End of the line for Pitino this time

New York
In December of 1959, Boys High School coach Mickey Fisher told a reporter, “There are all kinds of pressures on me.”
The New York colleges were desperately trying to keep Connie Hawkins in town, David Wolf recounted on page 44, in his book ‘Foul’, which documented the NBA’s wrongful implication of The Almighty Hawk in a betting scandal and subsequent anti-trust settlement against the league for over $1.3 million and the lifting of its 5-year ban.
As a senior sensation, Hawkins was considered a must-procure attraction for Madison Square Garden, Wolf wrote. St. John’s, a perennial national power, was the most persistent. Connie arrived at practice one day wearing a red satin St. John’s uniform and a new pair of sneakers.
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Carmelo told Knicks he would not show at camp

New York

Carmelo Anthony would not have reported to training camp on Monday had the Knicks not agreed to a deal to swap him to Oklahoma City for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a 2018 second-rounder on Saturday, I have been informed.

Anthony had notified the Knicks and the Player’s Association of his intentions. His presence would have been a distraction and disruption. A mass media circus.

Trade to Cavs the best move for Carmelo

New York
Faced with the rapidly approaching reality of resuming his unstable relationship with the Knicks whose authority figures are resolved to proceed without him, Carmelo Anthony did something within the last few days he should’ve done long ago: He agreed to waive his no-trade clause to be dealt to the Cavaliers.
Should a reasonable exchange be arranged, which I fully anticipate, it’d virtually guarantee Melo what no other team can but the Warriors … a June trip to The Finals, because that’s where LeBron James’ extravagant escort service has shepherded his teams seven straight times, and counting.
Considering Melo, 33, is fixated on competing for a championship before he loses his legs and lungs following 14 years of advancing to a Conference Finals a total of once (2008-09), I don’t pretend to understand why linking up with LeBron wasn’t his principal priority from the jump.
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Kyrie’s move about desire to be true point guard

New York
Contrary to widespread tongue-waggin’ that Monday morning was the first time in recorded broadcast history Stephen A. Smith spoke, and subtitles were needed for someone else, I found nothing puzzling, ambiguous, perplexing, baffling, bewildering, confusing or obscure about what Kyrie Irving said on ESPN’s First Take.

Well, maybe there was a hint of an abstract answer or two.

Nevertheless, despite intermittent zigzagging, Kyrie’s central message, repeated consistently in diverse forms, using different terms and words that translated into the same meaning, was legible to me, if nobody else.   

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Exclusive – LeBron to sign with Lakers as free agent after season

New York
As accentuated at the top of Wednesday’s terrible tease of a column, I was chasing confirmation on provocative information provided by a single supplier, having edgily sat on it for two weeks.
My habitually incontrovertible informant, who’d recently given me last season’s Kristaps Porzingis-Jeff Hornacek conflict on a platinum platter, guaranteed this latest gratuity 100 percent.
Such a definitive assurance is explicitly rare. Acceptance of same is really risky. Predominantly since it was tendered 10 months in advance, longstanding relationship with my trusted friend aside.
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Big scoop in the works, how Knicks tried to boost McGinnis, the time Chocolate Thunder destroyed my typewriter

New York

What does a journalist do when an unshakable source swears the extraordinary story he revealed to you two weeks ago, is “100 percent accurate”… though many moons away from occurring … yet is unwilling to provide any additional pertinent details?

Cause a volatile commotion by going with it as insufficiently presented, knowing it’ll subject you to prolonged scathing admonition? Or hold off and covertly research the shit out it in an effort to secure confirmation, thus taking a chance ESPN’s regiment of reporters luck into it.

If you know me at all, you know how hot to trot I am, how badly I want to bust this nut, how tempted I am to cut the corner and detonate the explosive. But I promised myself when I un-retired to write this column, I would combat such unruliness, even at the risk of blowing an exclusive on par with my ultimate all-time:

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Hall of Fame election of McGinnis an overdue honor for an honest man

New York
On the precipice of enshrinement, George McGinnis should have been elected to The Naismith Hall of Fame eons ago, testify legions of worshippers.
You’re preachin’ to the preacher.
Based on the Wizard of Ahs’ one sizzling season at Indiana University, where he led the Big Ten in scoring (30) and rebounding (14.7), and four scintillating seasons with the ABA Indiana Pacers (back-to-back titles his first two pro years; MVP in the second playoffs; 1975 league MVP; 25.2 points 12.9 rebounds regular season; 23.7, 12.9 playoffs), he was easily first ballot measurable the first time he was eligible five years after retirement.
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Cavs still beast of the East despite dealing Kyrie

New York

I’m going out on the branch of the locust tree in my backyard, where a wild turkey family sleeps nights, and deduce Danny Ainge is done radically refurbishing the Celtics’ roster, having kept only four freakin’ players from last season’s Eastern Conference pennant prizewinners.

Funny thing is, the Cavaliers are still better! Regardless of how slowly or quickly Isaiah Thomas recovers from last May’s acute hip injury … or to what degree … or not at all.

The Celtics are right where they were last season when they lost 4-1 in the EC finals.

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Exclusive – Pacers owner Simon may sue NBA, Lakers over Paul George tampering case

New York
Following the NBAs 200304 season, LeBron James coming out pro party, the Cavaliers had the right to exercise an option on Carlos Boozer. The Duke forward had been the 37th pick in the 02 draft, and was locked into a relatively scrawny salary (600G) for someone whod just averaged 15.5 points and 11.4 rebounds as a soph.
The Cavs finished 3745 that year, a lotto team despite the advent of the high school kid dubbed The Chosen One, who still smelled like milk. Cleveland was hardly a desired destination of flashy free agents.
In an effort to do right by Boozer (the first teammate who didnt want to play with LeBron) and send a message to prime time players throughout the league, Gordon Gund, an honors owner, did the unthinkable; he took an agent and his client at their word.
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