From Comcast SportsNetNEW YORK (AP) -- Listen up! Talk trash to Carmelo Anthony at Madison Square Garden and you may wind up on tape.Days after Anthony's overreaction to some bad words led to an NBA suspension, MSG chairman James Dolan had listening devices monitoring everything said to and by Anthony, according to a report in the Newark Star-Ledger.The report Monday said Dolan had two MSG Network audio 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.The Knicks did not comment on the report. The team left Monday night for a game Thursday in London against Detroit.Anthony and Boston forward Kevin Garnett exchanged words during the Celtics' 102-96 victory on Jan. 7. Anthony, clearly thrown off his game and finishing just 6-of-26 from the field, then tried to confront Garnett near the locker room and team bus following the game, 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.Dolan apparently wants to ability to hear for himself.Teams routinely send videotape of plays they felt should have been fouls to the league office, and perhaps Dolan wants to be able to provide NBA officials with audio proof of what goes on with Anthony.Dolan hasn't taken questions from reporters covering the Knicks in nearly six years, but remains keenly interested and insistent in knowing what is going on with the team. Public relations officials used to record interviews with players and coaches, and they continue to listen and take notes of what is said.General manager Glen Grunwald rarely conducts interviews and Dolan is such a stickler for his media rules that when he fired Larry Brown in 2006, he withheld payment for cause because Brown had conducted a roadside interview with reporters without a public relations official present, in violation of MSG rules.An NBA spokesman said there was nothing wrong with the extra equipment -- there already were additional microphones around the court Friday because it was a national TV game -- and added that the league doesn't comment on anything teams send for review.
Injuries have forced the Bears into personnel scrambles through the first three weeks of the season – the defense opened in Dallas with three new starters from the week before. But coming off three largely dismal performances on offense, defense and special teams, more changes may be in the offing and having nothing to do with injuries.
Coach John Fox, whose success in Carolina and Denver was built with a solid foundation in running the football, acknowledged on Monday that the work of offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains was “not good enough. That’s no indictment on Dowell or anybody else. … All our signatures are on it. It’s 0-3.”
Loggains is in no short-term job jeopardy. But the Bears have failed to establish not only a run game, but also any sort of offensive identity or rhythm, not all of which can be laid at the foot of the Bears falling too far behind to keep running. Fox would not be the first Bears head coach to dictate an in-season course correction; Lovie Smith stepped in during the 2010 season and ordered a change in the offense of Mike Martz that was inept and getting quarterback Jay Cutler annihilated in the process.
Lineup changes are a distinct possibility. Examples: Right tackle Bobby Massie has struggled and former Steelers No. 2 pick and sometimes-starter Mike Adams was signed as a viable option. Jonathan Bullard has not shown any degree of dominance on the defensive line, but the rookie end, representing an upgrade to a virtually non-existent pass rush, could edge past Mitch Unrein on a defensive line that allowed nearly 200 rushing yards with zero sacks against the Cowboys.
Injury adjustments are inevitable and will make some decisions for the Bears. With Ka’Deem Carey already inactive due to a hamstring injury, Jeremy Langford went out of the Dallas game with an ankle injury that Adam Schefter at ESPN reported on Monday would keep the second-year running back out 4-6 weeks. Rookie Jordan Howard may have bumped Langford out of the No. 1 slot anyway but Langford’s injury effectively makes the decision for coaches.
Lineup changes wouldn’t be official until next Sunday before the Bears take the field against the Detroit Lions. Fox said Monday that the evaluations were still focused on the Dallas game and health options.
“We’ve got to sort out,” Fox said. “The week’s kind of started, but we’re still talking about pretty much [Sunday]. But as we move forward, we dig in as coaches as far as game-planning for Detroit. And we’ll kind of figure out where we are at the end of tomorrow with our medical people. It’s based on who’s available. That can be tricky, but I think everybody in the league has to deal with it.”
Media Day has become old hat for Dwyane Wade, so much so that he could go through the motions, interviews and promotional shots in Miami with his eyes closed.
But he looked like a wide-eyed rookie at times going through everything in the Advocate Center Monday, including the white-and-red jersey that was draped over his chest.
“It's really not the jersey. It's the same material so it feels the same,” he said. “It's a different environment. I was somewhere for so long, I knew where to go, I can walk backwards and get anywhere I want to go. It's just different, but different is not a bad thing.”
Comparing himself to the “new kid” in school, it won’t be long before Wade finds himself being the cool kid in class that everybody gravitates to and follows as an example, being a three-time champion and sure-fire Hall of Famer—at least that’s what the Bulls brass expects to happen.
“If I were a young player on this roster and I saw Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo, Taj Gibson, Robin (Lopez), I would soak up what they bring,” Bulls Vice-President John Paxson said. “As a young player you want to have longevity and success in this league and there's success right in front of them.”
Wade’s successes came in Miami, which makes Wade’s statement about things being different that much more pronounced—and before he can lead, he must adjust to the Bulls, and they to him.
His usage and his on-court role isn’t clear, as the Bulls are well-aware of the maintenance that comes with a player at his age—a player who was still pretty effective despite decline in the last few years.
“Our medical team and our athletic-performance team, we’ve visited some with him,” Bulls general manager Gar Forman said. “But that’s going to be fluid. I don’t know that any definitive have come from that yet, but it’s obviously something that we’ll watch in regards to Dwyane being a little bit older but really to a number of our players.”
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Adjusting to his body, adjusting to a new city and even to a social conscience that has emerged since signing with the Bulls has been the theme of his summer.
His life—and the lives of many people close to him have changed in recent months and even days. From watching former teammate LeBron James bring home a title to Cleveland to his own departure from Miami after 13 years to sadly, watching Chris Bosh struggle with the news of his basketball mortality meeting up with the threat of his actual life, it’s been one after another after another.
“This news about basketball is unfortunate, and it was not nothing that he wanted to hear I'm sure, and nothing I wanted to hear for him and no one that loves Chris or is around him,” said Wade in reference to Bosh not being cleared by the Heat due to blood-clotting issues that ended Bosh’s last two seasons at the All-Star break. “It's another bump in the road in life that, from a basketball standpoint, Chris Bosh will figure out what he wants to do in life.”
“For Chris, it's a bump in the road for him in life. He's 31 years old, he's got a long life to live. Hopefully he'll get back on a basketball court. In a perfect world. But if not, for me, I'm just happy that we're able to be friends and enjoy life as friends and see him be healthy in that way.”
And oh yeah, he also stood in front of a nationally-televised audience at the ESPY awards two months ago, challenging his fellow athletes to take stock of what’s going on around them and more specifically, the ails plaguing people of color in this country.
It wasn’t so much a stand as much as it was a statement, and others have taken the baton to make waves that will be felt around the NBA.
His battle, he believes, is different from the one Colin Kaepernick is drawing attention to, as Wade sees the endless violence in Chicago and has jumped in feet first to make his presence known.
“I think Kaepernick educated a lot of us on things we didn't know, things we wasn't aware of. I think for me, things in this city that I've seen, we have a different kind of battle here in Chicago, a different focus,” Wade said. “That's what my focus is on. My focus is on this city and what am I capable of doing to help our youth in this city in a bigger way. That's where my focus is.”
“But what (Kaepernick) is doing is great because it's what he wants to do, it's what he believes in and he's using his voice for that cause.”
And as Wade turns the corner, a fresh start after a surprising divorce, the new old kid in town reiterated Chicago is the place for him—even as he adjusts.
“I'm figuring it all out,” he said. “Like I said, I'm happy to be here. At this time in my career, this is where I want to be.”