George Karl Used His Former Players Fame To Sell a Book In Which He Bashes Them. Scumbag.


Written by Ian Begley at ESPN.com

Carmelo Anthony took the high road in response to former NBA coach George Karl’s criticism of him during their time together with the Denver Nuggets.

“I just hope that he finds happiness in what he’s doing. His book, hopefully, will bring him happiness,” Anthony said Thursday night, adding that he isn’t disappointed by Karl’s remarks.

“I’m past being disappointed,” he said.

Mostly, Anthony said he was pleased that former Nuggets teammates J.R. Smith and Kenyon Martin defended him in the wake of Karl’s assertions in his book, “Furious George,” that Anthony is selfish and a “user” and that he played with a lack of commitment on defense.

“It’s irrelevant to me. It’s irrelevant at this point,” Anthony said. “The truth of the matter is everybody else is kind of speaking up for me from their own experience. So I really don’t have to speak on it.”

Karl coached Anthony in Denver from January 2005 to February 2011, when Anthony’s demand for a trade was fulfilled and he joined the New York Knicks. Karl said in the book that the trade was “a sweet release for the coach and the team, like popping a blister,” according to an advance copy obtained by the New York Post.

“Carmelo was a true conundrum for me in the six years I had him,” Karl wrote in the book. “He was the best offensive player I ever coached. He was also a user of people, addicted to the spotlight and very unhappy when he had to share it.

“He really lit my fuse with his low demand of himself on defense. He had no commitment to the hard, dirty work of stopping the other guy.”

Anthony said he never heard such criticism from Karl or other members of the coaching staff when he was in Denver.

“When you’re there, it’s a different story than what you hear after the fact. I never knew it was this much,” Anthony said. “I never knew I was a — what was the word — conundrum? I don’t even know what the hell that means, to be honest with you.

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JR Smith Got Paid From the Cavs


Written by Tom Withers at NBA.com

J.R. Smith can begin launching away for the Cavaliers.

After sitting out most of training camp, the free agent shooting guard re-signed Saturday with the defending NBA champions, who now have all their starting pieces in place to begin defending their title.

Smith made a franchise record 204 3-pointers last season and was a major contributor during the Cavs’ run to the first championship by a Cleveland team since 1964. His agents were in a stalemate with the Cavs for weeks, unable to come to terms on a deal to keep him in Cleveland.

But the sides were able to come to terms Friday on a four-year, $57 million contract, a person with direct knowledge of the negotiations told the Associated Press on Friday night. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team’s policy is not to divulge contract terms.

Smith’s deal guarantees him more than $45 million in the first three years of the deal, the $15 million per season he was looking for when negotiations opened this summer. If he stays four seasons, he will get $57 million.

“Bringing J.R. back as part of our core group was a priority for us,” Cavs general manager David Griffin said. “He’s a special part of this family and we are very pleased to have reached an agreement that we all can feel good about. We know he can’t wait to get back on the court with his brothers and we are certain that everyone in this organization and city feels the same way.”

Smith is expected to practice Sunday and he could play in the preseason finale Tuesday night in Columbus against Washington. The Cavs open the regular season on Oct. 25 against New York.

The 31-year-old Smith has become not only a valuable player, but one of the most popular among Cleveland’s fan base. The tattooed-adorned Smith, nicknamed “Swish” by his teammates and fans, was a huge hit when he rode shirtless in the team’s championship parade last June. Smith has also been a regular at Indians games in the past month.

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JR Smith to Enter Free Agency


Written by James Herbert at CBSSports.com

Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith will be an unrestricted free agent in July, as he has decided not to pick up his $5.4 million player option for next season, according to cleveland.com’s Chris Haynes. This does not mean that he wants to leave Cleveland, however.

“This is where I want to be,” Smith told cleveland.com. “The fans love me; I love them and my teammates.”

Smith signed a one-year deal with a player option last September. Free agency did not go well for him. He had a $6.4 million option for this season, but ended up costing himself $1.4 million by testing the market. He was coming off a suspension in the playoffs and a disappointing performance in the NBA Finals.

“The market was going crazy, I mean it was ridiculous,” Smith told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. “You see so many people getting paid. I started to look at myself in the mirror and was like, ‘Damn, am I really what everybody saying I am? Am I really a cancer?’ We’d just gotten to the Finals and I’m not trying to toot my horn, but I thought I’d had a major part in that.”

This time, things should go better. Smith averaged 12.4 points this season as a full-time starter for the Cavaliers, making 40 percent of his 3-pointers and earning rave reviews from coach Tyronn Lue and superstar LeBron James for his effort on defense. Lots of teams need 3-and-D players, and lots of teams will have cap space. Smith will likely sign the biggest contract of his career.

It might seem like peculiar timing for this news, considering Cleveland will try to force a Game 7 in the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday, but it just so happened that Smith’s deadline for picking up his player option was June 16.

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JR Smith Being Sued for $2.5 Mil After Choking Teen


Written by Ben Yakas at Gothamist.com

Last November, former Knicks player and guy you wouldn’t want to ask to help you clear out the garage JR Smith was accused of choking a teenager who made fun of the fact he was traded from NY (he also allegedly refused to take a photo with the teen). Although he was ultimately not charged by the police in the incident, 19-year-old Harlem resident Justin Brown is now suing Smith for $2.5 million.

Brown (whom the News previously described as wearing braces) ran into Smith outside Artichoke Basille’s Pizza in Chelsea around 4 a.m. on Nov. 13th, the evening before Smith returned to the Garden to play the Knicks (he scored 8 points during the Cavs’ victory). The pizza place is on the same block as 1OAK, the popular nightclub which was a frequent hangout for Smith during his days as a Knick.

Brown, who was with friends at the time, allegedly “chided Smith for ignoring their fan request for a photo.” Brown yelled, “That’s why New York kicked you out, yo!” and then Smith allegedly “checked him against the exterior of the building and put his hands around Brown’s neck.”

One of the main reasons cops decided against criminal charges was because of cellphone video of the alleged altercation, which Post sources claim captures Brown muttering, “I am going to get JR to punch me and sue him for $50,000.” The teen’s lawyer said sarcastically at the time that the $50,000 was a, “pre-assault offer, post-assault is going to be more.”

“This case arises out of an inexplicable violent attack by a professional athlete against a teenager fan,” Brown’s lawyer, Leon Jacobson, said. Smith’s attorney Alex Spiro shot back, “If they have the audacity to file a frivolous claim against J.R., we will counterclaim for defamation and defend the suit aggressively. This was a cash grab from the start.”

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