By Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com
“Come on, man. After all the work I did to get here and get back here? If I was to get up and want to leave now that would just make me weak, make me have a weak mind,” Anthony said on Friday morning. “I’ve never been a person to try to run from any adversity or anything like that so I’m not going to pick today to do that.”
Anthony’s agent, Leon Rose, said the idea that Anthony wanted to leave the Knicks is “utter nonsense.”
Come on, man. After all the work I did to get here and get back here? If I was to get up and want to leave now, that would just make me weak, make me have a weak mind.
– Carmelo Anthony, denying a report
that he would waive his no-trade clause
“Carmelo, as always, is committed to the Knicks,” Rose said in a text message to ESPNNewYork.com on Friday. “There have never been discussions about trades or wanting to leave New York. Any story, rumor, report to the contrary is utter nonsense.”
The New York Post reported Friday that Anthony would be willing to drop the no-trade clause if the Knicks found a trade partner suitable to Anthony’s liking.
Anthony signed a five-year, $124 million contract — which included a no-trade clause — prior to this season. Anthony’s contract also contains a 15 percent “trade kicker,” a source confirmed. This clause would require any team that obtains Anthony in a trade to pay a 15 percent increase in his remaining salary.
Anthony on Friday said it bothered him that his commitment to the team was being questioned so soon after he opted to re-sign with the Knicks.
“I guess when you are losing games everything gets questioned,” he said. “That’s the state where we’re at as a team, that’s the state where we’re at as individuals. But it comes with territory.”
The Knicks, who have lost 10 consecutive games, have stumbled out of the blocks to a 4-20 start this season and are just one-half game ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers, who are last in the Atlantic Division.
Anthony has expressed frustration with the team’s struggles — the worst start in the 69-year history of the franchise — but has not considered leaving the organization, Rose said.
“Losing is frustrating, I don’t want to lose, we don’t want to lose,” Anthony said. “Coming into this season, this not what I expected, what we expected. But we’re here now, there’s nothing we can do about the previous 24 games, it’s only about tonight against Boston.”
Anthony is battling a sore left knee, but Knicks head coach Derek Fisher said Anthony will be back in the starting lineup on Friday against the Boston Celtics after missing Wednesday’s loss to the San Antonio Spurs due to knee pain.
J.R. Smith will miss the Celtics game with a sore left heel. Smith said he has a bone bruise in his heel and team doctors would like him to get an MRI to confirm that it is a minor injury.
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