SAN FRANCISCO — Carmelo Anthony was open about his desire to join the Knicks eight years ago. He was open to a second chance this summer. And now he’d like to return to Madison Square Garden, but not as a player.
Anthony, who spent seven-and-a-half seasons starring for the Knicks, would like to be remembered when his playing days are done— by having his jersey placed in the rafters alongside Knicks legends.
“Do I think about it?” Anthony said after talking of Damian Lillard’s loyalty to his current team, the Portland Trail Blazers. “Of course, I think anybody would want that, if you have the opportunity to get that. We’ll see what happens when that time comes. Hopefully, they hang No. 7 up there somewhere. We’ll see what happens.”
The Knicks currently have seven numbers retired, including No. 15 twice and 613 for Red Holzman. Anthony ranks third in points per game in franchise history and is one of just six players to reach 10,000 points in a Knicks uniform. But his tenure was also marred by a contentious relationship with team president Phil Jackson. He said that he has a good relationship with current team president Steve Mills, although Mills might not last to make the decision.
“We had a relationship, have a good relationship,” Anthony said, adding that their talks now are mostly social, not about the current struggles of the Knicks. “Nah, I don’t . . . I try to stay away from that. I’m sure it’ll be a hard conversation for him to have with me. We don’t talk about that stuff.”
RJ Barrett shot just 1-for-9 Tuesday in Portland, but Knicks coach Mike Miller is confident that the rookie just had a rough night.
“Well we were looking at numbers today and for a rookie he’s averaging right at fourteen points a game,” Miller said. “He’s been one of our top scorers from the beginning and I think he’s going through what rookies go through. He saw something different last night, the defensive coverages, he’s going to see something different every night. I think our job right now is to just keep making sure we got a lot of confidence and you keep putting him in these situations to be aggressive and he’s going to make the plays.”
Dennis Smith Jr. was held out Wednesday with an illness.