Melo willing to change playing style
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Carmelo Anthony said he is willing to make changes to his game if Phil Jackson believes the prolific scorer has to do so to win an NBA title.
Anthony, who is a pending free agent, said the Knicks' big picture "is definitely more attractive" with Jackson's arrival.
"I'm willing to do whatever," Anthony said after practice Monday. "As long as it's gonna put me in a position to win, I'm willing to do whatever. I'm not sold or stuck on my play."
"What I've been able to do these past 10-11 years has gotten me at where I am right now," Anthony continued. "If Phil wants to come in and change that this late in my career, if it's going to help me win a championship, I'm with it."
The Knicks will hold a news conference Tuesday morning to introduce Jackson's arrival to handle basketball decisions for the club. Anthony's status after the season will be Jackson's first major decision.
Anthony says he will opt out of his contract and become a free agent this summer. He can re-sign with the Knicks to a max deal worth $129 million over five years. If he signs with another team, he can do so for four years and $96 million, barring a sign-and-trade.
He said earlier in the season that his priority was to remain in New York, but the Knicks (27-40) have had a rocky season. However, they have won six straight games and are 3½ games out of the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
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"As far as knowing what it takes to win, Phil is the best to ever do it," Anthony said. "So for me to be able to have the opportunity and have him by my side, for him to teach me, you know, because I'm still willing to learn the game of basketball.
"And I haven't won anything [and] he's won a lot. I can learn a lot from him and his system, things that he wants to incorporate here. I'm hoping and praying this all works."
Anthony said he hasn't spoken to Jackson but will attend Tuesday's news conference if he can.
Amar'e Stoudemire also is looking forward to sitting down with Jackson at some point soon.
"From a basketball standpoint, he's a great mind to dissect," Stoudemire said. "And also from a spiritual standpoint, he is known as the Zen guy, so that would be great to sit down and have a great conversation with him."
Coach Mike Woodson said "There's a buzz in the air" with Jackson's arrival. Anthony certainly is excited about the prospect of teaming with Jackson.
"Everybody as an organization, as a city, as a whole, our fans in general as well, everybody's excited to see that," Anthony said. "We are playing good basketball right now too, so it's like a lot of things coming into place right now."
"His résumé is his résumé. You can't change that," he added. "Everybody sees that. Regardless of who you are, what type of player you are, you see a Phil Jackson résumé and you automatically gravitate towards that."
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