|Knicks’ J.R. Smith after Game 4 loss to Pacers: ‘I take the blame for this whole series’||05.15.13 at 8:38 am ET|
The Knicks lost to the Pacers, 93-82, on Tuesday night to fall behind 3-1 in the series, and guard J.R. Smith isn’t waiting for a repeat of the finger-pointing that occurred after the last game. He’s putting this loss — and the series-long struggles — on his shoulders.
“My frustration with myself is extremely high. I take the blame for this whole series,” said Smith, who shot 7-for-22 for 19 points Tuesday. “It started off in [Game 5] in Boston. … I haven’t been playing [like] myself. I haven’t been playing my part.
“I’ve been letting my teammates down. I’ve been letting my coaches down. And it doesn’t feel good.”
Smith, battling flu-like symptoms the last two games, has struggled since returning from his one-game suspension for elbowing Celtics guard Jason Terry in Game 3 of the first-round series that the Knicks won in six games.
Smith was fined $5,000 for flopping in Game 1 vs. the Pacers, and he was widely criticized for going out on the town the night before the afternoon opener, although he denied the accusation.
The NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year, Smith is shooting 28.6 percent in his last six games, including 27 percent from 3-point range.
“Everybody’s been encouraging me, ‘Keep shooting, keep shooting, keep shooting,” Smith said. “I’m still trying to get to the basket, trying to get easy ones, easy layups, get to the free throw line. But I’m even missing layups, too. I missed a technical free throw tonight. It’s just frustrating.”
|Knicks F Carmelo Anthony returns to Denver in blowout loss, re-aggravates knee injury||03.14.13 at 9:46 am ET|
Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony‘s return to the Pepsi Center in Denver on Wednesday night was rough in more than one way. The Knicks were blown out by the Nuggets, 117-94, and Anthony scored only nine points before being removed from the game early in the third quarter. He appears to have re-aggravated his right knee injury, and will be returning to New York to get it drained while the rest of the team travels to Portland.
“I’m going to get it drained, get the fluid out. Get to the bottom of it quick, so I can get back on the court,” Anthony said.
This was Anthony’s first game at the Pepsi Center in more than two years. He heard boos throughout the game, in the same arena he called home for the first eight seasons of his career.
Anthony missed three games last week with the lingering knee injury, before returning on Monday in another blowout loss, this one at the hands of the Warriors. The Knicks have lost three of their last four, after winning five out of six.
“I was always concerned,” Anthony said. “I was being naive to myself, saying OK. Trying to psyche myself out, ‘I can do it. I can do it.’ But there comes a point where you’ve got to figure it out and get to the bottom of it and move on.”
The host Nuggets dominated all game long, leading by as many as 34 points. This was their 10th straight win, and 14th consecutive victory at home. While Anthony was nowhere to be seen throughout the fourth quarter, fans could be heard chanting, “Where is Melo?”
|Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Lakers’ latest embarrassing loss ‘not acceptable’ to Kobe Bryant||01.22.13 at 7:57 am ET|
TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at Cavaliers, 7 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
College basketball: Boston College at Maryland, 9 p.m. (ESPNU; WEEI-AM)
College basketball: Pittsburgh at Providence, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Iowa at Ohio State, 6:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Michigan State at Wisconsin, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: South Carolina at Missouri, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Illinois at Nebraska, 8:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Kentucky at Alabama, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Flyers at Devils, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ The Lakers are 17-24 and alone in 12th place in the Western Conference after Monday’s 95-83 loss to the Bulls in Chicago, their sixth straight road loss. It’s not sitting well with Kobe Bryant.
“Very, very tough, very, very frustrating, trying to keep my cool,” Bryant said. “It is embarrassing. It is not even embarrassing. I am a big history guy. Playing here in this arena with these incredible fans, you’re in the house of MJ [Michael Jordan], [Scottie] Pippen, PJ [Phil Jackson] built, to put this kind of brand of basketball on the floor is just not acceptable.”
Bryant indicated coach Mike D’Antoni‘s uptempo style might need some adjustments.
“We’re going to have to look at some things,” he said. “We’re going to have to change something. Probably going to have to post the ball a lot more, slow the game down a lot more. That’s just my intuition, but that’s my gut right now. I have to take a look at the film again, but we’re definitely going to have to change something.”
Dwight Howard took only five shots, hitting two.
“It’s frustrating,” Howard said. “I can’t do what I do best with five shots.”
Pau Gasol was removed from the starting lineup in favor of Earl Clark, who had 12 points and eight rebounds.
“I’m not excited about it,” said Gasol, who finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds. “But right now I’m more worried about us as a team and us struggling, so it would be selfish of me talking how I feel about [this] in particular.”
♦ Nets forward Kris Humphries was the target of verbal abuse by Knicks fans on his way to the court prior to Monday’s game at Madison Square Garden, but the fans were silent after Brooklyn walked off with an 88-85 victory.
“They were harassing me when I was going in and out of the tunnel,” Humphries said. “But after, I asked them, ‘Why’s everyone so quiet?’ ”
Added Humphries: “They were saying everything, everything under the sun.”
Humphries followed that with a tweet: the Garden got really quiet on the way out.
Knicks guard J.R. Smith, who missed a potential game-tying basket at the buzzer, decided to respond and get in a dig at Humphries about his ex-wife, Kim Kardashian, who now is pregnant with singer Kanye West.
Tweeted Smith: Wasnt quiet when Kanye tore it down last month.
♦ The Sacramento Kings appear headed to Seattle to become the new SuperSonics, as the NBA confirmed Monday that the Maloof brothers agreed to sell the team to a Seattle group led by investor Chris Hansen.
The Hansen group is expected to pay a little more than $340 million for 65 percent of the franchise, which is valued at $525 million. The deal needs approval from the NBA Board of Governors.
“While we are not at liberty to discuss the terms of the transaction or our plans for the franchise given the confidential nature of the agreement and NBA regulations regarding public comments during a pending transaction, we would just like to extend our sincerest compliments and gratitude toward the Maloof family,” Hansen said in a statement. “Our negotiations with the family were handled with the utmost honor and professionalism and we hope to continue their legacy and be great stewards of this NBA franchise in the coming years and decades.”
Heat star LeBron James had an interesting take on the announcement. Tweeted the reigning NBA MVP:
So the Kings getting sold for 525M!! And the owners ain’t making no money huh? What the hell we have a [lockout] for. Get the hell out of here.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Jan. 22, 2012, in the AFC championship game, the Patriots edged the Ravens, 23-20, after Billy Cundiff‘s 32-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left with seconds remaining. Which Patriot scored the game-winning touchdown early in the fourth quarter?
|Monday’s Morning Mashup: Knicks veterans have issues with Jeremy Lin’s contract||07.16.12 at 8:03 am ET|
MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: White Sox at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
MLB: Angels at Tigers, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Basketball: Exhibition, U.S. vs. Brazil, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ With reports leaking out from New York that the Knicks might change course and let Jeremy Lin go to the Rockets, Carmelo Anthony called Lin’s renegotiated offer from Houston — which includes a $14.9 million salary in the third year of the three-year deal — “ridiculous.”
The way the contract is structured makes it difficult for New York to match, and the Knicks appear prepared to instead go with a point guard rotation of Raymond Felton (reportedly headed East in a sign-and-trade with the Trail Blazers) and Jason Kidd (who was arrested Sunday morning for DWI only days after signing a free agent deal).
Knicks coach Mike Woodson insisted last week that the team would match the Rockets’ offer to Lin, but that was before Houston altered it to ensure that the Knicks would have to go well over the salary cap to keep the former Harvard star.
“I can’t talk about it,” Woodson said Sunday.
Knicks guard J.R. Smith made it clear that the team’s veterans would have some issues with Lin receiving All-Star money after having yet to prove himself over a full season.
“Without a doubt,” Smith told SI.com. “I think some guys take it personal, because they’ve been doing it longer and haven’t received any reward for it yet. I think it’s a tough subject to touch on for a lot of guys.”
♦ Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen is at it again, and this time he’s chosen a high-profile subject for his latest controversy: Nationals rookie Bryce Harper. During Sunday’s game, Guillen complained to the umpire that Harper used too much pine tar on his bat. When Harper used new lumber in his second at-bat, Guillen started riding Harper from the dugout because he claims Harper did something “unprofessional” toward the manager, although he wouldn’t say what the offense was.
“Something happened there the inning before and I didn’t like it and I was talking to the umpire about it,” explained Guillen, who said that during his razzing of Harper, “I was just telling [Harper] how he cut he was.”
Responded Nationals manager Davey Johnson: “Ozzie had complained that the pine tar was too high up on Harper’s bat. So we changed it. Then he was still chirping about. It got on the umpire’s nerves. It got on my nerves. He was trying to intimidate my player, I guess. That’s not going to bother our player. He does what he has to do.”
Harper, who has done a good job of staying out of trouble after some incidents in the minors, took the high road.
“He battles for his team, and that’s the type of manager Ozzie is,” Harper said. “He’s a great manager to play for. He’s going to battle for you, no matter what. That’s a manager you want to play for.”
♦ It was a strange stage in the Tour de France on Sunday, as at least 30 riders got punctures in their tires when they rode over tacks and small nails someone tossed on the course. Overall leader Bradley Wiggins was ahead of the incident, but he encouraged the lead pack to slow down and let defending champion Cadel Evans catch up after Evans lost time getting a replacement wheel.
Two days earlier, Wiggins was hit on the arm by a flare waved by a spectator and received minor burns.
“We’re out there, quite vulnerable at times, very close to the public on climbs,” Wiggins said. “We’re just the riders at the end of the day and we’re there to be shot at, literally.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On July 16, 1958, which Red Sox starter improved to 9-0 with a 5-2 victory over the Kansas City Athletics, making his 12th consecutive victory dating back to the previous season?
|Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Hockey players unimpressed by cramping LeBron James||06.21.12 at 7:59 am ET|
THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Marlins at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
MLB: Rockies at Phillies, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA finals: Thunder at Heat, 9 p.m. (ABC)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ LeBron James might have won over some fans for fighting through leg cramps in the final minutes to help the Heat defeat the Thunder in Tuesday night’s Game 4 of the NBA finals, but some hockey players were not impressed.
Tweeted Ducks center Nick Bonino: We get it Lebron, it doesn’t hurt when you’re running around but it looks unbearable when the cameras are close up during the timeouts.
Added Capitals minor leaguer Ryan Potulny: Lebron James is embarrassing himself and the NBA or actually all athletes.
Predators minor leaguer Scott Valentine tweeted with sarcasm: If Lebron somehow manages to pull off winning a ring after fighting through a thigh cramp.. it will be a story I tell my children’s children.
James, whose Heat look to close out the series Thursday night in Miami, hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:51 remaining and finished with 26 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds.
“I had cramps. I had it before. It’s not a pleasant feeling,” he explained. “Basically, your body shuts down. Your legs shut down and there is nothing you can do about it.”
♦ A day after Rays manager Joe Maddon called out the Nationals for exposing Tampa Bay reliever Joel Peralta‘s excessive pine tar on his glove and getting him ejected — Maddon called the move “cowardly” — Washington manager Davey Johnson responded. Johnson insisted he was just following the rules when he asked the umpires to check Peralta’s glove, and he offered his opinion of Maddon.
“I didn’t know [Maddon] that well, but I thought he was a weird wuss, anyway,” Johnson said. “I understand where he’s coming from. His job as a manager is to protect the players. Striking out at who ever he thinks is causing your players any grievance. So I understand where he’s coming from. But he doesn’t know me from a hole in the hill. Or I him, for that matter. But I do know the rulebook, and I do try to follow it.”
Maddon, meanwhile, implied that the Nationals would have trouble attracting free agents because of Tuesday’s actions. Peralta pitched for Washington in 2010, so he apparently was sold out by a former teammate who tipped off Johnson.
Said Maddon: “To utilize information based on the fact that the guy had played here, I don’t know if that is a form of cheating or what, that is really underhanded I believe to use that kind of information.”
♦ Knicks guard J.R. Smith is going after the Chinese team he played with last season for more than $1 million that was withheld from his $2.8 million salary for missed practices. The team, Zhejiang Chouzhou, produced a four-page list of offenses, including Smith skipping team meetings and practices to travel around the country and Europe, and blamed Smith’s sister, Stephanie, for being the root of the problems. Stephanie was involved in some incidents in the stands at games, including one in which she allegedly choked a Chinese fan.
Smith claims that he did not miss as many practices as the team alleges, and he noted that he played in all 32 games and led the team in scoring (36.4 ppg).
FIBA will rule on the dispute, likely next week.
♦ Former Giants running back Brandon Jacobs made good on his promise to reward the New Jersey boy who sent him $3.36 in hopes of keeping him in New York. Jacobs, who signed as a free agent with the 49ers, took the boy out with his own son to a facility with inflatable bounce houses and gave him a $5 bill.
“He had some interest in there just for being a good kid,” Jacobs said. “He’s worth a lot more than that $5 bill I gave him.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On June 21, 1916, which Red Sox hurler pitched the first no-hitter in Fenway Park history, a 2-0 victory over the Yankees that included three walks? Hint: The player shares a name with an outfielder from Cincinnati’s Big Red Machine of the 1970s.
|Knicks guard J.R. Smith arrested in Miami||05.25.12 at 11:22 am ET|
Miami Beach Police arrested Knicks guard J.R. Smith on a bench warrant for not having a valid driver’s license.
Sgt. Bobby Hernandez told ESPN that Smith was detained Thursday around 8:30 p.m. when police recognized Smith and knew there was a warrant out for him.
Smith was taken to Miami-Dade County Jail and was released after making bond on Friday morning.
Smith, 26, has a history of driving infractions. He served a brief jail term in 2009 for an incident in 2007 in which his SUV collided with another vehicle, killing the driver.
Smith, who previously played for the Hornets and Nuggets, was signed by the Knicks in February after playing in China. He averaged 12.5 points per game in 35 regular-season games, and 12.2 points in New York’s first-round playoff loss to the Heat.
|Reports: J.R. Smith to sign with Knicks||02.17.12 at 10:30 am ET|
According to reports out of New York, the Knicks will add free agent shooting guard J.R. Smith to the roster Friday. Smith, who had been playing in China and became eligible to sign an NBA deal this week, is expected to sign for $2.5 million, the team’s cap room exception.
Smith, 26, averaged 12.3 points in 79 games for the Nuggets last season. The 6-foot-6 swingman has averaged 12.5 points in seven NBA seasons with New Orleans and Denver.
The Knicks will need to release a player to make room for Smith, and speculation centers around Renaldo Balkman, who was acquired from the Nuggets with Carmelo Anthony last year.
The Knicks, behind the stellar play of Jeremy Lin, have won seven straight games and at 15-15 are nipping at the Celtics’ heels for second place in the Atlantic Division.
|Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Jets players defend Mark Sanchez||01.12.12 at 7:51 am ET|
THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Canadiens at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Penguins at Rangers, 7 p.m. (NHL Network)
NBA: Knicks at Grizzlies, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Magic at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Clemson at Boston College, 7 p.m. (ESPN2; WEEI)
College basketball: Virginia at Duke, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Gonzaga at St. Mary’s, 11 p.m. (ESPN2)
MLS: Draft, noon (ESPN2)
AROUND THE WEB:
“It was completely false,” offensive lineman Matt Slauson said. “Mark is the hardest-working quarterback I’ve every played with. He puts in more time than anyone. Every since he came in he’s been all about improving the team and winning. His whole life is about making the Jets the No. 1 team in the NFL.”
Added defensive lineman Marcus Dixon: “Whoever said all that, they’re out of their minds and just trippin’. You can’t blame a season on one guy. I mean, come on. It’s all unfair. We have Mark Sanchez. He’s our quarterback. He’s our guy. And that’s how just about everyone in that locker room feels.”
♦ Longtime sports agent Leigh Steinberg, the inspiration for the movie “Jerry Maguire,” filed for bankruptcy protection Wednesday in Santa Ana, Calif.
“I just lost track while I was in rehab,” Steinberg said, acknowledging he has had an alcohol problem but insisting he has been sober since 2010.
♦ Former NBA player J.R. Smith is still in China, locked into a contract with the Zhejiang Golden Bulls. Apparently, his sister isn’t enjoying the experience. One website has photos said to be of Stephanie Smith getting into an altercation with fans of the Bayi Rockets during a recent game. The accompanying report indicates she also threw a bottle on the court after a call went against her brother.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Jan. 12, 1997, the Patriots beat the Jaguars 20-6 in the AFC championship game, secured when which Patriot returned a fumble 47 yards for a touchdown with 2:36 left?
|Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Syracuse Post-Standard defends decision to pass on Bernie Fine story in 2003||12.01.11 at 8:08 am ET|
THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NFL: Eagles at Seahawks, 8 p.m. (NFL Network; WEEI)
College football: West Virginia at South Florida, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Providence at South Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: St. John’s at Kentucky, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Georgetown at Alabama, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ The Syracuse Post-Standard and ESPN have come under fire for failing to publish stories about the Bernie Fine accusations when they were first contacted by former ball boy Bobby Davis in 2003. In Wednesday’s Post-Standard, executive editor Michael J. Connor explains why the paper passed the first time, even after Davis taped a phone call with Laurie Fine in which she makes some statements that appear to corroborate Davis’ story.
Connor explains that the tape — which he implies was made with the encouragement of the paper — was “sleazy and sickening” but still too vague and ambiguous to use as verification of the accusations. And when the paper confronted Laurie Fine after hearing the tape, she said it had been doctored and then stopped talking to the reporter.
♦ The NBA is getting ready to return, but for some free agents who signed in China, it might not be so easy getting back to the States. Players such as Kenyon Martin, Aaron Brooks, Wilson Chandler, J.R. Smith and Patty Mills are under contract for the entire Chinese season, which lasts until March. There are severe financial penalties if they leave, and the NBA is required by basketball’s governing body, FIBA, to honor international contracts.
♦ The Big Ten is holding its football championship game Saturday night in Indianapolis, pitting Michigan State against Wisconsin. Apparently, tickets are tough to give away. So, an unidentified party is offering to pay $75 for individuals to attend the game as “seat-fillers.” UPDATE: It’s a prank.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 1, 1961, which Red Sox player was named American League Rookie of the Year after starting the season in the minors but playing so well after his call-up that he was named to the All-Star team?
|Video: Nuggets guard J.R. Smith injures knee in China||11.21.11 at 9:38 am ET|
Nuggets guard J.R. Smith suffered a knee injury in his first game for the Chinese team Zhejiang Chouzhou Sunday. Smith was driving the lane when he planted his left foot and his knee buckled. He limped off the court in obvious pain. According to NiuBBall.com, he was carried by teammates to an ambulance outside the arena but refused to go to a hospital in DongGuan and asked to return to the team hotel instead.
Smith left with the team Monday morning to fly back to Yiwu, his team’s home city, and he tweeted that he would get an MRI.
Smith, a 6-foot-6 swingman, has played seven NBA seasons (the last five with Denver), averaging 12.5 points per game.
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