Good stuff this morning from Vescey rival Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News, particularly the bits about Chris Webber’s trouble adjusting in Philly, and growing friction between Carmelo Anthony and George Karl in Denver.
During one of Chris Webber’s first games with the Sixers, he sat down on the bench and said, loudly enough for a few teammates to hear: “I can’t wait ’til this year is over.” Nice attitude, huh? Well, nobody said that being No. 2 to Allen Iverson was going to be easy. Vince Carter has embraced his second-fiddle status with the Nets, but he still gets his shots, while Jason Kidd has all the pressure of being the No. 1 guy. But Webber is clearly struggling in his new role.
“It’s not necessarily about me and A.I. being on the same page,” Webber said. “It’s just two different philosophies. That’s all I can say. You just have to see if you can fit that philosophy.”
Webber is having a tough time with coach Jim O’Brien’s philosophy. O’Brien runs full-contact practices and even requires his players to have their ankles taped for contact in pregame shoot-arounds – a practice not heard of since Pat Riley used to put the Heat through three-hour, kamikaze shoot-arounds in preseason. With his mobility limited because of his knee troubles, Webber isn’t thrilled about full-contact sessions, just as he expressed his displeasure when O’Brien said that they want him to attack out on pick-and-roll.
George Karl’s benching of Carmelo Anthony in Denver’s Feb. 25 overtime win in Memphis caused a stir back in Milwaukee, where executives from the Karl era who know their former coach’s MO, are already convinced that he will work to get Anthony traded this summer. Even with ‘Melo, who doesn’t believe in playing defense, the Nuggets have started shutting down foes in fourth quarters while winning 12 of their last 16 games, entering last night’s contest at the Clippers.