Carmelo Anthony: New York Knicks are playing to lose

Carmelo-Anthony-Mike-Woodson-holds-players-accountableThe New York Knicks may never win another game. Fine, we won’t go that far, but a team that was once considered a contender in the Eastern Conference is now 3-13 and has lost its last nine games. They have lost seven in a row at home during that span, which is one of those franchise records that every player hopes they will never be a part of.

The Knicks almost snapped their losing streak on Friday night against the Denver Nuggets, but instead lost 97-95. They lost another close one to the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday by a score of 103-99. Carmelo Anthony seems to be running out of answers.

“I think we’re playing to lose rather than playing to win right now,” Anthony said on Sunday, via ESPNNewYork.com. “When you lose games the way we’ve been losing them at home, on the road, you start thinking a lot. You start playing a little tense, you start playing on your heels.”

What ‘Melo probably meant is “playing to not lose” rather than playing to win. That would make perfect sense, because the Knicks have to be thinking about their embarrassing losing streak every time they take the floor.

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Carmelo Anthony tying 3-pointer at end of game doesn’t count (Video)

New York Knicks fans were teased on Thursday night when Carmelo Anthony made a 3-pointer that would have tied their game with the Houston Rockets at 107 in the final seconds.

The Knicks were inbounding the ball with 5.8 seconds left down 107-104. ‘Melo got the ball and went up immediately for the shot and sunk a three. But James Harden was intentionally trying to foul before he attempted a shot. Luckily for Houston, referee Scott Foster called a foul on Harden prior to the shot.

The 3-pointer did not count, and the Rockets went on for a 109-106 victory. Anthony went 17-of-30 for 45 points in the loss. His point total was the highest by an individual this season.

That was clearly the correct call — the replay showed Harden repeatedly slapping Anthony before the shot went up:

James Harden Carmelo Anthony

That’s some of the best defense Harden has played all season.

Carmelo Anthony called players-only meeting after loss to Bobcats

Carmelo-Anthony-Knicks-DefenseThe New York Knicks are off to a 1-3 start this season, and they don’t appear to be handling it all that well. The Charlotte Bobcats, who were one of the NBA’s worst teams a year ago, beat the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night. That inspired Carmelo Anthony to call a players-only meeting.

On Friday, Anthony told reporters that he and others talked about how the team needs to “want it more” than the opposition and stop doubting themselves. That will be especially true now that Tyson Chandler is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a broken leg.

“We shut the door after the game, talked it out a little bit,” Anthony said, via Marc Berman of the NY Post. “Try to figure out what was happening and going on. We just weren’t competing the way we know how to compete. We weren’t playing the way we know how to play. Hopefully the conversation we had after the game made everyone else realize, though it is early, there are things we need to fix and fix now.

“We got to want it. We got to want to do it. We got to believe in ourselves right now. We’re playing like we don’t believe in ourselves.”

Anthony, who is averaging 23.8 points per game so far, added that the meeting was only players because he doesn’t believe the coaches have anything to do with the team’s slow start.

“[It was] just players,” he explained. “It doesn’t really have anything to do with the coaches. It’s us out there playing. I felt we needed to sit down and talk and get that out of the way.”

Amar’e Stoudemire has played sparingly after undergoing another procedure on his knee during the offseason. He turned the ball over five times in just 11 minutes of play against Charlotte. Earlier this week, Charles Barkley said he believes Stoudemire’s talent is gone. If Chuck is right, the Knicks are screwed without Chandler. No wonder James Dolan is sick of looking at the team’s dancers.

Carmelo Anthony: I’m not leaving New York Knicks in free agency

carmelo-anthonyCarmelo Anthony is eligible to become a free agent after the upcoming season if he chooses to opt out of his current contract with the New York Knicks. He is due to make $23.3 million during the 2014-2015 season, but plenty of teams would be lining up to offer him a max contract if he opts out next summer. As of now, Anthony says he has no intention of leaving New York.

“I’m not going nowhere,” Carmelo said during an interview on Bloomberg Television Tuesday, via Newsday’s Al Iannazzone.

Wait, not going nowhere? Doesn’t that mean he’s going somewhere because of the whole double negative thing? For this sake of this discussion, we’ll assume he meant to say “anywhere.”

If Anthony does choose to opt out, the Knicks could offer him a five-year, $129 million contract whereas other teams could only offer a four-year, $96 million deal. As we learned with Dwight Howard over the summer, that doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t skip town. However, ‘Melo insists he wants to bring a championship to New York.

“That is one of the reasons why I wanted to come here to New York, just so I could take on those pressures and those challenges,” Anthony said. “A lot of people do not like to deal with the pressure. A lot of people do not know how to deal with the challenges they face. To me, it is everyday life.”

At age 29, jumping to another team would make little sense for Anthony. The Knicks should be improved next season with the addition of Andrea Bargnani, and the best thing for Carmelo’s legacy would be to prove he can take a team in a championship drought like New York and bring them a title. That being said, don’t be surprised if Anthony wants out if the Knicks fall short of expectations this year.

H/T Black Sports Online

Carmelo Anthony: Andrea Bargnani trade was a ‘steal’ for New York Knicks

andrea-bargnaniThe New York Knicks made a fairly significant splash earlier this offseason when they acquired Andrea Bargnani from the Toronto Raptors. The 7-foot center has played in only 66 games over the past two seasons because of injuries, but he should be able provide the Knicks with some much-needed front court offense if healthy.

While in Las Vegas coaching his Team Melo summer league program, Carmelo Anthony was asked about the moves the Knicks have made this offseason. Overall, he seemed pleased with the front office.

“I’ve been staying under the radar,” Anthony told ESPN.com on Tuesday. “I let them do what they do. We got [Metta World Peace], and I think [Andrea] Bargnani was really a steal for us. He’ll help us spread the floor. We got J.R. [Smith] back and we kept the core guys together.”

Smith is expected to miss 3-4 months after undergoing knee surgery, though New York invested a lot of money in him with a four-year, $24.7 million extension earlier this month. The World Peace signing will give the Knicks depth and experience in addition to bolstering their defense. However, Anthony did acknowledge that the Brooklyn Nets have made the sexier moves.

“It’s special what [Brooklyn] did,” Carmelo added. “J-Kidd will have four or five future Hall of Famers. I played with him for a year and also with USA Basketball and I know his mentality. He knows the game. It won’t be hard for him to deal with those guys because he’ll put them in position and only have to tell them things one time.”

The Nets certainly grabbed more headlines than the Knicks, but that isn’t always a good thing. The product on the court has to live up to the hype. New York was closer to being a championship contender than Brooklyn last season, so the Knicks didn’t necessarily need to do as much as the Nets to improve. Time will tell if either team has done enough.

Carmelo Anthony reportedly wanted New York Knicks to trade for Rajon Rondo

Kobe-Bryant-Carmelo-AnthonyWith all the salary cap space the Los Angeles Lakers are expected to have in 2014 after losing Dwight Howard to the Houston Rockets, there has been some speculation that they could make a run at a big name free agent like Carmelo Anthony. Anthony and Bryant have a close relationship, and there have been some rumblings that ‘Melo is not thrilled with the direction of the New York Knicks.

One of those rumblings came from Marc Berman of the NY Post, who claims Anthony was hoping the Knicks would try to trade for Rajon Rondo when it became clear the Boston Celtics were blowing up their roster. According to Berman, Carmelo feels Rondo would be the “perfect piece” in New York and would be extra motivated to get the best of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, who are now with the Brooklyn Nets.

For now, it appears that Boston is planning to build around Rondo and new head coach Brad Stevens. By re-signing JR Smith, the Knicks may not have left themselves with enough money to pursue any significant outside free agents. New York did trade for Andrea Bargnani last month, but it doesn’t sound like that is a move Anthony believes will bring the team to the next level.

Simply put, it appears the Knicks have to build a championship contender right now to keep Anthony around after next season. That could mean bringing in Rondo or another impact player, or it could mean rolling the dice with what they currently have. Either way, don’t expect Anthony to feel any type of loyalty toward New York if the Knicks underachieve again next year.

But Kobe and Carmelo on the same team, with the way they both love launching up shots? I can’t see that happening.

H/T SB Nation

Jim Boeheim rips Knicks, defends Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo-Anthony-Knicks-DefenseAfter an impressive showing against the Boston Celtics in the opening round of the NBA playoffs, the New York Knicks barely put up a fight against the Indiana Pacers. The team was ice cold offensively throughout most of the series and lost Game 6 on Saturday by a score of 106-99, despite Carmelo Anthony’s 39 points on 15 of 29 shooting.

Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim, who coached Anthony during the Orange’s national championship season in 2003, is not surprised the Knicks were bounced from the playoffs. Simply put, he feels that Carmelo was doing everything by himself.

“Not on that team,” Boeheim told the Syracuse Post-Standard when asked if Anthony can win an NBA title. “He did what he can do. He played very well the final game. Everybody’s killing him but Tyson Chandler just didn’t try to catch the ball. He threw him the ball and Tyson Chandler (dodged it). He was wide open. He should have been looking for the ball right here. Kenyon Martin should have been looking for the ball. They both went like this (Boeheim dodged his head). Carmelo gets turnovers and the announcers aren’t smart enough to even think, ‘Well, the guy should try to catch the ball.’”

Boeheim took most of the Knicks to task, adding that JR Smith (who is reportedly sticking around in New York for a while) and Raymond Felton “weren’t great players” on their former teams and now the Knicks are asking them to do too much. But he seemed particularly frustrated with Chandler.

“Tyson Chandler claims he never gets the ball,” Boeheim said.” He doesn’t try to get the ball. He had two points and (Roy) Hibbert had 21.”

He wasn’t done there.

“In Miami the second and third options are Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh,” Boeheim continued. “Your fourth option is Ray Allen, who is still in good shape. Your fifth option is Shane Battier, who is still a good player. The New York Knicks have who?”

Boeheim said he told his son during Game 6 that Anthony would have to score 50 for New York to win. He also blamed the Knicks’ offensive scheme, saying Carmelo has to run an isolation offense and go one-on-one too often. He’s right. Anthony is a great player, but he’s not Kobe Bryant or LeBron James. The Knicks aren’t going to win a title with him taking 30 shots a game.

H/T NY Post