Carmelo Anthony nearly joined the Chicago Bulls as a free agent in July. In the end, the New York Knicks offered the most money, and the most expansive canvas for writing his lasting legacy.
“I kind of forced my way to New York (in 2011), and I have some unfinished business to take care of,” Anthony said Monday. “I wouldn’t have felt right from a personal standpoint, just getting up and leaving.”
Anthony claims not to be concerned with his place in the pantheon of current NBA superstars. He is mentioned in the same class as many of his All-Star peers, even if there is a faction that sets Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James and Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder above all others.
“I know, personally, I’m there. It doesn’t bother me,” he told ESPN. “These (analysts) are all people that maybe never accomplish anything. That just sit back and write articles all day long about what they see. They’re kind of living through us out there on the basketball court. I don’t worry about me being put up there. I know night in and night out I’m gonna go out there and put my work in regardless of win loss or draw. I’m still going to go out there and be the best player I can be.”
Anthony, 30, is the undisputed centerpiece of a first-year rebuilding effort led by president Phil Jackson and head coach Derek Fisher. The seven-time All-Star “bought in” according to Fisher, but doubts linger about the current team’s potential to break through in the playoffs. Anthony has played in a playoff series 10 of the past 11 seasons but only once past the second round.
“I think I’m the most underrated superstar out there, but that doesn’t matter to me,” Anthony said. “So as far as caring about if I’m underrated as a superstar, and getting the respect I deserve, I don’t worry about that. In due time if everything goes well, I will get it.”
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