GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Carmelo Anthony is tired of hearing the Knicks lack leadership. He said the Knicks are his team, but he can't lead all by himself.
"I think it's too much being put on who's a leader and who's not the leader,'' Anthony said after practice Tuesday. "I'm a leader of this team. I know that and everybody else knows that. I'll lead in my own way. Kenyon Martin might lead in his way. Everybody is a leader. As a leader of this team, I need other guys to help me lead. That's just the way it's got to be."
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The Knicks were expected to have a leadership void after losing Jason Kidd, Rasheed Wallace and Kurt Thomas from last season's team. On Friday in Denver, Anthony was asked about the three of them and said, "I think now we do miss them."
Their importance has become apparent during this nine-game losing streak. Anthony isn't a vocal leader and hasn't enjoyed the team success that Kidd and Wallace did. But the Knicks have other veterans capable of leading, including injured center Tyson Chandler, Metta World Peace, Beno Udrih and Martin, who have won championships or reached the Finals.
"Everybody leads in their own way," Anthony said. "It's not no one guy who is saying that we have to do this or we have to do that. Everybody has an open forum. If they see something that's going on, if they have an opinion, then it's an open forum to say what they feel, and everybody has to adjust to that and see how we can figure it out from there."
World Peace didn't deny a report that he and Martin had a heated exchange during a recent practice. But he made light of it.
"We were eating pasta," World Peace said. "He had elbow pasta, I had shell pasta, and I told him how my shell pasta is better than his elbow pasta. And he was pretty upset about that."
World Peace was asked if losing to the Nets Thursday night would be rock bottom. He said, "No, it will not be rock bottom." . . . Martin and J.R. Smith were held out of the contact part of practice.