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NBA fans should praise Carmelo Anthony for sticking with Knicks

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NBA fans should praise Carmelo Anthony for sticking with Knicks

It's cool to be sour on Carmelo Anthony these days. That doesn't mean it's right.

The scoring savant doesn't really want to win a title, they say. Only the money matters with the New York City lifestyle a close second, the critics chirp. He should have waived his no-trade clause and joined a contender this season, the only-rings-matter crowd preaches.

It's possible some or all of that is true. Anthony essentially forced a trade from Denver to New York in 2011 that forced the Knicks to cough up plenty of key assets. The road from there, even though lined with gold for Melo and La La, has largely been rocky ever since.

There's also another option worth considering: Carmelo Anthony actually wants to stay and help the Knicks contend for if not win an NBA title. 

He may be utterly naive in thinking the salary cap-crippled franchise led by one of sport's most notorious owners has any chance for happiness anytime soon. Anthony may simply want to finish what he started. For this possibility, Anthony deserves some credit from the NBA masses or rid we forget how much all of us crushed LeBron James' decision to leave Cleveland in 2010? 

Speaking to reporters Thursday, Anthony said, "My thought process is, ‘How can I make this situation better?’ What can we do to make this situation better? That’s the only thing I’m thinking about."

Are those thoughts of winning big with the Knicks far-fetched? Perhaps, but who cares, other than those beaten down Knicks fans who recognize the futility of dreaming. 

Part of the James crushing involved the cruelty of breaking up with his hometown franchise on national TV. Yet for those focused on the idea of competitors competing, James' choice to join forces with fellow All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh after coming up short in pursuit of a title Cleveland reeked of fear.

We can't argue with the results. The Heat did win two rings with James as the Finals MVP both time. Miami won the Eastern Conference every time during the four-year run before James returned to Cleveland in 2014. Yet the Miami move for the so-called King went against the famous line often uttered by wrestler Ric Flair. "To be the best you have to beat the best," Flair often stated before and after matches. There was no mention of abandoning your team to join forces with others for an easier time. It's also doubtful Flair ever promoted subtweeting.

This possible flaw aside, there should have been little issue with James' actual departure. Free agents can leave. He did, just as players with no-trade clauses can enforce them. Anthony did even though the $100-plus million left on his contract would go wherever he does.

Anthony turns 32 next month though it's not the age worth noting but the miles. The 13-year veteran, nine-time All-Star and two-time Olympic Gold medalist may never win a ring if he stays with the Knicks. Bummer for New York fans if true. That doesn't mean ripping Anthony for staying is totally fair. 

“The only thing I think about is winning more," he said Thursday. "Whether it’s here or somewhere else, that’s the only thing I think about. I haven’t thought about putting myself on another team. I haven’t thought about me on another team. I haven’t thought about any of that. 

See, he wants to win in New York. Or, maybe he's just saying such for the PR of it all. Maybe Anthony believes James and others will flock to join him at Madison Square Center some day soon. For whatever the reason, he's decided to finish what he's started. After we spent all that time shredding James for doing the opposite, giving Anthony at least some dap for staying in New York would be kind of sweet.

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

Instead of visiting the White House when they come to Washington this week to play the Wizards, the defending-champion Golden State Warriors plan to hold an event with D.C.-area kids.

Their invitation was rescinded by president Donald Trump following a back-and-forth between the two sides last year. After the Warriors won the title, they openly questioned whether they should follow the tradition given many of the players and coaches disagree with his policies. Trump took the opportunity away before they came to a final decision.

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The Warriors' event will be closed off to the media and held at an undisclosed location. It is set for Tuesday, the day before they play the Wizards at Capital One Arena. The Warriors had the option of holding a ceremony with other politicians in the Democratic party, but decided that would send the wrong message. 

"It's their championship. They got disinvited to the White House, so it's up to them what they wanted to do. So they made their plans," coach Steve Kerr said. "I want the players to have a good day and to do something positive and to enjoy what they're doing."

The Warriors are the first NBA team to make this choice since Trump was elected president. Last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers held their celebration with president Barack Obama in November. They did so just days after Trump was elected and LeBron James questioned at the time whether he would visit the White House with Trump in office.

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Sports teams visiting the White House goes back to the mid-1800s. The first World Series title team to visit was the 1924 Washington Senators. By the 1960s, NBA teams were going and by the 1980s NFL and NHL teams made it a tradition.

Entire teams snubbing the White House is unusual, but many players have turned down the opportunity. In the NBA, some famous cases include Larry Bird in 1984 and Michael Jordan in 1991, according to Rolling Stone.

Perhaps the Warriors start a trend, or maybe it will be a one-off thing. Regardless, the alternative they chose is a respectable one. 

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 122-105 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night...

1. This was a tough one for the Wizards. For the third time this season, they got beaten by the Hornets and for the second straight time it was in a blowout.

They still had their moments, though, including this alley-oop from Tomas Satoransky (11 points) to Markieff Morris (13 points, eight assists, six rebounds). It was the second alley-oop connection for those two in as many games:

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2. This was a play that encapsulated the Wizards' night. Jodie Meeks drew a flagrant foul on Michael Carter-Williams, but took a hard shot to the head:

3. Kelly Oubre, Jr. had a solid game with 11 points, including this big dunk:

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4. Speaking of Oubre, he helped the Wizards close the first half with a late surge. The real highlight was Bradley Beal stealing the ball and hitting a corner three at the buzzer:

5. Beal ended up with 33 points, six assists and six rebounds. Here's an and-1 he got to go down in the second half:

All in all, it was an ugly performance for the Wizards. To cheer you up, we'll leave you with this young fan who had a great time at Capital One Arena despite the result:

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