James Dolan: Future free agents told Knicks they want to play in New York

James Dolan: Future free agents told Knicks they want to play in New York

Well, well, well.

You can certainly add this one to the "Kevin Durant is going to leave the Warriors and sign with the Knicks this summer" hype machine.

Knicks owner James Dolan went on ESPN Radio on Tuesday and said the following:

Let the speculation begin.

Technically, an agent telling a franchise that his or her client wants to sign with that franchise in free agency would qualify as tampering.

But as we all know, tampering is pretty much rampant year round and it's very difficult to enforce.

It's no secret that the Knicks hope to sign Durant and current Celtics star Kyrie Irving in July.

As Knicks broadcaster Clyde Frazier said about KD in early January: "If he could bring a title to New York, that’s going to catapult him with Jordan and LeBron, I would think.”

And as Marc Stein of The New York Times reported in early February: "The threat of the Knicks persuading Durant to leave one of the most dominant teams in league history has never felt more real to the Warriors themselves."

[RELATEDCavs explored pairing LeBron James and Kevin Durant in summer of 2016]

As Durant said to the media soon thereafter: "I have nothing to do with the Knicks. I don't know who traded Porzingis. They got nothing to do with me."

And as Charles Barkley said on Tuesday, Durant "ain't tough enough to play in New York."

The soap opera never ends.

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Why you should expect Steph Curry to have big Game 5 for Warriors

Why you should expect Steph Curry to have big Game 5 for Warriors

Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders tonight at 6, streaming live on the MyTeams app.

Steph Curry did not shoot the ball well in the Warriors' Game 4 win at the Clippers. The two-time NBA MVP shot 3 of 14 overall and 1 of 9 from deep, scoring just 12 points.

It was the 22nd time in the Warriors star’s career that he registered fewer than 20 points in a playoff game.

So, why should you expect a big game from Curry in Game 5 on Wednesday night at Oracle Arena?

Because the prior 21 times in which he didn't score at least 20, he averaged 27.8 points in the next game.

After scoring just 11 points in Game 3 of last year's NBA Finals against the Cavs, he racked up 37 points in the Game 4 closeout.

Speaking of "closeout games," here are Curry's numbers the last eight times the Warriors had the opportunity to end a series:
— Game 4 at Portland in 2017 = 37 points, eight assists
— Game 4 at Utah in 2017 = 30 points, seven assists
— Game 4 at San Antonio in 2017 = 36 points, six assists
— Game 4 at Cleveland in 2017 = 14 points, 10 assists
— Game 5 vs Cleveland in 2017 = 34 points, 10 assists 
— Game 5 vs New Orleans in 2018 = 28 points, eight assists
— Game 7 at Houston in 2018 = 27 points, 10 assists
— Game 4 at Cleveland in 2018 = 37 points, four assists

That's an average of 30.4 points and 7.9 assists per game.

[RELATEDKlay jokes about 'shark' Bogut coming back again next year]

As you’re well aware, Golden State would advance to the Western Conference semifinals with a win over the Clippers.

Also, it's safe to assume that Curry watched what Damian Lillard did Tuesday night and is champing at the bit to take the floor.

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Draymond Green praises Damian Lillard after incredible buzzer-beater

Draymond Green praises Damian Lillard after incredible buzzer-beater

OAKLAND – The latest shot heard ‘round the world occurred Tuesday night in Portland, Ore., on national TV, before the disbelieving eyes of NBA stars accustomed to buzzer-beating heroics.

Oakland’s own Damian Lillard, however, shot his way through any pretense of aloofness. HIs game-winning, series-clinching 37-foot jumper over Oklahoma City defensive ace Paul George was an act of such hubris that it sent dozens of players around the NBA running to their phones to praise the way the Trail Blazers star punctuated his 50-point performance.

Draymond Green, basketball aficionado that he is, was among them, tweeting out a three-word message – “Damn Dame! Wow!” – late Tuesday night.

“Yeah, that was crazy,” Green said Wednesday after Warriors shootaround ahead of Game 5 against the Los Angeles Clippers.

“That whole series he played was pretty amazing,” he added. “Dame has been a great player in this league, a guy who I’ve been respecting. But I gained a lot more respect after just the entire series he put together with the back-and-forth between him and Russ (Westbrook) and the way he kept his poise and just continued to lead the team. That was amazing.”

Lillard and Westbrook are bitter rivals, with the Thunder guard doing most of the stoking. They are a study in contrasts, Westbrook the brash trash-talker always running hot while Lillard’s style is understated, rich with swagger dipped in ice.

Green and Lillard are friendly rivals, partly because both entered the league to the shrugs and yawns of skeptics.

“Obviously, he can score the ball with the best of them,” Green said. “But Dame has a chip on his shoulder and has since the day he walked into this league. Just the way he’s grinding, he plays like a guy from Oakland, with a chip on his shoulder. A guy who has been doubted forever. And that showed up in a major way in that series.”

Among the other high-profile athletes to comment on social media were LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Jamal Crawford, Donovan Mitchell, Kevin Love, Trae Young, Allen Iverson, Candace Parker and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

[RELATED: Draymond vows to play through pain]

Draymond also responded to George’s postgame statement that Lillard took a “bad shot.”

“There are still bad shots, even if they go in,” Green said. “But I don’t know if you could really say that then, if they’re getting 50. I don’t know if you get 50 if any shot is a bad shot, because heat checks and everything are allowed at that point if you get 50. Incredible performance.”