Knicks Rumors: Bryant, Anthony, Vujacic, Calderon

Carmelo Anthony thinks Kobe Bryant should retire as a Laker, regardless of rumors ignited by Knicks president Phil Jackson, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post“I don’t see why he would at this late stage of his career — go all these years with the Lakers to spend one year with another team,” Anthony said. “I think it’s a bigger picture when it comes down to your legacy and things like that. At this stage, that’s what matters — how you carry out your legacy.” Jackson speculated in September that Bryant may go elsewhere as a free agent next season, but Bryant denied that on Friday, proclaiming himself to be “a Laker for life.”

There’s more out of New York:

  • Offseason addition Sasha Vujacic is already in danger of losing his place in the starting lineup, Berman writes in a separate story. The 31-year-old, who had played just two NBA games over the past three seasons before making the Knicks’ roster, has been stuck in a shooting slump, connecting on just 30.4% from the floor and 18.2% from three-point range.  “You go through ups and downs in the season and mine came very soon,” Vujacic said. “I’m going through a slump. It’s not a secret anymore. They’re not going in.” Berman reports starting point guard Jose Calderon is also in danger of being replaced, with Langston Galloway, Jerian Grant and Derrick Williams all candidates to join the starting lineup. Arron Afflalo is expected to return from injury this week.
  • A change in the backcourt is needed, contends Adam Zagoria of He notes that Calderon ranks 65th out of 66 point guards in John Hollinger’s NBA Player Rankings, and Vujacic is 46th out of 66 at shooting guard.
  • The Knicks are off to a 2-4 start, but Anthony told Ian Begley of he is willing to be patient with the rebuilding process. New York overhauled its roster during the offseason, and Anthony thinks the changes will be beneficial because of the new players’ work ethic. “If you’re out there by yourself fighting and competing and just trying to do everything by yourself and you feel like nobody else is with you, then that’s a dagger right there,” Anthony said. “… But when you know you have guys out there working with you, that are willing to get better, willing to put the work in, actually putting the work in to get better — individually and as a team — it makes that process easy.”

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