GREENBURGH, N.Y. (AP) - Carmelo Anthony said Wednesday he doesn’t want to be traded, denying a report that he would welcome an exit from New York.
“No, no, no, no. Let’s nip this in the bud right now. No,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ morning shootaround.
“I don’t know where that came from. I’m tired of hearing it. It came out this morning from I guess an anonymous source. I’m tired of anonymous sources. I don’t want to be traded. I don’t know where that foolishness came from, so let’s put a cap on that and make this the last time I hear about that.”
The Knicks have lost six in a row, with Anthony taking much of the blame. The back page of Wednesday’s New York Post ran a headline saying “Melo Wants Out!” The trade deadline is Thursday, a little more than a year after the Knicks acquired Anthony from Denver.
But Anthony called the report “nonsense,” adding that he’s faced adversity throughout his career and “I’ve never ran from it and I’m not about to pick today to start running from it.”
“I’ve only been here a year,” Anthony added. “I don’t want to leave right now, so I’m here to stay.”
Anthony also said he believes fellow players and team officials prefer he stays, saying he received text messages from teammates asking him about the story and telling him they don’t want him to go.
According to the Post, Anthony became so discontent with the Knicks after Monday’s loss in Chicago that he told a confidant that he preferred to be dealt. The report said he was unhappy in part because he believed D'Antoni and interim general manager Glen Grunwald do not trust him.
“I don’t think that’s true at all,” forward Amare Stoudemire said. “Melo loves the city of New York, he loves playing for the Knicks. So I don’t think that’s true at all.”
NBA players are fined for making public trade requests, so Anthony couldn’t say if he wanted to leave, anyway.
The Knicks have fallen into a tie for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference entering Wednesday’s game against Portland. While trying to solve things on the court, they’re also dealing with stories about their problems off it, from players’ reported disappointment in D'Antoni to Anthony’s bad performances and body language.
“You battle against it and I think we’re cohesive enough to battle through this, and we expect to do that,” D'Antoni said.
Anthony faced enormous pressure to play well in New York after the Knicks gave up four of their top players to acquire him on Feb. 22, 2011. He is averaging 21.3 points, lowest since his second season, and his 40 percent shooting is by far his worst.