Schmeelk: Carmelo’s Admission Nothing Short Of Disgraceful

By John Schmeelk
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I’m honestly torn as to how to look at the Knicks’ recent turnaround. On the more obvious hand it’s encouraging, but on the other it says something about this group that isn’t very flattering. If it wasn’t clear before, it certainly is now: this team quit on Mike D’Antoni. Is it a death knell for this group of players? No, but it is certainly a sign of their character.

Carmelo Anthony is the ring leader of the group, and his effort and dedication have certainly been at a different level since Mike Woodson took over. Just look at how he was quoted in today’s New York Post:

Anthony said over the last three games, his focus “was to have an energy that I haven’t had so far this season.”

“Especially on the defensive end,” Anthony said. “Everybody on this team knows, everybody in the world knows I can score the basketball. It’s not that important to me. As far as on the defensive end, just showing my teammates that the effort is there, giving that extra effort. And as a result, everybody’s been feeding off of that.”

This is the team’s superstar, its apparent leader, admitting that he dogged it under the old coach. When I wrote this last night I was willing to give Anthony the benefit of the doubt and say his lack of 100% effort was subconscious. This quote indicates that he knew quite well that he wasn’t playing as hard as he could for D’Antoni. Seriously? A team trades away its entire young nucleus for you, pays you a ridiculous amount of money and then you decide not to play hard? This quote should be back-page material. It’s ludicrous. If I’m James Dolan and I read this, I call up my star player and rip him a new one. I do the same if I’m Woodson, who if the stories are correct, has been all over Anthony in meetings. How do you think Tyson Chandler feels about his “superstar teammate” not trying while he plays with an injured left wrist?

Real leaders and real stars don’t constantly need a coach all over them to play hard. They don’t need someone constantly exhorting them to play as hard as they can just to get maximum effort. Anthony does, apparently, and it speaks volumes as to the type of player he is. The other implication is that the way he played under D’Antoni was tantamount to sabotage. He purposely didn’t play hard for the Knicks and Knicks fans, just because he didn’t like his coach’s strategy or style. He was willing to sacrifice victories just so he could be lazy. He didn’t care enough about winning. This is scary stuff.

Can anyone ever imagine someone like Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley or Steve Nash needing someone to light a fire under them? Ewing had his flaws, but he never once could someone accuse him of not leaving it all on the floor. Apparently, Anthony has been doing that all season by his own admission. This is about as criminal an action that an athlete can commit on the basketball court. He didn’t care enough to play hard on defense. It’s a joke. Every Knicks fan should be furious.

Of course, it’s possible that Anthony has finally had a revelation. Maybe this whole series of events, including getting booed on his own floor, has awakened something in him. Perhaps he finally understands what it takes to be a champion. Or maybe after a few games he will return to the same guy we saw the first three months of this season: someone who apparently doesn’t care enough to give paying fans their money’s worth and try on defense. We’ll know soon enough.

You can follow me on Twitter for everything Knicks, Giants, Yankees and New York sports at:!/Schmeelk

Do you agree that Carmelo’s admission is infuriating? Is it getting tougher for you to root for him? Sound off in the comments section…

  • BWsays

    LeBron dogs it every play-off season.

  • cindy

    Carmelo had no sense of shame and is a poison in the team.I will get rid of him if I am the owner of Knicks team.

    • LouBoogie139

      Well…hold on here a second Cindy. I too am an upset Knick fan with how everything has turned out previous to recent winning streak. However, Carmelo, is our best player. It’s not systematic anymore, Dantoni’s offensive strategy formulated some of the earlier wins(See: LINSANITY). We need Carmelo more than ever….Yeah I’m upset with his antics….He basically did not play for his coach! Got his coach quote on quote “Fired”. If we did not like our boss but was getting paid millions, would we not do our job?

  • Ryan

    He must’ve been high when he gave that statement. This is old news. He did the same thing in Denver. He came to NY after the trade and “put out” for the rest of last season, comes back after the lockout and doesn’t want to put out anymore (once the trade was completed he even said the same thing in shorter words). Thats why they had to bring in guys like Iverson, and Chauncey to help him become a leader. He’s hasn’t done SQUAT!, in Denver or in NY, to have earned the right to dislike anyone’s coaching style. If he bust his butt night in and night out on the floor, and not shrug his shoulders to what people see in his character, should anybody give him the time of day to hear his opinion on what would work for the team.

    Question: Like Kobe getting LA mgmt to make moves for a championship, can you imagine any team giving a hoot who Carmelo wants? Lets not forget, Dantoni resigned…

  • Steve Budin

    Ok, this is an excellent article that perfectly articulates one side of the story. However, there is, as always, another side that needs to be considered. It was well known that Dantoni didn’t want Melo, neither did Walsh, but Dolan insisted and hit the “override” button. It is hard enough to play for a coach who you know doesn’t want you, and then when the entire city knows he doesn’t want you too, it becomes difficult for a “KID” who always had his coaches highest admiration and attention, to become a “MAN” and play hard for a coach who doesn’t like him or respect his basketball abilities. When you add to that the fact that Dantoni looked for every opportunity he could find to bench Melo in the 4th Qtr during crunch time, rather than show some faith, trust, and solidarity with the guy you paid insane money to help Stat save the franchise, how was Dantoni supposed to get MELO’s “FULL EFFORT”????? He was begging Anthony to quit rather than yelling at him to play! He disengaged from Anthony, because he wanted to be able to see, YOU SEE!!! I WAS RIGHT!!! ANTHONY WAS NOT THE RIGHT CHIOCE FOR MY SPEEDBALL OFFENSE!!! For Dantoni, proving his point became more important than winning games, so why would winning be most important for his stars? I’m sorry, if NBA players, stars, role players, and scrubs alike, didn’t need coaches to keep their asses in shape, in focus, and in the mood… why would they pay guys like Dantoni 5 million a year? They wouldn’t. Don’t ever underestimate the value of having a great coach… Somebody knowledgeable, proven, dedicated, but most of all, someone with the ability to motivate, connect with, and hold accountable, every player on that team from top to bottom. GO KNICKS!

    • ZombiesRus

      If he knew that Dantoni didn’t want him why would he sign a contract?

  • jama424

    In my opinion, it’s sad (and maybe shameful) when ANYONE does not find the motivation within himself to work to the best of his ability.

    The team seems to be having fun now, but if they miss the playoffs it won’t feel so good to look back and see what “could have been.” And it sure isn’t fair to us fans.

    Go Knicks!!!

  • Dave

    Who’ll take 7 as the over-under as to when Melo stops caring about defense again?

    Really. If I was Dolan, I’d fine Melo 50% of his salary for the 50% of the game he doesn’t play.

  • HY

    The Knicks stink, period. Top to bottom! For years..Not worth a penny to watch!

  • Otto

    I agree with samianalyze, MA never adapted and held players accountable for defense and rebounding. plus he was not a good game time coach as seen inn his substitution and time out patterns. He is not a NBA coach.
    With that said , Melo is still not off the hook and playing in NY will put him to the test. The jury is still out with Melo but not for DA. His verdict stands – only knows one style of offense and no other facets of the game. Whats is truly sad is that he doesn’t care ! So if anyone lacks character it’s DA.

  • A

    I’m no big Melo fan but, What ever reason that makes Melo play harder who cares as long as their WINNING thats all that counts at this point! …..PS D’Antoni never coached D that was his main fault theirs no doubt about that & his ability to use his bench for the best outcome was also very suspect!!!

  • MIKE


  • Bori

    Author infers that Carmelo admits he quit on D’Antoni based on Carmelo’s comments that he is now playing harder on defense than before the coaching change, yet there was no direct admission based on those same comments that he quit (admission literally means acknowledgment). Poor journalism (if we could called this journalism) and irresponsible speculation from someone who like most in this dying profession would most probably hide behind a phantom source. Probably a hack.

  • Joel

    Articles like this is the reason why Star players refuse to come to New york, and that goes for every sport. Peyton Manning, LeBron James etc etc. This is why new york teams have to pay insane amount of money for stars to come to new york and get ripped apart as soon as things get rough….

  • Rick from Norwwod

    Melo is a very wealthy talented scorer and a cancer on this club. Melo is a loser and will never win on the pro level

    • GEM

      Rick from Norwood would know Melo is a cancer..REALLY..You may be a loser fan…

      • TXKNICKS

        He carried the Orangemen to a NC in 2003. I don’t think he’s a loser. I think he has ADD actually, and may be the personality type that needs a lot of pushing. That’s not mutually exclusive with being a superstar. Irresponsible journalism by JS.

  • samianalyze

    Dantoni’s Demise is his own doing. In his last game against the Bull’s I didn’t see a team that quit on him. They competed and gave 100 percent. Dantoni lost the team because of his buffoonery. He refused to adapt and adjust to the talent on his team. His stubbornness was on display in the 4th quarter of that Bulls game when Amare Stoudmire had it going in the third and Dantoni only called his number once in the fourth quarter. He continued to stick with his system instead of feeding the rock to a very hot Stoudemire. Dantoni doesn’t adapt nor does he analyze. The Knicks didn’t trade away the house to get Carmelo Anthony and have him become a role player in Dantoni’s system. Dantoni has no one to blame but himself. He refused to change things with the Sun’s as well that’s why he ended up here!

    • Tino

      this, 100% agree

  • Mike

    UNBELIEVEABLE!! This is the same coach that buried Stephon Marbury on the bench in order to play Chris Duhon? Who refused to play J. Lin now the offense revolves around him? And you are questioning Melos decision to play for this guy?
    Where do u media guys get this stuff from? What a joke?

  • Darryl

    How is saying he’s trying even harder now, the same as saying as “I wasn’t trying before”? Just because he’s giving an extra effort doesn’t mean that he was dogging it intentionally before. The more likely scenario is that he kicked it up a notch when he realized that his career and name were on the line with D’Antoni out of the picture. Don’t really see how that means he wasn’t playing to his capabilities before, but can’t say that I haven’t done the same in my professional career. Guess the Melo hate can continue, though.. at least gives people something to talk about, I suppose…

  • Tino

    I’m 100% behind Melo on this, and articles like this will just lead to more ignorant “Knicks Fans” booing their star player, I remember a day when people at MSG actually knew basketball and didn’t listen to morons on the radio and that write these articles

  • GEM

    all you guys are idiots..players quit..Really!!! write something when you actually know the players thoughts …quote never said he quit on coach..

  • Netsbound

    No surprise there. If Woodson wants to keep his job, he “must” keep Melo happy. The Knicks can’t buy a championship.

  • sdfsd

    its probably got to the point where melo couldnt even stand to look at the guy. he is an IDIOT. d’antoni killing the lin/ carmelo rumour was a huge scratching the head moment. they guys just isnt made for this city.

    everytime the camera showed his face on the sideline it made me mad. i know how carmelo felt. it is un-excuseable though.

  • cheo13


  • PeterH

    let’s start the chant: “Melo must GO!!”

    • Alex

      Peter H,

      You can Shut up too!

  • Vince in Brooklyyn

    John, I concur.

  • fmr22


  • Alex


    Why don’t you just shut up now. You should like a fool with the story and want to put this spin for a bad coach!

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