Anthony: no problem with D’Antoni except results

Carmelo Anthony insists he isn’t selfish, certainly not a guy

who gets coaches replaced.

”Of course that bothers me, because I never want that label on

me,” Anthony said Thursday.

Anthony said his only problem with Mike D’Antoni was on the

court. He tried to play the way his coach wanted, even though it

was uncomfortable for him and ultimately unsuccessful.

”It wasn’t working,” Anthony said. ”I mean, we lost games,

and when you lose games and people say it’s not working, of course

they come, the blame is on me.”

Now Anthony gets a chance to get it right, with a new coach and

the same teammates. Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan

believes in his underachieving roster that’s tied for the final

playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, and when it became obvious

the Knicks needed a change, D’Antoni chose to resign.

So as expected, the Knicks were silent before Thursday’s NBA

trade deadline.

”Mr. Dolan was perfectly clear in his message that no one is

going anywhere. We need to give this team a chance to succeed and

that’s what we’re going to do,” forward Amare Stoudemire said.

Dolan repeated that message at a news conference Wednesday to

announce D’Antoni’s departure, so none of the stars were worried

about a move, even though all of their names have been linked to

rumors at some point.

”I wasn’t planning on going nowhere, so we didn’t have no plans

on making any trades,” Anthony said. ”This is the team that we

have, this is the team that we’re going to stick with.”

Interim coach Mike Woodson ran his first practice Thursday,

putting in some new offensive sets that Anthony may prefer.

Anthony and Stoudemire were having perhaps the worst seasons of

their careers, but both played well Wednesday in a 121-79 rout of

Portland and should get plenty of chances to pick it up under

Woodson – who’s known better as a defensive mind – over the

remaining 23 games.

”I just think he’s just going to utilize his leading scorers,”

Stoudemire said. ”With myself and Carmelo, he’s going to utilize

us to make sure that we take advantage of our every opportunity out

there on the court. We’ve been profound scorers all our career, so

we’re going to make sure we take advantage of it.”

Yet it’s a risk to move away from an offense that so many other

players were comfortable in with so little time left. Jeremy Lin

became a star, and players such as Tyson Chandler, Steve Novak and

Jared Jeffries were all flourishing in February while Anthony was

out.

”It’s going to be a different style, a different rhythm, but we

still need to figure it out because we don’t all have it figured

out just yet right now,” Lin said.

Despite playing in it for three years with the U.S. national

team, Anthony had become the rare player whose numbers didn’t

improve playing in D’Antoni’s wide-open offensive system. He said

D’Antoni had come to him while he was injured and Lin had taken

control of the team, asking him to make sacrifices when he returned

so the offense wouldn’t lose its rhythm.

Anthony said he agreed and never thought of doing otherwise.

”I’m not a `do what I do’ type of guy,” Anthony said. ”Me and

Coach never had that problem where I come out and say I’m going to

do what I do and he’s going to do what he do. I always went to him

and asked him what can I do to help the situation and vice

versa.”

Anthony said his communication was always good with D’Antoni,

yet he still doesn’t know why the coach decided to resign

Wednesday. Though some players were in contact with D’Antoni on

Wednesday afternoon, Anthony still hadn’t reached out to him by the

end of Thursday’s practice.

So Anthony doesn’t know why D’Antoni might have felt he lost

support in the locker room, nor does he understand why the coach

thought he couldn’t get the best out of him.

”I think it’s false,” Anthony said. ”Me and Mike talked

constantly about just trying to find out different ways, and what I

can do and what we can do as a team.”

The one thing Anthony does realize is that he’s been targeted

for blame for everything from messing up the offense to messing

with Linsanity. He’s aware of it and says it bothers him, but said

he is focused only one winning games.

”If I’m the one that messed coach Mike’s system up, you all

want to blame me, I’ll take it,” Anthony said, ”along with

everything else.”