Anthony Looks Back on All-Star Melodrama
Carmelo Anthony saw the horde of reporters from across the room. As he approached his podium, he had to dodge recorder-wielding media members left and right. This wasn’t a new scene for Anthony, who had to answer question after question about his future with the Denver Nuggets during last year’s All-Star game in Los Angeles. All eyes were on Anthony as “Melodrama” unfolded.
Now, the large group wasn’t assembled to ask Anthony questions. The horde was preparing to interview Dwight Howard, stationed several feet away. There were so many reporters around Howard that they spilled over to Anthony’s area. Before making any comments of his own, Anthony stood up on his chair and looked into the middle of the media scrum surrounding Howard.
“Whew,” Anthony said, shaking his head. “I’m glad it’s not me anymore.”
While Anthony had it rough last year, at least he was able to escape to Los Angeles for the weekend. Howard has to answer questions about his future with the Magic while surrounded by local media in an Orlando hotel.
“It was a zoo last year,” Anthony said. “I really can’t tell you what it would have been like [if last year’s All-Star Weekend was in Denver]. I know it would’ve been tough. It would have been even crazier than it was in Los Angeles. If it were in Denver, it would’ve probably been two times worse. If it were in New York, it would’ve been ten times worse if I were going through that situation.”
Even still, Anthony had to answer tough questions and his situation overshadowed the entire weekend.
“It was a whirlwind,” Anthony said. “At that point I still didn’t really know what was going to happen. I still had to walk around and I still had to participate in everything. Everywhere I went, the questions were there: At every event, every appearance, the practice, the game and even during the game. Nobody really even cared about the game. They just wanted to know what was going to happen and where I was going to end up. Even after the game, heading back to Denver and then getting that phone call saying that first it went down and then it didn’t go down , it was crazy. Then, finally, I was traded.”
When asked if he had any advice for Howard as he goes through this process, he said that the big man just needs to continue playing at a high level every single night. He feels that his departure and Howard’s current situation are very similar, as opposed to the free agency departures of players like LeBron James or Chris Bosh, mainly because they have to face the media on a daily basis.
“The difference between what LeBron went through and what I went through was that his was in the offseason,” Anthony said. “He was able to get away. I don’t want to say hide, but he could avoid a lot of the questions that were being asked. For me, I had to go play. I still had to play at a high level every night. I still had to answer the questions night in and night out and Dwight’s situation is kind of similar. We’ll see what happens with that situation. I really don’t know where his mind is at right now as far as staying or wanting to leave or anything like that. We’ll see what happens.
“In that situation, you just have to take your focus up another level and perform at a high level,” Anthony added. “It was almost like if you went out there and you scored 40 points or 35 points, people would say you play like you don’t care anymore. If you go out and don’t score that many points, you don’t win basketball games and then people are going to say you don’t care. Either way it was kind of like a lose-lose situation. You had to just go out there and lock in, focus in and try to block a lot of the stuff.”
Looking back on how his departure unfolded, he doesn’t have any regrets. Even though the New York Knicks have faced some adversity and he hasn’t always been painted in a positive light, he stands by his decision and feels it was the right one for him and his family.
“It was a great experience, I can tell you that,” Anthony said. “At the end of the day I was still able to have fun throughout that whole process.”