try and advance further than we did last season, and get past that second round, get to the Eastern Conference Finals, and go from there. One step at a time. I feel like if we do better than we did last year, it’s an overall successful year. But it’s one step at a time, one game at a time.

Don’t Sleep Around Blake Griffin

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — As a member of the Los Angeles Clippers, Blake Griffin knows what happens if you fall asleep on the team plane: You get embarrassed. Because it was the Clips who came up with “Got ‘Em,” the fad whereby sleeping teammates are photographed and memorialized on various forms of social media. It became such a common occurrence that there are entire Pinterest boards dedicated to it.

For the past few days, Griffin’s been on a tour of Asia with his fellow Jordan Brand athletes, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony. And on the long plane flight home, while everyone else was sleeping, Blake went to work…
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