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Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony surprised by Derek Fisher firing, will continue to put trust in Phil Jackson

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony brings

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony brings the ball up court against the Denver Nuggets in the first half of an NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Carmelo Anthony is now playing for his fourth coach since March 2012 but he said that lack of continuity doesn’t have him looking for an escape route.

Anthony said he doesn’t intend to waive his no-trade clause before February 18 deadline, he still believes in Knicks president Phil Jackson and he wants to remain in a Knicks uniform.

“Yeah, I’ve been through worse,” Anthony said before the Knicks played the Wizards Tuesday night. “I’ve been through worse. At this point you become kind of immune to all . . . that goes on and the politics. You become immune to that. So my goal is to continue playing basketball, focus on the group of guys that I have in there and leave that faith to management, to the front office.”

Anthony sounded genuinely surprised that Jackson fired Derek Fisher Monday and replaced him with Kurt Rambis.

The Knicks had lost nine of 10 games and were spiraling after a better-than-expected start. They began Tuesday No. 12 in the East, 4 1⁄2 games out of a playoff spot. Jackson decided to make the move to try and save the Knicks’ season. Anthony, who signed a five-year, $124-million deal two summers ago, said he has to believe in Jackson.

“This is something I didn’t see coming,” Anthony said. “Nobody saw coming. So you have to continue to put your trust into Phil. At this point, what could you do? Can’t shy away from that. can’t go against it. So for me it’s continue.

“I have to trust in it. I decided to stay here. I decided to make that decision to trust in the Knicks and trust in Phil. I have to continue doing that.”

The team has undergone many changes since Anthony forced a trade to the Knicks in 2011. He is the only Knick remaining from the team that won 54 games in 2013 and the lone leftover from when Jackson was hired in March 2014.

“It’s tough,” Anthony said. “At night when I kind of wrap my brain around it and put everything into perspective as far as how many coaches I’ve been through since being here, how many different teammates I’ve been through since being here . . . so we’re trying to find some kind of consistency when it comes to that. But the business of basketball, it’s a tough business.”

Robin Lopez, one of four regulars who spoke in the locker room before Tuesday night’s game at Madison Square Garden against the Wizards, said, “I was surprised. In my mind, I don’t think the problem was really with one person.”

Added Derrick Williams, “I think it’s all of us. It wasn’t just him. It’s the bad thing about this business. We didn’t play well. We were 1-9. We struggled over the last 10 games. Something had to change.”

Anthony said he wasn’t consulted about the Fisher firing, and that everyone found out about the same time Monday morning. Fisher was at the practice facility and Anthony had a chance to speak with him briefly.

“It’s an unfortunate situation that I’ve been a part of multiple times throughout my career,” Anthony said. “You become kind of immune to it at this point and understand that this is part of the business. This is the bad part of the business. These things happen.

“For me, my short stint with Fish, my hat goes off to him as a coach, as a player. I respected him a lot especially for coming in and taking on this seat, here in New York, coaching the Knicks, first-time coach.

“A player of his caliber, a guy who’s been in this league a long time, a guy who’s seen a lot, who’s been through a lot, he understands that things like this does happen. It’s unfortunate. But he definitely gets that things like this happen.”With Neil Best

The Dolan family owns controlling interests in the Knicks, Madison Square Garden and Cablevision. Cablevision owns Newsday.


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