<
>

Melo doesn't expect Knicks to win this year

8/12/2014

If there are any Knicks fans dreaming of an NBA title this year, they'd better temper their expectations.

These aren't the thoughts of an NBA analyst or reporter. They come straight from Carmelo Anthony, the team's biggest star.

Speaking over the weekend at his foundation’s event in Puerto Rico, Anthony made it clear he doesn't expect the Knicks to snap their 42-season title drought this season.

“I don’t expect to win a championship this year,” Anthony said, according to an article posted on PrimeraHora.com and translated by ESPN Deportes' Marly Rivera. “That is something that takes time, and everything has to be [synchronized], from the front office to the players. We have a lot of work to do, but that is something that motivates me. I know we can start creating the basis for what [we want] to accomplish eventually. And this is a great start for the process.”

Give Anthony credit for being realistic. The Knicks are coming off a 37-win season and are in the same conference as a Cavaliers team expected to feature LeBron James and Kevin Love and a Bulls team with a healthy Derrick Rose.

The Knicks didn't add any superstars to their roster this summer but made what Anthony called “subtle” moves to improve the team.

In addition to re-signing Anthony to a five-year deal, the Knicks added ex-Mavericks point guard Jose Calderon and second-year guard Shane Larkin in a trade with Dallas earlier this summer. They also acquired big man Samuel Dalembert in the deal and signed fellow big Jason Smith.

New York also drafted rookie forward Cleanthony Early with a second-round pick in June and traded for Travis Outlaw and Quincy Acy earlier this month.

“I think we made very subtle moves but also moves that I think can impact the team,” Anthony said. “I thought our front office did a great job of really trying to put the team together, not as far as going to get big names but going to get pieces that can fit into the system that they’re going to [be] incorporating.”

The Knicks are expected to have at least $15 million in cap space next summer, when the contracts of Amar'e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani expire.

“Next year, we're going to have a lot of money to spend within the salary cap, but this year it is important to take the steps necessary ahead of next year, and I would like to concentrate on what we start building this season,” Anthony said.

The slimmed-down star forward added: “The feeling that I have right now is the feeling that I had when I first got drafted. [It feels] brand new to me -- it feels like I’m just stepping foot into New York.”

Question: Do you agree with Carmelo? Or do you think the Knicks can win a title this season?

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.