US picks 12-man roster for basketball World Cup (The Associated Press)

The Americans kept Derrick Rose and cut All-Star Damian Lillard and three others early Saturday morning, getting their roster down to the limit for the FIBA World Cup of Basketball. Though team officials had previously said they might carry extra players when they left for Spain on Saturday, and final rosters aren't due until next Friday, the Americans decided there was no need to wait. Kyle Korver, Gordon Hayward and Chandler Parsons also were cut, shortly after the Americans beat Puerto Rico 112-86 in their final home exhibition game.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NBA - New York Knicks News on August 23, 2014 at 12:33 am

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NBA roundup: Wait almost over: Love deal nears (The SportsXchange)

The 30-day waiting period on the Kevin Love trade to the Cleveland Cavaliers ends Saturday and the Minnesota Timberwolves expect to land Philadelphia 76ers power forward Thaddeus Young in addition to No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Wiggins, according to multiple reports. The Timberwolves agreed weeks ago to send Love, a power forward, to Cleveland where he will team up with forward LeBron James and point guard Kyrie Irving. The Cavs will become the instant favorite in the Eastern Conference.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NBA - New York Knicks News on August 22, 2014 at 5:41 pm

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Melo optimistic about Knicks (The SportsXchange)

An optimistic Carmelo Anthony, who admits he was close to leaving New York, feels the new culture will make the difference for the Knicks this season. I think we will have a much better season than we did last year," Anthony said Thursday night at Barclays Center, according to ESPN.com. Anthony was serving as a coach in a celebrity basketball game sponsored by CC Sabathia and Robinson Cano's charities. Anthony tested free agency over the summer, but he eventually re-signed with the Knicks, agreeing to a five-year, $124 million contract.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NBA - New York Knicks News on August 22, 2014 at 2:29 pm

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Dunk History: The joy of hearing Scottie Pippen posterize Patrick Ewing (Ball Don’t Lie)

As the summer wears on, with training camps and preseason play still off in (what feels like) the distant future, we turn our attention to the past. Join us as we while away a few late-summer moments recalling some of the most scintillating slams of yesteryear, the most thunderous throwdowns ever to sear themselves into our memories. This is Dunk History . Today, Kevin Kaduk , overlord of these here Yahoo Sports Blogs, celebrates Scottie Pippen's ravaging of Patrick Ewing during Game 6 of the 1994 Eastern Conference semifinals. I heard my favorite dunk in basketball history hours before I ever saw it. It may seem a crazy notion in this age of pirated live streams, sanctioned apps and instantly distributed GIFs, but there was a time when there were actual barriers to watching NBA playoff action as it unfolded. Laptops were a rarity. Tablets and smartphones were more than a decade away. Heck, even simply being in a suburban Chicago home with a television set didn't guarantee you a chance to see the dynasty-era Chicago Bulls play each and every game. Back in 1994, roughly 37 percent of American households didn't own a cable subscription. Among them were my neighbors, who had two boys who needed a sitter (e.g., me) from time to time. It was a good gig in that I loved playing goalie in their endless games of driveway hockey and getting paid a few dollars an hour for it. It was not a good gig in that it provided no way to watch Game 6 of that spring's legendary Eastern Conference semifinals between the Bulls and New York Knicks. And so, with Scottie Pippen and the Bulls facing elimination after the "Hue Hollins game" at the Garden, the three of us settled in front of the stereo and tuned in Neil Funk and Tom Boerwinkle's call on 670.  There have been plenty of odes written to the pleasures of baseball on the radio. Listening to football in the car is acknowledged as an acceptable substitute if you're on your way home from church or running out to pick up food. Listening to a basketball game, however, remains an underrated joy. Without the static starting points of baseball and football plays, the exercise forces you to use your imagination a lot more for basketball's free-flowing action. And unlike the chaos of hockey, the sport's playbooks provide just enough definition that you don't have to do all the heavy lifting. Listening to a basketball game on the radio remains a decent way to quicken a long drive or provide company while cleaning a garage.  On that day, though, we did nothing but sit and listen. We didn't have to create any tension or sense of drama on our own as Funk began to call the action with his clipped cadence. " Scottie ... ahead to Horace... kicks out to Toni ... Kaboom!" "Starks ... into Ewing .. Six-footer ... And the Bulls lead is down to four." The noise from condemned Chicago Stadium — which needed two Bulls victories to delay the old building's shuttering — was constant through our speakers, though you could sense a certain reserve for much of the first half. The Bulls and Knicks had faced off the previous three springs, with Michael Jordan and Co. prevailing in each alley fight. Now it was Chicago being put to the test, its streak of three straight titles hanging in the balance. While it wasn't the same team with Jordan shagging flies in Birmingham, the enthusiasm around Chicago remained high, and the thought of elimination at the hands of New York caused just as much dread. Pippen had stepped out of Jordan's shadow to lead the Bulls to 55 wins and a first-round sweep of the Cleveland Cavaliers with an MVP-caliber performance. (He'd finish third in Most Valuable Player voting, behind winner Hakeem Olajuwon and runner-up David Robinson.) Number 33 in red and black remained the center of attention in the Knicks series, for better or for worse. His 1.8 seconds of pouting at the end of Game 3 marred his reputation (even with Toni Kukoc nailing the game-winner in his absence) and he rebounded with a 25-point, eight-rebound, six-assist effort in a Game 4 win that tied the series. Pippen was then involved in one of the most debatable fouls in NBA history, as Hollins blew a late whistle on the Bulls forward, sending Hubert Davis to the line for two free throws that put the Knicks on the brink of advancing to the conference finals. There was no way the Bulls were going to close the old Stadium with a loss, though. We sat and listened as they took an early 6-4 lead in Game 6, and then built on it as the free-throw advantage turned the Bulls' way on their home court. Chicago built an 11-point halftime lead, but their inability to close out the games at Madison Square Garden still left a nagging feeling the Bulls might blow it. Until it happened. I wish a simple Internet search would call up a replay of Funk's call of the action — you can hear the TV call with Johnny "Red" Kerr in the clip above — but if a version exists online, I've yet to find it. That's OK, though. I can still remember the roar that came through that speakers, a rush of noise that painted a clear picture. Pippen had just come off a fast break to dunk over Patrick Ewing in the lane, and the 18,676 fans lucky enough to be at Chicago Stadium threatened to send it into orbit, where it'd definitely avoid the wrecking ball. The Bulls lead had reached 17, the series was going seven games, and it was already clear we'd be talking about this dunk for the rest of our lives. *Indeed, there were several articles written when the 20th anniversary of Pippen's dunk rolled around on May 20. It'd take until the evening news for me to see a clip of the dunk, but those of you with the ability to watch from home knew what immediately followed. Pippen came down over Ewing, forcefully pushing him to the ground with a shove that drew a technical. He then marched over to Spike Lee, had his say with the roadtripping Knicks fan and proudly strode the other way. Meanwhile, the cathartic roar continued through those speakers. It was like nothing I'd ever heard before, and maybe since. At some point, I realized that all three of us were standing. The boys hopped up and down. I felt the need to call someone. I didn't, because there was no way I could stop listening to that stereo. In years to come, replays of the dunk and pictures would familiarize me with every little detail. From the quick passes of B.J. Armstrong and Pete Myers to reading Scottie's lips in his exchange with Lee ("Sit your a** down!") to appreciating the just-before-it-happened looks of the other players in the frame of Nathaniel Butler's poster-worthy photo. Seriously, does it get any better than this?

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NBA - New York Knicks News on August 22, 2014 at 1:05 pm

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Dunk History: Michael Jordan embarrasses, like, all of the Knicks (Ball Don’t Lie)

As the summer wears on, with training camps and preseason play still off in (what feels like) the distant future, we turn our attention to the past. Join us as we while away a few late-summer moments recalling some of the most scintillating slams of yesteryear, the most thunderous throwdowns ever to sear themselves into our memories. This is Dunk History .  Today, Kelly Dwyer revels in Michael Jordan doing terrible things to John Starks, then Charles Oakley, and then Patrick Ewing during Game 3 of the first round of the 1991 Eastern Conference playoffs. The New York Knicks weren’t the enemy yet. The Detroit Pistons? They were the enemy. The Cleveland Cavaliers remained a hated foe, and out West, it seemed as if the Portland Trail Blazers would become the enemy. In the end, it turned out that the Los Angeles Lakers would be the enemy, as well. The Knicks? There had been some fearsome regular-season back-and-forths in the five years prior, and there was always going to be intrigue present after Chicago dealt an admittedly better and younger player (power forward Charles Oakley) to New York for a player they badly needed (center Bill Cartwright) in 1988. A deal that resulted in this 8-year-old throwing a pillow at a lamp in his parents’ den, knocking it over and breaking it. The 39-win, pre-Pat Riley Knicks, though, were not the Bulls' enemy in 1991. They were a fitful team still struggling to find an identity in the post-Rick Pitino era, perpetually featuring a starting point guard battle and doing all the Knicksian stuff that you’ve come to know and that New Yorkers have come to fear over the years, like dealing a first-round pick to Portland for Kiki Vandeweghe’s last legs. No, the Knicks weren’t the frightening outfit that would win 51 games and take the Bulls to seven games in 1992 under Riley, or post more regular-season wins than Chicago the year after. They weren’t the same team that downed the Jordan-less Bulls in 1994, or gave Chicago perhaps its toughest consistent postseason challenge in the 72-win season of 1996. They were coached by an interim lifer named John MacLeod, they had lost the first two games of a best-of-five first-round series by a combined 51 points, and all signs pointed to Game 3 of the first-round pairing as a bit of a mercy killing on the Knicks’ home floor. One last poor showing before Riley came aboard and ended clowntime. Before that happened, though, Michael Jordan clowned all over Patrick Ewing’s face: The complete and utter fooling of Oakley and John Starks — two of the more intelligent and active defenders of the era — is enough. To then rise over the conference’s best big man after expending quite a bit of energy in putting Oakley and Starks in the blender is almost unfair. Jordan likely knew Ewing was around, but Ewing had every right to believe that he’d be able to wipe Jordan’s shot out at the rim after watching him feint and twirl and cross over some 17 feet from the basket. It should have been his. Nothing, for Ewing and for the Knicks, ever was. That isn’t to say that the Knicks didn’t go on to scare the ever-lovin’ wits out of Bulls fans like me. By the time Chicago moved past the Knicks in 1992 and 1993, or even in 1996 as Chicago went on to play an ill-prepared Orlando Magic squad after slugging it out with the Knicks, the ensuing opponents felt like pushovers by comparison. My father noted as much at the time, pointing out that it felt like the Bulls were up at the plate swinging freely after spending a series against the Knicks in the on-deck circle, warming up for an at-bat with three bats loaded with heavy bat doughnuts. Baseball analogies abounded in the Dwyer household, and we said the word “bat” a lot. It was a real home run. Jordan scored 33 points with seven assists and six steals in this Game 3, as Chicago went on to win the game by nine, the series in a sweep, and eventually the franchise’s first title. The Knicks went on to get their act together, and promise themselves that this would never happen again. Even in defeat, it didn’t. Nothing came easy in New York after this. More from BDL's Dunk History series: • John Starks, the Chicago Bulls and 'The Dunk' • Tom Chambers rising like a Phoenix and taking orbit as a Sun • Taj Gibson starts the break, then breaks Dwyane Wade • Joakim Noah makes Paul Pierce a memory • Baron Davis unloads on Andrei Kirilenko, moves beyond belief • The joy of hearing Scottie Pippen posterize Patrick Ewing More NBA coverage: - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NBA - New York Knicks News on August 22, 2014 at 10:00 am

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The 10-man rotation, starring Dick Bavetta, who never missed an assignment and who will be missed (Ball Don’t Lie)

A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out. C : Triangle Offense , Sports Illustrated and NBA.com . Russ Bengtson and Ben Golliver bid a fond farewell to Dick Bavetta, who's hanging up his whistle after 39 years as the NBA's "officiating iron man," while Steve Aschburner finds out what precipitated the referee's retirement ("“This year when [my wife and two daughters] met [to vote], it was 3-0 to retire"). PF : Hardwood Paroxysm . Roy Hibbert's certainly not a great rebounder, but Scott Rafferty thinks he's not nearly as bad as some folks believe, since he's often doing just what he's asked to do within the Indiana Pacers' scheme. SF : Hang Time . Lang Whitaker on Rudy Gay's strong performance in Team USA's dominant win over the Dominican Republic on Wednesday, and how the Sacramento Kings forward could go from late-post-KD-bouncing addition to pivotal piece of the U.S. squad in the upcoming 2014 World Cup. SG : Raptors HQ . Ian Levy on where Terrence Ross seems to need to go next in his development, where the Toronto Raptors seem to need him most, and "the interesting dilemma" presented by the fact that those appear to be two different places. PG : The Hook . Tom Ziller considers rumors that the stalled restricted free agency of Eric Bledsoe have the Phoenix Suns looking to move him, and finds that they don't quite stand up to logical scrutiny. 6th : Bullets Forever . After letting Trevor Ariza go to the Houston Rockets and replacing him with Paul Pierce in free agency, can the Washington Wizards adjust to the change in defensive acumen on the wing without taking a big step backward? 7th : The Triangle . Alex Wong on one Florida man (not @_FloridaMan ) and his five-years-and-running pursuit of a one-on-one game with Michael Jordan.. 8th : The Cauldron . Robert Silverman finds himself more than a little uneasy with the media promotion of sports/military partnerships like the one that the NBA and USA Basketball have in "Hoops for Troops": "The United States military is not a team . We don’t buy tickets and 'root' for them they way we do for the Lakers or the Celtics. By conflating them, we fail to distinguish between meaningless basketball games?—?even ones that are played by the U.S. National Team?—?and war , and that does a incredible disservice to those who are tasked with fighting on our behalf." 9th : D-League Digest . If the New York Knicks want 2014 second-round pick Thanasis Antetokounmpo to play for their D-League affiliate, it could wind up costing them D-League draft choices. Of course it could. These are the Knicks, after all. 10th : The Reversal . Max Minsker looks at the relationship between offensive rebounding and offensive efficiency, and how it's manifesting itself in changes to frontcourt dynamics throughout the NBA. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NBA - New York Knicks News on August 21, 2014 at 4:02 pm

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Jeremy Lin gets Madame Tussauds wax figure, which is nice, and shoves cake in mom’s face, which isn’t (Ball Don’t Lie)

The San Francisco branch of renowned international wax museum Madame Tussauds unveiled its newest addition on Thursday — newly minted Los Angeles Lakers point guard Jeremy Lin, who played his high school ball about 45 minutes outside the city in Palo Alto, Calif., and began his NBA career with a brief stint on the Golden State Warriors' bench during the 2010-11 season. Let's join Lin in taking a look at Jeremy on wax, which is word to Stone Gossard : Jeremy Lin... Meet Jeremy Lin. The unveiling of his wax figure at #MadameTussauds in #SanFrancisco @Lakers pic.twitter.com/K2eMgEUIjo — Jaime Maggio (@jaimemaggio) August 21, 2014 It looks ... well, an awful lot like the Lin figure that previously appeared at the Madame Tussauds location in Beijing , with the Houston Rockets' red uniform swapped out for L.A.'s familiar purple and gold and without the ball Lin's supposed to be dunking going through the basket. (This feels like a bad omen for the offensive potency of the 2014-15 Lakers.) Lin had to meet with Madame Tussauds' artists "for detailed measurements to ensure that the final product would be a realistic likeness of the 25-year-old point guard," according to Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times . I bet if you ask him, though, he'll say that the figure should probably be a little more muscular; this is the offseason, after all, and everybody's putting on 15 pounds of muscle. (Shouts to Lang .) Lin joins such luminaries as Hall of Fame San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana, tennis superstar Serena Williams, boxing legend Muhammad Ali and noted golf enthusiast Tiger Woods in the ranks of sports figures on display at Madame Tussauds' Fisherman's Wharf museum , which is neat. He should savor the flavor of the celebratory unveiling, though; if the introduction of his former New York Knicks teammate Carmelo Anthony's wax figure is any indication, folks are about to start cracking on Lin's defensive shortcomings pretty darn quick. (Then again, maybe folks will direct any like-he-was-standing-still goofs toward another Lakers point guard .) As Pincus notes in his report, Lin's just two days shy of his 26th birthday, which makes the Madame Tussauds honor a decent little pre-birthday present. It also, however, means that he's two days closer to potential retribution for his recent unkindness to his mom, whose birthday celebration included an uncalled-for trip to Dessertinthefaceburgh: Hey, Jeremy Lin? Can you be cool to your mom for like a second ? Come on, dog. If you don't start shaping up, you're going to have to answer to Grandpa , and I know you don't want that. Apparently, young Mr. Lin made amends at Madame Tussauds: "Thanks to the SF Madame Tussauds Wax Museum for helping me patch things up with my mom hahah," Lin wrote in the caption to his Instagram post . "Fyi she wasnt actually upset when she got pied," he added, before wrapping up with the hashtag #itsfamilytradition. A likely story, Jeremy. We'll let it slide this time, we suppose. (Glad they put the ball in there, too.) - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NBA - New York Knicks News on August 21, 2014 at 2:27 pm

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Michael Jordan accepts ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and challenges entire 1992 Dream Team, too (Video) (Ball Don’t Lie)

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge — the smash-hit viral video campaign aimed at raising awareness of and money for research into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis , often referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease — has captivated an awful lot of people over the course of the past couple of weeks, and the NBA world has been no exception. A slew of hoops-related luminaries, from Team USA through LeBron James and Commissioner Adam Silver and beyond, and now, it has reached the rarefied air of Air Jordan himself: Michael Jordan. After being nominated by soccer legend David Beckham , and Jordan Brand athletes Ray Allen and Derek Jeter , the Chicago Bulls legend and Charlotte Hornets owner faced the music in a video released Wednesday: We loved you for your vertical leap when you played, M.J., but would it have killed you to go horizontal for the video? C'mon, man. Jordan aimed pretty high with his challenges, calling out his former head coach and current New York Knicks president of basketball operations Phil Jackson, as well as his teammates from "The Dream Team," the U.S. men's national Olympic basketball team that changed the face of international hoops by dominating at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. Among Dream Teamers, only Jordan, Larry Bird and Chris Mullin have already completed the challenge as of press time. (Press time! In a story like this!) I'm sure the Turner Sports crew will come up with something wonderful for Charles Barkley's pay-up, and I can only hope that John Stockton and Karl Malone are able to link up on an appropriately pick-and-roll-themed ice bath. However the other members' entries play out, two things seem certain — first, that every other Dream Teamer will mercilessly tease Christian Laettner's submission, and second, that Jordan will hold Patrick Ewing's job as the Hornets' associate head coach in the balance if he even thinks about declining. Then again, few folks have ever needed an ice-down as much as Patrick , so maybe he'll welcome it. The campaign has been a monstrous success, with the ALS Association reporting Sunday that there have been "about 260,000 new donors" responsible for "$13.3 million in donations since July 29, compared with $1.7 million during the same period last year, according to the New York Times . After a few more big days, including the single most successful day in its 30-year history , the organization tweeted Wednesday that it received a whopping $31.5 million between July 29 and Aug. 20. Pretty sensational news for those who struggle with or have been affected by this terrible disease. (If you'd like to donate to the ALS Association, you can do so here .) More NBA coverage: - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NBA - New York Knicks News on August 20, 2014 at 1:01 pm

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An important basketball reminder: Luc Longley’s stories are still the best (Ball Don’t Lie)

Luc Longley's stories are better than yours. After more than a decade away from the game, Crocodile Longley is back in the basketball spotlight as an assistant coach for an Australian national team hoping to make noise at the FIBA World Cup. Aussie publication "Inside Sport" caught up with Longley , and he reminded us all why his stories are the best. For those unfamiliar with Longley, the 7-foot-2 center was discovered by New Mexico coach Gary Colson in Perth, Australia, averaged 13.4 points and 7.0 rebounds for the Lobos and was drafted No. 7 overall by the Timberwolves in 1991. After a few unsuccessful seasons in Minnesota, Longley was traded to the Bulls, for whom he served as the starting center during the second of Michael Jordan's three-peats. The legend of Longley, though, was born in Chicago, where he missed two months of the 1996-97 NBA season for separating his shoulder while bodysurfing on a road trip with Bulls teammate Jud Buechler off Hermosa Beach, Calif. When he arrived in a sling, Longley told the Los Angeles Times he'd injured it fighting a shark — " He was bigger than me — and better looking " — before conceding the truth. After another trade sent him to Phoenix for a trio of players and a first-round pick that later became Ron Artest, the legend of Longley continued. In April 2000, he played through a pair of scorpion stings — one to his foot and the other his buttocks — suffered while sitting on the floor of his Arizona home sorting his CDs . As he told the Tucson Citizen, "I could just see the injury report: Ass bite." So, when a career-ending ankle injury sent Longley packing back to Australia 13 years ago, the world was robbed of a great basketball storyteller — save for the time he purchased the rights to name a newly discovered shrimp species after his teenage daughter Clare Hanna on eBay in 2009. See what I mean? Fear not, for Big Red has returned in midseason form as a 45-year-old assistant on the same national team he led at age 19 to its highest ever standing, a fourth-place finish at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. On a serious note, as relayed to "Inside Sport," Longley learned his basketball career was over as a member of the Knicks while living in New York on Sept. 11, 2001, which is a pretty crazy story in itself. "We just decided to head for Australia. At that stage there were no commercial flights, so we boarded a friend’s jet and put the parrot and the dog in that. We stopped at Chicago to drop the parrot off with my mother, dropped the dog off with a restaurant partner of mine who liked the dog, then we hung out in LA for a couple of days and organised a Qantas flight home. We landed back in Australia around September 15th or 16th." Outside of a one-day trip back to New York City to undergo an X-ray on his ankle, Longley didn't return to the U.S. for more than a decade. In between, the legend of Longley has grown down under. "Um, about five years ago my house burnt down; that was pretty freaky. I had separated with the mother of my daughters by that stage. My girlfriend had only just moved in. The lot went. She literally had nothing and I had nothing, so we started again. We ended up marrying. She’s a high-school buddy — was in a band called the Jam Tarts, who were very popular when we were young. I used to go watch her play. Anna (cooking TV personality Anna Gare) and I ended up with a “Brady Bunch” — two kids of mine and two of hers. Now they’re all off at university, so we’re going to pack up the camper and head down south." This story is wild for many reasons, the least of which is the fact he married a woman who once fronted an all-girl band named the Jam Tarts and now makes a mean vegemite sandwich . Truth is, Longley is selling himself short here, since he reportedly saved his girlfriend, kids and a couple friends from the fire that claimed much of his Bulls memorabilia , except for his three championship rings . Longley also touched on his recent experience with Australian basketball — admitting the Boomers still don't know if Dante Exum will participate in the World Cup; respectively dubbing future stars Ben Simmons and Thon Maker as potentially better than this past June's No. 5 overall pick and "in the Kevin Garnett mold"; and describing his native country's approach to basketball as "blood-thirsty." And this bit about returning to the game as a coach is fun in an Aussie accent: " I’m glad that I got caught up in it because I think it’s something that’s good for the game, having the older guys around with the younger guys and having that cross-pollination of knowledge and youth; you can get a bit of gold out of that." Then, there's Longley's wonderful description of the evolution of basketball since his retirement. "Probably the glaring difference is the lack of “monsters”; it’s not such a scary movie anymore. A lot of the monsters are smaller and more agile. When I say monsters, I mean the big guys. I was effectively a monster, but a monster with small teeth. ... There were plenty with big teeth — the Ewings, the Shaqs. There’s just not a lot of those around anymore. They try to say that Dwight Howard is the current version of the old-style monster, but I’m not buying that. A lack of monsters means the floor is more spread; there’s less interior defense. The game seems to have sped up and got more athletic as a result. Some of the 'bigs' are really becoming what we call 'stretch-bigs' — they can stretch the floor and hit threes and that sort’ve thing. We have a couple on our national team — David Anderson is one of the early prototypical stretch-bigs in Australian basketball. That’s how he got a job in the NBA — the game started moving that way. Chris Anstey was definitely a stretch-big. Me on the other hand? Not a stretch-big. Maybe it’s time for me to coin the opposite of stretch-big: big hairy monsters." And of course no Q&A session with Longley would be complete without a fantastic Jordan story.  "We were playing Detroit and I came out on fire in the first half. I think I had 17-18 points, half-a-dozen rebounds, a couple of blocks — playing like an All-Star. For the first time ever, because Michael was very cautious with his praise, he came into the locker room high-fiving me, slapping me, hugging me, saying, 'Man, you play like that, we’re going to win the world championship. That’s awesome! You’re an All-Star. Why don’t you play like that every day? I knew you had it in ya.' Anyway, so we went out for the second half ... and I finished the game with exactly the same stat line as I had at half-time. I had a terrible second half. We came in after the game — we’d won. When everybody else was happy to be winning, Michael was furious. He said, “Luc, I am never, ever going to say a nice thing about you again.” It demonstrated how Michael thought that because he said something good … Like, it had nothing to do with Michael, really. It was me playing the game. I just drew a couple of fouls and didn’t play as well and didn’t get my opportunities. He was true to his word; never said anything nice again." As always, Luc Longley's stories are better than yours. More NBA coverage:

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NBA - New York Knicks News on August 20, 2014 at 10:29 am

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Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith dominate pickup game at exclusive NYC venue (Yahoo Sports Minute)

What if you had an exclusive pass to a pickup game featuring the likes of Carmelo Anthony, Lance Stephenson, David Lee, J.R. Smith and a couple other former NBA players? And what if said pickup game took place at Terminal 23, an ultra-exclusive Jordan Brand venue located near Madison Square Garden in the heart of New York City? Thanks to a video obtained by TMZ , we can all see what that game was like. The squad of 'Melo, CDR and the Smith Bros. dominated a group that included Stephenson and Lee — and did so in impression fashion. J.R. can be seen in the clip throwing down a ridiculous putback jam followed by a two-handed reverse dunk with authority while Anthony drains three after three. Perhaps playing games at the venue, which opened earlier this year, was one of the reasons the New York Knicks star decided to stay put after testing the free agent waters. Or maybe Phil Jackson's mojo is starting to take effect . Here's a shot of what the place looks like. Not bad. Sign up now for Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football . Follow @YSportsMinute on Twitter along with the Yahoo Sports Minute Facebook page .

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NBA - New York Knicks News on August 19, 2014 at 11:54 pm

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