Carmelo Anthony seemed pretty optimistic he’d be returning to the Knicks when I saw him in May at an ESPN event. “We’re working on it!” he said with his trademark smile.
Clearly the Knicks had the negotiating advantage over other NBA clubs of being able to offer Melo an extra year at maximum money, but they had other things going for them as well. MSG/Cablevision CEO James Dolan was instrumental in getting Anthony traded to the Knicks in 2011 and he has worked hard to maintain a solid relationship with his superstar. Carmelo’s actress wife, La La, loves New York even more than the town she is seemingly named after.
What hasn’t been said is that Anthony wants to have a post-NBA business career similar to the one that Magic Johnson has, and there is no place better to make contacts than in New York. He’s already an investor in a beverage company, Power Coco, and in Mission Power Grip, a product that dries off palm perspiration quickly.
You have to give Nets general manager Billy King credit for taking the high road by refraining from criticizing his former head coach, Jason Kidd, for wanting to take his job. King was more than happy to bid adieu to Kidd, who was clearly rankled by the fact that new Knicks head coach Derek Fisher was earning $2 million a year more than he was getting.
Kidd, who joined the Milwaukee Bucks, may also have sensed that the Nets’ window for winning a championship was slamming down quickly. King had mortgaged the team’s future last year by trading three No. 1 draft picks to the Boston Celtics for the over-the-hill gang of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry.
The Nets made a good choice in replacing Kidd with former Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins, who finds himself in an unenviable situation of coaching a team that may lack talent, and, even more importantly, leadership. Joe Johnson hits clutch baskets but is too quiet to be a leader. Center Brook Lopez needs to prove he can stay healthy. The less said about surly, overrated point guard Deron Williams the better. Like Lopez, Williams is recovering from career-threatening injuries. During the offseason he had surgery on both of his ankles.
Hollins brought a touch of Memphis with him by wearing a lapel pin of the logo of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on his suit jacket. St. Jude is a children’s hospital in Memphis that treats anyone under 18 without ever charging their families. “I am even wearing a St. Jude tie,” he added. Brooks Brothers makes a line of neckwear that benefits the hospital
LeBron James rejoined the Cleveland Cavaliers just a few days after it was announced the 2016 Republican National Convention would be held in Cleveland. Things haven’t been as upbeat in that city since Jim Brown was a running back for the Browns and Alan Freed was spinning rock ’n’ roll records on its AM airwaves in the early 1960s.
Former UConn star and 2013 WNBA MVP Tina Charles joined the New York Liberty this past spring. Charles grew up in Jamaica just a stone’s throw from St. John’s University and started her WNBA career with the Connecticut Sun. “I was a free agent and I wanted to come home,” she told me following a Liberty loss to the Sun at the Garden two weeks ago.
Tina has kept her end of the deal as she is playing as well as ever. Unfortunately her supporting cast is not very good. Longtime WNBA star Cappie Pondexter has been beset by injuries and no one else on the team has stepped up.
Even diehard Rangers fans I know are impressed with the young talent in the Islanders organization. They give high marks to the Isles for selecting left winger Michael Dal Colle and forward Josh Ho-Sang in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft.
If you love barbecuing but aren’t sure how long to cook various meats or fish, the folks at Longhorn Steakhouses are giving free tips this Saturday from 2 to 7 p.m. You can call 1 (855) LH-GRILL (544-7455).
A great way to spice up breakfast is instead of using butter or jelly try some of Alouette’s new spread flavors, vanilla bean cheesecake, cranberry goat cheese or pumpkin spice.
Another alternative would be to try the three all-natural peanut butters (original, honey roasted, and cookie dough) from The 3 Nuts. The company is humorously named after three 23-year-old female friends from Long Island who founded it.
I have long wondered why soft drink companies have only put their resources into making either sugary sodas or sugar-free sodas with awful aftertastes. There is finally some intelligent middle ground. At the recent Fancy Food Show, Gus’s, Veri and Dry were showcasing low-calorie soft drinks.