One by one they came into the media room at the Madison Square Garden Training Center and sat in a chair in front of the cameras and tried to make sense of the season that just ended and the shaky future facing the Knicks. But what may have told you the most about the team was where the procession ended — with Carmelo Anthony’s 11-minute explanation. When he was done, not another player came through the door, leaving J.R. Smith, Amar’e Stoudemire, Jason Kidd, Pablo Prigioni and a handful of bit players refusing to speak on their way out — and uncertain of their place in the organization. It was clear that Anthony is the leader on and off the court, the star of the team for the 48 minutes between the lines and the spokesman for the franchise when the game is over. Stoudemire may have been the first star to sign on to the rebuilding of the Knicks and Tyson Chandler has a championship ring. But on the biggest stage, the postseason — when the Knicks believed they had a chance to dethrone the Miami Heat — Stoudemire was a bystander and Chandler struggled badly. The ball was left in Anthony’s hands and maybe it is off the court now, too. Just as he does nearly every night of the season in the locker room or on the podium, he was asked to provide the last word and he did on this day, too. But he said he isn’t interested in a say in the building of the organization. He endorsed this group, spoke optimistically about the potential of the aging group and even defended Smith. But to assemble the roster? He was leaving that in the hands of the front office. “This was the first time that this team was assembled,” Anthony said. “And to be able to do and accomplish what we were able to accomplish this year and take a step was in the right direction, I was excited about that. I’m still excited about what’s still to come with our team and the organization.
Carmelo Anthony preaches optimism for Knicks
North Jersey | May 21