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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Carmelo Anthony ‘a New York Knick at heart,’ puts faith in Phil Jackson

07.14.14 at 7:51 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Home Run Derby, 8 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-AM)
Cycling: Tour de France, 7 a.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Carmelo Anthony made his return to the Knicks official Sunday, signing a five-year deal reportedly worth more than $120 million.

Anthony, a nine-time All-Star who averaged 27.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game last season — his third full season with the Knicks after being traded from the Nuggets — announced his decision on his website Sunday morning.

Wrote Anthony: A few years ago I dreamed of coming back to New York City, the place of my birth, and on February 23, 2011 that became a reality. This organization has supported me and in return, I want to stay and build here with this city and my team. At this pivotal juncture in my career, I owed it to myself and my family to explore all of the options available to me. Through it all, my heart never wavered.

In the end, I am a New York Knick at heart. I am looking forward to continue my career in Orange & Blue and to work with Phil Jackson, a champion who builds championship teams. Madison Square Garden is the mecca of basketball and I am surrounded by the greatest fans in the world.

The 30-year-old passed on the Bulls, Rockets, Lakers and Mavericks for an attempt to build a winner with new Knicks president Phil Jackson.

MASHUP POLL: Now that the major free agents have signed, who will win the Eastern Conference next season?

  • Cavaliers (32%, 31 Votes)
  • Bulls (29%, 28 Votes)
  • Pacers (21%, 20 Votes)
  • None of the above (11%, 11 Votes)
  • Wizards (4%, 4 Votes)
  • Raptors (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Nets (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Knicks (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Heat (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 97

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“We’€™re glad that Carmelo has seen that we have the vision, trusted us with what we anticipate,” Jackson said. “He plied and impressed upon us his desire to win, to be on a competitive team.

“Our message to him was we are going to be a competitive team. It may not be instantaneous. He may not just be able to drop in and win a championship. It’€™s going to be something that we’€™re goal-oriented, and that’€™s the direction we’€™re going. We’€™re really happy he came through and agreed to ply his talents with us.”

Anthony agreed to structure his deal in a way that gives the team more financial flexibility in one year, when the contracts of Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani expire and the team will be able to make a splash in free agency.

“Carmelo did exactly what we kind of asked him to do, give us a break in the early part of his contract,” Jackson said. “So when we have some wiggle room, which will be hopefully big enough wiggle room, we can exploit it and provide a more competitive team for our group.”

— When Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith had a run-in with police late Saturday night at a bar in Towson, Md., he became the fifth player on his team to be arrested this offseason.

According to Baltimore County police, Smith was helping an intoxicated woman in the bathroom of the bar when medics arrived to help. Smith repeatedly refused an officer’s order to leave the bathroom. He was arrested and given a criminal citation.

Smith, 25, started all 16 games last season, recording 58 tackles, two interceptions and two forced fumbles. A first-round pick in 2011 — he slipped to the Ravens at No. 27 in part because of off-field issues at the University at Colorado — Smith made some key plays in the team’s Super Bowl win over the 49ers in February 2013.

The other four Ravens to be arrested this offseason are running back Ray Rice (felony assault), offensive lineman Jah Reid (felony aggravated assault), wide receiver Deonte Thompson (felony possession of marijuana) and running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (misdemeanor destruction of property).

— Australian Olympic swimming legend Ian Thorpe revealed in a taped interview Sunday that he is gay, following years of denial.

“I’m comfortable saying I’m a gay man,” the 31-year-old said. “And I don’t want young people to feel the same way that I did. You can grow up, you can be comfortable and you can be gay.”

Added Thorpe: “I wanted to make my family proud. I wanted to make my nation proud of me. And part of me didn’t know if Australia wanted its champion to be gay. But I’m telling not only Australia, but I’m telling the world, that I am.”

Thorpe, who retired in 2012 after winning five Olympic gold medals, three silvers and one bronze, and setting 22 world records, had said in his 2012 autobiography that he was straight and wanted to have a family, but he told British talk show host Michael Parkinson that he recently realized the truth needed to come out.

“I’m not straight,” said Thorpe, who has long battled severe depression. “And this is only something that very recently — we’re talking in the past two weeks — I’ve been comfortable telling the closest people around me exactly that.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On July 14, 1956, who pitched the first Red Sox no-hitter in 33 years when he shut down the White Sox, 4-0?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It’s an unbelievable feeling. I don’t know how to describe it. You just shoot that goal in, you don’t really know what’s happening. And then at the end of the match, having a party with the team, the whole country … it is for us, a dream come true.” Mario Goetze, after his goal in the second half of extra time gave Germany a 1-0 victory over Argentina in Sunday’s World Cup championship match

STAT OF THE DAY: 12 – Strikeouts for Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz, a career high, in Sunday’s 11-0 victory over the Astros

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner hits a grand slam in Sunday’s win over the Diamondbacks — the hurler’s second grand slam of the season.

Indians left fielder Mike Aviles makes a running catch and throws the ball on the fly from the foul line across the diamond to first base to double off surprised White Sox baserunner Conor Gillaspie.

Cavaliers rookie Andrew Wiggins shows off a behind-the-back 360-degree dunk in warmups before the team’s summer league game in Las Vegas.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Mel Parnell

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Woody Guthrie, who died in 1967, was born on this day in 1912.

Read More: Carmelo Anthony, Ian Thorpe, Jimmy Smith, Phil Jackson