Carmelo Anthony talked a lot Monday about the Olympics, and how being around all those great players put things in perspective for him. He elaborated on that, saying he just has to trust his teammates more.
It should be easier this year for Anthony considering all the veterans he has around him, and veterans who are relatively healthy.
Last year, the Knicks had Mike Bibby and Baron Davis, but they were either banged up or just no longer able to penetrate and make plays that they made earlier in their careers.
This year, the Knicks will have Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd. Both have the clichéd chip on their shoulders for different reasons and both have been talked about at length already by players such as Tyson Chandler.
Here was Anthony’s take on having Felton and Kidd (instead of Jeremy Lin and the collection of point guards the Knicks had last year).
On Felton, Anthony said:
“It settles everything down for myself, for everybody, gets everybody in their spots, where they can be that much more effective rather than me trying to bring the ball up the court, make a play for my teammates for myself, and try to do everything. I'd rather just play off of Raymond and do what I've got to do and do what I do best.”
On playing with Kidd, Anthony said:
“He sees things way far beyond what the average person sees so that helps everyone out. He's kind of like a quarterback. Even when the play is over he's throwing the ball and making sure guys are going to catch the ball, make sure guys are aware of where the ball is at. He's our quarterback.”
Up front, the Knicks picked up Marcus Camby, Kurt Thomas and Rasheed Wallace to back up Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler. Anthony has trust in them and hopes that they can play behind Stoudemire on most nights. Anthony doesn’t want to spend as much time as last year playing power forward, even though he played well.
“We'll see what happens as the year goes on,” Anthony said. “Right now, we have guys in that position. We want to keep it like that.
“I’d rather play my natural position then go down there and play the 4, the 5 and things that I don't really want to do. So with the guys that we have now, I find that we're definitely that much more effective.”
Chandler said he and Anthony became better friends by playing in the Olympics together, and hopes that bond leads to better chemistry and leadership this season.
“I think first me and Carmelo got a lot closer, understanding each others personalities and what we want to accomplish,” Chandler said. “The whole time we were out there even though we were obviously out there to accomplish winning the gold for the Olympics, also we were out there to work on ourselves for the New York Knicks.
“Every time we had the opportunity to talk, every time we had the opportunity to get in the weight room and when we did everything together it made our bond stronger and now we’ve just got to bring the same leadership to our team.”