Carmelo Anthony Welcomes Your Criticisms

Anthony seems to enjoy the new state of affairs in Knicksland.

If you wanted to describe Carmelo Anthony's performance in front of the media on Monday as gloating, you probably wouldn't find too many people arguing with your assessment.

With Mike D'Antoni's resignation and a three-game winning streak under Mike Woodson, Anthony is looking like a lot less of a problem than he was at this time last week.

As we pointed out on Monday, drawing any big conclusions off any small sample of this chaotic Knicks season isn't particularly wise but let's just assume that Anthony wasn't paying any attention to that because he was clearly holding court as the star player of a winning team.

Everything out of Anthony's mouth was positive on Monday as he tried to sever any ties with the brooding image of a selfish star that was in full effect after D'Antoni threw in the towel on his power stuggle with Melo last Wednesday.

The Anthony who spoke on Monday was one who talked about a desire to be held accountable, a lack of interest in his own scoring numbers if the team is winning games and an openness to criticism rarely seen in real life.

"Regardless, I don’t have a problem with criticism," Anthony said. "If I can do something to help better this team, let me know."

Feel free to shake your head and wonder how Anthony missed the whole portion of the season when he could have done more to help the team. 

Here's something for Anthony to work on. Don't make public admissions that you weren't trying during the first 42 games of the season.

"The last three games my focus was to have an energy that I haven’t had so far this season, especially on the defensive end,” Anthony said. "Everybody on this team knows, everybody in the world knows I can score the basketball. It’s not that important to me. As far as on the defensive end, showing my teammates that the effort is there, giving that extra effort. As a result everybody is feeding off of that."

It's either funny or sad that Anthony describes giving any effort on the defensive end as extra effort because every bit of the disgust he inspired earlier this season would have been lessened if he had been going after things on defense. And, yeah, it makes sense that people would feed off positivity with better efforts than they provided during the sleepwalking days gone by.

We get that Anthony wasn't thrilled with playing for D'Antoni. He made that clear with praise for Woodson's halftime speeches, his warmups and, presumably, the little notes he includes with the lunches he packs for everybody before they get on the school bus. 

The future is all that matters for the Knicks at this point, so there's not much point in constantly rehashing what went wrong between Anthony and D'Antoni.

Both men had their faults with the way everything was handled, but you'll never be more sympathetic to D'Antoni than when you hear Anthony go on and on about how he's focusing on his effort now that there's a new coach in the picture.

None of this will matter a whit if the Knicks keep winning so let's hope it is the last time we have to hear a player crowing about the way he helped force someone out of a job. 

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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