Carmelo Anthony reportedly wasn’t on board when the New York Knicks selected Kristaps Porzingis in the 2015 NBA draft, but the veteran seems to have changed his tune.
Per Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports, Anthony emphatically stated he and the rookie power forward have a strong bond as teammates.
“I know what we have as teammates. Nobody can come between us despite what anybody says. Nobody.”
Considering their location, Anthony and Porzingis will be subject to plenty of negative attention simply because of the market size. New York fans and media alike are known for being perhaps overly critical of the athletes.
Anthony certainly understands that ever-changing dynamic, since he’s been the headliner of the Knicks since February of 2011. The team reached the postseason in each of his first three years but failed to appear in the playoffs during 2013-14 and 2014-15.
“When things are going good, they put you way up there. When things are going bad, they kick the chair from underneath you. Those are experiences that he is going to have to go through. But if I can be there and be that guy who can grab him up and say everything is going to be all right, I’m going to do that.”
Right now, Carmelo and Porzingis have basically avoided major negative perception. New York is 11-14, which while not a great record is a quick turnaround following a 17-65 franchise-worst campaign.
Although the Knicks encounter a handful of tough opponents soon, seven games in late January will test their merit — and the relationship of the two most popular players.
That stretch includes the Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Clippers, Charlotte Hornets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Toronto Raptors, Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors.
Regardless of if New York struggles at that specific point or not, though, negativity in a big market is inevitable. Carmelo thinks he and Porzingis will be OK, but as the cliche goes, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.