Carmelo Anthony: Must beat Nets

Updated: December 5, 2013, 12:55 PM ET
By Ohm Youngmisuk | ESPNNewYork.com

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Carmelo Anthony believes the New York Knicks are the joke of the league right now. And he wants to start the process of changing that perception during a nationally televised game against the struggling Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night.

Anthony We are the laughingstock of the league right now. ... That's why it is a big game for us. Do I like being laughed at? Hell, no. I don't like that feeling.

-- Carmelo Anthony

"It's on TNT? I didn't know that," Anthony said when asked whether the Knicks and Nets might be mocked on national television Thursday. "I don't care about that. We are the laughingstock of the league right now. It's nothing to hide. We are.

"That's why it is a big game for us. Do I like being laughed at? Hell, no. I don't like that feeling."

Despite lofty expectations and offseason trash talk about who runs New York, both teams have been dreadful to start the season. The Knicks (3-13) will bring a nine-game losing streak to Barclays Center. The Nets (5-13) have lost 11 of their last 14 and five in a row at home.

Perhaps Nets coach Jason Kidd summed it up best, saying that both squads "stink" right now.

On Wednesday, Knicks counterpart Mike Woodson agreed with the former All-Star guard.

"Well, I mean, expectations were high for both teams," Woodson said on "The Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco Show" on ESPN New York 98.7. "And I somewhat agree. We both do stink. We have stunk it up in the early part of the season."

Shortly after the Nets acquired Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in a trade with the Boston Celtics, Pierce and J.R. Smith exchanged barbs about who had the best team in New York.

The trash talk has lost its bite, though, after the dismal start by both teams.

"There's so much animosity between the two teams," Smith said. "But our record, for the team we have, isn't really doing any justice. Right now we have to put the rivalry on hold and focus on each individual team, as opposed to focusing on we don't like them and they don't like us."

"I think everybody in this gym would agree," Smith added of Knicks players' view of Kidd's assessment. "We just got to put it all together."

Woodson says he hasn't seen any quit in his team despite the slide and that he won't respond to reports of what a 10th consecutive loss -- one coming at the hands of the Nets -- might do for his job security.

"Well, I'm not even gonna entertain it," Woodson said. "I'll let you guys do all the entertaining and talking about that. That's not my job to even entertain that because it's what it is. You guys put it out there. It's out there, hey, I can't go get it back.

"I got a job to do here in New York, to try to get our team turned around and headed in the right direction. That's what I'm about."

Is there added incentive to beat the Nets?

"I think any win for our team is important," Woodson said. "Just to arrange the psyche of our team. Right now I think the spirits are high still. Practice was spirited today. I think our guys are committed. They haven't quit and they know what is ahead of us in terms of do we still have an opportunity to win the division? And we do, and rightfully so."

Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
Follow him on Twitter »  Ohm's chat archive »

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