BOSTON — Carmelo Anthony said it’s hard to watch his close friends head to the playoffs again while he likely misses the postseason for the third straight year.
“I don’t think envy is kind of the right word,” the Knicks’ franchise player said. “I do look at my peers and say, ‘Damn, what am I doing wrong? I should be there.’ ”
He made his comments Friday morning at TD Garden, where the Knicks later lost to the Celtics, 105-104, after leading for much of the game. It was their 16th loss in 19 games since a 22-22 start, and it came at the end of a long, hard week for Anthony.
The low point came Tuesday at Madison Square Garden, when Anthony got into a shouting match with a heckling fan during the Knicks’ 104-85 loss to the Trail Blazers. Anthony issued an apology via the team Wednesday, but on Thursday, he said he real ly didn’t think he had done anything wrong.
This is not what Anthony, 31, thought he was getting into when he committed long-term to the Knicks. He made that clear yesterday when he was asked if it is hard to watch the success that his friends Chris Paul and LeBron James are having. Paul is headed to the playoffs with the Clippers and James’ Cavaliers currently are the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
Anthony made it to the playoffs in each of his seven full seasons with the Nuggets and in his first three seasons with the Knicks, who now are on the precipice of failing to make the postseason for the third straight year. “I made [the playoffs] 10 years straight,’’ he said. “Right now it’s kind of a rough patch for me. I’m trying to figure out a way to get out of it.”
Anthony could find a way out of his contract by waiving his no-trade clause this summer. Last month, he said he is committed to the Knicks, though one gets the feeling that it’s harder and harder for him to feel much enthusiasm for his job.
“It’s been trying,” he said. “For me to remain the same, remain positive throughout this whole situation, it’s definitely challenging from that standpoint. It is a test to me to see if I could get through this and stay strong throughout this situation, this whole process. So it has been challenging from that standpoint.”
He said the Knicks’ postseason situation is not one he can accept. “Yeah, not yet,” he said. “It’s hard to say I’m just going to accept this. It’s hard to do this, especially when you still have games to play, when you’re still in it, when you’re still trying to figure out ways to win basketball games. So it’s hard to accept that.”
Anthony indicated that this has been the most difficult of his six seasons with the Knicks, harder even than last season, when they won only 17 games and he played only 40 games before having knee surgery.
“It’s harder from a standpoint that we were playing good basketball early in the season,’’ he said. “Even up until last month, we were playing good basketball. It just switched all of a sudden, so we’ve got to find a way to get that back for the last month and a half.’’