Carmelo Anthony says he will mostly play small forward this season


Carmelo Anthony’s position has been a polarizing topic among Knicks fans and NBA observers for some time. He’s primarily played small forward for most of his career, but in recent seasons he’s been asked to play power forward due to injuries to Knicks big men Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani, and he’s been terrific at that position.

Now, with a brand-new five-year deal in hand and a new coach (Derek Fisher) and system (Phil Jackson’s triangle), he expects to go back to mostly playing on the perimeter, according to ESPN New York’s Ohm Youngmisuk:

After playing a good deal of power forward — and excelling at that position — over the past two seasons, Anthony thinks he will be mostly a small forward this season.

“We got too many,” Anthony said of power forwards on the roster. “I don’t need to go down there and battle. For what?”

“If it comes down to it, I’ll go back there,” Anthony added. “But I doubt it. They’re going to move me. We’re pretty packed at four and five positions.”

Whether the Knicks are actually “packed” at the two frontcourt spots is highly debatable. They’ve got the bodies, sure, but looking at their roster, it’s hard to argue that Melo wouldn’t be more effective at power forward than any of their other options.

The Knicks traded starting center Tyson Chandler in June, and his spot will likely be taken by Jason Smith, Cole Aldrich or Samuel Dalembert. This means that Stoudemire will probably be filling in some in the middle when healthy. And their other power forward is, well, Bargnani. Which isn’t ideal.

Fisher said he expects most of his players to play multiple positions, so Anthony could end up playing some power forward anyway. But as of now, look for him to be playing mostly small forward.

Carmelo Anthony asked Phil Jackson for roster help, but knows for now Knicks ‘have what they have’


Carmelo Anthony explained that one of the reasons he re-signed with the Knicks this summer was due to having a sense of unfinished business. He forced his way to New York midway through the 2011 season, and hadn’t yet accomplished enough there to consider his time with the team a success.

But making a commitment to stay with the Knicks also meant foregoing winning at the highest level in the immediate future — something which was more readily available in places like Chicago or Houston in free agency.

Anthony said he was willing to be patient with the franchise in terms of its ability to add talent, and reiterated it a week into training camp, while admitting he wants some help on the offensive end of the floor at the same time.

From Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN New York:

“For this season, right now, we have what we have,” Anthony said when asked if he feels he has the help he is looking for. “We’re going to deal with that. That was a big discussion with me and Phil — that was one of my things.”

During free agency, Anthony told Jackson that he wanted and needed help. … He put his trust in Jackson that the Knicks president will be able to find him more help when the team has cap space next summer.

“I didn’t want to have to do it night in and night out,” Anthony said. “I wanted some nights when somebody else can pick up the load. Right now, with the way we’re playing [in training camp], I don’t have to do everything. But we haven’t played one game. … So we’ll see what happens.”

The Triangle Offense is one of equal opportunity to a certain extent. The players are consistently in motion, and when the ball swings to one of them, there are multiple options available for everyone — including the chance to take an open shot.

A cohesive offensive system could help the Knicks immensely. Too many times last season, there were players simply squatting behind the three-point line in the corners, with terrible point guard play forcing Anthony to try to do as much of the scoring as possible in isolation sets.

There’s only so much talent available on this season’s roster. But Anthony believes in Jackson’s vision, and trusts that he’ll go out and get the appropriate amount of help for him just as soon as the team has the cap space necessary to do so.

Carmelo Anthony says he’s not NBA’s most underrated superstar


Remember when Carmelo Anthony called himself the “NBA’s most underrated superstar”?

Al Iannazzone of Newsday:


Man sues Madison Square Garden saying he was ejected from Knicks game for saying “Carmelo, you stink”


I’ll say up front, I’m skeptical of the claims here.

The claims come from a New York stock trader who says he was tossed from a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden last January simply for saying “Carmelo, you stink.” That eventually led to him losing his job of the last dozen years over the incident.

Bloomberg has all the details.

Former ING Financial Services trader Anthony Rotondi was booted from Madison Square Garden (MSG) this year for yelling “Carmelo, you stink.” Security wasn’t amused, and neither was his employer. He said he was ejected, arrested and fired after 12 years at ING.

Now, Rotondi is suing the arena’s owners, seeking pre-litigation information, specifically the names of security guards who tossed him from the Jan. 7 game against the Houston Rockets. Criticizing New York Knicks player Carmelo Anthony shouldn’t have led to his ejection, he argued in a filing yesterday in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan….

Madison Square Garden Co. said in a statement that the suit is frivolous and it’s considering a countersuit against Rotondi.

Rotondi, his supervisor and two ING clients went to the game using the firm’s tickets. The suit claimed that someone from MSG called ING the next day complaining of his language and behavior and that led to him getting fired.

Two thoughts here.

First, Carmelo did not stink that night. He had 34 points on 24 shots (.660 true shooting percentage), he was 6-of-7 from three, and he hit the free throws late that sealed the Knicks win.

Second, and more to the point, the MSG security has a reputation for being a bit prickly, but this would clearly be over the top if it went down as stated in the suit. A person in the arena has the right to yell at players and say what they want — within reason. There are lines of public decorum that would be offensive to those around the heckler and if someone crosses said lines security has the right to step in and act. Knicks fans certainly can be passionate.

Obviously, I was not there and do not know how this situation went down. I’ll just say that my BS detector goes off if the guy is there with his supervisor and clients and he gets canned two days later and the worst thing he says he said was “stink.” I have a suspicion there was a lot more going on here. If you’re going to a game with clients, you’re working and should behave as such.

But hey, it’s America and this is our legal system at work. Some lawyers are about to get paid, if nothing else.

Not long after I tweeted out this story Michael McCann, the sports law expert (and law professor) who writes for Sports Illustrated tweeted this:

Carmelo Anthony calls himself ‘NBA’s most underrated superstar’


How many superstars are in the NBA?

LeBron James and Kevin Durant are by any definition.

If you go strictly by on-court factors, Chris Paul and Kevin Love are on the edge. I’d rate Paul a superstar, and Love is on the outside looking in. Anthony Davis could join the superstar ranks soon, but I want to see more of him first. Dwight Howard could get back to that level.

If you go by fame and national prominence, Paul and Howard are in. So are Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade. That’s an easier bar to clear.

That’s my assessment, at least. Determining superstars is so difficult because the term is so difficult to define.

But it’s much easier to take issue with.

Chris Broussard of ESPN:

First of all, Melo is an underrated superstar to the people that matter. They gave him more than $124 million.

To everyone else? Eh, maybe.

If Melo is underrated, it’s only because he’s reached “he’s so underrated, he’s overrated” status.

Melo has really played his butt off the last two seasons. He’s become more efficient, working harder to get good shots. The Knicks didn’t do enough around him last season, but he sure played hard enough to drag New York into the postseason. His teammates and coach just didn’t hold up their end of the bargain.

He’s still weak defensively, and that makes it difficult to build a team around him – especially at his salary. But it’s gotten easier to find offensive complements as he’s taken fewer bad shots.

Melo is better than ever, and I don’t think that’s widely acknowledged, making him underrated now.

But an underrated superstar? That last word is a harder sell.