Scotto: The Knicks’ $129 Million Question: Will Carmelo Anthony Stay?

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Carmelo Anthony“I want to be a free agent,” Carmelo Anthony told the New York Observer prior to the season.

By publicly saying so, Anthony’s impending free agency became a constant and colossal distraction as large as the Empire State Building and simultaneously induced a chain reaction of numerous rumors during the season.

J.R. Smith playfully alluded to the constant media speculation when asked if he would talk to Anthony about his future this summer.

“I’m not going to talk to him at all,” Smith said Tuesday. “He’s got to talk to you all every day about it.”

“Yeah, it’s the talk, it’s the topic any and everywhere I go, on the court, off the court,” Anthony said during his exit interview on Thursday. “Guys want to know what you’re going to do. Guys have their opinions, whether it’s to come play with them or do something else.”

Ironically, the same free agency speculation and drama that once consumed Denver – and ultimately forced the Nuggets to trade Anthony to the Knicks – has resurfaced in New York.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

SH Blog: Klay Thompson calls out Blake Griffin’s style of play, Gary Payton says Curry and Westbrook are shooting guards

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KlayThompsonSH1It’s no secret that the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors have a strong dislike for each other. It has been that way since last season when the Warriors became a relevant team in the Western Conference, and it continued into this season when Blake Griffin called the Warriors cowards. The two teams won’t even share a chapel together.

That’s true hate.

What no one could have seen coming, though, is Klay Thompson joining in on the fun, so to speak. During a radio interview, the sharp-shooter called out Griffin for his “out of control” style of play, transcribed by Arash Markazi of ESPN LA:

On Wednesday, Warriors guard Klay Thompson called Clippers forward Blake Griffin out for flopping and playing “kind of out of control sometimes.”

“He is a good guy off the court but he probably just … I mean … plays pretty physical and flops a little bit,” Thompson told The Wheelhouse on 95.7 The Game radio in San Francisco.

“He flairs his arm around so you know you might catch a random elbow or something that doesn’t you know rub off too well on guys,” Thompson said. “He’s kind of like a bull in a china shop, kind of out of control sometimes. And then you do just see him flop sometimes like how can a guy that big and strong flop that much.

“I can see how that gets under people’s skin and be frustrating to play against.”

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The Knicks failed to make the playoffs and we could have seen it coming

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knicks_suck“Nobody was expecting this,” Knicks head coach Mike Woodson said of his team missing the playoffs for the first time since 2010.

“At the beginning of the season, nobody ever thought we’d be in this situation, in this position that we’re in right now,” said star forward Carmelo Anthony, who will not play in the postseason for the first time in his 11 year career. After coming into last year’s postseason as the second seed in the Eastern Conference, the New York Knicks are a lottery team. But to say no one was expecting this outcome would be a lie.

On Oct. 15 of last year, practically six months ago to the day, ESPN’s computer-based, analytics driven computer projection system called SCHOENE predicted that the Knicks would finish the season 37-45. Their current record after 80 games? 35-45 and eliminated from the playoff race.

In explaining why the SCHONE projections had the Knicks faring so poorly, two of the reasons Kevin Pelton gave were the team’s projected 3-point outage and the aging roster. Both proved true to an extent, as you’ll see later in this column.

Six months ago, the team’s response to this prediction was typically and naturally bombastic.

“Sometimes there’s glitches in the computer,’’ Anthony said on Oct. 16. “That’s all I can say.’’

WoodsonWoodson took it even further, asking if the computer model is the one that plays. “It’s a computer system. I don’t think computers run up and down the floor,” Woodson said. “You still have to play the game, guys. I don’t get caught up in that. I don’t have any control over the computers. The only thing I can control is our team and how we play.’’

Half a year later, Woodson and Anthony were singing different tunes about how their season turned so sour.

Tweet of the Night: Los Angeles Lakers Scorch The New York Knicks, Twitter Reacts

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Tuesday night’s showdown between the Knicks and Lakers was a bit one-sided.

The New York Knicks, who had been surging towards the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference with a recent string of eight straight wins, have (seemingly) fallen flat on their faces.

If their recent fourth-quarter collapse against the hapless (and Kyrie Irving-less) Cleveland Cavaliers wasn’t bad enough, they travelled to Los Angeles for a shellacking at the hands of the short-handed Lakers.

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May: The Future of Four Floundering Flagship Franchises

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We are about to witness what may be a first in the long history of the NBA. For the first time, four of the JacksonKnicksleague’s flagship franchises could well be out of the playoffs.

OK, the Knicks aren’t technically out of the race in the Hindenburg Conference, but they have a lot of ground to make up on Atlanta – four games in the loss column with 13 to play. The Celtics, Lakers and 76ers all are making plans for the 2014 draft lottery and the riches it may (or may not) provide.

Twenty years ago, the Celtics, Lakers and Sixers all missed the postseason, but the Pat Riley-coached Knicks made it all the way to the NBA Finals, losing in seven games to the Houston Rockets. That remains the best Knicks’ playoff run since the 1973 championship season (moreso than their surprising appearance in the 1999 Finals, where they were decided underdogs to the Spurs and lost in five.)

But at no time since 1949, when the Lakers entered the NBA in Minneapolis, and the 76ers came in as the Syracuse Nationals, have all four of these marquee teams been on the outside looking in when the playoffs arrived. (The Celtics and Knicks started in 1946.)