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
”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
”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
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