Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Knicks' 'Melo Trying to Focus on Present

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Knicks' 'Melo Trying to Focus on Present

Article excerpt

INDIANAPOLIS -- In the moments after another loss had been put in the books and even an hour later as he was done with the physical treatment and mental rehabilitation, Carmelo Anthony was still trying to think about only the present.

A shot he put up at the buzzer was the moment he was fixated upon. Not the 31 points that had come before that. Not where the Knicks were headed next or even the future he tried to put far off in a corner of his mind -- where this could all end up for him.

With a 19-26 record, a season-worst seven games under .500 and the schedule moving quickly to the point where the promises of better days become harder to believe, Anthony is trying to think of the shot spinning in and out of the rim at Madison Square Garden.

He is ignoring the week that was, the anger he felt a week earlier when someone showed him the article written by Phil Jackson's long-time friend and confidant, Charley Rosen, the brief meeting two days later when he would reiterate to Jackson, the Knicks' president, that he wants to remain in New York -- as long as the team wanted him.

"I don't know. I'm done kind of worrying about that," Anthony said. "My only focus is these guys that's in this locker room, playing with them. I can't control anything else."

Maybe he can and maybe he can't. If Jackson holds the highest title in the Knicks organization after chairman and owner James Dolan, Anthony holds the no-trade clause and a 15 percent trade kicker on his five-year, $124.9 million contract, meaning that no matter what dissatisfaction Jackson feels or where he wants to place the blame, he can't move Anthony unless the 32-year-old star agrees to it.

People close to Anthony believe that is behind some of the constant sniping by Jackson, whether it was this Rosen story, which Rosen claimed did not reflect Jackson's thoughts -- only his own -- or the interview Jackson held a month earlier when he griped about Anthony's penchant for stopping the ball too long on offense.

Last week Anthony told reporters in Toronto that if Jackson wanted him out that was a conversation they would have to have. And even after telling Jackson and general manager Steve Mills that he wants to stay, he reiterated that he could open the door. …

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