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Carmelo Anthony says he’s ‘excited’ to reunite with Mike D’Antoni at Olympics

Tension? What tension? After the way Mike D’Antoni’s tenure in New York ended earlier this season, there were many who believed Carmelo Anthony could be facing an uphill climb if he hopes to make the 2012 Team USA Olympic roster. D’Antoni resigned from his Knicks position back in March and is the assistant coach on the US Team. It was assumed at the time that Carmelo played a huge hand in D’Antoni’s decision and that the higher-ups associated with USA Basketball were unhappy about it, but ‘Melo insists there is no bad blood between him and his former coach. In fact, he claims he’s excited for the reunion.

“It’ll be good to reunite with him,” Anthony said Monday at a Team USA promotional event according to the NY Daily News. “When he left there wasn’t any bad blood between me and him.

“He was a big part of the ’08 win, and he’s there again. I’m actually excited about going over there and trying to win a gold medal with him again.”

‘Melo may be “excited” to compete for another gold medal and he and D’Antoni may even be prepared to put their differences aside. That being said, there are few who will believe that there was actually no bad blood between the two at the time of D’Antoni’s resignation. Coaching may have taken its toll on D’Antoni and he obviously felt the struggling Knicks would be better off without him, but it was no secret coach and superstar could not coexist. Since D’Antoni is not the head coach for Team USA, and the roster filled from top to bottom with superstars, London is an entirely different set of circumstances.

Photo credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

Carmelo Anthony, Knicks meet with Trayvon Martin’s family

Carmelo Anthony was one of a number of NBA players, including all of the Miami Heat, who have expressed their support for the family of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teenager whose slaying has become a national story. On Friday, before the Knicks’ home game against the Wizards, Anthony and his teammates hosted Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, and older brother, Jahvaris Fulton, who were in town for an interview with Anderson Cooper, on a visit to the team’s locker room.

“It was a blessing and honor,” Anthony said, according to the New York Post. “We all know the tragedy that happened. Bringing them to the locker room in the back, meeting all the players, meeting the coaches. We had no media there. It was something I wanted to do. I lost my sister last year so I know how it feels.

“He didn’t even want to stay for the game. He wanted to see ‘The Lion King.’ But for them to be there, it meant a lot.”

Anthony tweeted the above picture with the message “One love.”

There’s no denying how much of a wonderful move this was on Anthony’s part. It almost makes you forget how he allegedly ran Mike D’Antoni out of town.

H/T Black Sports Online
Photo via @carmeloanthony

Carmelo Anthony says Mike Woodson holds players more accountable than Mike D’Antoni did

Like any other superstar, Carmelo Anthony gives off the impression that he doesn’t want to be told what to do. He wants to be “the guy” on whatever team he plays for, and it was obvious that he couldn’t be that guy when Mike D’Antoni was coaching the Knicks. D’Antoni’s offense — which is predicated on point guards running the show — never sat well with Carmelo. Whether he forced D’Antoni out of town or not, it is no secret that Melo was less than thrilled with the way his former coach was utilizing his skills.

Now that Mike Woodson has taken over, Anthony seems a bit more content. He has already admitted that he has more focus and energy, and on Tuesday he told the Michael Kay Show that he enjoys the way Woodson holds players more accountable than D’Antoni did.

“I think now guys – we was almost forced to come together as a team and we was under the gun when (Mike Woodson) came on,” Anthony said as Sports Radio Interviews pointed out. “The biggest thing now is he holds guys accountable on the basketball court regardless of who it is like myself, Amar’e, Tyson (Chandler), Jeremy (Lin). Regardless of who it is he holds guys accountable. That’s big especially in this day and age.”

Carmelo added that holding guys accountable was not D’Antoni’s personality — not that it was a bad thing. The bottom line is Melo didn’t have enough control nor enough scoring opportunities with D’Antoni in charge. For him to imply that he enjoys playing under Woodson more because Woodson isn’t afraid to yell at superstars seems absurd.

Photo credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Could Carmelo Anthony’s role in Mike D’Antoni resignation cost him Olympics?

Regardless of what he would like us to think, we all know Carmelo Anthony was the number one factor that contributed to Mike D’Antoni’s resignation. After the Knicks acquired Melo at the trade deadline last season, his and D’Antoni’s relationship went south in a hurry. Now that Mike Woodson has taken over and Anthony remains in New York, you would think the relationship between him and his former coach is a thing of the past. With the Olympics coming up this year, however, that may not be the case.

D’Antoni is an assistant coach for Team USA and Melo is a roster invitee. According to CBSSports.com, a person with close ties to international basketball says that Anthony’s role in D’Antoni’s resignation “did not sit well with USA Basketball authorities.” With other talented players like LaMarcus Aldridge, Blake Griffin and Kevin Love playing the same position as Anthony for the Olympic team and not needing star treatment, the team could decide to go in another direction.

“I don’t even think Carmelo is thinking about this, but I think it’s going to hurt him,” the source said. “I don’t think he’s playing as well as the other power forwards are right now. He’s not a bad guy, but he needs to start playing better because the USA team is looking at that, and Mike is an assistant. It should not be given to him.”

For a short time it appeared Melo may talk his way out of New York, but he ultimately got his way when D’Antoni called it quits. That same talking and his streaky play as of late could ultimately cost him a spot at the London Olympics.

H/T I Am a GM

Carmelo Anthony implies he’s playing harder under Mike Woodson

The Knicks improved to 4-0 since Mike D’Antoni resigned as head coach with a 19-point win over the Raptors on Tuesday. Because reports mentioned D’Antoni having a difficult relationship with  Carmelo Anthony, it’s interesting now to follow how Anthony’s play has been affected. And while his numbers have taken a slight dip (credit that to four blowouts), Carmelo has started looking like he actually gives a crap on defense. He notices it, too, and, as he told Newsday on Monday, he says it’s because of a newfound “energy” that just so happened to show up after D’Antoni left town.

“I think in the last three games, my focus was to have an energy that I haven’t had so far this season, especially on the defensive end,” Carmelo said. “Everybody on this team knows, everybody in the world knows I can score the basketball. It’s not that important to me.”

When asked for his reaction to Carmelo’s comments, interim coach Mike Woodson, well, didn’t really have one: “I can’t explain that, I can’t. I wish I could. We probably wouldn’t be sitting in this position that we’re sitting in today, fighting for a playoff spot.”

Maybe Woodson should take more credit. According to Anthony, there’s a fresher sense of accountability since the coaching change.

“When (Woodson) got the job, I told him, ‘Hold me accountable,’” Anthony said. “I don’t have a problem with criticism. If I can do something to help better this team, let me know. And he’s been doing that.”

Carmelo contends that he and D’Antoni had no beef, but, with that said, it is interesting he makes a remark about essentially trying harder than when D’Antoni was around. Then again, maybe a change at the top was enough to influence Carmelo to make his own changes. Or maybe it’s just because Woodson is somebody with whom he’s more comfortable having an open line of communication.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk
Photo credit: Debby Wong, US Presswire

Carmelo Anthony doesn’t want to be known as a coach killer

After the messy end to the Mike D’Antoni era in New York, Carmelo Anthony wants everybody to know his hands are clean.

Before D’Antoni resigned on Wednesday, he and Anthony were reportedly clashing, with Anthony also relaying a “me or him” attitude to the Knicks front office. Carmelo spoke to the media on Thursday, maintaining he shouldn’t be held responsible for D’Antoni’s departure and that he doesn’t want be known as a “coach killer.”

“Yeah, of course that bothers me because I never want that label on me,” Anthony said, according to the New York Daily News. “I did everything in my power to try to communicate with Coach Mike.”

It was a continuation of the unapologetic Carmelo who on Wednesday desperately tried to convey he and D’Antoni were more buddy-buddy than we thought.

“Me and Mike talked constantly about trying to find out different ways in what I can do and what we can do as a team,” he said after D’Antoni tendered his resignation. “It wasn’t working. We lost games and when you lose games people say it’s not working and of course the blame is on me.”

Once again, Carmelo makes it all about him. When is Carmelo going to learn to check his ego at the door? His ego is what got him to New York. It’s why he’s yammering about himself again now. “Me me me me me!” Rather than worrying about his reputation, Carmelo needs to focus on the team. And yet, for him, that might be asking too much.

But good news for Carmelo: That’s not what the new guy is about.

Photo credit: Michael Ivins, US Presswire

Carmelo Anthony says trade talk is making him sick to his stomach

With the NBA trade deadline only a day away, one rumor that has picked up steam over the course of the week is Carmelo Anthony potentially wanting out of New York. Several reports from the NY Post this week have claimed that Anthony and Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni are clashing, and on Tuesday the Post reported that Melo wants to be traded if D’Antoni isn’t fired.

On Wednesday, Anthony did his best to dispel the rumors using his Twitter account.

Another report — which may or may not have been the work of Anthony’s agents — claimed the Knicks have been tuning D’Antoni out and that he has lost the locker room. Naturally, Melo doesn’t want Knicks fans thinking he wants out already even if he does. He was depicted as the franchise’s savior at this time last year, so it would make him look really bad if fans knew he was demanding a trade. At this point, nothing that should happen involving Melo and the Knicks would surprise anyone.