Lighter Melo, NBA stars in charity game

Team Melo's Carmelo Anthony shoots over Team Phillly's Team Melo's Carmelo Anthony shoots over Team Phillly's Mardy Collins in the first half. (Sept. 25, 2011) Photo Credit: AP Photo/H. Rumph Jr

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PHILADELPHIA -- Carmelo Anthony said he is lighter. His post-up game looked as powerful as ever. And four months ago, the Knicks forward had surgery to repair both his left knee and his right elbow.

It was the first time in his career that Anthony had agreed to any type of surgical procedure, which suggests how serious both must have been.

"Yeah, it was really bothering me," Anthony said of his decision to have procedures on both joints in May.

The team did not announce either surgery at the time. When the lockout began July 1, teams were forbidden by the league to mention any current player.

Both injuries appeared to be a moot point Sunday night at the Palestra, where his star-studded team, with LeBron James and Chris Paul, among others, took on Tyreke Evans and a team from Philadelphia in a charity game that packed the historic basketball venue on the Penn campus.

Anthony had 31 points and 17 rebounds in a 131-122 loss. James had 43 points and 23 rebounds for Team Melo. Kyle Lowry had 34 points for Team Philly.

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Anthony, who played the entire 48-minute game, appeared to be in good shape, though his shooting from the perimeter seemed a bit rusty. He shot 9-for-24 from the field, 1-for-7 from three-point range. But overall, he said he felt good and would have been ready for training camp. The NBA, as a result of the ongoing lockout, has indefinitely postponed the start of training camp, which would have opened for the Knicks next Monday.

"I'm down in weight," Anthony said. "I would be coming back -- if we had a training camp -- weighing less than last year. So I'm feeling good. Mentally, physically, I'm good."

Anthony said he plans to attend Amar'e Stoudemire's organized minicamp, which is scheduled to begin Oct. 19 at the IMG Basketball facility in Bradenton, Fla., if the lockout continues.

Anthony discussed the lockout only in general terms and said his support remains behind NBPA executive director Billy Hunter and union president Derek Fisher. Anthony had attended some meetings early in the process, but recently there has been a notable absence of star power for the union. Anthony responded to the criticism, saying the stars are very much involved.

"We're all sticking together on this thing," he said. "We communicate almost every day. When I say every day, I mean every day. We talk about this lockout, we talk about different things, different schemes, different situations. We talk about the owners, we talk about ourselves. We talk about reality. At the end of the day, that's what it is, reality. Hopefully, like I said, we can get something done soon."

The Dolan family owns

controlling interests in the Knicks, MSG and Cablevision. Cablevision owns Newsday.

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