Since arriving in New York from Denver in a trade in 2011, Carmelo Anthony has had four head coaches during his tenure as a Knick. The latest coach on the MSG merry-go-round is Kurt Rambis, who has taken over as interim head coach in the wake of the Derek Fisher firing on Thursday.
Anthony spoke to reporters pregame on Tuesday (a ritual he almost never takes part in) and reflected on the latest change.
“It’s tough,” Anthony said. “At night when I kind of wrap my brain around it and put everything into perspective as far as how many coaches I’ve been through since being here, how many players, how many different teammates I’ve been through since being here. You try to find some type of consistency when it comes to that, but, like I said, the business of basketball is a tough business.”
The Knicks had dropped nine of their past ten games headed into Tuesday’s game against Washington, a factor which contributed to Fisher’s axing. Still, the news, and it’s timing more so, stunned fans and media nationwide. Anthony said he had not been consulted on the move by Knicks’ brass and was just as shocked as everyone else upon hearing the news.
“This was something I didn’t see coming, nobody saw coming, so you have to continue to put your trust into Phil [Jackson],” Anthony said.
When Anthony signed an extension with the Knicks for slightly less than the max in the summer of 2014 he never expected to be a part of a rebuilding project such as this that Jackson has undertaken. There were stories just after draft night last year that the superstar was displeased with the Knicks’ selection of Kristaps Pirzingis – although given the rookie’s impressive play that is now a moot point, regardless of it’s validity at the time – and now the continued coaching uncertainty. Anthony, one of the few players who appears to relish playing on the biggest stage in the biggest market, added that he has no intention of waiving his no-trade clause and asking out.
“At this point what could you do? You can’t shy away from that, can’t go against it,” he said. “So for me, I have to trust in him. I decided to stay here, I decided to put that trust in the Knicks and trust into Phil, and I have to continue to do that.”
Rambis has stated numerous times already that his goal is to lead the Knicks into the playoffs this season, to do that they’ll have to figure out how to stop a slide that has seen them drop to 11-games below .500 after starting the season 22-22. Anthony said on Tuesday that he was on-board with Rambis’ goal.
“Yeah, I don’t think that’s even a question for me as far as playoffs,” Anthony said. “My goal every season is to try to get to the playoffs and try to win a championship, so I think Kurt is spot-on when he says that. That should be our goal as a team. It was our goal. It should be our goal now, remain our goal.”
The Knicks remain five games below the Detroit Pistons for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Feature Image via: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke