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Michael Jordan speaks out on racial unrest, donates $2 million to help address police relations 07.26.16 at 10:30 am ET
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Michael Jordan (Sam Sharpe/USA Today Sports)

Michael Jordan is doing his part to address racial unrest in America. (Sam Sharpe/USA Today Sports)

NBA legend and Hornets majority owner Michael Jordan spoke out about the continuing social and racial unrest in the United States on Monday, saying he can “no longer stay silent” about the issue.

In a brief statement released exclusively to The Undefeated, the six-time NBA Finals champion and lone African-American majority owner of an NBA team sounded off on “the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement.” He also announced grants of $1 million each to the Institute for Community-Police Relations, launched by International Association of Chiefs of Police in May, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, two organizations working on bettering relations with law enforcement and their communities.

“I was raised by parents who taught me to love and respect people regardless of their race or background, so I am saddened and frustrated by the divisive rhetoric and racial tensions that seem to be getting worse as of late,” Jordan wrote. “I know this country is better than that. … We need to find solutions that ensure people of color receive fair and equal treatment AND that police officers — who put their lives on the line every day to protect us all — are respected and supported.”

The two groups were informed of Jordan’s donations on Sunday. Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, said the group is “surprised and shocked, but obviously thrilled,” while IACP president Terrence Cunningham applauded Jordan in his efforts to “help raise the discussion between police and the members of the communities they serve.”

“Although I know these contributions alone are not enough to solve the problem,” Jordan wrote, “I hope the resources will help both organizations make a positive difference.”

Jordan’s statement comes after several professional athletes have spoken out on the political and social issues of today. Most noticeably, NBA stars Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwayne Wade and LeBron James began the ESPYs award show by asking their peers to use their platforms to address important topics.

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Read More: Adam Silver, Carmelo Anthony, Michael Jordan,
Carmelo Anthony says ‘the front office stepped up,’ Knicks now a contender 07.19.16 at 12:38 pm ET
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Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony

Speaking publicly on Monday for the first time since Knicks president Phil Jackson made a series of roster moves, Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony applauded the front office and was hopeful about the team’s chances of being a contender in the Eastern Conference.

“The front office stepped up,” said Anthony, an 11-time All-Star who has been a Knick since 2011. “It was a collective effort. They did their job and they did what they had to do to make some moves and make things happen. They put us in a situation to give us an opportunity. All we have to do is take advantage of that.”

“I think we have a good opportunity to do some things this year. It’s all about what we do. It’s all about us now. It’s all about how we come together, how we jell together. For the most part, the pieces are there, so it’s up to us.”

The Knicks, who have not had a winning season since they won 54 games in 2012-13, were able to trade for point guard Derrick Rose from the Chicago Bulls the night before the NBA draft. Jackson and the front office brass then had the cap space to sign Rose’s teammate Joakim Noah, swingman Courtney Lee and point guard Brandon Jennings.

Although Anthony believes the Knicks “have a very special team on paper,” there are plenty of red flags. Noah and Lee are 31 and 30, respectively. Jennings, once a top young star in the league, averaged seven points per game with Orlando last season. And Rose, the 2011 league MVP, is 27 years old and injury-prone. He has not played more than 70 games since that MVP year.

Despite the injury concerns with Rose, Anthony said he is not worried about the point guard’s health.

“As far as injuries go, it happens,” Anthony said. “But I think sometimes you just need a breath of fresh air, in Derrick’s case. I talked to him maybe once or twice, but he’s locked in right now. He’s focused. I’m hearing he’s healthy.

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Read More: Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, New York Knicks
Monday’s Morning Mashup: NFL mourns former Saints DE Will Smith after shooting 04.11.16 at 8:23 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: Orioles at Red Sox, 2:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Pirates at Tigers, 1:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Brewers at Cardinals, 4:15 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Marlins at Mets, 7:10 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Hornets at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Hawks at Cavaliers, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Kings at Suns, 10 p.m. (NBA TV)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Shocked NFL players and executives sent out condolences Sunday after former Saints defensive end Will Smith was shot to death during a confrontation after a minor car crash in New Orleans on Saturday night.

According to police and media reports, the 34-year-old Smith was driving his Mercedes when he was hit from behind by a Hummer H2. Smith exchanged words with the driver and then was shot multiple times in the back. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Smith’s wife, Racquel, was shot in the right leg and was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the Hummer, 28-year-old Cardell Hayes, stayed at the scene and was arrested on a charge of second-degree murder. He did not enter a plea during a court appearance Sunday.

Hayes’ attorney said his client would plead not guilty, adding that he was “not the aggressor in terms of the behavior that happened after the accident.”

“The senseless acts of violence have to stop,” New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. “Traffic accidents should not lead to someone losing their life.”

A first-round pick of the Saints out of Ohio State in 2004, Smith played nine seasons in New Orleans and ranks fourth in team history with 67.5 sacks. He was a Pro Bowler in 2006.

Tweeted Saints coach Sean Payton: Heavy Hearts w the senseless passing of our Team Capt. Will Smith. Pray for his wife’s recovery and their children.

Wrote quarterback Drew Brees: Mourning the loss of a great friend and teammate, Will Smith. Such a senseless tragedy. Please pray for Racquel and their children.

Cardinals defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, a New Orleans native, indicated that he knew Hayes, who was a star high school football player a decade ago.

Tweeted Mathieu: I know that dude, he been a hating ass coward…. Never knew he’d grow up to be a killer tho…. May you get what you deserve coward.

Mathieu went on to question the influence of rap music, writing: All they have is music to influence them, and if you listen closely to music now a days, it’s brainwashing them to believe drugs and killing.

— Unemployed quarterback Johnny Manziel spent last week in Southern California, and he told a reporter from the gossip website TMZ that he would like to land a job with the defending Super Bowl champion Broncos.

“Great organization,” Manziel said Saturday night during one of his many visits to a West Hollywood nightclub. “Anywhere I get picked up, bro, is a blessing. … Whatever happens, I love [football]. I want to play. That’s the team I want to go to.”

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Read More: Carmelo Anthony, Johnny Manziel, Von Miller, Will Smith
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Frustrated Carmelo Anthony questions loyalty to Knicks 03.18.16 at 8:17 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’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.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at Raptors, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE, NBA TV)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Syracuse vs. Dayton, 12:15 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, UNC Asheville vs. Villanova, 12:40 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, VCU vs. Oregon State, 1:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Hawaii vs. California, 2 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Middle Tennessee vs. Michigan State, 2:45 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Temple vs. Iowa, 3:10 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Bakersfield vs. Oklahoma, 4 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, South Dakota State vs. Maryland, 4:30 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Pittsburgh vs. Wisconsin, 6:50 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Stephen F. Austin vs. West Virginia, 7:10 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Green Bay vs. Texas A&M, 7:20 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Holy Cross vs. Oregon, 7:27 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Weber State vs. Xavier, 9:20 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Michigan vs. Notre Dame, 9:40 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Northern Iowa vs. Texas, 9:50 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Cincinnati vs. Saint Joseph’s, 9:57 p.m. (truTV)
NHL: Bruins at Ducks, 10 p.m. (NESN)
College hockey: Hockey East semifinals, UMass-Lowell vs. Providence, 5 p.m. (NESN, NBCSN)
College hockey: Hockey East semifinals, Northeastern vs Boston College, 8 p.m. (NESN, NBCSN)
MLB preseason: Twins at Red Sox, 1:05 p.m. (NESN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony

— The Knicks’ next loss will clinch a third straight losing season, and the frustration is hard to hide for aging star Carmelo Anthony.

However, the 31-year-old still claims — at least for now — that he has no plans to waive his no-trade clause so that the team can move on from him and his huge contract.

“I don’t know, maybe my loyalty has come back to bite me in the [butt],” Anthony told Yahoo! Sports’ Marc Spears. “As of right now, I am sticking to it.”

New York’s most recent loss was a blowout at the hands of the Warriors.

“Even though we lost … got our ass kicked tonight, I hope this is not an indication of where we are as a team,” Anthony said after the game. “I try not to compare, I’m not in the game of comparing, but I hope this is not an indication of where we are as a team and we can bounce back and show the real team that we are and how we play against the Wizards coming up [Saturday].”

The Knicks are 28-41 — 5-10 under interim coach Kurt Rambis — and likely to miss the playoffs for the third straight year. Anthony had made the playoffs his first 10 years in the league.

Earlier in the week, Anthony discussed the team’s coaching situation, shooting down a suggestion that team president Phil Jackson be a part-time coach and suggesting the team interview other candidates rather than handing the job to Rambis immediately.

Asked about his recent chat with Jackson about the team’s offseason plans, he said: “It was just one conversation. At this point, it’s more show me rather than tell me. That’s where I’m at.”

Added Anthony: “The ball is not in my court at this point. It comes to what [the front office] wants to do in the offseason. It’s up to them to make those decisions.”

— Grizzlies forward Matt Barnes has been known to rile up opposing players, but on Thursday night Bucks forward John Henson turned the tables.

Henson had a big block of Barnes in the closing seconds of Milwaukee’s win, and after the play Henson stared down Barnes, igniting a brief confrontation.

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Read More: Carmelo Anthony, John Henson, Tony Bennett,
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Carmelo Anthony ‘wouldn’t accept’ Phil Jackson coaching Knicks home games next season 03.16.16 at 7:50 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’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.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Thunder at Celtics, 7 p.m. (CSNNE, ESPN)
NBA: Clippers at Rockets, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Holy Cross vs. Southern, 6:40 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Michigan vs. Tulsa, 9:10 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NIT, Belmont at Georgia, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: NIT, Princeton at Virginia Tech, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: NIT, Houston at Georgia Tech, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: NIT, UAB at BYU, 10 p.m. (ESPNU)
NHL: Flyers at Blackhawks, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB preseason: Red Sox at Twins, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB preseason: Tigers at Astros, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: White Sox at Brewers, 4:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Reds at Diamondbacks, 9:40 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Arsenal vs. Barcelona, 3:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony

— There have been rumors in New York that Knicks president Phil Jackson might consider returning to the sideline as coach — perhaps only for home games, leaving current interim coach Kurt Rambis to handle away games. Carmelo Anthony, however, said that won’t be the case.

“Nah, nah, nah. I don’t think that should be accepted,” Anthony said Tuesday. “I wouldn’t accept that if that was the case. Phil is cool, man. He doesn’t need to be on the sidelines no more. He put so many years into this game. He’s cool. He doesn’t need to be on the sideline. I don’t think he’s thinking about coming back down on the sideline. I hope not. Let him ride on out. Let him sit out and be the president.”

Added Anthony: “Phil ain’t coaching no more, man. So let’s [kill] that rumor. Phil ain’t coaching no more.”

Last week Jackson hinted Rambis might be promoted to permanent coach. Anthony also had something less than enthusiastic to say about that.

“I think you still have to at least listen to other candidates out there,” Anthony said.

Anthony did not dismiss Rambis as an option, although Rambis’ 5-9 record since taking over for Derek Fisher last month — and his 32-132 record in his previous stint with the Timberwolves — isn’t blowing anyone away.

“I think you consider Kurt at that job,” Anthony said. “[Jackson] brought Kurt here for that reason if anything was to happen and the situation is here for him now. I think it’s just more of seeing how Kurt handles the situation right now, how the team does, how the team responds to Kurt.”

— Louisville coach Rick Pitino continues to profess ignorance to claims that an assistant coach paid strippers to perform for players and recruits during parties at a campus dormitory.

Speaking on ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike,” Pitino said he hopes the NCAA investigation “comes up with the right answers, because it’s puzzling to all of us.”

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Read More: Carmelo Anthony, Mateen Cleaves, Phil Jackson, Rick Pitino
Knicks F Carmelo Anthony makes case for team to sign Rajon Rondo 03.08.16 at 8:57 am ET
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Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony

The Knicks have gone from bad to worse this season, and that is largely due to the lack of a supporting cast surrounding star forward Carmelo Anthony. The upcoming offseason will give team president Phil Jackson a chance to make a splash in free agency and make the Knicks a well-rounded team for the first time in years.

Anthony said Monday that he feels former Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo would be a perfect target for the Knicks to pursue.

“I think Rondo — just me personally, I don’t want to be tampering — but I’ve heard he said he wouldn’t thrive in a system like this,” Anthony said. “I think he’d be perfect in a system like this.”

While some feel pass-first point guards like Rondo wouldn’t fit in the Knicks’ triangle offense, Anthony disagreed with such logic.

“It is a misconception about that. Some of the keys of our offense is penetration, getting in the paint,” Anthony said. “Pushing the pace, transition. Creating in the paint for bigs, for yourself, everybody else. I think a point guard would love that. Especially a point guard who can penetrate, create for yourself, create for others. I think it’s a perfect opportunity for him.”

Many stars in the NBA today are used as recruiting tools for their teams when it comes to free agency. While Anthony has yet to have this type of role with the Knicks, it seems that may be changing in the near future.

“I don’t really have a choice. If we want this team to be better, if we want more pieces of this team, I don’t have a choice but to go out there and do my job and try to get people to come,” Anthony said. “And for them to see it from my perspective than anybody else’s perspective. See it from a player’s perspective.”

The 30-year-old Rondo is having a resurgence with the Kings this season, averaging 11.9 points per game to go with 12 assists and 6.2 rebounds.

With a deep and talented free agent class is set to hit the market this summer, Anthony should have an opportunity to make a real impact, whether it results in the team signing Rondo or any other player of his caliber.

“Put me at the head of the [meeting] table,” said Anthony. “And let’s go to work.”

Read More: Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks, rajon rondo,
Knicks F Carmelo Anthony to heckler: “The owner’s right there. Ask for your money back’ 03.02.16 at 10:52 am ET
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Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony

The Knicks’ season has been yet another disappointment, as New York is 16 games out of first place in the Atlantic Division. Coach Derek Fisher was sent packing last month, and interim coach Kurt Rambis has not had any success, either, going 2-6.

Fans have grown frustrated with the team’s play, and understandably so. Late in Tuesday night’s loss to the Trail Blazers, a heckler sitting near the Knicks bench directed his anger at forward Carmelo Anthony. Anthony responded by encouraging the man to direct his frustration to team owner James Dolan, who was sitting nearby.

“He kept calling my name, calling my name, saying, ‘You guys suck, you guys suck,’ ” Anthony said. “At that point I was trying to gather myself and I turned around, all I did was point at Dolan and told him, ‘Look, the owner’s right there. Ask for your money back.’ ”

Added Anthony: “He’s calling me and telling me he’s never coming to another game and we suck. Just don’t want to hear that. I pointed to the owner and told him you deal with that with him, maybe you can get your money back.”

Ownership has been under just as much if not more scrutiny than the players. Since Phil Jackson took over as team president last season, the Knicks have struggled mightily.

“It gets frustrating,” Anthony said. “The losing gets frustrating, disappointing. The way that we ended that game was disappointing. At that point I think my head was in the towel. I was just trying to breathe, just try to relax, kind of gather myself a little bit at that point.”

The Knicks are 3-15 over their last 18 games. They will travel to Boston on Friday for a date with the Celtics.

Read More: Carmelo Anthony, Knicks,
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Knicks star Carmelo Anthony marches with protesters in Baltimore 05.01.15 at 7:49 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’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.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Yankees at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Brewers at Cubs, 2:20 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Orioles at Rays, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
NFL: Draft, Rounds 2-3, 7 p.m. (ESPN, NFL Network)
NBA playoffs: Hawks at Nets, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL playoffs: Lightning at Canadiens, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Wild at Blackhawks, 9:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
Hockey: IIHF World Championship, United States vs. Finland, 10 a.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Carmelo Anthony participated in a peaceful march with protesters in Baltimore on Thursday. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Carmelo Anthony participated in a peaceful march with protesters in Baltimore on Thursday. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

— Knicks star Carmelo Anthony marched with protesters in his hometown of Baltimore on Thursday, calling for more accountability from the police in its dealings with minorities.

“This is my community. It’s not [only] my community, it’s everybody’s community. It’s America’s community,” Anthony told CNN. “So for me to come back here and be a part of a community where I grew up and really get a chance to talk to the people here and get a feel for what’s going on, I had to come. It was only right for me to come down here.”

Anthony, who was born in Brooklyn but moved to Baltimore when he was 9, participated in a three-mile walk to City Hall.

“I was one of them,” Anthony said of the city’s youth, some of whom turned violent this week and caused damage in the city. “So when I come back home it’s all love, everything is cool. But I’m here for a different cause right now. I’m supporting my community, I’m here to talk to the youth about kind of calm things down here in the city. We shouldn’t tear our city down, we’ve got to rebuild our city.

“We’re going to get the justice that we want. It’s going to take some time. It’s going to take some time. So my message to everybody is calm down, just kind of be patient. I know that’s easier said than done right now, to be patient. But we have to be patient in order for us to get what we want.”

— LSU offensive tackle La’el Collins reportedly made a last-ditch effort to remove his name from the NFL draft and be considered for a supplemental draft instead, as he is being sought for questioning by authorities in Louisiana regarding the shooting death of his ex-girlfriend, who was pregnant. Police have said Collins is not a suspect, but they believe he could help with their investigation.

The NFL denied Collins’ request, and the lineman, projected to be a first-round pick, did not get selected Thursday night. The league has no procedure for removal once a player enters the draft.

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Read More: Carmelo Anthony, Gregory Mertens, La'el Collins,
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Knicks fans start campaign calling for owner James Dolan to sell team 02.10.15 at 8:34 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’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.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Stars at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NBA: Rockets at Suns, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Nuggets at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Kentucky at LSU, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Notre Dame at Clemson, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Memphis at East Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Georgetown at Seton Hall, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Cincinnati at Temple, 7:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: James Madison at Delaware, 8 p.m. (CSNNE)
College basketball: Wisconsin at Nebraska, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Kansas at Texas Tech, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Arkansas at Auburn, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Xavier at Marquette, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Dayton at Saint Louis, 9:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: New Mexico at Colorado State, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
Soccer: Premier League, Tottenham at Liverpool, 2:55 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Knicks fans are fed up with owner James Dolan. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Some Knicks fans are fed up with controversial owner James Dolan after his latest embarrassment. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

— Following Knicks owner James Dolan’s mean-spirited email reply to an elderly fan who called for him to sell the team, a group of fans has started a petition to get Dolan out. It’s the same group that made news during football season pushing for the Jets to fire general manager John Idzik.

Dolan had replied to the 73-year-old, long-suffering fan by calling him a “sad person,” suggesting he was an alcoholic and “most likely have made your family miserable.”

Jason Koeppel, who says he’s a diehard fan of the Jets and Knicks, and some friends started Knicks4Sale.com, along with a Twitter and Facebook account. The group now is raising money with plans to take out an ad on a billboard near Madison Square Garden.

“It was the ‘Idzik news conference moment,’ That’s what we called it — when we decided that management and ownership had gone too far and it was time for the fans to do something,” Koeppel told ESPN. “This email that he had the nerve to send to one of his fans was the moment. … We’re sick of having Dolan around. We’re sick of his meddling. He’s an embarrassment. And it’s embarrassing to us to read the email that he sent to a fan, so we just felt like it was time to embarrass him.”

The NBA announced Monday it would not fine Dolan, whose team is a league-worst 10-42 as it prepares to host All-Star Weekend in a few days.

Forward Carmelo Anthony attempted to come to Dolan’s defense.

“Yeah, we all have it. We all have those moments where you just want to get that, you feel a certain way and it’s what people are saying is not the real thing. So we all have those moments,” Anthony said before Monday’s game (which he left early with an injury).

Added Anthony, “For me I would never respond. That’s just their opinion, that’s their feelings and I wouldn’t even go down that path.”

(Anthony apparently forgot that on New Year’s Eve of 2013, he responded to a critical fan on Twitter by writing: “I didn’t ask for your glazed donut face ass to root for me anyway!!!”)

Anthony said the players are are disappointed as the fans with this season’s results.

“I said this early in the year, it’s frustrating for fans, it’s frustrating for me, it’s frustrating for us as a team. So I know. I get it. I get the frustration coming from a fan standpoint,” he said. “But we’re the ones going through it, too, as players, so we have to deal with that.”

George Karl apparently is on the brink of returning to the NBA, as reports out of Sacramento indicate the Kings are closing in on a four-year deal for the 63-year-old to serve as coach.

Karl, who has been working as an analyst for ESPN, last coached in 2012-13, earning Coach of the Year honors for leading the Nuggets to the playoffs, but he was fired after Denver’s first-round playoff loss to the Warriors. Kings general manager Pete D’Alessandro worked with Karl in Denver.

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Read More: Carmelo Anthony, Ed Sabol, George Karl, James Dolan
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees president Randy Levine says team won’t spend big this offseason 12.19.14 at 8:14 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’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.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Bruins at Jets, 8 p.m. (NESN)
NBA: Timberwolves at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Trail Blazers at Spurs, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Thunder at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: St. Mary’s at St. John’s, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Alabama A&M at Marquette, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Arizona at UTEP, 11 p.m. (FS1)
College football: NAIA final, Southern Oregon vs. Marian, 3 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: NCAA Div. 3 final, Wisconsin-Whitewater vs. Mount Union, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: FCS semifinal, Sam Houston State at North Dakota State, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Up until the time Jon Lester accepted a deal from the Cubs last week, there was speculation that the Yankees would make a run at the former Red Sox right-hander. However, general manager Brian Cashman said that his team has no plans to spend big this offseason. On Thursday, team president Randy Levine backed up his GM, saying the Yankees have enough high-priced hurlers already.

“As [Cashman] has said, if you look at the construct of our roster, I think [Masahiro] Tanaka is an ace, CC Sabathia hopefully comes back, we get [Ivan] Nova back pretty soon. … You have to build around that,” Levine said. “So the chances of us bringing in another guy who makes $25 million or over are, to my opinion, virtually none.”

This is good news for teams interested in bidding for Tigers ace Max Scherzer (and bad news for agent Scott Boras). Scherzer is expected to land a deal in the $200 million neighborhood.

“I think that’s a lot higher level than we’re willing to play in right now,” Cashman said earlier in the week. “I don’t think Yankee fans will be looking at Max Scherzer.”

MASHUP POLL: Do you believe the Yankees when they say they won't spend big?

  • No, they're just trying to keep Max Scherzer's price down (63%, 105 Votes)
  • Yes, every team has to have its limit (38%, 63 Votes)

Total Voters: 168

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Sabathia made $24 million last year while Tanaka made $22 million. Both missed much of the season with injuries.

“As I said, we’re going to have a payroll in excess of $200 million as we always have,” Levine said. “But at the end of the day, you have to be realistic in any organization.

“I think our payroll is right at the top. I think the Dodgers will be ahead of us. Nobody else,” Levine added. “The Steinbrenner tradition is if there’s a way to make the team better, [Cashman] is out there trying to make the team better, in the reality of building an organization. We’re always out there looking, but it has to be tempered by the reality of an organization. You look at our pitching staff, for example, we have two guys that make a lot of money.”

— Knicks star Carmelo Anthony missed Thursday’s game against the Bulls due to soreness in his left knee, and he said earlier in the day that he’s been advised to “shut it down” for a few weeks.

However, Anthony said he’s inclined to play through the pain due to the Knicks’ horrible start to the season. After Thursday’s 103-97 loss in Chicago, New York is 5-23 — the worst record through 28 games in franchise history.

“I’ve had multiple people say kind of just shut it down or just take time off,” he said. “At the end of the day it’s hard for me to just do that right now amidst what’s happening with the team. So I’m just trying to be smart about it. The more you play, the less recovery days you get.

“I can utilize these three days and get ready for the back-to-back [games Saturday and Sunday] and we get another three days [off] next week. … But it gets frustrating not knowing what’s going to happen.”

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