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Report: Carmelo Anthony’s wife La La wants him to stay with Knicks

carmelo-anthony-lalaYou ever hear of the saying “happy wife, happy life?” If those words ring true in the Anthony household, Carmelo Anthony may wind up re-signing with the New York Knicks.

Marc Berman of the NY Post reported earlier this week that Carmelo’s wife La La, who is also a Brooklyn native, has been very happy in New York and wants Melo to stay with the Knicks. Anthony also said in an interview last week that he has concerns over uprooting his 7-year-old son Kiyan again.

“There’s reason to believe he’s staying,” a source from Anthony’s inner circle reportedly told Berman. “There’s just too much money out there. He’s doing to the right things, though. He’s got to make the rounds.”

For what it’s worth, La La previously said she believes Carmelo will stay with the Knicks but that she can “live anywhere” if she lived in Denver.

The Knicks can offer Anthony a max contract of nearly $130 million over five years. Any other team can “only” sign him to a four-year, $96 million deal. Obviously, the ability to offer more money gives the Knicks an edge. I’m sure the addition of Phil Jackson to the team’s front office also helps.

According to ESPNNewYork.com’s Ian Begley, the Chicago Bulls are feeling “pessimistic” about their chances of landing Carmelo despite their extravagant pitch to him on Tuesday.

“They’re worried that he’s headed back to New York,” a source told Begley. “They’re more pessimistic than optimistic.”

Jackson has basically admitted that Carmelo gave the Knicks his word he would return to New York, so there is every reason to believe the Knicks are still the favorite. But if we’ve learned anything from NBA free agency in the past (ahem, LeBron James and “The Decision”), it’s to always expect the unexpected.

H/T Eye on Basketball

Bryce Harper complains about Matt Williams’ lineup

Bryce Harper NationalsBryce Harper did not even wait a game to begin questioning his manager’s lineup.

Harper returned to the Nationals’ lineup Monday after returning from surgery to repair a torn ligament in his thumb. Manager Matt Williams had him starting in left field and batting sixth. Harper was not a fan of either decision.

When asked Monday about the Nats having Ryan Zimmerman play left field, Harper said he was in favor of it.

“I think it’s great. I think he should be playing left,” Harper said via The Washington Post. “(Anthony) Rendon’s a good third baseman. He should be playing third. We’ve got one of the best second basemen in the league in Danny Espinosa. Of course, we want the best-hitting lineup in there. I think Rendon playing third and Zim playing left is something that would be good for this team. I think that should be what’s happening.”

Instead, Harper has been in left both games he’s been back. Denard Span has been in center while Espinosa, who is batting .217 on the season, has been on the bench. Zimmerman has been back at third and Rendon has been at second.

Williams responded by saying he was happy to have Harper back in the lineup. He declined to comment on Harper’s preferences.

Harper also indicated he’d prefer to bat elsewhere in the lineup.

“If I had the lineup, it would maybe not be the same. He’s got the lineup card. He’s got the pen. That’s what he’s doing. So there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m hitting sixth tonight. Hopefully I can be able to get some runners on base in front of me and get some protection and hopefully get some knocks.”

Relax, Bryce. There’s nothing wrong with having you bat sixth for now until you get back in the flow. The lineup is still pretty solid 1-5. But you have to love a 21-year-old kid who isn’t afraid to question his manager.

Bulls using video boards to recruit Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo-Anthony-Bulls-videoboard

With the official NBA free agency period beginning on Tuesday, the Chicago Bulls are making it no secret that Carmelo Anthony is their top priority. Upon arriving in Chicago in his van that had police escorts in front and behind it, Anthony saw images of himself in a Bulls uniform plastered on and around the United Center.

ESPN Chicago’s Nick Friedell reported that ‘Melo received some scattered applause from fans who were anticipating his arrival outside the United Center. He politely thanked them as he walked into the building. Joakim Noah also showed up shortly after Anthony, presumably to play a role in Chicago’s pitch.

The Bulls obviously have a winning tradition and can easily argue that they are closer to being a championship-caliber team than the New York Knicks. Other teams are going to do the same stuff when Anthony comes to town, so I doubt the video boards will have much influence. The prospect of playing with Noah and Derrick Rose and under Tom Thibodeau is probably what will be most appealing to ‘Melo.

H/T Deadspin
Photo: Twitter/Steve Lippo

Pacers’ free agency pitch to Lance Stephenson included personal movie

Lance Stephenson LeBron James ear

Lance Stephenson made headlines for all the wrong reasons during the 2014 NBA Playoffs. The Indiana Pacers guard irritated opponents and teammates by doing stuff like blowing in LeBron James’ ear. Even Pacers president Larry Bird publicly criticized Stephenson, but that doesn’t mean the team won’t have him back.

Stephenson is officially a free agent. According to Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star, the Pacers made their pitch to the former Cincinnati star as soon as the free agency period officially began at midnight on Tuesday. They even included a personalized movie for him.

>>At 12:01 a.m. this morning, Lance Stephenson and company were with the Indiana Pacers’ team brass at a private party. The event included a viewing of a movie in Stephenson’s honor.

>>The movie was a secret to Stephenson.

>>Parts of the movie featured a few words from Larry Bird, Pacers president of basketball operations, and coach Frank Vogel.

>>Sources say things got “emotional” for Stephenson’s loved ones at certain parts, especially when the ‘Born Ready’ life story began reflecting on his journey to climb out of Coney Island.

Buckner said the Pacers always try to do something special for their free agents, but the movie was a first. We’re going to guess the film didn’t include any clips of Stephenson blowing in ears.

While you may be surprised that the Pacers are going to such lengths to keep Stephenson after the way he acted in the postseason, there aren’t many better options. He is just 23 years old and averaged 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists last season. He’s a big part of what the Pacers do, so they’re probably hoping he re-signs and matures a bit during the offseason.

Houston Astros internal trade talks leaked

Houston Astros10 months of internal trade talks from the Houston Astros organization were leaked onto a website and exposed, giving readers a glimpse of what the trade process is like for at least one MLB team.

Deadspin posted about the leak and says the documents came as a result of someone hacking a private database for the Astros’ front office. They say that two years ago, the Astros front office created an online private database called “Ground Control,” which gives its users access to player stats, video and communication with other front offices in baseball. Somehow the contents of these private talks/messages from “Ground Control” were hacked or leaked and posted on a site called Anonbin.com, which is an anonymous sharing site.

On June 28, this thread was posted on Anonbin showing the records of trade talks surrounding pitcher Bud Norris, who was eventually traded to the Orioles.

Norris was a former sixth-round pick of the Astros and went 34-46 with a 4.33 ERA in 4-plus seasons with Houston. The team was looking to deal him last year and had conversations with the Giants, Nationals, Tigers, Red Sox, Pirates, Giants, Phillies and Orioles from what we can tell. They eventually traded Norris to Baltimore on July 31, just ahead of the deadline. They got back an outfielder, minor league pitcher and competitive balance draft pick in return, which was much less than what they were seeking in those trade communications.

Also on June 28, another thread was posted on Anonbin. This one details all of the team’s offseason discussions, including times someone reached out to them or vice versa.

Houston had conversations with the Blue Jays, Royals, Rangers, White Sox, Angels, Indians, Rockies, Dodgers, Marlins, Braves, Mets, Giants, Yankees, A’s, Padres and Nationals, from what we can tell. Many of the players who were discussed by either party ended up being dealt.

Here were some of the notable nuggets we noticed:

- Marlins would have considered trading Giancarlo Stanton for Carlos Correa and George Springer.

- Dodgers were willing to talk about trading Carl Crawford because of their outfielder surplus.

- White Sox have four untouchable players – Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, Jose Abreu and Garcia (we’re guessing Avisail).

- Angels were willing to trade Mark Trumbo, Peter Bourjos, Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar. They ended up trading Trumbo and Bourjos.

- Rockies were willing to trade Dexter Fowler and ended up doing a deal sending him to the Astros.

- Yankees were looking to move Ichiro and were willing to eat most of his salary.

If you’re interested in reading everything for yourself, check out some of the links posted higher up. It’s certainly really cool stuff if you have time to check it out.

Jozy Altidore available for US against Belgium

Jozy-Altidore-hamstringThe US advanced to the knockout round despite being shut out against Germany last week, and they are hoping their offense will receive a much-needed boost from the return of Jozy Altidore. On Monday, US Soccer announced that Altidore will be “ready and available” for Tuesday’s match against Belgium.

Altidore went down with a hamstring injury in the first half of the US’s opening game of the World Cup against Ghana. He grabbed the back of his leg and dropped to the turf before having to be helped off the field. He was later diagnosed with a hamstring strain.

The US had plenty of offense working against Portugal, but they appeared too conservative at times against Germany. Granted, Jurgen Klinsmann knew the situation and knew it was crucial to avoid losing to Germany by a large margin. Against Belgium, the US may have to take more chances offensively and on counter-attacks. Altidore, if he plays significant time, should give them the opportunity to do that.

To this point in the tournament, Klinsmann has done a tremendous job of substituting and managing his team. Altidore will give him one more piece to work with.

Floyd Mayweather confronted Tiny at BET Awards

Floyd Mayweather Jr. shouted at T.I.’s wife Tameka “Tiny” Cottle on the red carpet at the BET Awards Sunday night. HipHollywood.com captured exclusive video of the boxer shouting Tiny’s name as she was about to do an interview, and the gossip website described the exchange as Mayweather “confronting” her.

While we’re not sure if Floyd was actually looking to confront Tiny or was just saying hello, HipHollywood.com went on to explain that Tiny cut her interview short and continued down the red carpet to avoid Mayweather. T.I. was also present for the awards show, and he sat beside Tiny inside the venue.

Mayweather apologized to Tiny for referring to her as a ‘b—h’ during his scuffle with T.I. at a Las Vegas Fat Burger restaurant last month. He said he never meant to disrespect her and also insisted he has never hooked up with her or tried to hook up with her.

Floyd-Mayweather-TI-wife

Unless there is more than we saw in the video above, it looked to me like Mayweather was just hollering (for lack of a better term) at Tiny. I doubt he was going to start up the beef again at the BET Awards.