At least Carmelo was honest.
It was pretty obvious he was dogging it during the final days of the Mike D’Antoni tenure. It helped get him fire, so it isn’t surprising that Melo is now playing harder, since he can no longer use D’Antoni as a scapegoat for poor play.
Carmelo notices it, too, and, as he told Newsday on Monday, he says it’s because of a newfound “energy” that just so happened to show up after D’Antoni left town.
“I think in 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,” Carmelo said. “Everybody on this team knows, everybody in the world knows I can score the basketball. It’s not that important to me.”
When asked for his reaction to Carmelo’s comments, interim coach Mike Woodson, well, didn’t really have one: “I can’t explain that, I can’t. I wish I could. We probably wouldn’t be sitting in this position that we’re sitting in today, fighting for a playoff spot.”
As you can see even Mike Woodson acknowledges if Melo had been playing hard the entire season, he probably wouldn’t have the head coaching job right now.
It is refreshing that Melo is telling the truth, but once again this is the reason why I have a hard time thinking the Knicks will ever prosper.
What happens the next time Melo gets annoyed, will he shut it down again?
Something to ponder when the Knicks hit another rough patch.