The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the Internet
Knicks fans are just insane, man. It seems insane that a vocal contingent would be arguing to trade Carmelo Anthony less than 30 games into the Young Lurch era, but here we are. Shames does a great job outlining just why this is a not-good idea, focusing on the ways Melo makes life for Porzingis easier on the court. The most obvious point is that the attention the former scoring champ draws leaves more space for Kristaps to operate, but the more interesting one is about what Melo can teach. Having an aging superstar who knows how hot the lights can get in The Garden around to mentor a promising rookie is an almost unqualified good thing. Young players tend to do better when there are veterans around, and Melo specifically has a very particular set of skills that could help Kristaps as he continues to develop his offensive game.
The last two seasons of Brandon Knight have been a pleasure to watch, even if his time with the Bucks still overshadows this stint in Phoenix. It wasn’t just that his teams were playing well; after watching him devastated in so many different highlights, it just felt good to see him winning something. White’s piece lets us know that it never really bothered Knight anyway, that his peers would never judge him on those brief moments of infamy. Among players you make your own reputation, by playing well and winning games. The longer Knight keeps doing those things, the less we’ll talk about the videos he doesn’t even care if we forget.
Hassan Whiteside still feels impossible. How could a well-rounded defense first center have appeared out of nowhere, as if he sprung fully formed from the forehead of Bill Russell himself? His talent and impact are undeniable at this point, and as Hamilton notes, he stands out head and shoulders above many of the small-ball focused stretchy bigs in the Association. He has yet to back up the trash he was talking to Draymond Green on this subject last summer, but it’s fair to wonder if he might end up earning All-Star consideration. Or rather, it would be, if not for a player whose name is strangely unmentioned in Hamilton’s piece. Andre Drummond is about as traditional a center as you’ll find, plays in the Eastern Conference, and seems like a shoo-in for the All-Star nod at this point. That doesn’t mean Whiteside has no chance, but there’s no shortage of talented frontcourt players in the East.
The most enjoyable part of this well-executed and wide-reaching interview with the NBA commissioner has very little to do with the writing. With all apologies to Bontemps, there are few things that could be as exciting as Silver talking about building trust and a better relationship with the NBPA in advance of the CBA expiring. Of course, as noted in the article, Silver is trained as a lawyer and won’t promise anything until he has all the facts. But still, the whole piece is full of interesting tidbits from the commissioner, with commentary on everything from the Rajon Rondo incident to the drama embroiling daily fantasy sports. If you’re interested in how the sausage gets made, this one is pretty can’t miss.
Did you know that today is basketball day? That 124 years ago today, in Springfield, MA, a group of “incorrigible” young men walked into a gym with peach baskets nailed to the railings and James Naismith standing by to explain the rules? Whether you did or not, the story of that first game is worth a read. Even more interesting is the fact that the sport was designed as a way to instill morality and manners in a population dangerously influenced by urbanization. Whether or not it had much success in that is debatable; it surely is no longer a bastion of amateur ideals. But our lives are definitely better for having it.