Wizards

In London, Carmelo Anthony praises Knicks owner

201301160944350595432-p2.jpeg

In London, Carmelo Anthony praises Knicks owner

LONDON (AP) If MSG chairman James Dolan is listening to what Carmelo Anthony has to say in London, he'll probably be happy to hear it.

Two days after the Newark Star-Ledger reported that Dolan had put listening devices on the court to monitor everything said to and by Anthony, the New York Knicks forward spoke about the hubbub.

``I got an owner that looks out (for me),'' Anthony said before practice Wednesday at London's O2 Arena. ``You can't beat that.''

The report said Dolan had technicians stationed at opposite corners of the court during Friday's home game against Chicago. Holding umbrella-shaped parabola microphones, they were told to record Anthony's interactions and send the tape directly to Dolan himself.

Anthony and Boston forward Kevin Garnett exchanged words during the Celtics' 102-96 victory Jan. 7. Anthony, clearly thrown off his game and finishing just 6-of-26 from the field, later tried to confront Garnett near the locker room and team bus and received a one-game suspension from the NBA.

Anthony would not reveal what was said by Garnett, only that it was something he felt a man shouldn't say to another man.

``If an owner tries to protect their players, trying to protect his player, you can't beat that,'' Anthony said one day after arriving in London.

The Knicks are in the British capital to play a regular-season NBA game against the Detroit Pistons on Thursday, the second time the league has come to London for a meaningful game.

And Knicks coach Mike Woodson easily was more interested in the Pistons than the miking story.

``I don't really care about the miking thing. I don't follow it and haven't followed it,'' Woodson said. ``I got better things to worry about than this miking thing that you guys are talking about.''

The Knicks are coming into the game off a 100-87 win over the New Orleans Hornets on Sunday. And after Wednesday's game, they won't play again until they meet the Brooklyn Nets on Monday.

``This is not about vacation and I don't think any of us is treating it that way. This is a regular-season game. It's a game that we got to win,'' Woodson said. ``It's not about vacation time. Vacation's in the summer.''

To make things seem even more like home, director Spike Lee walked out on court before Knicks practice. The longtime Knicks fan was wearing a big orange hat and a Knicks sweatshirt.

``The orange and blue, baby,'' said Lee, who has been in London many times but is in the city to watch his beloved Knicks for the first time. ``My wife gave me permission to come to the game.''

The NBA came to Europe in 2011, with the then-New Jersey Nets swept a two-game series against the Toronto Raptors at the O2, the first regular-season games to be played in Europe.

Last year, there was no NBA at the arena, but it did host the Olympic gold medal game, something Anthony and Knicks teammate Tyson Chandler helped the United States win in August.

``How can I forget? It was a special time in my life, a special moment,'' Anthony said. ``Just to be back in this arena once again, having a chance to play one last time back here in London in front of the fans who've been very gracious to myself and the game of basketball.''

The schedule this year has only one NBA game in London, making it quite a long way to go for only 48 minutes of action.

``At the end of the day it's competition,'' Pistons center Greg Monroe said. ``This is a game we have to take very seriously. They're a very good team; we understand it's a business trip.

``We're enjoying ourselves as much as possible, but I think everybody is focused on the right thing.''

The Pistons had the earlier practice Wednesday, giving the players the afternoon off to explore the city. That's when the vacation feel is more likely to take hold.

``As long as they don't get trapped in the Tower of London,'' Pistons coach Lawrence Frank joked.

``That's part of the maturity of being a professional,'' Frank added. ``When you step off this hardwood, enjoy yourselves. But when you step back on, you got to be locked in.''

Quick Links

Check out the names on the Wizards' Summer League training camp roster

rui-hachimura-handshake-adam-silver-wizards-usat.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Check out the names on the Wizards' Summer League training camp roster

NBA Summer League is right around the corner. While the Washington Wizards continue a search for a new president, they do have one thing pinned down: the Summer League training camp roster.

The Wizards open Summer League play in Las Vegas on Saturday, July 6, when they take on No. 1 draft pick Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans.

Mini camp begins Tuesday and runs through Thursday. Players will participate in a two-hour practice each day.

Here is the training camp roster:

Noah Allen, G/F, Hawaii (Capital City Go-Go)
Armoni Brooke, G, Houston
Elijah Brown, G/F, Oregon (Grand Rapids Drive)
Troy Brown Jr., F, Oregon (Washington Wizards)
Dontay Caruthers, G, Buffalo
Troy Caupain Jr., G, Cincinnati (Orlando Magic)
Corey Davis, G, Houston
Dikembe Dixson, F, UIC (Capital City Go-Go)
Kellen Dunham, G, Butler (Capital City Go-Go)
John Egbunu, C, Florida
Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga
Vince Hunter, F, UTEP (AEK Athens Greece)
Garrison Mathews, G, Lipscomb
Tarik Phillip, G, Ukraine (Petrol Limpija Ukraine)
Admiral Schofield, F, Tennessee
James Thompson IV, F/C, Eastern Michigan
Jeff Withey, C, Kansas (Lavrio B.C. Greece)
Tony Wroten, G, Washington (BC Kalev-Cramo Estonia)

MORE WIZARDS NEWS

Quick Links

Free Agency Bracket: Noel Acciari vs. Marcus Kruger

Free Agency Bracket: Noel Acciari vs. Marcus Kruger

It is almost time for NHL free agency to begin, and the Capitals certainly have needs to fill and a limited budget. Who would be the best fit? Who would be the best free agent target for Washington to pursue? That’s what NBC Sports Washington wants to find out!

Our experts got together and made a bracket of the 16 best free agent fits. The bracket is divided into four regions: Third line forward, fourth line forward, depth defenseman and Caps’ free agent. Now we want you to tell us who you want to see rocking the red next year!

Every weekday we will match two free agents up against one another and present a case for each player. Then you get to vote and decide who advances!

Check out today’s matchup:

Region: Fourth line forwards

Noel Acciari vs. Marcus Kruger

 

2018-19 stats

 

Noel Acciari (27 years old):72 games played with the Boston Bruins, 6 goals, 8 assists, 14 points, 12:59 TOI

 

Playoffs: 19 games played with the Boston Bruins, 2 goals, 2 assists, 4 points, 13:10 TOI

 

Marcus Kruger (29 years old): 74 games played with the Chicago Blackhawks, 4 goals, 8 assists, 12 points, 10:25 TOI

 

Playoffs: None

 

Hockey-Graph contract projections

 

Noel Acciari: 2 years, $1,180,934 cap hit

 

Marcus Kruger: 1 year, $861,030 cap hit

 

The case for Noel Acciari

Plays a lot bigger than his 5-foot-10, 205-pound frame. A perfect fit at right wing on the fourth line for Washington. The native New Englander, who played at Providence, is a home-grown Bruin and might not want to leave home, but Boston also might not have the cap space to give an obvious fourth-line player a decent raise. The Capitals might not, either, but for now, they really only have to add in RFA Jakub Vrana’s new contract and figure out what they’re going to do with RFA Andre Burakovsky. 

 

Acciari is renowned for his character and toughness. He was a college captain for Providence and helped the Friars win an NCAA title in 2015. There’s never been a shot he’s unwilling to block. Acciari sustained a broken sternum in the second round against Columbus and a blocked shot with his right foot in Game 7 of the Cup Final left him in a walking boot.  

 

Acciari’s offensive upside is limited, but he did have 10 goals in 2017-18. He was a key player for the Bruins in the past two Stanley Cup playoffs and chipped in two goals in this year’s playoff run that came within a game of a championship. Acciari would help on Washington’s penalty kill, too. In 111:52 he was only on the ice for 11 power-play goals against. Only two Boston forwards were on the ice more short-handed.  

 

The case for Marcus Kruger

 

A different skill set here for the smaller Kruger (6-foot, 186 pounds). Don’t expect even double-digit goals from him, either. But Kruger will likely cost less than $1 million and can be a valuable penalty killer, where Washington needs help. That’s huge for a team that is now dealing with an $81.5 million salary cap, which is $1.5 million less than expected. Add in the overage bonus for defenseman Brooks Orpik from last season and you’re in trouble at just over $80 million.   

 

Kruger played seven seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks and one disappointing one with the Carolina Hurricanes. Kruger has plenty of Stanley Cup experience, too, playing for Chicago’s 2013 and 2015 Cup winners. He has 87 postseason games and a triple-overtime game-winner in the Western Conference Final to his name in 2015 in Game 2 of that series against Anaheim. 

 

A defensive specialist, only two Blackhawks forwards played more short-handed minutes than Kruger (132:46) last season. There is risk here. Kruger was traded to Carolina in 2017-18, but was placed on waivers after 48 games and spent the rest of the season in the AHL before being traded to Arizona and then back to Chicago. But part of that stemmed from how much he was making on a $3.08 million cap hit. At a bargain-basement price, Kruger is more palatable. 

 

Who’s your pick? Vote here.

MORE CAPITALS NEWS