by Sulaiman Folarin
DENVER, CO — Carmelo Anthony was aware that, with the Knicks in town Tuesday night, he would have to talk about not only his game performance, but also the potential of playing for the Knicks and which team he might end up by the trade deadline or next season.
With a lot of talk about his potential destination, Anthony was ready for the media; not giving away too much, actually not giving away anything. He has done this all season from the first time I asked him about a “three-man team” at his camp over the summer to the media day barrage and even during team practice and shoot around.
Face it, Anthony knows what he is doing and the New York media went through something similar with LeBron James when he was going through his final year with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Anthony saw how James’ “Decision” turned out and would rather be the good guy in the final script than the villain.
Typically the focus should have been more on the Nuggets almost collapsing down the stretch against the Knicks, a team with a losing streak, but nobody cared much about that. It showed with the questions directed at him as there were probably five questions on the game and the rest about his future.
The media — about 15 people in total — from the Denver and New York areas asked different questions, but during his responses, did Anthony really give anything away? You be the judge.
On the Knicks championship contenders
Anthony: “They have some things going for them. Looks like they are trying to figure out what kind of team they are.”
On the possibly of this being his last game playing against the Knicks
“We play them next month, right? I’ll see them in the Garden again.”
Thoughts on possibility playing for the Knicks
“I never thought about that tonight. Not once. That wasn’t even on my mind.”
On Knicks players recruiting him
“No, not at all. They are trying to win, they competed hard tonight. They fought back, but there was none of that going on.”
On playing with a three-man team or a group of stars
“To be honest with you, we always joked about that. Especially on the 2008 [Olympics] team, on the bus to and from practice we always joked about playing with each other. If we could, we would have all 12 guys from that team play with each other. We always joked about that, but it was nothing more than that. I think LeBron and them took it to a different level; they followed through with it.”
On Amar’e lobbying for Melo to play with him
“Did he? Amar’e is crazy.”
What would you say to New York fans who think you have a serious chance of becoming a Knicks?
“I can’t really say nothing to them. I have to focus on what is going on here in Denver right now. For me to send a message to the fans in New York right now, I can’t do that.”
On Knicks being a team in free agency to consider next summer.
“I don’t know; I am focused right now. If it comes to it at that point in time, I will look at my options.”
Handling free agency situation different than LeBron
“I saw the backlash that he got and is going through right now. It is unfortunate, but I am pretty sure he is content with the decision he made. Me knowing him the way I know him, I don’t think he has any regrets with the decision that he made. As long as he is happy and as long as his family is happy, that’s all that matters for him.”
Where do you expect to be the day after the trade deadline?
“I don’t know, you guys have to ask Masai (Ujiri) that question. If you want to know anything about the trade, you have to ask the front office.”
What will it take to sign the deal on the table?
“Masai and I are talking. We have great conversation going back and forth. He understands. My options are open.”
What needs to be shown to you?
“That’s for me and Masai.”
Al Harrington says that he if had that kind of money sitting on the table, he wouldn’t sleep at night…
“I sleep good at night. I am with my family. I sleep good at night. It’s not all about the money.”
How much is about family?
“I want to make my family happy. I want them to be comfortable; whether it is here or whether it is somewhere else. If the family is not right, nothing is right.”