NBA Lockout: New York Knicks Star Carmelo Anthony Talks Team and Labor Progress
During the NBA lockout, the league’s star players certainly have more time on their hands to use their fame to help promote various products.
One of Anthony’s latest ventures has been “Power Grip,” by MISSION AthleteCare, for which he was instrumental in influencing the finished product.
Anthony had been testing the so-called “liquid-chalk” for nearly six or seven months, he said, giving the company feedback on what he considered to be pros and cons of the product, which is supposed to eliminate sweaty hands on the court or field for athletes.
MISSION executives recognized and praised Anthony’s positive on and off the court activities as to why he was selected to help promote the product. Some of the other top athletes using the product include Mets third-baseman David Wright, NBA star Dwyane Wade, tennis superstar Serena Williams and soccer great Mia Hamm.
While Anthony helped promote “Power Grip,” he also hosted a Q&A session during which he talked about a variety of topics, but he first and foremost could not escape talk of the lockout.
With NBA Commissioner David Stern embarking on a bit of his own media tour last week, to convey the league’s position as to where they stand in labor talks, Anthony added, "I don't really think we are getting out message out there, to be honest with you, as players. The owners are definitely doing a great job of getting their message out there. They have David Stern, they have the owners who can go out there and talk. We only have Derek Fisher. At the end of the day we have one person going against the whole NBA, the owners, the commissioner.
“We could all sit here and hold press conferences to give you our points of view as players. Not so much to have all the fans jump on the players’ bandwagon, but to simply help them better understand where we’re all coming from.”
In the meantime, the Knicks star said he would continue to participate in various charity exhibitions, as well as train in different ways. He added that he may look to add some soccer workouts into his training regiment, which has thus far consisted of basketball and boxing.
Looking back at the last time his team was able to hit the hardwood together (when the Knicks fell victim to a sweep at the hands of the Boston Celtics in the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs), Anthony was asked if watching such a strong defensive team would impact how the Knicks play moving forward.
“At the end of the day, I could answer all kinds of questions about defense,” remarked Anthony. “We just have to do it. It’s about effort and consistency. Boston didn’t become the greatest defensive team overnight. I was playing against them when they were supposedly one of the worst defensive teams, and now they’re the greatest.
“The Knicks have a team that can be great defensively. We have players that can ultimately be great defensive players. I’ll be the one to that charge. I’ll be the one to take that stance and say ‘I’m the leader of this team and I will take this team where it needs to go.’ At the end of the day, we will become a great defensive team.”
When he arrived in New York prior to the trading deadline in February, many questioned whether or not Anthony would mesh well with Stoudemire. How can their different styles of play complement each other? Whose team will the Knicks ultimately be? Who is the leader?
Stoudemire has been the outspoken one since day one, arriving in New York to ultimately rejuvenate the Knicks and bring playoff basketball back to the Big Apple. The renaissance only stands to continue once the lockout ends, and Anthony certainly appears on board to help STAT carry some of the burden.
Adding that the Knicks (perhaps more so than most NBA teams) could have and ultimately will largely benefit from a full training camp with its new members, Anthony lamented that improvement will not all be due to simply giving the team more time, saying, “There are pieces that we can use. I think we’re headed in the right direction. Once this lockout is over with and we get back to playing basketball, I’m sure the front office will do what they have to do to continue to make that happen.”
All this talk of training camps and NBA basketball may be pure optimism at this point, but should the lockout continue for a prolonged period of time, Stoudemire recently said he and other players have toyed with the idea of starting their own league instead.
What does Anthony think about a potential Commissioner STAT?
He went on to say, “Well me knowing Amar’e…I mean you guys know him, I’m sure he’s serious about it. I’m pretty sure it’s an idea at this point.”
Even so, the Brooklyn native continued on to add that starting up a players-only league is an incredibly long process, one that would require many discussions concerning logistics and other concepts.
“But if it happens,” he said, “I’ll be the first one there to play.”
While everyone ponders what’s next as they all experience basketball withdrawal, what would Anthony’s one message to the fans be?
“I feel your pain,” he conceded.
Keith Schlosser is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained first-hand.
For Keith's Knicks coverage and much more, visit Knicks Journal.
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