New York Knicks Rumors
In an interview with The New York Times this week, during a break from preparations for his Thunder debut, Anthony revealed that he needed one more nudge before telling the Knicks last month that, yes, he was prepared to be traded to Oklahoma City. “My son said he wanted me to play for O.K.C.,” Anthony said. “Even before O.K.C. was in the picture.’’
“When I signed back with the Knicks, I wanted to be in New York and I believed in Phil,’’ Anthony added in reference to the $125 million contract with the no-trade clause that he agreed to with Jackson in July 2014, a deal that kept him from departing as a free agent.
“Then last year it went to: I was being pushed out. There were things being said about me that I didn’t know where they were coming from. And I still had to go in that gym and play and practice and deal with the media, answer all those questions every day.” Asked how many times he and Jackson spoke face to face last season, Anthony said, “Maybe twice.” “There was no support from the organization,” he said. “When you feel like you’re on your own and then on top of that you feel like you’re being pushed out …”
The delay to find a workable trade, in Anthony’s view, stemmed from the fact that Jackson was willing “to trade me for a bag of chips,” while Scott Perry, who became the Knicks’ new general manager after Jackson’s departure, took a harder line in trade talks with Houston and Cleveland that eventually fizzled. “They went from asking for peanuts to asking for steak,” Anthony said with a laugh.
As the face of the franchise, Carmelo bore some of the brunt of the Knicks’ failures. Only one playoff series triumph (2013). Four straight years missing the postseason. Constant questions about his contributions and future. “It was tense,” Carmelo said. “Very tense situation. It was challenging from a mental standpoint to try to still go out there and play at a high level. Try to lock everything out. Try to gather the guys on the team. “It made me really understand who I am. How much I can handle as a person, mentally, physically, emotionally. But I got through it. Somehow, some way, I got through it.”