While a rumored Carmelo Anthony trade appears to be losing steam to the point of being dead, the Knicks are denying accusations of tampering with the Nuggets forward. New York was not involved in the reported four-team deal, but the Knicks come into play because Anthony has expressed an interest in making Madison Square Garden his new home, and he becomes a free agent next offseason — assuming he doesn't sign a contract extension with a team that might acquire him in a trade. Anthony spent last week hanging around with new Knick Amar'e Stoudemire.

And you thought Tom Brady was critical of Patriots fans? Rays third baseman Evan Longoria ripped his team's lack of fan support Monday night as the Rays sat on the brink of clinching a playoff berth. Only 12,446 turned out to see the Rays' loss to the Orioles. After the game, Longoria brought up the topic of low attendance unprompted. Said the 24-year-old: "It's kind of like, What else do you have to do to draw fans in this place?

Wide receiver Braylon Edwards, who did not start due to his DUI arrest earlier in the week, entered in the second quarter and played a key role in the Jets' victory over the Dolphins on Sunday night. Edwards was contrite and grateful after the game, but he's still taking plenty of heat in the New York papers. Read more about that controversy, plus check out other top stories, videos, trivia and more, at Monday's Morning Mashup.

The Sporting News has a list of the 20 smartest athletes, and sitting at No. 1 is former Red Sox reliever Craig Breslow, now with the A's. Breslow, a Connecticut native, majored in molecular biophysics and biochemistry at Yale. Also on the list are four other athletes with New England connections and a couple of rivals of Boston teams.

 

ESPN columnist Bill Simmons joined the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning to talk about the Celtics’ offseason, the rest of the NBA, Bill Belichick and the David Ortiz contract situation. Simmons isn't on board with picking up the $12.5 team option on the DH, who hit his 31st home run of the season in the Red Sox 6-1 win over the Orioles on Wednesday night.

 

The Giants continue to battle the Jets for headlines — and not in a good way. The latest controversy involves Giants safety Antrel Rolle, who ripped his coaches and teammates in a radio interview on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Rolle apologized for the manner in which he complained, although he didn't apologize for what he said. His accusations included a lack of leadership from the players and an over-controlled environment by coach Tom Coughlin. Said Rolle: "I don't feel like I was talking out of turn. I feel like I said what needed to be said.

After learning that outgoing Dodgers manager Joe Torre publicly admitted to having interest in the Mets managerial job that undoubtedly will become open after this season, current Mets manager Jerry Manuel criticized Torre and questioned his integrity. It doesn't help Manuel that the underachieving Mets were eliminated from playoff contention on the same day he blasted the apologetic Torre.

 

Giants running back Brandon Jacobs has taken over the spotlight in New York, and not for good reasons. He's been upset since losing his starting job in the preseason, and he's asked for a meeting with team officials following his helmet-throwing incident Sunday night in Indianapolis. There had been speculation that he would request a trade, but later reports indicated that's not the case.

The Yankees will unveil a monument of George Steinbrenner at Yankee Stadium's Monument Park before Monday night's game vs. the Rays. With the Dodgers having an off day, Los Angeles manager Joe Torre and his recently announced replacement for 2011, Don Mattingly, have indicated they plan to attend the ceremony. It will be Torre's first visit to the Bronx since he left the Yankees following the 2007 season after reportedly being offended at a low-ball offer from management. "There are no issues with Joe Torre and the Yankees," general manager Brian Cashman said.

The University of Massachusetts gave Michigan a scare Saturday, but the 20th-ranked Wolverines escaped with a 42-37 win. UMass jumped out to a 17-7 first-half lead, but Michigan scored two touchdowns just before the half and ran off 28 straight points to take a 35-17 advantage. The Minutemen rallied to within five with just over two minutes remaining, but couldn't come up with an onside kick.