Carmelo Anthony told the New York Post Tuesday that All-Star Break is not a time when players collude about playing together in free agency or through trade.
“We don't have time to talk like that,” Anthony said Tuesday after a lengthy Knicks practice, their final such workout before the break. “You guys [media] are going to be there. We don't have time to just sit down and relax.”
“I think All-Star weekend is just a time where you can relax, decompress, kind of reflect on the first half of the season and gear up for the second half of the season,” Anthony said, noting tales of recruiting “as always, as always” are blown out of proportion. “As far as recruiting and things like that, that never happens.”
“A lot of guys — especially the people I call friends, the people I talk to — it's more making sure I'm all right, making sure I'm keeping my head up, making sure I'm staying positive,” said Anthony who takes his 27.1-point, second-best NBA scoring average against Sacramento in the Knicks' pre-All-Star finale Wednesday at the Garden. “It's not, ‘Whatcha gonna do?' or ‘You should do this or you should do that.' It's more just being there during this time.”
Ever year rumors develop at All-Star about players being unhappy on small market teams without star power wanting to team up as they hang out with other players of their caliber. Melo and anyone else can deny it, but after the formation of the Miami Heat's triad and their subsequent admission that they started talking about it at the Olympics in 2008, it's hard to believe there's no "what if" talk happening behind the scenes at All-Star.
Oh, and by the way, media at All-Star is essentially huddled from one five-minute session to the next. Players spend most of their time at parties, meeting sponsors, or doing other promotional materials. Total media obligations over the weekend for the average All-Star probably total three hours or less.
But sure, none of that will happen. I'm sure Melo's future with New York won't come up at all as players seek the best and fastest way to a title. Oh, by the way, over the 2011 All-Star Weekend, Melo's representatives met with both James Doland and Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov about his future. The following Monday, Anthony was traded to New York.