What has Carmelo Anthony learned even more now going into his 10th year in the NBA? Winning cures everything.
Melo has heard plenty of criticism in his career, especially more recently with the Knicks -- from shooting too much to not being able to coexist with Amar'e Stoudemire.
But going into the 2012-13 season, now understanding the game and some of the tough New York media better, he's deflecting all of the outside noise. For one, he believes people like to pass judgment in the moment, whether it's good or bad.
"If you don't win, then they're going to say something can't be done," he told ESPN The Magazine for its NBA Preview issue. "When Miami wasn't winning, they said LeBron and D-Wade couldn't do it. Winning is the cure, winning is the remedy, so if we win games, people are going to say, 'Oh, they got it rolling.' If we lose a couple games, they're going to say, 'Oh, they're butting heads.'"
Second, and more importantly, Melo says he knows the best is yet to come for himself and his Knicks squad.
"This year, my speakers are off. There's nothing nobody can say to me right now that's going to bother me," he said. "I can tell you I'm looking forward to having one of my best seasons that I've had."
Anthony said last season was especially frustrating being injured, because it was distracting constantly hearing about it.
"There was definitely a period where it was just like, it's not even about basketball no more because you have so much coming at you, left, right, where you can't really focus in," he said. "Being injured and then just hearing all the scrutiny and not being able to come back and actually defend yourself and say, 'I was hurt.' I really wanted to come back and say that."
Now fully healthy, with the deepest and most seasoned supporting cast he's ever had in his career, Melo is "willing to do whatever it takes" to win. That, he knows, is what shuts everyone up. It did for his friend and 2003 draft class buddy, LeBron James, over the summer when he won his first championship.
"For me, I'll score the basketball. Everybody in the world knows that I'm one of the best to ever do it," Melo said. "So for me to say that I'm willing to take that sacrifice, that's a big step for me."
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