Melo: Knicks failed to compete vs. Bulls
March, 2, 2014
By Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com
A frustrated Carmelo Anthony said the New York Knicks played without pride and failed to compete in their 19-point loss to the Chicago Bulls on Sunday.
"As a team we've gotta have some type of sense of pride just to go out there and compete. It seems like we're not even competing right now," Anthony said in Chicago after the Knicks lost their sixth consecutive game. "... I think we've got to do a much better job of just having a sense of pride out there and just play basketball and not worrying about whatever is going on. Whatever it is, we're just not getting it done."
The Knicks fell behind 16-1 to start the game and were down by 19 to Chicago after six minutes.
They trailed by 25 early in the second quarter and never got any closer than 11. The loss left the Knicks a season-high 17 games under .500 and 6 1/2 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The deficit could grow to seven games if Atlanta wins its game later Sunday. The Knicks have lost 10 of 12.
"It's hard to, you know, keep coming up with excuses about why this continues to happen," Anthony said after leading New York with 21 points on 8-for-17 shooting. "Without a doubt, it's embarrassing. It's frustrating, it's embarrassing ... We're not approaching the game from the standpoint [of having] a winning attitude. It's just not happening. I know I'm rambling right now and it's frustrating. I don't like to be embarrassed like that."
Anthony has said he will opt out of the final season of his contract this summer and test free agency. Some have speculated that Chicago could clear enough cap space to land Anthony as a free agent or obtain him in a sign-and-trade. The Knicks would likely only agree to a sign-and-trade if Anthony assured them that he had no interest in remaining in New York.
Anthony was highly complimentary of the Bulls' system and head coach Tom Thibodeau on Sunday, but made no references to his thinking regarding free agency.
He was asked on Sunday about the possibility of returning to the Knicks next season knowing that the team has little cap space to re-shape the roster.
"I can even see next year, s---, I can't even see tomorrow at this point," Anthony said. "It's hard for me to focus on that while I'm going through the journey right now. I'm just trying to stay with it, stay focused, stay positive throughout this situation. Anything you care about, it becomes frustrating at times. Right now, it's definitely becoming frustrating."
Information from ESPNChicago's Nick Friedell was used in this story.