Metta World Peace won a championship playing with Kobe Bryant, and he says Carmelo Anthony has something in him that reminds him of the Lakers superstar.
It's not just the ability to take over a game offensively. World Peace also likened the "it factor'' he sees in Anthony to former teammates Reggie Miller, Yao Ming, Pau Gasol and Derek Fisher, and said it's a main ingredient in winning a title.
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"You need those players like him," World Peace said. "When you're trying to compete for a championship, you need those guys. He's like one of those guys, one of those guys that I played with -- when I played with Reggie, when I played with Yao, when I played with Kobe and Pau and Fisher. He reminds me of one of those guys in his own way."
World Peace has talked about Anthony's heart and said he has "a killer instinct." But when asked how Anthony reminds him of the former teammates he named -- many of whom played different roles than Anthony and Bryant -- World Peace put it simply.
"His consistency of being good," he said.
Anthony, World Peace, Raymond Felton, Tyson Chandler and Beno Udrih were held out of Saturday's 30-point preseason loss to the Celtics, after which Mike Woodson fumed because of how little the Knicks competed. He gave them Sunday off, their first break since camp opened Oct. 1.
World Peace has played against Anthony numerous times in his career but said he didn't get to know him and what type of player he is until after he started scrimmaging and playing with him.
"To see Melo from when we had open runs, until training camp, to the first two games, it's pretty amazing," World Peace said. "I'm very excited.
"Nobody shoots 100 percent for a season. His field-goal percentage, whatever it is, is really good. He was the leading scorer in the league last year. I don't watch other guys play a lot. All I can do is read and see at the end of the season, Melo's the leading scorer. But I don't know he did it. To see him get 20 in the first half , it's exciting for me. I hold a lot inside when I'm playing. But I'm studying everybody, watching. It's exciting."
Anthony has proved he's one of the NBA's best scorers and closers. But he also seems to be trying to become more of a leader this season.
Observers saw signs of leadership from Anthony last season, but Jason Kidd and Rasheed Wallace were more vocal. Both retired after the season, putting more emphasis on Anthony to talk more, which he's doing.
He's been seen in practice and preseason games encouraging and advising rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. New Knicks president and general manager Steve Mills pointed out how Anthony was helping Iman Shumpert during a recent practice.
Anthony said he's just doing his job.
"It's nothing that I'm overemphasizing," he said. "It's just coming to work every day, doing my job, giving the guys advice. That's it. I'm here for them if they need to talk. If I see something, I'll point it out. That's my job.''
"It's not so much about being vocal. Last year, I was vocal in my own way. We had guys that was very vocal out loud and we had guys that was vocal behind closed doors. For me, it's just letting everybody know what the deal is. If I see something that's wrong, we try to correct it as a unit. If I see something that's right, I give them a pat on the back and we keep moving. I'm just doing my job. If that's me being a leader, that's me being a leader."