NEW YORK (AP) — Carmelo Anthony believes it takes a certain kind of person to deal with New York — and he’s the one.
“I’ve been through so much in my short career so far, so for me to deal with you guys on a daily basis, I think it’s easy,” the All-Star forward told reporters at a packed news conference Wednesday before his first game with the Knicks.
“Is it going to be an easy transition for me? No. Is it going to be a lot of challenges? Yes. Is it going to be a lot of expectations? Yes. But I’m willing to accept all of them challenges.”
The Knicks picked up Anthony from the Nuggets on Tuesday in a three-team, 13-player deal with Denver and Minnesota. Hours before his debut against the Milwaukee Bucks, Anthony arrived at Madison Square Garden to get some shots in.
“I felt like I was still coming in just for a shootaround on an opposing team,” he said. “It didn’t really sink in yet – the fact that I’m a New York Knick. I feel like I’m still dreaming right now.”
Anthony, who signed a three-year, $65 million extension before the deal was completed, will join fellow All-Star Amare Stoudemire in the frontcourt, giving the Knicks the potent duo they hoped they could assemble last summer in free agency.
“Will we win a championship this year? Who knows?” said Anthony, who spoke about 10 minutes. “That takes time. But at the end of the day, we’re moving into the right direction. I felt like I wanted to be part of an organization, part of a team who had some upside and knew what the future was holding.”
Anthony was about to fly from Los Angeles to Denver for practice Monday after the All-Star game when he got a call not to go anywhere quite yet. Finally, word came that he was getting his wish to join New York after months of uncertainty and trade rumors.
Not everything was cleared up even after the deal was done. MSG chairman James Dolan felt the need at the start of Wednesday’s news conference to again deny reports he had removed team president Donnie Walsh from negotiations while being advised by Isiah Thomas.
“While Isiah Thomas is a friend of mine, a very good friend of mine, he was not at all involved in this process,” Dolan said. “He wasn’t advising me or telling me what to do in any way, and any reports that implied he was doing that are simply untrue and a fiction in somebody’s mind.”
The Knicks got guards Chauncey Billups and Anthony Carter and forwards Renaldo Balkman and Shelden Williams from Denver. New York dealt forwards Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari, guard Raymond Felton and center Timofey Mozgov to the Nuggets.
New York also shipped centers Eddy Curry and Anthony Randolph to Minnesota for forward Corey Brewer. Denver acquired center Kosta Koufos from Minnesota, plus New York’s first-round draft pick in 2014, second-round picks in 2012 and 2013 and cash.
The Knicks haven’t made the playoffs since 2004. They are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference in their first season since acquiring Stoudemire from Phoenix last summer. Stoudemire has said the blockbuster deal could make them better equipped to face teams like Boston and Miami, which already have multiple All-Stars, in the postseason.
“I know we got to jell. We got to get our chemistry down,” Anthony said. “At the same time, we’ve got to roll. We got things to go out there and accomplish. We got goals to reach, and it starts now.”
AP Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney contributed to this report.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)