Amar'e Stoudemire of the Knicks cheers the team on from...

Amar'e Stoudemire of the Knicks cheers the team on from the sidelines during Saturday's win over the New Jersey Nets in Newark, N.J. (Feb. 12, 2011) Credit: Jim McIsaac

LOS ANGELES - Amar'e Stoudemire never gave the Nets the chance to meet with him when he was a free agent last summer, and he's not giving them much of a chance to land Carmelo Anthony, either.

"I would be very surprised,'' Stoudemire said about Anthony's accepting a contract extension to complete a trade to the Nets. "The Knicks franchise has made a great step. I think Melo noticed that we're really trying to win a championship. That's why I think he would choose the Knicks over New Jersey.''

Stoudemire also took a veiled shot at the Nets (while displaying selective amnesia about his own team) when he said, "You want to step into a franchise that is accustomed to winning.'' He pointed out that when the Knicks played in Newark last week, "it was like a home game for us . . . I think most players would want to play for the Knicks before New Jersey.''

The Knicks and Nets are engaged in trade talks with the Denver Nuggets for Anthony. Both deals would be contingent upon Anthony's signing a three-year, $65-million contract extension. Knicks officials, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, met with Anthony on Thursday night after a meeting with Nuggets officials.

Stoudemire was not in on those meetings, but said he has talked with Knicks owner James Dolan about the situation. "I think Dolan definitely wants Carmelo in New York,'' Stoudemire said.

Anthony and Stoudemire were together Friday morning with a group of NBA All-Stars at a community event and served as assistant coaches in the Rookie Challenge game Friday night at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Stoudemire wouldn't reveal if they discussed the trade talk. With concerns about tampering, Stoudemire denied making any recruiting pitches to Anthony.

"I don't think I can, according to the rules of the NBA,'' he said.

Stoudemire, here for his sixth All-Star appearance, seemed to have no problem with the idea of sharing the spotlight with another star.

"I think,'' he said, "the combination of us two would be great.''

The Dolan family owns

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


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