Carmelo Anthony believes he won't have to carry the Knicks as much in their new triangle offense, but he sounds as though he wants more help.
During his offseason discussions and negotiations with team president Phil Jackson, Anthony emphasized he didn't want to have to do everything. Translation: Anthony wants more stars on the Knicks.
They will have the money next summer to sign another All-Star, and they hope to be in play for Kevin Durant when he becomes a free agent in 2016. So Anthony knows he has to be patient with the offensive system and with Jackson in his efforts to turn the Knicks into a contender.
"For this season right now, we have what we have," Anthony said after practice Saturday. "We're going to deal with that. That was a big discussion with me and Phil talking about -- that was one of my things. I didn't want to have to do it night in and night out. I wanted some nights when somebody else can pick up the load.
"Right now with the way we're playing, I don't have to do everything. But we haven't had a game yet. We haven't played one game."
Jackson has shaken up the roster, trading for Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert, Travis Outlaw, Quincy Acy and Shane Larkin, signing Jason Smith and drafting Cleanthony Early. His biggest move, though, was re-signing Anthony.
Anthony turned down the Bulls, Rockets and Mavericks -- teams better equipped to win now -- and signed a five-year, $124-million contract to remain the cornerstone of the Knicks. But they remain a one-star team in a league in which it usually takes multiple superstars to win big.
Led by LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, the Heat went to four straight NBA Finals and won two titles. James returned to the Cavaliers and now calls All-Stars Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving his teammates.
But Jackson and new coach Derek Fisher are trying to establish a way they want the Knicks to play -- unselfishly, and with a commitment to defense. Even if the Knicks aren't a contender this season, Anthony sees some relief for him.
"It will be less pressure on me," he said. "I can see that now in training camp. I feel that. I can see what we're able to do with the little bit of time we've been together this week. I see other guys' roles and how they're implemented into the system and what they're capable of doing. I think it'll be easier. It's still going to be a dogfight, but I think it'll be a little bit easier where everybody is not keying in and focusing on me every single time down the court.''
Anthony, who was an MVP candidate two seasons ago when he played almost exclusively at power forward, said he expects to play mostly small forward this season. He said the Knicks have enough depth and big guys at power forward and center. Fisher, meanwhile, continues to say any player can play any position in the triangle.
"It is wide open for everybody," Anthony said. "It makes me a better player, makes everybody a better player, makes us smarter, makes us make the right decisions. I think we're going to surprise a lot of people with the way we play."
Notes & quotes:Anthony said he would like to play in his fourth and final Olympics in 2016 in Brazil but acknowledges it's a long way away. He said Paul George's devastating foot injury over the summer in a Team USA exhibition game won't impact his decision . . . Tim Hardaway Jr. and Iman Shumpert were held out of the end of practice because of what Fisher called "nagging injuries." He added, "So we thought it was smart to be careful with those two guys coming off a long week. So nothing that we at this point believe is serious or long term. We're just giving them the best chance to be healthy as quickly as possible." . . . Fisher is giving the Knicks off Sunday.