Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

'Melo Insists He's All about Winning

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

'Melo Insists He's All about Winning

Article excerpt

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- He is still clinging to the user-friendly side of 30, but not for long. Four months from Wednesday, Carmelo Anthony will exit his 20s. And unless the Knicks pluck this season out of the gutter, he will arrive there without an NBA title.

"That's the only thing I care about," Anthony said after Monday afternoon's practice at the MSG Training Center. "Anything else is irrelevant to me as far as when it comes to basketball.

"[Winning a] championship is the only thing that's on my mind, is the only thing I want to accomplish, I want to achieve, and I'm going to do what I've got to do to get that."

Anthony parsed his words carefully. He did not say he wanted out. He did not disparage his current team. His wife went a step further, insisting her superstar husband was not going anywhere.

"I definitely think he will stay," La La Anthony said on Bravo's "Watch What Happens Live." "I know that he wants to stay, and I support him wherever he wants to go."

And yet it was impossible to ignore the elephant in the gym: Anthony can opt out of his current contract at the end of the season, even though it would mean leaving money on the table.

At the moment, the Knicks do not look like a championship contender. After back-to-back wins over the Bobcats and Lakers, they are still just 17-27. They sit a game behind Charlotte for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

"I mean, it's hard to say at this very moment how it affects me," Anthony said, "but for me I've got to keep that motivation into the now. And then when that time comes, you deal with that situation then. But right now, that's still my motivation. That's still my goal."

Age has only heightened this pursuit. He admitted Monday he is hungrier now than he was when he entered the league as a 19-year- old kid.

His coach understands. Mike Woodson said he has been chasing the same ball as a head coach. …

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