Carmelo Anthony says the idea of asking for a trade hasn’t even crossed his mind.
Carmelo Anthony is the last Knick standing after five years of turnover and turmoil, a stretch that includes four team presidents and three head coaches. Wielding a no-trade clause and the highest salary in the organization besides James Dolan, Anthony assured Monday that he isn’t going anywhere this season − regardless of how much the team struggles.
“Hell no,” Anthony said when asked if he’d consider a trade. “For me to get to that point and then decide that this is not what it’s going to be, I already came this far. That don’t even come across my mind at this point.”
Anthony’s satisfaction with the Knicks’ direction is hot-button topic these days, considering his career is on a different timeline than the Kristaps Porzingis era. Phil Jackson struck out on all the top free agents − and, in the case of LaMarcus Aldridge, he didn’t make a fair attempt despite a recruitment from Anthony. What’s left is a mixture of veterans and youngsters, none with All-Star credentials besides the 31-year-old Anthony.
Rumors and reports of his unrest became an annoyance during the offseason, Anthony said.
“It’s a long list (of misinformation). (Me being upset with Knicks draft) was one, me waiving my trade clause was two, me not wanting to be here is three. Just everyday was just another team that I was going to be traded to,” Anthony said. “I was in everybody’s trade this offseason.
“At first it’s like, ‘I know it’s not true, it’s stupid.’ Then after a while it just kind of gets annoying. You start hearing the same thing with a different source every day, a different team every day. You gotta walk around and gotta hear (what) people (and) fans are asking me. You gotta deal with that everywhere you go. Whether you’re with your family, or whether you’re downtown, it starts getting overwhelming at times.”
Still, Anthony acknowledged that the free agents he listed at the top were signed elsewhere, characterizing New York’s crop as a tier below. The Knicks handed out $ 94 million this summer to Robin Lopez, Arron Afflalo, Kyle O’Quinn and Derrick Williams, while Aldridge, Marc Gasol, DeAndre Jordan, Greg Monroe and Dwyane Wade received max deals around the league.
In the case of Aldridge, the Knicks killed their chances by insisting he play center to accommodate the growth of Porzingis at power forward.
“In any free agency you always try to shoot for the cream of the crop,” Anthony said. “Then there’s another tier that you have to shoot for when things don’t go your way and that’s the tier that we’re at right now. Like I said before, I think they did a great job of putting this group together.”
Anthony said he hasn’t spoken with Jackson about the direction of the team since before the draft. Jackson, who watched Monday’s practice at the team’s facility, also has not spoken to the media since the start of training camp.
“I don’t even need to speak to Phil about plans and everything that’s going on,” Anthony said. “When he’s ready to speak to me and tell me what’s going in, Phil knows where I’m at.
“I don’t need to walk into his office and say, ‘Phil what are we doing with this and what are we doing with that?’ We pay Phil the big bucks to run this organization and run this team and that’s what he’s doing at this point.”
Where Jackson is running it is the big question as the Knicks gear up for their first preseason game Wednesday.
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