Carmelo Anthony has heard all the noise, and the longtime New York Knicks star admits all the talk of him being shipped to Los Angeles and the Clippers has left him not quite feeling like himself.
Finally, after being booed by Madison Square Garden faithful during his up-and-down team’s come from behind win over Charlotte, the veteran forward admitted being a Knick can be “mentally draining” and has left him with a greater appreciation for longtime franchise hero Patrick Ewing.
“You’ve got to deal with that, even though I try not to read it,” he said.
“And everywhere you go, even if you don’t hear about it, somebody is telling you about it, somebody is saying something. It can be mentally draining, mentally fatiguing.”
As for the moment, the most probable destination for Anthony not known as New York seems L.A. and the Clippers.
After several days of being linked to the Clips, ESPN now reports the two teams are searching for a third team to facilitate a deal that in all likelihood wouldn’t mean the Clips having to part with anyone from their Big 3 of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin or DeAndre Jordan.
All this comes on the heels of Anthony meeting with Knicks’ president Phil Jackson to talk about his NYC future and reports that the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers had turned down a potential deal for him for almost equally maligned forward Kevin Love.
“No, I tell you that every day,” Anthony said when asked if he had spoken with Jackson since their much reported first meeting.
Prior to tip-off against the Hornets, Anthony wore headphones and listened to music he said featured Frank Sinatra’s “Stay Calm.”
The atmosphere was anything but that for much of the night, as Anthony struggled through 8-of-26 shooting before burying the night’s biggest shot to safely put the Knicks ahead.
“Yeah, I enjoy that,” he joked in the aftermath of being booed by his hometown crowd.
Later, he agreed it takes a unique kind of player to survive and thrive in New York, adding that his admiration for Ewing has grown by leaps and bounds.
“You’ve got to be cut from a different cloth to take this day in and day out, and to deal with this all day long, every day,” he said.
“You’ve got to take the good with the bad. I don’t know how I do it, but I do it.”
As irony would have it, Ewing sat courtside during the Charlotte game as one of the Hornets’ assistant coaches.
“I just blocked it out and did my job,” he said of his time in New York and all the rumors and talk he had to endure.
“You have to have tough skin. You can’t worry about what people think. As long as you’re out there doing your best, that’s all you can do.”
In Anthony’s case, the Knicks’ struggles have resulted in the team dropping 14 of 19 games since Christmas, perhaps having something to do with the high-scoring Anthony not being named an All-Star for the first time in eight seasons.
“Honestly, I don’t know,” Anthony said of the snub.
“It’s kind of hard to think about that right now in the midst of everything that’s kind of going on.”
But through it all, the Knicks insist they haven’t lost their focus when it comes to achieving their goal of reaching the playoffs.
“This is that time,” said Anthony.
“We still believe that. We believe it’s right there. Our goal is to make the playoffs, and we see it. We’re right there. Even though we have lost some games, other teams are losing games too, giving us an opportunity to be right there in the picture.”
[Featured Image by Elsa/Getty Images]