Some Knicks Fans Irked By Ailing Star's Insistence On Playing In Exhibition


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony says he’d like to play in the NBA All-Star Game, even if it’s just short enough for a hi-how-ya-doing to the home crowd.

But the optics aren’t good. He has a sore left knee that apparently needs corrective surgery. It’s very possible he won’t suit up for New York again this season. He’s missed 13 games for the lowly Knicks, most recently on Wednesday, the last contest before the break. The ASG, of course, is a meaningless exhibition game. A showcase.

Still, he wants to hit the court as a starter for the Eastern Conference.

Carmelo Anthony poses for his All-Star starter photos (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Carmelo Anthony poses for his All-Star starter photos (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

We’ll find out what the fans think of it when he’s introduced at Madison Square Garden on Sunday. WFAN co-host Craig Carton thinks Melo will get an ovation, though he’s not happy with how the Knicks superstar is handling his NYC ambassador role.

“Why can’t you do all that stuff — be a coach on the celebrity game, go to all the parties, be the man about town — but when it comes to the game itself, respectfully decline because it’s not good for your franchise,” Carton said. “That’s the problem!”

Carton’s co-host, former Jets quarterback Boomer Esiason, called Melo’s decision “an affront to all Knicks fans and a disgrace … it is just absolutely a joke.”

Subscribe to the Boomer & Carton Podcast »

Here’s what others had to say:

CBS New York columnist Jared Max: “If he had to pull a Willis Reed, Anthony would do so to play in an All-Star game at Madison Square Garden. Of course, Willis Reed would not have pulled a Willis Reed unless it was the NBA Finals.”

— CBS New York columnist and avid Knicks fan John Schmeelk: “He wasn’t healthy enough to play against Orlando on Wednesday, but he’ll be good to go for a meaningless game on Sunday? It is at the point where the perception might very well be worse than the reality, which is just as bad.”

In a radio interview Thursday, the 30-year-old Anthony said he’ll “very likely” shut it down after the All-Star Game. He also said the fans who voted him in as a starter deserve to watch him play “even if I come out and just play a couple minutes and just wave.”

“They voted me in for a reason,” he said, “so at least I can show them that I appreciate that by just participating in the game.”

Anthony is averaging 24.2 points and 6.6 rebounds this season. The Knicks are an NBA-worst 10-43.

What do you think? Do you have a problem with Anthony playing Sunday?