Melo League Defeats Goodman League 149-141

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5GntGLvL2U]

On the eve of the second meeting by the NBA and NBAPA to discuss the lockout, the Melo League All Stars led by Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and LeBron James defeated the Kevin Durant led Goodman League team 149-141 at Morgan State University. Durant had a game high 59 points while LeBron had 38 and Carmelo had 27. Other notable players in this game included: Josh Selby, Gary Neal, DeMarcus Cousins, Brandon Jennings, Donte Greene and Hugh Jones.

I believe these pro-am leagues are great for basketball right now. The attendance for these games is fantastic and I think these games are great because they give fans the chance to see players that they may not be able to see during the NBA season. NBA tickets are not cheap, especially at Madison Square Garden (thanks Dolan) so Melo playing for free in Baltimore, where he grew up, gives those fans a chance to see an NBA star that they could not regularly see.

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Knicks Officially Hire Mike Woodson

Finally the Knicks have hired a defensive assistant to coach along side Mike D’Antoni. Today the Knicks announced the hiring of former Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Woodson as the defensive assistant coach. Woodson was Larry Brown’s top assistant when the Pistons won the championship in 2004. He was actually drafted in the first round by the Knicks in 1980 so he has some familiarity with the franchise. Woodson is said to be a strong defensive mind learning from Larry Brown in Detroit and Bobby Knight when he played college ball at Indiana.

There are also rumors being stirred up by the east coast media that Woodson, who has strong ties to Isiah Thomas, will take over the head coaching job should things go south next season. I completely disagree. If the Knicks struggle next season or get swept in the playoffs again and Mike D’Antoni is fired, I believe the Knicks will bring in a marquee name a la Phil Jackson not a guy like Mike Woodson. Mike Woodson is a great guy but I do not believe he would be the big name splash the Knicks would be looking bring in. Regardless, I think this is an excellent hire and it will be interesting to see how Woodson can change the defensive culture around the Knicks.

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Patrick Ewing and ’90′s Knicks Featured in Latest NBA 2k12 Trailer

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHnCZsD9txU]

In last years Michael Jordan themed NBA 2k11, Patrick Ewing and the ’94 Bockers were one of the old Jordan rival teams you could play with. This year, NBA 2k11 is emphasizing a new legends mode picking some of the greatest teams of all time and allowing gamers to play with them. In this latest “NBA’s Greatest” Trailer, Patrick Ewing and the 90′s Knicks are one of the teams that are featured. Unfortunately there was no showing of the 70′s Knicks with Willis Reed, Clyde Frazier and Earl Monroe. I think it is a shame that they are not in the game (or at least there is no sign they will be) because they truly were one of the best teams ever. That being said, this is a video game and they have to make the most money they can. Younger gamers will clearly be more intrigued with the Run TMC Warriors or the Chris Webber Kings (two teams featured in the trailer) then they will with a team from the 70′s that they never saw play. It is a shame but it is understandable why the 70′s Knicks probably will not be in the game. Also, on a side note, I hope 2k takes the time to go and fill in all the benches on these legendary teams. Last year, they gave you the starters and then put a bunch of really crappy made up players as the bench. I do not wanna play with made up bench players again on the Knicks, I want Greg Anthony and Charles Smith and Rolando Blackman and Hubert Davis to be in the game instead of fake players. I have a feeling 2k will have the fake players again which is really annoying but we will see what happens.

Correction: I have learned via Alan Hahn that the 70′s Knicks are in the video game.

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Iman Shumpert Off the Wall 360 Dunk

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWBZaajteXU&feature=player_embedded]

Question the Knicks drafting of Iman Shumpert if you want, but his athleticism is unquestioned. The man is a phenomenal athlete. He is 6’6 with length, speed and hops. All of this is on display as Shumpert hits a sick 360 dunk. Enjoy.

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Stoudemire Wins 3 Point Shootout in China

Well Amar’e Stoudemire’s back seems to be in good shape. He is currently vacationing in China and he gave us an update via twitter on what he has been up to:

I just won the Chinese 3 point shoot out In front of 1.4 billion people. From NYC to China. #swag lockerz.com/s/131295944
This is already very impressive, but it is particularly impressive that he has not been doing many basketball related activities this offseason due to his back. I would not mind to see some more 3′s from Stoudemire next season. The 3 point shot is a part of his game that he has showed flashes of but he just consistiently does not take a lot of 3′s. Overall, the contest is a good sign that Stoudermire will be ready to go when and if the season starts.
[Image via @Amareisreal]
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Stoudemire Stars in Nike Educators 2 Commercial

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mp7--vgNHk8&feature=player_embedded] Last year, Knicks star Amar’e Stoudemire starred in the first edition of Nike’s “The Educators commercial. The commercial was a hit and so this year, Nike decided to come out with “The Educators 2″. Once again Stoudemire stars, this time with Rajon Rondo, Anna Pierce and Blake Griffin. I think the commercial is very entertaining. I would love to have Amar’e as a principal and Rondo is very funny in the commercial. Enjoy.

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Mozgov Slams On Lithuania

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Du-H9S2Kx2A&feature=player_embedded#at=12]

I know he does not play for the Knicks anymore but I still am a big Timofey Mozgov fan. I thought it was ludicrous that Dolan got him thrown into the Melo deal. We would have been a much more complete team the rest of the year with Mozgov in the starting 5. Playing for Russia against Lithuania and Mozgov had a monster slam. The announcers make this clip truly great. Enjoy.

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Carmelo Anthony Foundation Inaugurates Puerto Rico Sports Center

Amar’e Stoudemire is not the only New York Knick superstar helping other people. On Monday, children from the Lomas housing project in Puerto Rico will be able to enjoy playing basketball at the new sports center reconstructed by Knicks star Carmelo Anthony. This is the second sports center reconstructed in the Caribbean by the Carmelo Anthony Foundation. The other was opened in July 2010 in the San Juan district of La Perla. Some of the improvements include acrylic backboards, new paint jobs and a roof for the sports center. Anthony, whose father was Puerto Rican, said his organization looked at many courts but chose this one because it was “almost perfect” for developing the game.

This is great to hear that Carmelo is proactive in using his stature to help others as well. I always believe athletes of his stature should do all they can to help people in need. In this era of lockouts and disputes over millions of dollars, I love to see that people still help the less fortunate and use their stature to help others. Like Amar’e, I hope Carmelo can continue to make the most of his talents and help others.

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Stoudemire Working With Scholastic on New Kids’ Book Series

New York Knicks Superstar Amar’e Stoudemire has signed on with Scholastic Books to produce his own kids’ chapter book series. STAT: Standing Tall and Talented is scheduled to be released in August 2012. The series is based on the life of Stoudemire and how he overcame a poor upbringing to become an NBA superstar. The series is made for middle school level children as Stoudemire is committed to converting more young children into readers. Stoudemire’s mission statement:

“I am excited to create my book series with Scholastic. They are the best in the business so I trust them with my stories. I decided to write for children because although I am an avid reader now, I wish I had read more as a child. I hope that together with Scholastic, we can creatively inspire a new generation to read.”

Once again I am impressed with Stoudemire. I have written before about how he should be an inspiration to children for overcoming what he has overcome and I think it is great that he can now tell his story to the masses through his books. Once again Stoudemire is using his basketball stature to create opportunities for himself outside of basketball and help other people. Stoudemire’s hard work outside of basketball is inspirational and I wish him the best of luck with his new book line.

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Billups Cleared for Basketball Workouts

Alan Hahn of Newsday has reported that Chauncey Billups finally has been cleared for basketball workouts after suffering a strained knee ligament in game 1 of the playoffs versus the Celtics.

“Chauncey Billups, who suffered a bruised knee late in G1 vs BOS, was cleared this week to resume full workouts, Newsday has learned. #fb”
This is great news to hear in that Billups now has 7 weeks until training camp is scheduled to start. Obviously with the lockout, there is a good possibility that training camp will be wiped out but Billups will be ready to go if it remains. Now that Billups is seemingly healthy, the attention turns to Amar’e Stoudemire who still has not fully recovered from his back injury also suffered against Boston.
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