Carmelo Anthony doesn't describe himself as a bitter person, but not making the playoffs for the first time in his career last season with the Knicks left a sour taste in his mouth.
As far as he's concerned, it won't happen twice in a row.
Anthony said Thursday night he believes the Knicks will definitely make the playoffs this season and he can't wait to get started.
"I don't think we will have another season like we had last year. I believe that we will make the playoffs," said an excited and noticeably slimmed-down Anthony. "I think we will have a much better season than we did last year. As far as putting a number on the games we want to win, it's hard to say that right now. But I believe we will be in the postseason.
"I'm not the type of guy that becomes bitter," Anthony added as he sat courtside at Barclays Center for the Summer Classic Charity Basketball Game, which was presented by CC Sabathia's PitCCh In Foundation and Robinson Cano's RC22 Foundation. "But at the same time I know what I went through last year from an emotional standpoint and I don't want to feel that again."
In an Eastern Conference that saw the Bulls, Cavaliers, Wizards and others add impressive pieces, a playoff spot may be hard to come by for the Knicks, who stumbled to a 37-45 record last season.
"Regardless of who got better I believe we got better," Anthony said. "I believe [our team] has gotten better than last year. That's what it's all about -- just getting better each year. Like I said, I believe we will have a much better season."
The Knicks will enter their first full season under team president Phil Jackson and new coach Derek Fisher. There are more changes. Gone are Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton and Jeremy Tyler. New players include Samuel Dalembert, Jose Calderon, Travis Outlaw, Quincy Acy, Jason Smith, Shane Larkin and Cleanthony Early.
Anthony said he liked the additions and expects Jackson's triangle offense to work. The Knicks' biggest move of the offseason, of course, was re-signing Anthony to a five-year, $124-million deal that kept him in New York.
"It was close," Anthony said of possibly signing with a different team. "I don't even like to talk about that no more. This is home. Although the other situations were very intriguing, there is no place like New York."