Carmelo Anthony sits down with MVP ahead of Knicks – Bucks in London

What’s your relationship with London like?

Aside from the Olympics and really getting the chance to learn about London, and being here for a month and a half here, so you almost feel your part of what is going on in the city. And there’s that connection that says Londoners and new Yorkers have a lot of similarities. Then coming back two years ago and back now, it’s becoming a reoccurring event for me. It’s a great feeling coming back

Talk about being the face of the Knicks franchise in these tough times.

“I can’t even put it into words. It is what it is. I’m kind of sore right now. People expected us not to have a good year but not like this. As a competitor, it hurts me that this is not what I foresaw when I saw our team. But I know it gets better. So or me, it’s about coming to work every day, smiling, being happy and not letting this get me down.

Can you go home after a loss and rest easy?
No, I can’t shrug it off. It hurts me. It pains me. Because I care. If I didn’t care it would be easy to shrug it off.

After hearing Phil Jackson talk Rebuild, how did you feel?
As a competitor, you’d be like: ‘aw man.’ It’s tough to hear that. But that was one of the reasons I came back to New York. Because I believed there was a plan and there was a future. I know what’s happening now has greater layers.

We talk quite often. More in the offseason than we ever do now because the schedule is so crazy. We’re always travelling. But we try to talk as much as possible about the strategy, what he’s trying to do, what he sees and doesn’t see. It’s good to be part of it. There’s no better person to get the pointers off.

Is there a point where you’d leave if the Knicks kept losing?
I know where my future lies. It’s in New York. This is part of the growing pain. This is part of the journey. I look at the big picture rather than looking at right now.

All Star is coming up in New York next month – what’s the plan for you as the host?
It’s a special moment – if I’m lucky enough to get voted in. Being in New York, All Star Weekend, I don’t think there’ll be any better place. There are somethings I have in mind. I’m pretty sure the phone calls will be coming in once the teams are announced. I’m opening up the city to everybody. Yeah, I will be the host of All Star Weekend but I’m saying to everybody: ‘come in, have some fun, enjoy it.’

You played AAU. Kobe Bryant has talked about how it’s not as effective for young players as Europe’s system – what’s your take?
The difference is in America, some people come from streetball. Some people come up through the ranks of high school and college and get a chance at the pros. Internationally people are pros at 15, 16. I’d probably have more years on me as a professional player. But I can’t say if I would be a better player.

When I look at international players, and I’ve played in a lot of international games, I see players and they go: ‘He’s been pro since he was 14.’ At 14 or 15, I wasn’t even thinking about basketball. But to be a pro at 14, 15, that’s unbelievable.


melo iv 568

What do you think about the globalisation of basketball?
“It’s a beautiful thing. Just by growing the game of basketball globally, it’s huge. Especially over here. It’s a big football town. But I was able to come here during the Olympics and I was able to come her a couple of years ago with the New York Knicks. And now we’re back here again. And that’s saying something about the British fans, how they respect the game and want the game. It’s becoming bigger. And we’ll continue doing that.

How do you get the skills required for the top?
Either you have it or you don’t. I knew I had it when I was a little kid. It’s all about heart, having a certain toughness about you. You don’t let anyone take advantage of you and when you step out on the court, you want to hold your own, whether it’s against people of your own age or anyone else. I got disappointed sometimes. But I started out playing on my own, in streetball, out on the streets. I was always a guy who was always fouling or getting fouled, but you always had to hold your own.

Where does that winning mentality come from?
You have to create that. You have to believe in yourself and your situation. Winning takes a lot of preparation before it happens.

It also helps if you’re tall…
When I was 16, I caught a growth spurt. I was in about tenth grade going into my eleventh grade and I was 6-2. I grew five inches that summer. It just happened, I woke up and keep growing. The body was hurting. You grow so fast, your bones don’t get a chance to adjust. I was a long summer.

How do you get support?
I had to build a team around me. I had to figure out who I wanted to have around me to keep me in a the right place. There were a lot of ups and downs but I feel like I’m in a really good place right now.

What advice would you give to your rookie self?
would just listen, do more listening. When you come into a spot, and you already have a certain stature, you have everybody cheering for you, you’re a big man with elite stats, it’s hard to listen sometimes. If I could tell the 19 year old Carmelo Anthony now, it would be to listen. I was wild. I can’t go into details. But it was a teenager who had been at college for one year but jumped straight into the pros. I went from a boy to a man overnight. I wasn’t used to paying bills and living by myself, then taking care of other people too.

Tell us about your new M11 shoes
There’s nothing like seeing people rocking your sneakers. This is my 11th Brand Jordan shoe. And I wanted to make a statement with the sneakerheads. I did a lot of research with them with what they wanted to see: from a feel. I wanted to put a lot of the details into it. It’s the lightest shoe I’ve ever created.

If you had to pick one player to go up against, who would it be?
Michael Jordan. I never got a chance. I played against him in the summertime but never professionally. He retired the year before I came in but I’d have loved to have graced the court with him and see what he’s about, see what that feeling is like. He’s the greatest man ever to have touched a basketball.

Will we see you playing on Thursday after your knee injury”
Most likely. Hopefully. It’s a special game, here in London, hopefully we’ll see me out there.”

Carmelo’s all-time starting five: Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Julius Erving, Shaquille O’Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon

Current starting five: Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant – and Carmelo Anthony.

– Carmelo Anthony was speaking at the UK launch of his Brand Jordan M11 shoe.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • MySpace
  • Print

You must be logged in to post a comment Login