Tension is high with the New York Knicks. The team entered the All-Star break having fired Derek Fisher and naming Kurt Rambis as the interim coach. Team president Phil Jackson failed to get any trade deals complete before the league deadline, and now the Knicks are struggling to get wins to finish out the season. As a result, franchise star Carmelo Anthony spoke out with criticism toward the team, leaving Rambis to defend him.
Anthony has had plenty to say recently over the Knicks' recent struggles. The forward told the media that all of the coaching changes have factored into the losing seasons while all of the losses are hurting team morale. Rambis defended the harsh words of the franchise star, saying he wants players to get angry and express themselves.
"I see frustration. We're all frustrated. We can't accept this," Rambis said, via Newsday. "For the organization, for our team, ourselves as individual, the coaching staff. We can't accept losing. I want the players to be angry. I want the players to be frustrated. That's the right attitude to have. If guys aren't playing, they should be frustrated that they are not playing. We're not winning right now, so they have to be believing in their hearts and minds that [they] could be doing a better job out there on the court. Those are the kind of players you want on your team."
While Anthony has a no-trade clause in his contract, several teams are expected to pursue a deal for him in the upcoming offseason in hopes that he is simply too fed up with the Knicks, according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News. Anthony reportedly rejected a trade that would have sent him to the Boston Celtics. General manager Danny Ainge told the media that the Celtics were close to getting a deal done while Anthony denies anyone approached him about the idea. If the Knicks keep falling apart, Anthony might be willing to take a deal.
Anthony has stated time and time again that he is committed to the Knicks. The franchise star has stressed he does not plan on going anywhere. However, he is in the prime of his career and the Knicks are nowhere near becoming a contending team. Despite the struggles, Anthony is making it clear he is not seeking a trade.
"When you're in New York, you're always up for grabs, I'll tell you that. Trades are always up for grabs," Anthony said, via ESPN.com. "It's always, 'Who's next?' There's nothing guaranteed when you're in New York. But I don't pay attention to those rumors."