‘Melo Still Trying To Grip A Fall Without Hoops…
By John Dato
Special to HOOPSWORLD.com
His signature cornrows shorn away, dark glasses on his eyes, a Brand Jordan sweatshirt covering his tattoos, Carmelo Anthony looked almost unrecognizable for a second as he entered a Modell’s department store in Times Square on Friday. The New York Knicks star forward was there as the latest athlete ambassador for the fast rising brand MISSION Athletecare, joining fellow NBA’ers Brandon Jennings, Steve Nash and Dwayne Wade promoting the quick dry technology that can help athletes skid with their shoes and now, with the latest “Power Grip,” get the sweat off their hands. However what Anthony is still trying to get a grip on is the lockout, and the prospect of a year without NBA hoops.
“I feel for the fans, the employees, i really do, this is hard on everybody,” Anthony said during an hour long press conference. “I think David Stern and the owners have done a great job of telling their side of the story through the press, and we haven’t done as good a job. This is not what we want, we want to play basketball, it’s why I came to New York.” Anthony said his days have been filled with working out, business deals (he announced a new shoe deal with Nike this week as well as his deal with MISSION), and helping plan a series of charity basketball games should the lockout persist. Speaking of games, the All-Star forward again said he had no interest in playing in Europe (“All I want to do is spend a full season in New York”), and would follow along with teammate Amare Stoudamire if somewhere in the distant future the players formed their own league. “If that happened I would be the first one there, but it is my hope and my desire to play here in new york in the NBA for the Knicks, and that we can get this settled as soon as possible,” he added.
Anthony was also candid in saying that he kept his offseason surgery quiet to avoid a media circus, and that he is healthy and ready to step up his game even further when the lockout lifts. “Our team was looking forward to a strong training camp where we could work together for really the first time, and improve in what we need to do to be a great team, now with the lockout it has been frustrating. On a scale of one to ten, my frustration is a 10.” Unlike some other teams, the former Syracuse star said the Knicks have not yet been able to pull together a full workout, because the players were still scattered around the country, but he was working with others to get everyone together in the very near future. He also expanded on some of the other unusual things that have happened in basketball during the offseason, not the least of which was Syracuse’s move from The Big East to the ACC. “I can’t believe it, the Orangemen in the ACC,” he added. He shook his head and smiled when asked about Jim Boeheim taking the team to Tobacco Road every year, but also added that seeing Duke at the Carrier Dome or having the ACC Tournament at Madison Square Garden would also be special, even with so many traditional rivalries now gone, thanks to the powers of college football.
As far as the news of the day, Anthony was ebullient about the use of “Power Grip,” an NBA approved chemical formula which turns from gel to powder in seconds, and avoids all the dust usually associated with hand drying formulas. What could “Power Grip” do for LeBron James’ signature powder dustup when he takes the court? Lots. “I’m sending LeBron a case today,” Anthony joked. “He can rub it on before he goes out and then do his powder thing, and no one will know. he will see which product is the best.”
Now if only there was a season the test the product with.