CLEVELAND — Carmelo Anthony would rather be playing on Christmas Day than watching games on TV, and isn’t happy the Knicks aren’t on the schedule.
Their 17-65 record last season probably led to the NBA not including them on their Christmas Day schedule for the first time since 2008.
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“I ain’t watching nothing,” Anthony joked Wednesday before turning serious. “We should’ve been on Christmas. Christmas in New York — that’s what it should have been.
“We want to play on Christmas. I love that Showtime, especially in New York. But we’ll get our shot at it. They’ll come back to us.”
The NBA usually puts marquee players or teams on Christmas. Friday’s games feature Pelicans-Heat, Bulls-Thunder, Cavaliers-Warriors, Spurs-Rockets and Clippers-Lakers.
The Lakers and Pelicans are well below .500. But it’s Kobe Bryant’s final Christmas Day game and Pelicans big man Anthony Davis is a rising superstar. Kristaps Porzingis’ popularity makes the Knicks a safe bet to play next Christmas regardless of their record this season.
“I don’t know what they were looking at,” Anthony said. “The past is the past. New York is one of those teams that should always be on Christmas.”
Derek Fisher, who played for the Lakers and Thunder, guesstimated that this is the fifth time in 20 years his team has Christmas off. The Knicks play Saturday, the day after Christmas, in Atlanta.
“We’re more disappointed that we’re traveling on Christmas as opposed to playing,” Fisher said. “If we played at the Garden on the 26th I think we’d be OK with that.”
Anti-gun violence PSA
Anthony took part in a public service announcement calling for an end to gun violence that will air on Christmas. In the spring, Anthony joined protesters in Baltimore and marched for peace in the riot-torn city.
“The gun should never be an option,” Anthony said in the PSA that Spike Lee directed.
NBA stars Steph Curry, Chris Paul and Joakim Noah also appear in the spot.
“I’ve been through those kinds of situations,” Anthony said. “Dealing with the Baltimore stuff, going down there, knowing how important that is not just in Baltimore but throughout the country, it was a no-brainer for me to do that.”
Notes & quotes: With Anthony hobbled by a sprained right ankle, Lance Thomas made his second start of the season. He also started Nov. 29 against Houston when Anthony couldn’t play because of strep throat . . . Kyle O’Quinn missed his second consecutive game with a sprained right ankle.