Carmelo Anthony is a member of the Lakers but knows the Knicks well. And Anthony respects what they’ve built under head of basketball operations Leon Rose, a former CAA agent.
“It’s very hard to come in and do what they’re doing, what they started, what they created as far as starting from the ground up,” Anthony said via Ian Begley of SNY.tv upon his return to Madison Square Garden, a game the Lakers lost by a 106-100 count. “When I say that, it’s getting everything out, clearing everything out, bringing in the right people.
“But not doing it in a frantic way, not doing it in [by] taking advantage of power. It’s just coming in, talking to people, getting to know people, understanding people, understanding what was happening before and being able to clean that up and build on that. I think people need to talk about that a lot more.”
Rose hired coach Tom Thibodeau ahead of last season and has continuously made some underrated roster moves. The result was the Knicks making the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
With a record of 10-8, they are doing enough to look as if they’ll be headed back there this year.
“That’s a very difficult task coming in for somebody who was an agent prior to being a president of the New York Knicks,” Anthony said. “That’s a big task so I’ll tip my hat off to those guys for what they’ve accomplished, what they’ve established so far.”
Anthony, 37, played for the Knicks from 2010-17, never advancing past the second round of the playoffs. They finished 31-51 in his final season in New York.
He is experiencing a resurgence of sorts with the Lakers, averaging 15.2 points on 47 percent shooting through 18 games. He finished with 12 points on just 3-of-14 from the field vs. the Knicks on Tuesday.