GREENBURGH, N.Y. - When Carmelo Anthony takes on the Bulls Thursday night, he'll have a clear picture of what could have been had he chosen differently and signed with them in the offseason. Namely, the Knicks will be facing an Eastern Conference power that poses massive difficulties for a squad in a tailspin.
But Anthony will have none of that negative talk. He said that he is committed to staying the course with the Knicks and believes they can eventually turn things around.
"You just gotta believe," he said after practice Wednesday. "I've never been a quitter in my life. It's something that you have to believe that it will happen and have faith that it will happen. You just have to stay the course. This is not the situation that I expected, that we expected. But there's nothing we can do about it as far as what's happened already. We got to focus on tomorrow."
Mostly because the past has been so brutal.
The Knicks are 5-22 after Tuesday night's 107-87 loss to the Mavericks, a game in which Anthony and the rest of the Knicks' starters were benched less than seven minutes into the first quarter in an atypically strong statement by coach Derek Fisher.
Despite that, Anthony said he is optimistic that things will turn around and, with two-thirds of the season still ahead of them, it is still too early to think about next year.
"I've been around this league for a long time now," he said. "I've seen when things are bad and I've seen when things are good -- not this bad! Eventually everything turns around. The tables are turned eventually. If I don't stay the course now, if I don't believe or have faith in what we're trying to create with this whole journey, then I'm fooling myself."
That attitude extends to thinking about "what ifs?" Such as, what if he had signed with the Bulls? "What's done is done," he said. "I kind of don't look at it, I kind of don't think about it. You know that's in the past for me. Just a situation I had to deal with that I went through this offseason but . . . I don't even come close to thinking about it."
It was clear that Anthony refuses to dwell on the past, and on Wednesday Fisher indicated that the rest of the Knicks could use a bit of that amnesia. Fisher said his players were coming into games thinking they couldn't win them, and that it was affecting their play. It was something he was intent on correcting.
"We're just continuing to break down this mindset of what we can't do," he said. "It's tough to ask guys to when they feel like the outcome is going to be the same. We can't get into that type of mindset during the season at any point. Each game is its own game and you have to give yourself a chance to win that game. [Tuesday] we didn't do that right from the start."
Fisher added that the sting of the 20-point loss was exacerbated by the Knicks' current woes. "Had some of those closer games gone our way, [Tuesday] night wouldn't have felt as bad," he said. "But it's coming on the tail end of a situation that already isn't going well for guys."