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Kevin Durant announces he will be conceding scoring title to Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony has officially wrapped up the 2012-2013 NBA scoring title, as Kevin Durant has announced he will not be suiting up for the Oklahoma City Thunder’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night. KD made the announcement with a message on his Instagram account Wednesday morning.

Kevin-Durant-scoring-title

Kevin-Durant-Carmelo-Anthony-All-StarThe end of the NBA season can be boring for most teams who already have their playoff spot cemented, so it’s no surprise the Thunder have decided to rest Durant for the playoffs. With only one game remaining, Oklahoma City has clinched the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. Risking an injury to their best player for the sake of personal accolades would not be a wise decision.

Oh yeah, and there’s one thing Durant did not mention in his brief Instagram announcement. He would have had to score 70 points against the Bucks to surpass Anthony, who has been on fire since he returned from injury last month. While the Thunder could have constantly fed Durant the ball and let him chase the scoring title since the outcome of the game doesn’t matter, very few coaches would allow their team to do that. Durant said over a week ago that Anthony could have the scoring title. I guess he meant it.

Kevin Durant on NBA scoring title: Carmelo Anthony can have it

Kevin-Durant-Carmelo-Anthony-All-StarThe Oklahoma City Thunder are fighting for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. Kevin Durant is currently leading the NBA in scoring, but his top priority is getting back to the NBA Finals and erasing the feeling of falling a few games short of an NBA championship. Carmelo Anthony is hot on his heels for the scoring crown, but Durant doesn’t seem concerned about it.

“He can have it,” Durant told Jeff Caplan of NBA.com on Thursday. “I mean the stuff he’s doing right now, every time he touches the ball it looks like it’s going to go in. He’s having a nice run right now and his confidence is high. I’m sure he’s going to take over. If it happens, cool.”

Durant is averaging 28.3 points per game and Anthony is averaging 28.1 and closing the gap. Melo put up 50 points against the Miami Heat on Tuesday and 40 against the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday, so it’s safe to say he’s riding a hot hand. With eight games remaining and only a 0.2-point differential, there is certainly plenty of time for Anthony to pass Durant.

Winning the scoring title this season would be no small feat for Durant, who has won it the past three seasons. Only Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain have captured more than three consecutive scoring titles, so he would be joining legendary company. Having said that, I’m sure he’d much rather have something else in common with Wilt and MJ — a championship ring.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

Mike Woodson blames himself for Carmelo Anthony’s knee injury

Carmelo-Anthony-fallCarmelo Anthony took a frightening tumble on Monday night during the New York Knicks’ loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. After the Knicks grabbed a rebound in the second quarter, Anthony looked to receive an outlet pass and appeared to trip over his own feet. He then grabbed toward his knee in pain.

According to head coach Mike Woodson, the tumble could have been avoided if he had listened to his superstar. During an interview with “The Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco Show” on 98.7 ESPN New York on Tuesday, Woodson revealed that Anthony asked to be removed from the game due to knee discomfort prior to falling down.

“Melo was hurt,” Woodson said. “For him to ask me to come out of the game before he actually took that spill made me realize that something wasn’t right. He’s never ever, ever, even hinted about coming out of the game [before Monday]. I play him too much in that regard. Melo’s a trooper — he’s a warrior, he’s a tough kid.

“I should have [taken him out]. Stubborn coach — I just didn’t.”

Woodson said he made the mistake of thinking ‘Melo could just play through the injury. The Knicks were trailing by more than 20 points at the time Anthony took a spill, so Woodson is probably kicking himself even more for not resting his best player. Although, New York did go on to come back and win the game.

In any event, Anthony has been diagnosed with a sore knee. The injury does not appear to be serious, but it’s safe to assume Woodson is going to be more careful about it heading forward. The Knicks ‘Melo in the playoffs more than they do right now.

Carmelo Anthony on Knicks recording him: I thought it was funny, I wasn’t upset

Carmelo-Anthony-KnicksThe New York Knicks have been recording Carmelo Anthony during games, and the star forward says he is not bothered by it. Earlier in the week, we told you how team owner James Dolan had ordered someone to record every conversation Anthony has on the court. According to the NY Post, Dolan set up the audio technicians in response to ‘Melo being suspended for a game following his altercation with Kevin Garnett.

Dolan apparently wants to have evidence of the things opposing players say to Anthony should another similar situation arise. Carmelo said he isn’t bothered by the decision, but he doesn’t think it is going to change anything.

“I don’t care about the microphones,” he told The Post on Tuesday. “I wasn’t aware of it. I found out on the plane [ride]. I don’t think the mikes are going to stop what goes out on the court. But it was funny when I heard it. No, I wasn’t upset. Not at all.”

There’s only one problem: everyone knows Anthony’s conversations are being recorded, including opposing players. Is anyone really dumb enough to say anything incriminating when they know there is going to be evidence that they said it?

Perhaps that is the plan. If Dolan has an audio crew recording every exchange Carmelo has at Madison Square Garden for the rest of the season, maybe it will stop trash talkers like K.G. from telling his best player that his wife tastes like cereal. It’s an idea that just might be crazy enough to work.

Knicks owner reportedly recorded every word Carmelo Anthony said during game after Kevin Garnett incident

Carmelo-Anthony-KnicksNew York Knicks owner James Dolan is reportedly interested in getting an up-close look at how his biggest superstar carries himself on the court during games. How close? According to Dave D’Alessandro of the Star-Ledger, Dolan ordered audio technicians to record every word that Carmelo Anthony said during New York’s game against the Chicago Bulls on Friday night.

Either by coincidence or not, it was the game after ‘Melo returned from serving a one-game suspension stemming from the altercation he had with Kevin Garnett.

Here’s what D’Alessandro reported in the Star-Ledger:

Two audio technicians were stationed at two corners of the court — one a few feet just behind the Knicks bench, the other diagonally opposite — and they were holding those umbrella-shaped contraptions known as parabola microphones, which fed the audio into a DAT recorder on the truck on the loading dock.

These guys had one directive from Dolan: Record every syllable Carmelo Anthony utters and absorbs while he’s on the court and on the bench, the Madison Square Garden CEO ordered them, and send the tape directly to me.

No one knows what Dolan’s motivation was behind the bizarre idea. D’Allesandro speculates that he could use the recordings to teach Anthony about controlling his temper on the court. He also wondered if they could be used to prove to the NBA that ‘Melo is a constant target of taunting from opposing players.

In all likelihood, this is an in-house matter and the public will never know the details. That doesn’t make it any less fun to speculate.

H/T Game On!

Carmelo Anthony: I was fasting to ‘get clarity in my life’

Carmelo-Anthony-KnicksOne would think that proper nourishment would be crucial for any professional athlete, given the number of calories they burn on a given night. However, Carmelo Anthony spends a short stretch each season looking to gain “clarity” in his life, as he calls it. That clarity comes in the form of fasting.

“Physically, I’ve been fasting a little bit,” Anthony told the NY Post after the New York Knicks’ 100-87 win over the New Orleans Hornets on Sunday. “I haven’t been eating, but I’m done with it. I’m back eating. I usually do it to get clarity in my life. I’m done now. I can’t do it no more.”

Eating is probably a good thing when you spend 40-plus minutes a night running up and down a basketball court. Aside from the game he missed against the Indiana Pacers last week, Anthony’s play hasn’t seemed to suffer all that much during the fast. He has scored at least 20 points in every contest he’s played in during the month of January, and even topped 38 points three times. Although there was the whole Cheerios incident with Kevin Garnett, so perhaps a lacking diet can help explain Anthony’s lack of patience.

The points have been there, but the shooting has not. Anthony has shot only 34% from the field over his last three games, and he hinted that his inaccuracy could have to do with his energy level.

“It’s a long story, man,” Anthony explained. “I haven’t had a good meal in about two and half weeks. No meats No carbs. So competing at a high level, the body feels depleted. Im going to get some food tonight. I’m going to get the biggest steak I can find.”

If a malnourished Anthony can maintain his scoring average of around 30 points per game, Knicks fans can only hope a proper meal makes their star forward even better. After all, look what eating pizza did for Kobe Bryant’s game.

Chest bump to Deadspin

Carmelo Anthony and wife La La reportedly having marital problems

carmelo lala anthonyCarmelo Anthony and his wife, La La, reportedly are having marital problems, which may explain why the New York Knicks forward lost it after hearing some trash talk from Kevin Garnett.

Melo and Garnett got into it during the Knicks-Boston Celtics game on Monday night. They exchanged trash talk, received technical fouls, and then Melo went after KG twice after the game. The two reportedly have talked since then to smooth things out.

Though Melo would not elaborate on what about Garnett’s trash talk upset him, he did say Tuesday, “it’s something you just don’t say to men, another man.”

We may have a better idea of what really went down.

On Tuesday, our friend Rob Littal at Black Sports Online reported that Garnett told Anthony that his wife tasted like Honey Nut Cheerios. The line of trash talk was as odd and funny as it was inappropriate. But, according to the New York Daily News, the line may have been a jab at Melo rooted in the couple’s alleged marital problems.

According to the Daily News, Melo and La La are estranged and have been living apart for at least two months. La La used to attend nearly all of the team’s home games last season and even many of the road games. They say she had a long absence from Madison Square Garden before attending Monday’s game. They add that La La celebrated the New Year in South Florida without Melo, and that she has tweeted about him less frequently than she did last year.

Garnett has a reputation for being one of the dirtiest trash talkers in the league. He has proven that he will say anything to get in an opponent’s head, regardless of how indecent it may be. A few seasons ago, he called Charlie Villanueva, who has alopecia, a cancer patient. He also taunted Tim Duncan on Mother’s Day knowing that Duncan’s mother had died when he was a teenager. Garnett implying he had been with La La while she and Melo were separated sounds like something he would do, and it certainly would explain why Melo lost it.

We’ve already shared video of Carmelo waiting for KG by the Celtics’ bus. Below is video of their altercation by the locker rooms after the game:

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