Carmelo Anthony Excited About New Look Knicks

Jul 19, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; USA forward Carmelo Anthony (15) is seen during a practice at Mendenhall Center. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 19, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; USA forward Carmelo Anthony (15) is seen during a practice at Mendenhall Center. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports /

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony is liking how the roster is shaping up as the free agency frenzy slows down.

Carmelo Anthony has had his name in the news recently as he has spoken out against the growing violence in our country. Anthony has been urging for peace via his social media accounts, and did the same thing while appearing at the ESPY’s last week.

While he will remain vocal on that front, he is also preparing for an important basketball tournament, as he will be a part of Team USA at the Rio Olympics in a couple of weeks. Anthony is looking to make Olympic history as the first player to ever win three gold medals in the Olympics, something that Chris Paul and LeBron James could have also earned this summer had they not opted out of playing.

With those two not making the trip, Anthony has a chance to earn the medal and recognition on his own. While Anthony has been busy being calling for change in the world and preparing for the Olympics, he has not lost sight of what Phil Jackson has been doing with the New York Knicks.

Jackson has overhauled the Knicks over the past four weeks, landing Derrick Rose and Justin Holiday in a trade with the Chicago Bulls before adding a plethora of players in free agency, headlined by Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee and Brandon Jennings.

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Anthony spoke for 20 minutes in Las Vegas at Team USA’s practice and did it with confidence. It was tough for him to hide the jubilation he felt after seeing the work Jackson did at Anthony’s urging to get a better product on the court during his prime years.

“The time is now for us,’’ Anthony said Monday. “The time is now for the city and the fans. The time is now. Everybody is tired of waiting and waiting. Now it’s time we can go out there and put a competitive team [on the floor]. For me, the time is now. For us as city and an organization, that should be the mindset — the time is now.’’

While Jackson made some risky moves along the way, they could also pay off in a big way. In addition to the players mentioned above, Jackson rounded out the rotation and roster with Willy Hernangomez, Lance Thomas, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Sasha Vujacic, Marshall Plumlee and Maurice Ndour.

Add in the returning players in Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle O’Quinn, and Anthony is liking how things are shaping up on paper thus far, praising the front office.

"“The front office stepped up,’’ Anthony said. “It was a collective effort. They did their job and did what they had to do to make things happen. Now they’ve put us in the situation to give us an opportunity. All we have to do is take advantage of it. I want no credit. Phil and [general manager] Steve [Mills] did everything.“On paper, we look good, real good. It’s a matter of everyone coming together and buying into what we want to do.”"

This is exactly what Anthony had been looking for earlier in the year when he put Jackson and the front office on notice. He was tired of the losing, and wanted to see results in the offseason that they were taking steps in the right direction to further push the team into contention in the Eastern Conference.

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Jackson looks to have accomplished that in the past couple of weeks, as the Knicks have a strong starting lineup on paper. Health will be a topic of discussion throughout the season, but if the Knicks can get 65+ games from their starting lineup they should find themselves squarely in the postseason discussion in the Eastern Conference.