With the Knicks set to open their season Wednesday, VICE Sports released its latest web episode of "Stay Melo," featuring Carmelo Anthony.
The clip showcases Anthony returning home to Red Hook, and diving into off-the-court business ventures, such as art and owning a Puerto Rican soccer team. More relevant to the season, however, the forward was very expressive about dealing with the pressures of playing in the Big Apple.
"New York is the greatest city on the planet, I think. But you're not a New Yorker if you don't wake up some days and be like 'man, f- this place,'" he said blatantly.
Anthony went on to claim that he was immune to it all, but lamented, "You're supposed to shut up and play. Don't complain about nothing. Don't have no emotion about nothing."
Anthony is human. The pressure must get to him. It's normal and that's quite alright. It has to be difficult watching some of his friends and fellow competitors from his respective draft class win big on the brightest stage as he still struggles to do so. The Knicks may still be a way's away from competing for a championship, but an obvious key to getting back on the right track is having Anthony stay healthy. Having said that, looking at the different supporting casts, say, a player like LeBron James has had over the years, it's easy to understand he's been put in a better position to succeed.
James has played alongside both quality role players, as well as other fellow stars. Anthony could have left New York behind and opted to join a team that could have offered him star-quality talent as teammates, but he opted to stay and finish what he started, taking on the pressures that comes along with it. This is his team to take charge of, for better or for worse. The good news is that this is arguably the first team in his career (even despite a 54-win campaign in 2012-13) in which a certain vision has been carried out to surround Anthony with young, qualified talent. This team is constructed to continue developing and potentially compete at the same time. Phil Jackson believes in Anthony and his ability to be the centerpiece, but has also put the team in a place financially to explore different improvements in the summers to come.
Anthony's opportunity to begin proving last season was a fluke (and not the beginning of a downward spiral) begins Wednesday. As such, it's a little surprising to see the clip be released now, not only because it focuses on his off the court ventures, but also reveals a bit of an edge from Anthony that could be construed as negative.
Nevertheless, he knows what's at stake.
"New York is known for being the best. That being said, there's no patience here. You kind of adapt to that mindset," Anthony said. "That's why it's so up and down here."