Ryan Anderson might be more happy to not be a Knick than Carmelo Anthony is.
A potential trade with the Rockets fell through this past summer before the Knicks dealt Anthony to Oklahoma City, the main reason being Anderson’s contract. He is due $61.1 million over the next three seasons, which the Knicks deemed too expensive.
That near-deal is so far in the past for Anderson that it has barely crossed his mind.
“It’s something I didn’t even think about until I came here and people wanted to talk to me about it,” Anderson said after Houston’s 119-97 win over New York. “It was just rumors.”
Rumors that spread thanks to Anthony, that is.
“It was sparked by Carmelo. He put out on Twitter what he wanted and the media sort of took control of that,” Anderson said.
The Knicks sure could’ve used Anderson, as he scored 21 points — more than every Knicks player but Tim Hardaway Jr. (23).
“It feels good to play well in Madison Square Garden at any time,” Anderson said.
Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said Anderson has remained unfazed about being part of trade rumors this year.
When asked if the rumors have had any effect in the Rockers locker room, D’Antoni jokingly said, “I just say you guys (the media) don’t know what you’re talking about. Fake news, right?”
“It happens. I’m sure it’s not pleasant for him, but it’s part of the business. If you’re in the league long enough, you’ll hear subsequent rumors,” he added. “Players have to get through it.
Anderson was motivated by the rumors and has come back slimmer than ever, down 12 pounds from last season.
“He’s a professional and a great guy to coach,” D’Antoni said.
The Knicks showed support for New York City.
Before the team’s first game since Tuesday’s terrorist attack in lower Manhattan that left eight people dead, they held a moment of silence for victims.
Prior to tip-off, the lights at Madison Square Garden were dimmed and a photo of New York’s skyline was showed on the main screen.
“Our thoughts and sympathies are with the victims and their loved ones,” the Knicks PA announcer said, leading into the moment of silence.
At least the rookies got some minutes.
One of the only positives from the blowout loss for the Knicks was that their first and second-round draft picks, Frank Ntilikina and Damyean Dotson, were able to play more than they have all season.
Dotson made the most of his chance, scoring nine points and grabbing three rebounds in 17 minutes.
“That’s what we’re looking for,” Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said of the 23-year-old’s performance. “He can really shoot the ball. I think he’s still trying to figure out when he should shoot it, when he should try to drive it. Once he figures that out he’s going to be pretty good. I liked his energy and the way he goes after things.”
Ntilikina, on the other hand, was only able to put up two points in 26 minutes, going 1-7 from the floor.
The Houston Rockets had no choice but to change their pre-game routine.
Following Tuesday’s terrorist attack in lower Manhattan, the team had to cancel their afternoon shootaround.
“We had a bus ready to go but it would’ve taken us an hour or two at least to get over here,” coach Mike D’Antoni said.
The team is staying at a hotel in Battery Park, not far from where the attack occurred. Heavy police activity in the area made it impossible for the Rockets to make it to MSG in time for their scheduled shootaround.
“There was no chance to get here, being on a bus for two hours just for that. So we called it off,” D’Antoni said.
The Rockets are the second team visiting New York that has had to change their pre-game schedule in light of the incident. On Tuesday, the Vegas Golden Knights, also traveling to Madison Square Garden from the team hotel in Battery Park, showed up to the arena only 70 minutes before the game started.