Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Frank Isola: Carmelo Anthony to Return to the Knicks, Announcement Coming Tomorrow (Maybe. Probably.)

According to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:

A person close to Anthony told The News on Wednesday that barring a last minute change of heart Anthony will re-sign with the Knicks after “agonizing over this” for the past week.

“He will have something for everybody on Thursday,” said the friend who was with Anthony before Anthony’s scheduled workout with Kevin Durant and Kevin Love in Los Angeles on Wednesday. “He is really torn because this is the biggest decision of his career. But he wants to get it done in New York. He told me he believes in Phil.”

I think we’ve learned enough lo these past four years not to assume anything’s carved in granite until there’s a horde of photographers and a grinning Dolan, and we’re still dealing with “this guy I know sez,” it’s pretty definitive. Then, there’s this:

the deal on the table from the Knicks is a max contract worth $129 million over five years.

It’s been a positively deranged last few days with Gilbert plane-spotting, and ghost UCLA workouts, but at least our corner of it appears to be settling down. Then there’s this ominous-sounding #WojBomb, which doesn’t paint a picture of Melo n’ Phil bonding at the molecular level:

More to follow (definitely).

UPDATE 4:12pm: THAT WAS FAST. Howard Beck is throwing a small socket wrench Isola’s report.

UPDATE: 4:35pm:

Isola’s original report did include a pretty big caveat: “Barring a last-minute change of mind.” Stay tuned…

125 comments on “Frank Isola: Carmelo Anthony to Return to the Knicks, Announcement Coming Tomorrow (Maybe. Probably.)

  1. BigBlueAL

    I know everybody will be depressed and pissed about this (especially if he really does return for the max) but Im actually looking forward to seeing this team with Melo next season playing under Fisher. Will be nice to watch a Knicks team playing in an actual basketball system again, Im pretty curious to see how the team and specifically Melo will look like in the triangle. But of course who cares if they look good because Melo got the max so the Knicks are doooomed!!!! :-)

  2. JK47

    You know what Melo is gonna look like in the triangle? He’s gonna hate the triangle. I can see this coming from a mile away. He is going to complain about the triangle and undermine Fisher and Jackson until he gets traded. That’s just how he rolls.

  3. CaptainB

    Disappointing news for sure. I guess its not as bad as when the Knicks negotiated against themselves for Allan Houston’s SEVEN year contract.

    Would have been nice if he didnt take the full max, but hard to leave money on the table when its offered to you. Oh well.

  4. er

    @3 Jowles will be mad that you are trying to steal his prescientness or prescience….idk if thats a word, im totally baked.

  5. hoolahoop

    Worth repeating:
    Knicks offer Melo super max contract. WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!
    They basically negotiated against no one and lost.

    “…friend who was with Anthony said “”He (Melo) is really torn because this is the biggest decision of his career.””
    Melo loves NY so much that it was really tough for him to accept their offer that was far more than anyone else offered. That’s too funny.

    Dumbest organization in all of sports. Thatta boy, Phil.
    This is going to get ugly, quick.

  6. Zanzibar

    If I were Phil, I would cancel the offer citing the Woj quote and Woj’s track record for accuracy. There’s absolutely no way NYK could have as the centerpiece of the team a player who is thinking like that. Even if Melo feels he now has to give a discount because of the leaked quote, I would still cancel the offer. Tell him we’re willing to help in a S&T if deal makes sense for Knicks. Under no circumstances should he be on the team at the start of the season.

  7. er

    I find it odd, that only bleacher report has picked up on the story.hmmm. And Leon Rose says no decision has been made

  8. 2FOR18

    Im actually looking forward to seeing this team with Melo next season playing under Fisher. Will be nice to watch a Knicks team playing in an actual basketball system again

    Whatever you might think of it, he was in a system under Mike D, and he did everything he could to sabotage it.
    Just saying.

  9. 2FOR18

    Tanaka on the DL. Now thats some real depressing news :-(

    Their line-up tonight is tragic ☹

  10. Frank

    Difference is that the triangle is made for a player like Melo and MDA’s system is made for PNR PGs and bigs while wings stand in corners waiting for passes. It’s a great system but probably not best usage of his skill set.

    Triangle has succeeded featuring players like Melo. And it doesn’t hurt that Phil is sitting there. Not coaching maybe but his presence will be felt. It’s very different undermining MDA who couldn’t even get out of his own way (and has basically failed anywhere he didn’t have Steve Nash) and undermining a guy with 13 rings.

    I think reading too much into Melo’s motivations is a mistake. By far the most likely cause of the delay is that he really is torn because he can see good things in each situation. It’s only been a week since he finished with his tour. Not a long time to make such a big decision. It only feels like a long time because of the breathless media and twitter.

    Whatever. Too depressed about tanaka to even care right now.

  11. Frank

    Meanwhile WTF is Kobe calling a press conference for? This week has been so strange.

  12. lavor postell

    Melo just became untradable.

    Really? Get a grip dude. The Lakers, Bulls and Rockets were willing to give him a 4-year max deal. If he remains productive and both the Knicks and Melo want a switch this is a very tradeable contract.

    Worth repeating:
    Knicks offer Melo super max contract. WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!
    They basically negotiated against no one and lost.

    Except the Lakers who offered a 4-year max. And the Bulls, Rockets and Mavs were very interested in him. I think if those teams feel he was the last piece to a title shot they’d trade for him.

    If I were Phil, I would cancel the offer citing the Woj quote and Woj’s track record for accuracy.

    Woj is super accurate, but he wasn’t during the first Melodrama. He doesn’t seem to have an in on Melo’s camp. Also that tweet reeks of trying to add layers to a story to call it your own after another reporter already broke the news. Reminds me of what happened when Hahn broke the Lebron to Miami story.

    Difference is that the triangle is made for a player like Melo and MDA’s system is made for PNR PGs and bigs while wings stand in corners waiting for passes. It’s a great system but probably not best usage of his skill set.

    Triangle has succeeded featuring players like Melo. And it doesn’t hurt that Phil is sitting there. Not coaching maybe but his presence will be felt. It’s very different undermining MDA who couldn’t even get out of his own way (and has basically failed anywhere he didn’t have Steve Nash) and undermining a guy with 13 rings.

    Agree with all of this.

  13. The Prescient Cock Jowles

    Carmelo Anthony, the gift that keeps on giving. Er, taking. Money. From the cap space we have.

    I have to say that I thought after 3 1/2 years of slightly above-average production from Carmelo that he’d be let off into the free agent winds, it being totally clear that he is not the transcendent superstar that he was billed as since his days in Syracuse. (Maybe he was, then. Anyway, this is the NBA, not the Big East.)

    Ultimately, who cares? We don’t live in an age where you are restricted to watch basketball being played by the team in your local market. Nor do we live in an age when you get local newspapers and USA Today only. We live in an age of unprecedented access, with full-access live-streaming events just a few years away (FCC regulators willing).

    Fuck the Knicks. If I end up in Portland for my job, which is looking more and more likely, I’ll get League Pass and say, “Fuck the Knicks,” then, too.

    In the meantime: When does Bargnani get back? I’d like to see whether the Triangle can improve his play from “all-time worst starter” to “not-quite-all-time-worst starter.” And then pour bleach all over my face from the ugliness that is his game.

  14. hoolahoop

    The Lakers, Bulls and Rockets were willing to give him a 4-year max deal.

    Then, your sources are better than, and discredit, everyone elses.

  15. Donnie Walsh

    Woj is super accurate, but he wasn’t during the first Melodrama. He doesn’t seem to have an in on Melo’s camp

    He’s no Ruruland.

  16. lavor postell

    Then, your sources are better than, and discredit, everyone elses.

    What does that even mean? The Lakers did offer him a max deal and the Rockets cleared out the space for it but never got to that point since he didn’t seem to have any interest in going there. I am speculating on the Bulls since they couldn’t technically offer it to him given their cap situation.

    He’s no Ruruland.

    Yeah except Ruruland’s in must have sucked too since he claimed Melo was going to leave a shit ton of money on the table for this reload.

  17. Brian Cronin

    Well, remember, we don’t know what will happen just yet. Melo still has time to surprise us.

  18. JK47

    What are the odds that this works out, that Melo finally lives up to being the .200+ WS48 player you need to be to truly earn a max contract? What are the odds he really buys into the system and becomes a consummate team player who works really hard on defense and leads the team into deep playoff waters?

    Now, what are the odds he starts to sulk and undermine the coach and the system and demands a trade? Which seems like the more likely scenario?

  19. hoolahoop

    When Melo started talking free agency again at the end of the season, it seemed, to the knicks detriment, that he learned a lot since he initially plowed his way here. It appeared as though he was go to play his hand differently, so the team he was bound for, wouldn’t be gutted. As a knicks fan, it felt like getting he was screwing us coming and going. But from his point of view, it was high IQ basketball.

    So, in the end, it looks like he’s staying, and we’re getting screwed anyway. Can’t blame a guy for wanting all the money he can get or for outsmarting management, but if this pans out the way it’s being reported, the great Phil Jackson is looking like Isiah II, only more stupid.
    Maybe I’m jumping the gun on all of this. I hope so.

  20. Zanzibar

    Last October Melo said this: I’m in my, what, 11th year? My game isn’t gonna change very much.To be fair he did say more recently that he’d be willing to change his game if it helped the team win. Sound familiar? He said he would be willing to take less money if it would help the team win. So which is the real Melo? Probably the one who will make a half-hearted attempt to change his game and then bolt just like the sources (plural!) said he might in the Woj tweet.

  21. hoolahoop

    and the Rockets cleared out the space for it but never got to that point since he didn’t seem to have any interest in going there. I am speculating on the Bulls since they couldn’t technically offer it to him given their cap situation.

    In other words, neither of them offered Melo the max!
    But, you speculate they would have if they could have, which is the same thing. Are you in politics?

    Anyway, you help make my point. The knicks negotiated against no one and lost. Except LA which, if he wanted to go, let him. If not, the knicks could have got Melo at a bargain and possibly built a good team around him.

  22. Donnie Walsh

    Yeah except Ruruland’s in must have sucked too

    Ruruland’s “in” was himself sharing what he believed to be a collective unconscious with his idol.

  23. MSA

    If that’s really true, it’s a terrible negotiation by Phil regardless of Melo value.

    There was absolutely no need to offer him 129 million.

  24. BigBlueAL

    I predicted when Melo returned for the max this site would become even more suicidal than when Lin didnt return, looks like it might be even worse than imagined lol.

  25. Z-man

    Jowles on the move again? Taking his talents to Portland? At least he’ll get to see all-time great LaMarcus Aldridge live and up close every night if he wants to.

  26. lavor postell

    I’m just going to wait until Melo signs whatever deal he does. If he signs that full megamax that’s going to suck.

  27. DRed

    A couple points-the triangle is not made for high usage shot players who rarely pass. Kobe and Jordan had assists rates much higher than Caremlo. But who knows-if Rocky could get the Russians to cheer for him, maybe Phil and Derek can get Melo to move the ball more.

    Melo for the megamax is not a franchise killer. It’s just unnecessary. We managed to outbid ourselves for a player who probably won’t be worth what other teams were willing to pay for him. Phil had a “superstar” in Kobe who was both overpaid and overrated and managed to have some success with him, so who knows? Maybe he can find the new Pau & Odom out there (instead of the actual Odom & Bryant). This deal is just not a cause for optimism.

    On the plus side, I will never ever have to listen to someone tell me how Carmelo is all about winning.

  28. DRed

    At least he’ll get to see all-time great LaMarcus Aldridge

    hahahahahaha

    I hope the guys at Trailblogger.net are ready for him.

  29. cgreene

    This is actually the worst day I can ever remember in terms of the comments on this site and the reaction to half news. Plus Woj is so obviously just pissed he missed the story it’s painful. “Melo couldn’t reach lebron on the phone”?? C’mon. Some really smart commenters on this site saying really dumb things.

  30. hoolahoop

    If that’s really true, it’s a terrible negotiation by Phil regardless of Melo value.

    There was absolutely no need to offer him 129 million

    Exactly! Even if you love Melo, from the perspective of a knicks fan, it’s shear stupidity.

  31. d-mar

    I think the NBA needs to follow soccer’s lead, if games are tied after two overtimes, it goes to a foul shooting contest

  32. Brian Cronin

    I would do it if I were them, as well, but you have to love headlines like “The Knicks expect Melo to re-sign.” Not “Melo will re-sign,” but “The Knicks expect Melo to re-sign.” And that’s news. And, again, it is news. That’s how nuts the offseason is. That is legitimately news.

  33. Brian Cronin

    But yes, if it is Melo back at the mega max, then terrible job by Jackson. It would make me wonder if that quote from Berman about how Bargs was ideal for the triangle wasn’t just puffery – and that’s a scary thought.

  34. BigBlueAL

    I will say this, Isola usually doesnt throw crap out there. Berman yes but Isola not really. The fact he was this definitive makes me think its a done deal.

  35. Donnie Walsh

    Phil had a “superstar” in Kobe who was both overpaid and overrated and managed to have some success with him

    I think Phil had a lot of success with Kobe (7 finals, 5 titles). And Kobe wasn’t over paid. He’s the 2nd best SG of the modern era. If that’s not worthy of a max contract, what is?

    Anthony, on the other hand, is a long, long way from even being Kobe Bryant…

  36. ephus

    Up until 2009-10, the last championship year for the Lakers, Kobe was not overpaid. His salary that year was $23 million.

  37. JK47

    Melo at the mega max is bad enough. Hearing that “his people” think he should just “take the max contract now and find a destination later” is very troubling. And yeah, maybe it’s a BS Twitter rumor, but honestly it fits in just perfectly with the stereotype of Melo as a me-first, money-hungry, selfish player, and it also fits in with the stereotype of Melo as a guy who will undermine a coach and/or a team to get his way. It sounds like he already has a foot out the door.

    And really, from what we have seen from Melo up to this point, “take the max contract now and find a destination later” sounds entirely in character. It’s not at all surprising, and it doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence about the future. The only positive I can take out of this, if MMM happens, is that it will probably be possible to trade the guy sometime in the next 18 months and maybe get something of value back in return.

  38. BigBlueAL

    Woj is great but he has been WAY OFF with anything regarding Melo in the past and always takes pot shots at the Knicks. That seemed like a bitter tweet to me.

  39. DRed

    Kobe wasn’t overpaid like Melo-but he also was never really one of the best 5 or 6 players in the league. Kobe was consistently above average (and sometimes more than that) and he was incredibly durable-so that’s a valuable guy. Melo last year was like a lesser version of some of Kobe’s years, and Phil and the Lakers still fielded good teams those seasons. Now all we need is the next Shaq or Gasol and it’s on!

  40. lavor postell

    Woj is great but he has been WAY OFF with anything regarding Melo in the past and always takes pot shots at the Knicks. That seemed like a bitter tweet to me.

    Exactly.

  41. DRed

    I think if I played in the NBA I would have been a me-first, money hungry type of player. I can’t hate a guy for wanting to get paid in full. Just don’t spend the year talking about how you are willing to do whatever it takes to win, because then you look like an asshole when you take all the monies.

  42. The Prescient Cock Jowles

    Kobe couldn’t win again until he had two All-NBA seven footers next to him.

    I think Manu, over his career, is better than Kobe, by the way.

    Manu’s average eFG% is .522, Kobe never got above .504 in a single season. And people tend to forget that Manu was a 27% USG player for awhile. When Manu set a career-high with 28%+ usage, he had a .540 eFG%. That’s absurd. Given that he’s an excellent FT shooter, he’s worth even more.

    If we’re discrediting Manu for playing next to Duncan, we have to do the same to Kobe for playing next to Shaq and Gasol. Plus all of the B-listers like Bynum and Horry who were instrumental to the Lakers’ success for short periods.

  43. BigBlueAL

    ESPN all day yesterday and earlier today spent as much time on Melo as they did with LeBron. Now tonight on Sportscenter they barely mentioned Melo, just showed some report from Ian Begley from earlier today with a headline saying Melo’s agent says no decision has been made yet.

    They ignore any mention of Isola (and now Berman) reporting Melo is back but they basically act like Melo is a non-story now. Funny stuff.

  44. danvt

    Ultimately, who cares? We don’t live in an age where you are restricted to watch basketball being played by the team in your local market. Nor do we live in an age when you get local newspapers and USA Today only. We live in an age of unprecedented access, with full-access live-streaming events just a few years away (FCC regulators willing).

    Yes, but we are who we are and our affiliations are what they are. I’ve lived in New England for almost a third of my life now but I haven’t embraced any of the teams. In fact, I hate them even more than I would have with all the co workers with the Pedroia jerseys, etc. Once a New Yorker, always a New Yorker. Did you’re dad take you to a game? Who was the team? That’s it, sucker. No matter what Jim Dolan do it won’t undo your basic urge to love the team in orange and blue. If it was as easy to ditch the Knicks as all that there’d be no Knickerblogger. If you’re the kind of fan that can just pick the most intelligent team and go nuts rooting for them then that’s impressive but I’ve never met anyone like you (which is probably true in this case). Every year after my team flames out and I drag my slack carcass away from the TV, some part of me promises myself never again (every Ewing year!), but every November I’m back, rooting for Curry or Bargnani. I can’t help it. When the Jets signed fucking Michael Vick, I was sure that was the end, but now I’m not so sure.

    Identity is a bitch.

  45. DRed

    I think Manu, over his career, is better than Kobe, by the way.

    You could also make the argument that peak Wade was better than peak Kobe. Kobe’s played almost as many minutes in the NBA as Wade & Manu combined, though. (47879 for Manu/Wade to 45567). Even though Manu & Wade were more productive per minute, that’s a whole lot of minutes right there.

  46. art vandelay

    I recall Wojo writing one of the most scathing articles about Isiah’s influence, Dolan, the dysfunctional NYK management over the years around the time that Melo was traded to Knicks back in 2011. Not that he was wholly off base then, but he has notoriously written some very, very Knick-hating articles over the years. Didn’t he also write the one about JR Smith this year being a derelict, basically?

  47. BigBlueAL

    JVG on LeBatard’s show today ripped all the media and fans saying players need to take less money to show they care about winning. He said the players should make all the money they can get and that its on the court where they truly show if they are about winning not because of what type of contract they take.

  48. The Prescient Cock Jowles

    Kobe’s a great player, no doubt. Probably a rapist and definitely a piece of shit, but a great player. Just don’t know if I’d put him after Jordan. Wade’s peak, T-Mac’s peak and Manu’s peak were all as good if not better than Kobe’s, and Manu has had just as much success and Wade’s not far behind (and much younger).

  49. JK47

    Kobe really was a pain in the ass defender when he was in his prime. He really worked hard on that end of the floor.

  50. Jack Bauer

    Don’t worry, they’ll be some team that will to take on Melo’s contract, they’ll be able to trade him if it comes down to it. Meanwhile, I am not crazy about trading Shump to get rid of Amare’s contract. As I understand it, unless they get rid of Amare AND Bargs (and that sounds as possible as peace tomorrow in the Middle East) they are still over the cap, so not a lot of help by just getting rid of one.
    They should keep Shump for his defense next to Calderon alone, and pray that his shooting improves. Amare & Bargs come off the cap after next year anyway, and Amare can be productive in his limited minutes – Bargs not so much. Less of him on the court is a good thing!

  51. bockadoo

    As Elaine said “could it be I’m not as attractive as I think I am?” Maybe Phil isn’t as smart as he/we think he is. If he is, There HAS to be something more to this. It can’t be a simple Melo signing the full max deal. He must be giving a discount big enough to make a difference so we can sign someone else that we will love. He must know that Melo is not a full max player. Can’t wait til tomorrow when we will supposedly get a damn answer.

  52. BigBlueAL

    Phil has 11 freaking rings as a head coach. Regardless of what Melo signs for Phil will still be 100000X smarter than any of us when it comes to basketball.

  53. hoolahoop

    I think Manu, over his career, is better than Kobe, by the way.

    Is that a joke?
    So you and me are in the schoolyard and you get first pick. You take Manu over Kobe?
    After we all stop laughing, I can’t wait to see your next pick.

    Statements like that discredit your use of stats.
    Kobe is on the short list of “best ever”.

  54. DRed

    Phil has 11 freaking rings as a head coach. Regardless of what Melo signs for Phil will still be 100000X smarter than any of us when it comes to basketball.

    But he’s not the Knicks head coach.

  55. bockadoo

    I guess smart people can make poor decisions. I’d say it’s 95-5 against signing Melo at the max. Phil must have something up his sleeve/know something everyone else doesn’t.

  56. BigBlueAL

    Is being the president that big a difference from being a head coach?? You really think he had no input on the players his teams brought in?? C’mon now.

    Im not saying we should accept any decision he makes as the right move, far from it. But MY GOD people here are saying Phil must not be that smart and he is an idiot because God forbid they give Melo more money than they think he is worth. Seriously people get a freaking grip.

  57. hoolahoop

    Phil has 11 freaking rings as a head coach. Regardless of what Melo signs for Phil will still be 100000X smarter than any of us when it comes to basketball.

    Yes, smarter than us when it comes to basketball, but not a better negotiator.

  58. Z-man

    There’s that subtle, often overlooked part of the game called defense. Apparently, Kobe was pretty good at that…FWIW (and it’s worth nothing according to WoW) he was NBA all-defensive 1st team 9 times and 2nd team 3 other times. Manu has none, Wade only 3 2nds.

    I can’t prove it, but Kobe is probably the poster boy of the anti-WoW camp. As a GM, I’d take my chances with an in-his-prime Kobe at the max over the other two guys, although if you stuck me with an in-his-prime Wade, I wouldn’t go home crying. Manu is more of a 6th man-type; he only averaged over 30 mpg once! Kobe averaged over 40 mpg in 5 years and over 38 mpg in 10 years!!! I think the Kobe-Jordan comparisons were a joke, but as much as I don’t like him, he’s certainly an immortal. The minutes played thing is pretty important…more so vs. Manu than vs. Dwyane.

  59. bockadoo

    One thing is for SURE – next year EVERYONE on the team and therefore our record will be better because we finally have a REAL point guard.

  60. hoolahoop

    But MY GOD people here are saying Phil must not be that smart and he is an idiot because God forbid they give Melo more money than they think he is worth. Seriously people get a freaking grip.

    Yes – that’s exactly what I’m saying. When it’s his job to squeeze the most talent you can out of a capped payroll, overpaying several million for absolutely no reason whatsoever makes you bad at your job. Now, if he has a grand plan that this deal is part of, he may be a genius. We’ll have to wait and see.

  61. Brian Cronin

    Im not saying we should accept any decision he makes as the right move, far from it. But MY GOD people here are saying Phil must not be that smart and he is an idiot because God forbid they give Melo more money than they think he is worth. Seriously people get a freaking grip.

    I’m sure Jackson is smart, but if he gives Melo the mega max, it is still a terrible move, whether he’s a smart guy or not.

    Larry Brown is a very smart guy, but he was awful here, too. And Brown was actually doing the thing he is famous for doing, not a brand new job he has never done in the NBA.

    This doesn’t mean that Jackson will be bad as a President. I still trust him more than most other choices, just that this particular move is a bad one. And him being a smart guy doesn’t make it any less bad.

  62. JK47

    I said the other day that the Laker smokescreen was an indication that Melo was preparing to take the 5/129 MMM contract. At the risk of sounding like mini-Jowles, it looks like I may very well have been right. He was never going to the Lakers. He made it seem like the Lakers were a possibility so he would look like less of a heel by taking 5/129 from NYK.

    Melo is not a complicated person. His motivations are easy to understand and the things he does are very easy to predict. I believe he was truly insulted by Phil’s suggestion that he take less than the mega-max, but realizes re-signing in New York was the only way he was going to get a contract that large. So the Woj tweet about “take the money now, find the destination later” rings like it has some truth to me.

    So, for my next prognostication, I offer this: If this Knicks team is not a winner in 2014-2015– and it probably won’t be– you’re going to start hearing grumbling that Melo does not like the triangle. You’re going to see him sulk and slump and revert to iso-ball, and you’re going to start hearing leaks from his bros about he’d be happier playing in another system. And the trade rumors will start and MeloDrama III will be upon us. And that is actually a silver lining for me, because it will mean we will have a chance to get this terrible contract off the books and undo this mistake, and maybe even get some good pieces in return.

  63. Z-man

    Well, if you can undo the “mistake” and get good pieces in return, maybe it’s not much of a mistake…

  64. JK47

    Well, if you can undo the “mistake” and get good pieces in return, maybe it’s not much of a mistake…

    Correct, and perhaps this is the “3-dimensional chess” move we’re all hoping Jax is somehow making.

  65. bockadoo

    Yeah, let’s hope he is more Spock than one of the guys in red shirts. So far this move doesn’t seem very logical.

  66. Z-man

    Is Houston screwed by the Parsons offer sheet? Seems like it’s either him or Bosh…

  67. BigBlueAL

    If they can sign Bosh before they match the offer sheet they can sign both from what Ive read. Basically the offer sheet means the Rockets have to use their cap space within the first 3 days of free agency if I understand correctly.

  68. BigBlueAL

    I know the title talks about Lebron and the Heat but there is alot of news in there about the Rockets and Bosh.

  69. hoolahoop

    So, now Kobe releases a new statement that he’d love to play with Melo.
    Hmmm, player collusion to help lock up Melo’s deal with the knicks?

  70. flossy

    Fuck the Knicks. If I end up in Portland for my job, which is looking more and more likely, I’ll get League Pass and say, “Fuck the Knicks,” then, too.

    Bye!

  71. Frank

    I think if I played in the NBA I would have been a me-first, money hungry type of player. I can’t hate a guy for wanting to get paid in full. Just don’t spend the year talking about how you are willing to do whatever it takes to win, because then you look like an asshole when you take all the monies.

    +1000

    by the way JK47 – you sure have formed some really solid opinions about Melo – a guy you’ve never spoken to or probably been within 100 feet of. We don’t know these guys from a hole in the wall. We have no idea what their motivations are (well maybe we know what they are but not in what order). And what he did when he was 26 may have very little to do with what he does when he’s 30.

    I still think he’s going to re-sign and for a small but significant discount. It also wouldn’t surprise me if he took a 3 year deal with the last year a player option for the max so he can cash in after 2015-16 during what’s likely to be a crazy FA season after the new TV contract goes into place.

  72. The Prescient Cock Jowles

    I didn’t say fuck Knickerblogger, flossy.

    I’ll still be here to talk about Kobe Assists.

  73. Frank

    What’s hilarious about the Morey situation is that we have no idea when Lebron is going to announce. In fact, it probably would be a competitive advantage no matter where Lebron goes to hold out for a few days. Make Morey either match Parsons’ deal (and have no FA money left other than MLE) or let him walk. Then LBJ can re-up with the Heat and take Bosh back to Miami. Boom – Morey loses all around with very little to spend his potential cap space on. Probably won’t make the Jeremy Lin trade then — which will be super awkward.

  74. lavor postell

    What’s hilarious about the Morey situation is that we have no idea when Lebron is going to announce. In fact, it probably would be a competitive advantage no matter where Lebron goes to hold out for a few days. Make Morey either match Parsons’ deal (and have no FA money left other than MLE) or let him walk. Then LBJ can re-up with the Heat and take Bosh back to Miami. Boom – Morey loses all around with very little to spend his potential cap space on. Probably won’t make the Jeremy Lin trade then — which will be super awkward.

    I would love it if all of Morey’s elaborate planning blew up in his face. That being said I think we’re going to know what Lebron, Melo and Bosh do tomorrow.

    I didn’t say fuck Knickerblogger, flossy.

    I’ll still be here to talk about Kobe Assists.

    YES!!

    “He’s the 2nd best SG of the modern era.”

    Sorry, that’d be Ronnie Brewer

    Lmao

  75. Owen

    I have and will always hate Kobe for being a smug, conceited, annoying wierdo. But the guy has logged a ton of very high quality minutes and I think (as mentioned) deserves the title of second best shooting guard of all time. Clyde gets an honorable mention, as well as Wade.

    Pretty depressed about Melo returning. Looking more and more like a year or two off from the Knicks might be in order.

  76. DRed

    Our old pal Mike Woodson has been hired to be one of Doc Rivers assistants. Best not turn your back, Doc.

    PS

    Mike Woodson sucks at coaching defense. Offense too.

  77. Kahnzy

    Mike Woodson sucks at coaching defense. Offense too.

    Maybe they can get him to keep track of how many timeouts they have left.

  78. Donnie Walsh

    “by the way JK47 – you sure have formed some really solid opinions about Melo – a guy you’ve never spoken to or probably been within 100 feet of…”

    JK47 has, in fact, spoken to Melo. He told us about it last week. They’re both Cuse guys, and JK got along well with him when they met. So, of all the guys you choose to call out, Frank, you whiffed that one.

  79. stratomatic

    Frank @13,

    D’Antonio has probably made more money and more careers for more players than just about any other coach in the league. There’s an endless list of players that were nothing before he got them, got huge deals after they played for him, and returned to nothing or at least less when they left.

    He also got dealt horrible hands in both NY and LA with injuries, purposeful rebuilds, and traitorous self centered players like Melo and Gasol that refused to play within the system (those 2 are a perfect fit lmao)

    Despite all that, people forget how well LA was playing at the end of the previous season when Howard was finally at least at 75%, Nash got to 75%’, Kobe was playing, and the rest of the almost deceased and injured at least made it back to the lineup. They went on a tremendous tear to get a playoff spot. Then Kobe, Nash, and Howard all went down again.

    If you want to argue that MDA and Melo were never a good fit, I agree. That’s why MDA was AGAINST the trade and went to Dolan and said one of us has to go. He was coaching a player that was fully and openly sabotaging his best efforts to coach the team. He then immediately started giving 100% when D’Antoni was gone.

    MDA is not the best coach in the league, but he’s still one of the best. He revolutionized the game and could easily win a title if he had the right players.

    Sorry for the rant, but I think MDA gets such a bum rap. Not in your case because you are correct about the system, but many others rag on him without even understanding the realities.

  80. DRed

    MDA is not the best coach in the league, but he’s still one of the best. He revolutionized the game and could easily win a title if he had the right players.

    Good ol coach pringles. He was better than Mike Woodson, I’ll tell you that much. I wonder if he really thought he was going to win with those horrible Lakers teams or if he was just after that cash.

  81. hoolahoop

    Fuck the Knicks. If I end up in Portland for my job, which is looking more and more likely, I’ll get League Pass and say, “Fuck the Knicks,” then, too.

    Bye!

    Hahaa. That’s cold.
    but, funny.

  82. Brian Cronin

    I love that move from Dallas if only because it messes with Houston. The only offer sheet Parsons would sign would be a max one and that’s just what they gave him. Hilarious.

  83. lavor postell

    @stratomatic

    He sucks at communicating. He’s bickered with STAT (they kissed and made up but a $100m can do that), Melo, Gasol, Kobe and Howard. Basically if you were a star player not named Steve Nash he had a complete inability to effectively coach you in a way that you were receptive too. He can be great with his system, X’s and O’s and what not, but if you’re constantly pissing off your best and most influential players you’re going to get fired.

    Also you need to adjust your system to the talent at your disposal like not trying to run an SSOL offense with a Laker team that lacked depth, youth, speed and athleticism. You shouldn’t use Gasol as a high PNR 5 and have him take a lot of mid-range jumpers or use him as a stretch floor to space the floor for Dwight. You shouldn’t play Kobe 42+ minutes for multiple games in a row and be surprised that a 34-year old who’s been in the league since he was 18 blows out his Achilles.

    Don’t change Melo’s role 5 times, then when your 3rd string point has an unreasonably good stretch of ball, have Melo sit out on the wing so Lin can pathetically try to impersonate Nash. These guys have egos and the greatest coaches can massage those egos, get them to buy in and adjust enough to maximize their skill sets within the context of the system.

    Save me the sob story for D’Antoni in NYK, because if we’re going to sit around and rip on Melo for only being about the money he took a page right out of MDA’s playbook when he chose the Knicks over a better roster and situation in Chicago in 2008. He is a good coach and his system can work, but you need to get him a very specific group of players that are so good offensively that their mediocre defense won’t matter. His best strategy defensively is trying to get the other team caught up in the the tempo of the game and take shots that are out of their comfort zone.

  84. lavor postell

    The truth about D’Antoni is that he’s a very good coach with some flaws in his inability to communicate effectively with stars and coach defense. He gets a bad rap for some things out of his control like Melo or Gasol’s effort level, but he also has a strange devotion to role players over stars because they don’t have an ego and they’ll just do what he wants them too. In a way MDA has a huge ego too, but his is in that he believes his system is the one true way to play basketball and if a player doesn’t conform to that they are wrong and he won’t do much to tweak it for them.

  85. GoNyGoNYGo

    Lavor,
    I agree about MDA. He’s a great offensive coordinator…
    Woops. Wrong spot. But you get what I mean.
    Funny, because good D would make his offensive system really click.

  86. Jack Bauer

    Have to weigh in on the Kobe comments. Full disclosure I HATE the Lakers and always will and I hate Kobe. But, he has been a great player, not as good as Jordan, but the closest to being as mentally tough as MJ since Jordan retired. Tracy McGrady? Are you fucking kidding me??! Kobe’s defense is light years better than McGrady ever was, and his offense was as good or better always. Love Manu, but he’s not close to being as productive or as dominating on either end as Kobe. Wade had some good years, but his defense was never close to as good as Kobe’s, nor has been as good as long as Kobe. I do not like the guy, but I’d take him on my team over those guys any day and twice on Sundays.

  87. 2FOR18

    Re: the SG thing, the top 4, in this order, are:

    MJ
    Kobe
    West
    Wade

    I think # 5 is kind of tough – Ray Allen, Sam Jones, Drexler… but I would say Earl Monroe.

    Looking at SFs, melo is probably in the top 20, with the top 5 I think being Bird, Lebron, Baylor, Dr J and Pippen.

  88. Farfa

    At #5 I’d really consider Manu, too. People seem to have forgotten how freaking good he was at his peak, plus the guy won 4 rings and counting.

    Melo… I don’t know. He comes after the ones you said, definitely after Durant, after Rick Barry, Havlicek and Pierce too, and after that it is probably a crapshoot. So he could be in the top 10 SF when all is said and done (if he ever wins anything).

  89. Brian Cronin

    Man, Chris Sheridan sure is staking his whole reputation on this Lebron thing being right. What if it isn’t? How’s he deal with that?

  90. yellowboy90

    Houston will have to trade Jones and Montiejunas if they get Bosh and want to keep Parsons. It’s highly doubtful but if the knicks could get those two guys it would be nice. Those guys will likely be included in the lin deal though. Maybe shump to Philly for those two? I suppose it doesn’t make sense for philly considering Jones could ease into Thad Young’s role when he leaves.

    Who knows they may not even match Parsons.

  91. lavor postell

    @yellowboy90

    I think the key to get one of those guys is probably giving up a non-guaranteed deal and some kind of protected second rounder. I think Motiejunas is probably a piece in the Philly deal. Jones could possibly be a separate addition. If we got our hands on Jones I’d be satisfied with the immediate shape of our frontcourt assuming Aldrich re-signs. Melo, Aldrich, Jones, STAT, Dalembert and Tyler is definitely a solid set of guys you can roll with.

  92. yellowboy90

    @yellowboy90

    I think the key to get one of those guys is probably giving up a non-guaranteed deal and some kind of protected second rounder. I think Motiejunas is probably a piece in the Philly deal. Jones could possibly be a separate addition. If we got our hands on Jones I’d be satisfied with the immediate shape of our frontcourt assuming Aldrich re-signs. Melo, Aldrich, Jones, STAT, Dalembert and Tyler is definitely a solid set of guys you can roll with.

    Can they fit into the trade exception or is that for only one player?

  93. stratomatic

    Lavor,

    I’m willing to concede that MDA is not a great communicator. He’s had a trouble with a few players. IMO his expectations are too high in terms of professionalism and maturity. Then when he gets immaturity he doesn’t know how to handle it. So he just shuts them out or benches them.

    But I don’t think any of your other points are valid.

    Virtually every coach in the NBA is looking for players “that fit their system”. Even Pop looks for players that fit and discards them when he makes a mistake. What do you think Phil Jackson is doing right now? Why do you think he’s interested in Gasol even though he looks like he’s declining. Why do you think he’s giving Odom a chance despite all his issues? He’s looking for, trading for, and drafting guys that can fit into the triangle.

    MDA was doing fine rebuilding in NY until the Melo trade was FORCED upon him. That it didn’t work is not his fault. He tried to make some adjustments, but Melo wanted to post up and play ISO. He sulked, refused to give 100%, and then got really pissed off when the Knicks went on a tear with Lin running the show and him out of the line up. You can’t blame MDA for communication issues with Melo. That was all on Melo. MDA tried, but they were never a good fit. MDA knew it. So he left.

    He was not a good fit in LA either, but that was not a coaching mistake. It was a poor job choice. But he came away from it with his reputation as a coach tarnished. Why would you go from Melo to Kobe? Why would you go to a team with 2 big men (Howard and Gasol) when only one could play C and neither could play stretch 4? He was asking for trouble unless they traded Gasol. Howard sulked over touches, but at least he tried. Kobe was probably pissed but he at least tried to be more of a passer. Gasol went the Melo route.

    The defensive issues could take 2-3 posts but it’s the most misunderstood part of his coaching.

  94. lavor postell

    Not sure. That’s a good question and one ephus would probably have the answer too.

  95. Farfa

    Give me Jones every day. A young, athletic frontcourt prospect? Sign me in. I’m not sold on Motiejunas.

  96. lavor postell

    He was not a good fit in LA either, but that was not a coaching mistake. It was a poor job choice. Why would you go from Melo to Kobe? Why would you go to a team with 2 big men (Howard and Gasol) when only one could play C and neither could play stretch 4? He was asking for trouble unless they traded Gasol. Howard sulked over touches, but at least he tried. Kobe was probably pissed but he at least tried to be more of a passer. Gasol went the Melo route.

    He chose that situation on his own right? He knew what personnel he was going to be working with and still tried to get them to play an uptempo game even though they had no depth, injury issues all year and Howard aside were all players with who’s atheticism and speed was declining to various degrees.

    Virtually every coach in the NBA is looking for players “that fit their system”. Even Pop looks for players that fit and discards them when he makes a mistake. What do you think Phil Jackson is doing right now? Why do you think he’s interested in Gasol even though he looks like he’s declining. Why do you think he’s giving Odom a chance despite all his issues? He’s looking for, trading for, and drafting guys that can fit into the triangle.

    Yes every coach looks for every players that “fit their system”. The difference is that most coaches will adjust their system to talented players. Look at how SVG ran his offense in Miami versus what he ran in Orlando. Phil Jackson didn’t have any talented offensive big men in Chicago structuring everything around Jordan and Pippen and then successfully built around Shaq, Gasol, Bynum and Odom while balancing that with Kobe in LA. Riley coached the Showtime Lakers and then switched to a grind it out style of ball when he came to the Knicks and later brought that to Miami.

  97. Farfa

    @106

    I completely agree with you. D’Antoni has a lot of quirks, but his main issue is that he can’t connect with primary scoring options and non-shooting bigs. He did wonders for every other player, which is huge. The Lakers gig was a giant mistake, made by every party involved, but how can you say no to that franchise?

  98. stratomatic

    Lavor,

    One major difference between guys like D’Antoni and Pop is that Pop would never choose to coach a player like Melo and he’d have enough power to overrule any trade for him. So he’d never have to. Pop doesn’t have to compromise his philosophies to match his players. He gets the players he wants. If he adjusts his coaching style, it’s not to fit the players. It’s to fit the way the game is changing. He’s both a great coach and in great circumstances.

  99. iserp

    Even Pop looks for players that fit and discards them when he makes a mistake.

    Yes, but Poppovich will play a system consisting in half-court sets and post-ups one year, and then run the court and shoot 3-pointers other year, just because the players he has are different.

  100. Farfa

    Anyway it’s true that if you can’t connect with the most influential people in your area of expertise, you are not the man for the job. Apparently D’Antoni fails to connect with front offices too…

  101. lavor postell

    MDA was doing fine rebuilding in NY until the Melo trade was FORCED upon him. That it didn’t work is not his fault. He tried to make some adjustments, but Melo wanted to post up and play ISO. He sulked, refused to give 100%, and then got really pissed off when the Knicks went on a tear with Lin running the show and him out of the line up. You can’t blame MDA for communication issues with Melo. That was all on Melo. MDA tried, but they were never a good fit. MDA knew it. So he left.

    Yes I can certainly blame MDA for communication issues with Melo. The Knicks’ offense was actually more efficient in 2010-11 after they made the Melo trade basically running the SSOL offense in sets for STAT and running Denver isolation sets for Billups and Melo. Then in training camp before the 2011-12 season he tried to turn Melo into a point forward to run his system which he simply can’t do. He persisted in this to the point we were 7-15 until Melo reportedly asked D’Antoni to put Lin in the game. From there Lin caught fire, Melo got injured and the Knicks went on a memorable 8 game winning streak during which Lin hero balled the Knicks by some miracle to a .500 record.

    By the time Melo got back I believe our record was 16-16 and instead of integrating Melo into the offense to lighten the load on Lin, essentially a rookie PG, who was beginning to struggle with the minutes load, his role in facilitating everything on offense and NBA teams picking up on his tendencies (can’t finish with his left, jumping in the air to pass) he told Melo to stand out on the wing and spot up to be part of the system. That’s not coaching. That’s just believing your system is better and more important than the various talents at your disposal on the team. Kind of like trying to make Amar’e a stretch 4 because there’s only room for 1 roll man in his high PNR offense.

    And like I said Melo quit on him and that was shitty. Nobody’s saying Melo is some kind of saint, but when stars are quitting on you in two consecutive stops maybe you should look in the mirror.

  102. Hubert

    Just a quick thought on the Woj Tweet:

    Within Anthony’s circle, belief’s been this, sources tell Y: Get NY’s $129M now, figure out destination later. You can always get a trade.

    — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 9, 2014

    Maybe I’m being pedantic, but the structure of that sentence very clearly indicates that this is NOT a source within Anthony’s circle. It’s a source telling him what that source believes the belief in Anthony’s circle is. In other words, Woj is tweeting someone else’s speculation.

    I don’t think we should give it too much weight. Problem is, it sounds like such a Melo thing to believe that we’re completely willing to assign it to him.

  103. lavor postell

    One major difference between guys like D’Antoni and Pop is that Pop would never choose to coach a player like Melo and he’d have enough power to overrule any trade for him. So he’d never have to. Pop doesn’t have to compromise his philosophies to match his players. He gets the players he wants. If he adjusts his coaching style, it’s not to fit the players. It’s to fit the way the game is changing. He’s both a great coach and in great circumstances.

    Maybe it’s telling that despite all his success in Phoenix D’Antoni never got that kind of pull where the front office would bring in players he wanted at all costs. In fact they brought in Kerr to basically do as he see fit and his trade for Shaq basically ended MDA’s run out there.

    Look I think MDA is a good coach but he wasn’t a complete victim at any of his stops.

  104. stratomatic

    Lavor,

    You are still misunderstanding. It’s not the players and the positions they play. It’s the components.

    MDA can and has made many adjustments to the strengths of his team. When Amare was down for a year with the Suns, they didn’t skip a beat. He adjusted and got just as much scoring out of the team from other positions. Where he can’t compromise is that he needs a good play maker, a good P&R man, and players willing to pass.

    He would do fine with a Bird or Lebron playing point forward and a mediocre PG the same way Jackson could do well with great players at different positions that still fit the triangle.

  105. Farfa

    The only player who I was surprised to see in dislike of D’Antoni was Pau Gasol. That was the moment when I finally understood that MDA is not tailored to run marquee franchises. But he would coach the shit out of Atlanta, for example.

  106. stratomatic

    Lavor,

    We are going to have to agree to disagree because I don’t have the time to argue MDA with you. Too busy. Your recollection of what happened in NY does not coincide with mine. Your view on coaching and adjustments is different than mine. And your interpretation of the defensive stats and trade-offs MDA makes (if we were to discuss them) would also likely be different.

    We have agreed somewhat on the communication issue. But IMO you are buying hook, line, and sinker into the mainstream interpretation of MDA’s strengths and short comings that I disagree with and frustrate me.

    It’s better to move on to the current Knicks.

  107. stratomatic

    The only player who I was surprised to see in dislike of D’Antoni was Pau Gasol. That was the moment when I finally understood that MDA is not tailored to run marquee franchises. But he would coach the shit out of Atlanta, for example.

    Me too.

    Gasol was a good fit for D’Antoni, but only as a C with limited posting up. That was a huge problem when Howard was on the team. But to be honest, even Jackson struggled a little with Gasol and Bynun. When Bynum was out (which was often), Gasol played C. No issue. When they were both healthy he sometimes rested one and played Odom with the other. It could have worked better for MDA last year, but I think the relationship was already rocky and he was coaching a “D” league squad out there. The Lakers were literally the 2nd or 3rd worst squad in the NBA last year. MDA made several careers for those players . They even think Swaggy P can play out in LA. Blake became a hot item. Bazemore has interest. Farmer got a nice gig. Meeks stock went up. etc…

  108. Hubert

    D’Antonio got dealt horrible hands in both NY and LA with injuries, purposeful rebuilds, and traitorous self centered players like Melo and Gasol that refused to play within the system (those 2 are a perfect fit lmao)

    Despite all that, people forget how well LA was playing at the end of the previous season when Howard was finally at least at 75%, Nash got to 75%’, Kobe was playing, and the rest of the almost deceased and injured at least made it back to the lineup. They went on a tremendous tear to get a playoff spot. Then Kobe, Nash, and Howard all went down again.

    If you want to argue that MDA and Melo were never a good fit, I agree. That’s why MDA was AGAINST the trade and went to Dolan and said one of us has to go. He was coaching a player that was fully and openly sabotaging his best efforts to coach the team. He then immediately started giving 100% when D’Antoni was gone.

    MDA is not the best coach in the league, but he’s still one of the best. He revolutionized the game and could easily win a title if he had the right players.

    Sorry for the rant, but I think MDA gets such a bum rap. Not in your case because you are correct about the system, but many others rag on him without even understanding the realities.

    MDA is every bit as good (and bad) a coach as Thibodeau. They have the same strengths and same faults (stubborn, runs players into ground, doesn’t focus enough on other side of ball). But Thibodeau installs brilliant defensive systems at the expense of offense, so he’s hard working and his players are warriors. MDA installs brilliant offensive systems at the expense of defense, so he’s a gimmick coach and his players are one-dimensional.

  109. thenamestsam

    Man, Chris Sheridan sure is staking his whole reputation on this Lebron thing being right. What if it isn’t? How’s he deal with that?

    Brian, what reputation? Seems to me Sheridan is firmly in the camp of people who aren’t trusted. If Woj or Stein tweets that something is happening, people take it as fact. If Sheridan tweets it, people treat is at speculation. Basically the guy has nothing to lose. If Lebron goes back to Miami then *shrug* Sheridan was wrong. Nobody would be shocked by that. And next time he claims to have a source…well it’ll be treates exactly the way this is being treated, as speculation. If he gets it right though, then it’s a huge get. People will remember that. I think it’s pretty notable that it started out yesterday as his source was saying 90% chance back to Cleveland, but now it’s slowly evolved to a lock. Sounds to me like he had a source saying Lebron was leaning Cleveland and has basically just decided it’s worth the risk.

    As for Melo, I’m reserving judgement until we know for sure, but it would certainly be a very disappointing start to the Phil era. Overpaying, negotiating against ourselves, obsessing over star power, this is standard Knicks stuff, not the start of a bright new era.

  110. Farfa

    Overpaying, negotiating against ourselves, obsessing over star power, this is standard Knicks stuff, not the start of a bright new era.

    Don’t forget the botched Kerr situation. I don’t know how good Kerr will be, especially compared to Fisher, but that was a bad example of negotiation skills.

  111. lavor postell

    Don’t forget the botched Kerr situation. I don’t know how good Kerr will be, especially compared to Fisher, but that was a bad example of negotiation skills.

    Completely disagree. Kerr accepted the Knicks job and then leveraged it to get a better offer to land the Warriors job. When a guy commits to you and then tells you he’s not sure in his gut I don’t know what else Jackson could have done other than force him to honor his commitment to a job he was having second thoughts about. He also nearly bluffed the Warriors into thinking it was a done deal, probably before Kerr had Tannenbaum indicate to the Warriors he was still interested.

    Oh and we can rip on Jackson for that but maybe we dodged a bullet since Kerr doesn’t want to trade Thompson for Kevin Love.

  112. Farfa

    Oh and we can rip on Jackson for that but maybe we dodged a bullet since Kerr doesn’t want to trade Thompson for Kevin Love.

    Lavor, I’m not saying not getting Kerr is a failure. I’m saying that not getting your publicly declared #1 and only option after you (sources, lol) told Melo he was going to be his coach for the next four years is a botched task because 1) makes you look naive and ingenuous 2) you alone artificially increased his market value by saying out loud that he was going to be your coach. If he ended up paying Fisher half of what Kerr will command, well then, maybe he was just trying to do a favor to Steve, but Fisher will make the same money! Let’s just say that Phil was outnegotiated.

    I’m baffled by the refusal to insert Thompson in the Love deal, especially seeing how the market reacts to 2-guards this year. Thompson will demand a max-extension, and for the love of God, he’s not a max player.

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