GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Carmelo Anthony doesn’t care to relive what happened during Jeremy Lin’s Knicks tenure or what led to his departure from the team, but the two are indelibly linked.
Rightly or wrongly, Anthony has been accused of ending Linsanity at Madison Square Garden. Now Lin has resurfaced in New York after signing a three-year, $36-million contract with the Nets and will return to the Garden on Saturday night for a preseason game.
Anthony was reluctant to speak about Lin, but he’s interested in seeing how he will do as the Nets’ main attraction.
“He is the face of that franchise — believe it or not,” he said after practice Friday. “He came up, they paid him and now the ball is in his hands. So now he’s one of the franchise players over there. What do you want me to say about that? I’m happy for him, excited for him to see how it’s going to work out, turn out over there.”
After Lin averaged 24.6 points and 9.2 assists in a 10-game span in February 2012, creating “Linsanity,’’ he received a three-year, $25.1-million contract offer from the Rockets in the summer of 2012 that Anthony called “ridiculous,” and the Knicks decided not to match the offer. Ever since then, Anthony has been asked questions about it or has been blamed for Lin’s not staying with the Knicks.
Last season, Amar’e Stoudemire said some Knicks were jealous of the attention Lin received during that run in 2012. During the summer, former Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said on a podcast with “The Vertical” that not everyone was willing to adjust and adapt. It was presumed that Anthony was the one being talked about in both cases.
Anthony said he hadn’t heard D’Antoni’s comments. “I probably had something else going on at that time like the Olympics,” he said. “That was five, six years ago, bro. I forgot about that.”
Anthony is more concerned with learning how to play with his current point guards, Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings, than looking back.
Rose might not be available when the Knicks face the Nets. He was in a Los Angeles court Friday for his civil sexual assault trial.
When Anthony was asked if he knew if Rose will be back, he said: “I have no idea about what . . . is going on. Certain things I stay out of, and that’s one of them.”
The case is expected to resume next week, and Jeff Hornacek said he wasn’t sure if Rose will fly back and forth. If not, Jennings likely will start. He could start, anyway, as Rose has missed the last two practices.
The Knicks aren’t expected to have Joakim Noah, who remains sidelined with a sore left hamstring.
Noah did some shooting and post work afterward, but he was limited in practice. Hornacek called the odds that Noah will play “low.” He also missed the Knicks’ preseason opener Tuesday in Houston.
“He went through some stuff, but I don’t think we want to rush him,” Hornacek said. “We probably would like to see a nice, hard practice where it didn’t bother him before we have him play.”
Noah could play in Monday night’s preseason game against the Wizards. The Knicks missed his defense in their 27-point loss to Houston, but they expect to be much better on that end against the Nets, who aren’t as explosive as the Rockets.
“I think now that we kind of implemented the way that we want to play defensively, we had a couple practices to do that,” Anthony said. “Tomorrow will be much better, much different from a defensive standpoint.”