Ongoing trade rumors don't affect Anthony's attitude or play
As trade rumors persist, Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony is maintaining his focus, along with his sense of humor.
Told Wednesday that his name has resurfaced in trade chatter, Anthony offered an easy smile.
“Again?” he said, feigning disbelief.
Speculation about Anthony’s future has been prevalent since mid-August, with countless stories citing unnamed sources predicting he will be shipped anywhere from Los Angeles to New York to numerous destinations in between.
Several reports Tuesday – again citing unnamed sources – said the Knicks are once again trying to make a serious bid to acquire Anthony.
“I have no idea, man,” Anthony said. “Honestly, last night was the first time I heard about it. It started escalating again. I don’ know from where. But I’m here, so that’s all I can focus on.”
Anthony is under contract for 2010-11 and can opt out of the final year of his contract next summer. The Nuggets proffered a reported three-year, $65 million contract extension, but Anthony has not signed it, saying he wants to keep his options open.
The contract and trade discussions have not affected Anthony on the court. He is averaging 23.5 points and 7.3 rebounds in four preseason games.
“It doesn’t bother me, man. It really doesn’t bother me,” he said. “I’m able to wake up in the morning, smile, come here, laugh and joke with my teammates, play basketball and compete. That stuff doesn’t bother me. It’s not life and death.”
Nuggets coach George Karl has been complimentary of Anthony’s attitude, work ethic and professionalism from the first day of training camp. By all accounts, Anthony looks as good as he has since being drafted by the Nuggets in 2003.
Don’t expect that to change because of rumors and speculation.
“I’m too focused in on this season right now to let rumors or anything like that come in and take over,” he said. “I’m focused on playing basketball and doing what’s right for the team.
“I know my task at hand, and that’s to win basketball games and hopefully win the championship. Coming out and doing what I do in this gym, that comes easy to me.”
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