NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Carmelo Anthony should focus on trying to get players to join him in New York, not creating uncertainty about whether he would leave.
At least that’s the opinion of TNT analysts Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith, who are disappointed by Anthony’s desire to become a free agent after this season.
“He owns the city,” Barkley said on Monday. “He should be trying to get guys to come here and not like, ‘I’ll stay here a couple of years. I forced my way here, No. 1, I got here, now I want to leave.’ That’s just not cool at all to be honest with you.”
Anthony has never said that he wants to leave New York. He just said that he wants to experience free agency when he can opt out of his contract this summer.
But that aside, the six-time All-Star isn’t letting the Hall of Famer’s comments faze him.
“I don’t listen to that guy, not at all,” the small forward said. “I don’t care about doubters. I really don’t, to be honest with you. The free agency, that’s not hanging over my head. I’ll deal with that in the offseason when that time comes. So that’s not something I’m actually thinking about at this point in time.
“I’m very excited about this season. I think it’ll be a great season, I believe it’ll be a great season and I think we have a hell of a chance to do something this year.”
“What he should say is, ‘The Knicks have to, they’re going to give me the max. I’m going to be in New York.'” Smith said.
Smith, a New York native, said the Knicks need to get to a point where players would take less money because they want to come to the city to play with Anthony.
“What happened to the law of attraction?” Smith said. “Like, you’re good enough where you can attract guys that want to play with you. And that’s what’s missing, I think from the Knicks, and I think what’s missing from Carmelo, is just the law of attraction. Like, there aren’t a lot of guys saying they want to come to New York and play here with this guy.”
The Knicks acquired Anthony in February 2011, months after he told the Denver Nuggets that he wanted a trade to New York. He topped the league in scoring last season.
“They don’t know what I’m doing,” Melo said. “I haven’t had a complaint yet in my 11 years in this NBA about playing with me. I think people would love to come play in New York. And when that time comes we’ll be working on that. I have a big black book. I have a big Rolodex.
“People that talk about what’s going on with me in the offseason, this and that, I should be getting people to come here — I am. I’m trying.”
“When I heard that I was very disappointed, because he wanted to come here,” Barkley said. “Now all of a sudden … he wants to test free agency. That really (ticks) me off, to be honest with you.”
Barkley has a long history of putting down the Knicks.
The analyst said in September of 2012 that the Knicks’ All-Star combination of Amar’e Stoudemire and Anthony was “not going to work.” In April of that year, he told WFAN’s Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton that “the Knicks still stink, dude. They’re not going anywhere (in the playoffs), they’re gonna be one and done.”
The Knicks will open their season against the Bucks at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night.
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