Sunday , Mar , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Is Carmelo Anthony the problem in New York?

Nevertheless Anthony’s pouty behavior in Friday night’s 99-95 loss to the Pistons, his bad oncourt body language, his failure to join a timeout huddle when not in the game has raised red flags about his readiness to handle the pressure for being a basketball star in New York.

The honeymoon is officially over. Anthony, coming off an historically awful 6-point, 2-of-12 outing in the terrible loss, will resume talking and playing today when the Knicks face the Bucks at Bradley Center, with the club having fallen into seventh place.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Carmelo Anthony wanted and got New York. Now he must deal with the good and bad that comes with being the high profile star of the Knicks.

At a minimum, this means facing the music and answering reporters’ questions when he has a poor shooting night and doesn’t get the call on a potential game winning basket against the lowly Detroit Pistons.

Slinking out the back door is unacceptable, especially after signing a three-year, $65 million extension.

Worst of all, Anthony can’t use the excuse of avoiding a fine. He’s a professional. And as such, he must exercise appropriate discretion when dealing with reporters.

And who cares if he does incur a fine? Anthony can easily afford it. 

Anthony’s behaviour with teammates is also worrying. Too often, his body language leaves much to be desired. Too often, he appears to blame others instead of leading.

For instance, against the Detroit Pistons on Friday night, he reportedly lectured youngster Toney Douglas and ignored giving good guy Ronny Turiaf a high five.

Remember, Anthony held both the Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks hostage for months with his trade demands. Players on both teams put up with endless rumors and gossip.

Perhaps, his new teammates have a right to be frustrated with him. Not the other way around. So Anthony can at least try to be pleasant and fit in.

A team first approach would also help the Knicks become consistent, and start beating up on the league’s also-rans (since acquiring Anthony, the Knicks have lost six times to teams with losing records).

Bottom line: the Knicks success starts and ends with Anthony. The sooner he accepts this and starts being accountable, the better. 

–Oly Sandor.

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