Carmelo Anthony feels Mike Woodson holds his players more accountable, dispels notion that Knicks stopped playing for Mike D’Antoni

March 28, 2012 – 11:00 am by Steven Cuce

For the first time since Mike D’Antoni’s resignation from the New York Knicks, Carmelo Anthony speaks out about his former coach on sports radio airwaves. The Knicks are currently in crisis mode again, which seems like a reoccurring theme this season with the team’s inconsistencies, after a devastating injury to Amar’e Stoudemire. Stoudemire is out indefinitely with a bulging disk in his back.

Now the Knicks lean upon Anthony to carry this team to a playoff birth in the last 16 games of the season. First let’s hear his thoughts on what separates Mike Woodson and Mike D’Antoni.

Carmelo Anthony joined ESPN New York with The Michael Kay Show to discuss the pressure being on him to lead the New York Knicks with Amar’e Stoudemire out, the status of his groin injury suffered against the Milwaukee Bucks, the biggest difference between Mike Woodson and Mike D’Antoni, Mike D’Antoni holding Knicks players more accountable, being able to succeed long term with Mike D’Antoni, fitting into Mike D’Antoni’s system and the idea that the Knicks were not playing as hard for Mike D’Antoni.

How much pressure is on you with Amar’e Stoudemire out?

“I wouldn’t call it pressure. [Laughs] [Michael Kay: How much responsibility?] Oh it’s a lot. It’s a lot. It’s a team. I am not the only one on a team. A moment like this is where it becomes fun. I have been around this league for eight years. This is my ninth season, so I’ve been in situations like this before and it’s a very fun time. It’s a very fun situation to be in. Of course we would like it a little bit better where we are not fighting for it to solidify a spot, but at times like this it becomes fun.”

Will the groin injury get in the way of you leading the Knicks now with Amar’e Stoudemire out?

“Right now it is a little sore. I am taking it day-by-day right now. It’ll get better. Nothing that I am worried about though.”

What has been the biggest difference with Mike Woodson as head coach? Why have you guys seemed to come together more since Mike D’Antoni left as head coach?

“I think now guys – we was almost forced to come together as a team and we was under the gun when he [Mike Woodson] came on. The biggest thing now is he holds guys accountable on the basketball court regardless of who it is like myself, Amar’e, Tyson [Chandler], Jeremy [Lin]. Regardless of who it is he holds guys accountable. That’s big especially in this day and age.”

Did you think Mike D’Antoni had to hold guys more accountable to be more effective?

“Well that’s not him. Nobody was expecting that from him. That’s not his personality. He did it his way, which nobody is saying was a bad way. It’s just two different people, two different personalities.”

Could you have had long term success if Mike D’Antoni stayed here or was it better off that you guys divorced?

“Who knows? Who knows? Who knows? I can’t really speak on that. We would never know at this point in time.”

Did you fit into Mike D’Antoni’s system?

“Well I had to adjust. It was an adjustment period. It was an adjustment period for myself, which I didn’t have a problem with doing. It just so happened he stepped down. We would never know if it would have worked out or not.”

It seemed like there was more urgency under Mike Woodson. Did you guys just stop playing for Mike D’Antoni? Did it seem like it was not going to work out with you guys and Mike D’Antoni?

“No not at all. Not at all. I think once Coach Woodson took over like I said we was kind of under the gun. Our backs were against the wall and we had to figure out a team identity that we have been searching for this whole short season. Right now it seems like we found that identity.”

Listen to Carmelo Anthony on 1050 ESPN New York here

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