Not only has Carmelo Anthony been an afterthought with the fans and the media, but he is an afterthought with his own team.
No one knows when Anthony is playing. The fans are not thinking about him in light of what’s going on with Jeremy Lin and the Knicks don’t miss him with them winning games.
The Knicks star wants to play. If he had his way, he would have played last week. It’s not like him to not play when he is at 90 percent. The thought is the organization wants him at 100 percent, but that’s hard to believe. If he is standing and moving, he would be playing.
Anthony has been besieged with questions on when he’s playing. He is being a team guy by saying it’s going to be soon, but deep down, he can’t be happy. He is going to be tired of answering questions soon. It was few days ago where it was mentioned that he would play against the Kings. That hasn’t been the case.
D’Antoni has been cryptic when asked about Anthony’s status. If anything, he has done his best to avoid answering questions about him. It’s clear he does not miss him by trying not to mention last year’s acquisition by name.
This is a head coach that is having fun coaching the Knicks for the first time ever. He is engaged with his players, and he is more animated than he ever was this season. This is not a coach that is begging to be fired as he demonstrated few weeks ago.
D’Antoni never wanted Anthony in the first place. He knows his player does not suit his offense well, which he needs to have the ball at all times and want his teammates to get out of the way. It hasn’t resulted to victories and good basketball.
The Knicks head coach wants to get by without Anthony as many games as possible, which is why he is in no hurry. He wants to enjoy what’s going on and keep the good vibe going. He knows this is likely his last year as Knicks coach, so he wants to enjoy the moment and use this season as a way to get another head coaching job. He has his own motivation to not play his star.
Anthony’s teammates have not mentioned publicly they are looking forward for him to come back. That has to be insulting for a star. It’s rare that when players don’t miss their star. It’s hard to blame them when they are getting the ball and showing what they can do, which was not the case when they were playing with their petulant teammate.
From looking at Landry Fields, Jared Jeffries, Iman Shumpert, Bill Walker, Steve Novak and Lin flourishing under D’Antoni’s offense, it’s no wonder Knicks fans are finally questioning Anthony’s ability to fit in. The former Nuggets star is not stupid. He knows what’s going on, and he is already being defensive about it by laughing at questions of how he is going to fit in.
From watching Anthony sitting in the bench, he does not seem happy. He creates an impression of a guy who is confused and stunned the Knicks are doing well without him. Every time Lin makes a shot or come up with a good defensive play, the highly paid player looks at the Knicks point guard with bemusement. He has to be asking himself how all of this has not come under his watch.
The more he does not play, it will be hard for him to keep quiet forever. This is a guy that wants to be a star of the team and he wants to be playing. He did not come to the Knicks to be irrelevant. He felt he could be the face of the league along with LeBron James by being the star of the Knicks that wins games.
If anything, his brief Knicks tenure has been a nightmare. He hasn’t admitted it while he was playing but all he cared about was getting his shots. He has finally realized this is not going well for him with what has gone on last week.
It is clear D’Antoni is not ready to clear him as a message for Anthony to know how it’s done. Knicks management and ownership hasn’t gone out of their way to tell their head coach to play Anthony, either.
Even when Anthony comes back, it’s hard to figure he will all of sudden change. This offense does not suit him, and it’s hard for him to adapt when he is not that player.
Anthony has become a distraction all of a sudden in what has been a feel-good story for the Knicks. No one cares if he is playing or not. The Knicks don’t want to answer the question about how he is going to fit in. Even when he comes back, questions and criticism will persist if he does not play well and the team is losing.
The Knicks can enjoy this wave of winning all they want, but they can’t escape Melodrama that will have affect on the team sooner or later.