Mike Woodson seconds La La Anthony's thoughts on Carmelo's future in New York
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Carmelo Anthony supported what his wife said. Mike Woodson loved it.
Ultimately, Anthony will decide where he plays basketball next season. But Woodson was a fan of La La Anthony, saying "I definitely think" her husband will stay with the Knicks, and hope she's right.
"I love it," Woodson said in an interview on ESPN New York radio. "I'm saying the same thing. I think he's going to stay. I want him to stay. New York fans, they need him here. These past three years, the way he's played has been tremendous. It has been great for New York.
"If he ends his career here, I don't think he'll ever look back and say if I shoulda or coulda. I just don't think that would ever be an issue. I think Melo was built for New York. I hope he stays here, as well."
The Knicks can offer Anthony about $34 million more than any other team in free agency this summer. But there has been speculation about whether he will stay since the Knicks haven't played like a championship contender and Anthony says winning a title is his primary motivation.
He sounded uncertain about his future as a Knick a couple of days ago, but then his wife said on the Bravo network that she thinks he will remain in New York. Anthony said he supports what she said, but he won't say he's definitely staying.
"Players say a lot of things," Woodson said. "At the end of the day, I'm sure he'll make the right decision. None of us can make that decision for him or force his hand. When his wife comes out and says that and the coach says I think he should stay here, we just all hope it goes hand in hand."
Anthony is playing his best basketball of the season right now, averaging 40.3 points in leading the Knicks to three consecutive wins. Their eight-game homestand continues Thursday night against the Cavaliers and ends Saturday against the Heat.
"I'm just playing ball," Anthony said. "My level of focus went up and everybody's feeding off of that."
The Knicks may not have Iman Shumpert Thursday night. He sprained his right shoulder in Tuesday's win over Boston. If Shumpert can't play, it will mean more minutes for steadily improving rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. But the Knicks will be down an important defender against Cleveland All-Star Kyrie Irving.
With or without Shumpert, the Knicks think they have figured out how to win more consistently, and some of it came after they cleared the air in team meetings.
"I think we're really locking in and playing for one another out there, and being happy and finally enjoying the game," Tyson Chandler said. "We just had to have a couple meetings and just get together and realize that we love this game and get back to the basics and to the fun part of it."
Notes & quotes:The Knicks, who had Wednesday off, assigned Jeremy Tyler, Toure' Murry and Cole Aldrich to the Erie BayHawks so they could practice with the D-League team. The three players are expected to be recalled for Thursday night's game . . . Hardaway was selected to play in the Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star Weekend.