Former Raptor Charles Oakley’s casual sexism shouldn’t be tolerated

During his 18-year NBA career, former Toronto Raptor Charles Oakley became synonymous with the tough-guy image among his NBA peers and fans. He scrapped and wasn’t afraid to speak his mind, even when his words were unkind (which, many of the times, they were).

And over the weekend, during a panel discussion before a Big3 event, Oakley continued to speak his mind, saying that some current NBA players should wear dresses.

While Oakley gained a reputation for not backing down from any opponent in the NBA, there’s nothing tough about these comments. There’s nothing about casual sexism that should be accepted or thought of in any positive light. Oakley’s reputation as an enforcer or a brawler doesn’t absolve him of comments that are clearly demeaning to the female basketball fan.

The Thunder already made a serious upgrade by adding Paul George via trade to pair with 2017 NBA MVP Russell Westbrook, but snagging Anthony from the Knicks would create a formidable Big Three in OKC. It could also unleash the Olympics version of Anthony at the power forward spot in specific lineups.

However, as intriguing as the basketball fit may be, a trade between the Thunder and Knicks doesn’t make much sense. The Thunder don’t have much to offer in exchange for Anthony. Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis were sent to the Pacers in the George deal. Steven Adams signed an extension last October, plus he’s more valuable than Anthony at this point in his career, so he isn’t leaving. Enes Kanter is an expensive big man the Knicks likely wouldn’t want as a key piece of a trade package.

If the Thunder are serious about adding Anthony, a third team will need to help out. Of course, Anthony still holds that valuable no-trade clause and can veto any move he doesn’t like. Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reported Saturday that Anthony remains focused on heading to Houston.

A trio of Westbrook, George and Anthony would be highly entertaining. It’s just not realistic at this point.

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NBA trade rumors: Rockets still working on bringing in Carmelo Anthony Olympic Carmelo

When playing for Team USA, Anthony has been an ideal small-ball player, big enough to set screens and play in the post, but athletic enough to scoot to the perimeter for open shots or to take a bigger defender off the dribble. There’s long been a lament that he is so reluctant to play that way in the NBA.

But maybe all he needs is a roster change. Maybe and this is the great hope of D’Antoni and the Rockets putting Anthony with elite teammates and the right scheme will, as Boeheim said, get Anthony to thrive, Olympic-style.

In context, Green was keeping it funky with the now-retired Pierce, letting him know his legacy or lack thereof wasn’t worthy of an elaborate farewell tour such as the one the entire league participated in during the former Lakers great’s final season in 2015-16. He wasn’t lying.

Apparently, Irving thinks he can follow in the footsteps of the Black Mamba, who won a pair of titles after playing Robin to Shaquille O’Neal’s Batman during the Lakers’ three-peat in the early 2000s. Late Friday, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported Irving, who earned a ring in 2016 as four-time MVP LeBron James’ trusted sidekick, told Cavaliers’ brass he wants to be traded. ESPN’s Chris Haynes followed up with four preferred destinations.

On Kyrie Irving front, Cavs were given four preferred landing spots: New York, Miami, San Antonio, Minnesota.

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Kyrie Irving reportedly thinks LeBron James leaked trade request

Did LeBron James leak Kyrie Irving’s trade request? Irving thinks so, according to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.

But the question is more than can a team win a championship with a ball-dominant point guard like Westbrook? It’s a question that Chris Paul hasn’t been able to overcome and other guards like Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis could not overcome either.

So when someone says George staying with the Thunder is contingent upon winning, it’s far more than about winning 50 games.

Thunder beat writer Royce Young said Thursday on The Jump the odds for George to return to the Thunder are ‘not great’ if the team doesn’t win.

People close to Paul George have told me over and over again he wants to win, Young said.

For starters, he wouldn’t be the No. 1 option in two of his four proposed destinations. Nobody is unseating two-way star Kawhi Leonard, third behind only Westbrook (30.70) and Durant (27.68) with a player efficiency rating of 27.62, in San Antonio. Minnesota is building around 21-year-old Karl-Anthony Towns and his 25.1 points and 12.3 rebounds per game.

Furthermore, we’ve already seen this movie, and the ending is horrible. Unlike Bryant, prior to parting ways with O’Neal, Irving has already been the alpha dog for a franchise. As the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 draft, he was tapped to lead the Cavs after James infamously decided to take his talents to South Beach in 2010. In the three seasons preceding James’ return to Cleveland (with Irving starring as leading scorer each year), the Cavs went a combined 78-152 and landed the top pick in the draft twice.

Here’s footage of Irving asking former teammate Mike Miller if a regular-season game against the Bulls in 2014 felt like a playoff game. (The game was played on Oct. 31, only the second game of the regular season.)

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NBA trade rumors: Cavaliers have gotten as many as 20 trade offers for Kyrie Irving

If someone wants Kyrie Irving in a trade this offseason, they’re likely going to have to give up the equivalent of what the Knicks gave up for Carmelo Anthony.

According to ESPN , the Cavaliers have received as many as 20 offers from teams interested in trading for the All-Star, but what the Cavs are asking for in return is far more than what teams are willing to give up.

The Cavaliers want a package that resembles the 2011 Denver Nuggets-New York Knicks deal for Carmelo Anthony — young players, win-now veterans and draft picks, league sources said. For new general manager Koby Altman, this is a textbook way to open trade discussions. But for now, most Irving suitors are using the Minnesota Timberwolves-Chicago Bulls trade model for Jimmy Butler, a scaled-down model of Melo’s rich return of assets.

Over his career, Beasley has averaged 12.6 points per game and 4.7 rebounds. He appeared in 81 games as a rookie for the Heat, scoring 13.9 points per game. That increased to 14.8 ppg the following year and an average of 19.2 over the 2010-11 season.

But the Heat traded him to the Timberwolves in 2011 amid off-court issues that continued in Minnesota with a possession citation during a traffic stop for speeding. Beasley has battled substance abuse his entire career, but has been fairly clean off the court since 2014.

After stints with the Timberwolves and Suns, he returned to the Heat in 2013 before joining the Rockets during the 2015-16 season and playing for the Bucks last season. Though the 28-year-old played sparingly for Milwaukee, he was an effective scorer and shot a career-best 41.9 percent from 3-point range.

His new deal, which will be for the veteran’s minimum, will give the Knicks a veteran scorer to mix with their young talent. Signing Beasley could open the door for the Knicks to finally move Carmelo Anthony, though no trade is imminent.

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Suns guard Brandon Knight out for season with torn ACL

Suns point guard Brandon Knight is expected to miss the entire 2017-18 season with a torn ACL, the team announced Tuesday.

The team did not release specifics on how the injury occurred, saying only that it happened last week while Knight was playing in his native South Florida. Suns team physician Dr. Tom Carter diagnosed the injury in Knight’s left knee. Knight will undergo surgery.

The 6-3 point guard averaged a career-low 11.0 points per game in his third full season in Phoenix. He made only five starts, following a campaign that saw him average a career-high 19.6 points per game.

Drafted eighth overall by the Pistons out of Kentucky in 2011, the Suns are Knight’s third NBA stop, following a two-year stint in Milwaukee.

Knight has been the subject of trade rumors in recent months, given his lack of playing time last season and his pricey contract; he’s still owed $44 million over the next three seasons.

If ever a player personified a city and a team, it was Anthony Mason. From his signature designer haircuts, to his hard-nosed, all-up-in-your-face brand of competitiveness, he embodied both style and substance. He spent five of his 13 NBA seasons with the Knicks, helping them win 270 regular season games. He played a pivotal role on the 1993-94 Knicks team, which reached the NBA Finals and lost in seven games to the Rockets. He earned Sixth Man of the Year honors the following season.

The Queens native was New York. He was the Knicks. He was hip-hop.

When he died in 2015 of a massive heart attack at 48 years old, one of the league’s most storied franchises lost a legend. Now his son, Anthony Mason Jr., is bringing the same energy his dad carried to the court to the non-profit sector and fashion industry. It’s become his life’s mission since the former St. John’s standout decided to step away from his own basketball career two years ago.

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Draymond Green, Conor McGregor get into spat on Instagram over Warriors jersey

Draymond Green made his allegiance to Floyd Mayweather clear when he called out Conor McGregor early Sunday morning.

We rocking with Floyd bro not you … take that off bruh, Green wrote on Instagram, tagging McGregor.

Never one to back down from an altercation, McGregor snapped back in Green’s comments, saying the No. 23 jersey belonged to former Warrior C.J. Watson.

But it’s not there, and the inclusion of the rookie out of Kansas seems to be holding up the trade. Why don’t the Suns want to pull the trigger? It comes down to risk vs. reward for Phoenix and there’s a whole lot of risk involved here.

The immediate impact would be adding Irving, one of the premier offensive talents in the NBA, to pair with rising star Devin Booker. It would undoubtedly be one of the most explosive backcourts in the league, but how would Irving’s game impact Booker?

The event’s organizer said local police cited fire-code concerns in blocking the doors at the Cashman Center and setting up a barricade outside.

Peep how long the line is outside the gym for tonight’s LaMelo Ball vs Zion Williamson face-off in Las Vegas.

Former NBA players and ESPN analysts Stephen Jackson and Paul Pierce discussed Carroll’s comments with host Rachel Nichols on Wednesday’s edition of The Jump, and well, they had a lot to say. Pierce offered a simple response.

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Thunder center Steven Adams shaves mustache and is unrecognizable

Steven Adams, is that you?

The Thunder center has shaved off all his facial hair and teammate Enes Kanter revealed a picture of the new Adams on Twitter.

OK, now that the caveat is done with, we can say this: There is a lot to be excited about in this year’s rookie class coming out of Summer League play, far more than we’ve seen in recent Julys. Despite a minor ankle injury to No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz, the top picks almost to a man comported themselves nicely. And the vaunted depth of the 2017 draft seemed to be validated by some stellar showings by lower picks.

Putting Irving in a lineup with Kristaps Porzinigis sounds intriguing, particularly when you consider Irving wants to be the focal point of the offense and escape LeBron James’ shadow. Assuming Porzingis stays and Carmelo Anthony is dealt, Irving would eat up a good portion of Anthony’s volume and score more efficiently.

In terms of touches last season, Derrick Rose (78.8), Porzingis (60.5) and Anthony (60.4) led the team. Rose is now on the Cavs, and Anthony would be gone in this scenario. Irving would likely see an increase from his touches last season with the Cavs (79.0) if he did get traded to the Knicks and find more opportunities to put on those spectacular dribbling displays fans love to see. Irving was actually most efficient scoring when taking seven dribbles or more, as FiveThirtyEight’s Chris Herring noted in his breakdown of Irving as a No. 1 option.

Still, the Knicks are the Knicks. New York has made the playoffs only four times since the 2001-02 season, and it’s been an organization full of dysfunction under James Dolan, most recently culminating with the firing of Phil Jackson. If Irving wants to head to NYC, that’s fine. He shouldn’t expect to reach the NBA Finals (or the first round) every season.

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Twitter had too much fun thinking of Kyrie Irving deals in ESPN’s trade machine

ESPN has a useful tool on its website called the NBA Trade Machine. It allows normal people to pretend to be a GM for a while and make trades around the league just to see if they would work, financially.

Of course the tool isn’t perfect. You can’t include draft picks, which can be essential in finalizing deals. Also, just because a trade can work doesn’t mean anyone in real life would actually agree to it. But the tool is fun to use, especially in moments of chaos like Friday afternoon.

The city that now adores him had given its loyalty to Gilbert back in 2010, in the wake of The Decision. Cleveland fans applauded Gilbert for saying out loud (in comic sans, of course) what was in their hearts.

James chose to go back to work for that man, in the city that embraced him.

Not that it turned out to be a bad tradeoff. James’ image is starkly different than it was seven years ago — pretty normal for anyone passing from his mid-20s to early-30s, in sports or anywhere else. Mission accomplished for the championship, his place in Cleveland lore and in its heart. Nothing Dan Gilbert says or does now can take that away.

But everybody had to hope the bill was not going to come. It’s here. The owner went owner again.

There should never have been so much as a crevice opening up for James to ever play anywhere else. Now, it’s too easy to see a door flung wide open. This time, nobody would blame him. They know better now.

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