FRIDAY, 11:24am: Anthony told reporters today that he has “not at all” ruled out playing after the All-Star break this season, notes Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (Twitter links). “I’m going to see, I’m going to try,” Anthony said. “We have a whole week to figure that out.” The Knicks next play a week from today.
THURSDAY, 2:53pm: Carmelo Anthony acknowledged that “it’s very likely” that he will discontinue playing after the All-Star Game because of his sore left knee, adding that the All-Star Game could represent the final time he plays this season, as Anthony said today on ESPN Radio, as ESPN.com transcribes. The Knicks star has been dealing with the pain for months and aggravated the injury in Monday’s game. Anthony said earlier this week that it was growing increasingly likely that he’d undergo surgery that would knock him out for at least eight weeks, and the “prevailing theory” has been that he’d sit out once the All-Star Game was through, as Marc Berman of the New York Post wrote last week.
The deadline to apply for a disabled player exception has passed, and there’s little urgency for the Knicks to play well the rest of the season, since they have the league’s worst record and pole position for the No. 1 overall pick. The suggestion that the team would allow Anthony to play in the All-Star Game, even though it will take place in Madison Square Garden, and then sit out the rest of the season would signal the club’s lack of investment in its win-loss record down the stretch. The Knicks have four trade exceptions, three of which range in value from nearly $2.617MM to more than $5.982MM, but it seems unlikely Anthony’s absence would prompt team president Phil Jackson and company into using them before the trade deadline if they weren’t otherwise going to do so.
It’s already been a lost season in many ways for Anthony and the Knicks after the high-scoring forward re-signed with the team in free agency this summer. The Leon Rose client inked a five-year deal worth more than $124MM that was about $5.071MM less than the max. The 30-year-old has already missed 13 of the team’s 53 games this year, and he’s averaged fewer minutes, points and rebounds per game than he did a year ago.