GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Knicks coach Mike Woodson Monday night laughed off concerns about Carmelo Anthony's dietary choices, saying the no-longer-fasting forward can eat -- or not eat -- whatever he wants.
"Melo's playing great," Woodson said. "I'm not concerned about what Melo eats as long as he's ready to play. He's going to eat the right foods and do all the necessary things to be ready to play basketball. I've got that much faith in him when it comes to that."
Woodson's comments came a day after Anthony revealed he had been fasting "for spiritual reasons" for about 15 days and believes it had sapped his energy recently.
Anthony, who did not address the media Monday night, said Sunday he was going on his own fast break -- back to his regular diet.
"I surrender," he said before heading out for a steak dinner.
Woodson said he had "just got wind" that the Knicks' MVP candidate had been fasting, but he said others in the organization were aware.
"We have medical doctors and nutritionists who handle all of that," Woodson said. "I just expect when players step on the practice floor and the game, they're ready to play. I don't get into players and what they eat and don't eat. I just expect them to be ready to go when it's time to go."
This is not the first time Anthony has fasted during a season. In 2011, when he was with the Denver Nuggets, he fasted for 21 days beginning Jan. 9. That led into a five-game post-fast span during which Anthony averaged 35.4 points, tying his career high with a 50-point effort against Houston on Feb. 7.
He was traded to the Knicks on Feb. 22.
Anthony said in 2011 that he was following the "Daniel Fast," which is based on the biblical Book of Daniel. In a Daniel Fast, a person abstains from all meats, fish, sweets and sodas and limits his or her diet to fruits, vegetables, whole grains and water, according to the website www.daniel-fast.com, which refers to it as a "vegan diet with even more restrictions."
For the season, Anthony is averaging 29.3 points and shooting 46.1 percent. He is averaging 32.3 points in January, including games of 45 and 40 points, but his shooting percentage is down to .423.
"It's not a big thing," Woodson said. "It's a big thing to you guys [reporters], but it's not a big thing to me. I'll take Melo fasting or not fasting. Doesn't matter to me."
The Knicks left after practice to fly to London, where they will play the Detroit Pistons on Thursday. Anthony spent three weeks there last summer with the U.S. Olympic team.
Anthony has had an interesting week. He was suspended by the NBA for one game after attempting to confront Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett in a Madison Square Garden tunnel and outside the Celtics' bus on Jan. 7. Garnett had been trash-talking Anthony during the Celtics' 102-96 victory.
Since returning from his suspension, Anthony has started the last two games slowly.
In Friday's 108-101 loss to the Bulls, he started 1-for-11 from the field but finished at 14-for-32 and scored 19 of his 39 points in the fourth quarter.
On Sunday afternoon, he missed nine of his first 10 shots against the Hornets but finished at 9-for-25, scoring 18 of his 27 points in the second quarter of the Knicks' 100-87 victory.
After the win, Anthony said: "I haven't had a good meal in about 21/2 weeks. No meats, no carbs, anything like that. I don't know how I was going through competing at a high level. Just some times these past three, four games where the body just feels depleted out there and just trying to find a way to get energy. But like I said, I surrender. I'm done. I'm going to get some food right now."
Coincidentally, Amar'e Stoudemire revealed Sunday that he went vegan three months ago. It's something he has tried before. Stoudemire said Monday night that he was unaware of Anthony's fasting.
"I think everyone knew about my vegan diet and then it just kind of spread, I think," Stoudemire said. "Coach Woodson's on a diet, Carmelo went on the diet. So I guess that's all the inspiration from my vegan diet and they wanted to take it upon themselves to stay healthy."