Daily Gossip, Thursday 11/12/14

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Let’s be honest, the New York Knicks have sucked this season. They’re currently 4-20 with 10 straight losses. And it could get worse.

‘MELO TO HAVE SURGERY? 

Superstar Carmelo Anthony may not be able to wait until the end of the season for necessary surgery, as the New York Daily News reports. 

According to a source, Anthony has been playing with left knee soreness for much of the season and the fear is that it may require surgery to correct. Following Tuesday’s loss at New Orleans, Anthony admitted that he’s playing with pain and hinted that he may need time off to rest.  

“At this point, it’s evaluating and seeing,” Anthony said. “Some days are better than others. It’s a matter if I want to continue to play on it and the pain threshold. The flip side to that is we are losing games. I hate it, I hate to sit on the sidelines and watch my teammates. At this point, sitting down with trainers and coaches and seeing what’s best for everybody. If it’s best for me to sit out, take some time to get it right, then that’s a decision we’ll have to make. But they’ll have to pull me out.” 

It is believed that if in fact surgery is needed Anthony could postpone the procedure until after the season but his most recent comments reveal a player who is concerned that his knee is not improving. Throughout his career, Anthony has shown a willingness to play hurt, including the finishing the playoffs two years ago despite suffering from a partially torn labrum in his left shoulder. […] But with the Knicks season already spiraling out of control in early December, Anthony and the Knicks may decide to take a more proactive and aggressive approach in dealing with his knee injury. 

NBA ALL-STAR 2015 BALLOT OPEN!

Via NBA Press Release:

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Sprint will tip off NBA All-Star Balloting 2015 today in New York City, the official host city of NBA All-Star 2015.  Balloting begins at 2:00 p.m. ET.   

This afternoon during rush hour, the NBA and Sprint will celebrate the start of balloting with voting fan stations outside of Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center.  NBA Legends Darryl Dawkins, Earl Monroe, Gary Payton, and Mitch Richmond will greet fans and commuters and encourage them to cast the first votes at the special NBA-themed voting booths. 

NBA All-Star Balloting 2015 presented by Sprint gives fans around the world the opportunity to vote daily for their favorite players as starters for NBA All-Star Game 2015.  The official NBA All-Star Ballot presented by Sprint will include all current NBA players for the first time ever.  Fans will continue to select two guards and three frontcourt players when choosing the starters for the 2015 NBA All-Star Game, but can now vote for any current NBA player. 

As part of the NBA’s all-digital program, fans can vote on NBA.com, through social media networks including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Sina Weibo and Tencent Microblog in China and the NBA Game Time and NBA Game Time from Sprint applications. 

New to this year’s program is SAP, which will integrate daily stats into the online ballot.  Fans can sort players on the NBA Ballot by their current stats from NBA.com/stats powered by SAP HANA.  SAP will also host a new feature on NBA.com/stats called the SAP NBA All-Star 2015 Game Predictor.  After fans vote, they will be able to see how the East and West starters they picked would match up.  The game predictor will compare player statistics and compute a game score based on the fan’s picks. 

How to vote:

  • The NBA.com ballot is available in 11 languages on NBA.com/asb.  Voters can fill out one full ballot per day on NBA.com/asb from a desktop or mobile browser.
  • Twitter voting allows fans to tweet a vote for 10 unique players each day throughout the All-Star balloting period.  The tweet, retweet, or reply must include the player’s first and last name, along with hash tag #NBABallot.
  • Facebook voting allows fans to post a status from their personal Facebook accounts.  The posts must include the player’s first and last name, along with hash tag #NBABallot.  Fans can post votes for 10 unique players per day. 
  • Fans can use Instagram to vote by posting an original photo, using #NBABallot and the player’s first and last name in the photo caption.  Fans can vote for 10 unique players per day.  
  • NBA fans can also access the ballot and vote through the NBA Game Time andNBA Game Time from Sprint applications, available on Android and iOS.  Fans can fill out one full ballot per day, through the NBA Game Time and NBA Game Time from Sprint application, the most comprehensive app in the marketplace for NBA fans. 

Balloting concludes on Monday, Jan. 19, and starters will be announced live on TNT on Thursday, Jan. 22, during a special one-hour edition of TNT NBA Tip-Off presented by Autotrader.com at 7 p.m. ET, featuring Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kenny Smith. The special will air prior to TNT’s exclusive doubleheader featuring the San Antonio Spurs at the Chicago Bulls (8 p.m. ET) and the Brooklyn Nets at the Los Angeles Clippers (10:30 p.m. ET).

WARRIORS SHARE NEW ARENA RENDERINGS 

They have the best record in the NBA, they have won 14 straight and are the talk of world basketball right now.

So for the Golden State Warriors, the time was right to talk about their new arena ideas, which hope to be in place when the Warriors move to San Francisco in 2018.

Via AP:

The Golden State Warriors have released new renderings for their planned San Francisco arena after the last design became an Internet punchline for its resemblance to a toilet.

The updated concepts announced by the Warriors on Wednesday show a more curved look for the arena. Much of the viewing deck next to the arena — which together previously gave the aerial appearance of a giant toilet seat with the lid down — is now gone.

The new renderings for the privately funded project — expected to cost more than $1 billion — in the city’s Mission Bay neighborhood also show a waterfront park across the street and two public plazas. The team said the arena will seat 18,064 and is expected to open by the start of the 2018-19 season.

The Warriors played their first nine seasons in San Francisco after moving from Philadelphia in 1962. They have played across San Francisco Bay in Oakland since the 1971-72 season.

MAGIC: I WANT THE LAKERS TO LOSE EVERY GAME

Something to make Sadie Santana miserable.

Via ESPN:

Johnson, speaking at Steiner Sports’ In Their Own Words product launch Tuesday in New York, said he wants his former team to lose enough games to contend for a high lottery pick in next year’s NBA draft.

“I hope the Lakers lose every game,” Johnson told reporters. “Because if you’re going to lose, lose. And I’m serious.”

The Lakers owned the second-worst record in the Western Conference and the sixth-worst in the NBA following Tuesday’s 98-95 victory over the Kings.

Kobe Bryant scored nine of his 32 points in the final 3:14, leading Los Angeles’ fourth-quarter comeback. Carlos Boozer added 15 points for the Lakers, who snapped their three-game skid by rallying from a 12-point deficit in the second half.

After the game, Bryant kept Johnson’s thoughts in perspective.

“He’s used to being an owner. He’s an owner of the Dodgers. He was an owner of the Lakers. That’s speaking from an owner’s perspective,” Bryant said. “I think the fans — or hopefully some of them — are probably smart enough to understand his perspective as an owner. I certainly am.

“Magic is one of the most competitive players of all time. He doesn’t want to lose. From an owner’s perspective, his opinion is to get top picks and to be able to use those as leverage to trade and get a competitive team and so on. From where I’m sitting, I just look at his point of view.”

HAS LEBRON LOST A STEP?

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst penned an interesting article about Cleveland’s LeBron James’ ‘apparent’ decline. Since re-joining the Cavs, The King’s averages have gone down and his shooting percentage  has sank as well.

Via ESPN:

James recently played his 40,000th career NBA minute, including playoffs. Before he turns 30 on Dec. 30, James will have played more minutes than Larry Bird did in his entire career.

So it should not come as a surprise that James is starting to show his odometer. The numbers and the eye test show this season that James has perhaps lost a half step. And when sampling the past highlights, the difference becomes more pronounced.

The Cavs have been thrilled with James’ return on every level. He’s been everything to them they hoped he would be from on-court leader to locker room voice to business generator. But team officials have also noticed James is not as electric athletically as they were expecting, especially after offseason weight loss might’ve refreshed him.

“The LeBron who could dunk on any player at any time is probably gone,” said one league advance scout. “He’s probably never been a better basketball player than he is right now, though.”

League executives and scouts are seeing James not look as bouncy and athletic this season compared to recent years. They especially point to his field-goal percentage, which has alarmingly dropped 10 percent from last season.

In one of the more remarkable stats of James’ career, he has increased his field-goal percentage for seven consecutive seasons, which is an unheard-of run for a perimeter-based player. Had James made seven more field goals in the 2006-07 season, that run of increases would’ve been 10 consecutive years.

“There is no way to compare what LeBron is doing this season to what he did in the last few years,” said one league executive. “He’s dealing with a completely different roster that is requiring him to play a different style. He’s working harder on offense because he’s playing point guard almost every minute he’s on the floor. … The Heat had mastered the art of creating space and there were way more driving lanes than he typically has now.”

As for James himself, he dealt with some back issues earlier in the season but is not believed to be battling any serious injuries. When asked, he’s given a standard answer about his overall health by repeatedly saying, “I’m active.”

More as the day/evening continues