CLEVELAND — Carmelo Anthony wants what LeBron James and ex-teammates J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert received Tuesday night.
At this point, Anthony would take a playoff berth. It’s been three years since the Knicks have made it, and Anthony said he hates watching his peers play in the postseason.
He said he watched the NBA Finals “by default” because family put it on. But Anthony said he “couldn’t have missed” Game 7 and felt good for James, Smith and Shumpert when the Cavs beat Golden State. They got their championship rings before the Tuesday night opener.
“I don’t think it was any anger or jealousy or envy toward those guys or watching those guys,” Anthony said. “For me it was just more excitement in seeing guys I know, I’ve been alongside for a long time and we all had the same goal, we all had the same dream. It’s just to see them finally get that, as a person, as a human, I really felt happy for them at that point.”
The Knicks revamped the roster in hopes of building a team that could make the playoffs and someday challenge James and the Cavaliers. If it doesn’t work out, Anthony could consider waving his no-trade clause.
Anthony said his thoughts during the Cavaliers’ championship ring ceremony would be, “Wishing it was me.”
He and James have said they would like to play together at some point. James said he and Anthony speak all the time. When he was asked if they ever talk about Anthony coming to Cleveland, James responded, “Maybe. Maybe not.”
Noah still a villain
As the lights began to dim for the start of the ceremony, only one Knick, Joakim Noah remained on the court shooting free throws as the crowd booed. Someone had to walk over to Noah and tell him to leave the court.
Noah has a history with Cleveland. In 2010, the ex-Bull famously said it’s “pretty depressing” and that no one goes there for vacation. Noah was asked if it was ironic that he was in Cleveland for their ring ceremony.
“No, I don’t think it’s ironic,” Noah said. “Congratulations to Cleveland. Even though it’s not a vacation spot you guys got a championship. It’s well-deserved.”
No ceremony for Knicks
The Knicks weren’t witnesses to the Cavs’ ring ceremony or banner being raised.
Jeff Hornacek said the schedule dictated that after warming up, the Knicks leave the court during the ceremony.
“It says, ‘Knicks back to the locker room’ on the thing,” Hornacek said. “They have a lot of people that come out.”
Hornacek said it’s not easy to warm up and then go back to the locker room for “a 20-minute break where you get stiff again.” He said the players would stretch and try to stay loose until going back out for another short warm-up before tipoff.
Earlier in the week, Hornacek said he hoped watching the ceremony would motivate the Knicks.
“Sometimes it helps (to motivate), sometimes they just want to ignore it,” Hornacek said. “Maybe it’s good for some of the young guys to see it. The old guys are like, ‘I don’t want to watch that.’”
The Knicks’ opening-night roster featured five rookies for the first time since the 1979-80 season . . . Undrafted rookie guard Ron Baker was among the active players while Marshall Plumlee and Maurice Ndour were the Knicks’ inactives.