NBA On TNT Notes – The MLK Day Editon: Carmelo Anthony Goes Down; Kobe Bryant and the Lakers Keep Pace

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Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley

Barkley on the impact of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his lifetime: “Even the short period of time (Dr. King) lived, his legacy speaks for itself. Some people will live to be 100 and don’t do anything (in their lifetime). If you get to live a certain part of your life, you should have accomplished something. What Dr. King, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X and all the other civil rights leaders have accomplished will live on into eternity. It doesn’t matter how long you live, it’s what you did while you were alive.”

Smith on Dr. King’s legacy living on through sports: “Growing up in Queens and playing sports, the first time that I felt my ethnicity didn’t matter when was when I played sports. The first time I felt empowered by someone that wasn’t my race was through sports. The first time I embraced someone that wasn’t my ethnicity was through sports. (Dr. King’s) dream somehow lives through sports and it always will live.”

Barkley on the NBA celebrating MLK Day by playing basketball games: “I tip my hat off to the NBA for using the whole (MLK) day and playing games during the day. The NBA has always been progressive with race relations in terms of coaches, umpires…you have to take your hat off to all the NBA teams and Commissioner Stern, it’s a wonderful day.”

Barkley on Celtics forward Paul Pierce and Knicks forward Quentin Richardson getting tossed from the Celtics/Knicks game for talking trash to each other: “Paul (Pierce) is saying your teams sucks and Quentin (Richardson) better be saying you’re right.”

Sprite Slam Dunk Participants for All-Star Saturday Night exclusively on TNT on Saturday, February 16:

Rudy Gay, Memphis Grizzlies

Jamario Moon, Toronto Raptors

Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic

Gerald Green, Minnesota Timberwolves

Smith on his prediction for the Slam Dunk contest winner: “I think I already know who’s going to win it, Rudy Gay is going to win it.”

Barkley: “They might try to make it up to Dwight Howard since he got jobbed last year.”

Barkley on the New Orleans Hornets: “Take your hat off to (Hornets coach) Byron Scott, Chris Paul is playing like an MVP, David West might be the most underrated player in the NBA today and Tyson Chandler is a rebounding machine.”

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Game 1: Chicago Bulls (90) @ Memphis Grizzlies (104)

Announcers: Dick Stockton, Mike Fratello and David Aldridge reporting

Fratello on Grizzlies guard Mike Conely: “I think he has a real feel for the game. Early on he tried to get other teammates involved, then when he has to assert himself he has the ability to do that. He has that sense beyond his years of how to play the game and where the ball should go.”

Fratello on his former player, Grizzlies guard Rudy Gay’s participation in the Sprite Slam Dunk contest: “(Gay) is an extremely talented, gifted young man, tremendously athletic, and it will be a tremendous competition with Rudy Gay joining it.”

Fratello on the difficult season the Chicago Bulls have had: “Every year, Chicago starts out slowly because they go on this long West coast trip, but then they come back and they get better and they go over the .500 mark and they go on to 49 or 50 wins at the end of the season. It didn’t happen that way this year. They came back, they could not make shots, they started to lose confidence, and the long road trip resulted in a poor record. (Former head coach) Scott Skiles felt it, he knew that this team was not responding to what was going on, and Jimmy Boylan replaces him and has taken over the for the last 13 games.”

Bulls coach Jim Boylan on the play of the Bulls: “We’ve been playing much better, we’ve got to pick it up on the defensive end… we’re giving up too many easy baskets and we’re not closing out quick enough on the three point shooters, so that will be a concern for us today.”

 

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Halftime

Johnson, Barkley and Smith

Barkley on the Bulls missing key trade opportunities to improve their team: “I want to know why the Bulls haven’t made a trade, because if they play as well as they can they still aren’t good enough. They’ve got a bunch of good players, but if they had a guy like (Kevin) Garnett they would have the best record, and if they had (Pau) Gasol they would be a lot better off. Why would you keep a team together like it is when even if they play as well as they can they are not a legit contender?”

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Fratello on the Bulls shooting 33% from the floor: “Jim Boylan went in at halftime and called up Steve Kerr and Reggie Miller and asked them both to come back and try to help them make some shots!”

Fratello on why the Bulls shooting has fallen off this season: “So much of it is confidence. You have to play with confidence, shoot the ball and not worry if you miss the shot. When players begin to lose confidence and start worrying, it changes the whole game around.”

Fratello on why he used both current Chicago Bulls head coach Jim Boylan and Memphis Grizzlies head coach Marc Iavaroni as assistant coaches: “(Boylan and Iavaroni both had a) tremendous work ethic, both men are very intelligent and came up with good suggestions. These are good basketball people, it’s what their life is all about and they work at it.”

Fratello on Grizzlies forward Hakim Warrick: “Hakim Warrick is a scorer, that’s as simple as you make it; somehow someway he finds ways to put points on the scoreboard.

TNT’s David Aldridge interviewed Grizzlies guard Mike Miller after the Grizzlies win over the Bulls.

Miller on the Memphis Grizzlies potential: “We have a lot of talent, we’re learning together, we’re young, we have a whole new coaching staff and we’re trying to get used to each other. We’ve been playing well lately and we’ve lost a lot of close games which is disappointing. We’ve got to close them out down the stretch. We’re pretty excited about the progress we’re making, we’ve got to continue to focus in on defense and focus in on running. If we do that and shoot it like we did today then we’re a tough team.”

 

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Game 2: Cleveland Cavaliers (97) @ Miami Heat (90)

Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Doug Collins with Craig Sager reporting

Collins on the absence of Heat center Alonzo Mourning due to injury: “One thing a lot of people don’t talk about is Alonzo Mourning, the heart and soul of this franchise. Since he’s been hurt (the Heat) have won one game, that’s one in 14. They miss him so badly; he’s been the heartbeat of this franchise for a long time.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Heat center Alonzo Mourning on the bench.

Mourning on not being able to help his team: “It’s torture, I’m so used to being out there contributing, I see so many places I can help and I am helpless because I cannot go out there. My presence to encourage the guys is about the only thing I can do right now.”

Mourning on what Dr. Martin Luther King means to him: “Dr. King meant a figure of peace and he tried to create an atmosphere of peace while he was here on this earth, and we’re continuing to honor his efforts and try to follow his teachings. He meant so much to society and if he were here it would be interesting to hear what he has to say about our current condition and the way the world is.”

Mourning on whether he has decided to retire from the NBA: “I have not (announced my retirement), that was a rumor. I’m going to wait until this knee heals up and see how I feel then and make a decision from there.”

In another edition of Inside Trax, TNT replayed audio from LeBron James in Cleveland’s pre-game huddle

James on playing the Miami Heat: “Don’t look at (the Heats) record because we all know they are a better team than what their record shows.”

Collins on Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao being a similar player to Dennis Rodman: “(Varejao) has that kind of activity, though he’s not nearly the defensive player (of Rodman). He’s an energy guy that gives you a multiple possessions much like Ben Wallace used to do in Detroit.”

Collins on the long-term strategy of the Heat to keep guard Dwyane Wade in Miami: “(The Heat) want to be in a situation that when Dwyane Wade’s contract is up they have enough money to get a guy to play next to him. You don’t have to overpay a guy to come play here, it’s a big market, it’s a great place to live and it’s a market where guys want to play. They want to put themselves in a position where when Shaq goes they have the money to add a quality player so they can continue to win.”

Collins on the 2006 NBA Champions Miami Heat having the worst record in the Eastern Conference: “That’s how fragile success is; you’re only one ligament away from mediocrity.”

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Halftime

Johnson, Barkley and Smith

Barkley on his assessment of the Miami Heat: “Miami is not good enough to make up five games on the Knicks (and will finish with the worst record in the Eastern Conference). Shaq (O’Neal) is on the downside of his career, and they don’t have a lot of young talent. As great as Pat Riley’s been, as a general manager he hasn’t done a great job. He brought in Shaq and he brought in Dwyane Wade, but who is their young talent of the future? They are trying to get ready for the free agent market in a couple of years, but as far as drafting well, none of their players that they’ve drafted in last 10 years, other than Wade, are really helping this team play.”

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Collins on every team having struggles during the season: “You’ll see teams go through stretches where they don’t play the best of basketball. There are no knockouts now, every team’s got holes.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Heat head coach Pat Riley before the fourth quarter of the game.

Riley on Heat center Shaquille O’Neal playing with a sore hip: “(Shaq) is playing with a lot of guts and a lot of courage. He’s playing in pain and we’ve got to get him deep touches.”

Collins on Cavaliers center Zydrunas Ilgauskas: “(Ilgauskas) has had such a good year for (the Cavs). He’s battled all his leg problems and foot problems throughout his career, missing a ton of games, and he probably could have retired off into the sunset, but (he) just loves playing basketball.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Cavaliers forward LeBron James after the Cavs win over the Heat.

James on the Cavs defense being the key to their victory over the Heat: “We’ve been playing great basketball, and defensively, we’ve been getting stops. On the offensive end, sometimes it doesn’t look as good, but as long as we’re getting stops it makes it easier on the offensive end and that’s what we did tonight.”

James on what Dr. Martin Luther King means to him: “I think it’s self explanatory, having a dream as a kid, and believing my dream and that I was going to make it happen. Dr. King has meant a lot to me and a lot to my family. I wish he were still around but we’re going to live in his spirit and I think it’s great that we’re celebrating it today.”

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Game 3: Denver Nuggets (99) @ Los Angeles Lakers (116)

Announcers: Marv Albert, Reggie Miller with Cheryl Miller reporting

Lakers guard Derek Fisher on having Kobe Bryant as a teammate: “He’s developed into a great a great teammate, one of the greatest. When we first came in the league in ‘96 together he was not a great teammate because he was so focused on himself and proving he belonged and proving he could become one of the greatest players in the league. I’ve said it before, he’s done all that.”

Miller on Lakers guard Kobe Bryant learning to trust his teammates: “When you trust your teammates, good things happen. When you’ve got arguably one of the greatest players (in Kobe Bryant) and he’s willing to sacrifice and give up shots for the betterment of the team, this is why this (Lakers) team is on the rise.”

Miller on the lack of rebounding by the Nuggets: “Offensive rebounds are becoming the Achilles heel of the Denver Nuggets. You’ve got to rebound when you’re on the road, and right now the Denver Nuggets are not rebounding.”

Miller on his early MVP pick: “I like Kobe (as the early MVP), this is what everyone’s been waiting to see from Kobe Bryant. We all know about the exploits, the 81-point game and the scoring title, but it’s the unselfish nature now, this is what we like about Kobe Bryant.”

 

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Halftime

Johnson, Barkley and Smith

Smith on Lakers center Kwame Brown coming into his own in Andrew Bynum’s absence: “Being aggressive and giving good effort leads to good play. I like the way (Brown) is bouncing back, not only by Bynum leaving but because of the expectations of him before.”

Barkley on Lakers center Kwame Brown: “When you’re a guy like Kwame Brown, all you’ve got to do is say to yourself and have the mindset that ‘I’m going to get 10 rebounds and I’m going to use six hard fouls. If Kobe Bryant and those other guys give him layups he can finish. You’ve got to know what you can do, and he can’t do it himself.”

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Miller on Nuggets center Marcus Camby: “Marcus Camby is the most important person on this (Nuggets) team in my eyes; he does a little of everything, scoring, blocking shots, rebounds, steals and assists.”

TNT’s Cheryl Miller interviewed Lakers coach Phil Jackson prior to the fourth quarter:

Jackson on preparing for the fourth quarter against the Nuggets: “They changed their defense at the half and we tried to play the same old thing. Momentum is a crazy thing in this game but we changed it around with some threes. We have to stop penetration and that’s a big order when you’re playing Allen Iverson.”

Miller on Lakers guard Coby Karl when he entered the game, made George Karl the third NBA coach to have a son face him: “(George Karl) says there are two things that (Coby Karl) does absolutely well, he’s more athletic than he thought, he runs the court well. And he looks and feels like an NBA player, he adapts really well to the game. Those are two good things to have going for you if you’re Coby Karl.”

TNT’s Cheryl Miller interviewed Lakers guard Kobe Bryant after the Lakers win over the Nuggets.

Bryant on the strong performance of the Lakers to defeat the Nuggets: “We’re playing with a full passion bucket tonight; we really came out and played with a lot of energy and a lot of hustle. It’s a big win for us and you want to go into this (upcoming road) trip with a little bit of rhythm. Tonight it seemed like our offensive rhythm was back and we’ll have a good practice tomorrow and get ready for San Antonio. We’re going to be with this lineup for a while and we’re not as deep as we once were so it’s important I get the most out of my teammates.”

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Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai

Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley

Barkley on the Denver Nuggets: “From the talent standpoint, the Denver Nuggets have one of the most talented teams, if not the most talented team in the NBA, but they’ve got no clue.”

Barkley on the Miami Heat losing their 14th game in a row: “I can’t believe (the Heat). There’s no excuse. The overall level of basketball (in the Eastern Conference) has been disappointing, but for them to lose 14 games in a row…that’s just disturbing.”

Barkley on the Miami Heat’s struggles this season: “I am just shocked. If you look at the Knicks, Minnesota and Seattle, those teams haven’t lost 14 games in a row. It’s scary to think that a team that two years ago was the (NBA) Champions. We can talk about who they don’t have or whatever, (losing 14 in a row) is just flat-out embarrassing.”

Barkley on Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard: “Dwight Howard is fun to watch play. He’s a great kid, (he comes from) a great family and he’s a flat-out stud.”

Smith on Detroit Pistons point guard Chauncey Billups: “Chauncey (Billups) is still the most underrated point guard in basketball.”

Barkley: “I don’t know if he’s underrated. The guy has been the (NBA) Finals MVP.”

Smith: “But people don’t say his name when they mention the top five point guards in the NBA.”

Barkley: “That’s because he’s not in there.”

Smith on Portland Trail Blazers head coach Nate McMillan: “Portland is for real. The one thing I like about (Trail Blazers head coach) Nate McMillan and what he’s done. He’s got a young team and typically with young teams you have guys who want to get a contract, find their identity and make a name for themselves. He’s got them playing hard, playing smart and playing together. That’s very difficult to do for a young team.”

34 Responses to “NBA On TNT Notes – The MLK Day Editon: Carmelo Anthony Goes Down; Kobe Bryant and the Lakers Keep Pace”

  1. Malcom X, really? The Communist thug who gloated over the death of President Kennedy?

  2. You must have him confused, Malcolm X was never in the FBI.

  3. Better then your homophobic, pill popping, hating foreigners…but lusting over dominican women with his viagra, good ole boy bigot. Ain’t never did crap for this country or any of its citizens. Talk sh@# about war but never fought in one pimping dumb @ss republicans and conservatives………..fool @ss hero Rush Limbaugh.

    Now shut the he11 up lil O’reilly friedman.

    Matter a fact wasnt this country founded by thugs????

    All through my american history book all I read about were thugs.

  4. Oh I almost forgot, he was an insane Muslim to boot!

    So we have a Commie, America-hating Muslim gloating about the death of an American president! How nice! And this is one of Charles Barkley’s heroes? Why am I not surprised?

    Origin please do not confuse Rush – a true patriot – with this thug scum. It’s an embarrassment.

  5. Mizzo, please get rid of the whiteboy with the Jewish Surname, i AM TIRED OF HIS KIND infecting reasonable rational debate, and El- Hajj- Malik Shabazz was 10 times the man you ever wish to be Troll.

  6. Eric Daniels either dispute the FACTS or save it. It’s not my problem your hero was:

    1) openly racist
    2) a drug dealer
    3) a womanizer
    4) a Communist
    5) anti-American
    6) a fanatic Muslim
    7) gloated about the death of an American president.

    I’m sorry the facts disturb you. Perhaps your problem is with yourself and not with me.

  7. You’re right. No one would EVER confuse Malcolm X with Rush Limbaugh.

  8. Damn you guys! Aren’t we talking about basketball notes? lol!

  9. I gloated when Reagan was shot in 1981 and danced a jig when he died and prayed that White SOB would burn in hell. And Malccolm told the truth about Kennedy’s death, that this his died because of AMERICA’S MANY SINS of violence around the world from

    1. China in the early 1900′s
    2. Opression of South America
    3. Making Hatti pay huge reaparations to France and the U.S.
    4. Committing genocide on Native Americans
    5. Committing genocide on African- Americans
    6. Interferring in Middle Eastern affairs since the early 20th century
    7. violating the human rights of people of color at home and aboard
    8. Keeping South America and the Carribean in a third – world state economically

    9. Killing Kwame Nkrumah (who called his assassinationin 1961 JFK) because he was a threat to unite Africa
    10. Preventing Iran from developing a fair market for it’s oil and installing corrupt dictators in the Middle East for 50 years and then bitch and whine when “terrorists struck back and bombed our country”.

    BEING AN OLE COUNTRY MYSELF, CHICKENS COMING HOME TO ROOST NEVER MADE ME MAD WHITEBOY THEY ALWAYS MADE ME GLAD

    Amerikkka got it deserved for it’s foriegn polices and Malcolm was right on point about Kennedy and to a lesser degree 9-11.

  10. Boston better watch out for New Jersey or Toronto, they could get knocked out in the first round if they have to play them in the Playoffs and Michelle is it me or is San Antonio is struggling in the West?

  11. Thank you, E.D., for revealing yourself for all to see. Job well done.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if your IP address is being tracked by the FBI, starting tomorrow!

  12. Eric Daniels,

    Yes, the Spurs are struggling. I think Duncan has had some injury problems this year. Tony Parker doesn’t seen as focused. I guess Dallas is the favorite out west but don’t sleep on the young Lakers. As for the east if Boston stays healthy I think we will see them against Detroit in the Eastern finals. Washington is my wild card. They have played very well without Gilbert. For some reason I’m not sold on Orlando even though they have a good record.

  13. ED,
    I will say that losing Bynum was a huge blow to LA so we will see how the team responds without him.

  14. OOOH , I’M REAL SCARED NUMNUTS !!!!! I didn’t break any laws or said anything I have said in public or on websites !!!

  15. Friedman,

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the FBI was tracking all of us. LOL!

  16. GETTING KNOCKED OUT IN THE FIRST ROUND MICHELLE sorry to say Michelle. The Lakers can’t afford to lose someone like Bynum, thank god they didn’t trade him like Kobe wanted or the Lakers would have rebuilding like the Heat is doing.

  17. ED,

    That may be true. We shall see. The league seems wild open this year. I’m not sure what team will win the title.

  18. I would not count Cleveland or the Wizards out of contention because they are getting agent Zero back just in time for the push to the playoffs and the Cavs are starting to peak at the right moment. The West is the Suns to lose in my opinion the Blazers are the true slepper team in the West and could be a bad matchup for any team in the league. Just wait until they get Oden next year, they will dominate the NBA for a decade.

  19. LMAO….Friedman ran tattlin on you EricD!!!!!! LOL!! I bet he calls and tells on Mizzo all the time

    Operator at CIA HQs: Hello
    Friedman: Yes! I’d like to report terrorist suspicions!
    Operator: (sigh)….is that you Friedman?
    Friedman: Yes! And I demand that you put me through this time!!
    Operator: (they don’t pay me enough for this bullshit)…Hold On….
    Hey…Sid! Its that damn Friedman….yeah, I know….just pretend! Come’on!…do the Nixon voice…that one calms him down quick…please! I’ll buy you lunch tomorrow…ok…thanks!
    All right….Friedman?
    Friedman: Yes!
    Operator: I’m putting you thru…..

  20. Miranda,

    I’m on the floor. LOL!

  21. Sista Miranda you got me laughing my butt off!!!

    LOL!!!

    Thanks for the laugh.

    And brotha Eric I always know I can count on you putting a foot in friedman’s dumb @ss!!!

    LOL!!!!

  22. LMAOOOOO!!!!

    OMG!

  23. Goodness. I haven’t slept in a couple of days…wake up after a bs nap to see Friedman do his do and then Miranda gives us a funny ass movie clip….

    Best laugh this year. Thank you so much.

  24. I don’t know why y’all laughing!! Any minute now this site will be tagged by Homeland Security and we will all be promptly investigated for our radical, anti-government, communist views……or at least that’s what Sid, in his best Nixon impersonation, promised Friedman. So lets act scared so the poor Operator doesn’t get another call tonight.

  25. Miranda,

    Thanks for the am laugh. Just what I needed after work.

  26. gyangstah Says:

    It never fails to amaze me how some folks just come to cause trouble. Friedman, I don’t know you from a can of paint, but if you find these views so offensive, why on earth would you continue to come back? Egads, man! If it’s an intelligent dialougue you’re looking for, why don’t you start with explaining how Malcolm X was a communist? If you ever even listened to any of his speeches and knew what he was about, you’d know that he was against affirmative action, the welfare state and was a religious conservative. Where does the “Commie” fit in? Do you honestly think no one here sees past your “Malcolm X: Communist Thug” ruse? Do you think we’re that stupid?

  27. Gyangstah I’ve tried numerous times to get Friedman to write a piece on his view of sports and society at large.

    Dude is a TSF shit starter. He injects himself into an intelligent conversation in hopes of getting everyone off track.

    That’s his stelo

  28. thebrotherreport Says:

    I think we’re stuck with him.

  29. That’s cool though, because he ultimately proves our point.

    Thanks Friedman!

  30. Miranda is funny. Like, really, really funny. Her wit is always refreshing.

  31. Miranda is the class clown – says stupid shit of no real meaning, hoping to get a rise out of the masses. She might be half-retarded, if I had to guess.

    Funny that nobody denied “Malcom’s” misgivings. Except for that one dude who claimed “Mr X” wasn’t a Commie. Now that’s some funny shit right there.

    That Malcom X is an inspiration for the “black community” is one of the scariest thoughts imaginable. It’s comparable to those psychotic Muslims who consider bin Laden a “martyr.”

  32. Friedman I think no one responds to some of your comments because we basically ignore you. What you said about Malcom is your OPINION…if it was fact, why don’t you answer the questions that were given to you by gyangstah?

    Malcom has his misgivings…as did every leader. There are many “leaders of the white community” that have done much worse and will continue to do much worse.

    But all those feelings fall under opinion based on very little fact. Its cool though…I actually appreciate your rants. I enjoy coming up with intelligent ways to counter….nice mental exercise lol

  33. gyangstah Says:

    Hmm, so far all I’ve heard is that my shit amuses you, but still no answers. Google much?

  34. Allen she’s really, really, really, reallly funny

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