Carmelo Anthony on NBA return: ‘Whatever it’s going to be, it’s going to be’ – NBC Sports

On Tuesday night, Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James were in a high school gym — along with ESPN cameras — to watch their sons face each other in a high school game.
However, a potential Anthony return to the NBA could not be ignored. When Anthony was interviewed on the network, Malika Andrews asked Anthony about a return and possibly playing in a 20th NBA season.
Carmelo Anthony spoke on whether he will play in the NBA again 👀
— Sporting News NBA (@sn_nba) December 13, 2022

“I love the game. I realize there’s a lot of things that’s not in my control. So I can sit back and let it play out, and whatever it’s going to be, it’s going to be and I accept that, I’m at peace with that… I get to watch my kids, get to watch my son play, train him, be around him, come to his games,” he said. “These are the things for a long time I didn’t have a chance to do, so now I can be that father and the man that I need to be.”
Spoken like a veteran, someone who already has a legacy and a Hall of Fame career. We do know the Knicks aren’t bringing him back. Anthony could still help a team in the right situation, he accepted a bench role with the Trail Blazers two seasons ago and averaged a solid 13.3 points and 4.2 rebounds a game last season for the Lakers. He’s not a defender, he’s not going to have a playoff role, and teams may be looking for a younger player with more of a long-term upside. But they could do much worse for depth at the four than Anthony.
There’s a lot of season left, we’ll see if his phone rings.
Tony Parker is headed to the basketball Hall of Fame when eligible: four-time NBA champion, Finals MVP, four-time All-NBA, six-time All-Star, and he has a stellar international resume as well.
However, Parker was not a good mentor to young players coming up, according to former Spur Dejonte Murray.
Murray appeared on the “All the Smoke” podcast and was brutally honest about his relationship with Parker (hat tip CBS Sports).
“I started growing, first year goes by, thrown into the fire in the playoffs versus the Rockets. Then my second year, they see I come back, obviously getting stronger, better. That was the year I took the job from Tony. [Gregg Popovich] brought us into the office, he told Tony. Tony ain’t like it… I know he didn’t like it, because if he liked it, he would’ve mentored me the way he should have. He wouldn’t have went to Charlotte, he would’ve stayed right there.”
Podcast co-host and former NBA player Stephen Jackson piled on Parker.
“I know the type of person Tony is. Great player, gonna go down in the Hall of Fame, but he’s very selfish,” Jackson said. “He’s been selfish, we would’ve had more championships and more success if it wasn’t for him being so selfish…He’s one of the most selfish players I’ve ever played with.”
What would have been fun is Murray being that honest about his relationship with and playing next to Trae Young this season.
It’s a hard line to walk for an aging player, wanting to compete — both on the court, and for minutes on the court — and wanting to help the next generation of players coming up. Parker is under no obligation to mentor Murray and he chose to go where he could get more run rather than hang out in the dying embers of the Spurs’ golden era. It was his call, just not the call Murray wanted or, clearly, expected. Parker played one season in Charlotte and then retired. And we have not heard Parker’s side of the story.
Murray otherwise sang the praises of the Spurs organization and how they developed him. He said that Kawhi Leonard was more of a mentor and that is why he made the All-Defensive Team in his second season (the season he took the starting job away from Parker).
Murray is now getting paid in Atlanta, where he is averaging 20.6 points and 6.1 assists a game, but the team is not having near the success that was expected. Rumblings of tension between Young and coach Nate McMillan have reverberated around the league (and there has already been a front-office shakeup). I can’t wait for the “All the Smoke” podcast where Murray eventually opens up about this season.
Three Things To Know is NBC’s five-days-a-week wrap-up of the night before in the NBA. Check out every weekday morning to catch up on what you missed the night before plus the rumors, drama, and dunks that make the NBA must-watch.

1) Celtics win, but are Warriors flipping the switch?

The Boston Celtics won the nationally televised Finals rematch Thursday night by doing what they have done all season long: Play strong defense, move the ball on offense and trust their stars to make big plays — like Jaylen Brown for 3 to tie the game and force OT.
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) January 20, 2023

The Celtics have been the best team in the NBA this season. We know they are capable of hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy come June. It’s not a surprise they pulled away in overtime for the 121-118 win.
On the other hand, we’ve been waiting for the Warriors to start caring about the regular season, play with a sense of urgency, and start showing up and looking like the defending champs.
Have the Warriors finally flipped the switch?
“All in all, I loved the level of competition, the way the guys played together,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said postgame, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “We looked like what we are, which is a championship team. But we didn’t close the game. Better now than in the playoffs.”
It was a Finals rematch on paper but also a sloppy game overall — Jayson Tatum had a few ugly turnovers down the stretch. The Warriors got pushed around in the paint, outscored there 52-30, and the Celtics dominated the glass all night.
However, this was a gritty Warriors team we had seen too little of this season. They had a solid defensive effort against MVP candidate Tatum (34 points, but on 9-of-27 shooting). Kerr also treated it like a playoff game, with an eight-man rotation that leaned hard into his strong starting five (statistically still one of the best five-man units in the NBA this season).
You can argue this was an anomaly for the Warriors — they are still a game below .500 (with a brutal back-to-back tonight in Cleveland). They lost to an unimpressive Bulls team on Sunday and just a week ago had a three-game losing streak against the Pistons, Magic, and struggling Suns. All season long they have looked like a bored championship team waiting for the games to matter. They sit ninth in the West because of it.
But all season long we’ve been waiting for the run. Waiting for the string of games where they flip the switch, win 12-of-14 and vault up the standings, looking like the Warriors we know. There have been more flashes of that team lately, even if it’s more flickers of it followed by inconsistency.
Thursday night, in a loss in Boston, we saw the Warriors team that can defend their title. Maybe this is the game that gets them to show up nightly with a sense of urgency.
It needs to be, they are running out of time.
Ben Simmons was frustrated. He had been racking up fouls and jawing at the officials much of the night, then when he picked up his fifth foul with 8:47 to go in the third quarter for a moving screen — he did throw his backside out, but much worse goes uncalled around the league on screens — Simmons crossed the line with some magic language and got ejected.
Ben Simmons got ejected after arguing with ref 👀
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 20, 2023

By that point the Nets were down 16 and this game had gotten out of hand as the Nets again struggled to generate consistent offense without Kevin Durant (they are now 0-4 since he went out with a knee injury). Brooklyn had a 109.8 offensive rating in this game (via Cleaning the Glass), which is Rockets/worst in the league level. Going back to Cleveland, teams where Kyrie Irving has been the No.1 option have struggled (but if he’s the second option next to LeBron/KD, they thrive).
Mikal Bridges was hot from the outside and scored 28, Deandre Ayton got whatever he wanted inside on his way to 24. Kyrie Irving scored 30 and the Nets had a late comeback to make it a game they almost stole, but the Suns held on. It’s the kind of win Phoenix needs as it tries to keep its head above water until Devin Booker returns.
Maybe the best player in the building sat courtside and watched on Thursday in Paris — Victor Wembanyama made it to the game despite the transportation strike in France.
🇫🇷 @vicw_32 in the building for #NBAParis!
— NBA (@NBA) January 19, 2023

Also on hand was French former NBA star Joakim Noah — dressed for the occasion.
Paris is the fashion capital of the world, after all.
— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) January 19, 2023

Oh, there was a basketball game too, with the NBA promoting its product on the European continent. Zach LaVine – he of the French surname (he said postgame his great-grandfather was French) — dropped 30, DeMar DeRozan added 26 points and the Bulls never trailed in a 126-108 win over the Pistons.
DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine showed out for the W in Paris!
DeRozan: 26 PTS, 9 REB, 5 AST
LaVine: 30 PTS, 5 REB, 4 AST#NBAParis 🇫🇷
— NBA (@NBA) January 19, 2023

For a Bulls team fighting for play-in positioning in the East, they could use any win on any continent.
PARIS — Victor Wembanyama was sitting courtside, the 19-year-old French phenom and presumed No. 1 NBA draft pick watching some of the players he’ll go up against next season.

🇫🇷 @vicw_32 in the building for #NBAParis!
— NBA (@NBA) January 19, 2023

And a guy with a French surname put on quite a show.
Zach LaVine – who said his great-grandfather was French – scored 30 points and the Chicago Bulls never trailed in a 126-108 win over the Detroit Pistons at the NBA Paris Game on Thursday.
“Maybe the air up here was good for me,” LaVine said.
DeMar DeRozan added 26 points for the Bulls, and Nikola Vucevic finished with 16 points, 15 rebounds and six assists.
DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine showed out for the W in Paris!
DeRozan: 26 PTS, 9 REB, 5 AST
LaVine: 30 PTS, 5 REB, 4 AST#NBAParis 🇫🇷
— NBA (@NBA) January 19, 2023

Bojan Bogdanovic led the Pistons with 25 points. Killian Hayes, the only French player on either roster, scored four points for Detroit on 2-of-13 shooting, but had a game-high eight assists.
Hamidou Diallo had 17 points on 7-for-8 shooting for Detroit, while Saddiq Bey and Jaden Ivey each scored 16 for the Pistons.
“It was a bit frustrating to not be the winners tonight,” Hayes said.
It was the capper to several days of celebrating the NBA in France, after both teams took part in clinics, touristy events like visits to the Eiffel Tower, some upscale dinners and even a private show for the Pistons at the Paris Opera House.
And while the game counted – Chicago (21-24) stayed in 10th in the Eastern Conference and what would be the last play-in spot with the win, while Detroit fell to 12-36, the second-worst mark in the NBA – it also was no mundane middle-of-the-season regular-season matchup.
The celebrity list included NBA greats like Magic Johnson, Richard Hamilton, Ben Wallace and Tony Parker; a Bulls legend and native French son in Joakim Noah; the rising star that everybody can’t stop talking about in Wembanyama; WNBA players like Gabby Williams; even Grammy winners and Formula 1 drivers.
“I don’t want to quite compare this to All-Star,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said, “but it’s the closest thing to a European All-Star Game that we have.”
It was also a celebration of the continued strength of the international footprint on today’s NBA game. When the Bulls and Michael Jordan – along with B.J. Armstrong, then a Bulls guard, now an NBA agent who was at the game Thursday – played in Paris during the preseason in 1997, about 1 of every 14 NBA players was born outside the U.S.
Now, that’s about 1 in 4.
“It is special because we’re representing not only Detroit, but the NBA,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “And we’re trying to put the brand in a good place – in a place where basketball is taking off.”
Wembanyama and his family made their way to courtside seats about 15 minutes before tip-off, immediately attracting a huge crowd. When the camera found him and he was shown to the French fans on the big in-arena screens in the second quarter, he clapped and smiled, as did his mother seated one row back over his right shoulder – as the crowd positively roared in delight.
Both teams are flying home Friday.
“It’s great for people here in Paris to get an up-close look at the NBA,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. “It makes you realize that the sport is followed so closely around the world. It was amazing. The place was sold out.”
The Knicks are eight points per 100 possessions better when Mitchell Robinson is on the court at center this season.
Which is trouble because he will be out at least three weeks — and likely longer — following thumb surgery he underwent on Thursday, the Knicks announced.
Mitchell Robinson underwent successful surgery today to repair his fractured right thumb at the Hospital for Special Surgery. He will be re-evaluated in three weeks.
— NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) January 19, 2023

Mitchell left the Knicks’ loss to the Wizards on Wednesday in the first half with what the team described at the time as a sprained thumb. It’s clearly more than that, although without details on where the fracture occurred it’s difficult to predict a return timeline.
Mitchell is averaging 7.2 points and 8.9 rebounds a game for New York, but his biggest impact is on the defensive end where he is an anchor for the team blocking 1.8 shots a game. Expect Tom Thibodeau to lean heavily on Isaiah Hartenstein at center and use more small-ball lineups. For a Knicks team in a fight with the Heat and Pacers (among others) for the sixth seed and avoiding the play-in the next three weeks could be huge.


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