LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony are shown before a game...

LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony are shown before a game at Madison Square Garden. (March 3, 2013) Credit: AP

LeBron James called Carmelo Anthony "one of my greatest friends'' and had some advice for him when he enters free agency in July.

"You got to do whatever makes you happy,'' James said before Thursday night's Knicks-Heat game at the Garden. "When you're happy, the game of basketball is going to be fun for you. Strive to be great every day and live with whatever else happens. So we'll see.''

Anthony has talked about not having fun this season until recently; the Knicks had won three of four heading into the Heat game.

The Knicks can give Anthony about $34 million more than any other team. That could be incentive for Anthony to stay, but James took less to leave Cleveland and sign with Miami, where he's won the last two championships and made the NBA Finals three straight years while playing with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

James was asked if he would recommend that Anthony leave some money on the table, if necessary.

"I recommend it to me,'' James said. "It doesn't work for everybody. The way I live my life don't work for everybody. All I care about is winning. I came to Miami to win. Money didn't make me happy. Winning made me happy, and it still does. That's what matters to me.''

Prigioni update

Pablo Prigioni said he had an X-ray on his fractured right big toe on Tuesday and it's "not completely fixed.'' Prigioni, who missed his 11th straight game, hopes to run Saturday or Sunday and to return late next week at the earliest.

Prigioni said he tried to run and to come back sooner, but the medical staff stopped him. "They said, 'Hey, slow down. Don't go so fast, because if you come back early, maybe you fracture [it] again, it's going to be worse,' '' Prigioni said. "So we will make sure it's completely fixed.''

Down bodies

Tyson Chandler, who has an upper respiratory infection, missed his second straight game. Kenyon Martin, who missed the morning shootaround with similar symptoms, started instead.

The Knicks also were without Metta World Peace (left knee) and point guard Beno Udrih after an MRI revealed inflammation of the left tibiofibular joint, which is near the knee.

The votes are in

Anthony is third behind James and Paul George in voting for Eastern Conference frontcourt players. The top three will start in the Feb. 16 game in New Orleans. The starters will be announced live on TNT Jan. 23.

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