Carmelo Anthony says he was surprised by the firing of Derek Fisher on Monday, but has no plans to abandon the Knicks and waive his no-trade clause.
"I done been through worse," he said with a laugh when asked if he was convinced he wanted to stay in New York. "I done been through worse, man. At this point, you become kind of immune to all of the BS that goes on and the politics, you become immune to that. So my goal is to continue playing basketball, focus on the group of guys that I have in there and leave that faith to management and to the front office."
Anthony, who signed a five-year, $124-million deal with the Knicks in the summer of 2014, is now onto his fourth coach in New York -- Mike D'Antoni, Mike Woodson, Fisher and now interim coach Kurt Rambis.
Anthony said the whole team was surprised by Fisher's firing.
"We was all surprised," he said. "I really don't know if it was a quick decision or if it was lingering, I'm not even trying to figure that part out. But everybody found out as far as players around the same time [Monday] morning."
Knicks President Phil Jackson said Monday it was easier to fire the coach than 15 players, and communicated to the players that some of the onus of the team's 23-31 record was on them.
"I mean, we know that," Anthony said. "We haven't been playing well over the last couple weeks, so it will always come down to what the coach is doing and what the coach is not doing. It's an unfortunate situation that I've been a part of multiple times throughout my career and you become kind of immune to it at this point and understand that this is part of the business. This is the bad part of the business, these things happen."
Jackson said Monday that it was his decision, and that he consulted with GM Steve Mills for several days before informing owner James Dolan.
"This was totally on management, they made that decision," Anthony said "It's unfortunate but we have to move on."
Rambis said pre-game that the team had to find a way to make the playoffs despite their current five-game losing streak and overall record.
"We've got to figure out a way to get into the playoffs," Rambis said.
Said Anthony: "I don't think that's even a question for me, as far as playoffs or not. My goal every season is to try to get to the playoffs and try to win a championship so despite all these things that should be our goal as a team. It was our goal and that should remain our goal."
Anthony said his job was to help the younger players, presumably including prized rookie Kristaps Porzingis, focus on the task at hand.
"Nobody wants to lose their coach, especially the young guys, this is an experience that they have to go through," he said. "So for me, having to keep those guys intact, keep them in line, let them know it happens. Unfortunately, it happened to us right now."
Fisher went 40-96 in one-plus seasons in New York after never having coached at any level.
Anthony said he spoke "briefly" with Fisher on Monday after the firing.
"He understands that things like this does happen," Anthony said.
"For me, in my short stint with Fish, my hat goes off to him as a coach, as a player," Anthony added. "I respected him a lot, especially for coming in and taking on this seat, here in New York coaching the Knicks. First-time coach so it was a new experience for him. I'm pretty sure me knowing him, he will learn from this experience and he will be on somebody else's sideline pretty soon, if that's what he wants."
Fisher, meantime, issued this Tweet on Tuesday evening.
Anthony and the Knicks missed the playoffs last season and now have a major hill to climb to make the postseason this year. Asked how tough the situation was for him, he said: "It's tough. I mean, at night when I wrap my brain around it and put it into perspective as far as how many coaches I've been through since being here, how many players, how many different teammates since being here, we trying to find some type of consistency when it comes to that. But like I said, the business of basketball is a tough business."
Asked if he's worried about the direction of the franchise, Anthony said he has to put his faith in Jackson.
"This was something that I didn't see coming, nobody saw coming," he said. "You have to continue to put your trust in Phil. At this point what could you do? You can't shy away from that, can't go against it. So I have to trust him. I decided to stay there, I decided to make that decision to trust in the Knicks and trust in Phil and I have to continue doing that."