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Lebron James & Carmelo AnthonyDavid Richard/USA TODAY Sports

Carmelo Anthony started to get a little wistful Wednesday morning while talking about ex-teammates Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith.

"It seems like LeBron [James] took all my family from me," he said hours before the Knicks-Cavs game.

It was a funny line in a light-hearted moment from Anthony.

But he has a genuine bond with Shumpert and Smith, who were traded to James' Cavaliers last January.

Anthony watched both players -- and his buddy LeBron -- with the pride of an older brother during the NBA Finals last season.

"It was more kind of [like] seeing your family out there than anything," he said. "I didn't watch it kind of from a competitive standpoint. I watched two guys -- J.R., I've known him, I've been with him for almost 10 years; Shump is a guy who came in and was kind of a little brother to me; and of course LeBron, who I've been with, kind of connected to since high school. So to see all three of those guys competing at that level, it was more watching my family out there."

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The ratings for "NBA 2K16" are out, and -- unlike in "Madden" -- nobody in the league was given a 99.

In fact, the highest rating was a 94, given to a player whose name long has been synonymous with "best in the NBA."

That's right. Even Stephen Curry's MVP season -- which gave him a four-point jump over his score a year ago -- couldn't push him past LeBron James, although the latter dropped four points (partly due to, as Bleacher Report explains, a new way of calculating rankings).

James Harden's players' choice MVP campaign got him a four-point boost, as did the continued scary-goodness of Anthony Davis, but they still couldn't take down The King. Kevin Durant's injury, meanwhile, likely was the reason for his fall from second place and a 95 rating a year ago. (Interesting note: The three non-LeBron top-four players are on the cover.)

There were a couple of surprise inclusions on the list. Carmelo Anthony was 20th in player efficiency rating, 49th in real plus-minus and 81st in wins above replacement last season, yet checks in at No. 8. LaMarcus Aldridge (11th/25th/22nd) was also an eyebrow-raiser at tied for eighth/No. 10.

Not that either is bad, far from it, But still, no love for the best player on Aldridge's team?

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Even the very best get confused.

Case in point: Here is Russell Westbrook, absolutely one of the NBA's top players, completely botching a drill (according to the tweeter, "two dribbles to score" -- as in, he's supposed to score here in two dribbles or less).

LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony's reactions were wonderful. But let's not ignore Westbrook, who often comes off as impossibly serious, being able to laugh at himself. And it's not the first such instance this summer.

Good times.

H/T Bleacher Report

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Milwaukee Bucks veteran swingman Jared Dudley was at ESPN on Wednesday and, in the spirit of his #nextcareer claim, he did not hold back on his opinions.

When asked about the most overrated player during an appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd, Dudley quickly named Carmelo Anthony.

But perhaps Dudley's most eye-opening take was on Kobe Bryant, whose shoot-first (and second, and third) ways, Dudley said, are why "it'll [take] a while for the Lakers to get good, because no stars ... want to go there."

Naturally, there was some backlash -- a little about Melo, but mostly about Kobe. Dudley addressed it.

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On Monday, Carmelo Anthony sat down with the good people of Facebook to answer all the hard-hitting questions. That is, all the questions he could answer in 60 seconds. Throughout this brief-yet-entertaining Q&A, Melo gave us some insight into what we all have been longing to know. Check it out:

Business as usual.

Posted by Carmelo Anthony on Monday, May 18, 2015

If a biopic of Melo is ever created, who would play the lead? He chose Will Smith, and now we can't help but envision the "I Am Legend" star rocking one of Melo's signature floppy hats while Spike Lee calls the shots from the director's chair. Sort of overwhelming, yet sort of awesome. One can dream.

The NBA star also let us all in on another secret. No, he didn't betray the East Coast (he chose Biggie over Tupac) and he refused to be baited into voicing favoritism for one NYC icon over another (Nas or Jay Z). But he let us in on his fear of cats. House cats? Wild cats? Who knows, but the thought of Melo running the other direction in fear of a furry feline is highly amusing.

It is also amusing that he said he enjoys playing basketball in Los Angeles, because clearly that means he wants to be traded there, right? He really should be more discreet.

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