NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Carmelo Anthony will miss the final two games with a torn labrum in his right shoulder, ending his first playoff-less season and potentially his New York Knicks career.
Anthony had one of his finest individual seasons, averaging 27.4 points and a career-best 8.1 rebounds in 77 games. But it stunningly amounted to nothing, as the Knicks were eliminated from playoff contention on Saturday night.
“We’ve chatted a little bit and I feel for him more than anybody, because the kind of season that he had, he deserves to be in the playoffs and I feel bad about that. I do,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson said Tuesday.
Anthony initially hurt the shoulder earlier this month but kept playing as the Knicks were trying to rally to grab the No. 8 seed.
But Woodson was leaning toward not playing him Tuesday at Brooklyn or Wednesday at home against Toronto, even before Anthony had an MRI exam Tuesday that revealed the tear.
“Obviously he knew it was bothering him when he hurt it a few weeks ago, but he hung in there with us and tried to make this last push to get in the playoffs,” Woodson said.
The Knicks said Anthony would not require surgery at this point and would be evaluated in about a month.
After that, the Knicks can only hope that when he can play again, it’s for them.
Anthony said before the season began that he planned to opt out of his contract and become a free agent in July. New president Phil Jackson said he had no doubt that Anthony could be the central piece of the Knicks’ future, but Anthony will likely want to consider his options after missing the playoffs for the first time in his 11-year career.
He will turn 30 next month and knows it will be tough for the Knicks to get much better next season, since they already face salary cap woes and won’t have a lottery pick, having traded it to Denver in the deal to acquire him in 2011.
“It’s hard. Really hard,” Anthony told TNT on Tuesday. “I have a lot to think about.”
Jackson has said he’d like Carmelo Anthony to be a part of the team’s plans.
“This is the best place to play basketball,” Jackson said during his introduction last month.
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