After earlier this summer declaring he did not expect to win a title this year following his new five-year, $124 million contract with the Knicks, Carmelo Anthony seemed to have set expectations low for next season. Still, ‘Melo was pretty adamant about New York’s return to the playoffs next year.
The Knicks finished as a No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference during the 2012-13 season, but efforts to duplicate their first trip to the second round of the playoffs since Jeff Van Gundy’s balding dome could be seen from the upper rows skidded off their preseason path as the Knicks missed the playoffs during the 2013-14 season when they finished the year at 37—45.
While his ultimate goal of winning a championship will have to wait until after Phil Jackson makes some moves next summer — when Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani‘s deals come off the books — ‘Melo still wants to win, which ties in to his lofty individual goals we mentioned this morning.
The New York Post‘s Fred Kerber asked ‘Melo yesterday if his Knicks would at least return to the playoffs — last season was the first of Anthony’s career where he didn’t play in the playoffs — and he was sure in his reply:
“Yeah, I think so for sure. Absolutely.”
‘Melo was also pretty excited to just get the season underway, even though we’re still more than a month from training camps.
“I can’t wait to get started,” said Anthony. “No goals. Not setting any goals, but I just can’t wait to get it back on.”
When asked about Jackson’s moves this summer, ‘Melo was cagey, saying “I’m cool, I’m happy, but I don’t really want to get into details about that.”
He also said he hadn’t really spoken with Phil since he signed his deal. When his widely-reported weight loss was brought up, ‘Melo was mellow about the whole thing.
“I really don’t know how much I lost. I just know I trimmed down,” Anthony said. “I really didn’t do nothing special, just working hard, that’s it.”
Will the Knicks make the playoffs next season?
Follow Spencer on Twitter at @SpencerTyrel.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.