After 12 years, Carmelo Anthony’s Olympic journey has come to an end. Team USA scored a lopsided 96-66 victory over Serbia, making Anthony the first U.S. player to win three gold medals. The Knicks player also put his stamp in U.S. Olympic history by becoming the all-time leader in points and rebounding.
“I know this is the end. This is it for me, this is it for me. I committed to something….” Anthony told NBC Sports before trailing off to gather his thoughts. “I committed to this in (2004). I’ve seen the worst and I’ve seen the best and I stuck with it, we stuck with it. And I’m here today, three gold medals later.”
Recent weeks have seen the spotlight on Melo’s off the court social activism, including his comments on police brutality and prison reform. He used his post-game interview to allude to the importance social and political unity.
“Despite everything that’s going on right now in our country, we got to be united,” Anthony stressed. “America will be great again, I believe that. We got a lot of work to do, but one step at a time. I’m glad we represented it in the fashion that we did.”
Melo has come a long way from the cornrows days in Denver. While most people have been stressing health, I think mentality is equally important for Melo, D-Rose and Noah this upcoming season. The emotional high of this win as the team’s senior player should give Melo the extra confidence needed to lead the Knicks to a successful season.
We can all finally exhale. The key to the Knicks franchise is back with today’s announcement that Sasha Vujacic has agreed to a one-year deal at the veteran’s minimum!
Okay, stop rolling your eyes and sucking your teeth. The reason Sasha drew so much hate early last season was due to being forced into a role bound for failure. Even at his best, it was a stretch to have him as your starting shooting guard. Because of Arron Afflalo’s hamstring injury, the Knicks had little choice. Paired with Jose Calderon, the duo was horrific on both ends of the floor and were arguably the worst starting backcourt in the league.
Following the All-Star Break, we got a better idea of Vujacic’s usefulness. In spot minutes he proved effective as an annoying, pesky defender and spot-up three-point shooting (45% over the season’s second half). Then rookie Kristaps Porzingis cited him as a valuable mentor. And with the addition of more Euros (Hernangomez, Kuzmiskas), Vujacic might be what the doctor ordered by bridging the cultural gap with the rest of the squad.
Is Sasha a legit SG backup for Courtney Lee? Absolutely not — but for additional bench depth, this is acceptable. And who knows, maybe Sasha will turn into a crowd favorite if he becomes the “human cigar” inserted during blowouts. For now, let’s feast on some of Sasha’s memorable moments from last season.
The starting lineup is complete. Eight year guard Courtney Lee has signed four year, $48 million contract with the New York Knicks.
Word broke earlier this weekend about the Knicks’ offer. A confidential source told ESPN that Lee mulled the offer before speaking with the team’s othrt new signee — Joakim Noah.
[It] would not have happened without Joakim Noah. Courtney understands what playing for the New York Knicks means. He wanted to play in New York and Joakim Noah was instrumental recruiting him. Would not have happened without Joakim. Courtney couldn’t be more excited.
Lee started last season with the Memphsi Grizzlies before being traded to the Charlotte Hornets. He played in 79 games (started 65), averaging 9.5 points (45% FG, 38% 3P%), 3 rebounds and 2 assists.
This could be our sleeper free agent signing of the summer. With D-Rose’s penetration ability and the double teams that will come Melo and (to a lesser extent) Porzingis’ way, Lee will be get a lot of open looks from three-point range. Another plus is Lee’s playoff experience (including a Finals trip with Orlando in 2009) means he’s not one to shy away from the big shot.
But even more important than Lee’s offense is his ability to shut down opposing players. Too often in recent years, the Knicks have gotten killed on the perimeter due to our slow guards. Lee, as recently as this year’s playoffs, showed how underrated and important his defense can be in the fourth quarter.
And Lee is not injury prone! If our starting five stays healthy, I like our chances to make noise in 2017. Now let’s hop Phil can work some magic filling out this bench.
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
We knew it was going to get ugly. The question was how ugly. The Warriors are on a roll and the Knicks were the latest victim last night at Oracle Arena, getting burned for 18 threes (eight from Steph Curry) in a season worst blowout loss of 121-85.
OVER AFTER THE 1ST: The Knicks couldn’t take advantage of a slow start by the defending champs and found themselves down 31-19 after 12 minutes. Curry hit 4/6 from downtown and had 16 points, and New York’s failure to close out on threes lead to four of five trips late in quarter resulting in Golden State treys. After that barrage, the Knicks would get no close than 14 points the rest of the way.
NO CONFIDENCE: When the Warriors came to MSG in January, the game was seen as a litmus test for our team’s ceiling. New York played hard until Golden State’s talent took over. Last night, you got the impression the Knicks never felt they could compete. They went down by 16 at halftime, and were ran out the gym in the third being outscored 35-18. Even backup center Marreese Speights got in on the fun to the fun sinking three shots from downtown.
Carmelo Anthony, who had 18 points (53%), 6 rebounds and 6 assists, could only marvel at how badly his team was outclassed.
It’s unbelievable, the way that they play. The lineups that they mess around with out there, Their record, 61-6, we’re witnessing, kind of, history here. It’s hard to give them a pat on the back when you just got your (tail) whipped.
BRIGHT SPOTS: Since this game got out of reach very quickly, Melo got to rest that knee with only 29 minutes of play. Langston Galloway (14 points) and Jerian Grant (8 points) showed confident jumpers in extensive garbage time, which bodes well for their continued development. In Grant’s case, it took a Calderon knee sprain to get him extensive playing time.
SICK KP DELIVERS WORST PERFORMANCE: Kristaps Porzingis is coming off the flu and it showed. He had just 2 points (1-11) and looked completely lethargic. We’re still looking for KP to have his first really good game under Rambis.
This weekend was abuzz with trade rumors after a story broke that Knicks, Cavs and Celtics were in preliminary talks about a trade that would send Carmelo Anthony to Cleveland, Kevin Love to Boston, and high draft picks to New York.
The crux of the piece is that Anthony, who is aging and suffering from recurring soreness on his surgically repaired left knee, would want to join forces with his close friend LeBron James in hopes of winning an NBA title. Another theorized trade includes Anthony going to the Clippers, where he would also be teaming with a close friend in Chris Paul.
There’s only one problem — Melo loves New York and has no desire to leave. Much like two summers ago when everyone claimed his best shot to win a title was going to Chicago, now the rumblings from media and some fans is the Knicks need to go into rebuild mode. Last night, Melo emphasized his commitment to the Knicks and doubled down this morning in an appearance on SiriusXM NBA Radio:
There’s always some trade shit going, I don’t pay attention to those rumors. I’m not going anywhere.
So there you have it. Melo is staying, just as Knicks President Phil Jackson said going into All-Star weekend. The irony is Melo has been the one elite player in five years that’s wanted to play and win in New York. And here we have some fans and media that want to run him out of town and start over. Have you forgotten the Dark Ages that were the early to mid 2000s already?
Having lost 9 of their last 10 games, Knicks President Phil Jackson has announced today the firing of second year head coach Derek Fisher.
The move comes with the Knicks on a season-worst five game losing streak. Despite nagging injuries to key players Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis and Lance Thomas, the Knicks play in recent weeks has been marked by poor starts and haphazard fourth quarter execution. Since returning to .500 with a January 12 win over the Celtics, the Knicks have gone 3-11 and now sit at 12th in the Eastern Conference standings.
In his two years as head coach, Fisher has amassed a 40-96 record.
Assistant Kurt Rambis has been elevated to interim coach duties.
It had to be done and I commend Phil for having the guts to sack one of his pupils.
It’s clear that Fisher was unredeemable in areas that are flat out unacceptable as head coach: his rotations, play calling and ability to adjust to the flow of the game. This has resulted in a team that lacks confidence and identity.
No sane Knicks fan believes this team is a contender, but they’re damn sure better than 12th place in the East. Let’s hope a good point guard is the next trick Phil has up his sleeve.
Matt Barnes, Fisher is all yours…
The Knicks accomplished perhaps their best feat thus far this season with back to back wins over the elite Atlanta Hawks.
Ball movement? You got it and it started with Carmelo Anthony, who had 7 assists last night and flirted with a triple double (23 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists). On Sunday’s game he had five. In two games, New York tallied 27 dishes.
Defense? The Hawks were held to 35% from three and went from 23 fast break points on Sunday to just 8 Tuesday night. They shot an average of 44% from the field, but never got a consistent offense going due to the Knicks’ pesky interior defense, helmed by Robin Lopez and Kristaps Porzingis combining for 7 blocks in the two outings.
Backcourt production? Arron Afflalo exploded for 38 points on Sunday, torching Atlanta by hitting his first seven three pointers and going 14/17 from the field. Calderon was +9 in Sunday’s game, but had his best moment last night when he hit a clutch driving layup over several Hawk defenders to put New York up 105-101 with 18 seconds remaining. He finished with 7 points and six assists.
Bench spark? Jerian Grant had his best game as a Knick on Sunday. He looked for his shot and passed, scoring 8 points and dishing for 7 assists. Last night, it was Derrick Williams providing much needed production with 15 points.
Coaching? Derek Fisher went with a nine-man rotation and exploited matchups. His subs gave the starters adequate rest, and he stayed with the players that provided a hot hand.
Toughness? The Knicks didn’t fall apart when the Hawks tightened up last night and tried to bully them. Robin Lopez retaliated quickly from a Paul Millsap cheap shot, and Porzingis got right in Kent Bazemore’s face for the same tactics (with Melo having his back).
The team still has a ways to go, but the chemistry is building. And with this squad already equaling last year’s 17 wins, you can’t help but be optimistic.
Tonight, the Knicks kick off the season against the Milwaukee Bucks. Check out this final preview to get you hype. The game starts at 8 p.m. ET.
The Knicks are back and we’re undefeated! Look, I know it’s just one game, but after last year we need every chance to celebrate.
Before our Garden faithful, the Knicks dominated the Brazilian Paschoalotto Bauru 100-81, blowing the game open by outscoring them 36-19 in the second quarter.
Carmelo Anthony showed no signs of any issues on his surgically repaired left knee, scoring 17 points in 20 minutes on 8/10 shooting. The squad also got big efforts from our newly acquired big men Kevin Seraphin (14 points, 7/11) and Kyle O’Quinn (14 points, 5/7).
Our prized rookie, Kristaps Porzingis, had a rocky start (2 misses and 2 turnovers to start), but eventually settled down to contribute 7 (2 three-pointers) points in 21 minutes. You see the potential, but you also see the long road of work ahead — the standout sore area is rebounding (just 2).
The Knicks are back in action tomorrow with a road game against the Washington Wizards.