Carmelo Anthony says Knicks need him to play on his injured knee
The Knicks star couldn’t make it through the team’s loss on Sunday to the Blazers because of a lingering injury to his left knee. He hasn’t sat out because he feels the team is too shorthanded for him to do so.
Carmelo Anthony re-aggravated a lingering knee injury Sunday against the Blazers and was given the second half of the game off. The choice to sit out, though, was not made by him. Trainers told him to rest, he told the media.
Anthony has already missed four games this year after first hurting his left knee in the second game of the season. When he has played, he’s averaged more than 36 minutes, along with 24 points and seven rebounds, per game. That’s a lot of minutes for someone struggling with pain, particularly when his team is struggling so much.
But that’s exactly why Anthony feels he needs to push it. After the game Sunday, which the Knicks lost 101-79, he told reporters that he had felt sore before the game, but the depleted Knicks needed him to play.
“I looked around the locker room, and we have seven or eight guys ready to go — I really didn’t have a choice but to go out there and attempt to play and see how much I could take.”
Amar’e Stoudemire, Cleanthony Early, Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith were all out Sunday with various injuries, while Andrea Bargnani, who is recovering from a calf injury, has still yet to play a game this season.
Anthony said he hurt himself in the second quarter but that there wasn’t an opportunity to be subbed out of the game.
“The more I was running and jumping toward the end of the second quarter, I tried to get an offensive rebound, then run back,” Anthony said. “I looked at coach: ‘Come get me. Come get me.’ But there was no timeout or ball stoppage. I played out the rest of the quarter. I came in there. He saw me in the back. He told me to sit out the second half.”
Anthony said Fisher told him to “just sit out and get treatment I need for today and focus on these next couple of days.”
The Knicks’ next game will be on Dec. 31 in Los Angeles against the Clippers. Anthony told reporters that he plans on playing, noting that his knee felt more “fatigued” than sore and that he’ll have three days of rest to recover.
The question, of course, is whether Anthony should be pushing through at all. The Knicks currently sit at 5-28. No team in the NBA has lost more games and only the Sixers have a worse winning percentage. New York actually has its first-round pick this year, so there’s incentive to be bad.
After the game Anthony was asked by reporters whether he’s consider sitting out an extended period of time in order to give his knee some rest.
“It would be a thought,” he said. “It’s hard to think about that right now, though, because we’ve got so many guys who can’t [play].” Anthony later added, via the Post, “Eventually it will be a point they will come to me and sit down and say we need to fix this or figure out the next step.”
Fisher told reporters the decision would “ultimately be up to” Anthony.