Carmelo Anthony willing to sacrifice scoring for Knicks to win
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The Knicks will hold their first practice together Tuesday, beginning a journey that coach Mike Woodson believes can continue through June.
"I think we've got a legitimate shot here, as anybody in the NBA this season, to reach that goal," Woodson said. "A lot of good things have got to happen along the way. No. 1 is staying healthy; guys buying into the system and playing every night that they step out on the floor."
Besides health, one thing standing between the Knicks and winning their first playoff series since 2000 is Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire coexisting successfully.
They're both tired of hearing about it, and Anthony said he's willing to sacrifice his scoring for Stoudemire and the Knicks, saying his time playing with Team USA this summer "put a lot of things in perspective."
"At the end of the day, it's about winning basketball games," Anthony said. "I'm done trying to score 30, 35, 40 points for us to win a basketball game. I don't want that role anymore. It's what I do best. But in order for this team to be successful with the guys that we have, we need a more well-rounded team. So if I have to sacrifice on the offensive end, I'm willing to do it."
When asked specifically about coexisting with Stoudemire, Anthony said the two have talked and they're not going to let the ongoing criticism bother them.
"We will be one tight group this season," Anthony said. "If I have to sacrifice scoring just to help him get back to where he needs to be and where we want him to be, I don't have a problem with that."
It all sounds good, but the proof will be when the regular season begins Nov. 1 against the Brooklyn Nets.
The Knicks went 36-30 last season and lost to the Heat in five games in the first round of the playoffs. It's hard to dispute the Knicks have a deeper team this season and have upgraded themselves at various positions, including point guard, where Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd will man the position held last season by Jeremy Lin, Toney Douglas, Mike Bibby and Baron Davis.
"I'm looking forward to the challenge of winning," Kidd said. "That's something that hasn't happened here for some time."
Kidd, 39, is a part of the older group of players that were brought in to help the Knicks win now. The Knicks also acquired Kurt Thomas, 39, Marcus Camby, 38, Pablo Prigioni, 35, and are expected to sign 38-year-old Rasheed Wallace. The Knicks also signed defensive-minded Ronnie Brewer to team with returning players Tyson Chandler, J.R. Smith, Steve Novak and Iman Shumpert.
"I like the makeup of our ballclub in terms of the veterans we have brought in," Woodson said. "It's not young guys who are winning NBA titles, guys."