Anthony leads NBA stars in charity game
"I'm back," the Knicks' All-Star forward said. "I'm back like I never missed anything."
But Anthony's performance, he looked comfortable scoring 27 points in the 149-141 victory for his Melo All-Stars over Washington D.C.'s Goodman League All-Stars, and self-assessment, were far more encouraging than his forecast about the NBA lockout.
"I'm worried because I want to play," he said. "October's right around the corner and it doesn't look like we'll be playing on time."
Anthony did say if the lockout continued, he would organize practices for the players. Assuming he can locate them.
"I'm trying to find Amar'e [Stoudemire] man," he said. "I heard he's in China. If anybody sees him, tell him to give me a shout. Maybe I'll see him next week for fashion week [laughs]. But most likely by early October, I'll make it my duty to get guys together."
Anthony had lunch with union executive Billy Hunter before the game, but said he would not be present when Hunter and union president Derek Fisher meet with owners Wednesday, the first between the two sides in a month.
"We do our best trying to get there," Anthony said. "The meeting in L.A., you see Kobe [Bryant]. In New York, you see me, LeBron [James], Chris Paul. The players as a union, we're tight. We're strong."
"That's what MJ [Michael Jordan] did," Mason said. " That's what Pat Ewing did. That's what the stars of the NBA do. We have to fight for what's right. It's not the time for us to take a deal just to take it."
If there exists a positive in the lockout, it's the exposure it has given the summer league circuit. Anthony has played in his league for the past two summers, but was able to bring in huge names this time. James and Paul suited up alongside him, while Kevin Durant led the Goodman All-Stars.
James led the Melo All-Stars with 38 points. Durant, who dueled with James for most of the night, topped all players with 59. The Oklahoma forward is becoming something of a summer league legend. Last month he dropped 66 at Harlem's Rucker Park.
"Durant's gone on a rampage," Anthony said. "Slow down man. Every other night I see him playing in a different city. I'm glad he showed up and played in this game too."
An overflow crowd packed Morgan State's 4,200-seat Talmadge Hill Field House for the game, with tickets ranging in price from $40-100 and all proceeds going to charities Anthony supports. Still, Anthony said it could have been topped.
"I heard Kobe was supposed to come last weekend," he said. "Hop in the chopper and come on out."