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NBA Rumors for Sunday, September 14
InsideHoops NBA rumors updated 1:00 a.m. ET. More NBA rumors stories and other news also appears on the InsideHoops basketball blog.
Carmelo Anthony isn't holding back his feelings about the Atlanta Hawks one bit. The Hawks released an open letter of apology to fans and the city of Atlanta yesterday, saying the organization "did not do the right thing" to correct racially inflammatory words and innuendos "over a period of years." NY Newsday
The Knicks star blasted the franchise Saturday and said he believes this situation will make the Hawks far less attractive to prospective free agents.
"Ain't nobody would want to go there," Anthony told reporters at the Citi Carmelo Anthony Basketball ProCamp at Baruch College in Manhattan. NY Newsday
The Hawks announced last Sunday that majority owner Bruce Levenson is selling his controlling interest in the team after an internal investigation turned up a racially charged email he sent to team executives in 2012. Levenson told team officials that they should gear their marketing less toward African-Americans and more toward whites because he believed that white Atlanta fans would not be comfortable in an arena or bar area "where they were in the minority." NY Newsday
Could this be some type of pattern? Anthony thinks it could be. "We have to stop that," he said. "This is not the league for that. As players coming in, we want to play and make a good career out of everything. And from Sterling to this situation, [it's] just pushing everything back." NY Newsday
Carmelo Anthony usually takes a month off to rest and recharge after the NBA season. This year was a little different. Anthony started working out two weeks after the end of the Knicks' 37-win season. Why such a short break? "I was angry," Anthony said Saturday at the Citi Carmelo Anthony Basketball camp in Manhattan. ESPN NY
Anthony also probably wanted to be in top shape for free agency. He tested the market over the summer and ended up signing a five-year, $124 million deal with the Knicks. The star forward has been working out at the team's facility in Westchester recently, along with "six or seven" other Knicks, to get a head start on the new triangle offense. ESPN NY
"I haven't been broadcasting it, man. But I've been at the facility for the last couple of weeks with the young guys, with the coaches, trying to figure out that triangle offense," Anthony said. The Knicks and new head coach Derek Fisher are expected to install the triangle offense this season. ESPN NY
Anthony added: "Kind of switching up my eating habits, kind of taking on new workout routines, training a little different, trying to test myself and challenge myself differently from a training aspect. Also, I took maybe a week, two weeks off this year, so I was still in the mode from last training camp. I took maybe two weeks off over the year, and this is the result you’re seeing now." ESPN NY
Q: How is small forward Jeff Taylor’s readiness for training camp after missing most of last season with a ruptured Achilles tendon? Hornets coach Steve Clifford: "Unfortunately, Jeff has a family situation in Sweden (keeping him away from Charlotte). Nothing can be done about that and you know he’s an exceptional worker, but he’s had to miss our five optional workouts. So it’s hard to get a feel for where he’s at. He did a couple of summer-league practices. Medically he’s fine. So it’s just a matter of having more continuity, so that when he plants and cuts and jumps he’s confident (in his recovery.)" Charlotte Observer
Q: Clearly there was a focus this off-season on Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s jump shot. How has he done? Hornets coach Steve Clifford: "Really, really well. He’s done a good job, and Mark (Price) has done a good job working with him. He’s transformed as far as shooting mechanics. In general, he looks more confident. He’s just had a phenomenal summer as far as (improving) physically and in conditioning. He, Kemba (Walker) and Gary (Neal) have been here all summer. They’re all in high-quality shape and ready to get started." Charlotte Observer
Derrick Favors is also the owner of a four-year, $49 million contract extension from the Jazz that kicks in during the upcoming season. The team has tabbed Favors and Gordon Hayward — who landed his own big contract earlier this summer — as the franchise’s cornerstones, the two guys expected to lead a young squad back into NBA playoff contention. What will Favors do with all that money? Well, it probably won’t be spent in the fast lane. The Jazz big man is an avowed homebody, who’s happiest hanging out, spending time with friends and family, and playing with his dogs. "I’m just not a huge party guy," Favors says. "I never have been. I have my house. I have my girl. I love playing for the Jazz, and I love Utah." Salt Lake Tribune
His mother, Deandra Favors, knew it was the kind of place where a young boy could go astray if he fell in with the wrong crowd, so her son had strict rules growing up. Early on, young Derrick couldn’t wander too far past the driveway. During his school years, his behavior was expected to be impeccable while his mother was at work. If Deandra received a less-than-favorable report upon arriving home — usually from an older sister — he faced repercussions. Deandra is a religious woman, but was never afraid to wield a belt. That didn’t happen often, though. Salt Lake Tribune
France came from behind in the final quarter to beat Lithuania 95-93 and win the bronze medal at the Basketball World Cup on Saturday. Lithuania led by seven points entering the fourth period, and center Jonas Valanciunas scored five points to put Lithuania ahead by three points with three minutes to play. CSN Bay Area
Nicolas Batum led France with a game-high 27 points, while Diaw added 15. Valanciunas paced Lithuania with 25 points to go with nine rebounds. CSN Bay Area
The physical play during the World Cup of Basketball, yeah, that's gone up a level as the tournament moves into the final rounds. DeMarcus Cousins nearly lost his mind after a high elbow from Jonas Valanciunas during Team USA's semifinal win over Lithuania. Both teams briefly lost their cool following the chippy game. CSN Washington
Rudy Gay suffered more than just a chip tooth in the same game. The Baltimore native and Sacramento Kings forward will need some legit dental work after taking an elbow to the top of his mouth in the second half of Thursday's 96-68 rout. Team USA next plays Sunday in the championship game against Serbia. CSN Washington
The first day of training camp for the Wizards will showcase John Wall in an entirely different light. He'll be sporting a custom-made outfit that has been in the works since last spring. See, Wall lost a bet with teammate Bradley Beal over a game between Kentucky and Florida last spring. Kentucky didn't come through and the stakes were that Wall had to wear a Gators onesie, basically an adult jumpsuit that isn't very becoming of a 24-year-old NBA All-Star. It never happened, though Wall said it wasn't because of a lack of effort to find one. CSN Washington
The Phoenix Mercury were without star center Brittney Griner. However, they still had Diana Taurasi. Taurasi scored 14 of her 24 points in the fourth quarter and the Mercury beat the Chicago Sky 87-82 Friday night to complete a three-game sweep of the WNBA Finals for their third championship. “We have the best player in the world, Diana Taurasi,” Phoenix coach Sandy Brondello said. “When you put the ball in her hands at crunch time, she makes it happen.” AP
Taurasi made big plays as the Sky were threatening to force a Game 4. She hit a tiebreaking 16-foot jumper and was fouled with 14.3 seconds left and made the ensuing free throw to put Phoenix up 85-82. Taurasi shot 4 for 9 on 3s and became the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer in the finals. She had some help. After she reached the podium, she slid her MVP trophy over toward her teammate Candice Dupree, a former Sky player who also scored 24 points on 11-for-16 shooting. AP
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