Carmelo Anthony. Portland Trail Blazers. Kim Kardashian?
There has been a lot going on in the NBA lately. Here are some of the highlights wrapped up in brief, attention span-pleasing tidbits.
Back to the drawing board
With news that the New Jersey Nets have broken off talks with the Denver Nuggets about acquiring Carmelo Anthony, the question to be answered now is “So what’s next?”
If the Nets truly have moved past the lure of Anthony in the wake of Denver’s attempt to exsanguinate every last asset from the Nets while also dumping as many bloated contracts into Mikhail Prokhorov’s ledger as possible, then the Nuggets’ options for a trade partner thin out considerably.
The Chicago Bulls have been mentioned, but they have no plans to move Joakim Noah — the piece the Nuggets want. Plus, the Bulls would require the Nuggets to take Luol Deng, who, with three years and about $40 million left on his contract after this season, is not a player Denver would like to have chewing up valuable cap space.
Teams like the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks also will come up, hoping to rent Anthony for the season if the price is right, which is figures not to be.
That leaves the New York Knicks. Donnie Walsh has claimed he can acquire first-round picks to facilitate a trade, but the Nuggets cannot dump nearly as many bad contracts on the Knicks as they potentially could have done to the Nets because the Knicks do not have as much cap space. That’s bad news for the Nuggets, who now face the very real possibility of having to “settle” in a deal after pushing their luck one too many times.
Of course the Nuggets could also call Anthony’s bluff and hope he ultimately chooses $65 million over the uncertainty of free agency.
With about a month left until the trade deadline, things should get interesting.
Injury woes on the rise
Marcus Camby became the latest casualty in Portland when MRI results on his left knee revealed a partial tear of his meniscus that will require surgery. Camby joins Greg Oden and the meniscus-less Brandon Roy as major injury victims for the Blazers this season.
As bad as that is, it could be worse. Just ask Cleveland.
Against the Phoenix Suns Jan. 19, the Cavaliers were without Mo Williams, Anderson Varejao, Anthony Parker, Christian Eyenga, Joey Graham, and Leon Powe. Plus, Antawn Jamison came up gimpy in the fourth quarter of the game.
It has been so bad that head coach Byron Scott and members of his coaching staff had to fill in during a recent practice just so the team could play five on five.
Flawed logic in South Beach
LeBron James took to calling the Miami Heat “The Heatles” recently because everywhere Miami goes, the arena sells out like a Beatles concert. The problem with James’ reasoning is that Beatles fans didn’t sell out concerts just to boo Paul McCartney.
Kim loves the Nets, well, a Net
Now for a little celebrity news. Apparently, the inexplicably famous Kim Kardashian has started dating a member of the New Jersey Nets. Who is the lucky player, you ask? Why it’s none other than Kris Humphries.
It appears that, just like many NBA teams, Ms. Kardashian has been rummaging through the NBA scrap heap for bodies.
This is just the latest in a string of unlikely celebrity/pro basketball player hook ups. Who can forget Marko Jaric and Adriana Lima, Sasha Vujacic and Maria Sharapova, Carmelo Anthony and La La Vazquez, Daniel Gibson and Keyshia Cole, or Tony Parker and Eva Longoria? (On second thought, after getting that tattoo removed, apparently Eva can.)
What’s next: Megan Fox and Brian Scalabrine?
Even Kim’s sister Khloe Kardashian married Lamar Odom. Not sure if anyone thought it would ever come to this, but it appears Khloe may have finally one-upped Kim this time.
Slam Dunk field set
The field has been set for the 2011 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest. The participants are Blake Griffin, JaVale McGee, Serge Ibaka, and Brandon Jennings.
Gee, who does the NBA want to see win? There hasn’t been a contest this one-sided since Calista Flockhart competed against Takeru Kobayashi in a pie-eating contest at the county fair.
Of course, Jennings is coming back from an injury, and if he is not healthy, then he will not compete in the event. In that case, the NBA has surely done its due diligence in finding an alternate for Jennings, but no word yet if Earl Boykins has accepted an offer.
Knicks honor Houston, snub Curry and Marbury
Former New York Knick Allan Houston was named the Knicks Player of the Decade for 2000-09. He played until 2005 with the last two seasons marred by injuries, playing just 70 games combined.
What, New York couldn’t show Eddy Curry any love? His burdensome contract has affected the team more than almost anything for the last six seasons.
Or how about Coney Island’s Finest, Stephon Marbury? Then again, after you start eating Vaseline on YouTube, the only people you can realistically expect votes from are the marketing executives at Unilever.
By: Eric Lorenz
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