Carmelo Anthony

Vecsey says Carmelo Anthony wants to win now, play for Knicks. We’re confused, too.


The conflict in what Carmelo Anthony says he wants is right out there in the open after the latest report: Find a way to make the Nuggets the best team in the West this season — so trade for a big asset without trading anything away — or trade me to the Knicks so I can win.

While you’re at it, figure out a way to end the recession, feed everyone on the planet and make iCarly go away.

The New York Post’s Peter Vecsey says he had three one-on-one conversations with Anthony over the past few weeks and came away just as confused as everyone else.

“I’m just like LeBron,” Anthony emphasized in the Nuggets’ locker room following Saturday’s practice. “It’s all about winning. That’s all I care about. I want the chance to compete at the championship level. All the other stuff is irrelevant.”

In my scrawny mind, that quote instantaneously eliminated the Knicks from contention for his revered services…. Don’t reach for your spectacles, you got that right; the Knicks remain a viable option. I repeat, a viable option.

Ask me how Anthony defends those colliding concepts after I speak with him a fourth time in private.

Vecsey also came away thinking the Nets were not an option he loved. Of course, if Vecsey had asked the same question the next day, would the answer have been the same?

Anthony so far has been all about talking about winning and keeping his options open in public, while the people behind him push for a trade to the Knicks. Or maybe the Bulls, but preferably the Knicks.

Anthony’s best chance at winning frankly comes in Denver, where there is a team that can push the Lakers, something it proved a couple nights ago. But Anthony admitted he told Denver he wants a team that can beat the Lakers this season, by the trade deadline, or he will look elsewhere. Good luck pulling that off, Nuggets.

“That’s reality,” Melo said. “Whether I like it or not, or whether they like it not.”

Hopefully somewhere, to someone (preferably to Denver’s front office) this is much more clear. Or in some way realistic.

Carmelo Anthony says he can play at high level 4-5 more years

USA Basketball Men's National Team Training Camp

Carmelo Anthony can flat-out score the rock — that has never been the question. Even hurting last season for many of the 40 games he played, he averaged 24.2 points a game, had a true shooting percentage of 53.1 percent (right near the league average) while having the entire weight of the Knicks offense on his shoulders (32.2 usage rate, fifth highest in the NBA). When people (or players) talk about him being overrated, the discussion turns to defense or if he makes his teammates better. But there should be no doubt Anthony is an elite scorer.

He thinks he will be for a while longer — like another five years. Via Ian Begley of ESPN:

In fact, the 31-year-old Knicks star is confident that he can play at a high level for the next “four or five years.”

“Without a doubt. Without a doubt,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ final training camp practice on Saturday.

The Knicks better hope that’s true, they already made that bet with that massive five-year contract they gave him last summer.

Anthony’s age combined with him coming off knee surgery have a lot of people — myself included — expecting him to take a step back. Not a big one, but he is coming up at the point in his career where some open shots he used to get are now contested because he’s half-a-step slower, and some of those looks don’t fall as often. His jumper isn’t suddenly going to look like Rajon Rondo‘s, ‘Melo is going to get his points, but he may not be as efficient.

Fortunately, the Knicks have an improved supporting cast around him this season. That should take some offensive load off his shoulders, and maybe the Knicks offense will see better ball movement and start to resemble the triangle. If it’s just more isolation Anthony, it’s not going to be pretty.

Kings pick up option on G Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore, Rodney Hood
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.

General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.

McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.