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Carmelo Anthony started to get a little wistful Wednesday morning while talking about ex-teammates Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith.
"It seems like LeBron [James] took all my family from me," he said hours before the Knicks-Cavs game.
It was a funny line in a light-hearted moment from Anthony.
But he has a genuine bond with Shumpert and Smith, who were traded to James' Cavaliers last January.
Anthony watched both players -- and his buddy LeBron -- with the pride of an older brother during the NBA Finals last season.
"It was more kind of [like] seeing your family out there than anything," he said. "I didn't watch it kind of from a competitive standpoint. I watched two guys -- J.R., I've known him, I've been with him for almost 10 years; Shump is a guy who came in and was kind of a little brother to me; and of course LeBron, who I've been with, kind of connected to since high school. So to see all three of those guys competing at that level, it was more watching my family out there."
NEW YORK -- Robin Lopez had a few reasons to look forward to Wednesday night.
The center, who signed a four-year, $54 million deal in the offseason, was making his New York Knicks debut in front of the home crowd at Madison Square Garden.
But Wednesday was also the eve before New York Comic Con, a four-day convention on the city's west side that is expected to draw more than 140,000 attendees -- including at least one 7-foot-tall NBA player.
"I am [planning on going]," said Lopez, who finished with six points and four rebounds in 16 minutes in his first game with the Knicks.
Lopez has attended conventions in the past, including Wizard World Portland in 2014 when he was a member of the Trail Blazers and served as a special ambassador for the show.
Moving to a new city means an opportunity to attend a new show, but it also meant finding a new comic book shop, something Lopez turned to his brother for.
"Brook's taken to me to Midtown [Comics], obviously," he said. "And I forget the name of the store, it's over by Washington Square, I stumbled upon that one."
Lopez said he leans toward books from DC over Marvel -- his favorite superhero is the Wally West version of The Flash -- and reads "anything Grant Morrison puts out. And Mark Waid, obviously. Nothing surprising about that I guess."
"I grew up with a lot of '90s comics, Mark Waid's 'Flash,' 'JLA,' 'Starman,' all of that."
Unlike most comic fans, Lopez doesn't necessarily go see every movie adaptation, and he expressed some trepidation about next year's DC tentpole film, "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice."
"I think they're establishing a different tone from the Marvel films," he said, "and I'm not sure it's exactly for me. But I think there are interesting things about it. It's nice that they're finally getting Wonder Woman in the movies for example."
As for what he's looking forward to most at this weekend's show, Lopez turned to the world of movies.
"I hear Christopher Lloyd [from 'Back to the Future'] is going to be there, and they're going to hand out the Pepsi Perfect bottles to people dressed up as Marty McFly."
So is Lopez -- whose brother has campaigned for a role in the new Star Wars movie as a Wookie -- going to dress up?
"I might," he said. "We'll see."
The ratings for "NBA 2K16" are out, and -- unlike in "Madden" -- nobody in the league was given a 99.
In fact, the highest rating was a 94, given to a player whose name long has been synonymous with "best in the NBA."
That's right. Even Stephen Curry's MVP season -- which gave him a four-point jump over his score a year ago -- couldn't push him past LeBron James, although the latter dropped four points (partly due to, as Bleacher Report explains, a new way of calculating rankings).
James Harden's players' choice MVP campaign got him a four-point boost, as did the continued scary-goodness of Anthony Davis, but they still couldn't take down The King. Kevin Durant's injury, meanwhile, likely was the reason for his fall from second place and a 95 rating a year ago. (Interesting note: The three non-LeBron top-four players are on the cover.)
There were a couple of surprise inclusions on the list. Carmelo Anthony was 20th in player efficiency rating, 49th in real plus-minus and 81st in wins above replacement last season, yet checks in at No. 8. LaMarcus Aldridge (11th/25th/22nd) was also an eyebrow-raiser at tied for eighth/No. 10.
Not that either is bad, far from it, But still, no love for the best player on Aldridge's team?
Even the very best get confused.
Case in point: Here is Russell Westbrook, absolutely one of the NBA's top players, completely botching a drill (according to the tweeter, "two dribbles to score" -- as in, he's supposed to score here in two dribbles or less).
LeBron and Melo lose it when Russell Westbrook defeats the whole purpose of the drill (2 dribbles to score) pic.twitter.com/7tnWaHwaa0— Hoopmixtape.com (@Hoopmixtape) August 13, 2015
LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony's reactions were wonderful. But let's not ignore Westbrook, who often comes off as impossibly serious, being able to laugh at himself. And it's not the first such instance this summer.
H/T Bleacher Report
Milwaukee Bucks veteran swingman Jared Dudley was at ESPN on Wednesday and, in the spirit of his #nextcareer claim, he did not hold back on his opinions.
But perhaps Dudley's most eye-opening take was on Kobe Bryant, whose shoot-first (and second, and third) ways, Dudley said, are why "it'll [take] a while for the Lakers to get good, because no stars ... want to go there."
Naturally, there was some backlash -- a little about Melo, but mostly about Kobe. Dudley addressed it.
You gotta love the Lakers fan! You gotta understand its goin to take a very unique Star to come FA, KD and Russ. No hate just keep in it 100— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) May 27, 2015
When dealing with Superstars they have egos that have to be stroke! That's why you hear about Kevin love leaving. Role players don't care— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) May 27, 2015
RT @kingjazz24: U don't wanna play with Kobe cuz ur not a true winner! ( I would play with him! Most stars wouldn't taking less $ and shots)— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) May 27, 2015
Ok Kobe fans listen to the interview. I said Kobe one of the greats! I'm laughing about his shot attempts . Most people not taking less $— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) May 27, 2015