|Carmelo Anthony says he'll have a talk with Amar'e Stoudemire to iron out their issues Monday. (Getty Images)|
By Matt Moore
Things are not well at the most famous arena. According to a report, anyway. The New York Post Monday stirred the pot of seemingly poisoned stew with the Knicks with a report that says there may be dissension and "finger-pointing" between the team's two stars and quotes from Carmelo Anthony that indicate a work-it-out session may be in order.
“We as a team need to do a better job getting Amar’e the ball,’’ Anthony admitted. “I have the ball in my hands. Maybe it’s on me. Maybe I have to give him the ball a little more, help him out with that. We’ll talk probably [today] and try to figure it out together. If I’m doing too much, I want him to tell me. I want the guys on the team to tell me if I’m doing too much.’’via Carmelo Anthony of Knicks hopes talk with Amar’e Stoudemire can end slump - NYPOST.com.
According to a source familiar with the situation, Anthony has been too obsessed with his points and Stoudemire is too concerned with Anthony taking over the team. There’s also too much finger-pointing, according to the source.
Anthony's comments seem to indicate a step in the right direction, but here's the problem. If you're going to have a talk with a teammate, you just talk to him. You don't announce to the media you're going to talk about it. It comes off as much more like an effort to publicly jab Stoudemire and say "If you have a problem, say something to me, already." You don't announce you're going to work things out. You either tell the media everything is fine or that you have already talked to him about it. The two men have cell phones, they share a locker room, they see one another every day. This isn't rocket science.
The report about finger-pointing is more worrisome. It's highly unlikely that Anthony is obsessed with his points, since he understands how this game works and that his star placement wouldn't fade any with fewer shots. But there definitely does seem to be a trend towards both players wrestling for control as the alpha dog. Stoudemire's been willing to let Anthony ball handle and in most contests the trend is consistent. Stoudemire begins the game by being active and trying to create space off the attention drawn by Anthony, and as Anthony continually shoots and doesn't create shots for him, Stoudemire defers more and more. It's not pouting as it is so much "well, I'm not going to go running in circles for my health." (Not on that knee, he's not.)
In reality, the problem doesn't lie with either superstar. It lies with management's decision to trade half their team including starting point guard Raymond Felton for Anthony. The system under D'Antoni cannot function without a capable point guard. The teams need cohesion, from Stoudemire on down. A point guard won't solve everything, but it would help.
But there's good news on that front, as Baron Davis is expected to practice for the first time Monday and potentially play on Saturday. Knicks fans are perhaps placing too many expecatations on a point guard who has missed a lot of time with injury and hasn't impressed when he has played over the past few years. The numbers are right there in terms of assist rate, but Davis can't solve everything on his own.
The situation in New York isn't one part being broken.