This past offseason the Knicks took a huge step to being relevant in the NBA by landing Amar’e Stoudemire. Even though that was a big step forward for a downtrodden franchise, the Knicks still weren’t where they needed to be to try and compete for a championship. Until they traded for Carmelo Anthony. Whether or not the Knicks exit the playoffs this year in the first round is irrelevant. There are going to be nights where the Knicks look incredible and there are other nights where they are going to look horrible. But New York now has the pieces in place to build their franchise around. The Knicks have two of the top 20 players in the NBA. In his debut ‘Melo dropped 27 points and grabbed 10 boards and Madison Square Garden was rocking last night because the Knicks are once again relevant. That’s a good thing for the league.
Carmelo Anthony joined ESPN Radio in New York with Michael Kay to talk about how long it will take for the team to come together, whether or not he thinks him and Amar’e can coexist and play together, if there is any question who is going to be the leader of the team, and if he would’ve been willing to re-sign with the Nuggets if a deal didn’t get worked out.
How long it will take for the team to come together:
“It will take some time man. You’ve got a group of guys that some of them never played with each other, especially under D’Antoni’s system. It’s going to take some time. My message to the guys is to just be patient. Let’s go out there and play hard but be patient. We’re gonna have some bumps in the road but we’re going to get through it as a team.”
If he thinks he and Amar’e can coexist:
“Of course. As far as me and Amar’e playing together, that’s easy man. That’s the easy part. He’s in the paint and I’m outside on the perimeter. That’s the easy part. We will get it together. It’s not about us getting along, it’s about us getting everybody else on the right team as us.”
Whether or not there’s a question about who will be the leader of the team:
“Not at all man, not at all. Amar’e has been leading this team so far this season and he’s been doing great at it. We’ve gotta do it as a collective unit. It’s everybody’s team and everybody has to step up and be held responsible.”
Why he wanted to go to New York so bad:
“You gotta understand in situations like this, like a New York City situation, you’ve gotta be able to take on those challenges and be able to handle those challenges and I think me personally I was the perfect fit for the situation like this. Just being born here, having my roots here, my family is here, and I think I was the perfect fit in a situation like this. You’ve gotta have thick skin to deal with this and not many people can do that.”
Whether or not he would’ve re-signed with the Nuggets if he didn’t get traded:
“I don’t know. I can’t really answer that question right now because the deal is done. There was a lot of talk about the New Jersey thing or me actually staying in Denver. There were two other options that I really looked deep into.”