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Basketball news gathered from around the net.

Carmelo Considers Himself NBA's 'Most Underrated Superstar'

Carmelo Anthony re-signed with the New York Knicks this past offseason amid interest from several top NBA clubs.

But Anthony feels he's underappreciated. 

“I think I’m the most underrated superstar that’s out there, but that doesn’t matter to me,” Anthony told ESPN, according to a story posted Wednesday on its websites. “I know what I’m capable of doing. I know the grind and the hard work I put into this. I know how consistent I’ve been over my career. To do it day in and day out and night in and night out on a very consistent basis year in year out, I know what I can do and I know the work I’ve put in.

“So as far as caring about if I’m underrated as a superstar, and getting the respect I deserve, I don’t worry about that. In due time, if everything goes well, I will get it.”

Asked if he is bothered that he is not recognized as being in the same class as Kevin Durant and LeBron James, Anthony replied: “I know, personally, I’m there. It doesn’t bother me. These (critics) are all people that maybe never accomplish anything, that just sit back and write articles all day long about what they see. They’re kind of living through us out there on the basketball court. “I don’t worry about me being put up there. I know night in and night out I’m gonna go out there and put my work in regardless of win loss or draw. I’m still going to go out there and be the best player I can be.”

Via Peter Botte/New York Daily News

Norris Cole 'Ready' To Start For Heat

Pat Riley identified Mario Chalmers as the Miami Heat's starting point guard in the offseason.

Still, Norris Cole is confident he is prepared to assume the starting spot.

“I’m ready to be a starter," Cole said on media day.

Cole averaged 6.4 points and 3 assists last season.

Via Barry Jackson/Miami Herald

Julius Randle Gives Lakers An Ability To Handle Ball At Forward

Julius Randle projects in the NBA as a power forward, but the Los Angeles Lakers have been impressed with his ability to defend threes and handle the ball.

"He's got super quick feet and I think if there's one thing you didn't see much at Kentucky, as you do watching him every day, is that he's got really gifted quickness, first step, [and] he loves contact," Mitch Kupchak said.

"He can defend small forwards. Do I see him right now as the prototypical small forward?  Probably not," Kupchak said.  "But I could see him bringing the ball up the court.  I could see him seeing a gap, getting a step on a guy and making a play -- whether it's finishing or finding somebody that's open.  Those are ball-handling skills that you wouldn't see power forwards have very often."

Still, Kupchak tried to temper expectations for the rookie.

"Julius is still 19 years old," Kupchak said. "You wouldn’t know that by looking at him, because he’s really a well-developed, big, strong, athletic kid. Over the years, I've never looked at a rookie and said, 'Hey, this guy's gonna bring us to the top.'  It doesn't do any good to have high expectations."

Via Eric Pincus/Los Angeles Times

Bosh Spent Offseason Refreshing Post Game For Increased Inside Presence

Chris Bosh admitted late last season that he preferred not to play inside as much as he did with the Toronto Raptors, but he refreshed his interior game during the offseason.

“It’s just like riding a bike,” Bosh said. “You never forget. I have a lot of experience, years and years. Even though I didn’t get much experience, I always worked on it because I knew I was going to keep it sharp.”

Bosh is now the highest-paid player on the Miami Heat after signing a five-year, $118 million deal.

“Just the demand night in and night out,” Bosh said. “Being in that position to where you’re expected to have a certain amount of output, to play a certain amount of minutes and score points and get a certain amount of rebounds, it’s going to be tough. But I enjoy that challenge. I’ve always enjoyed it. It’s just what comes natural to me. I’m excited. I’m looking forward to everything.”

“They didn’t need me to do that [play in the post]. (Wade) and LeBron were our post guys. I kind of really used to those tools that I gained and put it all together.”

Via Shandel Richardson/Sun Sentinel

Vogel Sees Absence Of George, Stephenson As Opportunity For Wing Players

Frank Vogel insists he believes the Indiana Pacers will continue to be a competing team despite losing Paul George to injury and Lance Stephenson in free agency.

“We’re going to be fine,” Vogel said. “We’ve got more than enough to compete with the best and we’re going to have another great season. Our approach is, we’re going to try to not skip a beat.

“Two guys being gone – Lance being gone, Paul not being with us because of injury – creates opportunities for other guys. Both at that position and also at other positions to carry a bigger role.”

Vogel sees the lack of George and Stephenson next season as further opportunity for wing players, including Chris Copeland and free agent acquisitions C.J. Miles, Rodney Stuckey and Damjan Rudez.

“Those guys are solid NBA veterans,” Vogel said. “It’s not like we’re going to fill the spots with guys who were in the D League last year. And we feel [2013 first-rounder] Solomon Hill is going to be an elite defensive player and a guy who can knock down open shots. We could have played him 25 minutes a game last year and we would have been all right. We just had such depth.

“Chris Copeland is going to get a chance to play more. Damjan Rudez, one of the best shooters in Europe, is coming over to play at the ‘three’ or the ‘four.’ So we’ve got answers. You look at that, combined with our point guard rotation’s intact with George Hill and C.J. Watson, our big rotation’s intact with [Luis] Scola, [Roy] Hibbert and [Ian] Mahinmi. There are reasons to be optimistic.”

Via Steve Aschburner/NBA.com

Sources: Taj Gibson Not Too Thrilled To Continue Being Backup Forward

Taj Gibson privately isn't too thrilled about the prospect of continuing to be a reserve forward, according to sources.

But Gibson has been an upbeat, team-first player who values winning and chemistry too much to make it an issue or distraction.

The Chicago Bulls signed Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic this offseason.

Via Aggrey Sam/Comcast SportsNet

Popovich Worried Spurs Will Get Satisfied From 13-14 Championship

Gregg Popovich made sure the San Antonio Spurs used their 2013 NBA Finals defeat as motiviation, but he faces the opposite problem now.

“I'm worried for one reason,” Popovich said. “They are human beings. They are going to feel satisfied.”

The Spurs defeated the Miami Heat in five games for the championship last season. Miami stole Game 2 on the Spurs' home court before losing three in a row.

“When they won Game 2,” Popovich said, “they probably didn't handle that win real well. They were probably thinking that we got lucky in Game 1, with the air conditioning issue, and they thought they were just going to do it again. As two-time defending champs, it was natural. This had become their place in the world.”

The Spurs rebounded from losing Game 2.

“There was a different mantra,” Popovich said. “Boarding the plane, before practices, during shootaround, we said, 'We came here to win two.' We totally believed at that point. We thought we were better.”

Via Buck Harvey/San Antonio Express-News

Brandon Jennings Adds 25 Pounds Of Muscle

Brandon Jennings has gained approximately 25 extra pounds of muscle in the offseason.

“I’m about 185, 190 on my good days,” said Jennings, noticeably thicker but still wiry.

Jennings expects the added weight to help on defense, as well as absorbing contact when driving to the basket.

Jennings also said Stan Van Gundy reminds him of Scott Skiles, who was his first coach with the Milwaukee Bucks.

“He’s really big on details and he said you’re gonna have to play defense and give your all, every night,” Jennings said. “He already said it, I’m not expecting you to lock guys up one on one. Guys are just too good. But what we can do is give a good effort and play team defense.”

Via Vincent Goodwill/The Detroit News

Spurs More Active In Development Of Unsigned Draft Rights Players

The San Antonio Spurs are taking a more active involvement in the development of unsigned players whom they own the draft rights for in the NBA.

The Spurs have sent an assistant to work with Livio Jean-Charles.

"David was sent by the Spurs, and he will be present throughout the year," said Jean-Charles in an interview with BeBasket. "He is here to witness but also be involved with my season here. But I want to be clear, Peter Vincent is in charge of my evolution at ASVEL."

Tony Parker partially owns ASVEL.

The Spurs also played a role in setting a timetable for Davis Betrans' return from injury. Betrans was a 2011 draft pick of the Spurs, but he has no contractual obligations to the team.

Via J. Gomes/Pounding The Rock

Heat To 'Tweak' System, Gamble Less On Defense

The Miami Heat lost LeBron James in the offseason and have also made some key changes to their coaching staff, which will result in a vastly different identity.

“You will see some tweaks in how we play,” said a Heat official.

Miami's gambling defense, which left open too many three-point shooters, needs addressing.

“We can’t just show up and expect to win it in the fourth quarter any more,” said the official.

Via Barry Jackson/Miami Herald

Kenneth Faried Noticing Increased Respect From Team USA Play

Kenneth Faried said he is not concerned about his contractual status but will focus on it once he is finished with Team USA.

Derrick Rose 'Loving' His Game, Unconcerned With Shooting Woes

Derrick Rose recently played five games in a span of six days.
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