NEW ORLEANS - Carmelo Anthony said playing the All-Star Game here was special for him because it brings back his greatest memory in basketball.
Anthony led Syracuse to the 2003 NCAA championship at the Superdome and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four. He continues to search for that kind of team success in the NBA, and he'd like it to be with the Knicks.
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But with the three-year anniversary of his trade from Denver to the Knicks approaching, he is no closer to winning a title than he was with the Nuggets.
The Knicks have reached the playoffs three times with Anthony, winning one series, and head into the last 30 games of this season with a 20-32 record. That made a reporter ask him if he thinks Sunday night's All-Star Game will be his final one as a Knick.
"Why you want to start that?" he said. "I can't sit here and say this is my last All-Star Game as a Knick. I'd be shooting myself in the foot by saying that."
He said he wants to be with the Knicks when New York hosts All-Star Weekend in 2015. He will have plenty of say in whether he is, but they will, too.
Anthony said he hasn't formally expressed what type of moves he wants the Knicks to make or which players he wants on his team. But he made it clear this weekend that those conversations will take place after the season. He said he wants to hear what the Knicks' plan is and wants to hear them say they're going to build something that will enable them "to compete at the highest level."
On Friday, Anthony said for the first time that he is willing to take less money if it gives the Knicks more flexibility to add players. But he also said he would take less to give another team that flexibility, too.
It's fair to say he wants a situation like the one with the Heat, as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have teamed to become three-time NBA finalists and back-to-back champs.
The Knicks aren't in position to do anything like that this summer, even if Anthony takes less money, because they still have big contracts on their payroll. They're looking at the summer of 2015, when Rajon Rondo, Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge can become free agents.
The salaries of Amar'e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler and Andrea Bargnani, which total $50 million, won't come off the Knicks' cap until that summer. So unless they can move them or trade for a star-caliber player by Thursday's deadline or July 1, the Knicks might not be any closer to winning next season.
Raymond Felton and Iman Shumpert have been available, but their play hasn't helped their trade value. Metta World Peace and Beno Udrih aren't in the rotation and might not be around much longer. If Stoudemire is moved, the Knicks might have to take a contract back that has additional years. That's risky, as it could impact how much space they have in 2015.
Anthony said he doesn't want to be traded and doesn't want to be involved in whatever the Knicks do this week.
"A lot of people say they want that responsibility of having the organization talk to them and keep them in the loop and things like that," he said. "I don't think as players we should want that type of responsibility. These are the guys that get paid to be the brains and the geniuses of the organization. If they want my advice, I'm more than welcome to talk to them, kind of figure it out for the near future. Other than that, I'll leave it to them guys."
After the season? That's a different story.
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