Carmelo Anthony has spent the last couple of weeks doing two important things: recovering from injury and trying to convince people he has no problem with Jeremy Lin running the Knicks. Earlier in the week, the team tried to help him by leaking a story that claimed Anthony was the one who told Mike D’Antoni that he should play Lin. If that sounds unlikely, that’s because it didn’t happen.
On Monday, D’Antoni was asked about the story and it was obvious that it was the first he had heard about it. He told reporters he didn’t remember the conversation. It’s safe to assume he would remember it if it actually happened. According to the NY Daily News, it never did.
The Garden also pursued on an image makeover by leaking a story that it was Anthony who suggested to D’Antoni that Lin get a chance. However, D’Antoni denied that account on Monday, which undoubtedly is not sitting well with Dolan and perhaps also with Anthony. It’s like that old Godfather line: “Don’t ever take sides against the (Cablevision) family.”
For D’Antoni to go off script like that was telling and speaks to a larger issue of mistrust between the coach and Dolan, which probably started with Donnie Walsh being fired. D’Antoni could have easily gone along with the tale about Melo advocating Lin but chose not to.
This is yet another example of how desperate Anthony and the Knicks are to convince people he is not a selfish player and will be able to share the spotlight with the NBA’s biggest sensation. No matter what Melo says or how many stories the team tries to plant, the only way we’re going to know for sure is by letting the games play out.
H/T I Am a GMGoogle+