Carmelo Anthony: ‘I don’t think I’ll ever be a hundred percent’

Carmelo Anthony played in a career-low 40 games this season.

Anthony Gruppuso/Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sport

New York Knicks fans suffered through the worst season in franchise history. Now the future of the franchise could be in some jeopardy.

Carmelo Anthony, who had season-ending knee surgery in February, gave a somewhat bleak outlook on his health going forward.

"I don’t think I’ll ever be a hundred percent, but as far as being fully recovered, injury-free, I’ll be at that point," Anthony said at the team’s practice facility Thursday. "If I lost my drive over this time, then I shouldn’t even be here, to be honest with you. My drive, everything that I’ve been through, and even this year in particular, I’m like pulling my hair out right now because I’m ready to get back on the court. I’m ready to prove everybody wrong. That’s just my mentality, and so my drive is pushing me to want to continue to bring that championship."

Anthony played in a career-low  40 games this season after signing a five-year, $124 million contract to return to the Knicks last summer. New York suffered through a disastrous season, finishing with the second-worst record in the NBA at 17-65. That mark earned the Knicks a 19.9 percent chance to secure the top selection in this year’s draft.

The Knicks could turn around their fortunes quickly with a top draft pick and having about $30 million in projected cap space this summer. Despite last season’s awful results, which led Anthony to second-guess returning, he still believes team president Phil Jackson will rebuild the franchise.

"I didn’t lose any faith in Phil. Phil is a guy who you never know what’s going to happen, you never know what he’s thinking. The moves that he made, once he started explaining to me behind closed doors about what was going on, his thought process behind everything, it started to make sense. So I don’t second-guess any of that," Anthony said. "When it comes to Phil, I think that was one of the reasons I decided to come back. For me to have faith in him and believe in his capabilities and what he can do is kind of like a clean slate for us and for him. Now we really get a chance and he really gets a chance to put a stamp on what we wants this organization to be about, what he wants this team to be about, what players he wants in here. This is the time he steps up to the plate."